I call upon Pres. Barach Obama and Sec. Hillary Clinton to condemn the decree in Bahrain, prohibiting public demonstrations.
Why can't the United States government put pressure on the ruling Khalifas of Bahrain to extend human rights, such as free speech and the freedom to demonstrate, to the Shia in Bahrain?
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012
How could the managers at the BBC not have been aware of Jimmy Savile and his pattern of sexual abuse of children over 30 or 40 years?
The New York Times should rethink hiring the BBC's managing director, Mark Thompson, as new editor of the paper.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
The U.S. government is divided into three branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary.
While majority rule determines the makeup of the first two branches, the electorate does not select the federal judiciary. This means that the judicial branch is immune from majoritarian rule. One of its main purposes is to protect minority rights in the face of majority rule.
Today, we have another example of the integrity of the federal judiciary. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the right of two homosexual adults to marry and secure the same legal rights as heterosexuals when they marry.
Timothy Williams reports in The New York Times online that the court held today that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bars homosexual marriages, is unconstitutional.
Writes Timothy Williams:
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Romney campaign, and Republicans in general, seem to think that there is a smoking gun to be found in the administration's handling of the Benghazi tragedy. The story line appears to be that Obama is hiding his own incompetence in not immediately recognizing that the attack and killing of the American ambassador on September 11th was an act of terrorists that had nothing to do with the furor that erupted in the Islamic world over a perceived insult to the prophet Muhammad in a video made by an Egyptian-American in California.
But Scott Shane reports in The New York Times today that the administration at first did not have intelligence information that the attack was a jihadi attack, but rather one connected to protests over the anti-Muhammad film. Furthermore, intelligence reported that some of the attackers claimed to bystanders that they were angry because of the film.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Stop the death penalty in the United States!
Florida is preparing to execute a man diagnosed with schizophrenia next Thursday, Ed Pilkington of The Guardian reports on-line:
"David Glant, a judge with Florida's eighth circuit, has found that John Ferguson, 64, can be given lethal injections next Thursday despite a US supreme court injunction that prohibits executions of the insane. In his concluding remarks, the judge agrees with the prisoner's defence lawyers that Ferguson is a paranoid schizophrenic who genuinely believes he is "Prince of God"."
Friday, October 12, 2012
I watched some of the debate last night between V.P. Joseph Biden and Republican Cong. Paul Ryan.
To think that there are a lot of American voters who might choose Ryan and Mitt Romney over Barack Obama and Biden is astounding! And even more surprising is that a majority of old geezers over 65 prefer Romney/Ryan!
Ryan and Romney want to lower takes on top earners, cut social programs, and, above all, do away with Social Security and Medicare.
They claim that seniors over 55 will not be affected, but how about those between 45 and 55? Instead of health care from Medicare, Romney/Ryan will give them a voucher. If their health expenses exceed the face value of the voucher, well, too bad!
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Remember back in grade school, someone would say to you, your mother is a xxxx! And then you tried to beat him up!
Children naturally take words over-seriously, not knowing that freedom of speech allows a person to say almost anything he wants, including, your mother is a . . . . !
Actually, freedom of speech flows out of freedom of ideas. This is a connection that the Catholic Church has never understood. It tries to make certain thoughts, "sinful." Maybe, the priests succeeded in convincing people that this was the case for the first 1700 years of Christianity, but then came the French Enlightenment, and the idea that ideas could be sinful or harmful was tossed on the dung heap of discredited belief.
It is amazing to think that words still are the basis for hurting or killing people. Or that insults should be met with a gun or a sword, especially when the insults are imagined as being directed to a religious prophet.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Declan Walsh covers the story in The New York Times today of the school girl in Pakistan, shot in the head at close range by members of Pakistan's Taliban, because they objected to her campaign for universal education for girls.
Members of the Taliban give the impression of being from an age of unenlightenment, hundreds of years ago, where, if you don't like what someone else says or thinks, you kill him or her, in this case, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
I call upon all those older people in Spain, Greece and Portugal, who have had their pensions unjustly reduced in the pursuit of austerity, don't accept this immoral penalty. Vote out all those politicians, who have meekly surrendered your basic rights. Reject all tributes to the Germanic austerity zealots behind Angela Merkel.
I commend the citizens of Athens for protesting the arrival of Angela Merkel in Greece.
Friday, October 5, 2012
POMPOUS MITT ROMNEY CALLS IT IMMORAL FOR U.S. GOVERNMENT TO INCUR INDEBTEDNESS, BUT WHY DID BAIN CAPITAL INCUR MILLIONS IN DEBT TO RUN ITS BUSINESS?
Okay, Barack Obama was not up to his usual high quality in the first debate with Mitt Romney. Romney won, but who cares? The victory will be short-lived.
In the meanwhile, consider Romney's pompous and self-righteous statement that leaving government indebtedness for our children and grandchildren to pay off is downright immoral.
If going into debt is highly immoral, how come Romney's own firm, Bain Capital, borrows millions of dollars on each deal that it does, so that it can buy a controlling interest in the company's stock?
The answer is, Romney's firm is a business, and it operates according to business principles. If it borrows money or if it sells bonds, it has a pretty good idea how and when it will pay back.
The same principle applies to the biggest corporation, the government of the United States. The government borrows money, so that it can invest in creating jobs, providing for the common welfare, e.g., for the costs of Medicare, building highways and infrastructure. These are necessary to foster a prosperous and healthy society. The notion that Romney's Bain Capital may go into indebtedness, but the U.S. government may not borrow money more than its current income is ridiculous, sophomoric and dumb.
Furthermore, when Romney says it is immoral for the government to incur indebtedness, how about if the indebtedness is earmarked to create well-paying jobs for our children's fathers and mothers? How "immoral" would it really be if the U.S. government did nothing to make sure today's children and tomorrow's grandchildren went hungry because the government failed to invest in their future and their welfare?
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Economic sanctions against Iran and Iranians are really a form of warfare. Instead of guns to kill Iranians, the United States and European Union use economic tools to reduce the living standard of ordinary Iranians to a state of penury.