sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, February 23, 2017


NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water -- key to life as we know it -- under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.
Michaël Gillon, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Brice-Olivier Demory, Emmanuël Jehin, Eric Agol, Katherine M. Deck, Susan M. Lederer, Julien de Wit, Artem Burdanov, James G. Ingalls, Emeline Bolmont, Jeremy Leconte, Sean N. Raymond, Franck Selsis, Martin Turbet, Khalid Barkaoui, Adam Burgasser, Matthew R. Burleigh, Sean J. Carey, Aleksander Chaushev, Chris M. Copperwheat, Laetitia Delrez, Catarina S. Fernandes, Daniel L. Holdsworth, Enrico J. Kotze, Valérie Van Grootel, Yaseen Almleaky, Zouhair Benkhaldoun, Pierre Magain, Didier Queloz. Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Nature, 2017; 542 (7642): 456 DOI: 10.1038/nature21360
At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets.

This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers using TRAPPIST announced they had discovered three planets in the system. Assisted by several ground-based telescopes, including the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, Spitzer confirmed the existence of two of these planets and discovered five additional ones, increasing the number of known planets in the system to seven.
"This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "Answering the question 'are we alone' is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal."
Using Spitzer data, the team precisely measured the sizes of the seven planets and developed first estimates of the masses of six of them, allowing their density to be estimated. Based on their densities, all of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are likely to be rocky. Further observations will not only help determine whether they are rich in water, but also possibly reveal whether any could have liquid water on their surfaces. The mass of the seventh and farthest exoplanet has not yet been estimated -- scientists believe it could be an icy, "snowball-like" world, but further observations are needed.

In contrast to our sun, the TRAPPIST-1 star -- classified as an ultra-cool dwarf -- is so cool that liquid water could survive on planets orbiting very close to it, closer than is possible on planets in our solar system. All seven of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary orbits are closer to their host star than Mercury is to our sun. The planets also are very close to each other. If a person were standing on one of the planet's surface, they could gaze up and potentially see geological features or clouds of neighboring worlds, which would sometimes appear larger than the moon in Earth's sky.
A Few More Details: TRAPPIST-1 is 8% the mass of and 11% the radius of the Sun. It has a temperature of 2550 K (Kelvin) and is at least 500 million years old. In comparison, the Sun is about 4.6 billion years old and has a temperature of 5778 K.
Owing to its mass, the star has the ability to live for up to 4–5 trillion years, meaning that TRAPPIST-1 may remain a main sequence star when the Universe is much older than it is now, and when the gas needed to make stars will have been used up. The star is metal-rich, with a metallicity ([Fe/H]) of 0.04, or 109% the solar amount. This is particularly odd as such low-mass stars near the boundary between brown dwarfs and hydrogen-fusing stars are expected to have considerably less metallic composition than the Sun. Its luminosity is 0.04% of that of the Sun.
The planets may also be tidally locked to their star, which means the same side of the planet is always facing the star, therefore each side is either perpetual day or night. This could mean they have weather patterns totally unlike those on Earth, such as strong winds blowing from the day side to the night side, and extreme temperature changes.

Spitzer, an infrared telescope that trails Earth as it orbits the sun, was well-suited for studying TRAPPIST-1 because the star glows brightest in infrared light, whose wavelengths are longer than the eye can see. In the fall of 2016, Spitzer observed TRAPPIST-1 nearly continuously for 500 hours. Spitzer is uniquely positioned in its orbit to observe enough crossing -- transits -- of the planets in front of the host star to reveal the complex architecture of the system. Engineers optimized Spitzer's ability to observe transiting planets during Spitzer's "warm mission," which began after the spacecraft's coolant ran out as planned after the first five years of operations.
"This is the most exciting result I have seen in the 14 years of Spitzer operations," said Sean Carey, manager of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at Caltech/IPAC in Pasadena, California. "Spitzer will follow up in the fall to further refine our understanding of these planets so that the James Webb Space Telescope can follow up. More observations of the system are sure to reveal more secrets."
However interesting these planets are, the distance (close in astronomical terms) is thousands of years distant for even the most (realistic) futuristic projections for spacecraft.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

China - US - North Korea Update

At the 21 February daily press conference, PRC Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang fielded several press questions about the announcement that a US carrier battle group will conduct regular patrols in the South China Sea.
The first questioner asked for China’s response to the announcement. “The United States has announced that it is sending an aircraft carrier battle group to the South China Sea to carry out regular patrols. What is the Chinese side's response to that?”
Geng replied, “The Chinese side has noted relevant reports. The Chinese side always respects the freedom of navigation and over-flight that countries enjoy in the South China Sea under international law. But we oppose relevant countries' threatening and undermining sovereignty and security of coastal countries under the banner of ‘freedom of navigation and over-flight.’ We hope that relevant countries can do more things that are conducive to maintaining regional peace and stability.”

The second questioner asked whether the nature of the US ships undertaking regular patrols was considered a provocation.

Geng answered, “Thanks to the concerted efforts by China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, the situation in the South China is on the course of stability and developing in a positive direction and in the direction of turning for the better. We have stated multiple times that it is hoped that relevant countries, in particular countries outside the region, can respect the efforts made by China and ASEAN countries, help maintain and consolidate the excellent and positive momentum at present, and do more things that are conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.”
The US announcement has gotten the attention of the Chinese leadership. Geng Sheng’s remarks are temperate, but do not reflect the views of Chinese generals and admirals and the top party leadership. They almost certainly do consider the US action to be provocative

USS Carl Vinson
The underlying Foreign Ministry message is that the US Navy does not need to patrol in the South China Sea because the nations around the South China Sea have worked out or are working out all the issues. The US presence will just mess things up by threatening peace and stability. 

The positive momentum means that China, in the absence of US naval patrols, has been having success in persuading the other countries that rim the South China Sea to accept Chinese hegemony.

The other Chinese ministries may be expected to have much stronger reactions. The US battle group should expect harassing actions along with the usual Chinese escort and surveillance ships that always tail and monitor US Navy ships in the South China Sea. 

President Trump is announcing that the US has returned and that the eight failed, miserable, years when Barack was commander-in-chief, are over. China can do little but wait President Trump out and hope that he's replaced by another "post-American" president such as Obama was. However China does not want to gamble that Trump won'd be re-elected and that VP Mike Pence won't replace him in eight years, and thus they don't want to spend eight or possibly sixteen years waiting. They plan to make a positive spin on things by working with the US where they are able.

That brings us to North Korea and the Six Party Talks. An Op Ed piece in China's Global Times on 22 February said that it is time for the Six Party Talks to resume. You'll recall that the Global Times is the media instrument where the PRC announces things without doing it formally. Thus if you're interested in what China is up to, you read their publication.
“China has announced it would ban all coal imports from North Korea until the end of the year, which shows Beijing's resolve to implement UN Security Council resolutions punishing North Korea over its nuclear program. It is now time for the US and South Korea to make constructive actions to create conditions to solve the conundrum.”
The commentary argued that the North Korean nuclear issue is deadlocked. The US and South Korea have no new tactics for compelling North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program, other than to exert more pressure.
“But the situation is not as easy as that, especially given that North Korea firmly believes nuclear weapons are important tools, and that it has made huge sacrifices to develop nuclear weapons.”

“Those who believe Beijing should do more or that Beijing holds the key to solving the North Korean nuclear issue are either ignorant or calculating strategists. They are the ones who complicate the issue.”

“The US and South Korea must continue to engage with Pyongyang while imposing sanctions on it. They should give Pyongyang a choice rather than making it believe that no matter what it does, the two will overthrow its regime anyway. Engaging with Pyongyang isn't more difficult than Pyongyang giving up its nuclear ambitions.”

“It's time to restart the Six-Party Talks. The last talks were held in 2007, and North Korea, the US and South Korea have since refused to return to the negotiating table. They have set preconditions for rebooting the talks. But in the past decade, disengagement between the two sides ended up nowhere.”

“Is North Korea safer than it was 10 years ago? Does South Korea have more strategic leverage? Has the US brought North Korea to its knees?”

“There are only two solutions to break the deadlock between the US, South Korea and North Korea - a war or a turning point in coexistence. US President Donald Trump even wants to improve ties with a strategic adversary as Russia. North Korea is comparatively only an imaginary enemy. The North Korean nuclear issue requires efforts on all parties, and we hope Trump has the resolve to make those efforts.”

“Owning nuclear weapons will only bring isolation and more danger to North Korea. The Six-Party Talks are a good opportunity for all stakeholders to engage with each other. China supports any move that helps stabilize the Korean Peninsula. It is time for South Korea, the US and North Korea to engage with each other.”
The Global Times Op Ed piece suggests that those experts and analysts who judged that the suspension of coal imports is a pressure tactic for the US to do more, were essentially correct. China expects the US to support a resumption of the Six Party Talks in return for the suspension of coal imports.

The Op Ed piece has a flaw in its reasoning. By imposing the coal import suspension, China just proved correct those who have argued that China was not doing all it could to enforce UN sanctions. It is fallacious to argue that tighter sanctions on North Korea will not work. China’s recent action shows they have not been tried yet. China can do more.

Similarly, it is premature to label tighter sanctions a failure when the first potentially damaging sanctions have been in place for two days. It is time to wait to determine whether the latest sanctions bite and how hard. 

As for the Six Party Talks, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un already has denounced those talks and declared that North Korea will never return to them. His actions in testing ballistic missiles, submarines and nuclear devices indicate that he is serious. The Six Party Talks are almost the embodiment of deadlock. They accomplished nothing compared to the Agreed Framework under the Clinton administration.
In every contest, there are always five possible solutions for each round: win; lose; draw; pass; change the rules; quit. 
The Obama Administration's policy of strategic patience is a “pass” move. The substance of a pass move is to do nothing until a better round emerges or better opportunities appear. The problem with the pass move on North Korea is that it failed to restrain North Korea from detonating nuclear devices or testing missile. Pass moves seem safe, but can lead to a deteriorating strategic position because they impose no burden on the other players. Pass moves are usually risk averse, hope for change moves. The best move is almost always change the rules, which is another way of saying cheat in some senses. 
Context and Precedence

The Agreed Framework between the US and North Korea, signed in 1994 during the Clinton administration, was a change the rules move that froze the North’s nuclear program; subjected it to International Atomic Energy Agency supervision and controls and opened North Korea more than any policy since the end of the Korean War. It was the only time that US Department of Energy engineers and Department of State personnel lived and worked at the Yongbyon nuclear station with North Korean engineers.

It broke down in 2003, but no one expected it to last almost ten years. During those years, there were no nuclear tests and no strategic missile launches.

The resumption of the Six Party Talks is a “draw” move that does not solve the nuclear problem. It is unclear why Chinese President Xi Jingping considers the Talks to be a “win” move, when they have been deadlocked since 2007.

None of the parties to the Talks (China, US, Russia, Japan, South Korea, North Korea) has surfaced a new idea that could change the rules without using violence. All of northeast Asia is less safe because of the weak policies of the non-North Korean members of the Talks group since 2007.

The Trump Administration understands that military strength is the only thing that the North Koreans (Norks) understand. Thus, it is likely to join with China in demanding that the Six-Party Talks resume while at the same time increasing the capacity of the US to respond to North Korean hostility with kinetic force.

Hump Day Follies

Those Amusing Progressives

At the end of 2015, even the Democrats were conceding that ObamaCare was bankrupt. Fewer and fewer insurers were accepting it and in some states there were areas where NO insurers accepted the flawed program at all. The price of ObamaCare skyrocketed. It was just another tax and that tax money was wasted. What a surprise.

There is an option for progressives who pine for the joy of national healthcare insurance. Immigrate to Canada. They're accepting anyone these days including terrorists.

Some smaller nations with big incomes from oil and other natural resources can afford to fund generous national healthcare programs. I'm happy for them and wish them all the very best, but it won't work in the USA. Not now anyway. It's important for the US to have a national safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable among us, but that's it. Charity for the lame, sick and lazy has always been available and it's appropriate. 

ObamaCare will be repealed along with the underlying tax, and what takes its place will be better with an emphasis on opening up the entire nation to all insurers (not the case now) and allow them to compete to give better service at a more affordable price. Capitalism works if you allow it to. The progs will protest and tear their clothing in anguish, but the country will move on.

Meanwhile in California, there are ads running on radio primarily, telling people that ObamaCare is wonderful, vibrant and encouraging people to sign up to enjoy the benefits. The ObamaCare outlet in California is "Covered California". I want to reply to the radio, "Have you heard the news?" Then I realize that they only listen to the corrupt, elite, smug, progressive, self-satisfied, deceptive, nasty mainstream media, which assures them that President Trump will be impeached before ObamaCare can be repealed.

No More Black Targets?

I spent the bulk of my life shooting holes in black paper targets for a living. Now progressives are trying to change the tradition. A group of artists is urging law enforcement and the military to stop using “menacing black silhouette” targets at the shooting range, claiming they contribute to “unconscious bias” and ultimately violence against black people.
“The campaign seeks to eliminate the use of these targets, forever,” the initiative’s website says. The petition calls on the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors to start “getting rid of black targets at shooting ranges and replacing them with variations of more diverse target designs.”
Discriminatory toward terrorists?
The petition references a November 2015 University of Illinois study that found people were faster to shoot black targets than white ones, and that they also unloaded more bullets into black targets. I find this interesting because I never equated shooting a black paper silhouette target with shooting a person of a particular race.

No More Black Targets did not respond to e-mail, so the editorial staff at Virtual Mirage called them and spoke with Elliot, who answers the phone. VM asked Elliot if they opposed silhouette targets that depicted terrorists (see right). 

Discriminatory toward
American Indians?
VM asked if having people shoot at red targets instead wasn't potentially inviting them to slaughter American Indians - it's been done before...

Elliot seemed confused when VM equated his employment with somehow opposing anti-terrorist targets. So Virtual Mirage asked him about the movement's progress. He said that they were doing well. Virtual Mirage noted that to date the petition has garnered about 250 signatures on it. Elliott wasn't aware but said, if true, it didn't bode well for his minimum wage employment.

Massachusetts law has long banned the use of targets at shooting ranges “that depict human figures, human effigies, human silhouettes or any human images thereof, except by public safety personnel performing in line with their official duties.” I'm surprised that California hasn't done that too. Maybe somebody needs to call the legislature and get them on it.

As far as I know, there is no move in either Texas, Wyoming or Arizona to ban lifelike paper targets.

The Pope Weighs In (again)

The Pope opposes the Dakota Access Pipeline because it runs across Indian land...except that it doesn't. Never did and the Indians are upset because they didn't get to dip their beaks into the pot of real estate money paid for other land access.

The Missouri and Mississippi rivers have over 400 pipelines of different sorts crossing under them at present and there are no problems with THOSE.
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis insisted Wednesday that indigenous groups must give prior consent to any economic activity affecting their ancestral lands, a view that conflicts with the Trump administration, which is pushing to build a $3.8 billion oil pipeline over opposition from American Indians.
President Trump doesn't care.

The Grand Mufti was Punked

France’s populist candidate for President, Marine Le Pen (the French Donald Trump) was in Lebanon this week to meet Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who is a Christian. She also had a session scheduled with the country’s top Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian, the Grand Mufti. 

The Grand Mufti of Lebanon
The Mufti's staff told Ms. Le Pen that women were required to don headscarves before entering the presence of the Mufti. Le Pen refused, and after a few awkward moments between her staff and the sheikh’s, abruptly called off the audience and left. “I consider the headscarf a symbol of a woman’s submission,” she said afterward. “I will not put on the veil.”
Marine Le Pen

Le Pen is leading in the polls and is ardently opposed to more Muslim immigration into France - where they have caused a great deal of trouble and bloodshed. She's a hard liner who wants to make France great again.

Le Pen’s timing could not have been better. On the same day that she snubbed the Muslim mufti, police arrested three suspects in southern France for plotting what they called “an imminent terror attack.” That headline, juxtaposed with Le Pen’s face-down of a Muslim grandee, will reinforce her warning that France already has too many immigrants.

Le Pen considers the obliteration of ISIS to be one of France's primary missions. Part of that plan requires the expulsion of illegal aliens from France.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Two Thoughts for Tuesday

Thoughts on NATO

Mr. Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg is Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and an old friend of our fellow blogger, and my colleague from Norway, who comments under the name, "Valuesim". I've been following Sec. Gen. Stoltenberg's reaction to President Trump's and Vice President Pence's comments about NATO, and the need to modernize, to fight Islamic terrorism (which the Pope doesn't believe in - but the Pope may also believe that the Earth is flat the way Popes did 1000 years ago).

On the issue of terrorism, Stoltenberg noted that NATO is helping train security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and is contributing surveillance planes to the fight against the Islamic State. Then he added what VP Pence wanted to hear: "But we agree that the alliance can, and should do more, in the fight against terrorism."

During the election cycle there was near-hysteria among NATO membership when candidate Trump announced that NATO was obsolete and that member states were not paying their fair share. That hysteria turned to panic when he won the election. But the fact is, burden sharing is an old idea, and a non-controversial one. Modernizing NATO's approach in the age of the Islamic State is also eminently reasonable. And now NATO, facing the reality of a Trump presidency, has little choice but to go along.

Donald Trump moved the NATO debate. After much fretting, and complaining, and denouncing, NATO did the simplest thing: It went along.

China, North Korea and President Trump

China’s Commerce Ministry announced on 18 February that it will suspend all imports of coal from North Korea.
"In order to implement the NSC Resolution No. 2321, according to the Foreign Trade Law of the PRC, MOFCOM Announcement No. 81 of 2016, China suspends coal imports from North Korea for the rest of the year (including shipments that have been reported to customs yet granted permission for release). This announcement shall be implemented from Feb 19, 2017, to December 31, 2017."
China is North Korea’s largest export market, accounting for over 85% of its total exports in 2015, according to the UN. More than half of the exports, or $1.1 billion, was comprised of coal. Coal is North Korea’s primary export commodity. 

A survey of commentaries on this Chinese action revealed three theories about why the Chinese acted now. The progressive, elite, smug mainstream media judged that this action was in response to the assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother in Malaysia. The Chinese are angry because Kim Jong Nam was under their protection, living in Macao, and North Korea’s leaders knew it.

Academics judged that it was an administrative action taken in response to changes in domestic demand for coal. The timing was arranged to reinforce the perception that China is cracking down harder on North Korea.

The third view - that the corrupt, elite, progressive, smug mainstream media rejects, but is likely closer to the truth is that the coal crackdown is a gambit in Chinese dealings with the new US administration. This judgment is that China has shifted to the US the burden of making progress in relations.The message is that China has responded to a key policy concern of the US – that China can and must exert more pressure on North Korea. It is now incumbent on the US to reciprocate on a key Chinese policy concern, such as the installation of advanced missile defenses in South Korea.

Any action involving China, coal and North Korea is complex because the Chinese cannot be trusted to enforce a suspension, in this instance, as strictly as it was announced. There always are loopholes.

China Understand the Norks

China sends blunt messages to North Korea because they don't understand anything else. We note that the first Chinese statement of opposition to North Korea’s 12 February missile test was followed by a public announcement of tightened sanctions. The suspension of coal imports was announced within a week of the assassination of Kim Jong Nam on the 13th. Correlation is not causation, but close timing often is evidence of causation. The Chinese are displeased with Kim Jong Un, but they also want some form of reciprocation from the US. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Defending an Island Nation

I've heard rumors that the British are starting to get serious about defending their island(s). I've heard those same rumors before, but this time they're different by degree partly because of BREXIT.

The changing nature of advanced surface-to-air missiles has changed the way that the UK's Royal Air Force trains to fight. Since getting a few feet off the deck can mean an unhappy ending, they train to hug the terrain.  I personally feel as if they need to buy some F-18G electronic warfare aircraft from the US in an attempt to help resolve their vulnerability. 

GR3A Jaguar

GR4 Tornado
Nimrod MR-2
The British did plan to build a replacement for the venerable Hawker Siddeley Nimrod MR2, but the BAE Systems Nimrod MRA4 never made it off the drawing board. The roles intended for the MRA4 are filled by existing assets such as the Type 23 Frigate and the Merlin helicopter. On 23 November 2015, the UK announced its intention to order nine US made Boeing P-8 Poseidon ASW aircraft, as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015, effectively replacing the Nimrod.

P-8 Poseidon
Notice that I am not bashing the Royal Navy, which relies on its allies' good will - to partner with in operations. The Brits will throw in a frigate as a member of an American carrier task force or they will take their turn patrolling shipping lanes against piracy and that's all useful. But it's not what they used to do. They rely a lot on helicopters and their three helicopter assault ships, but the ships lack a lot of capacity for offensive action unless one writes of amphibious assault and they can do that so long as nobody with any military capacity is shooting back.

If Great Britain ever wants to be great again, they need to take their status as an island nation seriously and rebuild their capacity for self defense. But that's just my view.

Shall we Tolerate California?

What can be done about California?

Some uncharitable people feel that walling off the Golden State would be a good idea. While I can't argue against that (to protect the rest of the nation from illegal aliens), there may be another way...CANADA

The way that I see it, if Canadians are willing to take Syrian refugees, they could also take California liberals, college professors, Hollywood, Bay Area parasites, the politicians, illegal aliens, and all of the welfare recipients who vote both early and often

However if we do that we need to build a wall on the northern border to keep them from returning to the lower 48. The door north for Canadian asylum hippies does not swing both ways. We need to make that clear. The Hollywood freaks and misfits can go there and take their lucre with them, but there is no coming back to the mansions on the warm and inviting beaches.

A New Target for Hatred on Campus in California

First President Trump was the target, then First Lady Melania Trump was scorned for saying the Lord's Prayer... and now it's the Dalai Lama? Am I the only one who feels that political correctness has taken a step into the surreal?

Chinese students on campus are defending the official line of the Chinese Communist Party,  which is not fond of the Dalai Lama. I'm sure that funding for this official student outrage and unrest is coming from Beijing.

Where is the mainstream media outrage?

Where are the Congressional inquiries into the PRC's apparatus funding campus dissent in the USA?
(Quartz Media) On Feb. 2, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) formally announced that the Dalai Lama would make a keynote speech at the June commencement ceremony. 
The announcement triggered outrage among Chinese students who view the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as an oppressive figure threatening to divide a unified China. A group of them now plans to meet with the university chancellor to discuss the content of the upcoming speech.

The awkwardness doesn’t end there. As the aggrieved students have trumpeted their opposition, their rhetoric has borrowed elements from larger campus activist movements across the United States. The upshot: What Westerners might perceive as Communist Party orthodoxy is mingling weirdly with academia’s commitment to diversity, political correctness, and other championed ideals. 
It might be appropriate to send the Chinese students back home to China? "UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars." They have branded the Dalai Lama's proposed speech as a move against “diversity” and “political correctness.” Others contended the university was acting hypocritically by inviting an “oppressive” figure like the Dalai Lama while fostering a climate of anti-racism and anti-sexism.

The smug, elite, corrupt, progressive movement does like Pope Francis and so long as he remains a committed communist, he could give the speech, I guess.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Shall we Tolerate Islam?

This is your lucky day - a double header Sunday Sermonette, because sometimes one rant on a Sunday is not enough.

This is my response to the Pope (so-called Pope) and his recent assertions that there is no such thing as Islamic Terrorism...tell that to the mothers of their victims, your holiness...

Tolerance is an agreement to live in peace, not an agreement to be peaceful no matter the conduct of others.

There have been times throughout history when the West and Political Islam have been at peace, but some European leaders don't understand the nature of that peace. It's not absolute.
Tolerance is not a moral absolute; it is a peace treaty. Tolerance is a social norm because it allows different people to live side-by-side without cutting each other’s throats. It means that we accept that people may be different from us, in their customs, in their behavior, in their dress, in their sex lives, and that if this doesn’t directly affect our lives, it is none of our business. But the model of a peace treaty differs from the model of a moral precept in one simple way: the protection of a peace treaty only extends to those willing to abide by its terms. It is an agreement to live in peace, not an agreement to be peaceful no matter the conduct of others. A peace treaty is not a suicide pact.
I tend to go with a far simpler approach because I am a simple man. "Be polite and courteous (and tolerant) but have a plan to kill everyone you meet." - General James Mattis.

Unlike absolute moral precepts, treaties have remedies for breach. If one side has breached another’s rights, the injured party is no longer bound to respect the treaty rights of their assailant — and their response is not an identical violation of the rules, even if it looks superficially similar to the original breach. “Mommy, Timmy hit me back!” holds no more ethical weight among adults than it does among children. The Pope would do well to reassess his response to murderous savages but he's not the first Pope to be besotted with his own narcissistic awesomeness. 

Islam has an ugly track record that goes back to its very roots. It is a political system that uses arbitrary faith to enforce conformity and compliance (as the very meaning of its name suggests). In that, it shares common roots with totalitarian regimes - Maoist China, Stalinist Russia, and takes it one step farther by incorporating faith as a tenant of that mindset. It crushes the human soul, it stamps out all creative thought and it imparts all decision making to a small power elite coterie that "takes direction from Allah". Thus, the Imam's mutterings can not be questioned.

Studying the cause and effect of Political Islam is not a difficult undertaking. A trained chimp could get it. Somehow the progressive, elite, smug, self-satisfied, left doesn't get it. The 'homosexual marches supporting Islam' that we have seen in San Francisco are not unlike having Jews singing the Horst Wessel Song as they march into the ovens in Dachau. The Pope, a communist, is just as caught up in this love of Islam, but sitting on a massive pile of gold, surrounded by high walls and protected by an army of bodyguards, he has inoculated himself from the evil that is endemic in the Islamic system.

In the United States there is one law and it's not Sharia. Tolerance is an agreement to live in peace, not an agreement to be peaceful no matter the conduct of others.

Savage conduct (terrorism) needs to be met with absolute force and those who engage in this barbarity need to be obliterated from the earth for the sake of all who wish to live in peace.