Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

The Yemeni genocide…

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

The Saudi Arabian prince isn’t just another Arab strongman consolidating his dictatorial power; he’s also creating his own Hitler-like genocide against the Houthis in Yemen. His secretive and despotic government supports Sunnis in Yemen.  Because Iran supports the Houthi Shi’ites there, Saudi Arabia is using starvation and cholera as weapons to murder the Houthis. These include women and children, innocent victims of an evil regime.

The NY Times in a rather misleading article called the prince’s actions another manifestation of the Arab Spring. Far from it. I guess the Times’s writers went into a trance with things like allowing women to drive, as if cosmetic changes in this dark and closed society could turn Saudi devils into angels! This is all just spin conjured up to distract the West, and the NY Times swallowed it and extolled the virtues of the “new regime” in a piece of irresponsible journalism at best and unpaid Saudi propaganda at worst.

The rotting core below the tip of this reformist iceberg is dangerous and depressing.  The images of starving and sick children on the November 19th segment of CBS’s Sixty Minutes should make anyone who isn’t a neo-Nazi cringe and grimace. Conservatives in the U.S. generally don’t watch Sixty Minutes, but they should have watched this episode, especially considering the NY Times blatant bias. Starvation and cholera aren’t pretty wherever they occur, but weaponizing them is a new invention. Leave it to the duplicitous Saudis to turn them into weapons in their campaign for political and religious domination in the region.

The Saudis didn’t just settle with creating modern terrorism. Most of the 9/11 murderers were Saudis. Bin Laden was a Saudi. And the Saudi government funds religious schools that brainwash young men so they become violent terrorists—Saudi terrorists. ISIS never became a 16th-century-style caliphate; Saudi Arabia already was long before ISIS! If Iran is a rogue nation, so is Saudi Arabia. They both destabilize the region via their radical brands of Islam. Their only commonality is their hatred for Israel. Neither nation is any friend of the U.S. or the West, yet the very military equipment we’ve sold to the Saudis is now used to murder Houthis in Yemen.


Irish Stew # 64…

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

[As most readers of this blog know, I use the “Irish Stew” format when I want to comment on many news items. It’s been a while, but this last week seemed like a news tsunami!]


Saudi Arabia. Their new leader is consolidating his power. His excuse: he wants to make the reclusive and longtime reincarnation of a caliphate before ISIS even thought of it more “open.” Give me a break! “Consolidating” is a code word for “becoming more fascist.” And Trump isn’t the only one holding hands with the fascist Saudis. Corporate America in general, and tech industries and the military-industrial complex in particular, are just tickled pink with this consolidation. Nothing like a dictator to ensure a stable marketplace.

I wonder if any of the dictator’s reforms will end those religious schools who teach hatred for the West in general and anything not radical Sunni in particular….

Backing down? How’s it feel, Mr. President, to back down? I think some Trump aides are trying to convince him that starting World War Three isn’t a good idea. War should always be a last resort when nukes could be involved. Not only that, Japan and South Korea would have millions of casualties even in a more conventional battle against the evil North Korea and their psychopathic leader, Kim Jong-Un. Trump is talking diplomacy on this trip to Asia. For how long? Maybe only to the next tweet.

There are military solutions. None of them are good. There are interceptors that might protect the U.S. against nuclear-tipped NK missiles. None of them are reliable. If an arrow is arcing down towards you, would you be confident that another archer can target it and knock it away?

The only thing that can possibly work with the paranoid and psychotic NK leader is economic strangulation. That requires China’s cooperation, and that can only be achieved by diplomacy. If you believe Mr. Trump has a diplomatic bone in his body, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you!


Gun Control. The Air Force dropped the ball on informing the FBI about the Texas assassin’s proclivity for violence: he should have been put on that FBI list maintained for background checks on gun purchases. That’s a major glitch in the system—you can bet the armed forces are checking all their records right now! But that snafu detracts from the issue. Texas allowed that sporting goods store to sell those kinds of guns. All military-style weapons should be banned in this country—semi-automatics as well as automatics.

In its article on 11/8/2017, the NY Times had an interesting graphic on what sets us apart from the rest of the world with respect to mass killings. Answer: too many guns! Overall the U.S. is the worst in the world for recent mass killings: there are 270 million guns in the U.S., almost one for every man, woman, and child, and 90 mass shooters. No other country has more than 46 million guns or more than 18 mass shooters, and the U.S. is far worse than Yemen. Even adjusted for population, the U.S. is the worst case, and again only Yemen comes close. We’re worse than Yemen! (OK, maybe Yemen would be worse if one counted all the people Saudi Arabia has killed in their ethnic cleansing of non-Sunni heretics.) Along with the Times, I’d say the only explanation for mass shootings in America IS guns!

So sorry, Mr. Trump, guns are the problem!  These two indictments and stats fly in the face of your denials after the Las Vegas and Texas massacres, and make your pathetic plug of your immigration program after the NYC truck attack seem like a delusional political response. The Texas massacre is a gun control issue!  So are Las Vegas and Orlando. So is Colorado and Connecticut. Etc. Etc. Stop playing politics and do something right for a change!

Dark web and all that. Saipov, the New York City truck assassin was radicalized by ISIS websites and their propaganda on the web. Dark web or not, can’t we do something about this?

Immigration reform won’t help much. The terrorist immigrated here legally and became radicalized IN THIS COUNTRY. That has to stop. With all the smart hackers in this country, can’t we block evil propaganda that radicalizes psychotics? I can already hear the ACLU and other wackos screaming about First Amendment rights and free speech.

Sorry, folks, with freedoms come responsibilities and the courage to protect those freedoms. The only responsible solution is to shut down radical terrorist propaganda. Why should we give ISIS and other terrorist groups licenses to spout their hate-filled ideology? Why should we even allow them on the web?

By the way, Mr. Trump’s comments about the death penalty for Saipov will actually help the terrorist because the court will wonder if he can get a fair trial in this country.  Maybe Gitmo is the better place for him?

Hollywood perversion exposed. No longer can Hollywood moguls give a wink and a nod to the pervasive sexual harassment and rape that goes on in tinsel town. There’s been a tsunami of exposes. I don’t buy the label “nonconsensual sex” for “rape” any more than I buy our pervert-in-chief’s excuse of “locker room talk.” Although we have yet to see cases come to trial, they will. Rape is a crime, but so is sexual harassment and exploitation. Let’s hope the tsunami washes away this awful aspect of Hollywood and Washington D.C. culture.

The Ten Commandants don’t ban sexual perversion. I should be fair: it’s not just Hollywood! The Alabama GOP Senate candidate, in a special election to replace disgraced HHS Price, has been accused in an expose backed up by thirty people. When asked if he “dated” young girls, Roy Moore (no relation, thank God!) answered, “Only with their mothers consent.” Some defender of that Ten Commandants judge (kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice) said that Mary was a teenager and Joseph was a thirty-year-old carpenter and their son was Jesus. Maybe the most original excuse for sexual perversion I’ve heard, but just as sicko as Roy Moore himself.


Campaign ads. Now that the election is past and the dust (or should I say mud?) has settled, was it just my impression? Are campaign ads now worse than ever before? Has Mr. Trump and his minions set a new and insidious level of sleaze in American politics?


Reasonable gun control…

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Too many of us interpret the Second Amendment incorrectly.  It states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.” Let’s ignore the incorrect English—the Constitution is full of illiteracy, at least in modern terms, which often gives rise to misinterpretation. But please note the emphasis on militias—the word is even capitalized. Gun fanatics focus on the last clause and take it out of context, thinking it says everyone has a right to have a gun, “keep…arms,” as well as carry them, “bear arms.” That’s crock, of course, but maybe understandable because gun fanatics often don’t know anything about American history.

The American Revolution was started by militias. Those ragtag groups of men armed themselves and fought the British. Let’s forget the point that they were terrorists terrorizing the Brits by any modern interpretation, and they were primarily driven by greed: Why should the Brits make all the money from trade? The writers of the Constitution are recognizing militias and their importance in “winning our freedoms” (they’d be aghast at the taxes we have to pay now, of course—they’d probably have fought the Brits even sooner).

In other words, my interpretation of that badly written Second Amendment is that men in t\]militias have a right to arm themselves and carry their weapons. Duh! But considering that our militias are now institutionalized as the states’ National Guards, which the federal government can send to fight and die overseas, no one else has the right to own and carry guns. Like driving a car, it’s a privilege, not a right. We can regulate drivers’ licenses so DUI assassins and incapacitated people, physical or mentally, can’t wreak havoc on our nation’s streets and highways. Because gun ownership is a privilege, why can’t we do the same with guns?

Moreover, we regulate the condition and type of vehicles people drive, in particular, keeping them from being killing machines—none of those James Bond cars where the hubcaps become claws, for example. Why can’t we regulate the types of guns people own and how they use them?

The answer to the last questions seems to be that the NRA and all the gun addicts are binary thinkers, but so are those who want to do away with guns entirely. Gun ownership isn’t a binary issue like many people think it is. It’s not 0 = no one can own a gun, versus 1 = anyone can own a gun. There are many shades of gray between 0 and 1 here, and people have to become smart about gun control. Idiots’ solutions don’t work! Moreover, the Constitution isn’t much help here and just leads to confusion.

What are some reasonable gun control options that the NRA and gun fanatics refuse to accept? Banning of all military-style weapons is one. Assault weapons, even semi-automatic ones, and, of course, all automatic weapons must be banned. You don’t need one of those for sport or hunting, and you don’t need one to protect your home either. Gun manufacturers should be allowed to sell them only to the military and law enforcement agencies. And those gizmos (“bump stocks” are the current words in vogue) that convert semi-automatic weapons into ones of mass destruction should also be outlawed, period. When you can buy such gizmos at Walmart, you know something is terribly wrong with America.

Many people who bow their heads to honor gun victims as Trump et al did after Las Vegas, and then go on to do nothing about reasonable gun control, are hypocrites. Bowing heads is a stupid PR moment—“See America, we care!”—and of no real comfort for the dead and wounded and their families and friends. That’s why survivors and others outraged by incidents of gun violence fervently protest for more gun control. America is doing nothing.

Or, should I say, politicos are doing nothing, because a majority of American voters want reasonable gun control but can’t seem to vote out the jerks in government who feed off the campaign funds provided the NRA and similar groups. Hypocritical devils, all of them. People bowed their heads for the victims of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Orlando nightclub shooting, and the Las Vegas massacre; people bowed their heads for many other incidents too numerous to name here. The NRA and the gun fanatics bow their heads too, but they’re hoping concerned people forget all about Las Vegas until the next time…and the next…and the next. By doing so, they and we encourage domestic terrorism. The NRA is the largest and richest organization that supports terrorism. They are at least as bad as Sinn Fein and probably  ISIS because they’re American terrorism’s lobbyist and political wing.


The monuments men…

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

…and women—to all those misguided individuals jumping on the careening bandwagon of indiscriminately tearing down monuments, I understand the sentiments. After all, people like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were traitors to this nation while defending an ugly, racist economy based on slavery. Slavery and human trafficking are despicable crimes that aren’t justified by the nefarious concept that some humans aren’t humans at all but possessions.

That said, I’d rather place monuments to Confederate traitors in museums where the tale of their terrible deeds is completely displayed for all to see. My reason is simple: I’m not sure people know about Lee’s or Jackson’s life stories and how they came to be traitors. Lee was a graduate of West Point, after all, but the U.S. military was racist right into the 20th century. Germany turned some famous concentration camps into historical sites so that Germans and the world would never forget the Nazi atrocities. We need to do the same with slavery and those who tried to tear the Union apart in support of it.

But let’s be reasonable about this. Historical figures like Washington and Jefferson and other Founding Fathers did a lot to jumpstart this nation. Their peccadilloes aren’t excusable, of course, but they were so much more than slave owners, and they weren’t traitors to the U.S. In fact, our country wouldn’t have existed without them!

What’s more worrisome are the sneaky politicians and power-grabbers jumping on the anti-monuments bandwagon and encouraging crowds to tear the monuments down. An egregious example is Bill DeBlasio’s desire to tear down the Columbus statue at NYC’s Columbus Circle, home to Lincoln Center. Guess what? He’s the mayor of NYC and—surprise, surprise!—he’s running for reelection. Just as Trump panders to his base of alt-right, KKK, white supremacist, and neo-Nazi crazies, DeBlasio panders to his base too. And he stokes the fires of division by doing so.


White House cleaning?

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

It’s amazing that many were demanding that only Steve Bannon be fired. Julia Halin, Stephen Miller, Ben Shapiro, and other alt-right sympathizers (if not card-carrying members) on the White House staff should be fired along with Bannon, but his would be like Hitler firing his staff—Goebbels, Goering, Heydrich, Himmler, and others. Until we’re rid of the two guys at the top, Pence and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, order won’t be restored.

I don’t envy Kelly. He looked like he was in existential agony as he listened to his boss’ rants a week ago about equating the counter-protesters at Charlottesville with the thugs from the KKK, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other violent racists and bigots. Peacefully protesting the plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee? I’ll admit that some people went to Charlottesville without violence on their minds among those right-wing hordes, but the moment they heard chants of thate and saw confederate flags and swastikas, they should have walked away. Those words and iconic symbols of bigotry and hatred automatically implied violence would ensue.

The far-left is somewhat at fault. Antifa meets violence with violence, and even the ACLU enables it by calling this demonstration of hatred and bigotry violence free speech. Any permit given to these groups is a permit to do violence.

Are there any real differences between the car-attack on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas and the one in Charlottesville? Names for hate groups are arbitrary. You call them ISIS or neo-Nazis or whatever, but these are just names for rabid dogs that must be put down, not by more violence, but by enlightened leaders and smart laws.

The president and some members of his staff and cabinet are neither enlightened nor promotors of smart laws. They’re just the opposite. While the president can throw close staff members under the bus (five so far) to satisfy those demanding he fire them (he did it mostly to eliminate those who were stealing his thunder, of course), those actions don’t really clean up the White House. Catain Hook, the president, and his Mr. Smee, the VP, will still be there.

No, the only democratic solution possible is to cut off the two heads of the snake in 2018 and 2020. The first blow in 2018 will give control of the House and Senate back to responsible people. The second blow will eliminate a wannabe dictator and all his cronies who have been rendered impotent by a hostile congress.

The new president campaigned on draining the swamp in DC. Instead he and his cronies have poisoned the waters of the swamp even more by enabling and promoting bigotry, hate, and domestic terrorism. The electorate should take on the role of a political vacuum cleaner and sweep out this dirt that’s stinking up the White House and return it to the people.


Rembrandt’s Angel (a mystery/thriller from Penmore Press). To what lengths would you go to recover a stolen masterpiece? Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone goes the extra mile. She and paramour/sidekick Bastiann van Coevorden, an Interpol agent, set out to outwit the dealers of stolen art and recover “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a Rembrandt painting stolen by the Nazis in World War Two. Their efforts lead to much more, as they uncover an international conspiracy that threatens Europe. During their dangerous adventures, their relationship solidifies and becomes a full-blown romance. See the review and interview at Feathered Quill. This book is available in ebook format at Amazon and at Smashwords and its affiliate retailers. It’s available as a print version at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore (if not there, ask for it).

And so it goes….

Monday Words of Wisdom: Special Edition…

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Domestic terrorism in Charlottesville is on my mind. Alt-right, neo-fascists, white supremacists—call them what you will, but the vehicular homicide committed in a narrow street in this beautiful college town is no different than what occurred in Nice or elsewhere as terrorists use vehicles as weapons to maim and murder.

The U.S. president doesn’t have the moral spine to call it what it is and denounce these groups because he panders to those criminal elements in our society. He needed these fanatics to vote for him and encourages them at every turn, and still does, from his birther nonsense to his racist and anti-immigrant policies His son-in-law claims to be an orthodox Jew—how can he support a father-in-law who won’t speak out against torchbearers marching through the UVA campus, the university created by Jefferson, chanting anti-Semitic, racist, and Nazi slogans like “blood and soil”?

His own party’s members have stated the obvious and said what a sitting president who really cares about the country should have said. Ted Cruz, Orrin Hatch, John McCain, and Marco Rubio are GOP leaders who said the right thing. Terry McCauliffe, governor of Virginia, though, probably made the best statement against far-right instigated domestic terrorism, but he echoed the sentiments of these GOP leaders made before and after the incidents.

On a stage where Trump couldn’t change his B&B ways (that’s “bully and braggard”), his statement was an anemic prattle about violence from all sides without mentioning which far-right wingnuts started the violence or the domestic terrorism perpetrated by one particular fanatic by smashing through a crowd, sending people flying and one woman to her death. And he ignored the media’s questions about whether he supported those hate groups, an attitude perhaps implying that he does—or does he hate the media so much that he can’t bring himself to answer such questions. At a time of crisis when a president should denounce these fanatics and try to bring the country together as MaCauliffe, the mayor of Charlottesville, and others tried to do, Trump completely failed.

We have had hatred and bigotry in America ever since the birth of this nation and before, but never have we had a president who enables it and panders to those who spew their vitriolic slogans. No, he more than panders to it: Bannon, Miller, and others in the White House are part of the government now—a legion of fanatics on the president’s staff! If Narcissus le Grand really wanted to show he doesn’t condone this hate, racism, bigotry, and violence, he would fire every one of them! For one who’s so good at firing, why doesn’t he kick the fanatics out of his White House staff? But he won’t. They all form part of his political base.

Il Duce dares to compare himself favorably to Lincoln. The GOP has shunned Lincoln for a long time, but this president is the worst of them all. The great presidents of American history wouldn’t condone any of these fanatics’ actions. And they would be wondering how insane the American electorate has become to have put this B&B president with dictatorial ambitions in charge of our lives.

Of course, the majority of Americans didn’t vote for the nativist, divisionist, and despotic Trump who calls himself a populist. Does 33% support, many with sympathies for the alt-right as a CNN interview with Trump supporters in Clifton, NJ’s Tick Tock Diner showed, deserve to be called populism?

Hitler was a “populist.” German industrialists loved him, anti-Semites loved him, and almost all Germans at the time supported him because he was going to make Germany great again. It’s no wonder that Germany no longer tolerates the kind of hate speech heard in Charlottesville. “Seig heil” can land you in jail there! Perhaps we should learn from their mistakes; better still, we should learn from their cures.

The far-right Nazi-style rhetoric and violence in Charlottesville and elsewhere in the U.S. wouldn’t be allowed in Germany today. Bannon, Miller, and the organizers of the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally would probably all be in jail. This isn’t a question of free speech. It’s a national need to put neo-fascists inciting people to commit murder in jail. How could we have sunk so low to allow these people to get away with this? Perhaps we should start calling our country “Amerika” and play the “Ride of the Valkyries” instead of the national anthem?


And so it goes….

Apocalypse redux…

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Redux = brought back, revived. We’re talking about the apocalypse again. Apocalypse is the event. While a dystopian society can cause it or be its aftermath, post-apocalyptic is reserved for the aftermath. There is a resurgence in these themes now. Everyone knows the reason: what’s happening in the U.S. right now as well as across the world has frightening parallels with 1930’s Germany, Italy, and Spain as well as with the darkest days of the Cold War. There’s nothing religious about this apocalypse.

Most dystopian, apocalyptic, and post-apocalyptic tales in the past were associated with the two world wars or the Communist threat. Brave New World was dystopian; Ape and Essence was post-apocalyptic. Even The Time Machine was post-apocalyptic. 1984 and Animal Farm were dystopian. Later sci-fi novels like Not This August were post-apocalyptic. Many classics can be found in these subgenres. Many soon-to-be classics like Wool are too. They all are warnings about what could happen. It’s common that interest in books and movies in these subgenres reflect troubled times in the world.

The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed the world. As that hand on the Doomsday Clock inches toward midnight, these sci-fi subgenres become more popular. Some readers ignore them, burying their heads in the sand by reading schmaltzy romances and fluffy adventures that avoid most serious themes of any type. Which group is right? Beats me. I just tell stories. If one of them comes out apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic, so be it. Almost all my stories have serious themes, though, but not all of them are in the aforementioned subgenres.


Irish Stew #57…

Monday, December 19th, 2016


Let’s go to war! Cyber warfare, of course. Maybe Obama actually said to Putin, “We can do stuff to you,” but he’s been like a turtle swimming in molasses with his actions against the Russian despot. And it’s not just Putin’s hackers. We should declare cyber warfare against all hackers. The bozos who stole more than 1 billion plus users’ info from Yahoo (obviously not just U.S. users are represented) and are selling it on the dark web should be tracked down and thrown in jail. Edward Snowden should be kidnapped in Russia and brought back to a firing squad. X Manning (I don’t know what to call her/him, so I’ll use X) should join him.

Screwing around with idle threats, Mr. President, will not clean up the internet. Stop this now, or it will only get worse. If it comes to turning power plants off or creating run-away nuclear facilities or crashing multiple commercial planes, it’s too late. Let’s get NATO involved too, because this war is international and Europe is threatened, although they might be too complacent to realize it.


Irish Stew #56…

Monday, December 12th, 2016

[It’s been awhile. I use this potpourri of news when I want to make a lot of mini-op-eds about current affairs—hence the name. Or, if you like, my Irish temper blows, and then I stew. Because I already had a political op-ed set for tomorrow about the healthcare crisis, I decided to pair this with “Monday Words of Wisdom” and clear my writing to-do list a wee bit. Let’s go to it…]


More Saudi duplicity. I’ve often railed against the duplicitous Saudis in this blog. Sometimes I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. Here’s yet another example of their duplicity: while we’ve been fighting the Taliban, among others, in Afghanistan for years, the Saudis have been playing both sides, but more in support of the Taliban! To quote a recent Times article: “Saudi Arabia is critical [in Afghanistan] because of its unique position in the Afghan conflict: It is on both sides.” Was Machiavelli a Saudi? They represent the primary source for destabilization in the Middle East and are indirectly (if not directly) responsible for countless tortures and murders of innocents. They are NOT our friends.

Taiwan calling. This is one case where government intervention was required—lots of it! During the election, Trump bloviated a lot about his loathing of the People’s Republic of China (like many communist naming inventions, it’s not a republic and certainly doesn’t belong to the people). He took a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president. Big deal! Irony?  Obama can call a brutal and murdering dictator in Cuba and Trump is criticized for accepting a call from a democratically elected leader?


Abdullah bin al-Hussein…

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

He’s King of Jordan and not a terrorist.  (I almost chose that name for a terrorist in one of my books.  What a mistake that would have been!)  I’m not into monarchs and dynasties, not even political ones, but he and his country represent the one shining star of sanity in a very troubled region.  Sixty Minutes, that venerable CBS news program, started its new season with him, and justifiably so.  In the interview he spoke candidly.  I came to admire this man whom I now consider a hero for not only his country but all the sane Muslims of the world (they’re in the majority) who want nothing to do with the torturers and murderers who call themselves jihadists.  It’s a wonder he’s still alive.  The region has a bad rep for killing anyone who speaks out sanely against terrorism and those who practice it.

I feel he’s a brother who understands the same things I do about how the West’s counterterrorism policies are ill-conceived at best and downright stupid most of the time—we’re riding a train into a dark tunnel with destruction waiting at the other end.  Radical Islam is NOT a geopolitical problem involving a few countries here and there.  We can’t chip at it here and there and hope to ever win.  As an example, the King pointed out that ISIS was (and is) losing ground in Syria and Iraq, so they moved into Libya and began exporting terrorists to Europe.  Everywhere a local economy in the Muslim world is failing (including Jordan’s because it’s receiving and/or taking care of thousands of refugees while besieged on all sides), angry, desperate young men take up arms against their scapegoat, the West, stirred up by psychotic leaders who don’t give a rat’s ass about those young men’s lives or anyone else’s.  ISIS and al Qaeda know these men are open to indoctrination and training and go about doing it.  At the same time, they do their best to create the economic conditions where hatred and intolerance can flourish.