Monday, October 16, 2006

The Unbearable Lightness Of Rummy

Donald Rumsfeld loves that nighttime satellite photo of the Korean Peninsula. It's displayed prominently in his office. He's mentioned those lights often during the past few years, most recently at a news conference last week:
SEC. RUMSFELD: You want to put that picture up of the Korean peninsula, if you can do it?

Q (Off mike) -- your favorite photo.

SEC. RUMSFELD: Except for my wife and family, that is my favorite photo. It says it all. There's the south of the Demilitarized Zone, the same people as north, same resources north and south, and the big difference is in the south it's a free political system and a free economic system, and --

Q (Off mike) -- years old now. Can we get a new one? (Laughter.)

SEC. RUMSFELD: I'm a conservative. I tend not to want to waste money. What's wrong with -- (laughter) -- what's wrong with this one? There would only be less light in the North, that's all. That dot of light is Pyongyang. And the people there are starving and their growth is stunted. And it's a shame. It's a tragedy.
Since Rumsfeld is fond of using electricity as a metaphor, here are a few more photos -- all taken in Baghdad (credit CPT):


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe North Korea has an excellent energy conservation policy and a low crime rate.

Maybe North Koreans finish reading their bibles and go to bed early so they can be productive the next day.

10/16/2006 8:33 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Those Baghdad pix say it all don't they. How much money has actually been spent on rebuilding Baghdad's power grid? Whatever it is, I'm sure that my local non-Halliburton related utilities and electricians could do a better job.

10/16/2006 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Baghdad pix are a perfect metaphor for what's going on in Bush's brain. And that activity (in keeping with the recently-linked-to WaPo article), is unacceptable.

10/16/2006 12:56 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Well done.

10/16/2006 12:56 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

I'm guessing this is the product of a no bid-contract? I wonder how many millions were awarded for this?

10/16/2006 1:24 PM  
Anonymous kilfarsnar said...

Wow! Looks like my server room! ;-)

10/16/2006 2:09 PM  
Anonymous RW said...

The null hypothesis WRT the current POTUS and his administration is that (a) they are lying and (b) issuing propaganda via government agencies and data sources.

A single nighttime photograph of the Korean peninsula, probably a Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) image, should not be assumed to be an accurate portrayal of North Korea's current state of electrical usage.

Reports from the occasional returning visitor to North Korea provide some anecdotal evidence that the country does experience large-scale power grid failures; there have also been mentions of nation-wide bomb attack (blackout) drills as well as a general prohibition against showing lights -- a blackout policy -- designed to deceive foreign spy satellites. None of these events or policies would affect the home of North Korea's ruler which reportedly has its own power supply and likely does not bother with drills nor would it be governed by policies affecting the general populace.

If I had to guess I would say that single light in the North of the 'Rumsfeld image' is the palace of Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, the rest of the city and the country are either (a) in blackout for one or more of the reasons noted above or (b) the sensitivity of the DMSP imaging system was reduced so that North Korean towns and cities, which are notoriously under-lit, did not show up.

North Korea is a desperately poor, cruelly mis-ruled and damaged country and has little electricity to spare on frills such as night-lighting but a succession of images over multiple, serial nights for a period of a month or so at a suitably high imaging sensitivity would be required to tentatively accept an alternative to the null hypothesis in this case; e.g., I have seen a couple, non-Rumsfeldivized DMSP images and while North Korea is still relatively very dark compared to its neighbors there are certainly more light centers than the image proffered by Rumsfeld in his conference.

The null hypothesis still stands firm although the infrastructure debacle in Iraq does serve to further illustrate that the POTUS pot can still call the kettle black without experiencing cognitive dissonance.

10/16/2006 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rummy could be the saviour from the silly nuclear taboo..

10/16/2006 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incrementalism is evil, no doubt. These look just like Filipino telephone poles except that the poles themselves are crummier, so they're already starting to bow with only half the bulk of varicolored wire. It's not a hell of a lot different to the U.S. phone system, for that matter, except it's up in the air so God, photojournalists and everybody can take pictures of how desperately this particular part of the infrastructure needs to be made over from scratch.

For that matter our electrical grid here in The Land of the Big PX isn't exactly a shining monument to the benefits of deregulation, you know. Ask Southland Californians (there are many other examples in flyover country, but they don't count, and Manhattan is fully lit at all times). This time around they didn't even have Enron to blame, although to be fair, an idiot from Texas was once again ultimately responsible.

10/16/2006 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

That's a lot of 'value extraction' on the part of the utility vendor. I don't think they could get away with this in SoCal or anywhere else in the U.S.

Of course, the MBAs at Halliburton/KBR could start rewriting the laws here. An industry can never have enough deregulation, you know.

10/17/2006 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uah, looks like good work ;-)
electricity that we can trust!!


10/18/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rummy has memory problems...

10/19/2006 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pace may be kidding...its no use working hard if your memory is gone...condi afflicted too...they need help...

10/20/2006 6:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10/31/2006 12:23 AM  
Anonymous surrogate said...

10/31/2006 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10/31/2006 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

rummy may need to get woodward's book burnt too...what a loser...

11/01/2006 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11/04/2006 11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11/08/2006 5:03 AM  
Anonymous tosa inu said...

those look so similar to some place in India and i have seen them... I am from there.

tosa inu

12/04/2006 11:44 AM  
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