Hand-jobs and more

Recent posturing by Israeli pm Netanyahu might appear to be an aggressive response to Barack Obama’s wish for peace in the mid-east. According to news reports, Netanyahu is signaling that he may resist Obama’s call for Palestinian statehood, and that he may authorize military strikes against Iran if the United States doesn’t act first.
In addition, there is an announcement of a go-ahead on new settlement construction in the West Bank, despite the US administration lack of support.
Hmmm. Netanyahu is regarded as a hardline rightwing neo-con and one least likely to accept peace initiatives with the Palestinians. Surely this ‘news’ will send discomfort amongst middle east watchers. But what we need to understand is that real action rarely takes place in the public arena. Both administrations most likely have already worked out a plan and the recent ‘news’ is simply for public consumption. The question is ‘which public’?
Could it be Iran, the US, or the Israeli’s? Or another.
Iran certainly won’t fear such posturing. They have already measured the dimensions of the other players and what they can do and won’t do. An Israeli or American strike against Iran is not likely. That would too much ignite a new level of turmoil in the region and in the US itself.
Is it a signal to the Palestinians? Possibly. America is short of credibility and Obama’s acting in feigned support of the Palestinian cause would do wonders for him. Is it for the American public? Possibly. Again it would work to Obama’s advantage because anti-Israel support is growing. More and more Americans are justifiably pissed at the tail wagging the dog.
There is a lot of play-acting here. The real truths are buried way beneath the surface of superficial news releases. Hmmm. I wonder what is going on?
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I have been criticized when I have written that as far as foreign policy is concerned, Barack Obama is as George Bush and George Bush himself… very little separates them.
Obama’s turnaround on military tribunals and on releasing to the public more Abu Ghraib photos are just more examples him endorsing Bush policies. How then can he be expected to support any venture to indict the Bush regime for war crimes?
When apartheid fell, the Nelson Mandela-led government instituted a ‘truth and reconciliation’ commission. Though it had its shortcomings, the commission was more about accountability and closure than about retaliation. Some perpetuators of human right abuses under this most uncivil period, were even granted amnesty.
At the end of the day, the commission released the steam of hatred and bigotry and moved ahead in nation building.
Obama like those before him, are more content to try to hide the crimes of his predecessors, as if everyone doesn’t already know. To talk about releasing the photos will ‘endanger’ the troops is pure crap. No one is going to say, “I’m going to join al qaeda because of American-led prisoner abuse photos”. Too many photos are already out there, the crimes and lack of punishment are already out there, other abuses are already out there.
Obama is protecting the fragile American psyche, which would like to have a war without deaths, kill people without any sign of bloodshed. People who want success without having their hands or consciences sullied. Do it in our name but don’t let us know about it.
And oh yes, he is protecting his new mentors, George Bush and Dick Cheney. Releasing those photos would reignite debates on war crime trials. And Obama doesn’t want that.
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Have you ever been on a plane which hit an airpocket and dropped like what seemed seems to be a hundred miles? Your head stays up there but your stomach is nowhere to be seen. That’s how I felt when I learned that many co-pilots of passenger airplanes earn as little as $16,000. year.
I don’t want to dwell on the relative worth of salaries but I would feel better if my pilot was paid better than the dude who cut lumber at Home Depot. After all, how likely am I likely to die of an operator error at Home Depot?
The issues of low salaries and long hours were brought to the fore during the enquiry regarding the Continental plane crash in Buffalo earlier this year, killing 49 people (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/nyregion/17pilot.html?em). At this moment, pilot error has been determined to be the reason for the Buffalo crash.
Though the flight was a Continental commute, the flight was apparently subcontracted to a Coglan Air (anyone familiar with that name? No? Me neither). It appears that it’s not unusual for larger airlines to subcontract regional flights to small companies where standards are not as high.
Some years ago, I took an Air Jamaica plane that was to have stopped over in Barbados then on to St Lucia. Instead we were transferred to a small commuter late at night. Believe me when I tell you I thought that I was gonna die that night.
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And while in the Windies, I believe the West Indies Cricket Board continues on an abysmal path for WI cricket. After recently beating England in the West Indies for the Wisden Trophy, the Indies immediately went to England to lose the trophy a few weeks later.
The loss is not the issue. In the England series, the WI was filling in for the Zimbabweans who were banned last year from playing cricket in England. The problem is that the Board never foresaw that they could have won the local series (which they did) and as such put the trophy up for grabs even before a little dust could gather on it in our trophy case.
As it turned out, the team was ill-prepared for England and are being trounced as I write.
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Jamaica has been in preliminary talks with the IMF. Hmm. What to make of that? Well sometime ago, in this forum, I wrote that the IMF, World Bank and other international lending agencies have finally come to realize the raw deal that they gave countries like Jamaica over the years, including deregulation, liberalisation and globalisation strategies of the 80’s and onward.
So according to a Jamaican finance spokesmen, these agencies would not likely take the same hardline, nonsensical approach. Of which I agree. However here is the thing… and thing. These agencies should be re-imbursing us instead of giving new loans. And secondly, the IMF still works on behalf of the larger countries and even if they ‘ease up’, the loan conditions are never gonna favour us.
To paraphrase Malcolm X, it would be like stabbing us in the back and then taking the knife half-way out.
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The other day I bucked up this video on Facebook and Youtube. Watch it to the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phe3_EfYRJU The only question is why didn’t we do it. As much as I love the original setting, I am a little tired of the same ol’ renditions of Jamaica Folk songs and think that many should be brought into this century. After all, the youth will more likely accept our folk songs if it is more relevant to them.
By the way, ‘it mek mi proud yuh si, fi kno seh Miss Lou sang-dem so widely ‘preciated abroad’.
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And from high culture to the vulture. When in Jamaica a few weeks back, I bucked up on a set of 21 ads in one of the larger newspapers, promoting ‘adult services’, some even offereing specials. Names like X-quisit, Classique, Tempted, Hot and Sexy massage services, Candy Cane more or less promised massages and escort services, but surely meant more.
The hot luscious looking ‘semi-nude ‘babes’ suggested even more than massages. I doubt if most of these ‘ladies’ ever went to massage schools.
The point is that Jamaica is heading in a direction that I cannot like. As the economy plunges downward, our women and eventually our young men, will be exploited in the sex trade.
One ad offered a Hot and Spicey mature woman who does ‘private service and massage’… both for the grand price of J$1,500.00.
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Next time I will look at how minorities were targeted for sub-prime loans.

One thought on “Hand-jobs and more

  1. I am one of those mid-east watchers who worry about Netanyahu’s hard-line approach. I hope you’re right and that he is sensible enough to leave room for negotiation behind the scenes. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.

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