Category Archives: Christianity

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?

Who Are These People In Congress?

I am the child of two of the TWENTY MILLION people who came to America during the period, 1880-1924. I am the child of two people seeking to escape violence and hatred in eastern Europe. I am the child of two people who arrived in America lacking the ability to speak English and in a state of poverty. I am the child of two people who were accused of taking jobs away from native born Americans. I am the child of two people who were accused of being dirty, and who engaged in criminal activities. In other words, my parents never would have been allowed into America if 2014 Republicans were in charge of the government. My parents, along with other immigrants inhabited slums, they lived in apartment buildings which had one toilet per floor. The Mafia was born in this era, and it consisted of Italian and Jewish gangsters, the children of immigrants. The new immigrants brought crime and poverty to America. But, they also brought new ideas, people with energy to create new industries. In 1920, one out of four Americans was either an immigrant or child of one. Today, the figure is about 8%.

The Republican led House of Representatives, which consists of a high percentage of people who trace their ancestry back to the New Immigrants of 1880-1924, passed a bill intended to prevent President Obama from halting deportation of people brought to America as children by illegal immigrants. In other words, X percent of those in Congress who voted for this bill never would have been born in America if similar attitudes existed a hundred years ago. I have a hunch their great, great grandparents are crying up in Heaven.

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?