Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pots and Kettles

I don't like to make fun of the intelligence of other people, and am the first to lament my own intellectual deficiencies, but when people who themselves are walking around under an empty attic enjoy ridiculing others for being dim then I think their stupidity should at least be pointed out. The video below features talk show host Joy Behar and Eve Ensler, author of the play The Vagina Monologues, enjoying a good chuckle at the feeble-mindedness of - who else? - Sarah Palin and the tea partiers.

Palin and her ilk are people who "play fast and loose with facts" - as if the current administration and Congress have been the picture of probity - and, according to Ensler, they're people whose intelligence simply has yet to "evolve." These Neanderthals - fascists, Behar calls them - believe in creationism and are dubious of man-caused global warming. Ms Behar interprets Sarah Palin's advice to President Obama to be tougher on national security to mean that Palin wants to start a world war. Ms Ensler chimes in that this is a consequence of Palin being an NRA member and "shooting animals from a plane," and also, somehow, a consequence of her wish to see us develop our domestic oil resources.

Don't ask me to explain any of this. I was as mystified by it as you are, but I really look forward to hearing Ms Behar expatiate on the creation/evolution debate, or Ms Ensler explain the logical connections between hunting, drilling for oil, and wanting to precipitate a world war. That'd be a show I'd be sure not to miss.

But more to the point: however dumb Sarah and her fans may be I'll bet even the most dull-witted among them knows that earthquakes and tsunamis have nothing to do with global warming, man-caused or otherwise. Perhaps one of these benighted tea-partiers might venture to enlighten Ms Ensler about the nature of tectonic shifts and their causes:

It's pretty funny listening to two people who lack any understanding of the rudiments of either logic or geoscience deriding others for being skeptical of what people like these two believe. It's just as amusing listening to two people who shouldn't be making fun of anyone else's intelligence doing just that.



Michael Goodwin of the New York Post argues that President Obama's failure to successfully pressure Iran to stop its manufacture of nuclear weapons, and his apparent unwillingness to use the American military to destroy the production facilities, is forcing Israel to take matters into its own hands. This is very unsettling, though not unexpected. What was surprising in Goodwin's piece, though, comes in the fourth paragraph.

Goodwin writes:

Here's the nightmare scenario. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel requests an urgent, private meeting with President Obama. At the White House, the two men sit alone and Netanyahu, looking grave, dispenses with pleasantries and gets to the point:

"Our intelligence services have determined that Iran is less than three months from making a nuclear bomb. Mr. President, as I have told you, no Israeli leader can let that happen because a nuclear-armed Iran is an existential threat to our country.

"You previously asked that I not surprise you with any unilateral action. Therefore, I am here to inform you that we have decided to take military action against Iran. Based on weather conditions, our air force will carry out the raids in the next week.

"Furthermore, my military advisers all agree that we do not have sufficient conventional firepower to accomplish the mission. We are compelled to use tactical nuclear weapons. It is the only way we can be sure of success. "Mr. President, I assure you that Israel fully appreciates the seriousness of this decision and the potential consequences. My Cabinet fully supports this decision. Opposition leaders also have been informed and they, too, agree this is the only responsible course."

If the scenario sounds too cinematic and far-fetched, consider this. It was suggested to me by one of Israel's top political insiders as the almost-certain outcome of the failed international efforts to get Iran to stop enriching uranium.

There's more at the link. Meanwhile, here's the dilemma for those who believe that we should keep our own military out of this affair: Given all the awful geo-political consequences that will ensue from allowing Iran to build weapons, and all the awful consequences that will follow upon any attempt to destroy their ability to build those weapons, which is worse, an American conventional strike, or series of strikes, that destroys Iran's nuclear weapons facilities, or an Israeli nuclear strike against those facilities? Take your time. You probably have a couple of months yet to decide.


Passing of a Hero

There aren't many politicians of whom we might say this, but Charlie Wilson was a great man. Wilson was a little known, hard living, skirt-chasing, party-loving former Congressman from Texas, but he was nevertheless a genuine hero. He passed away yesterday at the age of 76, an event which wouldn't be especially notable were it not for the fact that this particular Congressman, despite his many peccadilloes, was a savior to the Afghan people. He and a small coterie of CIA agents were, more than any other Americans, responsible for the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan in the late eighties. Wilson's story was made into an outstanding movie a few years ago (Charlie Wilson's War), with Tom Hanks as Wilson. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Julia Roberts also had starring roles.

Wilson freely confesses to his personal shortcomings, but he was truly an outstanding man. If you watch the movie you'll understand why.



ABC has a series of never before released aerial photos of the collapse of the second World Trade Tower here. They should serve as a reminder that the conflict with radical Islam may ebb and flow, but they will never stop trying to do it again. Evil is relentless.