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03 October 2016

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LemonDrop

I guess we will soon find out if affirmative action was responsible for creating the worst or the last president of the US. Let's pray that Obama doesn't end the republic or life on earth as we need know it in the short time that he has left.

StoneHouse

@LemonDrop - I have believed from almost the beginning of his pres. that Barack Obama would end his term as the most hated man in American life (just a feeling... that grifter vibe I guess). Still wondering if he is going to pull that off.

@Turcopolier or anyone else... How was the plutonium in question being "disposed of" anyway? This is extremely valuable material. Dangerous as hell, but pound for pound probably the most valuable metal on the face of the earth. Just the way that got dropped into the mix from left field makes me curious. BTW, blog is great lately. I appreciate the amount of work which must go into it, and I am sure it must be frustrating at times. Just want you to know it is one of my most highly regarded - Thank You.

Former 11B

Obama is not in charge of jack diddly. Never was, even less so now.

Col. In my opinion the attack on Syrian troops was the end of it. The Borg got the message when Vlad smoked that spooky little hidey hole. My guess it was of a higher order more important tactically(if not strategically) than the Attack In Force we flew air cover for. As the young-uns would say "shit just got real".

Former 11B

They were supposed to burn it up in a nuclear reactor. Actually reactor #3 at Fukushima was chock full of plutonium from scrapped warheads. Probably ex-Russian as they were the only ones fulfilling their obligations. We, as usual did not.

The plutonium in reactor #3 made it 100s of times more dangerous in any catastrophe. Which of course happened and has been ongoing for 5 years now. Pound for pound the most deadly substance on earth. And burning it in a reactor doesn't end it. It just changes form so to be as unusable as weapons material.

Matthew

Keep reinforcing failure. See https://twitter.com/ToulaVlahou/status/783014447946338305

Yes, they are going to try "sanctions" next?

Degringolade

Not completely on topic, but funny as hell

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20161002/1045919157/iraqis-compensation-911-iraq-invasion.html

Maybe Syria and Russia have lawyers too

b

The treaty/agreement was to make the Plutonium useless for weapons by making it radioactive.
The Russians fulfilled their part.
The U.S. skipped out, without agreement, by deciding to just mix the Plutonium with dirt and put it underground (recoverable).

U.S. experts support the Russian view on this
http://thebulletin.org/can-us-russia-plutonium-disposition-agreement-be-saved9389

The move is fully justified but has a much larger context as Lavrov explained: pic.twitter.com/YfD6hDEtM0

ex-PFC Chuck

This latest development is nothing to laugh about but sometimes a bit of relevant humor helps keep things in perspective. Your observations, Former 11B, regarding the toxicity of plutonium reminded me of a comment about that issue that I heard many years ago. In 1980 I attended an engineering conference pertaining to the electric utilites, and the keynote speaker was a woman who was some sort of poobah in the nuclear power industry, which was busily still trying to buff the turd they’d dumped the year before at Three Mile Island generating station in Pennsylvania. After the introductory pleasantries the woman continued, “They say that an ounce of plutonium can start a cancer in over 100 million people. That’s probably true. It’s probably also true that a single ejaculation from one healthy young man contains enough live sperm to impregnate every woman in the country of child-bearing age. In both cases, however, the challenge is one of distribution.”

ex-PFC Chuck

This is exactly what Obama was afraid would happen when he vetoed the bill.

Peter L

Or perhaps compel the Russians to enforce a no-fly zone, on themselves..

OIFVet

Russia wants the US to remove its troops and weapons from the Balkans and the Baltics. Plus, here is a very recent video from Romania: https://www.facebook.com/Romaniaro1/videos/1672308909751225/?pnref=story. Yep, lots of Abramses and Bradleys on that train...

Matthew

Peter L: Our policy seems to be, "Russia accept failure. Otherwise, we will get really mad."

Being cynic about human nature, I think the Russians' Syria policy is going from Assad "Primus Inter Pares" to "In It to Win It." A Russia retreat is not an option.

A Russian retreat in Syria will embolden The Blob to demand that Russia de-annex Crimea, institute more economic "reforms" (i.e., give the country to Western banks), and surrender effective control of its energy industry to the EU through an Energy Charter.

Brunswick

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/defense/298597-could-saudi-override-lead-to-vietnam-vets-being-sued

>>Many of us old veterans are going to spend our dying days defending lawsuits unless members of Congress reverse their actions. And the only legal way of doing that would be to introduce a new bill in both houses and pass it by voice vote — so no one has to face the apathetic public with what looks like a vote for Saudi Arabia — and have the president sign it. A voice vote in both houses could be engineered at this stage with very strong public pressure from the veterans groups.<<

Matthew

Our ever-dauntless PolySci grads are certain--absolutely certain--that we just need to fire off a few missiles and the Old Bolshies will come to heel. See https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/782999208567726082

gnv377

The clip is not filmed in Romania. The first few clip comments are saying that much.

Valissa

To celebrate... how about some Putin vs Obama cartoons (mostly)

“The way we were” http://bit.ly/2cO0TuK
A classic http://bit.ly/2dnPnpa
Ha, love the waiter! http://bit.ly/2dW2jDA
I agree :) http://bit.ly/2dFkA51

Ghostship

There goes that $18 bn Deutsche Bank fine. With Angela Merkel in such a vulnerable position politically I can't see her agreeing to more sanctions while that fine is so large.

michael brenner

This seems to be the most innocuous way that the Kremlin could signal just how seriously they view matters. Make the connection to the nuclear domain but in manner that has no practical military meaning.

As I recall, the original strategy for dealing with the plutonium that is naturally produced by any light water reactor is to embed it in mixed oxide fuel (MOX) in a form that indeed can be used as fuel in those civilian reactors. That's what they call reprocessing of nuclear waste and the recycling of plutonium. That became problematic in 1974 when the Indians demonstrated that reprocessing, which strips out Plutonium 239, is a far easier and cheaper way to get fissile material than the enrichment processes that produce HEU - as we, the Soviets, the British, the French and the Chinese did.

The alternative is to leave the the Plutonium of all isotopes (238, 239, 240) mixed with other radioactive ingredients of nuclear waste and then to vitrify it and then bury the stuff. That is very secure and environmentally sound since the glass-like material will not degrade for a few thousand years. Seize it? If you have that super sophisticated technology, and vast amounts of money, and ability to occupy the United States or Soviet Union - there are a lot easier ways to acquire fissile material.

doug

I don't know where the notion that the MOX (mixed oxide Pu and U), which is how weapons grade Pu is turned into more marginally useful weapons material, is somehow super dangerous in a reactor meltdown came about. It is not. The dangerous stuff in a meltdown/reactor breech is from the escaping fission products. These have high levels of radioactivity due to their short half life and composition which includes lots of gamma emitters. Pu is radioactive, sure, but not nearly as much as, say, Po210. Po210 is, "pound for pound" nearly 100,000 times more dangerous. For many years back when I was shooting 35mm film, I used an anti-static brush who's active element was Po210. I purchased them every few years from a department store that had some photo supplies. Used to cost about $20.

Most of the radiation from the Japan reactor meltdowns were from Cs, I, and other lighter elements produced from fission when the reactor was operational. Pu and U components ceased fission once the reactor failed and represent negligible hazards in comparison to the radioactive fission products.

Degringolade

Firing off a few missiles isn't an American Monopoly anymore

This Houthi attack might well be a big game changer.

https://youtu.be/YFEt_KWWJcw

All of this stuff is tied together.

OIFVet

The woman in the video ain't speaking English, as far as I can tell. OTOH, we do know that the US is in fact setting up logistics and operations centers in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Baltics. We also know that it has moved troops and armor there as well. It is stupid and dangerous, whether that video was filmed in Romania, or Estonia (for example).

gnv377

That woman does not speak Romanian either. Not moving troops and armor might be taken as an invitation to create a low cost 'fait accompli' in a semi defenseless East Europe

Peter in Toronto

I guess the Borgist collective is simply assuming the coronation of Clinton, and broad continuation of the current policy of destabilization and de-industrialization of Syria, with such an escalation coming at the conclusion of a 2-term presidency...

And they might get it if Trump does squat diddly to prepare and rehearse after his embarrassing performance last time.

OIFVet

And what, pray tell, would Russia gain from taking over a bunch of economic and demographic disaster areas? What Americans don't seem to understand is that, when it comes to Eastern Europe, the Eastern European tail has been wagging the American dog for some time now. Paleo-russophobic idiocy is in charge, and that's both stupid and dangerous.

wisedupearly

what is our positive reinforcement cycle?
the cop on the street now knows that video cameras are everywhere and that errors in judgement will be publicized to the point of riots.
Troops in the field receive endless instruction and orders not to cause collateral damage.
And then we have Samantha Powers. What exactly is going to be her punishment for making totally crap decisions that may destroy half the planet?
The higher up the food chain the greater the hubris is with none of the penalties?
Establish a NFZ in Syria and the Russians will back down. And who suffers if that judgement is wrong? Is Kerry going slice his guts open in contrition?

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