More Junkmail from Bob!
Sunday, March 30, 2003
A Prime Breakthrough
A guy named Dan and a
guy named Yalcim made a breakthrough in prime number theory. I didn't go
through it all to understand the details, but they've gotten a giant step
closer to proving the existence of an infinite number of twin primes --
prime numbers separated by 2 such as 5, 7 and 41, 43. Apparently they've
broken down a theoretical barrier that has been around for 80 years.
Here are some details
What's it like at Camp
David? I'm pretty sure it goes something like this:
Listen up! There's
a reporter coming, so everybody look sharp and clean up your language!!
Bush, is the war lasting longer than you expected?
Saddam is evil. He
has killed thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of his own
people with nerve gas. He's an evil man and we know the outcome of this war.
Bush, you have requested almost $75,000,000,000 for the war effort, yet
little more than $60,000,000,000 is earmarked for the war, and most of that
will be spent at the discretion of Mr. Rumsfeld. Where will the extra $15
billion go, and do you consider this a sound fiscal policy?
Saddam is a
terrible man. He leads a brutally repressive regime and he must be disarmed,
no matter how long it takes. No matter how long it takes. No matter how long
Bush, some of the U.S. marines are down to one meal per day, and are short
on fuel, ammunition, and water. Even worse, one of our own reporters is
getting only one meal per day. They say they are taking a 4-6 day pause for
resupply. Is this true?
We know the
outcome of this battle. The Iraqi regime will be disarmed. The Iraqi regime
will be removed from power. Iraq will be free.
a few months ago you were quoted as saying this war may last only six days,
and certainly weeks rather than months. Also, you were quoted saying that
Hussein's government is nothing but a house of cards. Do you still stand by
ridiculous. Saddam Hussein is an evil man. He has gassed thousands of his
own people. He is unquestionably hiding all kinds of nuclear, biological,
and chemical weapons. We know this because we haven't found any yet.
U.S. army officers have reported from Iraq saying they need more people, the
fighting is worse than anticipated, and they are meeting much more
resistance than expected from irregular forces. What is your reaction to
Wallace are a couple of whiners. We are on track and on schedule. Saddam is
evil. He gasses his own people. He must be disarmed. It is a brutally
Chirac, some people in your country suggest you should prohibit the U.S.
military from flying over France. Do you see this as a possibility?
Saddam is evil,
but Bush is the axis of stupid. I am a diplomat.
Chirac, some Americans believe that France owes the U.S. a debt of gratitude
for World War II, and should participate in the fight against Iraq. How do
you respond to this?
The U.S. only
got into World War II after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. I don't think France
had anything to do with it. Besides, if it weren't for Lafayette, you
Americans would be speaking English today.
Hey, what about me!
If you guys don't quit ignoring me I'm gonna launch a missile into the
Get those things
perfected and we'll buy them from you. Our cruise missiles keep landing in
the Saudi desert, and I'll be darned if I can figure out why.
Maybe we should
start filling them up with fuel before we launch them.
Shutup. If I
want your opinion I'll give it to you.
OK, OK, enough of
the small talk. Get rid of the reporter and let's play poker. Someone tell
those guys in Iraq to lay low and don't bother me for a few hours.
Once I was flying an
airplane near Phoenix and the controller told me to hold my position. I
looked all over the panel twice, but there was no pause button. That's a
major flaw with airplanes, in my opinion. The controller followed up my
silence with an order to fly in circles. That was much easier.
There's a war going on
in Iraq. Some of the U.S. army is near Baghdad, and they're pausing a few
days for to rest, resupply, and fix broken stuff. Several of the generals
and colonels there have said this, and it certainly seems like a good idea.
But U.S. Secretary of
Defense Donald has denied more than once that there is any pause in the
operation. I can't figure out whether he's clueless or lying. According to
Bob Woodward's "Bush at War," Rumsfeld told some blatant untruths during the
attack in Afghanistan, and Woodward backed it up.
It makes me wonder, if
Rumsfeld would lie just to paint a pretty picture of the war, do you think
he'd lie to cover up something he or an associate (maybe someone named
Perle, for example) did wrong? It also makes me wonder why he says the U.S.
troops are not pausing before their attack on Baghdad. Does he think I'm as
dumb as I look?
Whether or not the U.S.
troops pause to regroup is not important. Who cares? There are competent
people in Iraq making those decisions. What could be more important is why
the U.S. Secretary of Defense goes out of his way to distort what's
happening in Iraq. Has the propaganda campaign spilled over into the U.S.?
Doesn't the press care any more when a politician distorts the truth?
Truth in Politics
Bush mentioned in his
State of the Union address, "The British government has learned that Saddam
Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." The
U.S. turned over the incriminating documents to the International Atomic
Energy Agency, who figured out right away that they were fakes, and poor
For example, on one of
the documents the signature of Niger President Tandja Mamadou was not even
close to authentic, and there was a reference to the 1965 Niger Constitution
even though it had been replaced by the 1999 Niger Constitution. Another
letter was signed by the foreign minister of Niger. However, the foreign
minister who supposedly signed the letter had left his job 10 years earlier,
and the letter was on some kind of military letterhead.
The CIA said, "We didn't
do it. We make good forgeries." Bush said, "Yeah, maybe those are fake, but
we have other evidence we can't disclose." CNN said, "We can't be bothered
with this stuff. There's a war on!"
News coverage is really
interesting lately. The U.S. war news at CNN
is almost like U.S.
propaganda. They quote the U.S. party line and very little else. The war
news at the English Al-Jazeera
site is in
Arabic, and it's offline pretty often. I'm pretty sure it's Iraqi
propaganda, although I can't read it. The
is a little more objective, but the best
war news I've been able to find is here:
Report Your Local
everywhere! If you see anything unusual, report it to any of dozens of
toll-free numbers around the country, ranging from the FBI to Customs to the
Coast Guard to the Ohio Department of Homeland Security. Yesterday I saw a
dog chasing a squirrel. It was very unusual because this stupid squirrel ran
back and forth between trees 5 or 6 times before he finally climbed one to
get away. Being the patriot that I am, I started to report this unusual
activity. But I decided that instead of being terrorized, the squirrel was
just teasing the dog, so I forgot about it.
In Washington DC, a guy
named Courtland was walking around near the Jefferson Memorial. He saw
something unusual, a "five-foot-tall metal box that was hooked up to an
electrical outlet and equipped with a high-tech antenna and chrome-dome
receptor." So he asked some National Park employees about it. They didn't
know what it was. But a few minutes later, a couple of U.S. Park Police
officers came up and said, "We hear you've been asking curious questions."
They had guns.
Things went downhill
from there. I thought this story was really funny.
Don't mess with Texas!
Texas politician John
Carter wants to make it a felony to download copyrighted music on the
internet. I'm not sure how he intends to house millions of college students
in the Texas prison system.
Here are some high-res
maps of Iraq.
Iraq Wall Map:
SE Turkey, Syria, and
Designed for Microsoft
Office Depot is throwing out all hardware and software that is not certified to be "Designed for
Windows XP." It will sure give Microsoft a lot of control over the future of
software development if this catches on with the other major chains.
Please note that
failure to obtain this certification by the above date [May 30, 2003] will
result in the product being eliminated from our Retail assortment and all
open purchase orders canceled.
Thank you in advance for
Technology Merchandise Division
Office Depot, Inc
Bush requested $74.7
billion to pay for the war with Iraq. Actually, about $12 billion of that is
for miscellaneous expenses, kind of like the one-time charges in corporate
income statements that occur regularly. When he testified to Congress about
this money, Secretary of Defense Donald implied that he'd be back asking for
more money. Specifically, he said, "It is conceivable that there will be
needs that will not be met, and we would have to come back and discuss those
More than a quarter of
the $12.1 billion "extra" dollars is going into Homeland Security, although
they've already received a LOT of money. That organization seems to lack
some organization. Beginning April Fools Day, the Department of Homeland
Security is planning to lay off about 3000 passenger screeners at airports
around the country. They said they have too many of them because of the lack
of air traffic. They are cutting the number from 54,000 to 51,000 people.
That seems like a lot of
people to me. I guess it seemed like a lot of people to Congress too,
because Congress limited the TSA to 45,000 full-time screeners. Undeterred
by mere congressional limits, the TSA hired an extra 9,000 people as
temporary employees, and put most of them on 5-year contracts. Now they're
already laying off these temporary 5-year people. I would assume that they
get to pay some big severance money to break the 5-year contracts.
I think those people
have too much money to waste and too little common sense.
$580 million for the Coast Guard, now under the umbrella of Homeland
Security, for increased port security. Instead of port security, two thirds
of the money is being spent on the Iraq war, according to the Wall Street
Journal. But don't worry -- the Wall Street Journal says that Democrats will
press for more money.
Delta Airlines hasn't
been doing so well financially, so they doubled Delta Boss Leo's pay package
to more than $13 million last year. It seems the government isn't the only
one short on common sense. Delta lost $1,270,000,000 in 2002.
I hear a lot about "the
coalition" on the news lately. That's the group of nations fighting Iraq.
When a U.S. news organization discusses U.S. troops, they usually call it
coalition troops. British troops are called British troops. The BBC isn't so
circumspect. They call the U.S. troops Americans instead of coalitions.
There are supposed to be
40+countries in "the coalition." I was wondering if all these countries got
together and signed an agreement on the subject of Iraq or defense or
toasters or something. I couldn't find anything, so I though maybe all these
countries have chipped in to help pay for the war. It turns out I was wrong
about that too
Some of the $12.1
billion "leftover cash" from the $74.7 billion Congress is allocating for
the war is being used to pay countries to be part of the "coalition of the
willing." The payment comes in the form of foreign aid of one type or
another. For example, Turkey gets a cool billion. Slovenia was slated to get
$4.5 million as a partner in the war against Iraq.
You might ask what
Slovenia is doing in the war with Iraq. Slovenia might even ask what
Slovenia is doing in the war with Iraq. In fact, Slovenia DID ask. They want
nothing to do with the war or the coalition, and they don't even want the
$4.5 million dollars.
Slovenia Prime Minister
Anton Rop said "When we asked for an explanation, the State Department told
us we were named in the document by mistake." Slovenia might be forced to
take the $4.5 million dollars, however. They were still listed in the budget
The Solomon Islands
asked to opt out of the "coalition," but they're still listed as a member.
Angola was out for a while, but now they're back in. I wonder if France and
Germany are listed as coalition members because they allow U.S. military
planes to use their airspace.
Some Non-Prime Numbers
According to the
Congressional Budget Office, the budget deficit will be $287 billion in 2003
and $338 billion 2004, taking into account the new tax-cut proposals. The
$75 billion being spent in Iraq is not included here, bringing the total to
$352 billion for 2003, at least until Rumsfeld goes back to Congress for
more money. The $74.7 billion is based on a 1-month war.
This means the U.S.
government is borrowing that much money this year. That's about $60 billion
more than the record budget deficit of 1992.
These numbers don't
include a lot of "off-the-books" items like social security and a bunch of
other stuff, as John Chandler pointed out, but they should be reasonably
consistent with each other. Someday I might wade through all that and make a
guess at the real deficit.
Chicago is Important Too
There have been some
temporary flight restrictions around New York and Washington lately. Chicago
Mayor Daley felt left out and wanted one for Chicago. The FAA and Dept. of
Homeland Security told him to forget it, there was no need, and they would
not implement any new flight restrictions for Chicago unless there was
specific, credible intelligence of a terrorist threat. They lied. Daley went
around the FAA, who is supposed to regulate airplanes, and convinced the
Department of Homeland Security that he knows more than the FBI and that
they should limit flights over Chicago. Homeland Security ordered the TSA
who ordered the FAA to implement a new flight restriction for Chicago last
week, "until further notice." Daley said this would deter hostile acts. I
don't see how this restriction could do anything to prevent any kind of
terrorism. But then, Mayor Daley is obviously a terrorist expert.
Here is the easy-to-read restriction, perfect for out-of-town pilots.
FDC 3/2290 ZAU IL.. FLIGHT RESTRICTION CHICAGO, IL.
EFFECTIVE 0303221700 UTC UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, PURSUANT TO 14 CFR
SECTION 99.7, SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS, EXCEPT FOR MEDEVAC, LAW
ENFORCEMENT, RESCUE/RECOVERY, EMERGENCY EVACUATION AND FIRE FIGHTING
OPERATIONS, ALL VFR FLIGHT OPERATIONS ARE PROHIBITED WITHIN AN AREA
BEGINNING ON THE LAKE MICHIGAN SHORE LINE (415232N/873658W OR THE
CHICAGO O'HARE /ORD/ VOR/DME 115.4 DEGREE RADIAL/14.6 DME), THEN
WEST VIA THE EISENHOWER EXPRESSWAY TO THE INTERSECTION OF THE DAN
RYAN EXPRESSWAY (415232N/873844W OR THE ORD 118 DEGREE RADIAL AT
13.4 DME) THEN NORTH VIA THE DAN RYAN/KENNEDY TO THE INTERSECTION OF
ASHLAND AVENUE (415454N/874004W OR ORD 110.2 DEGREE RADIAL AT 11.5
DME) THEN NORTH VIA ASHLAND TO THE INTERSECTION OF IRVING PARK ROAD
(415716N/874010W OR ORD 098.6 DEGREE RADIAL AT 10.7 DME) THEN EAST
VIA IRVING PARK TO LAKE MICHIGAN SHORELINE (415718/873828W OR ORD
097.4 DEGREE RADIAL AT 12 DME) THEN SOUTH VIA THE SHORELINE
EXCLUDING OLIVE PARK AND NAVY PIER TO THE POINT OF BEGINNING AT AND
BELOW 3000 FEET AGL UNLESS AUTHORIZED BY ATC. JEFF ULLOM, (847)
608-5618, IS THE POINT OF CONTACT. ELGIN TRACON, (847) 304-9368, IS
THE FAA COORDINATION FACILITY.
Incidentally, this new
restricted area does not apply to airliners. Most of the new restricted
areas do not apply to airliners. For example, airliners can land at
Washington DC and small private planes cannot. Did everybody forget that it
was not small planes that crashed into the Pentagon and World Trade Towers?
Even if a small plane crashed into the Pentagon tomorrow, it would barely
make a dent.
Pictures of Today!
Here's a picture of my
mom in the 7th grade, along with the other kids in her school.
Left to right, Junior Lively (8th grade), Stanley Maruska(3rd grade), Raymond Miller(7th grade),
Merlene Bachman (7th grade), Charles Trekell(1st grade), Donald Weidner(8th
grade), and Roy Lively(7th grade), Clare School, Oklahoma, 1941-1942.
A pickup and a minivan
in the Colorado snow week before last.
... with ducks.
Deep snow even for snow
...and an F22:
There are more and
higher-resolution air force pictures here:
A satellite photo of the
Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado.
And finally, a satellite
photo of the Island of Bora Bora:
-) Copyright 2003, no
rights reserved. Any unauthorized duplication or distribution of this fine piece
of work will probably not be in violation of the War Powers act of 1973. Feel
free to pass it around all you want.
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