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Total number of comments: 7 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:25)

Joe Buck

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  • Nuke'em: Russia's Plan to Nix Meteor Danger
    • If a large rock were headed our way, hitting it with a nuclear bomb or high explosive would break it into pieces, most of which would still hit us. Better to land a rocket on it and use the rocket's thrust to change its path so it misses us.

      It would even be possible to toss chunks of the rock itself into space to use as thrust.

      On the other hand, hitting it with an atomic bomb sounds macho; this would appeal to guys like Putin.

  • Karzai accuses Taliban of Serving US Interests, Slams (Non-Existent) US-Taliban Talks
    • It makes perfect sense to me. If Karzai hopes to survive after the US withdrawal, the most urgent task for him is to distance himself from the US. If he's seen as a lackey, he'll soon be gone. He's trying to position himself as a nationalist. Claiming that Taliban attacks serve to prolong US occupation may be a good tactic. The idea seems to be that the Taliban aren't acting in Afghan interests (he can also accuse them of being agents of the Pakistani ISI), only Karzai, the great nationalist (ok, try not to laugh) speaks for Afghanistan.

  • Top Five Things we should be doing to avoid the end of the Earth instead of defaming the Mayans
    • The US has substantially reduced its carbon emissions lately, by replacing coal with natural gas. American carbon emissions are at their lowest level in 20 years, despite the fact that there are more Americans now. There's a long way to go, and a high price has been paid (pollution caused by fracking), but China and India are rapidly increasing their use of coal. The US and Europe could drop their carbon emissions to zero and we will still see a 4 degrees C increase if China and India don't restrain themselves.

  • Top Ten Ways that Libya 2011 is Not Iraq 2003
    • Prof. Cole, I'm sorry to see that you've decided to become a hawk. Yes, a legal procedure was followed, but now what? The rebels seem to be sitting around waiting for NATO to knock off Qaddafi for them; they certainly can't do it on their own. The UN resolution doesn't authorize the overthrow of Qaddafi, and in many places Qaddafi's people can outgun the rebels without use of air power. Meanwhile, in Yemen and Bahrain the authorities are also killing protesters in large numbers, and Bahrain has imported mercenaries, um, Saudi troops, to fight its own people. Would your logic require intervention in Yemen and Bahrain next?

      And when was the Constitution amended to allow a UN resolution to substitute for Congressional authorization to use force abroad? Candidate Obama said that the president does not have the power to do what President Obama just did.

  • Wael Ghonim vs. Barack Obama: Change we Can Believe in, Yes we Can
    • Yes, Glenn Greenwald, who usually is very accurate, messed up when he claimed that a Tea Party/left alliance temporarily stopped the Patriot Act renewal. It's true that Dennis Kucinich tried to create such an alliance, but only 8 out of the 50 members of Bachmann's Tea Party caucus (not including Bachmann) voted to block the extension.

  • Beck Subtext: Obama Planning to Assassinate Tea Partiers
    • The Obama administration has a history of surrendering to Fox News attacks. They threw Van Jones under the bus. The USDA fired Shirley Sherrod. They've caved to demands to handle the deficit by creating a commission full of people who want to gut Social Security.

      So I'm amazed to find that I might be rooting for crazy Glenn Beck to score points on this issue, because while Obama won't listen to the left, he does seem to listen to the right, and to respond to their attacks in a defensive way. Obama's most appalling act has been his claim that he has the power to execute American citizens without trial, just by putting them on a list of "known terrorists", no matter that as a former teacher of Constitutional law he knows that "nor shall any person be ... deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law". It's proper to fear what a president might do with this kind of power.

      If the administration has evidence that an American is a terrorist, he should order that person to be captured and put on trial. If the suspect dies while violently resisting arrest, or while fighting against American troops, so be it, but otherwise, due process of law is not optional.

  • Obama's MacArthur Moment? McChrystal Disses Biden
    • This isn't Obama's MacArthur moment because McChrystal is not MacArthur. MacArthur was the hero of the war in the Pacific, the military governor of Japan, the strategist whose brilliance saved the American side from a total wipe-out in Korea. McChrystal has no such track record of success. He's reputed to be a counter-terrorism expert, but it isn't going well for him in Afghanistan. He's insubordinate like MacArthur, but he's far more replaceable than MacArthur. This means that Obama will pay a far lower price for firing him than Truman did. If, on the other hand, he keeps his job, it will mean that Obama has abdicated, that he's essentially no longer in charge, that his job is reduced to getting Congress to deliver funds for whatever the Pentagon wants to do, while the Pentagon openly works to help the Republicans they are more comfortable with back into office.

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