Europe sinking 1

What was Hillary Clinton’s greatest achievement as Secretary of State? The transformation of Libya from a pacific dictatorship into a chaos. Now its ports are population spouts, pouring the multitudes of Africa into the Mediterranean towards Europe. The highly probable result is the destruction of Europe.

The American administration was helped by the European powers themselves; positively urged on by France and Britain.

In this video published June 2015, Jared Taylor describes the horror of this huge historical development:

The numbers of migrants, and of the drowned, have increased in the three months since the video was made.

There is no sign that the human flood will abate. It breaks again and again on Europe’s shores, and is overwhelming the continent.

The Europeans are taking no measures to stop it. They want to rescue more of the foreigners from the sea, and give them – free, at their own expense – shelter, safety, every means of life support.

The Africans who get to Europe take what is given them, and then – many of them – do their best to turn Europe into the same sort of Islamic hell as they escaped from.

That is why Jared Taylor aptly calls this chapter of European history it’s “suicide”.

Obama’s race war 8

The first – arguably the only – duty of government is to keep the people safe. Safe from foreign attack. Safe from criminal depredation. Safe in title to property. Safe in entering into contract.

It must do this by guarding borders well; and by keeping a well trained and well quipped military, and being ready to use it against  foreign enemies.

And within its borders, by enforcing the rule of law, for which it must keep well-trained and well-equipped police forces.

The police are the strong arm of government.

What can the people do if the government demoralizes and weakens its police? Where shall they turn for protection?

If people are armed, they may survive, but insecurely.

Rebellion, riot, chaos, bloodshed is to be expected – which will allow a tyrannically minded government to give itself emergency powers and impose ever more oppressive rule.

The Democratic Party, still oppressively in power as the executive branch of government in the US, now openly demands the weakening and demoralizing of the forces of law and order, and cheers on those who defy the law and call for the killing of police officers.   

Matthew Vadum writes at Canada Free Press:

The Democratic National Committee has officially endorsed the increasingly violent Black Lives Matter movement whose paranoid radical left-wing members accuse police nationwide of systemic anti-black racism and brutality against black suspects.

Throwing their lot in with black racists and radical Black Power militants who have openly expressed support for the murder of police officers, Democrats embraced a statement that slams the U.S. for allegedly systemic police violence against African-Americans. The statement is not extreme enough for the Black Lives Matter movement whose leaders quickly rejected it. Last month members of the movement unveiled a list of policy proposals they claim will help to bring about “a world where the police don’t kill people.”

What’s especially interesting about the resolution that hundreds of delegates at the DNC meeting in Minneapolis on Friday approved is that it accuses American police of “extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children.”

In other words, it is now official Democratic Party policy that there are roving death squads manned by police officers who specifically stalk and execute without trial black men, women, and children across America. Police in the United States today, says the DNC, are no better than the Sturmabteilung and Einsatzgruppen of Nazi Germany, the Soviet-era Cheka and NKVD, and the (Democrat-led) Ku Klux Klan, all of which used extrajudicial killings for political repression.

A copy of the draft resolution obtained by BuzzFeed News before the grotesque anti-American pander-fest Friday uses the same kind of inflammatory, dishonest wording Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground comrades used to endorse the Black Power movement and condemn the U.S. during their bombing sprees that wreaked havoc on American society.

The full wording of the resolution as approved by DNC delegates does not appear to have surfaced online but the draft states:

WHEREAS, the Democratic Party believes in the American Dream and the promise of liberty and justice for all, and we know that this dream is a nightmare for too many young people stripped of their dignity under the vestiges of slavery, Jim Crow and White Supremacy; and WHEREAS, we, the Democratic National Committee, have repeatedly called for race and justice — demilitarization of police, ending racial profiling, criminal justice reform, and investments in young people, families, and communities — after Trayvon Martin, after Michael Brown, after Tamir Rice, after Freddie Gray, after Sandra Bland, after Christian Taylor, after too many others lost in the unacceptable epidemic of extrajudicial killings of unarmed black men, women, and children at the hands of police …

WHEREAS, without systemic reform this state of unrest jeopardizes the well-being of our democracy and our nation;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the DNC joins with Americans across the country in affirming “Black lives matter” and the “say her name” efforts to make visible the pain of our fellow and sister Americans as they condemn extrajudicial killings of unarmed African American men, women and children …

(The Say Her Name campaign is an offshoot of Black Lives Matter that claims not enough attention is being paid to black female victims of police brutality.)

In the document the DNC also “renews our previous calls to action and urges Congress to adopt systemic reforms at state, local, and federal levels to prohibit law enforcement from profiling based on race, nationality, ethnicity, or religion, to minimize the transfer of excess equipment (like the military-grade vehicles and weapons that were used to police peaceful civilians in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri) to federal and state law enforcement; and to support prevention programs that give young people alternatives to incarceration.”

The DNC delegates approved the resolution on the same day a white sheriff’s deputy in Texas was shot to death allegedly by a black suspect in an unprovoked attack. The next day Black Lives Matter demonstrators marched near the Minnesota state fair chanting violent anti-police slogans and carrying signs reading “End White Supremacy.” Activists shouted “Pigs in a blanket, fry ‘em like bacon,” while walking (protected by police) on a highway south of the fair grounds.

We do not think the militarization of the police is a good thing. And we have observed that sometimes recently police have acted without due care and with unnecessarily intimidating and destructive violence. (See here, for instance.) But such  incidents do not justify a campaign against the police.

And have the Democrats ingratiated themselves with the cop-killing movement by declaring its support for them?

Apparently not:

The Black Lives Matter Network released a statement with a distinctly Leninist flavor pooh-poohing the DNC resolution of support:

A resolution signaling the Democratic National Committee’s endorsement that Black lives matter, in no way implies an endorsement of the DNC by the Black Lives Matter Network, nor was it done in consultation with us. We do not now, nor have we ever, endorsed or affiliated with the Democratic Party, or with any party. The Democratic Party, like the Republican and all political parties, have historically attempted to control or contain Black people’s efforts to liberate ourselves. True change requires real struggle, and that struggle will be in the streets and led by the people, not by a political party.

Some conservatives have loudly criticized the movement saying it is based on anti-American lies and that it fuels violence against police officers.

On Fox News Channel Monday, outspoken law-and-order advocate Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., a black man elected as a Democrat, blamed President Obama for the rise of Black Lives Matter.

Look [said the excellent Sheriff Clarke], President Obama has breathed life into this ugly movement and it is time now for good law-abiding Americans to rise up like they did [at a memorial] in Houston around that Chevron station [where a white sheriff’s deputy was shot], an outpouring, but it can’t just be symbolic. We now have to counter this slime, this filth coming out of these cop-haters.

Brian Kilmeade of Fox News Channel, responded, “Well, Sheriff, a lot of people listening right now will say, no, President Obama has shed light on a problem and that’s the way blacks are treated by law enforcement in this country for too long.”

[Clarke replied:]

That is a lie. President Obama didn’t shed light on anything. This is nothing more than an attempt to weaken the institution of policing. If there’s anything that needs to be straightened out in this country it is the subculture that has risen out of the underclass in the American ghetto. Fix the ghetto and then you’ll see a lesser need for assertive policing in these areas and then you’ll see less confrontation. Stop trying to fix the police. Fix the ghetto.

Kilmeade asked, “So, Sheriff, what is it like on the street for the cop? … Are things changed right now for a cop at any level when they go to do their job?”

Sure, they’re beleaguered right now and they’re beleaguered not out of fear of what’s going on on the street. Look, we take this on willingly. We volunteer for this service here. But what we’re beleaguered by is the fact that we don’t have any support from the political class. … I’m not going to stay off of this and I’m not going to leave it alone and stick my head in the sand about it. The problem isn’t the American police officer. Barack Obama won’t admit that these failed liberal urban policies have destroyed these great cities.

To recap, the DNC resolution was approved the same day sheriff’s deputy Darren H. Goforth, a 47-year-old white man, was gunned down near Houston, Texas, allegedly by 30-year-old Shannon J. Miles, a black man. Miles was apprehended the next day and is now charged with capital murder. … Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman (R) … said that his deputy was targeted “because he wore a uniform”. He pointed to Black Lives Matter for ramping up rhetoric “to the point where calculated, cold-blooded assassination of police officers” happens.

Miles allegedly killed Goforth execution-style, shooting him first in the back of the head and then standing over him and shooting him repeatedly. This is the same way two black heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement murdered cops. Mumia Abu-Jamal, the former Wesley Cook, shot white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner to death in 1981 as he tried to arrest the perpetrator’s brother during a traffic stop. Abu-Jamal shot the policeman once in the back and then stood over him and shot him four more times at close range, once directly in the face. Assata Shakur, formerly known as Joanne Chesimard, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1973 killing of Werner Foerster, a white New Jersey State Trooper. During a traffic stop, Shakur shot Foerster once, and then as he lay helpless on the ground, shot him twice in the head with his own gun. She escaped from prison in 1979 and was granted political asylum in Communist Cuba where she remains to this day.

A rally by the New Black Panther Party in Texas two weeks before Deputy Goforth was murdered may have emboldened Miles to target the deputy. … Armed armed Black Panthers stood outside the Waller County jail where troubled young black woman Sandra Bland committed suicide this summer after being arrested for erratic driving and assaulting a police officer. The leader of the rally yelled at Harris County deputies through a megaphone:

You think we’re not pissed off a bunch about y’all killing our sisters? You think it’s okay? … You’re gonna stop doing what you’re doing, or we will start creeping up on you in the darkness. …

The revolution is on… Off the pigs … Oink Oink, Bang Bang!

Cop hatred, threats to kill police, the deterioration of law and order and the rule of law, and black nationalism: This is the new normal in Obama’s America.

And it’s now officially endorsed by the Democratic Party.

And things are bound to get worse before Barack Obama leaves the presidency at noon on January 20, 2017. 

Taking notice 5

Yesterday we had 1,336 readers of (or glancers over) the essay by Jillian Becker (under Pages in our margin), posted on January 14, 2015, titled:

 Communism is Secular Christianity

We have no idea why there is a sudden interest in it.

But for those who have discovered it, and enjoyed finding it right and good, or provocative and outrageous, we recommend, for more pleasure or vexation, our post of June 19, 2015, titled:

 Paul and Karl: the most consequential same-sickness marriage in history 

Comments on either article, pro or con, are welcome.

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On the same theme, Steven Hayward at PowerLine quotes this from the concluding chapter of Leszek Kolakowski’s “magisterial three-volume treatise”, Main Currents of Marxism:

Marxism is a doctrine of blind confidence that a paradise of universal satisfaction is awaiting us just around the corner. Almost all the prophecies of Marx and his followers have already proved to be false, but this does not disturb the spiritual certainty of the faithful, any more than it did in the case of chiliastic sects: for it is certainty not based on any empirical premises or supposed “istorical laws”, but simply on the psychological need for certainty. In this sense Marxism performs the function of a religion, and its efficacy is of a religious character.

We like that. But then Kolakowski goes on to say:

But it is a caricature and a bogus form of religion, since it presents its temporal eschatology as a scientific system, which religious mythologies do not purport to be.

And that spoils the point. While it is true that other religions do not purport to be scientific, we cannot see that that nonsensical claim qualifies the religious nature of Marxism. Regardless of its claim, Marxism is not “scientific”. It is as much a superstition as any other religion. It  even has a god, which it names History.

Kolakowski certainly understood the nature of Marxism. After writing three volumes on its shades and interpretations, his undertanding of it could not have been less than profound. But he turned from faith in Marxism in his youth to the Christian faith in his maturity. (In a non-conformist way – see here and here.)

Steven Hayward also quotes this passage from Main Currents of Marxism:

Communism was not the crazy fantasy of a few fanatics, not the result of human stupidity and baseness; it was very real, very real part of the history of the twentieth century, and we cannot understand this history of ours without understanding communism. We cannot get rid of this specter by saying it was just human stupidity. The specter is stronger than the spells we cast on it. It might come back to life.

The same can be said of Christianity – a very real part of the whole history of our Common Era. That specter will be hard to banish too. It seems to have grabbed Kolakowski by the same need in his personality that had once driven him to Marxism. We think he should have rendered himself invulnerable to the temptation a second time. It is the same specter. That Kolakowski could not see it, proves his depressing assertion is right: it is a strong temptation  – whether to “human and stupidity and baseness” or idealism and naivety – and it will not easily die.

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, communism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

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“Give me your Muslims …” 1

… my golden door is barred to Christians,” says the Mother of Exiles, who earlier misspoke, and whose views on who is welcome to America have now evolved.

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We do not like Christianity, but we are appalled by the persecution of Christians  by Muslims in the Middle East.

Donald Trump has noticed that the Christians in the Muslim countries of the Middle East, and those who fall under the rule of IS/ISIS/ISIL, are being persecuted almost to extinction – and that the Obama administration is unmoved by their plight.

From the Refugee Resettlement Watch:

Trump speaks out on Syrian refugees: “We are saving the Syrian Muslims and not the Christians!”

Trump is almost right. It isn’t zero Christians, but it’s pretty close to zero Although we have admitted a small handful of Syrian Christian refugees, the vast majority are Muslims and mostly Sunni Muslims.  96% [of those] admitted so far in 2015 are Muslims.

But, don’t forget!

Led by the Senate Jihad Caucus, the push is on to admit 65,000 Syrians before Obama leaves office and the vast majority of those will be plucked from UN camps populated by mostly Syrian Sunni Muslims.

One man in America is trying to bring Middle Eastern Christians to safety in the US, for which he is now threatened by the  administration with imprisonment.

From Creeping Sharia:

Living as a Christian in many parts of Iraq or Syria has become impossible – a one-way ticket to martyrdom at the hands of ISIS – yet it remains a near-impossible feat for these persecuted religious minorities to find refuge in America.

But if you can get to America and get your case in the hands of Robert DeKelaita, your chances are greatly improved.

As it turns out, this high-powered Chicago attorney may have been a little too successful. He’s gained asylum for thousands of persecuted Christian from Iraq, Syria and Egypt, and that caught the attention of the Obama Justice Department, which is known to be no friend of Middle Eastern Christians.

DeKelaita, 52, grew up in Kirkuk in the heart of Assyria, a portion of northern Iraq that is home to one of the world’s most ancient Christian communities. …

After Saddam Hussein took power, DeKelaita’s family emigrated to the U.S. in 1973 and settled in the Chicago area. …

He’s helped reunite hundreds of families in the U.S., most of them since 2003 when the U.S. invasion and overthrow of Saddam unleashed a wave of Islamic terror against Christians that far exceeded anything that was seen under the secular Baathist regime.

The Obama administration moved against DeKelaita in September 2014, raiding his office and scooping up whatever “evidence” they could find against him. He was indicted on charges of falsifying the asylum applications of 12 clients over a 10-year period, allegedly concocting “phony claims” of religious persecution. The government has delayed his trial twice while it seeks to firm up witnesses who will testify against him. Each count of immigration fraud carries a maximum of 10 years prison and a $250,000 fine.

Some find it ironic that the Obama administration is going after a lawyer who helps persecuted Iraqi Christians gain asylum while it welcomed and granted asylum for more than 68,000 unaccompanied alien children from Central America last summer.

At the same time Central Americans are being greeted with a “catch and release” policy at the border, a group of 27 Assyrian Christians who made it to the border earlier this year are being detained indefinitely.

“The way that some of our federal judges view the plight of Christians in Iraq and the way some of the adjudicators view them, you would honestly think ‘what is wrong with these people?’” DeKelaita [said]. …

One judge told him: “To argue that Christians in Iraq are being targeted for their religious beliefs is to appeal to either ignorance or emotion.”  

DeKelaita, after his indictment, learned that the FBI had been investigating him since 2008, soon after Obama took office.

He points to the Obama administration’s attempt earlier this year to block an Iraqi nun from entering the country to testify before Congress on the issue of Christian persecution in the Middle East. After …  a public outcry, Obama relented and issued the visa to Sister Diana Momeka. …

The Obama-led Department of Homeland Security has detained 27 Iraqi Christian asylum seekers in California for six months, despite the fact that most of them have family who are U.S. citizens living in San Diego. …

One of DeKelaita’s biggest successes was in getting a judge to strike down an outdated and inaccurate report out of Europe that insisted there was no persecution of Christians in Iraq. …

Meanwhile, the slaughter continues in Iraq and Syria. Another 220 Assyrian families were kidnapped just last week in Syria and fears are growing that the men will face beheading, the women a life of servitude as sex slaves. Bishops in Syria and Iraq have put out desperate pleas for help, saying they feel abandoned by the West.

While it detains Iraq Christian asylum seekers, the Obama administration has been welcoming thousands of Muslim refugees from jihadist hotbeds in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, despite warnings from House Homeland Security Chair Michael McCaul, R-Texas, that some of these refugee programs may become a “jihadist pipeline” into the U.S.

Obama is not perturbed by jihadism. He is dropping the bar against admitting Muslim refugees who have links to terrorist organizations:

From a January 2014 report  by the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. plans to resettle thousands of Syrians displaced by their country’s civil war could hinge on those refugees receiving exemptions from laws aimed at preventing terrorists from entering the country.

A U.S. official stated publicly for the first time this week that some of the 30,000 especially vulnerable Syrians the United Nations hopes to resettle by the end of 2014 will be referred to the U.S. for resettlement.

More than two million Syrians have fled their country since the war erupted in 2011, creating the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide, advocates say. About 20 countries, mostly in Europe, have agreed to take 18,000 Syrians, according to United Nations High Commission for Refugees, or UNHCR, the agency charged with referrals.

The U.S. has not set a specific target for how many refugees it will resettle. But at a Senate hearing Tuesday, State Department Assistant Secretary Anne Richard said, “We expect to accept referrals for several thousand Syrian refugees in 2014.”

Post-9/11 immigration laws designed to keep out terrorists have had the unintended consequence of ensnaring some innocent people. …

And rather admit a thousand terrorists than keep out one “innocent” Muslim. 

Anwen Hughes, a lawyer at Human Rights First …

One of those bleeding-heart organizations that do so much harm in the world …

who has studied the laws’ impact, said that the government has been “reactive, slow,” about giving exemptions up to now, and urged a swifter process, given the magnitude of the Syrian crisis.

The advocacy group has called on the U.S. to work to resettle 15,000 Syrians a year. The International Rescue Committee, another advocacy organization, is pressing the U.S. to set a goal of 12,000 Syrian refugees this year.

The U.S. leads the world in refugee resettlement. In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the U.S. received 70,000 refugees from 65 countries, including more than 19,000 from Iraq. In that year, more than 1,340 Syrians already in the U.S. applied for asylum.

And you can safely bet that Anwen Highes wil not be investigated by Obama’s sniffing-dogs.

But aren’t we going too far when we blame Obama personally for this injustice?

No. He makes the decisions:

From a Fact Sheet of the American Immigration Council:

A refugee, as defined by Section 101(a)42 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country because of a “well-founded fear of persecution” due to race, membership in a particular social group, political opinion, religion, or national originThis definition is based on the United Nations 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocols relating to the Status of Refugees, which the United States became a party to in 1968.

Each year the President, in consultation with Congress, determines the numerical ceiling for refugee admissions. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the ceiling is 70,000.

Under Obama, the US has “pivoted eastward”:

Almost half of all refugee arrivals (46.4 percent, or 32,450) in FY 2014 came from the Near East/South Asia—a region that includes Iraq, Iran, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.

There are three principle categories for classifying refugees under the U.S. refugee program.

Priority One. Individuals with compelling persecution needs or those for whom no other durable solution exists. These individuals are referred to the United States by UNHCR, or they are identified by a U.S. embassy or a non-governmental organization (NGO).

Priority Two. Groups of “special concern” to the United States, which are selected by the Department of State with input from USCIS, UNHCR, and designated NGOs. Currently, the groups include certain persons from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Iran, Burma, and Bhutan.

Priority Three. The relatives of refugees (parents, spouses, and unmarried children under 21) who are already settled in the United States may be admitted as refugees. The U.S.-based relative must file an Affidavit of Relationship (AOR) and must be processed by DHS.

The INA requires that the majority of prospective refugees make their individual well-founded fear cases.

The Christians of the Middle East have well-founded fears. But they are Christians. That, apparently, is enough to bar them from the US, which Obama has clearly stated is “one of the largest Muslim countries in the world”. (Watch and listen to him saying so here.) And in his opinion, the more Muslim the better.

Away with the Fed! 1

The Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

This important article is from the Daily Signal of the Heritage Foundation, by Jim DeMint. We like it so much we are quoting it in full:

The Federal Reserve opened its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Thursday. Its experts have assembled to discuss “inflation dynamics.” Concurrently, another group of economists and financial experts is meeting just down the road.  They’re discussing monetary policy, as well, but they’re considering questions never raised at Fed symposia—questions like: “Do we really need the Fed?”

It’s a question worth asking. America’s monetary system is the Achilles heel of the world’s economic system.

Something is seriously wrong when trillions of new dollars are created out of thin air to bail out big banks, “stimulate” the economy and buy government debt. And something is dangerously wrong when the political establishment is afraid even to discuss it.

The common assumption — in financial as well as political circles —is that America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, not only can manipulate monetary policy to keep the economy rolling, but that it must, if we are to avoid economic ruin.  But ample evidence suggests that this assumption is dead wrong.

Before reviewing that evidence, let’s start with a basic question: “Who decides what money is worth?”  The correct answer is: “We do—the people who use money to buy and sell things.”  As consumers, we decide how much money we are willing to trade for things we want.  As sellers, we decide how much money we require for providing a given product or service.

Money is a proxy for something of value, and it can — and should — work as a market commodity.  In a free market, the dollar price of products and services changes based on supply and demand – based on how we perceive the value of goods and services.  This dynamic is good and healthy for our economy.  But when the actual value of money is altered by a central committee in Washington it is not healthy … in fact, it can be dangerous.

Faith in the Fed is built on three arrogant conceits: that government can create wealth; that designated experts possess the perfect knowledge required to manipulate money for the common good; and that markets cannot sort themselves out without the coercive influence of technocrats.

But the Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

Historically, money growth is almost perfectly related to inflation, and near completely divorced from real economic growth. In other words, increasing the money supply increases the prices of the food, machines, and buildings we buy, but in the end, it doesn’t give us more food, machines, and buildings.

As for halting downturns, The Great Depression, the great stagflation of the 1970s, the S&L crisis, and the 2008 financial crisis all occurred on the Fed’s watch. Some argue that the Depression shouldn’t count, because the Fed was just getting started. This conveniently allows them to throw out about 30 years of data — and if you do that, it certainly looks better for the Fed, because recessions were more frequent before World War II than after.

But inconveniently for those who argue the Fed was too young to work its magic in the late ‘30s, Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz demonstrated in A Monetary History of the United States, that it was a major player, even in its infancy. Moreover, Friedman showed that the Fed actually worsened – if not caused – the Great Depression.

Looking at the entire Federal Reserve period, then, we see a different picture.

In 1986 Christina Romer published a paper in the American Economic Review titled “Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?”  Its answer to that question was pretty much “yes”.

In that paper, and in subsequent work, Romer and others provided evidence that the Fed really had not tamed business cycles. Some of this research shows that, even with those Depression years tossed aside, recessions since World War II have, on average, lasted longer than pre-war recessions (by almost three months) and taken longer to recover from (also by about three months).

Faced with that evidence, the Fed faithful try to narrow the discussion to the Volcker and Greenspan years, the so-called Great Moderation.  “See,” they say, “The Fed tamed inflation.” But while the variability in inflation came down during those “glory days,” the average annual rate of inflation actually increased—from 3.56 perent in 1948-1978 to 3.74 percent from 1979-2013.

And looking at the full era of the Fed, the record is even worse. The average rate of inflation runs about three times higher than what it was before (less than one-half a percentage point from 1790-1912, as best we can tell).

Some economists will argue that’s not a problem—that higher average inflation is okay because we don’t have as many wild price swings any more.  But most people understand that higher inflation is problematic, that not everything balances out. They realize that not everyone gets an automatic raise every year just because the Consumer Price Index has gone up.

But the fundamental problem with the Fed isn’t its track record. It’s the fact that centralization of monetary and financial power can be just as damaging to our freedoms as centralization of political power. It creates the perception among Americans that their economic futures are out of their control. Unfortunately, this perception is increasingly accurate.

The debasement of monetary policy over the last century is but one element of a larger crisis.  At its root is a presumption among our country’s political and cultural elites that they can override the wisdom and experience accumulated by mankind over the last several millennia.

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 28, 2015

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Look – here comes the loony lefty likely Labour leader 1

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It would be a most desirable thing, a sweet dream for all mankind, if the evil Left were to perish.

Its years of power in the West may be over. The “long march through the institutions” brought it to the peak of power – the presidency of the USA. And there it has failed. Of course.

There are signs of its demise in America, what with corrupt old Hillary’s pathetic dance, and voters waking up to Obama’s treachery, and someone (Trump) daring to defy political correctness at last.

And in Britain, the dream may be about to become true.

Steven Hayward writes at PowerLine:

More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable [by Tony Blair] if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

I can’t do better than Boris Johnson, the colorful Tory mayor of London, who posted the following on his Facebook page a few days ago. Since it’s on Facebook and there’s no general link, I’ll just report the entire piece here:

It begins with a look of slow and wondering amazement – as if he hardly dares believe his luck; and then the certainty builds, millisecond by millisecond. Then the eyebrows go up even higher, and the mouth gapes and the eyes pop and the epiglottis vibrates as he lets out a long, whooping yell of sheer incredulous ecstasy.

That is how police chief Brody reacts in the last reel of Jaws when, by some fluke, he manages to shoot a bullet right into the oxygen tank in the mouth of the shark, and the ravening fish improbably explodes. That is frankly how we in the Tory party feel as we watch what is happening in the Labour movement today.

If these polls are right (and that is a pretty big if these days) then we are at that preliminary stage in Roy Scheider’s masterful portrait of the joyful police chief. We aren’t yet whooping, but our eyebrows are twitching north in incredulity. We are filled with disbelief that this can really be taking place, a distrust of the evidence of our senses.

If all these forecasts are right – the polls, the betting markets, the pundits – then that fearsome New Labour machine is in the process of some kind of violent, unexpected and hilarious disintegration. It really looks as though it might be the end for the ruthless beast that won three election victories and struck terror for so long into Tory hearts. Can it be true? Can this be happening? Are they really proposing that Her Majesty’s Opposition should be led by Jeremy Corbyn?

It is not just that he has next to zero support among mainstream Labour MPs in the Commons; it doesn’t matter that he has rebelled against the party leadership ever since he has been in the House. Indeed, it doesn’t matter that he sometimes identifies the right problems – low pay, underinvestment in infrastructure, or whatever. It is his solutions that are so out of whack with reality.

This is a man whose policies are way, way to the Left even of the last Labour leader –[Ed] Miliband – a man who in the end was resoundingly rejected by the electorate for being too Left-wing. … He would take this country back to the 1970s, or perhaps even the 1790s. He believes in higher taxes and a bigger deficit, and kowtowing to the unions, and abandoning all attempts to introduce competition or academic rigour in schools – let alone reforming welfare.

He is a Sinn Fein-loving, monarchy-baiting, Israel-bashing believer in unilateral nuclear disarmament. … Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he might be leader of what has been – until this year – one of the major parties of government; and now he is having greatness thrust upon him. …

The armies of Labour rank and file … honestly seem to think that this might be the way forward. Yes, there really are a few hundred thousand people who seriously think that we should turn back the clock, take huge swathes of industry back into public ownership and massively expand the state.

The problem for Labour is that they do not represent the majority of people in this country. That is the real lesson of this campaign so far: that the mass of the Labour Party is totally out of touch with reality and common sense. How should we Tories react?  … We watch with befuddlement and bewilderment that is turning all the time into a sense of exhilarating vindication: I told you they were loony. 

And Alex Massie writes at The Spectator (UK):

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Willie Horton and Michael Dukakis. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to prominence will do to a fellow. Horton, you will remember, was the convicted murderer who never returned from a weekend furlough granted to him while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, and subsequently kidnapped a couple in Maryland, stabbing the husband and repeatedly raping the wife.

He became the star of George Bush’s 1988 presidential election campaign. Lee Atwater, Bush’s most pugnacious strategist, had vowed to “strip the bark” from Dukakis and promised that “by the time we’re finished they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running-mate”.  The Willie Horton ads were ugly … but, by god, they were effective. They gave Bush a message: he wasn’t the other guy. The guy from the most liberal corner of the most liberal state in the Union, the guy who opposed the death penalty, who disapproved of … the Pledge of Allegiance, the guy who let a first-degree murderer out of jail, not once, but ten times. The same murderer, Willie Horton, who invaded a suburban home and raped a woman. The Willie Horton who said “Obviously, I am for Dukakis” (it didn’t matter that he didn’t vote just as the other nuances of the issue didn’t matter at all).

By the end of it all it was a bloody business. In the second presidential debate Dukakis was asked if he’d still oppose the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his own wife. He said he would. Game over. Dukakis never understood what hit him.

Of course it was ugly and of course it was merciless and sometimes it was unfair too. But that didn’t matter.

All his bark was stripped.

So the question is, How many Willie Hortons does Jeremy Corbyn have? 

An astonishing number. Not just ISIS, not just his support for an inquiry into supposed Jewish influence on government decisions, not just the platforms he’s shared with a remarkable number of unsavoury types. Not just his suggestion Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. Not just his willingness to blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on NATO. Not just his instinctive support for anyone opposed to anything proposed by either the United States or the United Kingdom. Not even just his suggestion, in 2013, that Argentina be permitted a say in the governance of the Falkland Islands. Not just these things, but all or any of them.

Most of these, frankly, should disqualify him from serious office.

And so too should his record on Northern Ireland. A vast amount of guff is now being peddled by Corbyn’s supporters on this. If we are to believe them, Corby’s willingness to talk to Sinn Fein and the IRA in the 1980s just showed how he was ahead of the game. After all, the British government eventually did so too, didn’t it?

This misses the vital point. Corbyn might have wanted peace’ but he wanted it on the IRA’s terms. He wanted Sinn Fein and the IRA to win.

People genuinely interested in peace – and cross-community dialogue – back then didn’t speak at Troops Out rallies. They didn’t invite convicted IRA bombers to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister and the rest of her cabinet in Brighton. (A bomb, remember, that killed five people.) …

Even now he cannot actually bring himself to condemn IRA atrocities, weaselling out of suggestions he do so by condemning all atrocities. But normal people know that condemning IRA murders does not mean condoning Loyalist murders or, for that matter, the excesses of the RUC and British Army. Corbyn, however, still prefers to sing from the [Irish] Republican song-sheet. …

Far from being ahead of the game, Corbyn was, at best, deluded, and at worst, marginally complicit in the murderous actions of a terrorist organisation that targeted his fellow citizens.

That none of this seems to trouble his supporters says all you need to know about the mess Labour finds itself in.

If – and perhaps this is unlikely – Corbyn makes it to 2020 even the most ludicrous, improbable, Tory could beat him. Running an anti-Corbyn campaign would be the greatest turkey shoot in the history of modern British politics.

The only difficulty would be deciding which of Corbyn’s Willie Hortons it would be most effective to focus upon. Bark-stripping will never be easier.

Choosing Corbyn is worse than a blunder, it’s a crime.

Not if his leadership means the end of the British Labour Party.

We hope Corbyn is easily beatable in a general election. We hope the campaign against him will be managed as effectively as Bush’s campaign against Dukakis was managed.

We hope the British Laboour Party is a spent force. Forever.

And we hope that will be the beginning of the end of the evil Left as a force in national politics in the West.

But we are skeptical and rather pessimistic through experience, and will not be surprised if we are disappointed.

How the Left literally stinks 1

This is from Townhall, by Debra J. Saunders:

How bad is the urine situation in San Francisco? This is not a joke: [recently] a light-pole corroded by urine collapsed and crashed onto a car, narrowly missing the driver. The smell is worse than I have known since I started working for The Chronicle in 1992. It hits your nose on the BART escalator before you reach Market Street. That sour smell can bake for blocks where street people sleep wrapped in dirty blankets.

Saunders is a conservative, but The San Francisco Chronicle bends leftward.

I talked to Mayor Ed Lee and rode around with police to find out what can be done to clean up San Francisco. …

Lee said things I didn’t think I’d hear a San Francisco mayor ever say. Like: “I do think that people are being somewhat more irresponsible.” (Remember: The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it exists.) …

This year, Hizzoner has ramped up public restroom access. … They’ve put a pissoir in Dolores Park. The mayor has budgeted more money for Department of Public Works cleanup crews and for housing to improve the lot of 500 homeless families at a time. The new Navigation Center in the Mission has drawn chronic homeless who resisted programs because they refused to part with their pets and possessions. …

We drove to King Street, to a stretch of unused road turned homeless encampment. Enterprising street people had hooked into electricity – there were dozens of cords plugged into power strips; someone had tampered with a fire hydrant for water (but now city workers say it has to be fixed before it can be used to put out a fire). There were couches, expensive-looking tents and piles of refuse. I saw a Vespa and at least a dozen bicycles. …

Across an overpass, I see new condos – a two-bedroom unit is for sale for $1.5 million. As the city gets smellier and scarier, I wonder, how many suckers can one city find to pay that kind of money in a neighborhood so clearly on the edge?

There are obviously very many rich Lefties who simply love the stink of San Francisco.

And the academics at U.C. Berkeley  cannot get enough of it:

I have just finished reading a June 2015 U.C. Berkeley Law School Clinic report, Punishing the Poorest: How the Criminalization of Homelessness Perpetuates Poverty in San Francisco. The authors maintain that San Francisco “is responding to homelessness with a punitive fist”. Punitive? As in tough? The report cites laws against overnight camping and lying on public sidewalks, as well as drug possession or alcohol consumption in public places. Such laws are Jim Crow 2015, according to the report; the term “quality of life” is an “offensive misnomer” that works against “poor people, people of color, and homeless people who are disproportionately impacted by these laws”. In short, if street people are self-destructive and anti-social, it’s because of the police.

I have to laugh because Lt. Nevin [of the San Fancisco Police Department] sounds like a social worker. He makes a lot of the same points as the Berkeley report. You can’t expect drug addicts to get clean without providing housing first, he says. And: “It doesn’t do any good to cite somebody and then run into them a week later and cite them again.” He wants more resources, like the Navigation Center, which take the time needed to steer the chronic homeless into the right programs.

There’s one point in the U.C. Berkeley report that does strike a chord – the argument that many SFPD actions just don’t work. Move a homeless man, and he just goes elsewhere, not into housing. The cycle of citations doesn’t work because street people don’t pay fines. Take away someone’s driver license for not paying fines and he or she can’t get to work. Arresting drug users is futile, I gather, because misdemeanors mean little more than a short stint in jail – hours maybe. Report ethnographer Chris Herring interviewed homeless people who told him arrests were turnaround events that resulted in, maybe, a night in jail, if that. At most, a weekend. …

San Francisco is an affluent and vibrant city. It shouldn’t smell like stale piss.

Why not? What a cold, far-right, conservative, uncompassionate, stuck-up, Tea Party sort of thing to say! You need to check your white privilege, Ms. Saunders.

(Only kidding!)

Posted under Commentary, Leftism, Progressivism, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

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A rising political star 19

Carly Fiorina knows what she’s talking about.

That’s quite rare among politicians.

She is better informed, more eloquent, and a hundred times a better thinker than Hillary Clinton. If the essential qualification for becoming the next president is being female  – as Hillary Clinton and her fans believe it is – Fiorina qualifies. But she is better than most of the male candidates too.

We think she won the earlier Republican debate last night. She was not only more impressive and interesting than the presidency hopefuls she debated, but also more than most of those who came into the “top ten” debate later. (We have to overlook her chant about “God”, as we do those intoned by any other candidate.)

See what you think. Here she is on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

(Hat-tip to Frank for the video)

Post Script:  But, we now discover, Fiorina swallowed Islamic propaganda whole, as this article explains. It is by Tim Brown at Freedom Outpost, dated June 15, 2015. Perhaps she has since changed her mind about the “greatness” of Islam. If she hasn’t, she disappoints us, and makes us regret that we have praised her.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 7, 2015

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In defense of coal 1

Obama’s “war on coal” is actually, of course, his “war on capitalism”.

Stephen Moore writes at Investor’s Business Daily:

At the very moment President Obama has decided to shutter America’s coal industry in favor of much more expensive and less efficient “renewable energy”, coal use is surging across the globe.

A new study by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences detects an unmistakable “coal renaissance” under way that shows this mineral of fossilized carbon has again become “the most important source of energy-related emissions on the global scale“. 

Coal is expanding rapidly “not only in China and India but also across a broad range of developing countries — especially poor, fast-growing countries mainly in Asia”, the study finds.

Why is coal such a popular energy source now? The NAS study explains that many nations are attracted to “(relatively) low coal prices … to satisfy their energy needs”. It also finds “the share of coal in the energy mix indeed has grown faster for countries with higher economic growth”.

In sum, using coal is a stepping stone to prosperity. So much for it being a satanic energy source.

Hardly a day passes without evidence that coal is making a major comeback:

  • Some 1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India, according to the World Resources Institute.
  • Coal use around the world has grown about four times faster than renewables, according to the global energy monitoring publication BP Review of World Energy 2015.
  • German coal “will remain a major, and probably the largest, fuel source for power generation for another decade and perhaps longer”, the Financial Times concludes.
  • “The U.S. is dropping coal plants at an unprecedented rate, but still nowhere near as quickly as India is adding them,” Bloomberg Business reckons.

“By the end of this year, some 7.5% of the U.S. coal fleet will have disappeared … . But by 2020 India may have built about 2.5 times as much capacity as the U.S. is about to lose.”

Then, of course, there’s the world’s biggest coal addict by far — the People’s Republic of China. According to a 2014 report from Eric Lawson of Princeton University, a leading climate change apocalyptic on the left:

“The reality is that fossil fuels dominate China’s energy landscape, as they do in virtually every other country. And the focus on renewables also hides the fact that China’s reliance upon coal is predicted to keep growing.”

Lawson’s calculations of how coal use is growing in China are jaw-dropping. “From 2010 through 2013, (China) added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. At the peak, from 2005 through 2011, China added roughly two 600-megawatt coal plants a week for seven straight years. And according to U.S. government projections, China will add yet another U.S. worth of coal plants over the next 10 years, or the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt plant every 10 days for 10 years.”

All this underscores the foolishness and futility of the Obama climate-change regulations designed to drastically reduce coal production in the U.S.

The great excuse for the Left’s “war on coal” is that it’s burning adds CO2 to the atmosphere. And the Left has spread the dogma that CO2, the food of all green plants, is a pollutant, a “green house gas” which “causes global warming”.

But even assuming that to be true, as Stephen Moore apparently does …

As we use less [coal] and the rest of the world uses more, the impact on global temperatures will be very close to zero.

Coal production in the U.S. is much safer and less carbon-intensive (clean coal technologies have reduced pollutants by 30%) than coal from other nations. So Obama’s war on coal may make global warming worse.

Some might say this gesture by the Obama administration to cut off coal production in the U.S. is a useful first step to save the planet. Except this isn’t just a cheap sign of goodwill.

It’s a tremendously expensive gesture that will cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, raise utility prices by as much as $1,000 per family and reduce GDP by as much half a percentage point a year when we are already barely growing. The poor will be hurt most.

What makes the Obama administration regulations doubly destructive is that the U.S. has more coal than any other nation.

With at least 300 years of supply at a value of trillions of dollars, we are truly the Saudi Arabia of coal.

To leave it in the ground would be like Obama telling Nebraska to stop growing corn, Idaho to stop growing potatoes and Silicon Valley to give up on the digital age.

Ironically, the president justifies his war on coal by arguing, “We must lead so that others will follow.” But outside of dreamland, the rest of the world has no intention of following Mr. Obama’s act of economic masochism.

Most nations value getting richer over getting greener — as well they should.

Given the sad state of our economy today, so should we.

Posted under China, Commentary, Economics, Energy, Environmentalism, Germany, India, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 7, 2015

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Bomb them now 2

If the only choice for dealing decisively with Iran in the urgent mission to stop it becoming a nuclear power is the deal Obama has made with the regime or war, then war is by far the better choice. 

Obama, Kerry and many Democrats insist that it is the only choice.

This is from the heavily left-biased Los Angeles Times, by Doyle McManus:

The nuclear agreement the U.S. and its allies concluded with Iran on Tuesday isn’t perfect; diplomatic compromises rarely are. The deal allows Iran to continue enriching uranium within limits, but the limits begin to phase out after 10 years. It lifts the international arms embargo on Iran after five years. And it relies heavily on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency to make sure Iran doesn’t cheat.

All of those provisions are worrisome, and not only to the mostly Republican critics who lined up to denounce the 159-page deal before they had time to read it. There are skeptics in both parties, and many of their concerns are legitimate.

But President Obama and his aides are relying on a three-word question to protect the agreement from congressional interference: “Compared to what?”

“That’s the killer argument,” one of the U.S. participants in the negotiations told me.

They’re right. Anyone who proposes rejecting this nuclear deal should be required to lay out an alternative course, and to show clearly that the alternative is both feasible and better.

The deal’s opponents haven’t really done that — because there are no easy alternatives. They called on Obama to halt the talks, but they never quite spelled out what he should do on Day Two. Now that Obama has concluded a deal, they want Congress to block it — but they rarely talk about the real-world consequences.

“I think we should have walked away from the table a long time ago and pressed the pause button to get back to that original goal of stopping Iran from developing any nuclear weapons capabilities,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Okla.) said this week. And just how would we achieve that goal? Beyond imposing more U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, Cotton and his colleagues haven’t gotten very specific.

Here’s the main problem, one many American politicians hate to acknowledge: The sanctions that prodded Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, into a deal were imposed by a huge international coalition — one that included Russia, China and India as well as traditional U.S. allies. If the U.S. walks away from an agreement its allies have enthusiastically embraced, that coalition will almost certainly collapse.

Obviously, they could have been maintained and increased instead of negotiating a deal. 

“Sanctions are only effective if we are able to bring the world with us,” an Obama aide said Tuesday. “A vote to kill this deal could potentially be a vote to kill the sanctions regime.” Yes, Congress could maintain or even escalate U.S. sanctions — but Iran could shrug them off and sell its oil to China, India and other buyers. Sanctions imposed by only one country rarely work; they certainly can’t cripple an economy that has oil to sell.

A second potential consequence of walking away from the table was outlined by Obama on Tuesday morning. “Without this deal, there would be no agreed-upon limitations for the Iranian nuclear program,” he said. “Iran could produce, operate and test more and more centrifuges…. And we would not have any of the inspections that allow us to detect a covert nuclear weapons program.”

That doesn’t mean Iran would sprint toward a nuclear weapon; most Iran-watchers think Tehran would probably be cautious, if only to avoid provoking new sanctions.

But without inspections, fear of Iran’s nuclear capabilities would inevitably grow in Israel and the United States — and eventually lead to renewed pressure for military action against Tehran. In 2010, the last time nuclear negotiations hit a dead end, Israeli officials openly discussed the possibility of launching airstrikes to prevent Iran from building a bomb.

“Put simply, no deal means a greater chance of more war in the Middle East,” Obama said.

Or, in Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s phrasing: “What’s the alternative? Go to war now?”

Answer: Yes. Go to war now. Bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities with the new deep-penetrating bunker bombs that the US has developed and could easily deploy.

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One Democrat who gives this same answer is Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey.

We quote an editorial at Investors’ Business Daily:

Critics of the nuclear pact with Tehran are exposing what should have been in the forefront of Americans’ minds all through these misguided negotiations: the ultimate need for a military solution.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Democrat Bob Menendez of New Jersey, appearing on ABC News on Sunday, pointed out, “We have gone from preventing Iran having a nuclear ability to managing it.”

When President Obama announced a deal to negotiate a deal with Iran in November 2013, the press treated it as if the hard part was done and what lay ahead were just formalities. Obama called it “a new path toward a world that is more secure — a future in which we can verify that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful and that it cannot build a nuclear weapon”.

Secretary of State John Kerry and America’s P5+1 negotiating partners, of course, have caved on that requirement. This deal very much leaves Iran with the ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Iran still gets to have a plutonium reactor, and “we have uranium enrichment deep inside of a mountain”, as Menendez said. “That doesn’t happen for a peaceful civilian program.”

Even under a deal, the senator said, he hopes that Obama “makes a very clear statement to Iran that as it relates to the future, we cannot accept Iran having a nuclear weapon, period. That’s the premise we started on. That’s the premise we should finish on.”

Does he really hope that? Does he really understand so little about Obama? We doubt it.

Which means we’re likely back to where we were before any talks or deal — having to attack Iran sooner or later before the world’s foremost terrorist client state becomes the world’s sole nuclear-armed terrorist state.

These negotiations have been a colossal bait and switch. The people of the United States and the other P5+1 countries were under the impression that their negotiators would bring home a deal that would, as Obama claimed, “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon”,  a viable alternative to a “rush towards conflict”.

The infamous White House “fact sheet” after the 2013 announcement promised “a comprehensive solution that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program over the long term, provide verifiable assurances to the international community that Iran’s nuclear activities will be exclusively peaceful, and ensure that any attempt by Iran to pursue a nuclear weapon would be promptly detected”.

Like so much else promised by this president, it was too good to be true. If we can detect violations, a big if, any serious attempt to re-impose sanctions would mean exposing the deal as a failure — an admission that roughly 18 months of talks were a dangerous waste of time. It won’t happen.

We have foolishly delayed the inevitable. A pre-emptive military operation to prevent a future atomic 9/11 that would incinerate millions of innocents is one of the few options left.

We emphatically agree.

Actually, we don’t think there is or ever was a real choice. The Iranian nuclear facilities need to be bombed out of existence.

There is no alternative if nuclear war in the near future is to be avoided. 

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