Monday, December 29, 2008

A Terrorist State

The definition of a terrorist state, even by the conservative republican politicians, is a nation, state or international group that uses military force and violence to suppress or oppress a specific group of people for their ethnicity, religion, national orgins, etc. No one doubts this defines Al Qaeda, but in light of the recent war between the Palestinians in Gaza and Israel, it does define something no one wants to admit.

Israel is a terrorist state. The sheer quality and quantity of military force Israel has used against the people of Gaza clearly shows how little inhibitions the government and military of Israel have for the Palestinians. They have killed several hundred people, many innocent women and children, in revenge for the killing of two Israelis. They showed it when they attacked southern Lebanon after Hezbollah kidnapped two border guards. They used US made and supplied cluster bombs where many civilians were killed or injured, including children finding bomblets on the ground.

Israel has also implemented excessive economic terrorism with blockades of the waters off Gaza, closing or greatly restricting access through checkpoints to/from Gaza and Isreal, blocking the flow of bank funds and money for the people, restricting agriculture imports for equipment, supplies and other needs, restricting the flow of food, preventing improvement and maintenence on the infrastructure, restricting electricity, and on and on. And then complained how poor Hamas treats its own people,

While I have generally sided with Israel in the past because they did have a legimate claim to be hated by Muslim and being attacked by surrounding Islamic nations and terrorists groups, I can't side with them anymore as they're often the one using overwhelming and unnecessary force where diplomacy would work. They don't seem to understand it takes two sides to have a war, and both are wrong.

I have no doubt there are groups which want the eliminate the state of Israel, and reclaim historic lands. Let's not forget Israel was created from Palestine, and millions of them were displaced for the Jews. And you can go back through history to see all three religions have occupied the land of Israel, so no one can claim sole possession of the land. It's the reality of there.

But my point is that while many can call the enemy of Israel terrorists - let's not forget Israel created Hamas to oppose Fatah, we should also call Israel a terrorist state. They sponsor and support the suppression and oppression of people through their government and military. They're just bigger and better armed, and have convinced the world they're the victims, when they're not, just one of the two fighters in the battle.

And it's time the US stood up and said so, and warned Israel about it's strategy and tactics against the Palestinians won't lead to a lasting peace in the Middle East, but only anger the Palestinians and their supporters. You can't bomb people into peace, you have to find a way to live as neighbors. Yeah, easier said than done, but it's time the US looked at the region with a view for both sides.

And yes, if it takes, to take Israel to task for their overwhelming and excessive force, including withdrawing economic and miltary aid. We can't maintain our obvious one-sided support in the region for the longer term if we want peace there. That's also not sustainable. We and Israel need reality checks. And it's time a President did and said so, but I'm not holding my breath for it.

The real question is not about Israel and its safety and security, but when and where will we provide a homeland for the Palestinians like we did for the Jews? We can't simply bomb them into obvlivion as Israel wants to keep trying. They deserve our respect for a place to be. We took their homeland once and we should provide one again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sorry Mr. Obama

Or should I say Mr. President-elect Obama? Sorry, that doesn't change the issue that simply putting the extremes in a room won't make them talk let alone agree. One or both will simply shut up, or worse, walk out of the room. Why? Because you don't get it. You don't get that people don't change some views of the world and people, including yourself.

You invited Reverend Warren to perform the invocation at the inaugural of your Presidency. While you concede his view on the LGBT community, people and issues, you emphasize his views on other issues, casting aside the trust and support you received during your campaign from the LGBT community. You simply threw them in the trash.

That's not an extreme view because you do believe in what Rev. Warren says about LGBT people. Or am I wrong? If so, then change your mind and cancel the Reverend's trip, or better yet, ask him to cancel. He won't and you won't. We know that because you like him more than you like the LGBT community. Even if you have appointed a lesbian to a position in your administration.

You selected her on her qualifications and not on her sexual orientation. So why not use that with your faith and choice of leader to do the invocation? Or do you find LGBT people and issues uncomfortable?

I don't agree with the notion that inviting Rev. Warren opens the door to a discussion about the whole range of issue Christians like to attack the other side and defend their side. You want dialog between groups who fundamentally don't like each other, and that's the issue, not the issue itself but the people.

The point that the right misses completely is that it isn't about "gay marriage" but equal rights to marriage and all that entails. It's simply a human value guarranteed in our Constitution, something you politely overlooked and the Christian conservatives deny. And that's what you should be addressing with your support and in your challenge to the Christian conservatives to understand.

They can't keep rewriting religious values or history to suit their means to sell an idea about what's good or evil, and then expound to no end about the evil with lies that apply to them than those they call evil. They're simply denying the facts, the truth and reality. And you stand there, not just applauding, but inviting one of them to do the invocation.

Sorry, Mr. Obama, what little support I had for you, and while I still agree with you on many issues, is gone. From now on I won't trust you beyond seeing you on the television just before I turn it off. Your words are just that, words, and not backed by your values about the American people, all of us, not those you want to value.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Post NO Ads

In response to people who post replies on my blog, I appreciate open and honest opinons which can be discussed or debated, often with humor and jest, which is my style of discussing the universe as I see it from here. I do not, however, support people who post ads or voice views only to add ads to the post. These post will be deleted without hesitation.

As I replied on a recent post about the automaker bailout, I don't support ads on my Website or blogs, nor do I support those who post just to get ads on my blogs. Your reply will be history, into the byte bucket with all the spam e-mail and junk mail I get and throw in the trash every day. If you want to promote your work or ads, fine, the Internet is a free place, just not in my own place.

It's my pole and my rules.

Why no auto bailout

I've written why I'm against the auto bailout, and while it sounds similar to the Republican's view of the bailout, it couldn't be farther from the truth and them.

They're against it, but for all the wrong reasons. While the argument to let one of the big 3 automakers fail is what capitalism is about, both the successes and failures, and they're supporting something like that, they're blaming the wrong people, making the workers the excuse the companies failed and the reason the companies can rebound to profitability if they could reduce the costs of the employees' wages, benefits, and pensions.

The workers and the UAW has every right to be angry and expressing their anger at Republicans. As noted by one economist, isn't not fair or right to focus on the automaker-union contracts and not the wages, benefits and pensions of others in the companies, such as the white collar people and the company management. They don't focus on all the companies and their employees who supply all the parts and support to the automakers.

They focus on one group and Senator Corker is wrong. You can't blame the workers and the unions for all the troubles of the big 3 automakers. They simply made the cars at the wages and benefits negotiated with the company. They've earned it and deserve it, and they're not the problem. So, don't make them the scapegoat for your political purposes.

No one argues the differences in wagers, benefits and pensions between the big 3 automakers and all the foreign automakers making cars in the US. But those companies haven't been in the this country for as long as the big 3 and were here during the phases of huge corporate profit for the automakers who agreed to and signed the union contracts. They may have negotiated and compromised, but they still did sign them.

They gave the workers what they deserved and Congress does not have the right to take that harned earned wages, benefits and pensions on a whim, and demanding it be done within a year. You can't cut someone's salary by about 50% in one year and expect them to survive. If they agree to wage and benefit cuts, they have the right to negotiate them over years provided they get assurances of longterm jobs.

What I don't want to see is them being made to accept wage and benefits cuts in 2009-2010 to find the company close the plants to move the production to China or elsewhere in 2010-11, for the company to profit with the loans the taxpayers gave them. Remember Mr. Corker, you're playing with our money, not yours. We're paying the bills you pass and the President signs. We have rights to say how our money is spent and not spent.

You need to get real and remember that. Workers aren't the problem or the blame, and especially not the excuse. The companies share equal if not more blame for their arrogance about consumers and gas prices. They need to practice what they and you have preached all these years, capitalism has a price and cost, and it's not the employees.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Let me see if I understand the basics about the Republican's view of things. First, when you succeed you want the government out of your way with little or nor regulation and oversight, and you want us to be consumers to give you our hard-earned money for products services, investments, banking, etc. As long as your profiting, don't bother you in any way because you can police yourself and hold yourself accountable.

And when things go bust, like now, you want government to write check for your losses, executive privilege and benefit packages, and infuse money into your companies, and you want us to be taxpayers to foot th bill with out hard-earned taxes and national debt. But you still don't want us to police you or hold you accountable to anyone, incluiding us who's money you have. You want your own in government making these decisions so we can't be represented fairly.

Is that the picture? We'll be writing over $1 Trillion in checks to you and you don't want us to attach caveats or stick our nose in your business. You want a handout you wouldn't give your grandmother if her house was being foreclosed. And all the while you don't want government to actually help the homeowner or taxapayer with this, or as you see it "your money", not ours. And you still want those really nice bonuses you didn't earn.

Ok, a little harsh, but in many ways not far from the truth and reality. Just read the newspapers about the bailout and all the companies lining up for their share of the $700 Billion and other monies from Uncle Sam, meaning us. Because not only do you want our tax money, you've pilfered out pension plans and our health insurance beneftis plans too. All for greed and profit, and those nice bonuses every year with the big buyout package when you bailout yourself.

Maybe you need to work in a homeless shelter for awhile to learn the value of money and people. And try as you will to reform yourself, you still don't get it, like we're the enemy until you down and out, and suddenly we're your best friend. Like we care? We're struggling to survive and you're struggling to keep being caught stealing from us.

In the end, I suspect the bailout is a good thing, financially, but I'll be darn to know what and where it's a good thing. I didn't like it then and I still don't like it. I don't get a handout if I fail with my life, new work and small business adventure, so why should you. I have to be fiscally smart and responsible, so you should too. It's not because the stakes are higher, mine are higher for me than you for yourself.

I'll be against the bailout even if it succeeds but I'm not holding my breath until 2010 and beyond to find out our country is back on track. And I certainly don't want to hear about the republican's idea of business and free market anymore. All you've shown is how corrupt and bad it can be and how far it can fall, all because of you, and you don't deserve the handout.

Faux Fear

Listening to NPR news this morning (Wednesday before Thanksgivig Day holiday) they reported a story by a law enforcement agency on a possible attack on the New York City subway system, stating, "The FBI said they have unsupported reports stating that, "In September Al Qaeda may have discussed an attack on the subway system during the Thanksgiving Day holiday."

Well, nothing happened. And now what? Perhaps Christmas or New Year's eve holiday attack?

All they had was an idea that some group "may have" talked about planning an attack. LIke you don't think out loud with friends or writers think of outragious horror, terror or crimnal ideas for books? But these guys are terrorists, and you expect them to talk about something else? Like what?

Ok, I know the threats are real, but I for one am getting very tired of the chicken little pronouncements based on the mere idea of proof which is hedged with so many "may have" or "may be" to be useless to the everyday person. You may as well say, someone may hit you with a car, rob or kill you at gun point, or whatever else may happen during your day.

And yes, it's real, as we've seen with the Mumbai terrorists attacks on innocent people. But when do we stop living with the "terrorists may strike" mentality and get on with our lives? I'm more worried about everyday criminals, bad drivers, and stupid people doing dumb things than I am about some terrorist group planning something, let alone actually doing anything.

The reality is that on average there is at least one terrorist attack per day every year somewhere in the world, not inlcuding those in Iraq and Afghanistan where there are at least one every day there. And in the US there have been only three in the last twenty-plus years with a few more against American facilities around the world.

We have escaped attacks, not because we're more secure, but because it simply takes more planning and preparation, but even then attacks still happen, eg. the rocket into the Green Zone last week. We're not the sole target of terrorists, but one of many. Terrorism and terrorists are as old as modern man, so making a mountain out of an imaginary mole hill doesn't make sense.

And today I read a panel concluded there will be an atack using biochemical weapons within the next five years. Maybe, and only because all the stuff is there, materials, government insecurity, money, reasons, etc. Ok, but why the fear mongering? To sell us more tax money for homeland security, which according to the GAO hasn't made us safer and squandered billions for nothing or corporate profit?

It's logical that terrorists will eventually get and use biochemical weapons, and more than likely somewhere in the world. But America and Americans aren't the sole interest of terrorists, just in a few places in the world. And it's logical that even more eventually a terrorists will use a nuclear device of some fashion. There simply are too many unsecured material and weapons and too many experts who can build them.

But all that said, what we need is common sense for us common people, not faux fear and fear mongering. And we want realistic answers, not hype and maybe's. Otherwise, the announcements are just that, and lost in the noise of the everyday. And until we get real answers, and not some "It's secret we can't tell you..." answers, we won't see the need to write checks for it, which in short is a way of saying, "Do your job with the money you have, just like the rest of live our lives."

Lies and damn lies

The President himself said he wanted to and would make the transistion to the Obama presidency a "smooth transistion." Ok, but then why does the Bush administration lie and hide behind the President to implement a lot of underhanded rules and regulations, burrowing political appointees and failing to tell the transistion team the truth?

Because it's all a sham and shame. George said publically he wouldn't do what his administration is now doing. So did George lie or did he simply tell Cheney to do the dirty work so he wouldn't and couldn't be held accountable for lying? And why suddenly after 7-plus years they're imposing industry and business favorable rules and regulations in the EPA, OSHA and Interior Department, among other agencies?

It's not like they can hide this since everything has to be printed in the daily Federal Register to be legal and everyone, especially the opponents of the Bush administration and the Obama transistion team, is reading it every day too. The truth is simple. They want to make a mess it will take the Obama administration the better part of a year to correct, because to undo something takes longer than to do it.

It's the same administrative and public process but you have to draft the changes to undo it and then draft the new rules and regulations to do what you wanted to in the first place, and both need their own review process. They're simply confusing the issue and giving their industry and business friends a loophole for that time, and hopefully then can challenge the new changes in court.

All this does is show the reality of George Bush, the emperor who has long since been seen in public as in the old tale about having no clothes. He's politcically naked, and now publically embarassed by his own statement. And he's proving the old adage more than ever, "It's what I do, not what I say.", proving he's not only a liar but a cheat too. Cheating the American people as he slides out the door.