Odds & Ends
- For the past week I've been gathering articles and other information for the next edition of the Global Network newsletter called Space Alert!. This morning I sent the whole bunch to the person we pay to lay the paper out. I should have the proofs back by the end of the week. It's always a daunting challenge at first to sort through the volumes of potential material. My favorite section of the paper is the two-page spread we call 'Odds & Ends' which are bits of items from around the world. Going through an article to extract just enough to pass on the important info to the reader is both a challenge and fun at the same time.
- My talk at the Brunswick, Maine library yesterday drew 34 folks. It was my first ever PowerPoint presentation and it seemed to come across well. People liked seeing the images of US bases and the resistance against those bases in Sicily, England, Jeju Island and Okinawa that I reported on.
- The Lenten vigils at Bath Iron Works here in town begins this Ash Wednesday with an 11:30 am peace witness on Washington Street in front of the BIW administration building.
- The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) reports on the latest North Korean satellite launch. The US, Japan and South Korea screamed bloody murder about the launch insisting it was a nuclear missile delivery test in disguise. (By the way since when it is illegal to launch a satellite into space? The US has several thousand of them in orbit.) The UCS maintains that "North Korea has not flight tested a ballistic missile version of the Unha or a reentry heat shield that would be needed to protect the warhead as it reentered the atmosphere. Because of its large size, such a missile is unlikely to be mobile, and assembling and fueling it at the launch site would be difficult to hide. Its accuracy would likely be many kilometers." So in other words the US-Japan-South Korea military alliance are fabricating their outrage in order to justify further Pentagon deployments of 'missile defense' systems called THAAD (Theatre High Altitude Area Defense) systems in South Korea that will actually be aimed at China. Got to watch both hands as the deception of the magician in Washington is quite subtle.
- A warning was sounded today in Tass. They report on Russian reaction to the US development of hypersonic space planes (super drones) that can serve many functions including space-based surveillance, anti-satellite weapon, attack vehicle firing weapons to earth from orbit, or themselves dropping to Earth to deliver a first-strike attack. From Tass:
Russia is concerned over the ever more realistic prospect of attack weapons being deployed in outer space, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told TASS in an interview.
"We are alarmed over the ever more real prospect of attack weapons being deployed in outer space," he said. "This is not identical to the militarization of space. I would like to draw a certain line here. Many countries have long used space and are still using it for intelligence and communication and for keeping an eye on what is happening in various parts of the world."
"We say it will be impermissible to deploy attack weapons in outer space. In other words, of weapons that might be used for attacking space objects of other countries or for attacking targets on the Earth from space," Ryabkov said. "Technologies are developing and such a possibility is getting ever more real."
Ryabkov voiced the certainty that an obstruction to this should be put up before it is too late.
"In a situation where there is no such restriction it is extremely hard to consider further nuclear arms reductions. They have played the central role from the standpoint of deterring any potential aggressor and still play this role today," he said.