Historical Overview, the US and Iran

I did a little research on the history of relations between Iran and the United States.

In World War II Iran was attacked by Russia and the UK.  The us remained friendly with Iran.

In 1953, The CIA orchestrated a coup of Prime Minister Mossadeq.  In 1957, the US helped Iran start it’s nuclear program.

In 1988, the US attacked Iran because of their secret development of nuclear weapons to help with their war against Iraq.

The 400  million dollar cash payment to Iran was to settle a claim by Iran to be paid for weapons they produced for the United States.  The payment was frozen as a result of the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe.  The reason for the payment in cash was because there really wasn’t any organized banking vehicle for Iran to accept the payment.  Many would say that the cash payment was secretly made for the release of hostages which happened on the same day as the payment.  It really doesn’t matter if Iran effected the motivation of the US to settle their dispute.  At the end of the day, the claim was satisfied and the hostages were returned.

The Iran nuclear deal allowed the participating countries to continue to verify through inspectors that Iran was not developing uranium and other ingredients to make bombs. Many people don’t understand that Iran has been allowed to produce nuclear electrical power for their people.

Trump voted for an extension of the agreement in January 2018 then violated it in May 2018.

Rather than me try to recap the history between the US and Iran, I added a couple of links that provide more detail and timelines that I, could not accurately report.

One is a really good pdf put together by M.I.T.  A second one is a pdf put together by Fortune, the third is a complete story of Iran by the Library of Congress.

Besides these reference links and in order to better familiarize myself on the topic, I researched articles and reports by Reuters, BBC, Wikipedia, MIT, Politico, the Library of Congress, the Aspen Institute, Brown University and 7 others.

M.I.T. PDF:  http://web.mit.edu/mitir/2009/online/us-iran-2.pdf

Library of Congress:  http://www.loc.gov/rr/frd/cs/pdf/CS_Iran.pdf

Fortune PDF:  http://fortune.com/2016/08/05/money-america-iran/

I am sure our brilliant President doesn’t know the facts, so I might as well educate myself.  You may find it interesting as well.

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A President That Can’t Stay On Task: A Monday Rant.

As we know, DACA participation is limited to children that arrived in 2007 or earlier and that the President doesn’t understand it.

We know that the free press is important to our democratic systems.  We know that they play an important role in keeping the government in check. We know that his communication through Twitter primarily reaches his base when they are reported on in the news outlets he calls fake, not directly from his phone.

We know that a Trade war will hurt our economy.  Trade with China is tricky.  One thing that the President does not seem understand (or maybe he does) is that they have purchased a huge amount of Treasury notes.  It would be a disaster for America if the Chinese sold or cashed in on the US debt that backs them up.

We know that his obstruction of continuous funding for Obama health care to teach the democrats a lesson is only hurting and jeopardizing the lives of millions of Americans.  I hope that he recognizes how important Social Security an Medicare are.  He says he does, so I hope he keeps congress in check.  For many of those living on the SSA and Medicare benefits that they and their employers contributed to, live way below the poverty line as it is.  Age cycling is part of the process.

We know that the easiest way for the Russian probe to quickly conclude is for the President to tell the truth and not attack the FBI,CIA and Special Counsel.

We know that we will never see a 2,000 mile long border wall.

I worry that when Trump meets with Putin, the conversation will be more about the bromance rather than serious international relationship issues. We know for instance, he probably won’t increase pressure on Russia to end the genocide in Syria. We may never see a productive meeting between Trump and Un.  I think that it is weird that the President claims to be good friends with every foreign leader he meets after just 30 minutes.  We know that he is really uninformed on specifics when it comes to the war on ISIS and the increasing threat of the Taliban.  We know that he does not take seriously that the use of, or threat of even one nuclear weapon attack would probably provoke an Armageddon.

We know that he does not have any practical knowledge of the US Constitution nor the Bill of Rights.

We know that the President has no clue about the regulations that are being repealed.  If he did, he would know that some of these regulations are very key to the well-being and future of Americans.

We know that by not staffing cabinet and professional positions within the Administration, he is making many of our efforts, both domestic and international ineffective or non-existent.  We know that he doesn’t have a clear understanding about what is happening in several government (almost all) departments.  The EPA, Interior, Education and Urban development departments are suffering as a result of inexperienced leadership.  Also, there is no clear agenda or mission for any of these departments.

We all know that he struggles when it comes to international affairs…he seems confused about who is an ally and who is an adversary.  I am pretty sure  that he doesn’t understand the existing conflicts that we are involved in around the world besides the most publicized ones.

We know that his tax plan will catch up to the average American.

We know that his apearant loyalty to the NRA and his disregard and dismissive actions relative to the welfare of our children, or for that matter, American’s in general is not good.

The Stormy Daniels and Apprentice women’s legal activity can be resolved if he would again, tell the truth.

We know that he doesn’t take seriously that the war on drugs is a real war.  We know that he doesn’t understand that big pharma is responsible in part, for the transition from opioids to heroin.  Also, the war includes much more than Mexican cartels and addicts.  We know that talking about the gang problem won’t fix it.  We know that he doesn’t understand that many crime issues are not the exclusive responsibility of states and municipalities.

I worry that the President does not show or express his pride in being the leader of the strongest, most prosperous country in the world.  I also hope he understands that we need our allys, especially if we get into a complicated conflict that will require our friends help.  I also hope that he understands that the democratic members of our inner circle are collectively the key to all of our growth thru shared creativity and mutual expertise.

I am of the opinion that our President will suffer the same demise as pet rocks and beanie babies after his first couple of years. I am pretty sure that even some of his base will become weary and tired of his antics.

I hope he gets to a point where he realizes he is not helping himself by counting on the likes of Sean Hannity to provide advice on all things presidential.  I personally think that Hannity among others should be compelled to run for office.  If nothing else we will see if they are truly expert or full of it. I am pretty sure it is the latter.

I dream about the President’s last day in office, I have nightmares thinking of Pence as President.

I am sure you can tell that I didn’t vote Republican.  I do hope that our government gets on track, even though I don’t see any vehicle to take it there.

Well, that’s all I have for today.  I have to get up and walk ten miles uphill to pick up some Pepsi and popcorn to get ready to watch the next episode of Rosanne.

 

 

Protest and Government

Whether you have been paying attention to the “March for Our Lives” movement or not, you have been affected, whether you recognize it or not.

The large and extremely well-organized protests on Saturday demonstrate the influence that young Americans have on the culture of this country.  The message and call for action at its core reflects a collective voice determined to challenge those who claim power and influence over our government, thus our citizens.

Out of control gun violence in America is something that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by all of us…now…not later after hundreds more innocent people are gunned down and murdered by individuals who have no business owning or carrying a gun.

The solutions are complicated, if not elusive.  If a group of high school students can organize and articulate specific demands in order to stop the violence, they are obligated to pursue change.

Although the protest is anchored by the events at a high school in Florida, the movement is inclusive of all those affected by the horrific and tragic killings happening all over this country.  Collectively, they can flex their muscles to further their message with far more strength than any one individual.

Interestingly, the entire subject of gun violence as well as possible solutions including specific gun controls is a part of a debate.  A debate…we can not forget this.  As American’s we have the right to be passionate and vocal regarding our beliefs, principles and points of view.  The whole definition of debate starts with two opposing points of view, followed by thoughtful conversation and hopefully an agreement based on compromise and respect.

As it stands now, when it comes to many in politics there is no thoughtful debate.  Those who have the ability to make changes are fighting tooth and nail to oppose anyone who challenges their agendas, regardless of how sound the demands and expectations may be.

It is discouraging to me to listen to many of the politicians and special interests try to say that their positions are based soley on what they perceive as being in the best interest of their constituents and for the associations, their membership.  For this, I call “foul”.  If you listen to some law makers and special interest groups including the NRA, you can plainly see that there is a common theme.  If you listen to the opposition speak, they are expressing some ridiculous examples on how possible solutions, in this case gun control are going to jeopardize the second amendment rights of responsible gun owners in this country.

Rick Santorum was on the Sunday shows saying that it is wrong for the protest group to expect government to do something,  He said that the students need to look at themselves for a solution, not try to force someone else to do it for them.  He said they would be better served by learning CPR.  His comments are ridiculous.  Who else are they going to seek out to force change?  Is he saying that the government and it’s representatives are not responsible for changing the laws in this country.  The NRA is also pushing arguments that are weak and diliberatly in opposition of anyone who questions their position on gun related issues.  For the NRA to push the narrative that these groups are trying to take the guns away from citizens is dangerous and ludicrous.  By getting some of their members to believe this message, they are undercutting their own mission.  I hear people say that the kids are trying to say that they will no longer have the right to defend themselves. This mis-information is based on the messages propagated by media connected to the NRA. As far as legislators, it is immoral to accept money from the special interests and demonstrate their willingness to be owned and influenced by the agendas of these groups.  If they take the money, they are obligated to support their contributors causes…This applies to the influence of all special interest groups such as oil companies, agriculture lobby and many other industries, not just the gun manufactures.

Nobody can or will destroy the second amendment.  This doesn’t mean that reasonable regulation isn’t important and appropriate.  Why would anyone say differently? Regulations that work to make the country safer are at debate, not the second ammendment.

You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to understand how the second amendment works.  The framers of the constitution included the right to bear arms as a provision to allow Americans to take up weapons, organize and defend our democratic form of government from being overcome by any attempt by an authoritarian group to take over control of our country and our people.  More recently, the Supreme court added to the ammendment, the right for citizens to possess firearms to protect themselves.

By the way, the NRA was not created to be a special political interest that represents the gun industry.  The association was founded in 1872 to provide training for military and American gun owners to improve their accuracy and marksmanship.  Back then rifles had smooth barrels and were incredibly inaccurate.  Even today, Shooters, when hunting or range firing, would or do have to fire off several shots to hit their target. Today, safety and marksmanship are still the major components that benefit the association’s membership.  Most of the best ranges, safety and marksmanship facilities in the country are supported by the NRA.  Their lobby is really not related to those functions.

Today and for the last several years gun manufacturers fund the NRA and their political efforts, not the members.  The gun manufactures count on the association to help sell firearms. This is not to say that some gun marketing isn’t beneficial to gun owners.  In depth product demonstrations and reviews are good for the consumer.

For me the rub is that the NRA didn’t become overwhelmingly political until a few decades ago.  The first candidate that they endorsed was Ronald Reagan.

It is very relevent and important to consider that gun regulations are prescribed by state and local governments based on their individual principles, not the federal government. There are examples of these laws all over the country.  Where I live it is illegal to discharge a gun within the city limits (very small town).  Just outside the city is some of the best hunting in the country.

The fact is that three percent of the country owns half of the nations guns.  Basically, the NRA, even with five million members represents a small part of our population.  If the The political debate and the opposing arguments for gun regulation is good for America…What is not good, is forcing such opposition through funding and support of American politicians.

There in lies the argument for blaming the government for not enacting laws to protect the American people no matter what the issues are.  The truth is that the NRA as well as groups such as shale energy special interests spend a fortune on forcing individual politicians to support their industry through legislation. There efforts have nothing to do with what is in the best interest of the participating representative’s constituency, just their industry’s profits.

For the young American’s, opposition to the NRA’s message and their seduction of politicians serves them well in forcing their message.

At the end of the day, this new movement has big muscles to flex.  If not, why would the politicians and groups such as the NRA care?  Why would those that support the NRA and some politicians care about the student movement?  Why don’t these groups organize eight hundred thousand people to get their opposing message across?

I can tell you why.  As I have pointed out in many posts, those of us who are older will soon have to give way to the younger citizens who will dictate the culture and social environment of this great country.  Voter turnout has been the downfall of many good efforts to force change.  This movement promotes and strives to increase voter participation by getting our young to vote. Remember, many of these kids are around seventeen or eighteen years old which is the demographic of the lowest voter turn out.

As with any group protesting for change, the most important, effective component is their voices.  If I was on the other side of the issue, I would worry about the millions of people who will soon be able to vote as well as their parents who will support their causes at the voting booth.  No amount of money for influence will change the overwhelming effectiveness of millions coming together to insist on change.

Remember the woman’s march and the conversations and actions that continue today. Remember the protests of the sixties, when young americans were drafted into the military without a choice.  In this movement’s case and because the French were defeated, President Johnson elevated the conflict in Vietnam just to demonstrate America’s military power while causing hundreds of thousands of American servicemen’s lives.  This war was not won by anyone…Remember the Black American protests led by Martin Luther King and civil lberty groups?  We still today have a very serious need to force action to close the gap of inequality and oppression.  These examples have or will change the course of this great country’s history.

It is important to respect all sides of any argument made by any citizen of this country. We have a responsiblity to listen to everyone and take action when we can.

Just my two cents worth.

Political Bias In Congress, In The Media, And Within The Administration. Is It Really What America Needs?

two fighters   The recent Deven Nunes memo release sheds some light on very serious culture issues within our government and media.

The levels of bias between the two government parties is being raised to a potentially dangerous level given the constant us versus them behavior.  I say dangerous because each opposing party is constantly trying to discredit the other with their political point of view and applying it to some very important legislative issues.

There seems to be no middle ground.  There seems to be an attitude that one party is right on any given issue and that their counterparts are wrong.

How can 530 plus legislators all be wrong, according to their adversarial counterparts?  How can their constituents and the citizens they serve be so wrong in supporting and electing them?

I was taken back by one of the comments that Nunes made during an interview with FOX news surrounding his relationship with his counterparts on the Intel Committee.  He said that he has had to play whack a mole with them throughout the investigative process. To me those kinds of comments represent his level of maturity and a condescending attitude.  It makes me question his intentions and agenda.

His actions are just one example of party bias in both parties.  The democrat’s are not afraid to express their distane for any republican efforts.  The republican’s are not afraid to express their distane for any democratic efforts.  There is always gridlock present when it comes to furthering some very important legislative issues. When it comes to the President, it is a whole different world.  Below are some bullet points that I feel offer some insight into why our government is so dysfunctional.

  • We need to seriously take a look at what our congressional representatives are doing to further the agenda and important issues for their constituents.  If you reflect on what they promised to do and what actions they are taking towards that end, you can see that some of them purposely or involuntarily fall short. In other words,they can’t or won’t fulfil their promises.
  • Congress is a peculiar animal.  Just think about the phenomenon that happens as soon as they get into office.  They start working on the next election.  That I don’t get.  It is important however, to recognize that most legislators do the work of their constituents and thoughtfully accept responsibility for their actions relative to national issues.  It is to me, unfortunate that those who don’t, negatively reflect on the affirmative and positive activities of those that do.
  • The adversarial posture of some can at times appear to be juvenile.  Just like in high school, many of those who represent us act like their popularity within their peer group is more important than their basic responsibilities.  It is also sometimes obvious that we have law makers that have antiquated and obsolete points of view and principles. I think this contributes to why there is so much stealthy corruption, racism and good ol’ boy posturing.
  • Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), the dysfunction of our two-party branches of government will come around to reflect the culture and needs of Americans today.  I think that our government will also come around to respond to, and represent our commitments and mutual interests of our allies.  The solution is obvious, we need to inject a more current open-minded roster of ladies and gentleman into our government.  They will continue to need the mentorship of those who wield wisdom, knowledge and historical context in order to educate them an bring them into the fold.  By the way, I am referring to those that know the mechanics of government and maneuver them to the benefit of the country.
  • When we look at the media, there are several examples of inappropriate behavior. Watching some media coverage can be like a car accident.  You weren’t involved, but you can’t take your eyes off of those that were.
  • There is conservative media, liberal media, far right and far left media, conspiracy theory and propaganda media.  Think about it, they all have listeners, viewers and readers who subscribe to their viewpoints and representations.  That is the beauty of our country and the provisions of our constitution.
  • There is also some in media who behave irresponsibly or debate a  point of view just because they have a talent to manipulate their audience.  It is kind of like an attorney.  They are sworn to vigorously represent their client, no matter what the truth is.  This is a common practice among those in media who pander to their audiences with the goal of improving them or their company’s bottom line.  I personally believe that there is at least one member of the mainstream media who has abused his first amendment right and crossed the line to the point where he is meddling in our government processes.  Often I think his actions can be construed as criminal (you know who I am talking about).
  • With a couple of major exceptions, most media organizations succeed as a result of there responsible, research, knowledge and dissemination of information that is important to their audience.  Like I say, with the exception of a couple of dangerous media operations,  those that are effective are still in business, those that aren’t, are gone.
  • incidentally,  the “expert” contributors on some of these outlet’s panels are more amusing than expert.  This is not to say that most aren’t fascinating, knowledgeable and informative.  I am just saying that some are just plain out there.  Sebastian Gorka is an example of one of the many that are just plain strange.
  • What does “everyone knows this” mean when Trump speaks to a point during discussions with the media?  Why does he run his presidency on the advice of a couple of people in the media?   I can understand why he is critical of our institutions, he doesn’t know how they work.  Why does he always say that our country is a mess?  Isn’t he the maid?
  • By the way, many talking heads lately, try to compare the crap that is going on today to previous administrations, especially Obama.  At the rate Trump is going, he will be the benefactor of the worst number of scandals of all times by the end of his term.  Of course, he will say that he had the fewest and less serious ever and the scandals that he did face, he fixed them himself.

If you are interested, this link will take you to a Wikipedia page that lists scandals by Presidents and Congressional men and women.

Historical Scandals

 

 

The Truth About Chain Migration. It is Really About Family Reunification.

diverse images

First off, let me say that the term “chain migration” is a terrible way to describe family reunification.  To me, chain migration is a term better suited to describe the migration of slaves.

President Trump is hell-bent on eliminating the family reunification program because he believes that people who migrate to the US to be with their families are murderers, ignorant and in no way contribute positively to the success of the United States.

Family reunification is simple.  When a foreigner migrates to the US and is issued a green card, they can petition the government to allow them to bring a member of their family to the US to be with them.  The program is limited to spouses, grandparents and immediate siblings.  The application and vetting process takes many years and does not guarantee that the family member will be allowed to come to America.

The system is not perfect and has been exposed to abuse and fraud.  To me, the program needs more oversite and enforcement rather than dismantling.  Remember, we are talking about legal immigrants.

Also, the family reunification program applies to all countries.  Trump is focused on the Hispanic population and he purposely avoids bringing up participants from other countries.  For example, what about European migration, what about the Asian and Indian communities.  Ironically, some people from these countries can also be “Bad Hombres”.  Trump’s comments about welcoming more people from Norway shows that he does not have a grasp on the world labor market.  In the case of Norwegians, a majority have no interest in coming to the US.  Actually, the same applies to Canada. If I am not mistaken, with regard to the imigration of the criminal eliment, the Pilgrims didn’t always include the best citizens of the countries that they migrated from.

The Mexican and South American populations are made up of people and their families who want the opportunity to live the American dream.  Some misinformed Americans including the President and his advisors don’t understand or desregard the positive impact that a majority of the Hispanic population have on our culture and economy. Statistically, this group of immigrants, along with DACA recipients are or become some of the most productive people in our country.

For as long as I have been on this earth (a long time),  there has always been the argument that immigrants are taking American jobs away from American people.  What jobs are they taking?  There are over two million jobs in this country that remain unfilled.  What this administration needs to focus on is training a population of people to fill these jobs, many of which are in the technical and renewable energy industries.

Bill and Melinda Gates are doing what the country should be doing.  They epitomize the concept of the free enterprise and capitalistic systems that make up the fabric of our society.  The ability of employees to grow and prosper is fundemental.  This includes the cultivation of our immigrant population.

Border security, the practice of Russian women coming to America to stay in Trump hotels and have babies; the opioid and drug crisis; the gang crisis; the education crisis; the womans movement among other topics are for future posts.

I just wanted to way in on the important issue of our president’s plan to reduce the legal immigrant population.