Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

On the U.S. nuclear weapons program:

The United States’ current approach to maintaining its nuclear arsenal “looks increasingly unsustainable,” according to an internal report by senior officials at the nation’s three nuclear weapons labs.

The nuclear weapons program’s future costs exceed the available budget, and the effort to maintain aging warheads is forcing the nation to retain a larger nuclear arsenal than would otherwise be needed, the report concludes.

Completed last month, the report’s findings mirror in some respects those of a key House of Representatives subcommittee.

The House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee issued a report last month calling for a sweeping reorganization of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex as part of its proposed 2006 Department of Energy budget.

Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

In which I move into phase two of my secret plan to become the Journal’s cycling writer:

Todd Bauer is one crafty bike racer, and all Ben Delaney could do was smile and admit he’d been outfoxed. It was a hot Tuesday evening in Albuquerque and Delaney, Bauer and 20 or so of their friends were tearing around a Northeast Heights business park at a sometimes alarming rate of speed.

Heading into the race’s final two corners, Delaney thought he was in perfect position until Bauer somehow pulled a rabbit out of his bike helmet.

The Tuesday Night Crits is bike racing’s version of “shirts and skins” hoops pickup for the town’s best riders.

If you’re in Albuquerque, these races are great fun to watch.

Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere

This is not my normal schtick, but the Journal sent me out to the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Monday for Memorial Day Ceremony, and I was privileged to see something special:

There was a 21-gun salute, an F-16 flyover and a haunting bugler’s taps Monday morning at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.

But the most poignant symbol at the 2005 Memorial Day Ceremony was something no one planned.

Early in the solemn event, shortly after the color guard had posted the colors, the American flag almost fell over.

An unnamed veteran, near the front taking pictures, grabbed it to keep it from touching the ground. After fiddling with the base of the flagpole for a moment, he simply stood and held it.

For the rest of the ceremony, veterans materialized from the crowd, one after another, saluting sharply and taking over the sacred duty of holding the flag.

They wore full dress uniforms, street clothes, tattered demim and bikers’ leather vests. One used a walker. But their aging bodies all stood, for those moments holding the flag, ramrod straight.

“You can’t let it touch the ground,” explained 55-year-old former Marine Jay “Doc” Schmitt, a veteran of Vietnam.