Saturday, February 03, 2007

Migration To WordPress

Depleted Uranium has moved to WordPress here.

Farewell Google, and thanks for all the fish!

Google's Last Post

Google has demanded I register with it immediately to continue using Blogger. Since I consider Google complicit in the enslavement of the Chinese people, today will be my last Blogger posts.

Google is racing to buy users, and having bought them, to first lock them in and then make money from them - that's capitalism.

Since buying Blogger, Google has developed a new version that requires Google registration. Until today that's been an option, but now it has announced registration is mandatory to blog after today.

Google collaborates with the Chinese tyrants by censoring the searches of their captive peoples. Its creepy founders say this is no different from the elected US government tracking communications with foreign terrorists.

I'm guessing they'll delete blogs that don't register, so have archived all posts.

If I can find a less flawed organization to host this blog today, I'll post a link.

Otherwise, thanks for your interest and support.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Israel Alone (2)

The political battle around Israel's defense against Kassam and Katyusha rockets suggests its pols expect a US arms embargo.

Short range missile defense options are:

- C-RAM, a battle tested US system that's available now. It's short range, but very effective for point defense.

- THEL, a US-developed laser weapon that would cost several billions to deploy but be effective against all targets and - with its 5 Km range - provide area defense.

- an Israeli developed anti-missile rocket.

The Defense Minister just opted for the third solution, even though it will take 2 years to deploy (my emphasis):
The system chosen by the defense minister is dubbed “Iron Dome”, manufactured by RAFAEL Armament Development Authority Ltd.

"Israel requires an additional security layers for the home front that will allow for more political freedom and provide more security for the population," Peretz said.
That's probably triggered by this:
A preliminary report by the American government has confirmed allegations Israel used American-made cluster bombs against civilian targets during last year's war in Lebanon in violation of an agreement with Washington.

The findings of the US state department's initial inquiry, which was passed to Congress, showed Israel broke an undertaking only to use the weapons against military targets.

"There were likely violations," said Sean McCormack, the state department spokesman.
Hizbollah launched all of its rockets from civilian areas, so State is being its usual slimy self in condemning Israel's "violations". As it happens, the Israelis make their own - rather better - cluster munitions. If they didn't they'd now be facing a US embargo of a crucial homeland defense against Hizbollah's next attack.

But now the Prime Minster has intervened on the missile defense issue
Defense Minister Amir Peretz's decision to choose a short-range rocket defense system developed by Rafael - Israel's Armament Development Authority - as the system the defense establishment will develop to defend Israel against Kassam rockets has apparently sparked off a new argument between him and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Olmert is probably objecting because Condoleezza Rice told him to - his recent transfer of $100 million to the Palestinians while they continue to rocket Israel only makes sense as a response to State pressure.

RAFAEL should develop the weapon whatever Olmert decrees. Eventually the Israelis will replace him with a more robust leader who will buy the weapon. Plus it will make a great export.

Chinese Junk In Orbit

Eighteen days after the Chinese Communists tested their satellite-killer, the Hubble telescope went dark. It's possible these events are related, but even if they aren't, the Chinese have shown they can interdict near-earth space, where our intel satellites fly.

I initially figured the Chinese weapon was a paper tiger, since using it would be a very expensive act of war. But they may be smarter than I thought.

test and its aftermath (my ellipsis):

The Chinese test, carried out on Jan. 11, was at once complex and very simple. An old weather satellite, passing 537 miles overhead, was targeted by a missile launched from a Chinese military base. The missile hit the satellite with deadly precision. The missile carried no bomb because it didn't need one. The satellite was pulverized by the impact.

But what followed was chaos in space. As of today, Kelso (a surveillance specialist) reports that American radar is tracking at least 525 pieces of debris from the collision -- each at least the size of a baseball.

There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller ones.

The pieces are gradually spreading out in a ring around the Earth, creating a vast area where spacecraft face increased danger of being hit.

"We've already seen in the range of 500 to 600 events where some piece of debris from this one event was coming within 5 kilometers [about 3 miles] of some payload," said Kelso.
Debris much smaller than the size of a baseball can knock out a satellite, and 18 days later:
The primary camera on the Hubble Space Telescope has shut down and is likely to be only marginally restored, NASA said Monday, a collapse one astronomer called "a great loss"...An initial investigation determined its backup power supply had failed, NASA said.
The Hubble needs servicing, so this may be coincidence. But it's a reminder that China could, with a few more such "tests", apparently innocently sterilize the 400 to 500 mile orbital band that's used by our intel satellites.

That probably this explains this tough reaction (my emphasis):
The Bush administration has suspended plans to develop space ventures with China, including joint exploration of the moon, in reaction to Beijing's Jan. 11 test of an anti-satellite weapon that left orbiting debris threatening U.S. and foreign satellites.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration spokesman Jason Sharp said the weapon test undermined an agreement reached between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao during an April summit.

"We believe China's development and testing of such weapons is inconsistent with the constructive relationship that our presidents have outlined, including on civil space cooperation," Mr. Sharp said.

He said there were "some initial discussions looking at where there were mutual interests where we could cooperate with the Chinese," but there are no plans for future discussions. The two presidents had hoped to work on joint moon exploration and space-debris avoidance.
I hope we're deploying lots of surveillance UAVs to Taiwan - our intel satellites could be a wasting asset.