Category Archives: Africa

What Should Be US Foreign Policy?

The ongoing complaint of this blog is lack of a foreign policy on the part of the United States of America that goes beyond handling the current crisis of the day. Since the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and that of Iraq in 2003, American foreign policy essentially is based on the premise that our nation does not like bad people. We got rid of the bad Taliban, then we got rid of the bad Saddam Hussein, then we got rid of the bad Libyan dictator Gaddafi because he was bad–at least for this moment. America does not like Chinese leaders because they are dictatorial, but we DO like dictators in Saudi Arabia and in Egypt. I assume they are among the “good dictators.” The only clear aspect of US foreign policy over the past decade is our concern for “dictators.” Of course, even though we are against dictators, we really mean “some dictators.” From 1946 until 1991, American foreign policy was based on the theory of Çontainment. In the end, the Soviet Union imploded, and Çontainment wound up proving accurate as a foreign policy.

What then can be a foreign policy for the Middle East?

1. Our goal should be creation of a Mediterranean Union that includes all nations in the region.

2. Creation of the MU should not be predicated on the assumption that all nations participating in the Union were, at this moment, democracies.

3. Our goal should be an Israel agreement with Palestinian leaders that results in formation of an independent state of Palestine which governs 95% of the existing West Bank and Gaza.

4. The US should take the lead in creating a modern Marshall Plan for the MU to stimulate economic development.

These four goals have nothing to do with democracy. The end result of this policy would be peace in the region and economic development. Period!

Was It Dolus Directus?

The only certainties about the trial of South African athlete, and double amputee, is that no one is blaming the murder on Muslim terrorists or the Israel Defense Force. At least Gaza is off the table of discussions about what happened in the apartment of Oscar Pistorious. It has been established that Oscar was in his apartment with a female, it has been established that this female was shot to death while she was in the toilet. After that,k everything gets flushed down the toilet of you said or she said or no one said. Gerrie Nel, the determined South African prosecutor has no doubts that Oscar deliberately, and with malice blasted away through the toilet doors in order to murder Ms. Steenkamp. “In an attempt to trendier his version to support his plea,” argues Nel, ” he(Oscar) tangled himself in a web of lies… He cannot escape connections that he made. Even if he thought there was an intruder in the toilet, he cannot escape;e conviction on murder with dolls directs–direct intent.”

I follow the arguments of Gerrie Nel up to a point. Most statements made by Pistorious simply make no sense. For example, prior to blasting away at the toilet door, why didn’t you alert your girl friend there was an intruder in the toilet? However, if it is true he thought there WAS an intruder, how can he be convicted of “direct intent?”

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

As yesterday becomes today, tomorrow becomes yesterday.

At age 83, next year is a dream.

Death is the stranger never to encounter.

I live with one leg in yesterday and one in tomorrow.

Who I am today is who I was at age 5.

At some distant point in time, there will be no tomorrow on Earth.

I so desire to meet an alien from a distant planet.

What “is” can always change.

There is always an alternative path in life.

I marvel at the ineptitude of professional coaches.

There is a moment when the first sip of coffee feels so delightful.

There is an art to living in peace.

It is never too late to become soon.

To read is to think.

To walk is to think.

To write is to think.

To run is to think.

DID YOU KNOW?

DID YOU KNOW?

The last President to have a balanced budget was Democrat Bill Clinton.

The last President who had a $200 billion surplus in his budget was Bill Clinton.

Two thirds of our National Debt came from Republican Presidents.

Under Barack Obama’s tenure twice as many illegal immigrants have been returned to Mexico than under George Bush.

Barack Obama has yet to fire any head of a secret service agency.

The Affordable Care Act has resulted in lowering medical costs.

Not one mass shooting of students occurred in an urban school.

The vast majority of those blasting away in schools are white, from middle class families, and live in the suburbs.

The top tax rate in World War II was 90%!

The top tax rate in the 1950s when Republican Dwight Eisenhower was president was –90%!

There is absolutely NO correlation between tax rates and job creation.

One third of American bridges are in danger of collapsing.

WHAT CAN BARACK OBAMA NOW DO?

Reality is that President Barack Obama will confront a Congress in which Republicans control the House of Representatives, and perhaps the US Senate. In other words, he can not pass any meaningful legislation. Therefore, his reality is functioning as an American President who lacks power to alter the domestic lives of Americans. So, what is now possible?

1. Initiate a weekly press conference in which he makes clear which laws were proposed and which were ignored by Republicans.

2. The above information should weekly be spread on social media. Make clear what you are proposing and what Republicans are defeating.

3. Draw upon Executive power to completely revise our spy agencies, including firing some folks.

4. Sign “No Spy” agreements with all major American allies.

5. Initiate a weekly notification on Social Media as to which bridges and roads have become dangerous.

6. Make speeches in which the President talks “WITH” rather than “TO” people.

7. Make Congressional elections in 2016 as critical an issue as who becomes President.

8. Announce he will not accept pay as President since the government is now dysfunctional, challenge Congressmen to do the same.

9. Use the power of the Executive to allow children brought to America as children to remain.

10. Take out membership in the NRA and organize a group of its members to fight for sensible gun legislation.

HEADLINES FROM THE WORLD PRESS

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

France, Connexion: “Pay What You Want”

I believe that is the Republican program for our oppressed wealthy folk.

Indonesia, Jakarta Post: “Thousands Hug Trees”

What people will do to get some sap!

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

Talk about a shitty story to appear in a newspaper!

Sweden, Local: “Sweden Watches Norway Bomb Threat”

Talk about a fair weather friend!

USA, aol: “Footbridge Opens”

Another example of one small step for humanity!

China, China Daily: “Slow Train Scheduled”

I believe that describes the state of American railroads, every day!

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

There is always another mountain to climb.

We arrive, we depart, such is life.

Somewhere over the rainbow is a rainbow.

Certain foods require large bites.

I wonder how many problems are really unsolvable.

Some cast stones, some catch stones.

Some stride with a grim determined look.

Some in life seek Death.

Some enjoy the laughter of Death.

My door is always open to life.

I wonder if machines are used in Heaven.

Some are not persuaded to know.

Some read for pleasure, some for knowledge.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

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

Sweden, Local: “Elks Get Ticket To Denmark”

Can they bring their antlers along?

South Africa, Mail & Guardian: “Resume Aid To Anti-Gay Uganda”

Another sad story from Africa

Australia, Canberra Times: “Axed Public Servants Head South”

With or without their heads?

New Zealand, New Zealand Herald: “Sleep Issues Start Young”

This rates a yawn.

USA, aol: “CIA Spied On Senate Committee”

I assume they were able to get a copy of the Senate Intelligence Report on the CIA!

Canada, Toronto Star: “Captain John Sold”

Down the toilet, I assume.

France, Connexion: “Practice What You Preach”

Republicans preach gospel of lower debt and reduce taxes to increase it!

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Among my favorite songs is Pete Seeger’s, “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” It is a haunting tune about death of young men during the Vietnam War. Unlike, patriotic songs of World War II, this one focuses on young men who are going to their deaths while sweethearts gather flowers in the field of agony. There is a gentleness to the song, a nostalgic memory of life that will shortly end because the Gods of War seek Death for those trapped in societal demands to kill “the enemy.” Some nights I go on YouTube and listen to the words and sounds of this song while in the hidden recesses of my mind, thoughts of young Americans returned from the madness of Afghanistan and Iraq whisper cries of pain. I cry listening to gentle words of peace. I cry for the souls of young men and women who will never know the joy of holding a new born baby in their arms. I feel sadness for being part of a society that sent them off to fight for –what and who? Yes, the orders came from George Bush, yes, the orders came from Barack Obama. Yes, our presidents were convinced there was a cause for which one should surrender life, and joy, and love.

I listen to words and sounds as tears fill my eyes. We never sent these young people to dwell in fields of flowers where they could hold hands with a loved one and feel the beauty of sun beating upon body as two people lay laughing amidst the flowers of love. We spoke of Mars to them, and forgot the tenderness of Venus. They returned from wars about nothing with wounded hearts and bodies, that is, if they ever returned. I so wish these young people could have been given life and hope by society. They needed a place in the Sun, and received a place in Hell of battle.

Where Have All The Flowers Gone? Alas, the field is barren of beauty, only Death resides in it!

Libya Gets Into The Act

I finally have grasped the reason why intense fighting has broken out in Libya. This intrepid reporter interviewed some Libyan fighters.

M: Sir, why are Libyans now fighting with one another?
L: Frankly, I do not like these other Libyans and decided to attack them.
M: But, they are fellow Libyans.
L: Look, let me be perfectly honest. Pick up a newspaper, follow TV, get on social media, and what do you encounter? Story after story about fighting in Gaza. Not a word about we Libyans.
M: Are you saying that Libyans feel neglected by the media?
L: It just is not fair for these Jews and Gazan Muslims to hog the daily media.
M: In other words, if the media would devote more space to your little war, this would make you feel better?
L: Absolutely, do you have any understanding how marginalized we feel?
M: Frankly, I never realized how those Muslims and Jews insult the fighters of Libya.
L: Well, before they begin killing one another, they might stand back and consider our feelings.
M: I feel terrible. My blog has ignored you guys when you kill one another.
L: Perhaps, if blogs spent time describing how we kill one another, we might be inclined to hold back a bit.
M: You have my word of honor to devote space and time to the killings in Libya!