Friday, January 27, 2006

Time is very short Part II

As I posted a few days ago, Iranian dissidents claim that Iran is preparing a Nuclear test on or about March 20 of this year. World Net Daily has an article up that the US and Israel are planning a premptive strike "before April". In my opinion, this is a mistake. Bombing them and then heading home and telling them "Don't do that", will only further enrage and embolden them, especially if we do not destroy their nuclear capability. Anything short of an invasion to allow us to sift through every sand dune looking for their equipment and nuclear material will only leave them angry and determined to annihilate us and Israel, yes you heard me right, WND makes an excellent point in their article that Iran not only wants Israel wiped off the map, but the USA as well, since the Arab world thinks that Israel cannot exist without US support and backing, they figure if they can take us down a few pegs, Israel will fall of it's own accord under the weight of Hamas, and Syria, as will Iraq and Afghanistan. They figure that it will leave virtually the entire Middle East ripe for Iran's pickings.

Bombing them and walking away is like punching a guy with a .44 magnum. All you are likely to do is piss him off and he is still holding a gun to your head....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This is called an invasion

The Chronicle has a story up that implicated the Mexican army, not just in drug running, but in participating in an incursion into the US, complete with military Hummvees and machine gun emplacements for cover fire. Michael Chertov, our rocketscientist Homeland Security (BUTT)Head says
"the report was overblown and most of the incursions were just mistakes."
Uhhuh, sure, I'll buy that, since the Rio Grande is about 200 feet wide there even when dry....

This is not a new thing, this happens all the time. To quote the story
"The incident follows a story in the Bulletin on Jan. 15 that said the Mexican military had crossed into the United States more than 200 times since 1996."

When are we going to build a wall?

Canadian conservatives wake up, smell victory

Looks like the final tally will be 124-103 Tories. Ed Morrisey liveblogged it here. Mind you even the most radical Tory Government will likely make McCain look like Newt Gingrich by comparison, but hey, it's a start.....

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Canada's upcoming election marred by election fraud?

Lost Budgie has a post up that is a round-up of election fraud being reported all across the cold frozen wasteland of the North. Seems the Liberals are bound and determined to pull this election out, even if they have to stuff the ballot box to do it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Time is very Short. (with Commentary Updated)

I have very disturbing news, United Press International is reporting that a dissident group says Iran plans a Nuclear test by March 20th OF THIS YEAR. This means that they are far closer to a functional weapon than anyone suspected. The time to do something about this is now imminent.

Some would say that this cannot be possible, Iran has not been enriching Uranium long enough to build such a device. At first that sounds like a reasonable rebuttal, but after thinking about this quite a bit this evening, I believe that this is entirely possible. Consider the following:

North Korea has been enriching Uranuim for some time, probably long enough to have built up enough of a stockpile to build multiple devices.

North Korea has sold Iran all of it's missile technology.

Building a gun type U-235 bomb is childs play realtivly speaking. i\It does not require any real technological feats beyond obtaining the material. you merely shoot one subcritical mass into another at the muzzle end of a gun tube.

NK needs Oil Resources quite badly. they are quite literally freezing to death wthout it.

It would not be difficult to believe Iran bought or borrowed or bartered access to either an NK weapon or enough enriched uranium to build one with that they will replace later.

UPDATE 1-21-06:
A good friend reminds me that Iran has started pulling all of it's overseas funds (about $80 billion) out of overseas banks to prevent that money from being frozen by the UN.

Additionally, Iran has purchased state of the art SAM's from Russia recently. which means the only aircraft that have a chance at doing any damage are our stealth aircraft. Israel does not have an operational aircraft that can penetrate Iran's defensive network.

Combined, these moves on the part of the Iranians scare the daylights out of me. It appears this is going down the road towards a point of no return very quickly and we may already be past that point now. My Friends, I fear the entire Middle East will soon be aglow by the light of cherenkov radiation.

Update 1-22-06:
Link Mecca has more on this as well.

Update 1-23-06
Winds of Change has a very active discussion on this too.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You Dirty Rat!

Metro has figured out what caused the Danger Train to loose power the other day... Seems a rat chewed up the insulation to the power cable and when it rained, the power shorted to ground through a mud puddle and tripped the breakers.....

Update: The Chronicle has the story up now.

Another idea for ending high speed chases...

Lair Simon has his idea here.

Here's mine.

There is just something final about a three round .50 cal burst from a Bushmaster that tends to stop vehicles in their tracks....

New Horizons Takes a Little Trip.....

NASA has managed to Launch the New Horizons probe to Pluto. The launch was successful and without incident as far as can be told at this point. As I type, the Centaur second stage is maneuvering to inject the probe into a solar orbit that will graze the gravity well of Jupiter for a velocity boost to send it on to Pluto in about 10 years.

Well Done Lockheed-Martin and Johns-Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory! Let us hope that in 10 years, everything is still working as well.

UPDATE: The Star 46 third stage has injected the probe into Jupiter transfer orbit.

FINAL UPDATE: We have spacecraft separation from the third stage, Sir Issiac Newton and Al Einstein are now driving the spacecraft. Good luck and see you at Jupiter Flyby next year!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I would like to buy some Transparent Aluminum...

So sayeth Scotty, in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. In the movie, an alien probe has returned to Earth and is pulverizing the planet trying to talk to the only intelligent species it found on the last trip, Humpback Whales. The crew set off in a captured Bird of Prey back through time to find a few to bring them back to the present in order to pacify the probe. They go into a "modern day" plastics distributer to buy "Transparent Aluminum" with which to build an aquarium for the whales. They are told there is no such thing. They negotiate for some Polycarbonate to build the aquarium out of by bartering the formula for "Transparent Aluminum".

At the time the movie was made, everyone thought "Transparent Aluminum" was just another cheezy plot device... at the time, it WAS fiction, well, it is fiction no more.

The Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson AFB, The Army Research Laboratory at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds Md., and the University of Dayton Research Institute have developed Aluminum Oxynitride for use as transparent armor. In a recent test at Ft. Drum's Team Patriot East in June 2004, both conventional laminated Glass Armor and an equivalent (half the weight and thickness) piece of Aluminum Oxynitride were shot by both a Russian M-44 7.62mm (.30 cal) sniper Rifle and a .50 cal BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) sniper rifle both firing Armor Piercing Ammunition. Both rifles penetrated the glass armor, but neither were able to penetrate the Aluminum Oxynitride. For more Information, you can contact Pamela Gregg at the University of Dayton Research Institute

You can also read more here, here, and here.

A Piece of American History is Dying. You Can Help Save It!

"The Rifle That Won The West" is to be no more come March. Herstal, the Belgian arms manufacturer that bought Winchester is closing it's doors. Why? Money, plain and simple. Not enough people are buying Winchester Rifles. So get off your duff and go buy yourself a Winchester Rifle and help preserve a piece of American History.

UPDATE: Missouri Based Olin Corp. owns the Winchester name and had sold the rights to use the name to Herstal (also the owner of FN and Browning) up until next year. Olin has not decided what to do about the situation but has stated it is hoped that Herstal would sell the rights along with the plant so that whoever buys the plant could continue to build the rifles. you can read more here.

You Get What You Pay For... If You're Lucky.

The Chronicle posts a story about a University in Mexico that "has no entrance exam, is free to all, has no grades, and attendence is optional".

Doesn't this sound like a diploma mill to you? It certainly does to me! I can tell you this, if somebody with a BSME from the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM) shows up in my office looking for a job, the best he or she can hope for is if I hand them a broom and point them to the shop floor. What good is a diploma that you get out of a cracker jack box anyway?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Not every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Over on The Houston Chronicle's new MedBlog, Leigh Hopper started to question the wisdom of using Thimerisol (a mercury based preservative that is used in eye drops and vaccines and has been for half a century or more) in vaccines. Many vaccine manufacturers have conceeded to public hysteria over mercury poisoning and have stopped using it. But there are few good replacements for it, therefore many vaccines have a short shelf life, have to be refrigerated, and many manufacturing batches are condemned due to bacterial contamination. Two years ago, an entire batch of Flu Vaccine was condemned sparking a nationwide (and worldwide) panic over flu vaccine availability. But just how do you refrigerate vaccines in the middle of the Congo? You don't. Therefore, millions of people in need of Polio, Diptheria, Tetanus, and other vaccines that we take for granted here cannot get them because they live too far away from an electrical outlet.

This touched on an issue I find very important.

The media lives to jump into controversy and is, by it's very nature, biased towards the minority view. This is not bad in of itself, in fact it is often for the good. The danger is that the minority view is wrong far more often than it is right. The Media is a very high gain amplifier and it will amplify the minority view such that it SOUNDS like the majority view very quickly. This can have very bad consequences if politicians who are really merely weathervanes for thier constituancies are not given good clear unbiased advice such that they use thier heads instead of weathervaning. This has happened over and over again in the scientific media.

Individual persons can be intelligent logical beings, but put them in a large enough group, and they become abjectly stupid and illogical. The lowest common denominator in both intelligence and lack of emotional control takes hold. They become sheep, and the media, whether we or they like it or not are the shepherds. When the media focuses on the herd and not the individual, the herd can be made to stampede off a cliff if the person starting the stampede is irresponsible in choosing the path. Some in the media simultaneously derive giddy joy at the power they hold while claiming no responsibilty for the consequences of thier actions or even disavaowing that such power really exists, while others see that power as a tool outside the political or legal processes and seek to change society to thier whim much as a Stalin or a Hitler or a Baby-Doc would, caring only about thier agenda, and not a whit for anyone or anything else. And a very few others, grasp the dangers of the power they weild so clumsily and try to do as little harm as possible to the sheep in thier care. These few realize that they themselves chose this position, they were not elected to it.

Back in 1962, Rachel Carson set in motion something that has resulted in millions of agonizing deaths. She wrote a book entitled "Silent Spring" She did so with good intent, but with very poor foresight, and very little thought to the unintended consequences of her actions. She, more than any other single person caused the US and the rest of the world to ban the use and manufacture of DDT. A pesticide that to this day has no equal. A pesticide that was so good, and so safe around humans, people abused it with abandon. DDT was a godsend to Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South America where malaria kills. DDT saved millions of people. Today, malaria is rampant and is immune to many of the drugs that are used to fight it. Malaria is pandemic in places that malaria has never before in history been a problem in. Only now are countries in Sub-Saharan Africa beginning to contemplate the use of DDT again, but since they have little chemical manufacturing capacity themselves, they must turn to the industrialized nations to obtain it, but we won't make it because it offends our sensibilities. Therefore the dying continues unabated. Ms. Carson continues to kill beyond the grave.

Some more examples of stupid policy decisions that were driven by fearmongering in the media:

The halt in construction of nuclear reactors, especially fourth generation fast breeder reactors which are an order of magnitude more efficient.

The ban on reprocessing nuclear fuel for use in fast breeder reactors which would allow us to use 95% of the energy available instead of only 5%, leaving the fuel dangerously radioactive for only 200 years instead of 10,000.

Fighting the establishment of a high level nuclear waste repository for decades while nuclear waste stacks up ouside nuclear power plants because there is nowhere to put it. So just how exactly is stacking it up outside a plant safer than putting it inside a desert mountain 100 miles from the closest living thing?

Forcing refiners to use MTBE in Motor Fuels for environmental reasons and then suing them for doing so because it fouls groundwater.

Banning lead in all uses even though some uses are not only benign, but there are no good alternatives to it. (tin/lead solder in electronics, lead shielding in radiography equipment etc.)

Banning cadmium plating when there are few good replacements for cadmium plating in industrial use.

My point is that the media, especially those in the science media have a responsibility to ask themselves the question whether they are doing the human race good or harm in taking the positions they take, or bringing attention to the things they do. Have they considered all of the consequences of thier actions? Are they prepared to deal with the guilt of choosing wrongly? Are they willing to take responsibility for yelling fire in a crowded theater and causing a mass panic when none is warranted? People in large groups are sheep. It is the shepherd's responsibility if they stampede off a cliff, not the sheep's.

Monday, January 16, 2006

NYTimes tries thier hand at "Fake but Truthful"

Look real close at this picture which was posted in the NY Times home page (since taken down)

Notice the caption calling this object part of a missile fired at a house (unwritten but implied from a Predator). Uh, I don't think so. This is an unexploded 155mm artillery shell WITH A FUSE STILL ATTACHED! Everyone in this picture should be dead right now, same with the photographer. YOU DON'T MESS WITH UXO! even BDU's (Bomb Disposal Units) don't play with UXO. This kid is one lucky bastard if he's still breathing.

(Hat Tip Michelle Malkin)

Update: NYT has a correction up now....

Sunday, January 15, 2006

It is about Security Stupid!

The other day I posted an article about how the Chronicle is all in a tither about how some of the new immigration proposals will impact cross border consumerism. Today, they published what at first I thought was the same dang article, but upon looking a little closer, I realized it is a different article but not by a whole lot. The location changes, and the writer is different but it really is at it's core the same damned story. Look, the simple fact of the matter is, the border security proposals aren't going to change cross border consumerism one whit. If they cross the border legally with the proper paperwork, they'll have no problem coming or going, same it is now. The only changes will be that there will not be crossings at uncontrolled places. I do wish the morons over at the chronicle would stop beating that dead horse, it is NOT gonna get up and run a race for them, all it is doing is splattering unidentifiable horse bits everywhere.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A Stupid Question

Now, I'm certainly no constitutional law expert. My basic creed is that I should be able to do anything I like as long as it does not impact or interfere with someone else doing whatever they might like to do. This usually, but not always, jives with the text and intent of the constitution and/or state, federal or local law but I tend to chafe at the state deciding what is good for me.
Given that, I have a real problem with gun regulation.

The text of the Second Amendment is as follows:
"'A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The Justice department has prepared a very lengthy "brief" that says that the second amendment is not a collective right, but is instead an individual right.

Now, I'm pretty sure "Arms" could be argued to mean ANY weapon. Not just handguns or shotguns or rifles. Nor does it specify how fast a weapon should be able to shoot or how large it's projectile could be. Remember, in the day in which the constitution was written, swords were still common as were pikes and daggers as well.

Given that broad definition of "Arms" and the fact that any regulation at all is by definition an infringement on that right. How exactly can states and municipalities and even the federal government regulate the ownership of any weapon. By my way of thinking, If someone wanted to own a nuke, it could be argued that he has the constitutional right to do so. The fact that Nukes weren't even dreamed of when the constitution was written is really irrelevant. The idea was that people should have the ability to fight off and/or overthrow the government if the government grew too large and intrusive. The men that wrote the constitution had just had a very bad experience with a government that wanted to control every aspect of a person's life and they vowed to not let that happen here. Therefore, an individual should be able to be just as well armed at the US Government if he so desires. This was the intent of the second amendment.

So just what legal basis is there for gun control of any sort? I've never understood that.

By the way, this is the 10th anniversary of concealed carry in Texas

Monday, January 09, 2006

Control Issues

This guy gets it.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

METRO Tries to solve the problem of blind people who are hit by the train...

Tom Bazan, that ever vigilant watchdog of METRO sends this along. METRO has posted this, supposedly as a stopgap to address the recent high speed train to skull impact of a blind person who could not tell he was standing in front of the train.

Somehow, I'm sure the person that came up with this plan thought it was just friggin brilliant too...

The sad thing is, this is an illegal sign!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Hyperdrive anyone?

Clayton Cramer has a link to this article that if true could be a major turning point for the human race. Imagine going here in under 6 months (about 109 days if my calculations are correct.)! Can't you just see the implications for mankind?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Enjoying the view....

A comment by my wife got me to thinking the other day. Men are quite naturally attracted to a woman's derriere. This has an evolutionary basis after all, men and women started having missionary sex relatively recently evolutionarily speaking. Before that, "Doggie Style" was the norm. And of course a view of a female's genitalia would be one way to advertise when the female was in estrus. Women can of course have sex whenever the urge arises but our closest living animal relatives, the Bonobos and Chimpanzees have sex only when they are in estrus as do most mammals (and from behind as well). So it is reasonable to think that this is an evolutionary holdover. But hey, I'm certainly not complaining!

A woman's breasts are also attractive because they resemble, in general terms, the inverted heart shape of a woman's rear end. Large breasts also scream psychologically that the woman would make a good mother to the man's offspring because she could provide plenty of milk. This is actually not really true, size actually has little to do with the amount of milk that can be produced, but there is the psychological hang up that "bigger is better". This resemblance is also true of the Chimps, but not of other mammals or even lesser monkeys, so this is likely to be a relatively more recent instinct.

The above statements are to my understanding, not all that controversial among evolutionary biologists.

Now, to what my wife said that started this thought experiment.

My wife was watching male figure skating on the TV yesterday and made the comment that "It's too bad most of them are gay, most of them have such nice asses." Now, evolutionarilly speaking, what would be the reason for a woman to be attracted to a man's ass? Is it a manifestation of the male attraction to a woman's butt? Is it the same instinctive behavior that has a valid basis in one context, but not in another? Or is it a manifestation of a woman looking for the best mate on the basis that a large gluteus maximus muscle would indicate he could run quickly and therefore hunt prey better and get away from predators? Or is there another basis for the behavior?

You see what sinus drugs do to me? I start wondering about the wierdest things....

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Let Freedom Ring!

Mike Luckovich is an idiot, I've said it before, I'll say it again, but for once someone else said it in a way that is priceless!

Hat Tip goes to Michelle Malkin