Category Archives: Africa

WHATEVER IT TAKES!

I confess, after watching the infamous TV program, 24, one episode was enough to make me ill and promise never again to observe the great hero, Jack Bauer perform his feats of wonder that resulted in America never experiencing weapons of mass destruction by Islamic fundamentalists. Fortunately, the new US Senate report on torture put to rest the widespread belief in America that nations had to torture prisoners in order to obtain information. How many times did Jack with his face tight and close lipped express, “I’m talking about doing whatever is necessary to stop this warhead from being used against us.?” Of course, the popular “Zero Dark 30″ also argued that, while not very nice, torture was the only way to get the bad guys. The Senate report puts to rest this incorrect concept of how to handle prisoners of war.

During World War II, the bad guys tortured and beheaded, heck, they weren’t even Muslims! We Americans believed that we were the good guys who did not torture the enemy. Actually, there are few reports during the entire period of 1941-1945 or US interrogators torturing Nazi soldiers, but somehow, we did obtain necessary information, and we did actually win the war. Of course, we only had to confront the German army which was the best armed force in the world, unlike today when we confront the “worse threat to our existence” by 30,000 Islamic terrorists lacking planes, artillery or tanks.

Naturally, Dick Cheney still insists the torture is in accord with the US Constitution.

Whatever Happened To?

I was born in 1930 and thus had the opportunity to live during the administrations of a few American Presidents. I miss some of their behaviors in the year 2014.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO?

A President like Harry Truman who had on his desk the motto of his theory of being President: “The Buck Stops Here!”

Mail being delivered twice a day–during the Depression.

About 36% of workers belonging to unions.

Free colleges for poor people–we had four in New York City.

Nurses in school who monthly checked the health of children– my life experience in elementary school.

A President who talked with Americans and discussed world events.

A President who weekly held press conferences and allowed reporters to pose impertinent questions.

A New York Yankee team that won the world series.

Children played without parents being present.

Children who made their own toys.

The list could go on and on.

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

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

France, Connexion: “False Conductor Arrested On Train”

Hopefully, he was collecting false money.

Sweden, Local: “Neo-Facists Want Apology”

How dare anyone insult Adolf, he loved dogs!

Turkey, Hurriyet: “Turkey Drifting Toward Irrationalism”

If one lives in an irrational world, it is just normal to be irrational.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Student Who Poisoned Roommate Gets New Trial”

Did he poison the judge?

China, China Daily: “China Ships Water To Maldives Islands”

What else would an island need but water?

Let’s Fear Immigrants!

We in America regard immigrants as an important topic, and for millions these people from across the border in Mexico somehow pose a threat to the very existence of this nation. Ironically, similar feelings are sweeping Western Europe which battles the influx of refugees from places like Syria or Africa or any number of Middle Eastern Muslim nations. Right wing political parties are growing in power whether in France or Italy or Sweden or the United Kingdom. The cry is being sounded they are taking away your jobs driving buses or picking fruit. In Sweden, the Sweden Democratic Party is now capturing about 17% of the vote with a campaign promise that if granted power they will end the influx of “those people.” Naturally, the main characteristic of “those people” is they come from the Middle East and are of the Muslim religion.

Former Prime Minister Fredrick Reinfeld caused an uproar when he pointed out “we late 25 million people living in the Nordic region. There are endless fields and forests.” He noted that “space” was available for millions and there was no reason to panic. Sorry, “those people” will cause white skinned folk to panic because they do not want to have “them” in their pure white lands. If there is one thing uniting white people all over the world is a fear of “those people.”

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 24 year old mind trapped in an 84 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

I embrace the new–partially.

I always keep one foot back in the past.

I feel sorry for those not interested in the past.

I assume finger nails were essential for human survival.

Each day I need an hour of peaceful solitude.

Some are touched by physical beauty, some by mental.

White goes well with jeans.

I love warmth of sun, my ancestors were from the Middle East.

Long time since I wore a name tag.

I so miss standing on a highway with thumb up seeking a ride.

Myths About Militant Deaths

Drones fill the skies in Pakistan or in Iraq as the American air war continues year after year. There are two basic assumptions surrounding this air offense against “militants.” One assumption is that a drone attack is predicated upon accurate information that militant X is within the house being bombed. Yesterday, American missiles blasted a target in North Waziristan in Pakistan. US officials insist the drone killed militant leaders. A Pakistan official noted, “there is suspicion that an important commander was within the compound when the missiles struck, but this is yet to be verified.” Reality, it is very difficult to verify anything.

The second assumption is that killing leaders of guerrilla groups results in the collapse of such organizations. I would welcome an announcement from the American government which cites an example of killing off leaders resulting in the collapse of militant organizations. I do not know of anything such example in modern history!

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

We offer samples of headlines that appeared in the world press.

Australia, Canberra Times: “Not A Happy Family”

Tea Party folks in Congress who want to shut down the government.

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Underwear Matters”

Let me smell out the meaning of this headline.

Sweden, Local: “Sweden’s Nazi Toys”

Perfect presents for folks in Putin’s Cabinet.

Norway, Norway Post: “Flu Hits”

Achoo!

UK,Guardian: “Tell Me A Story”

Santa does not live in Ferguson, Missouri this Xmas.

Days Of Sorrow, Days Of Pain

Each murder of a young man whose crime was to have a black skin results in the same Kabuki drama. Fox News immediately has pundits who will explain that if we do not support our police, then crimes will spread like wild fire across the nation. Pert cute blond haired young women who read what is printed pretend they know something about crime and its sources. Hundreds, if not thousands will pour into the streets shouting demands for change in handling black men by the police. Authorities will announce a new study or formation of a new Commission that will produce a long detailed document which depicts the need for changes in training of police. The document will be discussed for a few days or weeks, and then disappear into the black hole of such reports only to be brought back to life twenty years from now when another tragedy occurs.

Perhaps, it is time to approach the entire process of policing a new way.

1. End the failed idea of “broken windows.” Minor crimes should be handled as minor crimes, not as the source of major ones.

2. Decriminalize many laws. OK, someone is selling single cigarettes, it is NOT a major crime. A police comment from cops to “move along” can handle such “crimes.’

3. Each policeman must understand that resort to a gun is the LAST action to be considered.

4. Allow the criminal to initiate action, not the cop.

Such steps will AVOID contact that leads to murder.

Let’s Play Chicken!

This is a very happy Christmas season for Americans as the price of oil goes down and down. For each drop in the price of oil, it means more money in the pockets of American consumers seeking to have a merry season with gobs of money around in order to purchase Xmas presents for loved ones. It is now clear that Santa does not live in the North Pole, but in the sands of Saudi Arabia. According to David Goldwyn, energy advisor to President Obama, “what we now have is a year long game of chicken. The Saudis are waiting to see the major oil producers can take.” Their plan is to make their enemies suffer. They are furious at Russia, Iran, and Syria which they regard as their enemies. ISIS is using smuggled oil in order to finance their terror attacks. The price has now hit about $60 a barrel. Each drop in the price means less and less cash for Russia or Syria.

Of course, as Saudi Arabia can control the price of oil, it also means that within five years the US will surpass Saudi Arabia in production of oil. Just think, we Americans can once again control the price of oil. I wonder what Vladimir Putin is thinking these days as he strides across the world imagining that he has power?

Chairman Ditka Speaks

I am currently a resident of the Chicago area and thus must read the words of former Chicago Bears linebacker, Mike Ditka whose political comments were widely spread during the past race for governor of the state of Illinois. Most probably, seeing his words actually repeated in the daily press about politics and world affairs gave this former football player the desire to share his wisdom on just about every event in recent times. We will not make any comments, just print his words of wisdom.

On whether of not Michael Brown had his hands up: “That’s note what happened.l I don’t know exactly what happened, but I know that’s not what happened.”

On climate change: “Look,I don’t know th at first thing about climatology, but let me tell you one thing about climatology. It’s a bunch of nonsense and I know its nonsense despite knowing absolutely nothing whatsoever about it.”

Benghazi: “I’ll tell you this much,I wasn’t there and have no idea what actually happened.But what happened was entirely the fault of the Obama administration’s fault. I don’t know whose fault it was, but I know it was their fault.”

On pancakes: “Never had a pancake. Not once, I am a waffle man. But if there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that pancakes are delicious.”

I believe that Mr. Ditka would make an excellent candidate for the Republican party in 2016. He can win on a platform based on the principle: I don’t Know but I do Know!