Category Archives: Christianity

Who Is This Putin?

One again, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin feels oppressed by the evil forces of America and Europe. He is somewhat confused because, for some unknown reason, American President Obama is leading a crusade against the peace loving people of Russia. He called Obama to discuss the confusion within his mind over the aggressive policy being sought by the United States against Russia, which has been fighting to restore peace, love and dignity to all people in Ukraine. And, to make matters worse, the US leads the fight to employ sanctions against innocent Russian business leaders who have never touched, not killed any soul. Putin informed the President these sanctions were counterproductive, they damaged the lives of innocent Russian people, and, to made the situation in Europe unstable. According to Putin, if the Obama goal is calming international tensions, then employing sanctions will not accomplish this goal.

I guess President Obama thinks these Russian folks have gone too far in preventing Ukraine from functioning as a nation. I expect that Obama will warn Europeans about being “sanctimonious” regarding Putin’s actions, after all, Putin has been under pressure. OK, so he did a few nasty things, but he felt pressure, and when folks feel pressure, they often wind up doing bad things. In one respect, Vladimir Putin did nothing different from our CIA which tortured and oppressed folks in the name of preventing instability in the world. So, hopefully, President Obama will be understanding when confronting a man who felt “under pressure” to commit violence!

Chaos In US Senate

It was Thursday, July 31, 2014 in the United States House of Representatives. Just another day in Congress for a group which prides itself upon adherence to the Golden Rule that doing nothing prevents mistakes. John Boehner and other Republican leaders believe that no action is the best action. There is some logic in this attitude. If I never do anything then no one can blame me for making a mistake. In other words, the motto of House Republicans is: Those who do not, do something since do not is the rule for those seeking to prevent the act of do. President Barack Obama asked Congress to provide funds to assist in handling the alleged “crisis” on our border with Mexico. These days arrival of children to our border has become a new terrorist threat to the safety of American society. Even worse, these kids are prepared to take away jobs from decent hard working Americans. After all, millions of Americans desire to pick peaches and apples in our orchards only these Mexican terrorists seek to deny them an opportunity to make $7.25 an hour!! Senator Ted Cruz and the Tea Party said, no legislation about these children. So guess what happened? No legislation. Naturally, this will provide Fox News pundits hours to declaim and declare their ideas to the American people about the “crisis” on our border.

Eric Cantor, who is departing the hallowed halls of Congress due to the Tea Party offered some words of wisdom to his colleagues in a last speech. “We don’t always see eye to eye, even within our own party–in this chamber. But, that is how it is and is supposed to be.” Thank God this was not in the past, “what it supposed to be.” That is why we won World War II, built dams, roads, hospitals, airports, created Social Security for the elderly and Medicare. THAT was what Congress was supposed to be and do!

Game Of Death Enters Extra Innings!

Let me make clear the views of this blog concerning war in Gaza.

1. No nation can allow rockets from any source to land on its soil. That is a given.

2. No nation or group can place the lives of civilians at risk if it can in any way be avoided.

We begin with the above premises. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raises a key issue when saying, “Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire ..which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population of Gaza, the IDF will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activities in the Gaza Strip.” The Israel prime minister is raising a key point, but he also fails to raise other key points.

1. Israel shells and missiles ARE killing the innocent. Which, if any, steps can be taken to reduce this situation?

2. Are there other political steps which can be taken that would lessen the influence of Hamas among Palestinians?

I am not a military expert, but certainly steps could be taken to reduce(note, I say, “reduce,” not “end.”) the killing of civilians. Netanyahu has a responsibility to those civilians just as he has a responsibility for his fighting men. Throughout the history of this human race, the innocent have always died in wars. All one can do is REDUCE the numbers of innocent people who die.

Political: This is my main complaint about Prime Minister Netanyahu. His failure to engage in meaningful negotiations with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority set the stage for growth of power in Gaza of Hamas.(Actually, there is now considerable evidence if an honest election was held in Gaza, Hamas would lose it). So, what can Prime Minister Netanyahu do at this moment?

1. Announce a freeze on any construction of new settlements on the West Bank.

2. Announce that Israel recognizes creation of a Palestinian nation.

3. Urge creation of a Middle Eastern “Marshall Plan” funded by the regions’ oil states and Israel which would be used to improve living standards within Palestine, Egypt and Syria.

4. Announce that eastern Jerusalem could become the capital of Palestine.

5. Agree to discussions concerning the ongoing refugee problem. Israel has a legitimate right to note over 700,000 Jewish refugees had to flee Arab nations. There are both a Palestinian refugee issue and a Jewish refugee issue. Thus, there is a basis for compromise.

NEGOTIATE IN GOOD FAITH. That is the best way to reduce power of Hamas!

So, What Comes Later?

I thoroughly agree with the concept that a nation has the right to defend its territorial integrity. I agree that a nation has the right to wipe out any groups seeking to cause it harm. I agree that Israel has the right to make certain no bombs are headed for its people. Frankly, any nation in the world would take action to halt such violence against its territory. The government of Israel made clear “when a ceasefire proposal that answers Israel’s important needs is laid on the table, it will be considered.” Even as he spoke Israel tanks were blasting away at civilians seeking refuge in a UN school. Let me examine the Israel statement.

1. What are Israel’s “needs?”

2. What does “consider” mean?

3. What comes after the conclusion of the war in Gaza?

It is quite clear that Israel’s “needs” entail an end to bombs entering its nation. Hopefully, “consider” means address ALL issues linked to the fighting in Gaza. To simply respond to the need for an end of bombs is not enough because ceasing at that point any meaningful discussions does not address the issue of “what comes after conclusion of the war in Gaza?” Unless this issue is addressed in a “meaningful manner” a few years from now there will be more bombs and within a year there will be suicide bombers blasting away in Israel. Does anyone in the Israel government actually believe that this war has not created a new generation of suicide bombers! They are now teens and within a few years they will be ready and willing to die for Allah by killing Jews.

So, what must be done–NOW!

1. An end to further West Bank settlements.

2. Consolidation of all West Bank settlements into an area of the West Bank not to exceed 5% of the land.

3. Recognition of the new state of Palestine.

4. The right of Palestinians to have its capital in east Jerusalem.

5. Creation of a new “Marshall Plan” for the region whose aim is stimulating the economies of Palestine, Egypt and Jordan, along with that of Israel.

Get youth into meaningful education and jobs if one seeks to avoid suicide bombers!

Confederacy Still Alive-Only In Europe

Modern America retains those who believe fervently in the idea of a separate Confederate nation. During the year, at some point or another, they hold celebrations about their beloved Confederacy and pretend they are in a battle. These mock battles invariably result in victory for the forces of slavery. Ironically, many separatist and neo-Nazi groups in Europe have taken up the star and bar flag of the Confederacy as these people fight for the right to be bigots. Ukrainian separatists have displayed the Confederate flag–along with that of Texas! I wonder if Governor Rick Perry will fly to Donetsk and stand with his fellow believers in secession and war against democracies. After all, Rick can handle children, why can’t he handle the Ukrainian army? The amazing aspect of this fascination with Nazi flags and flags for those who fight to retain slavery is that grandparents of separatists were murdered by Nazis!! How can a grandchild believe those who brutally killed their grandparents is someone to admire? I assume for this group, Adolf Hitler is a man of courage who fought for human rights!

Alexander Hug, who is deputy head of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe(OSCE) has been attempting to investigate the crash site of the downed Malaysian plane. As he commented: “an airplane crashes over a war zone, totally innocent vacationers fall from the sky, and access is prevented.” The reason is clear. Russia, which lost twenty-five million to Nazis during World War II now insists those who did the killing are heroes of Mother Russia. Russian TV Channel One was reporting that Western sources were preventing access to the crash site. Such is life in Putin Russia.

Say, Whatever Happened To??

The other day figures were released by polling groups which indicated that a majority of those who identify themselves as “Republicans” were satisfied with being a member of the health plan created by the Affordable Care Act. You remember, I am certain you remember the words of doom and gloom emanating from the Republican party about passage of this law? Who can forget the nation’s leading expert on health care–someone named, Sarah Palin, informing the nation that first they passed a law that provided health care to people, and next will come the black uniformed troops entering your home to rape mom and sister and wife. So, I began wondering:

1. What ever happened to those Death Panels which sent granny off to an early death?

2. What ever happened to bureaucrats telling doctors how to operate?

3. What ever happened to the end of private medical care in America?

4. What ever happened to young people refusing to sign up for health care?

5. What ever happened to escalating costs of health care?

6. What ever happened to the end of democracy in America? After all, once people have access to health care, then….

Torture, Torture, Everywhere In America

As a child growing up in the United States of America during World War II, movies constantly depicted the horrible Germans and Japanese as brutal foes. They tortured people, they gassed to death innocent people, heck, they even chopped off the heads of American prisoners. Thus, I was taught to believe that in my wonderful America, we were NOT like these evil people. We treated prisoners with dignity because the war was being fought in order to prove to the world that decency and respect for human life was central to the meaning of a democratic society. Of course, that was before the advent to power of Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and George Bush, three men who decided that was central to the meaning of our Constitution, had no place in THEIR WORLD. These men decided to adopt tactics of the German Gestapo and the Japanese army in order to “Save America.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, will be issuing a 6,300 page document which describes in detail exactly how torture became the norm under President Bush’s fight to save AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. Former CIA directors are being given a chance to examine the document which provides evidence of torture during interrogations, rendition and detention. Oh, the report also provides a CIA defense of their behavior. I assume they argue, anything is OK to prevent Los Angeles from being destroyed by a hidden atomic bomb!

When a society becomes all they hate, it opens questions as to what originally did this society believe? I was raised to believe that Americans adhered to the US Constitution. When I entered the Army, I took the oath to defend this document. I thought President Bush took the same oath.

Question: What do we do to those who disregard their oath?

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?

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!