Friday, April 27, 2007

Petraeus = Truth?

General Petraeus has told Congress and reporters that we will have U.S. troops in Iraq for a very long time. The implication is that regardless of who occupies the White House on January 21, 2009, we will be there.

Petraeus is the first general who has the administration's support for a larger troop deployment in Iraq.

Would the White House had done sufficient planning before setting out on this adventure.

Would the Congress, regardless of the party in power in the administration, had done its Constitutional duty in oversight.

Trust, but verify.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Genocide or Fruits of War?

On page A18 of The Los Angeles Times, 4/23/07, the Turkish embassy presents a full page ad, "Let's Unearth the Truth about What Happened in 1915 Together."

It calls for "a joint commission of historians [from Turkey and Armenia] which will also be open to third parties.

The ad also gives the embassy's website: for further information.

A visit to the website eventually brought up this quote,
from a "Statement by Turkish Ambassador Nabi Şensoy on the PBS Program "The Armenian Genocide" which was released on April 18, 2006, "Turkey itself has pursued the facts via numerous collaborative efforts. Last year, Prime Minister Erdoğan issued an unprecedented proposal to Armenian President Kocharian for an impartial study of the matter through the establishment of a joint historical commission, a landmark opening that has yet to receive a favorable response."

If Turkey is offering to participate in such an historical review, then the U.S. should support such a venture.

This seems like a good time to exercise "trust, but verify."

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

"A Cancer on the Presidency"

John Dean's famous warning to President Nixon made the connection between the insidious growth of cancer and the corruption of the Nixon administration in the 1970's.

Logo is broadcasting Paragraph 175 this week. It's part of their "evolution in visible" series. Paragraph 175 illustrates the insidious growth of anti-gay attitudes in Nazi Germany in the 1930's.

Watching the film in 2007 gives one an eerie feeling of deja vu. Are we losing, incrementally, our freedoms today?

People who trust implicitly in the government should watch this film. It graphically demonstrates the truth of "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

Paragraph 175, released in 2002, interviews survivors of Nazi Germany's campaign against homosexuals in the 1930's. Several male survivors of prisons and concentration camps told their stories. The one lesbian in the film managed to escape to England; she was the only surviving member of her Jewish family.

A theme throughout the movie is the repetition of how quickly the Nazis managed to squelch the budding gay life in Berlin and destroy the research done by Magnus Hirsch's group.

And each of these people saw signs of the approaching disaster but paid little attention to them. And their non-gay friends quickly became indifferent to their suffering.

"It can't happen here."

It could. Verify the truthfulness of government leaders. Is the administration fostering our common weal or one it deems in its own best interest?

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Sam and Andrew Show--Winding Down?

Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan have been engaging in an exchange which debates faith and religion. Beliefnet carries it.

Frankly, I find it to be a bit tiresome and futile. Much electronic "ink" has been spilled, and, as Sullivan writes today, "Perhaps, then, Sam, we have talked as much as we fruitfully can" it's time to move on.

No one asked, but here's my take on it: 1) We exist; 2) Something caused us to become; 3) We don't know what that something is; 4) The anthropomorphization of that something has caused untold miseries because that anthropomorphization has allowed all human strengths and foibles to somehow become endowed with an element of divinity. Jealousy is deified, pettiness is deified, anger is deified, revenge is deified.

When religionists speak of blasphemy of others, their tongues should fall out of their heads.

Sorry, Andrew; this is one place where one might certainly trust, but it is impossible to verify.

Sorry, Sam; as long as you write, which proves that someone using your name exists, something caused you to exist.

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