Sermon: I’m posting less right

: I’m posting less right now in part because I’m writing a six-months-after sermon I’ll deliver next Sunday, the 10th, at my little Congregational church in New Jersey. If you’re nearby, come at 10:30 a.m.

Taliban Dunderhead
: The Aussie Taliban is one screwed up puppy. Says

AUSTRALIAN Taliban fighter David Hicks used to steal cars, inject himself with animal steroids and eat rotten chicken to prepare himself for war.

Hicks was also in constant trouble at school, according to his school principal, and became a father for the first time at age 17.

Party tardy
: I’m so sorry to have missed the NYC Blogfest (lotso’links here). I was running pizzas to my kid’s elementary-school funfest, held in an incredibly loud cafeteria, which now explains why lunchroom ladies are all grumpy. Love my kids but I would have liked to have been in a loud bar instead. I’ll attend the next.

Nuke nerves
: The Washington Post is hinting broadly that we’re under a nuclear terrorist threat. First came the scoop on the shadow government, a plan created specifically for the possibility of a nuclear attack on Washington.

Now, in Sunday’s paper, the Post says that the government is more concerned than we knew about bin Laden’s nuclear capabilities. Bush has ordered nuclear sensors on borders and other sensitive places and the Delta Force has been activated to take over any nuclear devices found.The Post warns:

…the intelligence community, they said, believes that al Qaeda could already control a stolen Soviet-era tactical nuclear warhead or enough weapons-grade material to fashion a functioning, if less efficient, atomic bomb. Even before more recent discoveries, some analysts regarded that prospect as substantial…. The consensus government view is now that al Qaeda probably has acquired the lower-level radionuclides strontium 90 and cesium 137, many thefts of which have been documented in recent years. These materials cannot produce a nuclear detonation, but they are radioactive contaminants. Conventional explosives could scatter them in what is known as a radiological dispersion device, colloquially called a “dirty bomb.”

Here’s the freakier part — the part about Bush himself being freaked:

Bush’s emphasis on nuclear terrorism dates from a briefing in the Situation Room during the last week of October. According to knowledgeable sources, Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet walked the president through an accumulation of fresh evidence about al Qaeda’s nuclear ambition. Described by one consumer of intelligence as “an incomplete mosaic” of fact, inference and potentially false leads, Tenet’s briefing raised fears that “sent the president through the roof.” With considerable emotion, two officials said, Bush ordered his national security team to give nuclear terrorism priority over every other threat to the United States….At the October briefing, Bush learned of a remark by a senior member of al Qaeda’s operational command. The operative had been an accurate, though imprecise, harbinger of al Qaeda plans in the past. After U.S. bombing began in Afghanistan, an American official said, the same man was reliably reported to have said “there will be another attack and it’s going to be much bigger” than the one that toppled the World Trade Center and destroyed a wing of the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

“What the hell did that mean?” the official said, recalling the stunned reaction of those briefed on the remark.

The Post worries about its own backyard as a target. I worry about mine, too.

Mogul Mayor
: Now I understand why New York’s Mayor Bloomberg leaves to undisclosed locations every weekend. He’s running a shadow government. Of course.