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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Victory, Defeat, and Leadership fortitude in uncertain difficulties

As an ardent sports fan , I could not help but sometimes attempt to asses a leader’s style , and even effectiveness through a sports lens . There is a certain predictability during smooth moments like victory in a competitive match, a political campaign duel, , or race to win a business lobbying effort. Expect to see some magnanimity in a few , and cockiness, and or ungraciousness toward the losers for other. Defeat brings on similar behaviors. A certain level of hand wringing , anger , and finger pointing by some , as opposed to introspections , grit , determination and optimism about opportunities to ultimately excel by others. It is however in the challenging and uncertain times that one get’s a chance to see the mettle of real leadership globally. No where has this been more vivid than within the historical annals of American Presidential politics.
Join me as we try to give a grade or passing mark to a few noteworthy political leaders that were either tested or was fortunate to avoid and meaningful challenge. For it to work you must work with me on a theory I am using as my base. It is that the sports one plays or adored is an indication as to how one would deal with issues down the road when confronted with deadly , eminent threats and other catastrophes. Let’s see how it worked through the years with a few modern American Presidents.
Richard I am a crook Nixon was an ardent bowler made courageous moves as he pushed ping - pong diplomacy with arch enemy Red China , as well as ended the extremely controversial Viet Nam war during his term of office. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/pingpong.html
Without these early preambles China would not have emerged into the global pseudo capitalist democracy that it is today, where non regulated business , and blatant human rights atrocities are the norm.
Gerald Ford had a tough time as President due in part to his daily physical and political fumbles. He was however an extra special footballer, with pro capabilities , which he ignored for public service . He took over the country during one of it’s worse economic recessions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford He was condemned for granting a Presidential pardon to Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal and deserves an A - for leadership for standing up to principles and being a real team player when it was not popular. His position during the 1976 health crisis was unpopular and politically disastrous. http://www.salon.com/env/feature/2009/04/28/1976_swine_flu/
The two Bushes and Ronald Reagan were ardent Baseball fans and dabbled in the game in some form during some stage of their lives. This sport has been rocked with cheating scandals and numerous problems over the years and the three leaders were no exception when it comes to stewardships. Reagan is undeservingly credited for ending the Iran hostage crisis , as well as ending the Cold War. http://thedemocraticdaily.com/2007/12/07/a-pearl-harbor-day-shout-out-to-ronald-reagan/
He was given a pass for his complicit roles in breaching US laws re the embarrassing drug for guns Iran Contra scandal , and introduction of Voodoo economics via deregulations as aptly described by his successor and VP G. H. Bush. http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0825447.html
Bush senior in turn took credit for personally defeating Saddam in Kuwait , but escaped criticisms for the prosecution of the CIA created Noriega -a head of state -after kidnapping him from Panama. http://wonkette.com/231611/free-at-last-almost-noriega-will-be-released#more-231611 C+ grades are all I’ll give to both for efforts.
G. W Bush had two major test of his skills and on both occasion failed miserably . The first was September 11th 2001. Who can forget the devastating sight of a plane crashing into the sides of the New York City’s WTS ,juxtaposed with the President reading a story book upside down for a Florida Primary School as the world cringe , and Terrorist bare their fangs at the world’s last remaining Superpower? Katrina was not the best moment for the President , but got it correct when a similar hurricane hit his brother’s state in Florida. http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2005/09/15/george-bush-takes-responsibility-for-katrina-failure-sort-of/
Those two efforts should be given a D.
Basketball aficionado Barrack is a work in progress , but has held up thus far under pressure , like a top draft pick point guard in his first playoffs game. During his first 100 day he confronted Somalians pirates with AK47’s and rocket launchers , savvy Iran and North Korea , as well as a dangerous flu epidemic that’s lurking. Don’t forget the inheritance of two ill advised wars in Asia and Middle East. Harry Truman ended world War 11 and saved millions of American military lives when he authorize the dropping of the first two atomic bombs that destroyed two cities and murdered 200,000 Japanese. (Milton Terris, Nuclear Warhead Triggers, (Journal of Public Health Policy, Vol. 23, No. 4. (2002), p. 506.) This President today would never be forgiven if he dared to commit what social historians honestly viewed as blatant acts of state terrorism against innocent civilians . A grade should be forthcoming in time.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Mexican mask for Dime :- Montezuma’s revenge or Non regulated Capitalist Dream ?

“I just purchase this mask for a dime in Mexico City," claimed the proud ,and grateful man as he grinned for the CNN camera and journalist questioner . We then listened to the glamorous journalist joke dismissively about the futility in trying to protect oneself from swine flue by using such devices. Better yet, “more people die yearly from the common cold across America ,than can ever do with this animal disease claimed CNN head health guru Dr. Sanjay Gupta ,as he too did his part to lend his expertise so as to reassure a worried nation , along with the rest of the world.
http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/


Not surprisingly ,the loud mouth ideologues on both side of the 4th Estate divide , immediately began to capitalize on the pending global tragedy by doing their part on behalf of both political party by throwing blame. http://michellemalkin.com/2009/04/27/of-course-swine-flu-is-all-the-evil-gops-fault/
http://www.frugal-cafe.com/public_html/frugal-blog/frugal-cafe-blogzone/2009/04/27/swine-flu-outbreak-should-we-blame-george-w-bush/ Can gridlock now get a rest in Washington , to enable a coherent Obama policy via the nomination of a HHS Secretary ? Perhaps not , as changes are difficult in politics, especially for the world’s greatest democracy. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/147586.php



The CDC apparently is fighting a loosing battle attempting to reassure the people that all is fine. Should we take their words as gospel after Mad Cow Disease (BSE), SARSs,and other pandemics that threatened the USA . http://medicalcrises.blogspot.com/
One should just not treat lightly the few suspected cases of swine flue in NYC . I would leave it to the skeptics that think it’s the worked for kids that wish for a day off or border state immigrant phobic governors and officials at work . They are quick to add that food is not the issue as stocks pummel from Tyson and other food industries. The pharmaceutical vaccine industry is doing well according to the news, as desperate folks run for drugs to save their health from any pending problems. The travel industry is in a tailspin. No more Cancun escapades ? Two weeks ago American were worried about visiting Mexico due to the influx of guns and the uncontrollable state of criminal enterprises. Americans are cautioning travels to and from Mexico , but worried over Europeans temptations to do the same for the USA. Containment however seems impossible according to WHO officials. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30398682/
http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/features/health/20090427_ap_swineflupromptseuwarningontraveltous.html


Mexican officials begged for sensitivity and help for the social plight of their citizens due to the actions of successful gun dealers ,but to no avail. I am certain that some might want to look at Washington for help on this global problem. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn7261 I won’t hold my breath if I were any of the 20 million of its major city that are grabbing a mask ten dimes. America got a bigger problem to deal with and it is not in Huston like the Tom Hanks space movie, but all around America as the construction of the walls continues unabated - or perhaps one of it’s many border states still wishes to secede. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/politics/
This is certainly not the kind of news that the global economy was hoping for I am certain. Perhaps the new President was on to something when he became one of only five President in 100 years to visit Mexico . The skeptics are feeling vindicated due to sudden demise of one of Mexico’s top officials Felipe Solis, who gave President Obama a personal tour of one of it‘s historical sites. http://cryptogon.com/?p=8223
Let see if multilateral efforts are going to become the norm as we try to halt the devastating fall out effects. http://www.newscientist.com/topic/epidemic
Most importantly however is the following pertinent question. Can America continue to neglect it’s global responsibilities to be a moral leader in the pursuit of a ‘war on unchecked capitalist greed’ particularly in developed, emerging, and developing states throughout the world ? I believe that t is now time for the President to redefine the concept of “National Interest.” A first step is strengthening the efforts of global multilateral organizations ? Anyone disagree with this view?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Knowledge, dreams ,& the quest for power?

“The Mouse dream dreams that would terrify the Cat.”
Anonymous


As a kid growing up , I had the unfortunate , or perhaps good fortune like the present President of the United States, of not having a father in my life to mold my character and teach me the basic everyday things that are important for my wholesome development. Like him once more, I had to depend on the actions and support of a few members of the extended family. In my case it was my wonderful Grandmother ,and to a great extent a special uncle . To them both I’ll be forever grateful. Just for the record , I did not have a PhD mom that would read to me four hours per day before I go to a lofty private school ., neither did I posses a 400 inch , 5000 channel flat screen TV , and access to the world via sophisticated broad band internet services. However, I made the most as I could in terms of education , via the judicious uses of wholesome books I could glean from the local library, and so was able to come through those early years in one non- dysfunctional piece full of hopes and dreams like any special upper middle class crust kid would.
Books therefore have always played an integral part in most of my education over the decades , and I always enjoyed passing as gifts to others a book or quote from one that I find appealing or might have influenced my thinking in some fashion. Often times the books you give , though done with good intentions, might not always produce the desired effects that you anticipated. Here are a few of what some might now be considered as hilarious examples.
When my eldest son was I believe 14 , I gave him a book by one of America’s first and most successful entrepreneurs , Mr. Reginal Lewis. The book was entitled ,“Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?'': How Reginald Lewis Created a Billion-Dollar Business Empire.” Well , what can I say, but my intentions were noble , I dreamt of planting the seeds of an idea for a substantial piece of the American Pie from within my family , with this motivational mechanism. You guessed it, my son never even tried to read a single page, and this book was left to garner dust in a storage bin. Two years later I gave him a book by Sanyika Shakur entitled Monster: The Autobiography of an L. A. Gang Member. Interestingly enough , that 379 page book was devoured in perhaps 48 hours. Since I am not a social scientist, I prefer not to speculate as to why such was the case . Ok ,I cannot help myself ,and would suggest that perhaps it’s due to the strong influences of urban city culture, and glorification of gang violence by the media via the successful movies Scarface and the Godfathers trilogies .

About two years ago ,I gave a lonely ,and often angry female a book for her birthday entitled “Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time” by Keith Ferrazzi . In this book the master networking pro laid out a sound blueprint that winners and successful people used as they reach out and connect with others and strive to achieve goals and dreams. Unfortunately, the young lady in question , misconstrued my motives particularly based on the title and opted to shy away from me for almost a year , perhaps as she felt that I had some personal romantic interest in her, and therefore the gift was a subtle ploy.
In my first job as a young police officer a few moons ago, I gave one of my bosses a book that I enjoyed reading very much. It was entitled The Peter Principle : Why Things Always Go Wrong , and was written by Lawrence J Peter. It was a book that focus on issues such as incompetence, in efficiency and how the negative effects of bureaucracy can stifle organization’s performances. In the security trade we often speak about rookie mistakes , and let’s just say that this was my first.

Just yesterday, I got me two lovely books from Barnes & Nobles that I think might be useful in these recessionary times . These were, Rules of Thumbs by Alan M. Webber co Founder of Fast Company Magazine, and Paul Zane Pilzer , Economist and bestselling author of “The Next Trillion & The wellness revolution.” The names speaks for themselves, and I look forward to reading and absorbing most.
Don’t worry friends or kids , these are for my personal uses. I have a dream myself.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Change and the Threat of Fear

"Change is a Math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.C(SQ)>R(C)."
Alan M. Webber
Cofounder ,Fast Company Magazine


Believe it or not , there is a new spirit of change enveloping most of Washington and it just might catch on not only on Pennsylvania avenue but the fifty states across America and even the rest of the intransigent globe. It is obvious that the President is bugged down by the astronomical , chaotic ,financial mess , as well as some might dare say two mammoth , pointless, unmanageable wars , that he inherited from the Cheney / George Bush administration . I make no apologies for referring to the previous government as such , since one was in little doubt as to who really was in charge and or controlling the entire agenda during the past eight unfortunate years . Dick Cheney ,the sometimes straight shoot shooter - particularly when quail hunting on 78 year old friend’s South Texas ranch- not too far from Crawford.http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/12/cheney

So now you have a new point guard in town , that can shoot with some level of accuracy ,and he is prepared to lead the country in a new direction with minimal directives from misguided coaches or co captains with the mindset of a dinosaur . I refer to this as welcome change.
When compared to our other friends from the animal kingdom, humans can be as complex as they come ,especially when it comes to change. It is more noticeable in us adults , as kids are often more adventurous due to perhaps naivety which is a result of inexperience and innocence- but that‘s a different subject. Politicians are definitely at the top of the food chain when it comes to this stubborn character flaw.
Let me do a lead up : - Put a man in jail for 50 years and he comes out with the same bad habits he entered with - no change. Take a parrot or a wolf from the wild , and work your magic , and in quick time the former is soon quoting entire chapters of Shakespeare verbatim , while the latter can evolve into a sweet ,compliant, Shih Tzu companion dog. Evident changes.
Humans as a whole love changing some things however , but are reluctant for others . We often change houses, spouses, shoes, clothes, cars, food , jobs ,and the list goes on. However on the areas that matter for most many , particular Americans ,it can become a bit sticky.
These are Political beliefs , religious attitudes , racial and ethnic prejudices , and this list can also go on . The irony is that some occasions the perpetrators are operating unconsciously without even being aware as to what they are doing or the effects of their actions. These can be forgiven ,as there might be some hope. How about the folks that through fear or otherwise are reluctant to change , even when the results can be detrimental to their self interest , should we be concerned?
They tend to be loud in their cries and well aided by certain segments of the complicit corporate media . Do not touch the 2nd amendment and my guns, even if daily the sad results are most evident for even the blind to see. Let’s bomb Iran as their mad leader hates us and wishes Israel and all our loving Sunni Arab and Turkish Muslim friends harm. No to enemy Castro, No to the bombastic nutcase Chavez . Better yet, we should build a wall across every border and costal area to keep not only Mexicans , but all immigrants . This President has made us more unsafe in 100 days, than any President in the past said the former VP http://www.zimbio.com/Vice+President+Dick+Cheney
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itgnqdaMfII


He must fail and I am all for it said one loud mouth Conservative pit-bull with a 300 million radio contract and 20 million gullible followers one pay check above the poverty line. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egAvLJcfa-4

Let us the conscious progressives , continue to stay focus , as well as engaged , and coalesce into meaningful partnerships to enhance common interest . Never should any allow fear- particularly of the unknown - inhibited our drive for change.
The results for the adoption of this new attitude and spirit can be amazing as I hope to indicate over time via this excellent ,democratic medium. My first task is to try and formulate a new interpretation of the national interest. Secondly it is to put a more viable blueprint to act as a bridge across the global North / South divide- Stay tuned.
Your humble voice of reason.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Socialism’s death, New age Capitalist ,& growing quest for Security via Nuclear Technology

Can anyone remember a time when your political ideology could have guaranteed your removal from office, and the wrath of one of the two rival superpowers? Seems as if we can now say with confidence that those days are long behind us when in 1989 America became ‘First amongst Equal’ - to steal the title of Jeffery Archer‘s book. Can anyone remember him? He was one of many of British arch conservative pit-bulls for the Iron lady Margaret Thatcher . He was more famous as the author that enjoyed living vicariously through his own plots that mirrored the lives of some of his book characters ,particularly as it deals with sexual dalliances with street walkers, and under cover ladies in red knickers , that today might rival an unnamed former, reckless, New York Governor that claimed to hate Wall Street at one time . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Archer
But I digress, for to be a player today , you have to operate under a much different guise. As a country you must possess huge untapped quantities of vital resources of critical importance to others , and have in power an unpredictable , sometimes controversial ,bombastic leader with the required skills to manipulate segments of the gullible international corporate media to his own advantage where necessary. It would not hurt if such a leader threatens to go nuclear with the help of another potential hegemonic rival to the USA , or wishes to tweak things a bit strategically to gain some advantage where still appropriate. .Enter stage right, left, and center , Venezuela, Iran and North Korea.


Hugo Chavez became a torn in the side of the USA from the time he hung up his military spurs to become a political player while using his vast reserve of oil and gas to his own advantage. As former MBA President Mr Bush together with Nato Europe made overtures to finally surround Russia with nuclear friendly allies from former Eastern block states such as Poland, as well as break away rivals of the once mighty USSR ,powerless Russia is doing the same in her backyard and finds Chavez a useful friend much to the chagrin of Brazil and Argentina. Quite a lot is at stake , like for example military arms “contracts worth over $US 4 billion for Russian weapons and … plans to buy more.” “the formation of a strategic alliance in the energy sector,” between Chavez and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. As much as Washington might be worried on loosing out on this lucrative small arms partnership between Russia and Venezuela, what is causing consternation is the potential nuclear partnership, and possible consequences.
Since Russia prime minister Vladimir Putin plans to make Venezuela and relations with Latin America a top priority, can our new President be forgiven for reaching out this week to the crafty former military leader Chavez in the recently concluded Conference of the America? He has certainly taken some domestic flack for shaking the hands of the man that called a former Commander in Chief the devil . His biggest crime today was to make Oprah Winfrey into a second rate book promoter when compared. Imagine that he gave the President a book as a gift that shot up on the Amazon best sellers chart from 54, 295 to number 2 in less than three days. If this is not a New World Order , then tell me what is.

http://www.america-russia.net/eng/news/198298220
The shenanigans of North Korea are legendary from father to now aging son so no need to dwell on the poor desperate nation , whose leader’s disjointed behavior could soon make former nuclear obsessed and power hungry terror supporter Colonel Muammar al- Qaddafi of Libya , look like much beloved Abe Lincoln to Americans if he continues in the vein he is pursuing against UN inspection teams.
This leaves us with Iran. They say they want peaceful energy to satisfy the needs of its growing population , America and Israel says that they support terrorism and wishes to destroy the world. Muhammed Shimi, Force to Fuel, Harvard International Review Cambridge: Win. Vol. 26. Iss.4, p.42-45(4pp.)
Please stay tune to the political soap opera, and remember an election is due in June ,as the Iranian President denounced Israel as the most racist country in the world - and yes they still want to acquire peaceful nuclear energy. According to a recent UN 2205 Non Proliferation Treaty review, nuclear energy is accountable for 16% of the world’s electricity in 30 countries including 7 developing ones. http://www.un.org/events/npt2005/statements/npt02iaea.pdf
Should oil rich Venezuela or Iran as well as energy starved North Korea be allowed to pursue peaceful nuclear energy as stipulated by the NPT ?Should we be concerned between any potential relationships between Iran and Venezuela where trade grew between the two countries from approximately $1 million in 2004 to over $50 million in 2006? How should growing and or continued close relationship between Russia and Venezuela, or China and North Korea be interpreted to mean for Nuclear security and proliferation? http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=22568&prog=zgp&proj=znpp

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Things That make you go Ummmm

In a sometimes crazy , sometimes convoluted global village, or as a few prefer s to still refer to it -our world. There are new and old social and political realities that make you cringe in horror. I would attempt to list a few. The first as recently laid out by officials in the Homeland Security Department is that Terrorism is getting a boost and not from the usual dangerous foreign suspects that you were always led to believe or accept. The data reveals that thousand of returning veterans are being actively recruited by local right wing extremist groups to target immigrants and pro-abortion advocates ,and organizations in much the same manner that the diabolical , villainous , misguided monster Timothy Timothy McVeigh of Oklahoma bombing fame had done. Having a first African American president elected in the history of the country seems to be an important factor in shaping the thinking of these groups . In light of the murder of the first Irish American President , does one care to guess why ?

With regards to Mexico even a five year old can evidently see that NAFTA is an obvious failure. The cross border walls are still being constructed between the two countries, yet drastic increases in North /South small arms weapons are continuing unabated , and even increased with the blessings of the powerhouse lobbyist organization NRA. As thousand of Mexicans are being murdered daily, and lives of American border officials and regular citizens are threatened should there be concerns about terrorism , and the role played by a few unsavory business conglomerates in aiding and abetting same? Perhaps it is these and similar concerns that prompted President Obama to reach out via a visit to Mexico , thus making him one of five US President in 100 years to honor Mexicans with his presence.

One of the prime reasons why terrorism can never be eradicated in the short term is simply because there are no globally accepted agreements on a coherent definition . How about street gangs that are known to terrorize poor , distressed urban neighborhoods daily? Can they too be tacitly be encouraged by influential elements to help further political agendas?

I am an optimist , and looks positively into the future in the hope that good sense would soon prevail in the thinking of fellow human beings , as sustainable security becomes a distinct possibility and we keep terrorist at bay.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/14/homeland-security-warns-rise-right-wing-extremism/
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2230651/posts

http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/131354/concern_grows_in_the_u.s._that_the_drug_war_is_destablizing_mexico/?page=entire



http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/sandia/terrorism_gang_analogy.pdf

http://www.sonic.net/~rvasq/Gang_To_Terrorist.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auqRgzuLaK8

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peace as an Ideal

I made a promise to myself to one day do one of three things . The first was to reread two bestselling books that crossed my part some years ago. These were ,former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw’s ‘The Greatest Generation’ as well as Big Russ and Me, by the late and extremely well loved, and objective journalist Tim Russert. Both books were tributes to people of that often neglected generation that made yeoman sacrifices for their countries , then returned home to a respectful , grateful nation which in turn ensured that they become useful in the process of development of families and nation. It expanded on challenges , triumphs, tragedies ,pains, fears ,expectations, and necessary courage that was sometimes required for what can be considered as survival as Americans help liberate Europe to make into the global powerhouse it is today.
The second was to start to interview a few modern veterans primarily from Iraq, and Afghanistan , to see how they've thrived , and feel about wars and conflicts that they are asked to participate in.
The third was to converse with a few of the wonderful folks and unsung heroes that are not fortunate to have a Larry King Interview when they return from the dangerous front , or a purple heart for a grieving relative after similar exploits in distressful places across the globe. I am referring of course to the boys and girls in 'symbolic blue' as I like to refer to them , that work for the Global Institution called the United Nations.
Many should remember it of course , as it was created out of the ashes of the two major World Wars in Europe and parts of Asia.
The stated objectives as we might recall was to prevent similar political and military problems or chaos across the globe as that which almost destroyed Europe forever , when some misguided few attempted to make half the world speak German or Italian, while the other perhaps Japanese.
My research was able to unearth the unfortunate facts which are that as late as 1994, estimated figures indicated that some 22 million lives were destroyed in some 291 of global conflicts.(John Simpson, Nuclear Non-Proliferation in the Post-Cold War Era, International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol. 70, No. 1. (Jan., 1994), pp. 17-39.) Not surprisingly many of these are based in states in the Global South and in numerous countries that were not even in existence politically, when the UN was created.
I am working fervently on a list of questions that I want to ask, of them, as I strive to do a comparative analysis of an evolving world that went from the Atomic Bomb, transitioned through the Cold War that ended in 1989, and of course the present two major ever threatening military debacles and similar often neglected politically tumultuous hotspots. Am I the only one who believe that peace and full human security -as an ideal -can be achieved for all ,in like manner to what occurred in Europe and Japan led Asia? Save the stories and exploits guys , for I’ll be coming at you .

Square Pegs in Round Holes

“Beware of a man with nothing to loose.”


Anonymous



One can not help but be ecstatic about Sunday’s rescue efforts of a very courageous American ship captain Richard Phillips, by US Navy Seals snipers along the coast of Somalia . The scene almost look too good to be true, and reminds one of one of the numerous Hollywood over the top plots , that emanated from a Tom Clancy novel or script. Our new President has made the rounds successfully across the globe from Europe to the Middle East . His voice is resonating quite loud and clear on the tenuous nuclear situation in North Korea, and Iran, as well as the military calamitous forays in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is on the verge of embarking on the highly anticipated Summit of Americas in the beautiful democratic island of Trinidad and Tobago, where Cuba’s economic fortunes might just be about to get a long over due and much deserved boost due to his tentative shift in policy. However, there has been almost complete silence on the Virgin Continent of Africa even if both have undergone two of the longest civil wars in the history of mankind , and genocide is as common as the President doing a lay up on the Whitehall basketball court ,and Michelle posing for photographers in another stunning outfit as she continually pretend to be unperturbed by the famous fashion legacy of much adored Jackie O Kennedy.

This situation promises to change drastically if desperate Somalians have anything to say about it. They are somehow prepared to remind the slick talking campaigning President that Africa is still relevant, and if he wants to get his own coronation as a future African tribal king like first black President Bill Clinton, then he has to focus a bit on distant neglected relatives in Africa. This unfortunately dear friends, is what terrorism translates to in our modern era, as it is not only manifested by suicide bombings , and sophisticated engineering feats masterminded by MIT and Oxford final years Asian or Arab elite students.

I could not help but be amused though confused by the remarks of a so call terrorism security expert as he responded to a journalist as to how the President should deal with the Somalia terrorist aka pirates. Well, let’s just say that the only things he felt short of recommending to our President was to direct an entire battalion to Somalia , and reinitiate the much dreaded military draft . He was so outraged at the President for kissing the ring of the Queen of England, and the feet of the Saudi King, that he felt the time was almost necessary to bring out the firepower and end this soft kissing diplomatic yuppie affair with American haters across the globe. He took great pains however to remind the world - and here is the shocker- that what is transpiring along Somalia’s border by these non -state actors was not terrorism but piracy.

To me therein lies the fundamental problem. It’s what I like to call loosely the ‘square peg in round hole syndrome,’ where by tenuous leaders along with so called experts are entrusted with the power to make critical decisions of global significance ,but are failing daily in their duties. No one seems to be capable of fully defining concepts anymore- even the folks that should know better. 800,000 Rwandans died in central Africa a decade or more ago, and no one lifts a finger because of quibbling in the corridors of power as to what constitutes genocide. 10,000 die in Europe ,and swift action was taken against Yugoslavian breakaway leaders by the Clinton regime. Fortunately the newly appointed Dr. Rice can get a chance to rectify that wrong this time around as she sits on the very same pinnacle of power.

A final example to prove my point is the case of North Korea and Iran. The media is saturated by so call experts primarily of a military and hard core theoretical nature, that daily demands that America get into a war mode to prevent nuclear terrorism from getting a boost via the efforts of these two countries. What are the alleged crimes of the energy deficient North Korea , and perennially threatened Iran , as both jockey for position after years of stagnant economic progress , due to political isolations , and economic sanctions? They are often characterized as rogue states - a terminology that was once directed at Libya. They prefer to believe that they are in full compliance of the entire Non Proliferation Treaty tenets.

Let’s commend President Obama for his steady leadership thus far , for not embarking on any hasty political action , as he tries to maneuver along the extremely dangerous and distracting political landscape, where the desperate would use any means at their disposal to garner attention and highlight historically menacing plights . The world is happy to be deprived of those bombastic speech reading shenanigans about global evil vagabonds, and miscreants in savage continents ,solely concerned with destroying the way of life of selective segments of the global village. Is this an indication that the pieces are finally falling into place, and we have shifted the pieces around to prevent the continual fallouts of placing ‘square pegs in round hold ? We should wait and see , but never fail to keep an eye on so called experts with narrow , and often hidden agendas, correct?



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Sixteen years ago former USSR citizens Leonid and Tatyana Timoshenko , brought their nine year old son Russel Timoshenko to the United States , and like million others through the centuries , sought a better life for him and the rest of the family . They clearly thought that he was on the verge of achieving this goal when he decided to become a New York City police officer four credits short of a BA degree in economics from City University CUNY. These hopes were however dashed when his precious life was cut shot at the hands of gun toting criminals on July 9, 2007.
Officer Russel Timoshenko stood little chance as two bullets got him in the face , with one lodging in his spine as he desperately held on for five days before finally dying, leaving his distraught parents to bury him. So much did this tragedy dragged at the heart strings of neighborhood members, that on July 20, mourners stretched for 10 blocks on Flatbush Avenue, to give the young American a hero's funeral.
The irony about death is that it can sneak up when one least expects, with guns often at the forefront of the mayhem . This is more so the case for immigrants. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/04/binghamton-new-york-gunman-shooting Who can forget the several regular Joe computer annalist on the 20th floor of the World Trade Center in 2001 , or an innocent Brazilian trying to get to the subway in London when London police pounce with drawn guns because they claim to suspect that you are a terrorist.
How about 23 year old African Guinean native Amadou Bailo Diallo? He was shot 41 times on Feburary 4th 1999 by four lain clothes polices that insinuated that he fit the descriptions of a serial rapist. In February 25, 2000,they were all acquitted.
Then there is the famous former nurse Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy -the very staunch advocate of gun-control laws. She got her foray into politics when in 1993 her husband was killed and her son severely injured by Jamaican mass murderer Colin Ferguson as he opened random fire on unarmed passengers, killing six and wounding 19 others in the process.
From Virginia Tech College , to Columbine High unprovoked gun violence has wrecked havocked in schools and public institutions across America. Not to be forgotten are the thousands of rural and urban inner city young people that are daily caught in the cross fire of gang related gun violence .Not surprisingly ,law enforcement officers that must confront these situations, like New York finest Russel Timoshenko did , are forced to take a tough line approach that pit them against communities that they are expected to protect.
Gun control continues to be hotly debated in a country that find itself at a cross road with regards to the passage of stricter gun control laws , as opposed to freedom by citizens to benefit from the Second Amendment that allows gun ownership.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution Text
One of my main concern is to see how folks handle a crisis that has impacted negatively on their lives. Carolyn McCarthy is a stand out , and has been a strong champion for anti gun laws and curbing the efforts of the powerful NRA. Likewise Tatyana Timoshenko, is doing her part to put pressure on states such as Virginia and 38 others that have soft gun laws can allow residents even with proper ID to freely obtain weapons like the one that killed her son. She has joined New York‘s Mayor in his political crusade to put pressures on politicians in the south to tighten up on weapons laws that are creating havoc in his city and similar ones, and has even started three organizations and used some of his vast fortunes to place ads in the are to help spread his message. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/04/13/2009-04-13_mayor_slams_va_gov_in_ad.html
It is unfortunate sometimes to see American that are callous to the point of not showing remorse or empathy for a family that lost a child through gun violence. Perhaps it’s because of the frequency of gun murders, that the population has become num and callus when it comes to reactions.http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090405/NEWS08/904050393/-1/RSS05 Ever so often however, something tragic occurs to some one that fails to fit a particular profile and a bit more sympathy ad positive reaction comes into play . The Brady Handgun Law was such , due to a 1983 tragedy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brady_Handgun_Violence_Prevention_Act
One would hope that it would not continually require personal catastrophes for political actions to happen. http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/reports/exporting-gun-violence.pdf One would hope that the outrage that occasionally occur against sleeping politicians and US domestic Gun manufactures , as well as competing European, and Asian counterparts . Many have made billions from the sale of small arms weapons to developing countries and the falls out have been devastating. http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_785.html The effects of small arms on the lives of adults and children have been very huge , but no more so than in Africa. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/1999/04/990430-africa1.htm Latin America and the Mexican border states are also in the bulls eye when it comes to illicit gun sales, and the rhetoric has been extremely high on both sides of the divide of Gun- control advocates ,verses Gun- rights groups , with either side unwilling to budge. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-mexico-guns_avilaapr05,0,3727945.story.
From Congo in the South to Liberia and Serra Leone in the West , across to Sudan , Ethiopia and Somalia in the East the AK 47 and other western manufactured weapons are continually taking their tolls with limited outraged and sympathy by citizens of the rich industrial countries. Where is the empathy , can justifiably enquire?
What is responsible for such one might enquire? Tune in to any media outlets , and with few exceptions you will be saturated with news about the dangers of possible Nuclear proliferation, where as illicit trade of small arms receive very little attention. Can one expect a serious shift in attitudes as the wins of change continues to be felt in Washington , and similar quarters across the globe? http://www.iansa.org/
Give me your oil ,diamonds , Uranium and other precious resources seem to be the dominant new globalization mantra . What’s your stand, and how can the focus and debate change based on the results ? http://www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/salw.html

Monday, April 6, 2009

Brinkmanship vs. Minority Power posturing

There is nothing so illuminating than to observe the actions of a new American President as he attempts to establish his credentials , and so position his country as the global political power house top dog that many still enjoy believing that she still is. In like manner , one can almost find it laughable as one observe nations, and regional leaders jockey for attention to prove that they are relevant and deserving of equal attention over the next four to eight years that said President might be fortunate to be the first amongst equal , Commander in Chief , and symbolic head of the free and perhaps not no free world. President Obama now finds himself in that un -enviable position of trying to maneuver rockets in North Korea, prevent suicide bombs from exploding in Afghanistan and Iraq, continually entice Israel’s political and military hierarchy with taxpayers dollars as aid , so that they could contain themselves from dropping their still secret and the non - existent nuclear bombs on nervous neighbors , finally halt globally ignored genocides in Sudan and Congo, and keep confuse European allies enthralled and amused by his wife’s Michelle, and Carla Bruni Sarkozy’s fashion statements , and most importantly grapple with the debilitating domestic and global economic crisis that is soon about to make the depression look like a cake walk in comparison. What is even more intriguing for our President is that as a the first minority leader of USA the global police , he is under the periscope in like manner to Bay of Pigs then untested JFK -the first Catholic President . He is charismatic, educated, politically inexperience and has to prove that he is now capable of moving beyond the Hollywood media glitz , and elite rhetoric to deliver on a domestic mandate , as well as deliver on global promises and expectations . Is he tough and capable of withstanding the heat and pressures that Vice President Joe Biden his former running mate prodded him on in the recent contentious political campaign when both were rivals? Can he live up to the American faith in him to be “ready from day one,” two , 100 ,or 1000, as feared by crafty twin towers co- Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and her Presidential advisor - the perennial political ‘energizer bunny,’ and her ‘loving’ husband- his slickness , Bill Clinton?
The challenge for this President would be to walk the thin line of trying to appease everyone, particularly the crafty states enamored with the chess like strategy of political brinkmanship - a game aimed at coercing adversaries into making conciliatory moves due to the skilful manipulation of violence and other risks ,that no one it is assumed wants but pretends to so as to encourage backing down or an opponent’s blink. We know the culprits that have practiced this strategy with impunity over the years. They included leaders in Iran, Israel , North Korea , and let’s now throw in the new kids on the block , China, India, Pakistan ,Somalia, Venezuela, and Russia, since their actions have dominated the airwaves and other media pages recently. At the same time he has to appear strong to match the tough talk and rhetoric of the intellectually challenged frat boy of ‘Axis of evil fame ,’ whose behaviors over the past eight years are making parents question the value of exorbitant spending for the acquisition of elite institutional education from places like Harvard and Yale , as this and similar follies are destined to send many more families into bankruptcy in similar fashion to how George W left the nation morally, economically and politically.
Since I am the beneficiary of a more pragmatic and less elitist education that included the wise council of one of the wisest women that ever lived - My Grandmother. I’ll pass on two piece of simple, practical, advice to our now seemingly overburdened President . They are as follows: “Never bite off more than you can chew,” and “if you’ve always done, what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Please do not over reach and attempt to the be the all encompassing President that tries to make everyone happy , as it just won’t happen in your lifetime, or even your beautiful daughters. Nuclear weapons proliferation would be ongoing way into the 21st and 22nd century. Terrorism will forever be a fixture , especially state terrorism as practice by some of the US close allies , since there are no common agreements even at the most prestigious circles as to what it is. There would always be wars and rumors of wars even if all the troops return home next week or 16 months hence. Castro would soon die, and his mimic, the military upstart and buffoon Chavez, would self destruct and disappear soon , so no need to loose sleep over them. The global economy , like the environment , would rectify itself eventually of it’s own doing. The world will continue to ignore it as long as it involves the lives of non- Europeans as manifested by the much traveled world savior and NGO Kingpin- you guest it, Bill Clinton the kid from Hope Arkansas deeply concerned about your encroaching forays into his ‘stellar legacy.’ Perhaps you should do like the monarchs of old and have a taster when around the first couple from the chicken farm state and white water , and late Vincent Foster fame .
Here is something that most American don’t know , or choose to forget , but you cannot. The proud Iranians were playing this political and diplomatic game long before the USA was even conceived as a nation , and most importantly , they are aware of their history and America as well as Colonial Britain’s role in it. In 1951 their Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh was named Times man of the year. Two years later he was overthrown in the first ever CIA Kermit Roosevelt directed coup, ushering in the dreaded dictator and close US ally- puppet Meza Shah. He was overthrown in 1979, and the rest as we say is history, Ayatollah, Hezbollah, Saddam Hussein ten year demonic war ,and America became symbolic Persona non grata, as they froze the assets of Iran along with the promised nuclear technological blue prints that were promised to the extravagant Shah . http://www.payvand.com/news/03/aug/1106.html
As for the North Koreans? Isn’t it interesting that East Germany today is an important part of the State of Germany, thus making the country a power house in Europe , when the US still possess some of the most dangerous weapons of mass destructions, aimed at starving North Korea along with thousand of military troops ,and yet we are confused as to why the scared and desperate North Koreans might be tempted to go nuclear? Since no state that ever went nuclear ever suffered a real attack like Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, care to answer why almost isolated Persian , Shiite dominated Iran , as well as North Korea and not Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea ,or Japan are the ones lasciviously eying the nuclear bomb? The world is watching as the tough talking debates rages on , it is time for decisive actions from the sole super power and global policeman . Brinkmanship and Minority Power posturing are certain to lead us all into more turmoil it is certain.

The Sins of Our Fathers

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen"(Heb.11:1).
The sins of our Fathers

There are many that enjoy speaking about the plight of young people , particularly as the media projects stories of wanton abuse , and dehumanizing treatment at the hands of government, business , strangers, or even parents and close family unfortunately. One area that’s often ignored is that of parental neglect committed by large percentage of fathers across the globe. I recently had an interesting conversation with a young man that I knew for quite some time , that never benefited from having a father in his life to serve as mentor, or as a concrete example of what it means to be a man. He is however fortunate to have a steady middle class mom who was prepared to trade in her own happiness to ensure that this her only son become as comfortable can be , as they both strived to ensure he achieve his own elusive dreams. One of these was to be a sporting hero . Unfortunately , this young man lacked the drive , hunger, commitment and or discipline that was required to succeed. There are those that would say that this young man was doomed from the beginning , in that his mom was way over her head in trying to raise a son by herself , and might have done better if she had not tried to do the impossible of trying to teach a boy to be a man. Are they correct?


Who suffers most in the absence of a father in the home, boys or girls? It is a subject I have been thinking about for quite some time , and this spirited conversation with the young man with the obvious lingering demons started me thinking that it was time to put some focus on it via writing and solicit some reactions by more informed others on the subject. Now what prompted the dialogue was when during the exchanged I told the young man that we both suffered to some degree , just like our new American Black President, and millions across the globe due to the absence of our useless fathers. He became outraged , and informed me that I should speak for myself , as his father was a great man even though he was never in his life. I in contrast, that stuck it out to try a be a good father and role model, he dismissively described as a blatant failure , due to the fact that I was unable to totally curb some of the youthful indiscretions of my own kids that grew up in one of the complex urban inner city environs of good old developed USA. He dismissed by theories and arguments as being without merit , for as he concluded , I had nothing but contempt for single parenthood.


On and on this conversation progressed for almost an hour , via texting , as we tried to convinced each other of the validity of our forceful arguments. In the end we agreed to disagree as I had to remind him that he lacked a point of reference as to what constituted a good father . I reminded him that I held his hands as a snotty nose kid , and taught him how to go into the dark kitchen to make a sandwich as a kid when he was so scared so to do ,many moons ago. It did not convince him , so I again had to stamp my feet in consternation and inform him that he was so dependant on poor mom , and could not even go to the toilet unless she was close by to pass the toilet paper to wipe his butt. Now I thought to myself , it was certainly wonderful to have a close , smothering mom, at one’s beck and call ,but can we envisage a few problems down the road for this young man in terms of a meaningful relationship , as he attempts to replicate the dependency syndrome with another human being- hopefully a female?


Get over it ,I murmured again silently, you are making too much out of this issue. The man has found closure with his bumbish dad . On the surface , he is happy , and may simply move on by writing a book called ‘Dreams of my Father’ to launch a political career himself , become a good husband ,and eventually a perfect father for his own children , with no lingering dysfunctions . Yes , but I have done my own ethnographic studies and observations and noticed the vast array of angry young female , that are incapable to developing healthy relationships because they have never seen a positive relationship played out in the home , and the presence of the lingering emptiness . I have seen the countless directionless young men especially at the lower rung of the social class that have suffered immeasurable at the hand of frustrated and often overwhelmed mothers devoid of the necessary support mechanisms of mentors from an extended family or larger institution of sports, religion , or education capable of providing relevant support and outlet safety valves.


In the end , girls with all their dysfunctions become high achievers , due to the sound role models of extremely strong and resilient moms, while boys are lost through smothering like our young male example or took the brunt of the frustrations of this mom and found solace in the arms of rouge gangs and other destructive elements outside the home .


The statistics are devastating where children have become useful pawns in war torn African countries where some are used as child soldiers , and others as sexual toys for adults soldiers where necessary . Like wise, in peaceful tourist oriented sexual paradise enclaves in parts of Asia and Latin America many have conveniently served as useful fodder for domestically moralistic Europeans and North Americans that would start WW111 to protect their own delicate flowers at home , but turn a blind eye to this malady internationally.


Child labor is not as rare today as many of the global conglomerates or INGO’s ,would like us to believe, ,so think about that the next time you sit in a baseball park and try to catch a home run by the drug user millionaire slugger , or lay on that beautiful with a warm body close by on that Persian or Kashmir rug with the delicately woven drawings. When next you hear of the Utah incest cases , and the cults that encourage child brides in the Midwest , or parts of the pristine Southern Bible belt, cringe if you care , or bang the walls and scream if it tugs your hearts string. Condemn if you wish that callous gun manufacturer , and insensitive small arms mine dealer that avoided devastating rippling effects of our present global recession due to his lucrative markets that destroys kids in failed states of the Global South. However please remember that there are numerous ways that child abuse is manifested across our nation and global village. One such is fathers abrogating their roles when they abandon the homes and their children.


Something to also ponder is whether catharsis can occur by simply forgiving the culprits , and embracing them years later, or should we think that part of the dysfunction is acceptance of despicable behavior by parents as the norm , and therein lies the possibility for replication on our part.
I stand corrected, and welcome critiques of this viewpoint.

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Uniondale New York, NY, United States
Speaking truth,as one major prerequisite, to concrete justice. A novel form of social advocacy.

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