(This post created using Google Docs.. cool webapp)
Some interesting happenings and events in the past few days.
Lets just run through a few:
Last Thursday, 4 US F-15s and 2 Canadian CF-18s “intercepted” a Russian “Bear” bomber, as it cruised close to Alaskan airspace. Not a serious or threatening incident, but one that is rare these days, and harkens back to the Cold War. Some nice snapshots were taken from one of the NORAD fighters, as is tradition.
So how significant is this whole Nuclear test by the North Koreans… well, if you’re US Press Secretary Tony Snow… Not Very.
When asked about the “massive event,” Snow shot back, “a massive event?” The reporter rephrased, “a big deal event…” and Snow responded, “a big-deal event?” Snow allowed “there was an event,” and added, “you could say the earth moved.”
Right… so what he’s doing is reducing this test down to a pissing match… fair enough. The Norks may not have actually detonated a full-on nuclear device. But if that is the case, is that going to change Bush’s response? “Oh… it didn’t work… oh well.. sorry Mr. Kim, we’ll rescind these sanctions post-haste“
Ya right. The fact is, the mere attempt by the Norks has proven that even if they don’t have the precise ability, they certainly have the intent and the rest is inevitable, so they’re defacto part of the “Club” and will be dealt with from now on as such. No amount of comparison of apparati will change that. Expect Iran to follow the same path. That Axis of Evil speech sure has done wonders eh!
Changing gears… have some lingering guilt whenever you throw half your sandwidch that you, or your spouse, spent 20 minutes preparing for your lunch? Never fear, the worms are here… to eat it up for you. Too Cool, and only in California. Great way to get people into composting, which is a huge way of reducing overall waste in our society. Of course, it’d be even nicer of some of the more substantial leftovers went to foodbanks and the homeless/poor or something… but worms are way less work.
Want the Midas Touch? Dive into a volcano and you will have gold within 55,000 years? Too long, what do you care? You’d be deep fried. But in the grand scheme you’d become part of the quickest mechanism for creating the worlds most precious element. (All of the gold mined in history can fit in a cube with 72ft sides… wow).
Oh, getting back to that North Korea thing… it’s all the Intelligence Communities fault, AGAIN. Those poor blokes at the CIA just can’t catch a break, or grab a clue… and as such, they’re the perfect scapegoat for a US Administration bent solely on insisting it’s always right. Nevermind the fact that the CIA specifically said they simply weren’t sure whether the Norks could pull a test like this off at all… much less in this timeframe… and the question still stands even now whether they really did succeed. So what exactly did they get wrong. It’s not like Iraq, where they tried to convince the US Administration that Saddam had nukes pointed at Israel. Oh, wait, they said the same thing about Iraq as they did about the North Korea… not sure… bad data… don’t commit… hmm… lotta good that did.
Lets change gears again… The Fed says the US Housing Market is definitely slowing down. Yep, the bubble is fizzling… lets hope for a soft landing. It’s somewhat similar North of the 49 as well… though in my little neck of the woods, prices are still rising at 20-30% year-on-year in August. Ontario and Quebec and other places, though are slowing, and Vancouver is definitely peaking. God. Finally. Don’t move to Calgary or Edmonton… it’s still a zoo, and the further North you go… the scarier, and smellier, it gets. But hey, Stephen says Air Pollution is our number one concern… we just don’t know exactly when, or what, or even if he’s going to make any changes that will actually make things better.
And finally… Iraq.
It looks like the British Military has finally rediscovered it’s former very British trait of being Realistic Pragmatists. I have always had that view of the British Military for some reason, and Brits in general. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because of some movie I watched.. or just how Brits are always depicted as that “stiff-upper-lip” type or whatever. I dunno…
I’ll let Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt take us out his words ring true for our own Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan as well:
“The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro-West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East.
[we should] get ourselves out sometime soon because our presence exacerbates the security problems…
I don’t say that the difficulties we are experiencing around the world are caused by our presence in Iraq, but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them.
“That was the hope. Whether that was a sensible or naïve hope, history will judge. I don’t think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition. Iraq may be an unpopular war now and Afghanistan may be a misunderstood war but the soldiers, sailors and airmen who are conducting those operations are doing their duty to their best ability….
When my son was deployed he got into some quite hairy situations. “I was a dad as well as being Commander in Chief. I am still a dad as well as being Chief of the General Staff. I wouldn’t send an Army where I wouldn’t send my own child.