Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Twilight of the Bombs

Richard Rhodes last book is out. Here is a review in the LA Times by Tim Rutten. Here is one in the NY Times. Here is the conclusion from the Rutten review:

"...In the end, Rhodes' conclusion is that the only safety in a nuclear age is an age without nuclear weapons. How that entirely unreasonable aim can be achieved in an unreasonable world is a difficult proposition. Rhodes speaks to it with great eloquence in his conclusion, which is essentially that of W.H. Auden: "We must love one another or die."

I wish I were an optimist on this one.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What is Afghan for Ap Bac?

Sigh....why do I think I am reading Neal Sheehan's book all over again?

"...On January 3,1963, several American war correspondents approached General Paul D. Harkins to ask what he thought about the battle the 7th Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) Division had just fought at a village named Bac...They learned that the fighting had ended the day before, and that it had not been a success. 'It was a miserable…performance,' said the American adviser to the 7th Division, Lt. Col. John Paul Vann..."

KABUL, Afghanistan — "...An ambitious military operation that Afghan officials had expected to be a sign of their growing military capacity instead turned into an embarrassment, with Taliban fighters battering an Afghan battalion in a remote eastern area until NATO sent in French and American rescue teams..."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Four Deformations of the Apocalypse

Four Deformations of the Apocalypse

By David Stockman*, in the New York Times

"IF there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase..."

For a local version of this disaster that is unfolding, see Greg Kendall's latest op ed, posted in the Monitor and on the Los Alamos County Views.

* David Stockman, a director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, is working on a book about the financial crisis.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

While the Senat dithers, the algae burn...

This just in from VOA and Dalhousie University. Global warming now blamed for a precipitous drop in oceanic algae. And while the algae burn, the U.S. Senate dithers.

Rather than repeat a rant here, I'll direct you to the LA Bikes site for some comments.