1. Thanks for your terrific e-mail rules. I am assembling the commandments.

2. If you were looking for a way to help George Bush, here is one way to do it that even saves a little money (unless you binge the next day).

3. In preparation for tomorrow’s first debate, here is a site someone has put up comparing his words and deeds. One might almost say flips and flops.

4. Here is another, complete with photo of a spatula.

5. Finally, on that issue of nuclear terrorism raised Monday?

‘I would like to put your mind at ease, at least a little,’ writes Michael Axelrod. ‘When Graham Allison says things like, For example, one ‘dirty bomb,’ which simply consists of conventional explosives dispersing radioactive materials, exploded in downtown Manhattan, would make the island uninhabitable for years …‘ – he reveals his ignorance of matters nuclear. The dirty bomb threat is greatly exaggerated. Just do the physics. Read about it here. Terrorists would need to steal something like a 1,000 Curie industrial source, but these sources all encased in large amounts of concrete and shielding and cannot be moved. Without the shielding the terrorists would quickly expire from the radiation dose. Spent reactor fuel would be too difficult to move. Uranium and Plutonium are not radioactive enough to make a dirty bomb. Actually they are excellent shields for radiation (better than lead). If you blew up a big mass of uranium it would simply scatter about, not be a threat and could be easily cleaned up. The dirty bomb scenario is mostly a scare story.

‘How about stolen Russian nukes? Do you really think the Russians are so stupid as not to have built in safeguards? Besides a small portable bomb needs to have its DT gas recharged. Yes, these things decay and become inoperative unless properly maintained which requires the appropriate infrastructure.

‘Almost no country would risk giving or selling a nuclear weapon to terrorists. Why? Blowback. If country x gives out nukes they lose control. The very weapon they give out could get used against them. This is why countries build missiles to carry their nuclear weapons to a target. You have to maintain control.

‘That leaves the terrorist themselves getting the material, designing, assembling a bomb, smuggling and detonating it. All this without testing? Do you think the terrorist are smarter than the Manhattan Project Team? And they did test, and the device was pretty big (for smuggling). While this scenario is not impossible because modern technology has made things easier, the actual threat is likely very small.’

☞ Whew! And there I was worried for nothing.

Be sure to watch the debate tomorrow – 9pm Eastern time.

Happy birthday, Jane, Scooter, Darrique.

 

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