Monday, June 28, 2010

Just like old times: Russians still spying

Ron Radosh at PJ Media:

It seems that some things never change. A few moments ago, this breaking story came in from the website of the New York Times. It seems, as this early report informs us, that ten Americans have been arrested for spying on behalf of Putin’s new Russia.
Via Reynolds.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Refined, erudite, nuanced BS at NY Times

J.M. Bernstein, University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City, goes on at considerable length to demonstrate that he has no idea what the Tea Party people are talking about, but he thinks they are just awful! Angry! Scary!

A type specimen of academic bafflegab. Many of the commenters say they agree with him, and herein lies the danger of this kind of claptrap. Bernstein presents his strawman in so persuasive a way that those leaning in his direction feel that they have been provided with logical, intellectual proof for the gut feelings they already had.

Part 1: The Very Angry Tea Party

Part 2: The Usefulness of Anger: A Response

Hey there, Professor Bernstein: who is it that's angry?

Tea Party people are upset about the spending. (This graphic is old; numbers are much bigger now, with Obamacare in the mix.)

Democrats are angry that anyone dares question their authoritah.


ALEX LIGHTMAN ON FACEBOOK: “After researching the issue carefully and interviewing people in a position to know, I can now reveal that the current primary purpose of the United State government is to bankrupt the United States. It comes as a relief to know this. So many things now make sense.” Least hypothesis, and all that.
Doing everything possible to allow the oil blowout in the Gulf to go on fits right in with that. Golf on, Obama.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

USA invaded, surrenders

Gateway Pundit:

The federal government is now telling American citizens to stay out of three southern Arizona counties.
It is too dangerous because of armed smugglers from Mexico.
Is anyone answering the phone at "Homeland Security?"

Thanks to commenter njartist49 at Neo-Neocon's place. Neo's post is "How hard can it be to be a competent president?" Read the whole thing.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Nuke the Gulf

See the update to the preceding post.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Perspective on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Oil has been spilling for 45 days. The estimated rate is between 500,000 and 1,000,000 gallons per day. That's a lot of oil. (And a pretty loose estimate.) So, that's somewhere between 22.5 million and 45 million gallons so far. Horrifying!

But ten times as much oil was deliberately spilled from Kuwaiti wells by retreating Iraqi forces in the 1991 Gulf War. Ixtoc I spilled 140 million gallons in 1979. The collision between Atlantic Empress and Aegean Captain, also in 1979, spilled nearly ninety million gallons. Those figures are taken from a slideshow at Popular Mechanics: 10 Biggest Oil Spills in History.

Meanwhile, in Alabama,

Gov. Bob Riley complained that there are hundreds of private boats ready to get out in the waters with skimmers to try to protect the shoreline from oil. But they're waiting on authorization from the U.S. Coast Guard to be able to do so.
And in the White House, a panicky Obama is shutting down much of the industry in the Gulf. He has no idea of what to do, but knows that he must be seen to be doing something, and if he can do something that will damage the economy even further, then that's the way he will go.

A dyspeptic observer might say: Change!… Bush Restored the Iraqi Marshes – Obama Destroyed the US Marshes.

On a personal note, I recall that when I was a kid in the 1950's, a visit to the beach always entailed removal of black stuff from the feet. Kerosene was the usual solvent. We didn't have sunblock in those days, either, so fun in the sun was always followed by painful peeling sunburn and tarry feet. We loved it anyway.

Update: 3 brilliant comments by Bruce Hayden at Althouse. Start with this one.

Another update: Nuke it. Dan Foster at NRO:
It was September of 1966, and gas was gushing uncontrollably from the wells in the Bukhara province of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. But the Reds, at the height of their industrial might, had a novel solution. They drilled nearly four miles into the sand and rock of the Kyzyl Kum Desert, and lowered a 30-kiloton nuclear warhead — more than half-again as large as “Little Boy,” the crude uranium bomb dropped over Hiroshima — to the depths beneath the wellhead. With the pull of a lever, a fistful of plutonium was introduced to itself under enormous pressure, setting off the chain reaction that starts with E = MC2 and ends in Kaboom! The ensuing blast collapsed the drill channel in on itself, sealing off the well.

The Soviets repeated the trick four times between 1966 and 1979, using payloads as large as 60 kilotons to choke hydrocarbon leaks. Now, as the Obama administration stares into the abyss of the Deepwater Horizon spill, and a slicker of sweet, medium crude blankets the Gulf of Mexico, slouching its way toward American beaches and wetlands, Russia’s newspaper of record is calling on the president to consider this literal “nuclear option.”
In the NYT: Nuclear Option on Gulf Oil Spill? No Way, U.S. Says. Is it a crisis, or not? We can do some things, but we'll have to see environmental impact statements for those berms, and we can't have just anyone going out in boats with skimmers. Skimmer skippers and crew must be properly trained. That could take months.

More from Foster, at The Corner:
a properly-executed 20-30 kiloton detonation beneath a solid layer of impermeable rock would let virtually no fallout escape into the waters of the Gulf. I am surprised that Green, like Wonkette, is treating one itty-bitty A-bomb as Vishnu, Destroyer of Worlds. Bikini Atoll, which was nuked to the high heavens in the 40s and 50s (twenty times, all told) has some radioactive coconuts to be sure, but is even as we speak safely inhabitable, and the waters around it are no worse for wear. In the Gulf case, BP has a detailed knowledge of the stratigraphic situation down there, and already has two ideal delivery sites in the form of the relief wells. The U.S. government has 60-plus years expertise in sub-surface nuclear detonations. Put all that together and this isn't "crazy." This is workable.
I wonder if the nuclear option is off the table because our nuclear weapons have not been maintained. They have not been tested in decades. Who's to know? Maybe none of them work any more, and Deepwater Horizon is calling our bluff.