Friday, June 30, 2006

How can you be afraid of terror, when you the only ones with jets and tanks -circa 2003

War is Hell; in fact it is some ugly shit that I would not advise anyone to ever desire to participate in. Right now, the way things are going, we may be on the brink of World War III. Sure, I know idiots of the political persuasion consider a war on emotions as being a fitting target, but that’s not what I’m talking about. No, I’m referring to what may be on the horizon if Zionist tyrants continue using US made weaponry on people that do not have a standing army to protect them.

Israel has been a hot sport for a while, and few weeks ago, right on the anniversary of the Yom Kippur war, it launched a major military attack on the inhabitants of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was speculated that as a consequence of these violent attacks between 1200 and 1500 Palestinians were left homeless. The Yom Kippur war really started around 1972, and for what it is worth historically, it came about when then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat threatened war unless the United States forced Israel to accept his interpretation of UN Resolution 242, which required total Israeli withdrawal from territories taken in 1967 war.

Since then, nothing has really changed. Many people do not know that the U.S. government and military played a major role in Israel’s success of the Yom Kippur war. In fact US Navy forces sent both the USS Independence and USS Roosevelt in addition to an amphibious force in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic to assist the Israeli government. Also on that October 14, the US Air Force began Operation Nickel Grass, which supplied the Israeli military with more than 20,000 tons of military supplies.

Since the Jewish leader, David Ben Gurion, proclaimed the state of Israel on May 14, 1948, after British Mandatory rule had ended, Mesopotamia has not been the same. The League of Nations decided to make a country in a region where western conquest and Imperialism has been just as much a feature of the immediate environment as the sand dunes in this part of Asia. On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors and as one would have expected, fighting started immediately.

Maybe it’s me but I’m just not stupid enough to accept that these attacks on the people of Palestine are accidents nor are the responses to terror. I find it hard to believe that a nation suited to the bone with F-16 Tomcats and Apache Helicopter, courtesy of my tax dollars is afraid of people without an army, airplanes, tanks and/or war ships. The really threat to security in the region is Israel. They are the only government that has expressed they will use weapons of mass destruction if they feel threaten. If we truly want to go with the concept of regime change, then this government needs to be the first. Especially
Since these folks have continued to be at each other’s necks and will forever be if we fail to see that the problem started back in 1948. So the next time you see or read a bout a young woman strapping bombs to her person and blowing up a few civilians and military personnel, don’t sleep. Ask yourself if she has an army to join? While you at, the next time you want to know why these people have such revulsion and disgust for the United States, look at the Tanks and Airplanes and Helicopters used to drop the bombs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Current Seas (circa 2003)

It is strongly recommended that people in the US should get out and see as well as experience other parts of the world outside of the America’s. This is a practice that I like to keep in effect. In doing such I have noticed over the past year the dramatic slip in the purchasing power of the US Dollar. This can be no more visible than when one makes regular currency exchanges. On my most recent trip to South Africa and Malawi, I received 6.5 rand to the dollar. It was somewhat upsetting since three months and 6 months prior I got 8.5 and 10.1 to the dollar respectively.

We you have to the chance to travel, you regular get a first had observation of how strong the dollar is as a s sheet of paper currency. What you can purchase abroad with it compared to at home in the States is mid boggling at times. This is in particular to countries in Africa and Asia.

I speculate the recent declines are associated with the deficit and the looming anticipation of trade wars brewing between the US with China, Britain and the European Union. The most recent exchange rates have $1.20 Euros to the dollar. This type of strong reduction in value will prove problematic not only for US citizens but also financial markets around the globe. Since every thing, including all commodities and world markets are valued and based on the dollar, decreases in its value will likely make every one try to devalue their currency so they will not have to, as a country or nation pay more for goods. Over the past 18 months the dollar has dropped 27 and 19 percent respectively to the Euro and the Japanese Yen.

The large and growing deficit being increased over the tenure of the current administration is one contributing reason for the dollars decline. This sea change of a sorts is related to a few things. The deficit is growing more daily while at the same time the US economy still sees Americans buying more stuff from abroad than they are selling abroad. Couple this with a loss of about 3 million jobs over the same period, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this just may be the start of something troubling.

Although we see the stock market rising, when the dollar falls in value, we will likely see a decline in the purchasing of US Equities and Bonds by foreign investors. No one wants to by Bonds if the currency underneath the bond is weak.. Gold is at a seven year high and that thing we call the deficit is expected to grow to $500 billion or more. Like I said, travel more America, get out the country. WE can’t buy much in our country anymore with the dollar, so we may as well spend it abroad, where we get more bang for out buck.

Monday, June 12, 2006

DVDs are Fundamental (circa 2005)

There is a new disease infecting our community. It specifically targets our children and younger adults. No, I am not speaking of a new strain of HIV/AIDS or violence, but rather something more heinous and without a viral etiological connection. I am speaking specifically of our ability to read as well as our desire for the written word.

This is not an issue of having a skill deficit by rather the failure of seeing reading as being important and essential. I was taught that it was my duty to read all I could get my hands on, and this was not just limited to the sports page, horoscopes or what my particular subject interest may be. I often remind my son that more than 150 years ago, during the period of American slavery, it was illegal for slaves to learn to read and that if they were found out of having such a skill, they were punished by being blinded, having their tongue cut out, or death.

Now I am not going to place blame on the school system, since the foundation for reading should be established in the home, nor will I attach this reduction to external elements of the environment such as television, cable and the new age culture of music videos and play station consoles.

Albeit these are required to understand the lack of love and pleasure our children should or would find in reading, the most significant factor is the home. If we truly concerned ourselves with this issue, then we would elevate reading over other past times, particularly in environments where reading should flourish such as in the car. I don’t claim to have all of the answers but I do know, if we were concerned with this, we would have books and newspapers in the back seats of our cars and trucks instead of video screens and DVDs.

Friday, June 09, 2006

change in blog status

The newspaper I write for has asked that I not publish my essays until they run them first - sorry. So until they catch up I will publish old essays. Thanks TTS

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Cowards and crooks

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that public employees who speak up about possible government wrong doing, fraud and general criminal behavior via their jobs are not protected against employer retaliation by the First Amendment. In the case Ceballos v. Garcetti, they ruled that ruled that the Los Angeles County district attorney's office did not violate prosecutor Richard Ceballos's freedom of speech by demoting him after he wrote to supervisors that a sheriff's deputy had lied to get a search warrant.

Ceballos was evntually reassigned as a trial attorney and denied a promotion, which he suggested were retalliation for his writing the memo (a violation of his First Amendment rights). This suggest that since employees have obligations to make complaints on their jobs by using internal grievance procedures that are within their job description, when they do level complaints they have no First Amendment protections regarding what they may or may not say.

In essence thay are saying that it is the duty of the citizenry of America, especially thoes that work with the federal government, to support any unethical conduct by federal top-dog beuracratis against both the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I find this strange given that it is the civil duty of federal employees to speak out against waste, fraud and any behavior that can be considered as criminal as American citizens first.

In the opinion, Justice Kennedy, Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito, said that Ceballos is entitled to no First Amendment protection for his speech for writing a memo to his superior arguing that a case should be dropped because there were inaccuracies and "misrepresentations" in an affidavit used by a sheriff's deputy to obtain a search warrant.

So employees will not have any incentive to use the protocols of their work place for grievances (where there is no 1st admenednt protrection) but will more likely speak out in public if they want First Amendment protections. This is rather
doltish and witless seeing that if they speak either privately or publicly, they can be fired for what is essentially personal private speech. Even if they just speak publicly, they loose any chance of keeping their jobs because they did not use the employer's circumscribed guidance for complaint.

What does this mean? It means that the Court's decision basically makes it hard for folks to tell or whistle blowon any wrong doings. The truth is that the brave people who do stand up as honest American and tell, are still subject to retaliation by their supervisors . This is even if the allegations and complaints are true and point to criminal behavior. Maybe this would not have happened if
Justice O'Connor had not left the bench January 31, before the opinion was completed. Originally the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the Ceballos case was "inherently a matter of public concern" protected by the Constitution. Alito was the deciding vote that broke the 4-4 tie. The present administration supported Garcetti citing the U.S. government is "the nation's largest public employer."

The court has in essence done what congress, via the constitution is no able to...." make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." In this decision they say that First Amendment rights do not apply to government employees who speak within the scope of their jobs. I just find it hard to belive if I found my boss selling plans to the Taliban, and I told on him, I could be fired and charged with a crime. Personally, government workers speaking out on the job have the same kind protection as any one else speaking out in public as citizens. What remains to be seen is what kind of civil servants will we have , or will it leave us with a corpus of cowards - afriad to speak out about criminal acts by their supeiors for fear of losing their jobs, or crooks - selling plans to the enemy, padding their pockets, taking bribes and disrespecting the public good.