Shopping Unites

It’s sad, and at the same time kind of cool that the Iranian delegation – about 140 of them, are going bananas over being able to buy Tylenol and shoes. The Daily News reports “While President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leisurely relishes the Manhattan highlife, his Iranian underlings have been scouring the town for low prices — including cheap shoes.

Bargain-hunting members of the huge visiting delegation eagerly visited a Costco, a Payless shoe store, a Walgreens and a Duane Reade in recent days while hunting for discount products in short supply back home: Shampoo. Soap. Vitamins. Tylenol.”

Regular shoppers were freaked out, as one woman said, “The whole place is flooded with Iranians. And the security — it’s horrible.” Another feared that someone was going to throw a bomb. But after meeting and speaking with them, she just recognized them for what they are – “They were very nice people, especially the ladies,” she said. “When I said, ‘Where are you from?’ they said, ‘Persia.’ They didn’t want to say they were from Iran.”

The delegation insider said, “They’re having a good time here, especially the families. For them, it’s like a vacation.”

This is the part of sanctions we don’t get to see. We laugh at and consider sanctions as worthless, ineffective assaults, and for the upper echelon – they are. But the regular people – as is usually the case, suffer. Like these few lucky ones, the ability to actually buy aspirin and soap is a luxury. So, it can be said that sanctions don’t work, except to bring more suffering to an already suffering population. And who is listening to them? Surly not the president or the Ayatollah. Sanction all you want, they snicker…we are immune to your impositions. And that’s what they are for the big shots, not only in Iran but in all of the nation states we sanction and block trade with – impositions.

And so, for as long as the Iranian delegation is here, I say God bless Payless, Costco, and Walgreens. You are providing a short respite to another ugly, inhumane toll of the war mentality.


A Cartoon; Not Funny

Regardless of what you think of the Trayvon Martin incident (I tend to believe the earlier reports and the police’s initial desire to press charges against George Zimmerman, rather than the recent counterclaims and the DA’s choosing not to move ahead on the police assertions), this cartoon, courtesy of the University of Texas student newspaper, confirms that enough Texans to matter are living in pre-Confederacy times with a pre-Civil Rights movement mentality.

It’s a wonder they don’t burn pictures of their own LBJ in effigy,  and it fuels fears that today’s southern youth are in large part tomorrow’s subversive Klansmen.

Of course, the protesting high school students rampaging through the FLA Walgreens doesn’t help matters any.