Friday, 10 December 2010

Not That It Really Matters

Reportedly....and you really have to stand back a bit and ponder on this....there is this story by a major German newspaper (Die Welt) that Iran has this master-plan and now intends to put medium-range missiles in Venezuela.   Naturally, they'd have the range to hit the US...as the story suggests.

I sat and read the article.  There are three types of missiles that Iran could offer up, with best one offer a 1500 km maximum range....and the other two a bit lesser.  You have to remember....an Iranian missile is like a Chrysler.  You pay a lot of bucks for something that works most of the time but you spend a fair amount of time crying over your relationship with the mechanic and wondering if the car will actually get you to work or not.

To analyze this...the little threat is the SCUD B, which barely gives you 280 km (figure a shot from Atlanta would barely clobber Birmingham.  The next step up is the SCUD C, which would give you a 700 km range on the maximum side (two variants of it would do a lot less)....means you could clobber New Orleans after launching from Atlanta.  Then you could to this Shahab III missile, with a maximum range of 1500 km.  From Atlanta, you could clobber Austin, Texas.  As you can see....none of these are long range.

So if you were a Venezuelan idiot with these missiles....what could you really do?  Well...you could threaten Columbia and a couple of islands in the Caribbean with your little missiles.  Would Grenada come up and ask the US for a defensive shield?  Would Barbados demand the US bring in a radar to monitor things? I kinda doubt it.

The bigger missile is the only one that would threaten the US.  It'd be able to hit Florida, southern Georgia, southern Bama, southern Mississippi, all of Louisiana, and maybe a bit of Texas.  

We know the Kennedy logic in standing on the Cuban missiles but would there even be a Obama logic on Venezuelan missiles?  It'd be hard to say.

If you wanted to really make a good impression on the guys who run the missiles....you could target everything that controls the missiles with pen-point targeting and maximum destruction....thus leaving a missile standing on a pad but everything of significance destroyed except the missile and some Muslim Mosque to support the Iranian guys running the missile because Juan-the-Venezuelan-dude just isn't smart enough to operate it.

You could go and argue for months and years to the UN....waiting for their permission.

You could send a bunch of senators down to drink booze with Venezuelan politicians in hopes of some drunken peace treaty being worked out.

I suspect that mostly nothing will occur.  The missiles will be delivered and immediately start to rust in a humid environment.  Venezuela will talk big and make constant threats but they seriously don't intend to ever do much of anything.  Their neighbors will all be irritated over this mess but after a while, it'll just be accepted.

So for you guys around southern Bama...if you ever wanted your wife to be friendly toward building a bomb shelter/party room out back of the house, this might be your golden moment.  Switch over to Fox News and show as many maps detailing the flight path to southern Bama and the various targets (the Winn-Dixie, the Stop-and-Go Quik Mart, the Ribs Shack, and the Rancho Grande Grill over at Opp, Bama).

Let the wife know that only a right-smart bomb shelter could protect the family and you could do this with your cousin Claude, your high school "Jimmy-T" and the neighbor who is retired at 36 because of mental issues and anxiety.   The shelter could also be used for tornadoes as well.  Plan for plenty of refrigerator room and a pool table.  And you need a satellite connection to carry Fox News during the missile strikes.

The wife will eventually believe all this stuff and let you waste $25k on this idea.  Years later, she'll figure out that Venezuelan missiles weren't an issue and that you stay mostly drunk out in the missile shelter with your buddies...laughing over Iranian missiles and stock-piling eighty cases of Pabst in the event of a major war.

In the end, it probably doesn't matter much.

Just Some Observations

I could probably write several blogs today over the news but I'll limit it to simple observations.

First, the WikiLeaks crowd going after Mastercard, VISA, and PayPal?  Well....they were supposed to be this transparency group that wanted the world to be a "better" place.  Secrets weren't supposed to exist.  So today, they've demonstrated that attacking people or businesses can be part of the WikiLeaks agenda as well.  So you were a group of good or honest intentions, and now you've become this group aggressive intentions and transparency is to be fought for in a vicious manner, if required.  The public won't buy this strange switch in behavior.  The New York Times would now have to put out a column to defend tactics of WikiLeaks, but I seriously doubt they want to raise a flag to their audience over this.  If Cyber Command existed to defend American businesses, then they would have stood up and taken on WikiLeaks as they attacked Mastercard, VISA or PayPal.....but strangely enough....they didn't.  Something smells awful bad here.

Second, strange issues with this Presidential-arranged deal with the Republicans.  Apparently, there are enough angry Democrats left in the house....so that nothing will move on what the President wants.  Why?  Because they bought into the White House agenda for two years, lost a vast and hurtful race, and now watch a President to sell his agenda completely....to survive the remaining two years and win re-election.  They aren't buying into this and I'm not shocked.  Gazing at the Senate and this immigration reform deal.....it's kinda of shovled off into the ditch now and I don't expect them to bring it back out in the remaining week of battle left there.

Third, there was this magic moment in the 2008 election when everyone chatted how the President could bring together a party and was a master of working out compromise.  Well....I suspect that some media guys are waking up this week and wondering about this strange ability that they bragged about but can't really cite too many examples over the past twelve months.

Fourth, total home values for 2010....dropped $1.7 trillion.  That means this money doesn't exist in America today.  It's $1.7 trillion that doesn't exist anymore.  Flushed down a toilet or just sitting on the bottom of some lake...it's a sum of ownership that we no longer can claim.  I suspect that a million Americans are sitting in a house that they bought for $400k or more, and it's lost over a third of its value.  It bothers them, and they'd like to just escape and leave....but they can't.

Fifth, oil is tipping toward $100 a barrel.  For a stalled economy, it will be an interesting moment when this happens and people start to measure every single mile again.  You guys with 14-mile per gallon results....will began to ask if you really need to travel today.  Accident rates decrease.  Fewer kids on the road because Mom has tight control gas funds.  Things change.

Sixth, word of change came from the UK today.  Tuition at a major university is now rigged at $15k a year (up from $4k a year).  The fury from students was immediate.  They went after Prince Charles car, and I don't think the authorities can grasp the full anger and hostility existing.  It won't end now....or in the spring.  By next fall, I suspect the university system will see a twenty percent drop in students.  The curious thing is that you've got students who can readily get loans from the government, and they can avoid replaying the loan until they make over $30k a year.  The idea of spending fifteen or twenty years paying their loans back....just doesn't appeal.  Strange....you gaze at American kids who borrow $100k to study English literature or French philosophy....and they don't see a problem with a massive loan and paying back.

Seventh, it's strange that a bunch of global warming folks could all meet in Cancun, Mexico, in the midst of a drug war where a hundred people are found dead each week, and everything seems "OK".  The Mexican government probably pulled out every single cop and even private security folks to make this safe.  Yet across the country....Mexicans aren't getting that level of protection.  Guess you need to appreciate global warming in the right fashion.

Just some observations from today's news.