Friday, August 3, 2007

A little of this and a little of that

Well, the weekend is knocking and we've covered some important topics this week here at the Lens.

Let's end with a little bit about a lot of things.

Sean Penn, the actor, is too dumb to know he's being used by the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, as a propaganda tool. I think tool is the operative word.

He's standing alongside Chavez as the South American strongman rants and raves about American policy in Iraq. I can rant and rave against American policy in Iraq, but Chavez can't.

Penn is making himself the 21st century's Jane Fonda. It's not Chavez's soldiers being killed in Iraq while the Iraqi officials and would-be officials go on vacation and fritter around in intramural squabbles. Chavez needs to shut up.

Penn can rant and rave as much as he wants about the Iraq war, but he needs to do it here, not standing next to a guy who doesn't have the U.S. good in mind.

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Speaking of people who need to think a bit more about what they say, our secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, is taking her foot out of her mouth after her scold about democracy.

She basically told the Palestinians that they need to govern responsibly. She's dead right on that. But one of the reasons they're having so many problems is our administration's insistence on democratic elections in the territories at the worst possible time.

You take a government that you back but is in trouble with its people due to graft and inaction. You stir in insistence that elections be held just then. And, if you are the Bush administration, you then are floored that the electorate voted for someone other than the people you backed.

So now, because of our meddling, Hamas not only is a powerful force for evil in the territories, but it is a powerful force for evil in the territories that is recognized by much of the world as the legitimately elected legislative group in the territories.

So then, Rice delivers a scold to the Palestinians about governing responsibly while saying the U.S. is glad the elected governing entity has been overturned.

No wonder the rest of the Middle East is scratching their heads.

Look, I have nothing by hate and contempt for Hamas. If I ruled the world, they would all be put in the back of trucks and returned to Iran and Syria that backs them. But, we need to make sense with our foreign policy pronouncements.

Condy, when you speak, people listen. Make sense.

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I went to see Michael Moore's "SiCKO" the other day. Senior Day at the Orange cinemas -- $3.50 a shot for a film that younger people get to pay $10 to see -- the deal of the age.

It would have been much more powerful if it didn't insult the intelligence so much and so often.

For example, Moore travels to France to compare their medical-delivery system with ours. He interviews a family about its income and expenses to prove that despite the free medical care that all get in France, the result is not a confiscatory tax to pay for it all.

What's the one question he didn't ask them? You got it -- how much of their income went for taxes.

A large segment had to do with people injured while serving at Ground Zero after Sept. 11 and who were not treated adequately for subsequent medical problems.

So, since Moore found out that the alleged terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, got better medical treatment than those who served at Ground Zero, he loads the Ground Zero victims into boats and sails to Guantanamo Bay.

Of course he doesn't get there -- it seems he really didn't try all that hard. But then he heads for Havana.

If the picture is to be believed, they stroll into Havana and are welcomed, given medical treatment better than they would have received at home, and treated as heroes by Cuban firefighters.

That may have all taken place, but Moore would have you believe no previous arrangements were made. Please. The Cuban in charge of public relations must have thought he or she had died and gone to heaven.

There is no excuse for the American medical system and the way many people, even those with what they thought was adequate insurance coverage, are treated. The story is sad enough without these attempts to made it stronger with these little intensifications.

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Finally, happy birthday to Shoshana P. Olkin, who will be 6 tomorrow (Aug. 4). Shoshana, who will enter the first grade in September, is a graduate of kindergarten. She likes to play with her cats, do puzzles, read, and play with her sister Naomi and her new sister Elli. Happy birthday from grandpa and Savta Sue and all of us here at the Lens.

Have a great weekend and for all of you in the Tribe, have a great Shabbos.

Until next time...

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