31 May 2007

More Fun With Pictures.

Click for higher res picture. Courtesy of The Horse You Rode In ON.

JSF Fan Failure on Test Stand.

May indicate trouble for Lockheeds concept with the lift fan. There is a lot of power going down a very small shaft.

Pratt Whitney Joint Strike Fighter engine damaged in ground test-31/05/2007-Flightglobal.com

Pratt & Whitney Joint Strike Fighter engine damaged in ground test
By Graham Warwick

Pratt & Whitney is rebuilding an F135 Joint Strike Fighter engine that was damaged earlier this month during ground testing of the short take-off and landing propulsion system.

The F135 was damaged when a deliberate “hard stall” of the shaft-driven lift fan caused the driveshaft to break and debris was ingested by the engine, says Bill Gostic, P&W vice-president, F135 programmes.

The propulsion system was being tested with a mock-up of the lift-fan inlet planned for the STOVL version of the Lockheed Martin F-35, to check the airflow around the open inlet door while in the hover.

During the testing on an outdoor stand at P&W’s site in West Palm
Beach, Florida, the Rolls-Royce lift fan was stalled deliberately to
test inlet performance. This was achieved by closing the variable-area
vanebox nozzle below the fan.

It's the Game Play Stupid

Interesting article on the run away success of the Nintendo WII.

How does a game system that under performs its rivals kick their butts?

Simple. Game play.

The idea that you can swing a tennis racquet, or bowl just by swinging your hands, as opposed to up-stick, a button, b button twice, just plain works better.

Wii will rock you
Fortune's Jeffrey M. O'Brien explains how Nintendo's new game machine won over the world - and beat the pants off Sony and Microsoft.
FORTUNE Magazine
By Jeffrey M. O'Brien, Fortune senior editor
May 31 2007: 12:02 PM EDT

(Fortune Magazine) --

Videogame controllers generally feature a bewildering array of buttons, and watching an avid gamer work the device, thumbs pattering across plastic, can be intimidating. By contrast the Wii's wireless, motion-sensitive remote, which Miyamoto had been dreaming of for years, often requires no button manipulation whatsoever.


Consequences of Being a Bully

So now, Putin is testing a new ICBM. It might have something to do with the provocative placing of ABM systems in Europe, or the Bush admin's pulling out of the ABM treaty, or the fact that even with no army available, talk of attacking Iran, Syria, and Mexico.

Yes, Cheney aide Mark Hanna was talking up a war with Mexico a few months back.

Putin says test missile is signal to U.S.

MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) -- Russia's test firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile this week was in response to U.S. steps that have sparked an arms race and undermined world security, Russian President Vladimir Putin says.

"Our American partners have left the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile) Treaty. We have warned them then that we will come out with a response to maintain the strategic balance in the world," Putin told a news conference Thursday.

"We conducted a test of a new strategic ballistic missile with multiple warheads, and of a new cruise missile, and will continue to improve our resources."

"We are not the initiators of this new round of the arms race," said Putin. "(Our partners) are stuffing eastern Europe with new weapons. A new base in Bulgaria, another in Romania, a site in Poland, radar in the Czech Republic . . . what are we supposed to do? We cannot just observe all this."

Russia test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday featuring multiple warheads that senior officials said could pierce any missile defense system, including the planned U.S. shield in Europe.

Russia says the U.S. missile defence shield is a threat to its security and will change the strategic balance in Europe, but Washington dismisses such fears, saying the shield is intended to counter "rogue states."

The Rule of Law for Thee and Not For Me.

Any person not a child of a supreme court justice would have spent somewhere between 7 and 90 days in the slam.

Scalia's daughter gets probation for DUI

WHEATON, Illinois (AP) -- The daughter of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was sentenced to 18 months of court supervision after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

Ann S. Banaszewski, 45, of Wheaton, Illinois, on Wednesday accepted a plea agreement under which prosecutors dropped four other charges including endangering the life of a child and failure to secure a child younger than eight in a child-restraint system.

She was arrested February 12 while driving away from a fast-food restaurant in Wheaton, 20 miles west of Chicago. Three of her children were inside her 1996 Ford van when someone called police to report a suspected intoxicated driver, authorities have said.

This woman is a menace to her children and other drivers on the road. Where is that good cloth Republican coat of accountability now?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

No clue as to the context of this picture, anyone have a clue?

30 May 2007

I'm Disappointed In AdAware (Lavasoft)

Some background. When Microflaccid released Windows XP SP2, they crippled the operating system, billing it as a "security upgrade":

The Windows XP SP2 connection limit. (Event ID: 4226)
Written by GregorK
Tuesday, 24 May 2005

If you are using Windows XP, you must have noticed all the fuss about Service Pack 2. It introduced an array of security "enhancements": dual direction firewall, several long overdue IE improvements, memory protection and the crippling of the TCP/IP stack.

Hang on, how is crippling of the TCP/IP stack a security enhancement?

Windows XP SP2 limits half-open connections (SYN) to a maximum of 10 (the previous limit was over 65,000). This is supposed to slow down certain viruses because their spreading strategy is to try to connect to a high amount of random IP numbers.

The drawback with this connection limit is that other legitimate network intensive applications can be slowed down as well. Applications like security network scanners, peer-to-peer (P2P) applications or a combination of network applications that a power user may be using (VPN, FTP, p2p, RDP, SSH, "Firefox on steroids" and more).

To me it sounds awfully lot like treating the symptoms instead of the cause which would have been to tighten up Windows security to prevent virus infections in the first place.


The second case means that SP2 is stalling your work. An unofficial patch will modify the locked tcpip.sys and let you set the limit to whatever you wish. 50 half-open connections is a reasonable limit or you can set the limit back to 65,535 which it was before the SP2. The patch is called EventID 4226 Patcher and can be found on LVL Lord's web site: LVLlord downloads.
Emphasis mine.

It's kind of like going to your car mechanic, and being told that your brakes are defective, and his "fix" is to attach an anchor from the RMS Queen Mary to your rear bumper.

So, how did Lavasoft handle this fix for an operating system that was broken:

Object Type:File
Size:2817230 Bytes
Location:C:\WebSites\Optimize XP.zip
Last Activity:9-14-2006 10:13:55 AM
TAC index:3
Comment:Object "EvID4226Patch.exe" found in this archive.
Description:Win32.Hacktool.ToolEvId is a tool that allows to change the amount of simultanious half-open connections allowed by XP. Could potentially harm the system and even result in boot failure.
This is crap.

In fact their response on their message boards is basically telling the users to "Go Cheney Themselves".

A quick google reveals that a windows CD key recovery software is flagged the same way.
This is neat, and I'm not surprised that Piasecki is behind it.

I'm not sure how they do counter-torque, maybe vanes in the tail fan.

Additionally, if the rotor system is modified, speeds could be higher.

Looks a lot better than V-22.

High speed helicopter set for first flight in June
By Graham Warwick
Trials to start using Piasecki-modified Sikorsky H-60 helicopter planned to achieve speeds of up to 200kt.

Piasecki Aircraft is preparing its X-49 experimental compound helicopter for a first flight before the end of June.

The modified Sikorsky H-60, with wings and tail-mounted variable-thrust ducted propeller (VTDP), has been moved to Boeing's Wilmington, Delaware facility for ground and flight testing.

© Piasecki

SpeedHawk has wings and tail-mounted variable-thrust ducted propeller

Dubbed the SpeedHawk by Piasecki, the X-49 is being developed with incremental funding from the US Army's Aviation Applied Technology Division to demonstrate the ability to increase the speed of existing helicopters to 200kt (360km/h).

The VTDP replaces the tail rotor and provides thrust for forward flight, while the wing unloads the rotor and allows the helicopter to fly faster.


The third engine, called a secondary power unit, will replace the existing auxiliary power unit and provide another 600-700shp to the ducted propeller to push the compound helicopter to higher speed.

Does this Invoke Godwin's Law

When the Bush Crime Family and it's evil minions use a term first drafted by Nazis, I believe that mentioning this fact is not a consequence of Godwin's Law, but rather a unavoidable end product of such behavior.

Today's term: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

BTW, I cannot believe that I'm quoting that bigot Andrew "I love the Bell Cure" Sullivan.
"Verschärfte Vernehmung" 29 May 2007 12:36 pm

Translationofmuellermemo The phrase "Verschärfte Vernehmung" is German for "enhanced interrogation". Other translations include "intensified interrogation" or "sharpened interrogation". It's a phrase that appears to have been concocted in 1937, to describe a form of torture that would leave no marks, and hence save the embarrassment pre-war Nazi officials were experiencing as their wounded torture victims ended up in court. The methods, as you can see above, are indistinguishable from those described as "enhanced interrogation techniques" by the president. As you can see from the Gestapo memo, moreover, the Nazis were adamant that their "enhanced interrogation techniques" would be carefully restricted and controlled, monitored by an elite professional staff, of the kind recommended by Charles Krauthammer, and strictly reserved for certain categories of prisoner. At least, that was the original plan.

Also: the use of hypothermia, authorized by Bush and Rumsfeld, was initially forbidden. 'Waterboarding" was forbidden too, unlike that authorized by Bush......

Housing Prices Not Rebounding

This comes under the heading, well duh!!!!

With a spring sales looking like this,
And a lot of that dismal record happening before subprime mortgages started to implode, it's nice to see the the "experts" can see the blatantly obvious.

Prospects dim for quick home-price recovery
Investors appear to be betting against any rapid rebound in home prices.
By Les Christie, CNNMoney.com staff writer
May 29 2007: 1:34 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Home prices fell over the last 12 months for the first time in 16 years, according to a survey released Tuesday, and investors seem to believe that prospects for a quick recovery are poor.

The S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index revealed that in 13 of 20 metro areas surveyed, home prices fell an average of 1.4 percent in the 12 months ended March 31, with half of that decline, 0.7 percent, coming in the first quarter.

The national index sank over a 12-month period for only the second time in its history and the first time since 1991. The drop is in stark contrast to a year ago, when home prices jumped 11.5 percent over the prior 12 months, according to the index.

Investors seem to believe the downturn will continue. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange trades contracts based on the Case-Shiller indexes that enable investors to bet on future housing price trends.


Cannot Sleep

I can't sleep, so here are some pictures:

Queer Eye for the Jedi?

That's no moon, that's an iSpace Station!

Ahhh! Photoshop!

The cigarette really makes this pic.

29 May 2007

This is About Military Assassinations

The article seems fairly benign (Subscription required for full acticle):

Slow USAF Bomber Requires Faster Bombs
Aviation Week & Space Technology
05/28/2007, page 50

Douglas Barrie and Andy Nativi
Washington and St. Louis

Time-to-target issues propel U.S. interest in fast missiles for future bomber

The emphasis is back on high-speed weapons to deal with time-critical targets as a result of the U.S. Air Force's choice of a subsonic platform for its next-generation bomber.

The Pentagon is funding research--much of it classified--into options for future long-range cruise missiles, including subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic designs.

George Muellner, president of advanced systems at Boeing's Integrated Defense unit, believes the choice of a subsonic bomber concept to meet a 2018 in-service date bolsters the need for high-speed weapons. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are examining a variety of future cruise missile concepts.

Imagine, if you will a typical tactical air sortee.

The aircraft is airborn, and 20 miles behind the edge of battle. Sensors pick up a troop/resupply movement around 20 miles behind the battle, and the plane is sent to bomb it.

At 400 miles an hour, it would take 6 minutes to get there.

Even the rather slow A-10 could get there in less than 10 minutes.

An attack helicopter could be there in less than 20 minutes.

This is not enough time for the targets to set up meaningful defense or camouflage.

The scenario in which you need a mach 2+ aircraft, or a mach 3+ missile is as follows:

Grand Ayatollah Sistani, or perhaps Muqtada al-Sadr is spotted giving a sermon at a mosque.

You need to hit him RIGHT NOW, or he may leave the area.

These are assassination weapons.

Internet Explorer Sucks

I just cleaned up my previous post.

Turns out that IE does not understand properly formatted HTML.


On edit: It might be MS Word at fault. It was the source of the original table.

28 May 2007

Memorial Day Barbecue Recipe

I have a couple of recipes, and one spice formula.

I've done this with Lamb (version with Rosemary), but I'm using veal (uses Tarragon instead of Rosemary) today:

First, I bought a small (4-5 pound) veal breast. I cut it into ribs, and took the extra flap of meat (it's a Jewish butcher thing, people stuff the breast under this flap) off.

I then apply the rub to everything, and let it sit in the fridge and sit for 1-2 hours.

I get the fire started in my (charcoal) smoker, and fill up the water pan. I am looking for a target temp of 200-225 °F.

Then I put on my rub, and while it was cooking, I made my plum (nectarine) barbecue sauce.

At the very end, I will take the veal from the smoker, and put it on a hot grill, and caramelize the sauce.

So far, so good with everything. The barbecue sauce is almost ready, and the ribs have been in the smoker since 2:00 pm.

My Rub

I'm using Veal today
Brown Sugar
I prefer dark
Kosher Salt
If using table salt, reduce to 2 TBSB, but Kosher Salt works better.
Chile Powder
I use Trader Joe's Chili Powder.
See below for my (curry based) spice recipe.
About 2
Fresh Rosemary
or Taragon (3 TBSP)
Get smoker (I'm using apple wood and the Rosemary/Tarragon stems for the smoke) to somewhere around 200°-225°.
Heat oven to 200°-225°, or get smoker going to that temperature.
Apply spice mix to meat, lightly patting, and allow to sit 20+ minutes (I generally go for 1-2 hours). You should have a significant amount of spices left over. Save for later use.
Sprinkle fresh Rosemary/Tarragon on lamb (save the stems) after the rub has sat, and put in or smoker, and cook until internal temperature is 140ºF degrees (thermal carryover should take it to about 140ºF
When using a smoker, use wood (I am using apple, and I get it damp first before placing it in a covered pie tin on top of the coals) with some fresh Rosemary/Tarragon to produced a flavored smoke. The stems of the fresh Rosemary/Tarragon work well for this purpose.

My Curry Recipe
Fenugreek Seeds

Cardamom Seeds
Measure once out of pods
Coriander Seeds

Cumin Seeds

Mustard Seeds
I used yellow mustard

3" Stick
Thin stick
Ground Nutmeg

Ground Mace


Red Pepper Flakes

Preheat oven to 225, then put Fenugreek, Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Mustard, Cloves, and Cinnamon Stick (break in 3-5 pieces first) for 15 minutes. Give the pan a little shake every 5 minutes or so.
Add rest of spices, then grind.
This is a home made Curry.

My Plum Barbecue Sauce
Note: I could not find plums last night, so I am using Nectarines.
Finely chopped
White Onion
Finely Chopped
Yellow Mustard Seed
Brown Mustard Seed
Apple Cider Vinegar

Dark Brown Sugar

I use black strap molasses


or Tarragon (3 TBSP)
Fresh, used with lamb/chicken

Used with veal
White Pepper
More if you want it hotter
Ground Paprika
Introduced to Hungary by Turks circa 1585

Vegetable Oil
As needed, can use olive

Kosher Salt, enhances flavor
Take the 1½ C of chopped plums and put in pot and just cover with water. Bring to boil, then turn down to medium simmer.

Add sugar, and simmer, stirring occasionally until the plums have become the consistency of apple sauce (you could blend now, or not).

While plums are cooking, lightly oil a pan, and place the Onions, Garlic, and Rosemary to the pan, and cook until soft and aromatic.

Once the plums are reduced to sauce, add onions, garlic, rosemary, vinegar, mustard, Paprika, and pepper to pot.

Simmer until all onions soften and reach consistency of apple sauce, and most of the sharpness of the vinegar has gone away.

Taste it. If you want more hot, add white pepper or other hots; more sweet, sugar; more "coffee" overtones more molasses; more tartness, more vinegar.

Brush on meat during cooking, or keep separate for use after cooking.

27 May 2007

Musical Axis of Evil

Celine Dion - You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

Paul Anka Smells Like Teen Spirit

What Cats Really Think of You

When I come Home From Work, there he is, my cat Tudza staring out the bay window at me.

Being stared at a cat is disconcerting because you don't know what is going on in their walnut sized brain.

I think that the picture is close though.

26 May 2007

F#$% Iraq and Terrorism, Here is an IMPORTANT Story

Well it looks like everyone can stop worrying about the war, terrorism, the systematic elimination of the rule of law at the Department of Justice, and the president's mispronunciation of the word Nuclear.

A rich white girl is facing gaol time over being terminally stupid.

Break out the online petitions folks!

Lindsay Lohan cited on suspicion of DUI

Sat May 26, 7:46 PM ET

Lindsay Lohan was cited for investigation of driving under the influence Saturday and was slightly injured when the troubled actress' convertible struck a curb, police said.

Lohan, 20, and two other people were in her 2005 Mercedes SL-65 when it crashed on Sunset Boulevard around 5:30 a.m., Sgt. Mike Foxen said.


Two Great Foods That Go Great Together

NO, I'm Not Pregnant

About 25 years ago a bunch of us went to a Friendly's type restaurant called McManus of a late night snack.
It was college, it's what college students do.
Ben ordered a strawberry shake (it was called a frappe on the menu...It's a New England name for a shake), and a side of dill pickle chips.
Eventually, I tried it, it's actually pretty good, so it wasn't that he was pregnant or something.
My daughter likes dipping French fries in shakes.

25 May 2007

Friday Cat Blogging

OOPS...Me Bad. Those Aren't Cats.

Candle lighting is coming up, so I will be off for the next 24 hours.

Have fun.

Dell is In A Pickle

Put a Fork In It, Dell Computer is Done.

They are going to be selling their PCs at WalMart.

They are going to get done anally, with a sandpaper dildo, just like Vlasic Pickle was.

Ever lower, and eventually negative margins, while the WalMart sales cannibalize their profitable sales.
Dell sees salvation on Wal-Mart aisles
By Therese Poletti
Mercury News
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:05/25/2007 01:35:46 AM PDT

Responding to the drubbing it has received from rival Hewlett-Packard in the consumer personal computer market, Dell announced a major shift in its strategy with plans to begin selling desktop PCs in Wal-Mart stores.

For more than a decade, the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker has been the world's leading PC maker through its cost-efficient strategy of selling PCs directly to consumers and businesses through its Web site or through phone sales, a system referred to as build-to-order direct sales. But in the past two years, Dell has lost steam and market share amid a series of problems, including a rejuvenated HP.

On Thursday, Dell said it will begin selling two types of desktop computers in 3,000 Wal-Mart stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, at prices below $700 each. Analysts said it represents Dell's first big move back into retail since the early 1990s. Dell said it will also maintain its ongoing partnership with Costco, which sells Dell PCs in stores and online. But the deal with Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, is seen as the beginning of a major new strategy.

"One of the growth drivers for HP's PC business is the consumer business, and consumer will continue to be a growth driver," said Charles Smulders, an analyst with Gartner. "So Dell pushing into retail is a response and a strategy to capitalize on some of that growth."


The Bottom Really Has Dropped out of the Housing Market

Go to this article from the View from Silicon Valley blog.

Basically, the square footage of houses in Silicon Valley is going up quickly, because the smaller houses (you know, the ones around Santa Cruz that cost less than 700 Grand) are simply not moving.

Good Graphs too.

It Just Gets Better and Better, Doesn't It.

Looks like those folks lovable but zany folks at Pyonyang are at it again.

Yet another case where the Bush HW crazies are publicly calling for regime change, and breaking agreements (the money freeze) does not help.

North Korea map
North Korea has test-fired several missiles towards the Sea of Japan.

South Korea's defence ministry said the launches appeared to be part of a routine military exercise by the secretive communist state.

Reports from Japan and South Korea said that the tests involved a number of short-range anti-ship missiles.

The US envoy to North Korea played down the significance of the tests, but added that Pyongyang should concentrate its efforts on nuclear disarmament.

Christopher Hill said: "We're not surprised. It's something they have done on several occasions."

He added: "What North Korea needs to do is focus on its future, and its future is getting out of the nuclear weapons business."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described the action as "extremely regrettable", and said it undermined international trust in Pyongyang.

Some commentators said the tests were a response to Friday's launch by South Korea of its first destroyer equipped with US-supplied high-tech Aegis radar.


Could one of the Goyim Explain This to A Yid?

Goyim is a term coming from the Hebrew for foreigner or stranger.

I'm just not equipped to explain the spiritual/theological implications to all this.
Lightning damages Jesus statue
A bolt broke off an arm and a hand and damaged a foot at the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden. The sisters hope the 22-foot piece can be repaired.
By Jennifer Brown
Denver Post Staff Writer
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated:05/21/2007 05:03:43 PM MDT

Don't look for any religious symbolism here - it was only a freak act of Mother Nature, says Sister Ilaria.

The nuns at Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden were thanking God on Sunday that no one was hurt when a bolt of lightning shot out of the sky and struck their 33-foot statue of Jesus.

The lightning bolt broke off one of Jesus' arms and a hand and damaged one of his feet, sending marble plummeting to the ground during a Saturday afternoon storm.

"There were pilgrims up there on the hill," Sister Ilaria said. "The biggest miracle is no one got hit with the falling debris."

The statue of Jesus, which had one hand pointing to his "sacred heart" and the other outstretched, sits atop a mountain near the shrine in the foothills of Golden. Drivers on Interstate 70 can see the statue in the hills, and at night, light illuminates the white marble.

Jesus, wearing a robe and glancing down, is 22 feet tall with an 11-foot base.

Sister Bernadette was doing paperwork in her office when she heard the crackle of lightning.

"We did hear a bang, but we didn't realize it was the statue," she said.

The statue, damaged Saturday, was sent from Italy in sections in 1954. No one was hurt by the falling pieces. (Post / Brian Brainerd)


Wanker of the Day

Well, here's some news from my old High School (Woodrow Wilson High, 1980).

I award the principal my wanker of the day.

They are refusing to allow the student(s) or parent(s) to remove the flowers, and they are demanding that they pay $1000.00 for a landscaper to remove the flowers.

Where the hell did they find a landscaper who would charge $1000 to remove a few flowers, the Pentagon?

For that, they could weed my yard for the season.

Whose loser brother-in-law owns the landscaping service?

This is a symptom of the criminalization of ordinary juvenile behavior. I would have been thrown in gaol as a senior when I got into a fight under the current dysfunctional policies that are American public education.

I'm sending an email to the Principal's (Sue Brent) office (sbrent@pps.k12.or.us)
Edited to correct email addy

Update: Wilson will take into account nature of prank in any discipline
Posted by The Oregonian May 24, 2007 11:58AM
Portland school administrators are sanctioning one Wilson High School senior for her role in an outdoor peace display -- $600 worth of marigolds planted in the shape of a peace sign -- and have told her she can participate in the June 1 graduation ceremony but will not receive a diploma until she pays up to $1,000 to remove the flowers.

Maggie Collins, a University of Oregon-bound 18-year-old, is being held solely responsible for the display after she discussed her role in planting it on a local television newscast, according to her older sister, Caity Collins. Caity Collins, a student at Whitman College, said district administrators asked Maggie to name the others who took part in the senior prank and told her she must foot the bill to return the landscaping to its original state.

Caity and Maggie's mom, Alyson Breathed, is meeting with the Wilson principal Sue Brent this morning to discuss the situation, Caity Collins said.

The principal's office said it could not comment on any disciplinary action. But a statement did say, "We do understand that these students could have acted in a more destructive way, and will certainly take that into account in any consequences that might be imposed."

A call to Superintendent Vicki Phillips was not immediately returned.

Collins said her sister doesn't want to hand over the names of her classmates who took part in the prank. She doesn't want others to get in trouble for a display that many want to remain, Caity Collins said.

As word of the sanctions spread this week, many parents came forward to offer their help in removing the flowers, but the district insisted on having professionals work on the project instead, Caity Collins said. She said officials told her mother it would cost between $600 and $1,000 to complete the job.

"A lot of parents and teachers have said they like the way it looks and they want it to stay because a call for peace is something a lot of people agree with," Caity Collins said. "The people who did this thought of it as a plea for peace. That, I think, is a really great thing."

Here's a clip about the peace display:


Is there no level to which Dick Cheney will sink to get his pet war?

Impeach Dick Cheney. Impeach him now (Shrub is tomorrow).

Cheney Attempting to Constrain Bush's Choices on Iran Conflict: Staff Engaged in Insubordination Against President Bush

May 24, 2007
Cheney Attempting to Constrain Bush's Choices on Iran Conflict: Staff Engaged in Insubordination Against President Bush

There is a race currently underway between different flanks of the administration to determine the future course of US-Iran policy.

On one flank are the diplomats, and on the other is Vice President Cheney's team and acolytes -- who populate quite a wide swath throughout the American national security bureaucracy.


Multiple sources have reported that a senior aide on Vice President Cheney's national security team has been meeting with policy hands of the American Enterprise Institute, one other think tank, and more than one national security consulting house and explicitly stating that Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush's tack towards Condoleezza Rice's diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously.

This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an "end run strategy" around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument.

The thinking on Cheney's team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran's nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles (i.e., not ballistic missiles).

This strategy would sidestep controversies over bomber aircraft and overflight rights over other Middle East nations and could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf -- which just became significantly larger -- as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.


Quote of the Day

This is from an Aviation Week interview with Walter P. Havenstein (Subscription Required), president and CEO of BAE Systems Inc.

I worked with representatives of an LSI, a joint venture of Boeing and SAIC, while I was at BAE systems, and I find them as useless as Mr. Havenstein does.
My view is we have not been well served by the LSI concept. I equate companies that want to become LSIs to a five-year-old with a pencil. They say, "We connect the dots." The world is not that simple. If you're going to be effective as a mission capability integrator, you'd better own some of the dots.
Emphasis, and appreciative laughter, mine.

In the Department of the Glaringly Obvious, The Chinese Tested ASAT Because They Think That We are Nuts.


We pull out of the ABM treaty, we state our intention to place weapons in orbit, and we're SURPRISED when they decide to do so?

It's common sense. China see itself as our rival, and wants to make sure that it has the means to make any possible American hegemony in its reason uncertain and expensive.

All in all, that's how we kept the peace through 45 years of the cold war.

(Link requires subscription)

Chinese ASAT Prompts Space Awareness Push

Michael Bruno/Aerospace Daily and Defense Report

U.S. diplomatic and military officials remain perplexed and unsatisfied with China's nonexplanatory responses to international protests regarding the Asian giant's January anti-satellite (ASAT) ballistic missile test.

But they appear to be pushing Congress to support increased situational awareness efforts for U.S. space assets first over developing offensive, defensive or even so-called operationally responsive space capabilities, according to several remarks made May 23 on Capitol Hill.


You know, saber rattling about weaponizing space is what got us to this place, so now MORE will make it BETTER?

What a bunch of F^%$ing maroons.

New Israeli Large Drone, Unauthorized Pic Released

The people in the photo provide scale.

(Subscription Required for Link)

Unauthorized Photos of IAF's New UAV Come Out
Aviation Week & Space Technology
05/21/2007, page 32

David A. Fulghum

Unauthorized pictures of IAI's new, weapons-carrying UAV finally surface

Printed headline: Israel's Secret UAV

Israel has taken another significant step toward fielding a long-range surveillance and ballistic missile defense network of sensors, missiles and unmanned aircraft that it has been developing since 2000. Now, first photos of the initial flight last summer of Israel's secret, large-payload, unmanned aircraft--capable of carrying air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles for at least a day--have leaked.

Up until the recent turmoil among the defense ministry's senior officials over the results of last summer's Lebanon conflict, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) had been considering plans to pull the wraps off its very large (wingspan of at least 85-ft.) long-range, unmanned aircraft. Those plans were put on hold by the defense ministry. But four images taken from a video, reportedly recorded during its clandestine first flight last July, are out. The UAV--called the Heron II, Eitan and Machatz II--has since been flown several times, with no publicity, and it may make its first official appearance at the Paris air show in June.


AIM-120 AMRAAM Modified for Missile Intercept

Add a Two Stage motor, and a Modified AIM-9X (Sidwinder) imaging infra red seeker.

Considering the response to the US ignoring the possibility of arms control is escalation (see the Chinese ASAT launch) it would be better simply not to be so damn bellicose in the first place.

Kicking someone in the balls, and then calling them a c%$#sucker is not a good way to convince people that you want peace.

(Subscription required for link)

AIM-120 Recast As Ballistic Missile Interceptor
Aviation Week & Space Technology
05/21/2007, page 31

David A. Fulghum

Veteran AIM-120 dogfight missile is recast as a ballistic missile interceptor

Printed headline: Space-RAAM

Raytheon is trying to win the international race to develop an air-launched weapon that can shoot down ballistic missiles within tens of seconds after launch. Its entry is a new, longer-range version of the AIM-120 Amraam that could be carried by manned fighters or unmanned surveillance or combat aircraft.

Raytheon's new boost-phase intercept missile, based on Amraam, adds a second-stage motor and an infrared seeker.Credit: RAYTHEON
The missile's new second-stage, liquid-rocket motor was tested in December, and its seeker will be demonstrated this summer, says Mike Booen, vice president of advanced missile defense and directed energy weapons for Raytheon Missile Systems. The size, center of gravity and aerodynamic shape of the hit-to-kill interceptor are the same as for the AIM-120.

The concept is that long-endurance UAVs the size of the Predator B could carry adequate missiles and fly high enough to set up "launch area denial spheres," Booen says. That area of denial would be big enough to cover the missile launch complex in eastern North Korea from an orbit over international waters in the Sea of Japan. In fact, the missile could be launched from any platform that has the electrical interface for Amraam, including the F-22 Raptor or F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

If you don't want somebody to launch missiles, "you can deny those launches with a UAV combat air patrol well offshore and out of the way," Booen says. The UAV would be positioned in the "launch tube" between the missile's firing point and the target.


Embrarer Working on C-130 Class Transport

They first came to my attention in the 1980s with the AMX attack aircraft. They now appear to be tearing up the small commuter jet market, and this looks rather promising too.

Embraer Eyes Tactical Airlifter Go-ahead by Year's End
Aviation Week & Space Technology
05/21/2007, page 42

Michael A. Taverna
Villepinte, France

After regional and business jets, military transport sector could be next Embraer target

Printed headline: New Tactics

Embraer hopes to decide by year-end whether to add a military airlifter to its portfolio as part of a drive to boost its defense business.

The Brazilian airframer recently confirmed it's defining a 19-metric-ton transport, designated the C-390, which could replace C-130s, C-160s, An-12s and other aging tactical airlifters (AW&ST Apr. 9, p. 41). Intended for cargo, inflight refueling or medevac applications, the C-390 would feature turbojet propulsion, a high-mounted raked wing, conventional tailplane and an upswung fuselage with rear ramp sized to carry commonly used light fighting vehicles.


Although the contours of the airlifter are still preliminary, the C-390 will feature an all-new fuselage but reuse the wing, tail and major systems employed on the Embraer 190.Credit: EMBRAER CONCEPT

If You Treat Pilots Like $%#@, They Will Stop Being Pilots

Put this under the category of glaringly obvious.

The regionals have always had poor pay and benefits, in some of the smaller ones a pilot could earn less than $25k/year, but there was always the prospect that it could be a route to the majors.

These days, a job at the majors means that they declare bankruptcy, take your pension away, and lay out off.

And they are surprised that there is a pilot shortage?

(Subscription Required for Link)

Regionals Plagued by Pilot Attrition in First Quarter
Aviation Week & Space Technology
05/21/2007, page 58

Lori Ranson

Printed headline: Pilot Attrition Hits Regionals

An unexpected exodus of pilots from regional airlines during the last few months has spurred penalties in the first quarter and slowed growth at some of those carriers, but management at most of the companies remains optimistic about a fast recovery.

Pinnacle Airlines' attrition rates hit almost 20 per month during the quarter, close to double typical monthly stats of 9-10 pilots. The carrier ramped up its pilot pool during the last half of 2006 to entice Northwest to award its regional partner additional aircraft as the two carriers renegotiated their airline services agreement (ASA). At one point it looked highly unlikely Pinnacle would get the aircraft, and the airline stopped its pilot recruitment. Ultimately, Pinnacle did get the airplanes. But the timing of the negotiations, coupled with high attrition rates, slashed pilot counts. A stipulation in the ASA with Northwest was Pinnacle reaching a pilot deal by Mar. 31, which didn't happen. As a result Northwest has told Pinnacle it's removing 15 Bombardier CRJ200s from its fleet starting in September. Mesaba will fly those airplanes.


24 May 2007

Do You Suffer From Republican Memory Loss Syndrome?

YouTube of the day.

Bird Poops On Bush

For some reason, I'm humming the song Close to You, you know, the one that goes, "Why do birds suddenly appear..."

Seriously Georgie, everyone hates you except for the dead-enders, and now nature is lining up against you.

Give it up.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars for the original vid.

Ifunny. I Laughed My IAss off.

It appears that the folks at Apple have no sense of humor.

They have sent a cease and desist letter to sex toy maker Ann Summers over her IGasm.

They don't like this poster.


By Polly Graham

COMPUTER giants Apple are really worked up—over an Ann Summers sex toy that hooks up to your iPod.

Women all over Britain are saying yes, yes, yes to the £30 iGasm that plugs into a music player and delivers good vibrations that pulse to the beat.

But shocked iPod bosses are iRate—demanding stores take down all posters for the gadget or risk a fight in the iCourt.


If This is Winning, I'd Hate To See Losing.

Juan Cole got a memorandum leaked to him.

Basically, it's saying that we cannot get food to our the green zone. The Iraqi resistance is too good at interdicting the logistics traffic.

The theater-wide comment means that we are unable to do so for our troops too.

This is a prelude to something awful. Classic military strategy is, first you cut it off, then you starve it, then you kill it.

'Due to a theater-wide delay in food delivery, menu selections will be limited for the near future. While every effort will be made to provide balanced meals, it may not be possible to offer the dishes you are used to seeing at each meal. Fresh fruits and salad bar items will also be severely limited or unavailable.

House Prices Drop 11% YoY

Of course, the hed is that sales went up, but the real news is an ELEVEN PERCENT DROP YEAR OVER YEAR

The media is dependent on real-estate ads for much of its revenue, so they always take the most rosy view of these stories.

New-Home Sales in April Jump by the Most in 14 Years (Update2)

By Bob Willis

May 24 (Bloomberg) -- Purchases of new homes in the U.S. unexpectedly surged in April by the most in 14 years, ignited by the biggest decline in median prices since 1970.

See lead paragraph says that everything is rosy.
Falling prices and incentives offered by builders such as Centex Corp. are stirring demand for new homes after two years of falling sales. Still, a glut of unsold properties suggests homebuilding is likely to remain a drag on growth throughout this year and into 2008.
That's the 3rd paragraph, and it's pretty mild.

Biggest Drop in Four Decades

The median price of a new home dropped 11 percent last month, the biggest decline since 1970, to $229,100 from $257,000 a year earlier, today's report showed.

That's the 9th paragraph, that there is BLOOD in the real estate street.

This Sounds Like a 6 Astronaut Portable Stove

I like hypergolics for rockets, they simplify fuel handling a lot, but shipping the module to NASA already fueled?

Color me a bit dubious.

NASA faces battle over toxic fuel plan for Orion
By Rob Coppinger
Decision to load hypergolic propellants off-line expected to pose safety challenges

NASA has decided to load the Orion crew launch vehicle with its hypergolic fuels before it reaches the pad and before it reaches the Kennedy Space Center's vehicle assembly building for stacking on to the Ares I crew launch vehicle. The decision could pose safety challenges during ground processing.

Hypergolics are fuels and oxidisers that remain liquid at room temperatures and pressures and ignite on contact, requiring no ignition source. But they are toxic and require special handling. Common hypergolic fuels are hydrazine, monomethyl hydrazine and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine. The oxidiser is usually nitrogen tetroxide or inhibited red-fuming nitric acid.


5 YEARS??? In the Air?

I'm wondering if this is a result of the Chinese test of their Anti-Satellite device a few months back, or just the normal DARPA offbeat projects.

US military plans for new UAV to stay airborne for five years

Persistent surveillance is becoming a pressing requirement for US forces, spawning a number of programmes aimed at demonstrating unmanned air vehicles with endurance capabilities ranging from weeks to years.

The latest of these is the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) VULTURE programme to demonstrate the ability to keep a heavier-than-air UAV on station for more than five years.


Keith Olbermann's Special Comment

I originally heard this on Crooks and Liars, but here is the YouTube.
Update: He's JUSTIFIABLY cutting the Dems a new one over their Iraq war sellout.

23 May 2007

An Update on Supernotes.

Watching America has a VERY good rundown as to why the indicators point toward these being manufactured by some official entity in the US.
Some headings from that article:



Washington's thesis of a "Pyongyang Connection" and "economic warfare against America" are not widely believed. Strangely, although the counterfeiters have mastered the technology of the infrared sensitive security inks used on the new Supernotes, the notes are produced in such way that automated currency test systems recognize them immediately as forgeries. In America, the Supernotes have little chance of going undetected. Also suspicious is the fact that the 50-Dollar Supernote, which is even more finely crafted that the 100-Dollar Supernote, is not being circulated by the forgers, even though this denomination is far more widely used by the general public and often goes untested.
I'm convinced, the DPRK HAS to be behind this. They do this to give themselves plausible deniability.

And the DC Madame was not running a prostitution service.
It's the dotcom bust all over atain

Uh oh. The individual investor is back
If everyone is already in stocks, where will money come from to push shares higher still?
By Alexandra Twin, CNNMoney.com senior writer
May 23 2007: 11:09 AM EDT

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Yep, it's official. Even your grandma is getting bullish about the stock market. And that's as good a reason as any to be prepared for a pullback.
Basically, we've now got the naive small investor coming. After him/her, there is no more money to be had.

Over the past 25 years, Depression era regulations have been gutted. They did not prevent the business cycle, but they did reduce the amplitude of the swings.

Is The US Counterfeiting It's Own Money?

The Swiss, who print the paper money of many nations around the world, have a report out on the so called "supernotes", the VERY high quality counterfeit bills that are seen around the world.

It could be argued that outside of the US bureau of Engraving and Printing, they are the world's foremost experts.

Supernotes are relatively rare, but can only be detected by very sophisticated equipment. The quality of their printing meets, and in some cases exceeds, that of real bills.

Here is the money quote (pardon the pun):
Swiss authorities question U.S. counterfeiting charges against North Korea

By Kevin G. Hall
For years, analysts have wondered why the supernotes - which are detectable only with sophisticated, expensive technology - appear to have been produced in quantities less than it would cost to acquire the sophisticated machinery needed to make them. The paper and ink used to make U.S. currency are made through exclusive contract and aren't available on the open marketplace. The machinery involved is highly regulated.

In theory, if North Korea were producing the notes, it could print $50 million worth of them within a few hours - as much as has been seized in nearly two decades, the report said.

So who ever is counterfeiting the money is LOSING money doing this.

It's always the enemy du jour who is accused of producing this, and under international law, it justifies going to war, so maybe, just maybe, someone in Northern Virginia *cough* Langley *cough* has been doing this for years on a small scale to provide a patsy at the appropriate time.

Wolfowitz Gossip

Courtesy of Murdock's NY Post, Page Six:

May 23, 2007 -- PAUL Wolfowitz has really had a bad couple of weeks. He not only lost his job, he lost his girlfriend, too.

Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the Iraq war, was pushed out as president of the World Bank over a controversial pay and promotion package he arranged for his brunette girlfriend, Shaha Ali Riza.

Sources say Riza, a brilliant feminist with a promising diplomatic career, was upset by all the publicity and the implication that she was getting ahead with the help of a powerful man. "She was furious about the embarrassment," said one source.


Gee our boys are dieing in Iraq and she's embarrassed. Boo f^%$ing hoo.

Truth be told, she has been favored by Wolfie for some time now, and was fine about it until it hit the news.

Gas Prices

22 May 2007

In an Occasional Series of You Tube Vids.


The Republican Party Is By Nature Terrorists.

Case in point.

Report: Student arrested with bombs at Falwell funeral

ABC News is reporting that a 19-year-old Liberty University student has been arrested for having "several gasoline-based bombs in his car," which he allegedly planned to use to stop protesters from disrupting the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell.

Police arrested Mark Ewell of Amissville, Va., and were seeking three other suspects, including a soldier from Fort Benning, Ga., and a high school student.
This is what we are dealing with.

They are no different from the Taliban and the House of Saud, except that they are ALREADY here.

Here's hoping that the next president goes full Patriot act on their lilly white asses.

Bush Administration Tantrum To Tear Apart WTO

This little tantrum, largely a political sop to the TaliBaptist wing of the 'Phant base may very well tear the WTO apart.

It looks like Antigua may very well stop observing US IT registrations as a result.

I think that this is a good thing (I see the WTO regs as being written by and for rich bankers), but it is a classic Bush Disaster.
Antigua threatens to target U.S. interests as WTO adopts decision on Internet gambling
Associated Press
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:05/22/2007 12:48:27 PM PDT
GENEVA - The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda seeks compensation from the U.S. over its illegal restrictions on Internet gambling sites based overseas and on Tuesday asked other countries to join in as it targets Washington over its failure to comply with global trade rules.

Antigua, the smallest country to successfully litigate a case in the World Trade Organization's 12-year-history, also threatened to target American trademarks, copyrights and telecommunications companies after the WTO on Tuesday formally adopted a landmark decision reached in March that the United States' restrictions on online gambling were illegal.

"Not only do we think that members should press claims for compensatory adjustments as a matter of economic self-interest, but we also believe it is important that the process is made as difficult as possible for the United States," Ambassador John Ashe of Antigua told the WTO's dispute settlement body.

There is real pain in Antigua over this:

The former British colony in the Caribbean had been promoting electronic commerce as a way to end the country's reliance on tourism, which was hurt by a series of hurricanes in the late 1990s. There are 32 licensed online casinos in Antigua, employing 1,000 people and generating a yearly revenue of about $130 million. Seven years ago, its casinos had an annual income closer to $1 billion.

Tesla Motors Has a Great Sense of Humor Too.

Yep, the maker of the employees the world's highest performance electric car, also make the world's highest performance electric couch and electric bunny slippers.

NASA's Sense of Humor

Mars Spirit Rover Launch Patch

Hat tip to JollyReaper of the Stellar Parthenon web BBS for the catch.

45 Year Old Copyright Stupidity.

Here is an Atlantic Monthly Article dated April 1962, claiming that the Jukebox industry was destroying the music industry.

Welcome to the American Gulag Archipelago

Descriptions are from this ABC News Story.
What can I say, but that these folks belong on the dock in the Hague.

The CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" instituted in mid-March 2002 and used, they said, on a dozen top al Qaeda targets incarcerated in isolation at secret locations on military bases in regions from Asia to Eastern Europe. According to the sources, only a handful of CIA interrogators are trained and authorized to use the techniques:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess.
This will happen to American personnel, because we are doing it to everyone else.

A Nice Primer on Republithug Voter Suppression

Basically, it's a brief history of the "American Center for Voting Rights". Short version. It's a 'Phant (Republican) front group which generates bogus reports about vote fraud in minority (Democratic voting) areas, so as to attempt to criminalize get out the vote operations, and to justify poll taxes masquerading as voter ID schemes.

Good read with lots of links.

The Fraudulent Fraud Squad
The incredible, disappearing American Center for Voting Rights.
By Richard L. Hasen
Posted Friday, May 18, 2007, at 1:41 PM ET

Imagine the National Rifle Association's Web site suddenly disappeared, along with all the data and reports the group had ever posted on gun issues. Imagine Planned Parenthood inexplicably closed its doors one day, without comment from its former leaders. The scenarios are unthinkable, given how established these organizations have become. But even if something did happen to the NRA or Planned Parenthood, no doubt other gun or abortion groups would quickly fill the vacuum and push the ideas they'd pushed for years.

Not so for the American Center for Voting Rights, a group that has literally just disappeared as an organization, and for which it seems no replacement group will rise up. With no notice and little comment, ACVR—the only prominent nongovernmental organization claiming that voter fraud is a major problem, a problem warranting strict rules such as voter-ID laws—simply stopped appearing at government panels and conferences. Its Web domain name has suddenly expired, its reports are all gone (except where they have been preserved by its opponents), and its general counsel, Mark "Thor" Hearne, has cleansed his résumé of affiliation with the group. Hearne won't speak to the press about ACVR's demise. No other group has taken up the "voter fraud" mantra.

The death of ACVR says a lot about the Republican strategy of raising voter fraud as a crisis in American elections. Presidential adviser Karl Rove and his allies, who have been ghostbusting illusory dead and fictional voters since the contested 2000 election, apparently mounted a two-pronged attack. One part of that attack, at the heart of the current Justice Department scandals, involved getting the DoJ and various U.S. attorneys in battleground states to vigorously prosecute cases of voter fraud. That prong has failed. After exhaustive effort, the Department of Justice discovered virtually no polling-place voter fraud, and its efforts to fire the U.S. attorneys in battleground states who did not push the voter-fraud line enough has backfired. Even if Attorney General Gonzales declines to resign his position, his reputation has been irreparably damaged.

But the second prong of this attack may have proven more successful. This involved using ACVR to give "think tank" academic cachet to the unproven idea that voter fraud is a major problem in elections. That cachet would be used to support the passage of onerous voter-identification laws that depress turnout among the poor, minorities, and the elderly—groups more likely to vote Democratic. Where the Bush administration may have failed to nail illegal voters, the effort to suppress minority voting has borne more fruit, as more states pass these laws, and courts begin to uphold them in the name of beating back waves of largely imaginary voter fraud.

If you want more details, check out Bradblog as a first stop.