Tightening the Screws on Israel

 

Let me be blunt. The Iranian deal always was a disaster and, after President Netanyahu’s presentation, we’re relearning what we already knew. Mama Toad’s post did a great job of soliciting input from Ricochetti about Netanyahu’s statement. And if you want an outsider’s view, take a look at David Harsanyi’s article in The Federalist. I encourage you to offer your opinion on this dangerous and ridiculous agreement, but this OP will take two different directions, particularly regarding Israel. One question is: what do we do next on the Iran agreement? The second addresses a different topic: what do you think are the dangers of the protests in Gaza at the border with Israel?

So let’s look at Iran first. They’ve lied from the start, in spite of “guarantees” for transparency and investigations by the IAEA. In its February 22, 2018 report, the IAEA summary reads as follows:

The Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used (LOFs) declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement. Evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities for Iran remained ongoing. Since Implementation Day, the Agency has been verifying and monitoring the implementation by Iran of its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. The Director General will continue to report as appropriate.

Member Post

 

It’s an American education disaster.    This statistic is tragic and frightening and infuriating all at once.   Everything that needs fixing in America is embodied in these numbers.   Failure so widespread and pervasive it demands a thoroughgoing overhaul of what we have let ourselves become.    We are sacrificing our children to our […]

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Quote of the Day #2: Freedom and Responsibleness

 

“Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.” — Viktor Frankl, (1956) Man’s Search for Meaning, p. 209-210.

Freedom is a heady brew. It’s great stuff; simply wonderful.

Member Post

 

“We’ll all just quit.” The voice is that of a young woman. She is beautiful, with a generally approachable smile that made everybody who spoke to her seem welcome and appreciated; even as they know she’s well outside their class. Her smile, at this moment, is more twisted. There’s a hint of anger in it. […]

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“I Would Rather Die”

 

Ranald MacKenzie’s body had been battered almost from the day he received his commission from West Point. The wound he took at Second Bull Run was only the first of six major ones he would get during the Civil War. He would add two more on the frontier.

A sergeant who served with MacKenzie more than a decade later wrote about how difficult it could be around the demanding the colonel despite the respect that one had for him. But he recalled one day that always tempered his feelings. After a hot, dusty patrol the column had stopped to rest and water horses. MacKenzie had scouted upstream and found a hole of water big enough to bath in. The colonel stripped off and invited the enlisted man to join if he wanted. The sergeant said the image of the scared body, from the base of the neck to the heels of his feet gave him a lasting impression of the almost constant pain that the commander had to endure. That mangled right hand was easily seen but under the uniform lay much more.

The wounds to his hip and legs made riding a horse difficult and certainly painful. But he was often in the saddle around the clock, even as he rested his men.

Lies We Tell

 

I was inspired by @nickh, who wrote: “Things we tell our kids that are technically true but [are] completely wrong.” Here was his example: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Yup. Words hurt plenty. Here is another one that makes me crazy: You are what you eat.

The Rise and Fall (and Rise?) of American Growth

 

Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon is one of the foremost tech/productivity/growth pessimists — he might prefer the term “realist” — with his views most fully expressed in his 2016 book “The Rise and Fall of American Growth.” It’s an excellent book. And if you read it and like it, then you might want to check out Gordon’s new NBER working paper, “Why Has Economic Growth Slowed When Innovation Appears to be Accelerating?”

It’s a compelling headline question given the apparent disconnect between economic statistics and what you read in the business media or hear from Silicon Valley. Now Gordon’s answer to that question is what you would expect if you’ve read his book or more generally followed his work. (Indeed, the paper provided a pretty good summary of his thinking.) His claim is that the “great inventions” of the Second Industrial Revolution — including electrification, the internal combustion engine, public sanitation, advances in chemicals and plastic — were really something, especially compared against subsequent waves of progress. These inventions, Gordon writes,

affected every aspect of life for businesses and consumers . . . and involved fundamental one-time-only changes in such basic dimensions of human life as location (from rural to urban), temperature (from alternating hot and cold to an even temperature all year round), and speed (from the hoof and sail of 1820 to the Boeing 707 of 1958).

Member Post

 

During the last week or so a story about a Brazilian surfer breaking a record by riding an 85 foot wave on the Portuguese Coast made the news. It may or may not have been the largest wave ridden by a surfer, but it’s still a pretty impressive achievement. Once a wave gets to a […]

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Member Post

 

The Left was incensed that Pres Trump refused to attend an event run by the Fake Media. Of course, I am sort of wondering how it was the folks who work at the Leftist media attended the gala… Shouldn’t they have been at the California border wiping the brow of the beleagured Honduran refugees? I […]

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Member Post

 

  I don’t think anyone knows exactly when or why the handshake came into being. And, that makes sense because I’m sure it’s been around since before recorded history. As to its’ origin, the story that seems most likely to me is that by extending their open right hands strangers were indicating that they carried […]

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Quote of the Day: Life and Death

 

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live…” — Deuteronomy 30:19

I must admit, this verse has been on my mind for some time, but it has especially come to the fore with the events of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans.

Member Post

 

This comment is to offer a few personal observations of what appear to be century-old analogies between two progressive U.S. presidents and the congresses with which they had to deal. Reflect first on Woodrow Wilson during his eight years in office (1913-1921); look at the idealistic nature of some of his speeches, particularly after WWI […]

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New Head of the NHS: Thanos

 

Last night I went with my oldest child to see the latest Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War, and was struck by the villain of the piece: Thanos. Up until this point, Thanos has been more of a background, shadow villain; someone who supports the active villainy of others through advice and henchmen but refusing to get his hands dirty. (Mild spoilers ahead.)

Now, in this latest installment, his long-game strategy is revealed: he wishes to save the universe by murdering half of its inhabitants, thereby decreasing the demand on all the resources so that the surviving group will have an easier time of it.  I have heard this argument before, both in fiction and reality, but this time the rationality of Thanos stood out in a new way to me. As the megalomaniac explained his rationale for his actions, he reminded me of nothing else so much as Great Britain’s National Healthcare Service, especially as concerns Alfie Evans.

The NHS has argued repeatedly that it acted in the best interests of 22-month-old Alfie Evans. How did it choose to act? By overruling the rights and desires of his parents and Alfie’s own right to life by removing this little boy from his respirator and nutrition. Thus, he died, over days, gasping and starving.

Member Post

 

Some years ago I read an Atlantic article about Americans and their leisure activities.  The gist was that many people are too serious about their leisure activities – the competitive aspects remove the “lesiure” and make them too intense.  The quote I remember best is how the one of the worst things you can do […]

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I Believe the U.S. Is a Wonderful Place — and I Grew Up Overseas

 

I recently came across a piece in the Huffington Post written by Liz Lemarchand, titled Why I Left The U.S. 20 Years Ago… And Why I Won’t Be Coming Back. Liz worked 60 hours a week for a corporation in DC, yet was unsatisfied with the “American Dream” and decided to move to a different country to find happiness. On the surface, this would seem like another story of someone “finding herself.” But instead of keeping it personal, Liz decides to attack American ideals. Let’s take a look at her accusations:

At 23, I was already living the corporate rat race, working nearly 60 hours a week for a huge multinational conglomerate in Washington, D.C., and I felt too young for the lifestyle I was leading. In the course of my two years there, Washington had turned me from a naive political science graduate with aspirations of single-handedly changing a failing political system into a jaded, disenchanted old lady.

Member Post

 

I think it was Napoleon who said, “An army marches on its stomach!” Meaning that provisioning was perhaps the most important part of a military campaign. Napoleon, of course was the leader of a legendary band of immigrants, aka the Grande Armée, which massed in France and tramped across the known world, toppling thrones , […]

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Member Post

 

I am not so smart as I think. Hearing the name of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s sports teams, I confused low-melting solid mixtures with constant-boiling liquid mixtures. Well, they are similar; but I should know better. I shall try to come up with a mnemonic to help me. The Fightin’ Eutectics are on […]

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Member Post

 

In the latest round of complete and total hypocrisy the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau cant be bothered to reform our refugee process so he wants the USA to save us from ourselves. ‘Unlike the U.S., where illegal immigrants have to jump a border or evade immigration and customs enforcement agents, the Globe and Mail reports that […]

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“You Were the One I Was Afraid Of”

 

Ranald MacKenzie was sent to Fort Robinson in August of 1876 to command the District of the Black Hills. He would not just have his own 4th Cavalry but also units from five other regiments as well.

The Custer fight was not quite two months in the past yet. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull’s Sioux were to the north and free as were the Northern Cheyenne with Dull Knife. Together they had embarrassed Crock at the Rosebud and all but destroyed the 7th at Little Big Horn, all in barely a week. Two large bands of Sioux and one of Cheyenne might have been the looming problem but the immediate one was the restless Sioux of the Spotted Tail and Red Cloud agencies. With the news of the summers’ victories, both warriors and families had been drifting off the agencies and into the hills making for a potential enlargement of the rebellion among the tribes.

MacKenzie’s first order of business was to find Red Cloud whom he thought was behind the runaways. The old chief had proven to be skilled at handling Indian Agents since agreeing to a settlement of the Red Cloud War in the late 1860s. When MacKenzie found the runaways camp several miles to the north, he surrounded it with troops and then gave Red Cloud the order to begin taking down lodges. When the chief began his usual speech to stall for time, the colonel ordered troopers to begin burning lodges. They had barely begun when the women started taking down lodges and packing their goods.