Category Archives: Military


In the entire universe plutonium is found above trace amounts at one location and one location only: planet Earth. Plutonium went extinct due to radioactive decay billions of years ago. It can be created during rare cosmic events, but the bomb-making kind—Pu 239—is a manufactured element that does not occur in nature. It is a by-product of nuclear fission reactions. It hides itself within the matrix of elements that make up the remnants of spent fuel rods.
Plutonium is among the most poisonous substances known. The speck of plutonium dust that kills you, you will likely never see. Some scientists today have downplayed the lethality of plutonium 239. My advice is to be skeptical whenever vast amounts of money and power fuel a controversy.
[…] By this time next year the Japanese will have accumulated enough high-grade Pu 239 to make as many as 12,000 atomic bombs. Should it make that choice, Japan would possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.
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It’s hard to say who is worse off during these mass-casualty events, the dead or the wounded or those who witness the violence up close and personal. So many people are traumatized for no good reason. I suspect that even viewers of television coverage get a sick feeling in their stomachs when these horrors occur. I know I do. Continue reading

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Begging For It

The point is, we aren’t listening to the North or South Koreans. Most want the peninsula unified. We don’t. Most folks want to live in a safe and fair place where billionaires don’t reduce the average person to poverty. South Korea doesn’t want us to sacrifice millions of its own citizens in a military strike, possibly a nuclear conflagration, to make a point. It’s simple, really. 
The only sensible solution is to leave Korea and to assist reunification as best as we can, if we are invited to do so. Continue reading

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Our Navy is a mess. Everyone knows it. The optics of powerful warships limping into port under the power of a dozen or so tugboats emboldens our enemies and demoralizes our patriotic fighting men and women. We have the wrong ships, designed the wrong way, for the wrong wars, for the wrong reasons. And our Navy is overworked to the max. We all know it’s true. Continue reading

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Flying Blind

It’s possible to feel the air disappear beneath your wings and freefall—even tumble—thousands of feet, time after time, dozens of times, recover the aircraft, and keep on flying. It’s possible for clouds to be impenetrable, lightning to be relentless and unceasing, rain to be thick as waterfalls—with a vomiting passenger in the seat next to you—and keep your wits, keep your senses, keep your fear in check, keep your focus, and keep flying. Continue reading

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It’s a shame that the fine-looking Christian activist, “Minty” Ross (Harriet Tubman), will not be appearing on the twenty-dollar bill until 2026 (ten years from now) at the earliest. Some say it might be as late as 2030. We know Minty was beautiful, because “fine-looking” is how her owners described her on a Wanted Poster, after she escaped at age twenty-seven from her enslavers. Unfortunately, no pictures of Minty as a young woman have been found. Continue reading

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Elephant on the Island

When President Barack Obama visited Cuba in March 2016, the USA-imposed blockade or embargo or quarantine or whatever-else one wants to call it was the elephant on the island. It was the elephant in the room at every meeting between our officials (who numbered close to twelve-hundred) and theirs. We owe Cuba a huge apology. Of course, we didn’t offer one Continue reading

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Killing Frenzy

Can killing people ever be a good thing? The Catholic Church has developed theories of Just War, which permit good people to kill the wicked under certain carefully worked-out conditions, such as proportionality, just cause and last resort. Continue reading

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