Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Muslim Ban That Wasn't

        There are approximately 50 Muslim majority nations that make up the Islamic World.
        President Trump's  temporary travel ban only applied to seven of them, countries which comprise the list of 'countries of concern', a list that was compiled by the Obama Administration.
        Muslims from the other 43, as well as all those living in countries where Muslims are in the minority, are to be treated exactly the same as anyone else, anyone of any other religion. So, how can this be a 'Muslim ban' if it doesn't ban 'Muslims?'
        Suppose Communism were to have a resurgence in Eastern Europe and we decided to place restrictions on travel by folks coming from Poland or Hungary but no restrictions on other Europeans? Most people living in Poland, Hungary (and the rest of Europe) are Christians. Would this count as a 'Christian ban?'
        Or if Nazis were to start making noise again in Germany and we were to restrict travel from that country until we could find out what was going on, another Christian ban? .
        The fact is that you can't have a 'Ban' unless you ban something and 'Muslims' are not being banned. 
        If you don't let Blacks eat at your lunch counter because they're black, that's a 'Black Ban.' Keep Jews out of your country club because they're Jews and that's a 'Jewish Ban.'
        But if you restrict travel from countries that you believe might present a terrorism threat, it doesn't become a religious 'ban' just because many or most of the people in those countries  happen to be of a particular religion.
       Maybe it's time for the rest of us to see this for exactly what it is, just another attempt for people with too much time on their hands to  stick  the 'racist' (and every other kind of) label on a guy that some people don't especially like and hope that it sticks.  


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jews, Go Home?

        With all the talk about immigration bans and such, how come we hear so little anymore about preferential admissions from the Middle East for Christians and Yazidis?
        Aren't these the folks who were subjected to widespread murder, torture and rape? Isn't that considered to be 'genocide' anymore? Or maybe it all stopped...last week?
        Or could it be that maybe, just maybe, it might have occurred to someone, or several 'someones,' that the same American President who would stand up to genocide today in the Middle East might have also taken a stand against genocide in Europe 60 years ago and 'preferentially admitted' a few million Jews.
        And they figured that someone else might have thought the same thing. And might have talked to a few other 'someones.' And that they might have talked to someone else and so on and so on. Could make him look...good. Lot of very influential people out there wouldn't want to see that happen.
        "Don't be ridiculous. No one would believe it. Everyone knows he's an anti-Semite."
        "You sure?"
        "Of course, I'm sure. He's a Republican, isn't he?"

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Cupcake Nation

        "I don't know. What do you want to do tonight, Marty?"
        "I don't know. You want to have a protest?"
        "But there's nothing I want."
        "Well, maybe a pony would be nice."
        Too many people with too much time on their hands? Just because you can write something on your face or your chest or your...whatever, or on a piece of cardboard and then make your three year old carry it around until he pees doesn't mean you're becoming another Ernest Hemingburger.
        "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Give him a magic marker and you've got an adjunct Professor of English Lit....with tenure."
        Oy! You should have given him the fish. Carpe Diem! - Seize the Carp.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Under the Buttonwood Tree

        On May 17, 1792, a group of New York stockbrokers and merchants, who would forever after be known as the 'New York Nogoodniks', met under a buttonwood tree in front of 68 Wall Street and signed an agreement which would lead to the formation of the New York Stock Exchange.
        225 years, numerous bankruptcies, lost life savings and college funds, as well as a few suicides later and the world is still wondering why we don't do something to stop all the carnage. Didn't every government in the world meet in Paris and decide that we can finally do something about the weather? ('Everyone always talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it.')
        If we can fix the weather, or the climate, which has been changing for four and half billion years and is controlled by changes in the sun, the planets, Earth orbit, Earth tilt, winds, currents, movement of tectonic plates, volcanoes, and pretty much anything else in nature that you can think of, don't you think we can control something as relatively simple as a stock market which has only been around for 225 years and is controlled 100% by...the folks? Common' people. You're just not trying. Piece of cake.
        "Hope and change. Hope and change. Yes we can. Yes we can."
        Of course, there is always the possibility that nothing we do will actually be able to change the weather, or the climate, (take your pick), that it's as likely to be able to be controlled as would be the stock market and that the only people to really believe otherwise, or at least to say they do, will be governments who can impose new 'carbon taxes' and their friends in the solar, wind, and 'renewable' energy businesses?

        See, "Mass Hysteria, Al Gore and The Witches of Salem."

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming"

        In a 1966 comedy, a Russian submarine runs aground off the New England coast. Lots of laughs, lots of warmth, a little bit of romance and, in the end, Alan Arkin and crew sail back home to Mother Russia to the sound of the Russian national anthem, even though all the Americans want them to stay.
       Now, here we are. Fifty years later, almost to the day, and the Russians are back. Only this time it's without the laughs, the warmth, the romance. Vladimir Putin is playing himself. And nobody wants them to stay. What happened?
        Well, apparently the Russians tried to influence one of our elections. Who do they think they are? Americans?
        2015, it was Tel Aviv and Obama sent his 'team' to try and prevent Netanyahu from winning another term. Does that count?
        And before that, it was the Shah of Iran who was our guy. And Allende in Chile. Did we support Allende or try to shoot him? Hmmm, gets so confusing sometimes. Well, as long as we're with the 'good guys,' what difference does it make? Let them figure it out. North Vietnam. South Vietnam. Laos. Cambodia. Diem. Diem. Diem. Anybody know a guy named Diem? Didn't he live in a third floor walk-up somewhere?
        And United Fruit Company in Guatemala. Got to keep those bananas flowing. (Do bananas actually 'flow' or do they just float or maybe roll over here? Well, doesn't matter. As long as they get here and they're OUR bananas.)
        So, are the Russians really that different from us?
        Vladimir, we hardly knew you. Are we really the "exceptional" ones? Maybe...or maybe not

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ukraine for Dummies

        Crimea, Sevastopol, Russian Black Sea Fleet, Kiev, Russians living in eastern Ukraine.....all very important....to Russia. But why to us? the United States? We have no treaty with Ukraine, no vital interests there. Why are we getting involved?
        Did the Russians get involved when we were busy overthrowing the government in Guatemala to save United Fruit Company's bananas? or supporting the Shah of Iran to save American oil interests? or reservationizing (Is that a word?) Sitting Bull and Geronimo and Elizabeth Warren and all the rest? Ans.: No, no, and no.
        So why are we getting involved when the shoe is on the other...Tea Room?
        "Harumph, harumph, we cannot abide such imperialism," said the British after finally being thrown out of every country in the world. 'The sun never sets on the British Empire.' Oh, sorry, that was last week.
         "Sacre Bleu, mon ami," said the French after Dien Bien Phu finally ended 'French' Indo China. "Thees Russians, we cannot allow this imperialism expansion. Who do they think they are? Us? Non, Non. Non."
        "Anyone want a waffle?" said the Belgian ambassador after the last Belgian soldier left the Belgian Congo leaving it The just plain Congo, the absolutely poorest country on the planet.
And, from the samovar,
        1) Putin is not Hitler and Hitler was not Putin. Hitler, the vermin of vermins, killed because he thought that was the way the world was supposed to be. With Putin, if you don't get between him and his millions (billions?), you should be okay. 
        2) The world would be a better place with a happy and prosperous Russia that trades with everyone rather than with a poor and regularly sanctioned Russia that has nothing to trade with anyone.
        3) Continuing to pursue a 'NATO Creep' policy that tries to get all the countries that border Russia to become part of NATO will eventually get someone hurt, maybe killed. Accidents happen.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Hoof in Mouth Redux

         Did Newt really say that we should question all American Muslims and if they say they believe in Sharia, we should deport them? If they say they don't believe in Sharia, they can stay,
         "Hey, Mohammed, you believe in Sharia?"
         "Sharia? What's Sharia? Is that like some kind of a sandal?"
         "Ok, you can stay."
          What is going on here? One week of no 'Trumpeting' and here come the Trumpettes. Who asked for surrogates?
          Why can't it just be, What does he (G-d forbid 'she') want to do about this? Or what will he do about that? Why does it always have to be Whose foot? Whose mouth?