Trump Nuke Plan Resets the Doomsday Clock

By Scott Ritter

In 1947, a group of scientists who participated in the Manhattan Project—America’s crash wartime effort to manufacture an atom bomb during the Second World War—unveiled what it called the “Doomsday Clock” to graphically convey their concern over the danger posed by nuclear weapons to the survival of humanity.

In the intervening years, this organization, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has seen its iconic timepiece fluctuate from its starting position—seven minutes to midnight (when the world will end)—to a low of two minutes (in 1953, when the United States and the Soviet Union were racing ahead with the testing and deployment of massive thermonuclear weapons) and a high of 17 minutes (in 1991, with the dissolution of the Soviet Union).

Recently, the Bulletin reset the clock, returning it to the two-minute mark. The threat posed to the world by nuclear weapons, the group believes, is now as great as it has ever been.

The most current time change is derived from an analysis of the state of global nuclear affairs, with an emphasis on the nuclear weapons policy and posture of the United States, the crisis with North Korea, and growing tensions between Washington and Moscow (including efforts by Russia to use technology to interfere in democratic elections around the world). While the Bulletin labels itself non-partisan, its message has historically been embraced by the progressive wing of American politics. The decision by the Bulletin to factor in the threats posed by technology and climate change has only strengthened this perception, especially among American conservatives. However, an examination of the issues underpinning its decision to adjust the Doomsday Clock show that, in this case, the warning issued by the Bulletin is sound and worthy of consideration.

The Bulletin’s reset of the Doomsday Clock comes in advance of the publication by the Trump administration of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the first such document since the Obama administration published its NPR in April 2010. (A draft of the 2018 NPR has been published by the Huffington Post.) The report gives voice to a strategic vision of the Trump administration when it comes to nuclear policy and posture that had been hinted at over the course of the past year. Some aspects of the NPR should come as no surprise—for instance, the $1.2 trillion modernization of the nuclear TRIAD, the manned strategic bombers, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) that serve as the heart of America’s nuclear deterrent. An aging deterrent is no deterrent at all if it is not able to function as intended.

Other aspects of the 2018 NPR, however, are disconcerting, and more than justify what would seem to be the prescient resetting of the Doomsday Clock. On the surface, the principles of deterrence outlined in the 2018 NPR are modeled on past policy pronouncements by previous administrations: “[T]o acquire and maintain the full range of capabilities to ensure that nuclear or non-nuclear aggression against the United States, allies and partners …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: If the GOP memo is as advertised we’ll see the deep state at its most frightening

By Andrew Napolitano I have argued for a few weeks now that House Intelligence Committee members have committed misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by the National Security Agency and the FBI. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Megan Barry’s Inclusive Values

By Rod Dreher

‘memba this?

The @CBMWorg‘s so-called “Nashville Statement” is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville

— Megan Barry (@MayorMeganBarry) August 29, 2017

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

The Nashville mayor was responding to the Nashville Statement, an Evangelical affirmation of traditional Biblical sexual morality. The first article in the Nashville Statement is below:

Well. Breaking news out of Nashville tonight:

Mayor Megan Barry said Wednesday she had an extramarital affair with the police officer in charge of her security detail, an extraordinary admission that rocks the popular Nashville mayor’s first term.

Barry, in an interview with The Tennessean on Wednesday afternoon, apologized “for the harm I’ve done to the people I love and the people who counted on me” but said she won’t be resigning.

She confirmed the affair with Metro police Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr. since the spring or summer of 2016, just months after she entered office the previous fall. Forrest submitted his retirement papers Jan. 17. His final day was Wednesday.

She continued, in her full statement:

“God will forgive me, but the people of Nashville don’t have to. In the weeks and months to come, I will work hard to earn your forgiveness and earn back your trust.”

How interesting that Her Honor presumes to know what God’s going to do.

Mayor Barry denounced the Evangelicals for their statement affirming orthodox Biblical sexual morality while she was banging her bodyguard — another woman’s husband — behind her own husband’s back. Mayor Barry’s superior values allowed her to include another woman’s husband into her bed.

I don’t think Mayor Megan Barry is a moral authority on anything to do with marriage and sexuality. The Nashville Statement has a lot more integrity and staying power than she does.

…read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Jordan Peterson, Preacher

By Rod Dreher

Alastair Roberts has some great observations about what Christian pastors can learn from watching and listening to Jordan B. Peterson. Among them:

2. People need to hear voices of authority. As I argued in my recent post, when someone speaks with authority, people sit up and pay attention. Our society has tended to shrink back from authoritative words, as such words threaten people’s autonomy (‘who am I to tell you what to do, man?’). Speaking authoritatively seems to shame, judge, and make claims upon people, all of which are anathema to contemporary individualistic society. However, carefully spoken words of authority can be life-giving. They can give direction and meaning to people who are lost, hope to those in despair, light to those in darkness, and clarity to those in doubt. People desperately need to hear wise and loving words of authority from people who know what they are talking about, rather than being left without authority or harangued by leaders without the depth of character to speak the words they utter.

Peterson is, for a great many young men in particular, the father they never had. He is someone prepared to speak into their situation with a compassionate authority. His authority is not an attempt to control them or to secure his own power over them, but functions to direct them towards life. He isn’t wagging his finger at them, but is helping lost young people to find their way. People instinctively respond to such authority. Such a fatherly authority is rare in our society, but many people are longing for it. This is the sort of authority that pastors can exemplify and by which they can give life and health to the lives committed to their care.

3. People need both compassion and firmness. It is striking how, almost every time that Peterson starts talking about the struggles of young men, he tears up. This recent radio interview is a great example:

Peterson’s deep concern for the well-being of young men is transparently obvious. Where hardly anyone else seems to care for them, and they are constantly pathologized and stifled by the ascendant orthodoxies of the culture, Peterson is drawn out in compassion towards them. He observes that such young men in particular have been starved of compassion, encouragement, and support. There is a hunger there that the Church should be addressing.

However, Peterson’s compassion is not the flaccid empathy that pervades in our culture. He does not render young men a new victimhood class, feeding them a narrative of rights and ressentiment. Rather, he seeks to encourage struggling young people—to give them courage. He tells them that their effort matters; their rising to their full stature is something that the world needs. He helps them to establish their own agency and to find meaning in their labour.

People notice when others care about them and respond to them. However, far too often our empathy has left people weak and has allowed the weakness and dysfunctionality of wounded and stunted people to set the …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Here’s what Trump’s critics still don’t get about why he was elected and has the support of millions

By Ed Conard Democrats wasted no time continuing their nonstop attacks on President Trump after his State of the Union address Tuesday. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Sen. Ted Cruz: Democrats are now so radicalized on abortion they can’t accept any limits on its brutality

By Sen. Ted Cruz The radicalization of the Democratic Party on abortion in recent years means that most cannot countenance even the slightest restriction; or the slightest acknowledgement that “abortion on demand, without apology” has its downsides. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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It’s been 15 years since George W. Bush launched PEPFAR and saved millions of lives

By Anne MacDonald Fifteen years ago this week, President George W. Bush traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol to announce the largest commitment ever to fight a single disease – a commitment that has saved the lives of millions of people with HIV/AIDS. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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The State of the Union—According to the Beltway Media

By James P. Pinkerton

This author has been watching State of the Union addresses for five decades, and it must be said that the state of the union—the actual condition of the country, out beyond the Beltway—is good. That is, this year, unlike other years over the past half-century, there’s no Vietnam War, no Iraq War, no double-digit inflation, no recession, no riots, no terrorist catastrophe, no crime wave. To be sure, the nation has plenty of problems, but it has always had plenty of problems; the American condition can never be that much different from the human condition.

So while President Trump’s rhetorical flourish at the beginning of last night’s speech—“We have gone forward with a clear vision and a righteous mission, to make America great again for all Americans”—might not have sat well with many, it’s a simple fact, as Trump said, that 2.4 million new jobs have been created, “including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.” And yes, the stock market has gained some $8 trillion in value, and it’s true also that, “after years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.” Or, as House Speaker Paul Ryan said earlier on Tuesday, “Unemployment is at a 17-year low. Economic confidence is at a 17-year high.”

Okay, so that’s the state of the union—the 50 states. Trump might be unpopular, but his policies, in practice, seem popular enough; that is, people are “voting” for him with their “economic feet”—hiring more, investing more, buying more, working more.

Yet there’s also the State of the Beltway. Inside the I-495 highway, every day, Beltway Warriors, left and right, blue and red, suit up to do battle with each other. This battling is so predictable and ritualized that one wag at the Washington Post even provided, in advance of the speech, a plausible list of tweets and comments for the dueling factions. And the news reflects this determinedly disputatious dynamic: there’s no such thing as “conventional wisdom” anymore, only conventional wisdoms, plural.

Once upon a time, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite could say, “And that’s the way it is,” and even if many Americans didn’t agree with him, they had no real voice of their own—they were, truly, the Silent Majority. Yet today, Cronkite is long gone, and few Americans could pick the latest CBS anchorman, Jeff Glor, out of a lineup, let alone know anything that he just said.

Indeed, the “media” has been tagged by the rightward half of the country as the “mainstream media,” or MSM, and that tagging has become synonymous with angry dismissal. Today, a lot of people know who Sean Hannity is, even if they have never actually seen him on Fox News.

Is this a healthy diversity of opinion? Or, rather, an unhealthy cacophony? Like just about everything else these days, that’s in the eye of the media beholder.

Another change we’ve seen over the decades is that TV has become not only politicized, but also Washington-ized. That is, not so long ago, the TV networks felt an obligation to cover world news. …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Newt Gingrich: Trump’s State of the Union was very inclusive – No wonder it shook up Democrats

By Newt Gingrich Watching and listening to President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night, I was struck by how wide-ranging and visionary it was. I was also struck by how deeply the Democrats reject everything uttered by President Trump. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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