Archive Page 2

Chamberlain, meet Wendy Sherman

As soon as the deal with Iran was announced, many folks asked this question:  How is this deal different from the 1994 deal with North Korea, a spectacular failure?

It certainly looked a lot like the deal Bill Clinton bargained in 1994, in which the US gave the Kim dictatorship millions in aid while the North Korean nuclear weapons program moved steadily ahead.

It now appears that the deals may be similar for the simplest of reasons.  They both had the same architect. Continue reading ‘Chamberlain, meet Wendy Sherman’

Ben’s At It Again

My friend Ben Finiti is at work again, over at his site www.benfiniti.com.  He has some thoughtful essays about his search for faith and hope, as well as some shocking stuff about the new Pope’s apparent predilection towards toleration (at least) of Marxist “Liberation Theology” and anti-Semitism.

I’d recommend a visit, if you are interested in such topics.  While there, you might enjoy his piece on the joys of reading Dante.

This Is A Sad Day

The US and Iran have agreed to a deal, one that will ease sanctions and effectively remove all military options from the table.  In return, Iran will promise…something (yet to be determined).

No surprises here.  It sounds essentially like the deal Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton made with the North Koreans in 1994, after which the North Koreans went ahead and developed their nuclear weapons.

The Washington Post story reporting the deal included this astonishing comment:

“The Obama administration has been seeking to quickly finalize an agreement in the face of threats by Congress to impose additional economic sanctions on Iran.”

In other words, the threat of stricter sanctions on Iran put pressure on…Obama!

(I thought the whole idea was to put pressure on Iran. I guess I really don’t understand this negotiating business after all.)

The only remaining question is whether Kerry will carry an umbrella and wave a piece of paper when he arrives back in the US. Continue reading ‘This Is A Sad Day’

Iran, Obama, Munich, and the US Senate

My friend David Smith is keeping the heat on Montana’s isolationist senators. Here is his latest letter.

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WHERE ARE BAUCUS AND TESTER ON IRAN?

Last August, 76 of the 100 members of the US Senate sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to act resolutely to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons development. The letter stated:

“We believe there are four strategic elements necessary to achieve resolution of this issue: an explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations, the maintenance and toughening of sanctions, and a convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe. We must be prepared to act, and Iran must see that we are prepared.” (1)

Our Senators, Jon Tester and Max Baucus, were among the small minority that refused to sign the letter. Continue reading ‘Iran, Obama, Munich, and the US Senate’

Bring Back the “Clinton Parameters”!

Well, it seems to be the season for empty rhetoric and repetition of accusations posing as “negotiations”.  That’s right…another round of Mideast Peace Talks.  Israelis and Palestinians must sit in detention hall for a suitable period, proctored by the US State Department.  It will of course lead nowhere, as such things always do.

Throughout my years as a union representative, I spent countless days sitting at bargaining tables engaged in negotiations for contracts and the resolution of conflicts.  But my experience of negotiations had two essential differences with these periodic Mideast exercises in futility. Continue reading ‘Bring Back the “Clinton Parameters”!’

More from Mr. Finiti

My friend Ben Finiti has posted some more of his theo-philosophical maunderings on his website benfiniti.com.  They are worth a look, as always.

Visiting the Valley

[Another philosophical gem by my pal Mr. Finiti.  His full oeuvre can be found at benfiniti.com.]

Recently I have spent some time volunteering at our hospital’s cancer treatment center, where folks come as out-patients  to receive their regular chemo-therapy.  The patients and nurses are grateful, and we seem to make things a little easier. We help with ordering and serving lunch, fetching drinks, blankets, pillows, and things like that; what would be orderly work in the wards.

Most of the volunteers are themselves cancer survivors.  I am not.  And I got to thinking about the significance of that reality.

My wife is a cancer survivor – a very successful one.  Twenty-eight years since her cancer, with no recurrence!  But I know the fear of it never entirely leaves her.  Her annual screening is always a time of some anxiety, for me as well as for her (though she hides hers well).

While working at the center, I had a thought: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” The 23rd Psalm. And I understood it, in a way I never had before.  Continue reading ‘Visiting the Valley’


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