Category Archives: Religion

HEADLINES FROM WORLD PRESS

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

France, Connexion: “Call For People To Give Blood”

This call has been issued by the Vampire Association of Paris. It is urgent!

Indonesia, Jakarta Post: “Governor Gets Back To Work”

Gee, could we get the US Congress back to work?

Canada, Toronto Star: “Plane Disappears From Radar”

I have been told Mayor Bob Ford was at the controls, and he had some beer!

Japan, Japan Times: “Hail Abe Drive For Women”

The question is whether or not women summoned him to their rescue??

Russia, Moscow Times: “Russia Shifting To Underworld”

I have a hunch it is much freer being in the Russian underworld than in its top world,

Sweden, Local: “Snake Hunt After Man Bitten”

I assume this is one dude seeking to give that damn snake a bite!

Denmark, Copenhagen Post: “Where Saints Go, We Go”

The Republican Congressmen version is: where the lobby money goes, we go!

Explaining Iraq, Not Shouting Political Nonsense

The current Republican mantra is that President Barack Obama is responsible for the rise to power of Muslim extremists in Iraq. Republicans argue that,despite some original mistakes, President George Bush was able to recover, ended violence in Iraq, and turned over to Obama a nation prepared to become independent and prosperous. According to the Republican version, all Obama had to do was retain a small force of American soldiers and Iraq would have become a safe and prosperous nation. Senator John McCain continues to blast Obama for leaving Iraq too quickly.

Following is what actually happened in Iraq.

1. The famous “Surge” led by General David Petraeus was actually greatly aided by formation of “Awakening Council” Sunni militia. These Sunni led militia turned against Sunni extremists such as al-Qaida, and led the fight to defeat Osama bin Laden in Iraq.

2. Newly elected President Barack Obama AGREED TO MAINTAIN a small American military presence in Iraq. However, he insisted that US forces operate under the American Code of Military Justice, and not be subjected to trial in an Iraq court. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki refused. THIS was the reason no US troops remained in Iraq. John McCain would have gone ballistic if an American President allowed American troops to be tried in Muslim courts!

3. The Obama administration obtained promises from Prime Minister Maliki, a Shiite, that the Sahwa Sunni militia which had fought against al-Qaida would become part of the Iraq armed forces, and Sunnis who fought along with Americans against Osama bin Laden would be paid.

4. Maliki turned against the Sahwa Sunnis, he persecuted Sunnis, and basically disbanded their militia. This led many Sunni militia to become so disgusted they joined groups like the Islamic State. The entire problem currently facing Iraq was caused by the inept, corrupt, lying government of Nouri al-Maliki!

The current situation was NOT caused by American decisions. It was the result of incompetent IRAQ decisions. I challenge any Republican to deny what has just been written!!

Death Takes No Holiday In Gaza

Once the hounds of war are unleashed, they gain increased momentum as they run faster and faster. Today, we Americans forget how so many yelled with joy when President George Bush stood before a banner proclaiming, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Set in motion armies or guerrilla forces and each step along their path to killing results in more and more dead. Once the taste of blood is on their lips, a bit more blood is of no importance. A few weeks ago, there was a hesitant quiet along the Gaza and Israel border. Friday, marks the beginning of World War I a hundred years ago. Not a single person in the world on July 1, 1914 thought there would be a major war. A month later, misunderstandings, pride, foolishness had enveloped European leaders and they set in motion the slaughter of twenty million in a conflict no nation desired on July 31, 1914. However, the day war began streets in Berlin or Paris of Moscow or London were filled with joyous crowds chanting the song of war. This same process is now occurring in Gaza. Both sides are trapped in their promises to defeat the other, both sides have made promises of victory, both sides have gone too far down the road of war to believe it possible of returning from whence they began.

Hamas insists there can be no end unless Israel and Egypt lift the blockade. Why do they desire the lifting of this blockade? They need more concrete to build more tunnels through which they can get more weapons of destruction. Their policy of firing missiles was a show, not an act of military need. So, which Hamas leader is now prepared to admit making mistakes in strategy? On the other side is Israel. The Israel Defense Force(IDF) began an attack to wipe out missiles, stumbled into a maze of tunnels, and decided destroying tunnels was key to their decision to invade. The IDF was perfectly aware that Hamas encouraged civilians to gather close to those firing so the decision was made to blast away. It has now reached the point of blasting away. UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon told the world: “The precise location of the Jabalia Girls Elementary School and the fact that it was hosting thousands of internally displaced people was communicated to the Israel army 17 times to ensure its protection!”

However, once operating on the assumption that Hamas is always hiding within a crowd of civilians it becomes difficult to believe any crowd of civilians does NOT include Hamas fighters. So, the IDF races into battle to kill the enemy. At this point neither the IDF nor Hamas is clear as to who is the enemy!

Impeachment Redeux?

Throughout the history of the United States of America only two presidents confronted the prospect of being impeached–Andrew Johnson in the 1860s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s. In each case, the honor of introducing impeachment charges fell to the Republican party. Richard Nixon in the 1970s certainly engaged in actions that bordered on the illegal. Although, there was discussion among Democrats about impeachment, these charges were never filed. In other word, the party of Impeachment is the Republican party. An estimated 100 Republicans in the House of Representatives are hot to engage in an impeachment war with President Barack Obama. Among the issues for this group is the fact that Obama has issued Executive Orders because he has been unable to persuade this group to pass any laws that are needed in this nation. Heck, our Infrastructure Fund to build roads and bridges is nearly empty, and Republicans insist that no money can be spent on such worthless things such as roads or dams or bridges. At this juncture in history, the United States, which once led the world in infrastructure innovation, is now among the least able to do anything.

The issue of Executive Orders is rather interesting. At this moment, the following presidents issued at least twice as many Executive Orders as has Obama–Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson and Abraham Lincoln. For some reason, neither of these men was confronted with the prospect of being impeached. I wonder why?

National Security Agency -Any Change?

Senator Patrick Leahy is working with a bipartisan group in the US Senate in order to pass new legislation which would curb power of the National Security Agency. Most Americans agree that our spy agencies have gone wild in their quest to “defend America” by taking away our freedom. In other words, in the drive to save our freedom, the NSA believes we must abandon our freedom. It is rather interesting, that in the midst of among the most divided Congress in American history, the only topic that garners bipartisan agreement is–NATIONAL SECURITY. Leahy is being supported by right wing nut case Senator Ted Cruz, who would never dare to express any agreement with the liberal from Vermont –unless the topic was NATIONAL SECURITY. The real question to pose about the need for new legislation is why do we need new legislation? I assume the President of the United States of America can fire officials who run the NSA and replace them with officials who believe in the American right of privacy. So, why this need by Congress to do what the president can and should do–tomorrow! The issue is NOT new legislation. The issue is our Presidents must begin to function as the guardian of our fundamental right to privacy. THAT is, and, has always been the issue of secrecy.

We have gone down the road of hysteria for over a decade. We have allowed fear to control our actions. We invent fears, we thrive on fear, and our President regards himself as guardian of Fear. It is time to replace excessive Fear with Reality. There is considerable doubt our current practices to “protect America” are always needed. Common sense is a neglected aspect of modern life. Yes, vigilance is required. But, exactly how many American born Muslims have committed any act that might be construed as unpatriotic? How many native born Muslims have engaged in any act of terrorism? THAT is reality!

We Can Go It Alone!!

Once again, Vladimir Putin is showing the world that he is not a dude who will bend to the reality of our world. He inhabits his own world. In Mother Russia, HE is the decider. Oh, there is a legislature, there are some judges, but Vladimir Putin is THE DECIDER. It is rather difficult after years of doing whatever he desires, ordering people around, and enjoying Absolute control of all means of communication for this man to accept the reality there are other forces in this world which also can impact Mother Russia. In face of new European and American sanctions, THE MAN insists that no one can tell him what to do. His response to sanctions is issuing a warning that Russia does not need any outside relations and can go it alone within its own economy. Of course, as of this moment in time, few Americans or Europeans purchase any Russian technology. When was the last time anyone purchased a Russian made phone or TV or cell phone? At least 90% of Russia’s defense industry depends upon Western technology in order to do anything. Naturally, the toadies who inhabit Russia’s parliament are 1000% behind the Boss. MP Alexei Pushko warned America: “Obama will go down in history… as the US President who started a new Cold War.”

The coming months will not be easy. Reality is that Putin does not face any pressure from anyone within Russia to alter his way of handling foreign affairs. Heck, he does what he desires within Russia which means life today in that land is not that far different from the good old days of Communism when expressing a view point could land one in prison or a gulag out in Siberia. In one sense, time has stood still in Russia. Its people are closer to the Communist era when issues of freedom are confronted. No one knows what The Boss will do. That, is also Reality!

Report In Al Ahram About Gaza

Given the reality that members of the American Congress are ready and willing to accept any act by Israel, and condemn any act by Hamas, we decided to present what an Arab newspaper is discussing events in Gaza. According to al Ahram in Egypt, Hamas only seeks to end the fighting and desires peace to reign in Gaza. Yasser Abed Rabbo, who heads the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), “after extensive calls and consultations with the brothers in Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian leadership announced on behalf of everyone the willingness for a cease fire and humanitarian truce for 24 hours.” I always find it rather interesting that “the brothers” never include, “the sisters.” So, at this moment, Hamas will accept a 24 hour truce. Great news. At least for 24 hours people in Gaza will not be ducking shells and missiles. Of course, on Saturday, the UN(not the brothers) urged adoption of a 72 hour truce, but Hamas rejected it. There is something sad about this statement. Imagine at this moment, with over 1100 dead–77% being innocent civilian, an Egyptian newspaper is discussing a “24 hour” ceasefire!

Let me be perfectly clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shares responsibility for this slaughter of the innocent because he has consistently refused to engage with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to develop a comprehensive plan for peace between Israel and Palestinians. Based on what al Ahram reports, it is clear that Hamas, and the brothers, just want to continue fighting because it has become a sign of their manhoods to fight and fight to the bitter end. There is not a single story in al Ahram offering ideas for peace in the Middle East. Al Ahram is correct in condemning actions of Israel in their nonstop bombing which has resulted in death of the innocent. But, it it time for Arab media to present ideas and suggestions on how to achieve peace in the Middle East.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

Grant children freedom to be who they desire to be.

There is a time to just shut up.

Raise children to think other than what you think.

There is dirt on a table and dirt in some minds.

Little children love putting on the jacket by self.

Some organize food on table into assigned places.

There is a time and a place for a time and a place.

Always explore the unknown.

Short pants provide a sense of freedom.

There is a time to read, and a time to speak.

There is always another mountain to climb.

We arrive, we depart, such is life.

Muslim Vs Muslim-The Israel Mistake

The original Bush invasion of Iraq occurred at a time when conflict in the Middle East focused mainly upon Muslims focusing upon Israel or western Christian groups. Today, in 2014, the central conflict in the Middle East is Muslim vs Muslim. The defeat of Sunni Saddam Hussein, who had kept minority Sunnis under close control, resulted in triumph of Shiites who were determined to take revenge upon Sunnis who had for too long ruled over them. Syria was controlled by Sunni leaders such as the Assad family, but they were very secular in attitude and governance. Any demonstration of religion was for show purposes. The Assad clique had close working relations with secular Sunnis and Christians, and they were deeply concerned about rise of any Islamic religous figures. There regime was the perfect Muslim nation in which religion played a secondary role to that of power and prosperity. Bashar Assad married a very secular woman, and enjoyed the life of a modern upper class person. Yes, he attended the mosque, more for a photo op than for any deep involvement in religious issues.

The Middle East today is witnessing a new manifestation of older Sunni vs Shiite strugles. Shiites constitute about 15% of Muslims in the world, and a large percent of this group is located in the Middle East– Iran and Iraq. Islamic militants which swept into northern Iraq were Sunnis who resented loss of power in that nation to the Shiites. Hamas is as geatly opposed to the Egyptian government as it is to the Israelis. In Libya the conflict is between more secular Muslims vs more religious centered ones. The same struggle is dividing Tunisia and Algeria. Israel has nothing to do with these conflicts. Muslims are fighting Muslims.

A Shiite dilemma is they only possess power in the Middle East. Sunis dominate the Muslim religion throughout the rest of the world. If Shiites can not gain power in the Middle East it means they will never possess power anywhere in the world. A basic failure on the part of Israel is lack of understanding regarding the Muslim vs Muslim conflict. Instead of seeking alliances with secular Muslims, Israel fails to differentiate because its government views Muslims as some sort of monoithic entity. Israel must accept the Palestinian Authority as a leader in Palestine. It must empower Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and assist his efforts to destroy Hamas. How can this be accomplished?

1. Recognize the state of Palestine.

2. Accept that about 5% of the West Bank will constitute Jewish settlements.

3. Encourage the state of Palestine to forge a military alliance with Egypt in order to crush Hamas in Gaza. Israel could provide drones, and helicopters.

It is time the US and Israel recognied reality in the Middle East. The war to ensure peace must be won by Muslims, NOT Israel!

Wars Of Choice, Wars Of Necessity

Political scientist Richard Haas has identified two forms of war that we Americans have fought during our history-wars of choice, and wars of necessity. Let me briefly review has this concept fits into the history of American wars:

1. American Revolution. In 1776, the American colonists had the highest standard of living in the world. They enjoyed free speech, freedom of religion freedom of the press,and 90% of laws that impacted them were passed by a Colonial legislature. A majority of people opted for war. Most probably, further self government would have arrived within thirty years. A War of Choice

2. The War of 1812, by any definition, falls under the category of a War of Choice.

3. The War with Mexico in 1846 was definitely a war of Choice. America invaded Mexico.

4. The Spanish American War of 1898 was initiated by the US, and is a War of Choice.

5. World War I was a choice by President Wilson to support England despite the fact American ships were being attacked by both German and English vessels. A War of Choice

6. World War II is clearly an example of a War of Necessity. America was attacked.

7. The Korean War. North Korea attacked South Korea, and America made the choice to support South Korea. A War of Choice.

8. The Vietnam War was clearly a War of Choice.

9. The Gulf War of 1991 was a War of Choice.

10. The invasion of Afghanistan was a War of Choice.

11. The invasion of Iraq was a War of Choice.

12. The Civil War is rather unusual. It was an internal war. There is no question that President Lincoln had to respond to the threat of secession with force. A War of Necessity although many Southerners would argue it was a War of Choice.

After reviewing this list it is clear that only World War II was supported overwhelmingly by 95% of the people. In all other wars, America had a divided society. It is not surprising that in 2014, Americans are divided about the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither of these wars had a 90% agreement.

Perhaps, the issue is that America entered two wars of Choice, and the choice was incorrect!