Sunday, September 29, 2013

Republicans are fighting the best plan, so far, to provide health coverage to more Americans

That's my take on it. Why would anyone want to stand in the way of improving healthcare coverage for a large number of under served Americans? Cost? Other reasons?

The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) isn't perfect, but so far, it's the farthest we've come toward trying to improve health coverage for a large portion of Americans.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Both the pope of the Catholic Church and the president of Iran are sounding better

Two religious leaders have been in the news recently starting to soften their stances. The pope of the Catholic Church and the President of Iran.

The pope seems to be putting church opposition against gay people more into the background and not emphasizing it. At least he's starting to put more compassion for all of humanity into the foreground.

The president of Iran is starting to talk about Jewish people in a positive way and a Jewish person even came to New York as part of the Iranian delegation to the recent UN conference. He's trying to improve relations with the US and other western nations as well. Hopefully, these are steps toward a more accepting and peaceful world.

Some folks might say that the president of Iran isn't a religious leader, but since Iran is basically a theocracy, I would qualify him as a religious leader also.

Seems like both the pope and the political / religious leader of Iran are starting to move toward more acceptance of diversity within the institutions that they lead. I'm cautiously hopeful.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to my father

Happy Birthday to my dad who, by co-incidence, was born on September 11th. He passed away before September 11 2001 so, in this life at least, he knew nothing of the terror that unfolded on that date. My dad's initials were USA. Ural Steven Ashworth. I hear that my grand dad picked out the odd name of Ural so the initials would be USA. Growing up, I often associated the name Ural with the Ural Mountains that are said to divide Europe from Asia and are located in Russia. If my dad were alive today, he would be over 100.

He was quite modest and didn't like tooting his own horn that much. He lived his life and contributed greatly to this country, but he didn't wrap himself in the flag very obviously. I still have a lot of respect for his quiet and steady style.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Is there a better response to genocide or maybe there is no good response

I haven't said much about Syria recently as it seems to me like it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. There may be nothing we can do, but watch as people are slaughtered.

Getting involved and trying to curb the various genocides, as Obama is trying to do, is problematic. We (the entire world, not just the US) may have already waited too long if getting involved could have worked. Possibly, early in the Syrian Arab Spring uprising, the world could have lent a hand with a lot of humanitarian and some military aid. If there are (or were) some more moderate rebel groups, we could have helped them hold territory and possibly protect the less hate filled people. The world could have tried to help some rebel groups provide safe haven's within Syrian territory. Currently millions have escaped to places like Jordan and Turkey which are now being taxed to the breaking point by the refugee problem.

To a large extent, the world has been hamstrung by the United Nations veto power of basically amoral powers such as Russia and also to some extent China. Russia is now all but declaring war on it's own homosexual population under the so called guise of morality, but I see little moral in Russia's behavior. For moral societies, I'd rather look to countries like Canada in both foreign and domestic policy. When I think of Russia, I think of corrupt oligarchies. Maybe I'm drifting off the topic of Syria, but a lot of this problem has to do with the hatred that various groups have for one another around the world. Religious hatred in places like Syria between various faiths such as the Sunni and Shiite sects within Islam. Russia's hatred for it's own homosexual population comes to mind like a canary in the coalmine.

I think Obama now wants to do more than just stand by and watch the atrocities happen, but it's hard to say if just dropping a few bombs to punish the Assad Government for use of Chemical weapons will do any good. If we can find ways to protect innocent people caught up in this configuration, I'm i favor of that, but I have little idea what would work best at this point. I hope things can get better, but I fear there may be little we can do; except, of course, humanitarian aid for those lucky enough to get out of Syria. Maybe there is more we can do, but I don't have any easy yes of no answers on our involvement. Remember, it's not just how we feel about Obama and the USA. It's the entire world hamstrung in gridlock and every so often witnessing the mass genocides in various parts of the world.