Wednesday, December 16, 2015

GOP: Make the desert sands glow in the dark

For some Republican presidential candidates ISIS is a problem we can bomb away.
Sound familiar?
“Bomb them back to the Stone Age.”
U.S. commanders did their best to do that in Vietnam.
“By the end of the war, 7 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia - more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War II,” according to a book on the war,
Sen. Ted Cruz has suggested considering nuclear attacks that would make “sand glow in the dark.”
For a world still dependent on fossil fuels what could that mean?
We only have to go to Colorado to still one possible result.
“Project Rulison, named after the rural community of Rulison, Colorado, was a 40-kiloton nuclear test project in the United States on September 10, 1969, about 13 kilometres (8 mi) SE of the town of Grand Valley, Colorado (now named Parachute, Colorado) near western Colorado's Grand Valley in Garfield County. The location of "Surface Ground Zero" is39°24′19.0″N 107°56′54.7″W.
“It was part of the Operation Mandrel weapons test series under the name Mandrel Rulison, as well as the Operation Plowshare project which explored peaceful engineering uses of nuclear explosions. The peaceful aim of Project Rulison was to determine if natural gas could be easily liberated from underground regions.
“The test succeeded in liberating large quantities of natural gas however the resulting radioactivity left the gas contaminated and unsuitable for applications such as cooking and heating homes. Although projected public radiation exposures from commercial use of stimulated gas had been reduced to less than 1% of background, it became clear in the early 1970s that public acceptance within the U.S. of any product containing radioactivity, no matter how minimal, was difficult if not impossible.[1] The Department of Energy began a cleanup of the site in the 1970s which was completed in 1998. A buffer zone put in place by the state of Colorado still exists around the site.”
Operation Plowshare
During the Republican presidential debate this week several candidates made it clear they weren’t worried about killing civilians in order to destroy ISIS.
How would the American people feel about paying high gasoline prices again. It might benefit Vladimir Putin.
Some environmentalists might think it is what is needed to move to other energy sources.
What irony. The Republicans, constant opponents of climate change science, might force a change.

Even if none of them cares about what it would mean to Arab countries, it is unlikely the oil companies that have backed them for so many years would be pleased.

Monday, December 7, 2015

First crack in 2nd amendment

It was widely agreed within minutes of the two latest gun massacres that they would change nothing in the gun debate.
But on Monday the U.S. Supreme effectively reversed earlier rulings and allowed an Illinois law banning semi-automatic weapons.
Obviously the court was reacting to shootings in the past two weeks. Instead it means it was studying them even before the latest blood.
The way it was done, by refusing to hear a court appeal, limited what the court said about the matter.
Gun rights’ supporter Clarence Thomas said the decision amounted relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”
Thomas claimed the overwhelming majority of automatic gun owners  Thomas used them lawfully.
The 7th Court in Illinois said only nine That means banning these rifles would not interfere with the rights of gun owners.
In other words, as with many constitutional amendments, they are not without limit.
Thirty-nine states allow the sale of these guns. Caifornia, one which disapproves them, fears killers can enter into another state and buy the guns.
The new decision may encourage to find more cracks.
The gun lobby is already losing another battle: the word war.
Media has been referring to assault style rifles as long rifles, a term meant to describe an old-fashioned Kentucky rifle. It was feared calling them assault rifles would be seen as prejudiced.
Change may be on the way.
Politico reported: "Four times between 1876 and 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule that the Second Amendment protected individual gun ownership outside the context of a militia."
It said the 2nd amendment was one of a total of 17 introduced by James Madison. What happened to the other ones.