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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Israel and Gaza: A No Win Situation

And the saga continues.

From Liberal Common Sense, you may read "Israel kills and wounds more civilians, nothing will happen."

From Writes Likes She Talks, you may read "Gaza and Israel."

Each blog also has additional entries on the same subject as well as links to other blogs and web sites on the subject.

I suggest you explore and read them. Then, judge for yourself as to whom is the winner and whom is loser.

It seems to me as if it is a no win situation, as it has been for 60+ years.
Or maybe, I should make that a couple or three or four thousand years.

p.s. Who or Whom?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Inspiring Teachers: Hugh Hinton, Ph.D.

I only recently learned of the death of a friend of mine, Hugh Hinton. Hugh was a guy I met about thirty years ago through my political activities.

Shortly after meeting Hugh Hinton, he recommended me to sit on a couple volunteer community organizations and committees, e.g. the Issues of the 80s update committee.

Later, Hugh became a professor of mine after he had convinced me to enroll in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Toledo. He also arranged for me to be a graduate assistant during my graduate studies and nominted me for one of only two UT Presidential summer scholarships which I was awarded. Dr. Hugh Hinton also nominated me for membership in two national honor societies; Pi Sigma Alpha (for Political Science) and Pi Alpha Alpha (for Public Administration), both in which I was inducted. Professor Hinton also recruited me into the American Society for Public Administration in which I was later elected President of the Northwest Ohio Chapter.

Not long after I was awarded the Master of Public Administration, Hugh and I became colleagues when I was hired on Hugh's recommendation as adjunct faculty at the University of Toledo.

Today, I pay tribute to
Hugh Frank Hinton
The following is his obituary as was published:
HINTON Hugh Frank
Hugh Frank Hinton, 68, of Toledo, passed away on Wednesday, December 17, 2008. Hugh was born in Littlefield, TX, on February 15, 1940, to Hugh Dawson Hinton and Thelma Cope Hinton. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a PhD in Political Science, and worked for over 30 years as a professor at the University of Toledo. He is survived by wife, Nadiya; son, Clayton (Kathryn) Hinton; sisters, Janice and Susan; brother, Dwight Hinton and 3 grandchildren, Rachel, Andrew, and Olivia. A memorial service, celebrating Hugh's life, will be held Saturday, December 20th, at 2 p.m., in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home, 3000 West Sylvania Avenue, Toledo. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association.

I will never forget Hugh Hinton; he made such an important impact on my life.

I remember having received an electronic card from a former student of mine when I was teaching at the college level. I saved it in my e-mail inbox; but, I see the link to it is no longer working. That's okay, though, because I found the contents of it elsewhere on the internet. I wish to place a link to it here, as a tribute to Hugh Hinton.

Please go over to read:
A Message Of Thanks To All The Great Teachers In This World.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Frost/Nixon and Bush

'Tis the season for another appropriate-time-of-the-year Roland Hansen Commentary.

It is wintertime in the northern hemisphere. It is also the time of year right now to hear the popular song Frosty the Snowman. It is also the season in which it is not uncommon to see a whole lot of frost in the colder regions. To top it all off, there is now a popular movie being shown in a theater near you about Frost - David Frost, that is.

You’ve most likely heard of the Broadway play based on a real-life political event that has been made into a Hollywood movie. It’s about a reporter by the name of David Frost and the events surrounding his famous interviews with a lying, deceiving, disgraceful President. No, the President in this story is not George W. Bush. The President portrayed in this theatrical production is none other than Richard Milhous Nixon.

There are a couple unique factors that set Nixon apart from other Presidents of the United States of America. One is the fact that Nixon is the only President who had served as a vice president and then later became president, but did not succeed the president under whom he had served. The second is the fact that Richard Nixon, a.k.a. Dick Nixon, a.k.a. Tricky Dick, was the only president of the United States ever to resign from the highest elective office of the land. He did the country this favor when he left office on August 9, 1974 rather than face impeachment after a committee of the United States House of Representatives had voted to issue several articles of impeachment for consideration by the full legislative chamber. If you don’t know the story behind this historic event, I’ll give you the two-cent version. Congress began to consider impeachment when it was discovered that Nixon had lied to the country when he said he knew nothing of the Watergate scandal. That was a scandal that involved a break-in at the National Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel along with other illegal activities by employees of Nixon's 1972 re-election committee and by staff members of his Presidential Executive Office.

Incidentally, it was during Richard Nixon’s presidency that the elected Vice President, Spiro Agnew, resigned from office due to corruption charges. His replacement by Presidential appointment and congressional confirmation was Gerald Rudolph Ford, a.k.a. Jerry Ford, who ascended to the Presidency upon Nixon’s resignation. Jerry Ford has the distinction of having served as President without ever being elected nationwide.

Let me see, now. Nixon was going to be impeached in his second term basically for lying. Approximately some 25 years later, another President of the United States of America by the name of William Jefferson Clinton, a.k.a. Bill Clinton, was impeached during his second term basically for lying about an extramarital sexual situation.

Flash forward, I wish to bring to your attention a couple interesting facts about the current out-going President of the United States, George Walker Bush. One fact is that the Electoral College elected George W. Bush after he lost the popular election vote in 2000. He is the fourth person ever to have been elected President without having received a majority vote of the American people. The other three were John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, and Benjamin Harrison in 1888. The election of George W. Bush was also only the second time in the history of the United States that the son of a former president was elected president. George Herbert Walker Bush, father of George W. Bush, also served as president. It had been approximately 200 years since the only other father and son Presidents, those two being John Adams and John Quincy Adams.

It is George W. Bush who lied to the American people and to Congress drawing the United States into an undeclared war in Iraq costing billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Under George W. Bush, there is another Dick of whom there have been many allegations of corruption. That Dick is none other than a guy by the name of Richard Bruce Cheney, who has been serving as Vice President to George W. Bush. If that isn’t the frosting on the cake!!! It is my opinion that the Bush-Cheney administration will go down as the worst performing and most corrupt Presidency in United States history.

I find it absolutely amazing that two Presidents in recent history, Dick Nixon and Bill Clinton, have faced removal from the Office of President by the United States Congress while another lying, deceiving, disgraceful President by the name of George W. Bush gets away scott-free. That just frosts me!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can Salvation Be Found Through An Army?

Those who know me, know that I am Jewish, following the religion of my Ukrainian Russian mother and of my maternal ancestors. They also know that my Danish father was Lutheran and that my paternal relatives adhered to Christianity.

I have lived in both the Jewish world and the Christian world. I have fond memories of personal experiences related to both worlds. My childhood included happy visits to Jewish and to Christian grandparents.

I have great respect for true believers and practitioners both of Judaism and of Christianity, as I do for true believers and practitioners of all non-Satanic religions.

I have experienced and continue to practice the Jewish observance, traditions, and celebration of Chanukah. I have also experienced the Christian observance, traditions, and celebration of Christmas.

This Roland Hansen Commentary revolves around fond memories of my father, Robert Christian Hansen, and his recollections of the Salvation Army that he relayed to me.

Having suffered a major heart attack, my father retired in 1965 from Doehler-Jarvis National Lead Company. Beginning back in the spring of 1971 and through early 1984 when my dad died, I visited my father every Saturday morning, with very rare exceptions, in his North Toledo home. During most of those years, I joined my dad in a routine he had initiated shortly after his early disability retirement. That routine consisted of weekly Saturday morning walks from his home in the 800 block of Superior Street through near downtown Toledo, stopping at Woolworth’s, Lamson’s, and Tiedtke’s lunch counters for a cup or two of coffee at each location before the return walk to his home.

As the downtown Toledo stores died out and as my father weakened with poor health, our Saturday morning routine changed to pretty much just having cup after cup of coffee around his kitchen table accompanied by hours of conversation.

Throughout all those years, however, we always made numerous shopping trips together throughout the Christmas season. My dad loved giving Christmas gifts to everyone in the extended Hansen family at the annual Hansen Family gathering on Christmas Eve.

In addition to the Saturday routine, my dad had another routine to which he adhered during the Christmas season. My father always, always tossed coins, and sometimes currency, into every Salvation Army kettle along the path in which our walks took us through downtown Toledo. He did the same thing with every Salvation Army kettle that we came across in our annual Christmas shopping trips in the malls and elsewhere.

You see, my dad had a strong respect for the good works performed by the Salvation Army. The respect my dad had for the Salvation Army was not just something he gave or felt because of some religious or altruistic reason. No, indeed. The respect was earned by the actions and deeds of which my father had first-hand knowledge. During World War II, my father served in the United States Army. He told me of some of the personal, family, and emergency experiences he and his fellow troops went through during World War II. He also told me that the Salvation Army always provided assistance without ever asking for money or for anything in return. My father said that meant so very much to all those who were the recipients of the good deeds of the Salvation Army.

When speaking of the Salvation Army, my father frequently contrasted it with another very well known organization that shall remain nameless in this writing. Dad said the other organization also assisted our troops with personal and family emergencies and with other matters but generally requested a financial payment. That memory of the other organization always made Dad see Red. Please don’t be Cross with me for not naming that other organization. I think you should be able to figure it out for yourself.

‘Tis the season. Please give generously to the Salvation Army kettles during this season. More than that, please be supportive of the Salvation Army deeds throughout the entire year.

The following is an article from World Book Multimedia Encyclopedia, 2004 Edition, Version 8.2.1:

Salvation Army is an international Christian religious and charitable organization. It is set up and operated on a military pattern, and its leaders have the ranks of military officers. The Salvation Army works to foster a love of God and to provide for the needy. It offers its services to people of any race, creed, sex, or age.

Services and activities. The basic unit of the Salvation Army is the corps community center. Each center is directed by a commanding officer who administers both religious and social service activities. These centers conduct a varied program, providing religious services, counseling, moral education, and other social services. In addition, the Salvation Army operates a variety of institutions, including hospitals, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, camps, boys and girls clubs, senior citizen residences and clubs, and day-care centers. It also provides education programs for unwed mothers, family assistance, and aid to prisoners and their families. The Salvation Army includes many musicians who use music as a way to preach the gospel.

Much of the worldwide service of the Salvation Army is given to people in less developed countries. These services include education, basic needs, vocational instruction, and disaster relief.

History. William Booth, a Methodist minister, founded the Salvation Army in London in 1865. That year, he began conducting meetings to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of London's East End. His work was well received, and he organized a group known as the Christian Mission. In 1878, the group changed its name to the Salvation Army. The organization soon spread outside Britain. It was established in the United States in 1880.

Today, the Salvation Army works in over 85 countries. It has about 25,000 men and women serving as officers. Each officer is an ordained minister. The Salvation Army has more than 14,000 corps community centers worldwide. There are about 420,000 U.S. members. International headquarters are at 101 Queen Victoria Street, London. U.S. headquarters are at 799 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cultural Diversity School: A Charter Idea

With Christmas just around the corner in the world of Christendom, “’Tis the season.” Or, so they say. It seems as though the vast majority of Americans are bemoaning the fact that they cannot buy all the material goods they so desire for Christmas gifts and cry out that they will not have a good Christmas. Have they forgotten that Christmas is supposed a religious holiday in a celebratory observance of the birth of Jesus, the Christ child?

And, have all the “good” Christians of the world not learned of the “love” of our fellow human beings as was preached by Jesus of Nazareth? I have to ask my Christian friends: Are we not to love our neighbors?

There is so much prejudice and discrimination in the world. I have known so many Catholics and Protestants who speak “hate” words about Jews, Muslims, and those of other non-Christian religions. If that isn’t bad enough, various other ethnicities and other groups of people come under attack by so-called “good Christians” with those groups including Blacks, Arabs, Asians, Gays, Freemasons, Irish, Germans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and so on and so forth.

But, it isn’t only some Christians who are believers of prejudice and practioners of discrimination. I know of some so-called “religious” Jewish people and of some “true” believers of Islam who do the same thing. I find it almost overwhelming to see the vast numbers of people who preach the “brotherhood of man” and “love of others” and then turn around and live a life that contradicts their religious teachings. They are the hypocrites that speak ill of others who are of a different color, a different religious denomination, a different sexual orientation, a different country of origin family history, a different political perspective, a different --- well, a different anything.

Are we not all supposed to be loving and understanding and compassionate and caring and giving and tolerant and respectful of others?

In our American society, we have laws and rules and regulations that are protective of religious, gender, racial, nationality, physical ability, age, and other individual differences. We have public policies to promote cultural differences as something to understand and respect. However, the way in which American parents raise the children of the next generation is not necessarily advancing the practice that cherishes and celebrates cultural differences.

As with other states within the United States of America, the State of Ohio has had an alternative public educational system of charter schools, which in Ohio are technically named community schools. For the past ten years, I have spoken with many leaders in both the governmental sector and the private sector of the charter community school movement to advance the concept of establishing a school that has cultural diversity as its core subject. I envision such a school that would have courses teaching the history of the regions and countries of the world, along with the history and beliefs of the peoples who have occupied those regions and countries, their societal and political systems, their customs, their languages, their religions, etc. Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to teach the factual basic tenets and beliefs of various religions in our public schools; and therefore, it is legal to teach courses in comparative religion.

Imagine, if you will, a school in which the child has the opportunity to learn all about the Slavic peoples, the Celts, the ancient Orient, the development of modern European countries as well as of other countries, Native Americans, Druids, nomadic peoples, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, the various versions of “The Great Flood” as described in so many religions, the variety of marriage and family systems that have been observed in different cultures throughout time, foreign languages both present and past including sign, theocracies and autocracies and monarchies and dictatorships and democracies, wars that have been waged because of cultural differences, and so much more.

Unfortunately, I have not yet found any support, except lip service, from those with the resources to establish such a charter school. I firmly believe a Charter Cultural Diversity School could have a real true impact in making the world a better place.

Most, if not all, American public schools incorporate some level of what I propose, although to a much more limited degree than that which I envision.

I ask my fellow Ohioans: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Ohio Public Educational System would take the lead and incorporate more fully the premise of such a school, or schools, that I propose?

More about cultural diversity may be found in the embedded link over here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

OCD and BO: President-elect Barack Obama

I do not allude to this type of OCD as you may read in that embedded link.
Nor, do I allude to this type of B.O. as you may read in that embedded link.
Rather I make reference to what I consider Obama Cultural Diversity and have named OCD. That is how I feel about the appointments that President-elect Barack Obama (B.O.) is making as part of his administrative team. What an inclusionary group, thus far. How refreshing!
Now, let's see how it progresses.
I can only hope that he picks Ohio Governor Ted Strickland for a position in the Obama Administration. Then, I will get the Ohio Governor Lee Fisher that I so desire.