News Roundup – Antiterrorism Victories, Fukushima, Government Shutdown

For the first time in a week I’m not starting out talking about the government shutdown. I’ll circle back around to it in just a second.

Some surprising anti-terrorism victories
We captured one of the Al Qaeda leaders who led the 1998 bombings against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We captured this guy alive. His name is Nazih Abd al Hamid al-Ruqhay, but he is also known as Abu Anas el-Liby. He was captured near Tripoli and is in US custody now.

So, remember a couple weeks ago when there was that shooting at the mall in Kenya? A terrorist group from Somalia took credit for the attack. The terrorist group was called Shabab. Well, a Navy Seal team attacked the militant camp in Somalia and reportedly killed the leader that they were looking for. From NYT – “The unidentified Shabab leader is believed to have been killed in the firefight, but the SEAL team was forced to withdraw before that could be confirmed, a senior American security official said. Such operations by American forces are rare because they carry a high risk, and indicate that the target was considered a high priority. Baraawe, a small port town south of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, is known as a gathering place for the Shabab’s foreign fighters.”

the Fukushima sign reads – ‘Nuclear power – the energy for a better future’

There’s been a lot of news out of Fukushima, Japan over the last week or so. I’ve kind of buried my head in the sand. I’ve always had a problem with nuclear power. I have a problem with any process that leaves us with nuclear active waste which is highly radioactive; not for years or decades, but for eons. We’ve never come up with a good solution about what to do with this stuff. We don’t know how to make something less radioactive, at least not at the present time. So we have this area of Japan which continues to be radioactive and is leaking water into the ocean. It’s not just leaking water, but highly radioactive water into the ocean. The cleanup is costing Japan billions and billions of dollars. There seems to be no end in sight. To me, and this is just me, it seems that the price of nuclear power is just too high. (more…)

By |2013-10-05T22:27:17-04:00October 5th, 2013|Budget, Environment, Military, Obama administration, Party Politics, Science, Terrorism|Comments Off on News Roundup – Antiterrorism Victories, Fukushima, Government Shutdown

The rotating moon

This is a totally cool look at the moon. The images were captured by LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter). More information here.

By |2013-09-21T02:01:16-04:00September 18th, 2013|Science|Comments Off on The rotating moon

News Roundup – NSA Surveillance, gene patents, climate change

I am happy to admit that I really do not know whether the NSA surveillance program is a good thing or a bad thing. We’ve all heard the pros and cons. On the good side, domestic surveillance (domestic spying) is supposed to keep us safe. It is supposed to be a way in which the powers that be figure out who is naughty and who is nice. They monitor the naughty ones and, in theory, they should be able to nab the bad guys before they blow something up. On the bad side, domestic spying can be a great way in which the government can use or misuse your personal information, information from your personal phone calls and emails, in order to control your behavior. One can easily imagine a scenario in which someone was arrested for something they wrote in which they stated “I hate the president so much I could simply strangle him.” On one hand, this sentence is a death threat. On the other hand, the sentence could simply be someone who has absolutely no intention of harming the president blowing off steam. I guess this really depends on how the government uses the information. If you like the terrorist surveillance program, this NSA surveillance system, you’re required to have trust in the government and to believe that the government is going to act in your best interest. In my opinion, that’s a leap of faith.

In this clip, we see what we already know. Sean Hannity and the rest the guys over at Fox News love Big Brother and big government when they are wielded by Republicans. They hate Big Brother and the government when they are wielded by Democrats.

No gene patents – The Supreme Court today unanimously struck down patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2, two genes linked to hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer, when the genes occur in the body. Myriad did not create or alter any of the genetic information of the BCRA1 and BRCA2 genes, and thus does not satisfy patenting requirements, according to the decision. “Myriad discovered the precise location and sequence of what are now known as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote for the court. (more…)

By |2013-06-14T21:34:09-04:00June 14th, 2013|Domestic Spying, Environment, Science|Comments Off on News Roundup – NSA Surveillance, gene patents, climate change
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