Washington Post: Iran Defies Deadline on Nuclear Program

The Post leads with coverage of Iran’s defiance of a UN-imposed deadline to stop its uranium enrichment program, as does, I’m sure, probably every other newspaper in the world, except, perhaps, the Tehran Times.

In the four-plus years since Iran’s nuclear program was revealed, a huge amount of hot air has been released from the mouths of presidents, prime ministers, and pundits on the gospel of non-proliferation, but it seems that none of them have actually bothered to read the non-proliferation treaty (NPT).

First, non-proliferation is just the first of three parts of the NPT; universal nuclear disarmament and the right to use nuclear technology peacefully are the other two. Second, a treaty signatory has the right to withdraw from the treaty, if warranted by “extraordinary events”.

So, Iran hasn’t actually broken the NPT, because uranium enrichment is a peaceful use allowed under the NPT -- yes, that’s a huge loophole, but that’s not Iran’s doing -- and I haven’t read or heard a single word about universal nuclear disarmament since Dennis Kucinich ran for president.

Also, if the invasions of two neighboring countries -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- don’t qualify as “extraordinary events”, what does? If Russia invaded Canada and Mexico, I doubt the US would care what the UN thinks. (Not that it does anyway, but you get the point.)

I don’t want to see Ahmadjinejad go atomic either, but I think the rest of the world would have far more respect for the US position if the US paid as much attention to its obligations under the NPT, namely “general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control”, as it does to Iran’s.

The NPT was supposed to be the first step towards universal nuclear disarmament, not the permanent preservation of the then-status quo with five haves and two hundred have-nots.


New York Times: 110-Building Site in N.Y. Is Put Up for Sale

The proposed sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, two huge, mostly rent-controlled -- or, to use Times lingo, “rent-stabilized” (I wonder how the Times would like their ad rates “stabilized”) -- Manhattan apartment complexes, is covered with the Times’ usual helping of hand-wringing about the working class being driven out by greedy developers and “young well-heeled professionals”:

“We’re at about $1,400 now,” said a woman named Evelyn, who declined to give her last name but described herself as a 77-year-old retired teacher who has lived with her husband in a three-bedroom apartment in Stuyvesant Town for 43 years. “If we die, whoever comes in will pay $3,500 or $4,000. This used to be a nice middle-income place. It’s no longer that.”

What was this woman doing renting for 43 years? She didn’t think to buy a place in all that time? My guess is that she thought the rent-control gravy train would roll on forever, and she’d never have to get off.

This is the problem with all subsidies: they never solve anything, only delay having to deal with it, and when the day of reckoning does finally arrive, it is a tsunami, instead of the ripple it would have been had the subsidy never been enacted.

They also lead individuals, like Evelyn above, to choose short-term expediency over long-term security: she probably never bought her own place, even during the many real estate busts in Manhattan over the last 43 years, because her monthly payment couldn’t compete with her subsidized rent. Now, instead of owning the roof over her head, and seeing it double or triple in value, she and thousands of others like her who rolled the rent-control dice find that they came up snake eyes.