Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Good News From Iran, Greece And Cuba

The demand for Good News far exceeds the supply. That’s the finding of an unscientific sampling of opinion from readers of this blog.

So I was surprised to see that newspapers and other mainstream media have recently reported several cases of honest-to-goodness, big-time, Good News among nations. Two Good News breakthroughs this week alone!

  1. After years and years of tedious negotiations, the U.S. and six other nations reached a historic agreement with Iran to prevent that country from developing a nuclear weapon. In return, the U.S. and other nations will lift economic sanctions against Iran, sanctions that have caused real hardship for the Iranian people.
  2. After months of brinkmanship, Greece has given in to a deal with Germany and the rest of Europe that will keep Greece in the Euro zone and avert immediate financial default and economic chaos in Greece. Europe’s largest economies will provide yet another billion-dollar rescue to keep Greece afloat. In return, Greece has agreed to fast-track a new round of painful tax increases, budget cuts, and other austerity measures.

And more good news right here in the Western hemisphere! President Barack Obama recently decided to normalize  relations with the island nation of Cuba. The U.S. and Cuba have been estranged from each other for nearly my entire lifetime (and I’m 67). Now, suddenly, unexpectedly, the two nations have reconciled, at least to the point of “normalizing relations.” They’re looking for embassy sites in Washington and Havana. Trade and tourism and family visits will be allowed, even encouraged. Economic benefits will flow to both countries, but most especially to Cuba.

To be sure, these breakthroughs have NOT been universally hailed as GOOD. It is quite possible that any of these forward movements could be knocked off the rails by opponents. Or they could have disastrous unintended consequences. There are no guarantees; only good reason for HOPE.

Recalcitrants and nay-sayers are everywhere; many have legitimate objections. But I’ll not enumerate them all because that might take the winds of Good New of out my sails. I believe that the great majority of the people in all nations involved see these world events as positive, qualifying to be cheered as Good News. It’s OK to have misgivings and still cheer for Good News. To accept Good News requires a measure of Hope and Trust.

In the case of these three steps forward among the family of nations, I confidently declare Good News based on a simple presumption. All the people of the world agree as follows:

PEACE = GOOD;  FRIENDSHIP = GOOD

WAR = BAD;  ENMITY = BAD

The agreements between U.S and Iran, Europe and Greece, U.S. and Cuba, all turn in the direction of friendship and peace. Some will disagree. Some will openly prefer enmity and even war. I will ignore them unless they present persuasive facts.

Case closed. Good news for Iran, Greece, Cuba. 

What do you think? I tolerate differing opinions.

— John Hayden

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under Good News, News

U.S. Government Shutdown Might Continue Indefinitely

Both sides now have reason to dig in and refuse to budge. Both sides think they’re on the verge of achieving a cherished goal, if only they hang tough.

For President Obama, the Affordable Care Act is taking effect even as we speak, despite the so-called “partial” government shutdown. Health care for all has been a Democratic goal for 60 years or more. Obama has a passed bill, a signed law with his name on it. The president and Democrats believe that once Obamacare is implemented, people will decide they love it — just like Social Security and Medicare — and will refuse to give it up.

The Republicans are dead set against Obamacare, just as they were against Social Security and Medicare. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Democracy, News

POTUS Is Not The World’s Police Chief

On Friday, President Obama said the U.S. may sometimes have to police the world.  Mr. President, I respectfully beg to differ.

Police officer (U.S.) taking fingerprints

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where did this notion come from, that the USA, being the last superpower standing, should be the police force of the world? That we should zoom from continent to continent, fighting crime and bringing bad guys to justice? By what authority?

Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Democracy, News

It’s OK To Change Your Mind

Right about now would be a good time for Barack Obama to change his mind about attacking Syria.

2 Comments

September 6, 2013 · 2:24 pm

Peace Now

Today would be a good day for the president and the people of America to make a decision for peace.

Use of chemical weapons in Syria was evil and inhumane. Use of chemical weapons resulted in human death and suffering.

To respond by missile attacks against Syria would result in more human death and suffering. Where is the logic?

President Barack Obama will be pilloried if he chooses peace and not war. But good leaders must make the right decision without regard for the political consequences.

— post originally published 8-31-2013

7 Comments

Filed under Democracy, News

The Next Big Thing: CORRUPTION

English: President George W. Bush and Presiden...

President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House  Nov. 10, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People are looking for a scapegoat, and for once they’re looking in the right place. Corruption in government.

The book that everyone is talking about, inside the beltway, at least, is “This Town,” by Mark Leibovich. Here’s a comment on the book by Fareed Zakaria:

“It’s a vivid, detailed picture of the country’s ruling elite, filled with tales of ruthless networking, fake friendships and a sensationalist media. But beneath the juicy anecdotes is a depressing message about corruption and dysfunction.” Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Democracy

The Truth About Sequestration And Democracy, According to One Humble American

“Sequestration” went into effect in America this week, reducing U.S. government spending by $85 billion.

What does it mean? It means that the United States has accepted “Austerity.” 

It’s not the end of the world. The vast majority of U.S. government spending will continue as usual. The government will not grind to a halt, at least not because of sequestration. It’s still possible that Congress could force a shut-down of government sometime in the future, but not likely this year.

Failure of Government Decision-making

Most interestingly, Austerity was NOT imposed by the normal processes of legislative or executive action.  Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Debt crisis, Democracy, Economy, News

Faith In The Future

On the second inaugural of President Barack Obama
God bless America
God bless the president
Keep the faith!

4 Comments

Filed under Democracy

America Divided, With Reader Comments

U.S. 2012 ELECTION RESULTS, BLUE STATES  FOR OBAMA, RED STATES FOR ROMNEY. FLORIDA, THE LAST STATE TO BE DECIDED, WENT BLUE. (Map via Wikipedia)

U.S. 2012 ELECTION RESULTS, BLUE STATES FOR OBAMA, RED STATES FOR ROMNEY. FLORIDA, THE LAST STATE TO BE DECIDED, WENT BLUE. (Map via Wikipedia)

“This is the America that Obama will govern in his second term: A place divided not only by ideology, race and class but also by the very perception of reality. . . . The president who spoke ambitiously at his first inauguration about uniting America instead arrives at his second with the country further divided.”Eli Saslow, The Washington Post, Jan. 20, 2013

Note:  This post was published in 2013 following the 2012 presidential election. It seems more relevant than ever as America prepares for the 2016 presidential election.

Divided by ideology, race and class.

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That sums up America in the decade leading up to the Civil War, as described in Team Of Rivals,” Doris Kearns Goodwin’s history of Abraham Lincoln and the politicians, abolitionists, generals, and ordinary people of his era. The similarities between the present time and the decade before the Civil War are striking and frightening. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Books, Democracy, History

U.S. Congress Implodes; President Escapes To Hawaii

What a bizarre spectacle of irresponsible brinkmanship! The ultimate House and Senate votes may have narrowly averted immediate fiscal crisis and tax increases, but they do not restore one iota of confidence in the legislative branch of American government.

President Barack Obama, after failing to exert the leadership the American people hoped for, immediately boarded Air Force One to resume a Hawaiian vacation with his family. What can he be thinking?

To put the cherry on top of the whipped cream,   Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under Debt crisis, Democracy, Economy, News