Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

47 Wrongs Didn’t Make this Right









Anyone who has read anything I have written till now is aware that I am completely opposed to any negotiations with Iran’s current regime.  I have, and will continue to oppose any deal with a government that sounds frighteningly similar to Hitler’s Nazi Germany.  That being said, the recent actions taken by Republican lawmakers in which they sent a letter to Iran’s government was not only wrong, it was dangerous.

In my post titled Unity or Destruction. Pick One, I discuss the importance of a unified front against evil.  It’s not really a challenge when everyone has the same political opinion and strategy or approach.  So for those who will say they support the letter because these Republicans are right about Iran and the administration is wrong, I offer you the following response. It’s irrelevant.

Here’s some clichés and quotes for you: United We Stand Divided We Fall,  Divide and Conquer, and of course Abraham Lincoln’s:  “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”, all apply here. Take your pick.  Just as I did not feel that Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech should have been turned into a partisan issue, and I called out the Democrats who made it one, so too I believe that the break from structure here is a damaging partisan move that hurts the country more than it helps the country.

Make no mistake.  This is more than just a break in protocol.  The entire structure of our democracy is impacted by this global show of a lack in unity within our governmental system.  Not to mention the damage to the office of the President.  Sometimes it has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with the office. In other words, even if all the criticisms of the president are correct on this issue, insulting the office is never justified by elected American representatives.  That even applies to situations in which they wish to make the case that the policy of the president shows disrespect for his own office.  In other words, 2 wrongs, or in this case 47 wrongs don’t make a right.

When I try to predict some of the responses I might get to this article I realize that in many ways this is as non-partisan as anything I’ve ever written.  Both sides will make their claim.  Some will say the 47 were right for sending the letter.  After all, they don’t support dealing with Iran and feel the president is going against their wishes in conducting these negotiations.  On top of which the danger in dealing with Iran is so great that the ends justify the means. Personally I believe they are laughing today in Tehran and believing they have us just where they want us.  Fighting among ourselves to such a point that we’ve gone out of the family, so to speak.

For those who will say John Boehner did the same thing when he invited Benjamin Netanyahu I say this.  There is a big difference between 47 lawmakers sending a letter to a hostile country contradicting the president than there is in the Speaker of the House inviting the Head of Government of an important ally.

Too many people seem to be taking their eye off the ball and taking actions that are more political than beneficial.  Actions that hurt the structure of the American government impact everyone, and other than our enemies, not beneficially.  We need more elected representatives who stand up for what is right for the nation rather than what they perceive as right for their career or party.  The stakes are too high, and if politicians continue to play these silly games the results will ultimately be catastrophic.

If ever we needed true leadership, something I believe we are sadly missing, it is right now.




Open Letter to Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen (10)Dear Viggo,

I recently had the displeasure of reading the comments you made regarding Israel and FOX News.  I probably would have left this alone if you had done nothing other than accuse FOX News of lying, but since you followed up with distorted and dishonest comments about Israel it had an almost natural and immediate relevance.

As I normally do before writing a letter, I looked up your history. You’ve spent a lot of time in Venezuela, Argentina, and most recently Turkey.  All places so well-known for their history of free government.   Since you are someone paid to act as opposed to think, let me clue you in.  That last comment about the freedom in those countries was sarcasm.  Incidentally I’ve seen some of your films, and you get paid far too much for your acting.  But in fairness, I probably have as much knowledge of what’s fair payment for an actor’s performances as you have for, let’s say, international politics.

Your pearls of wisdom (more sarcasm) came in the form of the following comments.

When asked how you feel about FOX News you replied:

They lie—that would be the word for it.

I normally don’t defend FOX News, merely because they are a news agency and to disagree or attack a news agency is something that often doesn’t do heinous damage to them.  In fact sometimes it makes people watch them more.  But let’s face it.  If you are an intelligent and compassionate thinker as opposed to an ignorant blowhard, you don’t come out with a blanket statement like “they lie”, when referring to FOX News.  It shows personal bias and a disingenuous agenda particularly when followed up with blatantly biased and untrue statements about Israel.

When questioned about Israel you said the following:

Sadly, very little has changed in terms of the free rein that the government of Israel is given by the U.S. and other influential governments in terms of their handling of the Palestinian question. Sadly, too, the violent acts from a small minority of Palestinian terrorists also continue unabated. No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism, but if anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government’s acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored. Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, in the Middle East or anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, we are nowhere near seeing either of these happening in the mainstream U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Wow!  Where do I start?  I must compliment you.  You are very economical. You’ve managed to put so much nonsense in such a short statement.  Hugo Chavez, your deceased Venezuelan buddy, would most likely have been very proud.  Abraham Lincoln once said,  “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Israel is given free rein? Seriously?  No country on the planet is more unfairly scrutinized, criticized and vilified than the State of Israel.  The United Nations might as well change its name to the United Nations against Israel. I wonder what you would want done to them to take away what you call this “free rein”.

This next comment is actually my favorite.

No one in the media seems to have a problem with anyone criticizing Palestinian terrorism…

I’m sorry, should they?  The “liars” at FOX News certainly don’t.  You go on to compare Israel’s actions to these Palestinian terrorists you so passionately defend.  You call Israel’s actions acts of state terrorism against Palestinians. Did you lose your moral compass while shooting a film in Turkey by any chance?  After all, the politicians and journalists in Turkey seem to be a lot more careful about criticizing Palestinian terrorists.  The government actually supports them.  That should be right up your ally.  After all, Israel’s the real problem, right?

And then the coup de grace: Truly even-handed reporting and diplomacy are the only way to peaceful coexistence, something you say is not happening in the U.S. or European media as regards the state of Israel and its behavior.

Oh yes, because we all know that Israel is the media’s darling.  That’s why hundreds of thousands of dead civilians in a Syrian civil war get almost no attention compared to the 2,000 dead in Gaza.  Because the media isn’t concerned about Israel’s “behavior”.

Mr. Mortensen, I understand you are from Danish descent. I want you to see a quote from the diary of the late Christian X, King of Denmark from 1912-1947.

When you look at the inhumane treatment of Jews, not only in Germany but occupied countries as well, you start worrying that such a demand might also be put on us, but we must clearly refuse such this due to their protection under the Danish constitution. I stated that I could not meet such a demand towards Danish citizens. If such a demand is made, we would best meet it by all wearing the Star of David.

Your words, words of prejudice against the Jewish people, dishonor the people you descend from.  I am sure that like so many others you will say your views are anti-Israel as opposed to anti-Semitic, but in all honesty, when downplaying the acts of terrorists as well as the consequence of their actions, you show no value for Jewish life.   Maybe you should take an example from a great Danish king who once realized the value of Jewish life was directly connected to the value of the life of his subjects.  He likely would have realized that what Hamas wants to do to the Jewish people is eerily similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews.  I’m confident King Christian X would also have had no problem criticizing Palestinian terrorism and would never have seen self-defense against it as acts of state terrorism.

I’ll be honest, since I know honesty is so important to you.  I never liked you as an actor.   Until now at least, my opinion of you as an actor really didn’t matter, kind of like your opinion about Israel.  It does however mean you are one more actor whose movies I won’t pay to see, and I suspect I won’t be alone in feeling this way.

Good riddance “Mr. Honesty”.


David Groen





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A Citizen’s Plea

Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portraitAlthough I write this post as a proud American, it is my belief that the strength and position of the United States of America is of great importance to the entire civilized world.  Debate is a good thing and it is a cornerstone of American society.  Part of the greatness of the country is the freedom of all its citizens to express themselves no matter how diametrically opposed one citizen or group may be from the other.  However, the freedoms given by the founding fathers, as important as they are, do very little good if they are used a destructive force against a united society.

Let me make it clear to anyone reading this that I am not being so presumptuous to think that anyone can put a limit on the freedom of speech.  Any limitations put on it destroy the very premise it was built on.  So in essence, all I am doing in this post is exercising my freedom of expression with a personal plea.  Let’s get it together people.

It is time to come together as a nation and stop the bitter attacks against one another.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”  We are destroying ourselves.  Not with differences of opinion or ideology, not with conservative or liberal stances, and not with a loyalty to the Republican or Democratic Party.   We are destroying ourselves with conspiracy theories, personal attacks and vendettas, and hatred towards those who think differently than we do.  Intelligent debate has been replaced by name calling and accusation.  Idealism has been replaced with a corruption that has ambitious people taking advantage of weaknesses created by a modern society blinded by the desire to always find the easy way out.

I am a Social Liberal, but it is very important that I make something very clear.  This is a totally non-partisan post.  Those who are guilty are on all ends of the political spectrum and to say otherwise would just compound the problem and destroy any credibility this post might have.  Even if one side is harsher than the other, something both sides take turns being, we are still at a stage of verbal conflict where it behooves either side, even the attacked side to take a softer stance if it creates a more unified nation.  We need that right now.  For despite the importance of the debates taking place in the country today, the true enemies are not domestic.  There are forces such as Islamic regimes and a North Korean crazy who want to see us wiped off the map.  I may be Pro Choice, but I’ll support my Pro Life fellow American against those whose intention is to murder us.  And if someone opposes gay marriage, although I disagree with their viewpoint, I don’t see them as evil for standing by what they believe in.  And I may have an anti-gun philosophy for the average American, but I also know that an extremely high percentage of those who are passionate about keeping their guns do not want them for the purpose of killing their fellow Americans.

My point is that even the most Conservative of civilized Americans are not my enemy, just as I am not theirs.  But if we go after each other with venom and hatred we risk doing the very thing the great Abraham Lincoln warned us about, and that is destroying ourselves.  As an American this is my personal plea to all those reading.  Let’s not go down that road.  Let’s debate the issues but never stop working together for the best possible solutions to our shared problems.

A Non Evil Liberal Conservative

With my cell phone causing me problems yesterday, I found myself in that unfathomable situation where without company or reading material I would be stuck on the train with nothing to do but travel.  So I went to the newsstand and did something I haven’t done in quite some time.  I bought a magazine.  The magazine I chose was the most recent edition of Newsweek, the one with Abraham Lincoln on the cover.  Reading the article made me think long and hard about the concept of civil war in these United States, what would cause it, and what the potential impact would be on our society.

By all accounts Abraham Lincoln was a great man.  He dared to change one of the most significant and indecent aspects of American society.  As somewhat of a news junkie I follow current events to the extent that I am able to form opinions and see patterns according to my own personal opinion.  With this in mind I realize that on some level Lincoln may have been fortunate to be the right person at the right time, but with such a large segment of the population opposed to his stance that it caused enormous consequences both nationally and for him personally, Lincoln deserves his  positive legacy.

But what if he were alive today?  With today’s perception of what is a Democrat and Republican, it may come of a shock to the unknowing that Lincoln was a Republican president.  How would he have been perceived by his party and opponents today?  I understand that times change so the comparisons are questionable, but to me it brought a glaring issue to the forefront.  The issue I am speaking of is the growing schism between the right and the left that leads to the use of the words Conservative and Liberal as a means to insult people.  The danger in this schism is that when people are divided to this extent the people that come to forefront are often those whose agenda challenges peoples’ freedom.  When that happens true evil rises accompanied by war and persecution.

Pope John Paul II was a great man.  He fought against Nazi oppression, helped Jewish friends as a young man in Poland, helped bring down the Soviet empire, and lead the Catholic Church with goodness and thoughtfulness.  Pope John Paul II was unquestionably a Conservative.

Steven Spielberg has directed films about the Holocaust and Slavery, given enormous amounts of money to charity, and used his voice to champion causes that support human rights everywhere.  As someone who generally supports the Democratic Party and based on his public stances on social issues Steven Spielberg would most likely be categorized by most as a Liberal.

In today’s world when spoken of by the opposition, both Liberals and Conservatives are evil and the cause of all our problems.  Just ask Rush Limbaugh or Janeane Garofalo.  I am sure they will tell you how evil Liberals and Conservatives are respectively.  If you need confirmation I am sure you can get it from the likes of Ann Coulter or Michael Moore.  Just ask these people, people who naturally have no personal agenda (please recognize the sarcasm), and I am sure they will show you, in detail how Conservatives and Liberals are destroying our society.   In fact, let us pretend Lincoln were alive today.  We might have Rush Limbaugh show us what a traitor he is to his Conservative base and a danger to the future of all good people of the good ole US of A.  If that doesn’t work for you we can have Michael Moore dig up some dirt on him and show us how he is using the hardships of a segment of our society to push his Republican agenda and unjustly seize control of the government.  I’m sure the word conspiracy will be in there somewhere as well.  Whatever the case may be, today that Liberal thinking Conservative would be seen as one evil war-mongering killer of the fabric of American society.

In today’s world, a world where anyone who is not like-minded is an evil Conservative or an evil Liberal, the only place to be is smack in the middle.   But be careful.  If you’re a Conservative who believes in a woman’s right to choose or a Liberal who believes in a tough stance on Foreign policy you’ll be thrown right back into the category of evil.  But fret not.  The great Abraham Lincoln will most likely be standing right beside you.