276 girls


How is this possible?  There have been decades of atrocities, unbreakable cycles of violence, the world over. Countless children sacrificed to the power struggles over land and its resources.  Nigeria has devolved into chaos.

Legacies of colonialization and Western arrogance.  And backlash.

This is the one case that is gaining international attention.  Because of the brazenness and insanity of the Boko Haram fighters.  How does a militant group, fighting in the name of God, kidnap 276 school girls to sell them into marriage and slavery?

These girls.  These poor girls.  Their poor families.  I cannot imagine what it is to have my child taken from me by lawless gangs who roam with impunity.

This massive kidnapping is about radicalism and the cheapness of human life, in general, and that of a girl’s life, in particular.

And the knowledge of the perpetrators that we, in the United States, will soon turn back to the results of the NFL draft.  And then they can do this again.  And again.  And again.  Until no child is spared from the war crimes.
Our souls, and our beliefs in the sanctity of human life and in the God-given right of a child to realize his or her potential, lie in the balance of our nation’s response to this crisis and others like it across the globe.  Let’s find these girls, airlift them and their families and share the bounty of our nation with them.  It isn’t fair to those left behind, but it is a start.  And, in Jewish theology, it is a person’s moral obligation to save even one life even if one cannot save everyone.

God bless and keep these girls, and keep them safe from more ravages of war.

Countdown to Sequester and other problems

“Sequester” will be a reality in less than two weeks.  Economic and political chaos visible on the horizon.  The Congress and the White House are in their respective corners, blaming each other.

McCain is yelling “cover-up!” on Benghazi, while under Bush’s watch, the attacks on our embassies were incalculable and the lives lost a moral travesty.

Syria is being armed by the Russians, even though Britain made a statement that Russia had stopped, further isolating Prime Minister Cameron from the EU and the world.

The President golfs with Tiger Woods. It is ok now, say those who only speak on the condition of anonymity, because he isn’t running for re-election.  I guess Michelle Obama hasn’t taught Barry enough about the rage of women.

The White House rankles partisan divides by leaking an immigration plan. Marco Rubio flamed out in his response to the State of the Union.  So much for Time’s savior of the GOP.

The Keystone Pipeline and fracking are gaining momentum even as the dire environmental implications are clear.

Ashley Judd is taking on Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat.  He looks ever more like a chicken that Frank Perdue wouldn’t serve.

For anyone keeping score on this contest between the government and nation, the nation is losing.  Badly.

Tax Day is coming up and for the first time in my life (read, even under George W. Bush), I am not proud to pay my taxes.  Why? A bunch of clowns run our government.




It makes me wonder

People always say that two people can view the same set of events from the almost identical vantage points and have three different versions.

I posted earlier on Facebook that I was walking by a group of men outside a neighborhood bodega, “chewing the fat” about Osama Bin Laden.  “How did the man manage three wives holed up in the same house for five years?” Clearly, proof positive that he was a worthy adversary of the United States of America.

I did not take that away from the unfolding events.  (I will say that I was happy that his kids were able to go out and play.  Judaism teaches that the sins of the fathers are not inherited by their children.)

I didn’t immediately think the wives were complicit or victims.  Those kind of knee-jerk conclusions simply marginalize them as cardboard cut-outs to fit our view of women in the fringes of a culture, religion and world view we have not even begun to understand.

I also did not take away, as Herman Cain did, that President Obama may have “dithered” before making the decision.  On what basis does Mr. Godfather’s Pizza say this?

Here is what I took away from this:

  • The president made a decision that would make him a hero if it worked, or a pariah like Jimmy Carter, if it didn’t.
  • The decision rocked an unsteady alliance with Pakistan, an unstable country with lots of nuclear warheads.
  • The killing will incite retaliation.
  • If Osama Bin Laden was a continuing terror mastermind, then this is what had to be done.
  • If he was the isolated, broken man that some videos suggest, then this was a vengeful and stupid mission with untold consequences dripping in blood.


It has begun

I listened to the news and tears welled up.  Another crisis where the highest casualties will be innocent civilians.




A lethal trifecta.

Fitch Downgrades Egypt

“Tarek El-Tablawy, AP Business Writer, On Friday January 28, 2011, 2:20 pm

CAIRO (AP) — Fitch Rating on Friday revised down its outlook for Egypt, dropping it to “negative” as mass protests in the country turned violent, engulfing the capital and other cities in the most serious challenge to President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in years.

Fitch said it was holding steady Egypt’s other ratings, including its long-term foreign currency issuer default rating, which was held at the investment grade BB+.”


As an aside, rating agencies generally condoned the “froth” and the bubble that almost ruined us financially.

So, here is the picture:  Egyptians are taking to the streets against its government, the military is locking down cities, airports are closed, the opposition leader is under house arrest and Fitch downgrades Egypt’s “outlook”.  But Egypt’s debt paying ability is holding steady, thank G-d.  That totalitarianism for you.   Because even though people are protesting and dying for change, the bills still get paid and the palace is still resplendent.  And no situation is negative until the financial markets say so. I think that is what we have learned from these last three years.

I wonder how many people are reading the articles about the protests, etc., and how many are reading about the financial impact on debt holders.  I don’t want to know the answer, because Jack Nicholson was right in a Few Good Men, I can’t handle the truth.

When there is no “news”

Michael Jackson is still dead and his children are in his mother’s custody. Congress is in recess.  So far, no more GOP family values scandals. The beer summit concluded.  What is there to report about?


The economy, health care reform, Iran elections, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel’s settlements, industrial poisoning of villagers in China, North Korea, Myanmar, Nigeria, etc., etc.

Nah, not those.  Too heavy.  Berlusconi’s love and sex scandal!!  Ahaa.   G-d bless Italy.