Monthly Archives: July 2014

There is a Solution…

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I heartily profess to be no expert on middle eastern affairs, Judaism, Islam, Palestine, or the history of any of these regions/religions.

I am however a human being with empathy and an opinion. And a sense of fair play. Some call it common sense.

28 Palestinian children…children…have been killed in the last 24 hours. 27 Israeli soldiers have died since Operation Protective Edge has begun. Young men defending their country against an onslaught of rocket fire from the terrorist organization Hamas. They didn’t need to die.

This is the broad outline. The justifications are spewed by both sides. “They don’t recognize our right to exist…they are terrorists bent on genocide…we have a right to defend our citizens”. Hyperbolic statements are the order of the generation. And the truth lies in all corners.

The Jews have indeed suffered since the times of Ramses II. They are the so-called “chosen people” and have suffered a millenia of genocide and displacement. They are the proverbial abused child.

But study after study shows that the child who is abused, quite often becomes the abuser. And institutionally, I believe this is the case with the state of Israel.

Don’t get me wrong. They have terrorists at the door step (and tunnels) and they certainly have a responsibility to defend their state. But how much is too much?

I’m reminded of the legal concept of self-defense. An individual is allowed to use the same measure of force when repelling an assault.

Can the state of Israel claim this moral high ground? Of course not; and therein lies the fundamental problem and the solution to this conflict.

We, the United States, have wisely invested in the security of Israel for generations. However, the politicians who have been the beneficiary of this military aid…this state of the art weaponry, have been irresponsible in their deployment.

And I, as a tax paying American citizen, demand that my government take immediate action to stop the killing. We have the ability to be a game changer in this centuries old conflict, but we lack the moral courage to do it. It simply doesn’t poll well.

I see a glimmer of hope when the moderates in Israel are finally speaking out against their grossly aggressive government policies. For too long Israel has received a pass, largely as the result of empathy with their historic plight.

That ends now…at least as far as I’m concerned. It’s time for those moderates in Israel to demand restraint. To demand that their government take the moral high ground and rely on their superior defensive technologies. Put the onus of blame on the extremist in Hamas and garner the support of the region and the world.

Stop being the bully, protect your citizens through restraint. Stop the campaign to eliminate your neighbors and just take a deep breath and realize…children are dying. Innocent little boys and girls.

A paradigm shift is all that will end this endless loop of blood.

The killing must stop…

 


The Sport that Cried Wolf…

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I, along with millions of other erstwhile Soccer/Futbol enthusiasts, dutifully tuned in…or at least collegially kept up with, the World Cup tournament in Brasil. We were treated to a relatively deep run by the Team USA and some extraordinary individual performances by athletes from around the world.

We were also treated to a professional “sport” devolving ever closer to professional wrestling.

Yes, I’m referring to the staged “performance art” called WWE or WWF or whatever iteration it has taken on these days.

FIFA…I’m lookin’ at you. Square in the eyes in fact.

Your “brand”…your sport is becoming ever more increasingly difficult to watch, much less enjoy. Aside from the spectacular performances of some, the overall tone of this Cup has been flooded with flops. Oh, did I forget to mention borderline conspiratorial officiating.

I guess I should lower my expectations. After all, the World Cup is run by an organization rife with documented corruption and profound human rights abuses. The 2018 games hosted by the Russian Federation and their charismatic dictato…er…leader, Vlad Putin should be a real hoot.

The 2022 games in Qatar have set the bar below the horizon for widespread bribery and immigrant worker deaths in preparation for the games.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11019010

So it is against this bleak backdrop that I appeal to these neer-do-wells to clean up their sport.

Stop the flop.

My primary sport of choice…NHL Ice Hockey, is the antithesis of this widespread sissification. Hockey players play with broken bones, bloody stitches, and this year, Dallas Star player Rich Peverley died…yes DIED on the bench. After he was revived and on the way to the ER, his first words were “Can I go back in”.

That my friends…is what sport is all about. Competition. Guts. Honesty. Integrity.

Everything this World Cup has lacked.

The floppers are hurting themselves as well as the sport. Brazil star Neymar catches a knee in the back and goes down screaming…LIKE A HUNDRED PLAYERS BEFORE HIM…and the medical staff, with a liberal wink and nudge, casually toss him on a litter. Never mind the fact that he ACTUALLY broke his back. This is where a player will get hurt and where their histrionics will damage other players. Stop crying wolf lads…

Enough. My son’s girlfriend is an accomplished high school (now collegiate) Soccer player. She’s disgusted by this effeminate display of sportsmanship.

You’re losing me guys…the casual fan. But more importantly, your losing the millions of AYSO players that live for this sport.

Time to clean it up.


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