Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

Deserving damnation…

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

The use of children as suicide bombers is on the rise. Children are sold by human traffickers, or even their parents, to satisfy the appetites of sexual predators and porn movie makers. Girls are blown to kingdom come because they dare to go to school. They are also murdered because their parents want only sons. The persons who perform these and other atrocities against children deserve to be damned by society and every religion on the planet worth its salt. Most of all, governments should not condone these practices; they should lock away such people for a long, long time. Or, practice some good Old Testament-style revenge!

Many prehistoric tribes and cultures sacrificed children to their gods. We tend to excuse that hideous practice as ignorance, but today the atrocities enumerated aren’t ignorance—they’re unconscionable and monstrous perversions. Is an ISIS father who sends his two sons off to be suicide bombers simply ignorant? This happened recently. No, that father is evil incarnate. Whether you’re religious or not, that’s what it is, and that father deserves to be damned for eternity. There should be some street justice applied too.

Human trafficking for the exploitation of innocent children is a theme in The Collector. The reality, of course, is much worse than what’s depicted in my novel. Again, the traffickers, their clients, and their buyers in turn who sexually abuse these kids deserve damnation, no question about it. Greed has many ugly faces, but this is one of the ugliest.

For some strange reason, even conservative Muslims who aren’t terrorists think girls should not be in school. I say strange because cultures who practice this discrimination are doomed—they can never compete with the West if their women aren’t allowed to contribute. These same cultures treat women as property, of course, so they have no rights. The ones that kill female children because they only want male offspring are even more stupid—the limiting case of that suicidal nonsense is a culture without children, a dying culture.

The exploitation, torturing, maiming, and murder of children must stop. Those who practice it must pay, the ultimate price if necessary, because it is a disease that must be eradicated. Such people don’t deserve to be called human, and they deserve eternal damnation if we can believe that Satan even wants them. They are really lower than pond scum, so the world should have no regrets about sending them across Styx.

We cannot know whether an afterlife exists or not, of course, no matter what our religions say. We only have evidence for manmade heavens and hells here on Earth, not in the afterlife. All we can do in  this mortal existence is prosecute these people. And, by prosecute, I mean by any means possible, without remorse or compassion. Innocent children cannot protect themselves from these monsters, only we can.

But I’m frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I see this going on and curse the people who do it. I can rant about these practices here, but that doesn’t bring them to justice. That latter is an indictment of how ineffective and uncaring our institutions have become. I’m pointing the finger. The cries of suffering and dying children are their judges and juries. Maybe the people in those same institutions deserve damnation too. ‘Nough said.

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And so it goes…

 

Should Turkey be in NATO?

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Recent events justify this question. First, the coup attempt was evidence for a country in turmoil. Second, the crackdown after that attempt—let’s call it for what it was, a Stalin-like purge of most anyone who has spoken out against the current government, including university personnel—represent several kilometers more down that bloody brick road that leads to fascism. Third, pointing the finger at the U.S. as the cause of the coup because their scapegoat is self-exiled in the U.S. has no logic. Fourth, the current government’s rapprochement with Vladimir Putin means that Turkey isn’t to be trusted with any NATO secrets whatsoever.

Those are just the recent events. Let’s go back in time…way back. The Turks have long been in denial about the Armenian holocaust. Unlike the German’s angst about the Nazis’ final solution, Turks have never owned up to their version. Germany renounced fascism—we hope forever—the Turks never have and have practiced a concealed version since the days of the Ottoman Empire.

The Turks’ fight against ISIS is lackluster because Kurds are also fighting ISIS. The Kurds are personas non grata in Turkey and represent today’s Armenians. Turks attack the Kurds more than they do ISIS and will probably soon be helping Russia put down all of the Assad government’s enemies. Their duplicity in the Middle East is only second to Saudi Arabia’s. Some people might say that the military coup was fascism at work. I say Turkey is already a fascist state pretending to be friendly to the West, just like Saudi Arabia.  Both countries want to see a return to sixth century values.

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Irish Stew #55…

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

International

Saudi duplicity. The Kingdom has an agenda. They try to pretend they’re friends, but they push a 6th century version of Islam just as much as ISIS. Most of the al Qaeda murderers who plotted 9/11 were Saudi, and the Saudi government helped them, not to mention the training in the Saudi’s religious schools that teaches young men to hate the West. They are also trying to radicalize Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo and those in the old Islamic USSR countries. Their agenda is clear: time travel back to that 6th century caliphate. And you thought ISIS was the problem?

This last weekend, the government finally released the full 28 pages of the 9/11 report originally deemed TOP SECRET because they embarrassed our “Saudi friends” (with friends like that, who needs enemies?). I downloaded a copy and will peruse it in detail. At first glance, it seems nebulous and full of doublespeak, par for the course when it comes to national security. Here’s a quote from the Times article describing it: “Subsequent investigations…pursued the leads described…and found that many had no basis in fact.” Pox on the Times for bad reporting. What investigations? Do we have access? Many, but some did. Which ones? Really bad reporting. And people wonder why we have conspiracy theories! It’s only paranoia if it’s…you finish the phrase.

BREXIT and the new PM. Looks like the Brits have to live with their choices. I found it amusing the story about a town that had voted Labour for many decades voting to leave the EU in spite of that party’s pleas. Both Sanders and Trump here in the U.S. tapped into similar sentiments, but Hillary is still supporting TPP because Wall Street does.

I don’t expect the new PM to last long, although both Labour and Conservative parties should be walking the halls of Parliament like Lady Macbeth—they have blood on their hands, but Macbeth has already died. “Double, double, toil and trouble, pot boil and cauldron bubble….” British politics is more like a pressure cooker now.

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BREXIT, isolationism, and tribalism…

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

BREXIT passed and Trump extolled it; SCOTUS’s 4-4 decision (i.e. no decision) left a lower court’s rollback of Obama’s exec orders about immigration in place; radical Islam’s homophobia in Orlando is echoed by America’s religious leaders; and Islamophobia and xenophobia are part of America’s 2016 electoral debate—all this is evidence of old bigotry and new isolationism in America and the world. BREXIT supporters, who maybe had a dream of being the next Switzerland (not going to happen!), or were yearning for Trump’s wall, or wanted to return to the days of the mighty British Empire (many of the world’s modern problems stem from policies of that Empire)—one woman said that Churchill must be smiling in heaven—are swept up by these riptides of right-wing bigotry and isolationism, a tide so powerful that a member of Parliament was gunned down in London. Trump supporters are going down that same yellow brick road, lemmings heading toward the cliffs of political insanity.

The economy is global, stupid people! Globalization is here to stay. Either you get on board that express train, or you’ll be left behind. Others, including the multinational corporations, will wave the finger at you as they that train continue into the future. You can’t really isolate yourselves. Corporations know this, so isolationists are just playing into their hands. Where political unions and governments fail, corporations will step in. The Swiss success story is only about their government in the sense that Switzerland has always catered to corporate interests, including the banking industry. Britain and the U.S. can only duplicate that success story by giving their corporate interests, including the banking industry, more power and the same privileged treatment. Voters should think more than twice about what they wish for. Those maws of industrial greed and Chinese-style capitalism don’t care where the next meal comes from. And those same frustrated voters, mostly poor and middle class, will continue to suffer, the middle class will continue to disappear, and the human condition will continue to deteriorate.

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The poor and middle class take it on the nose…

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

No matter the results of the general election, the following is true: the 99% are the losers once again. Bernie Sanders offered the best chance for us I’ve seen in my lifetime, but the anti-democratic Democratic Party establishment has won. Bagpipe dirges should be sounding for the poor and middle class.

In many ways, they are victims of their own ignorance. The Clinton dynasty, the official representative of the establishment this time around, has sold itself as champions for opportunity but hasn’t delivered. Indeed, if historical evidence can be extrapolated to future promise, they NEVER will. Blacks who swallowed their load of cow manure and denigrate Mr. Obama by calling Billy Boy, the first black president; Hispanics who don’t realize the Clintons have another agenda, and it really doesn’t help them; and women lost in the “first woman president” craziness—these groups deserve their fate.

Younger voters might be more resilient to this slap in the face by the Dem establishment. Traditional no-shows at election time, they’ll have good reason to continue that practice—the anti-democratic Democratic Party remains controlled by the 1% just like the GOP. The oligarchy won yet again in America and can crawl into bed with the one controlling Russia.  We’ll also soon join Europe in its turn to the right because of terrorism and their immigration problem (building a wall is NOT the soluiton!), and there’s a good chance that the right-wing nut with anger management issues will soon control the nuclear codes because insanity seems to be the norm this election season.

Not that the Clintons show much more restraint than Trump.  When it came to restraint, Hillary voted for invading Iraq. When it came to inaction, we have husband Bill showing too much restraint by refusing to go after bin Laden et al after the FIRST WTC attack, and Hillary letting people die in Benghazi. After sixteen years of the Clinton dynasty, and twenty-four+ years of Clintonesque ineptitude in foreign policy, that email fiasco, while grating (any worker-bee public servant dealing with classified material would be in jail for what she did—her main defense being that Powell did it too!), seems insignificant relative to their laissez-faire attitude about American deaths overseas. Trump doesn’t have any solutions, but he’s right: Hillary should learn to say “radical Muslims”!

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Irish Stew #54…

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

International

Applaud those Kurds!  They have become an effective fighting force against ISIS.  They’re knocking on the door of Mosul.  OK, ISIS leaked through their forward lines, a Navy SEAL consultant died, but that’s no cause for hand wringing.  They’re showing Sunni and Shi’ite Iraqis what it means to soldier on.  Joe Biden’s solution—divide it into three states, Kurdish, Shi’ite, and Sunni—is still the best one for Iraq, and the Kurds deserve to be rewarded well.  To hell with Turkey and their plans to exterminate the Kurds.

Corrupt Iraqi politicians.  That’s what the invasion of the Green Zone was about.  The Iraqi politicos, mostly Shi’ite, are also inept.  But given that Shi’ites are in power, why were the protestors Sadr’s people?  Sects within sects within sects, I guess.  We really stepped in it when we invaded Iraq.  The birth of ISIS, an Iraqi government that can’t govern, and an army that can’t fight (except for the Kurds) is George Bush’s legacy for modern Iraq and the world.  And whomever we elect for president in the U.S. is only going to make it worse!  We reap what we sow.

Words, words.  The boy despot in North Korea continues to starve his people and brandish his toy weapons, accompanying that with fanfare and rants against South Korea and the West.  What’s new?  A missile launch from a submarine, that’s what!  OK, it’s a pathetic retrofit with zero capability right now, but did you know that spoiled brat had submarines?  A launch toward the West Coast of the U.S. from an offshore sub in territorial waters would be from a much shorter distance than a launch from NK.  We can’t laugh at this pathetic narcissist for too much longer.  He might be a stupid and spoiled megalomaniac, but he herds scientists who are smart and aim to please this psychotic leader.

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Irish Stew #53…

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

[Regular readers of this blog know the stew is a collection of mini-op-eds expressing my opinions about current news items.  Don’t like the opinions?  Say so in a comment…or write your own blog!  The more the merrier.]

International.  So Barack Obama’s all sentimental about his relationship with Angela Merkel?  You’d think she’d have enough of sentimental U.S. presidents.  Germany, the juggernaut of the E.U., is having problems.  Merkel’s good intentions in receiving refugees from the Middle East has generated a lot of blowback and encouraged the fascist right-wingers (why do Germans have this tendency?).  She just fired her head security man.  So, maybe Obama is just doing a gentleman’s good deed by helping the old lady safely get across the protest parades on Ku’Damm.

I’ve always had a problem with Germany in particular and Europe in general.  Whatever economic success they’ve enjoyed, it got a head start with the Marshall Plan (lose a war to the U.S. to build an economic powerhouse is the plot of The Mouse That Roared, and it’s so a propos—both Germany and Japan benefitted greatly by losing World War Two).  That’s fine—we all feel good performing charitable acts, especially if they help friends get on their feet.

But much of Europe’s economic growth was also helped along by not having to pay much for its own defense during the Soviet years.  The U.S. provide that defense for the most part.  It’s time they started carrying more of the load.  That’s what Obama should have been saying to Merkel.  Of course, that would just add to her problems, poor thing.  And why aren’t these issues in the U.S. presidential election campaigns?

National

Apple losses.  After 13 years of reporting gains, Apple is finally reporting some losses.  I have no problem with that, except that the stock market reacts to Apple whatever like they do with oil whatever.  The fruity company deserves to go under—it’s arrogant, its products never play well with other products, and its support of worldwide terrorism is unconscionable.  Supposedly the losses are due to consumers’ reactions to the “new” iPhone that should have been called deja vu, not new.  They just did a tweak and called it new because Samsung was coming out with a truly new smart phone.  I’m hoping that at least part of the losses are due to the three points I mentioned.

Apple suffered another loss of a different sort.  Remember their refusal to break into the San Bernardino terrorist’s cell phone?  The FBI found hackers who did just that.  Apple wanted to know how.  The FBI opted not to tell the company.  Payback is sweet sometimes—call it the wave of the middle finger at a company that puts profits above keeping innocents safe from terrorist attacks.  Apple execs should all be in jail—I’m sure Gitmo has some room now.

Uber is stupid.  Yeah, there was a niche to fill, and present taxi service, at least in NYC, is a scam controlled by politicos and the buyers of the medallions who turn around and exploit the drivers.  But is Uber any better?  Not the way things are going.  Free pizzas aside, they’ve decided to charge more for passengers who make their drivers wait.  Before there was a five-minute grace period; they cut it to two, and will start charging about $10 if the passenger goes beyond that.

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Irish Stew #52…

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

International

Despicable Saudis in the news again.  It’s not enough that they teach hate in their religious schools.  It’s not enough that the royal family are cowards who walk the tightrope between supporting Sunni terrorists outright and enjoying the products of the infidel West while exploiting minorities and immigrants as virtual slaves.  Now their jails provide a cushy life for jihadists, special gifts and spousal visitations await these thugs and murderers.  A report in the NY Times (4/10) indicated the extent of this practice.  The Saudis are corrupt and, in many ways, worse than the Sunni terrorists, al Qaeda and ISIS, who they support.  It’s time to sever relations to this corrupt theocracy.

I already mentioned the 9/11 bill many family and friends of 9/11 victims are supporting.  It has bipartisan support in the Senate.  To head that off, the Saudi fascist theocracy is threatening economic repercussions against the U.S., tantamount to blackmailing the President and Congress.  When are we going to learn that these monsters aren’t friends of the Western world?  They’re retrograde Neanderthals who think that 6th century Sharia law, Islamic theocracy, and support of radical and violent jihadism are acceptable in the 21st century.  The U.S. should react to this blackmail threat by severing all ties.  If not that, all military aid should be cut at least.  They no longer have any economic power because their oil ain’t worth nothin’, folks!  And, even if it were $200 per barrel, blackmail and threats still aren’t acceptable.

Cameron should resign.  One of the world leaders implicated by the Panama Papers is the UK PM.  In general, I don’t care if what all these jerks are doing is legit or not, they should be forced to resign or be impeached (if the country has some impeachment process, of course).  Hiding funds outside the country to evade taxes (yeah, poor baby, the UK’s are high) is unconscionable and shows greed motivates the leader more than service.  Obama’s point of view that nothing can be done if the hiding is allowed by the current laws.  How stupid is that?  Laws can be changed!  Let’s do it, folks.  There’s too much income inequality in this world to allow jerks to get away with this.  Oh, and by the way, how do I find out the names of those 1000+ American firms that were implicated?  ‘Nough said.

Provocateur Putin.  I’m with SecState Kerry: buzzing the U.S. destroyer with fighter jets that were practicing bombing and strafing runs was enough for a shoot-down.  I guess Putin is looking to start World War Three.  If he just wants to keep NATO distracted from aiding Ukraine’s defense when he invades the rest of the country, all the more so.  Someone needs to put this narcissistic psychopath in his place!

National

Clinton’s god and Daily KOS.  Clinton’s god is money.  She talks to Hollywood A-listers to garner donations of $33,000 apiece; Sanders talks to the Pope.  Guess who I respect more?  Sanders calls the Pope a great world figure.  Clinton prefers George Clooney, another one-percenter, as her moral leader.  Between Wall Street and Hollywood, she’s sold her soul to the Devil, letting her greedy search for wealth and power to erode away any moral backbone she ever had.

And pox on the Daily KOS!  This self-labeled progressive social media site is in the Dem’s establishment.  It doesn’t even try to hide its biased support of the Clintons, becoming the anti-democratic lackeys of the DNC and the Clinton campaign.  Clinton’s lying and conniving answers and rebuttals on that debate stage and lackeys like the Daily KOS are enough to turn any supporter of Sanders against her, assuming she wins the primaries.  We won’t vote GOP, but we won’t vote for Clinton.

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Irish Stew #51…

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

International…

Panama Papers.  I love it!  “Never trust a politician,” my father used to say.  The leads from that little law firm in Panama will end the careers of politicians around the world.  Iceland’s PM has already resigned.  Syria’s Assad and Saudi Arabia’s king are on the list, as well as the UK’s PM, Putin confidants, Chinese leaders, other personalities, plus 1000+ American companies.  Of course, the danger is that someone like Putin’s oligarchy or the Chinese fascist-communists won’t go down without dropping bombs on everyone.

Of course, what’s missing in the news analysis of this is who’s going after the law firm for doing this.  I suspect the Panamanian government is so corrupt it won’t do anything…just a hunch.  It’s a bit like NYPD narcos going undercover to arrest heroin users and not the dealers.  Who’s more culpable?  World leaders who pay for the services of the Panamanian law firm or that law firm?  The answer is easy—both are culpable.  Until someone goes after those who organized this criminal activity, though, it will keep happening.

What rankles here is that we have allowed these shenanigans to be legal, for the most part, just as President Obama says.  Tax evasion might as well be part of both party’s planks, certainly for the GOP with its coddling of the one-percenters.  Bernie Sanders, are you listening?  Here’s another item to put into your stump speeches.  Maybe we can’t make it stop in the rest of the world, but we can certainly pass legislation to make it stop in U.S. corporations and leaders.

More on the Saudis.  In a letter on the op-ed page of the NY Times (4/6), a group fighting for the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act took askance to the Times’s article basically championing U.S support of this corrupt theocracy.  This group echoes what I’ve written in these pages: the Saudis are accomplices of al Qaeda and ISIS in the sense that their brand of Sunni Islam, which they support in their theological schools, supports jihad against infidels.  I quote from the group’s letter: “We struggle to understand how financing the murder of 3000 people [9/11] equates to ‘closely being allied with the United States’ [quote from Times article].”

I was in the Boston area during 9/11 when members of the Saudi royal family fled the U.S., knowing full well that they were aiders and abettors in the worst terrorist attack on American soil—most of those 9/11 terrorists were Saudis who graduated from those schools.  Shame on the Times for disrespecting those murdered in 9/11.  Shame on the U.S. for supporting this corrupt regime!  Let’s get that afore-mentioned act passed.  And let’s release those 28 pages about the duplicitous and murdering Saudis that the U.S. government declared top secret in the 9/11 report (those pages are the last chapter).  Presidential candidates, are you listening?

National…   

Bernie and the Daily News.  When asked how he’s going to break up big banks and prosecute those responsible for causing the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression, the Daily News implied he has no clue.  Wrong!  He said it clearly.  His administration can do something, but he needs stronger laws passed.  Let me remind everyone that there were laws that protected against bank shenanigans of this type.  Bill Clinton, collaborating with the GOP, got them all eliminated.  Glass-Steagal and other Depression-era legislation was stripped away ON HIS WATCH!  That’s damning indictment against the Clinton dynasty.  Of course, that most elite rag of the scandal rags that papers the bird cage floors of NYC apartment dwellers couldn’t analyze things that far.

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Maybe 1.6 billion Muslims are wrong…

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

So are 2.2 billion Christians, 1.0 billion Hindus, 376 million Buddhists, 14 million Jews, and so on.  I qualify this with “maybe” because I can’t find the actual percentages of believers in these groups who actually want to live in a secular society.  Too many want a theocracy where their religion reigns supreme.  This is clear in the Middle East (Iran, Israel, and most Muslim principalities, emirates, and so forth, including Saudi Arabia), but it’s also implicit in South America and Southeast Asia where one religion enjoys a privileged role (Catholic Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism).  Where theocracy or one religious group dominates minorities, we often have trouble.

Sometimes trouble brews even between sects in the same religion.  Protestant v. Catholic is obvious, especially in places like Ireland.  But American Catholics often give only a wink and a nod to the Vatican and its medieval morality, while Southern Baptists have no love for Presbyterians and their liberal ways.  That sectarianism can become violent—Sunni on Shi’ite violence, or vice versa, plagues the Middle East as the major sects duke it out, but it’s not even clear the Shi’ites can get along with their subgroup, the Houthis, for example.  One major contributor to strife in the history of the world has been religion, and the 20th and 21st centuries have been no exception.

Religion has so often been the excuse for fighting that you’d think it would be banned from public life by now.  Fighting among ethnic groups becomes even more intense because of the cultural differences that find their genesis in religious beliefs.  That fighting is often held in check via ruthless dictators; with their deaths, all hell breaks loose.  Yugoslavia and Iraq are recent examples.  Religious fervor often leads to extreme behavior: “Believe in my interpretation of the faith or die!”  That fervor is often used by demagogues as a way of assuming and maintaining power.  Those other guys—you know, the ones different from us—even provide convenient scapegoats.  Donald Trump’s scapegoating of all Muslims is a current example.

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