October 27, 2007

More Diversion

15 pounds of Uranium is the size of a soda can. That is what it might take to produce a small nuclear bomb. The Iranians have had Russian nuclear scientist assisting them for some time and it seems like their Uranium enrichment has gone on for at least two years. My theory is that the Iranians have the bomb, maybe several, and that the Iranian president is jerking our chain. To say that the International Atomic Energy Agency has monitored Iran and have found Iran has not made enough progress to make a bomb, then how come they could not stop India and Pakistan. The hard work and research was done by the Manhattan Project; no nation has to reinvent that wheel. The Manhattan Project produced three bombs after a two and a half years of concentrated effort.

Another diversion from the administration. It is in our national interest for Iran and some other countries not to have a bomb. That has always been the case. What bothers me is that this administration relates its importance to terrorism. The article I linked to, earlier in this post describes how easily it was to smuggle enriched Uranium.

In 2002 the network [ABC] shipped the depleted uranium cylinder, which is about the size of a soda can, by ocean freight from Istanbul to New York. In 2003, the network shipped it in a teak trunk from Jakarta to Long Beach, a port near Los Angeles.

In 2002 U.S. Customs inspected the shipping container at Staten Island in New York and failed to detect the uranium. In 2003, U.S. Customs inspected the container at Long Beach and again failed to detect it.

"The fact that ABC News was able to smuggle in what could have been weapon-grade uranium a second time speaks volumes about the failure of the Bush administration to secure nuclear weapon materials," said Tom Cochran, the physicist who heads NRDC's Nuclear Program. "We must eliminate the commercial use of weapon-usable uranium and reduce the inventories of highly enriched uranium used for weapons. U.S. Customs simply cannot stop it from being smuggled into the country."

I wonder how easily it would be to bribe someone to provide you with as soda cans worth of enriched Uranium, or for the real thing in places where the Soviets had weapons that are no longer under the control of Russia and are perhaps forgotten. Remember Bin Laden was rich. Did we get all of his assets? If Iran wanted the terrorist to have the bomb, couldn't they just buy a bomb. They could even give the terrorist enriched Uranium for a dirty bomb. Accounting of fissionable material is not precise.
The risk of theft or diversion is particularly strong in Russia. The breakup of the Soviet Union has left weapons containing fissionable materials in the hands of four states: Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine. Although commitments to consolidate these weapons into Russia were agreed upon in the Lisbon protocol in 1992, at this writing it is not certain when--or even whether--this move will actually be completed. Ukraine in particular is creating difficulties. Nor do we have reliable information about how security will be imposed after nuclear warheads arrive in Russia or where they will be dismantled and the fissionable material stored.

Read the entire article
Even though this article is thirteen years old, not too much has been done to correct this.

If they think that Iran made be gearing up to bomb Israel, what about Syria? Pictures in the news today about a nuclear facility in Syria, bombed by Israel.

New commercial satellite images show a suspected Syrian nuclear reactor site has been wiped clean since it was bombed Sept. 6 by Israeli aircraft.

Analysts say the cleanup will hinder a proposed investigation by international nuclear inspectors and suggests Syria is trying to conceal evidence.

Are there more facilities in Syria? Why is this administration not obsessed about this? I do wish the citizenry would want more scrutiny of our president motives instead of engaging in a demonizing war between the political parties. His diversions could eventually be fatal to us all.

My question? To what purpose? Does he not think we will not notice the progress in Iraq? That we will not count the dead? We will not question, who's in charge in the Iraqi government? Or does he think this will be his legacy; to get one government to cower? January 20, 2009 can not come too soon.

UPDATE: Here is a more recent article on smuggling Uranium.

October 18, 2007

Race and Real Science?

Today I read a CNN.com article of yet another scientist, Dr. James Watson, a Nobel Prize Laureate, had pronounced that the African is less intelligent that other races.

In the newspaper interview, he said there was no reason to think that races which had grown up in separate geographical locations should have evolved identically. He went on to say that although he hoped everyone was equal, "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".
Not even his observation; hearsay, which is not even close to a scientific inquiry. Is this trend going to fuel even more bigotry.

Watson is not the first scientist to show sympathy for the theory of a racial basis for intellectual difference. In March of last year Dr. Frank Ellis from Leeds University provoked anger in Britain after he admitted he found evidence that racial groups perform differently "extremely convincing."
The author of this article must have forgotten William Shockley, another Nobel Laureate, whose passion became eugenics and the precursor argument of "The Bell Curve."

October 06, 2007

Reputation vs. Life

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Three former Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape filed a federal lawsuit Friday against disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong, the city of Durham and the police detectives who handled the investigation.

The lawsuit calls the criminal case against Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans was "one of the most chilling episodes of premeditated police, prosecutorial and scientific misconduct in modern American history."

The Complaint

The audacity of this quote.
To the truth of it, I think not.

The Supreme Court Considers An Appalling Case Where Prosecutors Hid Evidence From the Death Row Defendant, and Knowingly Presented Perjured Testimony Against Him: by Edward Lazurus

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2003

Delma Banks, Jr., has been on Texas' death row for 24 years. He has been scheduled for execution fifteen different times. Most recently, he was strapped on a gurney awaiting the lethal injection that Texas uses to kill people. But the U.S. Supreme Court, with ten minutes to spare, stayed his execution.

If the Supreme Court's oral argument -- held this week, on December 8 -- is any indication, Banks is likely to win his case: His death sentence will be reversed. The Court may order that Banks receive a new trial. Or it may simply release him because of the appalling government misconduct that tainted his case.

Finish the article you will get an idea of the misconduct and at deathpenaltyinfo.org there is more information and a detailed account of the misconduct in the Supreme Court case.

Isn't life more significant that reputation.

October 04, 2007

Musings From a Morris Chair

I was looking at listening to Jose Marie Blumenschein's graduating recitial, in which he plays Dimitri Shostakovich's Violin Sonata, Opus 134. On the broadcast program, an interview is inserted before he plays the sonata. Blumenschein decribes the three movements and relates them to Shostakovich's life; this sonata was written late in his life. To loosely paraphrase, Blumenschein sees the first movement a response to Shostakovich's hard and anguished life, the second as more upbeat and the third as resignation of the life lived. As Blumenschein played the sonata, I hear the phrases typical of Shostakovich, I begin to think that as hard as his life had been, as an artist in Soviet Russia, in a time where art could be mistaken for wrong political thought; he had made music. The music of genius and surely that at some point it had brought happiness to him or a sense of satisfaction for however the moment was long.

I am sitting while listening staring at the back of my dining room with a little light coming from the kitchen. I don't feel real, the scene is surreal. I am comfortable, but I am in slight pain. It seems that way more, now growing old. I have not lived my life in fear or terror, but I feel that my life has been hard. I have no satisfaction from accomplishment. This is something I have wanted. I have had fleeting moments of happiness that I can't recall the emotion. The roller coaster of emotions from my family, even my son, causes me anxiety. The anxiety causes a void. I am sitting listening, not angry nor am I particularly sad, but I'm tired. Tired of wanting and struggling; wishing that there had been something I had really been good at that gave me a sense of completion, like composing or playing a sonata.