Category Archives: Judaism

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?

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!!

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.

What Ever Happened To?

As one listens to cries of fury on the part of members of the Republican party over borders, health care, the “imperial presidency of Barack Obama,” or any of the almost daily charges that American freedom is being taken away by “the government,” one is left wondering as to what has happened to this nation? There is such fury, such hate, such anger–and it is directed against fellow Americans who have done nothing that in any way, shape or form violates the United States Constitution. Lincoln suspended freedom of the press during the Civil War, he arrested people who disagreed with him, but no one shouted, “impeachment!” During the Korean War from 1950-1953 very similar voices of hate and anger were unleashed against President Harry Truman. Some Republicans blamed him for the war, and some accused him of being “soft on communism.” Of course, Truman organized the Containment Policy which halted communism,and the Marshall Plan which ended it in western Europe.

The current hatred emanating from Congress has rarely in prior times been so vicious. Something has happened to the American psyche which resulted in such intense hatred by Republicans toward President Obama and the entire Democratic Party. This anger spares no Democrat from charges of disloyalty to America. It is time to pose some questions.

Whatever happened to:

Congressmen playing poker with the President as it weekly occurred during the Reagan presidency?

Congressmen of both parties going out for a drink a the local pub?

Congressmen engaging in a friendly game of softball?

A defeated candidate for the presidency being invited by the president to give him a report on world conditions?

A defeated candidate for the presidency being invited to head up a commission on reform of government as when Harry Truman asked Herbert Hoover to do so?

Yes, what ever happened to the word, COMPROMISE?

Why are Americans so angry and filled with such powerful hate?

I find most frightening the current Republican fight to get rid of President Obama, regardless of the cost to this nation. He IS the president, regardless of mistakes, we ELECTED him. So, show some respect to the choice of voters!

The “Other” Is Always To Blame!

I have devote a half century studying and teaching about the Middle East. In particular, my courses have focused on the Palestinian and Israel conflict which dates back over a hundred years. This conflict witnesses several stages:

1. A period in which either or both sides have groups that conduct low level violent operations against the enemy.

2. A period in which both sides claim the other is responsible for any violence and demand the outside world do something about it.

3. A period in which an incident or series of incidents leads the other side to insist its resort to violence is in response to what the other side has been doing.

4. The incidents increase in ferocity and size resulting in escalation of rhetoric by one side.

5. A period in which both sides escalate the rhetoric of violence.

6. A period in which talk shifts to actual use of violent means against the other side.

7. Eventually, Israel forces gain the upper hand, and crush, for the moment, violent Arab groups.”

8. A period of seeming quiet. In reality, Palestinians are preparing some form of violence.

9. An act of violence by a small group of Palestinians sets in motion a fierce outburst of action on the part of Israel.

10. Our present stage in which the death of three innocent children has set in motion violence that has cost the lives of dozens of innocent Palestinians.

There have to be other ways to handle this conflict, don’t you think?

God Of National Security!

For most Americans it may seem light years ago when we lived in a nation in which words such as National Security were rarely uttered. During WWII we were warned that a “slip of the lip” might result in some German spy learning when ships were sailing so he could contact submarines in the Atlantic Ocean. The worst moment in WWII was sending Japanese Americans to camps in the name of National Security. Of course, no case of spying by Japanese Americans was ever uncovered, and Japanese American soldiers became the highest decorated battalion during the entire war. Oh, the American government in the 1980s did apologize. However, these days the new State Religion is–NATIONAL SECURITY. If you seek to find the proverbial needle in the haystack, very easy, gather together thousands and thousands of haystacks and spend billions of dollars going through them because– you just might discover a needle. One simply does not know if a bad person left a needle in a haystack. I do understand that if I dare opposing study of haystacks the American government will classify me as a suspicious person, and, who knows, maybe a terrorist!

Several months ago, former NSA director Keith Alexander claimed his agency had prevented at least 54 terrorist attacks on America. He was called before the Senate Judiciary Committee and finally admitted, would you believe ONE terrorist attack–MAYBE! So, let me tap your phone, read your emails, make note of all your phone calls, and please remember I only do this in the name of OUR BLESSED GOD -NATIONAL SECURITY. Questions:

1. Did the NSA or the CIA predict the Arab Spring?

2. Did the NSA or the CIA predict the coming to power of Vladimir Putin?

3. Did the CIA predict what would happen in Vietnam?

I DO understand that successful CIA and NSA predictions are classified so no one knows what they did get right. Has anyone considered the possibility of making NATIONAL SECURITY our new God of life?

New Terrorist Source–Germany!!

There is often a moment in time, when one grasps the madness of human life in all its confusing and contradictory patterns. Such is now with discovery by the German government that the ÇIA recruited an employee who worked in the German secret intelligence agency, BND. Stop for a moment and ask self: why is the United States of America using valuable resources to spy on our allies in the fight against terrorism? Why are American spies tapping phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who is our ALLY? Perhaps, I am dense, but would it not make more sense to tap phone calls of terrorists? In other words, American “Intelligence” devotes countless hours and millions of dollars spying on people who work with us to capture terrorists? Once again, another Obama example of incompetence. Several months ago, the German government learned of US spy efforts directed at Angela Merkel, and demanded an end. As of this moment in time, believe it or not, President Obama insists that he can NOT guarantee a cease fire in the war against our ally, GERMANY! Oh I forgot, NATIONAL SECURITY is the issue. In every case, NATIONAL SECURITY is the issue. Barack Obama is obsessed with NATIONAL SECURITY.

The German government is furious at US spy efforts in Germany. White House spokesperson, John Earnest, insists “we are trying to work with the Germans to resolve this situation appropriately.” He insists the American government can not interfere with “a pending German law enforcement investigation.” But, the US CREATED THE INVESTIGATION!! How about:

1. America forming a task force with BND to cooperatively work together?

2. How about making clear that ALL tapping ends of German officials. If Americans believe there are spies in Germany, simply inform, BND sources.

There is NATIONAL SECURITY and there is not National Security. When will Barack Obama conduct himself as a President who works with Allies, and does NOT spy on Allies!!!

Growing Up In 2014 America

I was having a cup of coffee the other day when my mind wandered onto the question as to what would it be like growing up in 2014 America? Next month marks my 84th birthday since I was grew up in Depression America. But, what would it be like being age 18 in the current world of America?

1. In my childhood, Republicans and Democratic congressmen clashed, but for some strange reason they also ate lunch together and even played a softball game with one another in the summer. Think of it, opposing political opponents who joke, played cards at night over a beer, and still were friends!

2. The president was Franklin D. Roosevelt, cousin of Theodore Roosevelt, a Republican. Imagine two cousins who were on opposite sides of the political spectrum? Heck Franklin even married Teddy’s niece, Eleanor. Today, people within families vote and think together, a thought that would fill me with dread. I was raised to think, to think and decide, based on what I thought, not what neighbors or relatives wanted me to think.

3. Imagine growing up with two presidents who lacked any sense of global policy. Both stumble from one disaster to another. Quite a difference with Franklin Roosevelt who had a comprehensive policy to rebuild America from ground zero, and a policy to halt terrorism in the world. It must be confusing to young Americans growing up with presidents lacking policies, let alone being able to explain them to the American people.

4. I spent my childhood in the Depression,and then was a teenager during WWII. How do I explain that even during the Depression, I had hope the future would be better. I wonder how it would be to grow up in 2014 America in which one worries that there will be no future?

5. I wonder what it would be like growing up with machines in my hand that were the focus of my life, rather than people?

6. I spent my growing up time playing ball with friends or wandering the streets of New York City without the company of parents, I was free to wander and wonder. I wonder what it would be like to always have a parent driving me to play or not allowing me to be me?

7. Frankly, I prefer a world in which I was working at age 8, but a world in which I was an independent person filled with the wonder of youth, and enjoying the freedom to dream the impossible dreams of life.

The Fire This Time Leaves Aftermath–Always!

On September 11, 2001 a group of nineteen men initiated horrible events that resulted in the death of nearly three thousand innocent Americans. These men worked for an organization–al-Qaeda–that numbered, at best, about two thousand members. Today, the process initiated back in 2001 has resulted in al-Qaeda now having over 20,000 members, and, instead of being confined to Afghanistan, is now in Syria, Iraq, Algeria and dozens of other places of war. Our then President Bush insisted that his response to 9/11 would result in destruction of al-Qaeda and killing of Osama bin Laden. Yes, Osama is dead, killed by orders of a different president, but al-Qaeda remains a force of death and destruction. Today in Israel, the sounds of war, of revenge are powerful, and demand death and destruction. No one knows who were the cowardly murderers who selected three innocent young boys for their revenge. Three children died because of hate created by their elders- Israelis, Palestinians, and you name them. As always, the innocent die and the guilty live on to murder and murder the innocent.

Thousands of Israel troops are now on the border of Gaza.Israeli planes are pounding the Gaza Strip even as rockets are fired from it into Israel territory. The IDF has announced the beginning of “OPeration Protective Eagle.” There is a strong likelihood that thousands of Israel soldiers will blast their way into Gaza. There is a strong likelihood that innocent Arab children will die. Again, the innocent die because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. The IDF told the world: “We are entering into a long operation. We are preparing further steps and a gradual expansion of our order of battle.”

Sorry, this statement is very similar to that made by President Bush preceding the invasion of Iraq. Colin Powell, US Secretary of State in 2001, but a former general, warned President Bush that if you go into the pottery shop and break china pieces, you are responsible for the damage. He was attempting to warn the president there are consequences when one initiates war. Invade Gaza, round up hundreds, put them in jail. Then what??

I can guarantee there will be dozens, perhaps, hundreds of missiles coming from Hamas centers in Lebanon and headed for Israel cities. What then? Invade Lebanon? Send Israel soldiers into Syria? When does it end??

On Reparations To African Americans

A recent article in The Atlantic magazine has raised the issue as to whether the American government should pay monetary compensation to those who fall into the category of African Americans due to the horror of slavery, and the subsequent years of segregation, prejudice and denial of basic rights such as access to home loans or jobs. After World War II, the German government paid, and still pays, compensation to Jews for the horror of the Holocaust. In the 1980s, the American government paid compensation to Japanese Americans for violation of their rights by being sent to internment camps during World War II. In other words, the concept of “reparations” has been recognized by nations throughout the world.

There remain several issues related to the concept of reparations.

1. The definition of who is an “African American” is not clear. Examine a basketball game and note the wide discrepancy in skin color among players.
2. In 1948 my sociology professors insisted that each year at least 50,000 “black skinned Americans” crossed over and became “white.” Their figure may not be accurate,but there is no doubt that thousands did so. In other words, untold thousands of “white people” derive from these crossovers.
3. Certainly, American Indians(or Native Americans) also suffered from discrimination and at least half died because of prejudice. It there are reparations, they must be included.
4. Yes, there was difficulty for Negroes to live in certain neighborhoods, or to gain access to home loans. This was also a common problem for American Jews and Italians.
5. Prejudice in jobs, access to college, loans were issues confronting many immigrant groups. Let me emphasize their problems never matched in severity those encountered by Negroes,but they were normal aspects of their lives in America.

My argument is that POOR PEOPLE, regardless of skin color be given free college, a guaranteed minimum wage, and free health insurance.