The Mob Has Spoken?

So who really wants over-priced and under-performing "high-speed rail"? Apparently we all do, since the Federal Government is going to give it to us...

I can only imagine that this is the reaction that Democrats think that these boondoggle projects will create in the public...

Count me as on board! I am nearing my military retirement, and need one of those cushy jobs!

2011 SOTU Word Cloud

A quick look before tonight's speech, here is a word cloud of its most common words....

I suppose it is not a surprise that 3 of the most used words are "new", "American", and "jobs".

I am sure there has to be a message hidden in there somewhere.....

[h/t to the ever-handy Wordle]


Under New Management

When I saw this AP photo....

All I could think of was "This Establishment Under New Management".

I believe that it is the flag that sells it....


Bring Back the Buggy Whip!

One reason I think that electric cars are not quite ready for primetime....

London to Edinburgh by electric car: it was quicker by stagecoach

The BBC's stunt of taking an electric Mini to Edinburgh reveals just how impractical rechargeable cars are, writes Christopher Booker

In its obsessive desire to promote the virtues of electric cars, the BBC proudly showed us last week how its reporter Brian Milligan was able to drive an electric Mini from London to Edinburgh in a mere four days – with nine stops of up to 10 hours to recharge the batteries (with electricity from fossil fuels).

What the BBC omitted to tell us was that in the 1830s, a stagecoach was able to make the same journey in half the time, with two days and nights of continuous driving. This did require 50 stops to change horses, but each of these took only two minutes, giving a total stopping time of just over an hour and a half.

Considering that horse power was carbon-free, emitting only organic fertiliser along the way, isn’t it time the eco-conscious BBC became more technologically savvy?

So, until batteries catch up with what we desire from our vehicles (long endurance and range), perhaps electric cars might perform better if we applied a buggy whip during the drive....

[h/t: EJHill]


Gulf War - Air Campaign: 20 Years On...

While it may get lost it the official holiday, Monday is the 20th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm.

The Air Campaign was kicked off by Task Force Normandy, as 2 USAF MH-53 Pave Low helicopters led 8 Army AH-64 attack helicopters across the Iraqi border...

At 2:38 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1991, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Tom Drew launched Operation Desert Storm by speaking into his radio microphone: “Party in ten.” The pilot of an AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, Drew was part of a joint Army-Air Force strike team making a secret, nocturnal attack on Iraqi radar stations. Drew’s radio call told others in the force that AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles unleashed by Apaches would detonate on their targets in ten seconds.

It was called Task Force Normandy. The strike team consisted of a dozen helicopters – eight missile-firing Apaches with a ninth as a backup, a UH-60A Black Hawk for combat rescue if needed, and two Air Force MH-53J Enhanced Pave Low IIIs. The Pave Lows were equipped with a terrain-following and global positioning navigation system to bring the attackers to their destination.

The target was a pair of Iraqi air defense radar installations. On the first night of a conflict, destroying these stations would open a path to Baghdad for warplanes of the coalition arrayed against Saddam Hussein. The timing of Task Force Normandy’s attack was determined by the projected time when Iraqi radar would detect Air Force EF-111A Raven aircraft preceding F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighters in attacks on downtown Baghdad. Destroying the radars would open a pathway for the bombers to proceed.

Army Lt. Col. (later, Gen.) Richard A. “Dick” Cody – a future vice chief of staff – led the strike. Lt. Col. (later, Col.) Richard L. “Rich” Comer led the Air Force contingent.

The attack was devised after U. S. Central Command, under Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, decided against inserting Special Forces troops to destroy the sites. Apaches could bring firepower to bear on the targets and confirm that they had been destroyed.

After months of training, on Jan. 14, 1991, Cody’s force positioned itself under radio silence at Al Jouf, near Saudi Arabia’s border with Iraq. Cody divided the force into two teams. After an ultimatum to Iraq’s Saddam Hussein went unheeded and the order for war came, Cody led the White team out of Al Jouf. The Red team, led by Capt. Newman Shufflebarger, followed 12 minutes later.

The radar installations were close to the border but were separated by 70 miles. About 30 miles south of the target, the MH-53Js delivered their last position update and then peeled off to loiter nearby. The two Apache teams approached their respective radar sites. Each team split into two two-ship groups positioned half a mile apart.

The Hellfire warheads must have created a horrendous mess of concrete and metal churning inside the orange fireball associated with the missile. But the American helicopter crews never witnessed this. They turned home seconds before blowing up the radar sites and opening a 20-mile wide strip for coalition warplanes to travel into Iraq with impunity. Cody transmitted a radio signal indicating the strike had succeeded and led his helicopters back to safety. Minutes later, above a command center in Baghdad, an F-117A dropped the first bomb of the war. Thereafter, air operations faced little danger from what had been Saddam Hussein’s vaunted air defense network. Operation Desert Storm achieved its goal of liberating occupied Kuwait from Iraq six weeks later.

It is hard to imagine that it has been 20 years, and how far we have come as a military since then....


Bloodshed & Liberal Invective: A Bizarro World NYT Editorial

Sunday's editorial in the NYT was everything you would expect it would be. Half-thought-out reasoning, and heavy-handed conclusions lifted straight from Media Matters for America, blaming political rhetoric for the attack on Congresswoman Giffords.

I am of the mind (based on what I have seen) that Jared Loughner was a loon in need of serious help, whose acts were inspired by the battle (ooops...violent metaphor) in his head rather than any political bloviations from either side.

But given the the Times' intentional focus on the right as the lone purveyor of violent political imagery, I thought it would be interesting to redo their editorial and shift the alleged blame 180 degrees.

Thus I present...
Bloodshed & Liberal Invective: A Bizarro World NYT Editorial

She read the First Amendment on the House floor — including the guarantee of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” — and then flew home to Arizona to put those words into practice. But when Gabrielle Giffords tried to meet with her constituents in a Tucson parking lot on Saturday, she came face to face with an environment wholly at odds with that constitutional ideal, and she nearly paid for it with her life.

Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting Ms. Giffords, killing a federal judge and five other people, and wounding 13 others, appears to be mentally ill. His paranoid Internet ravings about government mind control place him well beyond usual ideological categories.

As a devotee of the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, he is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of Americans and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery. With legal access to weapons like the one used in the parking lot, those already teetering on the edge of sanity can turn a threat into a nightmare.

Over the past few years, violent political rhetoric has been on the rise. President George W. Bush was continually the subject of violent imagery from the left during his term in office, most of it targeted on his assassination. President Obama has seemed to relish extreme language and metaphors, among other things stating “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”, and promising “hand-to-hand combat” with the new Republican House majority. He has also compared bankers to suicide bombers, and encouraged his followers to “Hit Back Twice As Hard” against Americans who oppose his agenda. An effigy of Sarah Palin, former Republican Governor of Alaska, was hung from a gallows outside a house in the liberal stronghold of West Hollywood, along with a depiction of Arizona Senator John McCain engulfed in flames. Ms. Giffords herself was declared “now dead to me!” on the leftist Daily Kos website.

It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Democrats, MSNBC watchers, or KosKids. But it is legitimate to hold Liberals and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the left have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing ordinary Americans, or small business owners, or the military. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the American people not just misguided, but the enemy of the state.
Instapundit, Ed Driscoll, Patterico, Prof Jacobsen, Michelle Malkin]