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2006 January 28 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Persian Nukes

We really should do something about this. Maybe we could dig up Eisenhower and burn his bones for convincing the Shah to start a nuclear program as part of Atoms For Peace project in the 1950s. Oh, I’m sorry, you probably didn’t know that this has been going on for almost 50 years.

So, I guess you don’t know about the British and Soviet armies getting annoyed at Reza Shah for objecting to their troop movements across Iran during World War II? Since Iran was officially neutral Reza Shah didn’t think it was right, but the Allies booted him out and replaced him with his son, Mohammed Shah, who didn’t see a problem.

No one has probably ever mentioned the little problem in 1953 with the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammed Mossadegh, getting uppity and insisting that the Iranian oil fields belonged to the Iranian people? That required MI6 and the CIA arranging Operation Ajax to remove Mr. Mossadegh, making the Shah an absolute monarch, because you just can’t trust voters.

It was Mohammed Shah, the last Shah, who decided that Iran should used nuclear power and maximize oil exports, the only real source of hard currency for Iran. This was, of course, after US corporations like General Electric and Westinghouse explained the costs and benefits of nuclear power from plants they would be happy to build.

Let’s have a reality check: like religious fundamentalists everywhere the Iranians clerics don’t believe in birth control; the population of Iran is growing rapidly; more people means more electrical demand; the oil is the Iranian economy; all oil used internally is lost profits; the oil won’t last forever.

Knowing what happens when they and other oil producing nations decide to boycott, Iran wants to control as much of the process as possible. They know how they would deal with people who are dependent on their oil, so they don’t want to be put in the same position.

Just because you are a paranoid, religious nutjob, doesn’t mean no one is out to get you, especially when “some people” call you a member of “the axis of evil” and others threaten to bomb you. These people, like Castro and Kim Il Jong, need external threats to retain their grip on their people, and it always seems like there is some idiot willing to oblige.

Iran is a problem because it has some seriously whacked people in its leadership. When external powers threaten Iran the moderates lose ground. If the Iranian moderates had suggested making progress towards improving relations with the US, they would probably be called “unpatriotic”, “un-Iranian”, “French”, and “surrender monkeys”.

If “some people” would just STFU and allow things to happen in the background, some of these problems might just be resolved, but with all of the threats being tossed about, I don’t have much hope.

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Persian Nukes

Mel Has A Problem

Via Susie I located Scott Maxwell’s column in the Orlando Sentinel, Taking Names.

Scott tells us that Florida’s junior Senator, Republican Mel Martinez, has returned $2,500 he received from Congressman Bob Ney [R-OH] to avoid any problems associated with Mr. Ney’s troubles. However, the Senator is going to keep the $250,000 from the campaign kick-off co-chaired by Jack Abramoff.

No doubt this will all be blamed on a staff member, just like that memo that no Republican would ever write about the Schiavo affair.

You were aware that Martinez was picked by the White House to run for the Senate in Florida, displacing local Republican candidates including “Kruella de” Harris?

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Mel Has A Problem

Another Crony Diplomat

Jack at Ruminate This provides the background for the latest friction between the US and Canada.

Another Bush crony, US ambassador David Wilkins, manages to annoy the new Canadian Prime Minister, Conservative Stephen Harper, before Mr. Harper even gets settled in his new office.

Mr. Harper complained about other candidates bashing the US during the campaign and said that he was going to improve relations, but Wilkins’s intemperate mouth has put that plan on hold. There definitely differences of option about the Northwest Passage, but they should be dealt with in closed meetings, not in the media.

Good news in public, bad news in private – is that so hard to remember?

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Another Crony Diplomat

Kerry Returns

According to CNN John Kerry is returning from Switzerland to lead the fight against Alito.

He would appear to be serious about mounting a filibuster, and realizes he has to be on the scene to gain support.

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Kerry Returns

Killing Judges

When Ann Coulter says that someone should poison a sitting Supreme Court Justice with whom she disagrees, I don’t think saying it was a joke, reduces the responsibility. Killing people isn’t funny, not even if they are government officials with whom one disagrees.

As a number of people have found out, no one at airports has a sense of humor when you bring up weapons. As a local man found out, mentioning anthrax in jest can cost you your job and result in criminal charges being filed, even though he had a very valid reason to be sarcastic.

The right wing has a long record of advocating violence against people, and then pretending it was a joke when they are confronted.

This sort of behavior isn’t acceptable, even if you are a Republican.

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Killing Judges



January 28, 1986

Francis R. (Dick) Scobee, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Michael J. Smith, Commander, USN

Mission Specialist:
Judith A. Resnik
Ronald E. McNair
Ellison S. Onizuka, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Payload Specialist:
Gregory B. Jarvis
Sharon Christa McAuliffe

January 28, 2006   Comments Off on Challenger