Monday, October 22, 2007

Shuttle Lunacy

Shuttle Lunacy
Essay Forty-Four

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came back from her recent Middle East tour on Thursday Oct 18,2007. Her statement to the press was either out of a jet lag brain or scripted by the White House before she landed. She said, "there is moment of opportunity" for peace but much work was still needed to be done. She plans to return in two weeks. What opportunity?
"The teams are serious," she said. "The people are serious, the issues are serious, and so I'm not surprised that there are some tensions. I'm not surprised that there are some ups and downs. ... But I was encouraged by what I heard." WHAT?
She went to London ostensible to gain support from the King of Jordan for a Mideast peace
repeating the admonition that Israelis and Palestinians have a new "moment of opportunity" to forge peace, despite the obstacles. What?
Comics and cartoonists are having a field day with the woman who seems to believe that she is doing something important. The poor befuddled Secretary never appears to have a reference point.
Even during her many Trips back and forth the Israelis mock her. Israel announced on October 2,2003 it would build 565 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Should that not have been her reference point?
Does not the "road map" peace plan require a freeze in construction in 150 Jewish settlements?
Should that not be her reference point? Wasn’t that a plan the US agreed to?
Israel has repeatedly violated that plan. Actually the so -called Road map Peace plan was nothing more than a political speech by Bush probably written by someone like Carl Rove. The U.S. State Department drafted it,
Fourth Geneva Convention, article 49 prohibits any occupying power from transferring citizens from its own territory to the occupied territory The Hague Regulations "prohibit the occupying power from undertaking permanent changes in the occupied area, unless these are due to military needs in the narrow sense of the term.
Foundation for Middle East Peace reports Israel’s many violations such as Settlers from Tekoa set fire to 300 dunams of land owned by Palestinians from the nearby village of Tuqu’, damaging some 400 olive trees. (OCHA) IDF soldiers and security personnel guarding the Susiya settlement prevent a surveyor hired by Palestinians from surveying their lands in preparation for a presentation to the Israeli High Court. (OCHA)Settlers from Susiya force Palestinian landowners off land located near the settlement. (OCHA)Settlers from Hebron’s Beit Hadassa assault and injure a 13 year old Palestinian boy from Hebron City. (OCHA)OCHA reports on an investigation by the IDF into the uprooting of 300 olive trees belonging to a Palestinian farmer from Qaryut, Nablus. The IDF discovered that the trees had been uprooted by settlers from the Shilo outpost and 140 of them were replanted in the outpost. The IDF returned the trees to the farmer.
It is a land completely out of control and as Condi Rice waves and smiles from the steps of the plane, she give the impression that she is totally unaware of the depth of the problem and the hatred that has been allowed to fester all these years. She has very little if any credibility in the area and her frequent jaunts only add to her image of a lost diplomat without direction.
In all fairness to Secretary Rice what direction can she get from Dupya in the White House?
There is a great deal of talk in Russia about US President Roosevelt. Russian Television recently did a documentary stressing that Americans trusted FDR and so did the rest of the world.
Apparently Putin is comparing himself to Roosevelt. One can only imagine what Putin thinks of Secretary Rice as she flits in and out of Moscow.
It seems no one can capture the trust and credibility we all had in our Government under FDR. Cordell Hull, a man who literally came out of a Tennessee log cabin to become the Secretary of State under FDR before and during the war, would probably view Secretary Rice as I do. A butterfly flitting meaninglessly about and living a short political life.
When I was a young student I learned in History class that the expansionists were the evil ones like the Spaniards that raped and pillaged behind the cross through South America and the Japanese that did the same to China and the beastly nazis who did the same to Europe.
I was given to believe that Secretary Rice was a good student in school, but perhaps she had different teachers and different textbooks.
THE POLITICS OF DENIAL Pluto Press book Review
The 1948 war ended in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their villages and homes. Israeli settlers moved in to occupy their land and the Palestinian refugees found themselves in refugee camps, or in neighboring Arab countries. Today there are nearly four million Palestinian refugees -- and they want the right to go home. Their problem is the greatest and most enduring refugee problem in the world.
Ninety-three percent of the land is now characterized as Jewish land, meaning that no non-Jew is allowed to lease, sell or buy it.
Genevieve Cora Fraser once wrote from Ramallah
Is America a Servant to the Will of Israel? Is America a servant of Israel's Will?
"Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians since 1948 has also been to regard them as "untermenschen" sub-humans and never more so than today. In January 2001 Ha'aretz published an article by Amir Oren, "At the Gates of Yassergrad" which cites an Israeli officer's statement that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) studies the 1943 military tactics of the Nazi SS against the Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto, for application against the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza.Even without the Ha'aretz article, casual observation of the incarceration of the 3.5 million men, women and children of Palestine in concentration camp conditions within the confines of the Apartheid wall, electrified razor wire fence, Israeli-only roads, and nearly 900 checkpoints and roadblocks is a tip-off that something is up. When you add in the destruction of a million olive and fruit trees, farmlands, livestock and beehives, enforced starvation (bombing of the UN food warehouse and refusal to allow in food aid) and dehydration (reservoirs, wells and roof top water tanks destroyed by the IDF), curfews that spread into weeks and sometimes a month or more, plus 24/7 IDF assaults on civilians whose defense is the use of rocks, confiscated rifles and homemade bombs, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why the term neo-Nazi is common graffiti at certain protest sites.
So what is Secretary Rice’s point of reference?
David Truskoff

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jenna six, I'll sit this one out

In Mid September 2007 I received a call from someone I did not know. The person asked me if I wanted to join in the protest to free the "Jenna six"
Six black students at Jenna High School in Central Louisiana were arrested after a school fight in which a white student was badly beaten. The fight began when the Black youths sat under a "White only" shade tree. The black students were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy.
I can remember that at the end of the Mississippi March for Freedom we were all lining up to march into Jackson. It was June 26,1966 and we were tired and depressed. The rifle butts, the tear gas and the billy clubs in Canton Mississippi, had turned us around and most of us felt that the non-violent Civil rights movement of Doctor King needed a new direction.
We tried to make the atmosphere seem like that of a victory parade and joked about where we were going next. I told Stokely Carmichael that I heard we were going on to "Lousyannna" He laughed and said, "I’ll be right behind you." To us "Lousyanna" was a lost cause.
Today Louisiana ranks third in the nation in the number of elected officials per capita convicted of crimes. The horror of New Orleans; the convictions of a Governor, attorney general, commissioners, a congressman, a federal judge, a state Senate president, to name a few of the convicted officials, still make Louisiana a place I would rather not go. Although I must admit that in my state of Connecticut we have the same list of convicted officials. I think that may be progress for Louisiana. In what some call the state’s black history none of them would have gone to trial.
It took three weeks before I decided to make my answer to the caller public. I do not want to be divisive. That is the last thing that we need.
Here is the essence of what I said.
Do not be a blind follower.

I can remember reading my mother’s literature about the struggle for justice for the "Scottsboro Boys," and her attempt to raise funds for defense attorney. Sam Liebowitz.
March 25, 1931 four black Chattanooga teenagers looking for work in Memphis hauling logs on the river and five other black teens were charged in Alabama of rape. One of the boys was only 13 years old. It was obvious and later proven that they were framed by a prostitute trying to keep herself out of court. The boys spent years in jail. Their lives were destroyed. It was a sophisticated well-orchestrated Lynching. It wasn’t easy during the depression for my mother to raise funds for the defense of four black teenagers in Alabama. I was a teenager myself by the time that I read the material, but I had already taken my stand on Civil rights in America.
I wonder which one, Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson got to Jenna first. We all know they are hopelessly hooked on TV cameras, but I ask you caller not to be a blind follower. You may be doing more harm than good.
Am I aware that racism is alive and well in the United States? Of course I am. Am I aware that the schools in our cities are more segregated today than they were before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus? Of course I am. Am I still ready to stand up to racism whenever it rears its ugly head? Of course I am. Am I willing to stand next to Jessie Jackson and listen to demagogic divisive harangues creating more tension? Of course, I am not.
I hear the old refrain from white residence of Jenna that say there is no race problem there. I heard the same kind of self-deception when I was trying to register voters in Mississippi or acting as a buffer between the red necks and the marchers during the Selma march. It was nothing new to me. ("Our darkies are happy") I attended high school in New Jersey and the school was integrated. It was a Republican conservative town. The whites always claimed that we had no race problem in town. I think they actually talked themselves into believing that. After school the blacks went to their section of town and the white students went to theirs. After all the post football game parties I attended I don’t ever remember seeing a black face at any of them although we had black players on our team. Things haven’t changed that much. Are blacks unfairly treated in the courts in Louisiana, I am sure they are, but I was a court watcher for the Connecticut Council of Churches and Blacks are treated unfairly in Connecticut also. White men charged with a crime would appear before court time and sit outside the prosecutor’s office. Their lawyer would then go in and make a deal with the prosecutor. His client would either just go home or make bail and wait for his deal to come up in court. Blacks could not afford a lawyer nor would a bail bondsmen trust them. They went to jail. I saw it happen over and over again and I doubt if those things have changed anywhere in America.
Would I join Doctor King again and demonstrate against a "white only tree" in front of a school? Yes I would. Would I object to unfair racist court proceedings? Yes I would. Would Doctor King support teen-age thugs who beat a boy senseless, kicked him in the head and risked killing him before he was taken to the hospital? I know he would not and neither will I.
Damn it! If you are going to march, find a real leader, a young committed person and march against segregation in the schools in Hartford Connecticut, Bridgeport, Los Angeles, Trenton, Chicago and almost every city in the country. March for more federal funding for our schools that will help the towns to integrate. There is a dangerous rage about to boil over again in America. Channel it for good and steer away from the demagogues who will grab any incident to elevate them-selves.

Monday, September 17, 2007

When will they ever learn

"Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing? Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago? Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards, everyone.Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn? "
Recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, Words by Pete Seeger

The answer to Pete Seegar’s question is still blowing in the wind.
The only good thing about getting older is that you have the ability to see the past being repeated, but you always wonder why others can not. I hear the bla bla bla of crazy military men and the just as crazy politicians and I get depressed thinking that if I hang around any longer I will still not see or hear anything new.

"We have taught the enemy a lesson. He has found out that aggression is not cheap or easy. Moreover, men all over the world who want to remain free have been given new courage and New Hope. They know now that the champions of freedom can stand up and fight.
Our resolute stand in Korea is helping the forces of freedom now fighting in Indochina and other countries in that part of the world. It has already slowed down the timetable of conquest....
The new commander, Lt. Gen. Matthew Ridgway, has already demonstrated that he has the great qualities of military leadership needed for this task."
Harry Truman 1950
The war in Korea was lost. Tens of thousand died.
General Westmoreland flashed his stars and medals after being called back to the US to generate new support for the war in Vietnam and the Johnson Administration. He testified before Congress and spoke before the National Press Club in Washington "With 1968," he said, "a new phase is starting. We have reached an important point where the end begins to come into view." That was during the time he used the often quoted phrase "There is light at the end of the tunnel" With that phrase he tried to convince the American people that victory was near.
President Johnson had said that he would not be sending American boys to do the fighting that Vietnamese boys should be doing, but later he changed that to," our boys are fighting in the name of freedom"
It has always been my belief that president Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were going to attack, but as often is the case he had a military vision of the previous war and no idea of the damage that modern war fare could inflict in one blow. Johnson had the same arrogance and naivete when it came to military matters and thought that he could use World War Two tactics and bomb the Communists into submission. General Curtis LeMay said, "the U.S. should bomb Vietnam back to the Stone Age"
. In his book "How We Lost the War in Vietnam", Nguyen Kao Ky, described the U.S. role in Vietnam as "misguided" and naïve."
The war in Vietnam was lost. Tens of thousands died.
On Tuesday January 23, 2007; Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new top commander in
Iraq, ( also flashing his stars and medals) told Congress that sectarian violence has reduced Baghdad's population to a daily struggle for survival, undermined the U.S. strategy of handing responsibility to Iraqi forces and created the prospect of a "failed state."
Petraeus went on to say a new approach that would include pushing tens of thousands of additional U.S. and Iraqi troops deep into Baghdad neighborhoods, would allow the Iraqi Government to "come to grips with an "exceedingly difficult situation."
In his report to congress Monday, September 10, 2007 Gen. David H. Petraeus’ said
"The progress our forces have achieved with our Iraqi counterparts has, as I noted at the outset, been substantial. While there have been setbacks as well as successes and tough losses along the way, overall, our tactical commanders and I see improvements (light at the end of the tunnel) in the security environment
In closing, it remains an enormous privilege to soldier again in Iraq with America’s new "Greatest Generation." Our country’s men and women in uniform have done a magnificent job in the most complex and challenging environment imaginable. All Americans should be very proud of their sons and daughters serving in Iraq today."
. Previously in terse, short answers to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Casey did what no one dared to do since Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He doubted the president’s ability to conduct the war. It was risky and shocking, but at that stage I don’t think Casey had anything to lose.
Finally on September 13.2007 President George Bush said, "The success of a free Iraq is critical to the security of the United States."…"Now because of the measure of success we are seeing in Iraq, ( more light at the end of the tunnel) we can begin seeing troops come home."
Bla Bla Bla
Representative Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois. Said that, Gen. David Petraeus told her that the U.S. "will be in Iraq in some way
for 9 or 10 years."
Even republican congressmen know that the war in Iraq is lost and thousands of American troops have already died and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have died.
The question that Pete Seeger asked (when will they ever learn) is still not answered, but the question, when posed back in the sixties, implied that it was the soldiers and the raving generals and politicians that will never learn, but the question should be asked another way; when will the American people ever learn.



Saturday, September 08, 2007

Uneducated Graduates

Uneducated Graduates
I am often amazed at how some people with impressive academic credits can be so stupid when it comes to the most important subjects that affect their very lives? Cindy Sheehan described the out of touch, right wing spokes person William Kristol this way," By all accounts, Mr. Kristol is a brilliant man, who like his father before him, uses his brilliance for destruction. He is a shameless supporter of a failed, murderous, and miserable strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan and one of the "mushroom cloud" crowd. One thing Mr. William Kristol is not, is a combat vet."
I think she gives Kristol too much credit. Does she believe he is brilliant because he graduated from Harvard? George Bush graduated from Harvard, although I am yet to hear any Harvard folks brag about it. I never equated academic credentials with character or smarts and certainly not with moral structure.
All during the sixties the Kristol types baffled me. They claim to be patriotic and they are not. Patriots stand up for what they believe is in the best interest of their country not the best interests of a chosen few, or the best interests of a foreign state. They claim to be knowledgeable and they are not. One day I debated a representative from then Senator Tom Dodd’s office. (Chris Dodd’s father who was later censured by the congress) Dodd was a Vietnam War hawk. It soon became obvious to the audience that the man didn’t know much about the history or the oppression of the people of South East Asia nor did he know much about the political situation. I can remember him saying things like, "The people of Southeast Asia will be so grateful to us for bringing them democracy."
Cindy also reports," On February 20, 2003, Mr. Kristol incredibly gushed: "If we free the people of Iraq, we will be respected in the Arab world."

It is De’JA vu all over again as Yogi Berra said. What Arab world is he talking about? After the murder and mayhem we have brought the people of the region it will be a long time in hell before we can gain any respect there.

Essay Thirty Nine
Uneducated Graduates

Acadamia is shuddering and shaking like the empire.
Matthew Abraham said on September 5th, 2007 " I am an untenured, assistant professor at DePaul University in Chicago, where Norman G. Finkelstein, the most heroic critic of U.S. and Israeli policy in Palestine ever to set foot in the U.S. academy, was denied tenure over nearly three months ago. I was, and am, deeply saddened that DePaul University, the institution where I have chosen to make a career, has so effectively undermined its social justice mission in a series of actions that have put us, as a faculty body, in grave peril.
By capitulating to the threats, antics, and pressures of Alan Dershowitz, the Israel Lobby, and its numerous affiliates, DePaul has compromised something so integral to an educational institution’s mission, that once so compromised, it is impossible to regain. That something is institutional autonomy. An institution’s ability to withstand outside pressure, and economic coercion — which can often be tantamount to blackmail — is a must in an age of corporate scandal, sleazy deal making, and political cover-ups. The general public used to look to the academy for leadership, vision"

Noam Chomsky of MIT says, "[Dershowitz] launched a jihad against Norman Finkelstein simply to try and vilify and defame in the hope that maybe what he is writing will disappear."
Yes, this is the same Dershowitz that not only defended the Pollards who were found guilty of spying and giving US secretes to Israel, but also campaigned for their release. Obviously His country did not come first.
How can anyone call themselves a patriot when they write junk yard dog attack letters to the dean of a school asking them to refuse tenure to a respected professor simply because he does not like the professor’s writings? He made the professor so uncomfortable that he resigned. Dershowitz also has campaigned to keep others, who may say anything, negative about Israel from speaking at schools. He is Jewish and as such how can he not realize that he is the same as one of the brown shirt book burners?
The influence all of this has on students, in particular the Hillel members on campus must be enormous. If you do not like what someone says, try and get him or her fired. Dershawitz is a main contributor to the Divisiveness that leads to the isolation of many students on campuses. Extra security is needed when incidents like the showing of the very offensive Muslim Cartoons were shown on campuses. Thousands of Muslims worldwide protested both on and off the college campuses. One wonders who put them up to it on the Harvard campus.
More divisiveness is just what is not needed as we start this new school year.
The entire US education system is under duress. The "No child left behind act" has further divided the system. --Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates said that "the U.S. higher education system is the envy of the world but primary and secondary schools are failing to adequately prepare students for college." Mr. Gates sends his three children to private schools and he himself is a college drop out. (Proving that the key to financial success is a college degree is not always a fact.) One of the wealthiest men in the world also said, "This nation has to do something very challenging, which is to provide a strong education to almost every student,"
It is true that if you are one of the football elite in high school or a member of the new phenomenon the girls basketball elite and a member of a minority group chances are good that you can go on to college. The chances are also good that you may join the ranks of America’s uneducated graduates. I have had conversations with students at some of America’s most prestigious citadels of higher learning and was amazed that they maintain such high averages in their masters of business administration classes and can not tell you anything about what really makes their government run.
As the rich in America get richer and the poor get poorer US News and World Reports published these figures. "An academic year at a typical public university is $16,400: $5,836 for tuition and fees, almost $7,000 for room and board, and an additional $3,500 or so for books, travel, and entertainment, If prices keep rising at the current rate, (6%per year) students who don't receive any grants will most likely pay more than $115,000 to reach graduation day."
In 2005 Act (The ACT test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work) reported half of last year's high school graduates did not have the reading skills they needed for college-level science and math courses. The report, based on scores of the 2005 high school graduates who took the exam, some 1.2 million students in all, also found that fewer than one in four met the college-readiness benchmarks in all four subjects tested: reading comprehension, English, math and science.
The 2007 report was glowing, well sorta, "Scores have trended upward for nearly all racial/ethnic groups since 2003. All groups with the exception of African American graduates posted an increase on their ACT composite score this year compared to last, with Asian American students showing a sizable gain of 0.3 point. Scores for African American students this year are 0.1 point higher than in 2003, but have fluctuated slightly in the intervening years, dropping 0.1 point this year compared to last year."
With the reorganization of the militant Students for a Democratic Society forming on many college campuses across the nation and the huge demonstration against the war Planned for Washington DC September 16, 2007 all taking place in a divided society and a divided student body I fear for our young people.
College campuses are just an extension of our society. The anger and alienation splitting racial and ethnic groups amid the fear and anxiety created by the Bush administration, with the help of the Dershewitz types, can soon lead to the violent explosion that will further accelerate the crumbling of the empire.

Trojan Horse

"America is, by far, the most violent country in the world when measured against comparable, industrialized nations. Violence is deeply rooted in our society and has become woven into the fabric of the American lifestyle. A culture of violence has emerged that invades our lives at every level, from our most intimate relationships at home to our schools and work environments. For many of us, violence has become an acceptable strategy for solving conflict, exerting power and control, obtaining possessions, and satisfying emotional desires. Moreover, violence has itself become entertainment, glamorized in the behavior of both real and fantasy heroes."
California Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren
Essay Thirty Seven
Pure Bred American Violence
Attorney General Lungren made that statement back in 1995. The situation has not improved. It has, in fact, become much worse. There have been 202 homicides in the city of Baltimore alone this year, (2007) The city is headed for at least 300 murders this year. Those are murders alone. It does not include the hundreds of non-fatal shootings.
On any given day in America one can turn on the television set and watch, Kick Boxing, women boxing, extreme fights (Where anything goes, biting, kicking, punching and knees to the groin) There is also a daily fair of so called wrestling (where grown men break metal chairs over the backs of their opponents and perform other insane violent acts.) Add to that the films such as the one that was on while I was writing this piece. I left it on because I was too busy to shut the set after the news and it was so apropros of what I was talking about. The film was titled "Wyatt Erp". In the movie men are shooting men in scene after scene. If you do not want to watch a movie there are many violent detective stories that include all kinds of murder and mayhem for you to enjoy.
After they watch the movie Americans can turn on the local evening news and see how many fellow Americans were shot, knifed or just plain killed by other means in their community. That of course is followed by the death count from Iraq.
It is true that violence is inbred in Americans. It is part of our tradition and culture. We revel in the stories of the Wild West and the horrendous Civil War. We play World War Two movies over and over. Actors who were never in the service glamorize over emphasized violence in "the Longest Day" a movie about the Normandy invasion. It is played along with many other War movies very often on movie channels.
Do not miss-understand me. I am not saying that violence belongs to Americans alone.
I remember one day when I was speaking to a convention of Church youth groups about the Civil Rights struggle in America. During the question period one young women said," I am afraid to go downtown because they (meaning Blacks) are so violent." I lost my composer, for which I later apologized. "You mean like that (N) (I used the forbidden N word) Hitler who was responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent people Or that (again the N word) Truman who dropped the atom bomb and killed 70 thousand people in one day and then a few days later did the same thing again?"
No we Americans do not have a corner on Violence. No race or ethnic group does, but we have made a religion of it. We have poisoned each generation with it and allowed the mass media to ridicule those who oppose it. We have made it into the most profitable product that we produce. Like sex, violence sells. One can not watch an American football game without seeing the joy a "Great Hit" brings to the announcers. The "Great hits" are played over and over interspersed, of course, with commercials. Violence sells.
Two subjects that American politicians dare not touch without risking burned fingers, are Gun Control and of course the plight of the Palestinians. Both of these subjects are guarded by the most powerful lobbies in Washington and a political career can be dashed on the rocks by supporting the Palestinians who are suffering from the American intercourse with the Israelis’ violence (who came by their brand of violence suckling at the breast of the American military complex) and calling for gun control to protect Americans who are also suffering from their own violence.
US Children are ten times more likely to die from gunfire than in 25 industrialized nations combined. For young black males in the US guns are the leading source of death…In 1995 one in 12 students reported carrying a firearm or some other weapon. In 2004, 81 people were shot dead every day in the US according the US center for decease control. 29,569 were killed by firearms that year.. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reveals that every day; nearly eight children or teens are killed by gun violence in America which adds up to about 235 each month.
Where did they get the guns? That is the question gun control advocates continue to ask, but it is like trying to find an acceptable answer to the so called mid east crises. Everyone knows the answer, but no one can apply it. Let’s just dream for a minute. The answer to the gun lunacy can be simple. Guns, in particular hand guns, are used to kill people so the US government should take over all gun manufacturing businesses that make huge profits from the gun murder rate and see to it that only the law enforcement people and the military have guns. Why do any others need them?
There was a time, not too long ago, in England when even the Bobbies didn’t carry guns, but since the huge influx of illegal weapons they are now forced to carry them in order to protect themselves and the general public.
The gun nuts still parrot "Guns don’t kill people, People kill people." No, people with guns kill people more often. They will also quote from the second amendment to the constitution "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." June 21, 1788.
The small country of 1788 when much of the population had to hunt for food and many still worried about Indian wars was a much different place than the three hundred million divided population of present day America.
The second amendment should have been amended before the Wild West became so wild. For decades cowardly politicians have never been able to rewrite it so that it will really protect the people. After demands by law enforcement agencies who have found some of their men outgunned by outlaws (Protected by the second amendment) the best they could do is try and control military assault weapon being used by criminals. They even failed in that.
Oh my, how the neo-cons will scream. Take over an American business, that is socialism they will say. No, it is common sense to save the children and in turn save the nation. It might even inspire the United Nations members to demand weapons limitations. Of course, the merchants of death will also join the chorus and scream that is Marxism being promoted by the dangerous Peace people.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Today a group of door to door Evangelists interrupted my work. I am not one given to rudeness, but I was annoyed. When I told them I wasn’t interested and tried to close the door they persisted. I told them if there was a God would he or she have made the two-legged killer called man? Would he or she have religionists all over the globe goading people to kill each other because only their religion is the right one?
Their stock answer is always; "God has a Plan."
It was shortly after lunch and I had just turned off the noon news. The five lead stories on the news were, " Family crushed." It was about two crazies who entered the home of a well-known physician and killed his wife and two daughters after raping them. Before leaving they set fire to the home. Then in order we heard about a body that was cut up and put in a barrel to float down the river, a truck driver who raped and left a women for dead, two knifings and one shooting. All that and we haven’t even gotten to the Iraq body count. Many times they just toss that in at the end of the news. If you are still there you may rejoice to hear that we killed 37 bad guys and only lost two of ours. Turner Broadcasting has decided to "go local" with all of their major news outlets and news rooms are nothing but men listening to police scanners and sending crews out to cover the mayhem.
With each idiotic war a spell is cast on the population. Today we must hate the unshaven Muslims who are worst then the Communists. The Communists didn’t believe in God, but these Muslims believe in the wrong God. They are out to kill us all in the name of the wrong God. They are called extremists. We are bombing them and we are shooting them and we are starving them in their land, but THEY are the extremists. We always seem to find masters of sorcery to lead us into these death traps.
Oh yes, what was I working on when they interrupted me. Tisha B’Av In Israel.
Tisha B’Av is the last day of mourning the destruction of the first and second Temples, both of which were destroyed by the Babylonians and the Romans. During the time of fasting and not washing, other tragedies that befell the Jewish people are remembered including the King of Spain declaring in 1492 that no Jew will ever walk on Spanish soil again. Israelis celebrate that they now are free.
At that time in Spain Father Tomas de Torquemada believed that as long as the Jews remained in Spain, they would influence the tens of thousands of recent Jewish converts to Christianity King Ferdinand and Isabella would not deny the church Many Spaniards gained financially from the tragedy as Jews had to sell their homes and businesses at very low prices. Dominican priests actively encouraged Jews to convert to Christianity and thereby gain salvation both in this world and the next. You see, God had a plan.
I can remember when I felt a sort of ancestral visceral pride in Israel, but that was when I related to a state that was created on socialistic stanchions. What has it become? We see a mall built right in front of the old city that Israel has "Liberated." Corruption and crime are out of control led by the Sorcerers. Ex presidents escape jail time for charges of sexual harassment and indecent acts. Others in the circle of the sorcerers like Omir Sharon son of the former Prime Minister, Naomi Blumenthal convicted of Bribery had her sentence commuted. All this while Israeli jails are bulging with innocent people whose only crime is they resented their temple and homes being destroyed by the Israelis. We hear about the starvation and terrible poverty in Gaza, but Jews are hesitant to admit that extensive poverty in Israel is shameful for many reasons, One it are constantly fund raising and no one knows where the money goes. When American tax payers who are sending Israel 3 to 6 billion dollars a year ask where does the money go we are told it is none of our business, but the real shame is the poverty being suffered by the elderly Holocaust victims. Those who touched the conscience of the world and were chiefly responsible for the creation of the state are powerless and poor.
The so-called Jewish State is nothing of the kind if you use the word Jewish to describe a religion. The battle goes on between the orthodox who are right in saying Israel was created as a Jewish state and they say if you abandon that you have no more rational for taking someone else’s home and land. You can no longer claim that God gave you the land. They insist on more religion in schools and a close adherence to Jewish law. The majority rejects them, but the majority must cling to the rational that God gave them the land.
Religionists are appalled at the corruption that gives developers the right to turn the so-called Holy Land into Long Island. The pollution of the rivers, the clogged and dangerous roads and the ever present swingers with their gambling casinos and legal houses of prostitution makes the religionist warn, History will show Israel died an early death by its own hand.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


The first demonstration that I can remember was when my mother took me to the New York waterfront to join her labor group. We carried signs asking the President to stop sending scrap Iron and other war materials to Japan. It was shortly after Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany.
Since my discharge from the Navy in December of 1945 and the time spent with college and bar hopping, it seems my life was one long battle. Progressive Party, Korean War, Civil rights, Vietnam War, Zionism, and all stops in between. Would I trade it for a life of security in my little cubby at the insurance company? No, but I hold no malice toward those that seek that security. Most of them are good family people and are needed just as farmers and carpenters and others are needed, but my genes were bent in another direction.
The following essays are a synopsis of an activist’s quest for truth. I have always held the belief that Secretary Dag Hammarskjold so beautifully articulated, "In our era the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."
David Truskoff

The years go by and the struggle is endless.
Sometimes it all seems so senseless.
Demonstrations, marches, tear gas and jail,
Ten days the judge says and you can’t make bail.
School chums wonder what made you who you are.
And how can you make the payment on the new car?
They patronize and admit that you are right,
But, they, "can’t afford" to get into the fight.
"How long," King asked, "not long he answered"
The audience repeated, "not long, not long"
and I knew that I was where I belong.
The empire is crumbling, but it’s a good thing
because the mendacious are frightened, panic has set in.
Will I have to share they wonder. What will tomorrow bring?
Peace and freedom for all, the whole world will sing.
Was it all worth it? fighters for justice may ask,
No problem for me to answer, You bet your ass.
David Truskoff

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Who am I

Who am I?
As a small boy I had to endure the pain of not knowing who I was.
My parents moved to a town in New Jersey that was populated mostly by Catholic polish immigrants who were brought over by the slave traders with help from the church to work in the rubber and textile mills. They were greatly influenced by the anti-Semitic Detroit Radio priest father Coughlin, who often referred to the president of the United States as President Roosenfeld. At Easter time, when the priests came around to bless the kielbassa and Ham and get their hand out, Polish kids threw rocks at me because I killed Jesus.
At school we had to start the day by taking turns reading from the bible. The teacher always gave me the same page to read from. "The ungodly are not so, They are like the chaff that the wind driveth away." I could feel her eyes burning in my back.
My father’s family in the old country were non-practicing Russian Orthodox and my mother’s family Orthodox Jews. Neither of my parents were religious, although my mother did keep a set of kosher dishes for family visits.
I have never been a member of any church or temple, and I was astounded years later when I was in Israel to listen to the debates over who is or is not a Jew. I remember when I asked my mother. "Mom, am I a Jew?" Her answer was always the same. "I am a Jew so therefor you are a Jew. That’s all there is to it." "But if you don’t come from Jewland and you call the rabies gonifs how can you be a Jew?" My mother never called herself a Jew. She said she was an American of Russian Yiddish descent. That didn’t help me because then Yiddish was a derogatory word like the infamous N word.
It was all so confusing. If your family came from Ireland you were an Irish American. If they came from Italy you were an Italian American. My parents came from Russia so how come I was a Jewish American. I didn’t mind being a Jewish American and I still don’t.
Israeli Law of Return is not a law at all because it still defies definition. Russian is a second language in Israel and most of those who speak it are not religious Jews and many do not call themselves Jews at all.
Wikipedia includes the following paragraph "the registering of "nationality" on Israeli Teudat Zehut ("identity card"). This is also controlled by the Ministry of the Interior, which has generally only registered as a "Jew" those who meet the traditional definition according to the (Orthodox) Chief Rabbinate. However, in a small number of cases the secular Supreme Court of Israel has forced the ministry to register as Jews individuals who did not meet that definition." WHAT?
Uri Avnery said, "Anyone who calls himself a Jew is a Jew." WHAT?
My wife insists that Jewish means religion and genetics has nothing to do with it. It is an important subject because those who blindly support Israeli aggression do so because they feel if there is no "Jewland" i.e. Israel and they do not belong to any religious group they are faced with the same dilemma I had.
That is forever asking the question, who am I? To them Jewish is not religious, not political, but simply a nationality.
I solved it long ago with the help of Avnery. When I brought him to America for a book tour, my mother was already too sick to talk to him, but he taught me to separate Zionism, religion, and the awful Israeli politics from my mother’s beautiful Yiddish culture and I am free to oppose the madness of greater Israel.
David Truskoff