Peace talks must address inequalities
Israel and the Palestinians are reconvening for peace talks. For those of us who have been fighting for an end to the Israeli occupation, this is good news – if the talks actually lead to a just solution. Too often, peace talks have become a fog that covers up the facts on the ground for Palestinians living under military rule – ever-present checkpoints, ever-stricter travel restrictions, arbitrary arrests even of children, house demolitions, curfews and closures, harassment and violence by soldiers and settlers.
The notion of Israel and the Palestinians as two equal parties engaged in negotiations is important in the sense of respecting their independence and integrity. However, it is a completely unequal relationship. Israel is a state with all its institutions, has one of the world’s strongest military forces, and de facto controls the West Bank with all of its resources, and the borders of the Gaza Strip.
As facilitator, the United States can choose to be an arbiter that addresses the imbalance of power and highlights the inequalities, exposes Israeli abuses and demands appropriate change. The talks cannot succeed if what is facilitated is yet another cover for ever-expanding settlements, Israeli expropriation of occupied land and resources, and the denial of refugee rights. Ultimately, there is no peace without justice.
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Peace and Social Justice Center
How to improve NBC
As I sat in the stands watching the championship game of the National Baseball Congress World Series, two things came to mind that I think would really help the tournament survive.
The first thing that bothered me was the measly $19,000 check for the first-place team. That sum likely didn’t cover the team’s expenses. If all the teams playing are guaranteed to lose money, they won’t come. The prize purse needs to be increased, and not by a little bit. Maybe we can have one less sculpture that no one can figure out. Maybe someone can come forward for a donation, with free advertising – anything. Without addressing that, the tournament will decrease in participation of teams and baseball fans.
The second thing that bothered me was the cost of food and drink. I might have had a couple of beers if they had been priced right. But I had none. How much profit was made? Selling food and drink at reasonable prices encourages people to purchase the products. Trying to gouge the public discourages people from even going to the park, or buying a hot dog and a beer if they show up.
Fix those two things and I think the NBC tournament will survive and prosper.
Not so funny
Liberals were whipped into a froth because a rodeo clown in Missouri wore an Obama mask (Aug. 13 Eagle). They feel such antics disrespect our chief executive officer. Yet they established such a precedent several years ago when some of them tried to name a San Francisco sewage plant after George W. Bush. It’s always funny until your ox is gored.
Obama unfit to lead
In an interview that Reggie Love, President Obama’s former personal aide, gave last month at UCLA, he said that Obama spent much of the time during Operation Neptune Spear (the raid that killed Osama bin Laden) playing games of spades. Surprised? No. Upset? No.
Why would Obama be in the operations command center anyway? What did he have to offer the situation? Military expertise? No. High-level executive leadership and decision-making experience? No. In fact, he did the best thing possible: Let the people who actually know what they are doing work, and leave the room.
Of course, the media praised the president for his heroic leadership for this operation. They proclaimed that bin Laden is dead because Obama is president.
Obama is not fit to lead our nation. He is stirring up more wars using covert tactics while continuing to campaign as a president who is anti-war and pro-peace. He continues to encourage government spending at record levels. He is a danger to the security and safety of our republic.
Cover state’s missing
Recent local media coverage of the California missing teen made me wonder why Kansas is so focused on missing teens from other states but never really gives coverage to missing teens that are in Kansas.
I am helping the organization Kansas Missing and Unsolved, run by Ricky Tebrugge, to find missing teens. We see that the media coverage is slanted against missing teens from our own state. It does not help that law enforcement in Kansas does not always issue a “be on the lookout” report or even a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children report, or give the media any information.
Come on, Kansas media. Let’s focus on our missing teens. Let’s give the families and friends of those missing teens some coverage.