Monthly Archives: May 2014

Days Of Glory Over?

Last Wednesday President Barack Obama addressed the graduating class of West Point and his comments to this group of young men and women suggests that America is entering upon new era in its conception of foreign policy and war. President Bush was ready to send men into battle because the “thought” there were the infamous weapons of mass destruction. He thought America had to invade Afghanistan because that was the place where Obama bin Laden trained and outfitted those who would blow up the World Trade Center. In neither case were these governments a threat to the national security of the United States despite efforts of Cheney and Rumsfeld and the president to convince the American people of the guilt of Saddam Hussein and company.

Based on the Obama speech it is now clear that America is prepared to take action when issues of global concern pose “a direct threat to the United States.” However, in the speech the president raised a new concept when international moral or political issues arose which threatened the well being of people, “the threshold for military action must be higher.” For example, in the kidnap of 300 Nigerian girls, the United States will not ask its soldiers to intervene even though moral issues are involved. From now on -into the foreseeable future, it must be a direct military threat to America’s security.

When Is Rape Rape?

I did not attend law school. I am not a lawyer. I do read political issues related to t he topic of rape. I certainly go to the movies or watch TV about stories related to the act of rape. Lewis Meyer Mcleod, a student who came from Austraila in order to attend Duke University is rather upset. He is prepared to take the university to court over its refusal to allow him to graduate this year. Last November, Lewis took a girl to his frat house, they drank-no drugs–and both became somewhat drunk. Both agree she did break down in tears. She subsequently charged him with the act of rape. The Police Department of the city of Durham investigated the case and concluded there was insufficient evidence that would result in a rape conviction of Mr. Mcleod.

Duke University Office of Student Conduct launched its own investigation. Their conclusion was that “more likely than not” the sexual encounter was not jointly consensual. He was found guilty of rape and expelled. As I indicate, I am not a lawyer, but I always thought the judge made clear to the jury that if there was any doubt about guilt of the defendant they could not find him guilty. How can a college argue the concept of “more likely than not.” Sorry, it is not an OK legal conclusion. Perhaps, a moral OK, but not a legal OK.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press along with our comments.

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Army Rounds Up Critics”

Ah, once again in Egypt.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Al Ale Of A Good Time”

Burp went Rob Ford.

Sweden, Local: “Rent Rabbits This Summer”

Now, hop to it!

USA. NY Daily News: “Idiots Guide To Politics”

Simple, just vote for Republicans.

UK, Guardian: “Man Plays Chicken With Train”

I guess he is clucking up in heaven.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Bike Legend Assaults Girls”

Now, exactly what was he a legend about??

Australia, Sydney Morning Herald: “I’m A Touchy Feely Sort Of Person”

Just feel for my lips!

Once We Were A Nation Together

Those born after the United States sent a man to the moon have never experienced the sense of pride that once upon a time was felt by ALL Americans. Regardless of whether one was a Democrat, a Republican, had white or black skin or opposed the president of the United States, there was a burst of pride in being part of a society which had just sent a man to the moon. The man on the Moon represented each and every single person in the United States of America. There was a sense that we could accomplish great tasks and change the entire world.

Of course, those born in the 1920s and after had also shared such experiences when we were ALL Americans. The day after Pearl Harbor when President Franklin Roosevelt promised we would defeat Japan simply reflected the feeling of ALL Americans who were confident of victory even though just a few days earlier millions had demanded no war. We had this feeling on June 6, 1944 when British and American troops landed on the shores of France because we ALL knew it was simply another step on the road to meet the gallant Russian soldiers fighting against Nazism.

Of course we had the feeling on the day war ended against Nazi Germany and the day war ended against Japan. WE, together with our Allies had triumphed over great odds. Today, as I write these words my mind wonders why this feeling is no longer present in America. We now inhabit a land in which we can’t even build a new tunnel under the Hudson River. We have lost the spirit of adventure and become a divided people whose hearts are filled with hate and anger.

I do not know if President Barack Obama could have been able to reach out to Republicans in some sense of comradeship. Perhaps, their hearts are too filled with hate. But, I do know that Obama never understood the importance of speaking WITH Americans to explain the need to work together. He never understood the importance of explaining the Affordable Care Act. He failed to hold weekly Press conferences which Franklin Roosevelt always offered. Perhaps, the division had proceeded too far. I do not know.

John Boehner On Climate Change

Glaciers are melting, drought hitting areas with devastation and over 200 scientists informing the world that global change is here and will increase, but to members of the Republican party we are still back in the age of our Founding Fathers. When asked to comment about climate change, this was the response of John Boehner:

“Well listen. I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change. But I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that comes out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy,and killing American jobs. That can’t be the prescription for dealing with changes in our climate.” Actually, the last words are accurate. We must change job structure and begin the process of ending our current approach to coal. Yes, John, we will kill jobs. But, we also will create NEW jobs that are consistent with our new 21st century economy.

Frankly, it is amazing that one who leads the House of Representatives actually claims not to have access to modern scientific knowledge. If ignorance is a virtue,then John Boehner is guaranteed a place in Heaven with the other saints!

Seeking The Lord

In 2003, President George Bush sent thousands of American soldiers to Iraq in the name of democracy and God and all that is wonderful in the United States. Bush termed the adventure a great crusade in the name of freedom. Well, we all know what happened. Today, in nations like Uganda or the Congo or South Sudan a man named Joseph Kony wanders these lands claiming to be the Lord’s disciple and he simply wants to help people. Of course, in the process of spreading his version of “Christianity,” children might be forced to kill their own parents and then become part of his Lord’s Resistance Army which wanders the land spreading death and rape and disorder. The LRA hides in jungles and emerges with violence and death along with kidnapping children. Latest estimate is the Army has now been reduced to about 250 people including the children and females who serve as sex slaves.

President Obama has dispatched Special Forces to Uganda in order to assist in tracking down this murderous group and freeing innocent children. This is not a great crusade for freedom, simply finding and destroying those who really employ weapons of mass destruction.

Mothers For Life, Men For Death

I am old enough to recall events after the assassination of President Kennedy when members of both political parties promised to do something about gun control. Fifty years–half a century– have passed and what has become of that promise? Jennifer Longman was shot and paralyzed so she formed a group, “Every Town For Gun Control.” Recently she was in an airport when a program came on in which she was being interviewed. A man came up to her in the wheel chair and spit in her face. In another incident when she arrived home one day and was about to enter her apartment, a man stepped from the shadows, pointed a gun at her head and said: “Don’t you wish you had a gun now, bitch!” It was a water pistol and he walked away with laughter.

In Texas, there is a group whose name is: “Open Carry Texans” and their goal is make each and every American, even babies in cribs, to become happy and content when in the presence of a man with a gun. They enjoy going to malls carrying assault weapons which, most probably, sends citizens into a frenzy of joy and hope.

There is another group, “Moms For Gun Sense.” Talk about a terrorist band! Some members were in a coffee shop when 40 men with guns parked in the parking lot to express hope and joy to the women. Such is America, fifty years after Kennedy’s death!!

Madness Of American Justice System!

There is no question that the United States of America is Number One in the world. NO, we are not Number One in income equality, NO, we are not number one in life expectancy. NO, we are not Number one in ability of poor people to rise to middle class. BUT, we are NUMBER ONE when it comes to having people in prison. Cooper van Husen is a sixteen year old boy who, together with several friends, entered homes in search of robbery. Other than these two examples, he is simply another boy with a clean criminal record. He was advised to plea guilty to second degree felony charges and receive 180 days in jail. Certainly enough to frighten any sixteen year old boy.

Judge Ernie Jones decided the plea arrangement was “too lenient.” He sentenced a sixteen year old boy to a term of one to fifteen years in jail. The boy is being sent to a maximum security prison where he can benefit from the wisdom of hardened criminals in order to become a sex slave and then a criminal. The only person who should be sent to this jail is Judge Jones.

You Have Freedom To Think As I Do

I recently encountered the ideas of a Turkish professor who is a devout Muslim and it became clear that his ideas are not only found among conservative fundamentalist Muslims, but represent the thinking of many Christians and Jews. Professor Hayrettin Karaman argues that modern secularism “does not have aspects which are in harmony with or parallel to Islam. He does agree with the concept of freedom of religion, but in his interpretation of this concept that means everyone has the right to freedom of thinking providing it directs the individual to believe in Islam. He does have ideas concerning the idea of pluralism. At the “bottom of pluralism lies the relativity of right and wrong, good and bad. “This goes against the essence of Islam.”

Ironically, the same manner of thinking is found among many Orthodox Jews or Christians. Heck, in America, we have Republicans who believe seeking to raise taxes one percent will result in the decline of America and simply punish our beloved job creators who will cease to job create. Those who posses the “truth” know there is only ONE TRUTH and that is what they believe. When it comes to this approach to thinking, one discovers such thinkers in ANY religion!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23 year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUTA

A kiss should always be a gentle moment.

Only a few achieve Nirvana on Earth.

For some, the sleep of peace lasts forever.

Some use fingers to make a point.

Some are listeners to life’s patterns.

Some walk with hesitation.

Empower self to change your life.

There is a moment to take the left turn in life.

All too often our daily life becomes stale.

There ARE irreplaceable moments in life.

Humans are the animal most capable of adapting.

There is such terrible anger among our Congressmen.

Long time since anyone told me to “hustle.”

In the end, we all wind up, in the end.

I wonder how many begin the day thinking about money?

I assume some welcome Death as a friend.

There are good luck and bad luck people.