Monthly Bomb Report

January 31, 2010

Here is a summary of bombing reports for January 2010. These reports were collected from news sources world wide. Sources were searched for bomb reports without regard to any criteria. No attempt was made to confine reports to Muslims or to Middle Eastern locations although one, or both, of these criteria apply most cases.

Because these headlines are contemporaneous with the events, the numbers of persons killed or wounded may not agree with later reports. In a few cases, the bombs did not detonate.

  • Jan  1 – Terror Attack Kills 95 at Pakistan Volleyball Match
  • Jan  3 – Roadside Bombs Kill Ex-Minister, 5 Others in Pakistan
  • Jan  4 – 4 US Service Members, British Soldier Die in Afghan Blasts
  • Jan  4 – 3 Policemen Killed in Two Bombings in Northern Iraq
  • Jan  4 – At Least Six Killed, 17 Injured, in Northern Iraq Attacks
  • Jan  6 – Suicide Bomber Kills 6, Wounds 14 in Russia’s North Caucasus Region
  • Jan  7 – Suicide Bomber Kills Eight, Wounds 24 in Eastern Afghan Town
  • Jan  7 – Bomb Attacks Kill Seven in Iraq
  • Jan  7 – Somalian Army Chief Escapes Bomb Attack
  • Jan  8 – Three Malaysia Churches Firebombed As ‘Allah’ Use Tension Mounts
  • Jan  8 – Karachi Suicide Blast Kills 8
  • Jan  8 – 1 US, 8 Afghan Troops Killed by Roadside Bombs
  • Jan  8 – 7 Killed in Suicide Bomb In Afghanistan
  • Jan  8 – Bomb Attack Wounds Afghan Governor
  • Jan  8 – 8 Killed, 10 Hurt by Homemade Bombs in Iraq
  • Jan  8 – Car Bomb Injures Policeman in Tense Northern Ireland
  • Jan  9 – Attackers Firebomb Four Malaysian Churches
  • Jan  9 – Bomb Goes Off Near Greek Parliament Building
  • Jan  9 – Eight Killed in Series of Bomb Attacks on Police West of Baghdad
  • Jan 10 – Petrol Bomb Thrown At Malaysian Catholic Convent School
  • Jan 10 – British Journalist Killedin Afghanistan by Roadside Bomb
  • Jan 10 – Northern Ireland Mirror Journalist Hurt in Afghan Bomb
  • Jan 10 – Roadside Bomb Kills Three Charity Workers, Wounds Two Others
  • Jan 11 – Baghdad Car Bomb Wounds Five
  • Jan 11 – Ninth Malaysian Church Firebombed in “Allah” Dispute
  • Jan 12 – Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed Tuesday by Remote-Controlled Bomb
  • Jan 13 – Ohio Man Pleads Not Guilty to Possessing Dozens of Pipe Bombs
  • Jan 13 – At Least 4 Baghdad Suicide Car Bombers Stopped, Arrested by Police
  • Jan 13 – Bomb Wounds 3 Girls in Lebanon
  • Jan 13 – 200,000 In Russian Dagestan Without Gas Supplies After Bomb Explodes
  • Jan 14 – Bomb Explodes in Afghanistan Market, Killing 15, Wounding 12
  • Jan 14 – Two American, Five Afghans, One French Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Bomb Blasts
  • Jan 14 – Afghanistan Suicide Truck Bomb Injures Several
  • Jan 14 – Two US Soldiers Killed in Eastern Afghanistan Explosion
  • Jan 15 – American Soldier Killed in Afghanistan by Crude Bomb
  • Jan 15 – Roadside Afghanistan Bomb Kills Five, Including Four Children
  • Jan 16 – Man Sets Off Bomb near Iranian Provincial Governor’s Office, Fatally Wounding Self, Causing No Other Damage
  • Jan 16 – Kashmir Suicide Bomber Kills Pakistani Soldier, Injures Several Others
  • Jan 16 – Pipe Bomb Found in Backyard of Concord CA Home
  • Jan 17 – Pipe Bomb Detonates In A South San Francisco Parking Lot, No Injuries
  • Jan 18 – Gunmen Kill Five in Baghdad, Leave Bomb for Police
  • Jan 18 – Suicide Car Bomb Explodes Outside Kabul Shopping Centre Killing Several Police, Intelligence Officials
  • Jan 18 – Bomb Detonated Against Israeli Diplomats in Jordan, No Injuries
  • Jan 18 – Bomb Destroys Boys Primary School in Khyber, No Injuries Reported
  • Jan 18 – Four Soldiers, One Civilian, Seven Militants Killed in Kabul Bomb Attack
  • Jan 20 – Peshawar Bomb Blast Injures Politician, Three Others
  • Jan 20 – Mosul Suicide Car Bomber Wounds 30
  • Jan 20 – 20-Year-Old Bethesda MD Man Sentenced to Five Years in Plot to Assassinate President Obama
  • Jan 22 – Federal Agents Arrest Northwest Missouri Man for Making Bombs
  • Jan 22 – Abdul Basit Usman, Filipino Bomb-Making Expert Killed by American Military Drone
  • Jan 23 – Four Afghan Soldiers Killed by Hidden Taliban Bomb
  • Jan 23 – Two American Soldiers Killed by IED in Southern Afghanistan
  • Jan 23 – Seven Afghans Killed Trying to Excavate Old Bomb
  • Jan 23 – Suicide Bomber Kills at Least Four, Including Two Children, in Pakistan
  • Jan 24 – Three U.S. Service Members Killed in Two Bombings in Southern Afghanistan
  • Jan 25 – Over 30 Killed As Bombers Hit Baghdad Hotels
  • Jan 25 – Bomb Kills British Soldier in Afghanistan
  • Jan 26 – Eight Americans Wounded by Taliban Suicide Bomber
  • Jan 26 – 18 Killed in Baghdad Car Bombing
  • Jan 26 – Terrorist Kills Self in Kabul Blast near American Convoy
  • Jan 26 – Lanarkshire (UK) Man Claims Devil Told Him to Bomb House
  • Jan 26 – Bomb Kills Three Children in Pakistan
  • Jan 26 – Bomb Explodes outside US Afghanistan Base, Injuring 6
  • Jan 31 – Bomb Kills 2 Soldiers in Northwest Pakistan
  • Jan 31 – Bomb Blast in Northwest Pakistan Kills 14

Prince of Fools

January 30, 2010

The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails them. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

Author unknown

I feel a bit sorry for the “unknown” author of the above quotation. I don’t entirely agree with him but it’s a solid observation that’s been pushed around the e-mail circuit and has no less than 219,000 hits on Google. Apparently a lot of people are passing it off as their own. I’ve seen it posted as a comment on multiple sites and the “authors” of these posts are signing it as if they wrote it themselves.

Shame on you all

That said, I agree that Obama is the Prince of Fools and that his supporters constitute a Confederacy of Fools. But I disagree with the author’s contention that the Republic cannot survive the multitude of fools who put Obama in office. He’s right, we couldn’t if the Confederacy of Fools remained intact; however, the flaw in his argument is that members of the Confederacy of Fools are too ignorant to learn from their mistakes.

Believe me, some of the biggest political fools in the country live in Massachusetts. After all, they kept that drunken coward Ted Kennedy in office for almost half a century. But, while the people of Massachusetts obviously will suffer fools gladly, even they could see through the lies, smoke, mirrors, and corruption of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.

The people of Massachusetts elected a Republican to the US Senate! I can almost picture them holding their noses while, for the first time in their lives, they voted for a Republican. Scott Brown was not elected because of his decades-old nude centerfold in Cosmo; he wasn’t elected because of his piercing political insights; and, in Massachusetts, you can be sure as hell he wasn’t elected because he was a Republican.

He was elected because even members of the Confederacy of Fools in Massachusetts had learned something from the Obamanation of the past year.

The Big Question being debated by insiders in both parties now is “Is Obama going to be a one-term president?” It’s too early to tell but the in-fighting in both parties for the inside track in the 2012 primaries already is underway. He told ABC’s Diane Sawyer, “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.”

Apparently, he’s overlooked the fact that he’s already well into the third option: being a mediocre one-term president.

One of Them Is Lying

January 29, 2010

In December, President Obama announced that he would send an additional 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan. In a speech delivered at West Point he said, “…these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011.”

Yesterday, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai said his country’s security forces would require another 15 years of Western support before they will be able to sustain themselves. “With regard to training and equipping the Afghan security forces, five to 10 years will be enough. With regard to sustaining them until Afghanistan is financially able to provide for our forces, the time will be extended to 10 to 15 years.”

So Obama thinks he’s going to bring our troops beginning in July 2011; Karzai says he’s going to need Western troops for at least 5-10 years and Western money for 10 to 15 years.

One of them is lying. Whom do you think it is?

Train Service We Need

January 28, 2010

Yesterday I remarked on Mr. Obama’s proposal to fund some high-speed rail corridors. I suggested that these generally wouldn’t do much to solve the problems of highway congestion. Today, a look at rail service that will reduce congestion on the highways and save lives.

If you want to reduce highway congestion by investing in rail, freight service is where the big payoff comes. How? By getting the goddamn trucks off the highway. A “big-rig” tractor-trailer can carry something like a 40-ton payload. A single rail car can carry 100 tons. Every truck on the road requires at least one driver, sometimes two. A 200-car freight train, carrying the equivalent payload of 500 trucks, can be operated by a crew of two or three.

Trucks are destroying our highways faster than we can repair them. Sometimes you’ll see a truck with a bumper sticker that says something like “This vehicle pays over $8000 a year in highway taxes.” That is not near enough for the damage they do. Our interstate highways would last decades if it weren’t for trucks. As it is, they’re pretty well busted to shit after 5 years of truck traffic. Part of the problem is that weight limits are weakly enforced. Most weigh stations are closed more than they are open, and truckers quickly network information on which weigh stations are operating. So, rarely, they get caught overweight. If they are caught, they pay a fine but, in the long run, the extra revenue from running overweight more than covers the fines. To hell with the highways.

Truck drivers generally are rude. They’ll pull into the left lane to pass another truck if it’s going only 3/10 of a mile an hour slower. Fuck the cars they block. They’re not about to have another truck slow THEM down. As a result, they increase congestion by reducing the speed of traffic.

Trucks accelerate slowly and require more braking distance. In heavy traffic this increases congestion.

Trucks are killers. In two-vehicle accidents involving a truck and a passenger car somewhere between 77% and 98% of the fatalities are occupants of the passenger vehicle. (Which fatality rate you choose depends on whether you get your numbers from the trucking industry or the auto industry). I don’t think truckers want to crash more than anyone else but, if they do, their bodily risks are a lot lower than those of people in cars.

Some truck-related accident data:

  • Over 5000 people are killed annually in crashes involving large trucks, representing 12 percent of all traffic fatalities. An additional 116,000 people are injured in these crashes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)).
  • Nearly one-quarter of the occupant deaths in passenger vehicles involved in multi-vehicle collisions are the result of crashes involving large trucks. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).
  • Large trucks make up just 4 percent of all registered vehicles and 7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled, but are involved in 11 percent of all crash fatalities. (NHTSA).

Reducing the number of trucks on our highways would save lives, save money on repair costs, and reduce congestion. And reducing the number of trucks isn’t that difficult. The solution is already here. We’re just not using it enough: Put the freight on the railroads instead of on the highways.

Container Well Railroad Cars - Every One Takes Two Trucks off the Highway

The transportation industry (ocean shipping, rail, and trucking) already has solved the problem world wide with intermodal containers. Load the container with freight, put the container on a truck, move it a short distance to the rail head, transfer it, move it to a container port and load it on a ship. Offload onto a rail line at the port of destination, haul the container by rail as close as reasonable to its destination, load it onto a truck and deliver it.

1 Train = 500 Trucks

We’re already doing this in the US, quite successfully. I live near a rail line where 80 or so of these intermodal trains pass every day. That’s the equivalent of 3 or 4 thousand trucks that are NOT on the highway thanks to the railroads.

But we still have trucks driving thousands of miles on the highways instead of putting their loads on the railroads. Why? As always, follow the money. As long as trucks can use our highways without bearing their share of the costs of the highways, long-haul trucks will continue to operate. Answer: raise the taxes on interstate trucking to a point where shippers will find the railroads a better deal.

If it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight, you put it on an airplane and pay a large fortune. If it has to get there in a few days, instead of a week, put it on a long-haul truck and pay a small fortune. If a week is OK, put it on a railroad and ship it cheap.

We all save money.

Obama Goes Trainspotting

January 27, 2010

I love trains.

That’s why I was intrigued when I heard that Obama and Biden plan to announce grants totaling $8 billion to build 13 major high-speed rail corridors around the country. It’s an attempt to show that the president has a plan for getting Americans back to work and, at the same time, a solution for the congestion in some of our major travel corridors. Unfortunately, like the highway repairs undertaken as part of the stimulus package, it is not likely to produce many new jobs nor is it likely to do much for our transportation problems.

The president plans to announce the package Thursday in Florida so it looks like a high-speed line connecting Orlando and Tampa will receive funding (like the country really needs that). California’s proposal for an 800-mile-long rail line from Sacramento to San Diego and a nine-state proposal in the Midwest also are considered strong contenders.

Eight billion dollars is a lot of money but it wouldn’t begin to cover the costs of the systems proposed above. Assuming they can use existing railroad rights of way to build most of these corridors, the $8 billion won’t cover the cost of track and rolling stock. If they have to buy rights of way the costs will be enormous. But what the hell, what’s another $100 billion or so? At the rate we’re going it just means we’ll be broke a few days sooner.

High-speed rail sounds like a great idea for heavily-traveled corridors but it isn’t all that appealing in reality. Except for densely packed spaces like New York and Washington where there is adequate local public transportation, high speed rail does not solve the problem of the “last mile.” That is, if you have to hoof it for a mile or wait 20-30 minutes for a bus at the beginning and end of each trip, the high-speed train saves you no time and very little money. Might as well drive.

(Low-Speed) Passenger Service

We still have some low-speed passenger service available. If there’s a station near you and one near where you’re going, it’s worth considering if time isn’t a factor.

To my mind, train travel it is the most elegant way to get around—comfortable seats; a ground-level view of the passing towns and countryside; you can walk around or go to the bathroom without permission; no security checks (yet). On longer trips you can get passable meals and, if you can afford it, a private room with a bed. Passenger trains are slower than flying and really no faster than driving, but they’re a lot more relaxing than either

All of the long-haul passenger train service in the United States is now under the aegis of Amtrak, officially The National Railroad Passenger Corporation. Amtrak’s preferred stock is owned by the U.S. federal government. Its board of directors is appointed by the President.

Amtrak does not earn a profit. It is subsidized by the taxpayers. Research done a few years back showed that the taxpayer subsidies were so high relative to Amtrak ridership and revenues that it would be cheaper for the federal government to shut Amtrak down completely and buy airline tickets for all the people who wanted to travel on Amtrak.

Granted, a few Amtrak routes, like the Boston-Washington corridor, earn a profit but most do not.

The reasons for the failure of passenger rail service in the United States are manifold. Time is probably the biggest one: two days by train, three or four hours by air. Interstate highways make driving as fast, feasible, and cost-effective as train rides. There are a lot of places we want to go where there is no rail or air service so, either way, you wind up driving or renting a car.

But don’t get me wrong. Railroads are extremely important and a good investment. We’re just putting our money in the wrong place.

Tomorrow: Train Service We Do Need

Global Warming a Con Job? No, Say it isn’t So!

January 26, 2010

You may recall that in The Book of Glacial Meltdown I suggested that there were some holes in the International Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) story about the melting of the Himalayan glaciers. It seems that the original story was based on some less-than-diligent science.

The IPCC does not carry out its own original research, but it is the world’s leading authority on “global warming.”  The IPCC bases its assessments mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific literature.

The IPCC is a political organization underwritten entirely by the United Nations. IPCC’s real job is not science but politics.

Ragendra Pachauri. Is that a yarmulke or just a bad comb over?

Want proof?: IPCC is run by a guy named Rajendra Pachauri. Even though he is managing an organization that is trying to engineer fundamental changes in the way 6 billion people live Mr. Pachauri has no formal education in climatology. Although university educated, Mr. Pachauri has spent most of his career as an advocate and consultant, not as a scientist.

On behalf of the IPCC he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2007, when it was shared with another “expert” on climatology and global warming, Al Gore.

Mr. Pachauri’s job is to extort the world’s people and industries out of massive amounts of money in order to stop global warming. The most polite term an American could apply to Mr. Pachauri would be a ‘lobbyist.’ ‘Shakedown artist’ or just ‘con man’ seem to be more accurate.

When scientists began to question the quality of material being published by IPCC Mr. Pachauri accused his critics of using “voodoo science” and urged the climate research community and international governments to ignore them.

Mr. Pachauri is noted for wearing expensive suits, leading a lavish lifestyle, and living in Golf Links, India (near New Delhi) where the cheapest of houses sells for several million dollars. The sources and amounts of Mr. Pachauri’s income have not been made public.

Mr. Pachauri is a vegetarian who thinks a large part of the global warming problem could be ameliorated if everyone just stopped eating meat.

It’s Great to be in Elyria

January 25, 2010

A person who wants to be President of the United States should meet at least two criteria:

  1. Campaigning: raising campaign money; earning support of party leaders; connecting with and motivating voters.
  2. Leadership: selecting and directing a competent staff; setting a clear agenda for his administration; communicating his vision with the congress and the people.

Barack Obama clearly meets Criterion 1. He was an able campaigner and fund-raiser. He energized and motivated voters, and he won.

As for Criterion 2, he’s been less than successful. The Bailout, Healthcare, Afghanistan, Global Warming—none of these has drawn high marks. Already, if we are to believe the polls and the voters of Massachusetts, the country has pretty well had it with Mr. Obama’s leadership.

So, if a president fails as a leader, what does he do? He goes back to campaigning! And that’s exactly what Mr. Obama has done, starting with an appearance in Elyria, Ohio, a poster child for rust-belt unemployment, decay, and ennui. An abridged version of his January 22 text follows. Everything in bold face is Mr. Obama’s. I’ve taken the liberty of adding a few comments.

It’s great to be here in Elyria. (I wanted to go to Cleveland but Michelle said, “Barry dear. Let’s go back to Elyria. It was such fun!”). It’s always nice to get out of Washington. (Any combat veteran will tell you it’s always nice to get out of a killing zone).

I know these have been difficult and unsettling times for people in Elyria, in Ohio, and across our country. I walked into office a year ago in the middle of a raging economic storm that was wreaking devastation on your town and communities everywhere. (None of this is my fault—the TARP mess, Cash for Clunkers, dicking with health care when what people really need is jobs—we can blame this whole mess on You Know Who).

In my first months in office, we also helped save two of the big three automakers from collapse. Some people weren’t happy about that, either. They felt that if you make a bad decision, you ought to reap the consequences, just like any business would. But if we had let GM and Chrysler simply go under, hundreds of thousands of Americans would have been hurt. (We just had to save the jobs of UAW members who were making $120 an hour running a fork lift).

So, we said, if you’re willing to take the tough and painful steps to make yourselves more competitive, we’re willing to invest in your future. (Because we know that when it comes time to raise money for Hope and Change 2012, the UAW and the execs at GM and Chrysler will remember who their friends are).

We gave aid to states to help them through these tough times. (Believe it or not, this is a smoke and mirrors trick we learned from Richard Nixon: “Revenue Sharing.” We use the taxing power of the federal government to reach into individual states and towns, taking money away from their citizens. Then we turn around and give it back to them, usually with strings attached. People have been buying this “revenue sharing” shit for forty years).

Today, because of the actions we took, the worst of this economic storm has passed. (I’m trying to persuade you that our economists can predict the future better than our weather forecasters.)

I had no illusions when I took on health care. It was always going to be hard. I knew from the beginning that seven Presidents had tried it and seven Presidents had failed. But I also knew that insurance premiums had more than doubled in the past decade, that out-of-pocket expenses had skyrocketed, that millions more people had lost their insurance, and that it would only get worse (mostly because the federal government kept piling more and more requirements on health care providers).

I have to admit, we’ve run into a bit of a buzz saw along the way. (Frankly, it never occurred to us that people would actually wake up and ask “What the hell are you doing?”).

Let me tell you – so long as I have the privilege of serving as your President

  • I’ll never stop fighting for you
  • I’ll never stop fighting to bring jobs back to Elyria
  • I’ll never stop fighting for policies that will help restore home values
  • I’ll never stop fighting to give our kids the best education possible
  • I’ll never stop fighting to give every American a fair shake
  • I’ll never stop fighting to protect you from the kind of deceptive practices we’ve seen from some in the financial sector
  • I’ll never stop fighting to open up government
  • I’ll never stop fighting to cut waste and abuse in Washington
  • I’m going to keep up the fight for real, meaningful health insurance reforms

(In fact, I love fighting so much I think I’m going to join the Marines and do recons in Afghanistan. It sounds like our troops are having such fun over there. Kind of like being in Elyria).

“This is not about me. It’s you. I didn’t take up this issue to boost my poll numbers. You know the way to boost your poll numbers is not do anything. That’s how you do it. You don’t offend anybody. I’d have real high poll numbers. All of Washington would be saying, what a genius (while the rest of America was saying “What an asshole.”).

You know, I said at the beginning how much it means to me to be in Elyria. (I think you’re also smart enough to realize that I would have said the same thing about Devil’s Island or the Black Hole of Calcutta).

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America. (See! I finally figured out that Jeremiah Wright saying “God damn America” wasn’t doing my poll numbers any good).