Select Page

Month: July 2015

Number 395

Number 395 29 July 2015 Being gloomy is easier than being cheerful. Anybody can say “I’ve got cancer” and get a rise out of a crowd. But how many of us can do five minutes of good stand-up comedy? Fukushima Here is the introduction to a discussion held on radio’s “Coast To Coast AM” on 26/27 July, 2015. You can’t listen to the entire show unless you are a member of the program’s “Insiders” club; fortunately, the following summary is excellent. In the first half of the program, George Knapp welcomed nuclear power expert, Arnie Gundersen, who discussed how, more than four years after the triple meltdown at Fukushima, nuclear waste inside the reactors continues to bleed into the Pacific Ocean creating low concentrations of radioactivity that have already migrated across the Pacific to the west coast of North America. Steven Starr of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation briefly joined the conversation during the second hour. Gundersen explained that the earthquake which struck the area “shattered the aquifers near the plant” and also cracked the basins which contain radioactive water at the facility. This has resulted in an astounding 300 tons of contaminated water being fed into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima site every day. Despite this ongoing problem, he lamented, the Japanese government has refused outside help to stop the leakage and continues to focus on a...

Read More

Number 394

Number 394 23 July 2015 When a nation changes its opinion and habits of thinking, it can no longer be governed as before; but it would not only be wrong, but bad policy, to attempt by force what ought to be accomplished by reason. The Pact With Iran Is A Huge Mistake The USA is currently engaged in an expensive effort to prevent wealthy governments in the Middle East from trying to match Iran’s nuclear sophistication. To keep the Saudis and others from setting up their own atom bomb programs, Washington is preparing to provide its nominal allies with missile defense systems. It’s almost a parody: “You Can Live With A Nasty Neighbor Who Has Nukes!” All black humor aside, that US effort is definitely odd. If the US is willing to let Iran have its uranium enrichment and eventual atomic bomb — as the recent treaty allows — why not give Iran’s potential enemies the same privilege? Are the Iranians better, somehow, than the Saudis? In defending his pact with Iran, Obama claims future US presidents will have the same advantage he presently does: the ability to destroy Iran’s nuclear bombs. Quoting The One Leader, “…the same opportunities that are available to me today will be available to any US president in the future” (emphasis added). A moment’s thought will tell you that is simply not true. Iran...

Read More

Number 393

Number 393 19 July 2015 …conservatism is neither identity politics for Christians and/or white people nor right-wing Progressivism. Rather, it is opposition to all forms of political religion. It is a rejection of the idea that politics can be redemptive. It is the conviction that a properly ordered republic has a government of limited ambition. The Good Guys Win One For A Change This is some of the best news ever: as The Wall Street Journal puts it, a “nearly three-year secret investigation that tried to muzzle conservative groups and cripple Governor Scott Walker” has been shut down by the Wisconsin supreme court. The losers can not appeal the decision to the federal supreme court. Now of course Wisconsin “progressives” (including especially union officials) are upset with the decision, because Walker was able to overcome entrenched opposition to his reforms. The governor made the state government more fiscally responsible. That effort earned him enemies who, in the words of one of the state’s justices, “…employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing”. So far, the editorial that celebrates the court victory, titled “Free Speech Liberation Day”, is available in full here. A sample: The larger victory here is for democracy. Prosecutors tried to shut down the speech of their political opponents, but they failed thanks to the...

Read More

Number 392

Number 392 14 July 2015 When you say that you agree to a thing in principle, you mean that you have not the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice. The Agreement With Iran The deal is concluded: Iran is off the hook (sanctions are relaxed), and in ten years, will be permitted to go back to building nuclear weapons. It is not known how effectively Tehran’s laboratories and weapons shops will be monitored during the next decade, nor will accurate information on that activity be reported. The Iranians can be expected to lie, cheat, and hide as necessary to enrich uranium and create atom bombs. Whether that can be countered by the USA, the West, or the United Nations is impossible to know. The One Leader, who will be in power for some six months more, says everything is all right now. Concerning Candidate Trump Look at both sides of the issue, and consider whether it is time for a non-politician to head the executive branch of the US federal government. Reform, certainly; but Trump? No! Trump is taking advantage of the electorate’s unmet need to thrill to theatrical denunciations of the ideologue in the White House. The Trump tactic gets a lot of attention because for years, The One Leader has been treated very politely by people who should have been savaging him for his smug...

Read More

Number 391

Number 291 9 July 2015 …law is not mere force, but a requirement that also comes with obligation, and this points to the need for consent through representation. Greece “Greece must somehow find a way to shape itself into a modern European state.” Those words sum everything up. That simple truth was contributed by two economics professors, and The Wall Street Journal published their lucid commentary explaining what is happening. (You might be able to read it: tell a search engine to find “bulow rogoff a grecian formula for courting disaster wall street journal july 7 2015”.) The problem is simple: people who want a free ride had found a way to borrow without repaying, and when they were called on their scam, they petulantly refused to face reality. That’s understandable; there will always be some people trying to game the system. So, you cut the bums free, they sink, and your life and business go on. What matters is that the shirker’s attitude has been re-branded as rights guaranteed by democracy. That lie has long been endorsed by collectivist politicians; today’s charlatans are exporting it. Greece’s refusal to reform its government is enthusiastically approved by “progressives” across Europe. Sometimes those folks are called “leftists” or “socialists”; much of the time, these Utopian collectivists style themselves “democrats”. Examples include the Podemos party in Spain, the Italian Five Star Movement,...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2