Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Sorry, had to take out the comments. OhTooBad.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Tentatively, it's been reported the substance in the gas used to kill the hostage takers and so many hostages in Moscow was something called Fentanyl. And when I saw that, my thought was, "no wonder so many are dead."

A bit about Fentanyl: it's an opiate similar to heroin. In fact, lately it's often mixed in with heroin. Only it's 100 times more powerful. And Fentanyl being part of the heroin trade, the Russian mob has to have their hands on a good-sized stash of it.

Now think about that for a second. Think about how much smack it takes to produce a fatal overdose. Divide that by 100. That's how much fentanyl will kill you. Thinking about it alternatively, one single dose of Fentanyl has a mass of 0.05 mg. (The lab back home has a balance that is only precise to 0.1 mg.) So it takes very few milligrams of the stuff to kill a human.

(In fairness, it also gets prescribed as pain medication. But doctors have to know what they're doing to deliver a controlled dose.)

Back to the Russian military. It is possible to control the dose of Fentanyl. Turning it into an aerosol and spraying it into a crowded room is not one of them. So to the chickenbloggers falling all over themselves to be the next to rub one out for Vlad the Inhaler (thanks, Hesiod), there really was a better way to go about freeing the hostages. And it involves something other than Russian-mob-provided Fentanyl. If Glenn Reynolds really thought this was the only way, he's even dumber than I thought.

UPDATE: A New York Times editorial about the Russians' use of Fentanyl and the narrow line between incapacitating and lethal doses is not much different from my point. Which means that the Mickster and Power Glutes will see me as part of the Howell Raines conspiracy (snicker).

From Hesiod, for starters.

It's been pretty hush-hush, but there was a coup attempt in Qatar, according to a Christian Science Monitor account of an arabicnews.com story. Lean Left also has something about this. And for some reason, when Googling 'qatar coup', Freeperville came first. Whatever.

Now then, about Qatar. Other that it being the home of al-Jazeera, which has a penchant of making everyone mad at it (including their Saudi neighbors), Qatar is the home of 3000 US troops. With Saudi Arabia refusing access to its bases, and Kuwait being threatened as well, Qatar is pretty much the only place that US troops can base an Iraq attack. And with an unstable situation in Qatar, well, so much for that idea.

Seeing as I'm blogging about this over 2 weeks after the fact, it's a good guess that the Shrubbery doesn't want you to know that the Iraq war that most Americans hate anyway is in jeopardy. But thanks to the CS Monitor for saying something.

The same CS Monitor article also says that Rummy's demanding that the CIA hand over an Iraq-al Qaeda link. In other words, he wants the CIA to use the young-earth creationist method of data collection: draw curve, plot points later.

Monday, October 28, 2002

People link me...they really link me...Perusing my hit counter referral list, I see that Jesse at Pandagon has me on his roll. As does Dr. Limerick, who quickly snapped up the domain name Media Horse Online (after the funn with CNN's transcripting) and helped to launch a mascot for MWO.

Morgan Pillsbury also has me on her links page. That rocks.

The Russians gas 117 of their own to death. Glenn Reynolds approves. And to top it all off, he claims (yeah, like he's really telling the truth) that the only thing that the anti-Putin crowd feel is schadenfreude. Then he claims that the choice was doing what they did or letting the Chechen hostage-takers kill them all. Since, well, they're not all dead, it must be a success.

Pardon me while I fire up this truck to drive through that logic hole of 'Professor' Reynolds. Were those really the only choices that the Putin government had? To do nothing or to launch an unknown, classified poison gas that kills 1 out of every 7 it comes in contact with? Was there really nothing else that might have, you know, minimized the casualties?

It's things like this that make me glad that a) Glenn Reynolds is a professor and not a practicing lawyer, b) Glenn Reynolds is in law and not in science. In fact, the field of law is a perfect place for that thinwitted hack.

Link via Hesiod, of course.

Here's something that the U.S. has in common with Japan... crappy voter turnout.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

In case you thought angry right-wing loony bins going after leftists was confined to the U.S....

One Hakusui Ito, a member of Japan's right-wing group Shukojuku (which translates to 'emperor's protection corps'), has confessed to the stabbing death of Japan Diet member Koki Ishii in front of Ishii's home in Tokyo. Ito was not unknown to Ishii's staff, as he paid monthly visits to the office. Ishii was a member of the opposition center-left Democratic Party (as opposed to the center-right ruling Liberal Democratic Party) who exposed numerous financial scandals over the years, and also exposed Aum Shinrikyo's activities in Russia.

The last time a Diet member was murdered was in 1960, when Inejiro Asanuma of Japan's Socialist Party (socialist in this context means, well, socialist) was stabbed by a right winger while Asanuma was giving a speech.

A little late, but...

Paul Wellstone, R.I.P.

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