Friday, October 19, 2012

The Alfred E. Neuman "What Me Worry?" Dinner

Yippie, a funny dinner thingy ... are we there yet?
The British and citizens of the U.S. have complained about the lack of debate and discussion by presidential candidates on the serious issues of the day.

Regular readers know that Dredd Blog System has recently covered these issues and Dredd Blog has covered them for years (e.g. The Most Dangerous Moment in Recorded History, The Extinction Clock Nears Midnight- 2, Change Is Not An Option - It Is A Must, and The Elections of Pontius Pilots - 3).

In those posts we mentioned the dearth of discourse on these survival subjects, these subjects upon which the well being of civilization around the world today depends upon.

The politicians have a philosophy of avoiding those serious subjects, electing instead to not talk about them, therefore leaving the public out of the discussions that reveal the dangers civilization faces.

Yucking it up with the Plutocrats seems to be the preferred after hours activity, so here are videos of both candidates facing the greatest problems of their day.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Super Bugs and the Advent of the Bullsheviks - 2

Last year on this date Dredd Blog was looking at the Occupy Wall Street movement.

We were also looking at what "inspired" it.

The political system continues to give us etch a sketch and connect the dots politicians.

Suicide rates in the U.S. civilian and military population continue to go up.

Pollution continues unabated.

Drill baby drill is the sentiment of officialdom, as political conventions and debates are still seemingly done from old Walt Disney Mickey Mouse scripts.

Here is the text of that 2011 post:

The blogosphere has been feverishly covering the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) public demonstrations for as long as they have been happening.

The OWS phenomenon has generated some debate, which is leading to a perplexing news storm, where even the main stream media (MSM) is beginning to realize that bull is the currency of the new political revolution, the Bullshevik revolution.

That U.S. Bullshevik Revolution (not Bolshevik) is the one which has created the 1% wealthy elite of the U.S. plutonomy.

In reaction to that Bullshevic Revolution, OWS has begun to express the views and the voice of the 99% counterrevolution.

Those taking part in OWS have spoken up everywhere around the nation, so they are finally being talked about often now in the MSM.

Meanwhile, a presidential election looms on the horizon.

The New York Times (NYT) published an article yesterday concerning foreign policy and national security, in the context of the views of Republican Party candidates running for president.

In that article the NYT, in some degree, seems to have recanted to distance itself from its previous opinion:
"For a while, we were concerned that the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination were not saying much about national security and foreign affairs. Now that a few have started, maybe they were better off before."
(Republicans and Foreign Policy, NYT). The republicans have tended to denounce OWS because the republicans are the party of the 1% elite ("This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." - Bush II).

That NYT article wasn't the end of the matter, in fact, the NYT has some formidable competition from a Politico writer, someone not known to hold back his words:
“When they ask me, ‘Who is President of UBEKI-beki-beki-becki-stan, stan, I am going to say ‘Do you know?’”

The fact that Citizen Cain takes great pride in his ignorance of global affairs is understandably unnerving to American voters in this unstable age. But on the small stage on which Mr. Cain now finds himself, the Godfather’s Pizza CEO fits with these vapid times as much as James Dean did with his in the 1950s classic, “Rebel Without a Cause.” Sadly, Cain and his fellow cast members are little more than rebels without a clue. That reality is a dismal curtain call for the Republican party and the country it hopes to run.

Compared with the GOP’s field of reality stars, George W. Bush looks like Brando, Paul Ryan is as attractive as Robert Redford, and Chris Christie is Brad Pitt. So much for an audition process that leaves the audience, once again, aching for more.
(The Reality Show Facing GOP Voters, Scarborough). As you regular readers know, Dredd Blog does not have a favorite political party or a favorite political candidate, so we spread the criticism among those who IMO deserve it.

We suggested the best republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election way back in 2010 with the post "Obama: The Republican Candidate in 2012?".

Today more and more folks are agreeing with that notion, urging that a democrat should also run in the 2012 presidential election, while clamoring for a democratic primary where someone challenges Obama and the "other republicans".

This is especially so after Obama, while talking cooperation with republicans for the first two years of his presidency while the Democratic Party controlled the House and Senate, never mentioned jobs as he polarized the political landscape with the health care debate over legislation that drove republicans up the wall when it eventually became law.

Recently he inexplicably dropped a major chunk of that health care legislation, CLASS, without the populace even knowing about it beforehand, and after having fought tooth and nail for it instead of fighting for jobs.

What kind of domestic policy is that: fight for health care reform, not for jobs, then after passing that health care law, drop it from existence then start debating a jobs bill?

In a similar vein, a lot of other serious bugs, such as the staff monster, are going around, which seems like a microcosm or allegory for some other kind of germ infecting these "crazy" war induced politics of the past decade.

So, Dredd Blog must now bring up not only the science fiction theory of the U.S. government of this time, but Dredd Blog must also bring up the hard science theory of U.S. government as well.

Pathogens (germs) follow a certain behavioral path, and that path for The United States has been the path we call The W Direction, an alien direction IMO.

It is food for thought anyway.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How Fifth Graders Calculate Ice Volume

What is the difference between ice "extent" compared with ice "volume"?

One has to do with how much surface area an ice sheet covers, the other has to do with how much ice volume there is in that ice sheet.

Be sure to notice and remember that when you read opinions about whether or not the amount of ice at the Earth's poles is decreasing or increasing, because one of those words used to describe it means "area", but the other means "volume."

The difference between the two concepts could not be greater when one is attempting to determine whether the amount of ice at the Earth's poles is increasing or decreasing.

In other words, if you wanted to know how much water would end up in the oceans if the polar ice melts, would you use formulas to calculate "area" or would you use formulas to calculate "volume" of the ice sheet?

With "extent", i.e. "area", the result of that formula is expressed in square miles, but the result of the volume formula is expressed in cubic miles.

A 2 inch ice cube in the 2 inch deep ice tray of your refrigerator is illustrative; if you want to calculate the extent or area of that ice cube (length x width) it is 2 inches x 2 inches, which equals the "extent" or "area" of 4 square inches.

But you can't figure out how much water there will be if the ice melts until you know if the ice goes to the top of the tray, or is only half way to the top; half full (the length and width are both still 2 inches in either case).

We can illustrate this by calculating the full volume (length x width x height) expressed as 2 inches x 2 inches x 2 inches which is a volume of 8 cubic inches; and we can illustrate this further by calculating half full, 2 inches x 2 inches x 1 inch, which is a volume of only 4 cubic inches.

With polar ice calculations we use the same formulas, except that the resulting numbers are expressed in miles not in inches.

Like the ice cube tray, the same ice sheet in terms of number of square miles when the ice is as thin as a piece of paper, compared to that number of square miles of ice sheet when it is a mile thick, would be radically different in terms of cubic miles, in terms of ice volume.

Volume tells how much ice there is, and therefore how much water there would be if it melts, whereas, extent does not give us the numbers we must have in order to calculate how much ice there is to melt into water.

A myth being used by deniers uses Antarctic ice extent to falsely say that Antarctic ice volume is increasing, which is false because it is impossible to determine volume using the formula for area, for extent, because when calculating area/extent one does not need to consider the thickness of the ice sheets.

When competent scientists determined that in fact Antarctic ice volume has been decreasing for some time, they speak in terms of thickness of the ice sheet when they are calculating the volume or amount of ice:
To map the changing thickness of almost all the floating ice shelves around Antarctica, the team used a time series of 4.5 million surface height measurements taken by a laser instrument mounted on ICESat from October 2003 to October 2008. They measured how the ice shelf height changed over time ...
(NASA, emphasis added). Remember that volume is length x width x height (thickness), but also remember that extent or area is only length x width.

Elementary kids ("do you know as much as a fifth grader") know this, but deniers either do not know it, or if they do then they are trying to deceive us:
Within just a few days in September, Arctic sea ice extent reached the lowest minimum ever recorded by satellites since 1979, while at the same time, Antarctic sea ice reached the greatest extent ever recorded.
(Tucson Citizen, emphasis added; see also this). These guys in the desert are trying to tell us that a low extent in the Arctic as well as a high extent in the Antarctic inform us of the volume, i.e. the amount of ice at both locations.

Neither calculation based on extent alone can tell us about how much ice is involved at either pole, they can only tell us how much extent, how much of an area the ice covers.

If the Arctic ice extent is decreasing, that fact alone can not determine whether the volume of ice at that pole is also decreasing; because the thickness, i.e. the height of the ice must be also known to determine the volume numbers, the amount of ice.

By the same token, if the Antarctic ice extent is increasing, that alone can not determine whether the volume of ice at that pole is increasing; the thickness, the height of the ice must also be known to determine the volume numbers, the actual quantity of ice there ("The consensus says that as a whole the Antarctic ice sheet is melting").

It would be just as accurate for the desert boyz to calculate how many truck loads, using a 10 feet wide x 20 feet long truck bed, would be required to haul off all the snow that fell on a hay field 100 feet wide by 200 feet long.

Merely calculating that the extent of snow on the field is 20,000 sq. ft. (100 x 200), without also determining how many inches (height, thickness) of snow fell on that hay field, can not determine how many truck loads it will take to do the job of hauling that snow off.

Likewise, competent fifth graders and competent scientists have to consider the height, the thickness of the polar ice sheets to determine the non-play pretend values of actual ice sheet quantity involved.

Desert dwellers from Tucson should leave the volume of polar ice sheet calculations, in both the Arctic and Antarctic, to those competent scientists who spend a lot of time there on the ground studying the two ice sheets, as well as using sophisticated satellites to measure both extent AND height / thickness changes so as to determine the volume / amount of ice at each pole at any given time.

The next post in this series is here.

"He say one and one and one is three ..."


Monday, October 15, 2012

The Most Dangerous Moment in Recorded History

Hiroshima & Nagasaki Were Political Shows
It has happened already, will happen again, but there is no way to know if it will work out well the next time.

It wasn't the K-T Boundary extinction event that destroyed the dinosaurs along with about 90% of land species, and 50% of marine species some 65 million years ago, rather it was a time when all the nuclear weapons of The U.S.S.R. and The United States were locked, loaded and aimed at hundreds of millions of men, women, and children.

The release of papers from Robert F. Kennedy shed new light on a time when we came much, much closer to nuclear Armageddon than generally believed:
Fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis, many people find it hard to believe that the confrontation could have pushed the US and Soviet Union to nuclear war. Robert F. Kennedy’s newly released papers remind us why this was the most dangerous moment in recorded history.
...

“My fellow Americans, with a heavy heart, and in necessary fulfillment of my oath of office, I have ordered – and the United States Air Force has now carried out – military operations with conventional weapons only, to remove a major nuclear weapons build-up from the soil of Cuba.”

These are the words President Kennedy almost delivered in October 1962 announcing what could have been World War III. This draft speech is among several thousand drafts, letters, and handwritten notes from Robert F. Kennedy’s personal files that have just last week been opened at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

Robert Kennedy’s writings make vivid how close we came to the brink of war. Had President Kennedy been forced to choose a response in the first 48 hours after an American spy plane discovered the Soviets sneaking nuclear-tipped missiles into Cuba, RFK had no doubt that his brother would have chosen an air strike against the missile sites, followed by an invasion. As he wrote in his notes while discussing this option, “if we go in, we go in hard.”

Had the United States launched an airstrike and invaded Cuba, the Soviet commander on the scene would almost certainly have responded with about 100 tactical nuclear weapons under his control – tactical nuclear weapons JFK did not even know were on the island. The US would have felt compelled to respond in kind triggering an escalation to nuclear Armageddon. As RFK later recalled, the Executive Committee of the National Security Council advising JFK during the crisis was full of “bright, able dedicated people, all of whom had the greatest affection for the US, [but] if six of them had been President ... the world might have been blown up”.
(Christian Science Monitor, emphasis added). The U.S. President did not even know all the facts and circumstances about the danger that was getting closer and closer to the people of the entire world, so he had to make ultimate decisions without ultimate information.

These papers of Robert F. Kennedy have been hidden from general public view, along with the truth of that time, for about fifty years.

That sort of information and secrecy is also true of WW II considerations that concerned ending the war with Japan:
Atomic Weapons Were Not Needed to End the War or Save Lives

Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives.

But most of the top American military officials at the time said otherwise. [has many citations]
(Washington's Blog). Some officials like to imagine away some of the realities that were talked about during "The Cold War", and every other "reality" for that matter:
Government Reality Makers
''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths, quoting Karl Rove). But the only reality that counts, in this context, is the reality that applies to all of us and still endangers us, with even more danger than it did those ~50 years ago:
An expert assessment of China's nuclear weapons strategy highlights the risk of escalation to nuclear war from a conflict beginning with conventional weapons, due to the unusual structure of the nation's military.
...

The possibility of combining or sequentially launching conventional and nuclear missiles is deemed a fundamental source of political and military strength – but also generates critical uncertainties:
"The basic dilemma for the war planners stems from the deployment of the two types of missiles on the same Second Artillery bases with fundamentally different capabilities and purposes," Lewis and Xue say.

The article notes that Beijing's nuclear missiles exist to deter a nuclear first strike on China, and are only to be used in extremis. At the same time, the conventional weapons on the formerly all-nuclear bases must be ready to strike first and hard. Targeted enemies and their allies will not immediately be able to distinguish whether any missiles fired are conventional or nuclear.

This means that those enemies may justifiably launch on warning and retaliate against all the command-and-control systems and missile assets of the Chinese missile launch base and even the overall command-and-control system of the central Second Artillery headquarters.
"It could happen ..."
In the worst case, a self-defensive first strike by Chinese conventional missiles could end in the retaliatory destruction of many Chinese nuclear missiles and their related command-and-control systems.

"That disastrous outcome would force the much smaller surviving and highly vulnerable Chinese nuclear missile units to fire their remaining missiles against the enemy's homeland," Lewis and Xue warn. "Escalation to nuclear war could become accelerated and unavoidable." Policies that have led to conventional and nuclear weapons doubling up at the same base could cause, rather than deter, a nuclear exchange.
...
Beijing's overall defence strategy has evolved significantly in recent decades. According to the authors, China's revolutionary leader Mao Zedong directly shaped the policies for the Second Artillery, the nation's strategic missile forces.
...
Both US and Russian land-based missiles remain constantly on high-alert status, ready to be launched within minutes. Because of the 30-minute flight times of these missiles, the presidents of both the US and Russia would have only approximately 12 minutes to decide whether to launch their missiles when presented by their military leaders with information indicating an imminent attack (after lower-level threat assessment conferences).

That’s only 12 minutes or less for the president to decide whether to launch global nuclear war. While this scenario is unlikely, it is definitely possible: Presidents have repeatedly rehearsed it, and it cannot be ruled out due to the graveness of its potential consequences.
(The Teapot In A Tempest). The tempest is no longer inside the teapot, rather the delicate teapot is out in the open, exposed to the approaching Tempest.

Like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis mentioned above, today's officials who will or who will not invoke the Armageddon sequence, don't truly know the dangers this civilization is facing.

All too often they are thinking mainly of "themselves and theirs" (New Climate Catastrophe Policy: Triage), which only further endangers "themselves and theirs."