Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thank you, Cindy

Photo shows Cindy Sheehan, peace activist and mother of a soldier killed in Iraq, speaking on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Sheehan, who galvanized the anti-war movement with her month-long protest outside President Bush's ranch, says she is quitting as the public face of the movement.
She is obviously suffering from burnout from the battle she has waged over the past couple of years. We owe her a debt of gratitude. She deserves time to rest and recuperate.
(Photo: Lauren Victoria Burke /

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Weekend....

More than one thousand Americans have died in the battlefield since we last celebrated Memorial Day. The month of May may turn out to be the deadliest month since the Iraq War started. Nevertheless most of us go on living our lives almost unaware of the sacrifices of so many American families.

I'm tired of hearing Bush and Cheney say that we are fighting them over there so they won't come and fight us over here. What these guys will never admit is that the 9/11 terrorists were motivated by their hatred of American foreign policy in the Middle East...not by a hatred of American values. Our occupation of Iraq only gives the extremists an additional reason to attack Americans.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

And the war goes on...

US Marine Corps Sgt. Steve Shephard lowers his head during the dedication of the Corporal Jordan C. Pierson Memorial Park in Milford, Connecticut. Pierson, who played in the park as a child, was killed last August in Iraq.
In the meantime Democratic leaders have decided to drop the timeline for withdrawing US forces from Iraq from the war funding bill. Looks like they didn't have the votes in the Senate to pass a bill with timelines. Last time they were able to pass a bill with a couple of Republican votes. One can only hope that Bush got the message.
(Photo: Whitney Kidder-Alvarez / AP)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Al Gore speaks out....

Al Gore was interviewed on ABC this morning and he was eloquent in speaking about the mistakes by the Bush Administration, in particular the invasion of Iraq. His comments on Iraq were timely given that 71 American soldiers have already died this month, including 15 this past weekend.

Gore sounded very much like a man who might decide to run for President later this year. I make no secret of the fact that he would be my first choice. What do you think?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

War strikes close to home...

One of the three soldiers captured in Iraq is Army Specialist Alex R. Jimenez of Lawrence, Massachusetts. This brings the war close to home as Lawrence is just a ten-minute drive from my home in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Local people had planned a candlelight vigil last night outside the home of the Jimenez family but decided to cancel when they realized the media coverage might jeopardize the life of the missing soldier.

It has been reported that the father of Army Specialist Jimenez was a vocal critic of the Iraq war but a strong supporter of his sons decision to serve in the army.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Jimenez family.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wolfie on the way out...

Looks like Paul Wolfowitz is finally on the way out. The leadership crisis at the World Bank has dragged on for too long. It has hurt both the reputation of Wolfowitz and the Bank.

I thought that Bob Bennetts strategy of accusing the Board of "smear tactics" was a big mistake. These people have big egos and to not like the idea of public criticism. Anyway, the net result was that Board members dug in and were determined to remove Wolfowitz.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The passing of Jerry Falwell...

Jerry Falwell was one of the pioneers in building right-wing "Christian" hate-mongering into a really profitable multi-million dollar business. I for one will not be shedding any tears for this bigot.

I've always been amazed at how preachers like Falwell could reconcile their racist and homophobic views with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

It would be difficult at this time to estimate the damage he did to our American society. His legacy of hate has been a cancer on our society.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day...

It has been over four decades since I lost my mother...and she still is the woman I have most admired in my life. She lived a life of selfless dedication while raising a family of seven children and working as a country midwife.

I've always liked the idea that we set aside a day each year to honor mothers. It provides an opportunity to reflect on all that we owe them.

To all the mothers out there...Happy Mothers Day! And thank you.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another fallen hero...

Following the hearse after a funeral mass for Pfc. Katie Soenksen are her husband, Army Spec. Benjamin Rowella (left), and brother, Matt Soenksen.
Katie Soenksen was the seventy-first female soldier to die in the war in Iraq.
House Democrats advanced legislation on Thursday to pay for military operations in Iraq on an installment plan, ignoring President Bush's veto threat.
In the meantime VP Cheney is in the Middle East issuing threats against Iran. These guys may want to do some more damage before they leave office.
(Photo: Dan Videtich / AP

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Paisley and McGuinness sworn in a power-sharing arangement...

Photo shows Martin McGuinness, the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Tony Blair, Peter Hain and Ian Paisley talking in the first minister's office of the Northern Ireland assembly. Photograph courtesy of the Guardian. More details below.

Former enemies sworn in as Northern Ireland's premiers...

Photo shows Ian Paisley, leader of the Democratic Unionist Party, arriving at Stormont Parliamentary Building in Belfast Northern Ireland earlier today. (Photo:Peter Morrison/Associated Press)
This was a truly historic event. Ian Paisley, 81, leader of the Pretestant Democratic Party, and Martin McGuinness, 56. deputy leader of Sinn Fein, were sworn in lead a 12-member cabinet to govern Northern Ireland in Peace.
With British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Ireland's Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to watch, Paisley was elected first minister, followed by McGuinness as deputy minister.
I remember the first time I visited Belfast in 1972. At that time it was a dangerous battle zone in the middle what was effectively a civil war. Northern Ireland has come a long way in the intervening years. Unfortunately more than 3000 individuals died in the conflict.

Time for Wolfowitz to go...

It seems pretty obvious that the situation at the World Bank is beyond repair. Wolfowitz has lost the confidence of most stakeholders...except George Bush. In the meantime this crisis is hurting the bank's ability to fulfill its important mission.

I predicted Wolfowitz would have been gone by this time. Maybe he'll try to tough it out until June when he will become entitled to a large bonus.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The bloody war continues...

Injured children receive medical treatment at a hospital after a car bomb blast in Kirkuk, Iraq. In a wave of violence, at least 95 Iraqis were killed or found dead nationwide on Sunday.
The news continues to be very depressing from Iraq. This photo is a reminder that many of the victims are innocent citizens...including women and children. The people responsible for selling this war to the American people should be held accountable.
(Photo: Emad Matti / AP)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Immigration Rally attacked by Police...

A day of peaceful immigration rallies in major US cities Tuesday was marred when Los Angeles police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
Witnesses said police wearing riot gear and wielding batons gave no warning before firing at rally participants gathered at MacArthur Park. Some members of the media were also victims of police brutality.
There is an investigation underway to determine whether police used excessive force. Same old story. Fortunately, nobody was killed.
(Photo: Rick Loomis /The Los Angeles Times)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wolfowitz: His days are numbered at World Bank...

I have been following the drama unfolding at the World Bank with more than a passing interest. My day job involves advising organizations on a variety of issues including leadership and employee morale.
It seems to me that Paul Wolfowitz has lost the trust of most of the key stakeholders. And there is no way he can regain this trust. The longer he stays the more he will damage his own reputation and the reputation of the World Bank.
The World Bank has a very important mission. I hope Wolfowitz will resign sooner rather than later.