Sunday, July 26, 2015

Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Accidental or Purposeful Fraud Untruthfully Presented?

Diplomats lie. They don't lie legally and could never be prosecuted for "lying under oath" or any related concept; they lie by implication and invited assumptions on the part of the listener (or reader).  They, and their Masters, know and depend on others who wish a particular outcome to see and hear what they wish to be true as existing in any agreement or pronouncement.  It has been going on for centuries at least.

That does NOT make it right!

It does NOT make it right when the people doing it, are doing it to citizens of countries to which the perpetrators have sworn an oath to protect and defend.

Compounding the danger to all normal citizens of any country is that the Masters that direct Diplomats are usually Politicians.  Mark Twain once said, "It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress."  As I recall, both our current "President" and our Secretary of State at the negotiating table are past members of Congress, although it seems that the category could be applied to a greater and greater percentage of all people who are employed by our Government in general, whether in Congress or in any other branch of the Federal Government.  And it seems even more and more applicable as we remember just how many criminals are never caught or convicted, much less accused.

There have been articles in great number is various publications that have pointed out the lies that have been perpetrated in claiming what the proposed agreement does and does not do.  It is clear that one of the things that is is most unlikely to do is prevent Iran from developing the capability to make and deploy a nuclear weapon.  As to the details withing the agreement, those supporting it are raising as many verbal statements and promises that allegedly clarify actual clauses in the agreement that would, if true and enforceable, improve any interpretation of the actual writing.  But interpretation is exactly what those who wish to avoid conduct the agreement seems to mandate use to "skate" without consequences.

There are lies in the goals to be achieved as parties prepare to negotiate.  Remember the one about preventing Iran from becoming a Nuclear Power?  That one seems now not to be remembered, although at the time it was promised as an absolute.

And current articles in publication and by people on multiple ideological tracks point out the lies and issuance of invitations to make positive assumptions even as a careful examination of the sentence and phrase used shows no such enforceable promise.

While my angst will no doubt force a revisit to this subject, let me make this last point today:  Kerry, in sworn testimony before the Senate earlier this week pointed out that our "allies" were close to abandoning the current sanctions that he claimed were so effective in bringing Iran to the negotiating table and also that no military action was possible that would have stopped Iran's progress toward Nuclear capability.  Yet, when pressed on just what responses would be available should Iran violate or fail to abide by the letter and intent of the agreement, he claimed that sanctions would "snap" back.

The term "snap" implies an immediacy that clearly does not exist.  And he already claimed that there was no military option.  So...we have our own Government signing an agreement that provides Iran with exactly what our Government promised us...the American People...that it would not allow.  Further, that our Government believes that in addition to being powerless to keep its promise to us (no real surprise there!) it is inferring an Iranian "trust me" promise in the face of a track record of Iranian perfidy.

Except when I am the subject, I can appreciate a really good con job even as I strive to punish it.  But this does not qualify as "really good" and smacks of coarse, in-artful and even disrespectful treatment of the American Public.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

America has left me behind...and I miss her!

I am glad that I am in my twilight years and won't have to suffer the emotional pain for long.  It hurts me and I feel sad when events force me to think about what has happened to and in the America that I have loved my whole life.

My parents were immigrants.  My father came to this country poor, but with a work ethic and a friend who guaranteed the government that there would be a job and a place for him to stay...a requirement for legal immigration in those days.  That may still be so...I don't know. Dad just wanted a chance to see what hard work on his part might accomplish.  No guarantees, no promises...just a chance.  He didn't speak English, so he took whatever job was available.  He learned the language...not perfectly, but well enough, and to read and write it...he wanted to; he saw America as the embodiment of what he wanted to become.  He wanted the freedom to put himself on the line and see if he could succeed.

It took him some time to achieve what he saw as success.  He and, later, my mother worked long hours.  First it was for others then for themselves.  They went through the Great Depression and were intent on being prepared should another ever occur. They saved.  The borrowed only to purchase a house...and that with misgivings.  We never spent money we did not have...that was anathema to them.They taught me to read and to do simple math early in life and explained that those skills would enable me to educate myself and not be dependent on others.  And there was no such thing as an excuse for not taking advantage of schooling:  I was required to have perfect attention, to do all homework (and show it to my parents daily), and to achieve good grades as they explained that education was the key to getting a chance to succeed in life.

My father never took a Social Security payment...ever...despite living to almost 70.  He had saved and he saw taking anything from the government as a hand-out.  He had left his native land at a time when his mother had no money and the family had significant debts.  Over the years, with increasing means he paid every one of those debts off in full, with interest (even if interest was not demanded).

He gave to those who came on hard times through no fault of their own...but refused even the time of day to those who did not try; those who were slackers, liars, cheaters and what in those days were called naer-do-wells were to be looked upon as unworthy and disreputable and not to ever even be around.

I grew up in an America where to be respected, your word had to be was your bond.  And work was honored, and doing your utmost was the standard.  Dependence on the good will of others was seen as embarrassing and a failure and you would all you could to get out of that situation, pay back what had been given and again regain your place as a contributing member of the community, not a taker.

Civil discourse was the norm.  People could argue on many things: religion, politics, raising children and more.  But those arguments were conducted with personal respect of each other...for the right of every person to his or her opinion.  And we used good language: whole sentences, with decent construction.  In those days, "Sailor's" language was not used in mixed company and only occasionally even when men got together.  And even then there was a certain embarrassment after some of the just wasn't polite and generally was seen as a sign of an inadequate vocabulary.  How much more effective, we felt, to use a word of criticism that required the other person to run to a dictionary, rather than revert to clearly inapplicable scatological utterances.

Classmates of mine in High School got jobs upon graduation:  good jobs that paid well.  Some of them used the pay from those jobs save up enough to later get a College Education to pursue and dream to which they were dedicated.  And some took an occasional course to extend their knowledge but were content to live in the practical world of having a loving family and supporting it and themselves.  Those of us who went to college, went with a dream.  We wanted to achieve something in particular.  Of course in the midst of the striving, the dream often changed a bit...but there was never the thought of spending on a College Education because of any right or entitlement: it was a gift of opportunity and not a way of avoiding the real world or military service.  That would have been dishonorable and a waste of our money...or, in some cases, our parents' in even more cases, both our and our parents' money.

That America no longer exists.  I liked my country.  I respected my country.  I respected the morals and the ten commandments of that country.  And I respected the immigrants who come to this country according to its laws and with the intent to become Americans...not to bring their previous country's practices and attitudes and languages and make America more like them.  They wanted to become Americans.  And, except for the grandmothers and grandfathers...they did just that.

Now, everyone seems to believe that consequences of one's actions are a thing of the past.  That no one should be either expected or required to earn a living, but should be given any job they want and not held to standards.  People "working" for the government don't do their jobs, lie about it and are never held accountable.  Our government spends money it doesn't have and claims that it doesn't matter.  Our politicians lie to us with increasing frequency and are not only not embarrassed by it...they don't even admit it.  And the Press which for decades was a watchdog over all facets of government activity, protecting the public by shining the light of truth, now joins with those in power to protect them from any revelation to the public.  Meanwhile the "public" apparently has come to believe that there is such a thing as a "Free" lunch...or free anything.  Make that everything.

I miss the America that called out to my parents.  I miss the America that I grew up in and both enjoyed and revered for much of my life.  I don't recognize the country I now live is still called America, but it no longer has the soul of the country into which I was born and raised.  And it makes me feel sad.