The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France


Stefan Reynolds/AFP

Just 24 hours before they were set to launch several 5G towers near major American airports, both AT&T and Verizon backed off their plans, the telecom giants announced on Tuesday. The reason? Potentially “catastrophic disruptions” to flights nationwide, according to the trade association for the top U.S. airlines…

Airline executives said on Monday that the telecoms’ promised measures just weren’t enough to prevent interference with aircraft sensors…

“We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner,” AT&T spokesperson spokesperson Megan Ketterer said in a statement.

Verizon echoed AT&T’s frustrations…

“The laws of physics are the same in the United States and France,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey and Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg in a joint letter to Buttigieg and the FAA last week. “If U.S. airlines are permitted to operate flights every day in France, then the same operating conditions should allow them to do so in the United States.”

You’d think so, wouldn’t you.

Can Santa Fe Survive?


LANL only manufactures one product — Death and destruction

Many Santa Feans understand that Los Alamos National Laboratory, the most lavishly funded nuclear weapons facility in the world, has embarked on a new mission: making plutonium warhead cores (“pits”) on an industrial scale, to involve 4,000 full-time personnel and 24/7 operations…

LANL predicts it will spend $18 billion to start up production over this decade. In constant dollars, this is 15-fold what the Manhattan Project spent in New Mexico — indeed it dwarfs the cost of every other project in New Mexico history.

The pits will cost at least $50 million apiece, 200 times their weight in gold. A single LANL pit, assuming all goes well, will cost as much as the combined annual salaries of 1,000 New Mexico teachers, or the equipment for 5,000 residential solar systems. A major reason our society is failing is because it is kept on a war footing…

This huge program has nothing to do with national security, except in the negative sense. It is not needed to maintain any stockpile weapon. As military planners say, it’s (very) “early to need” and there are now perfectly sound, cheaper plans to do without LANL’s production should something go wrong. Why wait?

What about Santa Fe, then?…

Can Santa Fe survive as a nuclear weapons suburb? It certainly can, as a kind of nuclear “Pottersville” — a sprawling, increasingly ugly “city” with growing inequality, a vacuum where shared ideals should be, with no real urban center or shared human purposes, its most cherished traditions washed away by too much money given to too few people doing “work” society doesn’t need or want. It would be a city divided against itself to be sure, with plenty of poverty, human tragedy and crime.

Santa Fe could be a city that aims for justice and peace, where the obligation of respect binding us together is fostered, where the potential of every child is honored. Those political values are incompatible with manufacturing more nuclear weapons.

Greg Mello — executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group.

The unvaccinated cherish their freedom to harm others.  How can we ever forgive them?

Opinion from the TORONTO STAR

Will we ever forgive the deliberately unvaccinated for having helped spread a disease that killed and disabled so many, devastating the economy, leaving many of us jobless and wretched?…

And will your children forgive you? The always humane Financial Times columnist Simon Kuper wrote about “disenfranchised grief,” a psychological term to describe the feelings of mourners who keep quiet about their suffering because the cause of death is stigmatized. Can a little girl tell people that her unvaccinated dad died of COVID-19?

For each unvaccinated American death, Kuper says, about nine people lose a grandparent, parent, sibling, spouse or child. But a child’s suffering is greatest. Children come first with all of us. Don’t they?…

It was Premier Doug Ford’s responsibility to get everyone vaccinated, N95-masked, and kept safe in schools, on transit, and in the cities and towns of Ontario. He didn’t do it…

But Ford will not punish the unvaccinated, the dim, the cruel, the easily led, the mean-eyed people who cherish the freedom to harm others. Does he consider them his base? If so, who speaks for the rest of us?

Heather Mallick is a Toronto-based columnist covering current affairs for the Star

Is there an extinction of global biodiversity in progress?

The history of life on Earth has been marked five times by events of mass biodiversity extinction caused by extreme natural phenomena. Today, many experts warn that a Sixth Mass Extinction crisis is underway, this time entirely caused by human activities…

“Drastically increased rates of species extinctions and declining abundances of many animal and plant populations are well documented, yet some deny that these phenomena amount to mass extinction,” said Robert Cowie, lead author of the study and research professor at the UH Mānoa Pacific Biosciences Research Center in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). “This denial is based on a biased view of the crisis which focuses on mammals and birds and ignores invertebrates, which of course constitute the great majority of biodiversity.”

Unfortunately, along with science denial taking a foothold in modern society on a range of issues, the new study points out that some people also deny that the Sixth Extinction has begun. Additionally, others accept it as a new and natural evolutionary trajectory, as humans are just another species playing their natural role in Earth’s history. Some even consider that biodiversity should be manipulated solely for the benefit of humanity – but benefit defined by whom?

“Humans are the only species capable of manipulating the biosphere on a large scale,” Cowie emphasized. “We are not just another species evolving in the face of external influences. In contrast, we are the only species that has conscious choice regarding our future and that of Earth’s biodiversity.”

If in fact a debate on this state of affairs takes place in timely fashion, who gets to choose participants? No doubt, scientists in many lands will be chosen to represent their nation’s responsibility by professional organizations…in cooperation with national government. Here in the GOUSA, I’m not as certain.

Supply Chain Security?


Armed and dangerous?

FedEx has asked the US Federal Aviation Administration if it could install anti-missile lasers on cargo jets, according to a request filed earlier this month. The FAA request is set to be published on the public register [this] week.

Heat-seeking missiles detect and target heat from cargo jet engines, and because these planes are less maneuverable that a fighter jet, they’re hard to shake off. Gizmodo reports that anti-missile lasers act like a distraction, shining an infrared laser directly at the missile to disrupt its ability to track a heat signature…

“In recent years, in several incidents abroad, civilian aircraft were fired upon by man-portable air defense systems,” the application letter reads.

If the FAA rules OK to this request, I presume we can look forward to laser turrets being tacked onto passenger jets.

Theft from trains up 356% in Los Angeles


Now-empty and discarded packages along railroad tracks

Images of thousands of stolen and discarded packages alongside the Union Pacific train tracks near Union Station have people around the world asking – how does this happen? Apparently, it’s a near perfect storm of an ongoing train robbery problem, the pandemic, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s policy of no-cash bail arrests.

“I have been with Union Pacific for 16 years, and I have never, ever seen this situation to this degree,” said Lupe Valdez, the company’s senior director of public affairs.

Valdez says, on average, 90 of their containers are compromised each day. But between October 2020 and October 2021, train robberies have picked up exponentially by a whopping 356%. Union Pacific has increased its enforcement and patrols, and has put drones to work, but now they are looking into diverting trains so they don’t pass through Los Angeles County at all.

“We are making arrests, but what our officers are seeing on the ground is that people are basically being arrested, there is no bail, they come out the next day and come back to rob our trains,” Valdez said…

“Even with all the arrests made, the no-cash bail policy and extended timeframe for suspects to appear in court is causing re-victimization to UP by these same criminals,” the letter says. “In fact criminals boast to our officers that charges will be pled down to simple trespassing – which bears no serious consequences.”

Life in America, eh? Or at least life in one of our most important cities.