Let’s be abundantly clear about something. Jonathan Pollard is a traitor to the United States of America, and should spend the rest of his life paying for his crimes. He inflicted catastrophic damage on American national security, he betrayed the trust of those who thought well of him and gave him access to sensitive intelligence, and if he is at all remorseful about his actions, I have yet to hear of it. And even if I do hear about it, I’ll have no reason whatsoever to believe it. [Read more…]
Jonathan Pollard Should Remain in Prison, and the Obama Administration Should Stop Insulting Our Intelligence
My desperate attempt to convince myself that the nuclear deal with Iran is a good one is–I am sorry to report–in the process of failing miserably. I wish that I could report otherwise, but alas, those accursed facts keep getting in the way, and keep me from liking this deal.
Oh, don’t think that I will give up on my effort to feel optimistic that the nuclear agreement with Iran is a triumph of American diplomacy. I am not a quitter, after all. But stubborn as I am, and as much as I would like to persevere in my effort to become a fan of the deal, I can see the handwriting on the wall, and that handwriting has produced the following words: “This is a bad deal.” [Read more…]
Of all of the arguments against same-sex marriage that I have encountered, the most ridiculous has got to be the argument that if we accept same-sex marriage, we have to accept polygamy as well. The argument is absurd for a number of reasons. Let’s focus on two of those reasons.
The first reason the argument is absurd is that it relies on the slippery slope, which as we all ought to know, is a conditional fallacy. When you run into the slippery slope, it is really best to do a 180 degree turn and run the other way as fast as humanly possible, but unfortunately, a host of opponents of same-sex marriage have decided instead to embrace the fallacy and put it forth as an actual argument, hoping against hope that no one notices that doing so is a bad idea. Just because we have decided that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right–and just because many people have concluded (rightly, in my view) that it is good public policy to support and implement laws allowing same-sex marriage–that does not mean that we are also obliged to conclude that implementing laws allowing polygamy constitutes good public policy. We can draw a line between the two, and any halfway intelligent society would do so, without sacrificing its ability to sleep comfortably at night, secure in the knowledge that it has remained intellectually consistent and rigorous in doing so.
There are a lot of people in Wisconsin and elsewhere who are made crazy by Scott Walker, as the photo accompanying this blog post makes clear. After all, Walker has won three elections in four years, including triumphing in a failed recall election that was launched by people who believe that elections should only have consequences when their side wins. I imagine that the Scott Walker haters were delighted when an investigation started to determine whether conservative groups in Wisconsin were illegally coordinating with Walker’s campaign during the recall effort. I also imagine that gag orders associated with the investigation that prevented the people involved from speaking in public and protesting their innocence didn’t trouble the sleep of the Walker-haters.
Well, there is bad news for the Walker-haters: The investigation has been shut down. And as Megan McArdle reports, the Wisconsin Supreme Court blasted the investigation and those behind it: [Read more…]
Count me as a supporter of Japan’s decision to cast aside pacifism and to become the military counterweight to China that the United States needs and wants it to be, as well as becoming a country that can provide for its own defense needs without excessive reliance on the United States. To be sure, I don’t want Japan to use this moment to sweep war crimes under the rugs (as it is wont to do much too often, alas), but I do happen to believe that Japan can both become a serious and responsible military power, and at the same time, be cognizant of the lessons of history. At times, Japanese politicians seem determined to make me seem naïve and overly optimistic regarding that last expectation, but for every Japanese public figure who is willing to sweep the lessons of history under the rug, there are a host of other Japanese politicians who are determined to remember, and a Japanese public determined to help in the remembering. More power to that latter group. [Read more…]
I would like to think that the nuclear deal with Iran is a good one. I would like to think that it will succeed and prevent Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power. I would like to think that it will increase regional stability and security, and that in doing so, it will increase global stability and security. I would like to think that those who staff the Obama administration–from the president on down–will be able to point to the agreement decades from now and say “we did good. We made the world safer. We have every reason to be proud.” And I would like to think that Americans and people across the world will have every reason and every justification to agree with such a statement.
But as of this writing, I have my doubts that this is a good deal. [Read more…]
Governor Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that al-Qaeda is a threat, because a few months ago when you were asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia, not al-Qaeda . . . The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years . . . I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy. But every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong.
That was President Barack Obama in his final presidential debate with Mitt Romney, and yes, the incumbent president of the United States really was that snippy and childish with his opponent, whom he regarded with undisguised contempt despite Romney’s record of . . . you know . . . actually accomplishing things.
Now, here is the chaser, which reveals that while Romney hasn’t “been in a position to actually execute foreign policy,” he actually got Russia right, and the incumbent president of the United States was the one who offered the disastrously wrong opinion: [Read more…]