Ret. Gen. Breedlove Talks about the Strength of Three Branches of Government and about Russia

epa/OLIVIER HOSLET

Today, NPR’s “Morning Edition” aired an interview with retired General Philip Breedlove, who was the supreme allied commander in Europe from 2013 to 2016.

The interview can be found here and below and is worth listening to in its entirety.


Two points stood out for me in his remarks:

1. General Breedlove’s report of how he and others sought to reassure our allies regarding 45’s presidency — and how those reassurances matched up with the actual results of these last 40 days. General Breedlove:

…back during the campaign, when questions were being raised, we reminded our great European partners that in the United States there are three parts of our government – the judiciary, the legislative and the executive – and that the powers are divided on purpose. And that was so that no one branch could run off.

And so what we talked to them about has very much played out, and it’s reassuring. They have seen the legislative become very much involved in the process. They have seen the judiciary become very much involved, concretely, in the process. And so what our European allies have seen is that America works.

I too find this reassuring.

2. When asked about his thoughts regarding Russian sanctions he replied in a manner that I found to be spot on. General Breedlove:

[W]e do, in the future, need to have a conversation with and try to move forward with Russia…what we don’t need is to do that in a manner that seems to approve or not hold [Russia] accountable for some pretty wrong actions that they have taken across the past, starting in ’08 with the invasion of Georgia and then in ’14, the invasion of Crimea, and then subsequently, the invasion of the Donbass – and frankly, some of the way they have conducted their self in Syria. These are all things that we cannot allow to stand or allow to be affirmed or approved in any way in any deal that we might make in the future.

I am heartened to find dialogue that is firm but not inflammatory. Pursuing dialogue that moves us toward Russia without condoning behavior we don’t like is a goal I support.

Who have you found in and around 45’s administration that is impressing you?

Preparing for Life on Mars

Today the NYTimes published a 360° video about a NASA-funded study of isolation designed to help scientists better understand the requirements for a mission to Mars.

Official information about the HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) Project can be found on the University of Hawaii website.

An NPR Article on a prior HI-SEAS mission can be found here.

Of course, if NASA wants to know about living on Mars, they could always just ask Matt Damon.

SEVEN Planets Around the Trappist-1 Red Dwarf Star. SEVEN!

Image Credits: NASA-JPL/Caltech

The discovery is just astounding. All of these planets are likely candidates for water. At least three are in the “goldilocks” zone — meaning those planets might have surface water in liquid form.

Of course, they are 40 light years away…which means we’re probably not visiting there anytime soon.  Nevertheless, on a celestial scale, those planets are the same thing as down-the-block neighbors.

More info on the NASA site.

xkcd

Don Quixote

Huizinga & Coulter — Bach Remixed

This is what I am listening to right now. Their concert this last Friday was amazing.