Monday, November 30, 2009

Banning Religion

Swiss voters recently approved banning Islamic minarets: referendum support for the ban was 57.5%.

I live very near a large Christian church. Repeatedly the bells toll for off-hour celebrations - nothing to do with my life. It would be easiest to say: quiet them bells; forbid celebration. But instead I hope that people are enjoying & celebrating life. Yes, baptisms and christenings are a bit noisy, as are call to prayer and Bar Mitzvah celebrations, but that's the joy of community.

This news simply shows that 57.5% of Swiss are shrewish & small-minded...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pashtun Palin?

The USA should disengage from Afghanistan & Iraq. We've imposed foreign troops serving distant politicians. We'll never bring stability or security to the region; our chosen local warlords will probably depart with the "Coalition of the Willing" -- to enjoy new lives in Florida or Switzerland. It is foolish, presumptuous, even criminal that we have taken over so much in these ancient lands. We follow the Soviets in Afghanistan, ignobly rejected - quick withdrawal will save many lives.

Obama, even if reelected to a second term, will not fix these nations. Will we next have President Palin, as with Baby Bush, pretending expertise on ancient Babylon, Kandahar, and the Hindu Kush? Better the USA stop sacrificing its soldiers, and save its money to spend at home.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall

Twenty years ago when the Berlin Wall was broached, the end of the Cold War and German reunification were positive steps for humanity.

Can we dream of a future when Israel's Apartheid Wall will be dismantled?

Peaceful transition is unlikely to come through rational argument; hardliners on both sides of the Wall stifle the doubts and voices of moderates. Progress toward peace is avoided while elements aimed at expanding a Zionist homeland enjoy key funding flows from the USA. The Israeli High Court and the World Court have condemned much of the Wall's construction through the West Bank. Violence generates more violence, at huge cost. Squatter settlements multiply; the displaced grow militant; extremists dominate most debate. Mr. Obama, Tear Down This Wall!