PUTTING PRESSURE ON IRAN
How should the United States respond to the proliferation of deadly roadside explosives in Iraq manufactured and developed in Iran? And how to react to the capture by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of 15 British Marines and sailors in Iraqi territorial waters? What should we do about Iran’s continued refusal to halt its nuclear enrichment program even in the face of twice-imposed United Nations sanctions?
We should pass — and the president should sign — the Dodd-Lantos bill mandating economic sanctions on any foreign company that aids Iran’s energy industry. Domestic companies are already prohibited from such investments. This Democratic bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Rep. Tom Lantos (Calif.), is a bold piece of legislation that strikes at the core of Iranian vulnerability. And, in a singular act of courage and dedication to principle, Republican presidential candidate Congressman Duncan Hunter (Calif.) has added his name to the legislation as a cosponsor. Hunter’s action is particularly admirable since the bill is designed to force the Bush administration to impose sanctions passed in the 1990s but disregarded by both presidents, Clinton and Bush, ever since.
The Dodd-Lantos bill would omit the national security waiver Clinton used twice to stop the sanctions from taking effect. The waiver was inserted at the insistence of then-National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (before he started stealing documents in his socks). For his part, President Bush has not even waived the law, he just hasn’t applied it at all. The original sanctions legislation provided a variety of punishments that the president had to impose on foreign companies that invest in Iran’s oil and gas industries. These ranged from barring their participation in underwriting Treasury issues to prohibiting them from receiving export-import financing, as well as certain government contracts. The sanctions were so effective that they triggered howls of outrage from European governments that objected to what they called “extraterritorial” assertions of American power.
Presumably neither Bush nor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wants to rekindle the war of words with European governments, so they have not applied the sanctions that remain on the books. They probably worry that to do so would shatter Western unity in the face of Iranian aggression and the threat of nuclear-weapons development. But as Dodd, Lantos, and Hunter all realize, once the president and the secretary of state are stripped of the ability to waive the sanctions, they become a potent tool to stop European companies like Royal Dutch Shell, BNP, Total and Repsol from helping Iran tap its massive oil and gas reserves. The Bush administration people can plead that Congress is forcing their hand and foreign governments would just have to live with the consequences. Like the old Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which forced presidents to deal harshly with the Soviet Union as long as it barred Jewish emigration, the Dodd-Lantos bill would be a very effective tool in bringing Iran to heel.
We tend to overlook how vulnerable Iran is to economic pressure. Blessed with the second largest oil reserves in the world — after Saudi Arabia — its petroleum production has, nevertheless, dropped from 6 million barrels per day under the shah to a mere 3.9 million today. As a result of surging domestic demand — growing at a rate of 10 percent annually — and falling production, Iranian oil and gas revenues are dropping from $55 billion in 2006 to a projected $44 billion this year. Since these funds account for four-fifths of total government revenues, this falloff directly translates into cutbacks on the government subsidies and social programs the government uses to maintain its slender margin of support among the largely young, unemployed, and restive population. Since less than half of the Iranian population is Farsi and there is no ethnic cohesion to hold the nation together, subsidies like that which keeps gasoline at 35 cents per gallon are vital cogs in the regime’s bid for stability. The U.S. can undermine the regime’s ability to rule and trigger its overthrow by imposing tough economic sanctions, and nothing makes more sense than the legislation Dodd, Lantos, and Hunter are urging on the Congress.
ON STEM CELLS
Well, President Bush vetoed a portion of federally-funded stem cell research today, overriding the Democrats efforts in Congress. He had warned anyone trying to pass this form of stem cell research (called embroynic stem cell research) that he would veto it in a heartbeat. In his words, destroying human life to save human life is unethical, and he is correct. However, we are not getting the whole story from the mainstream media so I will give a few tidbits of information that the media is avoiding:
1)Rats and other science animals that have been injected with embroynic stem cells caused massive tumors growths (they died). This disastrous side effect is called teratomas (monster tumors).
2)Stem cell research is legal; there is nothing to stop private investment but stem cell advocates want government funding (the chances of success are not good and the smart money knows that).
3)Adult stem cells have cured numerous diseases, embroynic stem cells have cured nothing. Research on adult stem cells has been going on since the 1950s, treating dozens of diseases including Type 1 diabetes, liver disease, and spinal cord injuries. Currently, adult stem cells are used to treat more then eighty different diseases.
4) Stem-cell researchers have a clear financial incentive to lie about embroynic stem cells, and their singular lack of successes should disallow any funding. This reminds me of Brave New World....
Also, many Americans today are convinced that the main obstacles to curing diseases lies in our politics, instead the opposite is true; it is our limited understanding of cell biology which truely hinders this sort of research. But, religious obstructionism, after all, is a more appealing adversay than a deficit of understanding. Such people are called "anti-science".
Many people believe that life begins at conception and destroying viable human embryos is criminal and morally wrong and I am glad that President Bush is keeping these millions of people in mind in vetoeing embryonic stem cell research. In fact, Germany has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe; why? Becuase when youa re able to devalue any huamn life, can can devalue all human life. It's the traditional "slippery slope", one that has been proven over and over again in this century. Pre-Nazi Germany allowed unlimted abortion and then that nation progressed to euthanizing (murdering) the mentally retarded, then the elderly, then mass destruction of humans because they were not German by heritage: Jews, gays, Poles, etc. That is the main reason why Germany today has very very strict abortion laws.
Once of the most important things that people need to realize in the stem cell debate is the Scientific Imperative. The Scientific Imperative is whan can be done, will be done must have a balance (ethics). When science can clone people, genetically engineer supersoldiers, create bodies without heads (to harvest the organs), etc then we must balance out the insane capabilities that science can do with ethical standards that should not be crossed. When they can create people who are sexual toys, human-animal hybrids, animals that can speak, and other genetic horrors then we need nation-wide and planetary laws to not allow the destruction of the basic germline of humanity. The interesting thing is that liberals always take the side of anything or anyone who wants to destroy human life. However, science is the study of the world as it exists, which, to their constant annoyance, is not the world liberals would like it to be. :)
INTERESTING MAP OF ISRAEL
CLEANING UP CONGRESS
Nancy Pelosi said she would clean up the "corruption" that the Republicans had committed while in office but apparently the Dems are just as corrupt! I have a few ideas for cleaning up the Democratic Congress:
•Ban anyone who is an immediate relative of a member from lobbying Congress.
•Ban members from hiring spouses and other immediate relatives on their official, campaign committee or political action commi ttee payrolls.
•Ban taxpayer-paid travel by anyone but the member himself.
•Get Congress to stay in session full time, not just 32 weeks a year.
What do you think?
NASA'S UNIMAGINATIVE NEW SPACE MODULE
(replaces the Space Shuttle)
ON GLOBAL WARMING
Did you know:
1)The Earth has often been hotter than it is now,
2)The media only recently abandoned the "global cooling" scare,
3)Climate is always changing--with or without Man,
4)Many big businesses lobby for global warming policies that will increase their profits--and our costs,
5)There is no scientific consensus on global warming,
6)The Medieval Warm Period wassignificantly warmer than temperatures today--and it was a golden age for agriculture, innovation, and lifespan.
ANN COULTER QUOTE
"We fought a civil war to force Democrats to give up on slavery 150 years ago. They've become so desperate for servants that now they're importing an underclass to wash their clothes and pick their vegetables. This vast class of unskilled immigrants is the left's new form of slavery".