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2007 October 18 — Why Now?
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This is a start: Air Force To Fire Officers For Nuke Gaffe

(CBS/AP) Four Air Force officers are being relieved of duty after losing track of six nuclear-armed cruise missiles, which were flown on a B-52 bomber across the United States without anyone knowing it, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin.

In addition, more than 60 Air Force personnel have had their nuclear security clearances lifted, adds Martin.

Two Defense Department officials said earlier Thursday that the Air Force investigation found long-established procedures for handling the munitions were not followed and one official said it recommends that five or more officers be relieved of their duties.

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October 18, 2007   8 Comments

Good Bye (Mr.) SCHIP

By now you know that enough Repubs, including my own idiot Congresscritter, supported the Hedgemony rather than children and the effort to override the Shrubbery’s veto failed.

I’ve been saying, and people are generally taken back when I do, that SCHIP was important because children are plague carriers. They gather in groups and exchange germs. For example: Bacteria that killed Virginia teen found in other schools

NEW YORK (CNN) — Students at a high school in Virginia prepared Thursday for the funeral of a popular classmate, the victim of a deadly drug-resistant strain of bacteria that has turned up in schools across the country recently.

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October 18, 2007   13 Comments

Old Times

Juan Cole has a translation of an ITAR-TASS [Информационное Телеграфное Агентство России – Телеграфное Агентство Советского Союза / Information Telegraphic Agency of Russia – Telegraphic Agency of the Soviet Union / the state press office] piece: Putin & Ahmadinejad Pledge Cooperation.

These things are pure “boilerplate” – the same paragraphs with a few names swapped to reflect different leaders and different countries that I read in Pravda and Izvestia during the Cold War. They still reference TASS, because they are still filling in the blanks in standard Soviet era stories. You would think they would have hired some new writers or changed the script in the last forty years.

October 18, 2007   4 Comments

Biblical Plagues

Y’all recall Exodus 7:14 when the Nile turned to blood, well around here its called the red tide, an algal bloom that turns the emerald green waters the color of dried blood.

The October 16 update reports:

Water samples were collected early this week from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties in northwest Florida. High concentrations of Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, were detected near Pensacola Beach (Escambia County), Henderson Beach (Okaloosa County) and Dune Allen Beach (Walton County). Medium to low concentrations of K. brevis were also detected along portions of Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties. Reports of fish kills and respiratory irritation have been received from Escambia, Okaloosa and Bay counties.

Karenia brevis produces a wonderful little cocktail of neurotoxins that kill the fish and anything that eats them. It is also aggravates any respiratory problems, beyond the stench of the dead fish and birds.

Hopefully the heavy rain with break up the bloom and flush the bayou and bay.

October 18, 2007   2 Comments

Weather Report

The weather has been noisy this morning with thunderstorms coming ashore. The front generated a tornado in Pensacola that caused some damage, but the worst hit structure, a preschool had been evacuated before the tornado hit.

The guys at Weather Underground have added a new feature, a tornado map, to show where tornadoes have hit. It is an overlay on a Google map, so it should be intuitive if you use the Google map site.

It looks like this front is at least going to provide some rain to South Georgia, but probably not much to the areas that need it most.

October 18, 2007   2 Comments