Roger L. Simon

Roger L. Simon

‘Voters for Hillary’ Calling—A True Story

April 23rd, 2015 - 10:09 pm

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I was with my wife and daughter in the kitchen dishing out dinner Thursday evening,  discussing the news of the day, when my cell phone rang. I glanced at it — unknown number from Orange County — and, even though I feared a salesman, took the plunge and said hello.

“Am I speaking with Roger Simon?” came a hoarse male voice. Now I was sure it was a salesman.

“Yes,” I said in growing trepidation.  ”Who’s calling?”

“This is ‘Voters for Hillary’.”

“What?!”  I immediately thought it was a prank.

“‘Voters for Hillary.’  We’re —”

“‘Voters for Hillary.’ Are you kidding me?  Didn’t you read the New York Times today?”

“What’re you talking about?”

“Uranium One. The Clinton Foundation. ”

“Yes. That’s right.  The Clinton Foundation. We’d like your support. We—”

“Are you crazy?” I was starting to shout.  ”Don’t you know what’s going on? Because of the Clintons, Putin got twenty percent of America’s uranium!”

“What’re you talking about?” The man sounded genuinely puzzled. This was news to him.

“What’m I…?”  By this time I was shrieking into the phone.  My wife and daughter were looking at me, half amazed, half hysterical. We had just been discussing that latest putrid evolution of the Clinton scandal, but getting into the weeds with this nitwit was more than I could handle.   “Oh, forget it,” I clicked off.

No, I don’t know how the “Voters for Hillary” got my cell number.  (Yes, they’re real.  They have a Facebook page).  Maybe they just dial at random in California, figuring almost everyone’s a Hillary supporter. But it should be a warning, even though we already know it. A whole lot of people out there are clueless, even those working for candidates, and likely to remain so.  I didn’t get into the 30,000 erased emails with this character but I doubt he would have heard of them.  That the Clinton Foundation was suddenly refiling five years (or possibly the last decade) of taxes and that some $140 million in foreign donations had somehow mysteriously disappeared in the midst of the uranium sale would probably have gone flying over this dude’s head.  One wonders if he would have cared.  He was more than likely on a commission anyway.  At least I hope he was.  If he’s a volunteer, at this point he should be committed.

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An open letter to President Obama was posted on an Iranian website (khodnevis.org) today from Dr. Mahmoud Moradkhani — the nephew of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  This letter is explosive and tells Obama, in essence, that the ayatollah, his uncle, is lying in negotiations, practicing the Shia doctrine of taqiyya in which it is permissible for Muslims to lie to the infidel for the advancement of Islam.   He advises the president not to pursue his nuclear deal with Iran and to focus on the atrocious human rights record of that country.  But allow the doctor to speak for himself:

Dear Mr. President

I am presenting this open letter as one of the serious opponents of the Islamic republic of Iran on behalf of the like-minded opposition groups and myself. Because of my knowledge of this regime, especially of Ali Khamenei who is my uncle (my mother’s brother), I see it as my duty to inform you about this regime and the issue of nuclear negotiations with the Islamic regime of Iran.

Let me at first inform you that the regime that falsely calls itself a republic came to power in 1979 by deceiving Iranian people and the world through provoking Iranian people against the regime of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and gaining the support of the world community.

The tragedy of Cinema Rex*, believing in Khomeini’s words and then establishing a backward regime that is violent, medieval and against all international laws are all results of Iranian people and the world community being deceived. We are witnessing that not only a rich and cultured country like Iran has become a victim of this regime but also the Middle East and the whole free world. The intervention of Ali Khamenei’s regime (following Khomeini’s footsteps who had no other intention other that domination of Iraq) in Lebanon, Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria is more than obvious. As if these were not enough, he has now added the Arabian Peninsula to that list.

In any case, this regime has done great damage to Iranians and to the international community.

We can find a historical example of this kind of deception prior to the Second World War. Hitler manipulated and deceived German people and European countries and the hesitation in addressing the problem with Hitler led to a great disaster.

Due to the changes in time, the domain of the disaster might become limited now but breach of human rights is the same, regardless of the number of people who become victimized in the process.

Ali Khamenei and his collaborators know very well that they will never become a nuclear power. They certainly do not have the national interest of Iranian in their mind; they just use the nuclear issue to bully the countries in the region and export their revolution and middle-aged culture to other countries. Obviously, you and European countries do not give the Islamic regime any concession unless you are certain that they comply with the agreement. The Islamic regime of Iran will certainly prolong the verification period the same way that they have delayed and prolonged the nuclear talks. It is in this period that the wounded regime will retaliate with its destructive policies.

The countless breaches of human rights violations, spreading of Islamic fundamentalism, intervention and creating crisis in the Middle East are all unacceptable and contrary to democratic and humane beliefs of yours and ours.

While we can, with some measure of decisiveness and courage, uproot the wicked tree of the Islamic regime of Iran, just settling for cutting its branches is nothing more than avoiding responsibility.

It is clear that the eradication of the Islamic regime of Iran is the responsibility and mission of Iranian people and specially the opposition abroad; however, by putting obstacles in front of Iranian people and the Iranian opposition abroad one prevents them from doing their task.

The Islamic regime of Iran, based on their deceptive nature have sent their mercenaries abroad and even managed to recruit and manipulate some American-Iranians. Individuals who out of self-interest are lobbying for the Islamic regime of Iran and hiding its true nature and giving a false picture of its intentions; in the same manner that while Khomeini was in France, the so-called Iranian intellectuals did not let people of Iran and the world, realize the true meaning “the Islamic republic”. Those so-called intellectuals polished the remarks of Khomeini and converted them to positive, popular, strong and victorious ones.

We see that unfortunately in your country and your state media (the Persian section of Voice of America) and especially in UK (the Persian section of BBC) the remarks of the opposition of Islamic regime of Iran are being censored and instead the indecent habit of analyzing and relaying statements of the Islamic regime of Iran have become a norm.

I have a deep understanding and insight of the habits, morals and true indentions of this regime and I find it necessary to let you and the world know that the true evil of the Islamic regime of Iran is far more damaging and dangerous to be resolved by just signing an agreement.

People who have always lied, deceived and believe in Taqiya**, people whose main goal is supremacy and domination over others can never be trusted.

Instead they should be confronted with the very basic principles that have led to their criminality

and

  • To put an end on breaching of human rights violations; in other words, an end to Qisas***, random executions, discrimination, suppression of dissent, media repression, religious and ideological hegemony.
  • Devolving power to the people and the abolition of restrictive laws, such as mandatory supervision in elections.
  • Giving freedom to religious minorities and repealing laws limiting the choice of thought and religion.
  • Non-interfere policy toward governments of countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.
  • Cancelling the assassination orders of dissidents in the world that have resulted in the killing of journalists, writers and even cartoonists.

I believe that any agreement or concession that is not associated with these basic conditions in reality will only be assisting this regime in achieving its indecent goals.

The possible disaster following this kind of hesitation will be similar to the historical mistake made prior to the Second World War.

Ali Khamenei will not be satisfied with the little that he has today and surely, and in all secrecy, at the first possible moment will attempt to bully and dominate.

Removing the crippling sanctions without fundamental changes in this regime will not be in Iran’s interest and will only facilitates the Islamic regime of Iran in reaching its objectives.

United States of America and Europe should not jeopardize their long-term interests due to short-term ones.

There are powerful and pro-active forces in the Iranian opposition and if the censorship of the media that are supporting the Islamic regime of Iran were to be removed, the opposition can easily organize and assist the powerful civil disobedience of Iranian people.

Iranian people want peace and freedom; without this regime not only can they ensure the resurrection of a civilized country but also a peaceful region.

Yours respectfully

Dr.Mahmoud Moradkhani

h/t Banafsheh Zand

Ivy Leaguers Not So Dumb After All

April 20th, 2015 - 10:20 am

I am really proud of my alma mater Dartmouth College today — and not because they recently banned hard liquor on campus.  (That has its pluses and minuses.) From The Daily Mail:

If Dartmouth College students have the same inflated influence on presidential politics that they’ve traditionally enjoyed, Hillary Clinton has some long days ahead in New Hampshire.

Of a randomly selected group of 50 students who said they followed presidential politics enough to comment, just nine told Daily Mail Online that the former secretary of state would make a good U.S. chief executive.

Hillary’s detractors were far more passionate than her fans – a potential problem since she needs a repeat of her grassroots-driven upset 2008 victory here in order to solidify her status as the Democrats’ standard-bearer.

Stacey Benton, a government major from Florida who leans Republican, said a President Hillary Clinton is ‘just going to continue a lot of things Obama has been doing.’

‘There hasn’t been much good in Obama’s foreign policy,’ Benton added.

She called Clinton ‘grizzled’ from a life in politics and said that ‘just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean she should be president.’

Bravo, Stacey, and bravo, Dartmouth.  Maybe those high SAT scores mean something after all.  It also could be that after years of tedious Boomer BS, undergraduates are starting to wake up and rebel in the opposite direction.  That’s what youth does.  (BTW, this is a small poll but on a percentage basis of the Dartmouth community not so small.)  The Daily Mail continues:

Twenty-two of the 50 Dartmouth students interviewed on Sunday mentioned the deadly 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya as a black mark on Clinton’s record.

Many of them, like freshman Cameron Poole, weren’t old enough to drive when it happened.

‘I think there was blood on her hands,’ Poole told Daily Mail Online, referring to Clinton’s handling of an Islamist terror group’s military-style assault that laid waste to a State Department facility.

It seems like she wants the job more than she would be good at it.
Dartmouth College student Robert Stackhouse on Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions

He said he believes Clinton’s performance before, during and after should disqualify her from holding higher office.

Indeed, as Monsieur Reynolds would say.

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None of my liberal friends like to talk politics anymore.  They have nothing to say and it’s obvious why. Liberalism…  or progressivism — people who wish to make the distinction can go ahead, but I find it trivial — they’re just different degrees of a self-serving lie…. liberalism, in the immortal words of Preston Sturges, “is not only dead, it’s decomposed.” (Sturges was referring to chivalry.)  Not only is there no there there (as Gertrude Stein said of Oakland),  there’s no there there there there to the tenth power.  I asked a liberal the other day what liberalism was, what exactly it was he supported, and he was stunned that I asked, and then he was just stunned.  He didn’t know how to answer because he didn’t have one.  It was just a habit.  (Oh, I forgot.  He said he didn’t like Republicans, which of course is no defense of liberalism, just contempt… with a soupçon of habit.)

And speaking of habits, that’s what Hillary Clinton is.  No one, including Hillary, knows why she is running for president.  Oh, yes, I think she mumbled something about making things better for the middle class from her tony Chappaqua redoubt, tennis court and bathrooms en suite. (Hey, give the lady a break — she flew coach at least once in the last twenty years.)  It reminds me of a famous line from Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the Six de Nanterre that inspired the French student revolt of ’68 — “I want a revolution where everyone can drink cappuccino at the Café Royal.”  Hillary could revise it.  ”I want a revolution where everyone can eat a burrito bowl at Chipotle and not tip!”  Tips are so bourgeois.

And now things are about to get even worse with a new book coming out May 5 – Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, by Peter Schweizer.  The New York Times, which itself seems to be getting a bit nervous (will they drop her?), describes the book as “a 186-page investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities.”  They add:

From 2001 to 2012, the Clintons’ income was at least $136.5 million, Mr. Schweizer writes, using a figure previously reported in The Post. “During Hillary’s years of public service, the Clintons have conducted or facilitated hundreds of large transactions” with foreign governments and individuals, he writes. “Some of these transactions have put millions in their own pockets.”

$136.5 million?  That’s a whole lot of Chipotle. Maybe they should just bite the bullet and buy the chain.

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John F. Rubio?

April 13th, 2015 - 9:45 pm

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Okay, I ripped up what I was writing about Marco Rubio before he gave his excellent, emotional, even a bit endearingly nervous speech announcing his candidacy at Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower Monday.  Senator Rubio does have a serious problem.  He is in grave danger of peaking too early, because I have a strong suspicion that in a very short time he will be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.

Not only is Rubio the best speaker and the most attractive candidate, the buzz machine is right.  He could be a Republican JFK.   (Let’s leave aside  whether JFK himself was JFK.  We’re talking myth here.)  He has youth, brains and charm.  As of now he is easily the most charismatic candidate the GOP has had since Ronald Reagan.  I know that’s not saying much.  The GOP hasn’t been long on charisma.  But Rubio clearly has got it.

During his speech, he went straight for Hillary Clinton, using his youth to highlight how Hillary (and also Jeb to some degree) was “yesterday’s” news. No doubt the Clinton machine took notice.  Standing on stage next to Rubio, Hillary will need more than Fleetwood Mac or some trendy video to appear a future-oriented candidate.  She’ll seem like what she is — an extremely wealthy, somewhat starchy senior citizen relying on her husband’s reputation to defeat a 43-year-old guy with vig-ahhhh.  Rubio’s up-from-the-bootstraps life story is not going to help Hillary either.  And that he is a Hispanic (who actually speaks fluent Spanish, unlike some candidates) may actually trump or cancel out Clinton’s number-one advantage — that glass-ceiling thing (how old is that?  Calling Golda and Lady Thatcher?).

So Marco, as they call him, does have a problem.  Frontrunners very quickly get in everyone’s crosshairs — and we’re still nineteen months from election day. [Self-promo alert:  Don't forget to follow the ups and downs of this on the forthcoming "Diary of a Mad Voter" by your not-so-humble scribe.]  Remember what happened to Governor Rick Perry, once a frontrunner himself?  I don’t expect the wonkish Rubio to have problems recollecting his policies, but there are myriad ways to fall from a pedestal, especially when everyone’s gunning for you.

The most  serious accusation against Rubio is that he was too soft on immigration, having been a member of the reformist “Gang of Eight.” Rubio reconsidered, apologized and now says he favors an incremental approach to the issue, starting with border security. It’s hard not to take him seriously on that, considering his hawkish foreign policy views.

But the real question  is how people feel about those who change their minds. A fair number are pretty unforgiving about that, writing off forever those who once said or did something they don’t approve of. (Hello, Ann Coulter!) I don’t agree.  I actually prefer people who do change their minds once in a while (up to a point). Those who never change spook me. Reagan, as we know, changed his mind.  He was a Democrat.  I recently finished reading Lynne Cheney’s superb biography of James Madison. It was hard to count how many times the father of our Constitution changed his mind, not to mention his co-authors of The Federalist Papers.

But that should be obvious.  It’s democracy, isn’t it?  We debate and we try to persuade each other.  I liked (a lot) what I heard from Marco Rubio Monday. He seemed like a man of passion who could persuade others. But it’s only the beginning, of course.  So far, so good.

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Shhh—don’t tell anyone I’m running for president! (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)

America rejoice!  A multi-millionairess serial liar married to a multi-millionaire serial adulterer has just announced for the presidency of our country to save the middle class from impoverishment! (Or was it “income inequality”?) (Or was it “Chelsea Clinton in a Gucci dress, Mateo New York bracelet, Cartier bracelet, Garland Collection ring, Halleh ring,” as appears in this month’s Elle?)

Better tell Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin and Trotsky, not to mention Gil Scott-Heron.  His song got it wrong.  The Revolution is going to be televised (until we’re blue in the face) and it will start in tony Chappaqua on a posh gated estate with pool and tennis court, guarded by the Secret Service with its own (exceptionally) private email system, infinite closed-circuit video surveillance and who knows what else?  

Is everyone throwing up yet?  Not even Maureen Dowd is buying.  Oh, well, American “liberalism” has been screwing the lower classes for the last fifty years.  Why stop now?

But maybe we are reaching a new low.  It couldn’t be more obvious why Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy on Twitter and a disingenuous video.  She’ll do anything not to take questions.  Her last encounter with the press, over her vanishing emails, made Richard Nixon seem like Diogenes.  In fact,  Nixon is Diogenes compared to Hillary.  Imagine how the press would have reacted if Nixon had lied about being under fire in Bosnia… or anywhere.  Or had claimed that “the great leftwing conspiracy” was the cause of “Pat’s affairs.”  (Well, scratch that.)

Hillary is also probably the most immoral person to run for president.  Anyone who could tell the father of Tyrone Woods, the Navy SEAL murdered in Benghazi, that they would “get the man who made that video” at his son’s own funeral is capable of just about anything.

Liberals should be disgusted and embarrassed — and maybe some are … but not enough to disrupt their lives or take any risks.  These days the New York Times is too busy accusing Republicans of racism for opposing Obama’s horrendous Iran non-deal to do anything approaching sanity.   It’s up to us Republicans to put a stop to this before Western civilization goes down the tubes  (he says blithely, but it’s the truth, unfortunately).

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Rand’s Debut

April 7th, 2015 - 9:07 pm
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Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., joined by his wife Kelley Ashby, arrives to announce the start of his presidential campaign, Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I have always been of two minds about Rand Paul.  I like him domestically, but worry about him when it comes to foreign policy.

That mirrors what I think about libertarianism, which has had considerable influence on me, but which, like every ideology, will eventually kick you in the head if you believe in it too slavishly.  Two cheers for libertarianism — much as E. M. Forster said in Two Cheers for Democracy back in 1951.  It’s a good thing but it’s not perfect.  What is?  Absolute belief in libertarianism is what made father Ron sound like a kook.  That and some unsavory associations.

Listening to Rand Paul’s speech Tuesday announcing his presidential candidacy, it seemed the Kentucky senator had learned that lesson and was fairly strong on foreign policy, going so far as to name radical Islam as the enemy, something that would give the incumbent hives or maybe even epileptic fits.  (I know some prefer naming Islam itself, but if you think any major party candidate is going to do that, I’ve got the proverbial bridge to sell you.  He or she would also lose the election, which wouldn’t help anybody.)

Rand also did not spend a lot of time talking about social issues. He showed us how he lived his values instead, going to Guatemala in his first profession as ophthalmologist to perform eye operations on the poor.  You could criticize this as a stunt, designed for electoral popularity, but he actually did it and apparently did it well.  This leading by example strikes me as a good approach for social conservatives in general.  It impresses me more than rhetoric, as I think it would most Americans.  And how many politicians can cure cataracts? (Well, Bashar Assad, but he has other problems.)

Rand also repeated his proposals for reduced tax zones for impoverished areas and cities.  As most will recall he has been to African-American neighborhoods and universities, making his pitch.  This is his great contribution to the GOP and I strongly urge all Republican candidates to follow suit.  No group has been more deeply wounded by the Democratic Party than African-Americans, and Republicans are nincompoops if they don’t try to make that clear and offer them an alternative.   That goes for several other communities Republicans have abjured.  Rand’s right when says the GOP people need some people with tattoos and earrings. Expand, expand.

He also made the point in his interview with Sean Hannity on Tuesday evening that those who oppose gay marriage should do so morally and not electorally, a smart position for a Republican on the one issue that might be lethal for that party in the general election.

But watching that interview, a little of my old ambivalence toward Rand returned.  He made some attacks on neocons, without specifying who or what they were, that seemed weirdly rote and reminiscent of his father, as if Old Ron was lodged somewhere in his cerebellum, fighting some long gone feud with Irving Kristol that misconstrued Kristol in the first place.  Oh, well, I guess it’s that apple and tree thing.

Still, his attitude toward Israel seemed healthy.  He was quite clear about leaving the question of the borders of a putative Palestinian state, if any, to the Israelis themselves, something miles from the position of Rashid Khalidi… excuse me, Barack Obama.

So the jury is out on Rand, as it should be. It’s VERY early.  But we’re sure to be watching.  And it certainly will be fun.

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When Barack Obama told us on dozens of occasions that we could keep our previous health plan and doctor under the Affordable Care Act, he was doing it for one of two reasons.  Either he was ignorant of his own legislation (unlikely) or he was deliberately lying to get it passed. He knew best what was good for us and if he had to prevaricate, so be it.

The so-called  framework agreement on Iranian nuclear activities is almost exactly the same.  Obama again believes it is best for us, but if we are to believe Amir Taheri (and I do), this “agreement” (that the Iranians are calling merely a press release) is understood completely differently by both parties.  We have been told another series of lies in order to get something passed — or in this case not to oppose it. 

Only there is one huge difference. Obamacare is reversible.  Nuclear armageddon is not.

Taheri (bilingual in Farsi and English)  has extensive comparisons between the Iranian, American and Europeans versions of what was supposedly agreed to.  A sample:

The Iranian text opens by insisting that it has absolutely no “legal aspect” and is intended only as “a guideline for drafting future accords.”

The American text claims that Iran has agreed to do this or that, for example reducing the number of centrifuges from 19,000 to 6,500.

The Iranian text, however, says that Iran “shall be able to . . .” or “qader khahad boud” in Farsi to do such a thing. The same is true about enrichment in Fordow [underground reactor]. The Americans say Iran has agreed to stop enrichment there for 15 years. The Iranian text, however, refers to this as something that Iran “will be able to do,” if it so wished.

Sometimes the two texts are diametrically opposed.

The American statement claims that Iran has agreed not to use advanced centrifuges, each of which could do the work of 10 old ones. The Iranian text, however, insists that “on the basis of solutions found, work on advanced centrifuges shall continue on the basis of a 10-year plan.”

The American text claims that Iran has agreed to dismantle the core of the heavy water plutonium plant in Arak. The Iranian text says the opposite. The plant shall remain and be updated and modernized.

It goes on.  It’s worth reading it all, if you haven’t. It’s almost like an episode of Fawlty Towers.

What we have here is not “a failure to communicate,” but Obama’s moral narcissism gone berserk.  Forget his former proclaimed views on Iran.  Driven by his need for legacy and his conviction that “he knows best” about world peace, the future, whatever, he has reversed course and powered through to what he thinks, or  wants us to think, is the framework for a deal that would prevent Iran from fabricating nuclear weapons.   Only — as in Gertrude Stein’s Oakland and Amir Taheri’s translations — there’s no there there.

But never mind.  His troops seem to be rallying. Democrats who were initially skeptical are apparently folding in and  Senator Menendez, Obama’s greatest thorn on the Democratic side, is currently and conveniently being hounded out of office and possibly into prison.

Meanwhile, Dianne Feinstein — whose greatest worry is making sure her and her husband’s hundreds of millions are kept legally separate — is telling Benjamin Netanyahu — whose greatest worry is a second Holocaust –  to “contain himself.” (Anyone who thinks a new Holocaust unlikely should read Howard Jacobson’s magnificent new J: A Novel.)

And Iran, the mending of whose evil ways was never addressed by the negotiators, is up to its usual mischief, not just expanding across the Middle East from Iraq to Syria to Yemen (we know that), but now — at the same time Obama has told his lap dog Thomas Friedman that America “has Israel’s back” — is making a new alliance with Hamas:

Iran has sent Hamas’s military wing tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza destroyed by Israel’s invasion last summer, intelligence sources have told The Sunday Telegraph.

It is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighbourhoods in Israel during the war, code-named Operation Protective Edge by Israel.

Munich, anyone?

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com elements.)

Fifty Shades of Iran Negotiations

April 1st, 2015 - 9:43 pm

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How do we really explain the peculiar Iran nuclear negotiations that seem to have been going on for the better part of the last decade?  What is holding these people together?  It couldn’t be more obvious the whole thing is a charade orchestrated by the Iranians with the cooperation of Obama.  It could have been short-circuited by the inevitable — simply shipping a few nukes to Tehran on a spare aircraft carrier and kissing Israel and maybe half of Lebanon goodbye. But both sides insist on playing this game, talking the talk until our heads spin.

So what’s going on here?  Then I remembered this documentary I’d seen — In the Bazaar of Sexes — about temporary marriage in Iran.  From the website:

It is said that Muhammad once advised his followers to enter into temporary marriages while travelling. According to tradition, the Prophet approved of such short-term alliances under certain circumstances, such as during wartime or while on pilgrimage. In Arabic, this practice of temporary marriage is called mut’a (pleasure); in Farsi it is known as sighe.

[snip]

For every temporary marriage, the man has to pay a pre-determined sum to his short-term wife. The duration of a sighe is set out in the marriage contract. From just a few hours to several years; anything is possible. There is only one restriction: after each sighe, a woman must wait two menstrual periods before marrying again.

An aged mullah in the film finds this rule sensible: “If a woman is constantly getting married, then what is the difference from prostitution?”

Good question.  Nevertheless, now we know.  John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif have been engaged in a temporary marriage. Well, they say Zarif is charming.  And yes, there are problems.  We know what Iran does to homosexuals.  It’s a lot worse than Indiana, I can assure you.  Nevertheless, Kerry and Zarif seem to have been a happy couple — for a while anyway.  And this is 2015, the year kink came out of the closet with the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey.

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