Misconceptions of Iran

Foreign Policy

In the past couple of years I have hoped for greater diplomatic dialogue between the US and Iran. These hopes were not out of disgust in the Bush administration, but the common interests that the majority of Americans have with the majority of Iranians.

Unfortunately, so many people in the US have an astonishingly small understanding of the people of Iran. I don’t really want to get into the many misconceptions. It is important for people to take a small amount of time in doing research to gain a better understanding of the world.

I want to know what other people think. If you have thoughts about Iran, thoughts about what you think Iran is, provide some feedback here.

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Photos from Iran that moved me

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High Approval for the Administration’s Response to the Swine Flu

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Gallup Poll

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This Administration is like a brand new Snuggie

Barack Obama, Politics

 Adam

This administration feels like a new snuggie to me these days. You know, that one amazing product sold on television. The blanket you don’t have to take off. I can just throw on my snuggie, go about my normal business, and know that I will stay all warm and cuddly.

 Snuggie

I don’t exactly feel this way, but it is nice feel reassured that the government can take care of us when emergency takes place. I am referring to the recent concerns regarding the swine flu. Watching the numerous press conferences, I realized that I was supposed to feel reassured at times of crisis. And I finally did!

It also took me back to the days of seeing President Bush speak… Instant anxiety no matter what the topic of concern. Or, maybe it was leadership that the former President put into place to bring our country through difficult times. Brownie?

People may be in fear of a pandemic falling onto our society, but right now their fear is being managed with calm and confidence from a reassuring government.

 

UPDATE

Almost forgot to mention two points of genius from Republican leaders. First, Republican leadership flocked to join the chorus in their accusations that volcano monitoring was wasteful…shortly before a volcano erupted. Second, Replublican leadership stripped funds that would go towards a possible pandemic…shortly before the current swine flu situation.

Hold that snuggie tight!

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Hopefully Tea Parties are as Big as the Ideas will get

Economy, Politics

Adam

The virtues of private interests ahead of public good have no age limit

The virtues of private interests ahead of public good have no age limit

 

The tea parties that were held across the country yesterday were idiotic for multiple reasons. There are enough bloggers and commentators discussing those reasons right now. Hopefully there is plentiful footage of all of those brave elected officials in the next election cycle to highlight what they did for their country during tough times.

I do not want to get into election strategies for the Democrats. What I would like to do is highlight the missed opportunity the conservatives/Republicans missed during one of their greatest successes at organizing their ideologically aligned citizens.

Every Republican official put in front of a camera over the past few months talks about the destruction of capitalism. Some of those take the time to speak to the point of how this destruction will hurt the middle class. Yes, based on what they are saying, higher taxes on the rich and government stimulus will only continue the crushing of the workforce found in the middle. It seems that the best way the people who attended these tea parties could have spent their time is by HELPING those who are being destroyed by socialism.

This could have been a bold statement for the Republican party to make. Imagine John Boehner being interviewed by Fox News and saying “We are here in Cleveland organizing this food and clothing drive because we know it is necessary to help those people who continue to lose their jobs because of the high taxes this administration and Congress are imposing on the people. When the Democrats have eroded away the life they once knew, the conservative community is here to help bring this country back.”

Wouldn’t that have been powerful? Instead of wasting time and resources, they could have used that organization to make a positive difference and at the same time got their message out that they are outraged by the changes that are taking place.

Obviously, this type of outreach would require each person to look beyond their own self interests. When that happens…well…then there probably would not have been any tea parties yesterday.

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Positive Economic Reports….I’m going to be rich!!!

Economic Policy, Economy, Politics

Adam

I’m not sure where the broad publics’ head is at with recent positive news coming out on the economy. Some commentators I have read lately (and Senators Schumer and Reid) are talking about the economy turning around. The fall has occurred and its all UP UP UP from here… Well maybe there has not been that much optimism from them, but its out there. Does this kind of optimism worry anyone else besides me? Luckily I am not the only one who is worried.

The economy has been taking a hit on a regular basis for quite a while. There is a good description of where all of this positive movement is coming from, but I would rather relate it to a very likely scenario out there now.

Try to imagine that you are an employee at RSPC (The Really Smart People Company) and, in order for the company to continue operations with the existing workforce, all employees are asked to take a pay cut…lets say a 25% pay cut. Okay, you have your pay cut, times are tough, so you just deal with it. When a couple of things begin to go better RSPC decides to give you a 5% raise. The RSPC is ecstatic over the news that they are making a profit in the first quarter of the year and they believe things are turning around. Now, as the employee, are you as excited about that 5% raise, or are you still upset and wary because of the total 20% hit you are still feeling?

Good news is still good, but lets take it with just a little perspective.

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Posting Update

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Adam

I wanted to put out a request to anyone who will be reading this that I am looking for more commentators. Do you have random political thoughts or world views that you really want to bounce off a possibly contradicting mind? Well, my suggestion is that you contact me and then we can put a post together.

Another thing, if you are a fellow blogger, I am all about trading posts with you. The site is about starting conversations and understanding different perspectives.

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Why the Geithner Plan is Bad

Bailout, Economic Policy, Economy

Adam

Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz provides a solid and down to earth description of what will take place with the Geithner Plan in his NY Times editorial.

Its a worthwhile read and should help bring some clarity to the situation that will unfold.

I thought about running through the scenario for myself, but decided a comparison to a mortgage would be ridiculous. $12,000 on a $138,000 mortgage is a lot stronger than banks were accepting a couple of years ago. So I want to stay away from that comparison. Instead, lets say I am in Vegas and there is a heavyweight fight with 50/50 (never would happen, but lets imagine). Sure, I’ll put money down and see if I can double my money. But, what if there was a way for me to triple my money? Well, yeah of course I’ll take that. Even better, I can triple my money without taking on more risk. I just have to take a huge no risk loan out.

So, I take the loan, put up my 8% share along with the 92% loan and bet. If I win I can pay back the loan and take my tripled winnings.  If I lose, I lose the money I put up and forget about that l ever took out that loan.

Tough break on the guy who loaned me that money. Now, enough with betting on boxing, I’m off to the black jack table where the odds are REALLY in my favor…

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The US and Russia…Can we be Pals/Strategically Alligned Partners on Specific Issues

Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Obama, Politics, President Obama

Adam

This will be a short post. I think we are beginning to see what could be the potential end of two long disagreements for the US.

Fareed Zakaria points out in his recent article in Newsweek that

His sin was to point out in a letter to the Russian president that were Moscow to help in blunting the threat of missile attacks from Tehran, the United States would not feel as pressed to position missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic—since those defenses were meant to protect against Iranian missiles. This is elementary logic. It also strikes me as a very good trade since right now the technology for an effective missile shield against Iran is, in the words of one expert cited by the Financial Times’s Gideon Rachman: “a system that won’t work, against a threat that doesn’t exist, paid for with money that we don’t have.”

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189240/page/2

The Russians don’t want the US to install a missile defense system in Eastern Europe.  The US does not want Iran to expand their nuclear activity.  Russia has the ability to influence Iran.  Russian works with the US to end Iran’s nuclear ambitions, then the US does not install the defense system. 

This seems like a very good and possible scenario.  Why can’t we get this process rolling?

Also, scary thought…could Bush’s insistence on the defense system play out to ultimately be a brilliant strategic move?

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Can you fix a broken nation with a broken record?

Bailout, Barack Obama, Economic Policy, Economic Stimulus, Economy, Election, Infrastructure, National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, Obama, Politics, President Obama

Adam

I am going to say that it is probably difficult to fix our current situation with tax cuts.  I know…I know, the crazy liberal wants to raise your taxes and then spend all your hard earned wages. Not exactly.

I have a difficult time grasping the notion that the conservative chorus can only recite the same tune we have heard during a very recent 8 year administration.

“The only way to stimulate the economy is with lower taxes and tax incentives.”

Everyone is skittish now. Consumers, producers, and lenders. The argument that tax incentives will create job growth does not work.  Lets take a look at a couple of scenarios.

-  We create an incentive where an employer gets tax breaks for hiring new employees. (Currently part of the Obama plan, but really done for the purpose of appeasement)

So, under this theory, a company will hire a new employee for the purposes of expanding production of a good that a consumer is buying less of. Does not really work out in my mind.

- We lower taxes…

Well, with all of that extra money from lower taxes, companies will be able to expand production. Okay, so they expand production after borrowing to purchase what is necessary for the increase in productivity. They have to borrow because lower taxes do not mean available cash. This also seems to be a difficult challenge due to the well publicized reluctance of banks to give our money.

So why is it that the party that got a strong message from the American public this past election is grasping hold to its oldest idea?

I would like this cartoon to be an exaggeration, but right now it doesn’t seem to be.

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