Category Archives: Education

Hundred Years Ago Guns Of August Sounded

A hundred years ago at this very moment, German troops were entering the neutral nation of Belgium as part of the famous Schliffen Plan which called for Germany to make quick fast invasion of France, compel the French to surrender, and then turn German troops eastward to confront and defeat the Russian army. The Plan was clear. Quick marches, sudden attacks, the enemy defeated, and then peace reigns in Europe. Between 1815 to 1914 there had only been three minor wars in Europe, so for someone who was a hundred years old, this person had never witnessed a major war, and was completely unfamiliar with the idea that innocent civilians would be forced to die because men were fighting a war. As German, French, Russian and English soldiers got on trains headed for combat, crowds cheered. There were wild celebrations for the announcement of war. The vast majority of those cheering were convinced the “war” would soon conclude, their soldiers would return home with victory, and then the pre-war wold would return to normal. Such were the dreams, such were the fantasies of those seeking war. Most probably, civilians in any war expect victory–for their side. The assumption is always, “we are on the right side. Since we are on God’s side, victory must ensue.” The “enemy” is some vague creature lacking in the peaceful attitudes of those going to war. After all, if our soldiers attack an enemy, it is only because the enemy initially fired and caused this conflict.

Every nation going to war assumes they are on the “right side.” It is rare for a nation to consider–what comes after victory? Or, what happens if we lose the war? Those concepts are not in the minds of soldiers or leaders seeking to defeat the enemy. Of course, the Guns of August never ceased firing for four long years of death and destruction. Then, came silence. Then came “peace.” Of course, twenty one years later came another World War. It would be interesting getting into the mind of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, what now after the tunnels of death are destroyed?

Fruits Of Gaza Invasion

For the moment, only the moment, guns of Gaza have grown silent. For the moment, only the moment, no one is dying in Gaza due to gunfire. There is no doubt, the guns of August will again resume. There is no doubt that others will die. After all, no one can be allowed to live who is a terrorist. Let me make clear that the government of Israel has every right to send troops into areas from whence come death and destruction to the people of Israel. It is a given that ANY nation has the right to wipe out sources of danger to its people. However, there is another question: what comes now? Yesterday in Jerusalem, a bus loaded with Jewish people was subject to an attack. A large yellow excavator driven by a Palestinian turned its shovel and launched it against the bus. One passenger was killed and a few wounded. An Israeli policeman happened to be on the scene and he fired, killed the driver and ended the attack. For the moment, peace reigns in Jerusalem. Just for the moment. However:

1. There will be other such suicide attacks.

2. For each attack upon Jews in Israel there will be retaliatory attacks upon Muslim Palestinians.

3. At some point the situation will escalate. Vigilantes from Israel will attack Palestinians in revenge.

4. For each Jewish revenge attack will come a Muslim Palestinian attack.

5. Finally, the IDF will cordon off areas of East Jerusalem and blast away at centers of terrorists.

And, so on and so on.

Until both sides reach an agreement to establish a Palestinian state!

OOPS, I Guess We Did Spy On You!

The Central Intelligence Agency was founded after disbandment of the World War II OSS spy group. The theory behind establishing a spy agency was to provide intelligence regarding events that happened throughout the world. In other words, the ÇIA was allegedly the eyes of America, and supposedly could provide information as to what would occur in the world. So, what is the record of this organization?

1. It organized the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran in 1953 which initiated the process of Islamic militants gaining power in that country.

2. It overthrew the democratically elected government of Guatemala.

3. It was completely wrong in 1961 about the desire of Cubans to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro.

4. It was completely wrong about Vietnam.

5. It was completely wrong about the Cuba Missile crisis.

6. It was completely wrong about desire of Chinese Communist government leaders to seek cooperation with the US.

7. It never anticipated the collapse of the Soviet Union.

8. It was disastrously wrong about supplying weapons to Islamic militants in Afghanistan.

So, what about the current fiasco. CIA Director, John Brennan, apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee because CIA agents hacked the email accounts of staff members attached to the Senate committee. According to a CIA spokesperson, “Some CIA employees acted in a manner in contrast to the common understanding reached between the ÇIA and the committee in 2009 regarding access to the RDINET.

Question: why did these CIA employees violate the law? Did they refuse to obey CIA leaders?

When Will Hamas Ever Learn?

The topic of, “who is to blame for the carnage in Gaza” undoubtedly will be a major source of discussion and the media in the coming days, weeks, and months. Who fired the first shot? Or, who began the slaughter of the innocent? In reality, those who support Palestinians will blame Israel, and Israel will blame Hamas. Frankly, at this point such discussion engages people in the wrong issue at the wrong time. The only issue at this juncture is to end the slaughter of the innocent. There was a 72 hour ceasefire which was designed to lower anger as well as lower the number killed and wounded. So, what do Hamas soldiers do? They decide to attack Israel soldiers and kidnap one. Another example of the ineptness of Hamas leaders. Once gaining control of Gaza they should have focused their entire energy into transforming this piece of desert into a thriving community. A leader of Hamas has only one thing on his agenda–fighting and killing Israelis and destroying Israel.

At no point do Hamas leaders inhabit the world of reality. Israel will not disappear. Hey fellow, Israel has ATOMIC BOMBS. Do you jokers doubt for a moment that an Israeli government confronted with destruction would avoid using those weapons of mass destruction? The nightmare for Hamas is that Israel WOULD be confronted with losing. Such an event would result in mass destruction of Hamas and all living in Gaza. It is time for those who lead Hamas to wake up to reality. Israel is here to stay. You guys have no such guarantee. Switch from weapons of destruction to weapons of economics. Create a modern economically successful Gazas and Muslims will flock to your banner.

Modesty For Woman, Not Men.

I regard myself as a man who is open to new ideas. I enjoy engaging in open discussion with those offering differing viewpoints. But, I confess to having confusion whenever someone speaks about the need for women to be modest in their attire. For some reason, the assumption is that God or Christ spends their days gazing down on this insignificant planet checking to see if any woman has not covered her face or body. Coptic Christian Orthodox Bishop Bisboy in Egypt announced to women in his domain, that henceforth they were to behave like a good Muslim woman. He banned women from wearing trousers, blouses or using makeup when in HIS church seeking communion. Back in 2012, he advised Christian women to follow the precepts of Muslim females. “I call on Christian girls to learn from veiled Muslim women with their modesty. Some Christian women might be displeased with me, but the Virgin Mary and nuns wore modest clothes.”

I assume the Bishop is an expert on attire two thousand years ago in the Middle East. Of course, we lack any photos about what women wore although we do have some drawings. But, definitely, we do not have a scrap of evidence about the attire of the Virgin Mary. Frankly, if God or the Virgin Mary was interested in women wearing veils, one wonders whether she wants males to also wear veils. How did this idea get going that women must cover up, but men wear whatever the heck they desire? If covering the face is a sign of respect for God or those up THERE, why aren’t men displaying similar “respect?”

ISIL Keeps Moving South

The past few months have witnessed conclusion of a process that began years ago– the slow disintegration of what we term to be the nation of-Iraq. Ah, recall the pride of George Bush and Barack Obama as American forces withdrew from Iraq and left a nation with a “democratically elected” government, at least that was the boast of George Bush. Yes, we had defeated evil Saddam Hussein, of course, he used to be our ally during the 1980s when he fought against evil Iran, but times change and who we term to be an “evil doer” also changes. So, America left Iraq which contained an army of over 150,000 men armed with American weapons of war. Of course, since Shiite leader Nouri al-Maliki was now in charge, the first order of day, once the Americans were gone, was to rid the Army of Sunni soldiers and officers. It was time for -REVENGE- against the evil followers of the evil Saddam Hussein. Together with ridding the armed forces of Sunnis, Nouri also wanted to make certain that HIS BOYS were in charge. After all, if MY BOYs are in charge, we control money, we control jobs, and we control corruption.

A few months ago, Islamist soldiers numbering under 15,000 stormed into Iraq, confronted the 150,000 man army and sent them fleeing south toward Baghdad. A new Islamic state was proclaimed and any Iraq soldiers were no where to be seen in northern regions. Kurdish soldiers appeared in several cities. The past weekend, ISIL attacked the Kurdish held Zumar and Sinjar allowing them to hoist the Black Flag of triumph. Perhaps, someone will inform me why an Army of 150,000 armed with modern weapons cannot defeat militants who are fewer than twenty thousand in number?

How about sending in the Sunni Awakening Councils?

Fires Rage In Northern California

Fires are raging in northern areas of California as the state confronts new and more powerful forces of nature that are ripping through vast areas of the United States. High temperatures, severe drought, high winds and thunder storms combine to alter normal temperatures in the state. Government spokesmen believe the scale and intensity of “fire activity is what the state normally sees in September.” It is clear that California has entered a new phase in weather. I decided to check with the noted Climate Scientist, Congressman Paul Ryan whose analysis of what causes weather change is undoubtedly among the most read in America.

M: So, Congressman Ryan, what is your take on the fire storms in northern California?
R: Weather is weather. It comes and it goes.
M: So, you do not believe that our climate is experiencing change?
R: There has always been fires in California. So, why get excited because there are fires?
M: But, Congressman Ryan, these fires are of a new intensity.
R: Ho hum, we Republicans are not going to give into hysteria. There have always been fire storms, today there are fire storms, so why worry?
M: So, the Republican party is not worried?
R: I have been informed by reliable commentators on Fox News that fires have been set by Democrats in order to frighten the American people. It is a Fire Conspiracy of the Obama Administration to frighten us into allocating money that should go to reducing taxes on our wealthy job creators!
M: But, if you hired more fire fighters, wouldn’t that create more jobs?
R: OK, finally you have made your point. Perhaps, I can check with Republican strategists how to create more fires in order to benefit manufacturers of fire equipment!

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!