Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sunday's Collection of Outstanding Posts

Chock-full of intellectual goodness (hat tip: Larwyn)...

1) Confederate Yankee's Global Warming: The Un-Science of Fear:

...Approximately 99.72% of the "greenhouse effect" is due to natural causes -- mostly water vapor and traces of other gases, which we can do nothing at all about. Eliminating human activity altogether would have little impact on climate change.

The simple fact of the matter is that global warming began 18,000 years ago as we started leaving the Pleistocene Ice Age. We are currently on the tail end of a 20,000-year interglacial period, and do you know what that means? ...

2) Michael Yon's The Hands of God:

He was dressed as a woman as he walked down the alley toward the mosque full of worshippers. It was Friday, just before Ashura, and the air was chilled.

The bomb strapped to his body was studded with ball-bearings so that he could kill more villagers as they gathered for prayer. The detonation would eviscerate and dismember those closest, shattering bones into fragments, but the ball-bearings would ensure lethality beyond the percussive edge of the blast wave, ripping through the flesh of people who might not have been knocked down by the explosion.

There were no soldiers in his path to stop him; no police to alert to the man in women’s clothes. There were only villagers. The man dressed as a woman was to be the agent of their deaths...

3) Citizen Warrior's The Case of the Purloined NSC Documents:

Mrs. Hudson had only just cleared away the remains of a fast-food luncheon she had brought us from 'round the corner, when my esteemed colleague startled me with a question. "Watson, pray can you tell this humble student of the misdeeds of men, what so perplexes you in the incident of Mr. Sandy Berger?"

Having observed the great Sherlock Holmes for several lifetimes now, I am no stranger to his powers. But I can scarcely describe my amazement at having my thoughts read as clearly as if they were tattooed upon my forehead! I stammered out "But Holmes, how on Earth could you possibly know that bit of nastiness was indeed the subject of my private thoughts?!"

...I had indeed been ruminating on the actions of the now-disgraced (if insufficiently so) former National Security Advisor. So I was relieved to share with Holmes the exact question that puzzled me. "Yes, indeed you have, but can you now tell me how on Earth could that rascal Berger practically beat this rap altogether? Had he not at a minimum demonstrably lied to Federal investigators, the heinous crime for which the hapless Ms. Stewart did time, and for which the long-suffering Mr. Libby may yet? ...

4) Times Online's Iranian nuclear scientist ‘assassinated by Mossad’:

A PRIZE-WINNING Iranian nuclear scientist has died in mysterious circumstances, according to Radio Farda, which is funded by the US State Department and broadcasts to Iran.

An intelligence source suggested that Ardeshire Hassanpour, 44, a nuclear physicist, had been assassinated by Mossad, the Israeli security service.

...Rheva Bhalla of Stratfor, the US intelligence company, claimed on Friday that Hassanpour had been targeted by Mossad and that there was “very strong intelligence” to suggest that he had been assassinated by the Israelis, who have repeatedly threatened to prevent Iran acquiring the bomb...

5) Washington Times' China's Dire Prediction:

...Vertiginous double-digit yearly growth for the fourth consecutive year has put China on track to leapfrog Germany as the world's third-largest economy. Its foreign currency reserves are accumulating at the rate of $30 million per hour and recently topped the $1 trillion mark -- about 70 percent of that in U.S. paper. It is outspending Japan on technology R&D. China is preening with self-confidence.

As Ford posts a record $12.7 billion loss, China's "Chery" (which started with machines and engine technology purchased from Ford Europe for $25 million), in alliance with China's "Visionary Vehicles," is getting ready to invade the U.S. market with five different models in 2008, all designed by Pininfarina (known for Ferrari and Lamborghini designs). The Las Vegas Sands Casino, with 800 gaming tables, is now the world's largest -- not in Nevada but in Macau, China.

To offset America's enormous strategic military superiority, the Chinese military concluded in the 1990s that information warfare -- or cyberwarfare -- could give China an "asymmetric" advantage over the United States. In 1998, the PLA newspaper Jiefangjun Bao said priority should be given "to learning how to launch an electronic attack on an enemy... to ensure electromagnetic control in an area and at a time favorable to us..."

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