Wait: it's weak but it can kick our collective ass? I thought "weak" meant the opposite of that. As in "not-strong".
The article is full of the usual liberal BS about the Bush administration and it starts from there, which is why it's pretty much worthless as commentary or analysis.
The fact is, right now we could make a lot more trouble for Iran than Iran can make for us. I wish we would act now--right now--and stop them from developing a freaking nuclear weapon before they find a way to EMP-burst our entire freaking economy into the toilet.
Iran wouldn't have to take out a single US city. In fact, it could protest innocence--"we didn't mean to do that"--and the UN would cheerfully nod along with that BS. Because all Iran would have to do is set off a nuclear warhead a few miles above the eastern seaboard of the United States, and our entire country would grind to a shuddering halt faster than you could say "abacus operator wanted, experience preferred".
It wouldn't even have to be a particularly powerful nuclear warhead, either. A single-stage plutonium bomb would probably do it. 20 kilotons or so. 'Cause with EMP you're not trying to destroy buildings and people and roads; you're trying to fry electronics...and an EMP burst high enough over New York City would fry Ipods all the way to Tuscaloosa. And when I say "fry", I mean it: they'd be completely and permanently bricked.
Not to mention every other device which relies on integrated circuits:
Every car or truck manufactured after 1990.
Every CD player.
Every microwave oven.
Every entertainment system.
Every video game.
Every DVD player.
Every MP3 player.
Every cash register.
Every server farm.
Every TV station.
Every radio station.
Every cellular telephone.
Every cellular telephone node.
Every GPS receiver. (Except those owned by the military.)
Every power line.
...and I'd bet a lot of the telephone system, too; since the Cold War ended in 1992 I have no idea how much EMP resistance the modern telephone system has built into it, but I would hazard a guess that it's not hardened like it was in the 1980s. Everything on that list would not work at all because the circuitry would be fried--burned out. In the case of cars it'd mean replacing computer modules; in every other case, it would mean replacing the entire damned thing.
Obviously, in the case of banks, just the computers would be dead...but do you know how much banking is done via computer? Take away the computers and you no longer have a bank; you've got a building with a vault in it. The employees can't do anything without their computers. They can't even cash a check because all the account data is kept on computers. On hard drives. Which would be wiped clean by the EMP. Not that it would matter, because the drive electronics would be ruined by the EMP. (Also the computer motherboard. CPU, memory, support chips, etc, etc would be so much scrap.)
The power would go out, the transit systems would all stop, the cars wouldn't work. People would begin starving within days; riots would erupt quickly. A single EMP burst is not that hard to manage and--properly located--an attack like that would make 9/11 look like a birthday party.
We basically have two choices: stop Tehran now or wait until they can do this to us. Do you think they'll hesitate to do it to us? When "Destroy the great satan" is part of their national freaking policy?
But the writer of the article: oh, we all know George Bush has a distressing tendency to fight pre-emptive wars on dubious evidence, that stupid evil moron-genius cowboy Jesus-loving hick!
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Higher minimum wage leads to unemployment. We try to tell you folks this every time you want to increase the minimum wage, and you never believe us; and then the statistics back us up every damn time.
...but the only people who are really effected by this unemployment is teenagers and college kids, anyway, because the liberal myth of the "family of four living on minimum wage" is just that--a myth, a shibboleth raised to get the support of soccer moms.
Sucks to be a kid who wants to save up for a subwoofer for his Civic, but the softening economy is tough on everyone.
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NASA sez sunspot activity is "normal". Problem is, NASA is the only one saying that. (Besides its offical definition, the NASA acryonym stands for "Never A Straight Answer". For proof, see "James Hansen".) A bunch of other solar scientists are saying, "WTF, this isn't right!"
The article mentions the minimum between cycle 17 and cycle 17--in 1933--as "typical" and says that we have to go another "...206 spotless days before it matches the duration of the 1933 minimum, which is considered unremarkable by solar historians."
If the 1933 minimum is "unremarkable", why did he pick that one? Why not the minimum between cycle 22 and 23? Because while the 1933 minimum is "unremarkable", it was a long-duration minimum. (Wasn't it rather chilly in the 1930s? Notice that most of the 0.6° warming of the 20th century occurred before 1940.)
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Learn how to change your own oil! If you must have someone do it for you, check everything afterwards and check for leaks for the next couple of days.
An oil change qualifies as "critical maintenance". If the oil filter gasket stays on the car, and the moron at the store misses that, you're going to lose all your oil. If the drain plug isn't tightened, you're going to lose all your oil.
But I have to agree with one commentor: what about the oil pressure warning light?
People drive their cars and don't know anything about them--and this kind of thing is the result. Jesus.
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Dr. Paul Zachary Myers is a sad, sad man. ("Sad" meaning "pathetic".) Here is this post on Catholic and Loving It in its entirety:
PZ Myers Really is a Sick PuppyTo be honest, I can't summarize the story any better than this person did. It's perfect.
I wonder how long the University of Minnesota will continue to subsidize a guy who is supposed to be teaching science but who has somehow made it his life's mission to go around slapping total strangers in the face in demented rage at somebody he insists is not even there.
The guy's a bag lady screaming at the traffic--on the Minnesota taxpayer's dime. Tell me again what the hell any of this has to do with science?
Once again we see an atheist go after a soft target. Let's see Dr. "Bag Lady" Myers do an Ofili-style painting of Mohammed and see how the Muslims take it; there'd be a fatwa on his head faster than you could say "dung-smeared". But Christians--true Christians--won't try to kill him or anything because they know what'll happen to Dr. Meyers when he comes face-to-face with God. As he will, sooner or later, because no one lives forever.
Myers' plan to desecrate the Host is not going to hurt anyone but himself--it's not going to hurt Catholics, nor the Pope, nor even Christ Himself. Heck, read the entirety of the Anchoress' posting to learn why. Meyers is pathetic in his adolescence.
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Way to go, asshat: make a pointless and stupid stand over a non-issue. Moron didn't like Jesse Helms, so he refused to let his staff fly the flag at half-mast. His boss told him "you'd better do it!" and he refused, and ended up having to retire.
After he retired, his staff put the flag at half-mast to honor Jesse Helms.
Congratulations, moron: you did something utterly pointless for the sake of your pride as a Democrat. You quit a job that paid you $65,000 per year to do it. Now you're 51 and unemployed. Good luck getting another job, dickhead.
Another job that doesn't involve french fries, that is.
* * *
This is an example of why I--probably to the man's chagrin if he knew and cared what Ed Hering thinks--have Fred on Everything under my "Right Stuff" link directory. His rants about war are pretty stock-standard Vietnam-era hippie guck, but this kind of stuff is dead-on. Dang is it a good read.
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I came about this > < close to starting work on Chicory last night. I'm not sure what stopped me. Maybe later.
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Gas is over $4 per gallon. It will continue to be that expensive.
Be sure you thank Democrats and thank environmentalists for this.