THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 610 February 15 - 21, 2010
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February 15, 2010
I have a lunch engagement with Phil Chapman today, so today's View will be late.
I don't do topical news, but there are two items of lasting interest that are sort of breaking. One is the collapse of the consensus on Global Warming and Climate Change. There is now a vocal group asserting that there is no Global Warming and it has all been a fraud, probably deliberate. While there are certainly people within the Global Warming movement who were cynical and in it for what they could get, I don't think there were many. Most of the people I know well who call me a "Denier" are in fact True Believers. They haven't bought the entire Global Warming Disaster Coming argument, but they do think there is genuine cause for concern about rising CO2 levels and they have convinced themselves there is evidence that these increasing CO2 levels -- which are reflected in primary data -- have caused real climate changes, and those climate changes are a threat to planetary health.
I don't call that fraud; but when that view extends to rejecting any evidence from "people financed by oil companies", it's certainly not science. After all, much of the consensus comes from people financed by grants controlled by others whose livelihood depends on grants controlled by people who are part of the consensus. Poisoning wells is not a valid debating technique. When I was a young leftist one of my primary challenges was to say "Before you question people's motives, answer their arguments." I see no reason to stop issuing that challenge now.
Moreover, I am not at all sure that charging fraud is good tactics. A number of people were part of the consensus and are now having second thoughts. Why should they not have been? They aren't climate specialists or experts, and the consensus appeared to be a pretty solid agreement among people who were. The fact that within the climate community the modelers tended to see warming and the data gatherers tended to be more skeptical was never a secret, but it hasn't been as public knowledge as it might be. Note too that data gatherers are sometimes theorists, but often are not: they are observers and recorders. Climate trend measurement over long periods of time requires a lot of theory: we don't have observations extending from 1885 to 2005, much less going back centuries. We have observations in ice cores and tree rings, but those all require interpretation -- theory -- and calibration -- theory -- and the most prominent theorists who have the largest computers and the most complex models built the consensus.
Now the consensus is coming apart. Not entirely, of course. But it's no longer simply taken for granted that the warming we observe is extreme, or that there is a "hockey stick" effect, or that we understand the Carbon cycle. And that's all to the good.
An article in the current Science raises the question of effect of lower pH on iron and the ocean carbon cycle; the summary quotes all worry about a positive feedback loop, but the actual study makes it clear that it may in fact raise the availability of iron, and thus trigger a negative feedback loop. There's not enough data to allow an actual conclusion. You'd never figure this out from the summaries; you have to read the study. It's a serious question, but the treatment makes it appear that we know more -- and the situati0n is more dire -- than in fact we know. (We don't know if it's dire or not, and there's not enough data to warrant much of a guess.)
More on this another time; meanwhile, there is more and more evidence that much of the consensus for "do something, now," was manufactured, and that doubt is returning to the scientific community, and more and more real scientists have become Doubters if not Deniers; and that is all very much to the good. I don't think we understand carbon cycles very well, and I am pretty certain that the proposed remedies will not have much effect other than destruction of wealth and complicating recovery from the depression in the west. Now we need to rethink the situation.
Had lunch with former astronaut Phil Chapman. We may have a project to work on. I'll have a lot more 0n what's happening at NASA and with the space program later this week.
Tomorrow I have more on the Irish death spiral, and what caused it. Stay tuned.
I am in fact very fond of LisaBetta, my Compaq HP 1100. She's a bit heavy, of course, and has a shorter battery life than I like, but she runs OneNote and Skype.
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|This week:||Tuesday, February
Otherwise known as Fat Tuesday
For a prime example of how the AGW consensus was built, I offer "Iron and the Carbon Pump" by William G. Bonda of NOAA's Beaufort Laboratory. This article appeared in Science Magazine for February 5, 2010. The article is well done, and worth your time -- provided that you read all of it. It's not that long.
You may not be able to read it unless you belong to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (the popular organization supporting and to some extent setting policy for Big Science; I've been a Fellow for many years). You can, however, read the summary of the article at the link I give above. The summary says:
Actually, the article is on page 654 of my paper copy of the magazine. At the top of the article, in green, the editors of Science have this summary: Ocean acidification may reduce the availability of iron, affecting the ocean's ability to absorb more carbon dioxide.
Now there is nothing wrong with either of those summaries. The article certainly does say that these things may happen. The article itself is a good analysis of a very complex system at work, and gives a good bit of information, and can serve as a pretty good introduction to the complexity of the problem. Here, however, is the actual conclusion of the article:
Note that last sentence. "Could increase iron retention rates and dissolved iron concentrations." The article continues:
In other words, the entire article was speculation (and well done speculation) about theories; and the one data report indicates that increased CO2 may result in an increase in available iron, leading to a negative feed-back loop; indeed, that seems to me the most important point of the article, which concludes:
All of which is well said, and indicates an area deserving future research; if increased CO2 (a tripling in this preliminary experiment) results in a doubling of available iron, it may well stimulate plankton blooms that reduce the CO2 levels. One expects that there is some kind of negative feedback since CO2 levels in long past times were higher than they are now -- else how did they get to the present levels?
It's a good article, and those reading all of it will conclude that there's more going on here than we understand at present, and it's probably important that we do understand it. Those reading only the summaries, however, will come to the conclusion that there's even more reason to fear the rising CO2 levels (about 38% rise since the start of the industrial era). The increased CO2 may decrease available iron and thus start a positive feedback loop, and we'd better look for ways to prevent that.
Bayesian analysis would say that the best strategy when faced with two alternatives of uncertain probabilities, at least one of which requires extremely expensive preparation and mitigation, is to employ information strategy: spend the relatively more modest sums to reduce the uncertainty before choosing the high expense mitigation. Since that wasn't really Sunda's purpose in writing the article I can't blame him for not reaching that conclusion, but I do note that the way the article is presented, including the summary, is likely to add to the reader's confidence in the AGW consensus.
As the consensus unravels, we need to keep this in mind. There are charlatans among the AGW advocates, but there are also a lot of smart people who have been guided by exactly this sort of presentation. Every week Science presents dozens of articles by experts in many fields of scientific endeavor and no one can read them all; we all have to rely on summaries and the discretion of editors. Now add the fact that no Science editor wants to be denounced as a Denier, and that the AGW enthusiasts surely would do so if the editorial green comment at the top said "Experimental evidence indicates that increased CO2 levels may increase the biological availability of iron, affecting the ocean's ability to absorb more carbon dioxide. " Of course that summary is as justified as the one that actually appeared.
I can't say that this is the only way the consensus has been built, but it's certainly an obvious step in that direction. I'm sure you can find many more if you look.
There is mail about the Irish Death Spiral.
February 17, 2010
. A Worm Warning. See Mail
Also in mail, more on bubbles.
"Just Say No to the Health-Care Summit" by Betsey McCaughey in today's Wall Street Journal gives a number of reasons and is well written, but the title says it all. The Republicans should respectfully decline: the summit is an auto-de-fe in their honor.
McCaughey notes that Obama used to say that if you like your doctor and your present health care plan, you get to keep them under his reforms. At the Republican conference Obama invited himself to he made it clear that is not true: under both the Senate nor the House version of the health care bills that will be the starting point of the upcoming summit, everyone will be required to buy a government-approved health care plan (complete with homeopathic and mental health and various other mandated coverages inserted by a flurry of lobbyists -- there's a lot of room for mandates in those enormous bills). Few of the plans people have now cover all those things. If you don't buy a government approved plan, the IRS gets to come after you until you do. The IRS gets a budget increase for this. See the Iron Law if you wonder what that will mean.
The Nuts have 40% of GDP now: a full 40% of every activity in these United States is now controlled by government. The health care bills will add another 12 to 15% as well as raise the deficit.
Just Say No.
I often wonder why the Wall Street Journal runs the weekly "Tilting Yard" column by the very liberal Thomas Frank, but this morning's item "The Tea Parties Are No Great Awakening" is informative about the upcoming liberal tactics regarding the Tea Party movement.
In essence, they intend to show that it's all a front from the Creeps. It's a right wing conspiracy fomented by Dick Armey for the benefit of lobbyists lead by Jack Abramoff. Frank believes he can prove this. He's found a former Abramoff associate in the pay of a non-profit that says it helps coordinate the Tea Party movement. Isn't that proof enough? If not, he offers a lot of speculation to persuade you; he hasn't got any more proof.
Niven's Law says that there is no cause so noble and pure that it will not attract fuggheads, and his corollary to that law is that the fuggheads will usually attract most of the press attention. That is as true of the Tea Parties as anything else: it gets and will get fuggheads, and it will also get Creeps and Crooks. The Creep wing of the Republican Party was rejected in 2008 and now these remoras are looking for a shark to attach themselves to. The Tea Parties are a great attraction.
I suspect the Country Club Republicans will devise a way to show how they were actually conservatives all along, and the Creeps will show that they would have been conservatives only there were compelling reasons for Big Government Conservatism, and anyway can't you forget the past?
So I say this: watch those who want to go to the Health Care Summit. Perhaps there's a good reason for a Republican to go to that Summit, but I haven't thought of it. Just Say No.
It's amusing that the liberals are now saying that Evan Bayh is a conservative democrat. This is nonsense. A quick Google turns up: "Actually, Bayh has a liberal voting record during his time in Senate. His lifetime ACU rating is 20.70, and his 2009 ADA score is 70%." Bayh has charm and comes from a long time prominent political family in Indiana. He has always run as a conservative democrat but has voted liberal on most issues.
The astonishing thing is that he quits the Senate because Washington is paralyzed at a time when his party has extraordinary majorities in both houses as well as the White House. What this says is that Democrats can't govern: the ravening wolves have taken over the Party and the Nuts are in control of it. In 2008 the country turned out the Creeps: the weirdo "we have a right to rule" faction of the Republican Party. It is now about to turn out the Nuts, and Bayh can see that coming.
So who do we turn to now?
The obvious answer is that government is too large, and no one can govern now; the remedy is the same as always, transparency and subsidiarity. Whether we can do that I can't say. Turn back, O man. Forswear thy foolish ways. Old now is earth. And none may count her days...
Jeremiads are always appropriate for Ash Wednesday...
Good news; but we will see what happens. I am not convinced the plants will ever be completed, but perhaps I am merely a pessimist. And see below.
February 18, 2010
We sure can use the power; and given that the major risks of a nuclear power plant are legal and governmental -- regulations, fuel supplies, fuel recycling -- it is not unreasonable for the government to be the final guarantor.
It remains to be seen whether the Obama administration will actually let this be built. I have seen no real understanding of the importance of new energy sources from Obama. On the other hand, Energy Secretary Chu is a very intelligent man with the right experience. We can hope.
I recently found this in my images files. I have no recollection of where it came from but it is beautiful. Use the space bar to advance pictures.
There is now concern that the Toyota steering system may have some faults. Brakes, steering, "stuck" accelerator, problems across many models and many years: I don't have enough data to do an actual analysis, but if that had happened when I was in the Operations Research business, I'd have looked for a common cause, and I would have found that in the electronic control systems -- programming bugs, to be exact.
We had that problem in the airplane business. The B-52 is the last major weapons system to retain physical cables in addition to the hydraulic system. Later various servo assists were added, and for the most part the Buff is a fly by wire ship, but at bottom she still has the cables. It takes two men and a boy to horse that steering column around with the hydraulics and electrical assists cut off, but it can be done; I've been in one flown that way during testing. It ain't easy, but it's better than nothing.
The Gemini was the first spacecraft to fly by wire, assuming that you call what the "pilot" in Mercury did was anything you can call "flying". Fly by wire in those days wasn't an actual program in a single computer; it was more a decentralized system of servos and relays and operational amplifiers (analog computers). Programming was a nightmare of wiring in feedback loops, and designing tests to check out what it would do in unlikely but not impossible situations took ingenuity.
(We did other extreme tests: I once ran cadets and astronauts through high temperature survival tests to simulate a Mercury reentry over land with impact in Death Valley in summertime with no ability to exit the downed spacecraft; what would it take to keep them alive for three hours? As part of those tests we developed a means to get a medical quality EKG from a non-restrained subject, something that no one had done, but the flight surgeon, Don Stuhring, insisted that he'd need that before he'd allow that much heat stress.)
When the computer revolution was beginning, there was a concerted effort to develop theories of computer languages. Two major champions of language reform were Niklaus Wirth** of ETH (Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) and the late Edsger Dijkstra (eventually held a chair at the University of Texas in Austin). Dijkstra spent much of his life developing theories on how to "prove" programs. They and some others were largely responsible for the movement that induced the Department of Defense to develop Ada, a strongly typed and highly structured language with some similarities to Wirth's Modula languages. (The last time I discussed it with him Wirth did not care for Ada, in part because it became too complex with too many "features" and in part because he did not approve of exception handling -- and that is one argument I'm not going to get into.)
More on all this another time, but my point is that in those times there seemed to be a lot more concern with languages, and with building languages that required good programming practices. In the various Wirth languages starting with Pascal the goal was to have the compiler catch incipient bugs: it took longer to develop a program that would compile, but once it did, it was likely to do what you expected it to do. Unfortunately the computer hardware of the time wasn't up to huge programs in strongly typed and highly structured languages; it took a long time to compile a new addition to a program. The programming world turned to C and its derivatives, and in the early days a C compiler would compile almost anything, including very tricky uses of pointers and type changes.
I don't know what language Toyota has used to develop its drive by wire programs, but I would bet reasonable sums that it wasn't Ada or one of the Wirth languages.
Fly by wire has always made me a bit nervous, but my first major work on airplanes was in human factors and reliability in the B-52, and we were always glad to have the old cable system in there as a backup. Of course that adds too much weight for space craft and fighters, and the move to fly by wire was inevitable; but I suspect aircraft control software is tested more thoroughly than automotive software, and besides, the movement toward proving software seems to have died when Dijkstra retired. Alas.***
I have always thought that many of the security vulnerabilities in our operating systems are due to their having been written in languages that don't demand strong typing, and type and range checking. Certainly type and range checking would eliminate most if not all buffer overflow exploits.
As our hardware gets more powerful, there is no more need for ultra-fast compilers, and languages that require good program structure should be back in demand. I wonder if Toyota understands that.
**Wirth's 1995 Law "Software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster," may ironically have been partly responsible for the continued retention of fast-compiling languages just as Moore's Law was taking off. Wirth's Law does not seem to me to be true any longer, although I will agree that much software is bloated: no one uses ingenuity to keep code lean. But that's another story.
***The idea of "proved" software is to construct languages that won't compile unless the software is doing what you intended it to do. That is, it won't permit "fall through" case statements (a common cause of wild deviations) and various odd pointer manipulations. Understand that some brilliant intuitive programmers hate such restrictions. Marvin Minsky, a LISP and APL programmer, once explained to Danny Hillis that "he [Pournelle] thinks it's better to put on a straight jacket before he works." It is certainly true that you can't be as clever in highly structured languages; on the other hand, when I was actively programming I liked Modula-2 a lot because once I could get the program to compile it generally did precisely what I expected it to do. I welcome the requirement that all variables be declared, and that a variable declared in a sub-routine does not exist outside that sub-routine.
February 19, 2010
A thoughtful reader opens a discussion:
Well said. You raise a number of valid points.
First, it should be clear from much that I have written that I have no great quarrel with Irving Kristol, whom I once called the sanest man in America, and during the 80's I often said that Commonwealth was the best intellectual magazine worth our time. Commonwealth and Kristol's Public Interest had many principled discussions.
Second, the current crop of people who call themselves neo-conservative seem to have a wide spectrum of views, and the label is probably not terribly useful any longer. Perhaps it never did, although during the Cold War it certainly had some utility.
During the Cold War the alliance between my brand of conservatism and the neo-conservatives was strong and I thought it made sense. The First Gulf War under George H W Bush changed all that, and for much of that period the neoconservatives were largely defined by interventionist policies. Then came their penetration of National Review, which had never been "paleo conservative" but certainly was closer to that persuasion than to the universalism of the neo-conservatives -- who were, after all, in Irving Kristol's phrase, liberals who had been mugged by reality. Frank Meyer's Fusionism, an attempt to unite libertarians and conservatives into mutually acceptable political actions could and did accommodate neo-conservatives.
Frank Meyer and Fusionism attempted to reconcile fundamentally disparate philosophical positions, and in the long run that wasn't possible; but it could still serve as a general political alliance, with the principle that both National Interest and Public Interest had much common ground, and we could all agree that less government was better than a lot more government -- and that there were distinct limits to what government could do. There lay behind that, apparently, a lot less agreement than many of us had thought: conservatives thought there were distinct limits on what government ought even to attempt. So did the libertarians. This even survived Fukuyama's "End of History", an Hegelian essay that might easily have been written by Leon Trotsky. I suspect that many readers don't know that Kristol and many of the other original neo-conservatives had been Trotskyite -- anti-Stalinist Communists -- before they were mugged by reality. The notion of building a Just and Compassionate World by any means necessary is very attractive. Fukuyama's picture of a world of nations espousing Liberal Democracy and ending war forever was attractive, but it was soon mugged by reality as Utopian schemes always are; but the ideal never quite vanished.
Newt Gingrich did in political action as Speaker what Meyer had done in theory: held together a political action alliance of people of disparate philosophical views, largely by not addressing the fundamental differences. He brought together the Reagan Democrats, conservatives disillusioned by Bush and his tax increases, the ancestors of today's tea party movement, and many fed up conservative American voters to build a strong coalition.
All that came apart when Gingrich left the scene. The liberal Republicans from the Country Club set came to power and declared Big Government Conservatism (and its weaker cousin "Compassionate Conservatism" -- just who can admit not being compassionate?) and about then came the Iraq War. The alliance came apart, and eventually the egregious Frum used the pages of National Review to read out of the conservative movement all those who hadn't bought into the policies loudly espoused by the neo-conservatives. Liberal Republicans and neo-conservatives built an unholy alliance; or so it seemed to me. In order to be in on the triumphalism of the new Republican Alliance, the neo-conservatives, it seemed to me, reverted to their roots and began to believe we could impose Peace and Justice on the world, while building larger and larger government structures. Reagan had proposed to abolish the Department of Education. The new Republican Alliance expanded it and gave us No Child Left Behind. The budget rose, taxes rose, interventionism flourished -- and there seemed to be not very much dissent by the leadership of the neo-conservative movement. The egregious Frum had already read conservatives like me and other followers of the late Russell Kirk right out of the conservative movement; I saw no action by the others in the neo-conservative movement to repudiate that.
Now: I will agree that I may well have applied the neo-conservative label too widely. Many who call themselves neo-conservatives do not accept and possibly do not know about the Trotskyite origins of the original neo-conservatives. Modern education being what it is, I doubt that many of my readers have any notion of what Trotsky believed and advocated, or who he was, or how much his views have influenced modern liberalism. ("A neo-conservative is a liberal who has been mugged by reality.") But the alliance between those who see government as a way to bring the nation and the world to peace and justice, and those who want to expand government to do good, and those who were advised by Jack Abramoff to build bigger government structures for reasons that may not have been entirely idealistic -- that alliance remains quite real.
The philosophical differences are important: if you don't believe that Big Government under the right principles and under correct guidance can bring about peace and justice, both here and abroad, then you aren't likely to be seduced by Jack Abramoff. You reject the expansionist plans because you don't think they will work, and you don't have to know if there are any Crooks and Creeps involved. You reject nationalized education and federal aid to education and federal interference in education because you think it can only do harm and any good it does will be small and temporary; you don't have to care about who profits from universal textbooks and Education Department "credentials." I could continue, but surely the point is made? I put it that no real conservative could have been seduced by "Big Government Conservatism".
I agree that what you describe as "neo-conservatives" are people I have no problems working with. I'd argue that the description doesn't apply to a lot of those who are leaders of "neo-conservatism."
As to the principle of pre-emptive War, I have no quarrel with that. In general I think it is not a good idea because wars always take longer and cost more, but I cheered our initial intervention in Afghanistan. I was much against both invasions of Iraq, but not on the philosophical ground that we had no right to go to war for American interests: my opposition was and remains that neither of those wars was in the American interest, and even if the Second Gulf War was originally in US interest, that interest ended with the collapse of the regime. But those are other questions for discussion at another time: I don't hold those who don't share my views in contempt. I know a case can be made for the US interventions in Iraq and the continued US presence in Afghanistan. I understand that many in the military feel US credibility is at stake in these matters; and I understand the dilemma of the Legions who have to pledge their word to people when they have no control over whether future commanders can keep that pledge. But those are different discussions. I do adhere to the general principle that absent existential threats the US should avoid entangling alliances and involvement in territorial disputes in Europe (and the Middle East).
And this has gone on far enough. But do understand: While there certainly exist "conservatives I disagree with" (implying that they are conservatives, and our disagreement is not fundamental) I do not accept that the neo-conservatives who continue to accept the universalistic principles they held before they were mugged by reality are conservative at all. I do not believe "Big Government Conservatism" describes anyone who holds self-consistent principles. I understand that there are those who believe they can ride all those horses at once. Frank Meyer thought so, too. Kirk and his adherents admired Frank Meyer and regarded him as a friend; but we always thought his fusionist alliance would one day be mugged by philosophical realities. Eventually it was mugged by the egregious Frum.
I'll try to be a bit more careful with my labels in future, and thank you for the discussion.
February 20, 2010
I have sort of taken the day off. Apologies. I'll try to get the mail up.
February 21, 2010
I advise you all to read http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=31024 . If you have any of the software coming from Devil Mountain Software mentioned in the article you should carefully consider the risks and benefits of retaining it, and the costs and advisability of removing it; and you might contemplate the considerable information DMS software collected as part of the registration process.
The software in question is Windows Sentinel Software, which is a clone of the DMS Clarity Suite. Both have been available and recommended in columns in InfoWorld.
One of my advisors points out that while Devil Mountain Software (DMS) may not have misused the considerable data collected as part of registering for the free software,
Note that this is speculation. He adds
Long time readers will recall I used to be a columnist for InfoWorld. That was long ago, when Laurie Flynn was writing the Cringely column and "Cringely" was the "field editor", meaning that calls we didn't want to deal with were referred to Cringely who, being in the field, was never available. This was well before Stephens was given the Cringely column and assumed the role. All this was long ago, and InfoWorld has undergone a considerable sea change, but it retains its reputation for accuracy and journalistic integrity.
Note that DMS has been involved in the recent criticisms of memory use by Windows 7. From the above referenced article:
The criticism that Windows 7 often "runs out of memory" is apparently a misunderstanding of the Windows caching system: memory not in use for anything else is used to cache stuff from the hard drive, and if there's a subsequent memory demand the cached items are dumped to make room; thus an outside observation might infer that the memory is 90% "used" when in fact 80% of the memory is actually "available" even though much of that is employed as cache. We can get into that another time. Apparently Devil Mountain Software came to this conclusion from examination of data gathered by its DMA Clarity and Windows Sentinel Software.
I don't expect many of my readers used Devil Mountain Software, but some of you probably did, and you may work for companies that employed it; in any event it's worth finding out. Windows Sentinel Software was offered through InfoWorld until it was recently taken down.
Apparently evidence is surfacing that Premier Netanyahu was briefed by Mossad on the January 19 assassination in Dubai, and must have authorized it. The operation was rehearsed in advance in a Tel Aviv hotel before the operation was sent to Dubai. The fallout from all this is likely to be considerable.
One presumes that Netanyahu and his advisors considered the risks and benefits of the operation, as well as the likelihood (about 100%) that it would become known that this was a Mossad operation. Dubai authorities first thought this was a natural death, and were ready to bury Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh without further investigation, but Hamas insisted that the case be kept open, and it didn't take long to find that he was in fact murdered. After that the security tapes began to surface, and the apparent facts were put together. Eleven agents with false passport were identified. I won't bother telling the story since it's widely available on line and more facts will emerge as time goes on.
No US passports were faked in this operation.
Is assassination a legitimate tool of war? Israel certainly believes that it is engaged in war with Hamas. Hamas has fired inaccurate and unguided missiles in the general direction of Israel, and defends this as a legitimate operation of war. Assassination generally has a more directed objective with less collateral damage.
Mossad chief Meir Dagan has on his wall a photograph of an elderly Jew standing in front of his open grave, an SS rifle aimed at his head. Dagan says this is a photograph of his grandfather. Is is not likely that he will be persuaded that assassination is not a legitimate tool of war. One of the most popular movies in the United States is Inglorious Basterds, which features Jewish US soldiers killing German soldiers in occupied France in a fantasy story; but it is only the latest in a series of stories about assassination as a tool of war, most of which have been favorably received in the US. The late Donald Hamilton wrote a very long series of stories about an OSS operative turned assassination for a Cold War non-existent US agency. They were very popular. Clearly a large number of people in the US believe that assassination can be legitimate.
And of course Poul Anderson wrote a Cold War story about formal declarations of "A State of Assassination" replacing the State of War.
Dubai is not happy, and apparently Ireland is also unhappy with Israel; what other consequences may follow are not clear. Possibly very few. But no matter how many speeches President Obama makes to the Muslims, the United States is seen by most of the Muslim worls as an Israeli ally. In the Middle East everyone believes that ganders may be cooked in the same sauce as goose. We live in interesting times.
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