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 is moving toward the point at which it will be able to deliver a nuclear weapon so quickly that preventing the attack will be unlikely. Eventually, it will be impossible.
Meanwhile — and starting as soon as the treaty goes into effect — Iran will be able to nickel and dime the pact to death. Highly technical points will be raised and hotly disputed by the Iranians, and those trying to oversee Iran’s compliance will be pestered to death with “minor” infractions. What’s a US president to do? Throw the pact out and start a war because for the hundredth time, some relatively trivial but genuine infraction is found, and bitterly disputed by the Iranians? At what point does the West explode in anger, and go to war over a treaty violation that by itself is minuscule? When does the straw break the camel’s back?
Then too, Iran can “snap back”, just as the West can. If it tires of being nagged and pestered, Iran can say, “That’s it. You have pushed us too far”, close the door on further inspections, and dare the West to go to war over it.
In fact the entire “disobedience scenario” can be scripted in advance. Iran can set the date for the showdown, and prepare its Moscow-supplied air defenses accordingly (model S300 surface-to-air missiles are scheduled for delivery).
Then there is the money Iran will receive as economic sanctions are ended. Those funds will doubtless enhance Iran’s ability to do catastrophic harm in the region, improve its navy, and fund whatever military/terrorism adventures it considers useful.
Iran was smart to deal with Kerry (who is not smart) and Obama (who wants to leave Iran to the next administration). After all, there was a chance that the Republicans might put a decent president in the White House.
Commentary, in a piece written by Jonathan Tobin, says, “…President Obama cast(s) the divide on the issue as one between warmongers and peacemakers, linking opponents to the Iraq War”. Tobin is right, and he adds, “Obama’s claims that the only alternative to his appeasement of Iran would be war have always been a false choice.”
That fact has an expiration date. Once Iran is nuclear-armed, it will be both prepared and eager to engage Israel and her allies — if at that point Israel has any allies — in genuine intercontinental warfare. The West’s rational strategic thinkers would prefer limited military action that does not endanger populations or industrial centers, rather than countenance a conflict in which both sides are very likely to lose catastrophically.
At present, Iran can be stopped. The air defenses are permeable, and doubtless the Israelis and USA know a lot about those weapon shops. Just how effective the USA’s “bunker-buster” bombs are is top secret, but there are other ways to shut the Iranian bomb project down (see the Item, “Israel And The Iranian Nuclear Weapon” in Number 226 of this newsletter).
It’s a pity Obama is not a true friend of Israel…
…which is to say, Israel might have to act alone, or face annihilation. If that dilemma is the best perception of reality, it would be best for Netanyahu to act soon.
Finally, a reminder: how many times have you heard someone say this? “We could have killed Hitler and his movement in 1932 with a definitive intervention. He did tell us his plans, and we must admit — to our shame — that we did not believe him.”
The Full Meaning Of Internet Encryption
The ability to communicate privately with your correspondents is fundamental to Liberty. Unfortunately there are many powerful people who do not agree, either because they fear and hate personal freedom, or because they do not understand it.
If you attempt to make your internet mail perfectly private, you will be bitterly and doggedly opposed by governmental agencies such as the USA’s FBI and NSA; they will use their expertise and advanced computing facilities to “crack” (read) your messages without your consent. Indeed the NSA has declared it will target any and all encrypted internet messages.
NSA does often fail to read what it has collected and archived. Accordingly, it and the FBI today insist that the nation’s politicians make internet privacy utterly impossible.
This ten-minute video explains the situation clearly. Do watch it — especially if you think encryption is just a tool for criminals.
In an attempt to be fair-minded, some folks will argue that it is wrong to allow criminals to enjoy privacy. The problem with that is that no government, whatever its nationality, will ever be content to use wisely the power to read all the mail. The ability to crack encryption — or prevent any encryption from being used — will always be abused. By their very nature, law enforcement and intelligence agencies will necessarily assume that if something is going on that they do not understand, an investigation is in order.
That means that if a Stasi-like government police/surveillance instrumentality can arise, it will. (“The Stasi was much, much worse than the Gestapo”, according to Simon Wiesenthal.)
The only protection the public has against such an enormity is the language of the national law. In the case of the USA, that is the federal constitution. To the extent that law enforcement and intelligence services are unwilling to obey the highest law of the land, they are illegitimate.
Do consider, therefore, encrypting your internet mail. That is the most effective way you can deliver a message that is not always understood when it is directed at the political elite. In truth, politicians and unelected authorities are often utterly unaware of the edifice of unconstitutional law that already plays a huge role in the governance of the Republic (see the book review in Number 359 of this newsletter, here).
A citizenry that absolutely refuses to be despoiled of its privacy is the final bulwark of democracy.
This Will Be Ignored
The publication (in The Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society) of a new paper by Wing and Cronin updates the dispute over anthropogenic global warming: it states that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are actually cooling the earth.
Alarmist Warmers will summarily dismiss that conclusion as utter nonsense.
Two quintessential facts must be mentioned: first, the climate skeptics (“Deniers”) do not need Wing’s and Cronin’s conclusions, for a convincing case against the claimed effects of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases has already been made. Many papers have demolished AGW with genuine science and proofs of outright fraud.
Second, the automatic rejection of the new paper is a refusal to countenance heresy. Belief in AGW is a faith-based cause celebre.
The genuinely cultic aspects of the promotion of AGW have seldom been reported. Instead of ignoring the alarmists as religious schismatics, rational people have tried to engage them in rational debate. This newsletter was an early exception to that trend: see Number11 (scroll down to the headline, “Just How Worried Should We Be About Global Warming?”), for example, where the flat statement “This is a religious dispute” appears, along with an elaboration of that assertion.
A Familiar Figure And The Same Burden Of Apocalyptic Guilt
James Hansen is one of the two most important leading lights of the AGW cult. This report on his role in climate activism is a mix of recognition of his significance and the urgent need to accept the man’s predictions and warnings. The article says “…he has been right…about the big issues in climate science longer than anyone”. That could be true, but this newsletter remains just a bit skeptical.
Quoting from Number 390 of this newsletter: “…assume that at present, there are 400 ppm (parts per million) of CO2 in the atmosphere (the actual figure today might be a bit lower or a bit higher). That means that for every one million units of the air, four hundred are CO2. What percentage is that? .04%. That’s right: four one-hundredths of one percent. That’s CO2 produced by all sources, human and natural.”
Of that amount of CO2, some three percent is due to human activity.
Meanwhile, recall the graph in Number 337 of this newsletter that shows that temperature and carbon dioxide levels have parted company. No longer can it be shown that they are inevitably related as effect and cause. Perhaps that has something to do with the paper by Wing and Cronin, noted above.
These days Hansen is predicting the horror of catastrophic sea level rise. He believes that humans can prevent that by cutting their emissions of carbon dioxide. He is, in this newsletter’s opinion, wrong: mankind does not produce enough CO2 to have an impact on climate — remember the logarithmic effect of the gas on temperature; see the graph. (Too, Hansen does not mention that the sun is now entering a cyclical period of relative calm, which inevitably results in an icy Earth.)
Well, if Hansen turns out not to be following the example of Paul Ehrlich, the Maldives ought to be among the first to go. Watch the news.
Links Courtesy Of The Tramp Abroad
I cannot believe that America would actually vote for and elect Trump. Of course, stranger things have happened. Perhaps it is a move to ensure that Hillary wins — much like when McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. That’s right: I never believed McCainwanted to be president. I always felt Palin was his (possibly subconscious) way of sabotaging his campaign. Was he punishing himself for breaking when the North Vietnamese tortured him? I can only speculate, and I could be wrong.
Women’s libbers existed 4,000 years ago.
The One Leader had to be reminded that he had overlooked the deaths of five (not four) members of the US military who died on their nation’s soil — and at the hands of a fanatical Muslim. Recall, please, that this president is the man who was infuriated when a Boston cop did his job as the rules require; that strict attention to duty offended an excruciatingly cranky college teacher.
In the interests of imposing equality….
Obama loves data. Why? What does he want all that information for? What’s going on? Can his answers be trusted?
(Sorry: no link this time, as there is no way for you to access the text.) Yes, Commentary is correct when it says, “The ugly and malicious attack by Donald Trump against Senator John McCain and all POWs — ‘He’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured’ — is a tipping point for the Trump campaign. It’s the moment it all blew apart for The Donald”. Why did Trump stage his septic charade? Probably to help Hillary.
Related: Thanks go to reader JY for reminding this newsletter to consider the very rational ruminations of Mark Steyn, who explainsTrump, McCain, and the current intoxication of many Republicans.
A tip for those of you who are, er, adventurous: the fun is over for a while, because crackers got into Ashley Madison! (Yes, crackers are the bad guys, and hackers are not.)
Here’s a paean to Ted Cruz. Try to ignore the “I have seen Ted with his beautiful family” stuff. Then note what the Wall Street Journal says about the senator: Cruz “…declined to criticize Mr. Trump because he (Cruz) said the media enjoy such intra-Republican fights. …today many on the right seem willing to indulge any populist outburst no matter how divorced from reality or insulting to most Americans”.
The lunatic Iranians are correct. Thanks to honorary mullah Barack al Ameriki, that is.
Iran’s head man speaks. Unh…what did he say, exactly?
This is bizarre — and if you look into it, you will find questions that should have answers, but do not. Increased examination only makes the mystery increasingly puzzling. Use a good search engine, and enter the term “missing 411”.
Newt Gingrich blames John Kerry. Actually Kerry is just a spear-carrier in the opera….
The Breitbart people seem to be dragging out their look at Planned Parenthood. Of course one can imagine why. Here’s the secondinstallment in the cringe-inducing series.
Alfonzo Rachel has some commentary on the folks at Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile, this is how a member of the mainstream media reports the now-notorious video. That prompts this question: if you are demonstrably negotiating how much you will charge to transfer to another person ownership and control of something you have, how can you be considered not to be trying to sell that “something”?