Freshest Country Air
The White House
September 20, 2015
Thank you for writing. After 2 years of negotiations, the United States—together with our international partners—has achieved what decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive, long-term deal that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This deal shows that American leadership and diplomacy can bring real and meaningful change that makes our country and our world safer and more secure. We negotiated from a position of strength and principle, and the result is a nuclear deal that cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon. I want to make sure you know what this deal means and how it works.
Under this deal, Iran will not be able to produce highly enriched uranium or weapons-grade plutonium—the raw materials necessary to build a bomb. Iran will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges—the machines necessary to produce highly enriched uranium—and store them under constant international supervision. To put that in perspective, Iran currently has a uranium stockpile that could produce up to 10 nuclear weapons, and that stockpile will be reduced to a fraction of what would be required for a single weapon. Additionally, Iran will modify its nuclear reactor in Arak so it cannot produce weapons-grade plutonium, and all spent fuel from the reactor will be shipped out of the country indefinitely.
This deal is not built on trust; it’s built on verification. For the first time, we will be in a position to verify that Iran is meeting all of these commitments. International nuclear inspectors will have access to Iran’s nuclear program where and when necessary. This is the most comprehensive and intrusive verification regime we have ever negotiated. If Iran tries to divert raw materials to covert facilities, inspectors will be able to access any suspicious locations. As Iran implements this deal, it will receive gradual relief from sanctions, and if it violates any aspect of this agreement, sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy will snap back into place.
That’s the deal. It has the full backing of the international community. Without it, there would be no agreed-upon limitations on Iran’s nuclear program, and other countries would feel more compelled to pursue their own programs—threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region of the world. Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East. That is why it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal. Moving forward, I welcome a robust debate in Congress on the details of this agreement. As Commander-in-Chief, I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents its successful implementation.
Our differences with Iran are real, and the difficult history between our nations cannot be ignored—but it is possible to change. The path of violence and rigid ideology—a foreign policy based on threats to attack neighbors or eradicate Israel—is a dead end. A different path of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive. This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction, and we should seize it.
Again, thank you for writing. To learn more about this historic deal and how it will make the United States, our allies, and our world safer, please visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Iran-Deal.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500 September 9, 2015
This letter is to lend my support and congratulations on the historic negotiated agreement (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am a retired Social Studies teacher just across Lake Michigan from Chicago with a daughter working as a Speech Pathologist on the north end of the City. Our other daughter is a physical therapist in Indianapolis. Both work and live in major U.S. cities, so the agreement with Iran to shut down the creation of nuclear weapons matters a great deal to my wife and I. The success of Secretaries Kerry and Munoz in crafting the terms and collaborating with their partners to gain what is, arguably, a fair, detailed, and comprehensive agreement will be hailed as a landmark in the history of nuclear nonproliferation.
Those 100% of Senate Republicans and four Democratic Senators who are promoting its failure are wrong. The good news is, 42 Senators disagree and will derail Leader McConnell’s intention to disapprove the JCPOA. It is good for the country, our ally, Israel, and the region for this agreement to be implemented, no matter what the naysayers believe or say. Senator Cruz’s comments on the floor of the Senate today amounted to gross demagoguery at best and dishonest rhetoric at worst. It is also a sign that your work to develop and create a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear threat is the correct policy. When Ted Cruz spins off into his furious Joe McCarthy mode, you are doing something good and right.
I wrote to you a few years ago in your first term to do all that you could to avoid major military action against Iran. Thank you and your team for taking a diplomatic approach, first, to reach the deal that averted all-out war. The Middle East with all of its medieval religious conflict has been a pit of death for American servicemen and women under hawkish Republican leadership. You have instilled a radical, new strategy to stabilize the relentless militarization of that region. As you finish your tenure as president, keep our soldiers and sailors out of harm’s way if at all possible. Your work in diplomacy and other areas such as environmental preservation, clean energy, and economic growth is inspiring.
Bless you and your family, President Obama. I wish you well and good health for a long, long time. And Go, Bears!
It is very likely that Thomas Paine was not referring to planet Earth in his stirring assertion listed above. As the premier social commentator of his time, he was talking about the human beings that inhabited the planet during the American Revolution. His point suggested that societies would be well advised to assess what life was designed to be by the powers that ruled this and that nation and people. Then, it would become apparent to the simplest of the masses that a new order would provide the human race with a far more pleasant experience when the common people chose to rule themselves.
Kings, czars, princes, and shoguns would take a backseat and be forced to remove their artificial authorities to govern. The United States was an experiment in democracy that opened the doors the future for the human race to start the society of their choosing over along with the relationship of people and structured systems of law and order.
TIMES THAT TRY MEN'S SOULS
It is not like we did not know what was coming when Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States. His brash campaign of insults, lies, and alternative reality did not stop the American voters from plucking him from his Fifth Avenue Tower to run amok over our precious democracy. Just days into his presidency, the cold facts are descending over our way of life like a flock of crows over a freshly harvested cornfield. His tweets keep flying around with reckless abandon while his team of billionaires skate through Senate confirmation toward their eventual accessory to murder of our rights, freedoms and health.
His departments are being shut down with gag-orders, hiring freezes, and regulation changes. The Environmental Protection Agency will effectively close-down operations under its new administrator, Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt. He shuttered OK’s Department of Environmental Management and has been hired to repeat that ignominious task for the Trump government. Similarly, Betsy DeVos is being charged with ending the work of the Education Department. Former Texas Governor, Rick Perry, has been tabbed to run the Energy Department and supervise the cancelation of the Iran Nuclear Deal.
After claiming that 3-5 million fraudulent voters robbed him of his victory in the popular vote on election day, he signed executive orders to revive the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipeline projects and to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Keeping one’s promises is looking scary.
WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!
These killers who shoot up people with intense anxiety and twisted motivation are changing our assumptions and the basic premise of law and order upon which our republic was founded. Without the certainty that we can go about our daily lives without concern for our safety, Americans have lost a promise extended to the first generation of free people and handed over to each subsequent generation. It hurts to lose friends, relatives, unknown strangers who did not deserve to die-----cops, robbers, and court bailiffs cut down after retiring from public service careers.
The task of enforcing laws resides in the executive branch of government at all three levels: federal (FBI, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), state (State Police), and local (County Police, City Police, Town Marshals).
The branch of government charged with making the laws is Congress in Washington, D.C., at the federal level, State Legislatures in the fifty state capitals, and local councils in towns and cities across the country.
The court system is expected to interpret the laws and either confirm or reject their constitutionality. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of justice in the United States unless you own a gun anywhere, and then you are the law, judge, and jury in America. How has this happened in the land of the free and home of the brave? It is called the National Rifle Association, or NRA for short.
2016 - An Acrimonious Presidential Election Year.
Now the tone of the primary election for the presidency has turned vicious as protests and violence have surfaced at Donald Trump rallies in the days leading up to the March 15th Super Tuesday II. With big states like Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Missouri, and Illinois waiting to tally millions of votes in three days, all hell has broken loose on the Republican side of the ledger. Protesters in Chicago prevented Donald Trump from holding a scheduled rally at the University of Chicago Pavillion on Friday, March 11th.
After dragging on and changing into a monstrosity of disrespect and rancor, the presidential campaign is over with Donald Trump the victor over Hillary Clinton. That was not the outcome I had hope for, but it is what the people chose, so I suppose I will have to come around to acceptance at some point.
But, six weeks after that fateful day of November 8, 2016, I am still quite a ways from warming up to the idea of President Trump. In fact, yuk! He is not close to qualified or experienced for the huge load of responsibility and management of the country's best interests for the next four years, period. Sec. Clinton received 2.8 million MORE popular votes than Trump, but he finished with 308 electoral votes compared to Hillary's 230.
How that happened has been the subject of quite a load of speculation, but, simply put, it was the public's desire for major change instead of elevating Hillary---who has been characterized as dishonest and untrustworthy by her and her husband's critics since his controversial presidency in the 1990s. He won the crucial swing states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Those were in Mrs. Clinton's bag until the Director of the F.B.I., James Comey, broke precedent and announced the agency's interest in new emails attributed to her aide, Huma Abedin's husband, Anthony Weiner, that would be analyzed in later October, just three weeks prior to the election.
He later announced that nothing worthy of further investigation was discovered just days before the election, but the few percentage points of undecided voters chose Mr. Trump over the bedraggled candidate, Hillary Clinton, and the election night shocker was staged to the surprised nation and civilized world.
Why Not Support President Obama?
In the final year of his presidency, the odds are very slight that he can look to opponents like John Kubik to find a way to support his initiatives. Mr. Kubik could only conclude that the president “exists and operates in some type of parallel universe separated by the harsh facts of reality” in delivering his final State of the Union address to Congress. This parallel universe metaphor was mentioned by several of his critics and Republican candidates for his office in the spin period after his speech in their relentless anti-Obama choir of scathing rebuke. Better put, it reveals more about these opponents of the Obama administration than the state of the American economy they relentlessly decry at the same time it is leading the rest of the world.
President Obama has often included in speeches the caveat that, while the economic indicators are pointing upward, many people are still left out of the recovery and must not be forgotten in the national scale of growth strategy. Yes, the number of Americans still out of the labor force is staggering, but is that Barack Obama’s fault? I don’t suppose the global economy and corresponding loss of American manufacturing sector jobs should share any of the blame for the increase in food stamp recipients. How many thousands of jobs followed the closing of Joy Manufacturing, Weil-McClain, Pullman, JayMar-Ruby, Burnham Glove, Sullair’s cutbacks, and other local factories? Did any president, current or past, cause those closings? Did the employees who lost their jobs write to the president with their desperate complaints? I doubt it. My TV was made in Japan, my refrigerator in Korea, and my iPhone in China. My shirts and shoes come from Asia and Central America. I could go on and on to make this point.
Regarding the national debt, has the Congress passed a budget since President Obama’s political opponents have controlled both houses for the last five years? No, there has been instead, a series of debt-laden continuing resolutions mostly passed in frantic hours before the government ran out of money to function, and once when the government shut down---costing the U.S. economy about $20 billion in the aftermath. No, the glass is half-full and President Obama spent his final SOTU speech pointing to his desire to make progress in several major policy areas before he turns over the reins of office to a successor. Among those priorities, he spoke, is the need to reform the damaging effects of big-money on the democratic system of American government. That is the bottom line. No support is expected from the obstructionists in Congress, unfortunately. Bipartisan cooperation is a lost art in Washington D.C.
Michigan City News-Dispatch " Friday, 1/23/16