Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nazi & Zionist War Compensation: Different Attitudes

Yesterday in Berlin, the longest-running World War II compensation suit came to an end. The Jewish, Wertheim heirs will receive $ 117 million from the KarstadtQuelle AG . The elected Hitler administration took the valuable downtown Berlin land away from the Wertheims in the 1930s. KarstadtQuelle had nothing to do with the seizure but now owns the property. Thus the court found them liable to the Wertheim heirs. OK ?

Meanwhile back in Tel Aviv on the same day, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a statement about the Palestinian's claim of the " right of return". He said, " Israel would not allow a single Palestinian refugee to return to what is now Israel, and Israel bore no responsibility for the refugees because their plight resulted from an attack by Arab nations on Israel." What ?

So Arabs attack Israel, so Israel confiscates Palestinian lands and won't give it back or offer compensation. The " right of return" is a key issue in the world-destabilizing Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There are over 4 million Palestinian refugees in neighboring countries because of Israel's 1948 ethnic cleansing. It's bad enough that Israel persue it's slow-motion genocide against the Palestinians, but America should not be a part of this colossal crime. Dump Israel.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Thomas L. Friedman: Condescending Israel-First Columnist

"The New York Times" columnist Thomas L. Friedman was at his best today. When he pushes Israel's interests over American interests, that is when his writing comes easiest. Todays " Many Plans, No News" was classic Friedman. He relies on no memory or a short memory for his gentile readers. And there is always his continued Jewish regular readers who largely support Israel.

Today Tom was bemoaning the Bush Administration's abandonment of the 1997 " Clinton plan" as basis for an Israeli/Palestinian peace plan. First of all, Bill Clinton never had an original idea about anything. The "plan" was largely composed by his Middle East negotiator Dennis Ross who might pass for an Israeli operative. The "plan" provisions included these Palestinian non-starters: the new Palestinian state was largely not connected, a non-contiguous gerrymander of a partial historic Palestine; the " right of return" to Palestinian refugees was limited ; illegal Israeli settlements around Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were to remain in place; the " shared capitol of Jerusalem" was effectively denied because of the illegal settlements that would be allowed to stay. What's more, Ariel Sharon vowed that if he were elected he would not honor the " Clinton plan". Sharon was elected in 2001 and succeeded by an equally radical right-wing Ehud Olmert.

Mr. Friedman shows a disrespect and low esteem for the readers of the country that he calls home. I only read him to find out by deductive analysis what Israel would have America believe.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Benedict XVI & Catholic Church: Out Of Touch

Pope Benedict XVI and app. 100 European bishops took a group photo in Rome this past weekend. There were no women in the picture. The occasion was the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. That agreement marked the founding of the European Union. Benedict commented on the stagnant birth rate of Europeans and by implication it's effects on the church and European society in general.

Pope Benedict said, " Besides putting economic growth at risk, it can also cause enormous difficulties for social cohesion and above all favor dangerous individualism and is careless about the future."

That's an interesting selection of criticisms. His first alarm is about jeopardising " economic growth". One would think that Benedict would trust in God rather than trust in growth to underpin the church. Then he mentions "social cohesion". Is there anything more historically divisive than competing religions? And then he scolds and warns against "dangerous individualism". Well these dangerous individuals brought about the enlightenment of scientific explanations as an alternative to the teachings of the Bible. Most scientists don't deny the existence of a god, but their alternative scientific language allows a dialogue between competing followers of religion to carry on an alternative , less inflammatory conversation about this subject. Effectively the scientists are a kind of peacemaker.

If the Pope really wants to help to grow his flock, why not allow his clergy to marry? That would certainly attract a more trustworthy and fecund type. In general, Pope Benedict should concentrate on a quality flock rather than on quantity. That would mean that only people who can afford children should have them. Those that can't afford children should not have them and serve god in another way. The church has to have a message that resonates with the timeless realities of life.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

George Soros & AIPAC: What's He Thinking ?

" When they raid the brothel, they take all the girls".

And so the fate of Jews in Nazi Germany was sealed because they were merely Jewish. George Soros, the Hungarian-born billionaire, experienced that horror in his native country. That backround experience seems to come through in his recent article in the " New York Review Of Books". In the article, he urges the American government to pressure Israel to recognize and deal with the Palestinian's new " unity government". He notes that the main obstacle to that diplomatic step is the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Maybe Mr. Soros fears that the growing anti-Israel attitude around the world will spill over into an indiscriminate anti-Jewish feelings and actions here in America.

But Mr. Soros is up against the premier poster character of excessive foreign lobbying influence in American politics- AIPAC. This lobby has spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars in a legal underworld of intimidating U.S. sworn representatives. The whip is money and it's media contacts. Simply if a representative doesn't kowtow to the Israeli lobby's political agenda then AIPAC will get another stooge.

This was evident when Barack Obama's spokesman quickly distanced the candidate from the Soros analysis. Also other politicians were gushing in their recital of AIPAC's mantra, " No recognition of the 'unity government' unless the 'unity government' recognizes Israel and it's demands". Well if Israel won't recognize Palestine including the "right of return", shared capitol of Jerusalem and a pullback by Israel from the occupied territories, then why should the Palestinians respond positively?

In the far future, could the Jews in America face a Nazi-type experience? Mr. Soros seems to be asking that question and trying to avoid a replay.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bush & Rice: Learning Middle East Policy The Hard Way

The question is , " Can a moron, George Bush and a pickaninny, Condi Rice be taught middle east foreign policy on the job?". And the answer is, " Maybe".

Consider the cost, app. $ 700 billion so far spent by the U.S., app. 3200 American dead, app. 72,000 American casualties, app. 700,000 Iraqi dead, app. 1,000,000 Iraqi casualities and app. 2,000,000 Iraqi refugees.

Our dangerous duo were recently handed a test that required them to formulate a response to the new Palestinian " unity government ". Well they didn't pass it but they didn't flunk it either. That's an improvement . America's has adopted a new policy towards the Palestinians that leaves the door open for contact and support. This breaks lock step with Israel which is our burden and pilot fish in middle eastern affairs. But Israel will continue to boycott the new " unity government". Considering the lives and resources spent on the Bush/Rice education, it's not much to show. but it's something.

Meanwhile, Britain, France, Russia, Norway and others have broken with the U.S./Israel approach and will seek to normalize relations and aid to the Palestinians. A large part of what has been wrong with Middle East these past 60 years has it's roots in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Bush and Rice could have and should have addressed this problem thousands of lives ago and billions of dollars ago.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Bill Clinton :" A Face In The Crowd"

The 1957 movie " A Face In The Crowd" was on Turner Classic Movies last night. It could have been a biopic of Bill Clinton. The movie was based on Budd Schulberg's short story " The Arkansas Traveler". The lead character " Lonesome Rhodes" was the hard drinking huckster who by chance gets into radio and TV . He develops and a uses his natural folksy character to further his selfish and malicious goals. Andy Griffith played a reviting "Lonsome" in his screen debut. The movie was masterfully directed by Elia Kazan. He got the most out of a suppoting cast that included, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau and Lee Remick in her screen debut. They were all backed up by solid character actors.

Real life characters like Bill Clinton mostly attract people of low self esteem. And so "Lonesome Rhodes" character attracted people who could pass for Friends Of Bill in our real world. The movie characters that reminded of real world players included the MacDougals, Jennifer Flowers, Vince Foster, Monica Lewinsky and James Carville. Of course the setting in Arkansas was right on.

In the end the character came undone. He was exposed as the charlatan and phony that he truly was. The final scenes had " Lonesome" making speeches in his empty penthouse while the Carville look alike was operating an applause/canned laughter machine on cue. To be fair, " Lonsome" gets the worst of the comparison to our delinquent Bill. " Lonesome" didn't take polls before he spoke with his faithful.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lawyer Richard Scruggs: Champion Of Poor Judgment

Twenty-five percent of my graduating class went on to become lawyers. Half of those guys would steal a hot stove. And the other half would watch and learn how they did it. I can't really blame them. The legal system in the U.S. grants it's practioners a license to steal. The legal process is so cumbersome and lengthy that the attorneys on both sides of the judicial action are enriched far beyond their actual worth. Their participation is effectively an impediment to a quick resolution and is tantamont to stealing the wealth of the plaintiffs and defendants. Also the mere mention of a law suit will bring forth settlement talks. This casts the lawyers as shake-down gunslingers.

Which brings up the name of attorney Richard Scruggs. He's the premier trial attorney in America. He was the architect of the $ 286 billion tobacco industry settlement. He won damages for people who smoked and the states who provided the care giving to the related diseases.

Scruggs was recently in the news as both plaintiff and his own lawyer against the defendant State Farm Insurance. Scruggs lost his home when Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi's gulf beaches. Scruggs built his home only 50 yards from the water. State Farm which was backed up by the Mississippi courts and the state insurance commissioner said the policy never covered the flooding which ruined his home. Scruggs didn't like that fact. So he threatened State Farm and other insurance providers with a similar nation wide legal effort as per the tobacco industry. State Farm settled by paying $130 million to all similarly situated flood victims.

And so people who built houses on flood plains will get rewarded like the people who had the bad personal judgment to smoke. Personal responsibility and critical thinking are not honored by these results. How long can that go on?

Homosexuality: Political, Personal Or Health Issue

Yesterday Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were being pilloried by gay and lesbian groups. The presidential hopefuls condemnations of General Peter Pace's statement that "...homosexuality was immoral" didn't meet the highest standard of political correctness outrage set by the homosexual activists.

And why should it? Homosexual behavior is a personal affair. What people do in their private lives is their own business. But by definition others view of that behavior is a personal right also. So the General's personal view was legitimate.

But homosexuality does cross over the line of a private affair when the pandemic of HIV/AIDS is considered. No one has the right to infect others with deadly diseases. In the area of communicable diseases, health issues are more important than personal issues. Some schools in our country teach the alternative life style of homosexual behavior as a valid part of their teaching curriculums. Homosexual behavior can bring about bad health issues. Learning bad health habits at school is not appropriate.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Al Sharpton Linked To The Late Senator Strom Thurmond

Upon learning of his ancestors enslavement to ancestors of the late segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, Al Sharpton said," ... I might be related to them [ Thurmond's family ]."

What's the fuss? At least Al is in the country legally and is free. Or does he pine away for the oppression and hardships of his native Africa?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Israel Or Iran ?

Why does America choose Israel over Iran?

While most of us were sleeping, AIPAC was lobbying our executive and legislative branches of government. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is the powerful Israel " uber alles" lobbying group that occupies our government. It's similar to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands but without the military hardware to keep the Palestinians in line. Israel's occupation of our Congress requires only contributions to our members of government. Ironically some of that money is laundered from the $ 2.5 billion that the U.S. gives to Israel each year.

AIPAC'S influence stopped a key provision that was to be added to the $ 100 billion appropriation's bill for Bush's double-down bet in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. The provision would have required the president to notify and get permission from Congress about any military action against Iran. Sounds reasonable. But AIPAC said "no". So America's security is put in second postion behind Israel's security.That shift is an effective act of treason by the supporting members of Congress.

Israel is not worth the respect that America bestows. Israel's criminal behavior with respect to the Palestinians threatens world peace.In contrast Iran has much more to offer American interests in the region. Iran has a legitimate rich historical culture, oil, markets for our products and could be a source of bringing stability in that region.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Dick Cheney Should Resign

How bad have things gotten for Vice President Dick Cheney? Well only Senator Joe Lieberman was pictured in todays "New York Times" walking with Cheney after the verdict in the "Scooter" Libby trial was announced. Cheney is one of the very few people that make Joe Lieberman look good in comparison and Joe seized the opportune void. Cheney should resign.

The trial of " Scooter" Libby was a proxy for the trial of the Bush Administration's handling of the Iraq War in general and Dick Cheney's hand in those suspect machinations in particular. President Bush needs some relief from the growing pressure and circling Congress. He should advise Cheney to resign for both their interests. With Cheney out of office Bush could pardon him if necessary and since Bush only looks good compared to Cheney in this race to the bottom administration Bush might salvage a more decourous ending to his administration. Cheney's health is a serious problem and could give him some cover also. Cheney also faces a law suit from Joe Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame over "Scootergate". And the remote possibility of an impeachment is neutralized if he leaves office. Bush could then appoint Condi Rice as his new veep and cover his rear end if impeachment comes his way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dick Cheney's Blood Clot & I.E.D.'s ( Improvised Explosive Device)

Many of the app. 3200 U.S. deaths and countless casualties in Iraq are the result of I.E.D.'s ( improvised explosive devices). Wouldn't it be ironic that the architect of the criminal Iraqi war should suffer a similar fate?

Yesterday Dick Cheney was treated for a blood clot in his leg. Blood clots are natures version of i.e.d.'s. You know it's there but you don't know if or when it will explode and kill or maim. An instant death might be preferable to an incapacitated or total paralysis. Then one might be confined to a hospital like Walter Reed for example where in Cheney's case the visitors would be few. Except night crawling cock roaches might pay a visit to the degenerating Vice President.

Monday, March 05, 2007

"Vanity Fair", Graydon Carter, Bono & Africa.

The urbane, effete meets the naive, gritty. The topic is the lost peoples of Africa.

Graydon Carter, the polished, cynical editor of "Vanity Fair" will yield his duties onetime to Bono. Bono is the crusading rock star who has recently discovered the woes of Africa. He will do a guest editing project highlighting those problems and his solutions in an upcoming edition of the magazine.

It appears that Mr. Carter would like to finesse this project to someone who eagerly embraces the challenge. Also, it's a cinch that Carter's staff would not get the circulation boost that Bono might give. I believe that both Carter and Bono mean well. But as the saying goes, " The road to perdition is paved with good intentions".

Simply, Bono's answer to Africa's problem is more of the same, I.E. an industrialization of Africa and massive amounts of aid that only serve to addict to dependancy people who need something else. Africa is different. It's peoples have in large part rejected the western civilization's economic model. The aid that has been indiscriminately despensed to African nations this past 40 years ( amounts to app. $600 billion in todays dollars) has been gobbled up or misused by corrupt governments. The diseases that ravage the African continent have only gotten worse. Of these scourges, malnutrition is the biggest killer. Overpopulation in dry-land ecosystems is the reason.

Africa's salvation lies in an African model not a western civilization model. Africa should be conserved and it's peoples should be the stewards. In this pursuit the west could help by promoting conservation, family planning and tourism

Saturday, March 03, 2007

" Right Stuff Quiz " At The Department Of Defense

The Freedom of Information Act enabled the publication of this " Right Stuff Quiz " given to prospective D.O.D. new hires. It goes like this:

" You are watching the kick-off of the Super Bowl. Suddenly you smell smoke coming from another room in your home. Choose the best response to demonstrate your ability to cope with threats".

a) continue to watch the game
b) alert your family
c) run out of your house
d) call the fire department
e) watch only the kick return and then go to your fireproof study/bunker to complete your design on a new nuclear weapon.

The Bush Administration on Friday announced the winner of the new design of a new class of nuclear weapons. The first such weapon in 20 years. The State Department alerted Russia and China immediately " Not to Worry."

America doesn't need a new arms race. Ergo the power to wage war should be only in the hands of the people voting in the majority in a NATIONAL REFERENDUM ON WAR. Then the warmongers will have to diversify out of their core business and there will be less pressure for war in the future.

P.S. The new hires at the D.O.D. choose "e" in the quiz.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Who Has The Power To Wage War ?

The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia is asking the question, " Who has the power to wage war ?". The question is directed to 12 former government officials and scholars. The group includes, James Baker III, Warren Christopher, Lee Hamilton, Edwin Meese and Brent Scowcroft. Is it the executive or the legislative branch or a combination of both ? The question needs a long overdue answwer when the fiascos of Viet Nam, Iraq and maybe Iran are considered.

The answer to the question, both philosophically and practically speaking, point to having the power reside with a majority of people. They will make the sacrifice and by extension have the legitimate authority to wage war. Only when a majority of most everyone is on board for war will the mandate be compelling and the chances of winning the war more likely. This mechanism for war requires the establishment of a NATIONAL REFERENDUM ON WAR.

War is too costly to be controlled by politicians and lobbyists.