Month: March 2022
GOUSA Cold Warriors prepared to build more unneeded nuclear weapons
Nadav Soroker/Technical Area 54
Los Alamos began as an “instant city,” springing from the Pajarito Plateau in 1943 at the dawn of the Atomic Age. More than 8,000 people flocked here to work for Los Alamos National Laboratory and related industries during the last years of World War II. Now the city may be on the brink of another boom as the federal government moves forward with what could be the most expensive warhead modernization program in U.S. history…
The cores — known as pits — haven’t been mass-produced since the end of the Cold War. But in 2018, under pressure from the Trump administration, the federal government called for at least 80 new pits to be manufactured each year, conservatively expected to cost $9 billion — the lion’s share of a $14.8 billion weapons program upgrade. After much infighting over the massive contract, plans call for Los Alamos to manufacture 30 pits annually and for the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to make the remaining 50…
The idea of implementing an immense nuclear program at Los Alamos has sparked outrage among citizens, nuclear watchdogs, scientists and arms control experts, who say the pit-production mission is neither safe nor necessary. Producing them at Los Alamos would force the lab into a role it isn’t equipped for — its plutonium facilities are too small, too old and lack important safety features, critics say.
The lab has a long history of nuclear accidents that have killed, injured and endangered dozens if not scores of people. As recently as January, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the federal agency in charge of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile, launched an investigation into a Jan. 7 leak at the lab that released radioactive material and contaminated six workers.
Trump doesn’t care. The Republican Party doesn’t care. I’m not certain how much the Democrats care. Pouring billion$ down the rathole of increasing an already excessive quantity of nuclear weapons has never bothered our Congress a whole boatload.
Brief History of yippee-kay-yay!
Twenty-five years ago this week, the action movie Die Hard opened and Bruce Willis uttered that famous line.
But where does the yippee-ki-yay part come from?
The yip part of yippee is old. It originated in the 15th century and meant “to cheep, as a young bird,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The more well-known meaning, to emit a high-pitched bark, came about around 1907, as per the OED, and gained the figurative meaning “to shout; to complain…”
Now how about the whole phrase, yippee-ki-yay? It seems to be a play on “yippie yi yo kayah,” a refrain from a 1930s Bing Crosby song, “I’m An Old Cowhand.”
Do cowboys really say this? We’re guessing probably not, unless of course they’re single-handedly (and shoelessly) defeating a gang of bank robbers on Christmas Eve.
Have to realize, folks, just how popular Bruce Willis is in working class America. I know a few cowhands in my neck of the prairie and I’d bet they’re not alone in repeating BW’s badass bravado. In fact, I have no doubt there are beaucoup more non-cowboys than cowboys ready to play at being a Willis-style hard man. With or without a proper H&K MP5 Machine Gun.
What if, what if…?
What if … we’d just let the Japanese go ahead and surrender? It was obvious, it was coming soon…no matter how bad our brass hats and imperial brains wanted to see what their own mass murder might achieve. Our nation matched Hitler’s style in a matter of seconds, not years.
I presume most readers here weren’t around and contemporary to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I’d suggest you read John Hersey’s HIROSHIMA. A prizewinner in its day … for good reason.
Bolton remembers Trump talking about burner phones
John Bolton, the former national security adviser in the Trump administration, told CBS News on Tuesday that he had heard former President Donald Trump use the phrase “burner phones” in several discussions and the former president knew what it meant.
White House records obtained by CBS News and The Washington Post show Trump did not use his phone for over seven hours on January 6, 2021 during the attack on the U.S. Capitol, and the House select committee investigating the attack is looking into whether he used a “burner phone,” or a personal disposable phone whose contacts could not be traced.
In response, the former president said he had never heard of the phrase “burner phone.”
“I have no idea what a burner phone is, to the best of my knowledge I have never even heard the term,” Trump said.
But Bolton said he and Trump have spoken about how people have used “burner phones” to avoid having their calls scrutinized.
The White House documents show no calls placed to or by Trump for seven hours and 37 minutes — from 11:17 a.m. to 6:54 p.m. — on the day when thousands of his supporters descended on the U.S. Capitol, battled police and forcibly entered the building, prompting lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to flee for safety.
What? Did you think Trump would tell the truth about January 6th? I doubt he tells the truth about anything very often. He’s so accustomed to bullshitting anyone and everyone, he probably has a tough time remembering the truth about anything. Much less using it in a sentence.
Both of Earth’s poles are having heatwaves, right now.
Startling heatwaves at both of Earth’s poles are causing alarm among climate scientists, who have warned the “unprecedented” events could signal faster and abrupt climate breakdown.
Temperatures in Antarctica reached record levels at the weekend, an astonishing 40C above normal in places.
At the same time, weather stations near the north pole also showed signs of melting, with some temperatures 30C above normal, hitting levels normally attained far later in the year.
At this time of year, the Antarctic should be rapidly cooling after its summer, and the Arctic only slowly emerging from its winter, as days lengthen. For both poles to show such heating at once is unprecedented.
The rapid rise in temperatures at the poles is a warning of disruption in Earth’s climate systems. Last year, in the first chapter of a comprehensive review of climate science, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned of unprecedented warming signals already occurring, resulting in some changes – such as polar melt – that could rapidly become irreversible.
Read it and weep for what we have done. Ignoring what the barons of corporate wealth have done to our planet in their quest for more and more money and power is destroying the only home we have for our species. We can try for stopgap measures. The much harder task will be trying to claw back what commerce has destroyed. Simply as a side effect of greed.
Kinda makes you wonder, all right!
Putin still thinks it’s World War 2 and he’s going to liberate Stalingrad!
Otto von Bismarck once said that only a fool learns from his own mistakes. “I learn from other people’s,” the 19th-century German chancellor said. Astonishingly, the Russian army is repeating the past mistakes of its Soviet predecessor. In April 1945, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, under intense pressure from Stalin, sent his tank armies into Berlin without infantry support. Vladimir Putin’s forces not only made the same error; they even copied the way their forebears had attached odd bits of iron—including bed frames—to their tanks’ turrets in the hopes that the added metal would detonate anti-tank weapons prematurely. This did not save the Russian tanks…
The Russian president’s distorted obsession with history, especially with the “Great Patriotic War” against Germany, has skewed his political rhetoric with bizarre self-contradictions. It has clearly affected his military approach. Tanks were a great symbol of strength during the Second World War. That Putin can still see them that way defies belief. The vehicles have proved to be profoundly vulnerable to drones and anti-tank weapons in recent conflicts…
Yet Putin seems to have learned as little as he has forgotten…Putin’s control of domestic media can hide the truth from most of the Russian population, but his conscripts, forced now to sign new contracts to turn them into volunteers, are all too aware of the reality…
Against all prewar expectations, though, a Russian military collapse also looks possible. A complete disintegration of morale could lead to a humiliating withdrawal, a potentially devastating result of Putin’s inability to part with the Soviet past.
The Sunday TIMES carried an amazing GROUNDHOG DAY Tale of repetitive blunders, repeated not once or twice; but, ten times in a row. Chornobayivka, is now the most famous village in Ukraine because it has become a byword for breathtaking Russian military incompetence.
No gloating as young conscripts die by the hundreds. But, mediocre maneuvers, out-of-date by decades, illustrate how Putin’s reliance on WW2 tactics writes a new chapter of death and despair for his army as thoroughly as it does for some of the Ukrainians standing in his way.
U.S. Renaming Mountains, Rivers and More Removing Racist, Misogynist Word
A mountain in northern Colorado getting a new name
The United States Department of the Interior (DOI) proposed a list of new names for more than 660 geographic features across the country last month, the agency announced in a statement.
Led by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, the first Native American to serve as cabinet secretary, the February 2022 release of the list marks the next step in a sweeping plan to remove the racist and misogynist slur “squaw” from the national geographic landscape. Hundreds of U.S. geographic sites, including mountains, rivers, lakes, remote islands and more, currently are named using the word…
“Words matter, particularly in our work to make our nation’s public lands and waters accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” said Haaland, per the statement.
“Consideration of these replacements is a big step forward in our efforts to remove derogatory terms whose expiration dates are long overdue,” added the secretary, who is a member of the Pueblo of the Laguna and a 35th-generation New Mexican.
It is a delight to witness another step away from our country’s past of official bigotry. And see it led by someone directly concerned and, I might add, I was always pleased to vote for in state elections.