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Friday, August 6, 2010

THE STATE OF PLANET EARTH AND HUMANITY ON 6AUG2010

1.  ATOMIC BOMB OVER HIROSHIMA

     a.  Today is the 65th anniversary of Little Boy (above) over Hiroshima from the Enola Gay (B-29).  That Atomic Bomb involved the fission of U-235, where only 0.6 grams created the explosion of up to 18,000 tons of TNT.  This was the first time such a nuclear weapon was ever exploded, for Fat Man (below), dropped on Nagasaki three days later, and the earlier Trinity Test in New Mexico on July 16, involved Plutonium fission.  There was no pre-test for that uranium weapon because they had on hand so little enriched fuel. Little Boy was nearly 10 feet long, 28 inches in diameter and 8,800 pounds.  Ironically, part of the uranium came from Germany after VE Day on March 7.  Surely, they could not have had any advanced planning for that supply.  The Nagasaki A-Bomb, Fat Man, maybe named after Winston Churchill, but, more likely, Sidney Greenstreet, who appeared in all those Humphrey Bogart movies, was almost 11ft long, with a 5 ft diameter, weighing in at 10,200 pounds and with a yield of 21,000 tons of TNT.
It is estimated that 150,000 were killed in Hiroshima and 75,000 in Nagasaki.  The cenotaph now, though, lists 269,446 people, as every year, individuals are added where death was directly attributable to radiation poisoning from these bombs.


     b.  U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the Hiroshima memorial ceremony, marking the very first time that an American official was ever present at this event. Ambassador Roos did not apologize because, while the facts are getting murkier, the official position was that Japan had vowed never to surrender, and the bomb saved American lives.  The current reality is that latest documents indicate some diplomatic treachery about America wanting to prolong this war, then changing our mind over the threat of an incoming Russia, for, indeed they declared war on Japan exactly on August 9, 1945.  According to the book by John McManus, General Douglas MacArthur told President Franklin Roosevelt as early in in January that Japan had asked to surrender.  Should peace have been reached then, there would have been no Iwo Jima (26,033 Americans killed) nor Okinawa (39,000 American dead, plus 109,000 Japanese), and, of course, no Hiroshima...no Nagasaki.



2.  GULF OIL SPILL AND BP: The capped BP well in the Gulf of Mexico has entered another continuing chapter.  Now, apparently, BP does not want to permanently seal the well, for there are 1.9 billion gallons left in that reservoir, and the Obama Administration will no doubt cave in and allow offshore drilling.  BP, learning something about PR, has decided to sell their rights, and want to make the sale as attractive as possible.  A further complicating factor is that BP will also want to destroy as much evidence as possible so that they can legally pass the blame to Halliburton and Transocean.  And you thought this was all over.  Finally, around 170,000 million gallons of oil leaked, which is more than 5 times that of the Alaskan Exxon Valdez spill.  However, 170,000 million gallons is what Americans use in two and a half hours.  All that agony over 2.5 hours???



3.  The Ground Zero mosque was approved.  Thomas Friedman has an excellent article on why this is good.  I agree with him.

4.  To no one's surprise, Elena Kagan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  She will be the fourth female of a total of 112 Supreme Court justices since the beginning.  As early as tomorrow, three of the nine will be women.  The conservatives will still have a 5-4 advantage. To no inside Democrat's surprise, Katherine Leonard will not be approved by the Hawaii Senate today to replace Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Moon.  Just simple local politics.  All is not lost for Governor Linda Lingle, accept more of her face.  She can still appoint one of the remaining five candidates from the list of the Judicial Selection Commission.

5.  The $26 billion jobs bill will pass through Congress next week and be signed by President Obama.

6.  Slowly, but surely, any gay marriage ban will be reversed, as was the case in California this week.  Yes, Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is himself openly homosexual, but social standards are changing.  Perhaps another Constitutional amendment in the future?   Myself, I've long noticed that, while I can't quite yet appreciate how people can be so different, we are, and those who desire to to live with a person of the same sex for life  deserve to consummate a legal marriage.
The movie, The Kids are Alright, helped to further my understanding of what should be.  Part of this, I guess, is that I've become so disenchanted with the strictures of religion that much they advocate with zeal I now seem to be against.  Mind you, most of the morality principles are sound human traits, but issues such as abortion, cloning, evolution, gay marriage, women priests and the like just reveal the inability of churches to adjust to the times.

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The Dow Jones Industrials fell 21 to 10,653, with world markets more down than up.  Gold jumped $12/toz to $1205 and crude oil is now under $81/barrel.

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There are now two storms in the Pacific and three in the Atlantic.  Tropical Storm Estelle is moving to a point south of Baha and will go west.  The second one, just a disturbance, is further south and east.  In the Atlantic, that weakened disturbance is suddenly Tropical Storm Colin at 45 MPH, but moving north and EAST, so no threat to the eastern seaboard.  The other two are those I earlier mentioned as east of the Yucatan and north of South America heading west.

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