DISCRIMINATION IS NO ANSWER

There are important issues facing our nation including at best, a lack luster economy and the worse foreign policy since Jimmy Carter and yet the Elephants, who desperately want to address those problems by electing a prexy in 2016, continue to shoot themselves in the feet by adhering to ridiculous social policies that guarantee they will alienate not only Donkeys and independents but moderates within their own party, as well. In the latest gaffe, Indiana repubs passed a law supposedly guaranteeing religious freedom by allowing business owners to refuse to serve potential patrons on religious grounds. While I have written extensively about the current secular administration’s attack on religious freedom, you can’t have it both ways meaning you can’t object to discrimination against religion while at the same time defending discrimination on religious grounds. Putting aside strictly legal issues, if you decide to open a coffee shop, you should expect that if you are successful, you won’t always being serving people who agree with your politics, how you raise your children or which church, if any, you attend. Of course, the resultant public furor over this law is obviously seeing the law as a reason to discriminate against the LBGT community. And rightly so, although outside of West Hollywood, I have no idea how some red neck on the right will even be able to determine whether a person who walks in and orders a cup of coffee is gay. Just as no governmental entity should stop you from believing whatever you want religiously, likewise no governmental agency should deny you the liberty to be who you choose to be sexually. If the Elephants wish to be relevant in this day and age, they had better wake up and start concentrating on core issues that really matter to most Americans.

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MIDEAST CRISIS Part Two

If radical Islam represents a threat to not only countries like Israel, Jordan and others, how do we deal with that threat? That is the question for the moment and for the future. Our future. If the middle east explodes in war, it is obvious that we will be drawn into any conflict that arises there.

The current administration has adopted a strategy of negotiating with Iran to prevent that nation from acquiring nuclear weapons. That strategy is based on several arguments.

First, Iran can be persuaded to join the league of “reasonable nations.” This argument is wishful thinking with no basis in reality. In fact, Iran has been correctly labeled as the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world. Second, we need Iran to stop ISIS. No, we need bombing with limited “boots on the ground” to defeat ISIS. Iran is going after ISIS simply to prevent ISIS from becoming the dominant terrorist organization, a designation Iran wishes to keep for itself. Third, if we don’t negotiate with Iran, the only alternative is an all out war. If we give Iran the bomb, that will do more to hasten the threat of war then doing a bad deal. It doesn’t take a professional expert on middle eastern affairs to realize that giving Iran the bomb will set off an arms race not seen since we took on the Soviet Union after WWII. Sanctions should be increased to destroy Iran’s economy. We defeated the commies by destroying their economy. It can certainly work again with a piss ant state like Iran. Finally, Israel, so the argument goes is “overreacting” to the threat posed by Iran having the bomb. As Netty said, we are concerned with our security, Israel is concerned with its survival.

The administration, according to public info, wants a deal with Iran that would maintain Iran’s nuclear apparatus and give them a green light to have the bomb in a decade. Thus, critics, including Israel, are correct when they label this as a bad deal. Iran, then, as we have seen with North Korea, will have the ability to use war heads to strike our own country with nuclear weapons.

Perhaps the final straw is the specious argument by liberals and libertarians that if Iran has the bomb, they won’t use it. This reminds me of the “head in the sand” approach taken with Hitler and the Japanese war lords.

In both cases, we sat falsely relying on two oceans to protect us with the thought that if Hitler could be appeased by giving him a few minor European countries (like giving Iran the bomb), he would stop his terrorism or that Japan would never have the gall to attack us. Let us not fall prey to letting history repeat itself. Hopefully, Congress will have more sense than the current administration when it comes to dealing with Iran and the threat of militant Islam.

DOES IT REALLY LEAD IF IT BLEEDS?

Having been the managing editor of my high school newspaper, I have always had a keen interest in journalism. Fortunately, for my sanity, I chose another profession although now that I think about it, maybe avoiding insanity can never be the product of what one does for a living since lawyers have one of the highest rates of substance abuse among professionals and don’t stack up very well in the suicide department either. In any event, our current excuse for a President in a recent interview dismissed the criticism of an aspect of his foreign policy by claiming the whole matter was overblown and the product of the above referenced cliche. Since stats show about 87% of journalists identify themselves as Donkeys as opposed to Elephants, it is not surprising that Mr. Obomba got a free ride from the press during much of his presidency. It is only now that his failings, particularly in the foreign policy arena, have become so obvious that he is finally getting his due, legitimate questions and criticism. With congress firmly in control of the Elephants whose motto might be, “I’ve never met a social issue I can’t shoot myself in the foot about” it now appears that we will have a more balanced series of pot shots from the press as we head into the next presidential election. One of our local newspapers, a bastion of liberal bias, has completely ignored the latest Clinton scandal, carrying no mention of Hillie’s thinly disguised campaign arm, her “foundation” accepting money from foreign governments, including surrogates of the Red Chinese and the destruction of emails while she boosted her resume as Secretary of State. So, Mr. O, it appears that if it bleeds, it doesn’t always lead after all.

MIDEAST CRISIS (Part One)

As some of you know who follow this column on a regular basis, I am not particularly religious in any formal sense and certainly not Jewish. But I have always had great sympathy for the Jewish people, having been exposed, unlike Mel Gibson, to the horrors of the holocaust in my study of history.

For that reason, I also admire Israel, the Jewish state. Since their beginnings, Israel has been what statesmen might call “a ray of hope” for democracy in the middle east.

Since my daughter had the good sense to marry a Jewish man whom I am honored to call “son” and even more honored when he calls me “dad,” and they have given me the loves of my life, three wonderful grandchildren, my exposure to the Jewish religion has of course grown as I have insisted, though without opposition from my children, that my grandchildren be exposed to all things Jewish as it will be part of their heritage, a heritage, like the heritage from their mother’s side of the family, they should always be proud of.

Recently, visiting the fam in La La land, I had the pleasure of going to my granddaughter’s pre-school to witness a special Jewish celebration in which she was singled out as the school celebrated her fourth birthday. As I stood watching the teachers dancing with their charges, I was reminded that the last time I had been in a church setting where people joyously sang and danced was when I attended a Black Southern Baptist church many years ago.  It brought home to me that while we worship in our own way, we have much in common in how we celebrate what we believe.

As we exited the celebration, returning to our cars, I was also reminded, however, at how religion also divides us as I saw the armed security guards patrolling the parking lot, looking around like secret service men for an antisemitic threat. It brought back my constant fear that my grandchildren being half Jewish will have to spend the rest of their lives recognizing that part of their heritage will also include even the threat to their lives simply because they are Jewish.

We live as human beings with a dark side, George Lucas had it right,  which infests so many with reasons to hate based on nothing more than tribal differences. I’m sure there is a sociological basis, a psychological basis for this but what is important is that it exists and no contestant in a beauty contest who wishes for “world peace” will change that dynamic.

Politicians and pundits talk today of “existential threats.” The overriding such threat is the threat posed by our own self destructiveness in the name of this religion or that religion.  It seems axiomatic that as humans, we have the unending ability to pervert even the most well intentioned ideas embodied in religions initiated with the best aims in mind.

And therein lies the problem we face today with radical Islam.