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Rule Five Friday

2015_04_03_Rule Five Friday (1)Here’s the always-worth-reading Dr. Thomas Sowell on the current calamitous negotiations with Iran on their nuke program.  Excerpt:

It is amazing — indeed, staggering — that so few Americans are talking about what it would mean for the world’s biggest sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, to have nuclear bombs, and to be developing intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond the Middle East.

Back during the years of the nuclear stand-off between the Soviet Union and the U.S., contemplating what a nuclear war would be like was called “thinking the unthinkable.”

But surely the Nazi Holocaust during World War II should tell us that what is beyond the imagination of decent people is by no means impossible for people who, as Churchill warned of Hitler before the war, had “currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them.”

2015_04_03_Rule Five Friday (2)Have we not already seen that kind of hatred in the Middle East? Have we not seen it in suicide bombings there and in suicide attacks against America by people willing to sacrifice their own lives by flying planes into massive buildings, to vent their unbridled hatred?

The Soviet Union was never suicidal, so the fact that we could annihilate their cities if they attacked ours was a sufficient deterrent to a nuclear attack from them. But will that deter fanatics with an apocalyptic vision? Should we bet the lives of millions of Americans on our ability to deter nuclear war with Iran?

It is now nearly 70 years since nuclear bombs were used in war. Long periods of safety in that respect have apparently led many to feel as if the danger is not real. But the dangers are even greater now and the nuclear bombs more devastating.

2015_04_03_Rule Five Friday (3)Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may — probably will — be the most catastrophic decision in human history. And it can certainly change human history, irrevocably, for the worse.

Speaking as one who wore Uncle Sam’s colors in the last years of the Cold War and the opening rounds of the present global cultural conflict, there was a big difference between the nuke-owning Soviet Union and a nuke-owning Iran.  It is a difference not of degree but one of kind, and it is this:  The Russians are at their heart a sane people, people who love their children and want them to have a world to grow up in.  That made them not want to see nukes used; they built them, as did we, but nobody on either side (except, possibly, a few sociopathic nuts) wanted to see them use.

2015_04_03_Rule Five Friday (4)The Iranians know no such compunctions.  When they get a nuke, they’ll use it.  And the resulting conflagration will probably make World War 2 look like a small-town fireworks show.

It’s become common to compare the Obama Administration’s unconscionable pandering to Iran with Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Hitler.  There are similarities, not least of which is the prediction made by an MP named Winston Churchill after Chamberlain proclaimed “Peace in Our Time.”  Sir Winston told Chamberlain “You had to choose between dishonor and war.  You chose dishonor, and you shall have war.”  Churchill was right then, and he would be right in making the same observation today.

2015_04_03_Rule Five Friday (5)Dr. Sowell concludes:  The road to World War II was strewn with arms-control agreements on paper that aggressor nations ignored in practice. But those agreements lulled the democracies into a false sense of security that led them to cut back on military spending while their enemies were building up the military forces to attack them.

That’s what is happening now, with Iran.  We are dealing with a nutbag nation, a country that lies as reflexively as they breathe, run by a cabal of apocalyptic, Bronze Age shitbags that will take advantage of the Obama Administration’s fecklessness to gain the chance to rain fire on Tel Aviv, or London, or New York – or all of the above.

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Rule Five Friday

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (1)Speaking as the guy who wrote the book on animal rights kooks, it has been gratifying over the last few years to see that particular brand of nutballery sort of fading away.

But while the animal rights nutbars may be in decline, they ain’t gone yet.  Now they are protesting the use of animals in labs at Yale.  Excerpt:

Students returning to campus yesterday afternoon were greeted by a choreographed demonstration outside of Old Campus of a protestor in a cage being treated by two others dressed in animal costumes.

Demonstrators at the performance art protest, staged by Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), alleged that Yale research scientists have been violating U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations for testing on animals for years. The group also claimed that Yale laboratories hold over 2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (2)150,000 animals in captivity. Two protestors appeared dressed in animal costumes and lab coats, as the demonstration centered around the question “What if the tables were turned?”

“Many of these animals have holes drilled into their brains and are exposed to electrocution or potentially fatal drugs as part of laboratory experiments,” DxE said in a press release Friday. “Lab technicians routinely kill primates, sheep, rodents and other animals after the experiments are completed.”

The protest drew a crowd of 10 residents, most of whom were not Yale affiliates. Many drivers blew their horns in solidarity with the protestors, who were situated at the intersection of College Street and Elm Street.

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (3)Before we engage in a serious discussion of the use of animals in research, feel free to indulge in a gratuitous snicker at the “crowd of 10 residents, most of whom were not Yale affiliates.”  That’s right.  Ten.

OK, now that we’ve got that over with; if you were to rate cluelessness on a scale of one to ten, the nuts that protest the use of animals in research, especially biomedical research, would rate at least twelve.  The fact is that medical progress would come to a screeching halt without the use of animals in research.

The animal rights nuts are quick to advocate “alternatives,” but they are (again) clueless.  Some of the alternatives include:

Computer modeling.  It won’t work.  Why?  Because the most complex models we can derive, even today, are laughably crude when compared to biological systems.  There are no models that can simulate the billions of complex interactions that make up the biochemistry and metabolism of a living organism.

2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (4)Tissue cultures.  They won’t work.  Why?  Because safety and efficacy testing requires a complete organism.

I’ve even seen animal rights nuts propose using prison inmates for pharmaceutical testing – involuntarily.  Too bad about that pesky Constitution, but what are you gonna do?  If it saves just one white rat, wouldn’t it be worth it?

When I was writing Misplaced Compassion back in the late 1990s, I identified four personality traits common to all animal rights nutbars, those being misplaced compassion, denial, intellectual laziness and arrogance.  All four are never more in evidence than when the kooks protest the use of animals in research; they show 2015_03_27_Rule Five Friday (5)compassion for animals over people, they deny the overwhelming benefits of biomedical research that uses animals, they can’t be bothered to actually learn anything about biology and research practices – and they don’t care if the realization of their agenda would be harmful to humanity.

It’s a weird kind of totalitarianism they advocate; an animal-worshipping fascism that would reduce the medical arts back to the 1800s.

It’s just as well that they seem to be slowly fading away.

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Rule Five Friday

2015_03_20_Rule Five Friday (1)The Gospel of John Moses Browning

1 In the beginning was the 1911, and the 1911 was THE pistol, and it was good. And behold the Lord said, “Thou shalt not muck with my disciple John’s design for it is good and it workith. For John made the 1911, and lo all of his weapons, from the designs which I, the Lord, gave him upon the mountain.”

 2 “And shouldst thou muck with it, and hang all manner of foul implements upon it, and profane its internal parts, thou shalt surely have malfunctions, and in the midst of battle thou shalt surely come to harm.”

 3 And as the ages passed men in their ignorance and arrogance didst forget the word of the Lord and began to profane the 1911. The tribe of the gamesman did place recoil spring guides and extended slide releases upon the 1911 and their metal smiths didst tighten the tolerances and alter parts to their liking, their clearness of mind being clouded by lust.

2015_03_20_Rule Five Friday (2)4 Their artisans did hang all manner of foul implements upon the 1911 and did so alter it that it became impractical to purchase. For lo, the artisans didst charge a great tax upon the purchasers of the 1911 so that the lowly field worker could not afford one. And the profaning of the internal parts didst render it unworkable when the dust of the land fell upon it,  and these profaners didst try and fit more rounds of ammunition into the magazines than the holy number of seven, appointed for the .45.

5 And lo, they didst install adjustable sights, which are an abomination unto the Lord. For they doth break and lose their zero when thou dost need true aim. And those who have done so will be slain in great numbers by their enemies in the great battle. a

6 And it came to pass that the Lord didst see the abomination wrought by man and didst cause, as he had warned, fearful malfunctions to come upon the abominations and upon the artisans who thought they could do no wrong.

7 Seeing the malfunctions and the confusion of men, the lord of the underworld did see an opportunity to further ensnare man and didst bring forth pistols made of plastic, whose form was such that they looked and felt like a brick, yet the eyes of man being clouded, they were consumed by the plastic pistol and did buy vast quantities of them.

 8 And being a deceitful spirit, the lord of the underworld did make these plastic pistols unamenable to the artisans of earth and they were unable to muck much with the design, and lo these pistols did appear to function.

2015_03_20_Rule Five Friday (3) 9 And the evil one also brought forth pistols in which the trigger didst both cock and fire them and which require a “dingus” to make them appear safe.

10 But man being stupid did not understand these new pistols and didst proceed to shoot themselves with the plastic pistol and with the trigger cocking pistols for lo their manual of arms required great intelligence which man had long since forsaken. Yet man continue to gloat over these new pistols blaming evil forces for the negligent discharges which they themselves had committed.

11 And when man had been totally ensnared with the plastic pistol, the lord of the underworld didst cause a plague of the terrible Ka-Boom to descend upon man and the plastic pistols delivered their retribution upon men. And there was a great wailing and gnashing of teeth in the land.

12 Then seeing that the eyes of man were slowly being opened and that man was truly sorrowful for his sinful misdeeds, the Lord did send his messengers in the form of artisans who did hear and obey the teachings of the prophet and who didst restore the profaned 1911s to their proper configuration, and lo, to the amazement of men they didst begin to work as the prophet had intended.

2015_03_20_Rule Five Friday (4)13 And the men of the land didst drive out the charlatans and profaners from the land, and there was joy and peace in the land, except for the evil sprits which tried occasionally to prey on the men and women of the land and who were sent to the place of eternal damnation b by the followers of John.

Several old manuscripts add the following text. “And they [also rendered as “these men”] didst chamber it for cartridges who’s calibers startith with numbers less than the Holy Number 4.  And lo the Lord did cause great grief amongst these men when their enemies who were struck in battle with these lesser numbers didst not fall but did continue to cause great harm.”

b or Hell

Yr. obdt works in a high-tech industry and duly appreciate how modern technology improves our lives.  But sometimes you run into a design that is so effective, so complete, so truly and simply wrought as to defy improvement for many decades.

The 1911 Browning pistol is one such.  I toted one many moons ago as a company aidman in an Infantry outfit, and have one in the safe today – a plain, unaltered, unadorned mil-spec 1911A1 pattern prettied up only with a set of ivory polymer grips.

Every shooter should be familiar with the 1911 and its Gospel.

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Rule Five Friday

2015_03_13_Rule Five Friday (1)Here’s a great piece from the always-worth-reading Dr. Thomas Sowell:  The ‘Disparate Impact’ Racket.  Excerpt:

The U.S. Department of Justice issued two reports last week, both growing out of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown. The first report, about “the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson” ought to be read by every American.

2015_03_13_Rule Five Friday (2)It says in plain English what facts have been established by an autopsy on Michael Brown’s body — by three different pathologists, including one representing the family of Michael Brown — by DNA examination of officer Darren Wilson’s gun and police vehicle, by examination of the pattern of blood stains on the street where Brown died and by a medical report on officer Wilson, from the hospital where he went for treatment.

 

The bottom line is that all this hard evidence, and more, show what a complete lie was behind all the stories of Michael Brown being shot in the back or being shot while raising his hands in surrender. Yet that lie was repeated, and dramatized in demonstrations and riots from coast to coast, as well as in the media and even in the halls of Congress.

2015_03_13_Rule Five Friday (3)The other Justice Department report, issued the same day — “Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department” — was a complete contrast. Sweeping assumptions take the place of facts, and misleading statistics are thrown around recklessly. This second report is worth reading, just to get a sense of the contrast with the first.

In simple language, the first report was factual; the second, political.

It has gone well past annoying to see actors, sports figures and even politicians repeating the “hands up, don’t shoot meme” now that we know it is based on a lie; Michael Brown did not have his hands up, he did not say “don’t shoot,” he attacked a cop minutes after committing a strong-arm robbery.

And in that second report, the DOJ is resorting to empty rhetoric to 2015_03_13_Rule Five Friday (4)appease an angry mob; they rely on the canard of “disparate impact” with no evidence, because the facts of the Michael Brown shooting do nothing to address the desired outcome of that mob- the demonization of the Ferguson Police Department.

And what is the goal of the Justice Department here, anyway?  Is it to eliminate ‘disparate impact?’  That might not be too surprising from an Administration that constantly complains about ‘income inequality,’ the solution to which is always – always  – some variation on taking something away from people who have earned it and giving to people who have not.

Sort of like the Ferguson looters, taking merchandise they have not earned or paid for.

2015_03_13_Rule Five Friday (5)Dr. Sowell concludes:  Even with things whose outcomes are not in human hands, “disparate impact” is common. Men are struck by lightning several times as often as women. Most of the tornadoes in the entire world occur in the middle of the United States.

Since the population of Ferguson is 67 percent black, the greatest possible “over-representation” of blacks among those stopped by police or fined by courts is 50 percent. That would not make the top 100 disparities in the United States or the top 1,000 in the world.

As usual, Dr. Sowell is correct.

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Rule Five Friday

2015_03_06_Rule Five Friday (1)On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to a joint session of Congress.  Some selected excerpts and my comments follow:

I’m standing here in Washington, D.C. and the difference is so stark. America’s founding document promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Iran’s founding document pledges death, tyranny, and the pursuit of jihad. And as states are collapsing across the Middle East, Iran is charging into the void to do just that.

Exactly so.  The differences between any modern Western nation in general and the United States in particular and Iran, a theocratic terror-state, are so stark as to be staggering.  Iran exports hatred and 2015_03_06_Rule Five Friday (2)terror on a scale not seen since Adolf Hitler shot himself in a Berlin bunker in 1945.  But there’s a major difference; Hitler failed to gain a nuclear warhead.

Don’t be fooled. The battle between Iran and ISIS doesn’t turn Iran into a friend of America.

Iran and ISIS are competing for the crown of militant Islam. One calls itself the Islamic Republic. The other calls itself the Islamic State. Both want to impose a militant Islamic empire first on the region and then on the entire world. They just disagree among themselves who will be the ruler of that empire.

In this deadly game of thrones, there’s no place for America or for Israel, no peace for Christians, Jews or Muslims who don’t share the Islamist medieval creed, no rights for women, no freedom for anyone.

2015_03_06_Rule Five Friday (3)So when it comes to Iran and ISIS, the enemy of your enemy is your enemy.

Again, exactly so.  Iran and ISIS are competing for leadership of the nutbag radical Islamist community, but there’s still a major difference between the two:  ISIS is unlikely to gain a nuclear warhead.

This deal won’t be a farewell to arms. It would be a farewell to arms control. And the Middle East would soon be crisscrossed by nuclear tripwires. A region where small skirmishes can trigger big wars would turn into a nuclear tinderbox. 

If anyone thinks — if anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road, we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs and a 2015_03_06_Rule Five Friday (4)countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.

Iran can only become more dangerous if the Western world allows them to achieve nuclear weapons.

Israel’s stance, described by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech,  is all too clear:  Israel will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear warhead, almost certainly due to the high likelihood that Iran will use that nuke on Tel Aviv, Haifa or some other Israeli city.

The deal the Obama Administration is offering is far too lenient.  Iran must immediately cease any and all nuclear development, dismantle their nuclear sites, and open their country to international inspectors, openly, freely, without condition, their only alternative being severe and painful sanctions.

The other option would appear to be war.  Israel may well be the first to “cry Havoc,” but it’s also very likely that Iran will strike first.

What the rest of the civilized world is wondering is this:  “What will America do?”  As long as President Obama is in office, the answer is almost certainly “not much.”

Israel knows that.  So does Iran.

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