Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

LinkSwarm for October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

I was at a writer’s workshop this weekend, so it’s slow going getting back into the swing of things:

  • Early voting in Texas starts today. Find your polling place here.
  • ObamaCare is failing to control costs.
  • Sure, it’s screwed over the many people who have lost their policies or seen their rates skyrocket, but besides Democratic Party functionaries, is there anyone who is happy with ObamaCare? Why yes, there is: Insurance companies
  • Department of Defense hid discovery of chemical weapons in Iraq. In other words: Bush was right, and his critics were wrong…
  • Looks like U.S. air power is finally making a difference in Kobane.
  • On the other hand: “U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS: Not only are foodstuffs, medical supplies—even clinics—going to ISIS, the distribution networks are paying ISIS ‘taxes’ and putting ISIS people on their payrolls.” Let’s not do that…
  • A sign of how deadly Ebola is: “That Science article written by 58 medical professionals tracing the emergence of Ebola—5 of them died from Ebola before it was published.” (Hat tip: Jerry Pournelle via Instapundit.)
  • The Democratic talking points that “Republican budget cuts” helped create the Ebola outbreak are such obvious lies that the Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios.
  • Speaking of Ebola…

  • “Having Jimmy Carter out-hawk you is like having Joe Biden attack you for being verbally undisciplined…Doing nothing about the Islamic State was Obama’s foreign policy until the domestic political situation made his foreign policy untenable.”
  • Another Democratic Senate candidates refuses to say she voted for Obama. Hey, remember when all those Republican senate candidates refused to say whether they voted for Reagan? Me neither.
  • So just how much did Kay Hagan’s family get from a USDA energy program? USDA: We’re not going to tell you.
  • Democrats bringing in Marc Ellis is pretty much a sign they know they’re already breaking the law.
  • Tom Harkin is not pissing his campaign contributions down Bruce Braley’s rathole of a campaign.
  • Why should blacks turn out for the Democratic Party?
  • Real rape vs. “rape culture”:

  • Why Ezra Klein supports “An Enabling Act for the Salem Rape Culture Trials.”
  • Then Klein doubled down on stupid, proving how deeply over his head he’s in. Again.
  • FIRE‘s VP also takes a wack at Klein’s stupidity.
  • Is there any doubt that, under these new kangaroo court procedures, the innocent Duke lacrosse players would have been expelled labeled sex offenders? I suspect that for Social justice Warriors, this outcome isn’t a bug, but a feature
  • MoveOn.org has a “Get the money out of politics” ad contest. Unexpected conservative landslide ensues.
  • World’s least shocking news: New York Times reporters follow liberal Twitter feeds almost exclusively. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • The #GamerGate Hate Hoax. But it’s not like Robert Stacy McCain knows anything about online death threats…
  • Has PETA reminded us what insane lunatics they are recently? Well, they’re complaining about Google View using a camel.
  • ISIS kills ISIS.

  • Is your religion approved by the City of Houston, comrade?
  • All about the man recreating the 1918 flu strain that killed 40 million people
  • Remembering Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, whose sacrifice saved hundred from a suicide bomber in Pakistan.
  • This looks like it could be an interesting book.
  • Holly Hansen has the rundown on Round Rock ISD board candidates.
  • SXSW would like to to keep the peasants from exercising their annoying freedoms during their festival. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • What every President drank.
  • LinkSwarm for Friday, October 3, 2014

    Friday, October 3rd, 2014

    Here’s your Friday LinkSwarm of semi-random linkage goodness:

  • ObamaCare’s war on women: higher premiums, cancelled plans, fewer options.
  • ObamaCare has already cost $73 billion and counting.
  • And the Healthcare.Gov website cost 2.5 times what the Obama Administration told us.
  • The inequality police are worried that we are living in a new Gilded Age. We should be so lucky: Between 1880 and 1890, the number of employed Americans increased by more than 13 percent, and wages increased by almost 50 percent. I am going to go out on a limb and predict that the Barack Obama years will not match that record; the share of employed Americans is lower today than it was when he took office, and household income is down. Grover Cleveland is looking like a genius in comparison.

  • The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989. Thanks, Obama! (Hat tip: Instapundit).
  • World Health Organization refuses to approve experimental drugs for Ebola patients. Because they might get sick…
  • CDC chief thinks a ban on travelers from Ebola-infected countries would be “wrong.” Wrong for who? People who won’t get infected?
  • Real Salon or parody Salon? “The problem with ‘Ebola’: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease.”
  • And if Ebola wasn’t bad enough, Enterovirus D68 has been found in four people who died.
  • And that Enterovirus D68 outbreak may be related to Obama’s decision not to deport illegal aliens.
  • Even 60% of Democrats think Obama is a wuss when it comes to ISIS.
  • U.S. troops fighting in the warkinetic overseas contingency engagement against ISIS are not eligible for campaign medals.
  • NRA’s Political victory Fund has released their ranking of candidates. That’s the one for Texas, but you can select all the other states as well.
  • Liberals are hypocrites when it comes to big bucks “dark money” fundraising.
  • The places where our self-appointed elites congregate are turning into precisely the places where actual voters are getting thinner and thinner on the ground.”
  • Despite what radical feminists would have you believe, sex crimes on campus are going down, not up.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: voting fraud is real.
  • Appeals court finds Texas abortion laws constitutional.
  • “‘He’s from Texas, honey,’ I yelled at the television, startling the cats, ‘That’s not “armed”, that’s “dressed”, you island-dwelling herbivore! Jesus, you cud-chewing Eloi, how do you people open packages? With your teeth, like an animal?” For a bonus, try to work “cud-chewing Eloi” into your next conversation… (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • More domestic violence in the MSM than the NFL: ESPN, ABC, CBS, NBC and the New York Times.
  • Bill Maher goes after liberals being soft on Islam. “Saudi women can’t vote or drive or hold a job or leave the house without a man. Overwhelming majorities in every Muslim country say a wife is always obliged to obey her husband. That all seems like a bigger issue than an evangelical Christian bakery refusing to make gay wedding cakes. ”
  • What happens when you bail out of an SR-71 at Mach 3 and 78,000 feet.
  • Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions, but something about this film has “suck” written all over it…
  • Two words: Homemade flamethrower.

  • The Unexpected Return of This Week(ish) in Jihad

    Thursday, September 25th, 2014

    Bombing, revolution, and other jihad-related news breaking out, so let’s dust off this old headline category and throw up some links.

  • Our air force continues to bomb ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria, including hitting their oil refineries.
  • France has been helping us bomb ISIS in Iraq as well, though evidently not in Syria.
  • Syrian Kurds flee into Turkey.
  • Did Hamas just give up control of Gaza? If so, I’d say Israel won the war decisively…
  • Houthi rebels have taken Yemen’s capital of Sana’a just a day after signing a peace treaty with the government. They follow Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, a Zaidi Shia (i.e., Fivers rather than Twelvers) as opposed to the formerly ruling Sunnis. I can’t tell from scanty news reports how interested they are in jihad or imposing Sharia law (or imposing more Sharia law, since the existing constitution is evidently partially based on it).
  • Jury finds Arab Bank liable for supporting Hamas by paying out martyrdom payments for suicide bombings in Israel.
  • “Coming Soon in Aceh [Indonesia]: Shariah Law for Non-Muslims. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Jihadists are eyeing the porous Mexican border as a way to launch terrorist attacks in the U.S.
  • Obama praises “moderate” Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdallah Bin Bayyah who backed a fatwa on U.S. soldiers. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • From French fries to fatwa: the deadly path to jihad of Numan Haider.”
  • Actual ABC headline: “How #ISIS Is Complicating Al Franken’s Reelection Bid.” (Hat tip: Creeping Sharia.)
  • Tomorrow is 9/11. What Is the Obama Administration Doing To Keep America Safe?

    Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

    Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Thanks to the Obama Administration’s feckless and spineless responses to terrorism both here and abroad, Americans feel less safe than ever:

    The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe. The level of fear across America also is up substantially from last year when 28% felt the same way. In fact, just 26% of Americans now feel the nation is safer than before 9/11.

    Americans are worried about America’s safety because Obama seems manifestly disinterested in national security concerns. Americans are being killed by jihadists abroad and Obama can barely trouble himself to break away from his golf game to address the issue.

    Tonight Obama is going to give a speech (in Obama’s Big Pop-Up Book of Governing America, “Give A Speech” provides the same universal panacea as “Shoot” does in the Far Side’s book on equine medicine) on ISIS.

    Here’s one thing I don’t expect to hear addressed: What is the Obama Administration doing to protect America tomorrow on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. America’s jihadist enemies have frequently observed this anniversary by launching attacks, such as the 2012 embassy attacks on Benghazi and elsewhere.

    This is especially worrisome given reports of missing Libyan airliners possibly in the hands of jihadists.

    When it comes to foreign policy (or, really, anything beyond electoral politics and advancing a left-wing agenda), Obama shows a distinct inability to learn from his own mistakes. Will there be heightened security at American embassies tomorrow? While their be fighter planes in the air flying CAP, or at least fueled and ready for takeoff on the ground, in case of another 9/11 attack? This piece suggests that government officials are “bracing” for possible attacks, but fails to give any details. If there is another attack, are we going to see another roundup of all the security lapses like we did after the Benghazi attack?

    The most essential job of government is protecting the lives, liberty and property of its citizens from enemies both here and abroad. What I want to known is: What is the Obama Administration actually doing on Job 1?

    Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: British Tanks

    Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

    More pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum, this time of British tanks from World War II.

    The Tortoise, an experimental prototype of a super-wide, super-heavy assault tank (actually a self-propelled gun) that made it off the production line too late to fight in World War II.

    Matilda I infantry tank. I think most of the Mark I’s were destroyed in the fall of France.

    Cruiser Tank Mark I…

    …and Mark II.

    Maybach tank transmission.

    The Valentine Archer.

    Valentine Mark II.

    The Churchill tank. Not sure why the main barrel was off.

    Black Prince, an experimental wider, heavier Churchill.

    Churchill Mark III.

    Centurion Mark I.

    Centurion engine.

    Cruiser Comet.

    Cromwell Cruiser.

    Tank gearbox.

    I think this is a Mark VI light tank.

    Don’t Look Now, But Russia Is Invading Ukraine

    Thursday, August 28th, 2014

    Russian forces in two armored columns captured a key southeastern coastal town near the Russian border Thursday after Ukrainian forces retreated in the face of superior firepower, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

    The two Russian columns, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, entered the town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov after a battle in which Ukrainian army positions came under fire from Grad rockets launched from Russian territory, according to the spokesman, Col. Andriy Lysenko.

    Well, thank God for Hillary Clinton’s reset button, and Obama’s “flexibility” and smart diplomacy. Who knows what sort of mess that bungler Bush would have made of the situation.

    And the UN Security Council is meeting. Since Russia still has a Security Council veto, don’t expect even the usual strongly worded letter.

    The Valiant: “One of The Worst Tanks Ever Made”

    Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

    Before we get into the British and U.S. tanks I saw at the Bovington Tank Museum, let’s look at one British prototype tank they had there, the Valiant, AKA “One of the Worst Tanks Ever Designed.”

    Let’s look at the official Bovington description, shall we?

    The Valiant appears to be one of the worst tanks ever designed in Britain. It is difficult to find any contemporary reports that say anything good about it!

    The Valiant was originally designed by Vickers Armstrong to meet a War Office requirement for an Infantry Assault Tank for service in the Far East. During development the project was transferred first to the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Co. and then to Ruston and Hornsby Ltd. of Grantham.

    The designers were required to apply the thickest possible armour while keeping the weight as low as possible. Inevitably the hull was very small; the front hull casting was virtually moulded around the driver while the turret ring stuck out over the sides of the hull. In comparison the turret appeared to be enormous, as it had to accommodate a three man crew, (commander, gunner and loader/radio operator).

    The Valiant used the same diesel engine as the Valentine (See E1949.344), although it had little else in common with the earlier tank. Design documents exist for an improved version, the Valiant II, powered by a Rolls Royce Meteorite engine, converted to diesel operation.

    Ruston and Hornsby built one prototype in 1944. Trials in 1944 – 45 revealed serious problems. With a power:weight ratio of 7.8hp per ton, the tank was slow. The ground clearance at the rear was found to be too low and the suspension, located partly under the hull, was easily damaged during cross-country driving. More seriously the driver was almost crippled by the cramped driving position and was in danger of being injured by the controls. Furthermore, the controls required inordinate strength to operate them. The tests were abandoned immediately.

    Not surprisingly the Valiant did not enter production, officially because the war was likely to be over before the tank could be introduced into service.

    My pics of the Valiant didn’t come out particularly well, but they do show what an odd looking tank it was:

    And here’s a better pic from Bovington:

    Wikipedia (citing David Fletcher’s book Universal Tank: British Armour in the Second World War), says “The sole Valiant was retained by the School of Tank Technology, where students were treated to an inspection of it at the end of their course and invited to find fault. David Fletcher wrote of this: ‘One hopes they started early in the morning.’”

    Pictures from the Bovington Tank Museum: German Tanks

    Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

    I hope you like tanks.

    Here’s the first batch of pictures taken at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, which I visited on Saturday as a gift to my inner 12-year old. (There are few prospects more pleasing to the preadolescent male mind than being encased in a 30 ton metal killing machine.) The first batch is all German tanks and tank destroyers from World War II. Let’s face it, the Germans had far and away the best tanks, and shortly after the allies managed to catch up, Germany would be about ready to introduce something better. Germany’s problem (as compared to America or the Soviet Union) was an inability to manufacture enough of them. (Good thing for us.) They had an enormous array of German tanks, and probably the best collection outside Germany’s own tank museum in Munster.

    The first picture of the first of two King Tigers (AKA Tiger II, AKA Königstiger, Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) they had on display. The mosty powerful tank Germany produced during the war, its 88mm main gun could destroy any tank on the battlefield. It didn’t get on the battlefield until 1944, and Germany produced less than 500 of them.

    The other Tiger II they had there.

    Here you can see the Zimmerite anti-magnetic mine coating the Germans used.

    Selfie, with tank.

    The first of several tank destroyers.

    This is a German tank destroyer that ended up in Finland. Stalin thought he could walk all over Finand, but the Finns tore the Soviets nine different new assholes in the Winter War, though this tank destroyer obviously post-dates 1940.

    Alternate barrel used for the Sturmtiger close assault variant.

    Here’s an early Panzer Mark I command tank. It’s amazing to realize that the initial German blitzkrieg was carried out with relatively slow, under-armed, and underpowered Mark I and Mark IIs, that, with Heinz Guderian’s new tactics of mechanized warfare, were simply Good Enough.

    A Mark II.

    I think this is the Mark III, would would be the mainstay of the Wehrmacht armored divisions through the end of the war.

    A muzzle-eye view.

    Armoured car.

    An 88mm field canon.

    LinkSwarm for August 8, 2014

    Friday, August 8th, 2014

    Another roundup of news, a disproportionate amount from the Middle East, disproportionately bad.

  • Old and Busted: “Never again!” The New Hotness: “Genocide? Meh. Case-by-case basis.”
  • More on the ISIS campaign to wipe out the Yazidi and other religious minorities.
  • Obama says he’s authorizing air strikes “if necessary.” Even when threatening military action, Obama manages to sound wishy-washy.
  • There are conflicting reports as to weather ISIS or the Kurdish Pesh Merga hold the Mosul dam.
  • Hamas demands that Israel kick their ass some more.
  • Rick Perry: “Since September of ’08, we have seen 203,000 individuals who have illegally come into the United States — into Texas — booked in to Texas county jails…These individuals are responsible for over 3,000 homicides and almost 8,000 sexual assaults.”
  • Quiz: Real Salon or Parody Salon? Difficulty: Impossible.
  • Leland Yee pleads not guilty to racketeering charges. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Won’t someone think of the poor federal employee who have nothing to do all day but spank their monkey to online porn?
  • Why did Austin mayor Lee Leffingwell proclaim a day in honor of convicted Louisiana felon Ed Edwards?
  • It has to be said: Hillary Clinton doesn’t have the fashion sense God gave a turtle. Two words: Lane Bryant.
  • Soldiers’ military kits from 1066 to 2014.
  • There’s a website dedicated to the world’s tallest men.
  • LinkSwarm for July 25, 2014

    Friday, July 25th, 2014

    Time for another random roundup of news and links:

  • Jimmy Carter looks like frickin’ Bismark next to the feckless dorm-room intellectual currently haunting the golf courses of the greater DC area.”
  • Even Thomas “What’s The Matter With Kansas” Frank calls Obama “ineffective and gutless.” (Warning: Salon Liberal Whining Ahead.)
  • Liberal law professor Lawrence Tribe thinks that ObamaCare is probably doomed due to the Halbig decision. “I cannot see how this Court could do anything other than decide the same way as the DC Circuit did. The statue is clear on its face.”
  • Even “ObamaCare Architect” MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber said the same thing back in 2012: “What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.”
  • Mark Steyn on the Halbig ruling:

    As to Mr Earnest’s point on “what Congress intended”, who can say? No Congressman who voted for the bill read it. Presumably, some legislator’s staffer wrote that actual line about “established by the State”. If we could locate him among the vast entourages of the Emirs of Incumbistan, we could ask him what his “intention” was. Until then, calibrating the competing degrees of deference to a corrupt bureaucracy, a contemptuous executive, a politicized judiciary and a feckless hack legislature brings to mind Samuel Johnson’s line about arguing the precedence of a louse and a flea, with a tick and a cockroach thrown in.

  • Missing from my Gaza roundup: “Shalom, motherf****r.” “I will not apologize for surviving.” (Hat tip: Josh Perry.)
  • Bill Whittle makes the case for Israel:

  • Obama won’t help arm Ukraine because he had a key role in disarming them.
  • Democrats plans for November: All race card, all the time.
  • 50 years of Democratic rule and now Detroit is cutting off people’s water. “Just goes to show that nothing is so expensive as when it is ‘free.’”
  • “That’s not funny.”
  • Republicans should stand firm and let the Export/Import Bank corporate welfare boondoggle expire. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Che Guevara, racist:

  • Maureen Dowd is never so readable as when she’s slamming the Clintons.
  • “Canadian Candidate Drops Out After Masturbation Video Surfaces.”

  • Sarah Palin endorses Joe Carr against Lamar Alexander in Tennessee senate primary. I don’t think anyone who watched Alexander’s “Lamar!” flannel flameout in the 1996 Presidential race has ever really trusted him since…
  • A New York City cupcake truck seems a little unclear on who their clientele might be. (They’ve since deleted both this tweet and the one where they implored people not to “snitch” to cops when they see crimes committed…)
  • Evidently nobody is actually reading Thomas Piketty’s book.
  • In praise of Power Girl’s boob window.