Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some Rare Good News

PETA wants to start a
“Chicken Empathy Museum”
in closed Virginia prison.

Some rare good news: First, Intelligence sources have now confirmed there is no evidence of a nuclear bomb program in Iran. This should, I would hope, make it far more difficult, if not impossible, for Israel to launch an attack on that unfortunate country, and even more difficult for the U.S. to support such an attack should it occur. Second, Obama has done a truly brave and intelligent thing, scrapped the ridiculous Bush plan to put a missile defense system in Poland. This was claimed to be to defend Europe (and us, I guess) from Iranian missiles. The Russians were terribly upset by this plan, believing it was in reality aimed at containing them. By abandoning it Obama has measurably improved our relations with Russia, but more than that he has shown remarkably good sense. This would have been a missile defense system that doesn’t work, aimed at Iranian missiles that don’t even exist. Of course the Right is outraged that Obama would do anything sensible, and most of all try to mend things with Russia. Poland is upset because no doubt they will not receive the millions or billions this boondoggle would have brought them. Obama, acting in accord with his military advisors, will do away with the nonsensical plan and replace it with one that has a much greater chance of working. He has been immediately denounced by such Foreign Policy experts as Mitt Romney (no experience at all), and Joe Lieberman (almost tied with Dick Cheney for having been wrong about everything). Third, the U.S. has apparently closed our largest detention center in the Middle East. Hurray! Fourth, there is mounting opposition in Congress to putting any more troops into Afghanistan and Obama has sensibly, for the moment at least, not agreed to send them. Fifth, the excruciatingly horrible Baucus health care proposal is so bad, and so transparently a gift to the Insurance Industry, it will quite likely help to pass a bill with a public option. Sixth, along those lines, Governor Dean has announced there are already 51 votes in the Senate for a bill including a public option, and a similar majority vote in the House. And seventh, although Netanyahu has publicly refused to stop the settlements (except perhaps temporarily), there is evidence that the behind-the-scenes negotiations may well be bearing fruit and thus there is some hope, albeit remote, that we might actually see peace negotiations take place. I see all these developments as good news. The Republicans, predictably, will bitch and moan and whine and criticize endlessly. By their own admission they do not want to see Obama succeed in anything and apparently take pride in being the Party of No. I guess they cannot see or understand where their behavior is perilously close to treason. What is worse is that it makes perfectly clear their contempt for, and lack of interest in, the American Public and its well-being.

Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight that generally speaking the worst health care is in the southern states. The worst of all is apparently in South Carolina. The Senators who are most opposed to health care reform, Wilson and DeMint from South Carolina. Go figure. She also called attention to Governor Pawlenty’s instructions to all state agencies in Minnesota not to fund ACORN. The state of Minnesota does not fund ACORN. Nice try Gov, that’ll get you some points towards the Presidency in 2012.

Back to Iran for a moment. This missile defense system, both the original one and the new one, are apparently both designed to protect European nations from Iranian missiles. I would like someone to explain to me why on earth anyone thinks Iran is going to attack European nations when and if they ever get the missiles to do so? Iran has not attacked anyone for more than 200 years. The Iranians do not require more space, nor are they, as far as I know, desperately in need of resources they could find in Europe. They are not a hostile nation (except in the paranoid eyes of Israel). There is some fear of Iran on the part of Middle Eastern Arabs, mainly I guess, because Iranians are Shiites whereas most Arabs are Sunnis. I don’t know how well-founded these fears may be. But fears on the part of Europe that Iran might attack them? I believe this to be absolutely nonsensical. Personally, I do not believe that Iran, even a nuclear armed Iran, would attack anyone, not even Israel. I think this fear of Iran is totally irrational and I cannot see any foundation for it. Even the U.S. seems to buy into this fear, possibly because Israel keeps harping on it, but does anyone believe Iran is a threat to the U.S., and if so, how? Iran has a very small standing army, not very well equipped. It has virtually no Navy or Air Force. Its military budget is apparently one (1) percent of the U.S. military budget. And yet there is this (irrational) fear. I simply do not understand it. It’s as if the U.S. and Europe, having no obvious enemy anymore, has to have a scapegoat, and for some reason have decided Iran is it. I am beginning to understand that International Affairs has a great resemblance to a huge soap opera, As the World Churns.”

For most folks, no news is good news; for the press, good news is not news.
Gloria Borger

Apparently no one knows exactly how many species there are on earth, but we do know they are disappearing at an increasingly rapid rate.

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