Friday, September 29, 2006

How Will Israel Pay For The Lebanese Slaughter? America's Cranston Amendment ?

Hear that ? Of course you can't. It's the quiet sound of Israel opening up the doors of America's treasury. The key is called the 1983 " Cranston Amendment".

Israel latest challenge is plugging the $ 2 billion hole in it's budget. The extraordinary costs were incurred by Israel's slaughter of mostly Lebanese civilians and the barbaric bombing of Lebanons infrastructure.. Well over a 1000 innocents were killed. American -made weapons were the enabling devices. This included hundreds of thousands of cluster bombs. These are bombs that contain an additional 644 bomblets.Many of these bombs still lie unexploded in large parts of Lebanon waiting to explode when some unsuspecting creature disturbs them.

But Israel doesn't scruple about that kind of evil. When one is "chosen" then one can do anything. But they are concerned about how Israel will pay for the $ 2 billion budget gap. What they will probably do is turn to America's " Cranston Amendment". This will allow Israel to borrow money with the U.S. as the actual underwriter. The alchemy of this bill provides that any repayment of indebtedness of Israel to the U.S. on a yearly basis should be offset by an amount of aid to Israel from America that equals or exceeds those repayments. In effect Israel has a blank check from the U.S.. Every "loan" ends up becoming a grant.

Such a deal. Aside from the death of 100 or so Israeli soldiers, Israel doesn't suffer the full burden of it's criminal behavior. They are absolved of the finacial burden by America's complicity.That's why their rogue behavior has only gotten worse over the years. America should revoke the Cranston Amendment and stop funding the gangster behavior of some of Israel's criminal class.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Mozart's " Idomeneo" :Hostage To A Relative Moron

Mozart's opera " Idomeneo" has been canceled by the German Opera. It was to be performed in Berlin. But because of an incerted, potentially insulting Muslim message by director Hans Neuenfels it was pulled. The scene portrayed the icons of major religions in a beheaded state. This included Mohammad. The scene is redundant. It did not appear in the original work.The message of the original Greek myth that Mozart used was sufficient for the moral message. I.E. immoral deeds done on behalf of the gods are still immoral. And the deeds will bring misery to followers of any religion that do those bad deeds.

But Hans Neuenfels who can't compose like Mozart wanted to use Mozart's work as the vehicle for his own artistic/philosophical work. So the opera is held hostage to the relative moron Neuenfels' dreams of fame. The opera should go on. But the incerted scene should be deleted. Neuenfels should have learned the lesson of the myth of Idomeneus. Self-advancement secured by harming Mozart's work will in the end come to no good.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Culture Wars In America

Bill O'Reilly is offering his lateset book titled " Culture Warrior". He promises to " fearlessly confront the serious [ culture ] issues". My question is , what or whose culture ?

My own observation is America's culture is still being formed. It would seem that with each new immigrant and with each new civil right, America is still groping for the bottom of the lowest common denominator that we can all call a cultural model.

America's grand experiment of equality for all ,and never mind the contribution of each, ignores and mocks the metaphysics of a sustainable social paradigm. Also the euphemism of " multiculturalism" clashes with a quick glance of any globe or world map. All those countries that make up the quilt of the planet are positive proof that people and countries are different. Which fact by extension argues more for a segregated society rather than a integrated one. That is in general and there are exceptions in symbiotic societies. But that doesn't mean that all peoples should not be respected.

Do Schools Benefit Teachers And Politicians More Than Students?

Does the question sound flip? Consider this. The U.S. spends more money than any other nation on education. Yet American student performance trail almost every other nation, no matter the wealth. Does that indicate that there is no relationship between money spent and postive educational results? Did the monies spent benefit the teachers, booksellers and school bureacracies more? Were children left behind because of the greed and disingenuous motives of others?

Does our present educational system provide basic skills like math and reading ability? Well according to recent SAT scores, today's students are not as competent as their predessors in pre-Civil Rights times. It seems that affirmative action and the lowering of school grading guidelines has trumped giving children what they really need. I.E. a challenging and rewarding educational experience. So have politicians made a handsome living for themselves at the child's expense?

Need some anecdotal evidence of what some people think of the U.S. educational system? Well homeschooling across all demographics including earnings has been growing at app. 18% per year since the 1990's. Homeschoolers now number well over a million-app. 5% of total school population according to the U.S. Census.

Schools are for children. Parents should have input. Teachers and politicians are not as important.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

America Should Cultivate An Iran Understanding And Relationship

Former Secretary of State and close Bush family advisor and friend James Baker III has been been cleared to meet with a " high representative" of Iran's government. Baker is co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressionally appointed task force called the Iraq Study Group. ISG was launched by Congress and endorsed by the White House this past April. The mission is to try to get America on the right footing in foreign policy in the Middle East.

Add that prospective meeting to the actual 2 hour meeting of Iran's President Ahmadinejad with the Council of Foreign Relations on Friday. The CFR is America's foremost nonpartisan foreign policy think tank that was founded in 1921. It also publishes " Foreign Affairs" which is the leading forum for opinions on American foreign policy.

Then just to show what those 2 initiatives add up to, consider the reaction of the Israeli ambassador . After the normal drivel about anti-semitism he scolded the CFR's President Haass for just talking and listening to Iran's president. Israel's ambassador said it was a "terrible mistake". Never mind that Iran has 75 million people and is the fourth largest oil exporter compared to whatever Israel offers or represents.

Gee Mr. Ambassador, if we have normal relations and talk to the gangster leaders of Israel, then isn't the bar sufficienly lowered for the U.S. to speak with absolutely anyone? Ahmadinejad has a point about Zionists. Just because he resents their tactics and government doesn't make him anti-semitic. It's comparitively the same as resenting the Mafia but not disliking Italians.

Talking is better than fighting. America should cultivate a normal relationship with Iran. Even if means upsetting Israel. After all what has Israel ever done for America?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bush And Ahmadinejad Mostly Agree

Although the presidents of the U.S. and Iran didn't physically face each other in a debate they debated nevertheless. But as debates go this confrontation had actually more areas of agreement than disagreement.

They both agreed on the need for peace in the Middle East. Both said the Palestinian/Israeli conflict was key to that peace. Both agreed that the region should be free of occupiers. But they still differ on Iran's right to nuclear power via Iran's own enrichment process.

Well. Doesn't that put the ball mostly in Bush's court? America should pull out of Iraq and pressure Israel to give up the occupied territories. And then maybe the nuclear issue between Iran and the U.S. will become less important.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Air America Radio & Al Franken : Failing in The Best of Times

Rumors of imminent bankruptcy by liberal Air America Radio were acknowledged by a company spokesman today. Also Al Franken, lead host, confirmed that his checks that amount to $ 2 million per year stopped coming last week. Two million? He's not worth it. Cash flow problems have plagued the company since it's launch in 2004.

How could they be failing? George Bush's criminal and irresponsible handling of foreign policy has caused an explosion of internet blog sites, books and movies that have made money and careers for their participants. Also the gap between rich and poor has widened while Bush has been in office. And yet Air America Radio has not been able to cash in on the circumstances. This is unlike the experience that Limbaugh, O'Rielly and many others who capitalized on the mirror-image experience during the Clinton years. Why?

Maybe it's because the liberals and democrats in spite of their criticism were behind the war in the beginning and with respect to domestic issues have never been able to offer any policies that most people could identify with, get behind and sustainably worked.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Gorillas, Bill Gates And African Population Dependency

The Bill and Melinda Gates Fondation just plunked down another $ 100 million to help starving sub-Saharan Africans that add up to a majority of the 800 million population.. This new program is titled " Alliance For A Green Revolution". It's about developing more foodstuffs for malnutritioned Africans. This is a new direction for the Gates Foundation. Prior grants dealt with disease prevention and control. The Gates Foundation's ,with $ 60 billion in resources, is constructively creating history's largest dependency program. The intentions are certainly well meant. But I have my doubts about trying to feed the greater part of 800 million of anything. Even if they were ants at a picnic.

I wish them well. But that is not reason for this essay. The reason is to put along side the problems of humans , problems of other inhabitants of Africa. Particularly the problems of the gorillas. There are only 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild. The primates are split into 2 groups living in Rwanda and Uganda. The gorilla shares 98% of our human DNA. We split from the common ancestor of the chimpanzee and gorilla about 500,000 years ago. The rest is history. But now there are only 700 gorillas versus 800 million Africans.

Gates should earmark some of his many millions for truly endangered species. Not in the form of dependency programs but in land conservation so the primates have a place to live. They have been around for millions of years and know how to care for themselves.It would be an excellent investment in keeping the world more balanced.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stock Market Is Going Up

The market has been climbing a " wall of worry" these past weeks. It may have not advanced much in real terms. But the mere fact that it didn't collapse under the weight of rising interest rates, the war in Lebanon and sabre-rattling by the U.S. and Iran was quite a weight-lifting event.

I believe peace will slowly emerge for the Middle East. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict hit bottom by the virtual collapse of the Palestinian Authority. The annoncement over the weekend of a new unity government by the PA and the defeat of Israel in Lebanon, taken together, will force Israel to accept peaceful steps as the only path.

Also landmark legislation in California to limit grenhouse gases could and I think will launch a new eco-sustainable industrial base that could well replay the boom days of Silicon Valley's launch of the microprocessor and personal computers.

The market could advance by at least 10% by years end.

Peace In The Middle East ?

Usually when a situation can't get any worse it gets better. Sounds like a discription of the Middle East. Of course we could still have an invasion of Iran and Syria. And also Egypt, Saudia Arabia and other moderate countries in the area would then disintegrate because of American/Israeli agression.

But something happened that changed that perceived next step by Bush and his criminal administration. What changed? Israel lost to Hezbollah in Lebanon. As long as there was progress by warfare then there would be progressive war. But now Israel has shown vulnerability to the assymetrical Middle East-style warfare like it's partner in crime the Bush administration has experienced in Iraq. It also showed Israel's true colors. It wasn't the colors of the "victim" that it has carefully marketed for the past 60 plus years. It was the colors of the Nazi-like barbarians that they claim to despise. They copied the Nazis in their constructive genocide of the Palestinians and the murder by aerial bombardment of over 1000 innocent Lebanese civilians. So they lost the war and lost a lot of any good will that yet lingers for the Jewish state.

Ergo peace in the Middle East could be the path of least resistance for all parties concerned.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

William Kristol : A Jew's Defense Of Israel

William Kristol is editor of " The Weekly Standard" magazine and also co-founder and Chairman of The Project for the New American Century an ultra-right wing think tank that seems to have a template for empire that the Bush Administration has followed. Both organizations are way more than normally influenced with pro-Israel security concerns " uber alles".

Mr. Kristol yesterday wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall St. Journal titled " Anti-Judaism". He argued that Jews and Israel were under attack because they were basically merely Jewish. He was playing the race card. His examples included Professors Mearshiemer and Walt's paper on the improper influence of the " Jewish Lobby" on American foreign policy. Also he attacked Norwegian Writer Jostein Gaardner's " end of Israel " article where Gaardner indicts Israel's rogue behavior toward the Palestinians for the last 60 years and the recent Lebanese slaughter. Kristol also continues to misquote Iran's Ahmadinejad statements on Israel. Kristol also stoops to pick on a racial slur on MoveOn's ActionForum about "Jew" Lieberman.

In each example Kristol dishonestly critiques others about what they said but fails to address what they criticize. In other words they are wrong because they had the audacity to criticize a Jew and/or the Jewish state. Kristol wants the reader to ignore the death of over 1000 innocent Lebanese by Israeli aerial bombardment which amounts to murder. He also wants the reader to ignore the constructive genocide of Palestinians by Israeli policies in the occupied territories.

He like many of his ancestors when criticized change the subject. The topic of conversation shifts to a more convenient anti-semitism offense/defense for which he has been more effectively raised.

Friday, September 08, 2006

N.Y. City Ad Firms & African-American Quotas

New York City's Human Rights Commission reached an agreement with several ad firms to remedy a discrimination charge by the Commission. According to a prepared statement African-American pay and position status at some of the City's advertising firms has " seen little progress from the situation found 40 years ago". The Commission directive effectively forces the ad firms to impliment a quota in favor of African-Americans in management postions and increase the salarries also. The Human Rights Commission evidently forgot that it's title is Human Rights Commission not African-American Rights Commision. What of all the other races rights?

In reference to the Commision's statement, " Little progress is seen from the situation found 40 years ago". Forty years ago the U.S. went through a costly legislative revolution with the Civil Rights Acts and the launch of the Great Society. That monumental period targeted particularly African-Americans. And yet African-Americans still require special help. So who is to blame now? Quotas are not the answer. The answer is to be supplied by African-Americans themselves.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Education, School Affordability, Money & Grades

The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education in San Jose, Ca. just published it's biennial " School Affordability" index. It showed there are now 43 states, up from 36 two years ago , that received " F's". That score means that to support 1 student in higher education it will take over 30% of total family income. Consequently less students are going into higher education or have the resources to stay in school. Patrick Callan is president of the non-profit. He said, " Perhaps for the first time in our [ America's ] history, the next generation will be less educated."

This dismal prediction is despite America's spending more on education than any other nation. Also U.S. students test scores have continually lost ground to other industrialised nations . So not only do we as a nation spend more on education than anyone else but our students get less from their school experience. One fact is certain. Large amounts of money spent on education does not mean better education or higher test scores. So what's the problem?

America has the most ethnically diverse school system in the world. But across all student nationalities the U.S. school system has less than a satisfactory effect on their education . I suspect here is the problem. Our school system is a chaos of different cultures, languages and values. Consequently education can literally get lost in translation.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Why is Katie Couric Being Paid $ 15 Million Per Year?

Beware of TV anchors who are paid exorbitant amounts of money. News reporting should be straightforward. BBC 's World News is an excellent model . But when someone like Katie Couric is paid $ 15 million per year there is something else in play. Ratings and market share of CBS is that something else. If the ratings aren't high enough then sponsors will not spend millions to advertise on CBS. If that happens then CBS will not make millions in profits and Couric will not make her millions either.

This market share and ratings game also has a direct influence on how and what news will be presented. For example, in the pursuit of viewers, the nightly news will be presented in an unchallenging, dumbed down type of format. I.E. the 9/11 terror attack was presented as a validation of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Question. Wouldn't a better U.S. foreign policy have precluded such a disaster? Had the news over the years about the Middle East been doctored to retain popular American concepts ?But the requirement of keeping market share prevents challenging the viewers with questions about national direction and the goals of foreign policies in all its intracies or who is setting policy.

Lying or deceptively reporting the news may aid sales of detergents in a mass market but it isn't a way to inform about issues of life and death.

Monday, September 04, 2006

FILM : " Death of a President", ( Bush)

Last Saturday, Brits opened their newspapers to a front page picture of a digitally manipulated assasination of President G.W. Bush. He was supposedly killed by a Syrian sniper. It was a scene taken from " Death of a President"It will be shown next month on the British TV independent channel More4. The White House was asked to comment. Emily Lawrence replied, " We are not commenting because it [film]doesn't dignify [sic] a response."

Ummm. Wouldn't dignify it, huh ? What is worse? Bush lying about Iraq's WMD and complicity in 9/11? Or manipulating a Bush image to open a discussion of America's aggressive, barbaric policies in the Middle East ? Some might object that the protocols of good taste and customs were breached with the film. But what about Bush breaching custom and protocols with a "preemptive war" against an innocent country?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Why The Record Opium Production In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan's opium harvest this year is up 50% over last year and is at its highest level ever. It's actually 30% above current demand . It is effectively being subsidized by U.S. eradication money. Why? Because there is lots of money to be made in the growing and the eradication of opium. Only the U.S. taxpayer loses in this zero sum game.

It's like the Department of Defense. If there wasn't a threat, real or imagined, then the Department wouldn't get funded. Ergo there is always a threat. And there will always be opium.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Impeach Bush And Stop Worldwide Terrorism

Never confuse symptons for the cause. Most worldwide terrorist acts are symptons and President Bush et al are the cause.

Meanwhile back at historys largest and longest existing concentration/refugee camp a.k.a the Gaza Strip, another 3 Palestinian " militants" were murdered by Israeli airstrikes- any airstrike in an urban area is constructive murder. And then to make it perfectly clear that the genocide of the Palestinian race is Israel's objective, they then proceed to demolish the building that the " militants" were in.

Israeli zealots are 90% of what's wrong in the Middle East. In fact the word " zealot" was used by the Romans to describe the Jewish fanatics in the first century A.D. Well they are still at it..The counrtry should be disarmed of its nukes and converted into a theme park.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Military-Industrial Complex Replaced By Eco-Sustainable Industry

" Wouldn't that be loverlee?" as Eliza sang in " My Fair Lady".

The landmark California legislation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25% to 1990 levels has the potential to reorder U.S. national goals. If other states and the feds follow and there is a symbiotic change in attitude towards war as a driver of jobs and profits with eco-sustainable industries replacing those war-mongering jobs, then America could lead the world to a better place.