Patterico's Pontifications


Two Down, Four Hundred to Go

Filed under: Terrorism — Patterico @ 11:21 pm

Long-time readers know that I got very, very upset when we failed to secure known WMD sites in Iraq during the initial invasion, allowing looters to take sensitive documents and even nuclear material.

Long-time reader Roberta recently tried to assure me that all is well. She referred me to recent reports that almost two tons of low-enriched uranium were recently removed from Iraq.

Cori Dauber seems to think this means we got most of the looted nuclear material back. I hope she’s right. [UPDATE: Prof. Dauber clarifies in the comments that her observation related only to the material looted from Tuwaitha.]

However, I am not that reassured. While removing almost two tons of low-enriched uranium, we also left behind almost 400 tons of natural uranium:

Although low-enriched uranium can be made usable for a bomb much faster, the “natural uranium is still dangerous and could be used in a nuclear weapons program or sold to somebody that would misuse it,” said David Albright, a nuclear analyst and former weapons inspector in Iraq.

Bryan Wilkes, spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, said yesterday that the natural uranium is not considered an immediate proliferation concern and is being stored under the authority of the interim Iraqi government in a protected location.

. . . .

“They lost a real opportunity to move the natural uranium, and that’s disappointing since they had well over a year to do it when the country was exclusively under American control,” Albright said. “We have no idea what Iraq will look like in a year.”

I’m sorry, Roberta, but I think this shows we still don’t have our eye on the ball. Indeed, we don’t know what Iraq will look like in a year, but it’s an educated guess that, if a truly democratic election occurs in January, we’ll have an Iran-style Islamic republic in power next year. And they’ll have almost 400 tons of natural uranium to play with.

Does this make sense in the “post-9/11 world”? I, for one, say no.

Informal Survey

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 10:19 pm

Please weigh in on an informal survey.

Let’s say, not-so-hypothetically speaking, that someone has begun leaving numerous comments on the blog that are virtually always a) insulting to me and/or my commenters, and b) otherwise completely devoid of actual content, evidence, meaningful argument, etc. — you know, the things that make comments useful and interesting.

I never ban people for expressing opposing viewpoints. But the person I am talking about goes far beyond that, invariably to mindless insults.

Should I ban such a person? Or should I allow him to continue making a fool of himself, for the entertainment value (and the object lesson in the bankruptcy of the fringe opposition)?

Ultimately, this is my decision — one which may become obvious at some point, but which isn’t yet. I welcome your input. If you have been reading regularly lately, you know who I am talking about. (I am quite sure we’ll be hearing his opinion on this topic, multiple times.)

I’m interested in what the regular readers think.

My Daughter, the Four-Year Old Teenager

Filed under: Humor — Patterico @ 9:20 pm

I won’t bore you with the details of how our family ended up at a French restaurant tonight. It’s rare for us to go to such places, but we enjoyed this one.

The waiter was a particularly square-jawed and handsome fellow. If not for the fact that my wife only has eyes for me, she wouldn’t be blamed if she found this waiter attractive.

What was clear was that our four-year old daughter was infatuated.

Every time the guy came near our table, she would look at him with a moony stare. She said, “I like that guy.” We asked her what she liked about him. She said: “I like the way he looks.”

Later, she said we should ask him for more water, but we thought it would be cute to have her ask him. When he came up, she couldn’t do it. She started giggling and couldn’t get the question out.

She kept flashing him coy looks. He noticed, and one of the times he came to our table he said to her: “You’re cute.” When he left, she confided: “He was thinking that I think he’s cute.”

Pretty clever, that.

Another time, as she rested her chin on her two hands and looked in his direction with a glassy expression, we asked her what she was thinking about. She wouldn’t answer. We had to press her on the issue as if she were fifteen. Finally, she motioned vaguely in his direction. “Him.” We asked: “What were you thinking about him?” She said: “That I like his face.” She added: “And I like his neck.”

I am dreading what she’ll be like in about ten years.

Wilson Blackout Continues at L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 7:01 am

Still nothing in the Los Angeles Times on Joseph Wilson’s lies. Instead, taking up space on the front page, is a nice — but, let’s face it, less important — story about counting fish: One Fish, Two Fish, More Fish, Few Fish?

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