Tag Archives: Obama


I realize President Obama has been placed in an awkward position by right wing talk shows because he spoke the truth– Professor Henry Louis Gates was treated by police in a racist manner. I am a 78 year old white haired white man. About several months ago, I was working downstairs and when I came up stairs to get a cup of coffee I realized the front door was not locked and my wallet was gone. I called the police to report a burglary. About ten minutes later, there was a knock on the door. I opened it and began speaking in an excited voice about the wallet. At no time did the two policemen ask for any ID from me. Actually, I could have been the burglar but they realized the old white haired man was upset. They calmed me down and then one of the police examined my cluttered table and found the wallet. We all laughed.

My behavior was akin to that of Professor Gates. I was upset, distraught, and slightly out of emotional control. The police calmed me down. An elderly man who is upset is not a physical threat to anyone, certainly I was not anymore a threat to the police than was Professor Gates. We laughed. My question is why was there the absence of laughter in this situation? It could have avoided having the nation have one more item for its silly season.

Was Arrest Of Henry Louis Gates An Act Of Stupidity?

The furor surrounding the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates in his own home is still causing ripples after President Barack Obama made clear he regarded the entire episode as an example of stupidity. Sergeant James Crowley, the white policeman who was summoned to the home of Professor Gates after receiving a complaint about a break-in, insists he acted properly and the president had no right to term his actions stupid. He thought it was incorrect for the president to wade “into what should be a local issue.” Supporters of Crowley argue Gates was responsible for his own arrest by overreacting.

The president’s words are very clear concerning the matter. “I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry. Number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home. And number three– what I think we know separate and apart from this incident– is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately and that’s just a fact.”

The bottom line is–who believes if Gates was a white man in his sixties and opened the door, showed an ID and explained the situation that he would have been arrested? If he had been white, the police officer would have laughed with Gates and waved goodbye. A few months ago I reported a burglary and a police officer came to my door. I am a white haired man of 78. He never asked for an ID as proof that it was my apartment. I told him someone stole my wallet while I was downstairs working at my computer. He gently had me sit in a chair, rummaged around my paper strewn table and found the wallet. He smiled at me and said goodbye. That’s what happens when one is white skinned and in their seventies.


Grand Old Party Fights to Defeat Health Care

The Republican party for eight years has blasted Democrats for failing to cease attacking the Bush administration and playing partisan games rather than uniting to ensure what is best for the nation. Of course, when it comes to the art of cynical politics, there is no doubt Republicans are unmatched in the political history of this country. Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, captured the essence of Republican patriotism by openly saying if his party can defeat the proposed Obama health insurance program, it “will be his Waterloo, it will break him.” One can just imagine if a Democrat had uttered such words about George Bush during the fighting in Iraq. During the past few months right wing pundits, the health insurance industry, and Republican politicians have engaged in a campaign to distort the issue of health care and spread fear and distrust within the population.

Let’s examine their claims:

1. A national health insurance option is an example of “socialism.” Nations throughout the world including many which are based on free enterprise principles offer their population a national health insurance option.
2. National health insurance means “government bureaucrats” dictate health care instead of physicians. Anyone who had been to doctors during the past half century either experienced or knows a family member who experienced a health insurance company bureaucrat who dictated medical practice.
3. National health insurance will destroy the quality of America’s health. The most significant figure on health is life expectancy. The United States used to lead the world in this category but has fallen behind nations such as Japan or the Netherlands.
4. People will have to wait to see a doctor. I suggest anyone who believes there is no waiting in America to visit your nearest emergency ward where spending a day to get medical assistance is not unusual. Actually, people in other nations have greater access to preventive aid than do Americans.

President Obama put it as clear as one can when he noted “if we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every day.”

Israel Will Disband “Illegal”Settlements

The Israel government informed the United States it would demolish 23 “illegal” settlements that were built after 2001. Dan Meridor, a deputy prime minister said the Obama administration was bound by “tacit” understandings on settlement construction that Israel had reached with former President Bush. The so-called “illegal” settlements never received planning permission. However, under international law, all settlements built on occupied territory are illegal. Prime Minister Netanyahu insists his government will proceed with further construction of housing that meets “natural growth” regardless of what the outside world desires. French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, told Israel’s ambassador to France “these activities must be stopped” referring to construction of housing in the West Bank. The British and the EU both have urged an end to settlement construction.

It is time for the Israel government to understand the American people voted out George Bush in order to end his idiotic foreign policy. Most American polls reveal a large majority of American Jews support the Obama administration ideas on ending settlement construction. Israel has the option to stand apart from the world. In so doing, it loses any chance to be recognized as a moral government.

Wake up Israel, the world is passing you by.

Obama Forms New Interrogation Unit

There are reports the Obama administration is considering forming a new interrogation unit in light of torture and abuse claims under the Bush presidency. A task force has been formed in order to determine which agencies should be part of the interrogation process although the CIA and FBI undoubtedly would remain part of the final unit. Upon assuming the office of president, Obama issued a directive to create this study. There appears to be a strong inclination on those who have spent time in an Ivy League institution and then worked in the legal field to create a task force to study that which any intelligent person knows based on life experience and a limited experience in reading books.

If the president would like to save money and time, how about asking the United States armed force to adhere to existing regulations pertaining to interrogating prisoners? Or, call in those who handled interrogation in the US and British armed forces during WWII?

African Criticizes Obama Over Africa Comments

Lloyd Whitefield, writing in the Zimbabwe Guardian, sharply criticized President Barack Obama for his recent comments on the situation in Africa. In his speech, the president argued that “we must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans.” He also argued the disastrous events in Zimbabwe which have resulted in a wrecked economy and two million refugees in South Africa, can not be blamed on past Western imperialism. “Africans are responsible for Africans.” Whitefield argues Obama is using an argument that he rejects when applied to the lives of African Americans in the United States. The president supports Affirmative Action programs to make up for past mistakes and does not place all blame on African Americans for any problems they currently confront.

In one sense, President Obama is correct that what has happened in Zimbabwe over the past two decades is the result of blunders on the part of President Mugabe rather than western imperialism. But, on the other hand, the president’s argument is rather “simple” in casting all blame on Africans. When African nations obtained their independence, industry was not controlled by Africans, in most places agriculture was controlled by Europeans as was banking and trade. Few African nations enjoyed the benefits of an Affirmative Action program that has been offered to African Americans. Unfortunately, life is rarely “simple,” it is complex and we expect a more reasoned argument from President Obama on such an enormous problem as life in African nations, plus thirty years.

Waiting For Godot In Afghanistan

President Barack Obama told the media he expected greater success on the part of Afghan forces once presidential elections were completed in the country. He expects that once Afghanistan has an effective army it will be possible for the United States and other western nations to depart from the country. If that truly is the assumption of the president, we can expect he will be stuck by the side of a road for the next decade waiting for Godot to make his appearance. Actually, Obama has greater odds that Godot will appear before the Afghan army takes to the field and defeats anyone or any group. The president’s remarks came as American troops were in the second week of a ground offense in Helmand province. Of course, the problem is the Taliban have headed elsewhere as the Americans entered the province.

It would be nice if the Taliban were on the road side waiting for the appearance of Godot, but they are too smart for that. Obama has been suckered into believing the solution lies with the current Afghan government to create an armed force that will fight. Frankly, we would be more impressed if Karzai could create an armed force that does not steal or oppress the people of Afghanistan.

Obama On Putin-Old Ways Outdated!

President Barack Obama is headed for Russia to engage in discussions both with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin about ways to move forward in securing peace in the world. He admitted to AP that Putin still retains extensive sway over Russian policy and it is necessary to work with him on any plans for future relations between Russia and the United States. However, Obama hopes Putin will put aside “the old cold war approaches to US-Russian relations” and enter a new concept of partnership. “I think Medvedev understands that. I think Putin has one foot in the old ways of doing business and one foot in the new.” He wants to emphasize there is no antagonistic relationship between the two nations.

It might assist in moving into a new partnership if the United States would abandon its hostile anti-missile program of constructing bases on the border or Russia. Those bases are antagonistic and have no place in the modern world. The United States and Russia must move forward into a new era of partnership for peace. Obama is correct that Putin is tied to old conflicts, but unless President Obama abandons the Bush missile plan which makes absolutely no sense, then Russia is correct in maintaining the Americans are locked in Cold War thinking.

Dick Cheney Did Not Chain In CIA Assassination Program

New revelations indicate former vice president Dick Cheney oversaw a program entailing assassination of alleged al-Qaida operatives in all parts of the world. Former intelligence officials claim Cheney modeled the program after the Israeli Mossad which kills those who they regard as enemies regardless of where the individual is living. The Cheney program involved sending operatives into other nations, killing people and never informing the local government of what was going on. There are few people, let alone nations, that Dick Cheney trusts with information so he went ahead having American operatives kill without sanction. One particular killing in Kenya created a diplomatic crisis since Americans never told the Kenya government what was going on. The world can well imagine the reaction of Dick Cheney if foreign operatives killed people in America without letting him know.

Cheney apparently justified violating the law on ground the United States was engaged in a war and therefore the executive has complete discretion to kill whom they deemed justified in being killed. Some members of Congress have finally become angry and aroused at the Bush administration blatant violation of American law which forbids assassinations in other countries.

Anna Eshoo, a Democrat on the House Intelligence committee said: “we need a full investigation” and called for an independent counsel to be appointed. President Obama has refused to proceed with investigating violations of the law on ground it would only be divisive. The president of this nation is responsible for ENFORCING THE LAW regardless of who is inconvenienced or not. It is time for Obama to cease playing the “cool man” and show some anger at the disregard for our Constitution on the part of Bush and Cheney!!

Obama Reassures American Jewish Leaders

President Obama met with American Jewish leaders in an effort to allay fears his ideas would in any way damage the interests of Israel. Several of the leaders told the president his words have created an image in the media that Israel must do more than the Arabs in order assure that peace will be achieved in the Middle East. According to Ira Forman of the National Jewish Democratic Committee, the president repeatedly emphasized what he is asking of Israel is very difficult, but must be achieved. The group appeared divided over issues related to the West Bank. Obama reiterated his unshakable commitment to Israel’s security.

The presence of individuals who claim to respresent “American Jews” is rather arrogant. None has ever been elected by Jews, most are political hacks who have worked themselves up in the bureaucracy of an organization. There constituency is their organization, not American Jews. Most polls indicated the overwhelming majority of American Jews voted for Barack Obama and support his ideas. There is no indication most US Jews disagree on Obama’s ideas for peace in the Middle East.