Friday, March 30, 2012



A column from Kathleen Parker irritated me!

We are, in a word, immoderate.

This was not always so. Once upon a time, moderation in all things was the maxim by which most people tried to live their lives. Today moderation is merely boring. Extreme is the virtue of the cool, as well as of a populace whose attention span compares favorably to a gnat's. Judging from the girths ambling along America's sidewalks, few appetites go untended.

Likewise in the political realm, passions roam unbridled. By saner standards, what would be readily identified as fanaticism is considered conviction, while resistance to compromise is allegiance to principle. In an environment where talk radio and cable TV set the tone of discourse, dispassion and facts give way to heat and opinion. In the policy arena, moral principle morphs into purity tests for politicians, and moderates run for the hills.

Such does not bode well for a nation in trouble. What we need are calm voices and pragmatic minds. Instead, we have fewer people self-identifying as moderate, down from 40 percent to 35 percent in the past 10 years. Yet, stop people on the street and they'll tell you they're sick of the partisanship and gridlock. They want Washington to reform itself. But do they really?

Two thoughts about this moderation in all things idea: 1) Yes, there are many areas of legislation and order where compromise and moderation is both necessary and desirable; and, 2) No, there are also many,many areas where moderation and compromise are highly prejudicial to the good order of the nation and its people.

Here are a few of these areas where there is basically only one right answer, or one correct position to take on your political side:

Morality; Law of the Land; Governance; Religion; Life or Death Matters; War; Guns; Will of the People. At the base of each of these subjects, and many of similar import, is a yes/no, or go/no-go binary answer, without the possibility of compromise or moderation of view.

It is: moral versus amoral or moral relativity; obey the law or disobey the law or work to overturn the law; hew to the form of government or try to change the form and our Constitution; belief versus non-belief in God; survive life or don't survive; war or no war; obey the will or the people or defy the will; and so on through hundreds, if not thousands, of these go/no go issues.

Thus, I contend that we are far more moderate than most nations, and yet, we do stick to our principles and beliefs when it matters.  Then too, we do not fall for the Democratic trap that amounts to "be moderate, be collegial, be compromizing, and just agree with us!" Meeting them halfway isn't on, because there isn't any halfway in many cases!


Friday, March 23, 2012


Might Iran Attack Israel?

What if the Iranians decide to attack Israel and blunt the Israeli counterstrike?

A quote from a critic: "I also obviously hold that the Iranian leadership is not so irrational as to start a nuclear war."

This assumption is at the nub of the attack argument, and lies between the sanity of some and the religious ferver of others in Iran’s government. Were I to set odds on the religious fanatics to carry out an audacious attack, it might rise to about 1 in 3. Were the Israelis to set the odds, I conjecture that it would rise to at least 2 in 3, based on their continuing antagonistic posture towards Iran, and their 8 to 7 vote for attack. (This is highly dependent upon the supply of modern missile systems to Iran from Russia over the next few years.)

There are a number of unknown unknowns here, among which is the possibility that Iran is not totally crazy in contemplating nuclear war against Israel, in that they have (or are developing) one or more weapons and one or more tactics that they feel confident can defeat the Israeli counter missile threat for the most part. So I will look at some of these possibilities as best I can, modeling my projections on current weapon developments in Russia in particular, since the Russians have supplied Iran with weapons.

1) Nuclear EMP weapons as an extension of their basic nuke capability. If you have nukes, you have the principal weapon basis for EMP. A few warheads and missiles would be needed, which could take a year or two.

2) A mobile missile system capable of a range of up to 175 km and 85,000 ft at Mach 6, with a homing infrared and laser guidance system. This is based on what the Russians have in service now in the S-300 ABM system and four S-300PMU missiles on a tracked vehicle. They are launched vertically, and guided until acquisition of the target by their homing infrared systems.

The idea of using this ABM weapon is to shoot down the Israeli nuclear missiles during the launch phase from positions just outside of Israel’s borders. We know that Iran has been requesting these advanced missiles for a while now from the Russians. If these tracked systems were to be deployed in Gaza, the Palestinian West Bank, Syria (who already possesses some S-300 systems!) and Lebanon, and perhaps in both Jordan and Egypt, they could cover just about all of the expected Israeli launch sites. Iran could well force this positioning in some cases.

Other S-300 missile systems could be deployed around key Iranian areas to defend against incoming missiles in their terminal phase, just as the Russians have done around Moscow. These missiles would catch the leakers from the EMP and launch phase shots.

3) The naval version is the S-300FM, and it can be vertically launched from destroyers and perhaps frigates, which Iran would have to purchase, which would take a few years to complete. It is unclear whether the S-300 can be or has been adapted to the two existing Iranian frigates, but there doesn’t seem to be any technical reason that they cannot be. A flotilla of 6 to 8 frigates could carry 8 missiles each for a total of possibly 64 missiles in box launchers. It is also possible to mount two of the S-300 box launchers on much smaller vessels, to swarm around in the Gulf. The idea here is to cover as much as possible of the launch areas of the two or three Israeli nuclear missile submarines, again to shoot the missiles down just after launch. (The tactic of shooting these types of missiles in pairs has long been the usual practice, and hit probabilities of .7 to .8 have been achieved against mach 3 missiles.)

4) Continued development of Russian S-300 and S-400 series of missile systems may well show significant improvements in the next few years. Perhaps Iran would share in these developments.

The Iranian scenario, which is easily 3 to 5 years away, would be to lay down an EMP field on Israel, and especially the probable nuclear missile sites, to disrupt the missile guidance systems, then to use the S-300s to hit any missiles that managed to launch anyway, followed by interception of incoming leakers. They would have to accept that some missiles would likely get through and cause massive damage. If the fanatics are in charge, this might well indeed be accepted. Meanwhile, at the proper timing, they launch both nukes and conventional weapons to destroy Israel.

The main conclusion I draw here is that if the Russians actually do supply Iran with large quantities of the S-300 ABM systems and training, say about 500 to 1,000 in some variation, over the next few years, not only does an Israeli air or missile attack on Iran become highly difficult and very costly, the same systems can be used to largely blunt an Israeli missile strike/counterstrike.

This possible procurement unfortunately raises the stakes for Israel once again in the direction of: attack now.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012


Big Government Enumerated

Wonder where much of the tax revenues go?
This is a site that lists all of the federal agencies currently in the US government.

It is the LSU Libraries Federal Agency Directory. At one time they posted a count of such agencies as 1,177, but in the latest version they ducked the question and referred the reader to the US Directory, based on the difficulty of defining government entities and ranking them properly. There is the possibility that this was a politically driven decision simply to make it difficult to determine the current extent of agencies without actually counting their names in the registry, which is tedious at best. So, I believe that the number is perhaps 10% higher now than in a few years ago when it was 1,177. Obamacare alone is supposed to add another hundred or two to this list.

When we speak of limited government, I believe we should examine this enormous set of agencies, committees, bureaus, commissions and the like for: mission and regulation overlap; budgetary necessity; general need for their existence, and the possibility of combining and simplifying their actions, thus perhaps saving a lot of money.

It was stated some time ago that to obtain approval of a new nuclear power plant, one has to submit plans and impact studies for approval to over 23 agencies, any one of which could block the effort. Since the heads of many of these agencies are politically appointed positions, the current political party in office has an enormous impact on approving who can do what, where and when in the nation. Then, too, unions in the federal government can have a significant impact on the ability of this huge collection of bureaucrats to perform their jobs efficiently, whether needed or not.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Obama's Performance

The Public Is Waking Up to the Problems, I Hope! (Edited anew 3/20/12)

Perhaps the public is becoming aware of the specter of war with Iran and her minions real soon now, coupled with the rather two-faced approach of this administration on the plight of Israel. With the national debt topping $15.5T (which bests Bush's spending in 8 years in only 3+ for Obama!), the deficit going to $1.2T+ this year; no budget for 3 years; possible war in the offing with a big price tag if it happens; joblessness at a real 18% not really making big strides at all; a coming tax increase as Bush cuts are ended; and Obamacare coming ever further on line; the impact of Obamacare not well understood and rejected by the people; housing in the doldrums; and financing (possible QE3 again) not perking up; for lack of drilling, $4+ gas prices heading up further with a hard financial impact on people everywhere; the administration touting really hefty cuts to the military and the defense industry just to make things interesting for the job market; and our esteemed Attorney General losing weapons and lying; it is very easy to see how a goodly percentage of the public would be leery of Obama and his czars at this juncture, for the highly negative results both for domestic and foreign reasons. All these issues without going into the seriously flawed progressive ideology and accompanying leftist personnel being installed throughout government's 1,177+ Agencies, and growing!

One expects that by November a rosy picture will have been painted for us to see on all of this. So, watch out for January! Whoever wins will have a terrible mess to cope with, including all of the so-called the roses.

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Thursday, March 08, 2012


Political Beliefs

Briefly Restating My Political Beliefs  as of 3/10/2012, Modified 3/11/12                                                                                    

1. I am a Conservative, both fiscally and socially, or, in my terms, a “Prudent Conservative.”

2. I am a Christian, and ascribe to a Christian morality and belief system.

3. I hold to a value system that includes faith, hope and charity (love), and prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude, as well as a myriad of other positive virtues, such as honesty and integrity.

4. I believe in natural law, natural rights and natural duties.

5. I believe in the tenets of the Constitution of the United States, both as forthrightly interpreted and as they directly incorporate the tenets of natural law and civil or human law.

6. I believe in the American Way of Life that has existed and has been improved upon for 230 or so years.

7. I believe in maintaining the sovereignty of the United States whole and clear of international intrusions, such as open borders.

8. I believe in a strong and modern defense capability, and in “avoiding technological surprise.”

9. I believe in the free market system, capitalism, but with sufficient yet minimal regulations to control fraud and abuse.

10. I believe in a minimalized government that is sufficient to execute its Constitutional duties.

11. I believe in subsidiarity: that is, employing the lowest practical government level to execute the law.

12. I believe in a balance between federal and state governance.

13. I believe in realism, skepticism, evolved order, and personal responsibility as a citizen.

14. I believe in a proper and realistic balance between theism and secularism.

15. I believe in blocking undue government interference in the daily life of our citizens.

16. I believe in enforcement of our laws: an unenforced law is anathema to good order.

17. I believe that collectivism, while present to some extent, should be minimized and kept that way.

18. I believe in supporting well-vetted scientific and engineering programs that may well enhance our lives and our knowledge.

19. I believe that there has been bad science foisted onto the public that must be stopped.

20. I believe in stopping illegal entry to the US, assimilation of legal immigrants, and providing for temporary work programs for foreigners, while reducing the number of illegal immigrants to a manageable size, perhaps via attrition. I believe in exporting illegals that commit a crime.

21. I believe that government unions are simply improper, and should be eliminated. I also support states right-to-work laws.

22. I believe that we should be exploiting every available avenue to become energy independent quickly.

23. I believe that we need to master the problem of affordable and private health care for all.

24. I believe in a balanced budget, paying down the National Debt, and controlling spending.

25. I believe that the Congress needs to be reformed to be effective, possibly including term limits, fewer committees, elimination of earmarks, standardizing house and senate rules, and managing all outside contributions to lawmakers. In particular, we must be assured that no foreign money whatsoever can be used to influence our elections.

26. I believe in proper education that prepares our children to be effective citizens in our republic, and to find their own niche in society and the workplace.

27. I believe that abortion issues should be devolved to the states, not the federal government.

28. I believe that every citizen should perform some service to the nation during their post-high school time. A National Service program should be devised to this end. Citizens should participate in the governing work processes, and in defending the nation.

29. I believe that justices in the judicial system must be prevented from inventing laws, or altering the Constitution.

30. I believe in a flat tax model rather than a progressive tax model, with some provision for the low income groups. Fundamentally, all citizens must pay tax as a civic duty, but I do not believe in the punishing tax-the-rich approach.

31. I believe in instituting clearly needed changes in governance and laws where there is ample evidence that the change will not have unexpected or undesired consequences.

32. I believe in following precedent, customs, and traditions, until there is a clear need for change.

33. I believe in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.

34. I believe in effective and common sense environmental stewardship.

35. I believe that my home is my castle, and I should be able to defend it against intruders with my weapons, even unto killing them.

36. I believe in just war and just killings, but not murder.

37. I believe that criminals should be separated from society for a term. Those criminals that continue to commit crimes should be incarcerated for life. There should be no such thing as a “long rap sheet”.

38. I believe that we must care for the ill, the disabled, and the destitute through effective charity.

39. I believe that the practice of finding social needs that the government must provide for must end.

40. I believe in religious freedom so long as the tenets of a religion and its practice do not endanger the Republic.

41. I believe that education unions should be defanged.

42. I believe that the federal government must not be able to dictate private sector management, salaries, or any other provision.

43. I believe that the President's Executive Order capability must be constrained.

44. I believe that the federal government must be put out of the education business, in favor of state governments.

45. I believe that there must be provision for revenue sharing between the federal government and the various states without srings attached that make the states dependent on following federal rulings.

46. I believe in general, that the long-standing push towards a fully centralized government must be halted.

47. I believe that the President's war powers must be reworked to prevent disastrous commitments to conflicts.

48. I believe that the US must reduce its commitment to the UN drastically, except for well-proven humanitarian efforts.  The state of moral turpitude in most of the states in the UN precludes proper action.

49. I believe that the US wastes a significant amount of its aid money to third tier nations, because there is insufficient assurance the the money will be used for the intended purposes, and insufficient supervision of the actual processes.

50. I do not believe in international courts of justice, or any similar courts, simply because I do not believe that foreign judges can be unbiased and fair to the US.


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