Tuesday, April 6, 2010

US will begin disarming. Is this a good idea?

From CNN:
The United States will swear off the development of new generations of
nuclear weapons and will not use its existing arsenal to attack nonnuclear
states that are in compliance with nonproliferation agreements, the Obama
administration said Tuesday.
Among other things, the new American stance is meant to provide an
incentive for countries to stay within the rules of the 1968 Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty, a senior administration official said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Adm. Mike Mullen, the
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, announced the change two days before President
Obama is to sign a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia that reduces both
countries' missile stockpiles.
The new policy "recognizes that the greatest
threat to U.S. and global security is no longer a nuclear exchange between
nations, but nuclear terrorism by violent extremists and nuclear proliferation
to an increasing number of states," Obama said later in a
"Moreover, it recognizes that our national security and that of
our allies and partners can be increasingly defended by America's unsurpassed
conventional military capabilities and strong missile defenses."
Obama stressed that "preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism
is now at the top of America's nuclear agenda."
The position "provides a road map" to help achieve Obama's "long-term goal
of a nuclear-free world," Gates added. It removes a "calculated ambiguity" in
past U.S. nuclear policy while making clear that "this is a weapon of last
resort," he said.
Gates also noted, however, the new policy sends a "strong
message" to states such as Iran and North Korea.
"If you're going to play by
the rules [of the nonproliferation treaty], we will undertake certain
obligations to you," he said. "But if you're not going to play by the rules ...
all options are on the table."

Read the rest of the article at CNN

Normally, I'm not very much for the neo-conservative attitudes of war mongering and spreading Diplomacy through force.

But disarming the one remaining superpower? I'm not sure this is such a good idea.

Here's a real world example: My brother in law is a police officer on the east coast. His mid-size city's population was afraid of the police officers having shotguns in their cars, even in their trunks. So the chief took the shotguns away, and then took their tasers away, and if it weren't against federal law, I'm sure the chief would take away their pistols as well. All because people were scared of the weapons. Isn't that the point?

His department only carries their sidearms now. Their only option for any situation regarding use of force, from the baseball bat wielding teen to the automatic weapon toting terrorist. This is what happened during the 1984 San Ysidro McDonald's massacre, where the responding officer only had his sidearm and could not stop the killer. The shooter killed 22 people before SWAT put him down. This is the reason officers are heavily armed, so that when the situation calls for it, an officer can stop a shooting spree.

Same with nukes and the US. If we stop producing them, but another county keeps doing so in secret, how do we stop them from using them? Invade them? They'll just start shooting off their nukes, at us, at their own people--much like the shooting spree killer. Often, and I hate to say it, but the threat of existing nukes will oftentimes do what diplomacy cannot: scare the living hell out of dictators trying to produce nukes.

To disarm the US would be like taking guns away from the police. All you'll have left is a bunch of meter maids.

Crossposted to Republicans United

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Michael Chandler feels left out of recession.

Michael Chandler looks out the windows of his sun room, past the swimming pool and guest cottage, to the wide backyard where his two children are playing with their pet dalmatian, Scotty. At a time when Americans everywhere are sharing the struggle of a once-in-a-generation recession, Chandler can't help but wonder how he and his family fell through the cracks.

"It's just not fair," said the 49-year-old real estate developer and grandson of oil baron Duncan Chandler. "Everyone is worrying about an uncertain future and coming together to express their outrage, and I don't get to be a part of it."

Staring out at the ornate garden where workers were installing a large marble fountain, Chandler sighed and added, "It's like I don't even exist."

According to the multimillionaire, the past 18 months have been incredibly difficult to endure, as he is often left feeling excluded from an American populace that includes millions who struggle every day to make ends meet. Chandler, who watched helplessly as his enormous fortune easily withstood the market freefall, has been "completely left out" of one of this nation's most significant cultural moments.

"Everybody's suffering," Chandler said. "And here I am, not scrimping and saving at all, with no demoralizing periods of financial hardship, or frantic weeks living paycheck to paycheck. What about me, you know? Where's my struggle?"

"Everyone's supposed to get a fair shake at this misery," Chandler added. "Even incredibly wealthy people of privilege like me."

Throughout the economic downturn, Chandler has tried to tap into the recession and experience some of the sorrow and widespread desperation he has so cruelly been denied. Sadly, all of his attempts have been thwarted by his seemingly insurmountable stack of riches.

According to longtime financial adviser Ben Schultz, Chandler "constantly" inquires as to whether any of his diversely invested mutual funds are losing money, but is always let down.
"Michael's portfolio is better than ever, to be honest," Schultz told reporters. "In fact, his only real connection to the recession is that he helped to cause it by artificially inflating home prices and making millions off unstable derivatives trading."

Chandler has been so devastated by his inability to feel the same anguish and hopelessness the rest of the country is enduring that he took the extraordinary step last week of speaking openly with a chauffeur about how hard the recession has been on everyone. He even went so far as to tip the driver 50 percent less than usual in an attempt to show the man that he, too, was hurting financially.

"I kept waiting for him to say, 'Well, times are tough on all of us,' or 'Who isn't feeling the pinch these days, eh?'" Chandler said. "But he just seemed really angry."

Despite his best efforts, Chandler told reporters he knows that someday the crisis uniting so many of his fellow Americans will pass, and that the far-reaching anger will give way to the worship of money that preceded it.

But until then, he admitted, it will hurt to be excluded.

"Every month they announce tens of thousands of layoffs," Chandler said, "and every time, I'm not one of them. No matter what I say or do, it'll never be me. My only memory of this historic point in time will be the prosperity I have always known."
Added Chandler, "Dear God, when's this recession going to end?".

Source: The Onion

Well, Mr. Chandler, you have Republicans to blame. We just can't help but give you tax breaks. We just can't allow you to have 60% of your income be part of the Federal Reserve. Suck it up and be rich, dude. Just keep voting for Obama and you too can be part of the recession.