400 Tons? Or Three?

As if there wasn’t already enough confusion about this story, there are now questions about exactly how much explosive materials were in those bunkers. While the Iraqi government claims nearly 400 tons are missing, the UN inspectors note there was probably closer to three. Yes, three, not three hundred eighty. Read the ABC News story.

Also interesting is the untold story. You see, even if there were nearly 400 tons of missing armaments, that would only amount to one-tenth of one percent of all of the arms recovered and either destroyed or scheduled to be destroyed. More on that issue here.

Russia Tied to Missing Arms

It now appears that Russian special forces moved tons of arms, explosives, chemicals, and other equipment out of Iraq and into Syria. Not only are Russian special forces troops implicated in the removal of tons of missing armaments, Defense officials think they were either involved or (at the least) have knowledge about other missing items:

“Defense officials said the Russians can provide information on what happened to the Iraqi weapons and explosives that were transported out of the country. Officials believe the Russians also can explain what happened to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs.”

This Washington Times article is a must-read.

Check Float Sinking Fast

New federal regulations designed to speed up check processing go into effect today, essentially eliminating the “float” that many people use to control their accounts. Float is the amount of time it takes for a check to be processed once you write it. In the past, you could write a check and count on that money being in your account for a period of time, often up to a week. Not anymore. These new regulations allow banks to electronically process the checks by merely transferring an image of the check, not the physical item. In many cases, this means that checks could be processed from your account the same day they’re written. You can read more about these changes in this Yahoo! story.

Explosives Were Likely Missing Prior to US Arrival

The story of the missing 380 tons of high explosives from Iraq is turning interesting. The evidence seems to suggest that the cache went missing sometime between March 15, 2003 (the date the UN Nuclear inspectors left the area) and April 3, 2003 (the date the US Troops arrived at the base.) It also seems likely that both of these dates were common knowledge prior to the initial reports of the story, which would undoubtedly lead to speculation regarding the motives of (once again) CBS. In fact, there is some indication that an embedded reporter for NBC corraborates the military’s version of events, supporting the claim that the explosives were gone when troops arrived.

You can read a detailed accounting of this issue, including an enlightening timeline, at MSNBC.

Three Kick Rule

A big city lawyer went duck hunting in rural West Virginia. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a farmer’s field on the other side of a fence.

As the lawyer climbed over the fence, an elderly farmer drove up on his tractor and asked him what he was doing.

The lawyer responded, “I shot a duck and it fell in this field, and now I’m going to retrieve it.”

The old farmer replied, “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in the United States and, if you don’t let me get that duck, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.

The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently, you don’t know how we settle disputes in West Virginia. We settle small disagreements like this with the “Three Kick Rule.”

The lawyer asked, “What is the Three Kick Rule?”

The Farmer replied, “Well, because the dispute occurs on my land, first I kick you three times and then you kick me three times and so on, back and forth until someone gives up.”

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and decided that he could easily take the old codger.  He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed down from the tractor and walked up to the attorney. His first kick planted the toe of his heavy steel toed work boot into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees. His second kick to the midriff sent the lawyer’s last meal gushing from his mouth.

The lawyer was on all fours when the farmer’s third kick to his rear end sent him face-first into a fresh cow pie. The lawyer summoned every bit of his will and managed to get to his feet.  Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket, he said, “Okay, now it’s my turn.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Naw, I give up. You can have the duck.”