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June 12, 2015

Comments

"What do you suppose he was working on?"

Using hot radioactive sources for oil-well logging is my bet. According to the IAEA, SA doesn't have any reactors, never had any, doesn't have any under construction.

UAE has three under construction.

Having "the bomb" isn't enough. They have to have a way to make more, so that testing their bomb won't be greeted with a "thank you for disarming yourself" reaction.

The story I've heard is that they've owned one or more bombs for some time, purchased from Pakistan, and had simply deferred delivery.

Yes, they do need more than one bomb, unless they're going to test it on somebody else's territory.

Although they could have just one, do a test firing (lots of room for that!), and then simply leave it delightfully vague how many others they might have.

Even if the number was actually zero, whomever they are trying to impress would likely be unwilling to bet on that.

Could someone explain to me what actual problems having nuclear weapons would solve for SA?

they have to deter Iran, which needs weapons to conquer the ME (unlike SA, which is trying to do it by sponsoring Sunni terrorism).

Why does SA need to deter Iran at all when the US military is at its beck and call. Any attack against SA would be met with a devastating reprisal from the US military, so why exactly does SA need nuclear weapons?

If ex-pats were building a nuclear weapon, there would be rumours floating around.

Recruiting nuclear weapons engineers is a tricky task. There are not many to go around who really understand the inner workings of a plutonium or hydrogen bomb. The theory is known by every undergrad but doing the design well is not quite straightforward. You don't want to recruit fresh undergrads for such work. Those who know their stuff are former employees of their respective national weapons labs and some of the best-vetted people in the world. Few of them are willing to risk prison for building as nuke for Saudis.

Second, from employers point of view, expats are very untrustworthy people when it comes to keeping secrets. A major portion of US nuclear engineers are former or reserve Navy officers. They are not really people you would not to betray your secrets to the US government. Similarly, most graduates of Kurchatov institute are Russian reserve officers. The German and French nuclear engineers often start their work at national labs or in the JRC, which would be prime recruiting grounds for intelligence services.

Those expats who would not be intelligence agents would quite often have personal issues that decrease their trustworthiness like substance abuse, family problems, interpersonal skills issues etc. People don't come to Saudi Arabia to work solely for money. Their reasons for coming are often such that they would preclude security clearance. And those who come for money are the least loyal bunch.

So, a clandestine program staffed with expats would be 50% foreign agents, 50% talkative drunkards, if you allow a slight exaggeration.

1.) North Korea? You can't be serious. Pakistan? Highly probable.

2.) Ex pats? Agree with Lurker.

3.) A country as rich as Saudi Arabia in such a bad neighborhood is undoubtedly going to acquire nuclear capability at some point. The allure is simply too great, and threats looming for the Kingdom (i.e., the monarchy) are existential.

Unlike our imagined threats. Or real ones for that matter.

As they say, the trend is your friend. The trend of increasing nuclear proliferation has not led to more use of nuclear weapons. We should give them a couple, just so they don't feel left out.

Not sure one could trust North Korean nukes. Their tests seem to have been only partially successful and have even been supected to be fake (a large conventional bomb spiked with stuff one would expect in the fallout from a real nuke). These days one wants one's nukes advanced enough to put it on a standard size missile not a bulky low-yield Fat Man or Little Boy monstrum.
Are maybe some guys from the South African nuclear program still available?

Part of me is surprised that the United States hasn't simply sold them some.

Maybe Netanyahu will lend them a couple.

Matt: you are, of course, assuming that they havent.

And it occurs to me, the solution to the expat issue is to recruit ppl you confidently expect to be foreign agents. After all, they're going to find out anyhow, and at least this way you get the benefit of their expertise... and a secret bomb that noone knows of does rather run into the Strangelove problem

Constructing a working bomb without testing it isn't that big a deal any more. Nuclear weapon design--at least naked fission or boosted fission design--is much less a nuclear engineering problem and much more a hydrodynamics problem. It's all about the uniform compression of the hollow sphere of U-235 or Pu-239, with or without deuterium and tritium squirted into the center.

Hydrodynamics simulations are easy to come by. More importantly, you can test your design in any random desert, completely safely, completely secretly, with proper metallurgy and everything, using a depleted uranium pit. Some high-speed x-ray equipment and you're good to go. Test as many as you want, as often as you want, until you get the compression numbers you want and the reliability you want. After that, popping the real thing off over your Least Favorite Place has an extremely high probability of success.

The hard part is enriching the U-235, or building the Pu-239 breeder reactor and the reprocessing plant. Those are large, dirty, easily detected industrial-scale operations. It's not beyond the realm of possibility that the Saudis have a secret enrichment plant, but it's highly unlikely. Unless they've bought 20 or 30 kg of HEU from somewhere, they've got a long road ahead of them. But the bomb isn't the hard part.

Why does SA need to deter Iran at all when the US military is at its beck and call. Any attack against SA would be met with a devastating reprisal from the US military, so why exactly does SA need nuclear weapons?

That assumes that the US commitment to SA's defense is eternally reliable, a belief that not every Saudi would sustain. For now, sure, but "now" can change.

The Philippines - which I follow more closely than any other foreign country - is understandably uncertain as to whether assurances and treaties and re-assurances from the USA since independence in 1946 will actually hold if China goes ahead and fully annexes those South China Sea islands/reefs which were historically Philippine territory, if they were anyone's.

A nation has no friends, only interests.

(Attributed variously to Lord Palmerston, Charles De Gaulle, and others.)

Since this is an open thread, let me address a question to McKinney Texas: Do you have any comments on recent developments in McKinney Texas?

This is not a "gotcha" question, and I will impute or assume nothing if you choose not to respond.

It's just that your nom de net suggests that you have some familiarity with the place, and it would be nice to get some insight from someone who might actually have local knowledge, rather than the rest of us (and the bulk of the commentators) who never heard of the place before the latest development.

The Saudis have a good reason to be suspicious about US loyalty. One of the purposes of the whole Iraq adventure was to obtain a less hostile place to station US troops in the region. The only thing keeping the Saudis from the official enemies list is their cheap oil and their utterly corrupt government with an open ear to US demands. Even the sponsorship of extremist Islamists is less of a concern since most of it was and is aimed at people the US do not like or do not care about (the Soviets then, Assad now). Plus in general the Saudis support the kind of authoritarian 3rd world regimes that were and are US favorites. Democracies are messy, corrupt autocracies and oligarchies are much more business-friendly.
(Western Europeans are not necessarily more ethical, they just got out of the business of solving the issues by military means, mostly).

Frankly, everybody has good reason to be suspicious about US loyalty. Violating our security guarantees to South Vietnam, pretending our ally Taiwan isn't really a country anymore. Our security guarantees to Gaddafi turning into deposing him. (That last is really on point here: That's when we proved you might as well not disarm, we'd invade you anyway.)

Even American states shouldn't put much reliance on US loyalty. As things stand, you could get invaded by a neighboring country, and you not only wouldn't get defended, the federal government would obstruct your efforts to defend yourself.

As things stand?

Prithee, enlighten us with bolts of cracked lightning from thy nether regions.

Violating our security guarantees to South Vietnam

Yes, and had we given the support to Ho Chi Minh that we promised, we might not have had a problem.

The hard part is enriching the U-235, or building the Pu-239 breeder reactor and the reprocessing plant. Those are large, dirty, easily detected industrial-scale operations.

I wouldn't be so sure about the "easily detected" part. One of the challenges in hammering out a treaty with Iran is the existance of underground enrichment sites. We think we know of one (or maybe two?) from satellite surveillance. But detection is sufficiently difficult that there are a lot of "what if there are more?" questions to be dealt with.

And while travel to Saudi Arabia is much easier than to Iran at the moment, there are large parts of the country to which access is reatricted. (For example, unless you are Muslim, you can't get anywhere near Mecca. And even then, you would probably have to be on hajj -- and pilgrims' freedom of movement is restricted as well.) So comprehensive ground-level searching would be difficult as well.

Even American states . . . could get invaded by a neighboring country, and ... not . . . get defended

Seriously, Brett? Seriously? You really think Mexico (or anybody else, but I doubt you are really concerned about Canada invading) could send soldiers across the border and there would be no military reaction?

Or are you just characterizing illegal immigrants as an "invasion"? In which case, what kind of military actions on US soil are you prepared to embrace -- without getting hysterical about "unconstitutional military infringements of our liberties"?

wj, don't forget Putin's head entering Alaskan airspace. And a number of bad guys likely covet Hawaii too. A Kenyan invasion fleet is likely just out of coastal sight biding its time.

Hartmut,
oh, it's MUCH to late for Hawai'i. See, the remnants of the Hawai'ian Imperial dynasty allied with the Kingdom Kenyan in exile, and adopted one "Prince Barry" as heir to the Hawai'ian throne.

That's why us aoles aren't allowed to see the "long form addendum" to Obama's birth certificate. Truth.

Now that the Hawai'ian conquest of the barbarian aole mainland has been mostly completed, Jade Helm being the last little bit of pacification needed, then the glorious reign of Emperor Barry is about to officially begin.

All policy disagreements will be settled with surfing competitions.

(this message was approved by Lono, the Hawai'ian pantheon name for Loki)

I suppose Russia, potentially invading Alaska, could count as a "neighboring country." But no way Kenya does -- which, I suppose, means that Brett isn't worried about that possibility.

As for Hawaii, it is too isolated to actually have "neighboring countries." The closest country, Kiribati (over 1,300 miles away and a population of barely 100,000) somehow doesn't seem like a significant invasion threat.

yeah, but he kiribatis are famously tough as leather.

@wj--

But detection is sufficiently difficult that there are a lot of "what if there are more?" questions to be dealt with.

This is true, but there are a lot of things you can do with remote detection. Two major things:

1) You can sniff for particular elements that get wafted away from enrichment or reprocessing sites. It's extraordinarily hard to keep this stuff more than 9.99999999999% contained (number of '9's for rhetorical purposes), and detection of just a few atoms of a particular isotope can tell that something unfortunate is cooking within a few hundred miles. It may not give you a "where", but it certainly can give you a "whether"

2) Gamma ray spectroscopy is your friend. Get those little suckers out into the atmosphere and they're detectable, even from satellite platforms. Yes, you can shield them, but shielding is expensive and imperfect, and, as with #1 above, keeping material perfectly contained is hard.

All of that said, the very best thing about going the U-235 enrichment path is that the elements involved are just ordinary natural uranium, which is found everywhere. I suppose that you can draw certain conclusions about the ratio of U-235 to U-238 if your sample size is big enough, but now you're talking about a lot of material getting loose, not just microscopic amounts.

All of which is a long way of saying that I'm backing off on the "easily" part of the detection equation. However, it's still orders of magnitude easier to detect somebody making fissionables than it is to detect them designing and testing the innards of a bomb. Also, if you detect industrial activity, the answer to the "are there more?" question is almost certainly "yes".

PS: These days, you don't necessarily test to verify a design. You test to let your opponents now that you have something. The gaming on the decision to test or not test is ambiguous at best. I suspect that you don't test at all until you've produced enough pits to have a credible deterrent. If you're buying black-market fissionables, odds are you don't have very much, and testing is out of the question.

Alaska used to BELONG to Russia.

Just like...Crimea. Hmmm...

Dr. N, I am not from McKinney. I lived nearby on Denton many years ago. It is known to be very conservative. I think the officer in question was out of bounds. Clearly out of bounds.

Yeah, but they sold Alaska to us. Whereas Crimea changed hands on a whim.

"in Denton"

Damn I Phone keyboards.

Cell phone keyboards, especially those which are "helpful" in deciding what you meant to type, are a snare and a delusion.

What really irritates me about mine is that I have to hit well onto the left edge of a key image, or else I get the next key over instead. Bad word, bad word, bad word!!

wj, the Russians were in California before the US even came close to the Pacific.

Before Lewis & Clark?

A Russian expedition reached the region of modern San Francisco in 1805. In that sense it was a close call. Permanent settlements came a bit later though. The US were probably lucky that the main driver on the Russian side died early.
And there was a Russian settlement in Hawaii in 1817.
So, the Russians have indeed older claims.

Somehow reminds me of the old joke: "Germany within the borders of 1237*! Naples must stay German!"

*the true slogan has 1937 and is about the lost German territories in the East like Silesia. 1237 is the year Berlin was first mentioned in official documents and is thus treated as the year of birth of Germany's later capital city.

Right, Hartmut. Hence, for example, the Russian River.

But the Spanish had displaced them before the US took over. So their claim, if any, would be tenuous at best. (And besides, we were on actual invasions, not conflicting land claims.)

But such claims (true or fabricated) are a very traditional justification for invasions.
And just look at Israel, where shaky land claims thousands of years old are a main argument in the dispute with the Palestinians.

Actually, there have been a number of recent incidents where actual Mexican troops have crossed the border into the US, and fired on Americans. According to people living along the border, it's a much more frequent occurrence than the federal government cares to admit.

If you're not willing to admit that having hundreds of thousands of Mexicans illegally crossing the border constitutes an invasion.

Brett, that is definitely a border incident. But an invasion? It sounds, from the source you link to, like confusion over where the border actually was during an operation (which happens on both sides from time to time -- not to mention all the US drones which end up in Mexican airspace).

As an example of an invasion, it is pretty weak tea.

And I'm not aware of any Mexican politician suggesting Mexican troops enter the US. As opposed to Rick Perry, during his campaign for President in 2011, suggesting exactly that from our side.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/13/politics/fact-check-immigration/

"According to people living along the border ..."

According to people living in that state just a few weeks ago, the US military was instituting martial law and planning to detain American citizens in tunnels beneath Sam's Club.

"If you're not willing to admit ..."

You do realize you are believing reports by U.S. Government employees regarding that helicopter attack. U.S. government employees -- whom you hold in nothing but jackbooted contempt in every other case.

What are we, under interrogation around here?

I'd say the OBWI commentariat is way ahead of you in admissions.

F8ck you.

Now wj, how many quotes from Mexican politicians are in your daily news feed?

Very few, of curse. But a Mexican politician, even a relatively minor one, saying anything like that would definitely make it into the news I read. Big time. Probably be front page news across the country actually. Do you doubt it?

McKT: Thanks for the clarification.

"What really irritates me about mine is that I have to hit well onto the left edge of a key image, or else I get the next key over instead."

You actually should be able to adjust that. There should be a touch screen calibration routine available under your settings menu.

thousands of Mexicans illegally crossing the border constitutes an invasion

more of that liberals-doing-violence-to-the-language again.

my wife has a really nice bed of perennials in the front of the house that are totally being invaded by clover.

the response from the feds: silence.

thousands of Mexicans illegally crossing the border constitutes an invasion

The invaders are crossing the border to pick our vegetables!

Please, think of the vegetables.

http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=usagov&query=clover+research

Here's how it works, as explained to me over and over by blockhead liars, themselves an invasive species of malicious crawling vine choking the country:

Under cover of the wee dead hours of moonless nights, grant-seeking parasite federalis of the two-legged post-graduate kind, traipse, I say, traipse through suburban perennial flower beds seeding them with clover and other invasive plant species and then they bide their time, patiently, as the victims make calls to government agricultural extension agents, who by extension are commie parasites their own selves, to winch, complain and ultimately cheat on their taxes about the aforesaid invasive species.

Then, the grant seekers pounce and sent out the clover alarm (unless its red clover, but that's another boondoggle for another day) and shazam, jobs with benefits are created via the grant process to the inevitable hue and cry of the usual suspects, who take a momentary hiatus from the other hueing and crying about invasive human species crossing the border and what are we going to do about that despite the 40-year low in illegal border-crossing, also ignored by the aforesaid malignant blockheads.

Ah, but it gets worse, you see. The clover grant seekers are secretly in league with the coyotes who bring Mexican and Latin American gardeners and landscapers, later to be confused with scapergoats, to our perennial gardens to weed and mulch and mulch and weed and spray, under the table as it were.

And then there are the honeybees. The clover grant seekers do their best to earn a stipend getting rid of the clover, thus starving the bees, and then, Eureka!!, the grant-writing process is opened to the very same grant-seekers (like bees to pollen; oh my God, it's even worse than the blockheads can conceive!) to find ways to protect the honeybees from the die-out ravaging them.

Then, we send the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force to Syria, Iraq, Iran, and points east, west, north, and south and we call it Operation Sucker Punch In a Party Dress With A Bow because the word "invasion" having been hollowed out of its of meaning through all of its ill-use, just cannot cross the lips of the usual murderous suspects when it is really needed.

That, in a nutshell, is the nut of the matter.

Addendum(b): Beware citizen clover monitoring whistle blowers in Wyoming and other states that have governments that hate government except for their own fascist reasons, you may run afoul of laws like these being passed:

http://truthvoice.com/2015/06/in-wyoming-it-is-now-illegal-to-collect-data-about-pollution/

The whistle blowers may still carry loaded weapons openly in these territories, so there is that hairy fact.

I can't wait until the two laws converge for the inevitable tango at the f8cked-up corral.

"Hey, stop that sample collection right now!"

"Make my day, motherf*cker."


http://search.usa.gov/search?affiliate=usagov&query=clover+research

Here's how it works, as explained to me over and over by blockhead liars, themselves an invasive species of malicious crawling vine choking the country:

Under cover of the wee dead hours of moonless nights, grant-seeking parasite federalis of the two-legged post-graduate kind, traipse, I say, traipse through suburban perennial flower beds seeding them with clover and other invasive plant species and then they bide their time, patiently, as the victims make calls to government agricultural extension agents, who by extension are commie parasites their own selves, to winch, complain and ultimately cheat on their taxes about the aforesaid invasive species.

Then, the grant seekers pounce and sent out the clover alarm (unless its red clover, but that's another boondoggle for another day) and shazam, jobs with benefits are created via the grant process to the inevitable hue and cry of the usual suspects, who take a momentary hiatus from the other hueing and crying about invasive human species crossing the border and what are we going to do about that despite the 40-year low in illegal border-crossing, also ignored by the aforesaid malignant blockheads.

Ah, but it gets worse, you see. The clover grant seekers are secretly in league with the coyotes who bring Mexican and Latin American gardeners and landscapers, later to be confused with scapergoats, to our perennial gardens to weed and mulch and mulch and weed and spray, under the table as it were.

And then there are the honeybees. The clover grant seekers do their best to earn a stipend getting rid of the clover, thus starving the bees, and then, Eureka!!, the grant-writing process is opened to the very same grant-seekers (like bees to pollen; oh my God, it's even worse than the blockheads can conceive!) to find ways to protect the honeybees from the die-out ravaging them.

Then, we send the Army, Navy, Marines, and the Air Force to Syria, Iraq, Iran, and points east, west, north, and south and we call it Operation Sucker Punch In a Party Dress With A Bow because the word "invasion" having been hollowed out of its of meaning through all of its ill-use, just cannot cross the lips of the usual murderous suspects when it is really needed.

That, in a nutshell, is the nut of the matter.

Addendum(b): Beware citizen clover monitoring whistle blowers in Wyoming and other states that have governments that hate government except for their own fascist reasons, you may run afoul of laws like these being passed:

http://truthvoice.com/2015/06/in-wyoming-it-is-now-illegal-to-collect-data-about-pollution/

The whistle blowers may still carry loaded weapons openly in these territories, so there is that hairy fact.

I can't wait until the two laws converge for the inevitable tango at the f8cked-up corral.

"Hey, stop that sample collection right now!"

"Make my day, motherf*cker."


I'll be mouse-shopping today at the rodent store.

Look on the bright side, Count. While the law says such data cannot be entered into evidence in any state proceeding, they can't touch the Federal courts. So whistleblowers still have an option to make their case. (And maybe they can get into WitSec after, to avoid criminal prosecution in state courts for gathering the data...?)

I think SA has more to fear from internal threats than from external threats, at present.

And I doubt that they're just going to nuke themselves.

If you look at a map, Saudi Arabia has buffer countries to its East, and then there's the Persian Gulf. Crossing the Persian Gulf to attack SA would require, for the most part, the attacking nation to go through its border states, which the US is also supplying with weapons and aircraft.

Then you have to cross a couple of hundred miles of desert to get to Riyadh or any other important city.

No, I think Saudi Arabia is safe in much the same way that the Fremen of Arrakis were safe. There's a lot of sand to be crossed, unless you're just going to stand off and nuke them, or use long-range tactical missiles.

But Saudi Arabia also has missile defense systems, so maybe not so easy as that. Plus: damage Mecca or Medina and the whole Muslim world will conspire to make your life miserable and short.

The only way Mecca or Medina get damaged is if the Israelis are about extinguished, and figure they might as well be as nasty as possible towards those who have destroyed them by tossing a nuke that way. Nobody else would.

wj, Israel and the Saudis go along quite well, or so it seems. Exchanging one SA (which once had nukes and was a pariah) with another (which has not yet and should be treated as one already resp.) so to speak.
But there are a lot of religious Kristian(TM) nutjobs (with big megaphones) that would nuke Mecca/Medina the moment they got the opportunity and would see the provocation as a bonus, if not the primary feature.
I might be wrong but I think I remember GOP candidates being asked, whether they could imagine doing it, and no definite 'no' coming from them.

From my own personal, admittedly nuttier-than-a-squirrel's-crapper point of view, nuking any of the holy sites would be...stupid.

But I am not a huge fan of nuclear weapons.

The problem with threatening to nuke any of the holy cities is that you'd have to be ready to carry out the threat, and then you'd also have to be ready to defend yourself against a billion or so Muslims.

Nuking the holy cities wouldn't debilitate Muslims. It'd give them rage, plus a target for said rage.

Hartmut, yes the Saudis and the Israelis are getting along well. Now. All I was saying is that it was the only scenario I could see where something would happen to those cities.

And yes, there are nutjobs here who would be delighted to do as you say. But while at least some of the GOP candidates would refuse to say that they would rule it out, I rather doubt that any of those with a real chance of winning the nomination (never mind the Presidency) would actually do so.

"Nuking the holy cities wouldn't debilitate Muslims. It'd give them rage, plus a target for said rage."

Righto. Which is why, if Mecca gets nuked, it will most likely be a false flag operation, intended to sic a billion or so Muslims on the enemies of whoever really did it.

I could even see Islamic radicals doing it themselves, with the intention of turning as many 'moderate' Muslims into active jihadists as possible.

Except that Islamic radicals are, if nothing else, True Believers. Which would make it impossible for them to nuke Mecca, no matter how great the benefits they might see from it.

One of those rare cases where it actually helps that your opponent is a religious fanatic.

You're assuming an awful lot of predictable reasoning from religious fanatics, here.

Anyway, I bet Tom Clancy could have made quite a novel from that premise.

if the "false flag" operation to blow up Mecca was so attractive to the irrational and bloodthirsty Muslim, you'd expect that somebody would've tried it by now.

but no, they really do seem to think that attacking the enemy directly is a better use of their time, money and energy.

...or, more likely these days: Clancy could have gotten someone else to write the novel for him, published under his name.

As I have stated repeatedly, I strongly favor the nuclear option for Jerusalem (excercised by a neutral power* after the whole land has been evacuated and the population transferred to a suitable new home). And I mean double digit megaton nuclear leaving a mile deep crater where the Temple Mount now is. The three Abrahamitic religions have shown that they are unable to come to any mutual agreement about this place, so the only option is to cut out that constantly metastasizing tumor for good. A monoreligious holy place may be reformable in the long run (be it Mecca or the Vatican), this apple of Eris obviously isn't.

*currently only China would meet the criteria, North Korea simply lacks the means.

I don't think there's any problem with Christians, Jews and Muslims living peacefully in Jerusalem.

Mostly it's the hockey audience inciting a fight, or outright causing one.

So: nuke the audience, if you can.

"Which is why, if Mecca gets nuked, it will most likely be a false flag operation, intended to sic a billion or so Muslims on the enemies of whoever really did it."

Well, certainly if such a false flag operation is carried out, we'll have a helluva time denying we did it, given the hundreds, probably thousands of threats from conservative blogs, talk radio, terrorism "experts" on FOX, and Republican operatives to do precisely that following 9/11.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2422713/posts

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread110055/pg1

http://www.theblogmocracy.com/2014/07/01/isnt-it-time-to-just-nuke-iraq-iran-and-afghanistan-and-call-it-all-good/

Oh, look, our very own crypto-religious c8cks$ckers are fascinated:

http://caesartort.blogspot.com/2009/02/nuking-mecca-truly-fascinating-exchange.html

http://www.mwcnews.net/focus/politics/41703-9-11.html

Even Putin gets into it, looked up to by similarly shirtless Republicans on account of the fact that they share another common enemy -- Barack Obama

http://boltonbnp.blogspot.com/2014/01/putin-vows-to-nuke-mecca.html

Why, just last month we had reminders of that other flag operation from Wisconsin libertarians:

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/05/16/burke/

I've no doubt that parts of Texas, Florida, Wyoming, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, and South Carolina, mostly situated around their State houses, will nod knowingly when they hear false flag rumors that the American military carried out nuke attacks on Mecca.

"Do they have Walmarts in Mecca, too?" they'll ask. "Check underneath them, cause we done heard .... You cain't trust Washington. It'd be just like that Muslim in the White House to nuke his own kind to carry out his grand plan."

And, yes, dammit Gumby, nuke the hockey audience. Maybe it would melt the ice. It's nearly July and it's baseball season, not ICE Capades season. Shut her down!

Re: nuking Jerusalem. Violence is not the answer.

Violence is the question, and the answer is YES.

But for a non-violent solution, how about removing Jerusalem from the control of ALL nation states, and turning it into an independent city-state.

Have the Dali Lama run it. He doesn't have a dog in that fight, and needs a place of his own. Win-win.

If it doesn't work out, there's always the nuclear option.

Baseball season.

I'm loving the image of the Jews and the Muslims standing shoulder to shoulder screaming bloody murder at the idea of the Dali Lama running Jerusalem.

Together at last. United and of a single mind that this is a terrible idea. Gotta love it for that show of unity alone!

"I don't think there's any problem with Christians, Jews and Muslims living peacefully in Jerusalem."

There isn't, actually, but judging by Bethlehem, it's only because the Jews are running the joint.

"s I have stated repeatedly, I strongly favor the nuclear option for Jerusalem (exercised by a neutral power* after the whole land has been evacuated and the population transferred to a suitable new home)."

And, I suppose, after repopulating the city with white cows, to complete the clean sweep?

Jerusalem isn't exactly a happy place where everyone gets along--

http://972mag.com/the-real-roots-of-violence-in-jerusalem/106795/

More info about the happy utopia--

http://www.btselem.org/topic/jerusalem

Jeruslem is the focal point for end time ideologies of all three Abrahamitic religions, it is the fuse for the apocalypse. What do you do if every time you have defused a bomb a trio of nutjobs shows up putting the fuse back in? Smashing the fuse beyond repair seems the natural answer. Fortunately(?), those apocalypticians need existing structures in Jerusalem intact (while aiming to destroy the structures the other two need in order to spoil their game). Why not make use of that childish materialistic literalism to get at them all by smashing the place so radically that a literal fulfillment of those milleniarist prophecies becomes impossible? Good luck building the third temple on a hill that has been turned into a radioactive lake a mile deep.

The otherwise lamentable TV mini-series "Dig" (starring Jason Isaacs) had only two things going for it. The first was the setting - on location, mostly in Jerusalem itself, which is not to be confused with most film sets, and was a real treat for these foreign eyes. The second was that it took seriously (if one can take any of this melodrama seriously) the effort of American Christian fundamentalist nutjobs, linked with Jewish fundamentalist (?) nutjobs, to bring about Armageddon by destroying the Temple Mount, a diabolical plot which it took all of Isaacs' charisma (with a weak assist from the miscast Anne Heche) and an enormous slice of luck to thwart. JI doesn't believe it would literally be the "Armageddon" spoken of in scriptures, but he does conclude - rightly - that it would set off a hellacious war in the Middle East.

Therefore the destruction of the Temple Mount must be done by a power not religiously involved and not from the region. Absent Martians, the red Chinese would be the only choice currently. They suppress all religions more or less equally, so they would not be seen as favoring one of the three main parties.

But, rather, as opposing all three.

I guess I'm not seeing the upside here.

I think the upside is supposed to be that the Abrahamic religions stop quarreling amongst each other for a while, and agree to utterly destroy China.

At least, that's the obvious consequence. I'm not sure how he expects to get to the Jeruselem evacuated part, either, without a major world war.

It all seems rather poorly thought out.

Drat, my long answer got eaten.

Short version: A Doomsday clock on every market place will be a nice incentive.

New Israel = Cyprus (inhabitants => to Turkey/Greece by force)
New Palestine = between Germany (90%) and Poland (10%) (land is empty enough and sorely needs new population).

The Electors of Brandenburg (later Prussia) already had an open arms* policy towards Muslims. Muslims were numerous enough in the army that mosques were built for them (iirc at least on still standing).
With no Israel to bash Hamas will not be very successful in the new land or it will bash neo-Nazis instead => win-win.
China will be able to weather fundie enmity, they have enough experience with that. North Korea would be even better but we can't trust them with the heavy stuff necessary.

I'll spare you a detailed discussion about overdue border corrections at the Oder river (zero sum, just for convenience).

*not to be confused with Open Carry

"Drat, my long answer got eaten"

Thuth did sayeth God, with a lis(th)p, and so he doth sendeth uth signs and hints and allegations, verily he spaketh.


"But I am not a huge fan of nuclear weapons."

"I guess I'm not seeing the upside here."

"It all seems rather poorly thought out."

It will be a soft, understated Apocalypse, with a score by Johnny Cash, recorded on YouTube and brought to you by Travelers Insurance and Dole Pineapple.

Beware the red heifer:

http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/17303/holy-cow-red-heifer-born-us/#1vwT5KvXekfLhfLM.97

Beware the black horse:

http://shoebat.com/2014/12/03/mysterious-black-horse-seen-flying-mecca-babylon-great-come/

the whirlwind is in the thorn tree
The virgins are all trimming their wicks
The whirlwind is in the thorn tree.
It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks.

It all sounds vaguely pornographic.

I miss Walker Percy.


Baseball season

DUCK SEASON!

I see the sense of Hartmut's 12:10am.

There's a certain satisfaction in scaring the crap out of the boogeymen who have been waiting around every corner these many centuries as you mind your own business and shouting BOO! in your face.

And duck season is fine with me, not being a duck, as long as the reruns are televised in the mornings where they belong and not conflicting with my baseball viewing.

Plus, duck hunting in the Fall is of a piece with the natural order of things. First, the baseball season winds down and then baseball players head home for duck hunting season.

But hockey -- on ice -- in the summer?

Another sign of the end-times, well, when the playoffs end, which could be never, given advertising budgets.

I do, however, believe ducks should open carry.

Texas prepares for the End-Times and takes another step toward secession, because Texas is not America.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/with-eye-on-fiscal-armageddon-texas-set-to-repatriate-its-gold-to-new-texas-fort-know

Except if you read the article straight through, you'll learn Governor Abbott is a lying piece of sub-human garbage throwing yet another bone to the whack jobs he calls his base.

He's not withdrawing gold from the Federal Reserve vaults as he plainly quacked early in the article.

And natch, one of his henchman throws in the obligatory and thinly veiled threat that they may have to shoot all of us.

Bring it the f*ck on.

In other news, just between us, the U.S. Military Jade Helm troops in Texas are nearly done building their subterranean barracks under Walmarts and Sam's Clubs, Targets, and Costcos throughout the State of Texas, where they will bivouac until duck hunting season when the trouble will start.

It's also feral hog season.

Happy hunting.

The "guns and gold" believer and Abbott-backer mentioned in the article, hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass, is a piece of work.

I follow the stock market closely.

At a big investment conference in 2013 he touted a heavily indebted yellow pages company called DEX Media as his largest position and maybe a five-bagger in short order.

Very shortly afterwards, it was reported in SEC filings (something, no doubt, that would be gotten rid of under his libertarian rule) that he had liquidated his entire position.

Here's a chart. He bought at the far left hand side and sold shortly thereafter. Cast your eyes down and to the right, down and to the right to learn the current resting place of this fatal bullet.

http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickchart/quickchart.asp?symb=DXM&insttype=Stock&freq=2&show=&time=10

I didn't buy it, but I thought about it pretty hard.

Many did.

That's why he requires the weaponry.

But that's not redistribution. Only the government can do that.

*cue dancing on head, spouting gibberish*

Hartmut, don't know where your long answer went. But it's not in the Spam folder.

wj, it is possible that I chose preview and then closed the window instead of finally posting after checking. But occasionally posts simply vanish once one goes for refresh despite the message that the post has been properly received.

That they do. I've had it happen many times.

You know how you post a comment, and you get a page that has this "Your comment has been posted. Post another comment" line at the bottom? I think at that point, the comment may not really have loaded, and if you leave the page immediately it's lost.

But that's only a theory.

Ironic: I commented that this happens to me, and... It happened to me.

yeah, sometimes comments just seem to go to the land of the lost socks.

i've never been able to figure out why.

whenever it happens, i just figure it's probably for the best.

If more of my comments went the way of fugitive socks, the world would be exactly as it is now.

I'm amazed that Brett hasn't yet blamed Obama or Hillary for his missing comments.

It must be some NSA program to search out and delete any comment/email that might have something to do with Benghazi, I bet.

I suspect that my lost comments and lost socks are in Brett's sock drawer.

Some wrinkle in the Second Law of Benghazidynamics.

Not just the NSA, I'm given to understand that under the 14th Amendment, corporations, laws unto themselves, those special people, may be stealing our comments.

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum

No word on our socks, which seem to have discovered how to go off grid permanently.

Though, if I'm not mistaken, I think I spotted one of Thomas Jefferson's fugitive socks posing as a comma in the Second Amendment.

That was just Jefferson exercising his right to bare feet.

Sock recognition technology will undoubtedly solve the fugitive
sock problem.

Speaking of Sockgahzi, this happened today:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_06/sidney_throwing_his_voice056124.php#

One of the clowns was upset because he wasn't invited to drive the clown car.

Count's missing socks must be connected to the growing plague of internet sock-puppets.

You'll know that the Revolution has arrived when you start to see the graffiti "Who is Mary Rosh?"

These are a little a long in the tooth by today's internet-driven standards, but they seem in line with the stuff we tend to talk about here.

I'm almost afraid to invoke the term "political correctness," because it's used as a cudgel to shut down debate (ironically, by accusing people of trying to shut down debate), but that's what comes to mind, if in a modified version, when reading this and this, with the former coming in response to the latter.

I'm curious what others think about these, because the voices in my head haven't stopped arguing. I was an engineering student, and decades ago at that, so I don't have much direct experience with what these professors are describing.

When I went through college, PC really hadn't started yet, and certainly not at engineering colleges isolated in the frozen North. I kind of doubt that a faculty composed of veterans and Manhattan project alumni would have had any patience with it anyway.

Your former link sounds like somebody 'bravely' challenging the enemies of the majority culture at her institution. And thinking that they're doing something courageous. The sort of person who enables what the guy in the latter link fears.

Actually, the author of the first link (the second of the two chronologically) seems to be agreeing with the author of the other. To wit, that the culture of universities is becoming increasingly skewed towards never causing a student the slightest discomfort. A "culture of fear," if you will, amongst the faculty.

She readily admits that she has more freedom than many to fight the problem, thanks to having achieved tenure. And she says that she is fighting back against it. She doesn't claim any particular bravery . . . she just says that the problem needs to be, must be, fought. That the reaction of cowering down will not solve it.

In short, she doesn't deserve the scorn that Brett just heaped on her. If anything, she is on his side. I don't understand why he can't see that.

i appreciate the former's goals, and have no problem with challenging the notion in the US that the default, standard person is a white male.

but i completely sympathize with the latter (and with Seinfeld, for the same reason).

i know it makes me the worst kind of liberal to say it, but this hyper-crticial, self-righteous, feelings-centered policing of thought (whatever it is, that which we can't call "PC" anymore) really seems like the wrong way to go.

maybe this is the stuff that the next generations will look back on with eye-rolling and disgust: that older generations weren't willing to take into account the feelings of everyone in the world* before speaking.

* literally, thanks to the internet.

Lemme quote:

"It is worth asking, Who can most afford to teach in ways that are least likely to inspire controversy? Those who are not immediately hurt by dominant ideas. And what's the most dominant idea of them all? That the white, male, heterosexual perspective is neutral, but all other perspectives are biased and must be treated with skepticism."

IOW, she thinks the 'culture of fear' is driven by attacks on anybody but heteronormative whites. That's verging on delusional.

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