Saturday, January 27, 2007

John Kerry: The Gift that Keeps On Giving 

Kerry's in Davos, schmoozing with the likes of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and calling the United States an "international pariah."

As others have expressed, we dodged a big bullet when we didn't elect Kerry to the presidency.

Pretty clear that he hasn't changed a bit from his "summer soldier" days. And what's wrong with the people of Massachusetts, who keep electing this clown? Paul Revere and the Adamses must be spinning in their graves.

The man is a waste of perfectly good oxygen!

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Weapons-grade Uranium Plot in Republic of Georgia 

It's all over Fox News today that Georgia, with the cooperation of the CIA, FBI and Department of Energy, conducted a sting operation that uncovered a plot to sell a small amount (about 100 g. or 1/4 pound) of highly-enriched uranium (90% U-235) to a Georgian undercover agent who the seller believed to be a radical Muslim. The perpetrator was carrying the material in a plastic bag, in his pocket. He told the agent that the 100 grams was only a sample, and that he had another 2 to 3 kg. (4.4 to 6.6 lbs) available.

A fact that doesn't come out loud and clear in the TV broadcasts is that the perpetrator was arrested nearly a year ago, on 1 Feb. 2006, according to the WaPo story of the incident.

This is big news, and it's bad.

I have no idea what minimum mass of U-235 is necessary to make a fission bomb, but I suspect, given that the Hiroshima bomb contained about 40 lbs. (18 kg.) of enriched uranium and the technology has advanced drastically in the 60 years since it was used, that the actual minimum mass is probably somewhere in the range of 15-20 lbs. (7 to 10 kg.), assuming the latest technology is used. So this guy was basically peddling about a third to a half as much uranium as would be needed to make a fission bomb.

I'm going to apply the cockroach theory to this story: for every one you see, there are a dozen more hiding in the walls. This would suggest that there have been some sales of weapons-grade uranium that we don't know about. If this is true, there may be unaccounted-for nukes that are deployable right now by people who don't like us very much.

The facts of this story should keep homeland security planners and the spooks that advise them up at night. For example, all the guesses that you hear about Iran's nuke capability are based on the assumption that the Iranians will "grow their own" nuclear material for their bombs. This story could mean that they have one or more bombs already, and their production industry is only to enable them to build up their nuclear arsenal. Even worse, this incident makes the Memorial Day scenario uncomfortably plausible.

As if we didn't have enough to worry about.

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Kerry's Out! 

Senator John Kerry announced today that he will not run for President in 2008.

That may be the most astute political decision he's made in at least 20 years.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007


So here I sit, north of San Diego and south of Camp Pendleton, about a mile from the beach as the crow flies, and the overnight low last night was 37 F., 34 F. the night before. This is unusual, but not a record; the all-time January low temperature here is 20 F. But looking at the national map, I see that about 85% of the country is blue, white or pink as of 0945 PST (Dark blue=40s, light blue=30s, white=20s, light pink=teens, dark pink=single digits and below). I'm in my 60s and I don't ever recall seeing that much of the country that cold.

The news channels were full of cold weather-related stories all weekend, with tens of thousands without electricity in Missouri and 21 deaths attributed to the ice and snow storm that preceded this "cold snap." The California citrus crop is all but totalled, and cattle are starving and dying of thirst in the snow. This weather will have a significant effect on the US economy, lasting through the summer.

I blame Global Warming, and it's all Bush's fault.

(All weather information from Weather.com)

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Pelosi, Del Monte, Tuna and Minimum Wage 

It's been all over Fox News this morning that the House-passed minimum wage bill covers all US states and territories with the exception of American Samoa, even though the Northern Marianas have been included for the first time. Why the exception for American Samoa, you may ask?

Well, I don't know the answer to that question, but it is an interesting fact that Starkist Tuna owns one of the two tuna processing plants in American Samoa, and that the two plants together employ about 75% of the workforce in American Samoa. It is also interesting that Starkist is vehemently against raising the minimum wage, and that its parent company, Del Monte Corp., is headquartered in none other than Nancy Pelosi's congressional district.

Hmmmm ....

I think any time a politician uses a line similar to, "We're going to have the most ethical Congress in history," voters should disqualify that politician from holding any elected office. Every time I've heard the line spoken by a politician who is subsequently put in power, the actual result is the exact opposite. Politicians must have a "Do as I say, not as I do" gene or something.

As Glenn says, "Jeez."

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Big Apple Stench 

Fox News TV is reporting that people in a large area of midtown Manhattan are reporting an odor that smells like a gas leak. Latest is that it's not harmful, after Con Ed determined that there's no gas leaks in the area. The smell has evidently been noticed across the Hudson in Jersey City.

It strikes me that, if a terrorist were planning to release a chemo or bio agent in the New York area and wanted to learn how the agent would disperse, one easy way to do so would be to release an odorant like methyl mercaptan (the stuff they put in natural gas to make it smell bad) and see where the reports come in from. I'm sure I'm far from the only person who's thought of this--I sure hope I'm far from the only person who's thought of this.

The only thing wrong here is that the weather in NYC is wet/drizzly/foggy and it seems to me that would hinder the dissipation of any kind of agent, especially a bio agent like anthrax. If someone were doing a dry run, I would think he'd want the meteorological conditions to be similar to those in which he'd conduct the actual attack, rather than the most adverse conditions. All in all, I believe that this incident is purely an accident or an honest mistake by someone, but post 9/11, it's prudent not to be complacent.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Business As Usual In Washington 

According to this story, Democrats are going to muzzle Republicans so they can quickly push through their agenda when Congress convenes on 4 Jan. So much for restoring civility, bipartisanship, etc., etc. Pot, meet kettle.

And by the way, John Conyers, the designated Chairman to be of the House Judiciary Committee, apparently has significant ethical problems that have been whitewashed by the House Ethics Committee. Pot, meet kettle.

The Who had it right: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.

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