Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Sunday, April 5, 2015
ISSUE #829
Weekly Comments: Iran deal, Indiana pizza and California drought

This was a big week for lawyers. Indiana and Arkansas passed laws and Iran and President Obama reached a deal. And nobody agrees on what was agreed to. Lawyers and diplomats will be arguing over ‘em for decades.

The President says the only alternative to signing the deal with Iran is “another war in the Middle East.”  Actually, most Americans think we are already in a war in the Middle East, and Iran is winning. Iran is supporting Hamas, Al-Qaida and other radical Muslim Islamic terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Gaza, the West Bank, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. Oddly, sometimes we find ourselves on the same side as Iran.

The reason no one agrees on what the Iran agreement says is that our copy is written in English and their copy is written in Farsi (Iranian). Secretary of State John Kerry and the President say the deal prevents Iran from getting a nuclear bomb for 30 years. That’s what it says in English. But in Farsi, Iran claims they can keep right on building their nuclear facilities, hidden under a mountain. They do agree on one thing: the US and European nations will hand over a hundred billion dollars that has been withheld from Iran, and we’ll resume full trade.

Then there’s an unwritten agreement, which is in neither English nor Farsi. What do you suppose Iran agreed to? No nuclear attack on the US or Israel, at least until after January 20, 2017? Or maybe, no attack until a month after Secretary Kerry accepts the Nobel Peace Prize?

Back to Indiana and Arkansas. Based on the opposite reactions maybe those bills were written in Farsi. As near as I can make out, the Indiana argument came about because somebody organizing a gay wedding decided that instead of a 3-tier cake they wanted a double crust pizza. The owner of a pizza shop refused, “We’ve been serving pizza for thirty years. But no one ever ordered pizzas from us for a wedding, and we don’t want to start a new trend. Of course, if those folks want to host a party to watch, say, a championship basketball game, we’ll be delighted to sell ‘em all the pizzas they want.”  Then Wal-Mart jumped into the fray, threatening to close every store in Indiana and move their headquarters out of Arkansas to China.

California is drying up. The drought has been going on for four years but they are just now realizing it hasn’t rained in a while. And this winter all the snow that usually lands on the Sierra Nevada Range stayed up in the air until it reached Boston. There’s an argument over who should get the little bit of water that’s left. City folks are being asked to cut back, but they complain that farmers get a big share of the water. Of course the farmers must irrigate their crops that contribute about $50 billion to the state’s economy. I doubt that irrigated lawns and backyard swimming pools contribute much of anything. Those of us who eat fruits, vegetables and nuts from California would side with the farmers and let their lawns, pools, and golf courses dry up. (But when it comes to polo fields, I ain’t sure the ponies would like running on bare ground.)

If you’re planning to visit California, Governor Brown definitely wants you to come, but he suggests you bring your own water. In fact, if you can rent a tanker truck and haul a load of water from home it might pay for the whole vacation.

Historic quotes by Will Rogers:

“Nations don’t do things (the easy) way. If they did there would be no diplomats, and diplomats are nothing but high-class lawyers —  and some ain’t even high class.” WA #5, Jan. 14, 1923

“The government is doing what they can (to solve the drought), but even a Democrat can’t make it rain.” DT #2476, July 10, 1934


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