Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Iran boming rumor 

A US air attack on Iran is imminent. And a curiously timed Iranian announcement.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reagan vs McCain 

Reagan on meeting with adversaries,

"We had quite a meeting there with [Gorbachev] and his people. I can remember a few things about that because of the oddity of it. We decided that the subject of the summit meeting would be mutual reduction of armaments and he agreed on that ...

"Then the first meeting with him, real meeting, it was going to be the first meeting in a big home along Lake Geneva and at a table like this only a little longer he and his team on one side and me and my team on the other to deal with the weapons.

"I told my people what I was going to do so they wouldn't be surprised. As everybody started to sit down, I looked across the table at him and I said, 'Why don't we let our two teams start this discussion about the reduction of the weaponry and all, and why don't you and I get some fresh air? He was out of his chair before I finished that sentence, and there he was. So, he and I left and we walked about a 150 yards down across the lawn to the lake where there was a beach house, and again I had told our people about this.

"It was cold, a real wintry day and that beach house had a big roaring fire going in the fireplace. We entered and in there were the two translators. I stopped him before we even sat down and looked right at him and I said, 'I'm going to give you a quotation that's not mine. Someone else has said that we mistrust each other because we're armed.' I said, 'I believe we're armed because we mistrust each other.'

"Then I said, ... 'wouldn't it be fine if we would spend just as much time trying to find out the reasons for our mistrust?'… I said to him that we should do this and I said, 'The only alternative to this is we resume the arms race.' Then, looking him right in the eye, I said, 'That is a race you can't win. There is no way we're going to permit you to be superior to us in weaponry.'

"So he took that and we sat down and the meeting went under way for an hour and a half. Then, I figured that we'd better get back up to the rest of our people, so we got up and we started back up the hill."

McCain on meeting with adversaries,

Republican presidential contender John McCain on Friday said he would meet with leaders of Iran and North Korea only if the encounter would guarantee a U.S. win.

"The logic is, you don't want to do something that enhances the image and prestige of someone who is your adversary, OK?" McCain told reporters traveling with him on a four-day campaign trip to New Hampshire's northern regions.

The Arizona senator said there could be disastrous results if the outcome of meetings with any hostile leaders were not predetermined.

"Are you going to accomplish something? That's the key. If you're going to go in and you're confident you are going to accomplish something, fine, do it," he said. "Know what the outcome is going to be so you're not embarrassed by the person you're taking to walking out and embarrassing (you) and enhancing their own prestige."

The further irony is that the Reagan quote is from a deposition he gave regarding his administration's effort to improve US-Iranian relations by arming them with US weapons.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama on national security 

This is relatively long for a YouTube clip, but I find it nearly spot on and complete:

I disagree that we as a nation should demonstrate such reflexive support of Israel's foreign policy as Obama seems to advocate here, but given the breadth of the speech, I feel comfortable with the foreign policy he outlines.

That said, I've noticed no candidate expressing extended thoughts about the credit failure we've brought on ourselves. America has lived on credit for years, paying debts with refinanced mortgages. One of Bush's 2004 campaign sound-bites was that an unprecedented number of Americans owned their own homes. It was true at the time, but in retrospect a negative, not a positive. People during Bush's first term were able to get mortgages they couldn't afford.

So I'd like a 2008 candidate lay out what we should do about it.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I assume everyone who makes it to this blog is aware of the upcoming Bomb Iran marketing campaign, but there it is nonetheless.

Neither the Iranian or White House regime has much left to lose politically, and I can't think of anything scarier than a psychotic leader of the world's most lethal war machine finally acknowledging his deep unpopularity yet thinks his Big Vision will still be a hit with future historians. Except when he'd thinking about tussling with another unpopular regime that sees an opportunity for a repeat a humiliation of the military giant.

Having recently been dealt a Royal Flush on video poker, I think I can understand the temptation to gamble big when you're already in the hole - it's the irrational euphoria that problem gamblers seek, not the rationally unlikely payoff.

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