Flight MH 17: Emotional Words From a Dutch Man
Jul27

Flight MH 17: Emotional Words From a Dutch Man

While every family member, relative or friend lost in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 represents a horrific tragedy, and while every nation whose citizens died as a result of that criminal act is in deep mourning, the loss suffered by the Dutch nation and the Dutch people is especially heavy: 193 of its residents killed in a matter of seconds, entire families wiped out… No wonder the Netherlands has been taking a lead role...

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Israel’s Ground Offensive in Gaza – Continuing Updates
Jul26

Israel’s Ground Offensive in Gaza – Continuing Updates

Jul 27, 2014 3:00 AM CDT - Reuters: The Israeli military started fighting again in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, saying Hamas militants had ignored a 24-hour, humanitarian ceasefire requested by the United Nations. “Following Hamas’ incessant rocket fire throughout the humanitarian window, which was agreed upon for the welfare of the civilian population in Gaza, the (army) will now resume its aerial, naval and ground activity...

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The ‘Power’ of Satire and the Power of Poetry
Jul26

The ‘Power’ of Satire and the Power of Poetry

A little less than two years ago, when we were getting ready to elect a new president, or re-elect Barack Obama, I wrote a little piece at the Huffington Post that created somewhat of a mini uproar. In the article I explained why “I [Was] Voting for Mitt Romney on Nov. 7.” It was satire, of course. There were two clues I thought would signal such. First, November 7 was the day after the 2012 elections. Second, my concluding paragraph...

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General Dempsey Speaks on the Ukraine Crisis
Jul25

General Dempsey Speaks on the Ukraine Crisis

Adding insult to injury — if the cowardly downing of a passenger airliner can be couched as such — Russian president Vladimir Putin is responding to the outrageous crime by his thugs in eastern Ukraine by escalating military aggressive actions against Ukraine. This morning, both Reuters and the Washington Post report on Russia firing artillery across its border with Ukraine targeting Ukrainian military positions and...

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A Late King’s Words to Netanyahu Still Resonate Today
Jul24

A Late King’s Words to Netanyahu Still Resonate Today

I have always liked and admired the late King Hussein of Jordan. In my opinion, he was a kind, wise leader — a haven of peace, reason and steadfastness in the always-troubled Middle East. Thus I was not surprised to find very similar words in his official biography: His Majesty King Hussein bin Talal, the father of modern Jordan, will always be remembered as a leader who guided his country through strife and turmoil to become an...

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Today We Are All Dutch
Jul23

Today We Are All Dutch

The achievements of the Dutch people and the tragedies they have suffered have, at times, been immensely disproportionate to the small population and the tiny size of this remarkable nation. Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, “tiny Holland” — the “Northern Low Countries” with less than 2 million people — experienced an era of unprecedented, explosive growth and prosperity to become the premier economic, industrial,...

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Downing of Flight 17 – Continuing Updates
Jul22

Downing of Flight 17 – Continuing Updates

This entry will be updated as events warrant. 22 July 2014 21:50 CDT The first bodies from flight MH17 are being flown to the Netherlands where they are expected to arrive in Eindhoven at 16:00 local time (14:00 GMT). The BBC: The Dutch royal family and the prime minister Mark Rutte will meet the plane. The bodies are then due to be taken to the Korporaal van Oudheusden barracks for identification. Mr Rutte said that process could...

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Fox News: Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation ‘Endangers Religious Liberty’ (Updated)
Jul22

Fox News: Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation ‘Endangers Religious Liberty’ (Updated)

Read an Opinion by the New York Times Editorial Board following the post. On Monday, President Obama signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Executive Order amends Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in the existing Executive Order...

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The Medal of Honor for a Soldier’s Actions When ‘Valor Was Everywhere’
Jul21

The Medal of Honor for a Soldier’s Actions When ‘Valor Was Everywhere’

One month ago, we reported on the White House announcement that President Barack Obama would award Ryan M. Pitts, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. Today that moment came. At a moving ceremony in the White House this afternoon, attended by SSG Pitt’s wife Amy and their one-year-old son Lucas, the President of the United States did indeed bestow the nation’s highest military...

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Respected Medical Periodical Reviews ‘Obamacare’
Jul21

Respected Medical Periodical Reviews ‘Obamacare’

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) — not a slouch — has just published a progress report on “Health Care Coverage under the Affordable Care Act” — “an overview of Obamacare’s first year, its successes and the challenges ahead.” Talking Points Memo (TPM) says: The NEJM report pulled a wealth of information, much of it already known by those closely following the law’s implementation but presented...

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My First ‘Cell Phone’
Jul20

My First ‘Cell Phone’

I have been writing so much about ongoing tragedies, wars and conflicts that I need to give it a rest. So, for a change, I decided to read an article about the evolution of cell phones. One of the first sentences was “Cell phones have evolved immensely since 1983, both in design and function.” No kidding! But how about in size — unless that is part of “design.” Which brings me to one of my first cell phones — I think we...

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The Faces Behind the Numbers: ‘The Innocent Lives of Flight 17′ (Updated)
Jul19

The Faces Behind the Numbers: ‘The Innocent Lives of Flight 17′ (Updated)

Scroll down for updates In her “Maybe this is the real story behind the downed Malaysia airliner,” fellow contributor Prairie Weather posted an image of the numbers and nationalities of the men, women, children and babies aboard the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. While the numbers have slightly changed — the Wall Street Journal this morning, for example, raised the number of Dutch victims to 192 — the enormity of...

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President Obama: Flight MH-17 Shoot-Down an ‘Outrage of Unspeakable Proportion’
Jul18

President Obama: Flight MH-17 Shoot-Down an ‘Outrage of Unspeakable Proportion’

Here are some excerpts from President Obama’s remarks on the shooting-down of the Malaysia Airliner where at least one American was killed, as reported by Claudette Roulo of the DoD News, Defense Media Activity: “Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken — men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine. Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions,” Obama told reporters during a news...

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(Updated) Surface-to-Air Missile Brought Down Malaysia Airlines Flight over Ukraine: WSJ
Jul17

(Updated) Surface-to-Air Missile Brought Down Malaysia Airlines Flight over Ukraine: WSJ

Member Login Username: Password: Update II: Secretary of State John Kerry has released the following statement on the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine: We are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. There are no words adequate to express our condolences to the families of the nearly 300 victims. We offer our sympathies and support to the Governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands at this...

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New Worries, Old Typewriters and Old Worries
Jul16

New Worries, Old Typewriters and Old Worries

As a result of the alleged U.S. spying on the German government, Newsweek is reporting that a German commission looking into the U.S. spying scandal may be considering the use of the old-fashioned manual typewriters as an anti-spy measure. When asked whether the committee investigating the “spying scandal” was in fact entertaining such an idea, Patrick Sensburg, chair of the committee and a member of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat...

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Military Retirees: Light ‘Em Up – at Your Own Risk.
Jul13

Military Retirees: Light ‘Em Up – at Your Own Risk.

I am a military retiree. In the back of my mind I knew that retired members of the armed forces (who are entitled to pay) are still subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). As a hopefully law-abiding retiree I have never given it much thought, however. Furthermore, it was my understanding that if a retiree was ever “hauled-in” to face military justice, it would be for some very severe crime. In a recent article, the...

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A Day in the Life of a President – in  Austin, Texas
Jul12

A Day in the Life of a President – in Austin, Texas

As most know, President Obama traveled to Austin this week where, according to the White House, he simply “sat down for coffee with a letter writer, delivered a speech on the economy, and grabbed some lunch at a local BBQ joint.” Of course the President did much more than that. For example, that unassuming “delivered a speech” represents, in my opinion, one of the best, frank, spirited, passionate, telling-it-like-it-really-is,...

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Good News for Veterans’ Survivors
Jul08

Good News for Veterans’ Survivors

Here is some good news from that much-maligned Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — good news for those who have just lost a veteran spouse at a time when good news is so sorely needed. According to a VA release: New burial regulations effective today will now allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to automatically pay the maximum amount allowable under law to most eligible surviving spouses more quickly and efficiently,...

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Dutch ‘Zwarte Pieten’: Innocent Tradition or Inadvertent Racism?
Jul05

Dutch ‘Zwarte Pieten’: Innocent Tradition or Inadvertent Racism?

When I was a little kid (“little” being ages 10 through 17), I lived in the Netherlands Antilles and in the Netherlands. That was back in the 50s. I remember Zwarte Piet, or “Black Pete,” well. I remember them (sometimes there were dozens of them) running and clowning around with their burlap sacks — scaring the daylights out of some little kids, might be a better term — in parades, shopping centers and, as legend had it,...

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American Teenager Caught Up in Israel Violence
Jul05

American Teenager Caught Up in Israel Violence

WTSP.com reports that an American boy, Tampa teenager Tariq Khdeir, a 15-year-old student at the Universal Academy of Florida high school in Tampa, is being detained in Jerusalem following an attack carried out by Israeli defense forces, as claimed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Young Khdeir was attending a demonstration following the death of his 16-year old cousin, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was allegedly burned alive...

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