“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A Solar Maximum Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

Images of Massive Sunspot Show Sun's Chaos

Hugh Collins
AOL News
(Sept. 4) -- New images of a colossal sunspot show the chaos and energy on the surface of the sun.

The New Solar Telescope in Big Bear Lake, Calif., snapped the closest image ever taken of the sunspot, which is larger than the Earth. Resembling a giant sunflower, it makes for a pretty picture, but the black fibers are violent jets of energy being thrown from the surface of the star.

"What's interesting is that when we look at the sunspot, it appears pretty benign," New Jersey Institute of Technology professor Philip R. Goode told Fox News. But "the fibers are actually jets of energy being ejected from the bright magnetic fields at the surface."

Temperatures in the sunspot range from 6,500 degrees Fahrenheit to more than 10,000 degrees.

The sunspot itself is about 8,000 miles in diameter. The Earth is about 7,926 miles around the equator.

Sunspots are dark structures on the surface of the sun. They are created by intense magnetic activity, according to

These structures can erupt, sending storms hurtling out into space.

The storms can be felt on Earth, almost 93 million miles away, affecting power systems and satellites.

Last month, the sun sent out tons of plasma matter into space, an event that some dubbed a "solar tsunami." The tsunami created an incredible light display on Earth, with a green curtain of light being seen in skies above Michigan, according to The Daily Mail.

NASA is also working on a new way to study the sun. The agency plans to launch an unmanned craft into the sun's outer atmosphere, BBC News reported.

The craft will be about the size of a car and will send back readings from the sun's outer atmosphere before it is destroyed by temperatures topping 2,550 degrees.

"For the very first time, we'll be able to touch, taste and smell our sun," Nasa scientist Lika Guhathakurta told BBC News.


  1. Solar is already cheaper than Nuclear, and that is with Ridiculously high installation costs.

    In a few years we're going to be looking at $2.00, and less, "installed." At that point it gets interesting.

    At $1.25/Watt, installed, it becomes a "Screaming Buy."

    If you have to have a power plant standing by to produce Max Power on Summer Days that power plant might as well be Solar.

    Florida Power and Light, and all the other Utility Thieves will fight it, and fight it, and fight it till they can't fight it any longer, but they Will lose.

  2. In a few years we're going to be looking at $2.00, and less, "installed." At that point it gets interesting.

    At $1.25/Watt, installed, it becomes a "Screaming Buy.

    I look forward to the day. Maybe it will happen in my lifetime.

  3. Germany started off with absurdly high feed-in tariffs. Then, as capacity increased, and prices started coming down they began reducing the FITs.

    The Germans have the capacity to be "crazy as loons," but they are "oh so smart."

  4. I think it will, Whit. The Prices of the panels are dropping dramatically, already. And, that is with hugely increasing demand all over the world (especially, China.)

    Right now, the handful of "Solar Companies" are getting Enormous Prices for Installation. That can't last. There are no special skills required to install PV panels, other than an electricians license.

    We're going to wake up one morning in a few years, and there will be thousands of young bucks with pickup trucks running around installing photovoltaics. That's when it gets good.

  5. I see a boom industry that can create a small self contained window airconditioner, fed by solar, that is used as a supp to a person's main unit...

    Picture if you would this small unit to take 10% off the main load, this could help relieve the stress off the grid and also provide a small amount of cooling during a black out..

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  8. I posted a link a couple of weeks ago about a film that eliminates glare, and actually increases the efficiency of the panel by 10% (if it's glaring, it's wasting sunlight.)

  9. Clarian solar power systems are so cheap partly because the systems can be plugged directly into power outlets. Its plug-in power modules allow homeowners to plug solar (or wind) power into an existing outlet “without the expense and hassle of larger turn-key systems,” Clarian says. “Unlike existing micro-inverters which require a dedicated circuit and electric panel, our patent-pending SmartBox™ technology provides built-in circuit protection and converts your existing household wiring into a flexible plug-n-play power bus.”

    Interesting deal

  10. Allen, please email whit your email to me

  11. WiO,

    How do you propose I email whit?

    Try R. Kunis in Atlanta. He will direct you.

    Best to you and yours.

  12. Spawn?

    Is that a rhetorical flourish or merely a condescending hackneyed pejorative?

  13. France is joining the Party, too.

    Here's what is happening. With all the Governments jumping on board, they are running up "demand." This is leading to a rapid ramping-up of Supply.

    When the "Governments" start backing off a bit, the Supply will be there, but the lower demand will cause prices to continue falling. This will start driving demand from the "private" sector.

    The "private" sector will Demand lower installation costs. Enter the "young bucks in pickup trucks."

    The utility companies see it coming, they hate it, but they can't do a damned thing about it.

  14. condescending hackneyed pejorative

    would have been my guess.

  15. How lethal is Hezbollah to Americans?

    DEBKAfile's military sources report increased Hizballah involvement in actions to terrorize, subvert and destabilize Iraq. A US intelligence source told DEBKAfile's Iraq and counter-terror sources Monday Sept. 6: "Hizballah is striking US targets in Iraq as sub-contractor for Iran and Syria."
    According to the Sunday Times of Sept. 5, Iranian "firms" in Kabul are shelling out $1,000 to Taliban for every American soldier they kill in Afghanistan.
    These developments make nonsense of the dire predictions heard from some American military experts that an Israeli strike against Iran's nuclear facilities would unleash a wave of anti-US terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is happening anyway without Israel lifting a finger against Iran or its aggressive allies.
    DEBKAfile's counter-terror sources can exclusively reveal the nature and makeup of Hizballah's operation in Iraq: The Lebanese terrorists are working directly and through two Iraqi Shiite affiliates.

    1. Asaib al-Haq (League of the Believers): Under a variety of names, such as the Qais Khazalis for its commander, this group spent the last four years under the tutelage of Hizballah officers at Revolutionary Guards bases in Iran.A few weeks ago, the Lebanese officersleft Iran and crossed into Iraq disguised as Shiite pilgrims to spread out in Baghdad and the southern Iraqi towns of Karbala, Najef, Nassiriyeh and Basra from which to attack attack US targets.
    2. Kata'ib Hizballah (Hizballah Brigades): This organization is commanded by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who visited Damascus on Aug. 21 with the Revolutionary Guards chief Gen. Ali Jafaari. They got together there with Syrian and Hizballah officers to synchronize their campaigns of violence in Iraq, Israel and the West Bank.
    The Iraqi operation was clearly uppermost on the mind of Hizballah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah, judging from the number of words he poured out on Iraq in his speech in Beirut on Palestine Solidarity Day of Sept. 3 and the way he bracketed the two "resistance struggles."
    "The steadfastness of the Palestinians, Syria, Iran and the Iraqi people has been able to foil the US plot seeking to partition the region and liquidate its resistance," he said. "The US withdrawal from Iraq is a sign of weakness and defeat." Furthermore, "the Americans came to Iraq to stay there and control it, but years later, they were surprised by the early resistance and cited enormous and strategic mistakes in their reading of the Iraqi arena."
    DEBKAfile's military sources report that Hizballah's increased involvement in actions to terrorize, subvert and destabilize Iraq on behalf of Syria and Iran is their first practical step for reviving the Eastern Front which threatened Israel in the days of Saddam Hussein.
    In its contemporary re incarnation, the Eastern Front would be orchestrated from Tehran and link up with the armed-to-the-teeth Northern Front composed of Iran's cohorts, Hizballah, Syria and the Palestinian rejectionists.

  16. rufus: Clarian solar power systems are so cheap partly because the systems can be plugged directly into power outlets. Its plug-in power modules allow homeowners to plug solar (or wind) power into an existing outlet “without the expense and hassle of larger turn-key systems,” Clarian says.

    very interesting....


  17. Gosh WiO, you couldn't post a Hezbollah solar power story?

  18. In a last-minute race to the finish-line, the CEC has approved a staggering 2,800 MW (or 3 GW) of solar projects this month in California.

    Among them are Tessera Solar’s 709 MW Imperial Valley Solar project in Imperial County (scaled down from 750 MW, by BLM request) and NextEra Energy’s 250 MW Beacon Solar Energy Project, the first large-scale solar-thermal power projects permitted in California in two decades.

    During the same time, only one 760 MW fossil plant was approved: Mirant Corp.’s 760-MW Marsh Landing Generating Station.

    This ratio of clean energy approvals to dirty energy approvals reverses the pattern over the last ten years.
    >> Interested in solar power? See if group discounts are available in your city
    While 11 Gigawatts of clean energy languished in “environmental reviews”, between 2000 and 2008, 20 Gigawatts of dirty power plants in California were promptly approved and installed.

    California, on some things they're nuts, but, sometimes . . . . . .

  19. The original story that I read, about this "Solar Maximum", put it peaking in 2012.

    Possibly around the time of the winter solstice.

    It was written that it will wreck havoc upon the satellites in orbit. Taking down GPS and commo across the planet. One other of the inputs, that it would hit like a planet wide earth quake.

    That the last time the sun went through this type of cycling, the telegraph wires across the North American continent literally melted.

    Not much to look forward to, unless the fulfillment of Mayan prophesy is high on your wish list.

  20. There's a whole lotta "Maybein'" going on there, Ed.

    Just let me say this: NASA has been wrong about Everything concerning Solar Cycle 24, so far; I'm not liking their odds about this.

  21. Albuquerque: August 31, 2010 – IR Summary-

    Dr. B. Ramesh from USA interviews Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist from India to seek his views whether the Sun Storm can extinct life on the Earth and cause irreparable damage as feared by most astronomers and NASA?

  22. Q. “Dr. Raj Baldev, any final message to the world, whether the Sun storm would be severe or mild and of what category?”

    A. Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist said:
    “ The world should be not worry, you are safe in 2012 and 2013, Almighty God is there to take care of you; the world should only due care and fear from the global warming which is the real danger to the planet and for this God Believers Association (GBA) is working hard to save the Earth with the cooperation of the good people on the Earth."

  23. The original post evolved into a discussion of the benign influences of the sun and its potential benefits.

    The other side of the coin is the negative influences. In 1958-1959, during a huge Solar Max cycle communication in the US was completely cut off from Europe causing major disruption.

    We are now building towards another "major" Solar Max.

    A Big Storm Is Coming

    This week researchers announced that a storm is coming--the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). "The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one," she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958.

    Hathaway predicts the Solar Max will hit in 2011 while Dikpati say it will hit in 2012 (matching predictions from the Mayan Long Count Calendar by the way). Regardless, everyone seems to agree the new Solar Max should be a doosie.

    My only point is that we have known about this for years. We know the potential consequences. We know that our current grid is fragile. (In recent years, an overloaded circuit in Ohio wiped out electricity for half the US and Canada for days.)

    Scientists are concerned about the effects a major solar activity could have on communications, industries dependent on satellites and GPS (airlines), and the power grid.

    NASA Voices Concern

    The stimulus funds would have been a perfect opportunity to try to update and bolster our aging grid, yet very little has been done.


  24. Let's hope allah has it hit the arab side of the world, Israel excepted, and fries all their circuits.

  25. This should cause a good northern lights effect, no?

  26. WiO has been worried about EMI's.

    Better update those surge protectors.


  27. Maybe it''l be good for the 'ol prostate, if that's what the trouble is.

  28. What's the effect of such an event on the horoscope racket, Quirk?

  29. Quirk said...
    WiO has been worried about EMI's.

    Better update those surge protectors.


  30. The less technologically advanced the civilization, the greater the probability of the survival of their status que.

    The folks in the mud huts will not feel the effects nearly as much as those that need computers to get it done.

    GPS and "Smart Bomb" technology could well fail. Car bombs will still deliver their payload to the target.

    If you lose your "Eye in the Sky" and you're back to localized decision making and initiative, the years of poor training will be exposed for what it really was. Misplaced priorities.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  31. Panama Ed says: Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    sounds like he roots for the mud hut'ers.......

  32. A lot of really smart Solar "Experts" say that NASA's just hyperbolating, as usual, on this one. As I said, NASA has been all wet on this Solar Cycle since Day One. I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

  33. No, I know reality.

    Been on both ends over the years.

    The mud hutters will have home field advantage and we will lose the technological edge.

    With our troops spread across the globe, with US unable to support them as we have in the past.

    The battle is not on our turf, but on theirs. Afpakistan not a good place be, if you lose the ability to use the heavens.

    Not a matter of desire. The British lost an entire expeditionary force, in the Khyber Pass.

    On January 1, 1842, three years after their invasion, a combined force of sixteen thousand five hundred British and Indian troops began its retreat from Kabul ... as the retreating forces came under persistent attack by Pashtun Ghilzai warriors in the snowbound mountain passes on the hundred-mile route to Jalalabad.

    In one of the most crushing defeats in the empire's history, the remnants of the British column were massacred about thirty-five miles from Jalalabad. The sole survivor of the march was an army surgeon.

    Folks that have never been in the field will never understand the demoralizing effect that losing their support infrastructure has.

    Especially when your LT cannot read a map.
    Ask Jessica Lynch.
    Without GPS they were lost, did not know which way to turn.
    The reality, they went the wrong way and lost the convoy.

    An episode that well exemplifies the true state of the US military when they cannot access technologies they have been taught to depend upon.

  34. Well, rufus, if the last Solar Maximum melted telegraph wires, as reported, and the sun is cyclical, which it is a Solar Maximum will occur again.

    Melting wires on telegraph poles in Kansas.
    Something none of us living today has seen before.

    Or not.

    I'd not bet against the sun, though. It rises every day. Whether there are people to see it, or not.

  35. I'm not against the mud hutters. We were better off when each farm had some cattle, horses, hogs, chickens, and grain in the silo, and candles for lighting, a shotgun and a deer rifle. The depression never even hit, here. Kinda romantic too, milking the cow, and having a morning roll in the hay with the milk maid.

  36. And your own library upstairs of course.

  37. Naw, Rat, the last "Solar Maximum" was along, about 1998. We have one approx 11 years.

  38. When you are trained to depend upon indirect fire, air support and logistic and technological superiority and you lose those tools ...

    Ask Ms Lynch what happens.
    She is typical of today's soldier.

    Her chain of command, par for the course. They got lost on paved roads.

    SEAL Team 10, chopped up in Afghanistan, would have all been totally lost, without a satellite telephone.

  39. Not so, rufus, not on the scale predicted. Have to go back to 1859 to see what is expected, this time.
    Or not.

  40. Long cycles and short cycles.

    Both are a reality. That much I do know. Hope that the 1859 event is not duplicated, but who really knows?

    As that Indian professor said, put your trust in God.
    Worry about Global Warming.

    Or have no worries at all.

  41. A Solar Maximum event, on the scale of the 1859 event is much more likely than a man made EMP event in the US.

    At least a thousand times more likely. A hundred thousand times more likely than a terrorist initiated EMP event in the US.

  42. As reported in Outlook

    As the Great Game repeats itself, India must wake up to Karzai’s new moves

    In 1843, shortly after his return from Afghanistan, an army chaplain named Rev G.H. Gleig wrote a memoir of the disastrous First Anglo-Afghan War of which he was one of the very few survivors. It was, he wrote, “a war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it. Not one benefit, political or military, was acquired with this war. Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated”.

    It would be difficult to imagine any military adventure today going quite as badly as the First Anglo-Afghan War, an abortive experiment in Great Game colonialism that ended with an entire East India Company army utterly routed by poorly equipped tribesmen, at the cost of Rs 80 billion and over 40,000 lives. But this month, almost 10 years on from NATO’s invasion of Afghanistan, there were increasing signs that the current Afghan war, like so many before them, could still end in another embarrassing withdrawal after a humiliating defeat, with Afghanistan yet again left in tribal chaos, possibly partitioned and ruled by the same government which the war was originally fought to overthrow.

    Certainly it is becoming clearer than ever that the once-hated Taliban, far from being defeated by the surge, are instead beginning to converge on, and effectively besiege, Kabul in what is beginning to look like the final act in the history of Karzai’s western-installed puppet government. For the Taliban have now reorganised, and advanced out of their borderland safe havens. They are now massing at the gates of Kabul, surrounding the capital, much as the US-backed mujahideen once did to the Soviet-installed regime in the late ’80s. The Taliban controls over 70 per cent of the country, where it collects taxes, enforces the sharia and dispenses its usual rough justice. Every month their sphere of influence increases. According to a recent Pentagon report, Karzai’s government only controls 29 out of 121 key strategic districts.

  43. Saleh brought these impeccable credentials to his job after the American conquest, ruthlessly hunting down and interrogating any Taliban he could find, with little regard for notions of human rights.

    The Taliban, and their backers in the ISI, regarded him as their fiercest enemy, something he was enormously proud of. When I had dinner with him in Kabul in May, he spoke at length of his frustration with the Karzai government’s ineffectiveness in taking the fight to the Taliban, and the degree to which the ISI was still managing to aid, arm and train their pocket insurgents in Waziristan, Sindh and Balochistan.

    Saleh’s sacking in early June merited much less newsprint than last month’s sacking of General Stanley McChrystal. Yet in reality, McChrystal’s departure reflects only a minor personnel change, no important alteration in strategy. The sacking of Saleh, however, gave notice of a major and ominous change of direction by President Karzai.

    Bruce Riedel, Obama’s Afpak advisor, said when the news broke: “Karzai’s decision to sack Saleh and (Hanif) Atmar (head of the interior ministry) has worried me more than any other development, because it means Karzai is already planning for a post-American Afghanistan.”

  44. Ah, maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't want to bet on it.

    We can throw a communications satellite up there in 24 hrs.

    Also, I imagine our guys are a little better, now, than they were when the good PFC Lynch's crew got lost.

    It might be a good idea to keep a little "cash" stashed away, just in case.

  45. A bad enough scenario is building in Afpakistan, without the negative effects that a repeat of the 1859 Solar Maximum could entail.

  46. Afghanistan is the same as it's always been. Not worth a fight. Not worth the drain on the Treasury.

    You can kid yourself for a year, or two, but eventually, you're going to wake up and go "WTF, Over?"

  47. What would make you believe that our guys have improved, rufus?

    They are more dependent upon technology now, then they were then. That was the solution, more technology push further down the chain, not better training at land navigation.

    It was more cost effective and easier to monitor from above.
    To quantify.

    I doubt that there are another 32 satellites ready to replace those GPS units in orbit, today. Plus the commo satellites, both military and commercial.

    Let alone the boosters to get them up there.

    It has taken 30 years to fully develop the system in place, today.

    The most recent launch was on May 28, 2010. The oldest GPS satellite still in operation was launched on November 26, 1990, and became operational on December 10, 1990

    It could not be quickly replaced, ameros to donuts.

  48. Rat, I'm sure everything you're saying is true. However, first, NASA has gotten really bad about issuing "sensational" press releases.

    And, none of our Jr NCOs, and Officers, in 2003, had ever been in combat. The Force has now been involved in continuous Combat Operations for going on 8 years.

  49. Eight years of ever further dependency upon the digital technologies, rufus.

    Eight years of police work.

    Eight years of emphasis on force protection.

    Not eight years of improved training.

    Eight years of limiting ferocity, not enhancing it. Eight years of dependency on "Smart Technologies".

    They are the Achilles Heal of our force projection.
    Great when they work.

    A titanic disaster if there is system wide failure.

  50. A disaster which could only be wrought by the Sun.

    Or God.

    Physics or theology, readers choice.

  51. I do know that in 2005 the US Marines, in Iraq, were not doing any Land Navigation training, amongst its' Corporals.

  52. rufus: It might be a good idea to keep a little "cash" stashed away, just in case.

    I have cash...

    It's called .223, buckshot & .40

  53. Cash for when the banks' computer go down for a month or so.

  54. I'm gonna have to get a little 'stash' cashed away to ride out the solar maximum.

    I now have my official plat map from my engineer, and we are working on street names.

    Deal to be done by end of year, so's I don't have to pay unca obama nothin' in taxes this year.

    Take that, unca obama.

  55. Not to worry gentlemen'

    In the end, we will be saved by our ingenuity and our grit.

    We have the right stuff.


    Not to worry.


  56. John from Philly says--

    I grew up in Philadelphia; fortunately I left the city over twenty five years ago. I remember when I went to register to vote for the first time; something our school books told us was a great privilege. I was told to register democrat and if I did not I was in big trouble. I refused and registered Republican out of spite. When I showed up to vote for the first time in my life I was told by the obvious democrat poll workers that I could not vote because they could not find my registration. I found out then that I would never never never vote democrat in my life and I have not. Philadelphia is so full of corruption it stinks; my first job in Philadelphia I was approached by the union agent, an Irishman with his breath reeking of whiskey, and told if I did not have the fifty dollars to join the union by next week I would be history at the job. I did not have that much money and could not get it from my parents who did not have it; at that time fifty dollars was a lot of money. I came from a poor working class family, my parents were immigrants; I have never believed that the democrat party or the unions were anything but the enemy of the hard working decent people in this country. Philadelphia and moral/political corrutpion , perfect together.

    September 7, 2010 - 9:05 am

    John from Philly makes the place sound like a Chicago, Jr.

    Wonder if it's really that bad.

    Were the shots in Beverly Hills Cop really shot in beautiful downtown Detroit, Quirk?

  57. That girl is really good at signing, wife could do that a little, and my pastor was great, it's a real skill.

  58. Well, Fidel, seems to be showing something almost related to wisdom, may he smoke his last cigar.

  59. allen said...

    How do you propose I email whit?

    Try R. Kunis in Atlanta. He will direct you.

    Best to you and yours.

    He has my number, call him

  60. Good afternoon - Ta'c halaxp

    Buffalo is Sahaptin is qoq'a lx

    Haruo Aoki, a Japanese linguist, created the "Nez Perce Dictionary", University of California Press, Berkleley, pp ix-x of Introduction, which costs nearly $200. He worked quietly on it for at least a decade.

    We are trying to figure out what the word(s) for spring water or aquifer would be.

  61. Since water is kus in Sahaptin, and Walla Walla means 'place of many waters' and we're looking for a name for the underground aguifer on our land, 20,000 year old water, maybe it'd be something like kuskuswallawalla(then something for underground)
    or kuswallakuswalla(then something for underground)

    or we can just give up and go with 'The Young and the Restless Road'.

  62. Viktor Newman Street

    Jack Abbot Road

  63. Michael Baldwin
    Jess Walton
    Michelle Stafford
    Jeanne Cooper
    Jill Foster Abbott
    Phyllis Summers
    Katherine Chancellor

    That ought to do it, name a road for all of 'em.

  64. To keep you interested and entertained--

    Kooskooskie, Washington

    From 'kus' = water

  65. The Sunspots are coming!
    The Sunspots are coming!
    Everyone to get from streets!

  66. Republican Runs Street People on Green Ticket

    TEMPE, Ariz. — Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for statewide office in Arizona, lists his campaign office as a Starbucks. The small business he refers to in his campaign statement is him strumming his guitar on the street. The internal debate he is having in advance of his coming televised debate is whether he ought to gel his hair into his trademark faux Mohawk.

  67. China Spells Out Its Fears

    "To ensure a reasonable degree of employment China must create some 24 million new jobs a year and this at a time when some 120 million people in rural areas are underemployed or surplus to requirements for labor. Compounding the problem, while unskilled labor is still abundant, specific sectors are starting to emerge that suffer from a lack of skilled labor."

    China's Future Challenges


  68. BAGHDAD — Two American soldiers were killed and nine wounded Tuesday when a firefight erupted inside an Iraqi Army base north of Baghdad, American and Iraqi officials said.
    The attack took place during a meeting between an American company commander, with his retinue of security guards, and Iraqi soldiers at a small base described as a commando compound near the city of Tuz Khurmato in Salahuddin Province. During the meeting an Iraqi soldier fired on the Americans and was himself shot and killed, the American military said in a statement.
    A spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Mohammed al-Askari, identified the Iraqi soldier as Soran Rhaman Falih Wali and the unit as the 4th Division of the Iraqi Army. He also said an investigation would be conducted.

    A member of the provincial council in Salahuddin, Niazi Uklo, said in a telephone interview that the soldier, a Kurd, had opened fire after a dispute broke out during the meeting on the base. “There was a struggle between an Iraqi Army solider and an American soldier,” he said. “It escalated into a brawl and ended when the Iraqi soldier opened fire.”

    One shooter does not a "fire fight" make, wonder how many other Iraqi soldiers joined in?

    This will be something to watch, the spin could well make us dizzy.

  69. More Muslim policemen killed in terrorist bombing attacks in Pakistan.

    If this was really a religious battle, why would the terrorists target their fellow Muslims?

    Seems to be a typical battle for local and regional power, not based upon the religion of the combatants. They're all Muslims, on both sides of the explosions.

    ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A powerful blast ripped through a residential compound for police officials and their families in Pakistan’s restive northwest on Tuesday evening, killing at least 18 people, including women and children, officials said.

  70. Now that Kurd in Iraq, he may have been annoyed to the point of initiating violence because Americans were going to be burning Korans, as a means of political education and expression.

    But maybe not.

  71. The attack occurred in Kohat, a garrison town, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, formerly known as North-West Frontier Province. It lies near the semiautonomous tribal regions that have long served as a haven for Taliban militants, and was the latest in a string of lethal militant attacks on security and police targets in Pakistan’s northwest.

    Just a day earlier, a suicide bomber killed 19 when he struck a police station in Lakki Marwat, in the same province.

  72. 2 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq
    Nine are injured as they come under fire from a man in an Iraqi army uniform.

    Alaa Ahmed, a colleague of the shooter, said he opened fire on the Americans during a dispute over a volleyball game, an account confirmed by a senior Kurdish official who asked to remain anonymous.

    U.S. military spokesman Maj. Lee Peters said he could not confirm that account.

    Meanwhile, Gen. Hussein Rashid Bayati, the police commander for the town of Tuz Khurmatu, where the shooting occurred, said a soldier opened fire without provocation on the Americans in a hall where they were meeting with Iraqi commanders.

    Spinning that the Kurdish soldier may not have been a soldier, but merely wearing a uniform.

    It's going to get even dizzier, before the story falls below the fold.

  73. Could the "Tea Party" end up costing the GOP that Alaska Senate seat?

    The Democrat could win in a three way race.

    (AP) A week after conceding the GOP primary, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she's not a quitter and is "still in this game."

    Murkowski told The Associated Press on Tuesday that she's been inundated with calls and e-mails from supporters, asking her not to leave the race. She says she's been humbled and is listening - and weighing her options.

    She said that if this was "all about Lisa, certainly the easy thing for me to do would be to figure out what my next opportunity would be with my family and just settle in to a nice job."

    "But what I'm looking at is my state and the future of my state for my kids. So, I have not made that determination that I'm going to give up. I'm not a quitter, never have been. And I'm still in this game," Murkowski said.

    She met briefly Tuesday with the Libertarian candidate, David Haase after friends of hers - without her direction, she said - approached his party, asking if they would consider a Murkowski candidacy.

  74. (AP) The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warned Tuesday an American church's threat to burn copies of the Muslim holy book the Quran could endanger U.S. troops in the country and Americans worldwide.

    "Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Gen. David Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
    "I am very concerned by the potential repercussions of the possible (Quran) burning. Even the rumor that it might take place has sparked demonstrations such as the one that took place in Kabul yesterday,"
    Petraeus said in his message.
    "Were the actual burning to take place, the safety of our soldiers and civilians would be put in jeopardy and accomplishment of the mission would be made more difficult."

  75. "Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan - and around the world - to inflame public opinion and incite violence," Gen. David Petraeus said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

    Extremists. As opposed to moderates in Afghanistan. All three of them.