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When you are the parents of a bully and constantly being hauled into court over his actions, and paying dearly for his intransigence, and always trying to protect him from retaliation, as some point one would think, you might consider yourself to be the source of the problem?

It’s time to cut Israel off. At least start in that direction and let the future changes take care of themselves… Every child at one point, should become self sufficient… A spoiled brat who thinks they can act with impunity because of their parent’s clout, is a disruptive influence….

We can point to Israel and to its many enemies. We have no control over them. We should look to us. He have a responsibility and we have control over our own actions….

A simple announcement that the US will no longer supply military hardware to Israel and is re-considering the amount of aid we give… would go a long way…

Just saying.

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Recently all of Delaware called out Chris Coons for supporting war with Iran.

He has now pulled his support from that piece of legislation..

  • Obama promised to veto that bill last night in his State of the Union.
  • Two others pulled out today as well: Sen. james Manchin (D-WV) and  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

“But he acknowledged that moving the bill now would interfere with a deal in place between Iran and six world powers, including the United States. Under that six-month deal, Iran has agreed to scale back its uranium enrichment in exchange for sanctions relief. Iranian leaders have already warned that congressional action involving new sanctions would sink the current deal, which would leave the U.S. with few options for resolving concerns with Iran other than going to war.

“I think, to the extent that we simply excite the distance and the tension between the Congress and administration on this, that doesn’t serve our shared view of making certain that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapons capability,” Coons said.”

It’s emotionally tough to go back on one’s word, when one realizes one has made a mistake.  However, It is intellectually stupid NOT to do so.

Hat’s off to Chris Coons for listening to the right angel whispering in his ear……

Syrian Resistance FlagSyrian Flag We are a tired generation… We grew up with ‘Nam.  Which ever side we were on during the battle here in America over that police action, or war, looking back after it was done, …. we all knew it was wrong….

After that we thought all war was wrong, and unfortunately took some of that angst out on those who least deserved it:  those coming back from the steamy jungles of hell…..

Against our will a certain president soon sent Marines into Beirut;  what happened then reinforced our belief that an American war was unjustifiable and that all other means must be utilized to prevent American war from ever happening again….  Against our will, we propped up a Nicaragua dictator against some rebels.  Against our will, we sold arms to Iran to use for paying for our support for that Nicaragua dictator, since a Congress elected by the American people, flatly said no to supporting him in Nicaragua…  We found a way to do it anyway….

I remember Senator Rudman, (R-NH) saying at the hearing while addressing Oliver North,… “The American people have the RIGHT to be wrong.”

Oliver North had been insisting that even when Americans flatly say NO, one still must do what one deems is necessary, that whatever one deems necessary, is the highest moral truth.  “Sometimes one has to go above the law!”  was actually said by the defense at this hearing.  Only one good thing came out of those hearings:  we all were introduced to Fawn Hall.

But then…  The Brits quickly regained the Faulklands. Then came Grenada, which went off without a hitch.   Then Panama, which was successful and almost painless.  Then came General Schwartzkopf.  The 4th largest army in the world, was routed in hours, and in days, had been completely mopped up.  Then came the Balkans.  We were on a roll.  We’d finally nailed down the successful formula of how to win in battle.

Today we say Iraq is a failure.  But that was so not so just after the invasion.  Inside Baghdad, the pulling down of Saddam’s statue, the victory of capturing Saddam, the ability of us to hand out billions of American dollars, initially gave this campaign the luster of looking like another success story…

Until we tried to steal their oil.  The standard global rate of dividing oil revenues is that the US gets a 20% cut for the development, and Iraq would get to keep 80% because it is after all, their resource.  That is how we deal with Nigeria.

But Brenner announced that we’d flip that to pay for the war, and that Iraq would be allowed to keep 20% because we liked them so much, and we’d only, by our good graces, take 80% of the revenues. 24 hours after letting that cat out of the bag, the first IED went off under a US military vehicle…  Before week was out, the total was in the hundreds.

The luster was gone.  We were an invading army, something  we have not called ourselves since WWII.  We always saw ourselves as the policeman who leaves as soon as order is restored…

Afghanistan likewise, got worse.  Then Pakistan.  Then Yemen.  On the diplomatic front  instead of doing no harm, .. we could do no good.  Then Libya costs us an ambassador who was running guns through Turkey.  He shouldn’t have been there; it should have been a low level staffer with security clearance.

This baby boomer generation knows that war is wrong.  We know from experience. The only time it can be employed successfully, is a) when the whole world is united behind you, b)  you go in and get out, and c) you have a structure that stays in place long after you are gone.

The only time it goes badly… is every other scenario.

Which brings us to Syria.  Syria has no importance to anyone.  (They couldn’t even defend the militarily advantageous Golan Heights in ’67!)  Which is why we let the Russians have them.

People are going to die in Syria if a):  Assad wins, b):  the rebels win, or c):  no one wins. The only thing changing upon this wars outcome, is which side will be massacred at war’s end.  Hence the battle for survival over there now.

So by having the US intervene or not, we are choosing which side gets to kill the other after the hostilities die down.

The weakest argument for going in still left with standing, is that they used chemical weapons.  In WWI, the British, French, and Germans all used chemical weapons.   Are chemical weapons really worse than being burned alive?  Or asphyxiated as a bomb blast sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs and the room?  Or a milk jug sized piece of jagged metal shrapnel ripping and leaving a hole through your body?  Or a mine being stepped on?  I’m trying to think why chemical weapons are so much worse, except for the fact that we’ve been told” they are so much worse”?

A causality is a causality.

We understand “why” some say we should go into Syria.  Because if we do not respond to chemical weapons in a big way, someone else will become confident and use theirs.  There is only one way to keep the genie inside the bottle, and that is to never leave a opening for it to escape….

We also understand “why” one of our beloved School districts had a policy that suspended, and expelled those who brought weapons to school!  Not just guns, but knives too. After all, the argument for punishing Syria, applies to soon-to-become high school felons too.

But, there came a time when the response generated by a policy, actually became the crime,   You remember the little boy expelled who brought a cake to school, and his grandmother thoughtfully sent a knife knowing teachers usually don’t have utensils in their classrooms.  The teacher actually cut the cake, served it, thinking nothing of it.. it was someone higher up, reviewing the situation, who said, “wait, that can be interpreted as a breach of regulations.  Let’s make an example out of this little boy”.  He was suspended and could have been expelled, except it eventually became news and public outcry was solidly on his side.  The policy makers were laughed out of town.

Which is why, if you are making this decision, you need to stall.  Acting quickly and decisively is equivalent to acting on rumor and innuendo.   So what if Syria lied and shot the gas cannisters off?

Does a military strike create enough excellent good will to neutralize this bad act?

Ironically what is best for the US in this situation, is for Assad to stay in power, to have a zealous change in heart, to work closely with the USA to get his economy working, to becoming a partner in that region with the US, and to signing a treaty with Israel, as did the Egyptians many, many years ago…

What is worse for us, is if the jihadists win, push out the moderates and take over the reform movement (they always do), then go to war with Israel, Jordan and Turkey.  Making ourselves into the evil empire will only create more explosions everywhere, flare-ups which would not have occurred had we taken the Jedi way, and used the “Force” in our possession, to make events on the ground turn our way and happen in our favor….

Realistically such a rosy scenario probably can’t happen; but if it did, were this to come about, there would be no doubt: Obama would be lauded as the best president we’d ever see in our lifetimes.  The cost of failure is so low that it just might be worth the try.

The second point… which all us Viet-namers will well remember, is that you may win every engagement you participate in Syria, but you won’t win the war at home, and that… will suck all your energy away from all the good you plan to do before 2016.

It broke LBJ.  It broke Bush II.  Don’t let it break you….

Yep, the Paul Ryan budget was released today. As expected it is a budget designed to protect the top 1% from any bad thing that could possibly occur to them. As was poetically so well put by Romney during the past campaign…. ” ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…. The rest of us don’t matter….”

Today prominent theologians of all religions universally excommunicated the Republican Party of the United States of America from any pretension of anything corresponding to organized religion.

“They’re a cult, I tell you!!!”

Republicans in congress. God is watching you. And if you Fundamentalists would read your Bibles, you’d already know whose side He is on.

The rest of us… If you thought Republicans would come to their senses and start reinvesting in America, the joke is on you.

Nothing will ever change until America gets mad enough to rid ourselves of this pestilence forever…. You don’t have to vote for a Democrat. Most of you won’t… But you do… have to not vote for a Republican….

Unless you no longer consider yourself a moral individual, change your Registration…. TODAY!!!!!!!

Donald Trump has a small penis. (His overcompensation gives it away). He wants America to appreciate small things. And most importantly, he wants to use his massive amounts of money make others do so, even if by funding a candidate up to the $200 million dollar level now that there is no limit….

Senator Ted Cruz envisions himself as President some day. He will need money…. Lots of money. His own supporters (the former Tea Party) are poor. The wealthy in his state do not like him so he can’t count on Texas. He will need a big donor when he makes his run.

Dick Durbin is up before Ted Cruz as a candidate for the President’s Secretary of Defense. “Dick” Durbin is rumored to have a big dick because his wife is always smiling.

Ted knows, that if he is very hard on Mr Big, (Dick Durbin) he will catch the eye of Donald Trump. If he stymies Mr Big (Dick Durbin) he will get noticed even more. Furthermore, Ted Cruz also knows some of his party compatriots, also have hard-ons for the presidency, and they also are planning on being anti-Big to get Donald’s eyes as well.

Ted Cruz knows he has to be the biggest, baddest, Dick (Durbin) basher on the committee, if he wants Donald Trump to fund him through out the primaries, instead of another suitor….

Every Republican Senator tries to one-up the other when it comes to bashing Dick, and that, explains the irrationality of the entire hearing, the filibuster, and the vote.

The behavior was certainly irrational if one considers the state of the country, the lost election, the armed forces, the sequestration, the upcoming NATO meeting on the future of Afghanistan. But it very rational, very rational indeed if you have no money and are looking for a Sugar Daddy to spread apart, open up your path into the Presidency….

Now.

Substitute Adelson, Israel, Chuck Hagel, and you finally have an idea of what was going on with the Chuck Hagel hearing and vote.

During the nineties there was discussion of rogue waves the sometimes show up in the Southern reaches of the Indian Ocean. As one who has studied physics knows when a wave is put upon another wave, it absorbs that wave’s energy and creates one wave the size of both. Sometimes three or four waves randomly fall in the path of each other and a giant wave, capable of swamping a tanker comes out of nowhere….

This week we have something similar….

The fiscal cliff… pressure on the economy.

The Longshoreman’s strike…. pressure on the economy.

Open war in Israel/Palestine over the new settlements announced today….

We may have dodged one end-of-the-world, to be capsized by the wave of another….

Israel is going forward with 1200 new settlements on the West Bank.

Expect the truce to end tomorrow afternoon as rockets arch the skies.

Once again, Israel takes advantage of what it believes is the US’s inability to think for itself.

Our proper response, is to demand they stand down. When Israel says no, tell them our support for their country depends on no new settlements. If they go ahead, they do it alone; tell them as of now we begin our withdrawal in one week…. We stop when we hear they have voted to stop all new settlements.

This is not about friendship; we will always have a love for Israel. It is about business. Every insurance company has the right to decide whether to insure an at-risk beach property, or not. The United States of America is Israel’s insurer of their right to exist. Israel’s actions have simply made it too costly to continue our relationship….

It is not our choice if Israel goes forward with settlements. They get to choose their future. Our only duty is to precisely define the options so they completely understand all consequences….. That precisely worded statement, is that if they do so, they do it without any of our help or aid.

The number is staggering. $15 million to Newt Gingrich, $70 million to official Republican entities, and reportedly $65 million to dark shady political shell organizations. All, being thrown up against the current President, the man who won.

Rumors floated up that this was in support of Netanyahu and the side of Israel that invests in settlements. It appears that Romney’s fervant support of Netanyahu was the result of his ties with this man… Not long after their first $10 million meeting, Romney restated his support for one of Adelson’s top priorities — his fervent backing of Israel’s conservative government and his opposition to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Romney’s first foreign trip after his meeting with Adelson included a late July visit to Israel, which included a Jerusalem fundraiser that Adelson famously attended.

However other fundraisers are now saying differently…

Adelson is reportedly to have said he planned to spend about $100 million or “as much as it takes” to defeat Obama and help Republicans in Congressional races. Adelson’s personal wealth has been pegged at $20.5 billion by Forbes, making him one of the world’s richest men and enabling him to open his checkbook wide without worrying much about his bottom line…..

During the election, Adelson told Politico that the Justice Department investigation, and the way he felt treated by prosecutors, was a primary motivation for his investment in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and other GOP candidates…

In dark money he shelled out:

40 million to Karl Rove’s Crossroads.
15 million to a grassroots foundation run by the Koch Brothers.
5 million to the US Chamber of Commerce.
6.5 million to the Republican Jewish Coalition. (close to 100% of its entire funding.

It was a disappointing election for Adelson. His nemasis whooped him bad.

In SuperPac money Adelson gave $5 million to Boehner, and $5 million to Cantor and his allies. Which is why, he was in Washington today, meeting with Congressional Republicans to devise methods to disrupt any new tax on his estate… The Sands.

The primary reason for the meeting, is he wants these charges dropped. The Justice Department investigation, and the way he felt treated by prosecutors, was a primary motivation for his investment into the campaign of the Republican presidential nominee. Federal officials are looking into potential money laundering by two shady high rollers at his Las Vegas casinos.

The money laundering investigation, led by the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, is probing whether the casino broke the law by failing to report to the government millions of dollars of potentially laundered funds that two gamblers transferred to its casinos. (Tax evasion: the same thing that brought down Al Capone.)

One of the two gamblers, Ausaf Umar Siddiqui, is being probed about over $100 million of his transactions through the casinos. Separately, he was arrested in 2009 and pleaded guilty to accepting illegal kickbacks in his job as an executive with Fry’s Electronics in California. He is now serving a six-year jail term.

The other big gambler in the probe is Zhenil Ye Gon, a Chinese-born Mexican-based businessman, who reportedly transferred $85 million to Sands casinos several years ago. Ye Gon was indicted in 2007 for dealing in illegal drugs, but the charges were dismissed in 2009.

So the largess of Sheldon Adelson’s giving experienced the Republican party, was part of the $185 million in laundered money it got from these two people, leaving a cool $35 million in profit. Seen this way, it didn’t cost Sheldon a thing.

Another inquiry by Justice and the SEC has been under way for about two years. It involves allegations that Adelson’s lucrative casinos on the Chinese island of Macau may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to Chinese officials to expand its operations there.

Bribing the Chinese was a smart deal, if only the SEC and Justice Department hadn’t been so “hung up” on
regulations… (Can anyone else here a Romney campaign line here?) $700,000 went to a local attorney, Leonel Alves, who was hired by the Sands Chinese subsidiary while he was a government legislator in Macau. The lion’s share of Sands’ corporate revenues now come from Macau. That $700,000 bribe now yields a return of $326 million this past quarter…. As a business proposition, it made very good sense. Unfortunately there is one of those ridiculous regulations that hog-tie real business people called Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Republicans would simply look the other way as long as they were on the receiving end of millions. Obama’s Justice Department? Well, not so fast.

Hence the determination to throw money away on the flimsiest chance that doing so could defeat him.

Of the billion dollars spent in this past election, 15% of that came from one man. Now, I believe in America, a man should spend his money how he wishers. Had he chosen to give this to fight Breast Cancer, we would all hold him in high esteem…

And the law is so broad, after Citizen’s United, that it appears he violated no rules, no regulations, and all his giving to Republicans was legal and completely within the law….

Seen from hindsight, obviously his influence impacts candidates. Karl Rove was in his box during his election night meltdown. Some fundraisers are pointing fingers at Karl Rove for advising Sheldon not to invest in “their” dark money organization, simply leaving competing interests for Rove, out in the cold. Newt Gingrich out of nowhere came out with an uncharacteristically backing of Israel during the primary. We now know why. Netanyahu figured prominently in the third debate, far more than his importance warrants. We now know why. Republicans against their parties own self interest, are risking losing any loyality with the American middle class over their intransigence not to raise taxes a teeny bit upon the wealthy. We now know why….

Simply put, if you can’t get elected without the help of one man…. and that one man is in your office telling you what you should be doing, you are going to listen to him…

The losers of this method of campaign financing are the American people. In this battle between the wealthy and everyone else, the Republicans are siding with the wealthy for their own self interest…. and their political survival is a pretty darn big self interest. Which means the rest of us are only getting one option to choose from. One party rule will again dominate America, as long as dark money is allowed into politics and there are no caps on one person’s influence.. And that party… will be the one representing the 98%….. and any party, without being repeatedly challenged, inevitably becomes soft and corrupt.

Until soft money becomes dried up, we will continue to have Sheldon Adelson types dropping into Washington with open checkbooks, and the rest of us will suffer these childish posturing battles between Sheldon Adelson supporters, and the rest of America. More grandstanding is guaranteed to be forthcoming by the Republicans….

I’ll bet you $150 million on it….

Israel’s claim it will now build 3000 more settlements on Arab land has rippled the water. Britain and France are about to pull their ambassadors we are being told, and days later the same will be done a couple of days later by the Dutch and German diplomatic delegations.

They have no choice.

One cannot be supportive of a bully. And there is no reason other than bullying to put these settlements on lands that will continue driving a wedge into all prospects of peace.

Netanyahu stood before the UN General Assembly with a picture of a bomb and called for a red line to be used against Iran.

Yet he totally fails to recognize the red line the West holds in offering their support for him. No new settlements. He has crossed that red line.

The US has always publicly supported Israel on principal. This action makes it extremely hard to do so… in person.

As predicted in a post below, Iran is using the cover of Gaza and was caught removing spent fuel from the Russian reactor that had been signed over to it.

Most people believe Iran is so significantly behind in the spent fuel enrichment process, so this matters little. However, the comment that was given to the press by the security officer at the site was rather interesting in its bluntness.

“Pay no attention. Everything is under control here.”

“That is exactly what I would say if I was up to no good…

Here are excerpts quoted from Reuters in the Chicago Tribune….

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report two days ago on Iran’s nuclear program that fuel was unloaded from the Bushehr plant in October and transferred to a spent fuel pond. Russia is required to import the spent fuel back into its country.

It was plugged into Iran’s national grid in September 2011. it reached 100% just months ago, August 30th. Iran did not give a reason for this past Friday’s fuel removal at the 1,000-megawatt reactor near the Gulf city of Bushehr. A diplomat familiar with the issue said it meant the plant was shut down.

Early last year, Iran said it was having to remove fuel for tests.

Mark Fitzpatrick, a nuclear expert at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank, said that early fuel removal at Bushehr in the “worst case” might provide weapons-usable plutonium.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, suggested “It is a “very normal technical procedure (during the transfer) … to make sure every safety aspect is taken into consideration,” he told Reuters, without giving details.

Bottom line: a nuclear plant that has been under construction for 37 years, finally goes on line 2 months ago; within months it apparently gets shut down, and while all eyes are on Gaza, the spent fuel is removed under only Iranian supervision….

Of course it could be nothing to worry about…. but on the other hand, it could also be that the timing of Gaza’s rocket attacks upon Israel, was anything but randomly decided.