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Total number of comments: 12 (since 2014-07-11 12:26:27)


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  • US admits it has no Idea who it is Assassinating by Drone
    • What are the alternatives?

      This is the reality that so many folks ignore when they complain about the drone program.

      "Official countries" are NOT the only entities that can and will attack the USA and when the countries that are "hosting " the belligerent entities will not do anything (Pakistan in this case) what is the USA supposed to do?

      Should the USA attack the "hoisting country?" We did that in Afghanistan and it didn't really solve the problem. In fact we have tried to do that in several countries (Somalia anyone?) and it has never turned out very good.

      How would a war on Pakistan help? Especially when they are a nuclear power (without ICBMS, thankfully).

      From a pure cost/benefit analysis, directly targeting the belligerent entities with a method that endangers the fewest Americans, is probably the best choice.

      Inserting Americans in any of the areas where the belligerent entities hide would quickly find the Americans being killed by both the belligerent entity and the "hosting " country.

      The belligerent entities are essentially "lawless bandits" and all throughout history "lawless bandits" have been killed on sight.

      If anyone can explain to me a "better " way to deal with "lawless bandits" please do so.

      Yes "innocent" people are going to die, BUT if the USA does nothing, "innocent" people will die, possibly in larger numbers.

      So, since we know there are non-state belligerent organizations, that some states are "hoisting" whether they want to or not, What is the best way to deal with them?

  • Israeli Supreme Court Upholds ‘Anti-Boycott Law’
    • Like all national laws, these laws are only effective inside Israel. As the world is learning with Iran, even these days, it is still insanely easy to set up front companies to facilitate smuggling and money laundering (which humans have been doing for thousands of years).

      Non-Israelis that want to boycott Israel can easily do so by setting up all sorts of legal fictions to protect any assets they might have in Israel.

      People that have tried to sue Argentina for defaulting on their bonds are discovering that there are lots of ways to make assets disappear such that any eventual judgement is worthless.

      This is the same as all the stupid laws the congress critter pass that do not have any meaning outside the USA.

      In the end , Israel is still going to suffer economic damage no matter what their "laws" are.

  • Floating wind turbine in the sky Can Power whole Villages
    • In the real world, a combination of cheap PV panels and a simple tower supported wind turbine coupled with simple rechargeable LED lighting would serve most small villages on earth very well for much lower cost.

      Just as we now have "cell in a box," some company should package a "local power station" in a a box."

      The "box" in both cases is simply a standard 40' shipping container with the appropriate equipment bolted into racks inside.

      BTW - the original cell network in Beijing was built by the multinationals using "cell in a box." "CIB" consists of fully functional cell sites in a single 40' container and a central control system and power plant in several containers. Plop the central control complex in some convenient place, but one cell site box next to it and then start putting cell site boxes all over the place. the cell site boxes are connected to the central control system with digital microwave. the digital microwave antennas and the cell site antennas are mounted on a standard ugly metal tower (remember that the places these are used don't have the NIMBY problems the USA has). If there is no "real" phone network in reasonable digital microwave distance, then the other "box" that is plopped down is a digital Sattcomm terminal (typically a 20' container with a built-in antenna).

      Since there is a global transport infrastructure for shipping containers, putting "turnkey" stuff in them is a great idea.

  • Australia's new Super Solar Cells Double Efficiency
    • My point is that China is using proven technology and driving the costs as low as possible through massive production capacity. If I remember correctly, Solyndra's roof load was not that much less than the newer lighter PV panels.

      As I noted, I have seen this "pie in the sky" stuff far too many times in my long career in high-tech. One of the most painful lessons I had to learn as a real world engineer is that often "good enough" is very much what the market is OK with. I remember some real ugly product meetings where we threw out many "nice" features (some that I had invented) because it was obvious the cost of the features would not get us more sales or higher profit, just increase our costs for no benefit. Customers would take whatever we would give them for free, but did not value most of the stuff we considered, enough to choose our products over cheaper, more generic products. This is the brutality of the market that few academics understand when they pridefully display their lab toys.

      In the real world, inexpensive stuff that works well enough is the winner.

  • Iran Deal: Michele Bachmann Psyched For Judgment Day
    • They are NOT going to like the result because they will suffer the same deaths and destruction as every other human with no "afterlife reward."

  • UN General Assembly Demands Israel Mothball its Nuclear Arsenal
    • For a country to attack another country with nuclear weapons requires TWO things:

      - A functioning nuclear weapon.

      - The ability to deliver that weapon to the place you want to destroy.

      Saudi Arabia has medium missiles with a range of 1000 to 1500 miles, so while it can attack most of the middle east, it has no capability to attack the US.

      ICBMs must have a MINIMUM range of 3500 miles, with most having a range of over 6000 miles. Currently the US, Russia, China, India and Israel have ICBM capability (which begs the question: "who does Israel want to nuke in that 6500 mile radius from Israel?"

      Note that While Pakistan has nuclear weapons, they are no direct threat to Israel or the Mideast because they lack delivery capability. The maximum range of the best Pakistani missile is 1500 miles.

      Given the reality of technology dispersion, it is very doubtful Israel will be able to maintain its monopoly on nuclear weapons (in fact, my working assumption is they have already lost it and they are pretty sure of it - they are just paranoid about the wrong country).

    • There are several differences between the bombs on Japan and what could happen today.

      - The japan bombs were very small by today's standards. The newer bombs create far more destruction, further from the epicenter.

      - Japan at the time was not as densely populated and the structures had lower volume of material.

      The major difference is how much particle material gets thrown into the upper atmosphere now. Not only do the bigger bombs put more dust higher initially, but the resulting fire storms put even more particle material in the high atmosphere.

      So while radiation would contaminate most of the northern hemisphere's food sources within two weeks, the biggest problem is all the particle matter in the high atmosphere that blocks the sun's energy.

      Note that there are numerous examples of particle matter in the high atmosphere creating very long winter conditions. What the models show is, under certain conditions, as few as five densely populated cities getting nuked could put enough junk into the upper atmosphere to cause nuclear winter. Note that it may actually take a few additional cities, but based on man's behavior over the last 50000 years I do not think that once things started, humans would find a way to make sure enough cities were destroyed to ensure nuclear winter.

      As for radiation contaminating food supplies, we also have very ample evidence of that. For example, the US open air tests in Nevada contaminated food across the US west and Midwest. One of the reason the US (and other countries) moved initially to test in mid ocean, then later to tests deep underground is the food contamination that come along with open air tests.. Because the global winds go from west to east, eventually any radioactive dust would end up in the US food supply

      No one is going to nuke Israel because humans in control of such devices are not suicidal.

      While the IDF can (and will eventually) be defeated, again I do not think the people in control will use the nukes. Keep in mind that if the war is going bad, most Israelis will simply flee from Israel and eventually the IDF will surrender, just like all armies. Killing a lot of innocent Muslims would just ensure that every Jew on earth would become a target and at that point in time, most of the Jews would NOT be in the ME, but spread throughout the world.

      I really do not subscribe to the "crazy Jew" or "crazy Muslim" meme

  • After its Failed Gaza Campaign, What next for Israel?
    • @robyn - Gaza is so physically small that Israel can easily tap all the gas off the coast with wells drilled from Israel using modern drilling techniques. Sure it would be "stealing" the gas, but there is no court of jurisdiction that can say for sure either way. Who can say whether the gas Israel will be using came from off the Israelis coast or the Gaza coast.

      Then again, the gas is estimated and may not actually exist in the quantities that are advertised. Note also that Israel will need to use most of the gas internally because its other sources of energy are iffy at best, so Israel will not be making any money from exports. Also there is the "slight" problem that even if most of the gas thought to be there is actually there, it will only supply Israel's needs for less than five years.

      So the bottom line is Israel will steal it anyway, but they may not be able to steal all that much.

      Israelis really did screw up by invading the wrong part of the ME - the part with no natural resources or water.

  • Unlike Iraq, Iran, Libya, N. Korea, Israel has Impunity from Defying UNSC (Gaza Ceasefire)
    • It only takes 34 votes in the Senate to stop Impeachment (what the house does is actually pretty meaningless under Constitution - it is essentially a grand jury request to try the suspect).

    • I don't think most Israelis are any more interested in committing suicide than any other humans and non-Israeli Jews are definitely not suicidal, although if a group of extremely insane Israelis actually did try the Samson Option, EVERY Jewish human left alive would probably pay a heavy price leading to the end of the Jewish culture..

      Threatening to nuke a substantial part humanity is definitely a sign of insanity and the rest of the world should ensure that Israel is completely disarmed.

      It would not require military power, but basic economic weapons because Israel is not self sufficient in either energy nor food. I suspect that if the sane Israelis started going hungry, the weapons would be turned over fairly quickly, just like Syria decided to turn over their chemical weapons.

      Other than a miniscule number of humans, all humans want to live as long as possible, even when their dreams die..

  • Stop Saying 'If X fired Rockets at U.S.': It's Racist, & assumes we're Colonial
    • Ask just about any American what they would do if the USA was invaded by group X and they would tell you things like this:

      - Go to Walmart to get all the components for IEDs

      - Make sure thy had plenty of ammo

      - Ree arch how to make Qassam rockets.

      From that point on, the invaders would be resisted with every "dirty trick" the Americans could think up. Americans are very vocal about what they would do to invaders, but can't understand why the Arabs treat the people that have invaded their land the SAME as Americans would treat invaders.

      In fact some of the "hit and run" techniques the Arabs use were invented by the American colonists in the 1700s.

  • ABC News' Diane Sawyer Mistakes Stricken Palestinians for Israelis
    • BTW - Each "Rust Dome" battery has ONLY 60 missiles and there are only five "rust Dome" batteries in the entire country. From the photos I have seen, it appears that there is no way to re-load a fired tube on a "rust Dome" launcher in the field (factory load only), so once the 60 missiles are fired, the battery is dead until the three launchers per battery are replaced (a minimum several hour job - the radar and control systems are re-used). The Arabs have figured out that if they overload a "rust dome" battery, some of their missiles will get through just fine. This appears to be similar to the "swarm" technique Iran uses to overpower US ship defenses.

      If you take the IDF at their word that there are more than 50,000 missiles pointed at Israel and are generous with the anti-missile details (they actually fail more than claimed), then overt 45000 missiles are going to get through to Israel just fine.

      In reality, all the Arabs have to do is keep Israel bottled up for a few months and Israel will be on its knees from economic starvation (and some actual food starvation).

      As the US learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, sending troops to fight build to building gets a lot of soldiers killed from IEDs and ambushes.

      As the US colonist learned over 200 years ago, making a war too costly for the other side (dead canon fodder and real cash), causes the other side to give up. I the Arabs are willing to take the losses, Israel can only lose.

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