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Posts Made By: Rod Kaufman

October 29, 2004 09:52 AM Forum: Politics

Videotapes of Explosives

Posted By Rod Kaufman

A newscrew traveling with the troops taped images of the explosives with, as conventional weapons expert David Kay notes,"the damming thing is the atomic energy seals are seen on the tape".This means the explosives were looted AFTER the invasion, despite claims by the Bush administration that they may have disappeared prior to the invasion.

November 15, 2004 05:23 PM Forum: Politics

Bush and the Environment

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The CNN website is reporting the Bush administration has approved oil drilling in the sensitive alaska environment including an area designated as a wildlife preserve. Nevermind you can't drill your way out of an oil shortage since the supply is finite; conoco/phillips is going to try anyway.
It's no wonder the LA Times reported a non-partisan environmental group gave Bush an "F" for his handling of the environment.
The oil companies are making money hand over fist, ie profiteering at the expense of the rest of us. Too bad the Bush administration continues to lead the way...

November 18, 2004 09:16 AM Forum: Politics

Meanwhile, Back in Iraq

Posted By Rod Kaufman

During the morning commute, KNX news radio stated insurgent attacks on Iraqi and US targets have increased to 80 or more PER DAY, despite the military action in Fallujah. The report also stated, "US officials had hoped" the military incursion into Fallujah would have diminished the attacks and that a "decrease in American troop strength would not be likely to occur".
It appears the US occupation of Iraq will continue with the presence US troops on an ongoing basis since the US "victory" in Fallujah has evidently failed to stabilize the region of the Sunni triangle. It appears the insurgents set-up shop in neighboring cities and continue unabated in their attacks.
It appears the US troop levels will not be decreased and we are stuck there for a long, long time...

November 18, 2004 03:37 PM Forum: Politics

Insurgents and Chevy Suburbans

Posted By Rod Kaufman

News item overheard on KNX radio: An Iraqi insurgent hideout was found packed with explosives with two chevy suburbans parked outside. The chevrolet suburban is the vehicle of choice utilized by public officials in Iraq and probably by a number of contractors as well. The inference is that the insurgents were going to pack the suburbans with explosives and drive them to their targets which would be a "perfect" terrorist plot as these vehicles would fit right in with the others already being used by public officials.
I question how these insurgents got their hands on these vehicles in the first place. Either public officials in Iraq provide them or perhaps they get them custom-ordered through Saudi Arabia. Where else are they going to get them?

November 18, 2004 08:13 PM Forum: Politics

Maysan: The new Fallouja?

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The LA Times reported today that the Iraqi Shiite province of Maysan "underscores uncertainty over Iraq's future as a viable state." It supports this statement with the following: "Brig. Abdul Mahmoud Badar arrived in the desolate moonscape of Maysan province from Baghdad last week to take command of the newly formed 73rd Brigade of the Iraqi national guard. Then he had a visit from three local men. Go back to Baghdad, they told him. Or we'll kill you. The brigadier fled the same day."
This region, unlike the sunni triangle, is composed of 400,000 people, primarily sunnis, that distrust fellow sunni interim leader Allawi and "underscores a growing uncertainty over Iraq's future as a viable state."
This appears to be further evidence that the CIA report of the probability of civil war in Iraq is evidently true, in contrast to what our president believes...

November 22, 2004 01:13 PM Forum: Politics

Assault Weapons Ban/Victims

Posted By Rod Kaufman

It appears the first victims of the lapse of the assault weapons ban have occured, just in time for the holidays. Five deer hunters were blown-away and others were wounded when another hunter, according to the investigating deputy, refused to give-up his hunting blind in a tree and opened-up with his SKS assault weapon.

December 7, 2004 02:12 PM Forum: Politics

New CIA Report/Iraq.

Posted By Rod Kaufman

The CNN website describes a new CIA report that provides more evidence of the decline in security in Iraq. The report is said to be unusually candid in it's presentation.
This is just one of a series of CIA reports that has described the deteriorating conditions in Iraq.
One wonders how "dubya" reconciles the CIA reports with his own thoughts about conditions in Iraq. I mean where are his intelligence reports about the status of security in Iraq that counter the results of the CIA reports?Anybody care to answer? Tick-toc, tick-toc, buzz, times up. It's just dubya's opinion that supports his own personal optimism on Iraq. His initial reaction to the first CIA report describing the probability of civil war in Iraq was "they are guessing". He then admitted it was wrong to call it a guess but he still doesn't believe the reports.
I suppose that since he does not read the newspapers, neither does he read the CIA reports. Dubya at the helm...

December 17, 2004 04:04 PM Forum: Politics

Stem Cells:Fact or Fiction

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Despite all of the hype of the political right, German doctors utilized stem cells to grow new bone in the skull of a child. It seems the child fell and a huge defect in the skull could not be repaired through conventional means. In fact, the child had to wear a protective helmut and the brain could be seen pulsating through the defect in the skull.
Stem cells were mixed with bone cells and applied to the skull with the defect being repaired.
The stem cells were taken from the child's own body.
I am glad to know that California passed a proposition directing billions for stem cell research despite the resistance of the Bush administration. The biotech companies are going to want more of this kind of money when they get a taste of this source of funding. In order to do it, they will have to produce results.
If German doctors can successfully apply stem cells for a therapeutic cure, similar applications for bone grafting can occur elsewhere and research can and will take us there, despite the opposition and lack of funding of the Bush administration.

December 20, 2004 07:27 PM Forum: Eyepieces

Antares Ultrawides

Posted By Rod Kaufman

There's a new cloudy nights review on tha antares ultrawides that have been on the market for a few years. I tried the link to discuss the article on CN but it didn't work for me so I thought I would provide comments in this forum.
I found the article to be thorough and unbiased. I also agree with the author that the antares 8.6mm ultrawide is the best of the lot with the 19mm unit being a close runner-up.
I've described the 8.6mm unit as a real "kicker" and the overall performance of it is quite good in my fast 16" f4.5 dob. I have not been bothered by the "kidney bean" effect that the CN author describes in his review. I've also used the 19mm antares ultrawide in a discovery 12.5" f-5 truss dob and while there is image degradation at the edge, the overall performance is quite good.
The author also comments on the purported similarity of these oculars with synta eyepieces but notes the quality control on these is evidently superior. He also notes the apparent addition of a barlow in the 8.6mm unit which I've noted in this forum in my previous posts on these oculars.
If you want a high performance ocular for modest cost that delivers a wide field of view in a dob, consider the 8.6 unit for tracking planets. Again, I have not noticed the kidney bean effect in this ocular and I am curious to know if others have seen it.
At any rate, check out the excellent review on cloudy nights!

December 24, 2004 02:45 PM Forum: Politics

Bush/Canadian Drugs

Posted By Rod Kaufman

Well, Bush has managed to PO both parties on his administration's decision on the importation of drugs from Canada. The decision imposed such tight regulations that both parties have reacted angrily. You can imagine the response from the democrats so let's consider the response from the republicans. "I don't know whether to describe this as an insult or an embarrassment," said Rep. Gil Gutkneckt (R-Minn), one of a growing number of republicans who say they are willing to confront the president about whether Americans should be able to buy imported brand name drugs. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) called the administration's decision, a disappointment."
During the presidential campaign, Bush hinted he might soften his stand on the importation of drugs from Canada but would never commit even though he was pressed on this issue by Kerry. Of course, he pushed through flu vaccinations for Florida voters from Canada despite the usual rhetoric from the white house regarding "safety concerns" about imported drugs.
I thought Bush said he was going to hold out his hand to both parties. It looks like the only hand holding in this instance is with the drug companies...