Friday, December 28, 2007

My candidate "gets it". Bob Bremmington '08.

I'm going to use a fictitious presidential candidate to make a point. Bob Bremmington. Bremmington is for single payer no insurance company health insurance, hes for a fast but responsible withdrawal from Iraq. Bremmington will set a goal to get 25% of our electricty from Solar, and 25% from Wind by 2020. BRemmington supports media ownership break-up, Labor rights, education rights and a return to progressive taxation. Bremmington has never held elective office, let alone run for office before. I support Bob Bremmington for President in '08.

In a recent speach in Iowa Bremmington said this:

My Parents got thru the Depression with a progressive income tax, we won WW2 with a progressive income tax. The 12 million men & woman that served in the military in WW2 came home, the GI Bill sent vets to college, and they started families. This created the largest, most vigorous and the best educated middle class, in the history of the planet. Labor unions were at the zenith of their power, our eductaional institutions were the envy of the world, corporations made money, the wealthiest made money. The American Dream was born.

The top personal tax rate used to be 91%. Enter Ronald Reagan and the start of full spectrum warfare on the middle class. The opening salvo, the PATCO strike. Busting the Air Traffic Controllers union was the start of a multi front military style operation to drive wages down for all americans. Then we were told that Social Security was going broke, this represents the opening of a second front of the War on the Middle Class that resulted in the doubling of payroll taxes. And Reagan dropped the top tax rate to 28%.

A War on the Middle Class generally attacks the 3 pillars holding up the middle class. Progressive taxes, labor rights & education rights. Thomas Jefferson said, in an 1824 letter: "This degree of education would ... give us a body of yeomanry, too, of substantial information, well prepared to become a firm and steady support to the government." Jefferson started the University of Virginia with the intent to provide the yeomanry with a free education so as to be prepared to take part in the Government, the citizen legislators if you will.

This is warfare my friends, the Aristocracy has attacked us, and we must defend ourselves.

Bremmington goes on to win Iowa and New Hampshire, and looks to sew up the nomination in short order. Just before Super Tuesday CNN does a voter on the street bit. Voters are asked if they are bothered by Bremmingtons lack of experience.

Wolf Blitzer asks New Jersey resident Leslie Aspenwall about Bremmingtons lack of experience:

Bremmington gets it ! Hes the only one that gets it, he understands how much damage the Bush Administration has done to the world, and has a plan to fix things.

Why do I choose Bremmington for President ? He gets it. He sees things like I do. We both see our country as broken, and in need of being fixed. Now to be honest some of the other democratic candidates get it too, in some regards. Some have yrs in Congress or the diplomatic corp. But Bremmington to me, will be the ultimate citizen legislator. I think Thomas Jefferson may have some pertinent commentary, but I will leave it to you, to imagine what that might be.

Ive heard so much of this stuff, It makes me sick.

Clinton Takes Swipe At Obama's Experience, Says Nation Can't Afford "On-The-Job Training'

"There is one job we can't afford on-the-job training for -- our next president. That could be the costliest job training in history," Clinton said. "Every day spent learning the ropes is another day of rising costs, mounting deficits and growing anxiety for our families. And they cannot afford to keep waiting."

From Huffington

Obama jabs back at Bill on experience

"I remember what was said years ago by a candidate running for President." He said, “The same old experience is not relevant. You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience."

"Well that candidate was Bill Clinton. And I think he was absolutely right."


Today's Quote:Hillary's Lack Of Experience

"Honestly, in most respects, I don't know Hillary's experience. She's never run a city, she's never run a state. She's never run a business. She has never met a payroll. She has never been responsible for the safety and security of millions of people, much less even hundreds of people.
Rudy Giuliani on Hannity & Colmes

From On the Right

I think Obama and Hillary, Edwards & Kucinich and all the rest, all have pertinent experience. In general terms that not what I base my choice on.

I feel comfortable with Bremmington, I love his policy positions, hes a populist and a progressive. Bremmington gets it.

Kucinich gets it, he is right the first time. Edwards gets it, hes been fighting corporations, and Poverty. Dodd gets it, he stood up for We the People on that telecom immunity thing, Biden gets it, on foreign affairs, hes made some good calls recently. Hillary gets it, she knows Women's Rights Are Human Rights. The way I see it, all of the above are real good reasons to want to vote for somebody. They all have good resumes, but seriously, the way I see it, most of us will vote for someone who gets it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last week the New York Times reported that the Kearny Board of Education voted to 6 to 1 to settle their dispute. The settlement requires that Kearny teachers undergo Separation of Church & State training, and the Board of Education will issue a statement praising student Matt LaClair for raising the issue, while Matt LaClair will issue a statement commending the School Board.

On the right:Matt LaClair at a recent Hudson County DFA meeting.

In September of 2006 Matt LaClair recorded his teacher David Paszkiewicz proselytizing during class. Later in October, a meeting was held with the Principal, the teacher David Paszkiewicz, Matt and his father Paul LaClair in attendance. During the meeting Matt cited dozens of quotes from the teacher, Paszkiewicz then denied everything. Matt then produced Audio CD's he had burned of the "Sermonizing".

Later David Paszkiewicz publicly falsely portrayed the meeting with the Principal. If you get into trouble because you were recorded one time, what are the odds you would be recorded again ? Right, Matt had recorded the meeting with the Principal and the teacher. This second recording was publicly released proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Paszkiewicz lied. Twice.

In February, Matthew?s parents, Paul and Debra LaClair, filed court papers on their son?s behalf saying that they intended to sue the district for violating his First Amendment and civil rights. They faulted the district for not protecting Matthew from harassment by other students and sought public corrections to some of the statements the teacher made in class.

New York Times

I encourage folks to attend the Monday May 21st Meeting of the Kearny School Board at 7pm. The Board will announce the settlement. At past BOE meetings the LaClairs have not seen much support, I know they would appreciate seeing some friendly faces. You can find the address and directions here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

IEC Fusion, simple & elegant

Fusion is a simple and elegant idea. You smash 2 atoms together, they fuse into a smaller atom releasing energy. The difference in mass is released as energy according to Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc². In simple terms the "fuel" needs to heated, put under great pressure and our 2 atoms need sufficient speed to fuse upon collision. For nearly 30 years the leading field of fusion research has been in Tokamak style devices. Tokamaks' provide pressure, heat and swirl the fuel in a donut shape.

One alternative to the Tokamak design that has gained attention during the last year, is Inertial Electrostatic Confinement or IEC Fusion. Recent research in IEC Fusion by Dr. Robert Bussard was described in the now famous google tech talk. IEC Fusion relies on speeding the fuel ions to collision, causing fusion. Test results in late 2005 with the WB6 device showed a very high output in relation to input, though a few magnitudes from break even.

Dr Bussard believes that if he scales up his one foot scale model to 9 foot that it will achieve net power, and be able to generate 100 mega watts of electricity. There are 2 scaling factors involved in this type of device: the power output scales as the 7th power of the size, and the power gain as the 5th power of the size. These scaling factors indicate a break even device would be about 6 foot square and that net power will be achieved with a 9 foot square device.

WB6 operating in November 2005.

Here's some eye candy for the geeks:

A 2 minute video showing a schematic flow of electrons & ions.

DR. Bussards website

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

IEC Fusion update..Tom Ligon: guest on "thespaceshow"

Tom Ligon sets up his demonstration IEC fusion machine, November 1998.

"SETI League photo, used by permission."

Listen tonight @ 10pm eastern.

Tom Ligon will be will be the featured guest tonight on The Space

1. The Tuesday, May 8, 2007 Space Show from 7-8:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time welcomes Thomas Ligon to the show. Tom Ligon is a science fiction author and a former employee of Dr. Robert W. Bussard's Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation. Tom will discuss Dr. Bussard's unique method for producing fusion, called Inertial Electrodynamic Fusion. A prototype device was run successfully in late 2005, and could lead both to terrestrial powerplants and high performance space propulsion systems. Listeners can talk to Mr. Ligon or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, by sending e-mail during the program using,,, or chatting on AOL/ICQ/CompuServe Chat using the screen name “spaceshowchat.”

The Space

Please watch this video and pass this around:
IEC Fusion for Dummies video.

......please rate the video too, thanks.

Dr Bussard is the former Assistant Director of the US Atomic Energy Commission, he was the father of the US Fusion effort from the 1970's into the 1980's. As the Assistant Dir. of the AEC, Dr. Bussard went to Congress and pushed the fusion research programs in the 70's that developed the Tokamak design.

Dr Bussard now advocates a different design. For the last 11 years he has been working under US Navy contracts, building small test devices.

WB4 in 2003. Yes, low levels of fusion can be created in a very small device.

WB6 in 2005. WB6 was run in steady state operation for a number of tests before a short stopped testing.

At the end of 2005, the Navy did not renew his contract. Since then Dr Bussard has given many lectures including the (famous in fusion circles) google tech talk of 2006.

Google Video here

DR Bussard was awarded the International Academy of Science Outstanding technology of the Year Award for 2006.

Why is this important? World oil production peaked in 2005

Dr Bussard says he can build a proof of concept reactor by about 2011. The ITER reactor in Europe will be finished by 2013, and the concept may be ready for power generation by 2025. The ITER is slated to cost 13.3 billion. More importantly $3 million keeps Dr. Bussard working. The next step is build variations on the 3 foot square WB6, to test tweaks in the design, before building a full size model. DR Bussard envisions the full size reactor core to be about 9 foot square. This means the cores can be mass produced and trucked or shipped by rail to generation sites.

When the father of modern fusion tells you the Tokamak wont work, he bears listening to. Funny thing about fusion, it occurs naturally in a sphere (the SUN), just like Dr Bussards design. The ITER reactor will try to create fusion in a donut or torus, which doesn't happen in nature. Its been pointed out to me that that is an oversimplification, yes it is, but I like it none the less.

Heres an overview of Bussards recent work with some really cool pictures.

This will give one a good sense of how the program has advanced over the years, and what to look forward to. Word had gotten around earlier this month that Dr. Bussard had received more funding thru the US Navy. This apparently is not true, Tom Ligon set that rumor straight.

Dr. Bussard's website.

Are you going to be in Dallas at the end of May?

The 2007 International Space Development Conference

(ISDA) will be held, May 25th thru the 28th, in Dallas Texas. Tom Ligon will be speaking on Sunday, about IEC/Polywell fusion and the potential for these devices to power space flight. This event is sponsored by NASA.

If the Navy could power its fleet with fusion, they wouldn't need very much oil, and if the need for oil went down dramatically, we wouldn't need that many Navy ships to help invade oil rich nations.

Right ?

Private funding is needed, its so obvious that the Exxon military industrial complex doesn't even want to look at this anymore.

The table below is from this paper by DR. Bussard, the right hand column shows exhaust speed of a particular fuel (left hand column).

QED Direct plasma thrusters

Fuel -->

(f) Mass

Exhaust speed m/s

p + 11B --> 3 4He

6.926 E13

11,800,000 m/s

p + 6Li --> 4He + 3He

5.472 E13

3He + 6Li --> 2 4He + p

1.277 E14

6Li + 6Li --> 3 4He


1.596 E14

17,800,000 m/s

3He + 3He --> 4He + 2 p

2.059 E14

20,300,000 M/s

De + 3He --> 4He + p

3.505 E14

26,500,000 m/s

The p~b11 fuel does not result in radioactive waste, so it doesn't irradiate the reactor or its surroundings. The generated alph aprticles can directly generate electricity.

Saturn in under 3 months, Mars in a month. Who needs friggin EXXON?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Is Saudi Arabia stealing Iraqi oil via the IPSA ?

I recently became interested in the theory that the Iraqi Saudi pipeline (IPSA) was being used by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to pipe Iraqi crude to the KSA to be sold as Arabian light crude. I found a good summation here. I think its fair to say that somebody at a refinery would spot the chemical differences between Basrah light & Arabian light from the start, even though they are of similar gravity and sulfur content.

Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti, of the University of California, Berkeley,......
As they point out, Iraqi oil, such as Basra Light, is a close substitute for Arabian Light.
Sourced here.

Refiners in India, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan see Basrah Light as a good alternative to Asia’s mainstay imports such as Saudi Arabia’s Arab Light

Sourced here

Additionally there is a wonderful graphic on page 5 of the pdf found here .

I then thought, what would prevent the KSA from piping Iraqi crude to its own refineries for domestic use, and can I find anything on the web concerning the IPSA. The IPSA appeared to be closed according to a number of sources, including the US State Dept, and the US Energy Information Administration. The State Dept presentation is dated January 25th, 2006 and it seems to contradict a number of other sources dated earlier that suggest the KSA portion of the IPSA was converted to Natural gas. What I do find strange is the exact same sentence is found at different websites. This of course infers a single source in the viral sense of the internet, though I was not able to track down what I thought might be the initial source.

In June 2003, Thamir Ghadban said that he hoped Iraq would be able to use the IPSA line again. However, the Saudis have stated that they are not willing to do this, having converted the line to carry natural gas to the Red Sea industrial city of Yanbu for domestic use.
Sources: the EIA, Senator Lugar's website, and World News Network.

Gerald Butt @ Alexander's, could be quoted differently

Saudi Arabia has said the section of the pipeline within the kingdom is now being used to transport natural gas and has ruled out its re-use as a crude conduit from Iraq.
Much of Saudi Arabia's natural gas production seems to come from the eastern part of the country, the offshore fields in the Persian Gulf and the NG associated with the Ghawar oil field.

The IPSA pipeline was intended to be a way for Iraq to export oil via the Red Sea port of Mu'ajiz, near Yanbu, during the Iraqi Iranian War. Yandu & is a major industrial city utilizing NG for energy. Considering the Saudi push to expand domestic NG production and use, it seems to make sense KSA would use the IPSA to move NG west to the Red Sea. Except that the IPSA doesn't appear to be the route of choice. If the IPSA is being used for NG, it could be fed from the Trans Arabian/Jordon pipeline, though a connection bewteen the 2 would have to have been built.

In Oct of 2002 Saudi Arabia did complete a $4billion natural gas processing plant at Hawiyah, near the middle of the 164 mile long Ghawar oil field. In 2004 a natural gas
processing plant was opened near Haradh, the southern tip of the Ghawar oil field. Natural gas production from these plants can free up significant quantities of crude for export.

In conclusion its not at all clear in my mind if the IPSA is being used, or what its being used for. With Iraqi oil production still below pre war levels one could argue that Iraqi oil is being pumped by the Bush Cheney faction in Iraq, to Saudi Arabia, for domestic use. As a favor to the Saudi's. On the other hand the Saudi effort to use NG domestically to free up crude for export could be argued as a model that fits into the assumed management scheme in the KSA, in light of declining crude reserves.

But why let an asset such as a pipeline sit unused for so long? I would offer that the IPSA is being used. Whether for stealing Iraqi crude, or to move the increased Saudi natural gas production, the IPSA is most likely being used.

EDIT: to include graph of KSA oil production

Note the increased oil production in the summer of '05. The Spike in the summer of '06 is new production coming online from the Haradh oil field. More important is the current overall trend of KSA production being in at least 8% decline.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Analysis: 2007 SS report: "We're good past 2085"

I'm sure you've seen the headlines recently, that Social Security will be broke by 2041. I also remember similar headlines after the Social Security Trustees report came out in 2004, I found the report online and read it. I realized a number of things about the doomsday year of 2042.

1) The 2004 Social Security Trustees report was predicated on not counting interest on the roughly 12 trillion in the various trust funds, represented by bonds.
2) The 2004 Social Security Trustees report relied on 1.8% growth in the GDP. To my eye 1.8% growth in GDP represents a "Mad Max scenario", an economic collapse on the order of the "Great Republican Depression" of the 1930's.
3) Apparently the 2004 Social Security Trustees report factored in the Boomer generation retiring and drawing checks from the system, but did not factor in what happens when the Boomers died.

My gut level assessment (not based on any actual economic knowledge) of the 2004 Social Security Trustees report was that assuming 3.6% growth in GDP, Social Security would be fine until 2062. Since it's not likely that many Boomers would be around in 2062 to collect checks, the big drawdown of funds would be over. The 2004 Social Security Trustees report was easy to navigate, easy to find the fine print. About an hour of poking around got me to all the details I sought. The 2007 Social Security Trustees report is a wee bit more complicated and not so easy to navigate. Never the less, I think I found the dirt in the details.

The 2007 Social Security Trustees Summary makes a most compelling statement:

Social Security could be brought into actuarial balance over the next 75 years in various ways, including an immediate increase of 16 percent in payroll tax revenues or an immediate reduction in benefits of 13 percent or some combination of the two.

And what data was used to come to this assertation? I found it organized here. Many of the interesting titles linked to huge charts that quite frankly were overwhelming. But slowly a picture of the basic assumptions behind the doomsayers words became clear. Looking at the "Principal Economic Assumptions" I noted that the Trustees had developed 3 scenarios, Intermediate cost, low cost & high cost. But which scenario was the one the trustees relied upon for their date of 2041?

Additional Economic Factors and Selected Economic Variables lead to some interesting information which could lead one to think the Trustees used some faulted economic assumtions, but these tables did not present to me, a smoking gun. I found what I was looking for, titled Estimated Trust Fund Ratios.

On the Estimated Trust Fund Ratios table I found where Social Security went broke in 2041. This was listed under the "intermediate" scenario. Looking at the "High Cost" scenario made things look worse, Social Security would go broke in 2030. While looking at the "Low cost" scenario showed Social Security would still be solvent in 2085.

I wish I had that audio clip from the Rachel Maddow show, the one where the prospecter shouts "Eureka"!

It is interesting to note that under Additional Economic Factors the "intermediate" scenario assumes GDP growth of 2% or under after 2020. While the "Low Cost" scenario assumed GDP growth of 2.5% to 3% in the outgoing years. IIRC the US has averaged 3% or 3.5% GDP growth over the last 100 years. While during the Clinton years the US saw growth in GDP between 2.5% and 4.4%.

If we don't get hold of our government, our future, this could get seriously bad. World oil production peaked in May of 2005, the global fish catch has peaked, all the easy to mine iron ore in the US was gone by by 1971, global warming needs to be reversed. If we don't provide solutions to these problems in the coming decade, it may be too late.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dr. Bussard: IEC Fusion, the future in a post peak oil world

Dr Bussard is the former Assistant Director of the US Atomic Energy Commission, he was the father of the US Fusion effort from the 1970's into the 1980's. Dr. Bussard went to Congress and pushed the fusion research programs in the 70's that developed the Tokamak design.

Dr Bussard now advocates a different design. For the last 11 years he has been working under US Navy contracts, building small test devices.

WB4 in 2003.

WB6 in 2005.

At the end of 2005, the Navy did not renew his contract. Since then Dr Bussard has given many lectures including the (famous in fusion circles) google tech talk of 2006. Video here:

DR Bussard was awarded the International Academy of Science Outstanding technology of the Year, award for 2006.

Why is this important? World oil production peaked in May of 2005. Dr Bussard says for 200 million he can build a proof of concept reactor by about 2011. The ITER reactor in Europe will be finished by 2013, and the concept may be ready for power generation by 2025. The ITER is slated to cost 13.3 billion. More importantly $3 million keeps Dr. Bussard working.

When the father of modern fusion tells you the Tokamak wont work, he bears listening to. Funny thing about fusion, it occurs naturally in a sphere (the SUN), just like Dr Bussards design. The ITER reactor will try to create fusion in a donut or torus, which doesn't happen in nature.

Heres an overview of Bussards recent work with some really cool pictures.

Dr. Bussard will be utilizing a non profit organization to continue his research. Please pass this link around.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pelosi, while in Syria, encourages Syrian President to negotiate release of 15 sailors

While in Syria this Tuesday and Wednesday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, encouraging him to step into the diplomatic void and use his good standing to seek the release of 15 British sailors held by Iran. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem spoke to British PM Tony Blair on the phone Wedenesday, seeking to bring an end to the crisis.

Last Wednesday at the Arab summit conference in Saudi Arabia, Syrian president Bashar Al Assad spoke with the Iranian foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki about the 15 British sailors.

Syrian President Bashar Al Assad:

"This solution needs quiet diplomacy and Syria is now undertaking such quiet diplomacy between the two countries.

"We hope for a satisfactory solution that will lead to resolving the crisis of the British service personnel held captive in Iran."

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney assailed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday:

``It's a very bad idea to be carrying out a separate and independent foreign policy from the president of the United States,'' Romney added. ``I just don't know what got into her head, to be completely honest with you. I think it was a huge, huge mistake.''

Families of the 15 sailors have not yet commented on Mr. Romney's statement.

House Speaker Nanacy Pelosi then flew to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Abdullah.

Beaking news:
Crude Oil Drops on Release of U.K. Sailors

At last check, the May crude oil futures contract was down 63 cents, or 0.97 percent at $64.01 per barrel after tagging an intraday low of $63.08. On Tuesday, the price of crude shed two percent as traders began to unwind the risk premium built into prices during the crisis.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Iranian Diplomat Seized In Iraq Returns Home

An Iranian diplomat detained in Iraq for the last two months has been released, returning Tuesday to Iran. Jalal Sharafi, who was the second secretary of Iran's Embassy in Iraq, was abducted in Baghdad on Feb. 4.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

The HMS Cornwall never contested the capturing of the 15 sailors

My previous D-KOS diary was based on the idea that we have not been told the whole story about how Iran captured 15 sailors from the the HMS Cornwall. This diary deals with the real reason why 6 Iranian gunboats got the drop on the British sailors. 6 Iranian gunboats/speedboats armed with machine guns and rocket launchers surrounded the Rubber Inflatable Boats, or RIBs, uncontested because the HMS Cornwall was nowhere near the area.

HMS Cornwall- Rubber Inflatable Boats, RIBs-Lynx mk8 w/missiles

If I was the CO of the Cornwall I would have been sitting an 1/8 mile off the merchant vessel with my 4.5 inch main gun pointed right at him.

And when I saw the Iranian gunboats coming up, I would've manuevered to put the Cornwall between the gunboats and my people in the Zodiacs. I would have gone to battle stations, just so folks could hear the claxons blaring. Both my Lynx mk 8 gunship helo's would have been air borne. I would have told Lt. Chekov to ready photon torpedoes.

I would have swiveled my both Quad Harpoon missile launchers, my 4.5 inch main gun just to make sure the Iranians noticed them, which delivers a message, "My boys got their finger on the trigger pal, you better watch it".

Just to be clear, I have never served. Those who have, might agree with my sense of what the protocals in that environment would be. I'm guessing I got it more right than wrong, in fact more right than the CO of the HMS Cornwall did. I think it goes without saying that if the Cornwall was there, Iran would not have 15 sailors at this juncture.

Why I know the Cornwall was nowhere to be found on that fateful day.

1) Tony Blair said so:

Text of Blair’s remarks on capture of British sailors by Iran:

"...another additional fact: by the time HMS Cornwall knew that our forces had been detained unlawfully by the Iranians, they were in Iranian waters,"

Ah, thats how they got the drop on them, those pesky Klingons had a cloaking device......

Canterbury and Whitstable MP Julian Brazier had a problem:

“If the rules of engagement allow a hostile power to sail into allied waters and kidnap British servicemen and women without a shot being fired, something is going badly wrong."

MP Julian Brazier, the reason the Iranians got off with your people without a shot being fired, is that the HMS Cornwall was not there. The area on the map outlines Iraqi Territorial waters. After the intial news reports, I guessed that the incident took place in the area marked with a solid red line. This area is roughly framed by 2 major outflows of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers enter into the Persian Gulf. Time to take a jaunt over to the Royal Naval briefing on the incident, where the Royal Navy adamantly proclaims the HMS Cornwall was within Iraqi waters.

2) The Royal Navy said so:

MOD briefing shows Royal Navy personnel were in Iraqi waters

"The briefing, at defence headquarters in London, was given by Vice Admiral Charles Style, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff.....who is responsible for providing strategic advice to operational commanders, explained in detail where the Royal Navy personnel were located when they were seized. "On 23 March a boarding team consisting of seven Royal Marines and eight sailors - who were embarked in two of HMS Cornwall's boats - conducted a routine boarding of an Indian flagged Merchant Vessel which was cooperative throughout.

They investigated this vessel after witnessing her unloading cars into two barges secured alongside. Since early March the force has conducted 66 routine boardings. So the one that I'm talking about was entirely routine business, and conducted in a particular area where four other boardings have been completed recently".

"As shown on the chart, the merchant vessel was 7.5 nautical miles south east of the Al Faw Peninsula and clearly in Iraqi territorial waters".

To be truthful, thats not the MOD chart, which is at the Royal Navy link above. I incorporated the nautical mile scale next to the ships location, becuase I didn't believe what the chart was telling me.

The HMS Cornwall was 10 nautical miles from its RIBs,

and in no position to support its 15 sailors.

To us landlubbers, thats nearly 12 miles. The Cornwall did not even have a visual on its sailors. At 32 knots the Cornwall was a good 20 to 25 minutes away, forget about blasting the Iranians to bits, the Cornwall wasn't even in the position to use her hull as a screen, between the Iranian gunboats and the RIBs.

I have been mulling this over in my head for nearly 48 hours. Maybe the rountine of 65 prior boardings lead to sloppy habits. The Cornwall's crew & her CO had gotten lax. Or maybe a Mossad commander (some guy with an eye patch, right?) was on board directing the operation to be sure the sailors were left behind, as bait. All right, joking... But somebody screwed up, Do you think the Captain of the Cornwall will ever make Admiral....

If Iran executes one sailor, I can think of one Royal Navy Captain whose career is toast.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Kearny teacher caught proselytizing in public School

From the ABC website.

Matthew LaClair is the student at the center of attention over the issue of church and state in public schools.

LaClair accuses his history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, of going overboard when it comes to teaching religion in class at Kearny High School.

"He seemed to get nastier and nastier," LaClair said. "So on the third day, I just started recording."

LaClair used a tape recorder in class to listen to the instruction discuss matters like the Big Bang Theory.

Paszkiewicz: The Big Bang Theory is, there was nothing out there, there was no matter. But yet, nothing exploded and created something. Let me give you a clue, guys. If there's nothing there, it can't explode.

Students say that LaClair and others engaged the teacher on religious topics. At the time, Paszkiewicz asked everyone if they were comfortable with the subject matter.

But the instructor did express his views on Noah's Ark.

Paszkiewicz: Moses wrote in 1440 B.C., not that the Earth was created then. You know where I'm going with this?

Student: Were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?

Paszkiewicz: Short answer, yes, and it was a problem.

LaClair seemed to lead the debate over heaven and hell.

Paszkiewicz: He did everything in his power to make sure that you could go to heaven, so much so that he put your sin in his own body, suffered your pains for you, and he's saying "Please accept me, believe!" You reject that, you belong in hell.

"I knew there was a line that you don't cross in a public school," Matthew's mother, Debra LaClair said. "And one of them is giving your personal view on religion and politics."

Now 16-year-old Matthew LaClair has reportedly received death threats, and the police are dealing with that. The board of education says that teachers are not allowed to express their personal views on religion in the classroom.

Listen for yourself, Here is the 45 minute MP3 of teacher David Paszkiewicz misusing his position to proselytize biblical fundamentalism (he is a Baptist) in a public school. Thanks to David Kowalski for posting the MP3.

Here is an ABC video of the Febuary Kearny School Board meeting.

Here is video of Paul LaClair speaking on behalf of his son Matthew LaClaire, he's the second speaker:

The BLUE JERSEY folks have been blogging on this issue as far back as "njdem" on Feb 19th, Nick Lento did a follow up on Feb 21st, and the father of the 17 yr old student, Paul LaClair's diary of Feb 26th, Nick Lento then posted some video on Feb 27th.


KEARNY, N.J. — Before David Paszkiewicz got to teach his accelerated 11th-grade history class about the United States Constitution this fall, he was accused of violating it.

Shortly after school began in September, the teacher told his sixth-period students at Kearny High School that evolution and the Big Bang were not scientific, that dinosaurs were aboard Noah’s ark, and that only Christians had a place in heaven, according to audio recordings made by a student whose family is now considering a lawsuit claiming Mr. Paszkiewicz broke the church-state boundary.

Matt LaClair

I call upon the Kearny School Board to sever their relationship with the teacher, Mr. Paszkiewicz. As a Youth Pastor Mr. Paszkiewicz may have spent over a decade ingratiating himself with the communities youth, while indoctrinating the same youth with Creationism, and very likely Dominionism. Is the next step a class on how the Universe rotates around the Earth, or a class on how humans can bring on the Rapture?

Frankly I see Mr. Paszkiewicz as an unstable man who should have no contact with any youth in public school. But thats just my opinion. Mr. Paszkiewicz is apparently fine with all of this, because, as John Belushi said in the Blues Brothers movie, he is "on a mission from God".

What was funny at the movies is dead serious stuff in real life. Afterall didn't God tell George Bush to invade Iraq....

Please take the time to attend the Kearny BOE meeting on March 19th in support of the Constitution and the LaClair Family. Bring your friend and family, with poster board signs.

100 Davis Avenue (The Franklin School)
When: 07:00 PM - 10:15 PM

If you are from Essex County please RSVP here:.

If I can make the arrangements, Paul LaClaire will speaking at the Hudson DFA meeting that was rescheduled to wednesday March 14th due to the snow. More TBA.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I am running for NJ DFA Executive Board


Roger Dana Fox

Municipality and County

Montclair, Essex County; I have recently signed up with these locals: Mercer, Middlesex,Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Union DFA.

How long have you been associated with New Jersey for Democracy (or DFA)?

Essex DFA member since March 23, 2005

What roles have you held within New Jersey for Democracy (or DFA)?

2005 I founded a working group that lobbied the Essex Freeholders against the purchase of the Sequoia Advantage computerized voting machines.

2006: I worked in Essex DFA to establish an endorsement process for political candidates. Currently I help organize monthly agenda items for Essex DFA.

What should we know about your professional, educational and political background?

I spent 13 years in the Golf Course business, rising to the position of Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. I attended the Rutgers 2 year Turfgrass program "88-'89, served as acting class president in '89 & was elected to the Rutger Turfgrass Alumni Association Board of Directors 4 consecutive years '89, '90, '91 & '92.

At age 14, I volunteered for George McGovern in '72. I canvassed about 8,000 houses in Stratford Ct. I am guilty of falling asleep during the Clinton years, only to awake to find George Bush president. To atone, I have dedicated myself to becoming a campaign field operations professional. In '04 I was a paid staffer for John Kerry in Broward County FL. I attended Camp Wellstone, Monmouth NJ, march '05. I worked part time for Corzine ('05) & Menendez ('06) and volunteered for Tom Wyka for Congress ('06) as his Essex Field Manager, organizing canvass efforts in Livingston and phone banking of Roseland voters. I organized a catered fund raising dinner for Tom Wyka, which was attended by NJ DEM Chair Joe Cryan and Essex Freeholder Carol Clarke. I also created 3 issue oriented internet videos for Tom Wyka found @

Those that know me from Essex & Morris counties know of my un-ending energy, & my dedication to Jeffersonian ideals.

Where do you see New Jersey for Democracy going and how can you help move it there?

I see many opportunities for NJ4D.

A) The first, is as an organization that is similar to the NJ Democratic Committee, finding candidates for office, fund raising, endorsing, donating, to impact races in NJ. In some cases this means defeating incumbent republicans, in other cases this may mean supporting the more progressive democratic candidate over the less progressive candidate, in a primary.

I will champion the NJDFA fund raising potential.

Our "Tool Box" is the CPC.

Lets examine the tools in the tool box. A White Paper for NJDFA members is needed, that covers the tools that NJ4D has @ its disposal as a Continuing Political Committee. Essex County has put together an endorsement process for candidates that works quite well. Both Tom Wyka and Carol Gay participated. I feel that a easily understood NJ DFA endorsement process, such as the Essex process, must be a goal.
Reasons members may not donate money to NJ4D CPC. I would want to know how candidates get endorsed, and how they become eligible for receiving money from the NJ4D CPC. If members have a clear understanding of how their money will be used, would they be more likely to give? As a member of the NJ4D Executive Board, my goal will be to raise $25,000 for the '07 cycle.

The coming '07 Assembly, Senate & Freeholder races.

-Create awareness
This can be used to elevate members awareness & foster discussion on who to target.
-Knowledge fosters motivation
Knowing who is targeted should provide some motivation/make it easier for members to give.

B) Citizen lobbyists. Organize face time and town hall meetings with elected Representatives, using citizen action, educational forums & petitions to inform elected Representatives on progressive issues that impact our times. This also includes advocating legislation or action by our reps.

Start a Congressional Watch
Like the Essex Freeholder watch.

Start a state wide petition, then go to DC, deliver it to our reps & senators, maybe tape a video with the rep, to be brought back as evidence, we were there. I think a state wide petition to support Senator Leahy's return to Habeaus Corpus is a great jumping off point. Lautenberg, Menendez, & our NJ DEM House caucus needs our prompting to embolden them.

Start a Trenton Watch
Much closer than DC, much easier. Nia GIlls S507 Voter Verfied Paper Ballot audit bill could be a starting point.

C) Liaise with like minded groups on issue oriented organizing. From Vets groups to NJ Peace Action, to NJPIRG.

D) Dean basics: Dean for America was about a decentralized campaign. localized autonomy at the meet up level, am I right so far? There was a race in NH 01, the Deaniacs did it, they won. They went back to what Deans primary run was about, NH 01 went back to DEAN basics. Lets not forget this. When I 1st joined Essex DFA I had no clue what the other locals were up to, or what was going on at the state level. I felt that there was a structual lack of 2 way communication. this needs redress, wether thru better use of the DFAlink web tools, or america blog, I find I put in too much time searching for things DFA in NJ, how about you? We have the tools for deliverying this information straight to our computers, and we need to make better use of these tools. Fostering 2 way communication can help build a larger sense of Community, & shared goals within NJ DFA.

Roger D. Fox

Montclair NJ

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 27th march @ the Mall in Washington DC

I am in front of the Capitol building, standing an a concrete pylon as a I pan with the camera. Looking towards the Washington Monument... you first see 3rd St. then the back of the stage, looking past all those people, past 4th St. is the Washington Monument.

I have "heard" it takes a at least a million people to fill this space. My guess is @ most it was 3/4 filled... 600k-700k ?

Video blog on the bus trip and some of the great people I met:

As soon as I get more video edited and loaded to you tube, I will up date here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Modern Iranian SAM Missiles, can they hit a stealth bomber?

My first diary in this series dealt with the roots of the Saudi short range ICBM program & recent Saudi "Ghauri" missile purchases from Pakistan. The next diary in the series dealt with Iranian missiles starting with surface to air systems like the short range Russian SAM 6, whose mobile launchers can be upgraded with SAM 11 missiles. The more modern Tor-M1 and the medium range Pechora-2A. Offensively I included the mach 3 Sunburn, C-801 and C-802 cruise missiles.

In part 3 of the series I offer you the Irans S-300PMU-2. Twice the size, of the US Partiot missile & reportedly vastly superior (lacking the reputation of shooting down friendly aircarft), the S-300PMU-2 has been a good source of currency for Russia, who was the worlds leader in exported arms sales last year (31 billion).

Can Iran shoot down a stealth?

I'm sure many readers will think to themselves that we will use our stealth bombers to attack Iran, no problems, right? Not exactly, you see Serbia shot down an F117 stealth bomber in 1999. And I may know why.

Ghauri, recently purchased by Saudi Arabia.

@ According to a 7 December 2005 "Defense Update" commentary, "when deployed in an integrated network, an array of S-300 and Tor M-1 systems could pose a highly potent defensive network against any aggressor." Reports that Iran two years ago acquired two S-300 batteries that have been deployed near Tehran remain unconfirmed to this date.

@ janes the presence of these missiles will "create major problems for [air strike] planners for years to come."

Both Iran and Syria have recently been equipped with the very latest version of this missiles, the S-300PMU-2, which is larger, faster and even more efficient at hunting down its prey. The range of this upgraded missile is in excess of 125 miles, with the ability to acquire and kill targets flying as low as 30 feet. The Russians routinely shoot down random target drones travelling at 5,800 feet per second, and further claim the weapon is easily capable of destroying targets approaching at up to 15,500 feet per second, or Mach 14. Trust me, the S-300PMU-2 will swiftly take care of anything.
James O'Halloran, editor of Jane's Land-Based Air Defense, said the Serbs could succeed because the stealth fighter was not design to be invisible to old long pulse duration radars.

@ airpower
Experts at Lockheed Martin Corporation, the aircraft’s manufacturer, reported that- unlike earlier instances of F-117 combat operations- the missions flown over Yugoslavia required the aircraft to operate in ways that may have compromised its stealthy characteristics. By way of example, they noted that even a standard turning maneuver could increase the aircraft’s radar cross section by a factor of 100 or more. Such turns were unavoidable in the constricted airspace within which the F-117s had to fly.....Gen Richard Hawley, commander of Air Combat Command at the time, commented that “when you have a lot of unlocated threats, you are at risk even in a stealth airplane.” ....Three low-frequency Serb radars that could have detected the F-117’s presence, at least theoretically...

Simply put, stealth bomber coating are carbon balls in paint. In this layer, there are voids, which can collect moisture. The B-2 bomber is notorious for flying thru moisture laden clouds and then becoming very visible to radar. In Serbia in 1999 a F~117 was shot down. Infra red can see the jet engine exhaust from above. If the Stealth Bomber has to turn, it can be seen. But lets take a step back 50 years in time.

There is an old trick used in both Korea and in Vietnam. SAM units on the ground might not turn on thier radar until the last second, if the SAM units were networked, by turning on only one radar they could get a narrow picture of what air threats were approaching. SO there was a game going on between the pilots in the air and the SAM batteries on the ground. If the Pilot gets a fix on the radar, he will likely kill it. If the Radar turns on & off real quick, maybe the pilot doesn't get a fix.

The Soviets used a similar move when chasing the US SR~71 blackbird. Ground radar would see the Mach 3+ SR~71 approaching, Mach 3 Mig~25 jets would be vectored to get in front of the SR~71, where they would fire ALL of their air to air missiles, hoping the SR~71 would fly at them. When the SR~71 was in range the russian pilot hoped his missles would get lock, but the SR~71 climbed and accelerated from trouble.

If I was running Iran Military I would buy some 50 yr old SAM 3 radar units, these long wave radars are effective against stealth coatings. The SAM 3's would be combined into small networks, or fire teams if you will. This allows the SAM 3 radar to feed the more modern SAM 11 or Tor M~1 systems. and if the SAM 3 radar was observed, then attacked, they would not be attacking the more important launcher, which could fire the missile and then fire up its radar.

In regard to what Iran is observed to be buying and how Iran is organizing its air defense, I think a US attack could be botched by the Bush Administration. In the past the suits have been running the Iraq war, not the uniforms. If this trend continues during an attack on Iran, pray for our people in the region. Iran could bloody our nose, or worse. Remember, when we wargamed the Iraqi invasion in 2002, we lost 12 naval ships due to cruise missile hits. Read about the Mach 3 Iranian Sunburn. The Sunburn is a bad Mo Fo.

I would fearful if we see our air craft carriers attack from the Persian Gulf, they should be in the Arabian Sea.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Iranian missile systems

Until recently Iran had relied on the Russian SAM-6 surface to air missile. With a range of 25 km it might be considered a short range or point defense system. The Russian SAM-11 missile looks like it can be fired from older SAM-6 launchers with little work to accommodate the SAM-11 missile. The SAM-6 was first developed by Russia, starting in 1958. By the 1973 yon Kippur war it was a proven system. In August 1992 the NYT. reported "Iran is reportedly negotiating the purchase of SAM-5, SAM-11, and SAM-13 missiles from Russia and other Eastern European countries." Don't forget that the SAM-11 missile looks able to be fired from Iran's existing SAM-6 mobile launchers.

In the Summer of 2006 reports suggested that Iran was looking to buy the Tor-M1 Air defense system, This was confirmed in the first week of 2007 from Russian sources

The TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile system is a mobile, integrated air defense system, designed for operation at medium-, low- and very low –altitudes, against fixed/rotary wing aircraft, UAVs, guided missiles and precision weapon. The system is capable of operating in an intensive aerial jamming environment.

The Tor-M1 system has a range of 25 KM, making it a significant qualitative upgrade from the existing SAM-6 systems. The same source indicates the Iranians also are buying the longer range Pechora-2A.

Pechora-2A can hit the air targets at distances from 3.5 to 38 kilometers and at heights from 0.02 to 20 kilometers, flying at a speed of up to 700 meters per second. The complex was successfully tested at a Middle East firing range, hitting an F-16 fighter and an analogue of a Tomahawk cruise missile.

I get the feeling that Iran has not set up a comprehensive air defense grid as we think of it here in the US. They seem to favor using jet aircraft as a long range platform to shoot down air borne threats (F-14, SU-27 & Mig 29). Then they seem to rely on mobile SAM systems as point defense. @ they have indicated that Iran may have deployed some of these SAMs in underground bunkers, with multiple entrance tunnels. This allows the mobile SAM launcher a hardened supply/maintenence point, from which the launcher can make its appearance from a number of tunnel entrance points. The Tor-M1 system needs only 10 seconds from target aquisition to launch.

The combination of these 3 systems does add a layer of complexity to Iranian air defense that they have not had in possibly decades. The Pechora-2A with its 38km range would be the 1st layer in this arrangement, while the older but more numerous (and a bit slower to acquire targets) SAM-6 may be left out in the open to deal with targets that get past the Pechora-2A. If a target gets that far, the far more modern and accurate Tor-M1 can be trundled out from a tunnel to defend against the intruder.

At most Iran has maybe 60 front line modern aircraft & maybe 100 SAM style launchers. Whether or not these assets are tied to the 3 major nuclear sites, they will be overwhelmed. The question in my mind is will Bush & Cheney dictate to the US military how & when todoo the job. This administration has a track record for screwing up when it concerns military matters, and a screw up in dealing with Iran could lead to a bit of a bloody nose for the US military.

On the Offensive side of the plate:

Sunburn missile:.

"In July 1999, defense analyst Richard D. Fisher wrote an evaluation of the Russian-built Sunburn missile being sold to China. A senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington based think-tank, Fisher reported that the SS-N-22 may be capable of a dive speed of Mach 4.5 that would help it evade U.S. naval defenses. The Sunburn anti-ship missile is perhaps the most lethal anti-ship missile in the world," wrote Fisher in a review of the Chinese navy. The Sunburn combines a Mach 2.5 speed with a very low-level flight pattern that uses violent end maneuvers to throw off defenses. After detecting the Moskit, the U.S. Navy Phalanx point defense system may have only 2.5 seconds to calculate a fire solution -- not enough time before the devastating impact of a 750-lb. warhead."

From Will Pitt:

It is Iran's missile armaments that pose the greatest concern for American forces in the Gulf, especially for the US Navy. Iran's coast facing the Persian Gulf is a looming wall of mountains that look down upon any naval forces arrayed in those waters. The Gulf itself only has one exit, the Strait of Hormuz, which is also dominated by the mountainous Iranian coastline. In essence, Iran holds the high ground in the Gulf. Missile batteries arrayed in those mountains could raise bloody havoc with any fleet deployed below.

Of all the missiles in Iran's armament, the most dangerous is the Russian-made SS-N-22 Sunburn. These missiles are, simply, the fastest anti-ship weapons on the planet. The Sunburn can reach Mach 3 at high altitude. Its maximum low-altitude speed is Mach 2.2, some three times faster than the American-made Harpoon. The Sunburn takes two short minutes to cover its full range. The missile's manufacturers state that one or two missiles could cripple a destroyer, and five missiles could sink a 20,000 ton ship. The Sunburn is also superior to the Exocet missile. Recall that it was two Exocets that ripped the USS Stark to shreds in 1987, killing 37 sailors. The Stark could not see them to stop them.

I think its important to note how Will Pitt places the use of the Sunburn in a terrain specific scenario. I think that a sea based attack on Iran should not come from a task force in the Persian Gulf, but rather from the Arabian Sea. ThePersiann Gulf is a bad spot to be in if Iran gets a shot at US forces in the Gulf. Global security states that Iran not only has purchased the Sunburn, but also the Chinese-made C-801 and C-802 cruise missiles. The C-801 and C-802 appear to be flexible in that they can be fired from patrol boats, submarines, or even trucks.

I think that as long as the US Navy sails carrier groups into the Persian Gulf, what we are seeing is battleship diplomacy. Iran has made some purchases that may give Iran a chance to blow some stuff up, if it comes to an actual shooting war. That'ss not to say the the US Military wont get to its targets, it will. The more I think about it, the more I think the US will not attack Iran using the US Navy. What possibly may be the best US bunker buster is the GBU-28, dropped from a plane, it weighs 4400 pounds. 4400 pounds dropped from 60,000 ft may penetrate a few hundred feet. Never the less I think the best we can do is to blow up the doors to the tunnels, that lead to the bunkered nuclear facilities.

Hopefully the cabal understands this and will settle for a little saber rattling, battleship diplomacy, if you will.