Category Archives: Human Rights

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!

Sean Hannity Out Foxed

The benefit of being a commentator on Fox News is knowing that whatever you say, no one will ever contradict your version of reality. Sean Hannity was furious that Russell Brand displayed a YouTube attack on his coverage of the Middle East. It is now official policy of Fox News that any negative comment regarding actions by Israel Defense Forces will send that person to a session in the corner wearing a dunce hat. Sean decided to respond to this vicious assault on his intelligence. He invited three people to his program whose task was to nod their heads whenever he opened his mouth. Sean made clear that Brand was a moron, heads nodded. Sean then launched into a defense of Israel actions in Gaza. Oh my God! One head did not nod in agreement. Geraldo Rivera, for some inexplicable reason supported Brand comments. He actually said: “I think there are two sides of the story that are not being told. You have seen what happened at the UN school, Sean. We can no longer ignore what has happened.”

There are unconfirmed reports Sean Hannity will spend some time in a hospital. It will be a Fox run hospital. Only Fox news is shown to patients. Under no condition is anyone allowed in the hospital who actually believes there are TWO sides to a story!! God bless you, Sean, never abandon the faith. There is only ONE side of the story, and it is the one offered by Saint Murdoch. Never abandon the faith, Sean. In the end, Fox News will prove you were right all along.

As for that Rivera person, who knows what fate awaits him??

A Chicago Tale Of Death

This is simply another tale of a man shooting another man in city of Chicago. The idea of someone getting shot to death in Chicago would not arouse the interest of too many people who inhabit that city of violence. Oh, the man who did the shooting was not a black or Hispanic young person, and the man who was shot was not a drug dealer or hoodlum. The shooting occurred in an office building in downtown Chicago rather on the streets of a slum where drug lords ply their trade. Regardless of where the shooting happened, reality is this is simply another manifestation of America’s love affair with guns. Oh, I forgot, guns do not kill people, but people kill people. Fifty years ago, this debate was central to conflicting arguments as to how to control automobile deaths. In today’s terms, that meant in 1950 about 70,000 died in auto accidents. However, past generations were not bothered by the National Rifle Association, and its bogus claims to “Constitutional rights.” The FEDRAL GOVERNMENT passed legislation compelling safety standards in automobiles such as seat belts, and the result was dramatic reduction in the number of auto fatalities. I vividly recall cries of “my right” not to be forced to wear a seat belt!

Believe it or not, common sense prevailed in the past unlike the madness which currently paralyzes the ability of government to control use of guns. Oh, in Chicago, a man working in a technology company who was demoted, went into the office of the CEO, shot and killed him, and then committed suicide. As one employee commented: “we don’t know what to make of it.” Actually, you do. Fight for gun control and help end the American madness with guns. How about introducing the Dodge City law back in the 1880s: NO GUNS ALLOWED IN TOWN!

So, Who Cares About Children?

Recent polls reveal that most Americans do not believe our nation has a moral obligation to assist those who are fleeing from persecution or violence in other lands. Figures indicate 53% do not want such folk in the good old USA while 44% open their arms to the afflicted. At age 83, I am quite aware that during the time period, 1880-1924 about TWENTY MILLION people fled from Europe and sought refuge in the United States of America. My parents left due to violence and persecution. In 1920 about one in four Americans was either an immigrant or child of one. Today, the figure is about 7%. Throughout the 19th century America was home to millions seeking refuge from poverty or violence in other parts of the world, although most came from European nations. The 53% saying, “No,” most probably are descended from those who arrived due to violence and poverty. They now spit in the eyes of great, great grandparents as unwelcome people. Figures show that 52% do not feel any compassion for the thousands of children seeking to escape beatings, rape or death in Central America although 46% display some sense of religious or moral feelings.

I understand fears of Americans that immigrants will “take their jobs” or create economic burdens. In reality, America desperately NEEDS immigrants. They are a source of workers who contribute to the Social Security fund as well as customers for products. Among the key issues facing America is how to handle a declining work force since without money from this group, the Social Security fund will run out of money by 2033. Of course, there are those such as myself who believe America MUST open its arms to people confronting violence and persecution. If not us, who else? WE are the nation that has always welcomed such people. If not now, when?

It’s Friday, So Here Is The Daily Benghazi Report

It is Friday, August 1, 2014, and we recognize that no one reading this blog would enjoy proceeding on their daily work or social tasks without benefit of the latest report on Benghazi. The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, is going to declassify its study of the infamous Benghazi attack. This report will make clear that NO order was ever given to ANYONE about STANDING DOWN. The report makes clear there were lapses in security, but no order was issued by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to result in the death of our ambassador or personnel. The House Committee makes clear that personnel “acted bravely.” However, we still have the NEW House Select Committee with a budget of $3.3 million to conduct still another investigation into nothing. We find amazing that not a single House investigation has ever been proposed to examine decisions made in the invasion of Iraq which resulted in death for over 4,000 Americans and wounding of 40,000.

As far as Republicans are concerned the death of AN American diplomat is more significant than the death of thousands of Americans. In an attempt to assist the new investigation, let me point out to Republicans:

1. The word, Benghazi, consists of two words–the name, Ben, and the word, ghazi or gaze.

2. The real issue to investigate is who is this: BEN?

3. The other issue to investigate is–what was Ben gazing at?

Please discover the answers to these questions so Americans can sleep peacefully tonight!

Who Is This Man?

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 with anticipation and hope that he will turn America away from policies of George Bush which violated the essence of our Constitution. I voted for him in hope that a man who believed in human dignity, a man who had taught students about the Constitution, a man whose family legacy incorporated hatred for those seeking to employ violence in order to foster their values. Instead, Barack Obama has become simply a light version of George Bush. In his recent press conference, the President offered still another defense of those who employed torture of individuals based upon the premise there was an immediate threat to the United States which required torturing prisoners in order to avoid an atomic bomb going off in Los Angeles. This is what the PRESIDENT of the United States of America told reporters:

“We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values. It is important for us not to feel sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that these folks had” “Tough job?” The person who is tortured has the “tough job,” not the torturer! We fought World War II against Germany which had the best Army in the world, we fought against Japan which had an outstanding Army, and we did NOT torture people! Our interrogators employed a variety of basic techniques that did not include torture. We refused to sink down to the level of German and Japanese use of torture. And, in those days, our future often was on the line. There was NO crisis confronting America, there was NO fear an enemy could win, it was clear from day one our enemy consisted of a few thousand fanatic men who lacked the means to inflict any serious attacks upon the USA. If one follows the logic of Barack Obama:

1. OK, so we did kill some Jews, but we were under pressure to win a war. Please don’t be sanctimonious just because we tortured and killed a few folks!

2. OK, so we tortured captured American soldiers. Please don’t be sanctimonious, we were under considerable pressure against a great American and a great British Army!

Who is this man??