Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS MEAN DUDES HOLDING ON

In Africa south of the Sahara, the despots know how to remain in power: arrest anyone who washes videos of the protests in Tunisia and Egypt; rig the elections: or if you lose, refuse to give up the office of “President for Life.”

In Zimbabwe, several people, students, trade unionists, and political activists gathered to watch videos of the protests going on in Africa north of the Sahara were arrested by President Mugabe’s police. The meeting was illegal because apparently the videos might have motivated the participants to overthrow the legal government of Zimbabwe (in other words, no body was gonna get rid of Mugabe like they got rid of the tyrants in Tunisia and Egypt). A law professor at the University of Zimbabwe who was arrested with his students alleged he was tortured.

In Uganda, the ruler for 25 years, President Museveni, won another five year term. How does he do it? Buy votes, establish personal patronage networks, and make sure you reward the military officers, cabinet members, and ministers in your government so that will not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In other words, keep enough people happy and they won’t see you as a tyrant but as a benefactor.

If all else fails, do as the president of the Ivory Coast in West Africa is doing: if you loose the presidential election, simply refuse to give up the presidency.

The dudes in North Africa could take a few lessons from those south of the Sahara.

 

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Filed under Africa, arrest, Foreign Affairs, Government, military, politics

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS THIS IS AFRICA

Human beings all over the world do crazy things, sometimes even irrational things. Take Africa for instance__

In Nigeria, you had better be very careful about what you say about a government official on Facebook. Man, there ain’t really no freedom of speech. A man ranted about the governor in January on his Facebook page, which has since be removed. For speaking his mind, he was arrested for traumatizing the governor so badly, the gov had to be hospitalized. Read about here. The dude called for Allah to curse the governor and his friends. Hey, man in Africa, you don’t put no curse on nobody cause they take their curses serious.

The BBC website reported on it website that in Malawi the government has proposed a law against farting in public. Hey, man I want that law brought to the shores of the good old US of A. one person was quoted as saying the government criminalizing the “release of intestinal gases…is a joke of democracy.”

How in hell the question of democracy has anything to do with farting is beyond me.

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Filed under Africa, Foreign Affairs, God, Government, intolerance, politics, Religion, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WE’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE

During the war in Iraq, we never read any negative reports on the progress of the war. I suppose that in wars, it is the natural reaction of the administration to report only good news—the military is always progressing in its drive to defeat the enemy.

The Obama administration is no different. In the report recently released to the public, it claims progress is being made. However, certain of the President’s words should raise red flags. He said that progress hasn’t “come fast enough,” and the report describes the progress as fragile. The timeline for withdrawing troops next summer is on track.

Some reasons why we should leave as soon as possible: The President of Afghanistan is a crook, and runs a government based on corruption.

The Afghan people do not trust government, any government.

The Taliban and al Qaeda continue to have a safe haven in Pakistan.

Most of all, we can’t do what England and Russia failed to do: make Afghanistan a western-style nation.

 

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, military, politics, society, US President

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS OBAMA DOING HIS JOB

The president’s critics on the right deride him as a radical socialist seething with anti-American rage. To them, he’s a frightening success who has transformed the federal government, ruined the economy, and undermined national security. To the left, Obama is a tragic failure who squandered his chance for dramatic change: no single-payer health-care plan, no heated battle against Wall Street, and endless war in Afghanistan. If the president is struggling these days, the critics say, it’s perhaps because he’s out of touch with Americans, and even at odds with his own principles.

In his article in Newsweek dated November 17, James T. Kloppenberg, defends President Obama’s presidency. As he notes, critics notwithstanding, Obama “is doing exactly what he said he would do.” He refers readers to Obama’s two books Dreams From My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006) for confirmation.

The purists on the left and right accuse the President of not doing what they think he ought to be doing. They in effect want to tell him what he must do in the name of the American people (always be skeptical of anyone who says he or she is acting for the American people, or even more dangerous, acts as if they know what the American people want).

For those on the right, the main goal is to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections. This means demonizing him and any policy he favors. Their idea of bipartisanship is to just say “no” to anything the President wants to do. Why? Because the American people don’t like what this President is doing.

The left’s self-defeating attitude is if the President doesn’t do exactly what he promised or, better yet, what they think he ought to do in the name of those nonrich folks, they’ll abandon him in the next election. Man, that’ll teach him and the next Democratic president a lesson. That this course of action will return the governing of the nation to the Republicans and Sarah Palin and her ick seems to have escaped them.

The right-wingers ain’t gonna change their attitude. But you on the left remember this: politics is the art of compromise.

 

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, IMMIGRATION, Information Age, intolerance, LIFE, News, Obama, politics, SARAH PALIN, society, state politics, US President

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS SARAH PALIN HAS AN ANTI-PALIN FAN IN RUSSIA

Sarah Plain may be able to see Russia from Alaska, but I wonder if she really wants to see it because at least one writer in Moscow doesn’t think very much of her.

I first read the story in an African American blog about a columnist in Russia who wrote an “hilarious” piece on Sarah Palin. You can read the story here.

In an article titled “Spankin’ Sarah Palin: A clown short of a circus” the columnist says what he thinks about Sarah in the first paragraph:

I have already called Sarah Palin a pith-headed bimbo from the back of beyond, in this column. I shall now go one step further. By attacking the democratically elected President of the United States of America at a sensitive time in her country’s history, she shows the tact of a boorish drunkard bawling obscenities at a funeral.

The rest of the article is just as funny, funny as the first paragraph. No one has captured our dear Sarah as has this Moscow columnist.

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Filed under American Politics, CELEBRITY, entertainment, Foreign Affairs, SARAH PALIN

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS LET THEM SERVE

As an ex-navy man, I’ve thought a lot about whether gays should be allowed to serve their country in the military. It was an open secret that one or two men on the ship I was on were gay in the mid-1950s. None of us resented the men. They did their jobs and did them well.

The don’t ask, don’t tell rule doesn’t always work. For instance, if someone sees a person who is off duty engaging in sexual activity with another person of the same sex and tells the commanding officer, the commanding officer calls the offender into his office and asks him if it is true. Now, technically, the commanding officer shouldn’t ask, and the offender shouldn’t have to answer. But he or she had better answer or be charged with insubordination.

Why doesn’t the rule apply to a witness?

I don’t like the situation of gays in the military being compared to the situation of African Americans in segregated units before President Truman ordered integration. We African Americans were allowed to serve (except, of course, for gays) but in segregated units. Today gays are barred from serving.

However, the same excused used to keep the military segregated is being used today by those who don’t like the idea of gays serving their country: it will negatively affect unit cohesion.

No one has presented any evidence that this is true. In fact, evidence from foreign militaries suggests it is a false assumption.

We must take advantage of the talents of the young gay men and women who want to serve their country in the military.

Strike the don’t ask, don’t tell rule from the books.

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Filed under American Government, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, intolerance, military, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS IT AINT OVER IN IRAQ

In the dead of night, the strykers rolled across the Iraq border into Kuwait on the first leg of bringing home the combat troops in Iraq. To be sure, 50,000 noncombat troops remain, and we now got to foot the bill for some more undetermined years. As if that aint enough, the State Department done hired private security firms to guard diplomates and embassy personnel. Maybe there aint no more combat for out troops in Iraq, but money is still being spent on the ill-conceived military adventure that began in 2003. And I’m guessing that some more young american men and women, though supposedly in noncombat units, will die.

So, I say it aint over in Iraq.

The two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan done cost the US more than a trillion dollars, and the money spigot is still open. What bothers the philosopher of common sense is the government aint doing nothin to pay for the wars with going int further debt. I sure hopes the economonee improves soon so we common sense folks can start talkin bout leaving Afghanistan.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Foreign Affairs, Government