Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Ron, thank you for your response...
Second, I thought we were still talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan as your reference to hunting terrorists would imply?
We are still talking about Iraq, Ron, unless you believe going into Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. You may state that Bush cited WMD's (as the entire world believed) but WMD's in the hands of whom? Terrorists. You may come up with a variety of other reasons people have tried to use, such as we want their oil, revenge for daddy Bush, or to make money for Cheney but I don't think you would. I believe the main object was terrorism. Afghanistan had been taken from them as a safe haven. Iraq, with a dictator with WMD's (which was a universal belief) and who hated the United States would be, not only a reasonable, but obvious choice. If I exterminate a house for rats, I don't do one room and claim the job is done. I make sure they are gone from the entire house. Iraq was the next room - and there may be others. Has it worked? We've had no further terroist attacks in the US and the only thing Bin Laden seems to be able to do is make a tape every few months because he is too busy running and having an organization that has been severely damaged by our actions. It's about terrorism...
What I said was that most of the civilized world believes that capital punishment is just as barbaric as less ritualized forms of murder.
I won't disagree with that, Ron. I am not a big proponent of capital punishment. Having said that, however, I still cannot make a comparison between a criminal being executed and the citizens of a city being gassed or having millions placed in gas chambers and executed.
You can blame whatever point gives the greatest comfort, but it won't matter a jot to the kids who died.
I don't understand that reply at all. I do not blame Hessein because it a comfort. I blame Hussein because it was orchestrated by Hussein.
If that helps you sleep better at night, Mike, then I honestly envy your naiveté. But, hey, maybe you're right. Maybe it's all the parent's fault. So what do you say we invest maybe a tenth of one percent of what we're spending to stop Saddam from killing kids on stopping that parent from killing his? I might even go along with capping the parent, since that seems to be today's solution to social problems. Any one else want to declare open season on the homeless?
I don't say it because it helps me sleep better, Ron. I say it because I believe it and I do enough for charities that you can not even be aware of to sleep very well. Yes, in the case of children, it is the parent's fault. Anyone can work. We have that opportunity and that freedom. We may not get the jobs we want or the salary we want, we may have to take jobs other people don't want to do but anyone willing to do so can make enough to keep a child from starving. Selling pencils on a street corner would do that. As far as the homeless are concerned, there are many reasons people wind up homeless and I symphathize with every one of them...personal tragedy, lack of education, mental illness are a few. We could go a lot farther than we do in helping these people, I agree, We can give the uneducated the opportunity for education. We could provide counciling for those who have been unable to overcome tragedies or trauma. We could also use mental health professionals to get treatment for those who need it. There will still be others, of course, that will remain homeless because they have given up all hope and that's the way they will remain. There is help for them, too. SHould it all boil down to "Why doesn't the government do something?" There are many private organizations that DO do something, many of them financed by the government. The church I frequent has a soup kitchen three days a week in a very poor section of Ft, Lauderdale. Many churches and organizations do this. I give readings at a "half-way" house where homeless are given a place to stay and three meals a day for up to six months, during which they are required to attend classes to give them some training and preparation for getting back on their feet. They don't declare open season on the homeless and neither do I. Homelessness is not a government-created problem. WHy should it have only government-created solutions? But homelessness is still a far cry from parents allowing their children to actually die of starvation....
I'm actually much more interested in your criteria for declaring the U.S. the "greatest democracy in the world?"
Well, Ron, to tell you the truth, I knew as I typed those words in, I was leaving myself wide open and I will concede that there is certainly a degree of national pride in that comment, as well as Podunk University holding up their fingers and screaming "We're number one!!' at a football game. I have the greatest respect for Canada, Britan, AUstrailia, and all democratic (or republic) countries and my comment was not to demean them. What I meant to say was that we have the greatest economy in the world. We pay less personal taxes than other countries (I believe Canada and Britain will agree!) In Miami, our stores are filled with foreigners to come here to buy goods, such as clothing, furniture, etc to take home because of the prices. I don't see them going to Canada or Britain for the same reason. We have the majority of the greatest universities in the world. Look how many countries send their people to the United States to be educated.How many doctors all over the world came to America for their education? We have a reputation of being one of the most giving countries in the world. In this past tsunami tragedy there was a picture of a young Indian girl holding up a sign reading "Help us, America". There were no signs reading "help us, UN" or help us (any other country in the world). Why? Because that is our reputation. We are the hope for people everywhere who want freedom. For these reasons and others, yes, I beat my chest and made my comment. We certainly have our flaws and I agree that we must work on them or they will be our undoing. Our children continually score low grades when compared with other countries. A large part of our population knows absolutely nothing about the rest of the world. You say Spain, they say "bullfight". You say England, they say "The Beatles". You say France, they say "whine - er, wine". Only a small part of the population is bilingual. In Europe most people speak several languages, they know all about other countries. Ask the average American which country borders Spain and they will not be able to tell you. Ask any European and they will be able to tell you. It's a question of geography....Americans are too much into themselves and not part of the world simply because they don't have to be and that is a mistake. Our legal system needs major work. I could go on and on but suffice to say I accept that we have many roads to travel to become better. My pride does not blind me, Ron. I am in complete agreement that there is a lot of room for improvement...