All posts by Rand Simberg

Dangerous Mistaken Identity

Jay Manifold has been ahead of the curve on this one for months, but now Space News has a story by Leonard David about the danger of an asteroid strike being mistaken for a nuclear strike. It’s particularly pertinent now, given the tensions in Kashmir.

It’s actually a good overview of both the danger and promise of asteroids, based on discussions that came out of the recent International Space Development Conference.

Asteroids are interesting from a scientific and space industrialization basis, as well as being a threat, [General] Worden said.

“For fear?for greed?for curiosity. Asteroids are about the only thing in space that combine all three of those,” Worden concluded.

And planetary scientist Clark Chapman echos the points that I (and many others) have been making for months (on this weblog) and years (in other venues):

“Unlike the dinosaurs, the big picture is that we do have the capability and intelligence to protect ourselves from this threat. The questions are?will we take a gamble and submit to fate? Or do we undertake a measured, rationale response? The first element is to educate ourselves and our leaders about this issue, and rationally decide what fraction of our budget should be devoted to protecting our planet,” Chapman said.

Sympathy For The Devil

Here’s another flashback to the sixties, with a description of just when radical campus opinion turned against Israel. It was thirty-five years ago, when Jews showed that they were no longer willing to play the left’s designated role of victim, in the Six-Day War.

At that point, with the aggressor Arabs soundly and surprisingly trounced by the previous underdogs, the sympathy shifted to them, and a whole generation of reporters were unleashed on the world with that flawed paradigm.

A Possible Deterrent?

While it seems appalling at first blush, Nathan Lewin has a possible, right-out-of-the-bible-eye-for-an-eye solution to discourage human bombs–kill their families.

It’s not quite that simple. He proposes sparing any who will renounce the act and don’t accept the blood money from the terrorist sponsors, so they have an out. But he hopes that it will create a dramatic change in the incentive structure for the “martyrs.”