Sunday, July 25, 2010

Soccer Dad

Soccer Dad

Fars News: "US Warships . . . Easy Targets for Iranian Navy"

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 07:43 PM PDT

A mainstay of the Iranian Press is the they-wouldn't-dare-attack-us-we're-really-powerful story. In this one we learn that the US Navy is outnumbered 100 to 1:

A senior Iranian military figure underlined the Iranian Navy's preparedness to repel possible attacks on the country, saying that each hostile US warship would be swarmed by over 100 Iranian military vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman if war breaks out between the two arch foes.

"We have seen over 100 combat vessels for each (US) warship" for the time of war or whenever necessary, Former Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Naval Forces Rear Admiral Morteza Saffari told the Persian-language Panjareh (Window) Weekly. [...]

Also at Fars, we learn the great news that "Iran Able to Mass-Produce Ballistic Missiles":
A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Sunday that Iran is now capable of mass-producing its home-made ballistic missiles.

"We have reached a never-ending point in (increasing) the quantity of ballistic missiles," IRGC Lieutenant Commander General Hossein Salami said, noting that Iran has made great progresses in this area based on its home-grown capabilities and capacities.

All these stories involve the IRGC, which is also prepared to counter ideological and cultural threats:
Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari warned the Iranian youths against enemies' soft war plots, and called for further preparedness to confront soft threats against Iran and the Islamic Revolution. [...]

Last year, Jafari had stated that the IRGC was preparing infrastructures for confronting military, hard and soft threats, adding that the IRGC had entrusted the duty for confrontation against soft threats to the Basij forces.

Jafari said that fighting enemies' soft threats is the most important task of the Basij forces.

"Today, the most important and main mission of Basij is confronting the soft threats and cultural invasion which is stealthily targeting the (Iranian) youth," Jafari said.

Wikipedia explains:
From its origin as an ideologically driven militia, the IRGC has taken an ever more assertive role in virtually every aspect of Iranian society. Its part in suppressing dissent has led many analysts to describe the events surrounding the 12 June 2009 presidential election as a military coup, and the IRGC as an authoritarian military security government for which its Shiite clerical system is no more than a facade
So we can easily imagine the pride and pleasure felt by the average Iranian in reading stories like the above and being reminded that the folks who make their country a police-state are on the job!

Crossposted on Judeopundit

SANA (Syria): "Nasrallah: Martyrs' Bloods defeated Conspiracy Plots in the Region"

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 12:44 PM PDT

Interesting rhetoric:

Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday said that the bloods of the martyrs have defeated the conspiracy plots against the region over the last thirty years.

Speaking at the first Central Honor Festival for the sons of martyrs of the resistance, Nasrallah said that the resistance has put an end to the 'Greater Israel' Project, imposed an unconditional Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and failed the 'New, Greater Middle East' Project in 2006.

He said that targeting the resistance will continue because it doesn't accept an imposed American or Israeli settlement, affirming that the U.S project in the region has failed.

"Hezbollah will not deal with anyone on the basis that there is an accused in the party and we have to find away out, it will deal with all facts of the international investigation into the assassination of the Late Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri on the basis that there is a conspiracy plot against Lebanon and the region and this plot must be confronted," He said.

Nasrallah called for bringing the false witnesses and investigating with them to find out who fabricated their testimonies and has misled the investigation for four years, considering that this matter should be the first priority of the international investigation commission.

"All the Lebanese have paid, in a way or another, the repercussions of al-Hariri assassination, therefore the truth on this issue is no longer belong to individuals or families, it is a case that concerns Lebanon and all Lebanese People," Sayyed Nasrallah said.

He added that investigation into al-Hariri assassination will not lead to the truth or achieve justice because it is non-professional and this is a second assassination of al-Hariri. [...]

If that doesn't convince you that Hezbollah is guilty . . .

Crossposted on Judeopundit

Lazy sunday post - deadliest warrior

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 07:02 AM PDT

h/t Aussie Dave

From the "weapons" preview:

The main difference between how the Israeli Commandos would blow something up versus other commandos is how they deliver the explosive. Instead of destroying an entire block by fitting a cell phone with a planted explosive, it is target-focused. It kills only the target they want dead, with minimum loss to surrounding civilians. It also sends a very clear and powerful psychological message to other terrorists.

Maybe Mughniyeh was killed by Israel.

Crossposted on Yourish.

Council speak 07/25/2010

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 06:54 AM PDT

The council has spoken, here are this week's winning posts.
For a complete list of submissions see here.

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

Lend us your ears, but don't subsidize them

Posted: 25 Jul 2010 04:45 AM PDT

An editorial in yesterday's Washington Post asserted that It's time to end the excessive subsidies for corn ethanol

WHEN WASHINGTON starts handing out cash, it can be hard to stop. See, for example, the decades of subsidies the government has showered on the corn ethanol industry. The fuel was supposed to free America from its dependence on foreign oil and produce fewer carbon emissions in the process. It's doing some of the former and little of the latter. But corn ethanol certainly doesn't need the level of taxpayer support it's been getting. Lawmakers are considering whether to renew these expensive subsidies; they shouldn't.

This should serve as a reminder that the road to budget hell is paved with good intentions, that often don't pan out.

The end of the editorial claimed that one of the reasons subsidies are no longer needed because there's still a mandate for the industry to produce increasing amounts of ethanol. Of course, then, why isn't Post also asking to end those mandates. Given that ethanol doesn't solve the problem it was supposed and ends up boosting food prices, why should industry be required to produce it?

Ethanol is one of those many things that seemed like a good idea. (If we have lots of surplus corn and need lots of fuel, why not use the former to increase our supply of the latter?) However seeming like a good idea and actually being one, are two separate things. If anything, the lesson of ethanol is that legislation is not an effective way to deal with energy policy.

Thomas Friedman, is undeterred, and today declares, We're going to be sorry, for failing to pass the cap and trade bill last week.

When I first heard on Thursday that Senate Democrats were abandoning the effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to cap greenhouse gases that cause global warming and promote renewable energy that could diminish our addiction to oil, I remembered something that Joe Romm, the blogger, once said: The best thing about improvements in health care is that all the climate-change deniers are now going to live long enough to see how wrong they were.

Since the health care bill has passed we've heard continuing reports as to how it will - contrary to its proponents - raise the cost of health care. In other words the worst example Friedman could bring that somehow our all-knowing legislators could solve the problem of global warming (assuming as Friedman does in his huge carbon footprint house that it is a problem) with another piece of legislation.

As we East Coasters know, it's been extremely hot here this summer, with records broken. But, hey, you could be living in Russia, where ABC News recently reported that a "heat wave, which has lasted for weeks, has Russia suffering its worst drought in 130 years. In some parts of the country, temperatures have reached 105 degrees." Moscow's high the other day was 93 degrees. The average temperature in July for the city is 76 degrees. The BBC reported that to keep cool "at lakes and rivers around Moscow, groups of revelers can be seen knocking back vodka and then plunging into the water. The result is predictable -- 233 people have drowned in the last week alone."

It's true that this summer has been incredibly hot. The hottest I can remember. But this past winter was one of the coldest I remember too. (Certainly it was the snowiest.) Did that prove anything? Of course to those worshipping at the altar of global warming, we dismiss colder that usual temperatures with "climate is not weather." So warmer temperatures prove global warming and cooler temperatures don't. Can you say unfalsifiable?

Friedman can't help himself claiming not only that we're headed to climatic disaster and that the only way out of it is by legislating a change to a "green" economy which will be good for everyone. But will it?

A research institute located in Germany recently released a study on the economic impacts of that country's green energy initiative. Commissioned by the Institute for Energy Research (IER), the report finds with per worker subsidies for solar industry jobs are as high as $240,000.

Spain is a country President Obama says the U.S. should replicate when it comes to energy policy, saying, "they're making real investments in renewable energy." But real investments aren't necessarily good investments. Another IER-commissioned study coming out of King Juan Carlos University in Madrid by Gabriel Calzada found that, for every green job created, 2.2 jobs in other sectors have been destroyed. Furthermore, Spain's government spent $758,471 to create each green job and used $36 billion in taxpayer money to invest in wind, solar, and mini-hydro from 2000-2008. The country's unemployment rate is currently at 19.4%.

Our knowledge is limited. Proposing that Congress legislate massive changes to our economy based on incomplete knowledge and the likely unintended consequences of the legislation is reckless.

As Instapundit has written many times, I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who say it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis.

So when Thomas Friedman moves into a 1000 square foot house without electricity (or at least without air conditioning I'll believe what he writes about global warming. Until then maybe he could just shut up.

See Tom Nelson too.

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