Archives for October 2005

Letting Go

I am not good at letting go. It is a problem. I don’t let go of most things very easily. Mistakes, hurts, real or otherwise all stay with me. It is part of my character and a part that I am not real happy about.

It is why I remember the guy that tried to sleep with my girlfriend in 1988 and I still think about punching him in the mouth. Ok, that guy was a jackass who had a history of being a jerk to me and my friends that began long before ’88 and he really does deserve a swift kick in the ass.

In case you are curious I have run into him on a number of occasions and never have touched him but then again I don’t even acknowledge him and the truth of the matter is that unless there is some reason to think about him, I don’t. That incident irked me, but I can’t really say that it still bothers me.

Life experience has taught me how to get beyond it and I have, but there are some other wounds that never healed as well as they could have. What I am saying folks is that I have a little baggage and that sometimes it floats to the surface.

The past two weeks have been rough. Some of those suitcases have fallen out of the attic and are banging around the living room. I made a foolish mistake today. It was bush league and just dumb, but it is one of those things that you have to put behind you. I did, but it took me a long time, much longer than normal.

I am feeling a little beat up. I am not as tough mentally as I want to be and right now I am seeing the impact and effect. I’ll get beyond this because that is what I do. Ultimately I am a crusty old curmudgeon and a street fighter. I get over the humps in life because that is what I want to do and how I live.

It might be easier if I didn’t feel like I was getting pelted with small rocks and didn’t keep tripping and rolling down the bumpy incline. My knees are skinned, my pride is wounded and my confidence is shaken but not stirred. I’ll recover because sometimes there is no choice.

But more than anything else, the look that I recieve from my children reminds me that there are people who think that I am superman and for them I can take the bullet and make it bounce off of my chest.

Life is tough, but I am tougher. All I need to do to really start cooking again is to just let go.

Morning News

Arab States Silent on Iran’s Remarks

The silence is deafening and very telling. Call me a skeptic, but I don’t buy Erekat’s remarks. There is a time to stand together with your allies and a time to tell them when they have made a mistake and the lack of response here by the Arab nations concerns me.

They should have said something publicly, assuming that they disagree with this statement. Here is a snippet from the story.

CAIRO, Egypt – Arab governments remained silent Thursday as international condemnation grew over a call by Iran’s new president forIsrael to be destroyed. Despite the silence, analysts in the region said Tehran’s Arab rivals may quietly be pleased to see the radical regime further isolated by its extremism.

However, some Palestinians — who would have the task of destroying Israel according to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — rejected the remarks.

“We have recognized the state of Israel and we are pursuing a peace process with Israel, and … we do not accept the statements of the president of Iran,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. “This is unacceptable.”

European governments condemned Ahmadinejad’s comments, with British Prime Minister Tony Blair saying they increased concerns the clerical regime is a threat to global security and may even trigger pleas for pre-emptive action against Iran.

“I have never come across a situation (with) the president of a country saying they want to wipe out” another nation, Blair told reporters Thursday.

French President Jacques Chirac called the remarks “completely irresponsible” and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed “dismay” at them, in a rare rebuke of a U.N. member state.

In contrast, newspapers across the Middle East reported Wednesday’s speech by Ahmadinejad without comment, many of them on their front pages.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry and Cabinet officials said Cairo would have nothing to say on the address.

Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher also declined comment, apparently to avoid further aggravating relations with Iran, which the kingdom has accused of interfering in Iraq to strengthen the Shiite influence in the Middle East.

Analysts said Ahmadinejad’s uncompromising line highlighted Iran’s differences with other Middle East governments and will make it easier for the international community to take a tough line against Iran for its defiant nuclear policy.

Mohammed Wahby, a former diplomat and member of the Egyptian Council on Foreign Affairs, said it was a mistake to remain quiet about the speech, which he said undermined Mideast peace prospects.

“Recognizing Israel as an integral part of the Middle East is no longer in doubt,” he said, saying Iran was only encouraging hard-liners on both sides.

Mustafa Hamarneh, head of the Strategic Studies Center at the University of Jordan, agreed that Ahmadinejad was out of step, especially with the Palestinians.

“He’s an ideologue who shot from the cuff; it was not a studied statement,” Hamarneh said.

Iran’s threatening stance also was counterproductive to its own interests, said Wahby. It reinforces the notion that its nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons despite claims that it is meant exclusively for peaceful power generation.

“Such statement by Tehran will encourage Israel to cling to its nuclear arsenal,” Wahby said.”

"An Undue Fear Of Islam"

Daniel Pipes has an interesting article called Islamophobia?

“An Islamist group named Hizb ut-Tahrir seeks to bring the world under Islamic law and advocates suicide attacks against Israelis. Facing proscription in Great Britain, it opened a clandestine front operation at British universities called “Stop Islamophobia,” the Sunday Times has disclosed.

Stop what, you ask?

Coined in Great Britain a decade ago, the neologism Islamophobia was launched in 1996 by a self-proclaimed “Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia.” The word literally means “undue fear of Islam” but it is used to mean “prejudice against Muslims” and joins over 500 other phobias spanning virtually every aspect of life.

The term has achieved a degree of linguistic and political acceptance, to the point that the secretary-general of the United Nations presided over a December 2004 conference titled “Confronting Islamophobia” and in May a Council of Europe summit condemned “Islamophobia.”

The term presents several problems, however. First, what exactly constitutes an “undue fear of Islam” when Muslims acting in the name of Islam today make up the premier source of worldwide aggression, both verbal and physical, versus non-Muslims and Muslims alike? What, one wonders, is the proper amount of fear?”

Read the entire piece and see what you think. There is a lot of food for thought there and another reminder of the need for critical thinking and logical analysis about the information that we are presented with.

Lost & Lonely

My son is going to start kindergarten in September of 2006. The big question in my life is where is he going to go. Will it be a public or a private school. Today we set out to answer that question by attending an open house for one potential school.

There were about 50 or 60 other prospective parents there, each one of us was actively and attentively listening to each speaker. We toured the facility, asked questions and tried to do our best to make an honest assessment of the school and whether it would be the best place for our children.

For the purpose of this post that is neither here nor there. What I want to write about is in the title, Lost and Lonely. It was uttered at a party many years ago by a very drunk and very sad boy who couldn’t see his way to being happy.

That boy was me. I was 20 years-old and heartbroken over a girl that had dumped me. Now what relevance does this story have to the initial description of the open house. Well this is how it fits in.

Today I saw the woman I said that to for the first time since that night. She is not the ex. She is not even someone I dated and I am not sure that she even remembers the evening that this went down.

But I do.

I had forgotten about it. It is a long since buried memory of a place and time in my life that doesn’t exist anymore and I am ok with that.

What caught my attention was two things. First, that when I saw her I remembered the evening and second that I was bothered by it, not tremendously, but a little.

She sat next to me on a couch and listened to my sad sordid tale of lost love and how I declared that I would never get married and certainly never fall in love again. She heard me repeat that I was lost and lonely and she told me to buck up and that things would get better and then our paths went their separate ways and that was it.

So why was I bothered by this memory. I think that if anything I was a little embarrassed by it. She didn’t mention it and perhaps she doesn’t even remember but I do and somethings stick with you.

I remember that night and I remember feeling lost and lonely, but I am not anymore.