Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nuclear Deterrence Morality

For John, BLUFNuclear Deterrence isn't a good thing, but the alternative, coercion by a nation with a handful of nuclear weapons may well be worse.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This article is from the Boston Dioceses Newspaper, The Pilot, by Mr Russell Shaw, a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and has served as communications director for the U.S. Bishops.  The Dateline is 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Nuclear disarmament hasn't happened in these 35 years, and now North Korea has joined the nuclear club, President Trump speaks of using these weapons, and the U.S. and other nuclear powers are busy modernizing their stockpiles.

"We are at the limit of what is licit." In early December Pope Francis offered that assessment of nuclear deterrence during a question and answer session with reporters on the plane back to Rome from Bangladesh.

A month before, the Pope had strongly suggested that the "limit" had already been exceeded. "The threat of their [nuclear weapons'] use, as well as their very possession, is firmly to be condemned," he said in a message to a Vatican-sponsored conference on nuclear disarmament.

This wasn't the first time a pope has challenged the morality of nuclear deterrence. In a message to the United Nations General Assembly in 1982 Pope John Paul II granted only a grudging interim toleration to deterrence ("may still be judged morally acceptable") as a stage on the way to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

The American bishops relied on that judgment of conditional, temporary toleration of deterrence in their 1983 collective pastoral letter The Challenge of Peace.

But it's now 35 years since St. John Paul delivered his judgment and the bishops repeated it, and Pope Francis has just raised the moral bar a lot higher.

As well he might. Nuclear disarmament hasn't happened in these 35 years, and now North Korea has joined the nuclear club, President Trump speaks of using these weapons, and the U.S. and other nuclear powers are busy modernizing their stockpiles. The countries that now have nuclear arms are the U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, France, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea. Several others are in a position to acquire them fairly quickly if they so desire.

Then the article goes on to talking about deterrence in action, and the moral implications.

I have to admit I couldn't resist firing back, in the Comments Section, over may own signature:

War is immoral.  We (the human race) killed millions in WWII not counting the two (three, actually) nuclear devices torched off.  Millions.  And WWI (The Great War), while not as bad, still led to the deaths of millions.  And there was Mao and Pol Pot.

I guess we could do away with War, and Nuclear Weapons, if we all submitted to a one world government.  Unfortunately, such an institution would likely result in some people feeling oppressed and then rising up against such a centralized government.  Especially if that one world government turned out to be oppressive, to disregard things that we think of as human rights.  It makes me think of the need for subsidiarity, which works against a functioning one world government.

There are no easy answers here.  And, yes, I have played with nuclear weapons, as an aircrew member, a squadron level planner and a NATO Air Headquarters level planner.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Conform or Die

For John, BLUFI am not sure the left can hold it together.  The path of catering to an ever increasing number of "minority" groups will eventually pit one against the other, although before that happens some will trip themselves up over trying to cater to all groups, which will not be possible.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Under the heading "ZEITGEIST", Writer David Cole, and Taki Magazine, look at what is happening "on the left".  The dateline is 2 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus four:

Her name was Nari and she was the tallest Korean girl I’d ever seen. Six foot, at least.  It was 1996 and we were on our second date when she started talking politics.  Naturally, I assumed she’d be leftist.  She was a student at UCLA…’nuff said.  But I wasn’t prepared for just how leftist she was.  “I plan to devote my life to hegemony,” she told me over dinner.  I asked her what she meant by that.  “At school they call me ‘Red Emma,’ after Emma Goldman.  But I’m far more radical than she was.  She believed in free expression, the right of the oppressed to find their own voice.  That’s a mistake.  We need hegemony.  One party, and one set of ideas, enforced vigorously, with swift action taken against any non-hegemonic thoughts or expressions.  Everyone needs to be in lockstep, or we can’t move forward.”

I’d grown up surrounded by leftists, mostly Jewish, and almost all cut from the Emma Goldman cloth.  In other words, people who at least paid lip service to the notion of free thought and expression.  I’d never before encountered someone who I could so clearly envision running a Stalinist gulag or a Maoist reeducation center.v Someone who wanted to enforce “thought hegemony,” and who wanted to visit that nightmare upon not just the ruling class, but the “oppressed” as well.  And it startled me how quick she was to brag about it.

These days, Nari is a degreed academic (of course) who runs a think tank at a major U.S. university.  I don’t know if she’s still battling for her beloved hegemony, but I do know that the ideas she espoused that night have steadily grown in popularity among American leftists.  Mind you, leftism has always been marked by purity purges.  Communism, the definitive expression of leftist ideals in the 20th century, was as brutal to its own adherents (and to its supposedly beloved “oppressed”) as it was to its “reactionary” enemies.  The party loved nothing more than to continually police its own for signs of “counterrevolutionary thought,” sending incorrect thinkers to reeducation camps, or sometimes just executing them outright.  This practice of seeking ideological purity found its logical conclusion under the Khmer Rouge, which routinely put children in charge of labor camps and death squads, due to a belief that the very young were pure and uncorrupted by “reactionary” ideas.

The Soviet Union, Maoist China, Cambodia…hegemony.  One party, one goal, one way of thinking.

“With fewer and fewer fresh victims to bully, the left is being forced to attack its own.”

While the Progressives, or at least the Democrats, see the second half of 2018 developing into "the happy times" ("Die Glückliche Zeit"), it is possible that they will end up, as the author suggests, as a time of cannibalism.

Time will tell.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Hate Group Errors

For John, BLUFI guess we just have to use our own common sense to sift through all the groups that claim to protect us from bigotry and hate.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A "hate group" list loved by the media is bogus.

A summary of a POD Cast from Reason, by Reporters John Stossel and Maxim Lott, 16 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

There are dangerous hate groups in America. So a group called the Southern Poverty Law Center promises to warn us about them. They release an annual list of hate groups in America.

The media cover it, but John Stossel says they shouldn't.  It's a scam.

It lists Ayaan Hirsi Ali—who grew up Muslim in Somalia and suffered female genital mutilation—as an "anti-Muslim extremist." Just because she now speaks out against radical Islam.

I have listened to Ms Ali on TV and she seems pretty reasonable and far from being a "hater".  And, given that she doesn't buy into FGM, it is possible that she is justifiably unhappy with those who do that sort of thing.

Then there is the conservative Family Research Council, listed as a "hate group."  that is the group attacked by a shooter, who later told law enforcement that he picked the group because he saw they were on the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate map and he wanted to fight bigots.

And no, they don't list Antifa as a hate group, strangely.  Or not.

The SPLC is just another progressive group that wants to make sure you think the way they want you to think.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Of course, if she is a hater, then so are the rest of us who reject that form of dealing with female sexuality.  One wonders if Mr Morris Dees, the Center's founder, had his own wife and daughters suffer FGM, in solidarity with Somali Muslims?
  Think of Lenin or Stalin.

A Theocracy Threatened

For John, BLUFThe Iranians may be fomenting trouble abroad (Syria, Iraq, Germany) but they also have trouble at home.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, they might be if they were Anglo-Saxon identifying folks here in the US.

From Pajama Media, by Reporter Robert Spencer, 15 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

“We should have an Iranian republic, not an Islamic republic,” said one Iranian protester.  “Islam cannot address our needs.”

The protesters chanted:  “We don’t want an Islamic republic! … Clerics, shame on you, let go of our country!”  Some even chanted:  “Reza Shah, bless your soul!”, referring to the former Shah of Iran who had set the nation on a secularizing, pro-Western course.

All of this raises the question: in the U.S., we are constantly told that opposition to Sharia constitutes bigotry and “Islamophobia.”  So how did Iran come to be filled with bigoted “Islamophobes”?

Here is a further excerpt:
Julie Lenarz of Britain’s Human Security Center observed in December 2015: “It is astonishing that the West cultivates an ever-closer alliance with a theocratic regime widely known for its abysmal human rights record and aggressive behavior in the region. They hang men for the ‘crime’ of writing poems; or engaging in peaceful protest; or loving someone of the same sex. Women are stoned for being raped and Iranian law even allows for juvenile executions. Iran is averaging three hangings per day at the moment and remains a pariah state with no regard for human life. In a despicable form of moral myopia, the gold rush for business, as the international sanctions regime begins to unravel, has made Western governments blind to the suffering of ordinary Iranians at the hands of the Ayatollahs.”
While I won't try to characterize Iran, it is not a place I would wish to live.  Would you?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  You know, those who believe in the Rights of Englishmen, common law, the Declaration of Independence, private property and capitalism and the concept of subsidiarity and similar ideas.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Offending Everyone

For John, BLUFI wonder what the people in Carlisle think about the Acre?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post and occasional contributor Mr Gary Abernathy, 15 January 2018.  Mr Abernathy lives in Hillsboro, Ohio.

Here is the lede plus two:

HILLSBORO, Ohio — If I had realized, over the years, that when people referred to places I have lived as “sh*tholes” they were being not only rude but racist, I could have been even more offended.

Indeed, that particular description has been used so often to refer to parts of southern Ohio and most of West Virginia that residents practically wear it as a badge of honor.  Many West Virginians take particular delight in the fact that their state has a northern panhandle that serves as a symbolic middle finger to the rest of the nation.  This unique shape suffices as their standing response to the insults that regularly come their way.

But thanks to media coverage of President Trump’s alleged use of the word, they will from now on be aware that being called a “shithole” place to live is a racist insult, which will be a little confusing to the overwhelmingly white population.  No matter, because Trump’s haters never lack the ingenuity necessary to define his every utterance as a racist rant.

But, here is a line from the story that we should all keep in mind:
In 2006, Mormon elder and author David Bednar said, “To be offended is a choice we make; it is not a condition inflicted or imposed upon us by someone or something else.”
Too right.

Hat tip to my buddy Steve.

Regards  —  Cliff

Paying for "The Wall"

For John, BLUFSenator Dick Durbin is a prig who doesn't want a deal.  He would rather have the fight than help the Dreamers.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A friend of mine sent this out in an EMail this morning:
Somewhere over the weekend I saw an interview with a wizard of analysis.  Sorry, that’s all I remember (I was engaged in a very important discussion with my wife….) EXCEPT the dollar figure cost of every illegal immigrant.  This organization did an in-depth analysis and determined that over an individual’s lifespan, each illegal immigrant cost us $75,000 each.  They included all the puts and takes – taxes paid, etc.

Bottom line: Worst case scenario, the wall pays for itself in 10 years.

Allowing for errors and inflation and cost growth and illegal immigrant leakage, let us stay 12 years.  Still, a bargain.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, January 15, 2018

Prejudice Flows in Many Directions

For John, BLUFWe are still a polarized nation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from a year ago, but I don't think this kind of prejudiced thinking has much changed.

This is from The Daily Caller, by Mr Robert Donachie, 8 January 2017.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff