As today is a made-up celebration called “Earth Day,” be sure to have beef for dinner…
Archive for the ‘Military’ Category
A bit of happy news to brighten your day:
A North Korea missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder ended in failure, U.S. defense officials said, an embarrassing setback in what was reportedly the inaugural test of a new, powerful mid-range missile.
“It was a fiery, catastrophic attempt at a launch that was unsuccessful,” Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said Friday. U.S. officials are still assessing, but it was likely a road-mobile missile, given that it was launched from a location not usually used for ballistic missile launches, on the country’s east coast, he said.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency carried an unsourced report that a “Musudan” missile, which could one day be capable of reaching far-off U.S. military bases in Asia and the Pacific, exploded in the air a few seconds after liftoff.
Take it away Archer:
This is a pretty amazing story:
On September 11, 1962, a German scientist vanished. The basic facts were simple: Heinz Krug had been at his office, and he never came home.
The only other salient detail known to police in Munich was that Krug commuted to Cairo frequently. He was one of dozens of Nazi rocket experts who had been hired by Egypt to develop advanced weapons for that country.
HaBoker, a now defunct Israeli newspaper, surprisingly claimed to have the explanation: The Egyptians kidnapped Krug to prevent him from doing business with Israel.
But that somewhat clumsy leak was an attempt by Israel to divert investigators from digging too deeply into the case — not that they ever would have found the 49-year-old scientist.
We can now report — based on interviews with former Mossad officers and with Israelis who have access to the Mossad’s archived secrets from half a century ago — that Krug was murdered as part of an Israeli espionage plot to intimidate the German scientists working for Egypt.
Moreover, the most astounding revelation is the Mossad agent who fired the fatal gunshots: Otto Skorzeny, one of the Israeli spy agency’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favorites among the party’s commando leaders. The Führer, in fact, awarded Skorzeny the army’s most prestigious medal, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors.
Skorzeny really was that scary a badass, and late in the war many allies feared that he would be leading “werewolf” guerrilla forces against the occupation of Germany, which never really materialized.
You can read more about him here, though that site might possibly be out on the fringe (in more ways than one).
Two observations, linked only that I saw each on the same day when traveling back to Austin from Houston:
- The black helicopters are back. By “black helicopters” I mean military helicopters without visible markings (though I didn’t stop to see if I could spot them) hovering over a highway, in this case I-10 near Katy. It wasn’t the only military activity I saw, as there seemed to be a lot of military transports, either in desert tan or olive drab cammo patterns, on the roads (couldn’t have been anything secret, since they were moving in broad daylight; I don’t assume Uncle Sam is aiming for stealth when he parks a military gasoline tanker in the parking lot of the Bastrop Buc-ees on a Friday afternoon). I’ve seen them over Austin before (usually hovering right over Mopac), but it’s been quite a while. What I don’t mean is NWO paranoia, space aliens, or any of that crap. If I had to guess they’re testing some sort of ground radar equipment, possible a smaller, more portable version of JSTARs. But the first order of business is reportage; people aren’t making black helicopters up out of thin air.
- Speaking of Buc-ees, I stopped there for gas on the way back. Since pay-at-the-pump wasn’t reading my credit/debit card, I went in and paid them $20 to put on a pump. What I had forgotten was that gas has gotten so cheap that I couldn’t put $20 worth of unleaded, at $1.39 a gallon, into my nearly empty tank. I had to go back in and get a $2 refund. One reason I mention this is that, right now, in some places in California, gas is more than $5 a gallon…
Early voting started in Texas Monday, which means I’m way behind on covering state and local races. Oh well, maybe later this week…
Sanders’s margin of victory — 60 percent to 39 percent — was the largest ever by a Democrat who wasn’t a sitting president. It was a come-from-behind win: Eight months ago, Sanders was at 9 percent and Clinton held a 46-point advantage. And Sanders overperformed the polls. Only 1 of the last 15 polls had him above 60 percent; the Real Clear Politics average in New Hampshire had him at 54.5 percent going into the vote.
Then there are the crosstabs. The exit polling for Clinton was brutal. Sanders won men by 35 points; he won women by 11. He won voters under the age of 30 by 67 points. People expect that of Sanders and his children’s crusade. Clinton took home senior citizens, 54 percent to 45 percent. People expect that of Clinton’s boomers. But in the big band of middle-aged Democrats, ages 45 to 64 (who made up 42 percent of the electorate), Sanders beat Clinton 54 percent to 45 percent. He beat her among Democrats with a high school diploma or less; he beat her among Democrats with postgraduate degrees. Among people who’d voted in a Democratic primary before, Sanders won by 16 points; among first-time voters, he won by 57. He won self-identified “moderate” voters by 20 points.
Clinton made gun control a substantial part of her pitch in New Hampshire. Sanders won voters who own guns by 40 points. But he won voters who don’t own guns by 14. He even won voters who said that terrorism was their number one concern.
The biggest problem for Clinton, however, came in the candidate-perception categories. The second-most important quality voters said they wanted in a candidate was someone who “cares.” Sanders won these voters by 65 points. The most important quality people said they wanted was “honesty.” Sanders took those people home 92 to 6. Look at that again. When asked “Is Clinton honest and trustworthy?” 53 percent of all voters — not just Sanders voters, but everyone casting a Democratic ballot — said “no.”
Ted Cruz has picked up plenty of notable endorsements in his race for President, but today he picked up endorsements from two very notable men:
Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.
As someone who once clerked for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he will know how important choosing Justice Scalia’s replacement will be. And he has the intellect to understand much more.
“This election is a turning point for our country,” said Meyer. “In these dangerous times we need a strong, principled conservative in the White House. We need a Commander-in-Chief who works with our allies and makes it known that certain actions against the United States and its allies will not be tolerated. I am confident that Ted Cruz has the ability and resolve to be Commander-in-Chief. His record of standing up and fighting for what he believes in shows that he is not someone who buckles under pressure. Ted is ready to led this country – and I look forward to help uniting conservatives and veterans behind this campaign.”
I note in passing that Sowell is 85, and Meyer is 27…
Q: What happens when you discover the stall speed on an SR-71 while doing a low pass?
Remember last year’s story about how the Air Force was trying to kill the A-10 Warthog, with one now-cashiered general saying airmen talking to congress about saving the venerable plane was “treason?”
Well it appears that the Air Force has finally given up on attempts to kill America’s most effective tank-killing aircraft:
The U.S. Air Force is reportedly scrapping what has become an annual attempt to retire the A-10 Thunderbolts from the fiscal 2017 budget request being drawn up.
Maj. Melissa J. Milner, an Air Force spokeswoman on budget matters, said Wednesday she could not comment on the Defense One report that the Cold War-era attack aircraft had been spared indefinitely, but boosters of the plane affectionately known to ground troops as the “Warthog” hailed the move to keep them in the inventory.
“It appears the administration is finally coming to its senses and recognizing the importance of A-10s to our troops’ lives and national security,” said Rep. Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona and a retired Air Force colonel who flew the A-10.
“With A-10s deployed in the Middle East to fight ISIS, in Europe to deter Russian aggression, and along the Korean peninsula, administration officials can no longer deny how invaluable these planes are to our arsenal and military capabilities,” said McSally, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, also known as ISIL.
For the past three years, the Air Force has sought to begin mothballing the A-10s in favor of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to take over the close air support mission. Each year, the House and Senate have blocked the cuts.
In a statement, Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the chairman of the defense panel, said, “I welcome reports that the Air Force has decided to keep the A-10 aircraft flying through Fiscal Year 2017, ensuring our troops have the vital close-air support they need for missions around the world.”
The debate over the A-10s appears to have been shelved as commanders in the Iraq and Syria air war increasingly call upon the Thunderbolts flying out of Incirlik air base in Turkey and other bases in the Mideast for attack missions.
Score a point for the restoration of sanity over institutional antipathy.