Thursday, August 31, 2006

Students Should Be Taught More Critical Thinking In Schools

The College Board reported yesterday that scores on the reading and math segments of the SAT ( Schoastic Assesment Test) had their biggest drop in 31 years in 2006. A perfect score in reading and math would be 800. In 2006 reading and math hovered around the 500 level. SAT scores have never been as high as the pre-Civil Rights legislation SAT results!

Notably the recent tests included a new writing and critical thinking part. It is made up of a 25 minute essay that tests the student's ability for comprehension, critical thinking and the ability to communicate those personal evaluations. The officials at the College Board explained that this was particularly weak.

Why is critical thinking withering? Why aren't the teachers focusing on this basic key to learning and success ? What replaced critical thinking in the school curriculum ? Probably the answer is that in the interest of integration and affirmative action in the post Civil Rights legislation , objective teaching goals have been replaced with subjective political goals. In this shift other considerations are weighed, i.e. race, where one lives and family income. Therefore what students learn becomes a secondary goal. Ergo critical thinking would effectively stand in the way of implimenting those political educational quotas.

Critical thinking is the most important subject a student can be encouraged to excel. Because life contains many surprises and challenges that are not described in a text book. Only critical thinking will equip students to be able to think on their feet and meet future obstacles. We are known by our differences. We are not all equal.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Wealthy People & Corporations : What Is Their Future ?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the current U.S. business expansion is the first sustained period of growth since World War II that failed to provide a prolonged increase in real wages ( inflation-adjusted) for most workers. It also reported that wages and salaries now make up the lowest share ( 45%) of U.S. GDP since the government began reporting in 1947.

Simply, the wealthiest people in America and the corporations now depend more on other countries for their operations and profitability? What an awkward position to be in. Living in one country that is increasingly becoming estranged and depending on other countries in a world that is increasingly becoming more dangerous. It's like straddling a ship and dock that are moving in opposite directions. No, hedge funds are not the answer.

The answer is establishing an industrial base in America that is both planet and people friendly and eco-sustainable. The industrial base would produce cutting edge sustainable products and systems that solve our own needs and that can be exported to other countries. This new eco-sustainable base will replace the mischevious military-industrial complex and all the wars that it thrives on.

Ahmadinejad vs. Bush In T V Debate ?

Yesterday at a press conference in Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, " I announce that I am fully prepared to debate world and international issues with George Bush in a televised debate." A White House spokesman immediately dismissed the challenge as a " diversion". Diversion? What could be more important than avoiding deaths and violence? Isn't talking about differences a better way to go than launching preemptive war attacks ?

Bush didn't respond personally. He had an aid do it. This method is both cowardly and rude. Is our mental midget president involved in a more pressing, important engagement that he can't talk to the President of Iran in public or private about so timely an issue like war or peace? Could Bush say anything that wasn't pre-scripted? Does Bush have the ability to speak extemporaneously and intelligently about foreign policy or other peoples cultures? The answer to those questions is sadly, no.

The world's view of America and it's president fell another notch yesterday. Iran's president offered a humane and intelligent gesture to avoid misunderstanding and possible violence. But our so-called Christian-values president declined. Bush would rather be alone and unmoved with his feelings of hate and paranoia about other people who are different from him and his kind.

Congressman Tom Lantos Wants To Freeze Lebanon Aid

Congressman Lantos told PM Olmert of Israel that he wants to freeze the $ 230 million aid package to Lebanon. Lantos is the ranking democrat on the House Foreign Relations Commitee. Lantos said, " The [Lebanese] aid package should be witheld until the Lebanese government displays responsibility."

Responsibility ? Israel is guilty of war crimes in their cowardly attacks in Lebanon and this whining, arrogant Jew wants Lebanon to show responsibility ! This is yet another example of how the many Jews/Zionists in our Congress use the U.S. for their own selfish purposes without regard for America's reputation or security.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Beirut, Lebanon : Oil Spill & Wildlife Damage

On July 15, Israeli jets bombed a Beirut power station. It also deliberately included an oil storage tank that held 15,0000 tons of heavy oil that ran the station. The tank was located within spilling distance of Beirut's famous beaches. Well the normally azure Mediterranean water is now black anf filled with the foul oil. The viscous oil has also settled into the sand beneath the waves and saturated the shoreline. Birds, turtles, shellfish and fish which are the valuable staples to Lebanon's economy are dead and continue to die. The oil slick is now 90 miles long and on its way to Syria and Turkey. Who is served by this barbaric act of Israeli rage? Why did Israel kill over 1000 civilians? Why did Israel obliterate Lebanon's infrastructure? Hezbollah would not be affected by this wanton disproportianate destruction.

These Israeli actions amount to war crimes and constructive genocide. Israel's future is tied to its character. Based on recent events in Lebanon Israel future is appropriately and deservedly grim.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Why A New Planet Definition ?

The Astronomical Union will be voting today in Prague, Czech Republic on a new definition of of the meaning of "planet". The new definition says a planet is " an object massive enough that gravity has formed it into a sphere and that it circles a star and not some other planet." The immediate implication will be an addtional 3 planets added to our 9 with the posibility of another 50 being added if the Kuiper Belt is included.

Who is served by this new definition? What is gained by this new definition? The original word " planet" comes from the Greek and meant " wanderer". But the planets don't wander. They are in a perpetual eliptical course around our own sun. The celestial bodies would be more accuraetly described as "corsairs". Why didn't the Astronomical Union address that? But what would be gained by that new name?

In the pursuit of new and more " scientific definitions" of the heavenly bodies we are going to lose something more important. We will lose our sense of place and with it our sense of personal identity in our spot in the universe.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Iran Invasion ?

It looks like the Bush/Cheney next step in their war on Muslims in general and the Middle East in particular is proceding as per plan. The recent slaughter of Lebanese and the decimation of most of Lebanon's infrastructure by America's cat paw Israel will drive an intense hatred of Americans in general and American soldiers in Iraq in particular. The Shia in Lebanon will only be supported more by Iran, Iraq and Syria. Consequently any further action by Israel or America against Iran, Syria or Lebanon will probably bring a fierce backlash by the Iraqis of all militias and tribes against U.S. occupying troops. Is this part of the Bush/Cheney plan?

Depending on the American casualties in Iraq ,this could be the second " 9/11" if you will to steamroll through Congress a "draft' of Americans into a new conscripted army. Too cynical? If one believes the worst of the 2 murderers Bush/Cheney then one will know their next move.

Only massive demonstrations of all kinds and forms will turn around this looming catastrophe.

Why Haven't The Democrats Condemned The Carnage in Lebanon?

Why haven't the democrats condemned the slaughter in Lebanon? Why haven't the democrats warned the administration about invading Syria and Iran? Thier silence on these very important issues speaks volumes. Simply the democrats are in the same cabal that Bush/Cheney belong to. Namely both parties are subservient to the war-mongering special interests and/or pro-Israel and pro-Christian Evangelical zealots that control our government.

Sadly the coming elections in November will offer no real choice. The only sure way to break the grip of war-mongering special interests on our government is to take away a power that the U.S. government now enjoys. That power is to declare war. It has been proved time and time again that this power has been abused. For example, the Vietnam War was declared on bogus, altered intelligence and again in the Iraq War. Therefore the power to declare war should reside with the people only. War shouild be authorized only through a majority voting in favor through a NATIONAL REFERENDUM.

Then the Lockheeds , Northrups, General Dynamics etc would be forced to diversify into people and planet- friendly industries and away from their core arms making.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Israel Lost in Lebanon : A Turning Point ?

Old western movies had many stagecoach hold-up scenes. The bandits would say or imply with each encounter, " Gimme your money or your life".

America and it's cats paw Israel in the Middle East " hold-up" for territory, power and money are finding out that the indiginous people of the targeted nations are answering, " Take my life , if you can". From the Palestinians to the Iraqis the decision to fight rather than be occupied is made easier because of the little assets they have left to surrender. All they have left is their life and the lack of joy and dignity in their living. America and Israel are up against the low-cost producers of resistance and war in suicide bombers and guerilla troops.

Israel lost in Lebanon. Of course the casualties suffered by the Lebanese were greater- over 1000 killed. But they were mostly unarmed civilians killed by murderous and cowardly airstrikes. But the Hezbollah guerilla troops inflicted over 100 deaths to the invading Israeli soldiers in a fair fight. Also Israel lost 21 tanks, 2 helicopters and 2 gunboats. Hezbollah losses were by all accounts much lighter. An accurate number has not been published yet.

Hezbollah's high motivation was the margin for victory over the Israeli weapons superiority and troop numerical advantage. This American/Israeli tactical move into Lebanon was a prelude to an Iran and Syria invasion. This failure should be a turning point. America should rethink it's whole strategy of empire and occupation in the region. Also the U.S. should drop Israel as an ally and any future unconditional support for the Jewish state. Israel is not worth it and has turned out to be weak military asset.

The indiginous peoples of the region are fighting for their lives. America and Israel are fighting for only money and power.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mission Impossible : Empire and or Nation-Building

Israel lost 13 tanks and 15 soldiers yesterday ! So much for empire Judeo-Christian style. Terrorists, insurgents, resistance fighters or any name you choose are the antidote to empire and or nation-builders who bomb a countrys infrastructure. The bombings only plant the seeds of infinite resistance. That is the reality of man's war-making technology taken as a whole and the response at the individual level.

We have to learn to live together on this very small planet. There is no other way.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lebanese People Experiencing Nation, House Arrest

Israel has told the Lebanese people to be off the roads after 10 P.M. or they will be killed. But Israel regularly bombs buildings of no military value around the clock. So where are the Lebanese people to stay and be safe ? Israel is assisted in this ultra-Nazi technique by Lockheed-Martin drone aircraft that spot moving people even in the dark. Then Lockheed-Martin F-16s scream to kill unarmed people. This is national- house arrest that is followed up by murder.

The sub-human Israeli government is replaying the same events that produced the occupied Palestinian territories. America's sub-humans in the military-industrial-congressional-executive complex are supporting them.

Just say no to sub-human policies no matter what flag they fly.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Racial Sterotypes in Advertising : Equality, Acceptance and Laughter

A recent article in The New York Times covered African-American stereotypes in advertising. The particular controversial example was a fat black lady. She was an obvious caricature. But she was funny and effective in promoting the Dairy Queen Company. Some in the advertising field said that the ad was degrading to blacks and a set back for gains made from the Civil Rights movement.

It seems the bigger and more appropriate question should be whether caricatures are a good way to go when advertising.? Put another way, would a company who was about to spend millions on ads want the ad to be remembered or not remembered ? Caricatures, humorous distortions and exaggerations are clearly more provocative and memorable.

Civil Rights activists are still fighting the wars of inclusiveness and acceptance some 40 years after the landmark legislation. These activists will have to learn that inclusiveness and acceptance means allowing others to laugh at and with you within the norms of our society. It goes with the territory of equality. Anything short of a sense of humor about the human condition necessarily breeds hate and exclusion.

Bye, Bye Israel ?

The whole world can't be wrong. Only the occupied territories of the U.S. government support you. And you have to continualy buy that support. You should convert to human norms and forgo the " chosen " path.

Carlyle Group : Follow-Up

"Speak of the devil". My last post concerned the Carlyle Group's new venture into launching it's own hedge fund. Today the Group anounced a textbook example of how the military-industrial complex works and thrives on war. Carlyle is near completion of a sale of it's 70% stake in the Italian aeropspace firm Avio SpA. Avio now supplies U.S. fighter jets with components. If completed Carlyle would receive $ 3.33 billion for it's original $ 1.1 billion investment in 2003. It acquired Avio from Fiat.

Consider this. Do you think Fiat would have sold Avio if it knew that the U.S. was about to invade Iraq and the greater Middle East ? Or, do you think Avio would have gotten contracts for American jet fighter components if it still belonged to Fiat ?

That's an example of how the military-industrial complex should be better described as the militar-industrial- congressional-executive complex.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Carlyle Group : A Sure Bet ?

First blow it up and then rebuild it. That is the implied corporate charter description of the $ 50 billion Carlyle Group. It is the politically well-connected firm that has a board of directors and investors that include former President George H.W. Bush, Former Prime Minister of Britain John Major, former Defense Secreatary Frank Carlucci, former Secretary of State James Baker and other financial omnivores who thrive on war and peace.

Recently Carlyle launched a new venture. It's a hedge fund. The moves suggests that the flow of valuable information ,some might call it inside knowledge of government policies , would be better used and implimented/leveraged by dealing in securities, real estate trusts and in the futures markets. This has the added advantage of hiding behind anonymous corporate shells with off-shore addresses. Hedge funds are largely unregulated.

Carlyle opportunities could come in many ways. For instance, Bush I knew that Bush II was going to try to remake the political map of the Middle East. Therefore crude oil futures and war -making vendors would be a nice place for investments. How about base closings? Real estate trusts could be set up on an ad hoc basis for land acquistions from the government at friendly prices. How about knowing when to start acquiring Iraqi or Lebanese real estae.? Knowing when peace was near would be a sure bet.

So what could go wrong with this Carlyle scheme? Maybe one day the criminals who thrive on war will organize one but no one will show up to fight it.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's OK and It's Healthy to Criticize Israel and It's Pro- Israel Lobby

Criticism of Israel's influence in American government is required and healthy for U.S. citizens to practice. Israel is a foreign country. Charges of anti-semitism are a transparent tactic to change the subject or to deflect objections to foreign policy decisions that compromise U.S. security to benefit the Jewish state. If Israel wants to be a world power and live in the " fast lane" then it will have to absorb the dissent. It goes with the territory.