#b#Quarantine Rules Should Be Obeyed#/b#
I was sickened and disgusted to read of Nancy Snyderman’s breach of her voluntary quarantine. Perhaps she feels that she is so above everyone else that she has the privilege to manufacture her own set of guidelines in the face of the Ebola crisis? Now the taxpayers of Princeton are paying for the use of police in front of her home because she can’t be trusted?
This is a medical correspondent? Seriously? Dr. Snyderman should at the very least be asked to resign her position at NBC and perhaps face prosecution.
#b#Baker on Iran: Pragmatism Needed#/b#
The talk by Former Secretary of State James A. Baker (Princeton ’52), titled “Iran: 35 Years After the Revolution,” drew a standing room only crowd to Princeton University’s McCormick Hall on October 14. Baker visited Princeton to inaugurate the Center for Iran and Persian Gulf studies that was endowed with a $10 million gift by Princeton alumni, Sharmin and Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani. The center will provide a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to understanding Iran and the Persian Gulf with special attention to the region’s significance for the contemporary world.
In introducing Baker, John Haldon, the director of the Center, said that few U.S. leaders could match Baker’s decades of experience in politics and in key administrative positions, including Secretary of the Treasury, chairman of the President’s Economic Council and the 61st Secretary of State. For more than 30 years, working with six different presidents, Baker had been committed to public service.
Baker noted how pleased he was to be speaking on Iran, a country of great importance regionally as well a globally. He said that the U.S. had been greatly alarmed by the 1979 Iranian Revolution which involved the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi who had been supported by the U.S., and his replacement by the Islamic Republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruholah Khomeini. Baker continued that when Iran took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage in Tehran on November 4, 1979, a diplomatic crisis between Iran and the U.S. ensued. When discussing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Baker said that the U.S. goal was to have Iran forsake these ambitions and added that if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, other countries in the area would try to do so as well.
Baker continued that the U.S. and Iran had cooperated in the past and for this reason he was cautiously optimistic about the future and added that he believed some form of collaboration was already taking place. He stated that Tehran is a key player in fighting ISIS, although Shia Iranian troops fighting in Sunni areas would not be acceptable. As a historical footnote, Baker mentioned that Iran had rounded up hundreds of Arabs to help the U.S. counter al Qaeda after the September 11 attack when the Arabs crossed the border from Afghanistan into Iran. He added that there should not be a strategic alliance with Iran but rather one based on pragmatism.
Baker concluded by noting that internal developments in Iran would determine the country’s future and more social tolerance and respect for human rights would be a positive outcome. He added that inflammatory rhetoric such as Iran’s description of the U.S. as “the Great Satan” and the U.S.’ description of Iran as “The Axis of Evil” were counter-productive and should be avoided.
The writer is a former U.S. Foreign Service officer, and served during Baker’s tenure as Secretary of State.
#b#Who’s To Blame For Mercer Budget?#/b#
Over the past decade our county government has been managing a budget that has been increasing every year. Last year the federal, state, and local governments made a concerted effort to reduce spending, Mercer County increased its budget by nearly $17 million, from $288.6 million to $305.3 million.
It is not difficult to identify the reason — one party Democratic control. In these economically challenging times, it is prudent to be reducing wasteful and non-essential spending. Mercer County should stay focused on providing an environment conducive to meet the needs of local businesses and industries, and refrain from activities, like the 5 cent bag tax levy.
Mercer County needs a new voice with a diverse perspective to manage the budget and meet its responsibilities. With my financial and accounting background, I am seeking your support to be that voice with my colleague, Andrew Curcio.
Bhanu “Sunny” Kirpalani
The writer is a Republican candidate for Mercer Freeholder.