Tag Archives: China

No More ISIS Horror Images:My personal stand

dhBritish aid worker David Haines is the latest westerner to be executed by ISIS. Earlier today images were released hauntingly similar to those taken of murdered journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. After hearing the arguments made against even showing the pictures taken just before the executions of the 2 journalists, I’ve decided that starting today I am taking my own personal stand.  I will do my small part to no longer give these murderers the soapbox they so sickeningly crave.  I will not feed into their hate, I will not contribute to the fear they are trying to generate, and I will encourage everyone to follow suit. I will not show them even the slightest amount of respect and I will only give honor to the men and women they murder without conscience.

My friends, these are evil and scary people, but rest assured their days are numbered.  In their efforts to destroy civilization as we know it I believe they will galvanize the good of the world to exhibit force not seen since 1945, and maybe even surpassing that element of force.  The time will come when they push the wrong button on the wrong leaders nerve and then they will be hit with force they never even imagined.  It might be Israel who does it, it might be the U.S., it might even be Britain, Russia or China.  But it will happen. It’s always darkest before the dawn.  It is yet to get darker, but there is a dawn on the horizon.  Of this I am sure.

David Haines left behind a wife and 2 children.  He was 44.  May he rest in peace.

 

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The Nuclear Scenario

Nuclear_bombIt’s the topic we don’t often bring up, but it’s always somewhere in our minds.  With all that is happening in the world one might think it is just a matter of time till we see the use of some form of a nuclear weapon.  It’s a terrifying thought and quite frankly one that makes no normal person happy, regardless of where it would be used.  We can choose to ignore the subject, a decision I would understand because of how frightening it is to imagine, but what I am going to do in this piece is break down the numerous scenarios in which it could happen.

I’ll start with the 5 countries that are members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. They are the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China.  I believe the least likely of the  to be presented with an option in which to go nuclear is China.  Of the remaining 4, only Russia finds itself in a conflict close to home, but the fact that it is so close to home is the very reason not to use it.  The concerning thing about Russia has always been that after the break up of the Soviet Union there was a concern that weapons were scattered in various locations. That fear has dissipated somewhat with the control Vladimir Putin seems to have over the area, but that being said, Russia is the country on the list I see as most susceptible to terrorist infiltration.  The remaining three are all facing the potential threats of terrorist attacks by Islamic terrorists and should an attack be serious enough and the source identifiable, one can’t take a nuclear response off the table.  That is something all would be reluctant to do unless the attack on them was nuclear, and even then it would be uncertain.

There are four other countries that are nuclear powers, three declared and not members of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and one which is not a declared nuclear power but widely known as being one. There are more scenarios here and they are all quite terrifying. The first two, India and Pakistan, are the ones that might be seen as most likely to use  a nuclear weapon on the other.  Although the tensions between the two have calmed somewhat over the years, these 2 countries still don’t like each other and have very different global interests.  I believe India would only consider doing so if forced into it  and I believe Pakistan under its current leadership would not use it.  But this is where it gets interesting.  The Taliban has a significant presence in Pakistan and with neighboring Afghanistan still unstable and dealing with its strong Taliban force, no one wants to even think about what would happen should Pakistan’s government be replaced with a government aligned with Islamic extremists, or even worse a Taliban government.  That would without doubt be a global game changer.

There are 2 countries left to speak of, one of which is the one undeclared nuclear power, Israel.  Israel, like the nations in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, will only go nuclear if absolutely necessary, meaning if it is a matter of survival.  Israel would not need nuclear weapons to wipe out Iran’s nuclear program and is more likely to keep Iran in check with the threat of reprisal should Iran get nuclear weapons and use one of its proxies to attack Israel.

I left North Korea for last.  This was not an accident.  It is unquestionably the most dangerous of all the nuclear powers.  Besides the fact that their dictator Kim Jong has repeatedly threatened the U.S., it’s believed that North Korea helped fund the building of Hamas’s terror tunnels from Gaza to Israel.  No one finds it hard to believe that Kim would have a problem providing Hamas or any other terrorist organization with a nuclear weapon.  Like Hamas, Kim Jong’s Korea doesn’t care about his own people so he would have no problem contributing to a genocide of another people.  I have no doubt Israel is watching him very closely.

The terrorism scenario is always out there of course, be it a conventional bomb or dirty bomb,  especially since there are groups that have declared their willingness and desire to cause devastation in large western cities, most notably New York City.

All this is conjecture, but with all the conflicts going on today anything can happen at any time.  Let’s hope this doesn’t.

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Open Letter to Ban Ki-moon:Regarding the term “moral outrage”

UN-Secretary-General-Ban-Ki-moonDear Mr. Secretary-General,

I write to you today out of concern for your reaction to a recent attack in Gaza you referred to as a “moral outrage and criminal act.” I will not address your outrage since that is a feeling one has and it is pointless to debate one’s feelings, but what can be, and in this case needs to be clarified is your definition of morality.

The outrage you speak of is caused by Israel’s attack on a United Nations school in which 10 people were killed.  It is without question another tragedy in a very tragic war.  However, if you are to use the term moral outrage now, I believe it prudent to ask you what exactly you deem moral and immoral.

Is it moral for “militants”, as your organization now refers to the terrorists of Hamas, to hide in hospitals and schools?  Is it moral to consistently fire missiles at Israeli population centers with one intent, to kill civilians?  You have moral outrage for Israel’s attack, an attack whose purpose was to target terrorists and sadly killed civilians, but you do not express similar outrage when Hamas targets Tel-Aviv with the sole intent of murdering civilians.  I understand Israel is a stronger force and that it’s ability to defend itself has prevented the amount of casualties Hamas has hoped for, but is the action itself not one deserving of your outrage?

Is it moral to agree to a cease-fire and shortly after ambush the opposing force’s soldiers killing three of them?  Hamas has had numerous opportunities to stop the fighting but has rejected each cease-fire.  If you truly feel so strongly about human life where is your moral outrage for the fact that Hamas insists on continuing the fighting?  Where is the moral outrage with an organization using billions of dollars in financial aid on weapons and terror tunnels while the people it pretends to care for live in squalor?  Is it moral that the leaders of Hamas travel in private jets and hide in luxury hotels in Qatar while it uses its citizens as pawns in its effort to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?  If your outrage was truly sincere you would hear that while one side calls for the other’s destruction, the one you and your organization consistently oppose calls for peace.

Myself, and many like me might listen to your organization more if it were not for the one-sided approach consistently exhibited when it comes to matters regarding Israel.  I took some time to look up some of the resolutions and condemnations over the years and one in particular made me feel moral outrage.  Just before Israel destroyed Iraq’s nuclear capabilities the United Nations passed a resolution calling for a nuclear-free Middle East, and soon after the attack passed a resolution condemning the attack despite the fact that Israel’s actions kept nuclear weapons out of the hands of a crazy and dangerous dictator.  I also look back at the warm welcome received by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and to this day question the credibility your organization gave to someone who waged his war by murdering innocent civilians.  There was no moral outrage then.  The UN then proceeded to provide the PLO support laying the groundwork for future terrorist organizations to gain acceptance on the world stage.  That fact alone puts a lot of blood on the collective hands of the United Nations even though it is something it will never openly accept accountability for.  It did however very efficiently proceed to pass the resolution equating Zionism with racism.  This treatment towards Israel has gone on for quite some time and is no surprise to anyone, but with all the facts so readily available today, your comments and the reaction of the United Nations as an institution are even more absurd than they were in the past.

I could speak of other atrocities such as having Syria, Libya and China on Human Rights councils over the years and the lack of action against Syria and ISIS today, but that would take too long.  The amount of criticism given to Israel while so many people are being murdered by brutal regimes and organizations all over the world, mostly Muslims I might add, is, and I use the phrase many like to use when criticizing Israel’s actions, a disproportionate response.

Quite frankly, and I say this without apology, the organization you lead has shown itself to be anti-Semitic beyond compare, and has functioned as though it is clearly in the pocket of the corrupt and the criminal.  While you call for investigations of Israel’s actions I call for an investigation of your actions and the actions of the organization you are running.  However, no one, myself included, is naive enough to believe there will ever be full disclosure of what takes place behind the scenes.  At the end of the day it is not about right and wrong, it is about money and power, something the United Nations has a lot of and therefore is bulletproof and untouchable.  When you have the degree of responsibility for funding and influence that you possess, to abuse it as you are doing Mr. Secretary General is a true moral outrage and criminal act of enormous proportions.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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These things happened….

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These things happened,

The publishing of Ulysses by James Joyce;  The first swimmer crossed the English Channel; Calvin Coolidge became president; the first Winter Olympics took place; Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean; Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse; Herbert Hoover became president; the Stock Market crashed;Penicillin was discovered; the planet Pluto was discovered; Empire State Building was completed; Amelia Earhart crossed the Atlantic; Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Party became ruling party in Germany; Social security was established; Golden Gate Bridge was opened; Japan invaded China; Germany annexed Austria; World War II;  Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; 60 million people killed in World War II;  6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust; Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier; the State of Israel was founded; United Nations was formed;  NATO was formed; Korean War; Elvis Presley; Polio vaccine created;  Disneyland Opened; JFK became President; I was born; Cuban Missile Crisis; JFK assassinated; The Beatles; Vietnam War; Star Trek series; first Super Bowl; Apollo 11 landed on the moon; Terrorists Killed Israeli Athletes at Munich Olympics; Watergate scandal forced President Richard Nixon’s resignation; the movie Star Wars; John Paul II became Pope; Iranian Muslim revolution; CNN was formed; AIDS discovered; Personal Computers were invented; Soviet Union collapsed; Apartheid ended; Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa; 2 different Bush’s became Presidents; Bill Clinton became president; the Euro currency was formed; 3,000 killed in 9/11 attack in New York; Iraq War; the Internet was created; Holland lost 3 World cup finals; Justin and Kim got married.

These things happened, in the 92 years between the birth of these 2 people, my mother Sipora Groen and my youngest family member and great-niece Jara.

If this doesn’t give you hope nothing does.


How the Oscars Helped Show the BDS Movement’s Lack of Credibility

Omar_poster_croppedBy now I know I was not alone in cringing when a film from Palestine was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.  My personal discomfort wasn’t out of any objection that a film was made in the Palestinian territory, but rather for my immediate nervousness at the prospect of an acceptance speech.  When I thought about it further however, I was actually quite pleased by the nomination.  Not so much because I feel any personal investment in the growth of the Palestinian film industry, but rather because of the damage it does to the argument made by the BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions) Movement.

The movement, one that has influenced wealthy corporations and high-profile entertainers to boycott Israel, pushes the agenda that Israel is an apartheid state where Palestinians are persecuted with no hope for any sort of future.  Along comes a movie, “Omar”, a movie that tells a story of a young Palestinian man accused of being an accomplice in the murder of an Israeli soldier.  In the movie the man is beaten by an Israeli interrogator and convinced to collaborate with Israeli intelligence.  Having not seen the movie I can not speak to how good or bad it makes the Israeli authorities look, but I do know that in an apartheid state a film of this sensitive nature would never have been made.  This movie was made in Nazareth, in what is territory ultimately under control of the Israeli government.  It is hard to imagine a film like this would even get off the ground in China or Russia if a filmmaker from one of those countries showed either of those governments in a similar light.  So when the nomination of this film was read out loud for the entire world to hear, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was making the statement for those who needed to hear it that Israel is not only NOT an apartheid state, but a country where people can express themselves freely, be they Arab or Jew.

I don’t expect the anti-Semites who mold the BDS Movement to their agenda to be influenced by this at all, but I am hoping that the message was loud and clear to anyone out there who is objective and maybe not as educated to the reality of the situation.  For this I would like to thank the Academy.


Guns and Tragedies: A Common Partnership

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This post is a variation of a comment I wrote for an earlier thread on Facebook. Although this is more controversial than I normally get on my blog, my feelings on this subject are so strong that I feel compelled to state them openly, without fear, and without reservation.  To protect the privacy of those I responded to I have removed their names and adjusted the content appropriately as well as adding additional content.

I realize that personally I have a radical view on guns. Objectively I don’t usually think any radical approach is good, even when it’s my own. I don’t think good people owning guns generally do things to intentionally put other human beings in danger. I also know that many, if not most of them would gladly give up their guns if it was as a result of legislation that stopped the killing of innocent people.  I know that in reality it doesn’t work that way. I know there is no connection between criminals owning guns and decent, law-abiding citizens owning guns.  I even admit things don’t clearly get better by taking the guns away from good people. I just feel that many of them have misplaced passion.

A few people have tried to use the comparison of what happened in China a few days ago when a man attacked 22 children with a knife as “proof” that taking away guns won’t stop madmen. They’re correct, it won’t. But the difference between what happened in China and in Connecticut is the difference between children getting injured and children getting killed. That is right there in the headlines.  Both are horrible, but clearly one is worse than the other.

I understand that the good people who own guns want to keep their guns, but I don’t understand how some of them want it so much they won’t even admit something needs to be done. That is because some, and I emphasize some are so full of themselves and their Rush Limbaugh style politics that they consider someone like me the enemy. I resent the insinuation that they are better people than I am because I lash out in anger when something like this happens. They are so concerned about their politics, claiming it to be so important to own a gun that they come after me, who has freedom of speech, maybe even a greater, certainly equal cornerstone of our society, for placing the blame where I feel it belongs.

Am I right in how I look at the gun issue? Maybe yes, maybe no. But don’t tell me how I am taking away your constitutional right to own a gun while calling me an uncaring person for exercising my right to free speech. This, ‘you liberals don’t even wait till the blood is dry to turn this into something political’ attitude is complete and utter nonsensical self-serving partisan garbage. Who are these people to tell me when I am allowed to react? Who are these people to self-promote themselves to such an extent that they try to tell the world it makes them a better person than I am? Not once do I ever even insinuate that gun owners are less hurt by what happened than I am. But with some of them, the second you state an opinion contrary to theirs, they forget what is wrong in our society and come after someone like me. They have the audacity to imply, sometimes even say outright, that people who feel as I do are part of the problem. Do I put that onus on them? God forbid. I never would. But they are the ones politicizing everything, and anyone, Democrat or Republican, who uses this tragedy as a way to prove that they are a better person than someone else, needs to look long and hard in the mirror.  What they will see is someone more concerned about their image than in right and wrong.

In a less imperfect world, average citizens who own guns would be able to use them at a crime scene to either stop an evil lunatic from committing a heinous crime or if nothing else minimize the damage.  However, in our world it just doesn’t happen that way.  Not one of these gun related mass murders has ended with a gun-owning citizen shooting the murderer.  Does that mean that a decent citizen should lose his gun? No.  But saying that stronger gun control laws take away the option for a citizen to stop the crime is an argument that has yet to be proven to have any real merit.  I rather you just be honest and say you like hunting or want to protect your home.  Both of which you have every right to do.

I know there will be some who will feel such anger by my words that they will verbally attack me.  There will be some who will read this on Facebook and possibly choose to longer be my friend.  You all have every right to your opinion, but I ask you this.  Do we not want the same thing?  Do we not all want a country, dare I say a world, where children can live without fear, where people can go to a movie theater or to a park without fear, and where the value of human life is so great that we not only protect the children but protect all people?  Of course we do.  So before you come at me with all your venom and hatred, take a moment and realize that I very likely want the same thing that you do, and if that is not enough for you to have an intelligent respectful dialogue about a problem that impacts all of us, your friendship will not be missed.  But my hope is that good people will wake up and actually work together to come up with a solution that allows civilized behavior to flourish and grow, not be the ultimate victim of the guns of madmen.

As I was concluding this piece, two things happened that caused me to add to it.  The first thing was a chat I was having online with an old friend. She is a mother of 3 and lives in the country.  She was telling me that she owns guns, but that they are locked in a large safe where the children can’t get to them.  She allows her children to learn how to shoot but only while being very strictly monitored.  My reaction to what she said was extremely positive.  We both agreed that people need to take the careful measures that she does and since many don’t, government needs to get involved.

The second thing that happened was that I saw an interview on CNN with the family of Vicki Soto.  Vicki Soto was a 27 year old first grade school teacher at Sandy Hook elementary.  She is one of the victims of this terrible tragedy.  She is also someone I am deeply honored to mention on my blog.  She died shielding her students and saving the lives of young children.  Her heroics give us hope, restore our faith in humanity, and show us that heroes still do exist and I can think of no better way to end this post than to honor her memory.  As we ask God why, let us also thank God for people like Vicki Soto, for without angels like her we are surely lost.  May she and all the victims of this horrible tragedy rest in peace.