Category Archives: Uncategorized

THE WAR NOBODY KNOWS BUT WILL SOON KNOW

There is a war in process within Yemen that already has spilled over into Saudi Arabia and poses a great threat to peace in the area. A war within Yemen poses Shiites fighting against the Sunni Yemen government and its allies in Saudi Arabia. Rebels claim they are fighting against a government that has marginalized Shiites and has failed to develop the nation’s resources. Yemen’s army presently is engaged in extensive fighting with the rebels and there are reports al-Qaeda may soon become part of the mess that is Yemen. Across the Gulf of Aden lies Ethiopia and a short distance away in Somalia where there is also an intense civil war. Americans fail to realize the Yemen war can spill over into Saudi Arabia and some day witness bombers blowing themselves up as they damage oil facilities.

The mess now includes possible Iran influence by supplying rebels with arms, a fight between the Yemen government and rebels, a fight between rebels and Saudi Arabia, an attempt by rebels to destroy their nation’s tourist industry by kidnapping foreigners, and the list goes on and on.

Who knows, perhaps in 2015, American soldiers will be fighting in the hills of Yemen. A problem is no one will have the slightest idea why US forces are in Yemen anymore than anyone has any idea what the US presently seeks to accomplish in Afghanistan.

Sweden Set For Stricter Teacher Credentials

The Swedish government is developing plans to revamp its teacher education program and have a new teaching credential. The goal is to prevent “unqualified teachers” from securing full time positions in schools. Minister for Education Jan Bjorkiund argued, “it’s wrong to hire unqualified teachers full-time and I want to put a stop to it. With certain exceptions for teachers in particular occupational subjects.” The new law will state who is qualified and who is not. He also announced Swedish teachers will have the opportunity to study abroad on 80% base pay.

The issue is what is meant by “qualified..” In America that most frequently is equated to taking teacher education courses on the assumption those who take such courses become better teachers. We need more creative ideas on what constitutes a qualified teacher that does not equate college courses with being a better teacher.

Sweden has a great idea to allow teachers to study abroad and be paid. Kudos for the idea!

Attorney General Considers Torture Probe

To those who voted for Barack Obama, it is still baffling why a candidate who promised to get at the root of corruption and violation of laws, has refused to take active steps to bring to justice those who are guilty of ignoring the Constitution. Attorney General Eric Holder, told Newsweek, that he is considering beginning a criminal investigation of the Bush administration’s interrogation practices that were used on suspected terrorists. When asked if this idea would fit into the desires of the president, Holder responded: “i hope that whatever decision I make would not have a negative impact on the president’s agenda. But, that can’t be a part of my decision.”

It is about time an attorney general placed the rule of law over the rule of politics. Barack Obama may insist on looking forward rather than backward, but how does that approach fit with his support for affirmative action?

Wither The Republican Party?

A hundred years ago, the Republican Party was led by Theodore Roosevelt whose progressive ideas today would undoubtedly lead to Republicans today castigating him as a “radical” or “socialist.” Theodore Roosevelt took on Big Business with his trust busting ideas, he originated the concept of conservation of our national resources, he believed in equal rights for Negroes and women, he supported labor unions, he urged transforming the Washington D.C. school system into a model for the nation, and he was the first president to actively seek to integrate immigrants into the American ethos. His famous Rough Riders was included immigrants from every ethnic group.

In the 1940s, the Republican party was led by Wendell Wilkie whose book, “One World” spoke of his desire for a world bound together. Thomas Dewey who twice ran for the presidency supported most New Deal laws and worked actively for equal rights for minorities. Senator Arthur Vandenberg led Senate Republicans in working with Roosevelt and Truman to become part of the United Nations. Even the great Republican Senator Robert Taft would today be branded by right wing kooks as a radical. During the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower consolidated the New Deal and backed the Supreme Court in Brown vs. Board of Education. It was Eisenhower who warned about the “military/industrial complex” and was probably the only president in fifty years to cut the military budget.

Today, Senator Specter has left the party because the party has abandoned its conservative ideals and its concern for human rights. Its ongoing mantra is “cut taxes to help the wealthy.” Senator Vandenberg worked closely in a spirit of bipartisanship with Democrats as did Ronald Reagan on many international issues. But, today, the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is controlled by Rush Limbaugh mentalities of pettiness and vicious hatred toward anyone who disagrees with their belief that wealthy people are the chosen ones of God. By the way, Teddy Roosevelt violently opposed any mixing of church and state.

So, what has happened to the Republican party? It is led by men with limited vision, outdated economic ideas, and a narrowness in terms of encompassing divergent people within the framework of the American nation. Republicans, ye have tarried too long, begone and rest in the dustbin of history with other relics of lost ideas.

I am certain Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower shed a tear every night as they gaze at the motley crew of ignorant hateful people who lead their party.

Israel President Hints At Action Toward Iran

Israel President Shimon Peres employed aggressive language in discussing the actions of Iran and how their challenge might be met. In an interview with Kot Hai Radio, he said the arrest over the weekend in Egypt of a Hizbullah cell was a blow to Iran which undoubtedly funds that organization. “Ahmadinejad recruits forces against us, but there are also forces against him.” He called for unifying Arab nations which are threatened by terrorism in order to defeat Iran’s aggressive behavior. He want on to note his hope Obama will be successful in being able to negotiate with Iran, but warned that if Iran continued fostering terrorism it might require Israel to undertake military action, “we’ll strike him.”

President Peres is correct in calling for Arab nations to unite with Israel against Iran, but until Israel refuses to accept a Palestinian state and withdraw from the West Bank, there will be no such coalition. Ahmadinejad is not the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East, the president only has to look at the current cabinet of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sudan Rejects Arab Proposal For Trials

The Sudanese government rejected a proposal by the Arab League to establish a “hybrid court” to prosecute those suspected of participating in the murder of thousands of innocent people in Darfur. The Arab League suggestion was an attempt to circumvent the International Criminal Court indictment of Sudan leder Omar Hassan Al-Bashir who they charged was responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 in Darfur as well as rape and brutalization of thousands of women. The Arab League gave full support to Bashir in his refusal to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the ICC. There are reports Sudan diplomats are furious at the suggestion of a hybrid court which they claim gives credence to the ICC warrant.

Arab media claim Sudan has threatened to withdraw from the Arab League, but if they did so, there are few options in the rest of the world for friends. Sudan demands Arab nations completely reject the very suggestion that anything has gone wrong in Darfur. Most probably the 300,000 reputed dead people are really hiding out in Argentine or Israel.

Israel Threatens Action On Iran

News that Iran is progressing in its development of atomic energy has sent a shock wave of fear throughout the Israel military establishment. Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that Israel could not by idly while Iran developed nuclear weapons. “Israel’s policy is clear: We are not ruling out any option regarding the Iranian nuclear program.” He sent a thinly clad warning to President Obama that “we recommend that others don’t rule out any option either.” Barak insisted that “time is running out” and there is need to act before time ran out and Iran had an atomic weapon.

Israeli leaders insist that something must “be done” to halt or to end the Iranian nuclear development program. Let’s assume that Israel did bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. The result, most probably, would be launching of dozens, if not hundreds of suicide bombers in Israel which would then end any hope for peace between Palestinians and Israel. Of course, Iran would continue developing nuclear energy and would hide their work and wait for time. Making threats about bombing Iran satisfies the emotional needs of Israelis, but does it also solve any problems?

Iran has indicated to Turkey it is ready to negotiate. Let the talks begin and put aside talk of war, war.

What Is Gordon Brown Hiding About Iraq??

Several British groups have asked the government to release Cabinet minutes for the meetings of March 13 and March 17, 2003 when discussions were held about the decision to support the Bush invasion of Iraq. Information Minister Richard Thomas ordered the release of the minutes arguing that their publication was in the public interest. His decision was supported by an independent tribunal last month. But, for the first time, the Brown government has decided to make use of “Section 53″ of the Freedom of Information Act which allows it to veto the release of documents. By drawing upon this section of the law it is impossible for challengers to take the case to court. According to a government spokesperson, the release of the documents would do “serious damage” to the frank discussions that took place on those two momentous days.

Members of parliament from every aspect of the political scene protested the decision. Many insisted the Brown decision showed disrespect for the people of Great Britain and their right to know why their nation got into a war. Of course, the men and women who died might complain of “serious damage” to their lives by the decision of Tony Blair and his associates.

Shoe Throwing Epidemic Hits Chinese Leader

Those who seek to protest against tyrants have discovered a new weapon that will pass through most metal detectors –shoes. Chinese Premier Wen Siabao was giving a presentation at Cambridge to a fairly attentive audience when suddenly a man stood up, took off his shoe, and threw it in the direction of the Chinese leader. The man’s arm apparently was not of major league caliber and the show flew off to the side. He shouted out “How can the university prostitute itself with this dictator?” and was then grabbed by security guards and hauled away. Wen took a deep breath and continued his speech by saying, “We came in peace. This is not going to obstruct China-UK friendship.”

At least shoe throwing does not result in deaths or the killing of innocent civilians so no one should be overly upset at this incident. Of course, only about 100 or so protestors were outside complaining about the Chinese premier whose government has killed hundreds. The other protestors no doubt were before the Israel embassy protesting Israeli killing. After all, there are no protestors complaining about the death of five million in the Congo.

Up the shoes!

Canada Halts Deportation Of US Deserter

A Canadian judge has put a hold on deportation orders that would have forced a deserter from the United States armed forces to be sent back across the border where he would have faced serious charges. A Federal Judge said immigration officials had made serious errors in failing to assess the hardships the deserter and his family would have confronted if sent back to the United States. Jeremy Hinzman’s lawyer, Alyssa Manning, had argued there was evidence that outspoken critics of the Bush invasion of Iraq had been subjected to much harsher punishment than ordinary deserters. The Hinzman case is supposedly the first of several that deal with Americans who have refused to serve in the military due to the war in Iraq.

Crown lawyer Stephen Gold argued it was not the responsibility of the Canadian government “to pass judgment on a military code in a foreign country.” Hinzman had deserted the 82nd Airborne division in 2004 when it was scheduled for deployment to Iraq. Two Canadian courts previously ruled Hinzman faces prosecution, not persecution if he returns to the States.

Judge Richard Mosley disagreed with the government’s contention that nothing unusual would occur and Hinzman would be treated fairly in America. “Based on the evidence and submissions before me,” said Mosley, “the applicant would suffer irreparable harm if a stay were not granted.” There is some evidence Canadian courts are reflecting the feeling of most Canadians.