Sunday, November 29, 2009

Iran's 10 New Nuke Plants 

Iran announced today that it intends to build ten new uranium enrichment plants, with construction to begin as early as January 2010. The plants are to be hardened against attack by building them inside mountains. This announcement came only days after the IAEA dumped on Iran for lack of cooperation, with the outgoing director Mohammed El Baradei saying the IAEA's monitoring of Iran's nuclear efforts is "at a dead end." For Iran's part, its Vice President Salehi said that the announcement was a response to the IAEA.

This morning I saw a short interview on Fox News Sunday with a man who I believe is the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, who sounded like Israel is ready, willing and able to carry out a preemptive strike on Iran whether or not the UN, the US or anyone else is on board with the idea.

Not. Good.

This will be a gut check for the United Nations. If it cannot agree on something relatively harsh to punish Iran for its intransigence, the UN will be starkly exposed as ineffectual. This will be duly noted not only by Iran, but also by other dictators around the world. Hugo Chavez comes to mind.

What scares me most is that I don't think our current president has either the intellect, inclination or cojones to do anything about Iran, whether or not the UN approves. I think that opinion is shared by Ahmahdinejad, Chavez and the like.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Climategate" Observations 

Having spent several hours over the last week or so reading about, and excerpts from, the disclosed emails and other documents from East Anglia University Climate Research Unit's archives, I have come to believe beyond doubt two things:

1. "Peer review" doesn't mean squat when the author of the paper being reviewed and the reviewers are all members of the same club, especially when they act in concert to prevent "heretical" work from being published.

2. It is impossible to adequately critique a scientific theory that purports to interpret real-world data unless both the data and the methods used to analyze it are made publicly available to the science community at large, and any scientist or group of scientists who insist on secrecy about their data and methods after publication are probably not being honest.

It appears to me that the CRU group and their intellectual allies have about the same attitude towards real science that the Catholic Church did in the time of Galileo. The Church suppressed knowledge that it regarded as a threat to revealed truth as the Church understood it, and these climate guys were (and probably still are) doing the same thing.

I remain an agnostic about anthropogenic global warming, and this disclosure of shoddy practice doesn't make it any more likely that I will wind up in the pro-AGW camp. I am certain that the world should not be spending any money in an attempt to slow, stop or reverse any measured global warming until more honest research is done in the full light of day. If anything is to be done at this point, it should be to fund that research through some governing body that has no axe to grind (if such an entity can be found or created) and to devise ways to improve the lot of those most likely to be affected by climate change. Above all, the science must be separated from politics.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Obama's China Trip Bombs 

Times Online (UK) reports that President Obama's meeting with Hu Jintao produced nothing of value for the United States. That is not surprising. Since China owns so much US government debt and is pretty much the only place the government can sell more in the quantities needed, China pretty much pwns Obama. Besides that, Obama's foreign policy seems to begin and end with other nations liking the US as personified by Barack Obama, and his real commitment is to drastically change the socioeconomic structure of the United States from a primarily capitalist, regulated private enterprise one to a primarily socialist, government-directed one, a la pre-Thatcher UK.

Looking back at my post here of November 15, I suppose one might guess that either Hu wasn't interested, or Obama wasn't very good. (Shame on you! -- Ed. Mea maxima culpa.)

UPDATE 20091123.0815: Judging from this Saturday Night Live skit, it appears that maybe I'm not so shameful after all.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

AP Fact Checkers 

Late to the party as usual, I saw the story some days ago that the Associated Press tasked 11, yes, 11 reporters to comb Sarah Palin's book, Going Rogue for factual errors.

The AP people came up with 12 "errors' as reported in the linked story. And as I read them, some of the supposed "gotchas" that the crack AP reporting team came up with aren't really "gotchas" at all. The ones about her hotel stays, Obama saying his climate change plan will cause electricity costs to skyrocket and the Vogue magazine interview seem to be particularly non-gotcha. Compared to the headline, the story is a yawner. I'm chalking it up to one more example of the in-the-tank-for-Obama media attacking Gov. Palin at any opportunity, even if they have to make up stuff to do it.

If this woman is so inconsequential, inept, stupid, annoying, simple, etc., etc. as they say, why is the left spending so much time and energy trying to tear her down?

I wonder how many reporters the AP assigned to fact check Obama's Dreams of My Father?

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Honduras Debacle 

Here's a story about deposed Honduran President Zelaya refusing in advance to honor any vote by the Honduran people that would clearly and convincingly reject him as president. I'm shocked! Shocked! to think that Zelaya would want to be president whether or not he's backed by the majority of Hondurans.

Based on what I've read, the Obama administration, including "the smartest woman in the world" Hillary Rodham Clinton, made a horrendous mistake in denouncing the ouster of Zelaya in the first place, and now the United States is once more embarrassed as the guy they backed reneges on a deal that the US brokered.

The Honduran Supreme Court, interpreting the Honduran Constitution, ordered the arrest of Zelaya because he was illegally attempting to overturn the constitutional provision that term-limits the presidency. The United States sided with the likes of Hugo Chavez, the Castro regime and Daniel Ortega and refused to honor the Honduran court's interpretation of Honduran law.

The administration then pressured the government of Honduras to restore Zelaya to office. A deal was announced a week or so ago between Zelaya and Roberto Micheletti, who was named interim president by Honduras' Congress after Zelaya's ouster. Zelaya has apparently tried to torpedo that agreement almost from the get-go.

Looks like the State Department is taking a page out of its Middle East handbook in attempting to resolve this problem in our own hemisphere. I predict a similar result, at best.

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Obama Supplicant 

Jeez! First he bows to the Saudi king, now he bows to the Emperor of Japan.

China practically owns us due to our unprecedented run-up of debt. I wonder what Obama's going to do when he meets with Hu Jintao this week--give him a Lewinski special? (I admit that was disrespectful to the Presidency of the United States, and for that I am sorry, but my point is about Obama the man, who embarrasses and diminishes the United States every time he goes abroad--which of us is committing the greater offense?)

I can't imagine what he'll do the next time he meets Putin.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Major Hasan's Legacy 

What American could not be shocked by the massacre that occurred yesterday at Ft. Hood, Texas? As details about the alleged perpetrator have become known, his Muslim faith stands out like a zit on a prom queen's nose. (I use the term "alleged" because in the United States there is a legal presumption of innocence and for no other reason, because factually there's no doubt that Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan committed the act even though legally he still might be adjudged "not guilty")

Now, I know that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and would never commit such a heinous crime, and I know that the executive director of CAIR has condemned the massacre, and I know that many Muslims serve honorably in the armed forces of the United States. I do not condemn Muslims nor Islam for this event.

Update 20091106:11:55 PST:

Please see Bob Owens' post at Pajamas Media for more thoughts.

But I fear that the damage from Major Hasan's attack will extend far beyond the confines of Ft. Hood and will affect many more people than the dead, wounded and their families, comrades and friends.

I think this event will pose a major morale problem for the armed forces vis a vis their Muslim members. From now on, no soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who has a Muslim in his unit will be absolutely sure of that person's loyalty. No service member will be able to know with absolute certainty that the Muslim who serves next to him or her will not, in battle or otherwise, turn on his comrades as Maj. Hasan did, or "frag" them as some guy did in Desert Storm (or was it Iraq?) Think about it—what if you were at a fire base in the mountains of Afghanistan and you had a Muslim in your platoon? Would you trust him the same as you would your Baptist or Catholic or even your atheist comrade, given what has happened?

Maj. Hasan, being a psychiatrist, undoubtedly knew on some level what the effect of his attack would be on morale, but it remains unknown at this time whether he had the purpose of achieving that effect as one of the reasons he did what he did.

I think the military is going to have to work very hard to counteract the effect of this tragedy within its ranks, and I wish them well, because if they are unsuccessful all Muslims in the United States will feel a backlash, not just those in the military.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Thought On Obamacare 

I occurred to me that the Democrats'/Obama's health care plan, in whatever form it eventually takes, is a lot like Mr. Magoo shooting at a rabbit with a .50 cal machine gun:

It creates chaos, causes a hell of a lot of collateral damage and if it happens to score a hit, there's nothing left of the target.

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