Instead of acting presidential you are now president so what would you do Obama? McCain? (See 1 and 1a below.)
Our son is back from a series of lectures and briefings and one of the professors suggested Islamic terrorists would most favor McCain's election because McCain would pursue them and that helps terrorist recruitment.
Follow the logic of this and police should not pursue criminals.
Our son also heard from Obama's campaign director in Florida who acknowledged Obama was still learning and his flips and flops should be seen as an intelligent response to new understanding, awareness and grasping of the problem. In other words, the fact that Obama does not have his feet planted in a fixed position reflects his mental agility whereas McCain is rigid and caught in the time warp of past viewpoints, many of which were correct.
Does the fact that Obama is coming around to mnay of McCain's views validate Obama the Chameleon's selection of the word change?(See 2 and 2a below.)
Obama need not worry about his tire pressure. He simply should speak into his tires and the hot air will bring them to an energy savings level.
Now that Obama agrees drilling offshore makes sense his new tack is to be critical of McCain for being in the Senate and not doing something about our energy problem. Pretty vapid slight of hand argument. Obama ought to be able to do better but he can't because he is an empty suit. In truth, Obama's laughable energy solution is not all that "engauging." (See 3 below.)
1) Iran sidesteps nuclear freeze in answer on incentives
Iran's written reply to a proposal backed by six world powers aimed at defusing a row over Tehran's disputed nuclear program has been handed
over to European Union officials, Iran's Fars News Agency said on Tuesday.
An Iranian official said that the letter did not mention the idea of freezing its nuclear work - a step the West demanded to avert more U.N. sanction
"Iran's written response to the six countries involved in the nuclear negotiations was handed to officials at the European Union by Iran's ambassador to Brussels," Fars News Agency reported, without giving any further details.
An EU source in Brussels could not confirm the report.
The six world powers had offered to refrain from steps to impose more sanctions if Iran freezes expansion of its nuclear work - an initial step in getting talks going on a broader resolution to the stand-off.
"The letter handed over is not an answer to the offered package (by world powers) ... The letter does not mention the freeze-for-freeze issue," the senior Iranian official told Reuters.
The freeze idea is aimed at getting preliminary discussions going before starting full negotiations on a package of nuclear, trade and other incentives. But those formal talks will not begin until Iran suspends uranium enrichment.
Enrichment is the part of Iran's program that most worries the West because it can have both civilian and military uses.
Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, insists it is only seeking to master technology to make electricity, and has repeatedly refused to halt its atomic work.
Washington and its Western allies said on Monday that, if Iran's response was not positive, the next step would be to expand UN sanctions. The U.N. Security Council has imposed three rounds of penalties on Iran since 2006.
Russia and China, two members of the sextet, have been reluctant to impose sanctions in the past but have, in the end, voted for all three sanctions resolutions after initial drafts were watered down.
The others in the sextet are the United States, Britain, France and Germany.
1a) While Diplomats Dithers,Iran Builds Nukes
By JOHN R. BOLTON
This weekend, yet another "deadline" passed for Iran to indicate it was seriously ready to discuss ending its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Like so many other deadlines during these five years of European-led negotiations, this one died quietly, with Brussels diplomats saying that no one seriously expected any real work on a Saturday.
The fact that the Europeans are right -- this latest deadline is not fundamentally big news -- is precisely the problem with their negotiations, and the Bush administration's acquiescence in that effort.
The rationality of continued Western negotiations with Iran depends critically on two assumptions: that Iran is far enough away from having deliverable nuclear weapons that we don't incur excessive risks by talking; and that by talking we don't materially impede the option to use military force. Implicit in the latter case is the further assumption that the military option is static -- that it remains equally viable a year from now as it is today.
Neither assumption is correct. Can we believe that if diplomacy fails we can still take military action "in time" to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons? "Just in time" nonproliferation assumes a level of intelligence certainty concerning Iran's nuclear program that recent history should manifestly caution us against.
Every day that goes by allows Iran to increase the threat it poses, and the viability of the military option steadily declines over time. There are a number of reasons why this is so.
First, while the European-led negotiations proceed, Iran continues both to convert uranium from a solid (uranium oxide, U3O8, also called yellowcake) to a gas (uranium hexafluoride, UF6) at its uranium conversion facility at Isfahan. Although it is a purely chemical procedure, conversion is technologically complex and poses health and safety risks.
As Isfahan's continuing operations increase both Iran's UF6 inventory and its technical expertise, however, the impact of destroying the facility diminishes. Iran is building a stockpile of UF6 that it can subsequently enrich even while it reconstructs Isfahan after an attack, or builds a new conversion facility elsewhere.
Second, delay permits Iran to increase its stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) -- that is, UF6 gas in which the U235 isotope concentration (the form of uranium critical to nuclear reactions either in reactors or weapons) is raised from its natural level of 0.7% to between 3% and 5%.
As its LEU stockpile increases, so too does Tehran's capacity to take the next step, and enrich it to weapons-grade concentrations of over 90% U235 (highly-enriched uranium, or HEU). Some unfamiliar with nuclear matters characterize the difference in LEU-HEU concentration levels as huge. The truth is far different. Enriching natural uranium by centrifuges to LEU consumes approximately 70% of the work and time required to enrich it to HEU.
Accordingly, destroying Iran's enrichment facility at Natanz does not eliminate its existing enriched uranium (LEU), which the IAEA estimated in May 2008 to be approximately half what is needed for one nuclear weapon. Iran is thus more than two-thirds of the way to weapons-grade uranium with each kilogram of uranium it enriches to LEU levels. Moreover, as the LEU inventory grows, so too does the risk of a military strike hitting one or more UF6 storage tanks, releasing potentially substantial amounts of radioactive gas into the atmosphere.
Third, although we cannot know for sure, every indication is that Iran is dispersing its nuclear facilities to unknown locations, "hardening" against air strikes the ones we already know about, and preparing more deeply buried facilities in known locations for future operations. That means that the prospects for success against, say, the enrichment facilities at Natanz are being reduced.
Fourth, Iran is clearly increasing its defensive capabilities by purchasing Russian S-300 antiaircraft systems (also known as the SA-20) directly or through Belarus. In late July, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and his spokesman contradicted Israeli contentions that the new antiaircraft systems would be operational this year. Assuming the Pentagon is correct, its own assessment on timing simply enhances the argument for Israel striking sooner rather than later.
Fifth, Iran continues to increase the offensive capabilities of surrogates like Syria and Hezbollah, both of which now have missile capabilities that can reach across Israel, as well as threaten U.S. troops and other U.S. friends and allies in the region. It may well be Syria and Hezbollah that retaliate initially after an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, thus making further strikes against Iran more problematic, at least in the short run.
Iran is pursuing two goals simultaneously, both of which it is comfortably close to achieving. The first -- to possess all the capabilities necessary for a deliverable nuclear weapon -- is now almost certainly impossible to stop diplomatically. Thus, Iran's second objective becomes critical: to make the risks of a military strike against its program too high, and to make the likelihood of success in fracturing the program too low. Time favors Iran in achieving these goals. U.S. and European diplomats should consider this while waiting by the telephone for Iran to call.
Mr. Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations" (Simon & Schuster, 2007).
By Jonah Goldberg
In the Illinois senator’s world, words have no fixed meaning, and truth is often just a matter of perspective.
Asked to define sin, Barack Obama replied that sin is "being out of alignment with my values." Statements such as this have caused many people to wonder whether Obama has a God complex or is hopelessly arrogant. For the record, sin isn't being out of alignment with your own values (if it were, Hannibal Lecter wouldn't be a sinner because his values hold that it's OK to eat people) nor is it being out of alignment with Obama's — unless he really is our Savior.
There is, however, a third possibility. Obama is a postmodernist.
An explosive fad in the 1980s, postmodernism was and is an enormous intellectual hustle in which left-wing intellectuals take crowbars and pick axes to anything having to do with the civilizational Mount Rushmore of Dead White European Males.
"PoMos" hold that there is no such thing as capital-T "Truth." There are only lower-case "truths." Our traditional understandings of right and wrong, true and false, are really just ways for those Pernicious Pale Patriarchs to keep the Coalition of the Oppressed in their place. In the PoMo's telling, reality is "socially constructed." And so the PoMos seek to tear down everything that "privileges" the powerful over the powerless and to replace it with new truths more to their liking.
Hence the deep dishonesty of postmodernism. It claims to liberate society from fixed meanings and rigid categories, but it is invariably used to impose new ones, usually in the form of political correctness. We've all seen how adept the PC brigades are celebrating free speech, when it's for speech they like.
Words as power, facts as myths
Obama gives every indication of having evolved from this intellectual soup. As a student and, later, a law school instructor, Obama was sympathetic to Critical Race Theory, a wholly owned franchise of postmodernism. At Harvard, Obama revered Derrick Bell, a controversial black law professor who preferred personally defined literary truths over old-fashioned literal truth. Words are power, Bell and Co. argued, and your so-called facts are merely myths of the white power structure.
When Hillary Clinton criticized Obama for being all about empty rhetoric and no action, Obama mocked Clinton — "Don't tell me words don't matter!" — sounding like a sorcerer offended by the suggestion that magic incantations are mere sounds.
One reason Obama seems arrogant is that he can never admit he was wrong, a common shortcoming of politicians. But Obama sometimes literally gets exasperated with people who think his words can mean anything other than what he thinks they should mean. Even when he says things he later regrets such as on, say, the North American Free Trade Agreement, he merely says that his rhetoric got overheated, but that he was still accurate. When Jeremiah Wright, his pastor and "spiritual adviser" of 20 years, was caught on videotape (recorded and sold by Wright himself) saying things that contradicted everything Obama ever said about being a post-racial, moderate candidate, Obama simply said that that's not the Jeremiah Wright he knows, as if his personal perspective settled the issue.
Would that I could have told my math teacher upon receiving a failing grade, "That's not the math I know."
On the troop surge, Obama's position has changed countless times, but he says it's unchanged. Worse, he has this grating habit of prefacing his new positions with something like "as I said at the time." But he didn't say "it" at the time, he said the opposite of "it." But saying that he said "it" is, to him, the same as having said "it."
We're told that Obama is "post-racial," but he invokes his own race whenever convenient (e.g., to suggest his opponents are racists, to win support of people who want to vote for him on account of his race). Indeed, the very idea that Obama is post-racial is postmodern claptrap, since only a black candidate can be post-racial, right? No one would say John McCain transcends race. If being post-racial is something only a (liberal) black politician can do, what is "post" about it? Post-racial is just another convenient term used to advance a left-wing agenda under the guise of some highfalutin buzzwords.
A theoretical reality
The Obama campaign has a postmodern feel to it because more than anything else, it seems to be about itself. Its relationship to reality is almost theoretical. Sure, the campaign has policy proposals, but they are props to advance the narrative of a grand movement existing in order to be a movement galvanized around the singular ideal of movement-ness. Obama's followers are, to borrow from David Hasselhoff — another American hugely popular in Germany — hooked on a feeling. "We are the ones we have been waiting for!" Well, of course you are.
In Berlin two weeks ago, Obama's speech was justified solely by the fact that he was giving it. He offered no policy and — not being a president — really had no reason to be there other than to tell people, essentially, "now is the moment." He informed the throbbing masses, bathing in his charisma the way hippies wallowed in the mud at Woodstock, that the greatest threat facing the world is the possibility we might allow "new walls to divide us from one another." Nuclear war? Feh. No, walls, walls are the danger. Of course, these new walls aren't real. Some might even say they're just words.
But not Barack Obama.
3) Speak Softly, and Carry a Good Tire Gauge: McCain Camp's Sight Gag Is Latest Attempt to Rebut Obama and Keep Voters Interested
By ELIZABETH HOLMES
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Want to measure the progress of the presidential campaign? Look no further than the tire-pressure gauges handed out on John McCain's campaign plane Monday morning.
Mark Salter, the Republican candidate's senior aide known for his gruffness, alerted the traveling press corps that the campaign would be distributing Barack Obama's energy proposal during the short flight. Once in the air, Mr. Salter gleefully handed out tire gauges labeled "Obama's Energy Plan."
The act is the latest in a string of stunts that signal the start of the electoral silly season. With the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics just days away and hordes of voters on vacation, the American public's attention span for politics is minimal at best.
To break through, the McCain campaign has resorted to some unusual push-the-envelope tactics. This week, it's the tire pressure gauges. Last week it was a pair of videos: a television ad titled "Celeb" that used shots of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton; and a Web clip that spliced footage of Sen. Obama's large rallies with images of Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea.
Sen. McCain, who is said to put a high value on humorous members of his inner circle, says it's nothing more than a joke. "We're gonna display a sense of humor in this campaign," Sen. McCain said Friday in Panama City, Fla. He added that, should the Illinois senator like to duel, "light sabers is my weapon of choice."
The joking coincided with the McCain campaigners' cries that Sen. Obama had accused them of racism -- arguably the most sensitive topic of the campaign.
Sen. Obama responded Saturday by calling the McCain campaign cynical. Gags like the gauges, his aides say, are examples of Sen. McCain diverting attention from substantive issues.
Even so, the Democrats have taken the bait on each of the charades, perpetuating them. ("While he's focused on Britney and Paris…" began an email from the Democratic National Committee, before segueing into a missive about Social Security payroll taxes.) The back-and-forth over air pressure in car tires picked up traction -- so to speak -- for that very reason.
It started last Wednesday, when Sen. Obama first made the suggestion about tire inflation as an energy-saver during a campaign stop in Springfield, Mo. "We could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires," he said.
The next day at a town-hall meeting in Racine, Wis., Sen. McCain mocked what his campaign dubbed the "Air In Our Tires" proposal. "He suggested we put air in our tires to save on gas," Sen. McCain said. "My friends, let's do that, but do you think that's enough to break our dependence on foreign oil? I don't think so."
The Republicans, with the help of conservative radio talk-show hosts, backed Sen. Obama into a corner by the end of the week. The Democratic candidate finished the week opening up the possibility of offshore drilling -- a potential dramatic reversal from previous stances.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was the first to the tire-gauge draw. The rumored shortlister for Sen. McCain's running mate pulled it out of his pocket at the opening of a new GOP headquarters in Iowa over the weekend.
The gift-giving continued Monday morning, with the passing-out of gauges to the traveling press and additional deliveries to newsrooms in Washington and an Obama rally in Michigan.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor responded with two emails to reporters. One cited the U.S. Department of Energy tip: "Keep tires properly inflated and aligned to improve your gasoline mileage by around 3.3%."
Mr. Vietor also found a NASCAR press release from 2006 that supported the theory and distributed that as well. The piece, which begins, "Tires are the Rodney Dangerfield of the automotive world…[they] get no respect," carries the headline "Tire maintenance key to safety, fuel economy."
The gag just keeps going. The McCain campaign used it as a fund-raising tool as well, asking supporters to put "Senator Obama's 'tire gauge' energy policy to the test." Donors who shell out $25 or more will receive a gauge of their own.