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Whitman White Paper -15 April 2004-
The Mid-East Revisited: The Interwoven Destinies
 
Some forty-six years after the re-establishment of Israel, that nation still is in armed conflict for its survival. Iran faces internal strife as democratic forces oppose conservative Shiite cleric rule. Long established Arab regimes face internal terror threats from those who would impose fundamental Islamic rule. Iraq is torn by dispirit elements battling to establish their version of Islam as the new direction for a re-established Iraqi nation.
As stated in the U.N. charter,  and U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights; I am a devout exponent of the freedom of religion. I do not judge (lest ye be judged) a person based on their religious beliefs, but how they pursue those beliefs. This is a big planet with billions of people, and how each of us believes, is a fundamental right.
And that precludes the use of violence to advance ones religious beliefs. From the use of force to oppress a religious minority, to a religious minority pre-emptively trying to impose religious beliefs upon a nation. The grey areas of this question are so immense, it would take a monumental work of philosophical discussion to explain each instance of discourse between governments and the people in questions of government and religion.
There is no question that Islamic peoples have the right to be Islamic, Jewish people the right to be Jews, and Christians to be Christian. By rule of law, by common sense, by the right and responsibility of people to live in peace with their neighbor, it is wrong to use violence to advance religious belief.
I have been an active proponent for a recognized nation for Palestinians in Palestine. And I do not apologize for that belief. And I also am a great supporter of the right of Israel to live in peace within secure borders. These are not exclusive beliefs. At the same time, the feudal violence continues between Arab and Jews over the details of how a settlement can be reached.
There is no dispute that Arabs were displaced to create the state of Israel. But, there can be no settlement if Palestinians actively fight for the right of return to Israel. And there can be no peace if Israel seeks to annex lands designated by the United Nations to be Palestinian land. Both parties need to accept this in the spirit of -land for peace- compromise.
This would best be accomplished through the good auspices of the United Nations, no matter how imperfect some parties argue that body may be. This is the very reason the United Nations was formed, after the horrific carnage of World War II. The peace and security of the entire Mid-East region and the world, should not be held hostage by this continuing struggle.
It is so much easier said than done, to call on warring parties to pound their swords into plowshares, as I am doing here. Yet, it is in the interest of all parties and future generations, that a fair two-state solution be found in Palestine, as long as the security of each party can be assured.
In Iraq, it is my belief, that the current administration in Washington would accept any new government in that nation that would live in peace with its neighbors and be a positive force for peace in that region. Whether Sunni or Shiite, or totally religion-neutral, in nature, as long it is a peaceful new regime. Whether insensitive or not, most Americans do not care about the exact way Moslems worship, any more than most Moslems do not care about how Christians worship; as long as neither party tries to impose their faith on one another. This is called religious tolerence.
These matters, because of the passion of religious and nationalistic views, whether Israel, Palestine or Iraq, or other cross-border conflicts between nations involving religions and state security, is best handled through the United Nations.
It is not the job of the United Nations to mediate internal religious struggle in a nation unless that conflict crosses international borders. But, when it does, then it does become a matter for the community of nations, united by the concept that peace need ultimately prevail.
*************************************************************

Well, here they go again. The GOP House has decided that it requires spending offsets for allowing emergency federal relief spending to take place, though that has not taken place before. The practice has been to find ways to pay for emergency aid upfront, then, if necessary, find offset spending cuts later.
The GOP decided to cut an auto industry loan guarantee program, which helps the auto industry to develop greater fuel efficiency, cut petroleum use, and potentially create thousands of additional American auto industry jobs. The kicker is that the previously approved program would potentially cut oil company profits in the long run and lessen our reliance on foreign oil.
So, the GOP House is trying to make the Democrats decide: You can have immediate disaster aid for victims of natural disasters and all you have to do is cut a program that creates auto industry jobs and cut this program that helps the auto industry find ways to build cars that use less fuel. This is the House GOP that screams to cut the deficit, but won't increase artificially low tax rates on the wealthy, or cut tax loopholes for certain corporations, even when an offer lowering the the corporate tax rate for all companies has been made.
The GOP House want all three; a lower overall corporate tax rate, no cutting out any corporate tax loopholes, and no increase to Clinton-Reagan era tax rates on the wealthy.
When the GOP ultra-conservatives talk about getting government regulations out of the way, they mean loosening clean air and clean water environmental protection, they mean loosening safety standards in the work place, and continuing their fight to eliminate the rights of workers to maintain labour unions, to include state and local firefighters and police officers and school teachers.
And people wonder why the middle-class is upset? Longer work hours for no real higher wages, annually higher health insurance costs, the need for two full-time incomes in families to maintain even a modest middle-class household, and what do we hear from the GOP?
Cut Medicare and Social Security, privatise Social Security, oppose the right of workers to organise because, not to worry, give everything to the ownership class so that the ownership class will let a good life trickle down to loyal workers who promise not to rock the corporate profit boat.
Republicans who oppose a moderate tax increase on the wealthy are now crying out that this is class warfare. But listen to the same GOP politicians scream when the working poor and middle class try to accuse the wealthiest of unfair practices.
Right Now, In this nation, just ask yourself, who needs help more: The wealthiest Americans or the Middle Class and the Working Poor. Did the middle-class and working poor cause the last recession?
 
 

And so it goes, and I be a poor dreamer
And I mind not I be thought that way
For I seen great progresses and again some failures
and that there be some who rather seek
hate and conflict and pain and war...
 
It is time, as I wrote many years ago, about Unilateral
Disengagement and negotiations involving certain nations
about atomic weapons and this directed toward Iran and North Korea.
 
And I have written at length about peace between Palestine and Israel. And
I be a dreamer, and perhaps a fool, and I know that these are such things to make a better peace come to be; but that we be simple mortals and such dreams of a better peace are as easy to grasp as a piece of wind in a greater storm.
 
I no longer care about one nation or one political party, or a specific religion; win a so temporary rhetorical, political debate. It is rather about peace and tolerance, and peoples choosing to live together side by side.
 
Whatever your religion, or colour, or nationality; it matters not to me as long as you are willing to live in peace with any peoples who would live in peace beside you.
 
The weapons are too great; the anger to severe, and the need for the innocent to live within peace has become so necessary because the threats for conflict and destruction have become so threatening that the rest of the world stands in a hush, hoping that a certain greater peace can be achieved.
 
There will always be disagreements among races, religions, and nations; and yet so much unites all nations and all races and faiths in the daily living of what one would hope would the things that make us all human.
 
By whatever name you call the Supreme Being; whether God or Allah or Jehoveh, the Great Spirit; or another name; I ask the foolish dreamer's question of: "Why?"
 
I have reached an age and I have watched world events since a child born in 1955, and watched old history on video in the great World War II that my father and uncles fought and my mother and aunts and grandparents supported with great sacrifice at home in the US.
 
Being the fool and dreamer and wisher that i might be and having met a many folks from many other nations, especially one man, Lech Walesa, the former leader of Solidarite' and former President of Poland: I know the power of singular individuals [as his friend Pope John Paul II] to make a greater difference in specific moments of real life and history.
 
There will always be those who wrap themselves in hate and conflict for the sake of money or power. And there will be those who risk their own fate to seek peace and justice, just as Jesus spoke what Christians call the Beatitudes.
 
The weapons of war have become too greatly powerful; the hates may seem too strong, and I am growing a bit too old to re-fight all the same old fights; whether my own fights or the fights of my parents and aunts and uncles; and all great battles of history; and I now understand all too well when Dr. King said, "I may not get there with you, but I have seen the mountaintop,"
 
By whatever name you may call the highest being; I do believe that we shall be his or her hands upon this earth and we should dedicate ourselves to help and lift and raise up those cannot easily help and raise up those who cannot so help and raise themselves...
 
The wealthy and the powerful of any peoples have the means, for the most part, to protect and enhance themselves, and so it is for our leaders to help and protect and maintain those of much lesser advantage.
 
I have seen my own foolishness and have given about all I know how to give for others and have had many people give me great help.
 
It is that time; when John F. Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address, 'Ask not what your country can do for you; But ask what you can do for your country." Rather, and as an extension, "Ask not what the world can do for you: But ask what you can do to better our whole world?"
 
And I would further argue that bringing and extending peace can be of no greater calling than any person might make and/or give.
 
To imagine a world with virtually no war; with respect for all religious beliefs, and not concerned about the race or nationality of any who are tolerant and respectful of all other peoples...
 
*********************************************************
 

Okay folks, let's all take a deep breathe and sip some coffee and have a doughnut or something more dietarily correct... The GOP House Minority Leader has hinted that a tax bill that President Obama campaigned on, would likely pass the House.
The bill would keep the Bush tax cuts intact, except that the top 2% income earners [$200,000 single-$250,000 married], would go to the Clinton rate from 35% to 39%.
The GOP is still touting Reaganomics, supply-side policies that rang up another set of huge deficits, as did the Bush II folks. The Clinton Admin brought surplus to the budget by a 'Pay-Go' system, paying for expenditures by ending old programs, cost reductions elsewhere, and other bureaucratic means. And by tax policy tweaks.
The country needs jobs here, not overseas; so the President has proposed tax breaks and credit help for US Small Businesses and tax incentives for US corporations to produce goods in US factories, all 'Pay-Go', with the 4% rate increase on wealthy Americans to cut the Bush Deficit [from fighting 2 wars on borrowed money].
The Bush Warhawks wanted these conflicts and then passed the funding to the next generation of Americans to keep tax bills low on the wealthiest Americans. We just cannot afford to do that.
Now, the GOP wants to keep tax rates, especially capital gains, low on the wealthy, and squeeze tax revenues to the federal government, threaten Social Security by privatising it so that your Social Security contributions would go to a type of civilian 401K set-up that would have Wall Street profitising off your Social Security contributions [and look at the safety of 401K's and civilian pension plans] and new changes in Medicare.
The GOP was against stimulus spending which helped states and cities keep teachers and first responders on the job so that the wealthy could get their tax cuts renewed.
The GOP complains about the bail-outs which prevented a world-wide depression and saved the US Auto Industry, why?: So, the wealthy could keep their lower tax rates. Is it not clear?... It's all about the money, it is trickle-down versus bubble-up economics. Simple, the GOP would put more money in the hands of the wealthy and claim to hope that lesser economic classes might maybe benefit. The Dems would put money in the hands of the people who need the economic help, especially during a severe recession, when it is needed most... The GOP delayed unemployment benefit extensions and why?: To have the revenues to extend the tax cuts for the wealthy...
Folks, it's a no-brainer this time... 

  In a few days; Glenn Beck will be holding a right-wing rally at the Lincoln Memorial, at the site of the Civil Rights rally where Dr. King gave the "I Have A Dream" speech, on the anniversary of that speech.
The absurdity of such a rally on that site, on that day, goes beyond insult and irony.
Sarah Palin is a featured speaker, who, in between finding new ways to insult President Obama and endorse far right political candidates; took time out to congratulate a radio talk show host for using the N-Word 11 times as the radio host threw an on-air temper tantrum for being being politely challenged by an educated African-American woman...
See, the problem is that the wealthy, the Fox Media, anti-social progress conservatives are not all that concerned about fighting fair; some of those folks do have something resembling scruples, but most put mere winning, at nearly any price, first.
Any true independent, moderate, and liberal will see the Beck Rally as laughable, even delusional, by the right.
Will we see the Obama, like Hitler posters, the monkey or ape references to the president, like something out of a Segregationist Pro-Jim Crow rally of the 1940's and 1950's and 1960's.
Those who are not Rupert Murdoch Fox News fans will be able to unite easily over the visuals and rhetoric of the Beck Rally.
The tapes of Dr. King calling equality, unity, and justice for all; and then the claims of Obama being a tyrant from the far right, the silly hats, the nasty signage, et cetera.
The 1963 rally showed respectful persons, mostly dressed nice, or as nicely as they could afford; politely listening to songs and speeches of freedom and justice for all, ya know, something appropriate for the Lincoln memorial, in honour of the president who led us to victory in the Civil War, wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address, and freed the Negro slaves.
Like Dr. King, President Lincoln was assassinated.
Think Gettysburg Address; Think; "I Have A Dream"; and then think Sarah Palin shouting, "Don't Retreat, Reload"; Abe Lincoln and Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.; have helped consecrate the grounds where even the Tea Party folks can rally, is there any thing else to add?
****************************************************

Avalon Project: I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

.

 I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963. Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

 

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state,

sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation

into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

 

1996-2003 The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library in Memory of Sol Goldman.

 

Abraham Lincoln

Gettysburg Address

delivered 19 November 1863

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.


Battle Hymn of the Republic

 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.


So, here we go again, Sarah Palin and Dr. Laura doing media propaganda for Dr. Laura's right to say 'n*****' over the airwaves. And a supposedly educated Dr. Laura saying her first amendment rights were threatened or violated because she was criticised for dropping the n-word 11 times during a live broadcast.
The Constitution protects free speech within reason, so, notwithstanding the FCC and good taste, she perhaps has that right... However, that does mean she is beyond criticism at any level for saying absurd things.
Now, Mrs. Palin does have the right to defend silly and reckless comments by Dr. Laura. Now, let's add that Mrs. Palin is speaking to a conservative rally upon the same site as the Dr. King speech, "I have a dream" on the anniversary of that speech.
Now, let's add that Dr. King was assassinated seeking social and economic justice for the folks who are Negroes [not the N-word], as well as calling for justice and cooperation and unity between all persons, regardless of race.
So, is Mrs. Palin going to repeat her 'Don't Retreat, Reload' statement for Dr. Laura, in regards to a middle-aged white lady wanting the right to use the N-word any way she likes...
I don't think I need to geatly explain the great offensiveness of speaking about race relations and the use of a racial slur by Dr. Laura, and then the linkage of saying "Reload' by Mrs. Palin when speaking about her endorsement of another middle-aged white woman for using the N-word, to soon be speaking on the site of the MLK speech and on the anniversary of that speech.
Frankly, Mrs. Palin and Dr. Laura should be ashamed of themselves. Regardless of political viewpoints, regardless of general personal feelings of any person; just because, in my opinion, that is what I believe is right.
******************************************************

Okay boys and girls, let's get real about peace between Israel and Palestine, and about real security for Israel and for a new Palestine. There is little doubt that if a free, safe, and secure Palestine bordering Isreal would give Israel their security. if a new Palestine would accept the Israeli right to exist with the same support it gives for their own right to be a free nation-state.
And I believe that Abbas does understand that somewhat.
I wrote a plan called Unilateral Disengagement and posted it on three international Mid-east peace websites [Holding degrees in Political Science and Creative writing, I wrote the plan from an Israeli point of view.] And I saw Ariel Sharon adopt that term and use some portions of that plan that seemed to lead directly to the withdrawal from Gaza by Israel.
Now, there is an Iranian Hezbullah, Syrian Hezbullah, and a Lebanonese Hezbullah and all oppose a State of Israel; and a Palestinian Hamas that looks exactly like a Palestinian Hezbullah... And remember the Lebonese Hezbullah and Israeli war and the capture of the Israeli soldier, Shalit.
I have supported the blockade of Gaza, hoping it would alter the Hamas stances againt Isrea, but only to push Hamas to accept Israel. And I have written that Hamas not surrender, but be willing to acept Israel when Palestine becomes a free nation and Israel leaves nearly all the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
And I wrote of using the basic agreements of Oslo for the transition period and the needed cooperation for daily border life between Israel and Palestine; and supported the Olmert Plan which would return 95% of the West Bank and nearly all of east Jerusalem back to Palestine..
But Gaza became Hamas. So, I recommend that Abbas negotiate only about the West Bank and East Jerusalem with that if peace become true, Gaza re-align with the West Bank/East Jerusalem.
Thus forcing to Hamas to choose to continue fighting Israel or accepting a free Palestine and a free Israel.
It is naive' to believe that a freed West Bank, with an adjoining border with Lebanon, and with Syria and the conflict with Gaza; that a new Palestine would not be under great threat and pressure from Hamas/Hezbullah.
The resolution between Gaza and the Palestine Authority is their concern.
However; the current position will not bring peace that region or provide a new Palestinian state. And Hexbullah/Hamas will continue to battle Israel to the level of Palestine not becoming a free state.
So, the P.A./Abbas negotiate strictly for West Bank and East Jerusalem independence, and let Gaza isolate herself, and let the world see a free West Bank version of Israel again to trade territory for peace.
A DMZ beween Palestine and its neighbours to the east that would mildly threaten Israel. And this because Hamas, the Islamic brotherhood and other comparable groups would rather fight than make Palestine finally free.

It is a day for limited celebration because the last active combat unit left Iraq. It is as I said two plus years ago, under the Bush Administration; with a soft deadline for withdraw, requiring a new Iraqi government assume security for itself, with time to do that, and a real committment for the US to leave, but not before Iraq could at least be given a real opportunity to govern itself.
It is now up to Iraq to establish a new democratic administration; just like any other democratic nation has a peaceful change or re-elected administration to govern. That is the key word, Govern... And it is time for Iraq to defend and govern itself.
What did I say about the BP oil spill. As the leak ended, while no one can say how long-lasting the after effects will be; it will be more severe than BP says, and somewhat less severe than environmentalist say. This is not to say that great concerns still need to addressed, because environmental vigilance is needed as technology will always clash with a near eternal conflict between humanity and the natural course of all things.
Question: How much do we today really need Gulf oil? If, indeed, if the technology to safely acquire is in question; or if multi-nationals will not remain viligant in safely acquiring resources; with Gulf oil representing 4% of domestic consumption; does damaging or destroying an entire region of water resources and natural gifts to get that crude; Is it worth it? Perhaps, even yes, if corporate oil does not cut corners in acquisition...
I pray for peace in the Middle East, I write and benignly lobby for peace. And there is only one concept that will bring real peace to that region of the world; Religious tolerance. Christian and Judiac tolerance of peaceful Islam; Islamic tolerance of other faiths; and tolerance within differing views of Islam; not unlike Christian conflict between Protestant and Catholic in Northern Ireland.
Obama is a Christian and native born US citizen, period... get over it.
Israel and Palestine need to make peace and any negotiations for that eventuality is a good thing... Notice that Hamas says that Israel and Palestine should not negotiate. Of course, Israel should leave Palestine; but Palestine must accept Israel's right to exist; work to establish peaceful relations with Israel so that Israel does not have worry about maintaining a complete war regional war military posture.
Oh, Religious Tolerance...
If Moslems have a legal right to build an educational center, with an Islamic version of a chapel within two miles of Ground Zero, then, it is their right. And let the world see and decide if this Islamic organization wants peace, tolerance and community cooperation, as they say... 'Religious Tolerance'
The parent company of Fox News gave a Million dollars to the Republican Governors Committee. Will they give money to Dems? Most corporations give some money to both parties, maybe not same amount, but enough to cover both sides. Can a news company claim objectivity while helping candidates of one party raise funds through directed coverage?
Glenn Beck reserving the Washington Mall, on the anniversary of the MLK 'I have a dream' speech for a profit-making rally of ultra-right conservatives is every bit of insensitive as the possibility of an Islamic Center, perhaps too close to ground zero.
Gee, I suppose free speech would allow such a rally from the Beckster on that day, on that site... Doesn't it all become pretty fuzzy on all sides when conservative mostly white folks act a certain way because of a legal right and then argue against Moslems doing something that they have a right to do; even if it pushes the limits of sensitivities?
Boy, this stuff turns awfully grey, tough questions... Add racial tolerance to Religious tolerance... Uhm...
And the right-wing media crying about the those 'poor' rich folks getting a 4% tax increase, which would reduce $600 billion from the deficit over ten years. The GOP would maintain 'poor' rich people tax cuts and then argue that we should take that $600 billion in defict-adding tax cuts for the wealthy and cut social safety-net spending for real poor and working poor Americans to pay for the 'poor' rich people Bush Tax cuts to make up the difference...
And why is the GOP blocking tax benefits for Small Business? Oh, to pay for continued tax breaks for the top 2% money folks in America... Hello? Oh, and these folks complained about 34 billion to the states to keep first responders, teachers, and government employees in localities and states on the payrolls to provide services that persons of all economic classes expect... Why, so that the 'poor' rich can keep their Bush Tax cuts...
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I am growing old, although for some 54, almost 55, may not be old, but for me, it certainly is not young. Some months ago I wrote on this site about a federal legislative package to provide money to states to fund keeping first responders, teachers, and governmental employees on the job in the states.
The Bush Administration bailed out Wall Street and the big financial companies before Obama took office, with the general consent of the incoming administration.
Not many loved the idea and I certainly don't enjoy the idea, yet, even being a Democrat, I have my college degrees, including a minor in History, the system needs a secure monetary/banking system.
The GOP and Fox folks and the Tea Party people would crash the entire economic system, just to keep tax levels from rising, especially on the the wealthy to the tune of 4% on the top 2% income levels.
Please, you have the ultra-conservative Bush Administration in 2007-2008 and the incoming Obama administration agreeing that steps must be taken to prevent a world-wide depression from happening at the end of the Bush Administration and the beginning of the Obama Administration.
Thus you have the TARP and the Stimulus, Tarp of Bush, and Stimulus of Obama; and, and, and gee, a world-wide depression was prevented, you silly opponents. My parents lived through the Depression and taught me how to make do with what you've got.
And my father and uncles fought in World War 2 and Korea. I and my brothers served in the military. Don't you let the Chicken-Hawks tell you about real military service. Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt.
My lovely former wife is black, I am white, and our son appears white, he is bi-racial. My brother is obviously white and he married a beautiful young woman from South Korea and their three children are bi-racial, and are bright and special.
I have had my son referred to as a half-breed, as I have had heard President Obama referred to; equally negatively by prejudiced folks; as a half-breed.
Please folks, this is the 21st Century, and I know many younger people, some 2 generations younger than myself. And I know with a great pride, most of those younger folks are not concerned or worried about those old, tired, and previously important racial categories.
People are people.
Don't tell me about your anger. don't tell me about your hate. I am a religious person, but do not argue about by what name you call God, Allah, Jehoveh, or the Great Spirit.
I believe in a higher power with all my heart, but I will not say that any one religion is better than any other.
I will say in my own opinion, my own opinion, that that highest power likely does not endorse killing peoples in her 0r his name in the name of religious faith.
I believe that we are the hands of God on this earth and it is our duty to care for our world to protect and defend our world for our children and all children as best we can.
This is why I seek peace, not surrender for any peoples. This is why I have worked as best I can to use diplomacy before conflict or war. The concept is that every people deserve respect and freedom, as long as those same people would respect the rights and beliefs of others.
I heard that Glenn Beck made comments about life in America and he thought he woke up during the 'Planet of the Apes', as in making a reference to President Obama and his adminstration and that our country was being led by 'Apes'. I ask, is that not the height of racism? To speak of the Obama Administration as the 'Planet of the Apes'?
So, please do not speak to me about the alleged Racism of the Right... Unless, of course, you are willing to reject his comments...
 

Can someone explain this one to me? What is all the hand-wringing on the Right about a 4% tax increase on the top 2% of income earners? A handful of multi-millionaires and financial media commentators spending so much time in broadcast media worrying about a four percent tax increase on the top 2% wealthiest income earners.
These people have now targeted public service unionised workers to include; firefighters, police officers, teachers, and government employees for having too good pensions.
These folks would have let the financial system collapse, the American auto industry die, they seem to complain about trying to develop green energy, and still complain about global warming, would cut or end Madicare, Medicaid, privatise Social Security so that Wall Street and the big banks and investment houses could control all your retirement assets after seeing pension funds closed and or looted by big corporations.
What it is, is Economic Darwinism, even among themselves. Risk the collapse of the entire economic system, but Survival of the Most Economically Strong, almost as if the alleged purity of the economic system is more important than any and all individuals.
Break the Unions, it is good for business. Let the hungry starve, it is good for business because it can keep taxes lower. Don't let government protect pensions or maintain Social Security or step in to help stabilise a medical system that is only working for some of the people. The New Right would throw themselves, as well as the rest of us under the bus in the name of a new version of 'Economic Purity".
What did Jesus say about taxes; "Render unto Casear what is Casaer's and unto God, what is God's".
Folks, this new Right has found a new God, and that God is Money. And the only commandment is keep my taxes down and economically speaking, 'It is every man, woman, and child for themselves. Literally.
Oh, by the way, I support Civil Unions and not Gay Marriage. The word marriage has both a civil and religious connotation. Civil unions allow two adults to join together to maintain a singular household, without making a judgemental statement whether or not "God" endorses non-traditional marriage.
On the economic front, the New Right seems to have this strange belief that laisez-faire economics stand alone, separate from people, politics, our nation, our workers, and the rest of the world. It is all about the money; and if their believers sign-up for the passionless dispensation of money within the economic system; the system will provide [unless it doesn't, and then it is the liberals fault for not maintaining those people's version of a safety net].
The ultimate corporate committee, Board of Directors mentality. The maintaence of the economic system is greater than any one individual, and they will arbitrarily reward or punish any person, group, or conglomerate; and it depends on only one thing; what is best for that one company at the time of the deal...
It is just that cold, Listen to the Fox News Commentators, the GOP leadership, and their corporate talking heads. The way you can tell is easy; they even now hate good pensions for police, oppose any social welfare program, oppose deficit spending for all things, except to allow deficit spending for corporate tax breaks and a 4% tax increase on the top 2% of Americans... 
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Just a question?... Is Fox News really a news network? Does ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, NPR, or Public Broadcasting refer to President Obama as the sarcastic name of  'The Annoited One' as does members of Fox News?
Being that Mr. Obama is the first minority popularly elected president, why does that alleged news network refer to him in such an insulting way?
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I hear the rhetoric, watch the news shows, listen to NPR News, watch some BBC News, check out Reuters and BBC News on-line, and not so often read the Jerusalem Post and Ha'artz on-line. I watch the WWII, WWI, Korean and Viet Nam documentaries on television, along with closely following international events from age nine in Time-Newsweek-US News and World Report, as well as the regular US network TV news from that time.
I have read on-line version of the Beirut Star and years ago listened to Radio Israel, Radio Vatican, BBC shortwave and CBC short wave, and shortwave Radio Moscow. Along with my Poli-Sci degree, belief in religious tolerance, this is how I can pick-up a news story and relate to its sources, any underlying messages or motives, the alleged biases of the media and source and writer, not unlike a pro or division one college basketball player can pick-up a basketball and toss it around like a toy... Or how an excellent musician can pick-up their instrument of choice and its playing has becomes instinctive in its use.
Conventional wisdom, standard practices, business as usual, will get someone through the day, through today, and through a few tomorrows, but never get you to a better future. The Army had a saying; there is never time to do it right, but always time to do it over.
But that is classic army-workplace sarcasm; which really means that if you don't do it enough right the first time, you'll have to do it all over again.
And I don't have the burden of favouring one religion above another, or one race above another [my private life would affirm that and yes, it is private].
And I have met persons of many many nationalities and nearly 55 years of life can tell me that all persons are more similar than different.
I catch myself getting 'snarky' to aggrandise myself.
Now, I see a divided America; divide over money, divided over the use of our natural resources, divided over race, divided over religion, and divided over how much tradition and how much moving beyod tradition is needed.
It seems that just about everyone with a single issue to promote, wants to use shock value to advance their position.
The thing is that real leaders, who place the better interests of the nation or of the world, do not have such a luxery. The balance of majority will versus minority rights. The need to protect the weak, and help the strong to raise the quality of life for as many as possible.
In politics, it is the same old arguement of whether politicians will serve the better interests of as many as possible, or only those who accept the views of the chosen leaders.
I want a free Palestine, but not at the expense of Israeli security. Palestinian Gaza could be more free or even completely free. But both Gaza and Israel must choose to live free beside each other.
American economic policy should support both employee and employer in a fair balance. We have progressive tax system, which means that persons with higher income, pay a higher rate of taxes.
But, did you know that Obama is arguing for a tax increase only on the top 2%, from 35 to 39% to fill a deficit gap or limited increased spending, to the tune of about $600 billion over ten years. This will not bankrupt the wealthy over-class, just replace the $600 hundred billion in lost revenue from the Bush tax cuts that benefitted that wealthy overclass.
I still am amazed that republicans said that Obama should cut 34 billion in domestic spending to fund unemployment insurance, and then say we should increase the deficits by $600 billion over 10 years to have our children and grandchildren pay for keeping the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest 2%.
It really still is all about the money. The power struggles in America, the mean-spirited snipping daily at Obama and the democrats by the conservatives, the snipping at Union labour, the snipping at public servants for having decent wages and secure pensions, the conservatives would take that away, ask labour to absorb wages freezes, higher insurance co-pays, let cities and states go bankrupt so that the wealthiest people can keep their tax cuts. {Of course, the left snips and snipes back, but who on the left, who are strictly news commentators, are making 10, 20, 30 million dollars a year to promote a complete pro-business and IMO, anti-worker bias, on radio, on television, on-line and in print... not unlike the cult of personality by Tele-Evangelists...]
The GOP would do nothing to create jobs except give more tax cuts to the wealthiest and claim to hope that that tax cut money will create jobs.
Oh, it will, overseas. People with money will invest in companies that continue globalising and send better jobs overseas, production jobs overseas to insure multi-national corporations the levels of profit they enjoyed under Bush.
It's about the money. Multi-national corporate interference in a nation's domestic and international policies are done to protect and increase profits. It is laissez-faire capitalism run amok.
And, of course, any friend of big business is going to scream foul with any new levels of regulation.
Even after corporate greed brought the wolrd to the brink of world-wide depression; folks, it's about the money. What I say is that workers need fair wages, chances for promotion, chances to pass a decent quality of life to their children, and have those children have a chance of creating a better life for themselves... Folks, it's all about the money...
 
 
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Well, in the Sherrod dismissal case, we now know the rest of the story. Her family is in line to receive a $13 million pay out as part of a billion dollar lawsuit to settle past claims of discrimination by the USDA.
So, by mere coincidence, this woman could be linked to the NAACP and the Obama Administration and a discrimination lawsuit against the USDA, so by mere coincidence, Shirley Sherrod and the NAACP got "Swift-Boated" by an ultra-conservative website. Gee, such a coincidence...
Fox News, which is a partisan political operation under the guise of "Fair and Balnced" coverage, screamed Black on White racism, saying that this was a feature of the Obama Administration, which simply isn't true.
FoxNews commentators have made little attempt to apologize, though even lead GOP politicians have made it a point to say what happened was wrong.
The Fox News spin is that it is all the fault of the NAACP for not properly gotting all the facts first. Yes, there is enough blame to go around. But Fox takes no responibility for promoting the initial story and transfers all blame to the NAACP and the Obama people for incompetence in not using due dilligence before sacking Ms. Sherrod.
My, such arrogance and sanctimony... This is the same FoxNews who is promoting a forum to expalin why US workers should not unionise because it is bad for business, and supported the GOP position that tax breaks for the wealthy need not be funded and be allowed as deficit spending, while demanding that Democrats cut social programs to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits for the unemployed. Another coincidence, I'm sure.
And, folks, these are the facts, I worked too many years as a student and freelance journalist, with degrees in Political Science and Creative Writing, with minors in History and Mass Media Communications, and nine years of honoured military service in our military.  
 

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You know, as I know, it is time for America to move forward, to grow, to continue to learn and grow about all peoples, regardless of race, religion or national origin, or sexual prefernce. I have a very broad background for a short guy from a fundamental Christian background.
I am, for lack of another term, a Universalist, as far as religion. I am not willing to say one name for God, Allah, Jehoveh, Vishnu, or the Great Sprit, is better than another. I believe that religion is cultural, and the highest power is the highest power, by whatever name that power is called. As I have written before, in science I still ask; what came before... Before.
The first law of Physics is that matter cannot be created, but that matter can only be transformed when energy is applied. So, as if we use Genisis, before Genisis, for our creation to happen; something beyond human understanding had to happen. For whatever religion one subscribes; something beyond science, something beyond rational thought had to happen. In most religious thought, to accept one belief or another, it shall be accepted on what we call faith.
To change the subject only a bit... Earlier in my life, I would easily be called homophobic. And still today, I am a heterosexual guy and lessons of life have taught me that most people understand who they are and what they are. And accept that truth.
You know, most people enjoy love and the purest forms of love are for your children and for your parents. The most exciting form of love is romantic and intimate love between two people.
It is not my place to discount love of any kind between two adults. And I know that gay folks love their family, their parents and their children as much as any other people.
Okay, I'm a straight guy and I have seen two women together and I found intimacy between two women to be sexy. Okay, that may be politically incorrect to say, my apologies, that is the real truth.
And, as a straight guy, I have no desire to view intimacy between two males. I played sports at a higher level than a typical high school athlete. We joked, we drank, we played at a level approaching top college sports, we showered together, we were committed to winning, just as I did when I was in the military, and in the military men and women were thrown together, and sometimes we saw each other not completely dressed. And we were soldiers together, just as my football semi-pro team members, we were on a team together.
You just do, you just put other things aside. And yes, perhaps gay soldiers might meet together and straight male and female soldiers might get together. That is reality.
As a footnote, on active duty and in the reserves, the West Pointe junior lieutanents I met were a major pain the ass. I granted that their education was better than mine, but I had worked full time and had ten more years of real life experience upon my years of military experience.
I came to a working agreement with these officers. I even served with 1st Lt. Walt Disney Jr. And he made a point of explaining that he was just another officer. By coincidence, his signature looked a kot like the Walt Disney.
I attended a rally for Dem pres candidate, John Kerry in 2004. People stomped on the bleachers of the auditorium. Mr. Kerry asked them to stop because it reminded him too much of a US military action during Viet Nam, called 'Rolling Thunder".
When I attended Army Basic and Advanced trainng, and when I met former soldiers from Viet Nam, they spoke of similar things, and they played with me on my Semi-Pro level football team.  
My, oh my, I have a lot more stories; some that will never be told, and some others that may be told. I was a leader in my high school and after the high school building was destroyed by fire, I helped lead the movement to save my high school.
I had perfect attendance from kindergarten through year 12. My first love developed the most several form of leukemia. I had a severally retarded sister and my only child was diagnosed with Autism. As an adult, I spent time with a beautiful young woman who was suffering with Muscular Dystrophy.
I have saved several lives in emergency situatuations, performing immediate first aid and making sure that Emergency aid was on the way.
And I have stood up for peoples who have been the target of prejudice at the most severe levels. I have been attacked directly for these actions. My life was never directly threatened by the KKK, but elements of their organization have not forgotten me. So, I can directly relate to the experiences of Ms. Sherrod. And remember, during my time in the military, I was a real life version of the Mash story Radar O'Rielly...
I have written several peace plans that have been adopted at the highest levels. I have stood up at the most challenging level and the age of 54, I am growing tired...
My, I grew up seeing Viet Nam on television. I saw all the films of the discovered Nazi concentration camps from World War II. And saw on television all that was presented on the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, John Lennon, and Anwar Sadat, and Yitzak Rabin, as they immediately happened,
I have my own difficulties and failings, but I have known what I know, and seen what I have seen... So, when I bump into things like Shirley Sherrod, please don't tell me what I know or what I don't know...
 
 

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Some years back, I forwarded to the then Secretary of State's website, Colin Powell, a multi-national negotiation plan, featuring Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, and I believe, Great Britain, with the full support of the United States, to negotiate directly with North Korea. The idea was to establish international involvement, yet, not directly invlove the United States in a propaganda war of words between the Bush II United States and North Korea.
A plan almost exactly as I suggested in a simple e-mail suggestion and nearly identical to a similar plan I e-mailed to the office of Sec of State, Powell, was adopted to negootiate with iran, also over potential nuclear proliferation. And in each time, after about four or five weeks after my e-mails, the Bush II Administration adopted each plan, using the term I had emphasised, calling them 'Mulrinational Negotiation Plans.
In historical context, we were going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq and were in no position to fight wars on greater multiple fronts.
These plans allowed the U.S. to use diplomacy, international pressure and show serious committments to resolve these issues in a way that the U.N. and our competitors, and working with China and Russia to help curtail nuclear proliferation with the full support of the entire international community.
Even then, I knew that these plans might not succeed, and I was just a mere citizen with some extra education and military experience which included special training in fighting a desert war in the Middle-East under the command of General Norman Swartzkopf in the 1984-85.
I believe; that current Sec. of Stae Clinton in using tough talk about North Korea, had had assurances from China that if the United States stood up, China would not oppose directly, standing strong against North Korean aggression.
China does not want to publically put down North Korea, but will privately express their views, and does not war and does not want North Korea to threaten China's own trade relations with the rest of the world. Being a bit sarcastic, isn't it, in my own opinion, amazing what mutual considerations will do to bring rival nations together.
As far as the Sherrod matter, isn't it amazing what happens when the truth will out... The ultra-conservatives played gotcha, grabbing a single line from a recent speech, that said Sherrod did not want to do any more than minimum support for a white Georgia farmer who's farm was approaching foreclosure in the mid 1980's while she was a Georgia state bureaucratic employee, 24 years ago.
Sherrod then decided that these people were just another poor family who needed help, as do any other poor people, and then proceed to help that family save their farm, explaining that poverty is something beyond race.
Interviews she later told of a cross being burnt in her lawn, as a child, and at age 17, her father was murdered in a clear race crime.
The Obama administration only heard the first part of the story and heard about the one line quote of black on white racism. She was asked to resign based on only one severely stolen quote taken out of context. I have a bi-racial child and had heard my son referred to as a half-breed and have some personal experiences that for many reasons, will not be discussed here. Been there, down that, got the T-Shirt...
The truth has come out. Ms. Sherrod had acted in the best manner a so-called bureaucrat could do. The family of the people with the farm has said that she had saved their farm That she acted above race and any other consideration to help that white family.
The Obama people acted too quickly in seeking her dismissal.
The president should call her personally, invite her to the White House, give her face time with the president and the Secretary of Agriculture, and then perhaps have Michelle Obama spend some real real time with Ms. Sherrod.
Being friendly sarcastic, in the real world of Mars versus Venus, Men versus Women, and let them speak of real policy and about mothers and children and grown children and their parents.
If there was ever a time time for President Obama and Michelle to embrace the struggles of African-Americans and all U.S. minorites, this is that time. Whether it the poor or the weak, the disenfranchised, the challenged, this woman should not necessarily be greatly honoured, but rather, greatly respected for being a dedicated public servant, regardless of race, religion, or original national origin.  
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Well, Fin-Reg passed, the gulf BP spill is temp capped... And Obama popularity is taking a hit? Duh, what planet is folks on? A bi-racial president who is getting the Jackie Robinson treatment, is leading us through a time of fundemental change, as well as, cyclical economic reform, vis-a-vis, Corporate World/America has gotten everything they wanted for 30 years, so it is time for wise re-regulation to protect working class people.
Wise re-reg is fixing the excess at the top, the greed, chase the money-changers out of the Temple [the reference is fair, even if not a traditional religious practioner].
The core strategy of the far Right is stall, deny, whine, bully and wish the Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan return from the grave.
The thing is that even the Bush people knew how screwed the economic system was and I actually have heard that some believe that Bush went too far to the middle because in the second term he sometimes went beyond Cheney and Rove for policy advice... Good Grief...
It is time the the left wing of the democratic Base to stand-up with the president and applaud 2/3 reform as victories in the right of center realm of national policy, and hear the message that [not my phrase] B- reform beats no reform and against the Party Of No GOP,
Obama is right, this election really is moving back to the center or in an economic crisis, a bit left of center, as in FDR 1933, to keep the Greed-Mongers from shutting down the the economy because the Greed-Mongers are not going to keep all the De-Reg's that led to the crash of 2007-8.
The financial commentators on CNBC were saying that Big Business in America is sitting a trillion bucks, rather than invest in rehiring workers. That the right would rather blame Obama for not re-reg of Oil, which helped lead to Gulf spill, while at same time saying Drill Baby Drill. Obama even gave into Right-Wing and kept re-reg to minimum in oil industry just before Oil Spill. And the Right complains that Big Government had not stepped in fast enough.
Then the Right cried that economic and oil industry reform was going too far... Good grief...
The Tea Party still taks of privatising Medicare, Social Security, closing Education department, closing EPA, and then complain that America is losing jobs and weak Bog Government oversight under Obama cause Oil spill...
And the GOP members of senate won't pass unemployment extension because it is not 'funded', but would extend Bush tax cut for the Wealthy, even though it isn't paid for in the budget [Funded]
Good grief... Fox News network's Hannity is allegedly offering a reward for proof that big Washington Tea Party rally had racist demeaning signs and stuff about Obama.
Hello, I saw the stuff on CNN and I saw the reports of dozens of officials that saw the stuff in person...
As far as Iraq and Afghanistan, their leaders are stuck between wanting the U.S. military to leave and needing them to stay to prop up their still weak regimes. Who wants a large foreign army presence in their country?
Anyway, Obama is a left of center pragmatist, not a wild-eyed radical, and the presidency does move most leaders to the center because of the chase for moderate independents, the GOP base and Dem base, vote with their party and the middle third in the middle sway elections, just like in parlimentary systems, often some small party has a big say because the party in power needs that small party's vote to maintain a legislative majority... 

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And so, we meet again after the holiday week-end, which left my e-mail account with over 100 strange, pornographic, or uniquely containing misdirected messages in very bizarre forms of broken English...
Anyway, Could someone explain the rationale for Fox and the GOP trying to collapse the economic recovery in order to punish working people and allegedly the big banks, by trying to keep financial reform at a minimum and the taxes on the wealthy at a minimum.
What happened to real financial reform, which would include restoration of Glass-Steagell?
I have never, and I mean never heard such whining and crying and bullying and such in my entire life, and Rushbo and your buddies, I mean this; by the people that need the least governmental and economic and judicial protection, The wealthy, the rich, the overlords, the wage-slave holders, the Richie-Rich's of the U.S. world.
The reason the Fox and GOP groups are doing this is because of power, manipulation, and control. Tax cuts for the top 5% wealthy of the people, is all about keeping the 2/3 of the population completely under the thumb of the economic elite.
We should be doing things to enhance U.S. industrial production and spending billions of dollars to develop alternative energy sources. We should be willing to pay 5 to 10 percent more for any product made in America, if for no other reason than to be able to hold a company responsible in the U.S. for crappy merchandise.
Let China develop their economy, by letting them pay high enough incomes to their workers, so they can pay for the stuff they manufacture.
Let me ask it this way... Do all of you not see that globalization has developed a system where workers often cannot afford the goods they produce, whether in the U.S. or China, or Europe; but the professionals, the management, the money-changers, the bankers, and the old money types, et cetera, et cetera... can afford them.
Retail workers, food services, common labourers, now some manufacturing jobs can't afford stuff, a decent car, afford health care, afford to raise dependents on a single income... and you have the Fox and GOP folks crying about taxes up for the top 2% and that the Obama Administration might actually complete financial industry reform...
That ladies and gentlemen is the the problem... The market and economic system needs 2/3 of spending to come from working class and then beat down the working people since the Ronnie Reagan days.
Ya can't tell me that there isn't enough money to go around in the United States, but when you have 30 years of hating unions, lowing working people wages, and worrying about keeping taxes low on the wealthy... gee do ya think?...

Hello and Good Afternoon Sports Fans and what part of disreality do the Fox folks and GOP not recognise yet? The problem with the US job market is called GLOBALISATION. Over the last 25 years, the multi-national corporate world has transported millions of production jobs to China, Mexico, India, Pakistan, and other nations.
The US steel, auto, textiles, house-hold appliances, tools, lawn and garden accessories, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... Been in military vehicle maintenance, family members in design level for mechanical and electronic firms, myself in retail hardware and lawn and garden... I can read labels and boxes and instructions really like, uhm, good... Made in [fill in the blank] And even with all the job losses in production [somewhat replaced with health industry, service, retail jobs]it took an artificial recession-near depression to nearly destroy the world financial system, duh... And who caused this economic collapse; the top banks in the world. When did it happen, 2007-2008.
And the GOP wants to give this recession to Obama from Bush. Yes, partly at fault are the Democrats for not standing up to the GOP and Money Industries demand for De-regulation. And now the GOP wants to keep asking for tax breaks for the wealthy, complain about bad job market and then have their financial advisors worry about a drop in Chinese industrial production of goods being shipped to Europe and the United States.
And now, the GOP wants to blame Obama for the oil spill, while the Bush Administration, Bush is an Oil Man, duh, did everything to eliminate in an operational as well as, written regulations, on the the oil industry. Yes, the Obama industry did not fix the oil regulatory system in type.
The GOP would have you believe that they believe in oversight, but only after a disaster, of course. But, before a disaster, it is their business cronies who they represent. So now, the oil spill is the democrats fault because the democrats did not quickly enough address the Republican de-reg of the oil industry... Yah, Drill Baby drill...
now the GOP wants to kill the recovery by cutting spending before it is time, so that social service programs can be cut back...
  
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 Yes, and Good afternoon sports fans, only another 100 or so nasty, obscene, strange or highly questionable e-mails, and oh well, nevermind... Anybody with half-a-brain watch any of the Kagan confirmation hearing? Apparently Ms. Kagan was a court clerk for Supreme Court Justice, Solicitor General, and lawyer who helped win the anti-segregation case, Brown Vs. Board of Education; Thurgood Marshall...
So, GOP senators at the confirmation hearing for Kagan, complained about Kagan working for a court justice with an activist, liberal, social agenda... Brown Vs. Board of Education ended the legal sanctioning of "Separate, but equal" policy which allowed having only "White Only" and "Coloured Only" facilities across the country...
Does this mean that several U.S. Republican Senators declared themselves racists, and oppose equality and social justice. Hey, it was the GOP senators complaining about the social agenda of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, not me...
  And now, watching MSNBC, the liberal was pointing out quite accurately, that the GOP strategy is -Support Big Oil, Oppose any Regulation", are worried about setting liability on major corporations, because it will set a precedent for requiring Corporate America to take responsibility for gross negligence...
Watch Fox News and listen to the commentators cry about deficit spending and new financial industry regulations... I have to hear about stuff, but if you are poor, working poor, or middle class: "Really, would you trust Rush Limbaugh, Ruport Murdoch, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Goldman Sachs, Citicorps, Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, and J.P. Morgan, with your money, your pension, your government protected Social Security, or the Democrats?"
The question is not whose policies you like better, the question is; "Who do you trust to protect the systemto protect your future?"
If it were life or death or your last dime, would rather trust [GOP protected at all costs] market forces, or a reasonably regulated financial system? Yes, that is a loaded question...       
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 The lame-oh's got nothing better to do, so had 70 or so misdirected, mis-named, strange and obscene e-mails hit my site... And what else is new? And who cares... Good Afternoon Sports Fans,really like watching World Cup, but is it like football without helmets and nobody hikes the ball, and there are more flops than in a bad NBA game.
 I think they should schedule a special match between France and Italy, the two most special-ist, squads who have brought great honours to their football federations, and have that English goal-keeper with the slippery fingers to like throw-up the first ball or whatever F*I*F*I or FIFA or whatever calls like throwing out the first pitch...
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And in the realm of confrontational absurdity, Iran is going to send an alleged aid ship to Gaza. Israel should not spout off their standard rhetoric, usually true, yet often overly harsh and strident. Rather, Israel should say that legitimate peaceful aid to Gaza is welcome, but that it needs to be screened, and ask Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan to supervise the supply inspection...
So, is Obama still responsible for everything that has happened to the U.S. since before the Civil War?
I am an Anglophile, I have a deluxe edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, and a likely descendant of one the English general who really screwed the British war effort during the American Revolution... But, hello Brits, your beloved BP got caught cutting corners on the well that blew... 
Folks, it is the Bush recession, the Bush Financial Industry Bailout, Bush Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. And, I think the handwriting is on the wall that with the Iraq pull back, and the continued slow go in Afgha-Pakistan, it is time to consider declaring semi-victory in Afghanistan and tell Karzai, we're on his side and like the joke about the bar-fight, "Hey dude, I'm on your side, I'll hold your coat..."  

 

I like some of her music, she has a rockin' bod; but are you looking for Lady Gaga to be a normal, responsible, like, uhm, uh, maybe a role model, kind of like Madonna, maybe...?

capt_5efcbf574a20467d9432b31815f93c7a-5efcbf574a20467d9432b31815f93c7a-0.jpg

Not a thang... and this has nothing to do with anything important, this be a rave, a rant, a "what? R U babbling about this time??" kinda thing and is it my turn to be snarky [which in the old days was called 'nasty or snotty'] like that be the next great level of discussion and debate these days.
Big Foot and Kate Gosselin are trending side by side on Yahoo and did Big Foot step on Kate Gosselin like Godzilla stomped on Bambi, oh well, that was just me being snarky?...!@#$%^*&^%
Oh boy, does that make me relevent or cool or hip or "Bad" or -dope- or bomb-daddy...
nevermind, if you ain't it or all that or keepin' it oh so real... duh, you're just another Urkel...
I won't even bother to enumerate that great list of radio and TV commentators who use their snarky and witty repartee' to come as close to racism as they can when talking about Obama... but then, it does need to be said that these folks treated Bill Clinton with only a touch more respect than our current president...
and it some of the folks that support Right Wing Radio and TV and a portion of the Tea Party who believe that George W. 2 was too moderate? Huh? What? Duh? The same folks who want no government regulation, no social welfare and other domestic spending; that want Social Security privatised, and oppose funding for any regulation of any industry and then argue that we don't need anymore new laws, just the ones on the books enforced...
Sure, let's put World-Wide Corporate on the Honour System, on self-regulation and then pretend Shock and Awe when a big chunk of a private sector goes Kahflooey [a very technical term, like a four-wheel car running on three wheels and the resulting roll is 'Caterwhompus']
I'm fifty-four, so give me my viagra, my senior Centrum vitamins, Men's Grecian Formula, a Big Mac, and low-cal Cherry Pepsi when I watch "Dancing with the Biggest American Idol Loser" on something hosted by Joan Rivers on the 'Tel-Retail Video Shop-a-thon Network for the Bankrupt still using credit cards..." nevermind...
 
 

and i know you've heard it all before
like when my ex-wife would hear me start
to tell a same-ol' story, her interruption
of needed sarcasm usually began with
"... and one time at band-camp, we..."
 
i get wrapped too much in "wonky" part of the
big issues that our leaders seem to make bigger
productions of how they are aware of the problems,
the need for great solutions, and then go running for the
hills to avoid taking any step that could remotely bring a
solution...
 
And, no, I do not worry that the wealthiest
might not have made enough money this year...
because of the claim that these wealthy folks
will be remotely fair to workers, rather than just
maximise profits at the expense of the rest of the world...
 
Please, do not ask people to be so naive,
that the highest muckity-mucks won't just
claim a price of what the market will bear, as opposed
to charging a fair price for a product, based on costs to produce,
so that workers, distrubutors, and owners can share in the
benefits of capitalism, with some level of economic justice
 
So, Mr. Kudlow, and such... Don't try to make us cry
about the plight of corporate america, their shipping our
production overseas, and attempts to gouge the public at
nearly every opportunity, and willingness to 'buy' the political
system with lobbyists and campaign contributions, and BP spending
50 million on a TV advertisement campaign to claim sorrow, and don't let BP
off the hook, keep them in the loop, so that the world can see its
incompentence, and the inability of them to manage their rigs, and let
market forces kill BP without the government having to do it.
 
And all ya all that complain about big government and over-regulation and then have the unmitigated gall to complain that the government should have seen the oil disaster was coming, that where was the supervision and regulation and such, and why can't government make all the nasty BP oil dry-up and go away... Yah the "We hate Obama-Care, keep big government out of health-care, and leave my Medicare and Medicaid alone"
What this government forgot to do on health-care reform was not keep telling the people about double-digit inflation in healthcare costs every year being pushed on business and workers and children and seniors, with no end in sight for that inflation in coverage to the point of bankrupting the system.
Hurray, ya want it all, and make sure the other guy does all the paying for it...
-nevermind...-
 
***************************************************

And now for something not completely different... Watching FOX News babble about the insensitive comments toward Israel by 89 year old reporter Helen Thomas, -some typical Fox panel took the opportunity to argue that virtually all liberals [especially college professors] have similar feelings as Ms. Thomas, that Israel get the hell out of Palestine and Jews should return home to places like Eastern Europe, Germany, France, and the United States.
These panelists went on to point out that these views mirrored that of the Iranian president, Mock-Mood Ahma-dinner-jacket [phonetic spelling].
Don't ya love the Fox silliness. Yes, some liberals blame Israel for the entire plight of the Palestinian people and for the continued occupation of the West Bank.
Yes, some liberals do need to be reminded that many in the Arab world refuse to recognise Israel even if Israel did end the occupation of the west Bank and ended the Israeli claim of East Jerusalem. And I only hear from Arab nations that Israel should let Palestinian refugees from 3 generations back, inside the Israeli 242 resolution 'Green Line'.
This is the great double-edged sword, the conflict that hard-liners on each side refuse to let end peacefully. The Israeli Defence Force seldom misses an opportunity to over-react to provocations by Palestinians and their supporters, and Hamas makes it quite clear it will never recognise Israel, merely accept a long-term ceasefire, even if Palestine were completely recognised as a free and sovereign state.
Both sides have to be willing to compromise and accept peace and recognise the rights of the other party... Just hear Israel whine if there is an international out-cry to declare Palestine a free nation. Would Palestine allow non-Israeli peace-keepers to remove weapons caches if a settlement were ever reached.
Would Israel willingly leave areas in the West Bank it wants to absorb?
If Israel and Palestine made peace, would the Arab League be willing to insure security for Palestine against any Arab state seeking to entire Palestine illegally [hey boys and girls can you say Iranian, Lebanese, Syrian members of Hezbullah wanting to bring their version of Islam to all of Palestine...].
Hello, is any of this sinking in?
Don't push BP out of Gulf clean-up, get them for every penny and every arrangement we can; If the US Government 'retired' BP from active clean-up involvement, watch BP try to only pay the 75 million in the environmental law being cited.
And, how is that total Tea Party view of "Total De-regulation" working? Human nature demands that once society moves beyond the immediate family, some form of regulation is necessary to protect the weaker from the stronger...
Money and Power roughly equate- Power corrupts--Absolute Power Corrupts absolutely--- Money Corrupts-Absolute Money Corrupts Absolutely...
Balance-Balance-Balance between freedom and regulation, fair taxation levels, balance in laws to protect public and workers and yet allow fair business profit... Balance-Balance-Balance. DUH
  
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Day 46, Oil spill, what we have found out is that no one has a "master plan", which means that you just keep trying things till something works. But what is pretty obvious is that BP knew more all along about the size of the spill and was hoping that any one of the fourteen or so; real, half-real, half-assed, or even wishful thinking plans; one would finally work, so the clean-up could start and once the beaches are clean [not necessarily the rest of the Gulf], claim victory...
Okay, these type situations are almost never as bad as the environmentalists say, and always worse than what the corporate apologists and spin doktors claim. What a concept, the middle, balance, and now to find a balanced plan, to include a relief shaft for all successfully-pumping wells, or similar plan.
-Okay, look, full inspections for all off-shore rigs; all gigs and deficiencies worked off, no class one leaks put "under observation", no "parts on order" on solution lines beside the deficiency line... I was a motor pool sergeant in the army reserves after 3 years as an active duty motor pool clerk, doing tasks an E-6 would do, as an E-4... What I did was make sure real trucks got real repairs and most of the scheduled service maintenance took place [we did some services a little out of varience when other repairs were necessary...].
All problems, repairs, all considerations worked off on oil rig with the same level or higher of an aviation pre-ops maintenance safety inspection; before a well is "Re-certified" Hey, I like that, challenge rig operators to develop new protocols, et cetera, to "re-certify" existing wells on U.S. coastlines.
Creation of a new 'higher operation standard' for off-shore oil rigs... Ten-year [or whatever] mandatory Re-certification for oil rigs...
 
 
 

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In all my more than 54 years, I don't know that I have ever seen such self-serving duplicitous crap from a group of politicians than the GOP right/Tea Party crowd/Fox Alleged News Crowd, except maybe Spiro T. Agnew, Nixon's first vice-president complaining about 'pointy-headed liberals'.
Let's see, Texas folks wanting to honour Joe McCarthy in school textbooks; Sarah Palin accusing Obama of being in Oil lobby back pocket, after her countless "Drill Baby Drill comments;  The Fox Commentators saying "... I don't understand why the Obama Administration did _______________ 'whatever'" -those commentators know exactly what the democrats did and are doing, they understand Belt-way politics just fine. It is just that Fox News has a conservative agenda [as much for profit as it is about real beliefs] and are framing a partisan argument for a partisan audience [... and yes MSNBC has a middle left leaning, but without the laughable Fox News tag-line of 'fair and balanced].; -Rand Paul trying to keep Tea Party and Libertarians happy by the no-meaning statement of 'having problems' with certain aspects of the 1964 Civil Rights Law and the Disability Act which protect minority rights being fairly served and accommodated as would any citizen of the United States.
The Rand Paul statement means that he is one of the 'Good ol' Boys', but isn't willing to risk political capital to officially oppose laws that grant a greater level of equality to many Americans. So he makes his meaningless "I have problems" comment to say to the Right Wing, "I would be a racist if I had the political courage to do that. But since those commies, socialists, liberals, and weaklings have control of the government, and moderates, as well, I will give you fellow travelers a wink and a nod by saying, "I have a problem with certain aspects of civil liberty protection laws..." DUH!!!
The GOP bending over backwards to kiss the butts of Wall Street Bankers and then complaining about a lack of bi-partisanship after promising countless times to Just Say No to anything Obama and Democrat.
And the 'NO Bail-Outs" scream for everything, no job program money, no action except keeping taxes low on the wealthy, oppose any social welfare program that helps lower and lower-middle economic folks; oppose all unions, tell first responders and teachers to take pay-cuts so that we can extend the Bush Wealthy Tax Cuts... See, I don't think that the wealthy should pay taxes like the old days, but I also don't think that the wealthy needs any help from me in getting more of the money than they already have. 
Gee, what a concept...   
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Okay, this ain't for real and for true; But what if... Hey, let's have the US Army invade Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and the very border region of California. Drop a whole boat load of Airbourne Rangers and an active US Army division, and federalise chunks of the Western states National Guard, and really seal the border... Let GI Joe and GI Jane drive their trucks and tanks wherever they want, use Combat Engineers to start serious work on a serious fence and not only get the illegal aliens coming in [undocumented workers is a silly politically correct term of nonsense], stop drug trafficking, and any questionable gun-running because it is the US market for drugs, alleged undocumented workers do leave the US if they can't find a job, and allegedly US weapons are being used by Mexican drug gangsters to fight their own drug wars.
So, are those western states ready to turn over their states to our Military to fight a real drug war, fight an alleged real war against illegal immigration, and even set-up joint military operations with the Mexican military to clear out seemingly existing weapons caches by the alleged Mexican drug warlords?
Aw c'mon, let's go after Pancho Villa all over again, but this time with armoured cavalry, Blackhawks and A-10's.
Or we could develop both a virtual and real fence, increase penalties for illegal hiring, create a real quest worker program, and develop a fairly tough method of amnesty for long-term 'undocumented workers'...
But hey, let's run the idea up the flagpole of invading those western borders states and see who salutes...
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Yes, state voters have spoken a clear message... Congressional Incumbants suck. Party doesn't matter, issues don't even matter that much, an incumbant by incumbant, voter created 'term limit'. Did not Congress see that their approval numbers were lower than Bush's in 2008? and didn't get much better in 2009 and 2010.
The earmarks, silent holds for local projects for single senators or congressional reps... the whole swing of tax policy, from right to left, and all points in between. The real and unreal agenda of the Tea Party, and still fighting two wars...
Now, because Dems hold senate/house/white house... ohmigod, the world is coming to an end... after GOP had bush white house/gop house/gop senate and Dems said ohmigod, and golly and gee, could that just be a partisan issue?
let's see traditional Republicans run against Stimulus package and called Stimulus grants for their districts and states a good thing...
Please, you guys listen to Tea Party people tell you that business-oriented tax cuts and cash grants to help states and districts should have been turned down... Oh well, ya see, it is so easy to stand outside and throw stones... and some people want government to leave healthcare alone and let them have their Medicaid and Medicare... and if you understand that irony, you passed today's civic's lesson...

*******************************************************
Caught five minutes of Ann Coulter on Fox explaining that it was nice that the economy was showing signs of recovery, but since that recovery was based on government deficit spending, that the recovery was a questionable one for being a true recovery.
Yes, we should have let the financial industry completely fail, the American Auto Industry die, and not pumped billions into a failing economy, because conservatives don't like deficit spending, unless they do it themselves, of course.
Nevermind... See, the Fox News commentators have all but made themselves irrelevent because of the singularly narrow focus they have given themselves. Have you ever heard of William Randolph Hearst?
We have Rupert Murdoch, a conservative Australian media mogul who has bought and paid for media outlets and entertainment corporations around the world, trying to tell Americans about our government, our politics, and our economy.
Sarah Palin; income 12-15 million since resigning governorship of Alaska, Glenn Beck; income 35 million; Rush Limbaugh 30-40 million... Hello folks, yes, it's about the money. Nevermind... people are entitled to their opinion and make money, but money is about power, and don't be fooled, Murdoch and Fox are happy to rake in more and more millions on the backs of the Tea Party movement or anything else...
The GOP has even said it themselves, they will oppose anything this President does because he won and is trying to implement most of the agenda he campaigned on.
It is no surprise that the Obama administration has been more conservative on many national security issues than the left would like. Hello..., why? Because this administration wants to protect American lives and because it does not want to be blamed for 'being asleep at the switch', so after the 2008 election and before the Obama inauguration, the Bush people and Obama people worked more closely together than is normal for administrations with such great basic differences because of the financial crisis, the two wars, and international terrorism.
So, that is the real 'No Spin' factor. Life in the real world is almost totally grey; like Physics, politics and governance is a world of action-reaction-action; sides and people competing and pushing back against each other for their own piece of that big pie.
The dream is that compassion can find a place beside competition, that human equality can become the norm for all and not just a dream for most, that the golden rule be returned to 'do unto others as you would have them do unto you', as opposed to nearly always meaning 'they who have the gold makes the rules'... That people be judged by the content of their hearts and not the colour of their skin... that religious freedom means that persons can worship as they wish and not as a state prescribes... and that hate and anger become also obsolete... 

Not to worry, this is lifted from a BBC News official website. The young woman's photo was part of the BBC post, which I deleted from my site. I do not profit from this website, and fully credit BBC for the posting.
 
"AMINA AL-HASANAT, SALES DIRECTOR, 22, GAZA

 

I believe that negotiations are the only solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, but must be done in the right way. To take steps to improve the conditions for negotiations, the Arab leaders should maintain pressure on Israel to accept negotiations based on international legitimacy and United Nations resolutions. Israel must stop settlement activity in Jerusalem and the West Bank and recognise the rights of the Palestinian people.

I dream of a two-state solution which is based on a viable independent Palestinian state, side-by-side with Israel. We must find a unified Palestinian strategy to support the position of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, because Israel is taking the division between the Palestinians as an excuse to stop negotiations and continue attacks against the Palestinian people."

The divide between Fatah and Hamas makes it very difficult for any deal to be struck. This favours Hamas, who, in my opinion, is indirectly or more likely, directly affiliated with Hezbullah.

Hamas, like the old U.S. cigarette slogan, "... would rather fight than switch". Though it holds no weight beyond me trying to whistle in the dark [which virtually all of my postings here amount to...], I have proposed that all parties in Palestine be willing to fully recognise Israel upon the day Palestine is fully recognised as a free and sovereign state...

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**************************************************
Am in a strangely good mood
such as it is; a minor epiphanal moment,
a merely slight transitional realisation,
for it is not really a new realisation,
but an enhancement, a wider horizonal
view of thing-stuffs 'i' kind of already know,
but now in a wider context...
 
It is time for the Obama administration
to consider changes in style and tone, but
not message.
 
To politely, even with the tone of a wise grandfather,
a retired priest, minister, or someone who no longer
needs to speak loudly or in an uncivil manner, but even
with humour and grace.
 
The killing them with kindness, even more than is already
happening. But not to weaken any stances or positions
unilateral, rather to spin opponents venomous rhetoric
back upon themselves. And even what [please forgive the stereotype] may be viewed as Oriental politeness
and civility, while gently explaining that politeness
and civility be not taken for weakness.
 
And the current Administration should do this, almost to the point of sarcasm, but not quite sarcasm, rather with almost
greeting card sentimentality, and in this way, the current administration could say virtually anything, clarifying fact and opinion, and let the others bark like dogs at the moon, not knowing anything about what they are barking about, rather just to be heard making noise about whatever happens to be in front of them.  
 

The thing about instant media, instant news, instant commentary is that there does not seem to be enough 'just the facts' stuff to fill all the media coverage, until you throw in all the "adver-crap marketing", the content product placement [the worst examples being media coverage of Supper Bowl coverage of multi-million dollar TV commercials, who or what is wearing like uhm, stuff, to the Oscars, and shows like American Idol, Survivor, and Dancing with the Stars that have become caricatures of themselves.
The almost 'religiousity' of various -vote out, send home, you be gone parts, and the fib that that leaving contestant won't be forgotten- scenarios on the shows... the weepy and teary send-ups that remind me of one of the best message movies of the last 20 years, Jim Carrey's 'The Truman Show".
I got news for ya, if given the right writer, just about anyone's life, their interaction or lack thereof, with other people, given each person's overlaps with other person's lives, could be an interesting story. I don't care what Angelina Pitt had for breakfast while chatting with god knows who on the telefon [i'm a guy so i do notice her hot bod]. 
And i would rather write about peace and equality and finding the right balance of helping people who need help and further helping them help themselves.
You know, give a person a fish and they eat for a day but still might complain about how it was cooked and if the french fries were okay; teach a person to fish and then they won't starve and they can decide for themselves how to cook the fish and whether to have Fries or Hush Puppies with the catch...
Oh, and barring a great calamity, Iraq will have its election, regardless of an uptick in violence and US troops will leave completely just as soon as the Iraqi government feels it can protect and defend itself.
See, it's a semantics thing, US troops will totally leave Iraq, not necessarily when the Iraqi government can protect all the peace-loving Iraqi people, but when the Iraqi government can protect itself.
Ya see, that's how things work.
And many nations have much larger militaries than they need for defence against other nations[because if nations play nice with their neighbours they are much less likely to be attacked], but they have the larger military to keep their own people in check, and the government in power.
Functional democracies can vote people out of office and in extreme cases, find ways to remove them for cause before their elected term is up, and in peaceful ways.
 

The Rhetoric, the continual grey-noise from all political points, screamed from the extreme left and extreme right. The best governance is usually that which pleases neither the hard right or hard left, represents the views and better natures of a decent, fair-minded, majority.
Sometimes the needed solutions in times of great hardship and concern, must move closer to the views of the more conservative, and sometimes closer to the more liberal, for no system can ride that center line, that center post forever, just as no system can remain always most liberal or always most conservative.
It be simple, times and causes and circumstances change; the direction of peoples and nations around us change, technologies change; and those who resist change, who embrace a singular, one note, philosophic tune, will be left behind. 
In watching the waves of world events; i see windows of opportunity for peace, for social and economic justice, as well as environmental, technologic, and economic opportunities in many places.
At times, the windows are larger and more greatly open than at other times. There will be times when seeking peace between Israel and Palestine when there are better windows, better opportunities than now. That does not mean even the smallest opportunities and limited chances should not be pursued.
For example, it appears that both sides are in a heightened sense of playing the zero sum game against one another. For each, it could be a negotiating ploy of not giving up something until the other side is willing to also make concessions, but it more seems that both have staked out positions long held with little desire to make the needed choices to move close enough to a middle ground where peace can be found.
Israel is making further in-roads in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and Palestine and other arab nations still speaks seriously of 'refugee return' within Israeli conclusive, post-settlement [dual use, pun intended], borders.
Would a conclusive settlement between Israel and Palestine occur, would Jewish settlers in the West Bank really want to be permanent residences of a wholly-own Palestinian West Bank as would Palestinians really want to be part of an Arab Moslim minority in Israel?
I would ask, does not it appear that these potential minorities are hedging their bets on perhaps, a permanent solution which be a one-state solution. And whether that one state would be of Israeli governance or of Palestinian governance, in continuing to resist a fair and complete and conclusive two-state solution.
That is how I phrase the matter about a one-state or two-state solution in the land once called Palestine. Arabs who speak of a one-state solution assume a Palestinian governed state, while Jews who speak of a one-state solution, assume an Israeli governed state.
And that is why I speak of a two-state, fair solution...
 A bit of diplomatic semantics: Rather than use the word 'final' to discuss a completed agreement between Israel and palestine, because of the phrase 'Final Solution' used by Nazi Germany in World War II to signify the extermination of Jews and other minorities, I will try to use the word, 'conclusive'. And I would have anyone reading this to assume that I pre-suppose a settlement that would bring about and maintain a 'safe and secure Israel and a free Palestine...
And as a note; History indicates that as momentum builds toward a conclusive settlement, extreme forces seek to derail such a settlement. Israel seemingly might launch a more severe than necessary incursion into Palestine or Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers target Israeli settlements.
And then cries rise from each side that the other side does not seek peace and a settlement, but a continuation of violence and hatred.
And yet, it is not a real change of view, but rather the more extreme persons acting out in a direct manner to prevent real peace between the two parties. This may seem relatively obvious, but still, from time to time, need to be stated.
 

On something of no great import... The Canadian Women's Hockey team should receive a warning and reprimand from the I.O.C., but no real punishment for their "professional" athlete "Jock" conduct on Olympic ice after winning the gold medal.
It wasn't the act of smoking cigars and drinking that was the problem, it was doing it on Olympic ice. [I was in a 'co-ed' Army unit and frequented a bar in college that often had the Women's Club Rugby team in what we in student government referred to as 'unofficial executive session'].
As far as the GOP 2010 Congressional election strategy: Do Republicans think that Democrats and all Americans are stupid and naive'?
The DNC and every liberal PAC should be running ads about what Administration last balanced the budget and the GOP supporting continuing tax cuts for the wealthy, the GOP 'game' of trotting out long-decided social issues to distract working poor conservative Americans from their economic plight while the Republicans keep giving more support to wealthy Americans over working-class Americans.
After eight years of the Bush Administration, the only question I would like to look back at those 8 years about, is: "Okay, sports fans, where did all that funding go to? What do we have to show for all those budget deficit years, except a thriving civilian 'quasi-military' ops program, and who besides 'Cartman' worked in the new mercenary branch of the military; Daffy or Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit (...she wasn't bad, just drawn that way), Santa Claus and Uncle Sugar..."
The dream continues and when will Russia, China, and the U.S. start dealing with each other in light of the reality of the 21st century, which is that conflicts at the highest levels by the strongest powers, invite the M.A.D. concept, whether or not W.M.D.'s are even part of the equation.    
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Saw an old episode of 'West Wing'
a different episode west Wing had the most
television moment in the history of fictional
TV drama.
One actor as a White House aide
explained to a new aide that 'this is the real thing, the big
league, that when they recommended plans and policies, 
they actually had the power to make things happen.'
That was a paraphrase of course, but it was about actors knowing that they were actors, saying that their characters had the ability to change the
world as if the actors were the real White House staff.
See, the thing is: The journalistic media and commentators have some
influence as do the masses, but God only knows how much. And the
governmental types, [legislators and their staff's, judges, and members
of the executive branch] actually have some power.
But after hearing and reading all of the stuff from the neocons, the bottom line is that they are more willing to be overly aggressive than liberals and democrats. And the neocons are not above the -crap and wall strategy- [throw just as much crap as you can get your hands on and throw it against the wall to see how much of it will stick and smell...
There is no mystery about who the GOP represents, it is the wealthy, period. They will use the same old social issues, wave the flag, scream about family values, insult the integrity and question the patriotism of those who disagree with them and then bring back the tired old 'trickle down, welfare for the wealthy', anti-worker, anti-union, economic policies while they have the moderate and conservative "Reagan Democrats" all worked up over gay marriage, flag-burning, and every other N.I.M.B.Y. issue they can latch their hands on.
It is such a classic bait and switch routine that it is allegedly illegal in the retail world. Tell them about social progress in America by calling it every negative name one can imagination, get the faithful all worked up, and get the conservative working poor to worry about social change and forget that the GOP will sell out the working people almost every single time.
That's the formula, just ask Tom Delay and Karl Rove and your favourite Fox commentator, oh, I'm sure they will tell you it is just coincidence...
 
 

Oh my, golly-gosh... The sky is falling, America is dying and the commie/liberal/@!#$%^&*(=+*&%% are all conspiring to get the poor and pure conservatives. Whatever...
I congratulate FOX and billionaire Rupert Murdach for inventing/creating/developing their own media niche based on exploiting millions of Americans into believing that some sort of giant conspiracy or some vaguely connected conspiracies are going on.
Recently some media type gave the old Will Rogers quote, "I belong to no organized political party, I am a Democrat."
Rush, Hannity, Beck, Coulter, and all these other semi-butt so-called commentators are right, and I confirmed it from Henny-Penny, "The sky is falling, The sky is falling..."
Please, tell me the Tea Party Agenda: The democrats are for terrorism, for bankrupting America, for opposing religious freedom, for raising taxes on the wealthy, supporting equality for all Americans [including those darn homosexuals] and are in favour of free speech, and taking automatic weapons from 'gun collectors'".
(*See, this is my opinion, which i am entitled to, just as the conservative crowd is entitled to theirs. "Oh my God, the Democrats won the election and they might present their policies for legislation. The sky is falling, the sky is falling, America will be changed forever..."
"Good grief Charlie Brown, and Texans are talking seceding from the Union. Good, let them, boycott them, quarantine them, and make Washington D.C. the 50th state or the Michigan U.P., The healthcare system in this country is as challenged as Social Security and Medicare, and it is all inter-related. The coservatives want all their social programs, want all their social programs, no taxes, and no help from the government for anyone but the wealthy.
The conservatives want to run your schools, tell you what you can watch or read, create a state religion, and would take us to war in about four different places.) 
All pretty over the top, hey there Charlie Brown, I could be even more over the top, because I see and hear all this stuff. The greatest case of political hypocrisy in the history of our democratic-republic is the republican legislators who took Stimulus money and said it was great for bringing jobs to the state, and then went to Washington and said that the Stimulus Package created no jobs.
So, would the Tea Party supported allowing the greatest or second greatest economic collapse to happen and multiply by opposing the bail-outs and the Recovery Act. Go get-em Herbert Hoover. Hoover, the president that ignored the Great Depression.
"The sky is falling... The sky is falling. The country elected a bunch of Democrats..." Oh good grief Charlie Brown. Hey, everybody, lighten up..."    

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Folks, I got some news for ya... ya know, I think [no more level of certainty than any other opinionated commentator really has] that the times we live in are no more goofy than any other era of history.
The difference is that we seemingly have access to virtually every comment and image created on this planet and half the universe. This puts us in contact with the greatest and worst, best, and silliest notions people have.
And with cable television and the internet, people are bombarded with marketing and social and political concepts like nothing the world has ever seen.
Because of the internet and television, politicians are forced to align themselves almost exclusively with their own base supporters because, like Scott Brown, the faithful supporters will know of any compromise, and opponents will not abandon their own candidates to help a candidate because of only one vote or issue.
So, the GOP is stuck trying to out-conservative each other and the democrats are fighting among themselves between the Dem moderates and Dem liberals [which is mostly why Obama can't get healthcare and other reforms more easily through Congress].
The thing is that the GOP is shameless about being the party of the rich, the party of social conservatives, et cetera, et cetera. From strictly a philosophical point of view, if public-funded organizations want to hold prayers and religious services, who decides of what faith or denomination the service or prayer is conducted in. What about urban neighbourhoods, with Jewish, Moslem, Hindu, Christian, Native American, and Buddhist residents?
Oh, is this so silly? What about a White House Prayer Breakfast? What about Protestant versus Catholic, Shia versus Sunni, Orthodox versus Reform Jews; and each religion has their own subsets... et cetera, et cetera.
See, the thing is that i really am unbiased about religion because i claim to have no immortal knowledge [as a mortal] of a potentially omnipotent being. People should have the freedom to believe as they wish, as long as they do not try to impose their beliefs upon others.
People are people, with the same general loves and hates, but their reactions are influenced by their surrondings and culture and immediate history. If they see or am the victim of violence, if raised to believe in violence, then there is a greater liklihood of violence. This is not rocket science and not particular to any culture, but just the way it is.
Whether of any faith or just a common decency rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Seek peace. Look forward as best one can. 

I luv it when media types say to a camera; "(He or She) Has to say this or do that...". That is silly, now if a celebrity wants to accomplish certain goals or appease or impress certain people, there are things they might do to accomplish these goals.
The media confuses its goals and responsibility to seek the truth, with some sort of special priviledge, higher calling, or greater knowledge than they possess. It is the role of journalists to seek the facts without bias and the role of commentators to comment upon the world as they see it, but based on truths and on facts, not merely ideology and their own specific political preference (and offer their insights as anything else other than opinion).
It is also the responsibility of journalists and commentators to respect the privacy of family members of celebrities; especially the children and parents of the celebrity. It is the responsibility of journalists and commentators to not put celebrities in harm's way.
And journalists and commentators should also be held to the same standards of public and private conduct that they would hold celebrities to...
Tiger Woods seems to want to return to his life as a golfer, perhaps married, perhaps not, but at least with contact with his children. Tiger seemingly wants to resume work with his charitable activities and retain his remaining sponsors to keep his non-golf income intact.
So, he seemed sincere in his apology to his family, his business associates and those he might have been and might continue to be a role model for again some day.
Therefore he offered what appeared to be a sincere apology. But, Golf is a game, American Football is a game, International Football is a Game, Basketball is a game, the Olympics are all games; and have no great value to me above watching athletes compete at the highest level, as I have competed at more basic levels, simply for the fun of the competition... 

Illustration: Relaxing in the bath

*I have a headache, a body ache, a butt ache, and nearly every other ache you can think of. Some have suggested happy pills, others have suggested a real job commiserate with my alleged talents.
*I dunno, maybe just people would learn more about what is appropriate and what is and is not their concern. Like, uh, why does Tiger Woods need to apologise to anyone other than his wife? Or like, what is real about reality shows... Kate & Jon with Eight Kids in the Basement Lost On Survivour Island and a tribal council spoke to the Great Spirit and said that Kim Kardasien has a big butt and 'Y' interview Gary Coleman... the thing is that most people don't know a joke was one too many until it lands like a lead zeppellin... ...are we having fun yet? :) :( :|
I think i'll write a different book than my misadventures of the last five years, about being the illegitimate lovechild of groucho marx, "Wiggo Marx", complete with black electric tape mustache and bad one-liners, stealing liberally from WC Fields and Groucho, "I'd rather have 2 girls at 21 each, than one girl at 42" a quote from WC Fields and Hugh Hefner"
And "It's time to take the bull by the tail and face the situation." And remember, "There is no Sanity Clause, at least in the contracts of Fox News political commentators"... later and greater...
*Pray for Peace... I think I'll take a long hot bath in the shower with a blonde half my age and hopefully not twice my weight...*

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Good afternoon Sports Fans, it's time perhaps for a little Political Science lesson... Firstly, It is not in my general beliefs to much agree with Sarah Palin on things... However, due to life experiences that are personal and would only say that I have 'experience' about things involving folks with special challenges, it is morally wrong to 'go after' family members of a challenged person. It is that simple, however Ms. Palin is wrong to accuse Raum Emanual of that act in this situation.
His comments inferred that certain "unchallenged" folk were mentally deficient, while his private comments may not elevate the debate, the Emanual comments are not the same as the tasteless 'Family Guy' cheap joke, which has the same class as making a 'Depends' joke to a senior citizen care-giver. Grow-up people...
Secondly; Core values are a person's personal beliefs; vis-a-vis- basic right and wrong matters and religious preferences... Goals are what person's want to accomplish, whether on political, personal, or economic matters.
Thirdly: That capitalism works... however; even if it is not a zero sum game, it is played that way. The laissez-faire view of capitalism seems to be that of seeking total economic victory is required, that 'trickle-down' economics places profits of individual corporations always above the greater good -it's only business' model.
A corporation is a committee of executives-stock holders-and employees, the corporation seeks its best-highest profit yield at the expense of its workers and competitors because that is what provides the best yield for its owners. remember, it's not personal, 'it's business'. This means that for individual corporations competing, they may share some marketing and industry-wide costs as a general benefit, businesses usually don't collude that much, but rather pursue it's profits as would any business.
Corporations are not above accepting governmental help, but will oppose help for others because of the zero sum game. Corporations will seek to limit wages and benefits because higher wages and better benefits cut into their profits.
The democratic party generally favours 'bubble-up' policies which seek to protect working class people and does, therefore, present a challenge to maximum corporate profits.
Meanwhile, the GOP favours 'trickle-down' laissez-faire economics which limits government regulations, seeks lower taxes on higher income brackets and would seek to keep wages and benefits as low as possible.
Meanwhile, I espouse a middle policy which best provides reasonable wages and reasonable profits, and reasonable government involvement, and seeking to find the proper balance.
The problem is that businesses will limit investment, not seek any greater good, but in lean times, adopt policies which will seek to protect each of themselves, that is human nature. This is why it is difficult for Democratic administrations to advance economic recoveries [that does not mean it is right].
However, was it not the Clinton administration that brought welfare reform and the 'Pay-as-you-Go' policy into play and balanced the federal budget? Is this not the same policy as the Obama administration now is putting into place. The problem for the GOP is they still want to impose the laissez-faire policy of limiting wages and benefits for average workers and seek to distract workers with the same ol' flag-waving rhetoric, the same ol' give all the profits back to the wealthy and maybe some of those profits will trickle down to the workers...
Fourthly: Did I hear some neocons saying that they sought to allow Israel to strike nuclear sites in Iran, no matter what the responses might be. There is already enough pressures in the mid-east trying to make nations 'pick sides' in international disputes. These same neocons who claim that the Obama administration is weak on terrorism serve to give a notion to potential terrorists that this administration is weak, which serves as a possible excuse for those to pursue attacks on America or Americans... Get a clue, people...
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It's a joke, okay; But I watch those 130 second Iranian President Ahma-dinner-jacket video-bytes on the internet and his absurd rhetoric about compromise and peaceful intentions while continuing to endorse Iran's building up its WMD technology, and the west keeps finding suggestions that he is trying to bypass or overtake the Iranian theocracy for supreme power in that nation. The type of government in Iran is their business, but is it a power-struggle emerging or more wishful speculation from western media. it's as silly as Fox News that it should have to identify itself as an arm or leg or something of the republican party. The old Dick Nixon joke was that if he ever caught himself telling the truth- he would lie just to cover it up, if Fox News ever said something civil about Obama, it would have to simultaneously apologise to its base, the GOP base for doing such a thing.
Pray for peace, the US and world community should drag Israel and Palestine to the peace tables... King Abdullah of Jordan was right about if Israel and Palestine settled their differences in a fair way that set final borders and gave palestine its independence, the Mid-east would be a far more peaceful place. Oh, do you remember the assassination of Sadat in Eygpt, I knew a friend of sadat's widow [this friend taught international relations poli-sci at a US mid-west university], just thought I'd ask... 
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It be called rhetoric
the catch-phrases, the pounding
of the message
the repeating of truths, half-truths,
and even outright lies,
or merely a 'guestionable' remembering
what resembles the real grey truth...
 
There be hopes and dreams and prayers
for peace and then there be the d**n
reality of not;  peoples not reasonable
and responsible;
and as said yesterday
the challenge of accepting compromise
or standing firm in nearly all aspects
of ones beliefs
 
and it be that still
one needs to respect humanity
and respects other's beliefs
and share the commonality
of our humanity
 
and when the times do come
when self-defence
or the defence
of the defence-less
demands action,
it not be of pride
or repression
or anger, but for justice
and for protection...
 
it is to know when
all hope for peace
through patience and diplomacy
have failed to the point
that the violence
of others
upon the defenceless
or in self-defence
requires a response...
 
sad words, words a soldier understands
but sometimes duties call;
and i prayer to God
who has many names
that peace will come and reign
supreme upon all the lands
and this is my rhetoric
that only and only when
all hopes for peace have faded
and others present violence
upon those who have not
presented violence,
can conflict be pursued.
 
and that is the obligation,
in my opinion,
of the leaders
to keep their people safe
and not pursue violence
against other peoples
so that peace can indeed
reign supreme upon all the lands
as nations respect the rights
of other nations as a community
of nations; as individuals
live in peace within their own
neighbourhoods and that is simple;
Yes...
 
Yes, it be that simple...
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Is it just me, or have we, as citizens of the world been subjected to a week or two of a "Silly" season, a brief period of ridiculous, out-dated, out-moded, retro-speak that more befits the Nixonian Era, the days of the Cold War, and nations who should have grown beyond even considering large scale conflict as a reasonable choice of policy.
The Chinese bruhaha about an arms deal with Taiwan and Obama meeting the Dalai [SP] Lama. What, like Taiwan is going to invade the mainland? The size of the arms deal with Taiwan is not going to persuade Taiwan to declare its total independence from the mainland, and while the United States would prefer autonomy, if not complete independence for Tibet, the United States is not going to war with China over Taiwan or Tibet any time soon.
About the continuing situation about the Eastern European Star Wars anti-missile defense system, which should have already been completely resolved, allegedly a high-ranking Russian military man said that the US-Euro missile shield was aimed at preventing a Russian attack.
1] Such systems are not fool-proof, Seven Days in May, Dr. Strangelove, the Cuban Missile Crisis... Hello? Even Reagan and Nixon made nuclear arms agreements with Russia (which Bush 2 tried to ignore) 
2] Though if it were my choice, I'd scrap the deployment of the system, but continue to technologically develop it, the US has offered to bring Russia into the plan positively, cooperatively.
3] Nobody repealed the M.A.D. concept.
The GOP individual congressional folks, decrying the Stimulus Package in Washington, voting against the Stimulus in Washington, and then going back to their home-states and taking credit for Stimulus funds to pay for projects in their home-states.
Sarah Palin writing little notes on her hand while complaining that Obama uses a teleprompter to make speeches. WHO CARES? Teleprompter/note cards, Palin Palm Reading... Good Grief.
Where was the Palin outrage about Limbaugh saying "Retard" over and over again like a six year-old who learned a new politically incorrect word?
Israel, Syria, Lebanon bickering like its 1967-1973...
Iran building missiles, enhancing nuclear enrichment, executing hundred's of it's citizens for protesting an election as dubious as Bush 2000: Sounds like a peace-loving democracy to me? And I wrote about the possibility of multi-national negotiations with Iran and North Korea before they had even been publically considered [I sent 'White Papers' outlaying the suggestion of such mulri-national talks directly to 'us.statedept.gov' or whatever it was at the time...] Real sanctions and Real diplomacy and real international pressure for any nation who thinks that Iran and North Korea can handle the perfection required to possess such technology is either foolish, naive' or dangerous...
The Silly season indeed; Can we all try to play nice, even just a little bit? I have a suggestion, take a few hours and watch the real World War II documentary footage, no propaganda, no Hollywood, no gimmicks; Oh, the body count in World War II was over 20 million people, by the way.
Religious freedom is about respecting the rights of all citizens to worship or not worship as they so choose. Violence over religion has nothing really to do with religion, but is about power over others...
Oh well, I'll let ya'll just be snotty and snouty and snarky, and be oh so smart. I gave the Bush folks a lot of slack because sometimes even bad policy is better than no policy at all. If I were a Democratic stratagist for the DNC, I would make a video, make the individual photos and videos available of the GOP and their 'Say NO to the money rhetoric in Washington and on the stump, and then pass out the Stimulus Money they voted against...
The GOP formula does not change, *Welfare for the wealthy, Down with Unions, Down with workers, down with civil rights, call any project that doesn't benefit the well-to-do as socialist or communist, Proclaim Family Values and vote against helping families, Wave the Flag, proclaim soldiers and sailors as heroes and then vote against enhanced V.A. benefits, rail about prayer in schools, and watch them vote for automatic weapons for gun enthusiasts, and watch the GOP vote against scientific research, vote for torture which puts American soldiers in greater risk of also being tortured.
And watch the GOP rave about social issues, God and Country, and then oppose working class people economically every step of the way. This is the GOP leadership that was glad that Corporations be allowed to fund political campaigns with any amount of money... Good ol'fashion trickle down economics, give the money to the rich and maybe prosperity will trickle down to the masses... Folks, it is about balance. Finding the formula for fair profit, fair wages, a proper level of government in all aspects of life. The proper level of compromise and standing up for ones own values.
It is about respect and tolerance, about valuing all human life, the original Golden Rule, not "He who has the gold makes the rules..."
 
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Had zero hits on-site yesterday... Good!!!  GOP congressional Leadership officially Corporate Stooges for endorsing Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited Corporate Campaign contributions...
Sarah Palin to receive $100,000 to speak at Tea Party Party, customers to attend event to be charged $300 plus for event, and Tea Party 'convention' attendees paying $549 attend convention.
Pray for Peace... Later
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 It is time for Obama to trot out that Nobel Peace Prize, strike a forward-looking promise and tone, and seek to cut our own military expenses, cut military foreign aid, and limit the scope of arms deals from the Big 3, the European Union, NATO, SEATO, The African League, and the Arab League to other nations.
An International Arms Reduction Agreement, to coincide with nuclear non-proliferation talks. Part of why I just mentioned the possibility of advancing peace pacts with Cuba and North Korea, is to establish the US being willing to advance long past conflicts, as we did with Viet nam, to show the rest of the world that we seek real peace, not merely temporary halts in long simmering conflicts.
On the economic front, when it impacts international relations, the United States must get it's financial house in order. That means reducing our international debt and greatly limit US borrowing from foreign nations, especially China.
We have to walk the fine line with China of standing with our allies, even when threatened by China.
[i will use an 'editorial/governmental we', to outline what kind of statement I would make from the White House or Department of State...] "The United States seeks peace with all nations, and we shall stand with our friends and allies. There are nations who we consider great friends, but sometimes even our friends and this government have disagreements.
In these instances, the United States seeks diplomatic means as the proper way to bring complete resolutions to these disagreements. It is hoped that one day, nations of the world would be able to develop their resources and use their financial means to benefit their people and not use such resources to seek arms that can bring conflict where peace and development should be sought."
I am beginning to age and nearly had to go to war a couple of times as a member of the military.   
 
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Heard a lot I liked in Obama State of the Union. With the economy, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make a nag a thoroughbred...
Tax breaks for businesses to develop jobs, tax breaks to green and develop environmentally better means of production. Incentives for research in developing greener energy sources and developing greener ways to release existing energy sources.
Tax incentives to keep US jobs in US. Defending US products in trade overseas against foreign protectionism. Competing internationally for trade opportunities. [I got to meet former Polish President, patriot, labour leader, Lech Walensa, in 1999, while he was in United States on a trade mission, somewhere in the United States Mid-west.].
Ending corporate welfare for companies that send US jobs overseas. Tax breaks for lower class, working poor and middle class, letting Bush tax cuts for well-to-do expire, helping states and localities keep first responders and teachers on the job, trying to help real people refinance bad mortgages, helping small business provide healthcare insurance to workers, and helping small business get necessary financial resources to stay afloat and/or even expand. Seeking finance reform so that US and world is not held hostage by the international banking community...
Chastising the Supreme Court for opening up campaign financing to lobbyists, large corporations, even foreigners...
Calling for bi-partisanship and criticising those who would rather see the Obama Administration fail, even if that failure would hurt America.
A lot of that sounds familiar from my posts here.
The Obama administration having to clean up deficits after Bush II as Clinton had to clean up deficits from Reagan administration...
My hearing right-wing pundits say after the speech that Obama didn't apologize enough or admit his approach was wrong; was as disingenuous as the 'fake' GOP State of the Union in the Virginia capitol building, in front of a friendly audience, complete with GOP 'applause lines' to imitate atmosphere in US Capitol building from real US Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch officials....
Haiti: Had to chuckle, in a previous time, I was a vehicle dispatcher, and a maintanence seargent in the US Army, and was involved in "Op's briefings' for manuevers of my Army battalion (so I have a little bit of logistics experience hands on) , so when a former US President Clinton is in Haiti, doing hands on there, called for one hundred small trucks [apparently in the range of pick-up trucks, up to 2 1/2 ton trucks] and toilets [field latrines, aka port-a-johns]; I knew what he meant [when you help coordinate rations for field sites in the military, ya still have to get resource A to points, out there]. And sometimes it becomes a Charley Foxtrot.
Yah, I'm doing a bit of written 'showing off', anyway, It is time to deal with the 21st century real world, and not try to hold on to a romaticised 20th century.
This is the nation, along with the former Soviet Union, that saved the world from fascism in the 1940's. This the nation that led the world in helping to rebuild the devastation from that world. Not every program works and not every program works perfectly, I disagreed with 80% of the programs of the Bush Administration, but I supplied [for whatever good or ill] my inputs [whether any of it was ever seen] because I am an American and a former soldier, duty comes before self, above political party, above simple personal hardship.
In a simple gesture, whether like a child's prayer, a letter to santa claus asking for a gift for someone else, or an eight year old sending their allowance to the president to help Haiti; let's get this thing together...  
 
 

I have a couple of questions: Why is there not a peace treaty with North Korea and Cuba? Is like 60 years not enough time to finalise armistise with North Korea, and since we deal with China, why Not Cuba, and just get it over with?
About Israel and Palestine, If you like George Bush, you'll love Binjimin Netanyahu; With Olmert or Livni, a deal would have been at least remotely possible between Israel and Palestine. His entire career, Binji has displayed the same political sensitivity that "uplifted" the Dick Cheney Vice-Presidency/assistant presidency.
In 54 years of life, some 45 years of reading real newspapers and news magazines, I have never read such whining, Kavetching, billious negativism, defeatism, and general mean-spiritedness from alleged political pundits and a party in opposition, since the two recent history impeachment cases.
Nixon was guilty, Clinton was guilty of cheating on his wife [i don't remember infidelity being an impeachable offence in the Constitution].
I want to hear real GOP plans to hire workers, besides renewing the Bush tax welfare for the wealthy. I want to hear about the GOP catching Osama Bin Laden, rebuilding New Orleans, rebuilding Haiti., rebuilding the U.S. industrial base so that we can still build vehicles for peace or war at home.
I want to hear about the GOP providing healthcare besides dumping people off on emergency rooms and big paybacks to the drug companies and double-digit health care inflation.
So, more tax cuts on the wealthy, subtle racism, military blusterings around the globe, endorsements of use of torture, et cetera, et cetera... These are the reasons Obama got elected...  

It has taken two weeks for aid to Haiti to enter the streets properly, and still it is not quite enough... Relief efforts are seeking cash and not supplies [for the most part], nurse shortage may still exist, and perhaps for doctors [especially surgeons], a delay or rotation so that there will doctors on the ground in next few months to do 'follow-up' surgeries. Also a need for prosthetics and prosthetic aides and specialists will be needed shortly, in vast numbers, but it might be a little early for that, but soon such rehab and rehab assistance will be critical.
It is further time for quiet, but public, even soft-spoken criticism of Israel and Hamas, for neither seeking peace hard enough, "... we know it, they know it, the world knows it; Israel and Hamas are holding the rest of the Palestinian people hostage for the sake of their own 'land and power' ambitions.
Just as Iran and North Korea are fooling no one. Don't need to scream, just directly tell the world in controlled language. 
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If I had any personal finances left, a tithe would go to Haiti. With only temporary shelter, no job, and debts piling up, I can appreciate their people's plight.
I see ten of thousands dead in the street, Port-au-Prince looks like an atomic bomb hit, hundreds of thousands crying for help, and broken concrete covering thousands not yet found. And the other stuff on the Telly wants to tell me about Jon and Kate, Simon Cowell, dollar double cheeseburgers, some 23 year old actress has had 10 surgeries plastique, and and some bi-sexual wanna-be named Tequilla, Tila lost her rich lady lover to who knows what...
 
Uh? What? Duh? I shall, in my own way, pray for peace. I wonder if it now time for relief efforts to just hit the streets in Haiti. Let them pick up a map; shade in any affected place to visit with supplies, and then pick the next area, hit that area.
Only assume relief in any zone, with what is actually being done in that zone [not promises or verbal committments], but actually has hit the streets. 
In Haiti, in the words of W.C. Fields, "... it is time to take the bull by the tail and face the situation."
Kind of like the cash the big banks and investment houses are hoarding and paying employee bonuses with... the same is with the relief materials... "... just start pushing-pumping it out, okay? and some gets misappropriated or wasted... that is a collateral circumstance... hey baby, there will be more money to buy more, but don't play this, 'oh no, we can't waste it, crap' 
Open the fountain, the faucet, the tap and the let the aid flow... Worry about two weeks from now in about 7 to ten days...
Pray for Peace send that ten spot via text if ya got it...   
 
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Something discussed here on this site, a few weeks ago, of working to recognise Palestine as an independent state, seems to be the new game plan of this administration.
That discussions to have discussions are meaningless and Israel shows no sign of seeking a two-state solution. Now, Hamas still opposes a real two-state solution, but Fatah has long supported the idea.
The Obama administration has mentioned that it would like to see real border talks between Israel and Palestine for the two countries. This I have long suggested because many of the auxilliary details can be culled from current practice and past agreements that have not been implemented, but long negotiated...
This move by Washington shows a committment to a real solution and a maturity in recognising that progress grows from looking to tomorrow and not be held captive by conflicts of the past.
Yet, Palestine, meaning the Palestinian Authority, needs to seek negotiations with Israel, based on the new reality from Washington. Both Israel and Palestine need to make concessions for peace to be possible. But Washington finally looking to an endgame solution, final border discussions, and committing to a free Palestinian state, is a major step forward in making such a thing possible.
Palestine needs to accept a two-state solution, as well as Israel. Pray for real Peace...   

Rhetoric from nations like Iran is as much for domestic consumption and then for general, generic bluster... Sanctions expansion is needed... The cycle is Iran stalls, promises compromise, offers nothing new, delays, then repeats same ol' anti-everything diatribe. This will not change with current regime in Iran, unless someone like a Russia or China intervenes, using military and economic previous agreements as leverage...
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Zero hits on the site after my holiday vacation and semi-permanent or temporary moving, still close to same neighbourhood, however, if ya ain't family, my exact location is not critical info... Although without changing my address or telling anyone of my moving back to the land nearly called 'Burtone', I received by mail at my newly current place of residence, one of those dubious "Austrailian Lottery Jackpot" letters [identical to the e-mail spam].You know the ones; they have the same credibility as the letter from the Nigerian bank executive who wants you to help him or her allegedly launder 20 million dollars out of Nigeria to the United States for 25% of the proceeds. 
  It's fun having electronic stalkers, anyway...
 - - Why do people want to fuss and fight so? I dunno... Don't know... Whether be Dr. MLK, Rodney King, or even Sir Paul McCartney singin' a song about the world needing silly love-songs; especially during these holiday thymes and new year's rhymes, i, I, gotta ask why peeps gotta always be just so fussin' and fightin'?
Got a second hand computer and a bunch of groceries, which for me; was more than enough Christmas, at my advancing age.
  Am tired, worn down by the daily game of people I don't know, telling me about my life, or the crap and crud and grindingly grinding grind of political correctnesses and other person's bigotries, and racisms, and hatreds, and thirst for conflicts that these persons seemingly would want me to endorse...
...to paraphrase Dr. King, 'I care not of the colour of your skin, but rather of the content of your heart..."
what can I say, right now, a couple three drinks, a pack of nicotine sticks, the company of a willing and attractive female, and real promises of peace from those who; ...like the old cigarette advertising slogan, have said, "I'd rather fight than switch..."
Happy New Year... Pray for peace... Israel, let their people go... Iran-North Korea, 'Y' do ya want nukes?" "Nobody threatening you about anything,"
OH and why is Glen Beck wearing an Eastern European Cold War officers uniform on the cover of his book, or was that even a Nazi officer uniform? Just asking? 

Just pulled up 'Imagine' original video of J. Lennon, with Yoko Ono, it just is...  It is time to recognise the state of Palestine as a state, and be done with it. Establish a United Nations commission to establish final borders, using 1990's agreements and Olmert Plan, as the guidelines.
I often read that both Israel and palestine believe that each, their own side, conceded too much in the Wye River and Oslo accords; which, of course, means that the agreements have a great deal of merit.
To paraphrase willy shakespeare; 'a rose by any other name would smell as much, the E.U. pronouncement about, something about two capitols in Jerusalem, is gone over ground... East Jerusalem is Palestinian, desired to be the Palestinian capitol, what is called Jerusalem is the Israeli capitol...
The thing is that I have often proposed that Palestine be offered the challenge that it would fully recognise Israel upon Palestinian independence.
This whole alleged peace process between Israel and palestine gets hung up, essentially in three ways: 1) each side requiring concessions from the other side meant to create an alleged additional leverage in negotiations- or claim of a moral high ground over the other side 2) terrorist attacks by militants from the arab side/or an excessive use of military force by Israel  3) last second new conditions introduced by one party or the other...
 
Iran has not reached a political citical mass, which does not mean it will not happen. The allied nations should not hesitate seeking sanctions, and while not ruling out any response, should politely speak in simple and direct language that Iranian sticks and stones do not harm us, as we are quite used to their hyperbole.
Again, the offer of foreign production and foreign removal of nuclear materials to fuel Iranian power plants should be offered. ... *********so, who has been on the other end of the phone with no message???  
 
*****************************************************

Palestine should go to the negotiation table with Israel because: They would be asking for virtually all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as part of any final settlement. What I have always suggested is Palestine be willing to waive of 'refugee return' within the Israeli green line.
Refugee compensation is even problematic because it is my understanding that Israel has admitted to forcing out some Palestinians from new Israeli territory at the time of Israeli independence, but that most Palestinians in the affected territory left of their own accord, even at the urging of neighbouring states...
The offer of a limited settlement building freeze is like semi-boneless chicken... and typical of Mid-east negotiations. Like I said here before, either Binji Netanyahu is disengenuous about wanting peace [he is; having all but called for an Israeli dominated one-state solution, but seeking to create better economic conditions in Palestine] which means that settlement activities will continue in the West Bank and East Jerusalem at locations where Israel has definitely decided to stay permanently, or he is selling out the settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem knowing that israel will indeed be turning those places over to complete Palestinian control...
and now for something completely different...
To surge or not to surge in Afghanistan... Rumour has it that Obama will announce a troop surge and exit strategy for Afghanistan. I am not thrilled about the surge part; yet from a strategic point of view, just in Afghanistan theatre and not just a strict domestic consumption type decision, it is the proper one.
A surge hopefully will weaken the enemy, give the Afghan gov't a chance to enhance its defense posture, and by tying an exit strategy to it... that tells Afghan leadership and the american people that we will not stay indefinitely in Afghanistan as a true combat force. The clock has already begun to tick. Now, with an exit strategy coming, likely to be similar to Iraq in its planning, it is a middle of the road plan, likely not liked by the left or right and barely tolerated by the center/independents.
A surge without an exit strategy would have put Afghanistan into a "Viet Nam" category, with me suggesting that perhaps we should consult with former Soviet military officials about conducting a war in Afghanistan...
I still want to hear more from this administration about international trade barriers still in place around the world. And I still support unionism, if every professional trade group, production genre and whatever, have lobbying groups, et cetera, why shouldn't regular working glass folks organise... It seems so plain to me...   

*************************************************
I hear the same prattle from the Hooverites and the Neo-Cons: Anti-union, anti-reform, anti-progress, anti-pollution controls; their wailings "The nation is being destroyed by the those Maoists [referring to the liberals]. The reason I called them Hooverites is because all i hear is that the stimulus program was bad, the bailouts were wrong [should have let them collapse], keep taxes on the rich low, and that we have the best medical system in the world [without saying that it is being priced out of control and beyond the means of most single income families], that is the key about healthcare and healthcare insurance is that it is beyond the means of more and more single income families, as are utilities, vehicle prices, and formerly real estate in some markets where the bubble burst.
So, we should have let the financial system collapse to the depths of the Great Depression, let all the U.S. auto industry die, so that if there is a large world conflict, we can buy our tanks from Toyota, instead revamping American assembly lines, like in WWII, let alone just go ahead and transfer all industrial jobs abroad so that all have in civil service, healthcare, and food service, and retail jobs, nobody insured, and unregulated energy producers...? 
The Hooverites cry and say they will keep the GOP as far right as possible. One pundit said that liberals should like that news. They do, we do, whatever... I am not a wild eyed liberal, but good grief and Rushbo will gladly tell you that he wants Obama to fail, because economic disaster and foreign policy crises is better for the nation than the liberal policies of seeking real peace, social and economic empowerment opportunities for all Americans.
The Hooverites fight for the same old 'old school' social and economic elitism of the last 400 years in America. Look at the rest of the world, with info tech alone, the speed and size of the world is a microcosm.
"Whether here or abroad, it is to say no one race, no one nation, no one language, no one religion is morally superior enough to dictate to others; because of race, religion, or place of birth." quote by PJW...
The ideal is balance between wages and profit and taxes; and we have had 40 years of pro-business, and anti-worker policy... profits first, balanced budgets second, and real wages for the middle and lower class third, in priority... Look it up kiddies... got low wages and no jobs for working people, they ain't buyin, no houses, no cars, no appliances, no new tv's if all the wages go to food, rent, utilities and insurance [if ya got a job or income at all, go get'em Hooverites]
---Israel wants big chunks of west bank and all of East Jerusalem, and dats the fact jack, just ask Binji... 
   

And I saw a short excerpt from Binji Netanyahu and he said that it was time for real negotiations, not negotiations about negotiations. I believe he said it, I do not necessarily believe he meant it. But then again, Palestinians have also been adding conditions to holding negotiations and as has israel, added conditions to deals already agreed to...
So, let's challenge Benji [Binjamin] to keep his word. And politely ask/tell Palestine to come to the table, to call Binji on it, if it is a bluff. In the silly tit-for-tat propaganda war... Binji has heard that Abbas will not negotiate until Israel halts West Bank settlement activity, believing Abbas will not negotiate, Binji claims to seek negotiations.
See folks, this is how the game of mid-east negotiations are often held, vis-a-vis; the Iranian claim that it would turn over virtually all of its uranium for foreign enrichment, and then say it would keep its reserves, but accept new enriched materials [if i understand correctly] from foreign nations.
The Israeli claim to want real negotiations, while still expanding West bank settlements, is absurd... unfortunately, Israel wants to expand settlements, wants to delay and delay about the West Bank; So it does what palestine says will prevent talks, does what it will do to make a peace deal harder to accomplish... then says '... Israel wants real peace talks...'
The old joke about the kid who misheard the name of the book: "Gullible's Travels"
Israel seems to be willing to wait out Palestine to continue absorbing West Bank lands into Israel, seeing if can create a one state solution, minus Gaza. Gaza was cast off because of the large population concentration within, and a generally greater reticence to make a deal with Israel. Most Israeli's were thrilled to be rid of Gaza when it was turned over.
So, this is why I believe that the US and international community should consider recognising the statehood of Palestine, once and for all. This Israeli strategy of trying to get as much of the West bank and east jerusalem as possible, creates a nearly impossible position to have have peace between israel and Palestine, as well as Israel and the Arab world, extended further, the US with the Arab world, and the west divided about how close it can maintain a relationship with both israel and the arab world...    
 
*********************************************************

The silly irony is about all the media negativity about everything these days. The endless questions about failure, or a lack of perfection being considered failure. Yah, it's the glass half-full or half-empty thing... the constant, "well, what if..."
 -'... what if a U.S. administration says; ... there will not be peace in Palestine on our watch... so screw it." Well, what you have is failure. Now, that does not mean we should be naive' or that we be nasty either; Now, more than ever we be as politely straight-forward to each side [Israel and Fatah, --Hamas is irrelevant to the process with Hamas not being willing to recognise Israel if peace is achieved and palestine occupation ended. Hamas is afraid of losing relevence because Hamas is really a part of Hezbullah or so allied with Hezbullah, that the distinctions are irrelevant.]
It may sound like Cumbiya, Pollyanna time, but Israeli and Fatah reps should be visited as often as possible... Israeli's and Palestinian officials put in the same rooms, same international political and economic meetings as possible, seated beside each other at banquets as much as possible, as many cultural exchanges as possible for the leaderships of Fatah and Israel.
As pleasantly annoying as possible. Honest-positive-spin; start telling of economic activities in palestine, about water-sharing and border regulations between Israel and palestine, about cooperation and relief efforts in a positive light about these peoples are going to be living side-by-side, whether in war or in peace, so why not in peace.
As far as US economic policy, "Oh, the TARP is a bust, where is all the Stimulus package benefits, oh those liberals just want to takeover healthcare, bankrupt the country and drive private insurance out of business... *Hello kiddies, and what would they be saying if Bush or Obama had done nothing about the banking industry? What if the neo-con Hooverites had swayed opinion to let no government intervention take place... World-wide depression to rival the Great Depression of 1929, with a laissez-faire response, ala Herbert Hoover, from 1929-1932. With the result being that the depression was already locked into place. On healthcare, rate-hikes with benefit cuts put healthcare costs up between 10% to 15% a year, while inflation in the last 5 years is averaging 2%.
Of course Glass-Stegall 1933 should be re-instituted to separate investment banking houses from traditional banks, and reset the safety guidelines that rose out of the Depression. Is that a coincidence, a KO-INK-E-Dink, unregulated banking and investment industry- collapse 1929--- repeal of major 1933 reform of banking in late 1990's and virtually no regulation by Bush Administration, another collapse of the financial system in 2008.  
Of course, you want government to be not wasteful, and as a sports fan, I want umpires and referees to be perfect. Sure, and any all human endeavors shall be perfect.    
********************************************************

Deep down, most Israeli's and palestiniansknow that the only route toward peace is a fair, two-state solution. Of course, neither side seems willing to make the kinds of sacrifices to "find" that fair solution. 
Does Israel believe that Palestine would peacably allow annexation? Does Palestine believe that Israel would ever allow 'refugee right of return' within a post-settlement era Israel?
Of course not. Of course, the US and the rest of the world is committed to a peace settlement with a basis of Resolution 242, which would eliminate virtually all Israeli West Bank settlements. But, the US cannot get Israel to peace talks by 'demanding' all settlement activities to stop.
So, we are stuck with palestine saying no talks and Israel saying no talks. This means no solution is even possible. I still believe that the US should offer full recognition of Palestine with the proviso that Palestine would fully recognise Israel upon the freedom of Palestine from Israeli occupation.
 
 
*********************************************

oct 24 09- Let's see, they are going to play the World Serious in November, Israel still will not end settlement expansion in West Bank. Hamas has no intentions of ever recognising Israel [under any circumstance, so far to this date], Iran is still stalling over U.N. nuclear materials sanctions, and in 2009 we may expand our presence in Afghanistan [folks; more troops may help a little, political reform and stability will help more, replacing poppies with other agricultural options would help. I'd rather the US and world buy 5 billion a year in Afghan goods (other than drugs) than spend 50 billion a year fighting in a guerilla war.
Just another day in the neighbourhood, and the American right-wing radio movement will tell you that all this and more is Barack Obama's fault, as well as, daylight savings time, the college football bowl system, and why canned vegetables are down to 14.75 ounces per can.
Gee whiz, left of center White House is defending itself against ultra-right group of multi-millionaire broadcasters who don't understand anymore about working people than the investment management culture that caused this world-wide near-depression.
The absolute silliness of it all. Iran executing minors unless family members pay tributes to the victim's family. -Everybody, let's line up for our $5 fast food fix so the economy will get better and according to the right wing, we can reduce the minimum wage on the burger/pizza/sub workers, make sure they can't afford the same healthcare tomorrow that they can't afford today, and keep every retail working person at sub-standard wages, while we globalise the rest of the American work force, so that nobody is left to work at the stores that are all closed that sell low quality foreign goods, and we all will be driving used foreign cars from foreign auto-makers that might pay american workers $13 an hour, but send the profits back to Japan or Korea (or just make the cars overseas and ship the damn things here all 12,000 miles).
I have this silly notion, we throw millions into research on things like natural agricultural fertilizers, on better ways to fuel cars, on green [energy efficient] manufacturing, on expanding recycling to the levels required during World War II [recycling... not rationing], on renewable electrical energy sources, we look to making the switches to clean energy, eliminating waste products, so that virtually all manufacturing of new goods come from recycled materials, to vastly reduce mining, to vastly reduce oil drilling and coal mining, to grow-up and add the cost of rehabilitating old industrial sites into the costs of building new ones, require cities and states to rehabilitate brownfields before taking any more agricultural land out of production, to help underdeveloped nations develop agriculture and industry before selling them tanks and guns [no matter what faith or religion or colour of skin].
And somebody is worried that this administration is going to defend itself against people who fight simple reform, let alone greater reform. Hello, it is the  blankity-blank 21st century, not the 19th or 20th century any more.
Don't mind me, my telephone stalker has been at it again, [gee there's nobody on the phone again... click click... it's been going on for years; why should it stop now?] It does make me cranky, hell, I don't get many other calls and to keep picking up dead air... Well, it does beat the Chopin Funeral March [Dun dun da dun, dun da dun dun]; gotten that a couple times I was going to testify against an armed robbery suspect and during some politically active times later...
 
-it is raining damp dark fall day
the empty tree limbs waiting to be
horrific shadows pointing toward you
in some halloween ritual
 
and the trains loaded with coal
pile up waiting to be unloaded
and the empty brick building
looks like bomb blew it all
to hell and the graffitti
smiles and the wood rots
and the plaster falls
 
and it's all the same
and nite waits
for the day to die
a quicker death each day
and maybe the winter will be better
with the pristine white snows
and the clear icy frozen waters
and i am a little tired
of waiting for spring and the green
and the playing and the blossems
and new fruits and plants
and floral stuff and all that
and the coal trains wait
and the air grows cold
and i try not to grow 
that way myself...   

**********************************************************
29 oct 09
I don't even try to listen to the Hooverites, the neo-cons on talk radio, but the darn things just keep showing up, with my going back and forth from NPR, sports radio, and an ocassional listen to local pop-rock schlock radadio... Anyway, Rush told me yesterday that the Aids crisis in Africa and the swine flu publicity and government efforts to limit or prevent an epidemic were both plots hashed by people just trying to get aid money from Washington D.C... Oh, Rushbo explained that the 100 or so deaths of US children, of course, was regrettable, but since millions have not died of a flu strain epidemic like in years past, that this was no epidemic, and just a big to-do to get aid money from Washington.
Let's see, according to Rushbo.. we should have let the financial system collapse world-wide, let the American auto industry die, keep letting healthcare costs spiral, oppose fair wages and unions and the minimum wage, we not inject money into a recessed, nearly depressed economy, ignore Aids and Swine flu, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... Why? It might increase the deficit, cause inflation, and require higher taxes on the wealthy... and heaven forbid, help people who need help...
Oh well, I was crushed to see that the A-Rod Yankees lost World serious Game One to Phillies...
Okay, ya know, it is time we use some friendly persuasion with Israel and palestine, recognise Palestine as a nation, arbitrarily offer them aid directly in exchange for 'accepting' previously offered peace plans made with Israel, and its willingness to recognise Israel if israel leaves the 94% of the West Bank, and accepts in principle, the Olmert plan, that evolved from Sharon's Unilateral Disengagement overture.
The idea is to trot out all past agreements between Israel and Palestine, and let them explain why each would not accept peace. Apply diplomatic 'influence' to ask why Palestine would not accept a billion or more in direct infrastructure and development aid, accept East Jerusalem, and waive right of return in exchange for peace and freedom? ask Israel why it will not accept a free palestine if Palestine accepts Israel's  right to exist.
The time for talking around solutions is past... and now, just ask why, why not peace, why? why not peace. Just keep asking the question to both sides, especially at the United Nations, to be as annoyingly pleasant about it that one can possibly be.
 

**********************************************************
28 oct 09
there be truth in the impatience of peoples in Palestine and Israel who seek peace and who wonder when the talks will bear fruit. I wonder myself, though a world away, when these nations will each recognise the other and accept each other as peaceful neighbours.
The current Israeli government, unlike Olmert, makes it clear that it does not really desire a two-state solution, whatever the circumstance.
Fatah has said it would recognise Israel, hamas has said it would accept a ceasefire, even up to one hundred years long. I have long suggested that Palestine use the words that it would recognise Israel fully when it becomes free and independent.
This frees palestine from having to acquiese to Israel before a deal is finalised, yet endorses its own freedom and Israel's security.
It appears that Iran is stalling again by dragging out its response to the I.A.E.A. and the western negotiating alliance. Now Russia is becoming vague again on the need for another round of sanctions if no positive arrangement can be made over Iranian atomic material desires.
It be clear that Israel is stalling about a two-state solution, that Hamas remains unmoved and even though all peace-desirous nations should continue to aid the peace process, no imminent breakthrough is on the horizon.
That is sad.
*the economy is slowly improving, with no help from the GOP or the neo-cons who would do Herbert Hoover proud. They worry about deficits and inflation and government spending and fight social spending programs, even with 10% unemployment and working people in crisis. The neo-cons want to 'take back the GOP from the moderate and liberal republicans who might compromise with those 'leftist Liberal Democrats who are ruining...' our nation...
Apparently, 40 years of bashing labour unions, of seeking tax relief for the wealthy and excessive de-regulation, and such is not enough for them.
The problem is that working people need to be able to afford a decent home, a decent car, pay their utilities, and have hope that their children will have a chance to improve their quality of life, while giving newspeak to these issues, the GOP does everything it can to benefit the rich at the expense of everyone else....  

my recent research of trying to listen to conservative talk radio has become a great lesson in political thought... according to Beck, who claims to combine enlightenment and entertainment [nevermind] democrats are bullies, Obama, his czars, and his synchopants ars launching a full frontal assault on capitalism...
...If it is an attack on the brand of capitalism that continues to take from the middle class and poor to give to the rich, yes... if it is the capitalism that has reduced real wages for working people over the last 25 years... yes. if it is the absurdly de-regulated marketplace that did its damndest to drag the nation into a full- blown depression, yes...///
Oh, and i learned that democrats and the Obama administration has an 'agenda'. Doesn't the GOP, every lobby group, every corporation, every union, every professional organisation, social group, church, retail store, and children's clubhouse in the backyard, have an agenda?... nevermind...
let's see, oh yah, according to Beck, global climate change policy reform is a leftist plot... [so does that mean, shrinking polar ice caps and bigger holes in the ozone layer are a concious conservative plot?]
And Beck complained that Obama was nice to the US Chamber of Commerce when it agreed with the financial industry bailout and then was mean to the Chamber of Commerce when it disagreed with new healthcare legislation... Gee, a president agreeing with organisations when they agree with him and then disagreeing when the same organisation disagrees with him on another policy... Can presidents do that?  Boy, I'm glad Mr. Beck pointed that out for me... Gee, when someone disagrees with you in a snide way; it is annoying... You learn new stuff everyday...
 
 

By definition of the neo-conservative media daily blitzkrieg, I would likely be a wild-eyed liberal, though perhaps not a complete radical, they accuse obama of being... "... why don't they just outlaw Fox News, they have control of the cities and the guns already..." according to Mr. Rush Limbaugh.
"... the Obama administration is bringing down America as we know it..." is another Limbaugh quote.
Another neo-conservative talk show host referred to the current economic downturn, as the 'Obama Recession', then this commentator, who has a national broadcast I heard while trying to find a weekend football broadcast, but did not catch his name, said that the healthcare crisis was blown out of proportion so that the liberals could get hold of that also...
Rush was also complaining about the Obama decision to wait to send more troops to Afghanistan, waiting for the second round of elections to take place, and he complained that 'swift-boater John Kerry' should not be completed for expressing to Afghan leader Karazai that a second election round in Afghanistan should take place...  Am I missing something here; it was Kerry who was "Swift-boated" in 2004 election, and why would anyone object to getting the call right that Karazai did not get over 50% of the vote in the intial Afghan vote... nevermind... We, uhm, liberals are trying to change the current America... Am i missing something here.
40 years of stagnant wages for those who supposedly fund 70% of our capitalist economy?, the 20 years of exporting manufacturing jobs overseas, utilities and healthcare and energy costs for consumers up exponentially over the last ten years, the widest gap between the rich and poor since before the Great Depression, such outrage toward worker's organising in unions since World War I, complaints about family values, while wages require both parents in middle class homes to work full-time just to stay behind, trying to get a foothold on environmental greenhouse reform, resistance to development of new energy sources; why would anybody want to change that America, and that isn't the full list... Ah yes, the GOP answer "Trust the Market, Lower Taxes, especially on the wealthy: 'Don't worry you jobless working people whose better paying jobs we export daily, the benefits may eventually trickle down...' 
Good golly Miss Molly; Yes, trust the Marketplace, and let's trust the global banks and the financiers, it got so bad the Bush administration had to intervene. Yes, have industries and professional groups regulate themselves, why of course, these folks will always put people above profits...  Pray for peace.
A secure Israel and a free Palestine, some kind of healthcare reform, energy reform, make industry green -worldwide-. keep the faith...   

14 oct 09  The wailing and crying and real and not so real outrage over Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize has been silly. Republican politicians should have just politely congratulated the President, rather than sound the out-dated, out-moded, anti-reform sticks in the mud, the GOP has become.
When the left complained about Bush II after the dubious 2000 election,the same political krap went back and forth from both sides, but Bush was given a lot of latitude after 9/11/01.
Well, both Bush and Obama received a lot of latitude in the finance industry crisis that caused the world wide recession that almost caused a full-blown world-wide depression.
The GOP just doesn't get it... The middle and lower economic classes have been getting hammered by laissez-faire, pro-wealthy economics in the U.S. for decades, the lower and middle classes have been squeezed for 40 years, everything now considered basic is being priced higher and higher, while real wages and benefits drop every year. What is the GOP doing or even talking about doing about that? Seek to keep capital gains taxes and top 2% income tax rates too low?
Listen folks, the Obama administration has made a massive new arrangement with Russia on nuclear non-proliferation, are leading much more on global-warming reform, working well with China, being much more even-handed in the Arab-Israeli conflict, modernised views in regard to international relief organisations and types of humanitarian aid that the US is willing to provide, and in general; improved the acceptance of U.S. participation and leadership in international affairs.
Now, granted, even the President seems to believe such an award may have been premature... But, you can't blame Obama, the democrats, or the U.S. left for his winning the award.
-On a personal note; I turn 54 tomorrow... there will be no celebration... since losing weight and remaning physically active, I feel better than I did at age 45.-
 

The Israeli's say there will be no peace between them and Palestine for many years. This is a sad arrogance. It be time for Israel to look at itself and decide on continuous war or achieving peace.
Israel is asking its allies to accept a renewed state of war between Israel and palestine.
It behooves now the rest of the civilised world to offer to aid Palestine, politically, not militarily. It should spur debate and careful consideration of recognising Palestinian statehood.
Israel should again be sanctioned by the UN and possible economic and military sanctions considered.
It is one thing to drag feet, be obstinant, but to be as brazen as an Iran or North Korea has been; is not acceptable. Israel, as long as your security is addressed; should be willing to let their people go.
It is time to end the occupation. Let them go. I support Israel, but not at the expense of international peace.
Please, do not tell about how this is all Israel's fault: Of course it is not Israel's fault; in so far as, Hamas and other Arab elements continue to not recognise Israel's right to exist, that Palestinian's still hold out for 'refugee return' within the green line, and continue hostilities toward Israel.
The idea is that both nations make concessions, the world provides means to allow these nations to let peace take hold, and Palestine receive the aid it needs to recreate its infrastructure in peace and freedom.
And let it be noted, that Iran is not getting a free pass from many nations, and it seems to be slightly stepping back from its committment to acquire nuclear fuel from other nations... which would mean it would have no need to produce its own enriched uranium....hmmm?
*************************************************   

prophets and Powers
-pjw-
 
there be times 4 lafter and games always-
 
and time again to convey to ourselves
and to all our children
that so much is of us
and so much is beyond us
and yet so much within us...
 
is it my concern
by what name
call you the Highest
or by what name
you call a prophet
of whom you call
the Highest Power.
 
i say you should call
the Highest and a prophet
by what name
in what language
as you would choose
 
as i would expect
to be given
the same respect
and choice by you.
 
is it not
more simple than that?
 
to honour earthly parents
as one honours
the Highest Eternal Father
or the Highest Eternal Mother
  -or a Father Time
  -or a Mother Nature
 
to sing or dance
or chant or kneel or pray
or clap and call out
in reverence and or in joy...
 
it be for you to say
-for you
as it be for me to say
-for me...
 
and what came before calendar and clock
or the stones or even the stars?
 
that -out there-
is too much
for me to say.
 
for i have no eternal answers
-the eternal is too big
for me to say;
-let alone tell you
 
how all eternity
must truly be-
 
that be why
this little 'i'
though it mean little here
for i stand but 5'1"
among other men.
 
yet i be a father barely
and hold a grand papa's age;
so i claim my own right
by that age to say:
 
Oh children; why must we fight and hate
and scorn and kill?
whether by spear or sword
or gun or bomb
or even low word
or common deed...
 
honoured fathers
honoured mothers
-can we not bless
our blessed children
with peace and caring
above hue and colour of skin
-above and beyond
the name one calls
prophet and Holy Power
[not 'profit and earthly power']
and finally seek
a better earthly peace.

************************************************
have read via internet version of washington post that Iran has offered to allow uranium enrichment by other nations [Russia and perhaps United States]rather than produce most of its own enriched uranium. That this would not be enough uranium for Iran to produce nuclear weapons in their own production cycles.
The 'glitch' is that Iran would have to follow through with this committment and have it verified by U.N. inspectors.
This is a potentially big breakthrough and what I had written about several months before as an acceptable compromise which allows Iranian nuclear energy produced in its own nation, but not the enriched uranium.
-of course, the verification process of the uranium process is the critical mass of the issue... pardon the puns...
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Back to healthcare, Oh good grief, chuckles... the Health Insurance Companies of course back a health insurance plan that requires health insurance for everybody, just like Car Insurance companies like mandatory auto insurance laws. Can we all say "Duh". But, of course, they do not want a competitive low-cost government provide plan.
Of course, in crafting this "Government option", likely it could have an income cap, so that people of lower incomes could have wage-adjusted rates, or even premiums waived, and people who could afford private health insurance would still get their own plans.
Isn't that; gee golly gosh wonderful that Republicans and Health Insurance Companies don't want a 'Government Option' available, but many would "accept" a government-required health insurance plan.
With no 'government option', just invent "Fed-Med" and have our taxes go straight to hospital emergency rooms for treatment of the uninsured.
Corporate America, insured workers, and American tax-payers are covering the unpaid bills of persons who can't afford the cost of their medical treatment, anyway.
How many hospital beds are being contracted? Even if a hospital closes, except rural locations, more beds are built somewhere else nearby anyway...
*********************************************

Are NGO's getting much done in Palestine?
As part of peace, if it could be, has been promises of hundreds of millions
of dollars in economic and infrastructure for Palestine, from the Quartet and other nations.
Okay, so, humanitarian aid, support for fair border deal for Palestine, in dealing with Israel, roadmap for a two-state solution; meaning independence for Palestine, and security for israel, with the liklihood of much greater Arabic nations recognising the state of Israel.
So... sport's fans... what's not to like?
Does Israel honour promises to return over 90% of west bank, let East Jerusalem stay Palestininian, with a sharing arrangement over shared areas of religious significance in Jerusalem area.
What Palestine gives is right of refugee within Israeli Green line and acceptance of an approved peace-keeping force. Negotiations to implement smaller infrastructure agreements with Israel and west, and full recognition of Israel, upon Palestine's independence.
 
With my little stuff from previous post, received two fone-calls/ no one on other end; and a fone-marketeer trying to sell me a home security system. Welcome to my world, baby-cakes, and another 'obscene only' e-mail from somebody calling themselves woof2804.
A previous bizarro e-mail listed a cc with a country code of ar...
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as the song below says
"walk a mile in my shoes...'
received misdirected threat...
emailed  to address
'poeticnutz'  [not my e-mail address]
but i received:
-if you attack me, I will kill you-
 
Good afternoon Sports Fans...
hey I am just a broke laid off
part-time freelance writer-poet...
though things i have written, and posted, and e-mailed;
anyway...
 
so, anyway...
 
pray for peace, keep the faith...
send money and need a job...
 
looking for my gov't bail out...
 
the world can be a scary place
or gentle and loving
a kiss borne of
love, borne of smiles,
borne of kindnesses
and carings
 
and i know not feelings of hatred
though i certainly have not led life
of perfections...
 
I be not so young
i remember john kennedy
and brother his bobby
and Dr. Rev. King
and this is not so completely new
long ago have had
Chopin funereal march played
upon my telephone
 
and had other such things
so it not be new
this thing... this day...
 
this prayer for peace
not be new
for me
to utter upon both the sweet breezes
and also yet be the harsh and angry winds
of conflicts yet unresolved
 
 

The words are corny and 1960's and out-dated perhaps:
 
Walk a mile in my Shoes by Joe South-
-If I could be you, if you could be me
For just one hour, if we could find a way
To get inside each other's mind
If you could see you through my eyes
Instead your own ego I believe you'd be
I believe you'd be surprised to see
That you've been blind

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

Now if we spend the day
Throwin' stones at one another
'Cause I don't think, 'cause I don't think
Or wear my hair the same way you do
Well, I may be common people
But I'm your brother
And when you strike out
You're tryin' to hurt me
It's hurtin' you, Lord HAVE mercy

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes

Now there are people on reservations
And out in the ghetto
And brother there, but, for the grace of God
Go you and I,
If I only had wings of a little angel
Don't you know, I'd fly
To the top of a mountain
And then I'd cry, cry, cry

Walk a mile in my shoes
just walk a mile in my shoes
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse
Then walk a mile in my shoes (3X)

Naive' and silly isn't it?

tears welled in my eyes as National Public Radio

played a tape of female school students

reading excerpts of the Diary Of Anne Franks..

 

Hello, is anybody out there? I can hear you breathing...

I find it absurd that Palestinians can ask for freedom and many in their population will not recognise Israel. Just as absurd, Why is Israel still building settlements in the west bank. Israel knows that no two-state solution is possible until virtually all of the West Bank is returned to Palestine.

Therefore, those W.B. settlers mean that Israel either has no desire for a two-state solution, or that the settlers are being used as pawns in a political guilt game about occupation.

The addiction to occupation; Israel won't leave Palestinian territory alone [Unilateral Disengagement, I wrote the plan and posted on Arab-Israeli peace sites] and Palestinians won't promise to let Israeli's live in peace. So, Israel is stuck occupying Palestinian territory so that it is not used as a staging area to attack Israel.

Okay? Now, duh, uh, wiggity... This is why both sides are wrong. Both sides need to stop and both sides need to think more about peace for their children than about the hatred of their ancestors.

Now, when are we going to start respecting middle-class and lower wage earners in this country. Ya know, the wage slavery that is going on in this country. The cutting of real wages, of benefits, of healthcare benefits, year after year, the decrying of the labour movement in this country. But, we gots to have those corporate profits up, carried on the backs of disenfranchised workers... oh-my-God, we are told that Super Bowl TV commercials are entertainment, fashion means wearing logos on our asses and foreheads, please...

let's keep hearing that 70% of the economy is consumer-based and then crap on the consumer for forty years, and then wonder why people are P-O'ed. Duh...

It's one thing to respect a job for your 8/9 hours there, but are we suppose to have to put up with 24/7 crap and crud about how wonderful the korporation is...


 


Is it just me? Or is this presidency, the Obama administration; more relevant to the rest of the world? and the rest of of the world more relevant to this president?
What I mean is; The interconnectivity of the United States with the rest of the world.
 
The revelations that Iran has secretly been building additional nuclear facilities is not a completely surprising development. It is apparent that Iran has used Russia as a tool... A tool toward complete nuclear independence. That is a concept that Russia cannot be thrilled about. [is the analogy... give a four year old a lighter, some lighter fluid, and then not expect a fire?]
 
Is it just me?
that there be too much
of this 'someday' stuff
 
someday people will be free
someday we will be at peace
someday we will try to feed
the hungry and heal the sick
 
someday peoples of different faith
and peoples of different colour
shall side by side live
 
someday
and isn't this that song
somewhere
in west side story
some 50 years ago
and you can hear it
and i would sing it
[though off key with gusto]
 
and yes someday
let this day, the next day, and the
next day be the days when the
journey and the struggles
are renewed
 
someday there be less hatred
and more love
and someday there be more justice
not for some
but for all
 
and let today begin the first
of the better someday dreams 
******************************************************

And how are you this fine day? Just came off of BBC mid-east page, watched Olmert, former Israeli PM, on web-vid-bit. Related article explained: Olmert said he offered 94% return of West Bank back to Palestine, East Jerusalem neighbourhoods staying Palestinian, Some portions of Jerusalem to be controlled by a joint commission made up of Saudi Arabia/ US/ Israel/ Palestine; token or symbolic right of refugee returns into Israel.
Well, these are things I have written and posted since before suggesting a more complete form of 'Unilateral Disengagement' than was adopted by the Ariel Sharon government [with Olmert as assisstant Prime Minister, a title Olmert held before Sharon suffered his stroke] My guess is that Binji would run away from such plan, and why oh my why did this plan not get more traction????
 **********************************************************
 

Abacus

***************************************
Turn out the lights... the party's over. Good afternoon sports fans. Welcome to one of the final broadcasts here at poetwhitman.tripod.com/.
I kinda hoped i'd find a little miracle and an endgame of sorts, from some of the unique aspects of my life, which many would not believe, anyway.
Well, like i said, it's pretty much all done. Just trying to figure out what to do in the next few days; and where i'll be in the next few weeks and months.
as you-all may or may not know, my place of employment closed and even though other outlets of the same company exist locally, i was not offered continued employment.
This is of no surprise in hindsight, i will likely never avail myself of that organization's services again. Hey, what does one expect from corporate america?
Anyway; this web service is changing its format from one form of text to another; and this site is too complex [it seems] to be automatically transferred in a new format.
The transfer process reminds me of home scanner OCR copier formatting. You know... the ones that make 'i' look like '1', push words together; et cetera.
I also get abusive emails using what is likely similar technology that stinks of low or medium quality 'translation' software?
Anyway, the dream still lives and the hope shall never die...
I say again; i do not know what live holds for me in the next few days or months. Perhaps, a moving sale, and a change in regional location, for my little miracle did not come through.
the autumn winds are laughing softly
at my plight as it laughs
at the disaffecteds
 
to dream of better places
and better things
and happier times
 
not just of me and mine
rather for the greater needed
 
how to strike the tent
pack it all up
wrap it up
or pile it up on the curb
 
time for another cup of coffee
and, well, just start doing it...
 
pray for peace, pray for a better way,
a new hope
for all who hunger
 
and though i may no longer
give these words
hey baby
keep the faith;
keep up the struggle; and
do the right thing
**************************************************************

Is not the Iraninan President Adinamenijad [spelling] a pathetic figure? His nonsense call of the Holucaust as a fraud out of one side of his mouth and then claims of some level of civilisation and sophistication for his government out of the other side of his mouth.
I read blogs in this country saying they were glad Teddy Kennedy was dead. These are examples of 'hate speech'.-------------
And i hear comments like 'healthcare reform is another liberal step toward communism..."
So, are the "liberal media" and 'alleged communists' of the Democratic Party going to send ultra-conservative commentators to a "Gulag" for political prisoners for opposing needed healthcare reform?
Israel and Hamas are both accused of war crimes in Gaza skirmish. Both say UN report got it half-right.  Both Israel and Hamas got it all wrong.
Israel: we won't accept international borders... Hamas: We Won't Even Accept Israel's right to exist...
Like i said... Both sides got it wrong...
 
Why do conservatives want the insurance companies to keep getting richer and keep having healthcare costs face double digit inflation for the rest of America?
I dunno, just asking? Is bone marrow transplantation still considered non-covered experimental surgery by some healthcare plans?
 
So, what is the problem if Americans would choose  or default into a government provided healthcare option plan? What is there no CEO making 10 million  a year + 10 million more in stock options to make the plan better [that's called sarcasm... sarcasm or all out rudeness seems to allowed for the political right wing conservative political party movement, but not for those who disagree].
 
Of course we should [multi-national] talk with Iran and North Korea, and be d**n skeptical of whatever they say.
*********************************************************
           

*just thought i'd put an attractive women on my white paper page...

darabikiniredsofabyalexlee.jpg

***********************************************
Some obtuse BBC writer claimed that no new immediate progress in various Middle East situations would be a setback for the United States and severely damage Barack Obama's credibility in the region.
No... any real progress would be a big plus for Obama; no progress is a continuation of the previous 20 years.
You can lead a horse to water... but you can't make it a camel... If you're a guy with a face that defines ugly, a new suit can only help so much. I'll watch 'American Idol' for free on TV, does anyone actually pay money to see the live shows on da road?'
It is time to not waste time on fruitless talks with nations who want nothing more than to pose and posture and still privately pursue positions to push various regions closer to conflict...
Rather; start speaking to global audiences about arms reduction, global climate change, nuclear-non-proliferation; settlements for protracted conflicts. About feeding the hungry, tending the sick in impoverished nations, rather than watching these nations acquire more weapons, ignore their poor, and seek conflict with their neighbours.
Of course we should talk with Iran and North Korea; but by coincidence, another round of sanctions are upon us. So, perhaps the sanctions are somewhat working, as Iran and North Korea seem to be really working 'it' to delay another round of sanctions.
Congratulations to Vladmir Putin, comrade secretary-general of the Putin Political Party, he just bought Iran, invoking the Cold War US/USSR 1973 brinksmanship around the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. [The absurdist backdrop is that Hamas still will not recognize Israel, Hezbullah interferes with establishing a new Lebanese Government and Israel is still trying to make more West Bank settlements and exploiting the naive Settlement Movement people of Israel. They build new Israeli government heavily subsidised community and subdevelopments that every other nation in the world objects to. It is called 'hutzpah'. but then hamas and hezbullah still won't recognise Israel. -i- still propose language by hamas that says it would recognise Israel when a fair and complete solution is achieved in a two-state solution that makes Palestine free.]. Is Putin really going to try to play Iran and Israel off one another?
"Poor little Iran needs protection from Big Mean Ol' Isreal and and that darn American Eagle. We, here, at Putin Soviet, uhm Russian Bear, Political Peace Party Institute will be more than happy to provide conventional weapons to the 'benevolent and beleagured Iran' and co-sponsor their quest for electric nuclear power and what if they acquire nuclear weapons?"
I'm sure glad Vlad and the Russians [same old song] trust Iran with Uranium... Find me a dozen rational governments with the same view. So: Is Iran a neo-colonial semi-satellite of Vlad and Putinites, or a full-blown Cold War Cuba on the Persian Gulf. Oh well, We must respect Russia... My golly gosh, Russia has more easily 'hurtable' feelings than I do... and that is saying something?
-send food and money and a new paying job- 12 sep 09  updated 23.sep. 09 08/232 - 20/252...  
 
 
************************************************

Was it just me; but I thought I saw Barak Obama just take the GOP Congressional members to school on why he is president and not John McCain. He looked and sounded like the smartest guy in the room during the healthcare speech.
His delivery was spot on; as the English say... I have never seen a US president [this is a compliment] in the Congressional Chamber, elevate with an orator's ability, through, into, and above the applause like a campaign rally.
The Obama tribute to Ted Kennedy tore into the hearts of all viewers; including the TV commentators and all present in the House chamber. In the most sincere way; the Obama healthcare speech was among the best political theatre I have ever seen.
What about the "Kennedy Memorial National Healthcare Act"?
 
-Both Iran and North Korea are talking about new talks. Of course that is positive, but as with israel/palestine... iran... n. korea... national healthcare... it is time for real talks, real discussion, real negotiations... not talk about talks; not preliminary talks; not merely 'feel good rhetoric and photo ops'.
Good for 'Bibi'... I am no Binji Netanyau fan [end the Israeli settlement movement in the West Bank], but he did go to Russia to lobby for Russia to not sell anti-aircraft weapons to Iran, good for him.
 
 

**************************************************
Have had an anonymous suggestion I stop my peacemaking efforts and another that I look to taking a long trip... Somebody got the ticket money? There are always times for laughter and joy and l'amour my dear; and there be always will be always time to naively or quietly or dramatically sing the song and dance a dance of an ancient or be renewed lust for peace...
Feeding hungry peoples as acts of goodwill and goodwill be another always and though their governments build armies and buy weapons and hate certain segments of their own peoples and hate certain neighbours because of religion or race or because their ancestors fought...
when weapons beyond our being; that no rebuilding can repair, that mean nothing beyond mean annihilation... in 1945 the box got opened and we saw the horror and when will all nations say; Never, oh no, never to these weapons.
i don't give a good *%$@^  #8^&%@ your politics or your religion or the colour of da skin or the accent of your voice.
I ask, not of anger, or dislike, for my extended family be not of one race or of one faith; rather I ask a simple question... Can the two nations in question be entrusted to possess the ultimate horror?
 
 
 

********************************************
-a one of those daze, even beyond quiet relexion;
  whether a near same blue of calm water
  and calm sky, and today as if not even to notice
  that the screen became techni-colour when Dorothy
  landed upon a witch in the land of Oz [Ahhhs].
 
it be quiet and cool and i a little
dopey and drowsy and nappy
and still shall i later be 'still' today
it be one of those low energy days
 
those days of too lazy
to even proclaim phantom shapes
in cloud banks within a pastel blu skie...
 
and i don't know about jokes and circus clowns
today and i'll snack on left overs
and some pop corn, draw upon my
sherlock homes pipe and perk a
mini-pot of expresso...
 
and perhaps that internal auto-pilot switch
and the mona lisa smile of pleasant non-committal
for one day
though someone will enter my thoughtful
-within cubicle-
that might be screened
but has no solid walls
 
even among others
still be there the open eyes
closed mind isolation
 
du U have daze
when U can 'turn it on'
-"turn it on" and do an actor's turn
and present them one self side
that U believe is what
they want only to see?
 
and the exchange of semi-casually formal
pleasantries and without offense
'just the private unspoken -just Y am i talking to you?-
 
if it be rain
it be without slicker
or umbrella
for i will dry
and i feel not its chill today...
 
i do not turn away
neither do i turn toward it
for it just be there
as i just be here
as it be where i had
previous chosen to be
and chose not to change such plans
for that would have forced
new plans and extra thoughts...
 
in days past
be other cultures
it would be a half bow
and nod before
entering the near outer space
of the one their next chat or
worldly discussion might
be correctly visited upon...
 
it be not wrong to fly upon
the day in the auto-pilot mode...
perhaps, it be wrong only
to admit it... 
*****************************************************

***************************************************
Reuters reported that Iran had tried to develop the technical knowledge and general ability to build atomic weapons. Of course they did, just as Saddam Hussein's regime did in the late 1990's and early 2000's.
Saddam is gone. There is no army poised to invade Iran, unless you include the general regional threat from the taliban.
But it's time for more sanctions against Iran and North Korea... Also heard from a couple different places, that much more was being done internationally by our government to promote nuclear nonproliferation. And that further leverage in the nuclear proliferation situations regarding Iran and North Korea, would require additional support and cooperation from Russia and China.
Without noisy threats, but rather polite directness about how great a threat to international peace these two nations are; and would nations be safe from a nuclear accident or incident who are within hundreds of miles of Iran and N. Korea.Iran need and North Korea need no deterrent weapons, and Russia, China, and the U.S. should need no increased detterent from with each other.
Hamas is upset about Holucaust being taught by U.N. schools in Gaza. But they would be happy the U.N. only taught that Palestinians indeed had been forced from where Israel was established.Both need be taught.
'If you stop fighting; we will stop fighting... If we stop fighting, we expect you to stop fighting. And then let us rightfully discus peace..." Naive', of course, but you cannot stop seeking a better way...
****************************************************

Did the world get a slight bit more rational in the last 48 hours? -I guess not... (Updated 2 sept 09)--[It was a good 48 hours, and now back to the same old stuff] There were economic talks between Israel and Palestine; Iran making yet another offer for the multi-national framework talks to resume; N. Korea being more co-operative with South Korea...
[A recent victim myself of the international economic downturn; yesterday/today has been a bit more promising, nothing greater to report as of yet...]
it be time to get beyond the silly rhetorics on the issue of the day: healthcare reform; whether this be US domestic healthcare reform [what some fail to tell you is that virtually all taxpayers and healthcare plan holders are unduly subsidising uninsured persons already, to the extra benefit of the insurance and healthcare industry.
Here is a simple part of the solution: Create a basic care triage system: in rural counties somewhere in the county seat or nearest healthcare facility.
-Those without insurance have a declared site to go to; in cities/either set aside emergency room/clinics/ self-standing 'clinics' based on a the "Quikie-Care" model for one-time injuries or 'colds-flu' issues; with part of approach to find a permanent solution on a case by case basis for those who present themselves for care... To be manned by new doctors or interns for student loan credits... Dr. joel in Northern Exposure...-
Do U C the same increase in hospital beds I C? Do U C all the marketing for insurance, for pharmeucuticals, for healthcare facilities I C?
It is insurance premiums and public tax dollars that are indirectly subsidising all this marketing... Oh-oh, they tell U that the marketing comes from other budgets... Oh please, give me a break. Any monies raised by the commerce of the healthcare industry that is diverted from healthcare to increase market share is about the commerce of healthcare.
What we do not need is more marketing of healthcare, but more healthcare. What we need is an honest accounting of where our tax dollars and our healthcare insurence payment dollars go.
I have said that I would rather see a six month delay in healthcare reform legislation and an honest [in simple english and readable numbers] presentation of why healthcare costs are in the double-digit inflation range.
Then, when those who complain that we should stick to the same old- same old- healthcare approaches; the answers can be presented in clear and simple facts. I say again... the taxpayers are already subsidisng the uninsured and in a completely unstructured way, except for the healthcare industry finding ways to get their money from somebody.... faceless numbers of insurance premium payers, corporations that still provide a version of health insurance, and the taxpayers... Gee, do ya think?
With energy costs tripling, with real wages dropping, with all the economic pressures on the middle class crippling; I hear the complaints about the bail out of the financial and auto industries [so would we have flung ourselves into a depression because we don't like bail-outs -no, they were not done perfectly... and you're perfect?], the middle-class just keeps getting screwed.
The top 2% wage earners are still being protected by the GOP on tax and healthcare policies. The extreme poor are still being 'somewhat helped' and who is doing the paying; the working poor, and the middle and upper income levels just about equally...
But who seems to benefit most from government spending? Who has the means to pay more in progressive taxes, who can pay their fair share in funding healthcare reform? The top two percent...
We are all already paying for the 47 million uninsured, let's just get a better; a more open and clear system on the books and get it over with... 
On Iran, they still refer to the 'Zionist' state and yet Hezbullah is still active all across the region. They build more missiles with greater distance capabilities. And they expand their ability to develop nuclear materials that can eventually be used to create nuclear weapons.
Intel keeps hinting that iran and North Korea are weapons-trading partners. Hey, what's not to like about that?
I read other materials that are so into the minutia of the Post-Cold-War rivalries between the trinity of the US, Russia, and China. Oh good grief, if 25% of all that alleged posturing is going on; those nations foreign ministry departments would have time for nothing else.
Well, then, let's work from the another street corner. Congratulations, Russia just become owner and guarantor of the safety of the iranian atomic energy system; and China just acquired responsibility for the North Korean atomic energy system.
Should we view any military technical developments by Iran and North Korea as in the good old fashion 'sphere of influence' cold war games; just as international players and the media places such things as the new missile shield plan as the US trying to expand its sphere of influence.
Here is taking all this crap to its logical conclusion. Congratulations to iran and North Korea for becoming new satellites of the old Cold War players in a new wave of neo-colonialism. Congratulations to Russia and china for playing to the newest version of neo-colonialism. And yes, the US is playing also with the new missile defense shield.
I got a better idea. The UN security council or whoever, get serious about nuclear non-proliferation in the global community. Or the supers, the trinity, the big three can build more weapons, still trade more with each other, and we can expand on a new chapter of neo-colonialism around the world.
 
Hey, why not peace, because all these conflicting military and economic urges by individual and regional players are easy to unravel... 
North Korea claims to have the ability to produce larger quantities of nuclear weapons grade materials and iran appoints a terrorist to be Defence Minister. Israel is still going to allow settlement expansion in the west bank.
These are three examples of regional players acting solely in their own 'immediate' self-interests, and not even in their own long-term self interests.
Rather than pursue peaceful options and economic progress; international development expansion, and better relationships with their neighbours: We get the same old stuff from them, more aggression; and with some of the weaponry coming from their larger allies [I don't need to recite the affiliations].
The old cigarette advertising slogan: "I'd rather fight than switch", are these nation's mantra, their creed. In 24 hours, North Korea can now allegedly produce better nuclear weapons; Israel takes a stand to enhance occupation of the West Bank and Iran appoints a terrorist as Defence Minister.
Is this what these nations believe is how to be independent? This is why there must be great cooperation between the "Big Three', the U.N. security council, and all nations to seek nuclear non-proliferation and weapons reductions and real committments promising not to be the first [or next] nation to use weapons of mass destruction. 
In 24 hours, C how easy the tone and timbre of situations can change. Words are only a beginning, actions bring life to the words. I can write of peace, I can dream of peace, I can pray for peace, i can suggest avenues and ways and paths for peace. I cannot make others give up war or threats of war.
Let us build a new coalition of the willing; Willing to pursue peace and to pursue it together... 
 
    

In the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, in a rembrance of Teddy Kennedy, the story was reported that Kennedy attended the funeral for Yitzak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995.
After the cameras were off and the crowds dispersed, Senator Kennedy placed a little bit of soil upon the grave of Rabin. The soil came from Arlington National Cemetary, from the grave sites of his brothers, Bobby and John. The paper pointed out, 'no publicity-no photo-op'.
In Israel, Iran, and North Korea; it is time to look at specific plans to close deals in each of those situations.
In each matter; That it should be either hinted or even stated flat out. If final deals can be achieved, it is time for the U.S. be willing to speak directly to Tehran and N. Korea. But, it must be with the proviso that deals be within reach for the US to deal directly with Iran and North Korea.
Both of these nations are approaching another round of sanctions and both would rather drag out and delay new sanctions and continue the stall strategy.
In Israel and Palestine, still would use the approach of insisting both sides look to ways to break the deadlock. Both sides need to give and both sides really do know what each must give.
I have long said; Get again both sides to say: We will compromise if the the other side will compromise. Speak of the positives for both sides and let the benefits for the rest of the world, perhaps suggested at, but remain mostly unspoken.
At the same time; this administration should be willing to keep their eyes on the prize in seeking greater international peace.
The greater goal should not be seen as winning at war, rather to win a fair and lasting peace. A time to develop clean energy, economic justice, feed the hungry and heal the sick; beyond considerations of race, beyond considerations of religion, beyond considerations of a persons station in life.
"The hope still lives and the dream shall never die." 
 

Upon my checking international news web-sites on the Internet; it seems that there have been hints that breakthroughs could be possible in both North Korea and with Iran. While each time such opportunities appear to develop... something; as an intervening development happens and the hope of progress disappears.
The goal remains: To reduce NBC weapons among nations who possess -nuclear, chemical, biological weapons and to prevent nations who do not possess NBC weapons from acquiring or developing such horrific weapons.
It really is that simple... To cut arsenals for such empowered nations and to prevent other nations from acquiring such weapons and not to develop a way to deploy such threatening weapons.
In North Korea their current leader is seriously ill and wants his Western educated son to succeed him. In Iran, President Ahmadinejad has been accused of winning a rigged election.
Each of these nations face further international weapons and economic sanctions if they refuse to take steps to insure they not develop nuclear weapons. Each nation seeks legitimate facilities to produce nuclear electrical power.
Because of the recent histories of these nations; the rest of the entire world worries that these nations would transfer atomic weapon technolgy to terrorist organisations or to nations who might use newly developed weaponry and actually use these horrific weapons.
If it was my call... I would seek Chinese cooperation to work with North Korea to establish peaceful atomic electrical energy and to require used atomic material to be disposed of after the energy had been created.
Similarly... I would urge the same process for peaceful energy production within Iran and Russia, the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency to develop a legitmate plan with Iran.
This process would allow Iran to produce atomic electricity for domestic use and then transfer spent material, through the I.A.E.A. to nations willing to dispose of these materials.
It is not nuclear energy one would forbid these nations from possessing; rather it is the ability to develop [and perhaps transfer] the technology to other international players; that is the most worrisome.
 
 

While I am the last one who should preach at others about accepting responsibility for their actions... I would argue that Palestine is facing the question of accepting resonsibility for their actions. Palestine is a nation, though not free because of the occupation. It has not been willing to do enough to recognise the right of Israel to exist.
Yet, on the other side, Israel has not been willing leave the West Bank settlements and still seeks to claim all of Jerusalem and not allow Palestine to claim East Jerusalem, which it has held for decades.
Mubarek is correct insaying that it is time to look for a complete solution and not temporary, stop-gap gimmicks to bring all concerned parties to negotiations.
And yet his visit to Washington has been positive to show that there is a community of Middle East nations who will fully recognise Israel upon solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
But as long as any talks of any kind occur; there is always hope for a positive breakthrough. Would one say the time is not now: But then: I would ask: If not now: When?  

I believe that the three best people to help broker a peace between Israel and Palestine; and establishing a free Palestinian state are King Hussein of Jordan, Hosni Moubarak, and the President Bashir of Syria.
And I have long suggested that Hamas be willing to recognise Israel in accordance with and simultaneously, when Palestine becomes a free state. That Hamas end all hostility with Israel and recognise Israel upon Palestine being freed and becoming a free nation among the international communities of nations.
The Mubarak statements of August 2009, completely coincides with my previous postings.
I have called upon the international community of nations to provide economic, infrastructure, and rebuilding aid to Palestine in numbers from one to five billion dollars of aid, if Palestine can develop a complete settlement with Israel.
For Israel; there must be a final agreement that there will be no Palestinian refugee resettlement within the 1967 borders of Israel. In return, at least 90% of the West Bank is returned to Palestinian control.
For Jerusalem... I propose an Isreali sector, a Palestinian sector in East Jerusalem, and an international sector, governed by an Israeli-Palestinian commission which respects and honours Moslem, Jewish, and Christian sites in what many call the Holy Land.
I am a simple man upon my own hard times in this international financial crisis. Even as an American, living in what called a land of plenty, I live a very challenged life and perform my daily regular tasks much as peoples in impoverished nations live theirs.
I seek and hope and dream of peace; for my own nation; and for all challenged nations of the world.
My greatest personal honour has been to meet Lech Walensa while being a freelance journalist after he left office as President of Poland and his great courage while working with 'Solidarty' during the pontificate of John Paul II.
I am not Catholic, but those times taught me even more about respecting person's religious beliefs, than I would have ever believed.
As a soldier in the U.S. Army, I saw Dachau. As a young man, I saw films of the Nazi concentration kamps being liberated.
Though sometimes I may say not always the right thing; I hope and pray for peace.

Where to begin with Israel and Palestine? Hamas has ties with and functions like Hezbullah in Syria and Lebanon. It is an oversimplification, but you have a three way split in the Arab world. Al-Qaida international terror/Hamas-Hezbullah [both international and locally national, willing to use aggressive tactics, yet also offer local social services]/and the recognised nation states.
This is the dilemma, but not as much as perhaps seen. It is time for Hamas and Fatah to compromise to fight internal terror groups and work together to end their side of "obsession with occupation" in their conflict with Israel.
The main goal is simple to state: Ending the state of war between Israel and Palestine so that Israel can become safer, and Palestine free.
The idea for the US is to restate our goals, trot out a revised set of goals, with lofty hopes and dreams for the region, while working in the region to establish a specific plan to achieve these goals.
The recent difficulties with Al Qaida in Palestine underscores why there needs to be a new or another multi-national group of Arab nations, seeking ways to fight terror, expand regional Arab economic activity, and help broker freedom for Palestine and peace with Israel.
The desire is to create a sub-block of Arab nations who would be formally non-aligned, except to advance their own national and regional goals and to live in peace through out the Middle East with all existing nations.
Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and any other nation willing to participate, such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It does not even need to be formalised, but as a working group within the foreign ministries of the involved nations.
With the proviso that these nations would recognise Israel completely upon a settlement with Palestine to create a real two-state solution... Pragmatic Arab regionalism and nationalism, nations seeking peace and economic development, living within the international community of nations, accepting peoples differences and expanded cooperation of commonalities, even to include Israel...

I am a former soldier and I hold a degree in Political Science and Creative Writing. I write poetry and share the same last name of Walt Whitman.
I am a Democrat, yet wrote and blogged during the Bush Administration about policy; from my own point of view during the Bush administration that would best advance U.S. goals during these times. I believe that this be honourable and patriotic; and places one above partisan politics; placing the interests of our nation first and foremost.
I disagree with Dick Cheney on virtually all issues. Yet I respect him for his candid beliefs and pursuing policy positions that he believed was best for our nation. After all, he was second in command of our nation as the attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centers happened.
As during Reagan and with Bush, I disagreed with virtually all of their domectic policies. During the Reagan years I was an American soldier and so I have no comment on his policies.
During the Bush 2 years; I found different ways to suggest foreign policy positions. Believe me or not, I do what I do... including suggesting the multi-national negotiation scenarios between leagues of nations with Iran and with North Korea [and these seemed new ideas], rather than the United States perhaps going to war against these countries, while we were engaging Iraq against Saddam Hussein.
Frankly, I do not agree with former Vice President Cheney about former President Bush and while my own domestic views differ from our former President Bush 2; I believe he did many right things, especially in his second term.
The goal was to protect U.S. interests, defend against international terrorism and present, with former Sec. of States Powell and Rice, seek ways to find a better peace in the Gulf Region, in Korea, and through out the Middles East.
I am a Democrat, but an American and former soldier. My grandparents, parents, and aunts and uncles lived through the great depression and World War II.
My loyalty comes to America first and then to my political party next. As an American soldier in West Germany in 1987, I briefly saw the Nazi murder kamp at Dauchau.
I watched the films of starved Jewish concentration camp survivors after World War II. I have met U.S. soldiers who came home from Viet Nam. 
Don't tell me... I understand, been there, got the Political Science college degree, met Lech Walesha, met a friend of Jihan Sadat. Met many business persons from China and Russia. 
Wore the U.S. soldier uniform... prayed for and sought peace; for America, for Palestine, for Israel, for Korea... for sub-Sahara Africa. I call on the United Nations to develop a refugue plan to either sent refugues home or find places for them to create a new home... to end their terror and oppression.
This be the dream and this be the hope, with what means and hopes we possess; to rise above pain and prejudice and even anger anger and pain; We, of special hopes and of special dreams; find better ways to help those of no guilt, find a way to preserve themselves and give their children a better way of life... 
I have a sweet and special multi-racial child and my special former wife who gave me a better time, for our limited time together. Together, we gave life to our special young man. Our new president is a man of this new world, of love, of many special backgrounds of which I have already known.
 
 
   

After WWII, the west has somewhat stepped back from what is called neo-colonialism. Russia and China has somewhat continued to try to bring what are called -non-aligned- nations to their closer allies.
The British empire was being dismantled, the entire world had faced a challenge from Japan and Nazi Germany in a way the nations of the world had never faced. The Second World War, literally, with the the victory of the Allies, perserved potential freedom for all challenged nations of the world.
I do not mean to say that all things done by the Allies was perfect. But, with our committment, with our allies, a special rebirth of freedom was given to all nations of the world.
As a boy in the early 1960's, I saw films of the holocaust death kamps. As a soldier in the US Army in the 1980's, I saw Dachau. You need not tell me about such things.
Yet, I ask Israel to find a way to protect itself and find a way to allow Palestine to become a free nation.
In 2002, I posted a plan on several Mid-East websites [written from an Israeli point of view] called 'Unilateral Disengagement', which based on the peace agreements agreed to during the Clinton Administration, gave back East Jerusalem, gaza, and most of the West Bank, back to Palestine:: If Palestine and friendly Arab nations would formally recognise Israel. PM Ariel Sharon used this term and left Gaza.
In 2003-4, I wrote plans for multi-national negotiations with North Korea and Iran and forwarded these suggestions to the US State Department, via E-Mail. Within weeks, these suggestions appeared from the Bush Administration.
Each time, after 9-11, and with the potential of wars with Iran and North Korea while we were in Iraq and Afghnistan; my goal was internationally engage Iran and North Korea indirectly, prevent U.S. further involvement, and bring other nations into a better peace process.
There are times when the right kind of negotiations; when nations take a pause for a higher purpose, even in the most trying times, can create a hope and atmosphere for peace.
With Iran and North Korea, I know the U.S. [and even Israel with Iran] seeks the right kind of peace. That does not mean surrender, that does not concession; it means finding a way to let Palestine be free. It means helping North Korea and Iran develop electrical energy sources; but not-not develop threatening weapon sources...
These are the hopes, these are the dreams. To bring potentially dangerous nations into the community of nations, help them develop internal energy sources, and find a way to help them make peace with nations who they might oppose.
And to bring freedom to nations who would live in peace with their neighbours for the the right reasons.   

After my trials two years ago when my father, a very favourite aunt Katherine, and my cousin Shelly all died of natural causes within a week of each other, I do feel both sadness for her passing and yet a celebration for the life of Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
My sister was severely challenged, my son has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I worked with challenged adults in an adult workshop for challenged adults. So, when I say, sweetly joking, I've been there, bought the T-Shirt, and paid my dues, I know...
My eyes dampen whenever I see things involving the Special Olympics.
You cannot imagine the special joy of having challenged family members and then working with those who do know they themselves have challenges and then they laugh and know and smile because they know those folks are indeed special; to themselves and their families.
So, when I smile, say a quiet "Ava Maria" toward the special memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver... I've been there... Bought the T-shirt... For there is nothing more special than the Special Olympics...
Dear Father... Wrap your great arms around the spirit of Eunice Kennedy Shriver as I wrap my spiritual arms about my late sister and my special son...

With North Korea and Iran; the goal is to end their desires to become active members of the Atomic Weapons community, and yet allow them to develop legitimate nuclear electric energy production.
With Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria; the goal is find a way to bring freedom to Palestine, and set final borders for Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine in such a way that provides secure borders for Israel.
North Korea is approaching a transition in power as their leader is gravely ill and he wants to bring his son into power upon his resignation or death. Let us get real... The son of the current leader in N. Korea is in grave danger from hard-line military leaders unless he assumes full and legitimate power before his father leaves power...
Iran is approaching a serious final momentum, not unlike other nations who have been in trouble and could not hold power against serious internal challenges. Poland, in the 1980's, South Africa at the end of apartheid.
It has become a time for higher rhetoric, higher purpose, and seeking greater international support for peace efforts in the the area of non-proliferation and WMD reduction. And with Palestine and sub-Sahara Africa, seeking to close refugee camps and protecting national asperations of these concerned nations...  

aug 05 09
 
Congrats for release of 2 journalists... but more is here than seems obvious. the current NK leader is seriously ill and is trying to bring his son in as his successor.
this would be better than power vaccuum, which would likely be filled by hardline military.
son is western educated and his father has made deals in the past.the clinton visit got journalist release, gave ailing NK leader a good international spotlight, and he and his son are more likely to return to deals made by international six negotiating group and the United States, during Bush administration.
The diplomacy question is some support of current NK regime, but to return to negotiating table, not carte blanche, obviously.
the idea is to bring NK into international community, with focus on international non-proliferation, and weapon cuts for nations with WMD...

July 29, 2009  To use diplomacy to build real peace...
 
In a negotiation when parties are at an impasse, the best strategy may be to step back and then step a little bit forward. To accept differences in viewpoints, but resolve to find common agreement on some issues and then work together to find solutions to the points of disagreement.
For Israel and Palestine, I propose secretary level discussions, with US envoy George Mitchell as mostly an observer, to meet with the Israeli foreign minister and together meet with PA foreign minister to present ideas in preliminary discussions what each side needs for a signable agreement to establish a Palestinian state.
If possible, to formally establish an Arab block nation group, to work with Israel, Palestine, and the US to create an Arab sub-regional block to find avenues to help satisfy Israeli security concerns and address formally a way for a peaceful Palestine to become a free nation.
I have written much about Palestinian refugees, especially in other Arab nations.
The idea is simple, if Israel leaves virtually all of the West Bank as it left Gaza [something I wrote many years ago about with Unilateral Disengagement], these refugees could be re-located back to the West Bank region.
The hope is that Hamas in Palestine and Hezbullah in Syria and Lebanon become no longer a military force, but a political only parties to help their citizenry, their constituents as would any Western political party. While I know that problems there still exist, this is like Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic Army.
I would accept being naive' about what might be about Christian conflict between Catholic and Protestant conflicts and what conflicts may exist between Shia and Sunni moslems and then what might exist between various Islamic factions and Al Quaida/Taliban groups and sub-groups
With Iran, to use the multinational negotiating team to formally ask what it takes to help Iran develop energy resources, rebuild its standing in the international community, and find a way that Israel would tolerate Iranian legitimate energy needs, without developing nuclear weapons, and Iran could tolerate the existance of Israel, especially if Palestine became a free nation.
With North Korea, the six nation group use the good auspices of china to help North Korea develop an energy/economic proposal which helps North Korea provide for its people and to use the old 'guns versus butter' cliche... so that North Korea could transfer military spending and acquisitions from military purposes to domestic improvement expenditures.
As I have said before, there is no nation threatening a peaceful North Korea, as there is no nation threatening Iran, no nation threatening Syria, or China, or Russia, or nations in western Europe.
We have a global economy, and the leading nations do not need further military partners, these nations would rather or should rather seek trade partners and not use their military dominance to impose self-serving solutions.
This is the new world order, and the most powerful nations should develop trade and economic development to enhance the quality of life of persons of all nations. Not merely as acts of charity, but as a method of creating situations of mutual benefit on all levels of economic opportunity and helping those who cannot, by themselves, help themselves.
This because it helps all persons,even and especially those given greater economic opportunity. 
 

My, as Edward Morris Kennedy said, -The dream shall live and the hope shall never die- Bobby Kennedy said; quoting George Bernard Shaw; "Some men see things as they are, and ask 'Why?'... I dream things that never were, and say 'Why not!'.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said; 'I have a dream. I may not get to the mountain top with you. But I have seen the mountain top...'
The challenges are great. Our world has reached a certain level of progress, yet there are places of our world with peoples who are greatly left behind in that progress.
There are people who live in fear of poverty and disease; there are peoples who live in terror of oppression. There are peoples who continue to be denied the respect and honour of freedom.
There are peoples who would be persecuted only because their religious beliefs or the colour of their skin. And I say, if these persecuted persons will accept the tolerance to accept the differences and the commonality of all peoples, these peoples should also be free.
I have committed my time, from age 10 to age 53, to write about and hope for peace in the Middle East between Palestine and Israel. And, I have shown a little bit of a higher knowledge in this field than many experts.
To borrow from Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, to tell my story; John Fitzgerald Kennedy was murdered when I was eight, when Martin and Bobby Kennedy were murdered when I was twelve and understood their causes; the words of Dr. King still greatly resonant from his 1963 address given on the Washington Mall;
"I have a dream."
To the peoples of Iran, I respect your religion and faith. Yet, I fear that your government would not only use nuclear technology to provide energy, but would allow others to acquire atomic weapons. I feel that North Korea is a threat to use or sell its atomic technology.
This means no offence to the peoples of Iran or North Korea, but does reflect, as a life long student of international relations and a dreamer for peace, that your-these governments would threaten international peace and proliferate nuclear weaonry, strictly for their own benefit and advantage.
With both Iran and North Korea, the Bush administration has left office. The Obama administration seeks peace with all administrations who would live in peace with the rest of the world.That is what this is about.
It is time for Israel and Palestine to find peace. It is a time to end nuclear proliferation. It is a time for all nations to seek and accept tolerance in their relationships with one and another.
The hope still lives and the dream shall never die

Normally, I do not respond to private matters on this and other sites that I use to discuss advanced social, humanitarian, and political matters. To say simply, my personal life is the the midst of a very great change. It is somewhat related to the collapse of the the economy in 2008.
I deeply thank all those who have been greatly supportive of me over the last six years. I am 53 years old and have followed politics at a higher level all of my life, beginning at the age of eight or nine.
Someone suggested to me an idea about red and black and at this moment, I do not recoginise the reference of black and red. I have many things I have put on my own plate to deal with; today has become, when in the military, we called a 'recovery day', to clean up and re-organise, after many days of heavy activity...
 
The dream is peace; though not always to achieve peace, can nations always say it would not pursue conflict. Some nations only recognise the use of force, or that threat of force, which is a sad thing to say.
 
After the alleged nuclear bazaar of the selling of technology from Pakistan in 2002; and the activities of Iran and North Korea over the last two or three years, it would be naive' to believe that North Korea or Iran would not continue to try to sell nuclear technology to raise money and to try to enhance their standing in what has been called the non-aligned community of nations.
 
It is merely my opinion that both Russia and China see the threats by Iran and North Korea to the a greater international order, by those nations seeking to develop or enhance their nuclear weapon's ability.
 
I did read the statements from North Korean officials about Ms. Clinton, and I found these comments to be absurd.
 
The current 'Supreme Leader' and the current president of Iran are greatly challenged to remain in power in Iran. At present, these men are in power in Iran.
But, virtually all the nations of the world see Iran and North Korea as nations who would advance their own personal goals to such a level that these nations would transfer atomic weapons tecnology to any unscrupulous force and threaten the use of these weapons by a nation or by a terrorist nation.
Please, let us not be naive', in the next few years, as the threat of terrorism is still greatly alive; the greatest threat of a several disaster comes from the potential of WMD technology transfer from nations like Iran and N. Korea to terrorist organisations.
And, in my opinion, the best way to prevent nuclear and WMD proliferation is develop cooperation among the dominant three: Russia, China and the the USA, while recognising and working with Japan and the nations of the European Union [Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, and other].
It is not a time for dominant nations to dictate terms, but to work together to build a time of better peace and economic advancement, and to use their economic dominance to aid challenged nations an ability to develop their own challenged economies.

Pardon me that I regress; for i share the honour of sharing the sir name of the greatest American poet; Walt Whitman. Though I know of no direct tie, I privately refer to Walt Whitman, as Uncle Walt. For whatever reason, I do myself write poetry, though have never claimed to approach his ability or stature.
 
I have worn the American uniform of a soldier and given my oath
to defend our nation and i have written of and sought peace for
our nation and for nations abroad.
 
I am my own poet and my own dreamer
and to share the sirname of a poet as Walt Whitman
is both a great honour and even reponsibility
 
during this nation's CivilWar he tended the sick
and injured of that great horrible war.
 
I go back and re-read his leaves of grass.
 
Born of our 1950's and a child of our 1960's
and a student of national and international events,
I know of struggles for peace and through my parents
and aunts and of uncles and grandparents,
the turmoils of economic depression, and of the fighting
and of the great winning of the second world war.
 
I swim and sink and rise again
after the assassinations of John and Bobby Kennedy
of Doctor Reverend Martin Luther King, of John Lennon
and Anwar Sadat and Yitzak Rabin, and Harari in Lebanon.
 
I have studied international politics and written of it
at a higher level. Yet, but, And; I still be a dreamer...
 
To find a cure for the plaque of Aids in Africa and the letting
of persons in the sub-Sahara to go home and not stay in refugee camps...
 
To close Palestinian refugee camps and let them find new homes in a new Palestinian homeland. For Israel to make peace with their neighbouring Moslem/Arabic nations to have peace and secure borders and friendly relationships with its neighbouring nations.
 
Would you have me be a dreaming poet or a strident politician? I confess, I am neither and both. I would rather be the dreamer; to when Jew and Moslem and Christian can share their Holy Lands.
 
To when respect and tolerance of race, religion, and cultural, and national origin would be an honoured concept in all lands...
 
Whether you toil in the fields, built machines in bigger factories, sweep litter from the streets, or teach in schools or lead great and not so great nations...
Whether you hate or whether you love; there come these times when hatred and violence shall be put a side or we shall face consequences of our own foolishness...
 
I be not the poet of Uncle Walt or the dreamers such as Bobby and Martin and John, but I feel what I feel and I know that I am not the only one... 
 
  

I must admit that I originally supported Ms. Hilliary Rodham Clinton in the 2008 election because I believed that she understood international politics, cared about the plight of poor and middle-class Americans in the same way her husband does, and understood our nation's role to make the U.S. a better nation at home, and a nation to make the world safer against those who would threaten international peace.
It was not so much that her ideas were better, but that when you combined her beliefs and experiences with her husband, for President Clinton, she would bring, with her spouse, a level of experience unseen in American and perhaps, world recent experience.
I have my own private reasons for being more than thrilled that our nation could elect a bright and gifted multi-cultural man such as Bareck Obama. And, he seemingly, saw the same things in what Ms. Clinton could bring to the international debate, when he asked her to be Secretary of State.
Her visit to Asia has been a very positive message to nations whom we disagree; that our nation can still work with them as long as those nations do not seek nuclear weapons and would not transfer dangerous technologies to other nations or organizations. And to garner such support for this U.S. and other international policies.
With North Korea, that nation has stepped up military challenges and international brinksmanship with changes in western policies and with changes in U.S. administrations. Both President Obama and Ms. Clinton are vastly aware of these circumstances.
With Iran, their presidential election is still being challenged. Their current administration and over-seeing theocratic powers in office, these powers still seek complete, what amounts to dictatorial control of both domestic and international policy-making in Iran.
Russia is providing aid to Iran to build atomic energy power plants. That is a legitimate process to help a nation develop legitimate energy source. But, atomic energy power plants and additional processing of atomic materials can relatively be easy to use to build atomic weapons.
The question is not finding a way for iran or NorthKorea to have atomic fired electric energy plants, but to do it in such a way that these nations cannot use the nuclear materials after electric power development to develop atomic missiles and technologies to use or transfer.
This is the question: Can compromises and controls be developed to allow Iran and North Korea to have affortable energy, not have overly strict sanctions, and prevent these nations from developing additional atomic weapons and have them not have an ability to transfer atomic weapons technology to terrorists or questionable nations.
 
 
 

In my daily travels, I see an auto that has a bumper-sticker with the words, "I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."
Yes, though sometimes I lose myself in strategy and diplomacy and seeking to make a solution come from political leverage and using situational advantage: I also see persons who reach beyond and above themselves to try to make a better world and a better peace.
In my heart, I know that for such a better peace in the Middle-East, leaders of that region need to find a way to accept the differences of each nation, as well as accept the desire for nearly all in that troubled region to build a fair and lasting peace.
I have been accused of being naive' and at other times of being tough on one side or the other, between Israel and Palestine. I have written suggestions for peace in the region of the Middle East, especially in the areas of Israel and Palestine, and some of these ideas have found their way into developed and advanced policies.
That is my reality. Still, with all the turmoil, controversy, and lingering doubts about the committment of each side to find a legitimate and lasting peace: I believe a fair deal between Israel and Palestine can be achieved.
The three keys to such a deal are: 1] Palestine not seek a return of refugees within the 1967 borders of Israel. 2] Israel leave at least 90% of the West Bank. 3] Israel and Palestine find a way to allow Palestine to retain East Jerusalem and each side to respect religious sites revered by Christians, Jews, and Moslems in the greater Jerusalem area in a manner that all who would desire, could worship as they desire in that area.
In negotiations between the rest of world and the nations of Iran and North Korea in regards to nuclear proliferation: It is the desire to respect the sovereignty of each nation, yet protect all nations from nations who might attempt to develop dangerous technologies in such a way that would put many nations in a greater peril.
No reasonable nation would punish the peoples of certain nations for the nationalistic policies of their government, yet the community of nations is required to develop policies to prevent situations that could cause weapons of vast horror from ever being used again.
Nations who possess atomic weapons hold a serious burden; that burden to commit to never be the first to use these weapons. I ask the question: Could Iran and North Korea be expected to honour such a committment to include that these nations not allow terrorists to acquire such a weapon, or that they would never transfer such technology to nations who would use or transfer such weapons?
These are the fundamental questions. This is why, through private diplomacy with Russia and China, I challenge the U.S. to challenge quietly the nation of Russia regarding Iran and challenge privately China about North Korea, in regards to if Iran or North Korea would ever use atomic weapons or if they might transfer such technology. For if that might happen, could Russia and China accept responsibility that their nations allowed its junior allies to advance dangerous weaponry in a manner that placed the safety of the entire world in jeopardy.
This is the level of how such situations are faced. I have written suggesstions of how such situations should be addressed, some of such suggestions have seemed to be adopted. I am merely a writer, yet having that I have said to have happened, I write these things with a great level of hope and, perhaps a strange level of responsibility.
     

In the world, there are camps [which the rest of the world would rather ignore] called rufugee camps.
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of persons trapped in these camps.
I call on the United Nations to help close these camps home amd let those peoples go home...

It is being reported that the chosen leader of North Korea has pancreatic cancer. I would have believed that he would make certain deals with the Multi-national negotiation teams because of that nation's need for Chinese humanitarian aid, and all that was being offered in aid by the western and western aligned nations for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.
Just a couple of hundred miles from the China border, North Korea is testing atomic materials and launching middle range missiles that could potentially reach distant targets.
No nation is threatening North Korea, the entire world seems willing to give humanitarian aid to North Korea if the nation foregoes its nuclear arms programs. This is why I have urged private dialogue between the US and China to halt the North Korean atomic weapons program in exchange for domestic aid to North Korea.
If China continues to give humanitarian aid to N. Korea as it develops missiles and atomic weapons, China becomes responsible for the North Korean nuclear program, and the North Korean desires to raise money by transporting nuclear technology to currently non-nuclear nations.
This is how this works... If North Korea and Iran merely use the United States to criticise and blame their problems on the US and west, it is a form of propaganda for domestic consumption; that is merely domestic posturing. For the westen nations, it may be annoying, but it is only words.
 If Iran and North Korea continue nuclear weapons development, then it becomes the responsibility of nations who might help them for whatever actions like North Korea and Iran... might take.
Diplomacy requires that it is best not to embarrass other nations in front of the rest of of the world, but rather make realistic suggestions in private, to allow other nations to present policy changes by their own choice.
With China and North Korea, with Russia and Iran, the hope is to help these nations like North Korea and Iran to develop legitimate energy needs for these nations, with international supervision, to not develop nuclear weapons. For it is best to reduce all collections of atomic weapons, work toward a serious plan that nations without such weapons not acquire such weapons; And that each nuclear weapon holding nation; commit seriously that their nation would never be the first to use atomic weapons again.  

I am old enough to remember the Israeli-Arab six day war, the assassination of JFK, of Martin Luther King, of Robert Francis Kennedy, of Anwar Sadat, of Yitzak Rabin, and the curious circumstances around the death of Yasir Arafit, and I have had persons tell me that my views of seeking peace as I believe; put my own life in jeopardy.
I know what I have written about, and have suggested as a mere individual, without standing to seek peace in the region once called Palestine. I suggested a plan called 'Unilaterall Disengagment' with Isarel leaving virtually all occupied territory and telling Palestine, 'You can be free if you allow Israel to live in peace."
I forwarded to the US State dept. suggestions in both the N. Korean and Iranian atomic stand offs, a suggestion to develop international negotiation plans of appropriate nations to seek a set of circumstances to forward financial and diplomatic aid for those nations, if they would not pursue the development of atomic weapons.
These suggestions seemingly were adopted during the Bush Administration [whether or not they had a thing to do with my forwarded suggestions].
During the Bush administration, I knew that aggressive rhetoric on these issues would focus those foreign governments rhetoric directly against the U.S. and make international agreements virtually impossible.
My style of suggestions would allow Iran and N. Korea to negotiate settlements with allies of the United States, without 'giving in' to the United States, directly.
This is diplomacy at the highest level. For all to seek to find a settlement, and without appearing to make concessions. It is one thing for Iran and North Korea to accept the will of the United States, it is another thing to negotiate a settlement with nations who have been tolerant and accepting in the past.
This is why it has been better to develop a group of international nations, without the United States speaking in the lead, to head such negotiations. Just because the United States wants something to happen, without great international support, does not mean it would come to be.
If each would accept peace, there is no Western nation seeking conflict with either Iran or N. Korea. However, given the western and Russian dominance of atomic weapons, and the horrible responsbility of never using them again, the challenge of nuclear non-profiliration has never been so great.
And this is why China is asked to help curtail North Korean nuclear ambitions; as Russia is asked to curtail Iranian atomic weapon ambitions.
I am not old enough to remember Hiroshama and Nagasaki, but I have seen the films of that devastation. I have been a military person and know about the silly scenario of allegedly survivabal atomic warfare.
As has India and Pakitstan developed nuclear weapons, each has learned the horrible reponsiblity of never using these weaons against one another. That is this challenge for all other nations.
And that is why I have spoke of having Russia and the United States seeking a new protical for non-proliferation. To seek an International agreement to reduce such weapons and to, with the greater international community, eliminate any expansion to currentlly non-nuclear nations, the ability to develop such weapons of mass horrible destruction. 
 
 
 
 

The world economy begins in the United States, we are the engine that drives international capitalism. Yet, over the last forty years, the US economic system has squeezed American workers. President Obama understands this dynamic, in my opinion.
In watching the news, including watching the financial markets, watching the impact on other nations, in watching intrepretations of who well the moves to stabilise the international banking system have worked and how well American workers have responded to the the economic retraction, the recovery is moving as well as can be expected.
But there needs to be basic reform. Whether it be considered criminal, or civil; there must be fair reward for success for legitimate deal making and punishment for unfair and solely profit-taking in dealings that are not viable. While using a bit of 'word-speak', it is reasonably clear what I am saying.
In dealing with North korea, we need not exchange threats, but work within the international negotiating formats that already exist.
However, we need to lobby privately with China and Russia for those nations to impress upon N. Korea that brinksmanship and militarism will not bring them any better arrangements than were offered during the Clinton and Bush administrations.
In Iran, the election fiasco that allegedly re-elected Ahmadinejad, has greatly tainted any governmental claims of that nation that it is a democratic nation.I applaud the Obama government for waiting until the election 'alleged results' had been finalised until speaking out about the current Iranian situation.
In Israel, that nation needs to seek a solution which secures a safe Israel, and brings real freedom to Palestine. This means the classic Israeli trade of land for peace, and a mostly de-militarised Palestine that accepts the right of israel to exist.
Hamas wants it both ways, but they want to stay armed to retain power and influence in Palestine, as much to stay in conflict with Israel, until and/or after Palestine achieves its freedom.
Hamas operates within and along with a model of Hezbullah, as a Mid-east regional military force. Again, Hamas needs to become a political party and not a military force for Palestine have a chance for freedom and ending its occupation by Israel.
Israel needs to leave the West Bank as Hamas needs to be willing to accept israel when Palestine becomes a free nation. 

Not in one place, or one government, or one media location; I have written much about peace in the world in the last eight years. I am a writer with degrees in political science and creative writing and with minor degrees in mass media communications and history.
I have medals from my service in the US Army and hometown awards for service during trying times while living in my very unique small home town.
I have done my best, not always in my own best personal interests, to advance important U.S. and international issues.
I wrote a position paper about "Unilateral Disengagement" between Israel and Palestine; with Israel withdrawing from Palestine, if Palestine would live beside Israel in peace.
I wrote of plans to develop a multi-national approach to negotiate non-proliferation agreements between Iran and between North Korea with the international community, to allow peaceful atomic energy for those nations as long as those nations would allow controls to prevent them from creating nuclear weapons to de-stabilise peace in the world community.
With each of these moves, I knew that they may not succeed, but that they would not bring the U.S. into another conflict during the Iraqi War as negotiations continued.
This is what has play out. I merely wrote these memos and forwarded them to our State department. I am a writer and a dreamer, and peace and freedom for all peoples are my dreams.
I hope for security for Israel and a free state for Palestine beside Israel. I hope for Iran to become a nation to live beside her neighbours in peace. I hope for nuclear weapons to be cut by nations who possess these weapons, and for nations who do not have these weapons to not seek these weapons. I hope for North Korea to make amends with South Korea; so that these nations can live side by side, and allow their peoples to live together.
I hope that African nations can find peace and tolerence and allow refugees to find their families to live together in peace.
I am of a generation that listened to the music of the Beatles. I remember both the persecution of John Lennon and his assassination. I remember the murders of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Anwar Sadat, and Yitzak Rabin; and their dreams of peace.
My father fought in World War II, I served in West Germany, I saw Dachau, and I have sought peace and met with Arab and Jewish students in college, I have paid my dues, written to international Arabic and Israeli websites, sought peace above the desires of one nation above another, seeking compromise, so that Israel could be secure and Palestine be free.
I was a student of a female teacher that knew Jihan Sadat, the widow of Anwar Sadat, as she taught me; the leader of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated.
I seek peace. I seek hope for nations who are improvished or oppressed. This is real; this is reaching out; this is reaching out for peace... Beyond one religion, beyond one race; beyond one nation...
Again... pray for peace... pray for hope... pray for tolerance...
 
  

The thing with North Korea is that there is a real question of who is in charge. The change is tone from from came with the supposed stroke to their 'Supreme Leader'.
But the brinksmanship is the N. Korean standard operating procedure. As a new administarion in the US comes in, N. Korea ratchets up the militarism, and uses the US [as does Iran] to the one to blame for nearly all things.
After the brief successes of the Multi-national negotiations, N. Korea reverted back to old habits.
The US administration is wholly aware of this. Again, this controversy is totally generated by NK. Instead of trading threats with them, we should be discussing the positive agreements of the Multi-nation talks, of not being able to go past those agreement, and that no nation is threatening a 'peaceful' North Korea. We would defend ourselves, but that with the help of friendly nations, there is obviously no need for conflict between the US and North Korea.
With Iran, again the United States has become the scapegoat for hardliners in that government. The iranian people want a more open society while remaining an Islamic nation, but with room for different interpretations of islam just as the US has different interpretations of Christianity and Israel has differing interpretations of Judaism.
In Israel, Netanyu is acting as I suspected once the US applied 'influence' on the peace issue. In his campaign for PM, he discussed wanting a broad settlement between Israel and the Arab world.
This is the proper goal; to build a peace between Israel and Palestine because both nations suffer because of the Palestinian occupation. Israel, Syria and Lebanon have border issues, and if all the border issues are settled, only cultural differences would remain.
But Netanyu is playing a game, and no one is fooled. The supposed policy shift is not much of a shift, but an Israeli attempt to get the US to 'sign off' on Israel keeping more of the West Bank than Palestine and the Arab world would accept, hoping that US influence would shepherd through such an agreement.This is why I keep going back to the aborted deals negotiated between Clinton,Rabin, and Arafat in the 1990's.
But, Israel has a right to insist a mostly disarmed Palestine because of Hamas.
Hamas has said it would not 'interfere' with an agreement, but would they accept a real peace? That is why I have suggested for years; the concept of Hamas would be willing to recognize Israel when Palestine becomes a free state, and acknowledge it in that way.
If Hamas is not willing to do that, it indicates that Hamas would rather fight Israel than accept an honourable peace and fair settlement. And if a fair settlement can be found, Hamas has a moral responsibility to allow Palestine to be free, as an independent nation beside Israel, even if not always the best of neighbours. Though there would be no reason for Israel and Palestine not to be good neighbours.  

 The time for peace in palestine could be at hand. The new administration is doing a better job of presenting the idea that the US could be 'more' of an even handed peace broker than the Bush admin... A minority group US president who has an Arab middle name who has strongly defended an American perogative, yet spoke of peace and opportunity to the Arab world.
 This is not spin, this is the real world baby.
Israel has hinted that for recognition and real security, it could approach a more final deal. Hamas has hinted that it would accept a 1967 border deal. I have often proposed that Hamas state that it would be party to a settlement that meant a palestinian state.
The finesse of the suggestion is the concept of: Both sides saying nearly simultaneously; we will accept peace if the other side does. If Hamas would use the auspices of nations like Syria, and perhaps Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, to forward a position of compromise if Israel would do the same.
We will if you will, just embracing the concept, so that discussion and negotiation can grow, using Fatah, with consultation with Hamas to negotiatiate a settlement.
At the end of World War II, after Jewish people had begun to repopulate her homeland in the early twentieth century, after between six and twelve million jews were murdered simply because of their religious beliefs, the United Nations, the United States and other nations decided to allow and help the Jewish people to re-establish the state of Israel in the land once called Palestine.
Palestinians were pushed from their homes in the territory set aside for a new state of Israel, and Arab nations tried to conquer and defeat Israel. This is reality, this is truth.
And now, some sixty years after the re-establishment of Israel, the mission is still not finished. The mission is to establish a free state of Palestine to live in peace beside a secure state of Israel. The mission, the goal; is to build a peace to allow Israel to exist in peace, to create a free Palestinian nation in the land of Palestine not set aside by the nations of the world for Israel, and for religious persons of Jewish, Islam, and Chritianity to travel to, and respect, and even share the lands called by hundreds of millions as the Holy Lands.
I have my own opinions how an ending solution should look, as other many expert have their own opinions...
My desire is for all parties to come to a solution that every party can live with. If a solution can be achieved that Israel and Palestine can accept, the rest of the world has a moral obligation to honour such a settlement.
As a soldier of the US in 1987, I merely drove to, stopped and saw the empty and closed German concentration kamp at Dauchau. On a tour bus of US GI's in 1987in West Germany, the bus became silent.A few moments later, someone asked me if I saw the Dauchau concentration kamp. I softly said, 'Yes'.
As a student of history, I saw the films of the starved survivors rescued from the concentration kamps, and the pile of bones of those killed at those kamps.
As an American and a soldier, I have met veterans from World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and the first and second Gulf Wars. I asked to go to the first Gulf War and was politely told no. Tell me not about my own paying my dues, ask me not about seeking peace, and yet being willing to defend my country. I honour our heroes.
I remember the assassinations of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Robert Francis Kennedy, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Anwar Sadat, and Yitzak Rabin. And I remember their desire and committment to peace. In their honour, and those who have died on every side, I would ask for peace and a resolution in their honour and in honour of all of the innocent who have died.
This is the dream, this is the hope, that by any greatest power, the world would come together to help peoples in turmoil, in crisis, meet together in common ground to give their peoples a new birth of peace, a new birth of freedom...
  
Now, as in any other time, the mission is to create and build an honourable peace. This is the reaon I write as I do. I know of no apology I need to offer for these beliefs.
A secure homeland for Israel and a newly established free nation of Palestine. Nations who would oppose Israel would have only religious prejudice to oppose a fair settlement. I have received unofficial assurances that israel would live in peace with the arab world if the the arab world would live in with them.
With a newly recognized state of Palestine, with Israel and Palestine making; only the most violent arab states could find a reason to deny such a settlement. That is the hope, that is the dream, the prayer that persons of similar hopes and dreams, but differing cultures, could find a way to live in peace side by side...   
The US should continue its strategies with Iran and North Korea, using both the Multi-national format, which I wrote about before they were announced, but publically push more the general notion of weapons reductions for nucelar nations and non-proliferation for non-nuke weapon nations.
Re-open international talks for a new Geneva Convention, without admitting fault in Iraq war, but with the idea that September 11, 2001 changed the world, and once more aggressive policies were begun, it has been more difficult to 'undo' them.
Over aggressive tactics to oppose a horrible crime, immediately after such a crime, is a form of civil disobedience, such acts are not completely absolvable, but can be mitigating factors.
Work with Russia and China behind scenes, without forcing those nations to break with allies on all issues, but that nuclear armed Iran and North Korea are indeed threats to world security, without strict controls on their nuclear energy issues.
Especially North Korea should be reassured that the US would return to economic aid to that nation, at Bush negotiated levels, and that we know of no nation that is a threat to a peaceful North Korea.
Look to banking and securities wage reforms wich spell out salaries, with limited bonuses and possible increased penalties for skewed deals. 

10 April 09
Still in rough shape financially, and am another victim of weak economy, may land on my feet, but it will be a toughy. my own big and small screw-ups ain't helping... anyway, such is life in the food chain.
The calls for weapons reduction talks with Russia, recent moves for a non-proliferation move, and a large government purchase of fuel efficient vehicles for government fleets, are all good news.
With N. Korea and iran, one must ask the questions: Are both renewing nuclear arms programs, and if so, who is threatening them in such a way that they need a deterrent or even scarier, a first strike capability?
See, no one is threatening these nations, rather; the nations who oppose weapon developments by Iran and N. Korea are doing so because these nations must then work on defense strategies against N. Korea and Iran.
Nations like the U.S., S. Korea, and Japan are now required to develop strategies to counter N. Korean weapons expansions, when these three nations would rather spend money on things other than weapons programs in this economic crisis.
With Iran, it is Israel, the U.S., Lebanon, perhaps Jordan and Iraq, as well as most of the region, must work to develop military scenarios and perhaps weapons strategies to counter potential Iranian aggression. I know of no entity other than Al Qaida/Taliban who might want to attack Iran. Rather, there are nations who do seek to defend themselves from a potential iranian aggression.
The idea is that Iran and N. Korea are not being threatened by other nations and need no expanded military development.
Russia is not attacking Germany or france, we are not attacking Russia or China. The idea is that Cold War is really over. The stakes are just too d**n high for global or WMD conflict, there is no such thing as a winnable conflict involving weapons of mass destruction.
We need to reduce our weapons arsenal and work with all nations to curb military expansionism.
We need a global peace initiative and challenge all nations to seek peace, develop tolerances about faith, race, and cultural differences.
This is a time to grow economies and not build more bombs and kill innocent peoples.
Our economy is starting to wake up. We need more programs to help individuals and not spend money on an entire series of potential conflicts around the globe.
This is the challenge, to help people live a better life, not create more horrible ways to end life.
Israel, let Palestine Go and Palestine, use peace and peaceful dissent to let Israel allow you to be free. It is clear that violence begats violence, and one key for finding any peaceful settlement in any conflict, is for each side to stop the conflict at the same time. To make clear, if one side stops, the other will stop, and to declare simultaneously, a ceasefire is begun and then simultaneously annouce peace when a permanent settlement is reached.
Remember, outside parties have no play or standing, even if they try to force themselves into the conflict.
Pray for Peace 

Well sports fans, it is time for another long look at shutting down this site. With the economic downturn, my own lousy financial state, and not being able to catch up on bills I have long delayed, I'm about whipped.

I shall remain a certain way naive' about conflict, controversy, and the perception that everything has to be a zero sum game for some.

I do not understand why Russia is 're-arming', why China is massively building up its military and why the US is still not negotiating seriously with Russia about the missile defence shield, which is a technology still of questionable reliability.

The United States should be talking of nuclear weapons reductions and non-proliferation. Should promote non-conflict resolution strategies and seek a more harmonious world. Should promote non-military aid strategies, continued debt reduction for poor nations, and promote green technologies especially in developing nations like China and india.

This is a perfect time to tie economic development in US and world with developing green production processes. This is the time to push for new renewable energy sources. To recycle rubber, metal, plastic like we did during WWII as part of daily life.

When will Israel and palestine finally tire of occupation and use tolerance and negotiation to end the conflict?

I am so broke that is no longer funny. I need little for myself, but my debtholders are waiting for their's and so I know about the downturn.

But it is not the time for selfish or singular solutions. In past times of difficulties, the government asked everyone to shoulder the burdens of responsibility, to make sacrifices for the greater good. And for those who have much, much should be expected.

After 40 years of beating down the middle class, lowering wages and expectations, economic consultant types babble about necessary consumer spending. Both parents working if they can, everything costing more, the boom-boom-boom of marketing at every place one looks, the rich getting richer, the working class becomes the working poor, and greed at the highest levels has all but killed the economy.

Good grief Charlie brown, we should be looking for ways to make better peace, make products at home, protect family incomes, and just plain do better as a people and expect the government to protect working people as well as business interests.

Oh well, it is what it is... Rock on, Peace out and Keep the faith  

Happy Valentine's Day...
Anyway, even in bad times, some days are better than others, today is a better day. Now that the stimulus package is at hand, more work can be done by senior staff and legislators to shore up the finance industry and ease the foreclosure/mortgage crisis.
It is time to bite the bullet with the lenders and borrowers to help keep people in their homes. If it requires special legislation and some government money, then, that is what it will take. The idea is that some devalue of mortgage face value will need to occur and a mechanism to allow borrowers who are behind the opportunity to refinance or move without severe penalty. I still suggest allowing a person to refinance up to 4 to six months behind on their mortgage, merely folding the back due into the principle.
I still suggest 5% or perhaps lower finance terms, using Fannie, Freddie, FMHA, to do the refinance, at say [new suggestion] at 80% of original face value.
Just throwing out some numbers, experts will have their own general face value target percentage.
The possible long-term Israeli-Hamas truce negotiated thru Egypt sounds like real progress. Hamas has the incentive of seeking reconstruction and development aid, the possibility of a more conservative government in Israel to do or not do battle with, and the real possibilities of a long stalemate with Israel, and losing an opportunity for a free palestine for several years to come, because of this potential stalemate between hardliners in israel and hardliners in Palestine.
I have long urged just such a deal between Russia and the US, that we would delay or scrap the 'star wars' pre-emptive missile system in Europe if Russia would actively recommit to the multi-national process to negotiate with Iran which began in the Bush administration.
The US stated that we now believe that hardliners are in control in N. Korea, likely from a stroke having hit the dictator in power there. It had been obvious for months in N. Korea that something was up in Pyonyang or however you spell the N. Korean capital. And Ms. Clinton seems to have offered the proper incentive of normalised relations with a potentially non-nuclear N. Korea.
And we should politely discuss the possibility of limited or no new military aid for N. Korea from China and the West willing to offer even more humanitarian aid to that nation.
This is a little better day than we have lately seen, but a lot has yet to be done.
In the banking sector, the administration should look at developing a second and third option for bail out plans. And yes, it will mean some buying or absorbing of bad assets or even bad banks, and it will mean helping people who may have over-borrowed, to keep their homes.
We can throw stones, complain about the other guy, but if all we throw is an anchor, or too short a rope to those sinking, we are all likely to go under with them...   

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The lawyer in Obama appeared in his comment about needing to abide by trade laws in stimulus package. However the exercise was not the world's worst thing, with congress putting the world on notice that this nation was going to work on protecting American jobs.
Now, we have had Repub congressional types make their speeches, introduce their amendments, provide their input on the stimulus package. Okay, hurray, let's get it passed. And then the GOP can have their "Hoover Day" dinner.
The GOP call to slow down is the classic slowdown tactic, lengthen the debate to extract every concesion they can. In normal times, okay... that's part of the process. This ain't normal times. And please, with the large number of part time workers disaffected by the downturn, if this nation has 7.2% unemployment, it is only a statistically pronouncement, at best.
We still have tripled home-heating costs; higher utility bills, higher healthcare costs, higher food costs, hundreds of thousand full-time workers lossing jobs each month, foreclosure rates at Depression-era levels. Every sector of the economy, except fast food joints and specialty industries that develop during hard times, are feeling the pain.
The absolute silliness of the GOP in Congress to quibble beyond getting some of the 'earmark-like' pork out of the bill, is shameless. Where was their fiscal responsibility for the first six years of the Bush presidency?
It is time for the GOP to recognise the generational shift the Obama election represents. It is time for middle-class and lower workers to get a little bit better treatment and it was refreshing for new calls for accountability for the finance industry that collapsed...
It is time for minister-level summitry for NATO to discus Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Africa, and Israel/Palestine. Just as an introduction to the Obama administration. The new administration should develop a new, more low-key approach, and spend time just asking questions and listening to the views of foreign leaders and their foreign ministers.
And then some simple explaining of broad goals back. And even simple reassurances that the U.S. seeks peace, even with those who would be our enemies, but with the proviso that we will not be willing to do 'anything' for peace. Negotiate and compromise, very likely, but not surrender. The concept that we will avoid conflict, but not at any price. And simply, explaining that it is nations like North Korea that makes the case that we have no desire to have discord with them, we do not seek their territory, we do not seek their resources, though we would be willing to trade with them, but it is they who seek these disagreements... 
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It is time for America to become great again, to not broker in fear and hate. It is time for all Americans to share in the pain, share in the process to make our nation truly great again. To share in the responsibility and the hard work ahead, to remake america yet again. And then for all to share in the rewards of this necessary rebuilding of our nation.

It is time to rebuild our cities, rebuild our highways, our bridges, in new and cleaner and greener ways. It is time to develop new ways to fuel our vehicles, build our factories, grow our crops, heat our homes and create our electricity in safe, clean, and greener ways.

It is time to recognize that these goals are necessary to help all Americans, above and beyond race or creed or political party. It is time for all Americans to be allowed to share in prosperity when that prosperity returns. It is time to build a new healthcare system that will respond to the needs of all Americans.

Internationally, we should seek to create a world where disputes and differences in philosphy are settled by tolerance, discussion and negotiation, and not in violence and war. A world where each side of a conflict would accept the notion that there always too many innocent victims of war.

It is time to dream and hope and seek a better nation and a better world, for we have created great debt to be saddled upon our children and their children, and for that sin, it be our duty and obligation to build a better nation and a better world for those to come to inherit. *****************************************************

I must congratulate Rush Limbaugh on his candor, for he has said honestly what he is about. He told his radio audience that he hopes Obama fails miserably because of the 'liberal' agenda of our new president.

Mr. Limbaugh, who makes, I believe, in the neighbourhood of $20 million a year, can afford such sentitments. The rest of us cannot. He would throw our entire economic system, any desires for better relationships overseas, every laid-off worker, of all economic class, all Americans, of every race, creed, and religion; under the bus; because his beliefs are more narrow than most Americans.

The GOP legislators who are complaining too much for greater tax cuts are not telling quite all their message. What is their complaint about wanting more tax cuts, when the Obama plan is cut taxes for over 90% of the population. I have suggested a slight tax cut for business, as well as tax incentives for greening US production, and a tax credit for hiring displaced workers would also be helpful. And other tax incentive programs, tied especially to green projects, and research, and the like.

The current plan before the Senate, passed by the House, does have too much in spending for social agenda issues, and perhaps not enough to help restore the housing market. However, most economists I have heard or read in the media, say that we cannot spend too much money right now.

I know that the banking sector is hoarding the first round of TARP money. And that there are complaints that this money was meant to trickle down through the economy.

And I know that the financial markets created this mess, long too long, given too long a self-regulatory leash. Have we not figured out that in prosperous times, there must be a balance of freedom and regulatory function, to keep the system on an even keel.

Virtually no sector can completely regulate itself. It is that simple. Human nature, the good and bad emerges.

I still believe in a massive buying plan of vehicles, funded by grants by the federal government, to help prime the production pump of the american auto industry.

I believe that the federal government needs to encourage American production, as well as do more in providing services directly to the American people, because those services have been eroding since the Carter administration, and even somewhat the Nixon-Ford era.

Had not the first bank bail out occured, we would likely be looking at a scenario almost as severe as the Great Depression. Let's get real, the first bank bail out stabilised banking somewhat, now the challenge is to get the system working again.

Creation of the bad bank to absorb bad mortgage paper and other bad debt, would be a start. Begin the second round of TARP to be to banks that will lend it out...

In the mean-time, ask congress again to cut down on carping and complaining, set up debate, discussion, and negotiation, with each side willing to give something, and even a bit of lip service to compromise, without complaining about the other side, or allegations about how we got here.

But the GOP needs to accept that there will be social change from this administration, and in case they don't get the demographics, the party which seems to hamper reform is likely to be left aside. And I still want to hear what specifics the GOP wants for tax cuts, after the Bush tax cuts at the top of the earning scale, and not so much at the bottom.

The economic system has been slanted mostly toward the top for 40 years, and American workers can't seem to be able to afford or be offered American products to buy... Let developing nations expand their economies and share the wealth of their growth with their citizens and neighbouring nations.

Let americans have enough income to buy American, or least have American choices. We have seen enough globalization of the world economy. Is it not wonderful that we have shrunk American consumerism enough to maximize profits to the point where Americans can't afford to buy. The US economy catches a cold and the rest of world gets sick...

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In the realm of international relations, the question on North korea is simple; Does NK not know that the rest of the world is not interested in their nation.
North Korea asks for humanitarian aid from East and West while making threats and acting really silly. As I have said before, the best course is to politely ask China to explain how this western aid thing works... We would likely provide more aid, continue aid, and have as open a relationship with North Korea is it would desire, if N.K. honoured its committments. The NK propaganda is the worst form of, ... "Hey what about me" nonsense in decades.
Why would the U.S. and the multi-nationals continue to extend aid to a hostile nation that remains isolated and closed.
The Israeli-Palestinian impasse is that because neither side is willing to go the last mile for peace. Hamas, using the North Korean example, uses hostility to seek aid.
But Israel seems to have no intention of giving back any of the West Bank, let alone the 95% of the west bank it agreed to leave in previous agreements. Hamas has said it will never formally recognize Israel.
So the question, simply put to israel and palestine, do your nations plan on remaining the occupier's and the occupied, rather neighbours, during the whole of the next four years?
These two nations shall not likely see peace unless they can find a way to settle jerusalem question. East Jerusalem should Palestinian, current Jewish areas remain Israeli, with the exception of the overlapping holy areas which should be governed by a joint Arab-Jewish religious council.
And now... The American people were treated to really bad political theatre this week with the partisan democrats presenting an alleged economic stimulus package and the partisan Republicans whined and complained about it being too much money, after the absurd deficits of the Bush years.
The theatre part of the whole thing is that anyone with a lick of political sense knows that a senate bill will be much different than what the House voted out. The House bill was written to appease base liberal democrats and the house GOP unanimous no vote was to show the GOP conservative base that congressional republicans were not going to roll over for the new administration. OH WELL...
Either the former Bush people committed a fraud on the american people by not requiring more of the banking/investment industry when it bailed it out, or in Sept-Oct 08, we were closer to a complete collapse of the banking industry and Wall Street, quite comparable to 1929 and 1930.
With the first step of the bail out done, now we must pour money into the economy. I still prefer adding of a "401G" retirement, with a two or three percent guaranteed rate of return, guaranteed by FDIC for up to one million dollars. The funds be available for withdrawal at age 65.
If the account holder dies before exhausting fund, heir would receive full amount invested, plus 2% interest per year invested.
Still prefer more than 300 million dollar vehicle buying program, to include city and state grants to buy american made vehicles for governmental uses at all levels.
Announcement of leaving Bush tax cuts in place as scheduled, until they expire at the end of 2010. Grant a slight cut in corporate taxes, and going forward with tax cuts as promised by candidate Obama.
The reason being to show people what their tax costs while be for the next two or three years, and because we need as much cash in the economy as possible.
Now, part of the problem this country is facing is a variation of economic warfare. I would argue, that while it may or may not be fair, the top half of wage earners were enough to fuel a growing laissez faire capitalist economy.
That those in the bottom half of the economy did not have enough clout to radically affect the strength of the economy.
Now that American business has continued to drive our production jobs overseas, now that the real estate and financial sectors have tanked, and there is no investment capital/// CREDIT to be had by anybody, there is only one source of money to prime the blankity-blank pump of cash and credit... The government, period, be there, Aloha.
Now, if there was ever a time to invent or enhance a new industry... GREEN, greeen construction, greeen product development, better energy sources, and rebuilt infrastructure, hello?
Why not rebuild the economy, help protect the environment, invest in our future... Research Grants for companies, colleges, individuals, just do it.
Do not rush health care reform, do a "national audit" on real health care costs, set up triage clinics for uncovered persons needing initial visit, bone set, knee checked whatever... oh well... pray for peace, spend it if you've got it...

Thankfully the holidays are over and I screwed them up again this year... only one present was bought and one receive, and the one present never found it's home. Found a large sign from a retail store some time ago that said "Dream", maybe have to put it up again...
-- The time has come to take the bull by the tail and face the situation, a quote from the late movie comedian, WC Fields... In gaza, it is time for a ceasefire. It is also time for Hamas to take responsibility for this round of the conflict, new rocket attacks, whether fired from gaza or into gaza brings palestine no closer to independence or freedom.
  And Hamas should have renewed the ceasefire. But israel should not enter gaza by land. it would only delay and corrupt any new chance for peace at the dawn of a new era in American foreign policy.
  This administration has always "over-spoken" it's concerns during trying situations.These over-pronoucements toward governments we do not agree with, have always limited the effectiveness of direct talks, behind closed doors with or about nations we have disputes with... This is why i wrote of multi-national talks in the iranian and north korean talks even before such talks were ever mentioned specifically in the media.
 
  The new administration should ask both parties in israel and palestine what they are willing to do to achieve peace. The private message should be that the goal should be peace and hope and neighbourly relations, not victory- not seeking a single state solution, which really is what both sides [are large elements on both sides] seem to be seeking....
 
In the economy, the new administration should institute an expanded buying policy for vehicles from American auto builders, grants to states, cities, counties to buy vehicles for public services. Expand transportation spending: mass transit grants, highway bridge spending, and research funding on all levels, tax breaks for green building and manufacturing processes.
  Cut taxes on corporations and looking into trade deals and the trade policies of other nations to develop ways to even the playing field for trade with other industrial nations. Expand spending on support for Medicare Medicaid, a create blue ribbon commision to find better way to fund US healthcare than current insurance systems and public spending to fill the gap.
  The question is why is there seemingly an endless increase in hospital construction, and yet more people without health insurance and employer/employee health plans keep costing more... Not that many more regulations on wall street, better enforcement instead...  Peace... 

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Finally we are hearing about possible steps to help potential home buyers with lower interest rates and maybe an Indy-Bank FDIC style mortgage-saving program for threatened mortgages.
What we aren't hearing from the Bush economic team is that it is holding or using all of the $700 million bail out money for the financial industry, which caused this mess in the first place. The financial crisis and temporary $4 a gallon gas pushed the Big Three auto co. crisis much faster into serious crisis.
Okay... if the boneheads in Washington, who were willing to bail out Wall Street won't bail out detroit, then Congress and Treasury need to develop a tailor-made form of Chapter 11 !! to protect parts supplers and auxillary industries related to the auto industry.
But, if Congress fails to act to bail out the auto industry, let them join history as supporters of the Herbert Hoover doctrine of letting the economic crisis become so severe against working class America. Let this Congress start buying military and police-style vehicles from Toyota and Honda, let this congress say screw you to millions of middle-class Americans who are economically tied to to the auto industry.
Please explain someone from this Congress why Wall Street is important and millions of working class Americans are not.
Hello? Is anybody out there listening? Okay, listen... It really took the spending of the federal government to fight World War II to end the Great Depression. This time, Congress has begun with Treasury a set of programs to spend BIG-BIG money to shore up the banks, but not yet with programs to put money into working people's hands.
The auto industry in America is a vital resource, employer, and necessary vehicle provider for the defense industry. In all my born days, I have not seen such arbitrary pigheadedness on a single issue as the auto industry bail out. Republican Senator Shelby of Alabama would have let the banks fail also, as he opposes the auto co. bail out for ideological purposes.
I got news for him, this country has gone through economic cycles before that were caused by rich people trying to exploit laissez-faire capitalism, and it will likely happen again. A trillon dollars for the wealthy to protect the financial system and we haven't got 35 to 75 billion for the auto industry? Give me a break...
This administration seems finally to get it that they have to do something about poison mortgages directly, so why not a bridge loan for the auto industry? Why... so that all bail out money can go to the economic elite to protect their holdings... With a trillion dollars, [with other programs and the 700 million dollars more] the banking institutions have been propped up, but where is that trickle down effect and when will it start?
Consumer spending is two-thirds of USA economic activity... with lower quality jobs, reduced benefits, higher utility and energy costs, consumers are being consumed by debt, but hey, at least the banks got theirs...
oh, and the foreign ministers of pakistan and india should meet, talk about their differences and commonalities and release a joint statement about committments to fight terrorism in the region...     

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Potpourri...
Can we please have some cash for the auto industry, from general fund, economic bail out or bill gates or warren buffet, china, whoever... the ripples through out the economy would make people think it is 1929-1932 all over again. Where would U.S. military vehicles come from... honda/toyota USA factories? what about 2500 auto component and parts suppliers? Why is it that only the rich bankers seem to be getting a bailout, it is called 'trickle down' economics...
If we want a good-old fashion joint military adventure, why not an international task force of two or three ships each from western and regional powers and go pirate hunting off and along somolia. as long as the stakes were low, some deference could be extended, not now, the pirates have crossed too many lines...
Ya know, maybe someday Israel and palestine will decide to accept one another as neighbours, but it just seems unlikely.
Now, in just this round, the neighbours have been fighting over the same figurative fence for 41 years, and that is just in this latest round. An arab family was forced out of their 'modest apartment' because jewish people are trying to buy up property in east jerusalem one plot at a time, here we call that block busting, the arab family was offered $10 million for the apartment and turned it down.
An Israeli court ruled that the arab family claim on the property was not valid and were evicted. Block busting, $10 mil for small apartment, offer not accepted... I wish these people would finally just decide to live beside each other as neighbours under deal that only slightly modifies 1967 borders, grants security for Israel and palestine [and give me the $10 million].
 
oh well... what can one say
it is as it is
and when will we be one people
one world
celebrating our commonalities
and respecting our differences
when we abhor
cruelty and suffering
regardless of who
it is that fate
has given that pain.
 
 

To note: Upon the election of Barek Obama as president, television news services showed dancing in the streets around the world, in celebration, much like New year's Midnight 2000.
The time has now arrived for the Obama team to walk the tight rope of being ready to govern, get their team in place, find the delicate balance between letting the Bush Administration finish out its time and working with the Bush Administration as much as possible to let President-Elect Obama have something of an influence regarding future policy...
Urge interim agreement with Iraq government to keep U.S. troops authorized in iraq for 12 to 24 months, with consideration that new Obama administration will re-negotiate any agreement anyway.
Push Afghan and Pakistan governments on what kind of help they want from U.S. and coalition members. Every detail in those understandings need not not be made public, even perhaps some indirect signals from Afghan and pakistan leaders that some things, perhaps, will be said by themselves for their nation's public consumption...
Since Kadima was apparently not able to form government, israel is looking at feb elections. Already continual candidate Benjimin Netanyau is running for Likud, Livni for kadima. Does Labour even have a candidate?
Olmert is back running government until Feb... He seems to finally get it... Negotiate based on return to near 1967 borders, with Israeli demanding their concessions be met by ending Palestinian Right of return within Israel and some type of shared or negotiated settlement that respects current sensibilities in Jerusalem... which are: East Jerusalem is Palestinian and that cooperation will be necessary to allow pilgrims to have full access to the holy sites of their choice.
I abhor violence. I abhor violence from either side of this issue. But without a fair agreement with both sides giving up some very fundamental things... the violence will last as long as both sides have citizens there.
Bail out U.S. carmakers or demand that all nations give full access to US carmakers to their domestic markets.
Look at loans, stock purchase, and massive government vehicle buying program for U.S. Auto makers.
Pro-rate tax increases on top 5% of americans over a three year period of time. Look to Obama economic transition team to fine-tune proposals for market reform and best way to finance economic bailout.
Urge other Mortgage holding companies to follow Citicorp lead on partial mortgage foreclosure moratorium...
If Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae, and A.I.G. can't do better financially, government should consider nationalising them completely, auction off assets, and look to other entities absorb these institutions functions...
Go back to Russia and re-institute last best missile and nuclear agreements and commit again to non-proliferation.

**************************************************
The roller coaster called wall street continues. still waiting to hear about FHA or Fannie mae or freddie mac setting up a simplified mortgage refinance program for homeowners...
The difference between the two presidential candidates is simple, democrats favour 'bubble-up' economics more than GOP, GOP would answer every problem with tax breaks, especially for the top earners for 'trickle-down' approach... Give the wealthy more money and hope prosperity trickles down to everybody else...
If Afghan's want to negotiate among themselves, why should the US have pre-conditions, that should be up to Afghanistan. US should avoid more troops there...
In new budgets, after the dust settles on this crisis, economy is going to need to help just about everybody... workers, the poor, and business sector. Health care reform should be researched by next administration, helath insurance/hospital industry looked at...
but US needs to help US people first, look overseas second... are we doing that now?

******************************************
Ya know, with the passage of the Wall Street/ Too Big Financial sector "Bail Out" bill, two things come to mind: If Obama wins the election, he should ask Sec. Paulsen to stay on for an additional year as Finance Minister [okay, Treasury Secretary] and Bernancke and Paulsen should regular [like monthly] visits to the appropriate Congressional committees to keep Congress informed on all aspects of the economy.
Saw Warren Buffet [the investment banker guy who is, i believe, the richest man on earth] on Charlie Rose PBS interview show... He said that the wealthiest Americans aren't paying enough taxes and that capital gains taxes should be the same as income tax rates.
He also said that the Tresaury should buy at market, not potential or previous values, any securities or whatever it purchases as part of the bail out. If Treasury buys at current market, the paper should come closer to original value, thus providing the Treasury profits on some items, to help offset losses and expenses in the purchase program.
Something needs to be done about the stock option plans for senior corporate executives, limitations on percentage of ownership, or limits on amount of senior owned stock can be sold during a quarter to help prevent price manipulation while someone has a management interest in a company.
Revise leverage rules back to safe limits, and make someone speak English when talking about "Derivatives". No bonuses or stock options for senior executives in 12 month cycle after federal bail out of a corporate entity.
Time to look at military budget; time to cut budget in defense from Bush administration, time for stricter accountability of defense contractor uses, of secret spending, of the need or not of new advanced weapons systems.
The time is now to start thinking about returning good jobs to America, about help for families with utilities and housing expenses. Turn the "New Freddie and Fannie" loose to help homeowners refinance their mortgages.
Food costs are up almost 12% from a year ago as higher energy costs have worked themselves into the food production process.
Heck, double or triple home natural gas and heating oil costs, increase electric rates, double or triple the price of gasoline and diesel, and then allow tens of thousands of homes be foreclosed because of dubious, if not fraudulant, lending practices, and then wonder why Main Street thinks the Wall Street bail out is a crock? Duh...
Where is the bail out for the middle class and the larger numbers of the working poor. When the richest man in the world, who made billions in the finance industry says that taxes on the wealthiest americans are too low, it sounds like he is a fair man.
 

to be brief, i am for obama, it is time for a new administration with a new set of executive branch appointees. I think sarah palin is a wonderful governor for alaska nd should stay there.
the former russian satelittes should form their own defence and trade alliance. and israel should go back to unilateral disengagement under sharon, but more real give backs as per previous agreements... later

just a brief hello... my personal life has been very unusual lately... and continues... i may be joining the ranks of the unemployed. I have a couple of positive developments also.  oh , yah, send cash...  a sick guy in the United States, from Australia, with a london email wants to send me money to give to the poor... And i do need to do some housecleaning tonite afterwork.
Pray for Peace.
It is time for some quiet, mid-level talks between Russia and the united states, not as much about Georgia, but the U.S.-Russian relationship.
Israel and the P.A. should have talks separate from the peace process about what can and cannot be done for gaza.
Right now, the outgoing administration should focus on positive discourse with nations, so as the smooth the path for either a McCain or Obama administration, as well as, looking at ways to help make a little more peace where possible in the final hours of the administration... 

good afternoon sports fans... well, it looks like i'll have to take a leave of absence from my site here...
there is just too much hate and even at 52 years, 5foot2- and eyes of blue, i am still naive, nine years in the military,and i am still naive'.
-to commit genocide, to kill outside legitimate self-defense, mean people suck and so it goes... the dog ate my homework... but dorothy's house fell on the wicked witch and Toto, i don't think we're in kansas anymore...
 i be taking a leave of absence from the site here... likely at least 60 days or longer...unless something unlikely happens... hey, times are tough and it is as it is...
perhaps now is a good time to do some private writing and reflecting and what not... peace out, rock on, keep the faith, baby cakes... and for awhile or longer... I am outa here...

*************************************************
The everyday world has regular deadlines of when bills are due, when you report to work or school, every day people have stuff required at specific times.
And then there is the political world. Everything is timing and lead time. Politicians trying to time announcements and rule changes and deadlines to certain advantage or simply stall something for as long as they can, and maybe stall out long enough to keep an unfavourable policy from being implemented at all.
For example, in the possibility of leaving Iraq, it would likely be close to a year before any sizable troop reductions would start.
In Israel and the West Bank, PM Olmert faces Kadima party run-offs to be the party leader and stay on as Prime Minister. He says that he and Abbas are reasonably close to an agreement on all major issues except Jerusalem.
Apparently Olmert does not have the political juice to push through a potentially controversial deal regarding Jerusalem before the Kadima prime minister referendum.
After the referendum in September, it may not be Olmert leading the government. Will the next P.M. if there is next P.M., pursue a settlement with Palestine.
The skinny is that a P.M. candidate now, would likely not want to look like they were giving up too much to Palestine, yet, if a comprehensive settlement appeared that was accepted by Palestine, most Arab nations, and a simple majority in Israel, in my opinion, Israel would make that deal.
Back to lead times and time tables; In my opinion, it would take a minimum of twelve months and more likely 18 to 24 months after a possible Israel-Palestine settlement for Palestine to become a completely independent state.
Thus, as if my opinion mattered, Israel and Palestine should sign an agreement of principles as soon as possible, with committments to resolve the 'Jerusalem' problem within 12 months from now.  

************************************
Someone writes a speech
someone hears a speech
academics read the speech.
 
What the Obama speech represents is a generational change as well as cultural change that is rising in America. I read his Berlin speech, it paid homage to the past, but spoke of today and tomorrow in the way a newer generation and an ethnically diverse culture sees the world.
The speech underscores the connectivity of the world within itself. That we have our traditional local values, yet our lives are directly affected by events across the planet.
This is the challenge, the balancing act for leaders, to represent the ideas of their people, but to make decisions that recognize consequences beyond their own nation's border.
Just as a state or provincial legislator faces votes that may be better for her or his own district, but not the best choice for the whole state as well. It is become much more prevalent today with instant communication and a new kind of access that events that would only be local in the past are now international, global in scope.
This is why political, economic, environmental, and nuclear issues require a new kind of international cooperation. This is why new looks at nuclear non-proliferation is needed. This is why new and practical looks and global concerns about our environment need to be continually addresseed. 
Not since the Second World War has the planet seen these types of international challenges. Of ethnic conflicts, of continuing attempts at nuclear proliferation, of economic growth that moves faster than environmental concerns, the vast gaps between poor and wealthy nations. Of hunger and decease that continues to grow in some regions and over-development rising in others.
What is different is that we know so much more about what happens elsewhere so much more quickly. This is perhaps one of those times when the torch shall need to be past to a new generation. A global generation, a generation that is both national in viewpoint, but global, in scope.   

*******************************************
Obama is passing the first test of switching from a senator to a possible president. He is also learning the lesson of why it is much harder to run for president from the Senate than from a governor's mansion.
Every internationally oriented statement and vote and every federal issue and statement gets trotted out by the opposition. Both sides do it and it is mostly fair; but its like the messy divorce of two who have lived together to see your best, worst, and most private moments.
And believe it or not, somtimes the [ha-ha] combatents take a comment or two out of context... Now, we all know that politicians [or angry former spouses] would never take a moment or comment out of context... In the immortal words of the great fictional superspy, Austin Powers: "Oh behave!"
Yes, it seems that Obama is waffling; yet he usually is refining his positions to reflect his developing appreciation for the nuance and subtlety of dealing with fluid complex issues.
At the most polite to any candidate; campaign rhetoric and promises should be looked at the same way one looks at an artistic drawing for what a proposed building might look like. It has soft lines and bright colours and perfectly landscaped and gives a general representation of what the final product will look like. Just like plans and future legislation, and the finished building, the plans, because of the fluid nature of circumstances and negotiations, nothing is set in stone...
Obama is facing the classic scenario of having his ideas, of getting a taste for how much is possible, and then trying to convince a majority of voters that he can deliver his plans for a better America, as well as convincing Americans his ideas are the best direction to go in.
For me, it still goes back to 1960 and after eight years of GOP Bush in the White house. McCain is not Richard Nixon, but does represent GOP thinking and like JFK in 1960, Obama represents a fresh face and a fresh hope.
Obama is much more pragmatic than conservatives would like you to think.
But his approach will be a traditional Democratic Party approach to economics, civil rights, and greater opportunities for all Americans.
The GOP approach is strict adherence to laissez faire, less regulated market place. Of course, business leaders would prefer the standard approach of giving business nearly complete autonomy, little regulation, and little protection for labour unions.
The working poor and the shrinking middle class cannot afford four or more years of 'trickle down' economics. See, there has been enough capital in the markets from middle/upper middle/ and higher income people to keep the economy growing.
But with real estate tanking, with energy and production costs rising, and pensions and retirement investments in peril; this is not a time for standard 'trickle down' GOP economics.
This is a time for lessening the guns side of spending in the 'guns versus butter' classic debate. This is a time for energy research, infrastructure rebuilding, a time for seeking peace, for stabilizing the economy, for finding a balance between domestic spending and military spending, and balancing the budget by limited tax increases on top tier income earners and curtailing pork barrel projects.
The one thing that McCain has going for him [that GOP may not like], is that he has a reputation for trying to chase the 'money-changers' out of the temple. And this is truly needed...   

Potpourri Sidebar 24 july 08
Who goofed on the West Pointer who had permission to enter NFL draft and then is told the day before training camp that he can't play? Well, it was probably wrong to let the guy be told he could play NFL football this year. He had his committment to the army and should have been required to fill it. But since he was allowed to enter the NFL draft, it is a bigger goof to have somebody turn around and say he can't play. Typical, the Army got it wrong both times...
Why is Israel looking to build 20, count'em, only 20 homes on a former military site in the Jordan Valley. The answer is that Israel wants a presence in that part of the West Bank after a possible settlement with Palestine. Hello, of course that is just a guess on my part, but why on earth would Israel try to build a lousy 20 homes [and perhaps disrupt peace talks], for twenty lousy homes. Oh good grief, Charlie Brown... never mind...
   

It is time for Bareck Obama to reclaim the tone of the campaign. I think he needs to go back and look at the RFK campaign of 1968. To go to some tough neighbourhoods, to go to the factory gates, to talk about economic opportunity and high school and college graduation rates.
To talk about letting the war in Iraq wind down through working with the Iraqi government. Malicki and the next president will very likely have a lovely photo op about announcing the US troop pullout. With six months in office and without Maliki absolutely demanding a US withdrawal, in my opinion, the momentum for a US pullout beginning in spring or summer of 09 is likely.
To change the subject; whether from war, natural disaster, or ethnic cleansing; it seems that the world is developing a refugee crisis.
It is time for repatriation from camps and not to them. If refugees cannot return to their exact homes, then near their homes.
The world needs to develop our resources in a green way and not build more tanks and bombs. Create more research to easily move electricity long distances instead of seeing nations build missiles that fly farther and faster...
It is time for building self-reliance at home and help poorer nations become more self-reliant. It is time to build a coalition of government and labor and capital to make America more energy and production self-reliant.
It is about fair wages, fair profit, and fair taxes. It is about Americans working together to build an economy that rewards development while respecting competition. It is a test for any nation's economy, that the average worker can afford the goods that nation creates.
What good is an average car or house that working class can't afford to keep or repair [or repair themselves]?
It is about America maintaining its strength and influence internationally without flaunting or abusing our position. It is about building consensus and committment so that diplomacy and international influence can help avoid armed conflicts in the future.
It is about being willing to negotiate in good faith with nations who would also negotiate in good faith, whether in partnership with other nations, or unilaterally, whin the situation arises.
It is about tolerance, it is about recommittment to American ideals of fairness and equal opportunity, about access to basic medical care, about good schools, about a system that rewards hard work, about a system that is more fair every person on every rung of the economic ladder... That, in my opinion, ist what this is about...   

**************************************
It's time to bring James Baker and George Mitchell into mediate the squabble between the Packers and Bret Fauvre. According to easily accessible sources, Aaron Rodgers had great off-season camps with GB. Just the turmoil-sports soap opera- will prepare him for the potentially silliness and hyper-importance the sports media annoits itself with...
Anyway, my question is: If Aaron Rodgers cannot finish single games as a back-up quarterback, Y-Y_Y would someone think he is going to get through the pre-season, let alone through an NFL campaign... The Pack probably couldn't have gotten much more than a fourth round draft pick if they offered Rodgers around the league because of his injury record, so GB either has to Rodgers now, or else it looks like the wasted draft choice... Hey, yah got some back-up time out of him...
So that Ted Thompson can save face, Green Bay will jerk around Bret Fauvre as much as he had jerked them around about retirement.
It was clear that Fauvre was looking for a seven and a half to eight month football season and not a ten month season when mini-camps are included... DUH
But anyway: It's only a game folks... I love it, I played it [sort of, only a PK after junior high; at 5'2" and eyes a blu, the opportunities at nose tackle are limited... ]  

Potpourri:
Earth to New Yorker: The Obama family cover is one of the dumbest things i have ever seen. Your staff receives the 'Lifetime Too D**n Smart 4 Your Own Good' Award. [i regularly present this award to myself] The picture is so inflammatory that even putting a red "Sarcasm" stamp is not enough to make that image publishable.
There is something called -self-censorship-
For a final breakthrough to happen between Israel and palestine... IN MY OPINION, there needs to be new thinking and not rehashing the past. It is time for a timetable for Palestine to be free and with over 90% of their pre-1967 territory and an end to right of refugee return talk, except for compensation.
The offers of economic development for Palestine, for freedom, for stable borders for giving up of right of return for Palestine... Israel ends settlement movement, receives secure borders and all status questions settled...
Iraq and US should make a temporary deal through 2009 and then the next administration, evaluate and re-evaluate, in Jan. 2009.
Might as well have some talks with Iran, what it will do is hard to say, but the talks would be at Iran's request, if what media i've read is accurate...  

************************************
Emergence of Malicki is taking shape. He is caught between Iran and the US, and his own society of Shia, Kurd, Sunni factions. His security forces are being rebuilt. The Iraqi forces are not Ba'athist.
The post-occupation era is beginning. Malicki is now the leader in Iraq. It is curious to see if he will emerge as a strong-man seeking to retain power over a lengthy period of time.
Look for the Iraqi's to replace their constitution or seriously tweek its format.
The next US admistration should look to find the proper tone to deal with the Persian Gulf is such a way that not every twist and turn is a crisis, yet remained engaged at the same time.
I believe that Malicki is sensitive to pressure from both Iran and the United states and does not want caught in the middle. And he wants a good relationship with Iran, but without the "Lebanonization" of Iraq.
He is looking to not become the lesser party in a 'neo-colonial" relationship with either Iran or the United States.

********************************
With apologies and no financial gain, merely a forward from BBC Worldwide... from BBC request for comment...
-Mohammed Balousha, 16, student, Gaza City

I'm really optimistic this will work. And if it does, it will be great, it will be a small step to breaking the blockade.

It's really important for us Palestinians, especially in Gaza, to breathe at least - and to have a chance to travel.

For a year, we have not had enough food or trade, nothing but siege.

I really support stopping rockets being fired from Gaza, they cause us a lot of problems. They should stop forever.

I think the ceasefire is happening now because there is a real will from us Palestinians, and from Hamas, to just stop the blockade. And the Israelis want the rockets to stop.

The blockade wasn't just on Hamas, but also on a million-and-a-half people.

The problem is, we don't know what Hamas is thinking. I hope they are doing this in good faith.

If they are really planning to go down the diplomatic route, that's great. But if they still want more weapons, that's bad.

I've been an exchange student in the US and my host family have invited me to visit again in the past few months - I couldn't leave.

I plan to attend college in the US or the UK; so if the borders are open, I can travel.

My father really needs medical treatment on his foot. If the ceasefire holds, it means he can get what he needs in Jordan or Egypt.

Not recently, but I have corresponded with Israeli's and Palestinians through the internet about real peace in that region.
In writing, it is suggested to find a single character whose struggle represents a greater issue so that one can see how one is directly affected by great challenge and turmoil.
This story is just one of those moments. Here is a young man whose life is before him and he looks at both things that will help his family and could build his future.
These are his real words, not my preaching, or someone else's propaganda... thank you...

**********************************
25d 06m 08y
Is there a surprise the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel is cracking up. Yet, it is sad that this could not last more than a week. It is simple; each side contact the Egyptian foreign office, with a simple message; "We will stop if they stop".
Can this be so difficult. Gazan hardliners would hold their people hostage by continuing to fire mortars and rockets into Israel. This has not changed.
The truth be told, it does no good to ask people rhetorical questions about peace, if they know nothing but war. You present the Gazans a potential settlement that brings freedom, economic aid, a fair settlement over West Bank and Jerusalem, with the price being no right of return inside the Israeli green line.
Hamas talks of a vote; okay, put that to a vote in Gaza, or even all of Palestine. The question is bluntly stated; Does Gaza hate Israel or do they hate the war and the blockade and the overall occupation?
This is the problem; Is Israel willing to rescind almost all the settlement movement and will Palestinians live beside a finalized border beside Israel.
These parties have fought for centuries; some there seem to show no willingness to compromise.
And when shall the peaceful minds there prevail...
Let us see if the current administrations in Washington and Israel end without armed conflict with Iran. If any direct dialogue between Tehran and Washington would do any good, and not further harden each position [which is why the multi-national approach is important], of course there should be discussions.
Let us see if new governments in Israel and Washington may end the impasse with Iran. This is not to say Iran should receive a free pass for the next several months, sanctions should be continued and Iran be on notice that all options remain open... as has been done. There is no need for endless sabre-rattling and threats thrown back and forth.
The U.S. and Israel have not attacked Iran and the situation there has not escalated. Yet, Iran continues to develop the means to make nuclear weapons.
The current U.S. and Israeli's governments are approaching caretaker status the last months of their administrations and hopefully a multi-national approach can continue for the next few months...

*****************************************
The Egyptian negotiated ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has supposedly begun. Any real break in the violence is a positive sign. Palestinian Authority, in hopes that it would have been receiving statehood, years ago formally recognized the right of Israel to exist.
Hamas said it will never recognize Israel, but would accept a truce that could last one hundred years. I have suggested that Hamas be willing to recognize Israel when Palestine achieves its statehood.
Neither Hamas nor Israel negotiated directly with the other. As best I know, this has not changed.
There was a report that Olmert has suggested that final talks about the status of Jerusalem be suspended, pending all other questions be settled. Again, this is just my understanding of events.
Many years ago, I suggested that final talks about "refugee right of return"; and Jerusalem be suspended in this same manner.
The thought being that hardliners on both sides would balk at allowing its own government to concede these points. The status quo is that Israel will not grant right of return to Palestinians within the pre-1967 borders, Palestine would not give up the claim. Israel claims all of Jerusalem and Palestine controls East Jerusalem. Israel has said it will not give up its claim to East Jerusalem and Palestine has said it will not leave east Jerusalem.
The defacto solution of letting things stand as they are, is still an option. Israel keeps its claim to East Jerusalem technically alive, as Palestine keeps its right of refugee claim technically alive, but neither government would act to change the current status quo.
Obviously, the questions loom, but if each government does not actively pursue the claims in question, it amounts to an action by inaction. Neither side concedes the issues, so neither is seen as 'losing' those arguments. Of course, allegedly temporary borders for Jerusalem and East Jerusalem would likely need to be agreed upon in some sort of fashion.
Some time later, I began to argue that it should become a quid pro quo trade off, Palestine withdraw refugee return claim and Israel concedes the part of Jerusalem that is considered Palestinian.
How long the ceasefire lasts is up to Hamas, other Palestinian organizations and the government of Israel. Israeli officials have said that it would stop if the attacks against Israel stopped. It took a third party [Egypt] to get the two parties to be willing to stop at the same time, a principle I wrote about some six years ago.
Hopefully the ceasefire will hold. Hopefully this will lead to further arrangements that enhance peace.

*****************************
Israel and Palestine
special by PJ Whitman

I am wearing my journalist-politico hat; hoping, dreaming, seeking peace between Israel and Palestine. It is time for Israel and Hamas to put together a package of prisoner exchanges to bring Shalit home and a sizable release of Palestinian prisoners.
Such an exchange would be a good faith gesture on both nations part.
Neither side should ask too much. If Shalit is returned home, Israeli's could see that Hamas is not heartless. If Israel sends a fair number of questionably detained Palestinians home, Israel would be seen as being willing to be a fair partner in peace. Yet, neither nation should be held up by the other to do the right thing.
This issue should be separate from final resolution talks.
I care not about hard-line groups in Israel, in Palestine, in Hezbollah, or in the United States. I would seek peace and resolution. It is not about one side winning over another. It is about finding resolution, compromise, and peace.
Hamas does not look for peace, it looks for victory. It is controlled and dominated by Hezbollah in Syria and Iran. It sprung from the Islamic brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat.
Of course, a temporary ceasefire is a good thing. But not as a chance to re-arm, not as a chance to put off peace, not as a chance to fight harder another day.
If Hamas would quietly, even without direct acknowledgment, merely tolerate a Jewish state, there is an easier route toward peace.
It is not, in my opinion, the desire of the West to punish Gaza. There have been offers of vast amounts of economic aid to Palestine, including Gaza.
I have suggested a fair settlement that sets final borders between Israel and Palestine. I wrote before Sharon began to implement, unilateral disengagement between Israel and Palestine, if necessary.
It is about peace and a final settlement. Let other nations talk about such a plan, but the plan is between Israel and Palestine. It is about two nations finding peace side by side.
Israel receives a final border; Palestine receives a final border, and Israel maintains Jerusalem as Palestine maintains East Jerusalem.
Israel celebrates peace. Palestine becomes free, and those who would rather have war would be faced with showing to the rest of the world, their desire for more blood.
Let there be peace.
That is what this is about. Palestine relinquishes claims within Israel. Let Israel relinquish claims within Palestine. Neither side is asked to surrender, neither side gives up a fair settlement.
Tell me not about ancient claims; tell me about current peace and freedom. Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

**********************************
The election choices have been made, and it is McCain versus Obama. John McCain is a true hero and a good man. Yet his age and his linkage to traditional republican economic values is a great concern.
With working people suffering from higher food, utility and energy costs, with health care costs continuing to spiral and corporations are trying harder to send those costs back to working people: McCain looks more like a Herbert Hoover than even a George W. Bush.
Recent Obama comments about Iran show that he is not na´ve to the potential threat of Iran, yet he seems not to understand that one of the [perhaps] few successes of the Bush administration is that the U.S. has not gone to war with Iran. While Iran is a great threat, the U.S. is not set to fight conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.
And, it is in the U.S. best interest to work with Moscow to allow Iran nuclear electric energy, but not the ability to develop nuclear weapons by themselves. That is the goal of the I.A.E.A., the western coalition, the United Nations, and the United States.
I was saddened to hear that Senator Obama called for a united Jewish Jerusalem that seems to preclude East Jerusalem from becoming the Palestinian capital. In my opinion, as long as Jerusalem is debated, there is likely to be conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Currently, Jerusalem is divided between an Israeli sector and East Jerusalem; which is considered Palestinian. I cannot believe that peace is obtainable between Israel and Palestine if Israel attempts to uproot over 200,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem.
Thus, I have argued for East Jerusalem to remain Palestinian, and the sector controlled by Israel be Israeli.
Jews, Christians, and Moslem's have fought over Jerusalem for nearly a thousand years: Does anyone really believe that any settlement that does not contain the current division of Jerusalem and East Jerusalem has much chance of acceptance in both Israel and Palestine?
For permanent borders, to ask Palestine to concede a claim of refugee return back within Israeli borders, most of the world asks Israel to withdraw from the settlement movement and allow East Jerusalem to remain under Palestinian control.
Should these agreements be accepted on both sides between Israel and Palestine; that leaves no place for radical Arabs to oppose Israel other than for purely bigoted reasons.
Palestine becomes free and Israel becomes much safer. Many Arab nations would recognize Israel and nations such as Iran would be left in the cold. Hamas would be left to choose freedom, or continued conflict with Israel that leaves Palestine poor and the Palestinian people to live still longer under occupation.
I do not oppose Israel. I want Israel strong and free. But, I also want Palestine free. The one concession asked of Palestine is the waiving of refugee right of return. Palestine is slated to receive up 1.4 billion dollars of aid and its freedom. Israel receives her permanent borders; If a better deal, or even another deal emerges that brings peace, of course I would be happy to see it come to be.

*********************************
Iran claims its nuclear program is peaceful. It is time to ask again if Iran is serious in this claim. I have always believed that it was ridiculous for Bush to meet with the current Iranian president because of the absurd and blatantly anti-Semantic statements of the president of Iran.
The west has offered a plan which Russia provides and removes nuclear materials with Iran, that allows Iran to produce nuclear energy and does not allow Iran to keep nuclear materials which would make it easier to produce nuclear weapons.
Even before such a plan was announced, I suggested a plan of multi-national negotiations between the west and Iran about the intent of the Iranian nuclear program.
I think it is not coincidence that the previous Iran weapons program in the early 2000's, was at the same time that an element of the Pakistan nuclear program may have been providing nuclear abilities to other nations at this same time.
If Iran is sincere about only a peaceful application of energy, in my opinion, it would accept an arrangement with Russia that both Iran and the west could accept.
With the anti-Israeli rhetoric of the Iranian president, it is difficult for the west and for Israel to take the word of the Iranian government that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
It still comes back to Iranian support of Hezbollah and its activities to de-stabilize virtually all of the Middle-East, which [in my opinion] causes the west to distrust Iran.
The strange mutual interest between Iran and the west is that both Iran and the west shares a mutual distrust of Al Quaida. The government of Iran understands [even as did Saddam Hussein] that Al Quaida has its own agenda beyond any national interest of any Mid-East government. It holds its own agenda and would happily destabilize any Mid-East government it could internally circumvent;
A peaceful Hezbollah, that did not threaten peace in places like Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria, would be less of a concern to the west. The concept is that if Hezbollah would merely live and let live with other nations, it would be likely be accepted.
For Iran to pretend that Hezbollah is totally of its own activities, defies what the west knows of Hezbollah. Israel would not be concerned about Iran if it would quietly accept the right of Israel to exist. That is the difference between Israel and Iran. Israel, in my opinion, does not worry about the opinion of Arab nations, only if such Arab nations would threaten Israel. Even if such Arab nations do not embrace Israel, that if nations such as Iran, or organizations such as Hezbollah or Hamas, would merely [without announcement] allow Israel to live in peace, there would be peace.
If Israel and Al Fatah made a real peace, that all other Arab groups allowed Israel and Palestine have peace, there would be peace.
The plan I proposed is that; Israel leave all but 90 to 95% of the West Bank; allow East Jerusalem be the capital of Palestine, and develop a commission to protect holy sites in Jerusalem. The only concession by Palestine is that it waives its alleged claim of right of return for refugees within Israel.
At last count, that Palestine could receive up to 1.5 billion dollars in economic aid to rebuild its nation and develop its economy with peace with Israel. And, there would likely be a plan to compensate Palestine refugees uprooted at the establishment of Israel some sixty years ago.
I do not speak officially for the U.S. government, yet, I have written and researched these details, and if Israel would trade land for peace, end its settlement activities, and accept peace with those who would make peace with Israel, I hope and believe this is possible.
Israel is being asked to give so very much, and those such as Hamas, if it chooses not to even comment, but would accept Palestinian freedom on terms such as these; Israel receives fair borders and agreements to establish its complete security; Palestine becomes a free nation.
I ask: What more could Israel offer? These are not merely notions I would offer, should I be the one leading negotiations, but of things I have written about before, in detail.
I may be a fool, but as a fool, I be also a dreamer. I dream of peace between Israel and Palestine.
For I know that with peace between Israel and Palestine, the Mid-East and the world would be a more peaceful place...
********************************

It has come to my attention that the Myanmar regime has presented difficulty to allow French efforts to bring aid to the suffering people of that nation...
The western alliance have beliefs on how that nation is to be governed. But,these nations would rather people in turmoil be helped, IMO, than see yet another catastrophe of human suffering.
Commitments have been given that there would not be interference in the governing of affected nations in matters such as these.
That aid, if allowed would be given with few or no special conditions.
I am a single citizen, but I understand this:
I understand that should the Myanmar government not allow aid to come forth; it will be targeted and sanctioned as a totally repressive regime that will hold no regard among all other nations of the world.
It will be seen as a nation that would rather see hundreds of thousands suffer so that a handful of generals retain power.
The matter is that is all other nations of the world would rather see legitimate humanitarian aid enter Mylanmar
than question the legitimate or not legitimate rule of the military rule of the Myanmar government.
This is not to say that any government accepts the military rule of Myanmar, but rather to say that virtually all nations would willingly help relieve the suffering of the Myanmar people.
This is what people who have means and the ability to aid other nations should do.
It is of few or limited conditions, as I understand. This would be a one time arrangement. If I understand the U.N. and U.S. commitment; this would be international aid for the sake of aid, and totally without extra conditions.
This offer, if accepted by all other; is to directly aid the suffering people pf Myanmar.
I write this based on beliefs as I understand those from my work, and not from official sanction of the US government. Yet, if these conditions and terms be arranged; I believe that they would be accepted.

Focus, focus, focus.
If Israel and Palestine work out a fair deal, what else matters?
Eye on the Prize! So France or Egypt talks to Hamas, so what.
If Olmert and Abbas present the world a deal they can accept as having the upsides out weigh the downside for both parties, the matter becomes, do extremists choose hatred over peace? Does some there choose endless conflict and poverty and occupation for Palestine over freedom, the end of occupation and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development aid, so that some can still want to destroy Israel?
This matter has gone for decades. And Palestine at this moment is no closer to freedom and Israel is no closer to permanent and secure borders than they were at the close of the Clinton administration.
I have said before that: whether or not one believed the sincerity of Yasir Arafat, hardliners held up any final settlement between Israel and Palestine. And I believe that Arafat would have accepted a deal that delivered to Palestine a recognition of their homeland: that offered all of Gaza, East Jerusalem, and nearly all of the West Bank as the free and recognized state of Palestine.
If given these circumstances; along with economic and development aid to Palestine: Arafat would have completed such a deal with Israel if possible.
This is not a sell out of Palestine. This would be a final agreement that would mean a real freedom for Palestine and final borders between Israel and Palestine. The only challenge to this would be if Arab extremists would refuse such as reasonable deal and continue the cold and hot war with Israel with the only goal being the destruction of Israel.
I have suggested that Hamas withhold recognition of Israel until Palestine is free. That when Palestine is free, and the negotiated amount of East Jerusalem and the West Bank is liberated; that then Hamas would accept and recognize the rights of Israel.
This means no surrender by extreme Islamic groups in Palestine. This ties freedom and independence of Palestine to a sincere recognition of Israel.
When, in my asking, though I have no office to claim such a request; if Israel is willing to relinquish nearly all its settlements in the West Bank and allow East Jerusalem to remain in Palestinian control; that Palestine forego its claim of refugees to return within the final borders of the state of Israel
While Israel is asked to give greatly; to its leaving of Gaza; so withdrawing claims toward East Jerusalem, and leaving over 90% of the West Bank: Palestine would forego the right of refugee return. This does not rule out that refugees would also be compensated for homes lost when Israel became a free nation.
I have written many things and have proposed many suggestions that I would hope that would resolve this ongoing conflict. These suggestions meet the goals and hopes of the Bush Road Map plan.
I suggested back in 2002 or 2003 that Israel consider a unilateral disengagement from Palestine. These suggestions appeared in many of the initiatives of Ariel Sharon. I suggested that Israel offer a fair and complete deal to Palestine and that deal give Palestine control of East Jerusalem, Gaza, and nearly all of the West Bank, if Palestine would forego its claim of right of return into Israel.
I suggested that a commission be created to protect and honour all religious sites in the Jerusalem area of all three major religions affected: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
Would this approach not be a fair ending of this conflict?
I am not a Christian, or Jew, or Moslem. I believe that the highest power is of all these faiths. For if that highest power is an all-loving power; would she or he sanction one people above another? That is my personal belief. And I believe that is why I do not place the rights of any people above the rights of another people.
And yet, I believe that my thoughts and suggestions are as hopeful and valid and as important as any others.
I accept that this plan asks much of all in question. I know that the parties in question have suffered greatly. Yet, I know that only with great sacrifice and with asking much of all of this the rest of the world, including the direct counter-parts; that it would take much of each party to accept this type of settlement.
And still I write and hope and dream that such a settlement will take place. I grew up watching great persons killed for their beliefs. Dr. King, Bobby Kennedy, Rabin, Ghandi, John Kennedy, John Lennon, Arafat, Harari [of Lebanon], and others: When I wrote somewhere of my beliefs; I was reminded that persons of my beliefs had suffered a certain fate.
As I write about circumstances in the contemporary world as I do: Do you think that I would not be aware of this? Though little has occurred that has passed my notice, I am a student of history. No more shall I say;
It is time. And in any final deal between Israel and Palestine, should it happen, the Israeli held be Hezbollah should be released, as well as countless Palestinians held by Israel.

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Oh my; I know of personal sadness from many events that did happen within too close together some nine months ago, and bringing back within my own past a series of tragedies and events that still I shall carry to my final days.
I am who I am and that be both a simple and complex man. I am not a young man, though sometimes I feel old and yet again I am still very young;
I miss my son and even sometimes the blessed mother of my son, and that be a personal matter that no more shall at this time be said.
Though I had of no need to be reminded of how persons and families might be touched by their own losses; whether of death by natural cause or of war or of great calamities of nature; it is still of human loss of the most personal nature.
I have focused my writing efforts on peace between Israel and Palestine for several years. I have no delusions that these attempts have mattered much, though I have soldiered on during these endeavors for I believe it be a right thing to do;
At the time of the tsunami of 2004, I heard a good man say that the United States should offer great amounts of aid without many conditions and without seeking credit for our generosity. I suggested that our nation follow this idea. Whether anyone heard this thought from me, I do not know and it is not important why this direction was taken.
For whatever reasons, this was the course that was chosen by our government. History has shown that this course of action was the right one.
I would say that we should prepare great relief for the people of Myanmar following their recent disaster. As many as 100,000 people died from the disaster that struck that nation.
It should be readied for delivery. Even if delayed or withheld by the military leaders of that nation. It should be given without other conditions as long as the people affected do eventually receive that aid.
If the military government delays delivery, but does deliver such aid: each government giving aid should inform the Myanmar government through back channels that no one is being fooled.
The aid should come forward, but those leaders should be embarrassed for themselves that aid would be delayed by them for personal advantage.
If it be clear that food and humanitarian aid will not reach the people affected in Myanmar, then these materials should be re-directed to other nations where humanitarian aid is of great need. Obviously, this be not a perfect process, yet what can persons with the proper intent, try to do?

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Has there been a breakthrough of peace between Israel and Palestine? A third party, Egypt, has a commitment for a ceasefire from factions in Gaza.
Israel should, in my opinion, cautiously accept a de facto ceasefire in Gaza. This does appear a new offer.
And an Israeli spokesperson said if attacks stopped and new weapons were not smuggled in, Israel would be inclined to honour such a ceasefire.
I have asked before, what would Israel do if hostilities stopped in Palestine? What if Palestine asked for a fair peace peaceably?
It is time for peace to have a chance...

************************************************
Former President Jimmy Carter should be lauded for his trip to the Middle East, in so far as his being a fair-minded senior statesman seeking a true peace between Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, this mission has not been an immediate success. He is as close to a fair broker between the two parties as any person, organisation, or government, might be.
What his mission has accomplished is putting Hamas on the record yet again that it would never formally recognize Israel and would insist on the right of Palestinian refugees to return within even the pre-1967 borders of Israel. This clearly establishes that Hamas would rather leave Palestine impoverished and occupied in its quest to reclaim all of that region, than live in peace with Israel as a neighbour.
Obviously, I do not speak for the government of Israel, yet I do know that Israel will not accept such right of refugee return within Israel. To allow right of refugee return would likely destroy Israel, in my opinion.
If Hamas would accept or even tolerate a formal settlement with Israel that was accepted by the Palestinian people, even without its formal and official recognition of Israel, Hamas could be a player in the peace process.
Hamas would rather hold the Palestinian people hostage in its quest for the destruction of Israel.
If I was a person of status in the peace process, I could not ask Israel to sign an accord that did not include wording that ended the right of Palestinian refugee return within Israel. Yet, I would still ask Israel to withdraw from at least 95% of the West Bank and (as Palestine is asked to waive a claim of refugee right of return) ask Israel to waive its claim to all of Jerusalem to allow East Jerusalem to remain Palestinian.
At the time of the establishment of the Israeli state, thousands of Palestinians left of their own accord, while others were forced out of Israel. This occurred sixty years ago. The establishment of Israel resulted in numerous wars fought against it by several Arab nations, some of whom are now friendly with Israel.
It has been established that the international community opposes the Israeli settlement movement and that most of that same international community, opposes the terrorism against Israel. But with that opposition to terrorism against Israel, most of the international community believes that Israel has been too harsh in its treatment of Palestinians during the occupation.
Of course; Palestine does not want occupation and Israel does not want terrorist attacks.
This strikes back directly to my unilateral disengagement plan which I posted on websites in the Middle East (while Sharon led Israel) that discussed hope of a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine. Would the Palestinian people give up a chance at complete liberation, the leaving of Israel of all but 5% of the West Bank to continue occupation and fight for a concept of refugee return that is three generations old?
What Israel would gain is stable and permanent borders, peace agreements with all its neighbours except Syria and Lebanon, the end of the claim of refugee right of return, and an avenue toward a comprehensive peace settlement with nearly all the Arab world. With a fair and final settlement between Israel and Palestine, what reason would Arab nations have to oppose Israel other than simply bigotry?
I have spoken in behalf of humanitarian food and medical aid to Gaza during the blockade of Gaza. And would wish for economic aid to Gaza and Palestine, but not when Hamas controls Gaza and refuses to accept Israel's right to exist, under any circumstance. I have suggested that Hamas be willing to recognize Israel if or when Palestine becomes totally free, so that Hamas not have to concede directly to Israel, but rather the desire of the Palestinian people to be free.
Even with all this, Israel has not stepped forward to say it leave the West Bank, or at least 90 to 95 percent of the West Bank, as it had previously offered. Thus: Israel is asking Palestine to waive virtually all of its leverage in negotiations even before serious negotiations would begin.
Of course, dialogue between Olmert and Abbas is always positive and should continue. When it is said that both sides must make difficult choices, in my opinion, the reference is directly about the settlement movement, about Jerusalem, and about the claim of refugee right of return within Israel.
Offers of compensation to refugees have been mentioned; hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in aid to Palestine have been mentioned. Hamas said that it could not be bought off while trying to smuggle millions of dollars into Gaza, allegedly with the help of Iran.
The question should be: Would the Palestinian people rather be free within a fair settlement, rather than continue a seemingly endless cold and hot war with Israel? And: will Israel offer such a fair settlement that could be accepted by the Palestinian people?

*************************************
There are times when a more simple approach is necessary; and then times when greater complexity comes to play. Currently between Israel and Palestine, there is a secondary dynamic at play, the conflict between Al fatah and Hamas.
The Palestinian Authority is comprised of largely Al fatah, the party of Arafat. Hamas won the previous Palestinian election, according to experts, because of alleged internal corruption within Al fatah.
As is often the case, national governments are seen internationally to focus on international affairs. Hamas may have lost sight of its domestic agenda of reform and focused on its conflict with Israel rather than the domestic needs of the Palestinian people.
I have argued in the past that Arafat sought the freedom of the Palestinian people and could not deliver the opposition [Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian Hezbollah] to bring the agreements to finality.
And yes, Arafat was no saint, yet I believe he sought to be the freedom giver to Palestine, a very great incentive, indeed.
Yet, even with the fairest deals to be brought forward, the Islamic extremists would not recognize Israel.
In a strange way, the Israeli disengagement from Gaza may be beneficial in separating the extremists who would rather fight Israel from those who would make peace with Israel and bring freedom to Palestine.
This is all with a certain amount of speculation on my part.
Since Israel cannot easily, or at all, negotiate with parties who refuse to recognize its right to exist, it cannot easily negotiate terms or arrangements with Hamas.
But it can discuss all of Palestine with Abbas, the chosen representative of the Palestinian Authority.
This structure is ongoing as Olmert and Abbas do meet to discuss the matters between Israel and Palestine.
I believe that Abbas would make a fair deal with Israel. But Abbas cannot finalize any arrangement without great international support. In a uniquely democratic manner, he likely could not deliver such an agreement without the majority of the Palestinian people behind such an agreement.
So, Abbas is in the middle between international efforts to bring peace to his nation and the efforts of extremists to seek a guerrilla-style victory over Israel. And then there is the majority of Palestinian people who would more than likely accept what is seen as a fair settlement with Israel.
Hamas and other extreme elements would be even further in isolation. With a fair deal with Israel and international commitments to help build the Palestinian economy, where do the extreme elements go?
And I refer back to my own;'Israeli Disengagement' suggestion: Palestine gives up the "Right of Refugee Return" claim within Israel proper; Israel leaves 95% of the West Bank; and allows East Jerusalem to stay Palestinian. The original suggestion within this framework suggested that if such terms not be achieved in negotiation: Israel implement them unilaterally, saying to Palestine: "Here is your freedom, no better terms will be offered, we will provide assistance if asked and terms negotiated. You are free, the only way you would lose your new found freedom is if unnecessary attacks continue and Israel would be forced to defend itself".
The international community has opposed the Israeli settlement movement. The occupation continues. The cycle of violence continues.
Would the Palestinian people oppose freedom if Israel gave up claims to virtually all of the West Bank and to East Jerusalem, in return for Israel and Palestine receiving final and secure borders?
And what is left for the extreme element in Palestine to do but join in being free or continuing alone its conflict with Israel?
Of course there would be matters of a peace-keeping force during any transitional period, and the Arab matter of dealing with Palestinian refugees still in other Arab nations. If a settlement in principle can be achieved between Israel and the P.A., these matters should be able to be resolved.

*************************************
Oh Israel, it be time to end the occupation of Palestine and to let their people go. For it be time to end the fight between Moslem and Jew. And it be time for a brethren of history of Christian and Jew and Moslem to begin.
I be a simple student of history and political discourse and still I see only two courses this conflict could continue to travel. One is of conflict and wars of warm and hot and cold continuity.
The other course is peace, which may be filled with doubt and difficulty and questionings upon each side; is the course of an immediate peace which may become a lasting peace.
And I say again, it be time to raise the question directly, yet within private diplomatic channels to Israel, to the Palestinian Authority and to Hamas: Would you accept a settlement that returns ninety-five percent of the West Bank to Palestine? Would you accept East Jerusalem remaining Palestinian as it is basically is now? Would Palestine be willing to end claims of Refugee Right of Return within the borders of Israel?
Would responsible Arab leaders accept such an agreement to recognize the state of Israel?
I am but one humble man who has studied the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbours. And I do remember each war in my lifetime between Israel and its neighbours. And I do remember each peace agreement between Israel and its neighbours.
I have filed from the web copies of the documents signed by the parties involved, to have a little standing as a scholar of the conflicts between Israel and its neighbours.
I knew a woman who had been a friend of Jihan Saddat and was very, very hurt upon the assassination of Anwar Saddat.
I have corresponded with citizens of Israel through the Jerusalem Post and Ha'aretz and, much earlier, in the late 1970s attended classes with Arab students in the United States. I contacted the Jerusalem Post when I was certain that the Israeli astronaut was likely to have been killed during the landing disaster of the American space shuttle.
I have written a plan called Unilateral Disengagement, which called for Israel to leave nearly all of the occupied territories of Palestine and unilaterally declare Palestine free. This plan explained that Israel should provide such aid as might be requested by Palestine to establish its new nation. I had seen or heard of no such plan before that time.
A few weeks after I posted this plan on three different websites specific to peace in the Middle East; former Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced his version of unilateral disengagement and set about the end of occupation of Gaza.
What I have discussed here would meet with the Bush Roadmap, would coincide with previous Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements and would end the debate about West Bank, the status of Jerusalem, and the question of the Right of Return of Refugees within Israel.
Of course, any question resolved by negotiations between Israel and Palestine is a matter for their own nations to resolve. I have suggested a commission of Israeli and Palestinian membership to resolve matters in the Jerusalem region to address religious matter that dealt with concerns of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
As I have told this story before, a Jewish gentleman wrote to me, to paraphrase: "I commend you for your efforts, but we have heard it all before. 'From your mouth to God's ear'".
After many and many years, I now appreciate those words greatly.
Though not a practicing Christian and Catholic, I am a great fan of Pope John Paul II. I do not dwell on his beliefs in Catholic doctrine, yet I follow his beliefs that war is an instrument of man and not of the highest power. I believe that we are all God's children and that each one of us is special in the eyes of that highest power.
I could find the words of the song Exodus in my own library or in a simple web search. I merely traveled past once a German concentration that slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Jews. As a matter of seeing history, I saw the films of American soldiers entering those concentration camps to finds the bones of Jewish victims and those so barely alive at the end of World War II.
And so, I be not na´ve to these things.
And I have been lectured by Jewish people and by Arabs to not be na´ve about my opinions and beliefs.
Still I would ask for peace between Israel and Palestine. Still, I would ask each side to say what each needs for peace. Still I would ask when each would give to your children a new beginning.
As the Jewish man who had once written me, suggested, that I be na´ve; I would say again, let me be a little na´ve to dream and hope for your peace. Let me dream and hope for a chance at even a greater peace.
That persons of all faiths, of all race and colour, find a way to live together. Perhaps not always in perfect harmony, but to meet together and discuss solutions to the problems that exist to find together, ways to live in our world together beyond the conflicts we together face.

****************************************
Former President Jimmy Carter should be lauded for his trip to the Middle East, in so far as his being a fair-minded senior statesman seeking a true peace between Israel and Palestine. Unfortunately, this mission has not been an immediate success. He is as close to a fair broker between the two parties as any person, organisation, or government, might be.
What his mission has accomplished is putting Hamas on the record yet again that it would never formally recognize Israel and would insist on the right of Palestinian refugees to return within even the pre-1967 borders of Israel. This clearly establishes that Hamas would rather leave Palestine impoverished and occupied in its quest to reclaim all of that region, than live in peace with Israel as a neighbour.
Obviously, I do not speak for the government of Israel, yet I do know that Israel will not accept such right of refugee return within Israel. To allow right of refugee return would likely destroy Israel, in my opinion.
If Hamas would accept or even tolerate a formal settlement with Israel that was accepted by the Palestinian people, even without its formal and official recognition of Israel, Hamas could be a player in the peace process.
Hamas would rather hold the Palestinian people hostage in its quest for the destruction of Israel.
If I was a person of status in the peace process, I could not ask Israel to sign an accord that did not include wording that ended the right of Palestinian refugee return within Israel. Yet, I would still ask Israel to withdraw from at least 95% of the West Bank and (as Palestine is asked to waive a claim of refugee right of return) ask Israel to waive its claim to all of Jerusalem to allow East Jerusalem to remain Palestinian.
At the time of the establishment of the Israeli state, thousands of Palestinians left of their own accord, while others were forced out of Israel. This occurred sixty years ago. The establishment of Israel resulted in numerous wars fought against it by several Arab nations, some of whom are now friendly with Israel.
It has been established that the international community opposes the Israeli settlement movement and that most of that same international community, opposes the terrorism against Israel. But with that opposition to terrorism against Israel, most of the international community believes that Israel has been too harsh in its treatment of Palestinians during the occupation.
Of course; Palestine does not want occupation and Israel does not want terrorist attacks.
This strikes back directly to my unilateral disengagement plan which I posted on websites in the Middle East (while Sharon led Israel) that discussed hope of a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine. Would the Palestinian people give up a chance at complete liberation, the leaving of Israel of all but 5% of the West Bank to continue occupation and fight for a concept of refugee return that is three generations old?
What Israel would gain is stable and permanent borders, peace agreements with all its neighbours except Syria and Lebanon, the end of the claim of refugee right of return, and an avenue toward a comprehensive peace settlement with nearly all the Arab world. With a fair and final settlement between Israel and Palestine, what reason would Arab nations have to oppose Israel other than simply bigotry?
I have spoken in behalf of humanitarian food and medical aid to Gaza during the blockade of Gaza. And would wish for economic aid to Gaza and Palestine, but not when Hamas controls Gaza and refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist, under any circumstance. I have suggested that Hamas be willing to recognize Israel if or when Palestine becomes totally free, so that Hamas not have to concede directly to Israel, but rather the desire of the Palestinian people to be free.
Even with all this, Israel has not stepped forward to say it leave the West Bank, or at least 90 to 95 percent of the West Bank, as it had previously offered. Thus: Israel is asking Palestine to waive virtually all of its leverage in negotiations even before serious negotiations would begin.
Of course, dialogue between Olmert and Abbas is always positive and should continue. When it is said that both sides must make difficult choices, in my opinion, the reference is directly about the settlement movement, about Jerusalem, and about the claim of refugee right of return within Israel.
Offers of compensation to refugees have been mentioned; hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars in aid to Palestine have been mentioned. Hamas said that it could not be bought off while trying to smuggle millions of dollars into Gaza, allegedly with the help of Iran.
The question should be: Would the Palestinian people rather be free within a fair settlement, rather than continue a seemingly endless cold and hot war with Israel? And: will Israel offer such a fair settlement that could be accepted by the Palestinian people?

********************************************
The problem for peace between Israel and Palestine is more complex than the long standing obstructionism by Palestinian extremists. Gaza has been returned to Palestine, now it needs be that East Jerusalem and virtually all of the West Bank needs to be ceded to Palestine, as by international agreement.
In return, Israel would be freed from Palestinian occupation and the calls for right of refugees to return inside the Israeli pre-1967 borders should end.
Israel in trying to retain parts of the west bank and reclaim e. jerusalem; only drag out the occupation.
The question remains: Would Hamas block or try to obstruct a fair deal for peace and freedom for Palestine?
And what if they did? Is there no peace-keeping force available from the west, the mid-east, the UN to keep Hamas out of Israeli territory and end rocket attacks?
Is it not strange that hardliners on both sides now seem to block peace? Yet is that not the lingering problem?
Would Israel keep part of the west bank, seek e. jerusalem; and Hamas keep seeking the defeat of Israel? And what does this ongoing war serve?
When peace could be at hand, if cooler heads prevailed, if each set of hardliners accepted fair borders once and for all...
And when will the Iraqi government step forward and seek national unity with a secular government that respects all factions...
No rhetoric or diplomatic pressure seems to affect the pace or lack of progress by the Iraqi government. Only a slow and gradual US withdrawal will even have a hope of getting US combat troops out. This I wrote a year ago, have circumstances changed much beyond a surge in troops and a deal on the ground with certain Iraqi factions [which has been more effective than the surge], that still makes the US pull-out dependent on the progress of the Iraqi national government...
To say things need to change is one matter; to affect change in ways one can control is quite another. That even if this administration will not reduce troop strengths much, the Iraqi government should understand by now that a new US administration is coming and it is time for new political strategies from Baghdad, not necessarily Washington, if iraqi's want the US troops to begin a larger withdrawal...

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It is time to stop over-thinking simple concepts; All persons should be considered to be born with equal rights and opportunities. We should help our fellow people, though sometimes they will not let us.
We should remember the past, but work for a better today and a better tomorrow.
I believe that by whatever name one calls the supreme being, that being is best served by loving and forgiving other peoples.
Leaders need to be prepared to act for the greater good. Planning for a possible bad situation does not mean that such plans must be used or desired.
Even if one prepares for a bad circumstance, still one should seek the best and most peaceful solution.
Fairness means being both fair to others and one-self. The trick is to find the balance.
What should feel better;? Helping a people improve their situation in life in a fair peaceful manner, or winning some unnecessary battle to prove a point that little matters in the face of human suffering.
Being a tinker, I could give a tinkers da.. what others say during an election; I care what the candidate says.
Peace Fairness Prosperity should be the American mantra, and for other nations, even though sometimes that be not easy or sometimes even possible.

***************************************
Peace be the call between Arab and Jew. Let the current season of violence and hatred be ended. This be the call and this be the dream and this be the goal.
Whether the greatest power be a father or be a mother or simply a power beyond my child-like understanding; Does the death of another serve that highest power?
I have written and hoped and prayed for an ultimate peace. I have written of strategies and goals of methods of one toward another. There becomes a time, as I saw in the days of Martin Luther King, when complexities and conflict serve little beyond fueling more and more violence.
A time when simple concepts of resisting violence and working toward a better way become the natural solution for bringing peoples together.
I do not choose sides, rather I would choose peace for all sides, for all peoples.
I will never accept the idea that there is no such thing as innocent victims. There will always be innocent victims, and as long as there is violence there will be innocent victims.
The question should be posed directly to the leadership of Hamas: If Israel left virtually all of the West Bank and let East Jerusalem remain Palestinian and would accept no longer claiming a Right of Refugee Return into Israel, would Hamas accept a peace with Israel so that Palestine could become a wholly free nation?
If Hamas could not accept such terms; it serves as proof enough that Hamas desires the end of Israel even before freedom for Palestine. And that is one of the two most critical questions: The second question; could Israel accept such terms to finalize a deal with Palestine and the greater Arab international community?
Based on previous agreements and further negotiations, the rest of the details can be worked out, in my opinion.
Whether in public or in private; if Israel and the Palestinian Authority accepted such terms, as I have written before, where would that leave Hamas and other organizations but to accept freedom for Palestine or to deny freedom to Palestine to continue the cold and hot war to destroy Israel;
Sadly, If either Israel or the Palestinian Authority could not accept such simple terms to build an agreement, would there be any other result than a continuation of conflict in the form of the current occupation?
By laying out to the parties such a simple basic settlement, could that not announce to the world what nation is impeding peace for the region, freedom for Palestine, and greater security for Israel?

***********************************************
It is time for Israel to change the tone and debate and make clear how far it is willing to go for peace. If abbas and olmert can reach a settlement, what does hamas do but either accept palestine freedom or show the world that it truly values destroying Israel over bringing freedom to the people of palestine.
A settlement with fatah, which would have to resolve the border and the status of east jerusalem, would leave Hamas even further on an island in gaza.
a ceasefire with hamas would be positive for no other reason than that innocent persons would be out of a cross fire...
Can violent groups like hamas and hezbullah ever accept the peace that virtually all others want?
Abbas should issue a relatively complete peace plan to Israel and the quartet, as should olmert release to abbas and the quartet a relatively complete peace plan, and start negotiations from that as a starting point.
The idea is begin real settlement talks and show the world clearly that Hamas in Palestine and hezbullah in lebanon seek their own narrow military and political victories and their own peoples seem to matter little to them.
yet israel and palestine leaders need to become practical in their proposals for peace.
The quid pro quo of east jerusalem and 95% of west bank stay Palestinian and the right of refugee return demand given up by Palestine.
Israel needs to seek an end to the rocket attacks both militarily and diplomatically, but not let hardliners in both israel and palestine push Israel into a full military offensive which could very easily lead to another occupation of Gaza.
I believe that going back to unilateral disengagement might be a possible approach: with Israel leaving 90% plus of the west bank, and giving up claims within east jerusalem and telling Palestine you are free, and if you want our help, we can talk... would that not be better than endless violence, taking away Hamas as a player in the argument, and putting Palestinian hardliners in the position of either accept a fair peace or keep its people in harms way so hamas can continue to fight an absurd struggle as a terrorist group...

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It is a time for renewal, a time for change in this nation. I believe that Barak Obama can best bring about this change. I have heard some say that the Obama phenomenon has approached the same type of excitement that saw Robert Francis Kennedy ready to be nominated to be the Democratic Party standard bearer before his tragic assassination in 1968.
I have been impressed by his focus, common sense, his commitment to serve all peoples, and his support of fair trade and his support of the state of Israel. For personal reasons and circumstances, I can greatly appreciate his family background.
It is time for a new generation of leader to step forward in America; a generation that is better served to rise above past prejudice, a generation that knows of war, a generation facing new economic challenges that threaten the lower and middle economic classes.
I believe that Ms. Clinton is both aided and hampered by the legacy of her husband. If she were to become the Democratic nominee, I could easily support her.

On another topic, there are reports that Russia could support a new round of sanctions against Iran if Iran continues to develop advanced nuclear technology without compromise. I had much earlier supported the proposal that Russia provide nuclear materials and then remove the spent fuel for Iranian nuclear power plants so that Iran could have nuclear electric power, but not the spent fuels to develop nuclear weapons more easily.

It was a positive sign in Gaza that citizens [for the most part]peacefully protested the Israeli blockade. Peaceful protest not violence will more greatly aid the Palestinian cause. Palestinian violence only aids to continue the cycle of violence and deepens the Israeli hardliners resolve to resist a fair resolution of the occupation.
Peaceful Palestinian pressure that accepts that right of refugee return to Israel will not occur, but insists on an end to the Israeli settlement movement and maintains East Jerusalem being Palestinian, would greatly pressure Israel toward such a resolution.
Israel must receive sufficient security guarantees, full recognition by Palestine and friendly Arab states for this to be possible, in my opinion.
Palestinian people are caught between Arab and Israeli hardliners who will not move toward a fair settlement and peace.
It is time for Palestine to accept its freedom with fair terms, rather than blame Israel wholly for the occupation. With rocket attacks and suicide bombers, Israel remains in a military attitude for self defense.
For without a settlement, Palestine can continue to blame Israel for all its problems; rather than seek a fair settlement, develop its own economy, build its own institutions.
In essence, without deeply seeking a fair settlement, Palestine can continue to refuse to accept responsibility for its own future.
It is time for a Palestinian free state, a secure Israel, an end to the conflict, and for these two peoples and rest of the world to find a greater peace. A hope that one day: Israelis and Palestinians can live together in peace as two free and secure nations accepted by the international community.
Both sides are asked to make great sacrifice for the greater good of their own people and for the all peace-loving peoples of the world.

*************************************
it is late and still i dream special dreams
such as to find a way to declare
Dr. Martin Luther King a saint

by his church and denomination
a leader who saw that all people
were created truly equal in the eye
of our Creator [by what name you may this power]

By special council
or another means...

So that other denominations
can speak of his name as
a special leader as a saint

As i would say John Paul II
would indeed be a saint for
special leadership
to bring peoples not free
to come to that cherished freedom...

I be one small man
yet I dream
the biggest the dreams

In my country to elect
a woman or a black man
as president has now become possible...

Do you not see
should Ms. Rodham Clinton
lose a close race to Barak Obama
for the Democratic nomination...

Still this nation chose carefully
between a qualified black
and a qualified woman...
and no matter the outcome

History shall be made;
for this nation rose above
previous prejudice
to make a special choice...

And I see the likenesses
of Nelson Mandela and Anwar Sadat
and Bobby Kennedy and Ghandi
and Haribi and Dr. King
and John Kennedy and John Lennon
and Medger Evers and Rabin
and Benazir Bhutto

and John Paul II limping through
Jerusalem and Arafat trying to forge
a peace deal

and i am a small man
and i write of peace
and times sway me
to wrangle about details
and to lose sight of the higher goals

and yet i come back
to seek in my small way
a place of tolerance
a place of acceptance
of the suffering of others
of the prayers of others

to find a place of peace
to find a place for growth
to find a place to leave their children
a better place than they now live...

War and conflict will seldom leave
the next generation better than this
the generation of our own;
will be asked to find precious peace

I care not your race
I care not your faith
I care not your place of birth...

I care that you honour
all other peoples
and all other faiths
and all other peoples
as would a loving God
care for all loving peoples...

This is a lesson I especially learned
from Dr. King and from Pope John Paul II
and even though I did not enter;
just passed by a Nazi concentration camp
named Dachau

I witnessed in a small way
the potential of prejudice
as well as my own experience
of seeing persons hate
because of faith and colour...

Perhaps the greatest ask
of one people to another
is to forgive sins of the past
so that two peoples can live
side by side together
in the future...

My son I miss
for that be a private thing
I would wish him
a chance to rise above
the saying that limits from others
would also limit him...

As I would say
that limits to races or to nations
who seek to live in peace and honour
with all people...

That they rise to seek
living beside one another together
in peace and honour and forgiveness
side by side
in today and tomorrow...

And i am indeed a dreamer
and sing songs aloud of peace and hope
that i have found to comfort me

it is a special dream
to forgive the sins of the past
and it be a special dream
to ask better of tomorrow...

And I sing
this moment
the song
-Let there peace on Earth
-and let it begin
-with me...

I find tears upon myself
when I see the weak and the starving
and those caught in the middle
of those who would rather seek war and death

to sacrifice the innocent
for a momentary conflict
rather than seek a better peace.

Please, I would ask...
Fight no more
And look to a better peace...

for simply it be
a greater special gift
we may give
one to another...

It be a simple thing
that each people
give to another...

For what differences of the past
We shall honour your right to be free
as We expect you
to honour the right
of all yourself
and others to be free...

There, of course, will be conflict
There, of course, will be those
Who would rather send others to war...

Rather, who it not be a greater thing
to seek to end war and hardshp
And find a lasting peace...

Do not hate
because of race or religion

Do not hate
for any past reason

For we are all indeed
the Children of a Higher God
by whatever name
you may call that God...

It be that simple
It be that pure

I do not question your faith
As I would not have you
question my faith...

Yet, we come back to this moment
of you and your pain
and me of my pain

And still I would ask
... Can we not find
a special compromise
that lets you and myself
Come closer to our own freedom...

*************************************
I am who I am, and I would be more...
I would make your things and my things
just even a little bit better...

that you could make life a little better
for my child and for your children.

I remember when John Fitzgerald Kennedy
was assassinated

when Martin Luther King was assassinated
when Robert Francis Kennedy was assassinated
when Anwar Saddat was assassinated
when John Lennon was assassinated

when Nelson Mandela was released from prison
when Yitsak Rabin was assassinated

and the names of Haribi and Bhutto have also
been added sadly to this list

and each of them dreamed of a new and better peace
and others sacrificed and dreamed of this better peace

and I am caught up and captured
in the conflicts behind in the struggles
and conflicts and violence
that led to these tragedies
of these persons whose lives were changed
or were taken from us

these are peoples who risked and ultinately
gave of themselves
beyond what anyone could have asked of them

yet, I believe, if asked of them...
each would have said that they do
what they believed; their times asked them to do.

it is sad to hear of violence and death
and those innocent and caught between
the conflicts of others
to be harmed or killed
for the battles of others.

and would sing to you
the sweet-sweet song

'Let there be peace on Earth
and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on Earth
the peace that was meant to be'

For it be that simple
such a wonderful prayer...

Let there be peace on Earth
the peace that was meant to be...

Yet there be those
who would seek destruction and death
and holding captive others
who would pray to be free

That be the goal
That be the dream
to free those to be held;
to heal those to to be sick

To bring hope
to those without hope...

Beyond race
Beyond religion
Beyond place of birth

To any peoples who would
live beside one another
in tolerance and peace

And i say, I am a small man
with a great many faults...

Any people who would accept
any sincere neighbour
as an equal neighbour
that is best any could ask...

To step back from violence
To step back from battle

To say again
I will be of peace
If you shall be of peace

Oh,I shall dream of this peace
I shall hope of this hope
That a better place be found
which can find hope and peace
for those who would share this peace

ask I say
ask others
to share this peace
and may you find this sweet peace.


Let others be free
to find this peace

And nay we sing
together
your song or our song
of me and you being free








*************************************
Every few days another story shows up of Israel trying to develop a settlement zone within east Jerusalem which is controlled by Palestine.
Such things only delay any chance for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank only maintains the occupation.For israel to keep the settlements in essence, creates a 'one state' solution because Israel must maintain security and infrastructure support inside the west bank to maintain these settlements and is occupying land in the west bank. To keep settlements in the west bank, Israel must maintain checkpoints and limit travel in the west bank, thus keeping the occupation in place.
Groups like Hamas do not want to see the struggle between israel and Palestine to end because it leaves them without an enemy and would end their chance to evict Israel from its place in the middle east.
Syria and Iran would rather see Israel gone and move Hezbullah into Palestine completely as it has tried to keep Hezbullah in Lebanon and block peace with Israel and impose Hezbullah beliefs across the whole of lebanon.
For a two state solution in Palestine, there must be an end to the settlements [at least 90% or more]of the west bank returned to Palestinian control.
This is the reality on the ground In My Opinion.
The Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as made clear by the arafat statements in 1993.
It is Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbullah that do not recognize Israel.
The UN has stated clearly in resolution 242 that the west bank belongs to Palestine and virtually if not all other nations hold this position.
Some years ago, I believe in 2002, I first used the term, unilateral disengagement [which later appeared in a less complete proposal by Ariel Sharon]that called for a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem by Israel, and then if Palestinians wanted assistance and cooperation from Israel in the transition toward establishing the new nation of Palestine, that would be open to negotiation.
The Sharon plan picked and chose where Israel would stay and where it would go, including the complete leaving that occurred in Gaza. This left gaza in a separate situation as the rest of Palestine and goes a long way in explaining why gaza is in its current plight.
But for disengagement to work, Israel must leave virtually all of the west bank and east jerusalem, In My Opinion.
It is time to end the occupation in the west bank, take away the excuse that extreme Islamics have with Israel and establish a free palestine so that israel can also be more secure.
Until Israel leaves the west bank, it is stuck with Palestine and the Palestinians.
In a blatant act of lying by omission, Israel and the P.A. can ignore final settlements talks about refugee right of return and keeping east Jerusalem Palestinian and simply silently accept the status quo. no refugee right of return and keeping east jerusalem in Palestinian hands, as is now the case...
It is as it is, for Israel it is time for some type of disengagement...

*****************************************
The time for a settlement between the P.A. and Israel is now. That is obviously not going to happen instantly, yet each side can go a long way to bring it closer by doing some good old-fashion soul searching and realise that without a couple key concessions on each side, the status quo will remain.
The Status Quo will remain: and I certainly do not endorse a status quo.
With a settlement, Hamas would have no status beyond being simple terrorists unless they conduct at least a cease fire with Israel.
If the P.A. makes a fair settlement and Palestine is granted a more substantial 'provisional' nation status, Hamas would be left to either keep throwing stones at Israel or accept Palestine being a free nation.
If the occupation continues, radical Palestinians still have the argument of that they are still maintaining a resistance to the occupation.
With a settlement, those opposing such a settlement could either accept the settlement or be seen for what they are: The major roadblock to peace.
If the P.A. makes a peace deal with Israel, and the majority [nearly the Israeli west bank settlement] are readied for being dismantled, what would be left for Hamas to do except either accept Palestinian freedom or be combatants against Israel and Israel would have the same right to defend itself as would another nation that is under attack by foreign attackers.
Until a settlement is signed which would lead to the end of the occupation is signed, Hamas still has some dubious standing as a resistance force.
With a settlement, Hamas would be left to decide in front of the world what is more important to them: Freedom for Palestine or the end of Israel.
**********************************************

****************************************
We are not only citizens of our own nation, yet also, we are citizens of the world. And sometimes that means that one nation or one people need find a way to balance its own goals and dreams with what is best for the rest of humankind.
And this sometimes means that a nation makes a special concession or sacrifice on behalf of peace for the rest of the world.
Beyond what economic people call globalization, I see globalization as support for multi-national groups and the United Nations to find a way to use international influence and diplomacy, and [sadly] even military means to bring peace to places where conflict continues and innocent persons die simply because they lived in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I served in my nation's armed forces and I grew up during war. When I joined the armed forces in peace time, still I knew that I might be asked to go to war and make the ultimate sacrifice. I made that choice for myself at an older age than usual, perhaps understanding that notion better than the majority of enlistees I entered military service with at that time.
To put things a bit more bluntly: I knew the 'real deal'; when I joined up. I did not have to go to war, though I did ask to go to war while I served in the armed forces reserve and that request was politely turned down. While on active duty I was in units that had special designations to be placed in harms way before other units.
At age 52, I have followed Mid-east conflict since the age of ten. And I was better read than most persons on international issues from that age. I make no apologies for my opinions, for that is what it is, offering my own opinions.
For reasons that are my own, I cannot expand on views I have offered in the past that have found their way into implemented policies in the international community.
My personal primary wishes beyond family considerations; is for peace between Israel and Palestine. I do not seek victory for one side over the other. I see peace between Israel and Palestine as a victory for each nation and for the world community. And from such a possible peace would likely give birth to a free nation of Palestine and a more secure Israel as well as an easing of conflict between countless Jews, Moslem's, and Christians.
Oh my yes, I am na´ve' to believe such peace is easily and readily possible. Yet I also believe that such a peace is not impossible. When I wrote to an Israeli newspaper in Jerusalem in 2003 about peace between Israel and Palestine a Jewish gentleman apologized for his sarcasm in an e-mail to me, saying, "from your lips to God's ear", meaning; "just because you wish and speak it and even God hears it, that will not make it so".
But that note brought home to me the depth of the conflict and mere good wishes would not be enough for persons of goodwill to make a final peace.
And, oh my dear Father, I certainly am a Martin Luther King, but I was reminded of his final remarks in his last speech, the night before his tragic assassination: "Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult times ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land. And I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the coming of the Lord."

-I am not so brave sometimes, sometimes perhaps I find another type of bravery. But these are private things and shall remain so;

Yet, I have some certain amount of hope and imagination and I can see a day, a day perhaps soon when Moslem and Christian and Jew can easily and truthfully live side by side in their nations and their neighbourhoods; when [as Dr. King said] "... a person is judged by the content of his heart and not by the colour of his skin';
And I would add; "..by his or her faith or his or her place of origin".

And having yet still, a certain amount of hope and faith and even imagination perhaps, when; [to paraphrase Dr. King]; "I have been to the mountain top and I have looked over. And I have seen peace come to the people of the Holy Land. A holy place for Jew, for Christian, for Moslem and the people lived side by side in peace. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know that I believe we will get there together in peace and hope to the Promised Land";

I dream of a new state of Palestine living beside a safe state of Israel. That when Palestine becomes a free nation, nations of goodwill will step forward and help Palestine prosper. I dream of an Israel with safe and secure borders as a homeland for its citizens and a symbol to all Jewish people that her people have a homeland, no matter where they themselves may reside.

I have never entered a former concentration camp on European soil, having only passed a couple of them. Just to have passed by those wrought iron fences and looked in, moved me in a way I still do not completely comprehend. {Not greatly different how I cannot completely comprehend slavery in the United States and the genocides of Cambodia and Darfur].

By whatever name one calls the highest power: I cannot believe that power would have persons kill another human in his or her name. War is of man, not of God. This is what my heart believes.

It is time. Now is the time, not years from now, not sometime in a better future for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to commit to making a real peace. And I ask again: "If Not Now: When?."

It is time for Israel to set its borders to nearly conform to U.N. Resolution to represent Jerusalem being the Israeli capital, East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, Gaza and at least 95% of the West Bank be part of a state of Palestine. That Palestine withdraw efforts to place Palestinians inside Israel as part of a "right of refugee return", and accept peace with Israel, in return for great international economic assistance and an opportunity to establish a Palestinian homeland.

It is time to end the horrible cycle of violence between Israel and Palestine. It is time to end the "Addiction to Occupation"; that some maintain in both Israel and Palestine.
The addiction to occupation is the effort of Israeli hardliners to keep the settlements in the West Bank and resist the establishment of a free Palestine; and for Palestine to end violence against Israel and refusing to accept the existence of an Israeli homeland in the Mid-East. The great irony is that Islamic hard-liners need Israel as an enemy to justify its violent nature and hard-line Israeli's need a violent enemy to justify its own military exercises.
Without these hardliners on both sides, Israel and Palestine could make a final peace, rather than blame one another for the ongoing cycle of violence.

And finally back to the very original point: There comes a time when a nation is asked to serve a greater international good. That time is still upon Israel and still upon Palestine. To bring peace to their peoples and bring more peace to the international community, the time is still here for Israel and Palestine to make concessions to one another for the sake of peace that will bring peace and security to each people and bring more peace to the international community.
***************************************************

With the launching of an Iranian test missile, even the Russians are skeptical of Iran's intentions. That should say all that needs said.
The Russians should consider suspending assistance in getting the Iranian power plant on line until Iran suspends its centrifuge research. ...
When will Hamas get it? Palestinians have all but destroyed a lot of the potential goodwill of the international community by failing to find some way to negotiate with israel realistically about a final status for a free state.
If Palestine would present a plan similar to what has been suggested here and then put the pressure on Israel to accept a plan that leaves Israel intact, East Jerusalem in Palestinian hands and Israel out of 95% of the West Bank; without right of refugee return to Israeli territory...
What would Israel do? The settlers movement would be force to say "No, we want the West Bank for ourselves..."
That would not fly.
Rather, Hamas and other extreme Palestinian elements would rather play the "cycle of violence" and "addiction to occupation" game with Arab militants and Israeli hardliners willing to fight to the last standing Palestinian and Israeli's within rocket, mortar, and suicide bomber range.
I confess that I have the advantage of not siding with one religion or another, rather to respect all peace-loving faiths as a personal choice of that believer...
Religion is a personal choice and so is tolerance. I myself have a ways to go for complete tolerance, yet war and the killing of innocence and the innocent seems a sad and cruel waste and a great blight on the potential of humanity.
The silly slogan of the 1960's, "What if they gave a war and nobody came..." perhaps not so silly...

*************************************
I would be the pragmatist, yes, the politician, the one to be all things to all people. Whether to win votes, win support, or curry favour. There are times to rise above the politics, above the smaller debates, above even personal or partisan politics for the greater good.
This moment, the greatest challenges come in parts of embattled Africa and in the region of Palestine. In Africa, the end to violence and huge amounts of humanitarian relief: The support of refugee camps until the camps can be closed and the relocation of refugees to their homes as soon as is safely possible.
I care not about sides in these African conflicts: I care about ending the conflicts so that people can return to their home regions in safety; and then the building and developing of better economies can begin;
In Palestine, it is time for the rebirth of a new freedom. It is time for the birth of a free state of Palestine. It is time for the state of Israel to live in peace and security. And all this is possible; it is so possible to be almost unbelievable. There have been negotiations and hopes and ceasefires and agreements and yet there is not peace.
I have written often my plan for peace in that region and I will repeat it again;
Palestine waives what is called the;right of return; within pre-1967 borders of Israel. Israel withdraws from the settlements in the West Bank.
Jerusalem remains Israeli and East Jerusalem remains Palestinian and a joint commission of Israel and Palestine is developed to protect the Holy Sites for all religions affected in this area.
Whether one might call them terrorists or freedom fighters, Palestinian militias end their attacks on Israel. Israel ends its strikes against opposition fighters in Palestine.
The cycles of violence and addiction to occupation ends. With freedom, Palestine can develop its own economy and culture. Israel ends having to be caught in the traps of occupation.
It becomes a question for the world on how to assist the building of an economy for the peoples of Palestine. Israel offers peace to Palestine, yet seemingly without leaving lands set aside for Palestine. Factions in Palestine seem not willing to recognize Israel even if a peace accord is developed.
This is the short version of settlement terms I have long suggested. I have suggested a revisit to earlier agreements between Israel and Palestine to be used to simplify the process of renegotiating each question completely once again.
While each individual question could be a challenge to resolve: The greater ones are simple to grasp though tough to resolve. And if these larger questions cannot be settled, the possibility of near endless violence looms. I would seek an end to violence for its own sake and hope a settlement would rise from an extended ceasefire. But I doubt that without a resolution of the greater questions, an end to violence would likely occur.
I believe peace will eventually come to Palestine. I believe future generations and the ones young and already here will shift to seeking a better and more peaceful world. Rather, I would seek to build the greater lesson of: Even in conflict, the persons of my generation can give their, our children a peace and tolerance and cooperation to build upon. That, along with works to preserve the preciousness of our planet's environment; these would be the greatest gift we could pass to our children...

*************************************************
There are two worlds, the world modern and usually prosperous: And those who seek to survive; and those of each cannot easily relate of the other.
War; and then those of poverty and those who have never felt the progress of the contemporary world cannot feel how it is to live more easily. Their reality is about survival and; just maybe finding a better way of life for their children.
And then: There is the world of progress and advantage. Of a safe life, of income, of equal opportunity, of making progress, of a life with few complications that truly threaten themselves and their children.
For those who chose to live of their own faith; I applaud them. For those who chose to live simply; I applaud them. For those who truly live in service to others; I applaud them.
I care not your race, your chosen faith or where you live. These things are as they are. I have added a banner in my home that says: WISH; I wish for peace; I wish for safety; I wish for hope.
Not necessarily the easy hope;
Rather; the hope that those who would live as they would; would live and hope and help others to live in peace; would find peace for themselves and for all others.
I cannot make those who would make war and pain not make war and pain. I can write and hope that those peoples who would make such war; not make that war and that conflict.
I have some issues of my own anger and pain; of missing special people I would have in my life who are not in my life on a regular basis. I live and pray and hope that they may be safe and well and being alright.
I may be na´ve and even a fool to hope that the Israeli and Palestinian peoples could live side by side in peace. I hope that genocide and misery in certain places in Africa will end.
I hope that hunger and misery end where poverty has been a sad way of life.
I seek not to live better than my neighbour; merely nearly or as well as my neighbour for I need nothing more or better.
If I should reach a higher quality of life; I would expect myself to give back to those of little or no advantage.
My aunt Katherine was a pleasant and deeper soul. She gave simple works in a gentle way as her faith led her. Each year, she found a little moment to send a birthday card and holiday card to me even when others had not. [I had not done such things for others and expected not others to do that for me] But, she being beyond me: Katherine sent a couple little cards a year to me and I send a smile belatedly to her memory.
That be a simple family moment that I believe most could know. A cousin of mine; Shelly; provided me and my family the greatest comfort on the day of my father-s funeral. Upon my own grief; I barely could notice. Though younger than me; I was later told that Shelly died two days after my own father-s funeral; and that gives me another little great hurt that I could never specially thank her for her extra kindness.
I say things so wrong some times and so much better upon other times. I see things on a higher plain. It is what I am. At the age of twelve, even then, two of my heroes: Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot to death while seeking hope and peace for those of less advantage.
I have sought such peace and hope myself in my own way and I have been reminded by a stranger or two of what had happened to people like John Lennon, Dr. King, and the Kennedy brothers. Take that for what you will;
I respect all beliefs that also respect and honour peace and hope. Though not Christian in the usual manner of Christianity; I honour the teachings of Jesus as a beacon and prophet of peace and hope. I greatly honour the hope and teachings in that regard of Pope John Paul II.
If I could chasm the difference between Catholic and Protestant; I would applaud Dr. King being recognized as a saint. For, whether of one being of a particular denomination or another of Christian; for Dr. King to accorded the title of saint for his martyrdom upon his crusade for justice and equality: I would greatly applaud this recognition.
Yet, there be today. I heard of unrest in the Mid-East at a border crossing between Egypt and Gaza. I have written much about establishing peace for Israel and a free Palestine. Yet, I can understand mothers of Gaza wanting basic goods for their people.
I have written about unilateral disengagement between Israel and Palestine for many years. This being that Israel leave Palestine and Palestinians not seek to live in Israel: That each people would be allowed to peacefully pursue their own destinies and hopes.
I have been called na´ve for such hopes. I do not mind such alleged insults as being called na´ve for wanting a final peace.
I have written today about my own pains to show that I understand such individual pains about lost loved ones. Whether a rocket fired into Israel or an Israeli response back; each injury or death does touch a whole family in return. I would say; Let Israel be safe and Palestine be free. Let each of these two nations finally agree to peace.
It is one thing to strive and compete for a better life for oneself and ones family; but not at the destruction of another life or another family.
By what name you might call the highest power of the universe, in English; by what name you might call God; I cannot believe that this power would seek undo death and destruction one upon another in this simple life.
And I would challenge the people of Palestine to say to Israel: If you leave our nation we will live beside you in peace.
And would challenge peoples in other nations to let the innocent live in peace; to let others worship in peace, to raise their children in peace and to share the joy of each other-s children; to celebrate the commonality of such joy while the accepting the differences of each way of life.
If this be na´ve; let me be wonderfully na´ve.

   To face certain truths in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: 1] There needs to be a commitment by Israel to return at least 90% or more of the West Bank to Palestine and East Jerusalem remain Palestinian. 2] That Hamas be allowed into the peace process if it agrees in principle to recognize Israel if a fair two-state settlement can be reached and that a ceasefire be arranged now that ends rockets entering Israel by all factions in Gaza.

    In my opinion, this is not unreasonable. A ceasefire should include a cessation of Israeli attacks into Gaza if rocket fire from Gaza ends. Israel should immediately close West Bank settlements that even it calls illegal as a sign of good faith. 

    Humanitarian aid, not cash should be brought into Gaza with greater speed than is now happening. Now, if a ceasefire could be arranged between Gaza and Israel, if Hamas accepts the concept of a fair two-state solution, all previously arranged aid to Gaza should proceed.

   Yet, it is likely that Hamas would not provide sufficient security to prevent certain factions from firing rockets into Israel even if all aid was returned to Gaza. And, if all Gaza honours a ceasefire, will Israel suspend pinpoint attacks into Gaza and all new settlement activities? [This is the cycle of violence that always seems to derail peace efforts…]

    And, if a single incident occurs from one side or the other, can enough assurances be given that one mistake not derail potential progress.   

    In a final settlement; right of refugee return within Israeli be waived and Arab nations friendly to the United States [not now recognizing Israel] recognize Israel when Palestine becomes a wholly free state. And this would be the extended reward for Israel if peace between Israel and Palestine be reached.

    Security issues, exact borders, border cooperation, tax revenues, and other issues can always be addressed now and later. Yet, to dodge final settlement issues only builds [in my opinion] false hopes that ‘daily issue’ problems being resolved would create enough momentum to lead to a final settlement.

    The dual cynicism is that one side or another will not go far enough to bring a real settlement and then there are those who would oppose a settlement because they would rather pursue a one-state solution that would favour the ‘victorious’ side.

    Even with all this said: I believe that peace is possible: That leaders in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority understand that conflict [… and I oppose all such conflict] will only continue if a real two-state is not achieved.

   All of this is my opinion. There is no exact script for peace in this region. But there is a plan and a hope. There are those who would continue to hold their own people hostage in Palestine to continue their own war against Israel. And there is more that Israel can do to build momentum for a final settlement.

    The challenge for this nation and other nations who seek peace is to help both of these nations find a path toward a real peace…

    To not try only gives in to those who oppose peace.     

it be late and i soon enough will rest

     for this night and i listen to Beethoven number nine

         and night has fallen and the darknesses are upon me   

          and light in day approaches soon and i pray within me

            not aloud but quietness balms and calms and gives

              the daily rebirth of another bright sun

 

     it is peace and hope and asking for many new bright days

      that arise from pain and battles and derision and anger...

 

      i be a mortal fool as we all be

        and yet i ask and hope and dream of more and better

 

       i am not so naive as to believe my childly wishes

         would alone make an easy peace;

           yet still i dream and pray and hope.

 

          my life i have watched in pain and sorrow

            the battles of Israel and its neighbours

              i have studied the horrors of the war

            the second world war and the holocaust

                  all of my life.

 

            with six to twelve million Jews killed

              for merely their faith

                as an American soldier in Germany

                 on a tour bus; i felt the second greatest

                   sadness of my life [after my father's death]

                    when just riding past the remnant's of the

                        Dachau death kamp...

 

            as a soldier, i faced not combat

              though in a couple of forward aimed units

                and having grown up during Viet Nam

                  i asked to go to war, foolishly, of course,

                  during Desert Storm...

 

            there be the bravery and sacrifice in war

             and there be the bravery of fighting for peace...

 

            one of my most cherished moments is meeting

              Lech Walensa as a reporter in the United States

               as he traveled as the former president of Poland

                 on a trade mission to this country...

 

          Bobby Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II,

    Gandhi who found within themselves to resist violence in

      peaceful ways; i respect their courage beyond ways

      you might never know...

 

            yet know i also; that times arise when resistance

              demands action, such as in World War II.

 

          In Palestine and in Israel, the time for resistance and

                  conflict has long since past: The time for healing

            has long since arrived...

 

         there are those who would seek conflict

         there are those who would seek land

         and victory and war and battle for generations

         to come as have previous generations fought

         and again fought

 

         and as if from fifty thousand feet above

         i would ask; when does it stop and when do you build

         better lives for your children and the children

         of your foes...?

 

          perhaps then, it be better to be naive'

          it be better to dream and pray and wish and hope...

 

          a homeland for the Jewish people

          a homeland for Palestine

          a sector for Jewish Jerusalem

                a sector for Palestine East Jerusalem

          a place to share the holy sites for Jews

          for Christians and for Moslems

          to worship together and separately

          in respect for one another...

            [for perhaps naively, i believe it be the same father]

 

            i resist those who would fight against the peace;

            those who would refuse the hard fought peace   

             and would battle on though peace could be at hand;

             those would give their children conflict and sorrow

           when peace and hope is being offered during the now

 

           this be the cliche' of sacrifice for the greater good

              and what greater good could there be than peace?

 

           For in all just conflicts must be the struggle for peace

           For in all just struggles their must be a vision of hope

            A hope that tomorrow will be worth

               the great sacrifice of today

               That my children and your children as well

                 may have a better life

                   for what we have done today...

 

************************************************
Ah, the dilemma of hopes and dreams and of realities on the ground. To wave a magic wand in Israel and Palestine to bring these two closer together on a settlement...
Yet, let talks of any kind continue. The parties need to face the tough questions head on and seek a final direction toward an end solution. There are times when status quo is good: The general arrangement where East Jerusalem stays Palestinian, refugees not re-entering Israel, Fatah resisting Hamas and terrorism.
However, it is time for Israel to seek committments in the moderate Arab world that if it leaves the West Bank that will lead to formal recognition of Israel by many Arab nations.
This is the trade that should be offered by Israel and moderate Arab nations... If Israel withdraws from 95% of the west bank and guarantees to recognize a free Palestine along with the caveat of East Jerusalem stays Palestinian, Palestine and the Arab nations should waive right of refugee return within Israel. This should be IMO the deal.
I have begun to wonder if Israel is willing to withdraw from 95% of the west bank, and maintain East Jerusalem as Palestinian.
I would argue that all of Jerusalem be a nation-state, not unlike Vatican City, yet this would seem to preclude each nation from having its share of Jerusalem as its capital...
Without resolving the final questions, it would seem that new sticking points will always emerge if the final big problems are not resolved...
The U.S. should begin a polite and reserved campaign to remind N.Korea of its treaty obligations.
No threats of specific actions yet, and no talk of sanctions, but of delays in future actions by the coalition until N. Korea achieves treaty compliance...
Let's face some facts about Russia and Putin, the sticking point is the Stars Wars projected deployment in states within the sphere of influence of the former Soviet Union. 
Will the next president continue the Star Wars program? The current US administration should look at the question of will the Star Wars plan live past this government, if not, would it not be wiser to offer to drop Star Wars past the very general research phase to seek a rapproachment with Moscow?...
 
 

It is long since time for Israel and Palestine to look toward peace in their long struggles to achieve a peaceful arrangement between their two peoples.
Likely, neither side would be completely satisfied in any final agreement that would result in a complete settlement between these nation.
Yet, only with a settlement, will each each nation achieve a long term goal each seeks. For palestine, a free state with control of its own destiny, likely with the the support of most most nations in the world.
For Israel, final secure borders, a settlement with Palestine, and support and acceptance from most nations of the world for a free and secure Israel.
For Israel, the temptation is great to carve out extra settlements in the West Bank and east jerusalem, in light of continued resistence from factions in Palestine and desires of political groups within Israel... Yet, these moves will only delay IMO, a possible settlement with the P.A.
I have urged a "unilateral disengagement" from Israel to Palestine. Offer a fair and complete settlement package to Palestine: That settlement being a return of 95% of the West Bank, keeping East Jerusalem Palestinian; and in return: An end to calling for Palestinian refugees to return to within Israel.
If another has a better formula for peace between Israel and Palestine, I would happily let that formula move ahead with my support.
And I ask again... "If not now, When?"
While I cannot speak directly for the rest of the world, I dare say: If such a settlement were reached, most of the rest of the world would applaud.
I would not ask either side to blindly enter any agreement that would leave itself vulnerable or without support, yet I would ask: Is there a better proposal?
If Israel make such a committment and follow through with such an agreement: Would not most Arab nations recognize Israel?
I would ask Arab nations to help Palestine rebuild itself, help answer refugee matters, and look toward a more greatly peaceful region.
Of course there are many details to be worked out if such a plan were adopted. I would say that if Israel were to make such an offer; arab nations should endorse such a plan and be willing to recognize Israel; in return for helping to grant full statehood for Palestine.
If one should ask israel to make these many concessions, Israel should receive help in the arab world and credit for being willing to finally close the deal to make Palestine free.
Those who would oppose Israeli statehood and support those who would block real peace between Israel and Palestine, one would see that those people oppose peace in any form and would keep the region in conflict for years to come.
  

**********************************
Question: Is Hamas looking for a cash infusion to keep Gaza and continue its opposition to peace with Israel or is it willing to accept a peace that Gaza desperately needs?
I do not begrudge humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Is the offer of a ceasefire from Hamas a legitimate offer, or is it another ploy for temporary funds to help fund a separate government for Gaza, a separate government that has opposed peace with Israel, leaving Gaza isolated and impoverished.
I have sought peace between Israel and Palestine with an establishment of a free state of Palestine. The world community has sought such a solution and continues to do that
The idea is to present influence and put pressure on Hamas to accept a positive agreement that brings independence for Palestine, provides security for Israel,international aid for Palestine, restores at least 95% of the west bank to complete Palestinian control, establishes East Jerusalem as staying within Palestinian control, prevents Israel having to both concede back occupied territotry and allow Palestinian descendents back within its pre-1967 borders, and ends to conflict between Israel and Palestine for the long forseeable future.
This about peace, real peace. About Israel and Palestine living side by side, in peace, if not yet in complete friendship. Time heals many wounds. Freedom for Palestine will help heal many wounds and most likely raise the quality of life for all Palestinians.
My personal views are not all about punishing Hamas, actually it is about bringing peoples of all views together to find the best solution for all people. Peace in this region of the Middle East helps peace through out the world.
And it helps Palestine become free and Israel more secure. Those who would seek to continue hostilities between Israel and Palestine, would hold the Palestinian and israeli people hostage to continue these hostilities at virtually any cost.
I have often suggested that hamas state that it would recognize Israel when Palestine is free. Agreements could be made, peace established, no surrender demanded of or offered by hamas, the trade is made of Palestine becoming a free nation to allow Hamas and perhaps other Palestinian factions to claim that their resistance helped Palestine become free and that they helped make palestine free, as long as they accept israel's right to exist, and Israel recognizes a free Palestinian state.
I have suggested a settlement plan of: Isreal cedes back at least 95% of the west bank, allows East Jerusalem to stay Palestinian, sharing of Holy sites with Palestine: Palestine cedes any right of return of refugees to within Israeli borders, and Palestine fully recogizes of the right of Israel to exist as a nation and Palestine is granted full nation status.
Hamas recognizes Israel when palestine becomes a free state.
None of this is new. No one says this or another viable settlement would be easy to achieve, yet IMO, this is a reasonable settlement, given the regional environment. And to give up on seeking a settlement all but insures conflict to continue...
  

****************************************************
  The time has come [don't you love that as a cliche] for Israel to become serious about finding a peaceful settlement with Palestine. The world has asked that Israel relinquish lands captured in the 1967 war.
  I believe that Israel should eventually do that [actually a 95% solution], but under a comprehensive peace plan with the Arab league and all of its immediate neighbours. Jerusalem should be a separate arrangement with East Jerusalem remaining Palestinian and some type of working arrangement be made to administrate the Holy sites in the area.
  I do not believe that Israel should have to act unilaterally, and that Palestine concede a right of return for refugees to within the Israeli green line. And that militia's be disarmed as per Oslo and Wye River accords, if I remember them correctly. This is not a new proposal.
But, And, Yet, However, et cetera, et cetera; now would be an excellent time to Israel to present realistic offers its Arab neighbours could accept, and further isolate Hamas in Gaza. In fact, with the temporary separation between Hamas and fatah, Fatah is in a much better position to discuss the future of the west bank and jerusalem with Israel without Hamas. 
If a fair final proposal came forward from Israel, the question falls to the two sides of palestine... Does your Palestine really want peace with Israel? 
There is pressure on both sides for  peace. For how many more centuries will Jerusalem be contested for; keeping the rest of the world in turmoil? The lines in the sand and on the maps have all but been drawn, it is a matter that both sides need to compromise and quit pointing fingers and guns and bombs... et cetera  et cetera
      
 
***************************************************

**************************************************
If not this administration, then the next one will need to deal with the economic crisis brewing in the country. Inflation figures are a joke without figuring in energy, food, and whatever else is excluded.
Working people are cutting back, the housing bubble has burst, credit is tightening all over the place, small children's toys made overseas may not be safe. And we still do not hear of much in terms of winding down our active presence in Iraq.
Well boys and girls, it is reality check time. The money being pumped into Iraq is going to be needed to ramp up social programs in this nation to pay for things like children's health care, heating fuel, utilities, and even food because the American fully out because of increased local taxes, healthcare, and utilities, and gasoline.
As a democrat, it is that party versus progress thing. Do I want the democrats to win most elections coming up.. of course... but do I want those wins to come at the expense of lower and middle class people caught in the EHF crunch [energy, healthcare, food crunch].
The current Iraqi government seems to do nothing. Where is anything resembling reconciliation between the factions? Where is the revenue sharing of oil profits, where are the vast troop numbers for the Iraqi military and police...
We can no longer print money in this country for iraq when things are going to hell in a handbasket here.
Yes, it is time for an excess profit tax on oil companies. A full-sized program to cover improper mortgage paper to lessen foreclosures. A slight tax increase on the top-top income earners.
The lower and middle class has too heavily bore the load of paying for this war, of paying for the prosperity of business and now are paying beyond their means for energy. Not that perhaps, energy may have been artificially low, but the rapid increases have gutted worker's buying power.
How does thisn fit together... simple... energy costs are eating up american paychecks. period, be there, aloha. If not this and next year, 2007-8, certainly there will be programs needed beyond the states to help citizens with energy costs. Real federal money. Ten's if not hundreds of billions of dollars over the next five years if these trends continue.
Consumers will be seriously down-sizing on vehicles, on homes, on personal purchasing because 10 to 50 percent of their incomes just went out the window to pay for gas heat and electricity.
We need to cut our expenses in Iraq, if not because the war sucks, or because Iraq isn't doing enough, or whatever... The money going to Iraq needs to come home for social welfare programs and medium and small business development, real job growth, not just in the retail/service sector.
Yah, this is a rant... I admit, but if the grand old party thinks america is going to freeze this winter, get less or loss its healthcare one business at a time, keep paying through the nose to support a government in iraq that won't take charge itself, have to sell bigger cars and trucks for smaller trucks and cars, sell family homes for smaller homes or apartments, and then vote -business as usual- next fall, hello-hello...
this is not a panic, this is seeing a laissez-faire policy that is fiddling like nero, just as Rome began to allegedly burn... A change in direction in Jan 2009 may be way way late.
All this is my opinion, but the middle and lower classes are getting the crap beat out of them... Another rate at the fed, yes... federal income linked budget... deficit spending for temporary social programs, not bottomless pit in Iraq. It has to stop, we can't just keep writing checks. 
If we keep our troops at current levels, it needs to be eliminating the contractors, it needs to focus on Iraqi training, on securing borders. The iraqi's have to manage their own affairs. Fight the insurgents within Iraq, with US tactics shifting to keep outsiders out of the conflict.
This means real cooperation with Arab world. This is what IMO wil take to clean up mess quicker in Iraq so we can put some money back into domestic house. to get the home front back in order..       
 

******************************************************

i do not questions ask

with answers above my grasp

 

or where upon my prayers float

beyond the unseen breeze

 

little steps to peace

perhaps a someday

never too soon toward

that bigger peace

 

that peace not an out of grasp

as a windblown storm

but a gentle kiss

in a light breeze

on a smiling cheek

as if walking

a tropic beach

early before the sun

reaches that hottest place…

 

by whatever faith

did not a prophet and teacher ask

“who is thy neighbour?”

to say we all are neighbours

even more so these days

upon this shrinking planet

 

to guide and hold and cherish

this place we live

where might be wherever

your place shall be.

 

To let the each the other

have that one place that be their own

and live as peaceful neighbours

whether in the out back place

the urban place; or among the nation states

 

and you shall know

what this means to your own ears

your own eyes

your own hearts

 

it be not about the messenger

but about the message

borders to protect and provide

a safe place for each and all

not a target to cross

to take beyond what each should have

 

a border to say with pride

that this be mine;

not to say one cannot

when asked to come

and help; a border cannot be crossed.

 

but you know and i know

where borders should indeed

be or not be…

 

I have said before

of that faraway place

where indeed

if some perhaps foolish power

gave me sway

where that border might be.

 

Just for little while

Let us lowly enjoy

a promise of a smaller peace

that may lead to a great peace

and the dreamers and those

in desperate places

may find a bit of hope

under the sun and stars

and feel the comfort

from a hand of that greatest power

above us all…  

************************************************

There comes a time when fate and history and destiny intersect, and this could be one of those moments in the Middle East. Pardon me as I become overly hopeful and overly dramatic. A new and old opportunity is presenting itself.

            A plan for peace is on the proverbial table again. Not just a plan involving two or three nations, but many nations. Being a dreamer, I can always hope; the old clichÚ to plan for the worst and hope for the best. The best would be a deal between several Arab states and Israel that grants Palestinian freedom in reasonable borders and gives Israel necessary security for years, if not decades to come.

            I could speak of particular points and process, but rather it is time for imagery, a time for a special vision, not of what is, but what could be. Not an altering of the future, but with creating a better future for peoples of all creeds in the region: An allowing of many cultures to exist side by side in a way that the world perhaps has never seen before.

            A future that allows people to worship the highest power as they themselves decide, where business and commerce can flow unabated between nations, where people can celebrate both their individuality and their commonalities as members of the human family in peace, and perhaps greater prosperity.

            These things are possible. They may come to pass and they may not. It is not for me to say, but for the people and the leaders in that region to say...

            But our nation and other nations may greatly help. Let this be our desire, our destiny, our calling.

            Though it may be difficult for these nations to forego dwelling on the past; let each focus on the potential better future.

            I speak as a dreamer, but without dreams, there be no hope. I can write these words because I fear not these feelings. Men sometimes fear feelings of peace and love and concern and hope for it may be seen as subverting their perception of strength for softer desires. I could do the greatest thing; but no feeling, no accomplishment whether mine or of others, could surpass the moment of birth of my child. And I hope for a better future for my child and the children of all others.

            Let me be a dreamer, perhaps the wishful fool, who even with no power or position be my own: That this dream, this hope, comes to pass in where many believe to be the place most holy.

            It is a time where those there, not look to what they themselves can selfishly receive, but what can be accomplished for the benefit of all: Compromise and conciliation, tolerance and acceptance, need be the guide.

            Each party must give greatly to receive even more in return.

            If should settlement occur, let each party to that success, take a quiet satisfaction that a greater good has been served. Let all parties who seek peace; celebrate that potential success and serve to keep such a settlement whole; for the greater good.

            Let the two parties gain a victory of peace over conflict, a victory not of arms and anger, but with the potential of a better future for themselves and their posterity. For this possible settlement could lead to a future that heals great wounds and gives each party a chance to begin anew in a more peaceful, more prosperous, and more hopeful tomorrow for themselves and for coming generations.  

                

************************************************

playing with the aesthetics a grey

eleven dollar fedora replaced

the old brown one and I pen a few notes

played on the writing keyboard

sipping fresh ground coffee

and cream of broccoli soup

in the dim lit room

with lavender incense

drifting about together

with low and gentle music

 

I romantise myself the dreamer this day

without guile or much self-promotion

or whatever for myself to gain

beyond again this silly notion

I can will a little peace

to a faraway in pain place

 

I seek an end game for the fighting

not a status quo deal

that leads to more lingering

and more battles and more and more

of the same the same the same

 

a deal offered that seeks more dollars

for the status quo and then a quibble

that they do not want our money

to rebuild after a nation emerges

and peace reigns where strife

has always been a way of life

 

oh please an end game scenario

where your foes go home

and you begin free and new

and both sides breath safe and fresh airs

if not in friendship

at least in tolerance…

 

both sides shake the symbolic handshake

and the elders give their children

the greatest gift of love

by giving peace to a new generation

 

let again me be na´ve’

let again me be the dreamer

let yourselves give yourselves

that gift of peace

within secure borders

and enough cooperation

to share and honour

three faiths and their sacred grounds

so that all who choose

can come and visit and share

these sacred grounds

 

let each the other

give their children hope

and each their chosen faith

 

let each the other

have that safe home

 

I will not lie

I the dreamer this day

I with my delusion of grandeur

that my words mean any more

than one grain of sand in the greatest desert…

 

I can feel that each kilometer means something

to those who there now live

yet for someone faraway

I would draw a line in that sand

anywhere I believed would bring peace

to the hills and plains and valleys there.

 

oh my why latch upon one moment

of respite from the conflict

when the prize to seek

is a lasting peace

within safe and secure borders.

 

no more rockets and bombs

and attacks that target innocents

by accident or by purpose

on either side

 

I sing in my quiet voice

a song of peace and hope

on the hilltop

into the valley

that my some foolish dreams and schemes

will echo softly ripple and shake

two peoples enough so each

can be safe and secure

in their own lands

 

there need be an end game

though this hardly be a game

and certainly not one to pass

to ones children and their children

and the children of the children

 

the deals have long been brokered

and I the dreamer would pick and choose

any combination of the old agreements

to put together a final new one

that will finally last.

 

I the dreamer with my own beliefs

respect and accept the right

of any person to choose

beliefs their own

I have no agenda

beyond these wind-blown

peace dreams for others

that even my own people

may benefit from your peace

 

sometimes I forget to eat

to ravenous later become

sometimes sleep I forget

to greatly later rest

because I be the foolish dreamer

desperately hoping to hang on

to my naivety that peace may yet

come to peoples faraway

who have fought so long

and what makes these days different

is something my simplicity

does not yet grasp

 

though I know to accept

the battles as something that

must be so

is to accept that it will continue

long beyond my own away

slipping years and your own…

The Avalon Project : Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

Inaugural Address of John F. Kennedy

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 20, 1961

Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower,

Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens, we

observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom--symbolizing

an end, as well as a beginning--signifying renewal, as well as change. For I

have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears

prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to

abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same

revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around

the globe--the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the

state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the

word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch

has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered

by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient

heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human

rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are

committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any

price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe,

in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge--and more.

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the

loyalty of faithful friends. United, there is little we cannot do in a host of

cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do--for we dare not meet a

powerful challenge at odds and split asunder.

To those new States whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word

that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be

replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them

supporting our view. But we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting

their own freedom--and to remember that, in the past, those who foolishly sought

power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.

To those peoples in the huts and villages across the globe struggling to break

the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help

themselves, for whatever period is required--not because the Communists may be

doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free

society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge--to

convert our good words into good deeds--in a new alliance for progress--to

assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But

this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers. Let

all our neighbors know that we shall join with them to oppose aggression or

subversion anywhere in the Americas. And let every other power know that this

Hemisphere intends to remain the master of its own house.

To that world assembly of sovereign states, the United Nations, our last best

hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of

peace, we renew our pledge of support--to prevent it from becoming merely a

forum for invective--to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak--and to

enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

Finally, to those nations who would make themselves our adversary, we offer not

a pledge but a request: that both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before

the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in

planned or accidental self-destruction.

We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our arms are sufficient

beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed.

But neither can two great and powerful groups of nations take comfort from our

present course--both sides overburdened by the cost of modern weapons, both

rightly alarmed by the steady spread of the deadly atom, yet both racing to

alter that uncertain balance of terror that stays the hand of mankind's final

war.

So let us begin anew--remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of

weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out

of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those

problems which divide us.

Let both sides, for the first time, formulate serious and precise proposals for

the inspection and control of arms--and bring the absolute power to destroy

other nations under the absolute control of all nations.

Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors.

Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap

the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.

Let both sides unite to heed in all corners of the earth the command of

Isaiah--to "undo the heavy burdens ... and to let the oppressed go free."

And if a beachhead of cooperation may push back the jungle of suspicion, let

both sides join in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a

new world of law, where the strong are just and the weak secure and the peace

preserved.

All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in

the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps

in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final

success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each

generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national

loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround

the globe.

Now the trumpet summons us again--not as a call to bear arms, though arms we

need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are--but a call to bear the

burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope,

patient in tribulation"--a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny,

poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South,

East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you

join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the

role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from

this responsibility--I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would

exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the

faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and

all who serve it--and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what

you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what

together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us

the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a

good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds,

let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but

knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

Avalon Project: I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

I have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr; August 28, 1963. Delivered on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed

the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon

light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of

withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of

captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is

still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly

crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One

hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst

of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is

still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile

in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the

architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and

the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which

every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be

guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of

happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar

as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred

obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back

marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice

is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great

vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check -- a

check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of

justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce

urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to

take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark

and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is

the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the

time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid

rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to

underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the

Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating

autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a

beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now

be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as

usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is

granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake

the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm

threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our

rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to

satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and

hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and

discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical

violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting

physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed

the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many

of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to

realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is

inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot

turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When

will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy

with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways

and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's

basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be

satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York

believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we

will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness

like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and

tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have

come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of

persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the

veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned

suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to

Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that

somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley

of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and

frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in

the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true

meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are

created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former

slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a

table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state,

sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into

an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they

will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their

character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are

presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be

transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be

able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as

sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and

mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked

places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and

all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this

faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.

With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation

into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to

work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together,

to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new

meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land

where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let

freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom

ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the

mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies

of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every

mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every

hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day

when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles,

Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of

the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are

free at last!"

1996-2003 The Avalon Project at Yale Law School.

The Lillian Goldman Law Library in Memory of Sol Goldman.

-The Edward M. Kennedy Speech at the Democratic Convention of 1980

Well, things worked out a little different from the way I thought, but let me tell you, I still love New York.

My fellow Democrats and my fellow Americans, I have come here tonight not to argue as a candidate but to affirm a cause. I'm asking you--I am asking you to renew the commitment of the Democratic Party to economic justice.

I am asking you to renew our commitment to a fair and lasting prosperity that can put America back to work.

This is the cause that brought me into the campaign and that sustained me for nine months across 100,000 miles in 40 different states. We had our losses, but the pain of our defeats is far, far less than the pain of the people that I have met.

We have learned that it is important to take issues seriously, but never to take ourselves too seriously.

The serious issue before us tonight is the cause for which the Democratic Party has stood in its finest hours, the cause that keeps our Party young and makes it, in the second century of its age, the largest political party in this republic and the longest lasting political party on this planet.

Our cause has been, since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the cause of the common man and the common woman.

Our commitment has been, since the days of Andrew Jackson, to all those he called "the humble members of society--the farmers, mechanics, and laborers." On this foundation we have defined our values, refined our policies and refreshed our faith.

Now I take the unusual step of carrying the cause and the commitment of my campaign personally to our national convention. I speak out of a deep sense of urgency about the anguish and anxiety I have seen across America.

I speak out of a deep belief in the ideals of the Democratic Party, and in the potential of that Party and of a President to make a difference. And I speak out of a deep trust in our capacity to proceed with boldness and a common vision that will feel and heal the suffering of our time and the divisions of our Party.

The economic plank of this platform on its face concerns only material things, but it is also a moral issue that I raise tonight. It has taken many forms over many years. In this campaign and in this country that we seek to lead, the challenge in 1980 is to give our voice and our vote for these fundamental democratic principles.

Let us pledge that we will never misuse unemployment, high interest rates, and human misery as false weapons against inflation.

Let us pledge that employment will be the first priority of our economic policy.

Let us pledge that there will be security for all those who are now at work, and let us pledge that there will be jobs for all who are out of work; and we will not compromise on the issue of jobs.

These are not simplistic pledges. Simply put, they are the heart of our tradition, and they have been the soul of our Party across the generations. It is the glory and the greatness of our tradition to speak for those who have no voice, to remember those who are forgotten, to respond to the frustrations and fulfill the aspirations of all Americans seeking a better life in a better land.

We dare not forsake that tradition. We cannot let the great purposes of the Democratic Party become the bygone passages of history.

We must not permit the Republicans to seize and run on the slogans of prosperity. We heard the orators at their convention all trying to talk like Democrats. They proved that even Republican nominees can quote Franklin Roosevelt to their own purpose.

The Grand Old Party thinks it has found a great new trick, but 40 years ago an earlier generation of Republicans attempted the same trick. And Franklin Roosevelt himself replied, "Most Republican leaders have bitterly fought and blocked the forward surge of average men and women in their pursuit of happiness. Let us not be deluded that overnight those leaders have suddenly become the friends of average men and women."

"You know," he continued, "very few of us are that gullible." And four years later when the Republicans tried that trick again, Franklin Roosevelt asked "Can the Old Guard pass itself off as the New Deal? I think not. We have all seen many marvelous stunts in the circus, but no performing elephant could turn a handspring without falling flat on its back."

The 1980 Republican convention was awash with crocodile tears for our economic distress, but it is by their long record and not their recent words that you shall know them.

The same Republicans who are talking about the crisis of unemployment have nominated a man who once said, and I quote, "Unemployment insurance is a prepaid vacation plan for freeloaders." And that nominee is no friend of labor.

The same Republicans who are talking about the problems of the inner cities have nominated a man who said, and I quote, "I have included in my morning and evening prayers every day the prayer that the Federal Government not bail out New York." And that nominee is no friend of this city and our great urban centers across this Nation.

The same Republicans who are talking about security for the elderly have nominated a man who said just four years ago that "Participation in social security should be made voluntary." And that nominee is no friend of the senior citizens of this Nation.

The same Republicans who are talking about preserving the environment have nominated a man who last year made the preposterous statement, and I quote, "Eighty percent of our air pollution comes from plants and trees."

And that nominee is no friend of the environment.

And the same Republicans who are invoking Franklin Roosevelt have nominated a man who said in 1976, and these are his exact words, "Fascism was really the basis of the New Deal." And that nominee whose name is Ronald Reagan has no right to quote Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The great adventures which our opponents offer is a voyage into the past. Progress is our heritage, not theirs. What is right for us as Democrats is also the right way for Democrats to win.

The commitment I seek is not to outworn views but to old values that will never wear out. Programs may sometimes become obsolete, but the ideal of fairness always endures.

Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw out our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together.

The demand of our people in 1980 is not for smaller government or bigger government but for better government. Some say that government is always bad and that spending for basic social programs is the root of our economic evils. But we reply: The present inflation and recession cost our economy $200 billion a year. We reply: Inflation and unemployment are the biggest spenders of all.

The task of leadership in 1980 is not to parade scapegoats or to seek refuge in reaction, but to match our power to the possibilities of progress. While others talked of free enterprise, it was the Democratic Party that acted and we ended excessive regulation in the airline and trucking industry and we restored competition to the marketplace. And I take some satisfaction that this deregulation was legislation that I sponsored and passed in the Congress of the United States.

As Democrats we recognize that each generation of Americans has a rendezvous with a different reality. The answers of one generation become the questions of the next generation. But there is a guiding star in the American firmament. It is as old as the revolutionary belief that all people are created equal, and as clear as the contemporary condition of Liberty City and the South Bronx.

Again and again Democratic leaders have followed that star and they have given new meaning to the old values of liberty and justice for all.

We are the party. We are the party of the New Freedom, the New Deal and the New Frontier. We have always been the party of hope. So this year let us offer new hope, new hope to an America uncertain about the present, but unsurpassed in its potential for the future.

To all those who are idle in the cities and industries of America let us provide new hope for the dignity of useful work. Democrats have always believed that a basic civil right of all Americans is their right to earn their own way. The party of the people must always be the party of full employment. To all those who doubt the future of our economy, let us provide new hope for the reindustrialization of America. And let our vision reach beyond the next election or the next year to a new generation of prosperity. If we could rebuild Germany and Japan after World War II, then surely we can reindustrialize our own nation and revive our inner cities in the 1980s.

To all those who work hard for a living wage let us provide new hope that the price of their employment shall not be an unsafe workplace and a death at an earlier age.

To all those who inhabit our land from California to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream waters, let us provide new hope that prosperity shall not be purchased by poisoning the air, the rivers and the natural resources that are the greatest gift of this continent.

We must insist that our children and our grandchildren shall inherit a land which they can truly call America the beautiful.

To all those who see the worth of their work and their savings taken by inflation, let us offer new hope for a stable economy. We must meet the pressures of the present by invoking the full power of government to master increasing prices.

In candor, we must say that the Federal budget can be balanced only by policies that bring us to a balanced prosperity of full employment and price restraint.

And to all those overburdened by an unfair tax structure, let us provide new hope for real tax reform. Instead of shutting down classrooms, let us shut off tax shelters.

Instead of cutting out school lunches, let us cut off tax subsidies for expensive business lunches that are nothing more than food stamps for the rich.

The tax cut of our Republican opponents takes the name of tax reform in vain. It is a wonderfully Republican idea that would redistribute income in the wrong direction. It is good news for any of you with incomes over $200,000 a year. For the few of you, it offers a pot of gold worth $14,000. But the Republican tax cut is bad news for the middle income families.

For the many of you, they plan a pittance of $200 a year, and that is not what the Democratic Party means when we say tax reform.

The vast majority of Americans cannot afford this panacea from a Republican nominee who has denounced the progressive income tax as the invention of Karl Marx. I am afraid he has confused Karl Marx with Theodore Roosevelt--that obscure Republican president who sought and fought for a tax system based on ability to pay. Theodore Roosevelt was not Karl Marx, and the Republican tax scheme is not tax reform.

Finally, we cannot have a fair prosperity in isolation from a fair society. So I will continue to stand for a national health insurance.

We must not surrender to the relentless medical inflation that can bankrupt almost anyone and that may soon break the budgets of government at every level. Let us insist on real control over what doctors and hospitals can charge, and let us resolve that the state of a family's health shall never depend on the size of a family's wealth.

The President, the Vice President, the members of Congress have a medical plan that meets their needs in full, and whenever senators and representatives catch a little cold, the Capitol physician will see them immediately, treat them promptly, fill a prescription on the spot. We do not get a bill even if we ask for it, and when do you think was the last time a member of Congress asked for a bill from the Federal Government?

I say again, as I have before, if health insurance is good enough for the President, the Vice President and the Congress of the United States, then it is good enough for you and every family in America.

There were some who said we should be silent about our differences on issues during this convention, but the heritage of the Democratic Party has been a history of democracy. We fight hard because we care deeply about our principles and purposes. We did not flee this struggle. We welcome the contrast with the empty and expedient spectacle last month in Detroit where no nomination was contested, no question was debated, and no one dared to raise any doubt or dissent.

Democrats can be proud that we chose a different course and a different platform. We can be proud that our party stands for investment in safe energy instead of a nuclear future that may threaten the future itself.

We must not permit the neighborhoods of America to be permanently shadowed by the fear of another Three Mile Island.

We can be proud that our party stands for a fair housing law to unlock the doors of discrimination once and for all. The American house will be divided against itself so long as there is prejudice against any American buying or renting a home.

And we can be proud that our party stands plainly and publicly and persistently for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Women hold their rightful place at our convention, and women must have their rightful place in the Constitution of the United States. On this issue we will not yield, we will not equivocate, we will not rationalize, explain or excuse. We will stand for E.R.A. and for the recognition at long last that our nation was made up of founding mothers as well as founding fathers.

A fair prosperity and a just society are within our vision and our grasp, and we do not have every answer. There are questions not yet asked, waiting for us in the recesses of the future, but of this much we can be certain because it is the lesson of all our history: Together a president and the people can make a difference. I have found that faith still alive wherever I have traveled across this land. So let us reject the counsel of retreat and the call to reaction. Let us go forward in the knowledge that history only helps those who help themselves.

There will be setbacks and sacrifices in the years ahead but I am convinced that we as a people are ready to give something back to our country in return for all it has given to us.

Let this be our commitment: Whatever sacrifices must be made will be shared and shared fairly. And let this be our confidence: At the end of our journey and always before us shines that ideal of liberty and justice for all.

In closing, let me say a few words to all those that I have met and to all those who have supported me, at this convention and across the country. There were hard hours on our journey, and often we sailed against the wind. But always we kept our rudder true, and there were so many of you who stayed the course and shared our hope. You gave your help, but even more, you gave your hearts.

Because of you, this has been a happy campaign. You welcomed Joan, me and our family into your homes and neighborhoods, your churches, your campuses, your union halls. When I think back of all the miles and all the months and all the memories, I think of you. I recall the poet's words, and I say: What golden friends I have.

Among you, my golden friends across this land, I have listened and learned.

I have listened to Kenny Dubois, a glassblower in Charleston, West Virginia, who has ten children to support but has lost his job after 35 years, just three years short of qualifying for his pension.

I have listened to the Trachta family who farm in Iowa and who wonder whether they can pass the good life and the good earth on to their children.

I have listened to the grandmother in East Oakland who no longer has a phone to call her grandchildren because she gave it up to pay the rent on her small apartment.

I have listened to young workers out of work, to students without the tuition for college, and to families without the chance to own a home. I have seen the closed factories and the stalled assembly lines of Anderson, Indiana and South Gate, California, and I have seen too many, far too many idle men and women desperate to work. I have seen too many, far too many working families desperate to protect the value of their wages from the ravages of inflation.

Yet I have also sensed a yearning for new hope among the people in every state where I have been. And I have felt it in their handshakes, I saw it in their faces, and I shall never forget the mothers who carried children to our rallies. I shall always remember the elderly who have lived in an America of high purpose and who believe that it can all happen again.

Tonight, in their name, I have come here to speak for them. And for their sake, I ask you to stand with them. On their behalf I ask you to restate and reaffirm the timeless truth of our party.

I congratulate President Carter on his victory here.

I am confident that the Democratic Party will reunite on the basis of Democratic principles, and that together we will march towards a Democratic victory in 1980.

And someday, long after this convention, long after the signs come down, and the crowds stop cheering, and the bands stop playing, may it be said of our campaign that we kept the faith. May it be said of our Party in 1980 that we found our faith again.

And may it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:

"I am a part of all that I have met....

Tho much is taken, much abides....

That which we are, we are--

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

...strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

For me, a few hours ago, this campaign came to an end. For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy - August 12, 1980

 

-Robert Francis Kennedy announcing at a campaign rally the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because...

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

(Interrupted by applause)

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

(Interrupted by applause)

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Robert F. Kennedy - April 4, 1968

Just two months later, Robert Kennedy was gunned down during a celebration following his victory in the California primary, June 5, 1968.

 

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]

-Robert Francis Kennedy announcing at a campaign rally the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because...

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

(Interrupted by applause)

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

(Interrupted by applause)

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much. (Applause)

Robert F. Kennedy - April 4, 1968

Just two months later, Robert Kennedy was gunned down during a celebration following his victory in the California primary, June 5, 1968.

 

-Senator Edward M. Kennedy eulogizes his brother, Robert F. Kennedy

Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Mr. President:

On behalf of Mrs. Kennedy, her children, the parents and sisters of Robert Kennedy, I want to express what we feel to those who mourn with us today in this Cathedral and around the world.

We loved him as a brother, and as a father, and as a son. From his parents, and from his older brothers and sisters -- Joe andKathleen and Jack -- he received an inspiration which he passed on to all of us. He gave us strength in time of trouble, wisdom in time of uncertainty, and sharing in time of happiness. He will always be by our side.

Love is not an easy feeling to put into words. Nor is loyalty, or trust, or joy. But he was all of these. He loved life completely and he lived it intensely.

A few years back, Robert Kennedy wrote some words about his own father which expresses [sic] the way we in his family felt about him. He said of what his father meant to him, and I quote: "What it really all adds up to is love -- not love as it is described with such facility in popular magazines, but the kind of love that is affection and respect, order and encouragement, and support. Our awareness of this was an incalculable source of strength, and because real love is something unselfish and involves sacrifice and giving, we could not help but profit from it." And he continued, "Beneath it all, he has tried to engender a social conscience. There were wrongs which needed attention. There were people who were poor and needed help. And we have a responsibility to them and to this country. Through no virtues and accomplishments of our own, we have been fortunate enough to be born in the United States under the most comfortable conditions. We, therefore, have a responsibility to others who are less well off."

That is what Robert Kennedy was given. What he leaves to us is what he said, what he did, and what he stood for. A speech he made to the young people of South Africa on their Day of Affirmation in 1966 sums it up the best, and I would like to read it now:

"There is discrimination in this world and slavery and slaughter and starvation. Governments repress their people; millions are trapped in poverty while the nation grows rich and wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere. These are differing evils, but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfection of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, our lack of sensibility towards the suffering of our fellows. But we can perhaps remember -- even if only for a time -- that those who live with us are our brothers; that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek -- as we do -- nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely, this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men. And surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again. The answer is to rely on youth -- not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to the obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans. They cannot be moved by those who cling to a present that is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger that come with even the most peaceful progress.

It is a revolutionary world we live in, and this generation at home and around the world has had thrust upon it a greater burden of responsibility than any generation that has ever lived. Some believe there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills. Yet many of the world's great movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant reformation; a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth; a young woman reclaimed the territory of France; and it was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the 32 year-old Thomas Jefferson who [pro]claimed that "all men are created equal."

These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. *It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.* Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. And I believe that in this generation those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe.

For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us. Like it or not, we live in times of danger and uncertainty. But they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. All of us will ultimately be judged, and as the years pass we will surely judge ourselves on the effort we have contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which our ideals and goals have shaped that event.

*The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of new ideas and bold projects. Rather it will belong to those who can blend vision, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals and great enterprises of American Society.* Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live."

That is the way he lived. That is what he leaves us.

My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

*"Some men see things as they are and say why.

I dream things that never were and say why not."

Above is a long set of passages, speeches I read from time to time to inspire to be a bit better; for I have some things of myself I could done better and can better do today...
The 1980 speech of Ted Kennedy is quite partisan for it was given at a Democratic political convention, so perhaps look beyond the partisanship, but read it for the ideas that it conveys.
 
But this evening I seek my own tone as well. I appeal to persons toward each their better nature. Look to today and for what can be done toward a better tomorrow.
 
And I ask as humbly as one man can; that we seek a more peaceful and gentle tomorrow. That is and will always be a difficult journey and a journey that need be pursued daily.
 
Let it not be about might and power, but about what is best for ourselves and more importantly, our children. President Kennedy said, "Let us not negotiate out of fear, but not fear to negotiate.
 
And in struggles for peace remain peaceful. On its own, I do know that sadly that statement may be naive.
 
But yet there comes a time when violence and hatred and anger will only be in total self-consuming...
 
And sometimes, peoples may have to give up much to get even more in return. And in compromise and acceptance of the rights of others and indeed the rights of all; great sacrifice need be made.
 
I am not about blame this night; for blame enough exists to go around. Rather it is about forgiveness and tolerance and cooperation.
 
Even in strength one may not receive all they may desire; but is not peace its own reward. 
 
Sometimes there may be those who will not allow peace though fair and even generous compromise is offered, yet those offers need first and always be made.
 
I am not so completely naive and in other moments, I do laugh and play and perhaps take too much lightly, for i would rather enjoy the smile of another, than speak of the sometimes tragic natures of life.
 
I will not speak of the harshnesses but rather of the fruits of peace. of building hope, of allowing happiness, of feeding hungry children no matter their race, creed, or location. ... of offering cures to the sick, and of tending with dignity the young and the old and the ill.
 
of respecting all faiths with the expectation that each their own faith will be respected...
 
this is what peace can help better bring. bitterness and anger will not bring these things. nations who spend too much on weapons neglect the needs of its people and force other nations to spend on weapons what should be allocated to its people.
 
there is still more than enough to share upon this planet though we have reached a time when resources need better be set aside and used with tomorrow in mind.
 
new industries and committments to preserve this world will generate even more than the rewards of cleaner air and cleaner water and cleaner lands.
 
in peace and cooperation, the task to preserve our world and its resources will be easier to obtain. we owe to our children both a cleaner and a safer world. we would expect our children to give their children the same birthright of a cleaner and safer world. in conflict we cannot do rightly this and only in peace can we better do it as it should be done.
 
I know of the cynicism and of the pains that make these hopes and dreams difficult to obtain. and yet through the hazes, whether real or recalled or imagined, i know rainbows exist though i cannot hold a rainbow in my hand, as is with a dream i can try to hold each in my heart...