Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Open source and teaching math, I haven’t looked into it yet, but it sounds like a great idea. Not unrelated, a talk on the Internet and maths by Terry Tao.
  2. The missile deal, a summary … prior to the Gates interview. A conspiracy suggested. A letter from Poland here.
  3. Home grown jalapeño peppers.
  4. A fast lady in red (and yellow).
  5. Costs and cap/trade.
  6. An atheist asks an interesting question.
  7. Memory eternal … a post that aches to be read (HT: the Ochlophobist).
  8. I’ve seen this noted before, and usually in the context as a “mood killer”. Hmm, any experimental evidence?
  9. H1N1 and Oman.
  10. If you haven’t been missing the Anabasis reading at the Chicago Boyz, you’re missing out on some fine historical analysis and discussion of one of the great works.
  11. Sound-tracks for electric cars.
  12. Immorality, the Bible and Science-fiction.
  13. Plantinga online, I guess I bought the right book.
  14. Advice for blogging as a Christian, which I’d say I’m not very good at doing.
  15. The US and Syria.
  16. Mr Beck and the right, one view. For myself, I’ve never seen or heard him, so I’m a bystander to all the hoopla.
  17. Trying to grok the President’s rational model.

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  1. Boonton says:

    The missile deal, a summary … prior to the Gates interview. A conspiracy suggested. A letter from Poland here.

    The Gates article was quite helpful. I detect a lot of ‘resorting to scripts’ on the part of many conservatives. The headline says Obama trashes Bush’s SDI plan and the first thing they reach for is the 1980’s scripts about SDI being purely defensive and liberals don’t get it, blah blah blah.

    The facts presented are pretty much undebateable. Gates’s revised plan would allow us to take out multiple med. and short range missiles with hundreds of interceptors whether they are launched at Europe (Iran’s latest med. range missile can reach deep into Europe) or Israel. Bush’s (actually Gates’s under Bush) plan would have just had 10 interceptors designed to hit ICBMs, a type of missile that Iran does not yet have.

    The US at the moment has two ICBM interceptor bases in the US. Whether they could stop an incoming ICBM is debateable as many of the tests of SDI have had very mixed results (as well as accusations by critics that the Pentagon made the tests super easy for the system to pass).

    So we are scrapping a system that has caused lots of diplomatic problems, that is of very limited strategic value (only ten interceptors for ICBMs) and may not even work. In exchange we are pushing foward with a system of much greater strategic value, much greater flexibility, much more potential for expansion, an ability to protect more of our allies, and without the diplomatic costs.

  2. Mark says:

    I plan to read the Gates article in depth tonight. I’d have a few questions and remarks however:

    1. If this was the plan all along, when it was announced that the missile plan was being scrapped, it is hard to imagine clumsier way, domestically or internationally, of scripting the announcement and ultimately implementing the change.
    2. Without reading it, I’d heard that right now the plan calls for water based interceptors until 2013 when in unnamed Eastern European countries the land based ones would be based. That begs some questions. What water (I’m guessing the Caspian or Black seas are likely problematic for US missile platforms)? What countries? Are there any indications that said countries are receptive (or is this a pipe dream)?

    I have no idea what “resorting to scripts” you’re accusing me of performing on this matter. If you are not accusing me of that, then I’m afraid I’ll have to tell you I have very little control over the “scripts” used by other un-named conservative sources.

    I’d also have to say I think that for us to knock out Iranian medium range missiles aimed at Israel, bases in Eastern Europe or even Georgia, Moldavia or Turkey will have little value. I’d think those bases would have to be south of Iran.

    Maybe we should push for bases in South Ossetia. I’m sure that would be the smoothest diplomatically speaking by far. 😀

  3. Mark says:

    Well, I did actually look into this and wrote on it tonight. But did not get to Gates remarks, largely because I found enough to work on in Mr Obama’s initial statements as well as the accompanied press releases.