Saturday, May 28, 2011

I want to begin this post with an acknowledgement.  There are few minefields more lethal than where I'm heading.  For a person to even suggest criticism of Israel is tantamount to being charged with anti-Semitism.  It's about as automatic as Tuesday following Monday.  So, while I will disavow any such bias, I know no words will convince those who automatically believe otherwise.  That said, let's move on.
Since I've discussed some general issues with our Foreign Policy, let's look at the most difficult foreign policy problem facing us today: the Middle East, and more specifically Israel vs. Palestine.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Some facts that should get in our way

Without a doubt one of the hottest items for public discussion right now is the Federal Deficit.  I think we all agree it's too high.  I think we all know that, at least in the short term, Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling.  I think we all agree that steps need to be taken to reduce it.

Those things we most likely agree on.  Of course, agreement on the need to raise the debt ceiling is being held hostage to related actions, and that's sad.  When the water is rising, it's inappropriate to spend too much time worrying about how we'll pay for next year's supply of sandbags.

There is, however, a need for some serious discussion on the long term solution, and that's where the problem lies.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The problem starts with the name

Foreign Policy!

We debate it, we struggle with it, we find it confusing.  We accuse our leaders, no matter who they are, of  being inconsistent, of not having one, and, of course, of screwing it up.  We don't, as individuals or as collectives, agree on what it should be.  It is, without a doubt, one of the most difficult things for people to grapple with.  In fact, the very problem is that we wrestle with it, rather than develop it.

But, that need not be so.  Here's why.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's time for a do-over

The term "coming out of the closet" is usually attached to the notion that someone is publicly acknowledging their alternative sexual orientation.  Typically they do that because they are tired of hiding behind a veil of lies and deceit and/or wish to appropriately acknowledge the person that they love.  Taking that action used to be right up there with suicide, and certainly in some parts of the world it remains so.

Fortunately, in much of the world, and a large portion of the US, it's now greeted more casually.  In some cases, friends are glad they no longer have to pretend they haven't figured it out.  Other responses may still be negative, but for the individual it's got to be a huge relief to have "that" out of the way.  They can move on with their lives.

However, the term doesn't apply exclusively to sexual orientation.  It can also be used to describe any number of personal attributes that people feel they must hide.  Some come from a silent presumption that their friends simply won't understand.  In the last couple of years I've seen people "come out" and reveal that they've been closet Liberals, closet Red Sox fans, and even (gasp) closet Slytherins.  In some eyes, these are far worse transgressions than being Gay or Lesbian.  In fact, for some, I'm sure they're right up there with the official list of mortal sins.

So, with that in mind, I think it's time I came out of the closet.  I'm going to confess.  Before you jump to conclusions, please take a minute and a bit read more.