Author Archives: Fred Stopsky

Sins Of Our Fathers Fall On The Innocent

There is scant doubt that Pope Francis inherited a mess that each day grows in size and complexity. Upon becoming Pope, he had to confront the issue of sexual abuse upon the part of priests. It was never his mess, but unless the new Pope reacted with firmness and fairness he risked alienating millions of Catholics who had never recovered from the continual non-stop reports of crimes against young people by priests. In, most probably, his strongest confrontation with the problem, Pope Francis was blunt, was honest, and promised action against those who had abused children as well as against those who knew, but pretended to be ignorant. The Pope stated in blunt terms: “before God and his people, I express my sorrow for the sins and crimes of clerical abuse committed against you.” He went on to promise that the Church must “make reparation” to those who were abused.

Not only did Pope Francis take on priests who were guilty of abusing children, he also confronted members of the church hierarchy who remained silent. According to Pope Francis, “sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members as well as by abuse victims” must now be dealt if these horrible crimes are to be resolved. From now on, those who assume leadership positions must understand that failing to act makes one as guilty as those who acted without regard to human decency.

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 BUT

I am a sit-in-back person.

All enjoy a car wreck. A moment of “thank God it is not me.”

I have always been kind to strangers, after all, I am one to some.

Some exit car with hesitation.

Long time since heard, “Ides of March are upon us.”

Few recall Elementary school day songs.

Never forget the kindness others gave to you.

Some prefer winds of war to caressing winds of peaceful spring.

I prefer to walk with God than to dwell in his house.

As ye sow, so shall you reap, still true.

Little boys jumping disturb some.

In life, all too often, Evil does triumph.

Some rearrange chairs, some their mind.

Some eat with care and concern.

I wonder if there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Man asked me what I was writing, I replied: “About you.”

Kind people deserve kindness.

I have always loved the banana.

Used up another pen. I am the writer of life.

Open Letter To John McCain

Dear Senator John McCain:

You are the son of admirals who served their nation in battles. You are the son of brave men who risked life in order to protect the freedom of this nation. You are a brave man who fought for his country,and, in so doing, were placed in a position of being tortured and abused. Today, you are a member of a political party that has lost all sense of decency and patriotism because its only goal is -power. It is bereft of ideas to improve the lives of Americans, it lacks goals to improve our nation. You are a member of a political party which engages in non-stop tirades and investigations into the death of four Americans in Benghazi, but refuses to examine the deaths of 5,000 Americans and wounding of 40,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

You are a decent person who loves America. You are also a decent person trapped in a political party that has lost its way. You love America and have proven this love by risk of life. Men like Ted Cruz and John Boehner have never fought in the cause of American freedom. You know the men who landed on D-Day were Democrats and Republicans, but, more important, they were Americans who wanted to end the evil of Nazism. It is time for you to rise in the US Senate and send a message to fellow Republicans that the time to end this endless hatred must conclude.

You understand the destructive power of weapons of war. It is time to rise and speak out agains the NRA and their refusal to support reasonable laws that would protect our law enforcement agents and fellow citizens. It is time for you to be the American who risked his life. It is time to risk your political life and speak out for human decency and respect for fellow members of the government.

It is time for you to become John McCain, the son of admirals!

On Reparations To African Americans

A recent article in The Atlantic magazine has raised the issue as to whether the American government should pay monetary compensation to those who fall into the category of African Americans due to the horror of slavery, and the subsequent years of segregation, prejudice and denial of basic rights such as access to home loans or jobs. After World War II, the German government paid, and still pays, compensation to Jews for the horror of the Holocaust. In the 1980s, the American government paid compensation to Japanese Americans for violation of their rights by being sent to internment camps during World War II. In other words, the concept of “reparations” has been recognized by nations throughout the world.

There remain several issues related to the concept of reparations.

1. The definition of who is an “African American” is not clear. Examine a basketball game and note the wide discrepancy in skin color among players.
2. In 1948 my sociology professors insisted that each year at least 50,000 “black skinned Americans” crossed over and became “white.” Their figure may not be accurate,but there is no doubt that thousands did so. In other words, untold thousands of “white people” derive from these crossovers.
3. Certainly, American Indians(or Native Americans) also suffered from discrimination and at least half died because of prejudice. It there are reparations, they must be included.
4. Yes, there was difficulty for Negroes to live in certain neighborhoods, or to gain access to home loans. This was also a common problem for American Jews and Italians.
5. Prejudice in jobs, access to college, loans were issues confronting many immigrant groups. Let me emphasize their problems never matched in severity those encountered by Negroes,but they were normal aspects of their lives in America.

My argument is that POOR PEOPLE, regardless of skin color be given free college, a guaranteed minimum wage, and free health insurance.

Hate Leads To Death-Always!

I was never a supporter of President George Bush, but must admit his shinning moment was in the days following 9/11. He refused to give in to voices of anger and hate toward those of the Muslim faith. Bush urged calm and endeavored to tone down cries for vengeance. In the moments following the horrible kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu behaved in the exact opposite manner as did Bush. Netanyahu promised revenge, he promised those who committed the act would be dealt with in strong ways. At no point did he differentiate between those who murdered and the 99.9% of Arabs who did not murder anyone. Netanyahu unleashed the dogs of war and hate. Crowds of Israel Jews crowded the streets shouting death to Arabs. Innocent Arabs were beaten, their cars set afire, and homes were vandalized by mobs set free to take revenge on ALL Muslims. Once hate is set free to roam the streets it was simply a matter of time before some Israelis became so excited and filled with hate that they found an opportunity to exact it upon an innocent Palestinian. A group of Israelis seized teenage Mohammed Abu Khdeir as he walked to prayers. We do not know what was said, but we now know what was done. The assaulted the boy, hit him with stones, and then set afire his body.

Mohammed is dead. So are three Israeli Jewish boys. Why? To his credit, President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority urged calmness and peace. It was Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who inflamed minds with his demands for revenge. There is no question those who kill must be brought to justice. But, lynch mobs are never the answer,all they do is to further anger. Lynch mobs consist of cowards who fear allowing justice to proceed. Benjamin Netanyahu has never recognized that he is prime minister of the state of Israel which contains over a million people who are Muslim or Christian. He is also THEIR PRIME MINISTER.

Walk For Freedom In Nigeria

The people of Nigeria live under the fear violence, but it is still unclear if the source of that threat comes from crazy Boko Haram militants or from their own government. These days in many parts of Nigeria, thousands are sleeping in the bush because to remain in their villages might result being killed or captured by fanatic Muslim fighters. In theory, and I do mean, theory, rescue efforts to recover those kidnapped is the responsibility of the so-called Nigerian army. Among the dozens of women and teen girls about 63 decided to leave their captors when left alone. They walked about 31 miles to freedom before authorities realized those kidnapped were now not kidnapped. It is quite clear the Nigerian army, as presently constituted, is simply not capable of fighting any group that is in possession of weapons. In theory, when soldiers hear the sound of guns, they run toward the guns. Nigerian soldiers have a different perspective on living and dying, when they hear shots being fired, they run away from those sounds.

Reality, Nigeria is a wide open kleptomania in which a small group steal the nation blind. They also steal money from salaries due soldiers which makes certain they are not risking their lives for a government that robs them blind. When a nation has a president whose name is Goodluck Jonathan, it is clear the best good luck they can get is to find someone with the name of Badluck Ben. Then again, perhaps the National Rifle Association might wish to provide its members an opportunity to blast away against a living creature who also has possession of guns.

Hookah Hash Gets Brownout From Officials

The one thing nations have in common is an exaggerated concept of their own uniqueness. If I was God, rule one would be making it illegal for any country to shout out words regarding why they are so special and unlike other societies in the world. I doubt if Ted Cruz or any member of the Tea Party to express a single thought without also emphasizing why America is a special nation whom God blesses above all others. Under the regime of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, nationalism is now the highest priority. He wants to ensure that old stereotypes never again are seen or heard. A recent Turkish exhibition in Paris has created a furor because someone decided to have some men wearing a fez on his head while he engaged in smoking some Hookah. Believe it or not, the use of drugs is part of the history of just about every Middle Eastern nation. To make matters more horrible the exhibit had a woman doing a belly dance.

We are pleased to report the exhibit has been changed. Of course, there are no exhibits of students getting the hell beat out of them or journalists enjoying a pleasant prison cell for the crime of printing stories that do not depict Erdogan as the second coming of Mohammed. In reality, we all have living inside our brain some sort of stereotype about something or someone. Erdogan wants his nation’s cultural traits displayed. Of course, that means limited free speech and punishment of those who do not praise the prime minister.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

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

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “I’m Tired Of Being A Man”

Spoken like a true transgender.

Canada, Toronto Star: “Mayor Quits Over Dog Poop”

What a shitty way to act!

Czech Republic, Prague Post: “Abolish Patient Fees”

Republicans do not believe one is entitled to a free ride to heaven.

China, China Daily: “Cat On Run”

At least it is not on a tin roof!

Russia, Moscow Times: “I Saw His Nasty Side”

Sorry, that is the only side that Vladimir Putin has!

Germany, Der Spiegel: “What Would A Real Caliph Do?”

Hopefully,get a harem to keep him busy.

Turkey, Hurriyet: “Former Playboy Bunny Converts To Muslim Religion”

I guess she wanted to go from uncovering to covering up!

Death Of The Innocent

There is nothing new to report concerning conditions in Israel or the Palestinian Authority or from Gaza Strip which is under control of Hamas. Leaders of Middle Eastern nations have but one thought in their minds–how to ensure their followers recognize they hate “the enemy.” Hamas leaders hail the death of three innocent Israel teenagers even as West Bank Jewish settlers hail the death of a Palestinian Muslim child. The only thing that can bring leaders of Israel or Palestinians is the cause of death. Each will spread hate and revenge. In their minds, the only alternative to stalemate is to create a new crisis, and, by what better method than killing someone. Unfortunately, in cases of REVENGE the innocent, more likely than the guilty, are the ones who die. For over sixty years the cause of REVENGE has guided leaders in the Middle East. The tragedy of the Middle East is failure of a leader with the mindset of Nelson Mandela to appear.

New reports indicate the Israel police have arrested 3 to 6 men who may be responsible for the tragedy. Not only did they beat the boy, but they burned his body while Abu was still alive! Burning Bodies! Oh, my God, this is what the Nazis did to Jews and now Jews do it to others!!

Nelson Mandela had ample reason to preach the doctrine of REVENGE, but he preferred the doctrine of FORGIVENESS. In turning his back upon REVENGE he enabled the people of South Africa to avoid further violence and death of the innocent. Jewish mobs, Muslim mobs, heck, Christian mobs, surge through the streets oF Israel or Gaza Strip or Palestine, and this evening mothers and fathers will mourn their dead children. REVENGE only gives birth to one child: DEATH. Some will rejoice that a child from ‘THE OTHER GROUP” died. Unfortunately,the only death is the death of peace and the end of Death.

As a person of the Jewish faith who helped found a Holocaust center, in my mind are words told me at Yad Vashem. Let me pass them on. As one enters the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Jerusalem, one encounters the Forest of Righteous Gentiles which contains trees planted in memory of Christians who save Jewish lives during the Holocaust. As one leaves, again there are the trees. I asked the head of education at Yad Vashem why one on entering and leaving is confronted with acts by Christians. He replied in words to this effect: He said, “once in the museum an individual is confronted by incredible hate and horror. If one leaves with such feelings, then Hitler won.” I fear all too many Jewish Israelis have forgotten the lesson of the Holocaust. Jews can not murder the innocent in the name of revenge!

Oh Dem Spies!

The government of Germany is rather upset since they just discovered that an employee of their secret intelligence agency is, in reality, a spy for the government of one of their “enemies.” Naturally, the “enemy” is none other than the good old USA. In fairness, to President Obama, spying has become to America what hot dogs are to America. It is one of our national past times, and we can not enjoy a 4th of July picnic without the dessert of a good spy story. Now, you might ask, “why is the United States spying on one of its ALLIES?” Fair enough question. We spy because we have spies, and our government does not wish to increase the number of unemployed people in our society, so we spy. After all, if you hire spies, at least let them do their job of spying. German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is getting tired of her ALLY spying on,not only her phone calls, but what transpires in her government. Her spokesman made it clear: “we don’t take the matter of spying for foreign intelligence lightly.”

I am certain President Obama has an explanation. We have to spy because their are bad people out there who seek to do us harm. So, what better way to damage these bad people but to spy on the good people who are our ally. Let us examine the 20th and 21st centuries when it comes to our spy agencies:

Death of Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin in 1953 and subsequent events. Our spy agencies were completely wrong in what would happen.
Vietnam war. Our spy agencies did not have a clue about who were the Vietcong.
Sputnik, Russian space program, our spy agencies did not predict this event.
Collapse of the Soviet Union, our spy agencies were completely wrong.
Osama bin Laden, our spy agencies were completely wrong.
9/11 our spy agencies did not have a clue even though there were dozens of clues out there.
Arab Spring, our spy agencies did not predict this event.

So, who else but the clowns in our spy agencies would be wasting money and personnel spying on OUR ALLIES!!
Syrian war, our spy agencies were completely wrong.