William F. Buckley, Jr., 1925-2008
I can't hope to match the pearl-like words that are being strung together today and from now on about the life and career of the fabulous, trailblazing Bill Buckley. But allow me a personal comment on the man and his faith.
A lot of Jewish people were, and remain, resentful and suspicious of the Cathlic Church, and of devout Catholics. There are inarguable reasons rooted in ancient history for this.
William F. Buckley, Jr., was a proud and devout Roman Catholic whose magazine was always informed by a familiar Roman Catholic tilt. The man's transcendent decency and love for his fellow man simply blazed forth whenever you watched him speak, or read his words. I came to conclude that Bill Buckley represented the best and truest teachings of Roman Catholicism, and that I would take those Catholics I encountered as sharing his spirit. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it then appeared to me that a large portion of these people lived up to that high standard.
I hope that my Jewish brethren will do William F. Buckley the honor of extending a friendly and helpful hand to our Catholic comrades, as the late great William F. Buckley so routinely did for us.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Robert Jastrow, 1925-2008
A great thinker and man of wisdom, Robert Jastrow, died the other day. The obituaries noted his many scientific accomplishments--he was a physicist and a by-God rocket scientist-- but they missed entirely the substantial vindications of his most controversial theories, especially his endorsement of the idea that US technological advancements could effectively bankrupt the then-rampaging USSR, and even make nuclear weapons "impotent and obsolete." Could it have been an accident that those vindications were precisely the ones that enraged liberals the most?
Dr. Jastrow added a weighty voice to the debate in January 1984 about Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" strategic defense initiative with a long essay in Commentary magazine: ""Reagan vs. the Scientists: Why the President Is Right About Missile Defense." When we consider that Dr. Jastrow died the same week the Navy shot down a falling satellite with an SDI-style "bullet hitting a bullet" shot, and when US forces in the Middle East are using relatively tiny explosive payloads to obliterate jihadis surrounded by densely populated civilian neighborhoods, it is beyond belief that the man's ideas from the early 1980's have been covered up so thoroughly by the MSM. Was this man not a visionary?:
The key to these technologies is the miniaturized computer. Extraordinary developments in the miniaturization of computer circuits enable millions of transistors and other electronic components to be packed into a space the size of a
thumbnail. As a result, defense technicians now have the means for building elaborate computer brains into a very small missile-a mini-missile-so that it can steer itself toward its target. Sensing the target either by its delicate emanation of heat waves, or by its radar reflections, the mini-missile analyzes the product of its senses within its highly capable computer brain, and directs a succession
of messages to small rockets arranged around its circumference. Delicate thrusts of these rockets steer the defending missile into the path of the oncoming ICBM warhead. The result is either destruction of the warhead by a direct impact, or an explosion of the mini-missile in the vicinity, releasing a cloud of flying metal fragments. The warhead, moving ten times faster than a bullet, tears into the cloud of fragments; the skin of the warhead is punctured in many places; its electronics are disabled; and the nuclear bomb inside it is disarmed.
In essence, the defense consists in tossing into the path of the speeding warhead some TNT and a keg of nails. What makes this simple defense work is its computer brain.
The amount of TNT need not be very large. One mini-missile of the kind described, currently being tested by the Army, contains less than 100 pounds of explosive. The reason is that the defending missile does not have to destroy the warhead to be effective; it only has to prevent the nuclear bomb inside the warhead from exploding. That happens to be fairly easy, because nuclear bombs do not go off very readily; elaborate arrangements and a great deal of fragile electronics are needed
to make one explode. Accordingly, a small charge of TNT, or a cluster of high-speed metal pellets, will usually be sufficient to disarm the bomb's mechanism.
Getting back to President Reagan's [first SDI] speech, one of the main criticisms of his plan was that a defense against ICBM's can never be 100-percent effective.
This criticism also applies to the smart mini-missiles. If these missiles were intended for the direct defense of American cities, they might not be of much value, because even a few ICBM warheads leaking through such a defense would kill millions of Americans. However, the situation is very different when a defending missile is intended only for the protection of missile silos and other military sites. Suppose, for example, that the defense of the silos is only 50-percent effective-a conservative estimate for the technologies described above. This means that roughly half the attacking warheads will accomplish their purpose. Therefore, the USSR will be required to make its ICBM arsenal twice as big as it is today, to regain the level
of threat it possessed before the defense was put in place. In other words, it will have to buy another ICBM for every one it already has.
The Soviet Union has spent about $500 billion on the build-up of its ICBM arsenal over twenty years and might be hard-pressed to spend another $500 billion in a short time. Even if the USSR does increase its missile forces in an effort to overwhelm
our defense, we can increase the number of defending missiles around each silo and once again reduce to an acceptable level the number of Soviet warheads that would reach their targets. This response is practical because each defending little missile
costs considerably less than the warhead it is aimed at. Estimates by a team of scientists at Los Alamos indicate that if the Soviet Union tries to overcome
an American missile defense by building more rockets and warheads, its costs will increase at least twice as fast as ours. In this situation, in which the ratio of costs heavily favors the defense over the offense, the Soviet Union may be led to rethink its whole strategy of striving for military dominance with weapons of mass destruction.
[Note: This was written more than a year before Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, and more than two years before Gorbachev unveiled his plans for glasnost and perestroika]
For nearly forty years, since the first atomic explosion at Alamogordo, the
nuclear bomb has dominated strategic weaponry. But technicians make new facts, and new facts make a new strategic calculus. We are on the threshold of revolutionary gains in the accuracy of intercontinental ballistic missiles, created by the
incorporation of computer brains into missile warheads.
In the future, the smart ICBM warhead, equipped with electronic brains and infrared or radar "eyes," will hitch a ride to the general vicinity of the target on its ICBM bus; then, disembarking, it will steer itself into a particular spot on the
target within a yard or two to accomplish its task with nice precision. Consider the possibilities opened for the military planner by this development.
A Soviet charge of TNT, carried across the ocean by an ICBM, guides itself down the smokestack of the Consolidated Edison plant in New York; an American warhead of TNT, carried 5,000 miles in the nose of an ICBM, drops down onto a
critical transformer in the Moscow power grid; a bridge is destroyed by a small explosive charge ferried across oceans and continents on an ICBM, and carefully placed at the foot of a pier. A small, artfully shaped charge of TNT is delivered to the door of a Minuteman or SS-19 silo; exploding, it pierces a hole in the silo door, spraying the interior with shrapnel and destroying the missile. It is not
necessary to crush the entire silo with the violence of a nuclear warhead; missiles are fragile, and gentler means suffice to disable them.
Command posts, ammunition dumps, highways, and airport runways-all are vulnerable to conventional explosives skillfully targeted. Nearly every task allotted to nuclear weapons today can be accomplished in the future by missiles armed with
non-nuclear, smart warheads.
[This "accuracy revolution" enabled US forces in Afghanistan to accomplish in 2 months what the much-larger Soviet forces couldn't accomplish in 10 years...And the annihilation of the entire military infrastructure of Iraq was achieved in about the same time, with about 1% of the civilian casualties that such a campaign would traditionally have required]
And when nuclear weapons are not needed, they will not be used. That may seem unlikely, but consider the following facts. A nuclear weapon has many defects from a military point of view. Because of its destructive power and radioactivity, it
tends to kill innocent civilians, even if used sparingly in a surgically clean strike at military targets. If used in great numbers, nuclear weapons stir up
clouds of radioactive material that roll back with the prevailing pattern of the winds, carrying their poisons with them into the land of the attacker.
Finally, these weapons generate emotional reactions of such intensity that the military planner can only hold them in reserve to use as a last resort; he cannot release his nuclear arsenal in gradual increments, adjusted to the military needs of each situation.
In other words, nuclear weapons are messy, and, other things being equal, the military planner will avoid them. They will never disappear entirely; some blockbusters will always be stockpiled by the superpowers as a deterrent to a genocidal attack on their cities and civilians. But as the accuracy of
smart warheads increases, and more military tasks can be accomplished by non-nuclear explosives, the tasks assigned to nuclear warheads will diminish, and the size of the world's nuclear arsenals will decrease.
The shrinkage has already been observed in the armaments of the U.S. and the USSR. Nuclear weapons in the American arsenal are now one seventh their size twenty-five years ago, and the total megatonnage of our arsenal is one-quarter what it was then. Figures available to me on Soviet nuclear weapons go back only ten years, but
in that short interval, while the number of Soviet warheads increased enormously, the average size of an individual warhead decreased by a factor of three.
These changes in the sizes of the world's nuclear arsenals have resulted from rather modest improvements in the accuracy of missiles, but the technology of the smart warhead is still in its infancy. When it reaches its maturity, and the precision of
delivery of explosives across continents can be measured in feet rather than in hundreds of yards, the military uses of the nuclear bomb will dwindle into nothingness. And so it may come to pass, as President Reagan suggested, that the scientists who gave us nuclear weapons will also give us "the means of rendering these weapons impotent and obsolete."
Rest in peace, Dr. Robert Jastrow, a great American and by all accounts a great guy.
Oh, and never forget: the late great Ronald Reagan was just a dumb actor, and the people who supported him were equally dumb, gulled by his nice smile. They sure weren't rocket scientists!
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 9:47 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
You read it here first: Barack Hussein Obama will be one fat turkey for even the 71-years-young John McCain to blast to smithereens in November.
We conservatives forget that the MSM concocts a Democrat Repub-slayer EVERY FOUR YEARS...and it's always some younger, tech-savvy liberal, or some purported powerful mass movement that will tip the balance. Let's review:
Gary Hart; Mike Dukakis; MTV; Rock the Vote; Al Gore; Howard Dean; MoveOn.org; Daily Kos.
So what happened? 4 Repub wins in 6 elections, 3 by mediocre candidates whose last name was "Bush."
Interestingly, the only Dem to win (Clinton twice) was NOT pushed by the MSM very much at first, probably because they were sure he'd be crushed by the "hugely popular" first Bush after the Gulf War victory.
Barry Hussein has triumphed thus far because he has a far more appealing personality than Hillary Clinton. Wow, what an accomplishment. His policies are effectively identical to hers, and in the Dem policy echo-chamber they are receiving no scrutiny.
That will not continue once it becomes McCain vs. Obama.
Let's recall that there WAS one moment during the Democratic race when a real policy dispute took center stage: Hillary's non-endorsement/endorsement of Spitzer's plan to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens. And how did this policy dispute play out, within days after the debate?
Well, within the Democrat party, Hillary was blasted for appearing to both OPPOSE AND SUPPORT the plan, when all the other Dems were SUPPORTING it.
But within THE BLUE STATE OF NEW YORK, the plan was instantly trashed, and aborted. Hmmmmm...Will Obama keep defending his drivers license position for the next nine months?
Obama is the most unapologetically liberal nominee the Dems have offered since Michael Dukakis in 1988. Remember Dukakis? He was the tremendously well-funded governor of the tremendously successful state of Massachusetts, an inspiring son-of-immigrant parents success-story, a brilliantly competent technocrat with an ethnic touch (he spoke Greek AND Spanish!) and as late as August 1988 he was leading the elitist, wimpy, waspy, whiny-voiced Bush by 20 points in the [electorally meaningless] national polls.
3 months later, Dukakis took 10 states.
My readers know I didn't support John McCain, but he isn't in a different league from Obama; he's on a different planet! And Planet Obama is going to look a very alien place indeed to American voters over the next 9 months. Planet Obama will not be a place that non-Daily Kos Americans will even want to visit, let alone make their home.
Of course, this presumes a minimally competent campaign by John McCain, who has certainly had his share of perverse ideological screw-ups the past ten years. But I suspect that being so close to his goal, after being written off just a few months ago, will lead him to a clarity and focus that has eluded him since his buddy Bob Dole lost (a defeat that had a traumatic effect on McCain, in my view).
McCain's main ad guy, Mark McKinnon, has ostentatiously promised that he will not "go negative" against Obama. This is obviously a pre-emptive ploy to lull the enemy to sleep. By contrast, Lee Atwater in 1988 promised "We're going to strip the bark off the little bastard" [Dukakis]. In those pre-Internet days you could get away with that kind of candor (especially when the polls showed your candidate so far behind that the national media was laughing at him), and McKinnon is too cautious to speak that honestly today. But take my word, John McCain will not allow Obama's bizarre down-the-line leftism to go unremarked or unchallenged--vigorously.
And given a choice between a responsible, more conservative adult [not to mention the war hero thing], and a callow, soft-communist neighborhood activist with Islamic roots, the American people will do the right thing.
You read it here first.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
A lovely family vignette from the Religion of Peace...Notice the calm and restraint shown by the Muslim Palestinian police toward the Muslim Palestinian revelers. I'm sure that once Israel hands over Judea and Samaria to these lads then they'll hold hands and sing in perfect harmonyyyyyyy...
I guess this is the type of wholesome sharia diversity that Archbishop Rowan is hoping to import into jolly old England. Maybe he can be a wedding guest of honor?
And a little more close-up reminder of how Muslim Palestinians treat those they disagree with...even when they are also Muslim Palestinians:
Monday, February 11, 2008
A few weeks ago a lot of us here were despairing about the Pentagon's firing of a brilliant anti-Islamist scholar. Steven Coughlin, due to the Pentagon maneuverings of the supposedly heroic immigrant, Hesham Islam. At the time, I questioned whether the purported details of Mr Islam's life even added up.
Since that time, Claudia Rossett has gone and torn apart Islam's phony bio (these Koraniacs can never help themselves--he HAD to throw in that slam about "Israeli planes destroying his home"--in CAIRO), and the Pentagon has re-hired Mr. Coughlin.
And. Hesham. Islam. Is. Quitting.
What is especially nice about this story is that it reveals there are STILL some solid citizens keeping their goddam eyes open at the Pentagon and the FBI, and they are not shy about standing up to the clueless political big-shots like Gordon England.
THANK GOD FOR THOSE PATRIOTS!!
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 9:31 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
For too long, the only Muslim women we're treated too are "traditional" harpy-moms bragging about their mass-murderer sons, semi-slaves in chadors, or glaring "intellectual" freedom-haters who bully their pathetic talk-show interviewers. But Jewish Odysseus is here to offer a new version of Islamic feminity that we can all admire--and this week we can sure use it:
Viva Miss Suha Chloe Hemmat, and thanks to the patriotic editors at Nyla magazine!
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 10:07 PM
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Or is it Islamist Satanism? Oh, well, same thing. Unmitigated evil:
To get the entire horrific, queasy-disgusting story about this AQ training program, go here.
See how the Islamists interact with little kids in Iraq? Training them to kidnap hostages and and rob and murder? Now let's see how those brutal kaffir American troops interact with the children of Iraq:
PEOPLE, THIS IS WHAT OUR FUTURE IS ALL ABOUT: A CHOICE BETWEEN JIHADISM, UNTRAMMELED AND PERVERTED VIOLENCE AND BARBARISM AND THE CULT OF DEATH, VERSUS LIFE AND HUMANITY AND SPREADING THE IDEA OF GOD'S COMPASSION AND LOVE BETWEEN ALL PEOPLE AND CULTURES.
THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!!
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 8:06 PM
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Well, if history is any guide...VERY hard.
In 2000, George W. Bush was chosen as the nominee of the Republican Party on his first attempt. He was the incumbent re-elected governor of one of the most Republican, wealthy states in the nation, and his father and brother were both influential Republicans.
Before George W., when was the last time a Republican won the nomination on his first try? And let's leave aside Gerald Ford, who was already the incumbent President before he was the nominee.
Folks, we have to go back 44 years, to 1964--Senator Barry Goldwater, an Arizonan of a decidedly different stripe-- to find the last Republican nominee who had NOT tasted bitter defeat before finally winning the nomination.
So from the ashes of this defeat, let us carefully draw out the embers to kindle a blazing fire four years from now (and I'm very confident it will be four years, not eight). If a demagogic septuagenarian egomaniac like John McCain can do it, why not us?
Hang in there, people! I'll leave you with a little picture of another well-known Republican a few months after he was beaten for the Party's nomination. Does this man look depressed?:
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 10:14 PM
A brief Loser Wednesday review of the life and times of Sen. McCain's most insightful and persistent critic.
Poor Rush. Talk about a mega-jinx...:
Rush Limbaugh was born and raised in...MISSOURI.
Won by McCain.
Rush began his political oriented talk-radio show in...CALIFORNIA.
Won by McCain.
Rush "went for the bigtime" with his show and expanded it to a phenomenal success in...NEW YORK.
Won by McCain.
Rush migrated his show to a new "Southern Command" base, in...FLORIDA.
Won by McCain.
At least MY home state had the brains to vote for Romney (Moscowchusetts).
Seriously, people, we'll get through this. Hang in there. We'll get through it.
Posted by Jewish Odysseus at 9:37 PM