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(sounds like someone's off his meds...)

Congressional candidate Tim Murray handily lost June’s primary election (82 percent to 5 percent) in Oklahoma’s 3rd District to incumbent U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, but he did not give up. In a rambling letter to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, Murray accused “Lucas” of being a body-double for Lucas, since it is “widely known” that the “real” Frank Lucas was executed by order of the World Court in southern Ukraine in January 2011.

Lucas, asked for a comment, told the station, “It does come as kind of a shock to read that [I’m] not [me].”

Chesapeake VA
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Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe announced that "whites will no longer be able to own land in Zimbabwe, and that any white farmers still left will be kicked out".

"We will have no mercy for white people regarding the land, they cannot own our soil."

On the same day, Mugabe, whose initiatives over the years have aimed at redressing British colonial injustices, also said that whites in Zimbabwe may own companies and apartments in urban areas, but no actual land.

Speaking to farmers in Mhangura, a small mining town about 120 miles north of the capital Harare, Mr. Mugabe said all remaining white farmers should leave – and closed the door even on white families renting farms from black owners, as some several hundred have been doing since most were violently chased away a decade ago.

Analyst Dumisani Nkomo said that Mugabe “was addressing party supporters and therefore should not be taken seriously.” [I don't know why - he's an autocrat, and what he says, goes]

It is thought that there are less than 10,000 - and possibly as few as 1,800 - of what was once nearly 300,000 white people stubborn [or stupid] enough not to have left Zimbabwe. While Mugabe's ability to blame his economic basket case on white people seems endless, it is in fact not. At 90 years old, he can't have that many years left to continue to fuck up his country, although statistically most of his countrymen won't live to see him finally kick the bucket - life expectancy in Zimbabwe is only 43; there are virtually no doctors or medicine left in the country, aside from relief organizations such as the Red Cross.

"How to Fuck Up a Country"... see Mugabe, Robert.

Chesapeake VA
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"I suppose an insane billionaire could bankroll one...."

Nope, never saw one of those....

Just sayin'

East Fishkill NY
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As to sailing a boat into New York and blowing it up....

"To date, DNDO has, among other things, tested boat-mounted radiation detectors, detection equipment that can be carried in a backpack, and handheld radiological detection and identification devices that can withstand exposure to water. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of radiation detection equipment in the maritime environment remains limited."

From Forbes two years ago. I bet it's not as limited anymore....

East Fishkill NY
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Someone said earlier that radioactivity is a 'boogeyman' and instills terror.

I think that assessment is spot on and so ANY type of 'nuclear device' at all will achieve as much or more than a real bomb could. Just a dirty bomb would give government all manner of panicked authorization to commit such things as marshal law, complete mass surveillance and full scale nuclear retaliation.

As an engineer and the father of a son in chemistry who babble on about nuclear all the time I see your point VA, but isn't the point terror?

East Fishkill NY
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The level of sophistication needed to produce highly enriched uranium is well beyond the capabilities of practically anything short of a government or very large corporation. I suppose an insane billionaire could bankroll one....

The good thing is - a U235 bomb requires sophistication to enrich the uranium, although a gun-type bomb is technically fairly simple. A Pu239 bomb is easier to purify the material but the gun-type design does not work right for plutonium for good theoretical reasons, and an implosion weapon is needed. These are very good weapons but technically are extremely challenging.

I personally think terrorists don't need these to make big statements. They might as well go after some thing more achievable like poisoning a city water supply or something.

Chesapeake VA
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If we could build and deploy a bomb nearly 80 years ago any nation (NK, Iraq) can do it today.

The scary thing about it is you don't REALLY need a fancy delivery system. Sail a boat into NY harbor with a dirty uranium bomb. Boom and you have a harbor full of gamma induced radioactive steel

Lexington KY
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Well, yeah. "Radioactive" scares the hell out of most people although most of them have no idea what it means or where it comes from.

Depleted uranium has about 40% of the U-235 and 60% of the radioactivity of natural uranium, which is low enough that it is actually used as shielding material from real radiological hazards. We use it as armor for our military and literally throw it at our enemies (at high speed, of course).

Constructing a bomb out of U-235 is so formidable of a challenge that we don't bother anymore and use plutonium instead. A nation with the will and technical capabilities could do it, of course, if they wanted to badly enough. As for a source of uranium - there are good sources and there are bad sources, but almost every country has SOME source of uranium, albeit often of poor quality.

This will likely all be moot soon anyway since the ability to recover uranium from seawater has been developed for some time, giving any country with access to seawater effectively limitless uranium. My rough calculation says that 2.5 billion tons of seawater, or 1.4 cubic kilometers, has enough U-235 to make a bomb. That's about the amount of seawater in a small bay.

Of course, massive technical challenges. Terrorists are advised to spend their energy trying to steal an existing nuclear bomb rather than try to build their own - at least there is a snowball's chance in hell they could accomplish that.

Chesapeake VA
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Sensationalism and drama, gotta luv it.

Lexington KY
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Journalists and government officials who know nothing about nuclear chemistry are panicking at the theft of nearly 40 kg (88 pounds) of uranium compounds [I'm presuming uranyl nitrate, by far the most common] kept at Mosul University.

"Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state," Alhakim wrote, adding that such materials "can be used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction."

Since the material is neither pure nor enriched in any way, it of course poses no special radiological hazard. Bottles of uranyl nitrate (or any uranium-based material) can be kept, handled and stored with no special precautions. In spite of its fearsome reputation, uranium is not especially radioactive.

40 kg of uranyl nitrate contains approximately 24 kg of actual uranium, and contains 0.17 kg of uranium-235, the isotope required to build a nuclear bomb. The most simple design of nuclear bomb, a gun-type weapon (such as Little Boy) required 50 kg of uranium-235.

Since terrorists and journalists are more or less equally ignorant of the technical and theoretical challenges which prevent recovery of any significant amount of fissile material from this theft, it will likely be a huge news story. US forces have left many tons of uranium behind in Iraq, since depleted uranium is used to make armor plating and bullets. Depleted uranium still contains a significant amount of uranium-235. Anyone with a Geiger counter and knowledge of mineralogy can fill the trunk of their car with pitchblende and accumulate a similar amount of uranium without having to go through the trouble of stealing it from a university, as David Hahn - a teenager - demonstrated by scouring the shoreline of Lake Huron.

Chesapeake VA
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