Category Archives: Human Rights

Gerry Manders In Our States

Among the American virtues was the invention of “gerrymandering” back in the 19th century when the nation was young, and our congressional leaders were still learning the fine art of politics. And, so, in order to ensure that once elected, none of our beloved leaders should ever again be compelled to confront an electorate in which there might be people who voted the wrong way, state legislators developed intricate maps which twisted and wound their way through a state in order to guarantee the elected only were confronted by voters who had voted for them. Thus, the fine art of gerrymandering now results in over 80% of our beloved congressmen virtually assured of re-election. For some strange reason, Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis in Florida decided there was something wrong with this system. He wrote a 41 page decision which declares invalid most congressional seats in the state.

He offered proof that Republican legislators relied upon the advice and map skills of political consultants in drawing up safe congressional seats. Naturally, Republicans wound up with most of the seats. Heck, in the last presidential election, Democratic candidates for Congress received a million more votes than Republicans, but Republicans won a 25 seat majority in the House of Representatives. Lewis argues consultants “engaged in a conspiracy to influence and manipulate the legislature.”

It is about time in America to turn over to an impartial agency the task of drawing up congressional seat boundaries. How about entrusting the American Bar Association with that task?

Road To Hell And Hate Grows Longer

The only news from the Middle East is that there is no new news to report. It is the same old story of each side insisting the other side believes in murder of the innocent. Each side offers evidence that the other side has engaged in wanton murder and destruction in its hateful assault on the innocent. The latest episode arose when a group of Palestinians, their names are still not known, murdered in cold blood three innocent Jewish teen agers. Sorry, regardless of how one hates the Israel government, there is never an excuse to use powerful emotions as justification for murder of the innocent. Or course, since the other side murdered Jews, a group of six Israel Jews murdered an innocent Palestinian boy–including burning his body. You kill one of ours, we kill one of yours is the Middle Eastern mantra of hate. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has used the murder of three Jews to justify the murder of dozens of Palestinians, including 23 children in the Gaza Strip. When confronted by criticism, Netanyahu responded with anger: “No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power.” So, the drones and the bombs will continue dropping.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights summed up the current situation. “Israel, Hamas, and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza have been down this road before, and it has led only to death, destruction and distrust.” Israel emphasizes that over 800 rockets from Gaza have hit its citizens. The current box score of death and destruction:

Palestinians:

Dead 23
Injured: 670

Israel Jews

9 civilians injured.

The only certainty is these figures will grow in size. And, at the end, as if there will be an end, will peace reign?

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

In my youth, fast food was a hot dog at noon Thursday in the Kosher deli while mom worked at the store.

My mom never once took me out to lunch.

I have never feared fear.

All too many divorce from self.

Man sits quietly listening and wiggling foot.

The only truth I know is that I don’t know the truth.

Truth like paper is blowing in the wind of time.

Hate is a luxury not fit for most people.

Laughter is a dessert.

Each day 949 WWII veterans die.

Serving in the armed forces makes one depart with a sense of fatalism.

I am still surprised to see Jews depicted in films. Not the norm in my childhood.

Always make way for tomorrow.

Each day is a unique event.

Money is just money, it comes and it goes.

Technology and I are enemies at heart–and in mind.

I procrastinate filling out forms.

I place my glasses on the table when writing but do not use them to write.

Some back out of coffee shop.

Delightful sight, two white haired women walking with firm steps.

Once We Dreamed Of Moon, Today Of Wealthy

There once was a United States of America in which we were not liberals or conservatives, not Republicans or Democrats, but Americans who had dreams of greatness. Thomas Jefferson began construction of the first great highway to the West, Highway 40, and no one in Congress refused to pay for it because of fear that wealthy folk might have to pay tax money. Republican Abraham Lincoln had the federal government fund the Intercontinental railroad, the greatest railroad at that point on the entire planet. No one worried about,”SOCIALISM.” We needed an intercontinental railroad to become a great nation. Republican Theodore Roosevelt literally invented conservation of national resource by creating vast national forests, no one shouted, ‘SOCIALISM.” During the Depression we built roads, bridges, tunnels, great dams, we led the world in road construction and no one yelled, SOCIALISM. Under Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, we built Highway 70 which spanned the nation and no one shouted, SOCIALISM. Under President Kennedy and President Nixon we sent a man to the moon, and no one yelled, SOCIALISM.

Once we were a nation with dreams of greatness. Today, under reign of Republicans and the Tea Party our only and most important dream is LOWER TAXES FOR THE WEALTHY. Our Highway Fund is just about empty. This means no new highways, no new bridges, no new railroad systems. President Obama is frustrated at Republican refusal to allocate money for construction. “It’s not crazy, it’s not Socialism. It is not an imperial presidency-no laws are broken. We’re just building roads, a bridge like we’ve been doing for 50, a hundred years.”

Once we had giants in the land, today we have pygmies.

Love Children, Be Hated!

There are moments in my life, when confusion reigns. I was raised in a world in which there were writers who provided children interesting and exciting stories of life and love and wonder. Judy Blume has given such wonderful examples of stories that excite children and make them want to read and read. No greater praise can be given a writer than she is able to stimulate children to think, to wonder, to desire to read and read. Alas,this is the year 2014, a time when encouraging thinking and wonder among children, let alone among adults, is not in accordance with the design of God–or, at least, that is what I am told by Tea Party and abortion haters. How in good God’s name, could JUDY BLUME get on the hate list of anyone!! But, this is the year 2014, when hate and distrust are the most important issues to many Americans. Judy Blume was in England where she told a reporter about her speeches in support of Planned Parenthood:

“I went to a couple of places two years ago, and I got seven hundred and seventy hate mail warnings-’we know where you are going to be and we’ll be waiting for you.” Her publisher had to provide a bodyguard for Judy Blume!! One can laugh at this absurdity, or one can sigh with fatigue at the hate that never ends in America. There are those who simply cannot halt their anger at–Obama, health insurance, abortion, dark skinned folk, or whatever. Hatred has sunk into the very fibre of their being, and common sense has no place in their minds.

Just imagine if this long haired unemployed young man crossed our border and asked to enter in order to work at his job of spreading peace and love? Sorry, Jesus,is that your name, no place at the Inn of America for the likes of YOU!!

Pope Asks For World Time Out

The World Cup involves nations throughout the world in competition to determine which is in possession of the best soccer(sorry for the American name) team in the world. There is no doubt if your nation’s team wins the cup, it will result in jobs, free health care, new housing for the poor, and wonderful schools for children. Now, how did I ever connect the World Cup to these events? Perhaps, I am still in a state of shock that King Lebron James has decided to hold his court in the Cleveland Cavalier court. Anyway, millions are focused on the World Cup so along comes that man of peace, Pope Francis with an outrageous idea. He is asking all nations of the world, for one minute, yes, just one damn minute to cease and desist from killing someone. The Pope is asking “for a moment of silence around the July 17th match to remember those stricken by war and unrest.” In other words, just for a fucking moment, could you guys just put down your weapons of destruction and avoid killing for A MOMENT!

I can just hear leaders of violence bellowing that if they don’t kill at this very moment, then those who murder will get ahead in the race to see who can murder more people! What would it do to our national prestige if we fell behind in the murder race? Oh, my God, imagine coming up second in the murder cup!

Most probably if they halt for a moment, our leaders of Death will undoubtedly make certain the next moment is twice as violent!!

Jobs For Job Creators

Among the most central beliefs of those who regard themselves as members of the Republican party is that by reducing taxes on “Job Creators,” the result will be more jobs for those who are not job creators. I assume prior to sleep members of the Republican party get on their knees and utter a special blessing for the men and women who fall under the classification of being “Job Creators.” for some strange reason, as the economy improves and unemployment grows fewer, the wage rates of those seeking jobs continues to remain stable of decline. In other words, the average American worker in 1980 could purchase a home, send his children to college and have them emerge with a degree and NO STUDENT DEBT. That was then, and now is now. At present, the top 1% of Job Creators possess 22% ofd our wealth and the top 5% control 42% of our wealth. Heck, there are 85 families in America who have more money than 100,000,000 Americans.

So, the Republican House of Representatives just passed bills that reduce taxes on Job Creators. Of course, if there is less money flowing into the government, there is less money to pay bills, and thus the end result is HIGHER DEBT. The estimate of these tax cuts will be $287 BILLION more in debt for America. Oh, I know, we can pay for these tax cuts by ending Food Stamps. It is impossible for Republican congressmen to grasp the simple concept, less coming in, fewer dollars to pay bills, and this causes borrowing of money and higher debt!

The only increase in jobs due to efforts of job creators is the growing number of workers building yachts or private planes. Of course, the more job creators, the more nannies working long hours. As for the rest of us….

How Not To Fight Terrorists

Every so often, in a moment of frustration, my mind lingers in memories of Saddam Hussein. He was a brutal, sadistic murderer who lacked any sense of morality. He was a hedonist whose concept of joy was witnessing the brutal murder of some innocent man or observing fear and horror on the face of a young woman being raped by his savage son. The invasion of Iraq DID end his reign of terror. Unfortunately, it introduced another reign of terror. The American government had five years in which to assist those seeking creation of a modern peaceful Iraq in which all, regardless of religious or non-religious belief could live in harmony and peace. There is no doubt Americans failed to meet any standard of success. We allowed a thug religious fanatic, Nouri al-Maliki to gain power. He inherited an Iraq in which his religious enemies-the Sunnis were cooperating with the US military in crushing al-Qaeda. So, what did Maliki do? Once in power, he proceeded to persecute, jail, and drive from any positions of power Sunnis who had worked to destroy al-Qaeda! Republicans want to blame President Obama for this fiasco. The madness began when President Bush was in power. Obama inherited still one more of the Bush mistakes.

Could Obama had done anything to prevent the tragedy that was to occur? No one knows the answer to that question. Perhaps, there was a moment in 2009 when he could have clamped down on Maliki. He never made any such attempt, most probably fearing it would result in armed response from Shiite groups. So, Maliki persecuted the Sunnis, he drove them into the arms of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS). Naturally, Prime Minister Maliki would never accept responsibility for his blunders. So, now what is he doing? Maliki now charges the Kurds with cooperating with ISIS! The Kurdish army is protecting Shiites fleeing from ISIS. They are behaving as an ALLY of Maliki, but he is bent on making them an enemy!

Oh, fifty bodies found in a village south of Baghdad. No doubt the bodies are those of Sunnis. Shot in the head and left to die. The end result is more recruits for ISIS. Retain this man in power and soon all Iraqis will be recalling Saddam Hussein with fond memories of peace.

Secure The Border, Demands Perry!

I am currently engaged in writing the history of 1953 as it unfolded in the United States of America. In the course of this research, the topic of borders and immigrants continually crops up. Those immigrants coming from Mexico were referred to as, “wetbacks” and their numbers hovered around 800,000 a year. This would be the equivalent of about 3,000,000 in 2014 terms. However, there was an illegal immigrant influx from our northern border with Canada which was estimated to be about, 500,000– 1,500,000 in 2014 terms. The president was Dwight Eisenhower, a famous general from WWII. I have yet to encounter a single story which blames President Eisenhower for the immigrant situation. Not a single Democrat blamed the Republicans, not a single Democrat argued that President Eisenhower was refusing to carry out the law. Not a single Democrat called for impeachment. Frankly, I have yet to come across a single demand to send in the National Guard.

Fast forward to 2014 and a Democrat is President. According to Texas Governor Rick Perry, “five hundred miles south of the Rio Grande Valley there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular, failure to secure the border.” There is a humanitarian crisis. Thousands of children are fleeing from Central America in order to save their lives from rapists, gangsters and murderers. Perry met with President Obama, they shook hands. Obama insisted, “I indicated to him that what he said made sense”(placing the National Guard closer to the border.). Obama wants more aid to help children, but he also agrees on deporting immigrants. Perry blames Obama for failures of President Bush to do anything.

The only humanitarian crisis is that children are at risk. Rick Perry has no threats to his life. How about worrying about the children??

Strangers In Their Own Land

As I recall, a long, long time ago, thousands of people from European nations such as Spain or Portugal or England decided to depart from Europe and head west toward some new lands. Of course, several thousand years before their arrival, a few thousand folks from Asia decided to head east and cross over into the new world that is now known as the Western Hemisphere. As I recall, there were no border patrols to halt them, to question their financial ability to reside in this hemisphere, and certainly no shouting and screaming Indians protesting the arrival of these strangers in THEIR LAND! Thousands of children and their families are fleeing from the horror that is Central America in which gangs of creatures beat, rape and kill for the joy of beating, raping and killing. Children are trapped in a horror that usually is presented in fictional movies. Their reality is not even being able to attend school without the fear of death of brutalization. So, they head north, hoping by some miracle they can be allowed to reside in some location that provides a modicum of peace and security, and, hopefully, work.

These are the people who pick our peaches, work in our meat plants, build our roads, pick up the garbage of our lives as well as caring for the children in our lives needed home care. These are simply decent hard working people who only desire to work, to work with their hands, to build, to construct,and to feel meaning as individuals. All they want is a chance. Protesters in south Texas are blocking highways because the Border Patrol is sending most of these people to facilities in San Diego. There is only ONE family detention center in this county! So, shout insults, demand your right to hate. Just check the 2nd Amendment, it says I can shoot anyone who I regards as a threat to my life.

Instead of blocking roads, how about offering your services as peach pickers?