HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

December 17, 2007
Potpourri

Ernest Cassara


Ken Burns’ Latest

The blurbs for the latest effort of Ken Burns dealing with WWII, tell us that it was “much anticipated.”  Well, by whom?  That, we are not told!


Iranian “Interference”

As a true, blue American, perhaps I am supposed to back the actions of Dubya and company.  But, how can one, when one is conscious of the fact that the war in Iraq was based on lies?

And, how can I object to Iranians “interfering” in the affairs of its next door neighbors, attacked by the U.S., half way around the world.

I’ll most likely back the Democratic presidential candidate who will bluntly tell us that we will get the hell out of Iraq as soon as he/she takes office.  No pussy footing, please!  Hillary, for instance, has indicated that we may keep troops there for awhile.  Why?

As far as Republicans are concerned, Ron Paul is appealing, for he says we should not go around the world telling other people how to live.  This does not, he says, make him an isolationist.


Mercenaries in Iraq

I understand that the Blackwater gang is not the half of it.  I have read that there are 129,000 “contract” workers in Iraq.  Now, as a historian, I cannot forget how our Revolutionary forefathers objected to the Brits sending the Hessian contingent to help them suppress the uppity colonials!  The “contract” workers of that day!


Bill O’Reilly’s Latest Campaign

Nutcake O’Reilly, among other right wing trouble makers, claims that there is a “war on Christmas,” by retailers and others, who substitute “Happy Holidays” for “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”  Well, I regret the fact that I am much older than he, but age has one advantage, at least.  All of my long life, I have heard folks wish others “Happy Holidays!” 

And, by the way, when I was a kid, in public school we saluted the flag, and said the Lord’s Prayer, the Protestants in the group continuing on, when the Roman Catholic kids dropped out.  (The two groups, remember, could not agree on the wording of the prayer!)

And, I, even at that age, wondered how my dear Jewish friends felt about the ritual, being treated as strangers in their own country!

Teachers were, also, expected to read a passage from the Bible.  The one reason I know the 23rd Psalm by heart is due to the fact that one of my home room teachers apparently knew little else in the Bible, so fell back on that dear message time after time!


Is Waterboarding Torture?

Well, as you remember, Michael Mukasey, in his appearances before congressional committees would only answer, “If waterboarding is torture, it is unconstitutional.”  Of course, ever since the Inquisition, it has been considered torture.

The reason I mention this again, is to point out what one CIA agent said.  He got more information out of a prisoner by playing chess or checkers and smoking a cigarette with him.


Cell Phones and Steering Wheels

Not long after cell phones became popular, I noticed a lady driver holding one in hand, the other hand on the steering wheel, which she miraculously managed to turn onto a narrow street.  Then, there was the driver of a huge truck, yakking on his cell phone as he backed up.

Now, I hear that the powers that be are planning to forbid kids under 18 from phoning while driving.  Just the kids?  They should look at how adults act using a phone while driving.  Reminds me of the quip on the Benny Hill program: A lady says, “I have never been so insulted in my life!”  To which, the male responds: “You should get out more!”

I believe I may have mentioned before that the powers that be are working on technology that will allow folks driving through the several tunnels in the Boston area to use their cell phones!


Willard Flip Flops Again!

Willard Romney - he who is ashamed of his name - has announced that he is now “pro life.”  Quite a change from when he was running for the governorship of the old Bay State and claimed he believed that a woman should control her own body!


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