Love The Flags

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So while we were in Florida, we went into one of the many art galleries. 


And on the wall was this painting of the Israeli Flag with the Star of David and inside was a beautiful red heart. 


Out of curiosity, I inquired how much this was and the lady says, “Oh, that is $55,000!”


While we were impressed with the painting of the Israeli flag and what it represents as one of America’s greatest allies and friends, we must’ve looked really puzzled at the price, because the lady goes, “Well, of course it’s worth it!  It’s by Peter Max, the most famous artist in the world.”


My wife and I nodded and left the store, and immediately were asking each other why every gallery says with a straight face that the artist that they represent is the “most famous in the world.”


Anyway, at the same time this was going on we were following in the news about the controversy with people burning the American flag and the question of whether this is just an expression of free speech or something more that should be prohibited as disrespectful and unpatriotic or even traitorous to the country. 


In that respect, the flag that represents our values, beliefs, and patriotism is valuable beyond pure artistic sense or money, it is who we are and what we love. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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Turning To Love

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Just an observation about love today.


But it seems that it’s far easier and more frequent to see love turn to hate and resentment than vice versa.


It’s a lot easier to destroy a relationship (or any success) than to build it to begin with.


Even as we talk about forgiveness and loving thy neighbor, it seems that more often than not negative feelings are at best turned to acceptance or neutral feelings rather than back to true endearment.


This state is often accompanied by such fears or protectionist sayings as “leopards don’t change their spots” or “love once lost is lost forever.”


While we may be willing to turn the other cheek for a moment or even a while, bad feelings and distrust towards another does not make the leap back to closeness and an endearing, loving relationship all that often.


Of course, there are exceptions where through trust building measures and “easing of sanctions” or hostilities, we can over time rebuild a relationship and become allies or partners again.


However, it is far easier to break trust and lose love then to ever rebuild and recover it.


All the more reason to cherish our meaningful relationships and make love count, sing, and dance for us every moment of every day. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Fooling The Media And The American People

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So finally the truth got spilled about the true rationale for the Iran deal that lifted critical nuke weapon sanctions on the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses.  

The advisor to the President has admitted to essentially lying and manipulating the media to seal the deal

The narrative of a Nuke deal with a “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani at the expense of hardliners was “deliberately misleading.”

Mr. Rhodes brags about keeping Mr. Obama’s long-standing plan to elevate Iran over allies such as Israel and the Gulf States hidden from the public by manipulating liberal journalists and think tank analysts.

So what was once touted as a “good day” for America is now quite malevolent and disheartening, indeed. 

Moreover, rather than a “new political reality” with Iran, we have ongoing and increasingly hostile Iranian actions against the U.S., leading to the House Intelligence Committee opening an investigation into how Congress and the American public were misled by the administration on Iran. 

What happened to the promised transparency and truth espoused for the American people? What of Abraham Lincoln’s sacred and compelling vision of a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

Now instead of earnest dialogue, we get a blowharded retail[ing]” of a predefined manipulated narrative–a “far-reaching spin campaign“–for the simple media “echo chamber and hungry public consumption.

Iran has won a big round at the expense of Democracy and as we now know our National Security. 

Maybe the worst part is that no one even seems to care, because we’re now in a new election cycle for the next President (and possibly chief manipulator). 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sifting Through The Beef Stew

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Many of the negative nellies who either didn’t attend PM Netanyahu’s critical speech to Congress or who were simply circling the wagons came across pretty darn pathetic yesterday.


A smidgon of their very shakey arguments:


1) THIS IS POLITICAL, PERSONAL, MACHO, DISRESPECTFUL, CONDESCENDING, AND MADE ME CRY


FALSE. Actually, with great alarm and dismay, we have been watching for many months, the name-calling and discrediting coming right here from bipartisan Washington…this, rather than supporting the only true democracy, friend, and ally in the middle east. For the Jewish people, this is a mater of survival from genocide, plain and simple–and only 70 years after the Holocaust.


2) THIS IS TO CHANGE THE ELECTION


FALSE. This was at the invitation of Congress to come speak, and at its timetable. The timing does not necessarily help or hurt the PM’s election chances; these are matters for individual voters at the polls to decide.


3) THERE’S NO ALTERNATIVES


FALSE. The alternative is plain, simple, and common sense–keep the sanctions in place and the pressure on Iran, and NOT settle for a deal that proflierates dangerous nukes to a threatening Iranian regime. Those advocating otherwise will find themselves on the wrong side of the historical nuclear aftermath…won’t that leave them a wonderful legacy!


4) WE CAN SURVEIL AND VERIFY ALL NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES


FALSE. The IAEA has repeatedly declared that they have NOT been able to verify Iran’s nuclear activies or the facilities used to build and house them. Moreover, repeated agreements with North Korea turned out to be unverifiable and ended up in their attaining dangerous nuclear weapons that we are still contending with.


5) NO DEAL WILL BE ACCEPTABLE


FALSE. A (very) bad deal is not acceptable. A deal that KEEPS nukes–weapons of mass destruction–out of the hands of the world’s premier sponsor of terrorism and human rights abuses–Iran–for an phased-in easing of sanctions is a good deal.


6) YOU CAN’T STOP USE OF NUCLEAR KNOWLEDGE


FALSE. You can deny Iran the infrastructure and legitimacy to use that knowledge, period. Maybe you can’t put it back in the can, but you can take away the can, shaped like an ICBM, itself.


7) WRONG ON IRAQ AND WRONG AGAIN


FALSE.  When the world was passive in the face of nuclear proliferation in Iraq, Israel was spot on when it destroyed their nearly completed nuclear reactor in 1981. Unfortunately, we were wrong about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capability as reported by the Presidential Commission that investigated this post the 2003 invasion of Iraq. 


8) NOTHING NEW HERE


FALSE. PM Netanyahu made clear that this is NOT partisan, that he has the highest respect for the President(cy), that he is most grateful to America, that our bounds are unbreakable, that the enemy (IRAN) of our enemy (ISIS) is not our friend (both seeking radical dominion over the middle east and globally), and that proliferation of nuclear weapons of mass destruction is not acceptable–now or in ten years. And maybe most inspiringly and underpinning many of our common bonds and values is that there is a picture of Moses over the door of Capital!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Discuss And Work Together, Respectfully

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Everyone and their brother seems to be jumping on board to hit on Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of our “Major Strategic Ally” and friend, Israel. 


This after Netanyahu accepted an invitation from the United States Congress to speak about Iranian nukes threatening the State of Israel, the region, and the Western world. 


1) Iran, Israel and Arab Allies:


Truly, can anyone blame Israel and our Arab allies of being distressed that we are disavowing our 2011 commitment to them, as President Obama stated:


“You also see our commitment to our shared security in our…there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon…My policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.”


Now we have as reported gone from preventing Iran on obtaining nuclear weapons to instead a possible agreement that still leaves thousands of Iran’s nuclear centerfuges spinning and “sunsets” as early as 2025!


This is a lopsided turning of the tables on Israel and of our Arab allies for reapproachment with Axis of Evil, Iran


2) Russia and Ukraine:


But not alone are our Middle East allies in feeling abandoned by us, as we made security guarantees also to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 that specifically committed the U.S., U.K. and Russia to:


“Respect the independence and sovereignty and existing border of Ukraine [and to] refrain from the threat or use of force.”


Well so much for that as Crimea has now been annexed by Russia and battling rages across eastern Ukraine by Russian-supported separatists, despite a blantant violation of a truce recently brokered by France and Germany.


3) Poland and Czech Republic


Yet once again, with Poland and the Czech republic (members of NATA), we commited ourselves to building a missle shield only then to back away and seemingly abandon them


“In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama cancelled…plans to station a radar facility [and]…ground-based interceptors.”


Questions:


Why are we continually turning on longtime friends and allies and embracing enemies sworn to our destruction?


What do our commitments mean to anyone anymore and why shouldn’t our shunted allies speak out, especially when it is their countries that are being placed in jeopardy?


Disrespect and Freedom of Speech:


What is also amazing is how low we have gone in our interactions such that we no longer discuss and disagree respectfully, but instead resort now to withholding security information, disgraceful name-calling (e.g. “Chickenshit”), discrediting, and even seeking to silence opposing views!


What has happened to our dearly held and constitutional rights and values for democracy, free speech, including openly debating issues and respecting differences of opinion?


Institutional Anti-Semitism:


Interesting also is how big and tough we are being on little Israel (population 8 million and about the size of the 5th smallest U.S. state of New Jersey)…


While simultaneously many seem to be proverbially (excuse the language) peeing their pants in front of the newly aggressive “Big Bear,” Russia


What is more important when it comes to the dangers of a Iran with nuclear WMD–a longtime friend and ally Israel that is facing a potentially existential threat just 70 years after the Holocaust or getting an historical “award” for making an agreement (and a potentially bad one at that) with Iran?


Conclusion:


Behavior unbecoming, includes serially breaking commitments, silencing the opposition (uh, against our Constituion), name-calling and bullying, and endangering longtime allies and friend–this is not leadership and does not leave anyone a desired legacy. 


Let’s openly and freely discuss and work together respectfully in true friendship and partnership, and get a good deal that safeguards the democracies of the United States and Israel. 😉


(All Opinions my own.)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to blueforce4116)

Is This A Partner For WMD Peace?

Everyone was speculating why Iran was building a 202 meter long life-size replica of a Nimitz Class U.S. Aircraft Carrier in the Persian Gulf.


Well today (as we are hear of “progress” with Iranian nuclear talks), we got our answer, as the Iranian military took the opportunity and blew the mock U.S. aircraft carrier to smithereens!



The commander of Iran’s Navy stated: “The Americans, and the entire world, knows that the American Navy is one of our targets and it will take us 50 seconds to destroy every US warship.”


At the same time, Iran is mulling over the purchase of a powerful anti-aircraft missile system from Russia.


So now Iran is going toward an agreement for a possible lifting of western financial sanctions and a 10-year nuke capability, and we are trusting them that it is for peaceful purposes?


Many of our major Middle East allies are concerned including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, and more, and so much so that an Iranian nuke capability may “spark a nuclear arms race.”


Hmm…why the desperation for a deal with “Axis of Evil,” Iran amidst ongoing hostility and threats from Iran towards “The Great Satan,” America, and all the express concerns of our longtime friends and allies? 


Now we won’t just have deadly terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda and ISIS to contend with across the region, but also a nuclear armed Iran–amidst regular threats to sink the U.S. Navy and annihilate Israel (and just 70 years after the Holocaust killed 6 million Jewish men, women, and children!).  


What have we learned about appeasement of dangerous foes and the unimaginable risks to millions of innocent lives around the world? 😉

Breaking Protocol?

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Puzzling that the Israel’s Prime Minister (our Major Strategic Ally) is accused of “Breaking Protocol.”


And how?


By accepting an invitation from the Congress of the United States of America to speak the truth about the dangers of a nuclear armed Iran, who is a designated State Sponsor of Terrorism.


Still trying to figure out under what protocol:


– Netanyahu was ushered into the White House through the back door.


– Netanyahu was snubbed for dinner while visiting at the White House.


– The Defense Minister of Israel was denied an audience at the White House. 


Ammunition was withheld from Israel, while under fire, during the Gaza War with Hamas, a designated terrorist organization. 


Sanctions are considered against Israel for building homes in Jerusalem the Capital of Israel, while sanctions are lifted against Iran as they build nuclear weapons to annihilate Israel and threaten America, “The Great Satan.”


– Senior Administration official calls Netanyahu a Chickenshit.


Finally, and most upsettingly, the President travels all over the World and Middle East, but doesn’t visit The Holy Land


I don’t get it, do you? 


(Source Photo: here with attribution to gregpoo)