My Blog Week: June 16 to June 22
All the Latest from Torsade!
A Word on the Week
Crazy Times, Part Two
It’s necessary to mention Nazis.
In October of 1933, Germany, having a new Chancellor, and its government thrusting off in a new direction, chose to withdraw from the League of Nations. The Fuhrer’s secret councils had large ambitions; wanted none of them under scrutiny, none delayed or thwarted by the need to subject them to a vote. They may well have despised the thought of “seeking permission.”
The Trump administration has been accused of simply wanting to undo everything President Obama left in place. But it may be that particular brainstorm—the idea that being party to treaties and organizations, like NATO, forces you into transparency and compliance, slowing your initiatives.
And so, what about this threat to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities? Let’s have a picture of what these targets may be.
The uranium enrichment plant which appears to be at issue, is at Natanz, fairly close to Tehran; if it has a source of water, which it should, this may be piped underground. A factor in contamination. The facility itself is said to be both underground and contained in double barriers of concrete. A weapon called a Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or “bunker buster” could be used to destroy it, resulting in a great cloud of radioactive concrete dust, one that might reach high enough to be carried by prevailing winds.
In the populous city of Bushehr, on the Persian Gulf, Iran has a nuclear power plant. It would be hard to imagine bombing a working reactor in such a way as to disable it, but not send it into meltdown. The reactor has to be under the control of the workers, and its water supply can’t be cut off (by damage to piping). If this venture is only meant as a limited retaliation, international protocols should bear strongly against environmental damage and creation of humanitarian crises. Also, allies of ours in the Persian Gulf region might receive fallout.
Like Old Times
Leading Democrat Joe Biden has been under fire for using a couple of late racists as examples of cooperation. And it’s not just a case of reaching for the wrong example. The misjudgment is that the value being measured is “working together”. If this were the true value, then it would always be demonstrably better to work with anyone, loathsomeness notwithstanding, than to refuse.
The type of work is the actual value in question. A member of congress might say, “I decline the honor of serving on a committee with a man I cannot work productively with, due to our divergence of ideologies.”
Refusal as to ordinary projects, certainly an option, might mean a loss of prestige within congress, but should play well with voters. Suppose, though, that two senators from the same state, at polar opposites politically, are called on when the state suffers a natural disaster. They aren’t likely to fuss over working as a team in bringing aid to their constituents; as the phrase goes, “putting aside their differences”.
Biden seems to be getting advised to stand tough against false outrage…which is a thing, in these trolling times. But his tin-eared errors, including waggish old man behavior with women, don’t generate an outrage that’s necessarily false. Nor does it look good to stand tough against people making valid points.
Briefly, the Arizona story, the extreme police reaction to the child who stole a Barbie (or, at four, failed to grasp the nature of shopping). People my age grew up with Adam 12, Dragnet, The Rookies, The Streets of San Francisco, Police Story, and many, many detective shows. They weren’t hugely realistic, but in a way they were…portraying what people want to respect and believe about their public protectors. These (mostly) men would always squat down and talk face-to-face with kids, were courteous to little old ladies, patient and polite getting just the facts from reluctant witnesses. Does all that really have to be a quaint relic? And if show creators undertake realism today, how will they portray the culture that generates these violent, scary incidents?
Monday, the conclusion of the short story “Palma”, second in the Tourmaline series. On Tuesday’s Sequence of Events, Freda got unexpected, and difficult to believe, help from Phillip; Wednesday, part six of the “Bride to Be” story, in which Tamarilde makes a proposal to Alderic. Thursday, Catastrophe, a windy speech from a deputy, on behalf of the colonial minster. Friday, the second part of Hammersmith‘s chapter thirty-eight, with Shaw suspecting Zetland of being less dashing, and more nefarious, than he paints himself. Saturday, the next in the Tourmaline series, “A Friend”, introducing Anton’s substitute mother, and Corporal Herward.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: June 16 to June 22
Palma: Second Tourmaline (conclusion)
Sequence of Events: Drawn Upon Imagination (part four)
Bride to Be (part six)
Poetry Foundation: Benjamin S. Grossberg, “Had I Been There, Had It Been Me”
La Catastrophe de la Martinique: sixty-one
Hammersmith: A Prisoner Goes Missing (part two)
A Friend: Third Tourmaline (part one)