Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bits and Pieces - May 29, 2012

More Iran, of course, but let's start with something else.

Chris Hayes did the right thing over this weekend, although it's not clear that the discussion will go the way it should. I'm very uncomfortable with the "heroes" label attached to everyone who wears a uniform; there are true heroes who fall on hand grenades to save their platoon or run into a burning building to save a child. There are others who wear uniforms who act creditably but never find themselves in those circumstances. And there are scumbags who wear uniforms and don't deserve the respect that those others do.

But the word was inflated after 9/11, one more of those unthinking things we've saddled ourselves with. And it's being used as a loyalty test by the worst of the 101st Keyboarders and others who would love to see others killed in another war. Not heroes!

Conor Friedersdorf says it's those guys who need to do the explaining. And he offers up five questions we all should be thinking about.

How many times have we heard that if we prevent industry from pouring their wastes into our rivers and underground water supplies, they will go broke from spending all that money and then where will we be? And how many times did they actually save money after that terrible unspeakable regulation went into force? Quite a few, actually, although the second story doesn't seem to make the same headlines the first does. So...could it be that regulating fracking to use responsible methods could save the industry money? Naaaah...

And now, of course, Iran:

Julian Borger says something very similar to what I said last week, although he says it in fewer words.

David Albright, who has been very hawkish on Iran's nuclear program, backs off a little.

Iran delays a planned missile launch, perhaps to next year. This is a good thing. I am taking actions like this to mean more than any of the talk coming out of Iranian officials. They contradict each other and themselves. I suspect that this has to do with their internal politics as well as a confused view of how the rest of the world works, but they would do themselves a service to dial it down.

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