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RAPID RESPONSE (Archives)...Daily Commentary on News of the Day
This is a new section.  It will offer fresh, quick reactions by myself to news and events of the day, day by day, in this rapid-fire world of ours.  Of course, as in military campaigns, a rapid response in one direction may occasionally have to be followed by a "strategic withdrawal" in another direction.  Charge that to "the fog of war", and to the necessary flexibility any mental or military campaign must maintain to be effective.  But the mission will always be the same: common sense, based upon facts and "real politick", supported by a visceral sense of Justice and a commitment to be pro-active.  That's all I promise.
GS

Click here to return to the current Rapid Response list


MONDAY through FRIDAY, December 27 through 31, 2010

THE FOLLOWING "RAPID RESPONSE" OBSERVATION REQUIRES SOME PRIOR READING:
One of the most unfortunate and galling aspects of this story is that of the Black community: sold out by many of their fathers, led off a cliff by their "leaders" who for two generations have demanded that they consistently vote for the same Democrat politicians who supported and insured a crime called "public education" against all efforts at reform, and who thus have become accessories to this crime. 

If during the last forty years physicians practiced Medicine the way "educators" have practiced "education", we would be in jail.

GS


SUNDAY, December 26, 2010

In "a world rife with scientism, secularism and rationalism", Father Raniero Cantalamessa  -  Preacher of the Pontifical Household - offered a series of three Advent sermons to the  Pope, the Curia and to the world at large. 
As is generally true of all the efforts of this particular priest, these in particular highlight the basic issue, the approach and the solution to the central problem facing our world and our humanity at this time.  They should be read in their entirety.  They were all published in Zenit:The World Seen From Rome (www.zenit.org).
  1. PREACHER REFLECTS ON EVANGELIZATION OF ATHEISTS: 12/4/2010
  2. FATHER CANTALAMESSA'S 2ND ADVENT HOMILY: 12/12/2010
  3. EVANGELIZATION NEEDS SENSE OF SACRED, SAYS PREACHER: 12/18/2010
GS


TUESDAY through SATURDAY
, December 21 through 25, 2010

==================================================
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
==================================================

Benedict XVI: God Is Faithful But Surprising

Gives Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4


VATICAN CITY, DEC. 24, 2010 (Zenit.org).- God is always faithful to his promises, but the way he fulfills them can often be surprising, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope made that affirmation in a reflection that aired this morning in London on "Thought for the Day," on BBC's public channel Radio 4.

The Holy Father joined the list of religious leaders who have participated in the BBC program, which airs a three-minute reflection. It has been broadcast since 1970. "Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God's chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation. They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send, and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom," the Pontiff said. 

He continued, "'God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfills them.'"

"God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfills them," the Pope repeated. "The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place -- he was to be the Savior of all people throughout the world and throughout history. And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: Rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the cross."

The Bishop of Rome spoke of Christ's birth in "poverty and obscurity, far from the centers of earthly power."

And yet, he said, "he was none other than the Son of God."

"Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to a share in the life of God himself," the Pope reflected. "As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us, and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life."


MONDAY, December 20, 2010

Insanity, or pure Evil, under the guise of civil discourse.  GS

==================================================
ZENIT, The world seen from Rome
News Agency
==================================================

Expendable Babies
Human Life as a Consumer Product

By Father John Flynn, LC


ROME, DEC. 19, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Abortion advocates have long argued for a woman's right to control her body and to be able to dispose of the unborn child if she wishes. In a bizarre decision, a Belgian court has extended that reasoning to say that a child has a right to be aborted.

A Belgian journal, "Revue Générale des Assurances et Responsabilités," has just published the decision handed down by the Brussels Court of Appeal on Sept. 21 regarding the case of a child born disabled after an erroneous prenatal diagnosis, according to the Gènéthique press review for Nov. 29-Dec. 3.

The court ruled that the child's parents could claim damages from the doctors who failed to detect the disability. They said that by making therapeutic abortion legal, the legislators intended to allow women to avoid giving birth to seriously handicapped children, "having regard not only to the interests of the mother, but also to those of the unborn child itself."

Thus, the judges considered that the child would have had the "right" to an abortion if his disability had been correctly diagnosed.
 
The report on the decision did not explain how the court could consider an unborn child to be able to be the subject of rights, and why that right was only one to be killed and not to live.

Good mother?
 
The increasingly common acceptance of the view that it is better to abort handicapped babies was taken a step further by British writer Virginia Ironside when she declared that she would be prepared to suffocate a child to end its suffering, the Daily Mail newspaper reported Oct. 5.
 
Her comments came during a BBC1 radio program "Sunday Morning Live." Ironside also said that aborting an unwanted or disabled baby, "is the act of a loving mother."
 
Her statements provoked widespread criticism. Peter Evans, speaking on behalf of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said: "For us to make judgments that people are not worth life, not worth the opportunity to live, is a very dangerous thing," the Daily Mail reported.

An accompanying article authored by Ian Birrell, the father of a disabled 16-year-old daughter, acknowledged the difficulties of caring for a handicapped child but also said that it was an intensely rewarding experience. He accused Ironside of revealing a mind-set all too common, namely that people with disabilities are inferior to others.

"Imagine the outcry if Ms Ironside had said black children or gay teenagers should be exterminated," Birrell commented. 

Others, however, defended her. Guardian newspaper columnist Zoe Williams argued that she had a "valid point and was brave to make it," in an Oct. 5 article.

Williams declared that Ironside's argument was a crucial move because she had asserted the moral dimension of being pro-choice. This was a blow to what Williams describes as "the self-proclaimed moral superiority of the anti-abortionists." 

The Sunday Times gave Virginia Ironside a chance to further explain her reasoning in an opinion piece published Oct. 10. She argued that mercy killings of elderly and sick people do occur and that judges usually take a lenient view of this. Extending this practice to the unborn or newly born is simply what a good mother would do, she said.

New test

The attitude of eliminating those considered unfit will be aided by new tests that make it easier to detect abnormalities. A blood test for pregnant women capable of detecting almost all genetic disorders has been developed, London's Time newspaper reported Dec. 9. 

If more extensive trials confirm the preliminary results, the test could eventually replace more invasive and riskier techniques such as amniocentesis, that involves inserting a needle in the womb to take a sample of fetal tissue.

As well, the test can be used as early as the eighth week of pregnancy, well before procedures currently used, giving women longer to decide whether to have an abortion, the Times added.

Alasdair Palmer, commenting on the news in the Dec. 11 edition of the London-based Telegraph newspaper, said that tests such as this could have prevented people like him being born. Palmer, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, raised the concern of a possible increase in abortions of babies with genetic defects, including minor ones such as a cleft palate.

Down Syndrome babies are routinely aborted, he noted, and once you accept the mentality of this being an acceptable practice, it becomes difficult to draw a line. Should we abort those suffering from dyslexia, autism, or being exceptionally short, he asked.

"I cannot see any basis that would enable the law to specify, never mind enforce, a principle which says: this genetic defect is bad enough to mean that it would be better if the foetus was never born -- but this one isn't," Palmer reflected.

Even without the new test there has been a significant decline in the birth of children with genetic disorders, due to selective abortion. A lengthy report by the Associated Press, published Feb. 17, quoted Dr. Wendy Chung, clinical genetics chief at Columbia University, as saying that due to screening there are decreased rates of disorders such as Tay-sachs.

In recent years, testing for cystic fibrosis has increased, and in Massachusetts, for example, births of babies with the condition dropped from 29 in 2000 to only 10 in 2003.

In California, the Associated Press reported, Kaiser Permanente, a large health organization, offered prenatal screening. From 2006 to 2008, 87 couples with cystic fibrosis mutations agreed to have fetuses tested, and 23 were found to have the disease. Sixteen of the 17 fetuses projected to have the severest type of disease were aborted, as were four of the six fetuses projected to have less severe disease.

Sometimes couples opt for abortion even when there is no genetic problem, as the Canadian National Post newspaper reported Dec. 10.  

When the wife of an un-named couple in Toronto was found to be expecting twins, they felt they could not cope with an extra two children in addition to the young child they already had. So they decided upon what is termed "selective reduction," and one of the twins was aborted.

The article quoted a New York obstetrician, Mark Evans, who is a specialist in this technique, and he said that many cases involve a couple on their second marriage who already have children and want just one more additional child. 

Unique

"God loves each human being uniquely and profoundly," Benedict XVI declared in Feb. 13 speech to members of the Pontifical Academy For Life.

The Pope observed that bioethics is a crucial battleground in the struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility. In this conflict it is vital to maintain the principle of human dignity as a source for the rights of persons.

"When respect for the dignity of the person is invoked, it is fundamental that it should be full, total and without restrictions other than those entailed in the recognition that it is always human life that is involved," he affirmed.

The Pontiff warned that history shows how dangerous the state can be when it claims to be the source and principle of ethics and legislates on matters affecting the person and society.

The slide from a right to abortion to the right to be aborted amply demonstrates the perils of abandoning fundamental ethical principles.


SUNDAY, December 19, 2010

Hallalujah--we agree on the vast majority of issues.  I guess we Republicans are really not that different on the issues.  As far as a "house divided" goes, though, it's not the centrists who continue to lose races for the GOP--those who know God talks only to them lose the races.  My centrist friends and I continue to vote Republican even when we disagree with GOP candidates on certain issues, unlike our more conservative brothers and sisters who abandon the party and lose otherwise winnable races because their "principles" tell them not to vote for the Republican candidate.  I ask you--who are the real RINOs? 

With respect to abortion, change the law all you want, but you will not stop a woman from having an abortion if she wants to have one.  In fact, if all of the discussion on the subject were somehow transformed into pure energy instead of spent trying to change to laws, America would not have to worry about a fuel shortage.  In other words, work to change the hearts and minds of those considering abortion instead of discussing the legal consequences of changing the law.  Give them an incentive to not have an abortion, and give others an incentive for adopting kids from unwed mothers and those who would otherwise have abortions.  It is prohibitively expensive to adopt American kids these days--and (rightly or wrongly) there is no incentive other than morals or maternal instinct for an unwed woman to have a child these days.  Abortion rates have declined for the past 10 years, mostly (I believe) due to the change in American mores and societal influence.  That can work to further reduce abortion rates, while only changing the laws will not.

David

GREAT DISCUSSION. What the country needs is the two of us on regular talk radio or on syndicated TV.  Can you arrange that? It would be quite a commute; but I'm up for it.  Dad

And, my thoughts (in bold)...

GS

NOW IT'S THE REPUBLICANS' TURN TO BE HAMMERED ON THIS ANVIL.  THEY SHOULD BE READY FOR THIS, GIVEN THE WHITE-HOT ANTIPATHY REPUBLICAN "CONSERVATIVES" AND "MODERATES" (AKA "RINOS") HAVE DEVELOPED FOR EACH OTHER. 

How people whose PAID JOB it is to be politicians can't understand this is beyond me.
 
Well said.  One has to be realistic, but if Republicans keep making concession after concession on their basic principles simply in order to win, they will become . . . well, they'll become Democrats.
 
The only permanence I would apply to this position is vigilance of wasteful spending.  Granted, one man's "waste" is another man's "crucial appropriation", but I would hold firm on ever raising taxes unless significant spending cuts fail to do the job.  The problem is not revenue collection.  It is spending. 
Capitalism is like any other engine.  The power it produces is in the form of economic wealth.  Like any engine, there are parts that move against each other that create friction, and therefore must have a steady source of coolant coursing around them to radiate that generated heat and keep the engine producing steady, efficient power.  Without it, the engine will quickly overheat and seize.
 
You can keep running out an engine and simply replace it with a new one from time to time, but that's not efficient and all the parts of that engine live a horrible life and die a horrible death. 
See my letter to Keith Olbermann on that issue.  This is the issue where Republicans must hit Democrats head-on because this is the sort of bleeding-heart reactionism that is right in the liberal Democrat and Socialist wheelhouse.
 
Sorry, you're almost TOTALLY wrong on this one.  The term "amnesty" is not pejorative.  Any legal resident of any state outside of California who wants to attend college here will ask you why he has to pay out-of-state tuition while ANY illegal (resident or not) receives in-state tuition.  And, this is just one example of what would have been a TORRENT of back-door allowances made legal had that ludicrous DREAM Act passed.  More accurately, a total NIGHTMARE.
 
There isn't a culture or ethnicity in the last 150 years that hasn't come here under the identical circumstances you offer.  None, until now, and none, until this ONE general ethnicity/culture have complained of "exploitation" that they have every right and choice to avoid, ESPECIALLY since they have the ONE luxury that no other culture had--easy land access back to their native lands.  And, PLEASE do not use the word 'slavery'.  That is an insult to 4 million Africans who truly endured such a horrible existence.
 
I do agree that violating companies are getting an undeserved pass.  Private citizens also have no excuse.  Unfortunately for the other people in their neighborhoods who choose not to hire illegal labor, these people make the bed that we all must lie in.  Come visit Southern California and see for yourself.
 
There is no excuse for this.  HOWEVER, this is not simply an issue of Republican hypocrisy.  This happens in virtually every voting district in the nation, even the Democratic ones.  Talk about hypocrisy. 
   
Marriage will eventually be added to that list, but it will probably be the last to fall.  Remember, every other example, when related to minorities and women, was fought.  But, eventually society accepted them and we didn't collapse into anarchy and moral chaos as a direct result.  Our cultural and moral problems stem more directly from a lack of personal responsibility than from anything else. 
 
This foundational personality trait of being motivated to be loved (THE trait of most people who vote Democratic) while bad enough in the micro is truly one of the most dangerous planks in their platform in the macro.  It is not that people around the world dislike America.  It is the Left around the world who despise America. 
 
Yet, as I mentioned about vigilance of wasteful spending and taxation, this issue must have a limitless supply of vigilance from anyone right of the far-left.  Otherwise, this country WILL fall into that morass that now constitutes the governments of Western Europe.  Count on it.
 
Even the plaintiff in Roe V. Wade has changed her mind on this issue.  It will be debated forever as to whether it is a state or federal issue because the Constitution will fall victim to the undeniably emotional basis of this specific issue.  Either way, this is the single strongest example of Democratic hypocrisy that I agree should be continually vocalized by Republicans.  The religion of Science practiced by most of the left in this country goes COMPLETELY silent whenever this issue is broached.  And, I do mean completely.  It is nothing less than delusional.  This runs the gamut from totally laughable to undeniably shameful.
 
Now, was that so hard to articulate?  And would that be so hard to implement?  Certainly not so hard as to continue the current self-defeating division that will surely abandon the field to the wilderness of the liberal Democrats - and to the decline and fall of this great nation within a generation at the current pace.   There is a choice here, folks.  And Choice is what life is all about.


SATURDAY, December 18, 2010

NOW IT'S THE REPUBLICANS' TURN TO BE HAMMERED ON THIS ANVIL.  THEY SHOULD BE READY FOR THIS, GIVEN THE WHITE-HOT ANTIPATHY REPUBLICAN "CONSERVATIVES" AND "MODERATES" (AKA "RINOS") HAVE DEVELOPED FOR EACH OTHER. 

Now, was that so hard to articulate?  And would that be so hard to implement?  Certainly not so hard as to continue the current self-defeating division that will surely abandon the field to the wilderness of the liberal Democrats - and to the decline and fall of this great nation within a generation at the current pace.   There is a choice here, folks.  And Choice is what life is all about.

GS


FRIDAY, December 17, 2010

A follow-up to The Bush 43 Era.

About one week before America's invasion of Iraq in March of 2003, I began posting my offerings on this web site entitled "Rapid Response: Daily Commentary on News of the Day".  In addition to helping to assure adequate control of my blood pressure, this on-going series provides what was a real-time personal analysis of developments, nationally and world-wide, that are now revealed in authoritative depth by President George W. Bush in his fine memoir entitled "Decision Points" (2010).  It turns out that his one great error, as declared by me within months of the Iraq invasion  - and ever more stridently for years thereafter - was that he did not sack Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld years earlier than he did.  Rumsfeld was wrong in his prosecution of the war, persistently and arrogantly so.  And the President placed altogether too much value on "loyalty" for much too long.  That  is the main reason why that country is having so much trouble aborning - and why too many Americans have died in the process. 

The book, and perhaps my timely chronicles posted herein, are recommended to all fair-minded Americans...and even to liberal Democrats.

GS


MONDAY through THURSDAY, December 13 through 16, 2010

Anyone interested in learning the facts, many for the first time, about the actions of former President George W. Bush - and the reasons for those actions - should read Mr. Bush's recently released book, "Decision Points"
 
About two years ago, in response to the cacophony of derisive criticism heaped upon this President throughout and since his eight years in office, I suggested that the entire subject must await at least five to ten years for relevant information to get out. 
This well-written book provides much of the missing information.  And once again we see liberal Democrats for what they are: ARTICULATE, ARROGANT AND ASININE.  Wrong in foreign policy.  Wrong in domestic policy.  Wrong in social  policy.  In fact, the only thing that keeps them competitive in national affairs is the unwavering self-interest of groups like the trial lawyers, the teachers' unions and other trade unions, the blind support of the Black community against its own self-interest...and the mis-placed loyalty of the Republican establishment in some of its historic but anachronistic principles. Democrats are uneducable.  Whether or not Republicans are remains to be seen.  Common sense is being provided by ordinary Americans through the Tea Party.  Is anyone listening?

GS


SUNDAY, December 12, 2010

ANOTHER EPISODE OF "AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 OPINIONS"  BY YOURS TRULY. 
GS


SATURDAY, December 11, 2010

He makes many good points.  But I would rather fight than switch. 
Remember the old and still valid definition of a "liberal: the first one to leave the room when the fight starts".

GS

>  >   DIVORCE  AGREEMENT
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   THIS IS SO INCREDIBLY WELL PUT AND I CAN HARDLY BELIEVE IT'S
>  > BY A YOUNG
>  >   PERSON, A STUDENT!!! WHATEVER HE RUNS FOR, I'LL VOTE FOR HIM.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives,
>  > socialists,
>  >   Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of
>  > the kids,
>  >   but the whole of this latest election process has made me
>  > realize that I
>  >   want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years
>  > for the
>  >   sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has
>  > clearly run
>  >   its course.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever
>  > agree on
>  >   what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly
>  > terms. We can
>  >   smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our
>  > own way.
>  >
>  >
>  >   Here is a model separation agreement:
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by
>  > landmass each
>  >   taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but
>  > I am sure
>  >   our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it
>  > should be
>  >   relatively easy! Our respective representatives can
>  > effortlessly divide
>  >   other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate
>  > tastes.
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the
>  > cops, the NRA
>  >   and the military.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go
>  > with wind,
>  >   solar and biodiesel.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You
>  > are,
>  >   however,  responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big
>  > enough to move
>  >   all three of them.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical
>  > companies,     Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food
>  > stamps,
>  >   homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and
>  > rednecks.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain
>  > the right to
>  >   invade and hammer places that threaten us.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our
>  > allies or our
>  >   way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them
>  > security.
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political
>  > correctness
>  >   and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N. but we will no
>  > longer be
>  >   paying the bill.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury
>  > cars. You can
>  >   take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any
>  > practicing
>  >   doctors.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a
>  > right.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The
>  > National Anthem."
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like
>  > to Teach
>  >   the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue
>  > to give
>  >   trickle up poverty your best shot.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   --Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our
>  > name and our
>  >   flag.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   Would you agree to this?   If so, please pass it along to
>  > other
>  >   like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do
>  > not agree,
>  >   just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet
>  > you answer
>  >   which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   Sincerely,
>  >
>  >   John  J. Wall
>  >
>  >   Law Student and an American
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen,
>  > Barbara
>  >   Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.
>  >
>  >
>  >
>  >   P.S.S.  And you won't have to press 1 for English when you
>  > call our
>  >   country.
>  >
>  >
>  >


FRIDAY, December 10, 2010

Here are clear statements, by both a naturalized American and a native-born American, regarding why we should oppose the socialistic efforts of some in our government and in our society. 
It is also one of the clearest peeks behind the Iron Curtain that I have seen, and by someone who lived it and whom I know well.  It is a cautionary tale.

GS

So, I support the Tea Party; stone me! Here is my backup: I got my U.S. citizenship 7 years ago after
spending 30 years of my life in a communist country in Eastern Europe. The first 5 months I worked for
Blockbuster for $5.25/hour in order to learn English. I then studied Computer Science for the next three
years. I never asked for welfare, student loans, Section 8, or any entitlements. After a hard time, I
joined one of the most reputable California software corporations and I am still happy about it, even
though they had to outsource to keep the company going.

The U.S. is the GREATEST country in the world; the gateway for any opportunity, no matter where you
come from. This IS the DREAM Act, as long as one does his due diligence, learns English, gets an
education and assimilates. Try that instead of going for government assistance. You will feel much
better about yourself and be more successful.

For those of you asking what is wrong with being Socialist I’ll give you some pointers: in my country
everybody had a rent-free apartment. Everybody had a job. The medical assistance was free and you
had a pension after 40 years being in the work force. UTOPIA, you think?
The drawbacks were:
- The apartments were similar to “projects” in the U.S. (no offense meant).
- The jobs were 9-5 where nobody did anything, but steal. You pretended you work and they pretended
they paid you. Doesn’t this sound similar to government jobs? Bureaucracy to no end! Every step of
the way you had to bribe someone to get anything.
- Nobody could buy a car because they were too expensive. Bicycles were stolen.
- There was no problem with cholesterol or being overweight because the only meat on the market was
chicken heads and legs – yes, the fingers!!
- There was a 2-lb per month sugar allotment for a family of FOUR.
- When we went to the doctor for ANY issue they sent us home with two aspirins and “take rest” advice.
- I personally went several times to the dentist where I did not get any kind of anesthetic. She yelled at
me that if I keep crying I can go pull my teeth myself.
- And finally, you retire; pension. What pension? That was a joke.
- Most important – there was no freedom to speak of. Phones were tapped and monitored 24/7 by the
Party security. No travel. If you had an opinion different from the Party, you ended up digging a canal
that got most of our intellectuals, artists, engineers, and priests killed in 2 months. This lasted for 40
years before the revolution. We received a mandatory “invitation” to attend any presidential/party
speech to applaud and approve.
- The president of the country was our “Father” who decided what was best for us, humble people.
- We had NO CHOICE. There is nothing worse in this life than having no choice and no voice. No
FREEDOM.

I don’t have the time and space to list it all. The idea is that I cannot get far enough from the U.S.
liberals! They are the icon and the reminder of where I come from. MSNBC is a pathetic reminder of
my 2-hours a day communist TV station. For most Republicans, I may be too much to the right, but as I
said, I don’t want to be caught up by the neo-socialists.

Thanks for reading this.

Nick

well here is a history lesson for you being how you obviously know nothing about US
history....progressive taxation is something that has been around since the teddy roosevelt (republican)
administration..the more money you make, the more you pay in taxes. that doesn't mean you still aren't
going to take in a GIGANTIC amount of money. dwight eisenhower (republican) had a 91% tax rate on
the rich...it isn't the same as a socialist or commy country in which you make the exact same as
everybody else and the government tells you exactly what to do....taxes are used to pay for
things...roads, parks, bridges....or did you not have those things in eastern europe? oh and by the way....
when the constitution was written...there were only a few million people that lived here...now there are
over 350 million.

Nick

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nick, since I assume your comment means that YOU were born here, you have no excuse for having
your facts wrong. William Howard Taft was President in 1913, when income tax was instituted. He
was no Teddy Roosevelt. And, if he were, what's your point? Roosevelt also started the National Parks
System. Does that make him a liberal hell-bent on redistributing wealth ad nauseum?

Also, the 91% rates during the Eisenhower administration A) had income ceilings MUCH higher than
they are today, B) were carry-overs from the requirements of being the majority funder of a TWO-front
alliance in a WORLD war AND the Korean War, and C) have nothing to do with Eisenhower. Budgets
are generated in Congress, which had a Democratic majority for 90% of the last 56 years.

Still think you know about U.S. history?

As I mentioned to E., yes, taxes used for things like "roads, parks, bridges, etc" is a universal concept.
Both good and bad political systems alike do this. What is your point? MY point is that taxes are not
generated to pay for every aspect of life (including, but not limited to: food, college, rent, finding a job,
healthcare, retirement benefits, and on and on and on) for every citizen of a nation; at least not THIS
nation, no matter how many people have been added to the Census since the founding of this country.

Man, it feels good to completely deconstruct your ridiculous "points"; although, I do feel a bit guilty for
fighting an unarmed man.

Happy Days, Nick!

Perrin-


THURSDAY, December 9, 2010

A Father & Daughter Discussion

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so
many others her age, she considered herself to be a very Liberal
Democrat, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in Favor of
higher taxes to support more government programs, in other Words
redistribution of wealth.

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch
Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the Lectures that
she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she
felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to
keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to Higher
taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The
self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to Be the
truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by Asking how
she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and
let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that She was
taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which
left her no time to go out and party like other people She knew. She
didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many
college friends,  because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked , 'How is your friend Audrey
doing?' She replied, ' Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are
Easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She Is
so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited
to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for
classes because she's too hung over.'

Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's
office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your
friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA,  and
certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.' The
daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired
back, 'That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair! I've worked really
hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard
work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played
while I worked my tail off!'

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, 'Welcome to The
Republican party.' If anyone has a better explanation of the difference between
Republican and Democrat I'm all ears.

If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat..
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for
everyone.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.
(Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)


WEDNESDAY, December 8, 2010

NEW LONDON, CT.: A GARDEN SPOT OF THE WORLD...IN CONSTANT NEED OF WEEDING.

The recent City Council election for the last "ceremonial Mayor" of the City before changing to a "strong Mayor" form of government next Fall, was the result of mixing a deluded sense of entitlement, disloyalty by two alleged members of the Republican Party, and a Democratic cabal that has succeeded for many decades in keeping this fine city's "potential" just that...and no more. 

Now comes the "big game": the "strong Mayor" race and election.  And I'm coming off the bench for that one. 

GS


MONDAY and TUESDAY, December 6 and 7, 2010

David, you could be a savior for our Republican Party: "Arise and Walk".

GS

5 Reasons Palin Will Run

Matt Latimer Matt Latimer Mon Dec 6, 10:37 pm ET

NEW YORK – Her poll numbers are off, and some GOP bigwigs have come out against her. But Sarah Palin's fan base couldn't care less. Matt Latimer on what her followers see in her.

The polls don't look good for Sarah Palin, at least for the moment. The GOP's professional chatterers—Karl Rove, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, and most recently Joe Scarborough—fret that she will do to the Republican Party what "Burlesque" has done to Cher. Even the GOP's royal family—the Bushes of Texas-by-way-of-Greenwich, Connecticut—has taken the rather unusual step of publicly seeking her prompt exile from their club. Bar, in particular, is not amused.

And yet Sarah Palin remains a rank-and-file favorite. Her second book is yet another hit. She has nearly two million more Facebook fans than establishment favorite Mitt Romney, two million more than even former President George W. Bush, and incidentally nearly 300 times as many as Bush's mother. Supporters have made the reform-minded unknown from the Deep North into an instant millionaire many times over—and they just might make her the GOP nominee. Do Palinistas believe they have a case to make? You betcha. Here are their five top reasons why her nomination might turn out to be a good thing for the Republican Party:

1. Goodbye Karl Rove. No place rewards failure more than Washington D.C. Mismanaged companies, gravely irresponsible mortgage lenders and homeowners, idiots on Wall Street—all have been bailed out by good ol' Uncle Sam. Political consultants aren't much different. Thanks to President Obama and his party's monumental misjudgments, the GOP did not get the typical party-out-of-power wilderness period, a time to expunge the dead weight at the top. Thus the very same people who lost the House and Senate to the Democrats in 2006, who helped President Bush stagger out of office in 2008 less popular than Nixon, and who brought the GOP to historic lows in popular approval—lows that exist to this day—are still trying to call the shots. Most of them won't be FedExing their resumes to Team Palin anytime soon. If it does anything, a Palin nomination would likely shake loose their grip on the party apparatus, allowing new people to emerge in 2012 and beyond. A little fresh air could be a good thing for the grand old party, even an Arctic blast from Alaska.

Gallery: Sarah Palin’s Future Enemies

2. She's Earned It. Palin, her supporters note, was the vice-presidential candidate on a ticket that came within seven points of the White House. More than the dour, establishment-tainted John McCain ever did, she inspired and energized millions of voters. Shortly after her announcement, the McCain-Palin ticket was leading in nearly every poll. That wasn't because voters suddenly fell in love with the Arizonan's cuddly smile. Since 2008, Palin has campaigned across the country for the party, raising money and campaigning for dozens of candidates (with varying degrees of success).  Palin in fact proved so appealing to certain segments of the GOP base that earlier this year even McCain, facing a tough Senate primary challenge, asked her to bail him out. The party has a history of rewarding many of its top candidates from the prior election; why, supporters ask, is Palin any different?

3. She's More Astute than People Think. Governor Palin famously lacks Ivy League credentials, having attended five different colleges to get her degree. This fact has been seized on as an example of her lack of academic seriousness, but it could just as easily be viewed as a sign of her drive and single-mindedness. Critics take note: This same political novice unseated a sitting Alaska governor in a crowded GOP primary and then defeated another former governor in the general election. That aint nothin'. Despite a notable lack of familiarity with issues in the 2008 campaign, by 2012 she will have had four years to study up, and is putting together a formidable policy team to do just that.  Practically immune by now to criticism, she has the opportunity to advance daring ideas—a list that could include entitlement reform, reduction of the size of the federal government, term limits, serious cuts in spending—the sort of issues most of the other blow-dried, PowerPoint-happy rivals would be too timid to discuss. Wouldn't it be ironic, her supporters ask, if Sarah Palin turned out to be the "ideas candidate" for the GOP. The fact is that none of Palin's many critics have the money, support, and microphone that she has, all of which she has used to become a media phenomenon. She even has used critics' low expectations to her advantage. Nearly everyone expected Palin to crawl off the debate stage after her encounter with Joe Biden in 2008, yet by the end of the forum even some in the media thought she had won.

Palin haters: This so-called "dummy" is underestimated at your peril.

4. Beware the Candidate Scorned. One of the great ironies of the GOP's current political success is that it is in large part driven by thousands, if not millions, of people who detest it. Palin benefits from the yawning frustration with a GOP hierarchy that Tea Partiers and party conservatives believe has lost its principles, commitment to fiscal and personal responsibility, and sense of direction. "Robbing" their favorite of the 2012 nomination, at least without seeming to have given her a fair chance, may be something the party deeply regrets, especially if her millions of alienated, and fed up, followers stay home. Besides, Palin followers argue, would the party really be that much better off with a field of helplessly bland, middle-aged white males with the excitement of a ShamWOW! infomercial. They might even make the surprisingly dull Obama—who sees every public forum as another chance to conduct a seminar on the mechanics of governance—look cutting-edge.

5. Lessons from defeat. Though Palinistas won't say this, her nomination could be a valuable educational opportunity. Many supporters of the Tea Party—some 71 percent of the GOP, according to polls—are not the lunatics, birthers, or racists who gain most of the media's attention. A good number are simply political novices wanting to advance ideas and make a difference. A group like that could use the Palin candidacy to learn how the political nominating process works, to better understand how to craft a coherent message that can be embraced by more people, and to become more seasoned political operatives. The Democrats had this opportunity after the McGovern disaster of 1972, which led to the rise of a whole generation of more skillful liberal politicians, including Bill and Hillary Clinton. And of course, for the GOP, the Goldwater debacle of 1964 ultimately led to the rise of Ronald Reagan.


SUNDAY, December 5,
2010

Many of you are puzzled by the Fed's latest effort to 'stimulate' the economy.  Because the Fed is run by people who are PHD economists it is difficult for a layman to grasp the logic of its intricate actions.  Click on the link below and watch the cartoon video that is the best explanation of Quantitative Easing I've seen.  It's presented in terms a layman can understand.




FRIDAY and SATURDAY, December 3 and 4,
2010

REGARDING THE MURDER OF A YOUNG MAN IN NEW LONDON, CT.
He was allegedly murdered by five Black teenagers who did not know him, randomly, "because they were bored".  
Some of these young men reportedly come from stable families (see the article by Charles Potter in The Day Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010).
WHY?

Well, how far back do we want to go?
WHAT A SHAME.  WHAT A DISGRACE.

NOW, WHAT TO DO?
That's easy to outline: just admit your negligence and your gross errors and reverse all of the above.  Of course, this must start with the parents, even in the nearly 70% of Black single parent households.  There would be massive public good will and material support for such a turn-around. 
Meanwhile, if convicted, these five individuals should be sentenced to 20 years in prison without possibility of parole...enough time for them to revisit their education from grammar school to graduate school if desired, and to revisit their immortal souls.  At that time they could re-enter civil society as whole, educated and productive human beings with the next 60 years ahead of them.  Anything less, in the name of a thoroughly warped sense of "mercy" would be an outrage for Society and for them.   I'll pray for them.

GS


THURSDAY, December 2, 2010

HOW, YOU ASK?  Because "Internet / Cyber-Security" is an oxymoron...a colossal and intrinsic product defect, initially accidental but thereafter promoted by design. 
It is my understanding that our Military is belatedly and feverishly working to build a new and totally separate cyber-mechanism for its use.  We all could use some of that...especially Hillary Clinton, our humiliated Secretary of State.

GS

WikiLeaks: How could one person leak so much classified material?

By National Journal national Journal Tue Nov 30, 11:40 am ET

By Marc Ambinder
National Journal

To date, Bradley Manning stands accused only of providing a classified video of U.S. operations in Iraq to WikiLeaks. But U.S. government officials say they consider Manning the prime suspect behind the flood of documents that have wound up being promulgated by the group determined to bust U.S. secrecy.

Manning, 23, seems like an unlikely culprit. Trained as an intelligence analyst, awarded a Top Secret clearance, deployed to Iraq with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the Army's 10th Mountain Division in 2007, he's a mere PFC, or Private First Class, not an Aldrich Ames, the elite spy who leaked to the Soviets. Instead of working at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., or doing secret drops in Vienna, Manning's days were spent in an air-conditioned shack inside a small forward-deployed compound in Iraq.

Skeptics of the government's case against Manning wonder how one young soldier, operating with a couple of computers in the middle of desert, could access and download so much classified information and do so undetected for so long. Indeed, it appears Manning might not have come under suspicion at all had he not confided in a reformed hacker named Adrian Lamo, and had Lamo, a civilian, not reported Manning's musings to the U.S. Army.

But in the modern military, which relies on information as much as bullets and bunkers, it's easier than one might think to gain access to classified material and to disseminate it, according to interviews with numerous officials.

(EU goes after Google in antitrust probe)

Manning's job was to make sure that other intelligence analysts in his group had access to everything that they were entitled to see. That included incoming intelligence streams from across the world on something called the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System (JWICS), the Department of Defense's computer network for Top Secret information. Manning also had access to another information stream dubbed the Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), the Pentagon's server for information classified as Secret. (Secret and Top Secret are differing levels of classifications for materials.)

Using keyword searches and a knowledge of routing nomenclature, any intelligence analyst -- even if he's sitting in a shack in Iraq -- can access pretty much any piece of data classified at the level of access he has. Analysts are given updated documents like this unclassified list of every military operating unit and its e-mail designator. The lists can be accessed through an unsecure and unpublicized Joint Chiefs of Staff file transfer network. Another document lists every single mail routing address by location, even for unacknowledged locations like the Air Force test site in "Area 51" near Las Vegas.

Information and intelligence at the Top Secret level can't be transferred off of those computers easily. To transfer information from the SIPRNet to unclassified networks, analysts like Manning use proprietary computers called SNAP. About 1,500 are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to TeleCommunications Systems, the company that builds them. SNAP, which stands for SIPR-NIPR Access Point, "allows you to bring stuff from the low side to the high side and vice versa, securely," one current user of the program said. The user asked to remain anonymous in order to share sensitive but unclassified insights into how analysts perform their work. Information on an unclassified computer can be transferred to a stick drive, burned onto a CD or simply e-mailed away.

The important thing to know is that diplomatic cables are no longer transmitted over wires to clattering teletype machines. They're sent via e-mail over secured networks, and they are also stored on servers until they're erased. Cables and incident reports from the field are stored on servers in the form of PST files -- PS stands for "personal storage" -- e-mail archives that Microsoft's Outlook program uses to compress and store data.

(McCain Signals Hope For Nuclear Arms Deal This Year)

So how did Manning allegedly manage to get access to the diplomatic cables? They're transmitted via e-mail in PDF form on a State Department network called ClassNet, but they're stored in PST form on servers and are searchable. If Manning's unit needed to know whether Iranian proxies had acquired some new weapon, the information might be contained within a diplomatic cable. All any analyst has to do is to download a PST file with the cables, unpack them, SNAP them up or down to a computer that is capable of interacting with a thumb drive or a burnable CD, and then erase the server logs that would have provided investigators with a road map of the analyst's activities. But analysts routinely download and access large files, so such behavior would not have been seen as unusual.

Manning is alleged to have started to provide WikiLeaks with the information in the fall of 2009. His access to computer systems was cut off in late May of 2010. The Army's charging document accuses him of downloading "more than" 50 classified State Department cables to his personal computer.

The Department of Defense has tried to make sure that analysts don't abuse the privilege of all-source access while ensuring that they don't operate under an umbrella of constant fear and suspicion or suffer from the kind of stovepiping or compartmentalization that led to pre-9/11 intelligence failures when one agency wouldn't talk with another.

About 60 percent of DoD computers now are monitored by a Host-Based Security System that detects unusual patterns of download and access activity on SIPRNet, according to Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. SNAP tools have also been modified. Analysts seeking to upgrade or downgrade information must do so in a supervised setting, Whitman said in an e-mail to defense reporters on Sunday.

(No Slurpee: After Today's Summit, Boehner Is Seeking Ideas From GOP Governors)

The U.S. Central Command has begun security reviews of protocols at forward-deployed settings like Hammer in Iraq, where Manning spent several years. "Insider threat working groups" have been established, and commanding officers are being trained to detect behavioral changes in their young analysts.

And the Office of Management and Budget has ordered "each department or agency that handles classified information" to establish a security assessment team that would make sure that users don't have "broader access than is necessary to do their jobs effectively."

But the tension between access, which is critical for tactical intelligence, and operational security, which is critical for protecting secrets, is tight. In wartime, the number of young, fresh-out-of-school analysts granted security clearances skyrockets as demand for intelligence increases exponentially. In this instance, if Manning is indeed the culprit, all it took was one disaffected young man with a rudimentary knowledge of computer systems to bring down an entire edifice of code names, secret networks, compartmented channels, and protected information.

Visit National Journal for more political news.


WEDNESDAY, December 1, 2010

The madness of it all...including the Judge who recently ruled that the State of Oklahoma cannot block the use of Sharia Law.  The English courts are doing the same thing. 
What no one will understand is that Islam is a Religion...and a Political State without physical borders.  They're one and the same with Muslims, as established by Mohammed in the 7th Century AD. 
We do and should have Freedom of Religion.  But neither we nor anyone in a sovereign State can accord another sovereign State's laws Full Faith and Credit within our national borders. That would be anarchy.  If that were the case, why could I not declare the Sovereign State of Sprecace, which does not recognize any taxation on income? 
Some tenets of Sharia law are spiritual - religious in nature and effect.  Many others have nothing to do with the spiritual...but rather with the civil and criminal governance of Muslims.  The former should be respected; the latter should be rejected within the borders of any other sovereign nation.  And this is entirely compatible with the legitimate area of the Law called "Conflict of Laws". 
All the rest is fear, political correctness...and MADNESS.

GS

TUESDAY, November 30, 2010

THE START TREATY: POINT AND COUNTERPOINT.  GS

Russia's Medvedev warns of new arms race

By Steve Gutterman Steve Gutterman Tue Nov 30, 9:21 am ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) – President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Tuesday that a new arms race would erupt within the next decade unless Russia and the West forged an agreement to cooperate on building a missile defense system.

In his annual state of the nation address, Medvedev called for closer cooperation with the United States and the European Union, holding out the prospect of closer ties two decades after the Soviet Union's collapse ended the Cold War.

He said tension would ratchet up fast, forcing Russia to bolster its military arsenal, if Western offers of cooperation on a system to defend against missile threats failed to produce a concrete agreement.

The warning appeared to reflect wariness in the Kremlin over uncertainty about Senate ratification of New START, the nuclear arms limitation pact Medvedev signed with President Barack Obama in April, centerpiece of the push for better ties.

"In the coming decade we face the following alternatives: Either we reach agreement on missile defense and create a full-fledged joint mechanism of cooperation, or ... a new round of the arms race will begin," Medvedev said.

"And we will have to take a decision about the deployment of new offensive weapons. It is clear that this scenario would be very grave."

The remarks, in a 72-minute speech to members of parliament and ministers, raised the stakes in sensitive discussions with the United States and NATO on missile defense. The issue has divided Moscow and the West since the 1980s.

Medvedev agreed to NATO's offer of missile defense cooperation at a summit with the alliance that was hailed as a fresh start, but the plans are sketchy and Russia has warned it wants an equal voice in evaluating threats and responses.

Medvedev has pursued warmer ties with the West and particularly Washington since he was steered into the presidency by his predecessor, Vladimir Putin.

He has embraced Obama's efforts to "reset" a relationship that hit post-Cold War lows during Russia's war with Georgia in August 2008, months after he took office.

RESET UNDER THREAT?

After the address, Kremlin aide Arkady Dvorkovich told journalists the collapse of the New START pact "would mean nothing good and we are counting on ratification going through."

Obama wants the treaty ratified before his Democratic Party's majority decreases when the new Senate elected this month convenes early next year.

Medvedev's comments also seemed aimed to assuage hard-liners and assure Russians steeped in decades of anti-Western rhetoric that Moscow will not open itself up to a threat.

When Medvedev said Russia might have to deploy more weapons, applause broke out after a brief pause before he went on to say that would be "very grave."

Russia has emphasized it could withdraw from New START if a U.S. missile defense system becomes a threat to its security.

"Russia wants a legally binding agreement on missile defense because it sees potential threats," said military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer. But he said Russia "does not have the capabilities" to hold its own in an arms race in the foreseeable future.

Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the journal "Russia in Global Affairs," said Medvedev's message was that if Russia is shut out of meaningful missile defense cooperation, it "will try to take measures to counter that by modernizing its nuclear arsenal."

The Kremlin's pursuit of better ties with the West has been accompanied by calls for a stronger say across a broad swath of the globe including Europe, America and the ex-Soviet Union.

"I see significant potential in broadening cooperation with the European Union and the United States," Medvedev said, though he underscored that Moscow wants concrete benefits such as help on Moscow's bid to join the WTO.

(Additional reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel, Tom Grove, Amie Ferris-Rotman and Denis Dyomkin; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Irrelevance of the New START

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER

It's a lame-duck session. Time is running out. Unemployment is high, the economy is dangerously weak and, with less than five weeks to go, no one knows what tax they'll be paying on everything from income to dividends to death when the current rates expire Jan. 1. And what is the president demanding that Congress pass as "a top priority"? To what did he devote his latest weekly radio address? Ratification of his New START treaty.

Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list. From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at its best to major harm at its worst, with general uselessness being the norm.

The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That's why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.

In Soviet days, arms control at least could be justified as giving us something to talk about when there was nothing else to talk about, symbolically relieving tensions between mortal enemies. It could be argued that it at least had a soporific and therapeutic effect in the age of "the balance of terror."

But in post-Soviet days? The Russians are no longer an existential threat. A nuclear exchange between Washington and Moscow is inconceivable. What difference does it make how many nukes Russia builds? If they want to spend themselves into penury creating a bloated nuclear arsenal, be our guest.

President Obama insists that New START is important as a step toward his dream of a nuclear-free world. Where does one begin? A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare. We voluntarily disarm while the world's rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret.

Just last week we found out about a hidden, unknown, highly advanced North Korean uranium enrichment facility. An ostensibly nuclear-free world would place these weapons in the hands of radical regimes that would not hesitate to use them - against a civilized world that would have given up its deterrent.

Moreover, Obama's idea that the great powers must reduce their weapons to set a moral example for the rest of the world to disarm is simply childish. Does anyone seriously believe that the mullahs in Iran or the thugs in Pyongyang will in any way be deflected from their pursuit of nukes by a reduction in the U.S. arsenal?

Useless and problematic

Obama's New START treaty, like the rest, is 90 percent useless and 10 percent problematic. One difficulty is that it restricts the number of delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons. But because some of these are dual-use, our ability to deliver long-range conventional weapons, a major U.S. strategic advantage, is constrained.

The second problem is the recurrence of language in the treaty preamble linking offensive to defensive nuclear weaponry. We have a huge lead over the rest of the world in anti-missile defenses. Ever since the Reagan days, the Russians have been determined to undo this advantage. The New START treaty affirms the "interrelationship" between offense and defense. And Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has insisted that "the unchangeability of circumstances" - translation: no major advances in U.S. anti-missile deployment - is a condition of the entire treaty.

The worst thing about this treaty, however, is that it is simply a distraction. It gives the illusion of doing something about nuclear danger by addressing a non-problem, Russia, while doing nothing about the real problem - Iran and North Korea. The utter irrelevance of New START to nuclear safety was dramatically underscored last week by the revelation of that North Korean uranium enrichment plant, built with such sophistication that it left the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory "stunned." It could become the ultimate proliferation factory. Pyongyang is already a serial proliferator. It has nothing else to sell. Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda have the money to buy.

Iran's Islamic Republic lives to bring down the Great Satan. North Korea, nuclear-armed and in a succession crisis, has just shelled South Korean territory for the first time since the Korean armistice.

Obama peddling New START is the guy looking for his wallet under the lamppost because that's where the light is good - even though he lost the wallet on the other side of town.


MONDAY, November 29, 2010

THERE.  WE DON'T HAVE TO BE PERPETUAL VICTIMS ANYMORE.

GS

How to Stop North Korea
Nov. 29 2010 - 12:03 am

“No one has found a way to persuade North Korea to move in sensible directions.”  Stapleton Roy, the former American ambassador, said this to me in the beginning of 2004.

Since then, Kim Jong Il has continued to travel down the wrong path.  The little dictator may be an absolute failure when it comes to running the domestic affairs of his Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, but he is nonetheless a genius in roiling relations in North Asia.  No nation—with the possible exception of increasingly militant China—has figured out how to get along with Pyongyang.

How do we deal with North Korea?  There is one major step to take, and then the rest falls into place.  As an initial matter, we have to adjust our thinking.  “Whenever peace—conceived as the avoidance of war—has been the primary objective of a power or a group of powers, the international system has been at the mercy of the most ruthless member of the international community,” wrote Henry Kissinger, long before the emergence of Kim Jong Il.  “Whenever the international order has acknowledged that certain principles could not be compromised even for the sake of peace, stability based on an equilibrium of forces was at least conceivable.”

Today, South Koreans think the use of force is inconceivable, and the Obama administration shares that view.  Therefore, we jump at just about every offer to talk to Pyongyang, such as the one Beijing floated yesterday.

But as Kissinger hints, the most reliable way to become engaged in a war is to desperately try to avoid one.  By not imposing any consequences on the North for its belligerent behavior—the sinking of the Cheonan in March and the shelling of Yeonpyeong last week, for instance—Seoul has encouraged Kim Jong Il to continue to kill South Koreans.  Eventually, his regime will overstep, doing something that starts an escalatory spiral.  So, if we want to avoid a general conflict in North Asia, we need to change the way Pyongyang views the world.

The first thing we can do is intimidate Kim, who is usually well behaved when confronted with superior force.  He has abrogated the 1953 armistice on various occasions, most recently on May 27 of last year.  We nonetheless maintain that the truce remains in force, but as a matter of international law it cannot continue to exist if one party states it has been terminated.  We should take the North Koreans at their word and announce that we too recognize that there is no longer any agreement not to use force.

If we have the right to use force, we certainly have the right to take coercive measures.  Here are three of them we should implement immediately.

First, the U.S. Treasury should order banks and other financial institutions doing business in or with the U.S. to freeze North Korea’s funds and to refrain from commercial transactions with the militant state.  This mimics the Bush administration’s targeting of Banco Delta Asia, a Macau institution that was handling Pyongyang’s illicit money transfers.  The action, taken in 2005, forced North Korea to use its diplomats as mules to ferry money around the world in bulging suitcases.  Much of the North’s commerce is illegitimate anyway—counterfeit currency, methamphetamines, you name it—so this is something that should be done in any event.

Second, South Korea should order its 120 or so companies in the Kaesong Industrial Complex to close their facilities there.  The area, just north of the Demilitarized Zone, funnels about $600 million yearly to the North.  A large portion of this sum ends up in the pockets of senior regime members, who skim wages and other payments.  It is shameful for South Korean leaders to talk of North Korea’s “unpardonable” acts while funding them at the same time.  It is, simply stated, morally wrong.

Third, the U.S., along with its allies, must interdict North Korean shipments of long-range missiles and items that can be used in nuclear weapons programs.  Pyongyang has been proliferating nuclear weapons and missile technology to Iran, Syria, and Burma, according to a U.N. report released this month, and there are undoubtedly other customers as well.  North Korea has links with terrorist groups and has sold conventional weaponry to Hezbollah, for instance.  It’s not much a leap for the regime to sell a nuke to Osama bin Laden.

So North Korea is a threat to not just its neighbors.  It poses a threat to the United States.  Last June, the U.S. turned back the Kang Nam, a North Korean tramp freighter believed to be carrying nuclear materials to Burma.  The action was hailed at the time as a victory for nonproliferation.

Yet we never found out what happened to its cargo, which was unloaded and probably shipped overland through China.  We should have boarded the vessel on the high seas and, if necessary, confiscated its cargo.  With no armistice in effect, such an act would have been permissible under international law.  We had the right to sink the Kang Nam, so of course we had the right to stop and search it.

If we want “the most ruthless member of the international community”—that’s Kim Jong Il—“to move in sensible directions,” we need to abandon policies that have not worked and adopt ones that can.  By now, we don’t have much choice.


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