Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mike Huckabee Is Right About Iran Treaty And Israel

A broken clock is right twice a day and in regards to the Rev. Mike Huckabee and his recent remarks regarding the Iran treaty and the fate of Israel, he is correct.
Needless to say that the truth was spoken in very blunt terms by the Rev. Mike, one of 873 GOP aspirants to the party's presidential nomination.
What has people  and their undies in a bunch is this:

The president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in congress by and the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It's got to be stopped. 

It is the reference to the preferred mechanism of the Nazi death camps; the marching of many millions of Jews to their deaths in gas chambers and the subsequent burning of the bodies in cremation ovens that has the polite people all upset.
I agree that the words Nazi and holocaust are often mindlessly bandied about by people to make a point. But in this case, the Rev. Mike is referring to the Iranian leadership and their hatred of Israel. Such hatred that has driven the ruling Shia mullahs to develop a nuclear bomb in the first place. The treaty that has been worked out by Team Dear Leader is giving away everything to the Iranians and thus only delays what will be an inevitability. Supposedly the Iranians would not be able to develop a nuclear device for 10 years. And after that, well there really is nothing in place to stop the Iranians to develop a bomb. This is why many of us are beyond concerned that this treaty will let Iran develop a nuclear bomb just in a delayed manner.
It is not just people on the right that have deep concern that this treaty will reward Iran for bad behavior but a fair number of Democrats are walking a tightrope in the sense that they want to show loyalty to their leader, President Obama, but feel that the deal is not only against American interests but that of Israel's as well. And surprisingly some of Israel's enemies are not all that thrilled with a deal that gives Shia Iran unprecedented dominance in the Middle East. Nations such as Sunni dominated Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt the United Arab Emirates. While all Islamic-dominated nations maybe united in their dislike of Israel, there is nothing like the Islamic civil war between the Shia and the Sunnis. Think of it as the battles between the Roman Catholics (Sunnis) and the Protestants (Shia) that took place during the 1500s and 1600s. Only now there is the extra-added awesomeness of nuclear weapons that can be used between them and quite possibly Israel.
This is why the Rev. Mike is correct.
While he stated what many people think, it was impolitic. But desperate times call for desperate measures and yes, strong language. As an example, fellow GOP candidate and establishment lackey, Jeb! Bush said that the Rev. Mike and the GOP in general need "to tone down the rhetoric" especially on such things as this Iran treaty. Mr. Bush explained it all here:

The use of that kind of language is just wrong. This is not the way to win elections and that's not how we're going to solve problems. So, an unfortunate remark-not quite sure why he (Huckabee) felt compelled to say it.

Well, Mr. Bush, maybe it's because the Rev. Mike gives a damn about Israel. Since you are being advised by notorious anti-Semite James Baker, that explains why you do not seem so worried that you have said you will not repeal the treaty if you are fortunate to enter the Oval Office.
A bad deal needs to be called out as such. That is why the Rev. Mike spoke out. As have Sen. Marco Rubio and most of the other candidates running for the GOP nomination. Did the Rev. Mike ratchet the rhetoric by evoking the horrors of the holocaust? He sure did. But he is spot on. Unlike too many in the elite crowd, the Rev.Mike takes the Iranian leadership at it's word. For all the bluster of the Sunnis, they have not expressed a need to build nuclear weapons. They know that Israel does have the bomb and look to that in a strange way it is to their benefit and security.
If only our so-called current leaders, Democrats and certain Republicans, took the Iranian threat as seriously as the Rev. Mike Huckabee, we would have never had this treaty in the first place.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Just How Bad Is The Iranian Nuclear Agreement?

The deal that our Dear Leader, President Obama, and our illustrious secretary of state, John F. Kerry, reached with Iran to supposedly end Iran's quest for a nuclear bomb is as bad as thought.
If you dare to look at this link, and FTR, I am NOT a lawyer, the pages 11 through 17 is the crux of the deal and it deals with all of the economic sanctions that, until now, had the Islamic Republic of Iran on the ropes. It is a bonanza for both Western multinational companies and especially an economic lifeline for the mullahs in Iran.
But if we go back to page three of the agreement, this is what is supposed to happen:

Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons.

Successful implementation of this JCPOA will enable Iran to full enjoy it's right to nuclear energy for peaceful purposes under the relevant articles of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in line with it's obligations therein, and the Iranian nuclear programme will be treated in the same manner as that of any other non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

Seems pretty cut and dry and that Iran is going to give up it's quest for a nuclear bomb, right? But what, what if there is any suspicion that Iran maybe using other means to attain a nuke? Is there any way to find that out?
Not particularly. If you read the first section, numerous times it refers to both sides agreeing to "voluntary" implementation of the deal. As I read it, again I am not a lawyer nor an expert on treaties, it appears that it can take up to 45 days to resolve any disputes of the treaty. That would include inspections as well, no? Thus if there is any suspicion that Iran was not living up to it's end of the deal in relation for nuclear development, we can't get in a timely manner to verify and thus Iran can simply buy time to hide what it is really doing.
Again, if you take time to read this, it appears that Iran gets all of the advantages and a boatload of business to prop up the Shia Islamic regime.
And in the end, nothing to really stop the Iranians to develop and or purchase on the black market, a nuclear device. All they need is to have one, no matter what condition, to make trouble in the region.
This is a bad deal for all except for the nation of Iran. Maybe that is what Western leadership has wanted all the way around.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Dear Leader, President Obama, Gets His Bad Iran Deal

Early this morning the Dear Leader, President Obama, got his dream and a treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran that essentially simply delays the capability to build a nuclear bomb by 10 years.
The text of the agreement is here. I will not pretend to have read all 159 pages, and you should not either.
But here are the highlights:

Keep it uranium enrichment levels at no more than 3.67%, down from near 20$.

Maintain a uranium stockpile (at the prescribed level above) under 300 kilograms , well below the 10,000 kilogram stockpile. President Barack Obama says this works out to Iran reducing it's nuclear stockpile by 98%.

Phase out it's IR-1 centrifuges within 10 years, keeping over 5,000 centrifuges running during that stretch at it's Natanz facility. "Excess centrifuges and enrichment-related infrastructure at Natanz will be stored under IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) continuous monitoring." Nationwide, Obama said that Iran will put away two-thirds of it roughly 19,000 current centrifuges. 

Not have any nuclear material at is Fordow facility for 15 years, converting that site "into a nuclear, physics and technology center."

Limit certain research and development activities for the next eight years. 

"Design and rebuild a modernized heavy water research reactor in Arak ... using fuel enrichment up to 3.67%" after getting international authorities' OK on the final design. "The reactor will support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production for medical and instructional purposes." Iran will not add any other heavy water reactors for the next 15 years. 

Ship spent fuel outside its borders. 

Even the linked Reuters article notes that essentially Iran is mothballing the program for 10 years.
In return for a questionable deal, Iran gets all of the sanctions that the European Union, United Nations and the United States lifted.
What this does is simply delay rather than literally put the brakes on the Iranian nuclear program. While it sounds good and that the deal makes Iran use it's program for alleged peaceful purposes, the problem is that there are no guarantees.
And the process of inspection is vague at best if not favorable to Iran.
I will read the 159 pages and write more detail, but when anything is described as a win-win, it is not good. And that is what this deal is. No good.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Ace On The 40 Year Old GOP Civil War

Since 1976 when Ronald Reagan ran for the Republican nomination for president, the party has been at war with itself.
By and large, now most on both sides hold Mr. Reagan in high regard. Albeit for different reasons which I not write about here.
I read this piece yesterday by Ace at Ace Of Spades blog and it really is one of the best explanations of the war within the party of Lincoln.
There is no doubt that the war is exacerbated by Donald Trump and his announcement for the GOP 2016 presidential nod. Especially regarding illegal immigration, a clear battle line for both sides of the GOP coalition.
What Ace does is explain the sides, and takes both to task and essentially says that both need to make concessions for the 2016 battle with the Democrat presidential nominee.
I like how Ace puts it. The establishment he calls the Professional Class. But then quickly changes that to the Comfortable Class. On the other side is the Middle/Working Class, and shortens it to the Middle Class.
I would suggest that the establishment class is conservative instinctively and in temperament. But that is the Achilles Heel. It makes them not be aggressive in the right way. Take the now infamous Mitt Romney 47% comments to a private fund raiser. Unwittingly, Mr. Romney included a helluva lot of potential voters. They may not like the Dear Leader, President Obama, but they also don't like being lumped in with people that they themselves see as part of the Democrat coalition. Some may have stayed home in 2012. Some may have held their nose and voted for the Dear Leader, President Obama. Others may have held their nose for voted for Mr. Romney even after being eloquently dismissed as, well losers.
So what about that Middle Class of conservative Republicans?
There is truth in what Ace says about the willingness of the Middle Class to be loud and crude without actually thinking about how that comes off to others and or the mushy middle of voters. The roughly 20% of voters that decide national elections today in the United States.
That is why the Donald out of nowhere appeals to the Middle Class GOP voter. They like the fact that he is, at a level I do not agree with, telling it like it is regarding illegal immigration. And when called to the carpet, the Donald is not backing down. Never mind that the Donald is in no way, no how, a conservative. He is taking an issue of great importance and making it an appealing talking point. The fact is that not one GOP presidential candidate, announced or thinking about it, is pure as virgin wool on the issue. Most favor eventually making a certain number at the very least green-card holders. It is only to the degree and whether they want a big monstrosity like so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform or border security first then dealing with those that are already here. In fact, the Donald until he announced his candidacy was very much in the so-called "comprehensive" reform camp.
Here is the problem in a nut shell.

Instead, both classes are determined to WIN and destroy the other.

That above is Ace's words although I have said as much here and to anyone that will listen.
That is why when Mr. Reagan was defeated in 1976 he did not leave the Republican party. He transformed it. He moved it to the right. Even those establishment types now are to the right in comparison to the 80s.
I agree with Ace and his advice to both sides.
For the Middle Class, we don't have to fire rockets on every issue. Resentments do not win elections. Really, they do not. For all of the Dear Leader, President Obama's faults, in 2008 he ran a positive campaign and vaguely talked about the change and transformation thing.
For the Comfortable Class, stop lording over your lessors your college education. To coin a phrase, BFD. And put the money where the mouth is. Since 1992, we have tried it their way with the exception of George W. Bush. Bush 41. Bob Dole. John McCain. Mitt Romney. All except W. went down in flames. All ran those "respectful" campaigns and let the left destroy them in the process thinking somehow, the Marquis of Queensbury rules would win out. Insert laugh track here.
I leave you with these thoughts of Ace's. Remember this is Ace so yes, there is profanity:

In short, these two feuding classes, who obviously hate each other (every single Twitter war or comment fight soon resolves into the Middle Class vs. the Comfortable Class), need to get over the emotional fight they really love having and get their fucking heads screwed on straight and start fighting the fight they care less about, but which is more important to win. 






Thursday, July 09, 2015

The Age Of Fauxtrage And Case #8,845,265,012

I swear but I think if I hang around social media long enough, I can just write about nothing but fauxtrage and here is the latest example.
I'm sure most readers have seen a tank-top like this in your hometown. If not, look at it carefully.
Do you really think that the reference is about guns as in weapons?
Apparently, a woman in Florida, where else, thinks that this tank-top is about guns as weapons.
At this point, I am doing a violent head shake and facepalm to end all facepalms.
Just think about it one moment.
It's a tank top. What do you notice about a tank top? That when a male is wearing one, the biceps show, right? Kind of like below.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum

Most people of all ages know that biceps are referred to as . . .wait for it . . .GUNS! 
Many different things are referred to as guns.
Guitars are sometimes called guns. Guitarists are referred to as gunslingers. They are also referred to as axe and axe men. 
Surfboards are referred to as guns. 
Those are but two examples. 
But that is not about say a .38 special. Or a sawed-off shotgun. 
Referring to a guitar or a surfboard as a gun is like a tank top. Just a reference to sound cool. 
But to Rita Richardson of Sebastian, Florida, this is a reference to the kind of guns that are used in self-defense and crime. Here is what she said:

"I just thought it was sad that major retailers like JC Penny (sic) would want it's brand associated with something that advocates, glorifies gun violence. Well, I would hope they would take it off the shelves immediately."

Glorifies gun violence?! 
Rita, Rita, Rita.
It's a reference to muscles. Biceps in particular. There is never, ever a reference and or a photo or anything about guns. The weapons. 
Oh, here is Rita. 
If you ask me, Rita does not look like a happy camper. She looks like she is, well a sourpuss. Someone with a beef about something. And that something is making a stink about a tank top with a saying that is attractive to young men. 
Rita is a part, a disturbing part, of the American culture that has made fauxtrage the coin of the realm if you ask me. 
The Battle Flag of Northern Virginia flap is but an example. While I agree that the flag should not really fly over state capitols and  the like, the fact that people want to purge it as if the Confederate States of America never existed. And that the War Between the States, or Civil War, was only about slavery and not a clash of the industrial North and the agrarian South. The original idea of removing the BFONV from the South Carolina capitol grounds was admirable and correct. What has followed is total and unmitigated fauxtrage.
But for Rita Richardson, she is the leading fauxtrage playa of the week. 
I would recommend that Rita spend some time with the grand kids who probably know well this kind of stuff. 
There really are more important things to worry about. To be really outraged about. But to diss a company for selling Suns Out, Guns Out tank tops or using the expression as a marketing campaign because you really believe that it is about guns that are weapons, it is disturbing. And a sad devolution of the fauxtrage culture. 






Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Some R And R And The World Still Stinks

Last week I did not blog because the RVFTLC family took a little camping trip and it was an eye-opening experience in the most positive way.
At some point in the early morning on Tuesday, both Mrs. RVFTLC and my cell phones ran out of juice. Our lighter charger also ran out of juice as in went into a sort of coma. We really just got enough juice on each phone to get some photos. Not as many as we would have liked, but we got some on the cell phone camera.
Memo to self:
Take a regular camera on any trip as a back-up.
The best thing is that there was no Facebook. No looking at news websites. No clue as to the events in the outside world. The closest we came was the one night we went into Lake Arrowhead for dinner and there was sports on the televisions in the Mexican restaurant we ate at. Yet we were strategically placed where there was no television screens. I did get a newspaper for two of the four days, but not for news. After a glance of the sports section, I went to do the crossword puzzle and look at the comics.
We did everything to avoid the outside world for a few days.
The missus and I talked with each other and not just about current events. We spent quality time with our dogs, Barney and Cashew. We walked a lot and took short, easy hikes. And we realized how blessed we are in so many ways others are not.
Then Thursday afternoon, reality.
Coming back into the San Gabriel Valley was . . . a nice traffic jam for no apparent reason. Par for the course.
Now I realized in that moment that there is still the Islamic State. The economy still sucks. Obama is still president. Same-sex marriage is still the law of the land. And of course there is Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner.
In other words, the world went on and in so many ways IT stinks.
But that does not mean one's life has to stink. I believe that it really is what we make of it. And sometimes, we have to take a step back and yes, escape the world to remind ourselves of that.
We can all make some kind of difference in this God-given life. But sometimes, we need a break from real life to remember that. And camping is one way to do that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Time To Remove The Stars And Bars From Government Buildings

Yesterday, the South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, a Republican, officially called for the Battle Flag of Northern Virginia, also known as the Stars and Bars to be removed from the capitol grounds in Columbia. 
And only someone of Gov. Haley's stature could call for such a move. And it more than likely be passed by the 2/3rds votes necessary in the legislature. But not without strong opposition from hangers-on to the tradition that had been in place since 1961.
And throw in GOP senator Tim Scott as another reason the move will probably be easier to do than at any other time heretofore.
As an aside, Sen. Scott and Sen. Goober Graham ran for election last year. Sen. Goober won his race with 55% of the vote and 665,605 votes. Sen Scott, who is black, won with 61% of the vote and 749,266 votes. Sen. Scott had about 83,700 more votes than the senior senator, Sen. Goober. And it should be noted that Gov. Haley is Indian-American.
In other words, in a very Southern state that has elected a black and Indian-American could the move be made to move the Stars and Bars to a state museum and off of the capitol grounds with little opposition.
It helps to have had a serious event to make this move.
The tragic massacre at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church last Wednesday stirred a great deal of emotion. And the left, as it is won't to do, did  not let a crisis go to waste. Collectively through the usual suspects, they used the occasion to call for the removal of the Stars and Bars from a Confederate war memorial on the capitol grounds.

Until 2000, the above flag was with the other flags atop the capitol flag pole. In a compromise, the Stars and Bars were moved to aforementioned war memorial but still on the capitol grounds.
Why was it put there in the first place?
It was put there in 1961 during the governorship of Democrat Ernest "Fritz" Hollings and it was done to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Civil War. But over time, like throughout much of the South during the 1960s and beyond, the Stars and Bars were seen as a sign of resistance against an intrusive federal government and supreme court. Rightly or wrongly, it has been seen by some as a flag of oppression and a defense of slavery. On the other side it has been seen as an honor to those who fought bravely, albeit for a lost cause.
And in reality, both sides can be and are right.
Mrs. RVFTLC, the late Scout the Wonder Dog and I visited the state capitol in Columbia on our epic 2009 Tour of the South. Seeing the Stars and Bars did evoke both of the above emotions. The compromise that moved the flag from the actual capitol flag pole to the Confederate war memorial seemed appropriate at the time.
But we are in a changing nation.
And one thing is that this state, South Carolina, where the War Between The States began, has changed dramatically.
Because they freely elected Gov. Haley and Sen. Scott, they can lead the effort to remove the flag from the capitol grounds and see it put in a place of honor and or history in the state museum.
If a white politician tried this as short a time as 15 years ago, that would end their political career in South Carolina.
Even today there are people that will say that Gov. Haley and Sen. Scott bowed to pressure but has anyone given one moment to think that the time was right? That maybe it is not proper for government to be flying a symbol that emotes a helluva lot of emotion. But that support I believe has waned as South Carolina has seen a lot of people move in from other parts of the United States. The South as a whole has seen more people from out of the region move there for many reasons. Many  of these people have no skin in the game about the whole Stars and Bars.
We cannot and should not try to wipe this part of American  history clean because we cannot. After all, we fought a civil war over, among other things, economics and slavery and the holding of the United States together. Remember, the Union won the war. Some people seem to forget this. They can fly a flag all they want but it is still the UNITED STATES of America. There is no Confederate States of America. We have to have a real teaching of history and that includes all the flags used by the rebel states. Without approval or disapproval.
But the time, the time is right to take such banners as the Stars and Bars and not flying over government buildings. Gov. Haley is the perfect South Carolinian to make this call.