,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Monday, January 31, 2005


Dirty hands, us ?

Anything goes

Maureen Dowd's column, "Torture Chicks Gone Wild", in The NY Times on January 30th, is about a report by AP that Eric R. Saar, a former sergeant, who served as an Arabic interpreter at Guantanamo, is the author of a forthcoming book about interrogation and abuse of prisoners.

Among the methods: sexual arousal by women wearing provocative clothes and other means. Perhaps the most despicable was to defile the water tap in a Muslim prisoner's cell by use of faked menstrual blood ! Some prisoners, after their release from Guantanamo, alleged that prostitutes were used. What did we do...fly them out to Guantanamo on contract or are such women regular members of interrogation teams? I have not seen any report about denial by the Pentagon.

Makes you wonder what else is going on and how little we know. Apologists would say that it is necessary to take whatever means possible to stop terrorism. Really ? Can we put the genie back into the bottle ? Once we started on that slippery slope we lost control of the forces that we let loose. Appearing just after the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz,as it did, Ms. Dowd's column caused revulsion when I read it. It made me feel ashamed.


"Only one enemy is worse than despair: INDIFFERENCE. In every area of human creativity, INDIFFERENCE is the enemy; INDIFFERENCE of evil is worse than evil, because it is also sterile."
----Elie Wiesel

Saturday, January 29, 2005


He might listen but would he hear them ?

President Bush and Europeans
Iran, Syria, North Korea, Pakistan
SpongeBob Square Pants and Rev. Dobson

Thomas Friedman, in his column in The NY Times (1/27/05) recommends that during his forthcoming trip to Europe, instead of giving speeches President Bush gives the Europeans his ears.


We would see pictures of the president sitting at tables with heads of European nations. But would he hear them ? Colin Powell understood Europe and the Middle East. He got rolled over by the hardliners. One gets the impression that Ms. Rice and the President are probably guided by the same higher authority.

The Iranians (Ayranians according to some) better watch out. Now that we have arranged to provide the Iraqi people with an elected government, there are rumblings that it is their turn to feel the wrath of the United States. Perhaps Syria next. North Korea ? Nah, we don’t want to tackle the North Koreans, they already have the bomb. What about Pakistan ? They provided bomb making know how and material to Libya, Iran and North Korea ? Pakistan is a friendly country, helping us fight al Qaeda, and it was just one man, Dr. A.Q. Khan, who said he was sorry. The Pakistani Government was completely unaware of what was happening. And pigs have wings.

The ever vigilant mandarins of morality have found another threat--the cartoon character SpongeBob Square Pants. A video which includes SpongeBob has been mentioned as "pro-homosexual" by Rev. James Dobson, founder of "Focus on the Family". We can rest assured that our children will be protected from evil influences.

“Contrariwise,” continued Tweedledee, “if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic.”
----Lewis Carroll (1832–1898), Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 4 (1865).

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Auschwitz - Sixty Years Later

And Belzec

Am I, who is not Jewish, fit to write, or do I have the right to comment, about the Holocaust and suffering of the Jewish people ? I do so with humility.

I can say that what took place was terrible and that I understand their pain. But only Jews know what it really meant. It goes too deep, way beyond our comprehension of the enormity of the atrocities during the years when a large number of people in Europe ceased to act like members of the human race and insanity prevailed. The number of survivors of the pogrom is small and getting smaller. Soon there would be none. But a generation of Jews, scattered all over the world, grew up under the shadow of the horrendous fate suffered by their parents and grand parents. To us it is fact; to them it is intensely personal.

As leaders of the world gather at Auschwitz on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the infamous concentration camp, where Nazis killed 1.5 million people, mostly Jews (out of of a total six million plus who died horrible deaths during Adolf Hitler‘s Third Reich), we should all take a few moments to ponder about the Holocaust.

Why did it happen and why did the Germans and others who were aware of what was going on remained quiet and looked the other way ? Not all of them were Nazis. There are many explanations but they do not provide answers. At long last the Germans faced the issue and accepted their responsibility. The Vatican waffled about the failure of Pope Pius XII to speak out. Whether his voice would have done any good is beside the point.

There would be lofty speeches at Auschwitz. The sad fact is that the world remained aloof during the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. According to a 1999 report by Frontline “.....the Clinton administration's failure to intervene in Rwanda 'wasn't a failure to act'. The decision was 'not to act'.” More recently, the European Union refrained from intervening in Sudan because the Darfur massacres were not considered “genocidal”! Again, our government stood by the sidelines. One only heard platitudes. Our leaders talk about moral high ground but there is often a tendency to find pretexts to avoid taking action.

Racial prejudices still exist. Bigots come in all colors and races. Demagogues continue to spew hatred in different languages. There will always be such people. As long as they do not receive support of the broader society in which they live they would remain powerless to persecute and oppress others.

We cannot be absolutely sure that it will not happen again; we can only hope that it does not and do whatever we can toward that goal.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


"You've got to dance with them whut brung you"

An old saying in politics that the intrepid Texan author and journalist Molly Ivins used as the title of her 1998 book about politicians (of both parties) and the pervasive influence of those who fund them.

Very appropriate. Last week was party-time in Washington,D.C, but the dances began long before the big hoopla. The president’s dance card is full. There would be a lot of them.

Lined up for their turn:

The pharmaceutical industry. It is going to get its wish for banning importation of prescription drugs from Canada by consumers. Why ? They are unsafe ! A Jig.

The financial sector. There is going to be a humdinger of a dance as the so called “privatization” of Social Secutity Program begins to take shape. Rock and Roll.

Heads of the timber industry as well as chemical and automobile industries. They are grinning from ear to ear. The money they contributed for the parties will come back to them with handsome dividends. Texas Two Step.

The pushers of tax cuts for the top income bracket already got their dance. They want more, and the president is a firm believer in cutting taxes for those who have the most. Paso Doble ?

There are many others. The vice president has been helping out by dancing with representatives of military contractors, energy and aerospace industries.

Ever wonder why some people talk about “entitlements” and “welfare queens”, and see nothing wrong with creation of tax loop holes for the corporations that contribute large sums to campaigns of politicians ? Watch out every time they talk about "simplifying" the tax code.

In the documentary film “Fahrenheit 9/11” there is a segment which shows President Bush at a formal dinner. He walks to the microphone, turns to the guests at the head table and says: "What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.”

There you have it. Straight from the horse's mouth. Michael Moore didn't write the words; he did not force the president to say them. No one can accuse the president of not taking care of his base.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


Risotto con Funghi

Risotto with fresh mushrooms (my version)

AC with a large Chanterelle Posted by Hello

It is the season when foraging for wild mushrooms is rewarding to those of us who like to walk in the foothills among the redwood and oak trees.

I like chanterelles. Not easy to find but fresh chanterelles have such nice coloring and earthy flavor. They are delicious, simply sauteed in butter and olive oil with a sprinkling of chives (or green onions), salt and pepper, and eaten with lightly toasted french bread.

Have been cooking risotto with fresh chanterelles (other mushrooms can be used). This is how I do it.

For two

1/2 lb. Fresh Mushrooms, cut in large chunks
2 Shallots (can use onion) finely sliced
3 Tblspoon Olive Oil
2 Tblspoon Unsalted Butter
Splash (about 2 Oz.) of dry sherry or wine, not cooking sherry
4 Oz Rice (see note below)
4 Cups Chicken Broth
Freshly ground pepper (I use Black, find White Pepper insipid)
Pinch or two of Saffron (optional). It adds a lovely color.

Saute mushrooms, using 1 tblspoon olive oil/1 tblsoon butter. Add a little salt and few grinds of pepper. Chanterelles release a lot of moisture. I save the liquid. Set aside.

Have the broth ready (and keep it hot)
In a non-stick pot, heat the remaining olive oil and butter
Add the sliced shallots
After the shallots have softened, add the rice and stir for a few minutes to coat well
Add the sherry or wine, mix
Increase temperature, add about 1 cup of the broth and stir
When it comes to a boil, reduce temperature to simmer
Add the saffron
As the liquid reduces keep adding about 1/2 cup of broth at a time and keep stirring
Between 20/25 minutes the rice would begin to near the right softness. Use your judgment
Add the sauteed mushrooms and the reserved liquid (optional)
Add few grinds of pepper, mix well

I prefer a light red (Rhone style wine). A dry rosé would be fine. Drink whatever pleases you.


1) Risotto needs attention, one must not allow the broth to evaporate. Stirring is essential.

2) There are recipes that call for adding cream and/or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano before serving. I don't find the need for them.

3) Some foodies insist on Carnaroli or Vialone Nano (the latter is rather pricey) rice. I use Carnaroli but found nothing wrong with the taste of Arborio. The fatter grains of Carnaroli take a little longer to cook but they absorb more of the flavor. Grains of risotto rice have a pearly, opalescent look. Long grain rice (Basmati, Jasmine,etc.) will not work.

4) I have made risotto with vegetable broth. Tastes noticeably inferior.

Monday, January 24, 2005


The Supreme Court - Life And Death Decisions By Individuals

Terri's Law
Oregon's Death with Dignity Act

According to this morning's reports, the Supreme Court declined to reinstate Terri's Law which was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2003 to prevent withdrawal of feeding tubes from brain damaged Terri Schiavo who has been in a "persistent vegetative state" since 1990. A defeat for Jeb Bush and the rabid opponents of death with dignity who went to the U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court of Florida on September 23, 2004, that Terri's Law was unconstitutional.

In February, the justices will decide whether to accept the Bush administration's case to repeal the Death With Dignity Act, 1998, which was passed in Oregon after the voters supported the measure 60:40.

For full details, please go to:

What happened to State's rights ? This is a glaring example of how far the current administration would go to appease the conservative religious groups and special interest lobbies that stand to gain from keeping terminally ill patients alive---even when they do not wish to live hooked up to tubes.

Here in the United States, when the time comes, compassionate men and women put their pets "to sleep". They cry, yet they do it because it is the right thing to do. The denial of a peaceful end to people who are in pain, with no chance of a meaningful life (I don't mean being clinically alive) and, especially, to those who have expressed their wish to seek euthanasia, is cruel and selfish.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby"

JHL and I went to see Eastwood’s new movie and both of us thought that it was superb.

Tall, lean and craggily handsome, Eastwood has aged well. He was born in San Francisco on May 31, 1930. Some of you reading this might remember him as the young cowpoke Rawdy Yates in “Rawhide”, the TV Series. It was Italian director Sergio Leone and his “spaghetti westerns” in the sixties that put Clint Eastwood on the map. Actor, director, producer, he has come a long way since then and rightfully earned his niche in the annals of American films.

Eastwood won the Best Director award (Oscar) in 1992 for “Unforgiven”. “Mystic River” (2003) earned nominations for Best Picture as well as Best Director. Would he win another ? He deserves it.

Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank Posted by Hello

Maggie Fitzgerald: Hilary Swank
Frankie Dunn: Clint Eastwood
Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris: Morgan Freeman
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cinematographer: Tom Stern
Production Designer: Henry Bumstead
Screenplay: Paul Haggis, F.X. O'Toole

A movie about a female boxer, yes, but that is only a part of it. It is about forces that drive one to take on tasks that seem formidable; dysfunctional families; and about the agonies of a father because of something that went wrong in the past.

Cannot think of anyone who could have performed better than Hilary Swank as Maggie. Great acting.

Morgan Freeman’s role as “Scrap” fully complimented Eastwood, and his deep voice was perfect for the background narration.

The hard, gritty look of the boxing club was brought to life by Tom Stern and Henry Bumstead. One could almost smell the sweat---and the piss (from the dingy john in the back). Even the wardrobe looked as if picked from discount bin of a Goodwill store. The screenplay, taut and without frills.

Not all viewers would like the decision made by Maggie and Frankie at the end. Eastwood did it right. Anything else would have trivialized it.

Foggy Saturday morning. I am listening to the late pianist Thelonious Monk play "(I Don't Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance With You". It is the 1957 recording produced by Orrin Keepnews,Riverside Records.

Thursday, January 20, 2005


"Swords into ploughshares"

Old Testament :

"They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
---Attribution: Isaiah ii. 4; Micah iv. 3

Hear any leaders, religious or political, talk about this ? Fat chance.

According to Maps of the World, we are No.2 in the world in weapons exports; Russia is ahead of us. It is the most profitable business sector and responsible for pouring huge sums of money into campaign chests of political candidates.(Source:Federation of American Scientists)


There is a $40,000,000 (Forty million) celebration going on in Washington, DC.


Iraqi Elections - "Baghdad Burning"


A woman in Baghdad (reported to be a computer science student in her mid-twenties) has been blogging under the name "riverbend" since the early days of the war. Her latest posting (dated January 15th) describes the situation two weeks before the elections being forced upon the people of the war-ravaged country.

If you have interest in what is happening there, take a few minutes to visit her blog.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


"Fundos" Arising ? (The Taliban Amongst Us)

“Moth Smoke” by Mohsin Hamid
“Kartography” by Kamila Shamsie
Pastor Martin Niemöller

It was Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid's “Moth Smoke” (2001) in which I first came across the term “Fundos“ for radical Muslim groups in Pakistan. Succint; it has a bite to it. Educated, young Pakistanis used it in a derogatory fashion. The locale is Lahore, and the novel is about a young man, Daru Shezad, as he spirals down from being a banker to prison, caught between addiction to hash, his love for his friend's wife, and his dwindling finances. Everpresent, the political situation and pervasive shadow of the Mullahs. The author was living in the United States when it was published. I am not aware whether the book caused an outcry in Pakistan.

Four years later the "Fundos" are still very much in evidence in Pakistan as well as other Islamic nations. In India, radical Hindu groups are far from being a spent force. Despite failure of government authorities in some parts of the country to protect Muslims during communal riots, India’s Constitution is an example of secularism at its best. It is not in imminent danger. Bangladesh, on the east, is another country where the Mullahs hold sway.

Western Europe has so far remained largely above the mess. As the demographics change it might not be able to stay inviolate. Signs of trouble have surfaced there and in the United Kingdom.

Here, in America, Christian Fundamentalists have gained political muscle. The framers of our Constitution created a magnificent charter. Organized efforts are currently underway to destroy the barrier between Church and State.

Regardless of the religion they follow, the Fundamentalists have common traits. Intolerance for others and in the infallibility of the scriptures.

Footnote: Jan 17,2005 An inquiry commission appointed by the Indian Government has declared that the infamous train fire at Godhra, Gujarat, in which 59 Hindu passengers died in 2002, was accidental, not set by Muslims. There were reports of Muslims fire bombing the train, and that caused a deadly wave of communal violence. More than a thousand Muslims were killed.

“Kartography” (2002) by Kamila Shamsie

Another book by an author who hailed from Pakistan. It, too, has a political background----one cannot write about modern Pakistan without touching on politics---the lawlessness and much more. The city is Karachi. Kamila Shamsie masterfully spun a story about a nation that split in two after a bloody civil war and a family secret that loomed over two young lovers. Eloquent, evocative, Ms. Shamsie’s book (not her first) is extraordinary and deserves much more attention than it has received. A great novel.
“First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I said nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats, but I was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then came the trade unionists, but I was not a trade unionist. And then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew, so I did little. Then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me.“
----Pastor Martin Niemöller

There are different variations but my research about Pastor Niemöller lead me to this as the original one. Also, some sources mistakenly attribute the quotation to the prominent Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer who was hanged by the Nazis in 1945. Martin Niemöller was a Protestant pastor. He survived Hitler‘s concentration camps and was released by Allied Forces at the end of WW II.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


The Joy of Walking

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Chinese proverb (Lao-tzu)

I am one of those who find pleasure in trudging through the woods. I have worn out quite a few pairs of boots walking on trails in my beloved California and in Southern France, Greece, and the United Kingdom.

Last Wednesday JHL and I did the Los Trancos loop (7.5 miles) in Foothills Park. Noted warning about mountain lion sightings as we entered the park but that did not deter us.It was a great experience. The trail was in surprisingly good condition considering the recent rains; just a few muddy patches. Everything looked a lush green and the sound of running water in Buckeye Creek added to our pleasure. In the distance, the bay looked sparkling and East Bay cities clearly visible. We stopped for a picnic about halfway through the loop and then hiked back.

AC and I walked at Saratoga Gap on Friday (the 14th) and found the trail unusually dry. We went all the way to Travertine Spring (Skyline to the Sea Trail). That is one area where patches of reed grass are found in abundance. This trail is not used by too many hikers, especially during winter. In the past we had found chanterelles but did not come across a single one during the walk.

A few photographs.

On GR-4 heading for Point Sublime,Provence, France Posted by Hello

Old foot bridge near Kipi, Greece Posted by Hello

Much needed stop at Burnsall, Yorkshire,UK Posted by Hello

Going up Mount Shasta, California Posted by Hello

"The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out."
----J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Alberto Gonzales and the Statue of Minnie Lou

"Hypocrisy: The feigning of beliefs, feelings or virtues that one does hold or possess"
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.

The hearings for Alberto Gonzales are proceeding as expected. Despite putting his stamp of approval on methods of interrogating (torturing) prisoners in total disregard of Geneva Convention he would soon be confirmed as the next Attorney General, replacing John Ashcroft, a Neanderthal who stood out among a crowd of them. Should we expect to see policies not driven by political expediency ? Don’t bet on it.

On a lighter vein, I wonder what would Mr. Gonzales do about the curtains covering the statue , Spirit of Justice (also called Minnie Lou), in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice. The statue had been there for more than 70 years before its one exposed boob offended the sensitive Attorney General Ashcroft.

Before the draping of Minnie Lou Posted by Hello

Don’t see him getting involved. Not now when the Supreme Court has the displaying of Ten Commandments issue on its docket. Removing the curtains (which cost $8,000) would displease his boss . The President would not want to upset the self-appointed guardians of morality who are outraged by display of boobs whether they are on the statue of Venus de Milo or the Spirit of Justice.…… publicly, that is. In private ? That is a different matter. Hypocritical politicians, we have them by the bushelful.

"City of Ghosts"
It is the title of an article in The Guardian, UK, 1/11/05, about the assault on Falluja in November. Follow this link to access the complete report and inter-active video footage by Ali Fadhil.


The Horrors of War

Picasso's Guernica Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 09, 2005


The Seasons

“In a way winter is the real spring, the time when the inner things happen, the resurge of nature.”
----Edna O'Brien

“Spring too, very soon !
They are setting the scene for it--plum tree and moon”
(Haru mo ya keshiki totonou tsuki ume)
----Basho (1643-1694), translated by Harold Henderson

An Irish author now living in Britain and a haiku written by a Japanese man a few centuries ago; not too far apart in thoughts.

A lot of rain the past week and, if the weather man is right, we have not seen the end of it. There is snow on the foothills. Water levels in the reservoirs are above normal, as is the snowpack in the Sierra. Good news for skiers. They can think of shushing downhill until May. Spring is ten weeks away, yet there are signs of its advent. Shoots are forming on the bare branches of ginko trees on my street; the California Poppies in my yard are beginning to re-emerge.

Last week I planted sweet peas. In another week or so they will begin to sprout and I’ll have to protect them from snails. And then will come time for the trellis for them to climb. The oxalis are spreading. It is a losing battle to try to keep them in control.

A view of my front yard (Spring 2004)

It has a somewhat wild look. I have neither the desire, nor the skill to create a dressed up, manicured garden.

Saturday, January 8th. A great day---one good thing after another.

AC and I went for a long walk in the rain, not heavy rain but it drizzled intermittently. The trails at Rancho San Antonio were muddy and full of puddles. There were quite a few runners out there braving the elements like us. The Bay Laurels smelled good; the air felt clean. Came home pleasantly tired, with muddy boots and soaked pants (Goretex rain gear kept our upper bodies dry).

A stranger called and introduced himself as Paul Henri, an 82-year old Hungarian living in the U.S. for 45 years. Said he was going through a file of old clippings and found a letter that I wrote to the local paper in April 2003. He decided to look up my number and talk to me ! We talked about Iraq and domestic policies of the Bush administration. A kindred soul.

Then came e-mail from a blogger in Austin,TX, who commented about my post dated December 29th on Johann Sebastian Bach. Her blog contains interesting photographs and observations. http://www.hruskova.blogspot.com

Another "smart bomb" went awry

The Washington Post reported that a satellite-guided bomb hit an unintended target and killed some Iraqis in Aaytha on January 8th. Five, according to a military spokesman; 14 according to Iraqi witnesses.

Does anyone care ? Just part of the cost of the grand plan to establish freedom for Iraqis.

A few more dead Iraqis are far from the minds of the policy makers in Washington. They have more important things to think about---what to wear to the inaugural parties. With a cost of $40 million there is going to be a lot of extravagant bashes.

Friday, January 07, 2005


Books: Armageddon, etc.

Heaven, hell, and other more mundane matters

Like most people who like to read, I select books (fiction and non-fiction) that I think I would enjoy or learn from. The best sellers’ lists are helpful but I rarely use them as guide, especially for fiction.

I have not read “Glorious Appearing”, or any of the “Left Behind” series of books co-authored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I gather that the books are about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and paint a gory scenario about the day when all but Born-again Christians would disappear into a chasm or their bodies torn asunder and they would die painful deaths. After that the Born-Again Christians would ascend to heaven.

Nicholas D. Kristof, the NewYork Times, columnist wrote about this on July 17, 2004. Subsequently,he challenged the authors that if the outlined events happen in the next 10 years he would donate $500.00 to an organization favored by the authors provided that they agree to donate the same amount to a charity of his choice if the events did not take place. His offer was not accepted. (A thought: Easy for Mr. Kristoff to make the offer-----wouldn't he be one of those in the chasm or lying dead with ripped up body ?)

I am not likely to be around but it would be interesting to hear the explanations when the promised day comes and passes just like any other. In the meantime, I am going to pour myself a glass of red and look out of the window at people as they go through the day.....this day.

Going back into history one finds instances of persecution of “heretics”, the most notable being the killing of Jews, Protestants and other non-believers by the Spanish Inquisition. The Inquisition began in 1478. Its official end was said to be 1834. More than 300,000 people (mostly Jews) were burned to death. The trials were held by the Catholic Church but executions took place under Spanish sovereigns. And so it goes.

"The Spanish Inquisition" by Cecil Roth is a well-researched, informative book on this subject.

"The Jane Austen Book Club" by Karen Joy Fowler

Delightful. I think that women readers would enjoy it more than men.

"Lust" by Elfriede Jelinek

Gave up after struggling through half of the book. It was like reading a clinical report. Perhaps it was the translation. Hope that Jelinek's “The Piano Teacher” would be better. I am still on the waiting list.
It is a wet, blustery morning. The forecast for next few days shows more of the same.

AC and I went foraging for chanterelles yesterday afternoon and struck gold. Our timing was right. We collected more than 5 lbs (2.27 kgs). I am going to make risotto.
A few photographs:

Village in West Bengal,India Posted by Hello

On Dales Way, Yorkshire, UK Posted by Hello

Athabasca Falls, Alberta,Canada Posted by Hello
"Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home -
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome."
----Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


The Tsunami, Wrath of God ?

"How can you believe in a God who permits suffering on this scale?"

Dr.Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Observer (London) reported that Dr. Williams voiced this question in a statement on January 2, 2005. Probably many devouts are struggling with the issue but feel diffident about speaking out aloud. Dr. Williams' eminent position allowed him to do so.

On the flip side, there is Koenig's International News, an organ of "Christian News". The masthead on the web site shows images of President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon. Two champions of God and justice.

Jose Antonio Vargas in an article in The Washington Post on on 12/31/04, mentioned that Mr. Koenig wrote about "miraculous survival" by Christians. Mr. Koenig was not the only one to think about the tsunami being God's retribution. Shlomo Amar, Israel's Sephardi chief rabbi, mentioned "God's great ire with the world",and some Hindu organizations in India associated the tsunami with arrest (on charge of murder) of a popular Hindu leader! IslamonLine.net also raised enquiries along the same lines. Talk about strange bedfellows.


According to reports in the BBC, more than 3,000 European tourists died while vacationing in the affected areas. I suppose they were considered "collateral damage" by Mr. Koenig's God or they were not true believers and thus did not qualify for miraculous protection. How could they....their nations have high taxation and cradle to grave health care. Socialists !

"In our country are evangelists and zealots of many different political, economic and religious persuasions whose fanatical conviction is that all thought is divinely classified into two kinds-that which is their own and that which is false and dangerous."
--- Robert H. Jackson (1892-1954)

The Summer of '42

In my post dated December 6, 2004, I listed a few books that I thought were great "coming of age" stories. I had missed one that certainly belonged to that group. Herman Raucher's poignant "Summer of '42".

Posted by Hello

For all book lovers, those who are young as well as those who were young once.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Blogroll Me!