To The Daily Sun:
As the Earth's power elite (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States) seeks accord with Iran, naysayers come out of the woodwork. Opposition arguments seem legitimate at first listen, but they lack context. Since 9/11, events, ineptitude and arrogance have conspired to undermine American influence and respectability throughout the Middle East.
Two of our traditional allies in the region, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are the most vocal. Both say Iran is ambitious, untrustworthy and dangerous. Probably true, but they fail to mention they are gambling on (and promoting) American obsolescence in the region while undermining American goals that do not advance their agenda; i.e., America as tool not partner.
Israel routinely flouts American aspirations. Pundits and pols attribute the acrimony to Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama's personal dislike for one another. However, it is more than individual animosity when America seeks to reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Israel announces new settlements.
The Saudis ridicule American uncertainty and vacillation in Egypt, Iran and Syria (publicly and personally mocking the president in the latter). They rejected a prestigious seat on the United Nations Security Council telling the world their unprecedented decision was more a message to America than a slap at the U.N. Saudi Intelligence Chief Bandar bin Sultan, recently told multiple news sources, the kingdom is reviewing its relationships with America and looking at alternatives.
At home, the naysayers want more machismo: more sanctions, more threats, perhaps a few more strategic bombings in a few more countries. Yet, firmness in lieu of caution, belligerence over diplomacy has brought America the look of a buffoon and to the brink of irrelevance.
Keeping the boot to Iran's neck may not be as easy tomorrow as it was yesterday. It was never in the best interests of China, India, Japan or Russia. They rejected wholesale sanction busting because they detested and feared the fanaticism of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The new president, Hassan Rouhani, is a much different person.
We hear the phase "war weary" so often we might suspect it replaced "have a good day" in pundit land. Perhaps, it is not exhaustion as much as failure that exasperates Americans. Everywhere we look, disaster is the norm.
— Afghanistan: President Hamid Karzai, corrupt and volatile, may yet choose to side with the Taliban. (He certainly threatens to do so often enough.)
— Egypt: The military, in charge since the July coup, routinely waves its middle finger at America and thwarts democratic ideals (often with great fanfare).
— Iraq:Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has aligned his government with Iran.
— Syria:When America tried to initiate cease-fire negotiations, it was the rebels (our guys!) who refused to participate.
— Turkey: An Islamist (Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) now leads the nation that was once the model for secular democracy in Islam. A member of NATO, Turkey recently stunned its western allies by rejecting NATO-compatible missile defenses for Chinese arms.
— Yemen: It has no government at all. Armed gangs — mostly anti American — rule the land. (The same is pretty much true for Libya and Somalia.)
So, what does détente with Iran offer? Perhaps we avoid another war where we create more enemies and new terrorists, where we undermine our principles and emulate the great villains of history, where we lie to ourselves, confuse kill-target success with goal achievement and set the stage for another war with a country to be determined.
Rapprochement with Iran offers more than war avoidance, however. It offers opportunities to douse some of the flames we ignited in the Middle East and resolve insidious issues that threaten regional war and global side choosing.
Columnist Tom Friedman (The New York Times, Nov. 13) captured much of the potential in two sentences: "Let's start with the fact that Iran has sizable influence over several of the United States' most critical national security concerns, including Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, terrorism, energy security and nuclear proliferation. Whereas tension with Iran has served to exacerbate these issues, détente with Tehran could help ameliorate them."
For those who cannot imagine America and Iran working together, Friedman went on to point out "Iran played a vital role in helping us to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001 and can help us get out without the Taliban completely taking over again."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:59
To The Daily Sun,
I and others are still concerned about the failure to provide health care to thousands of working poor in New Hampshire. Back on Nov. 15, six days before the Senate vote on Medicaid expansion, Senator Jeanie Forrester wrote a letter to the editor published in local papers in which she expressed her concern that "growing the Medicaid entitlement ... will...break our budget and lead to a broad-based tax."
We need to remember that Sen. Forrester was among the senators who voted last June against including Medicaid expansion in the budget legislation about to pass the Legislature. She instead called for the naming of a commission to study the issue, yet again. The N.H. Department of Health and Human Services had already authorized a complete study of the issue by the reputable Lewin Group. The Lewin Group's reports were issued in November, 2012, and January and September, 2013.
There was no mention in the Lewin Group reports of the need for any new taxes to finance Medicaid expansion. The Commission to Study the Expansion of Medicaid Eligibility used the Lewin Group reports as some of its primary sources of information and data. The Commission's final recommendations also did not raise any words of caution about the potential for a broad-based tax.
Yet now that the Senate Republicans have succeeded in killing all proposed forms of Medicaid expansion, Senator Forrester is quoted as saying, "I think people want to get this done." She indicated that all sides were working together. "Right after the session adjourned, we began talking," she told the press.
So I and other voters are really confused. Which is it, Sen. Forrester? Do you oppose Medicaid expansion because you think it is likely to bring a broad-based tax to N.H. or is it a proposal you in fact support and that is therefore likely to happen?
Your constituents would like some clarification of your position on this issue, for it is extremely murky from our perspective.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:40
To The Daily Sun,
At the beginning stages of the meetings of the co-op for Briarcrest Estates, there were a lot of unanswered questions. Since then, many of those questions have been answered. We have found out it IS affordable. We have also found out through lawyers, bankers, realtors and the local community many reasons why it is the right choice. Home values, loan interest rates, equity loans are just a few. I have listed some of the questions that I know concern many of us. The answers have been confirmed. We will be having meetings frequently to answer any questions people may have. We are hoping that people will take an interest in hearing what we have accomplished. The meetings are open to all residents with no obligation. We want to take control of our own destiny and hope you feel the same.
Will my rent go up? The park rent will fall under the existing lease, weather it be co-op or not. Whoever buys Briarcrest has to follow the existing lease.
What will my rent include? Your rent will include all of the services you are presently getting.
Will I have a mortgage? You will have no mortgage, just your existing park rent. No person, will be responsible for the mortgage to purchase the park. The rent you pay will stay the same and follow the rules of the lease.
What about my house? Will it be part of the mortgage? Your house remains yours. It is not, a part of the mortgage.
Will the park be kept up? The park will be kept up to the same standards we presently enjoy. We will all be owners and have a say in protecting our investment.
Will there be rules? There will most definitely be rules as there is now, to protect the beauty of the park. Any rule changes will be voted on by members of the co-op.
Does it cost to Join the Co Op? There is a joining fee that has not yet been determined. It will not exceed $500. You make the decision whether to join or not.
What if I want to join in order to have a vote in the community decisions but can't afford it? You can opt to make small monthly payments with your park rent for as little as $5.
How does the board get chosen? The board gets chosen by a vote by members of the co-op. The board we have now are all volunteers, doing an excellent job!
Will the same people be running the co-op that are handling it now?. The existing board is temporary. If they choose to run, they will have to be elected by the majority.
Will we have to work in the community? No, the maintenance of the community will be contracted out to local business. Everything will remain local including management, banking, landscaping, rubbish removal etc. All will be included in your park rent as it is now.
Please attend a few meetings with an open mind. We all have the same interest.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:34
To The Daily Sun,
George Maloof says "the means justifies the ends." Really George? How about if all those gun owners you lefties are so afraid of adopted your philosophy? Lucky for you conservatives, NRA members and legal gun owners actually believe in the Constitution and the Republic ruled by laws not "any means justifies the ends." For you to actually write that sentiment out and send it into the paper has to be one of the stupidest things anyone has done here in years. Thank you!
By now readers must be at last getting a clearer picture of what progressive socialism really is. The shear volume of lies and cover-ups coming from the administration, the volume of people hurt and the millions that are to be hurt defies reason. Yesterday, Dec 2, the gang that couldn't shoot straight announced the site to sign up for health care had reached one hundred thousand, hooray, but omitted their apps never yet made it to the insurance companies — booo! Worse, they have yet to fix the site that lets customers pay for their new, expensive, super high deductible and increased co-pay polices. Meaning they still do not have health insurance come Jan 1st. What a mess! Can't say you weren't warned.
L.J. Siden says he can't figure what Obama and Clinton covered up? They said they were going to investigate and fix things so it would not happen again. So L.J., what have we discovered from their investigation? Who screwed up? Who's been fired, demoted, anything? Just another promise never meant to be kept, just words to pacify the gullible and for the useful idiots to parrot.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:26
To The Daily Sun,
While I can accept Mr. Earl's reluctance to accept President Obama's claim of attaining a 3.7 grade point average at Columbia University, and his portrayal of me as a "Kool-Aid" drinker (very clever and original), it appears that he and his birther buddies have moved on from their Birth Certificate Disorder to a new Transcript Disorder. Once again, they are beating a dead horse, but these conspiracy theories and lies contribute to their object fear mongering that goes along with the far-right agenda.
With that having been said, of what possible relevance are the grades that Obama got at Occidental, Columbia, or Harvard Law School. What would it reveal that we don't know? What could he possibly be "hiding?" The same people who spent years demanding to see his birth certificate are pushing this demand for college transcripts, often making erroneous claims that Obama was registered as a foreign student. These absurd fantasies that conservatives are using are a desperate effort to find something, anything that they can use against him.
In response to Earl's conspiracy theory that the media is not actively pursuing this issue of transcripts, it would help him to know that it would be illegal under federal law for Occidental, Columbia or Harvard Law School to give any former students records to reporters or members of the public without the person's specific, written permission. As Earl points out, Obama hasn't released them, but neither have other presidents. If Earl had done his research, as he arrogantly advises opposing contributors to do, he would have known that George W. Bush himself refused to release his transcripts and that the only reason they became public was that somebody leaked them to the New Yorker magazine.
In a previous letter on this issue I highlighted Obama's academic accomplishments, but I'm sure with Earl's penchant for research, he'll follow-up and confirm these facts for himself.
In addressing Earl's demeaning attacks on my character and that of others with opposing views, I would submit that conservatives are intolerant of dissent and find it easier to demonize those with conflicting opinions rather than deal with facts, reality, or issues raised.
L. J. Siden
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:21