“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Losing to China, One Ship at a Time

BEIJING—China plans an ultradeep dive by a manned submersible beneath the Pacific that would propel it past the U.S. in a race to explore potentially vast mineral resources in the deepest parts of the world's oceans.
Xinhua/Zuma Press
The Jiaolong surfaces from a dive in the South China Sea in July 2010
The Jiaolong—named after a mythical sea-dragon—left China on board an oceanographic research ship on July 1. It arrived on Saturday at its destination in the northeastern Pacific, between Hawaii and North America, where it is to attempt a dive to 5,000 meters, or about 16,400 feet, according to state media reports.
The state-run Xinhua news agency on Saturday quoted Liu Feng, the director of the diving trials, as saying the sea was too rough to attempt the first of its planned four dives before Wednesday. "We'll use this time to do our preparatory work down to the last detail, and as soon as sea conditions improve, we'll start sea trials," he was quoted as saying.
Xinhua quoted Liu Cigui, director of the State Oceanic Administration, on Saturday that a "marvel" of Chinese manned submergence would occur in the next 15 days. The administration, which is overseeing the mission, didn't respond to a request to comment.
The planned dive would be the latest milestone for China in a high-stakes technological race once dominated by the U.S., which in 1960 sent two men to the bottom of the Mariana Trench—at 11,033 meters the deepest point in the world's oceans—in the now-retired Trieste bathyscaphe.
The U.S. led undersea exploration and mining efforts for several decades thereafter, but commercial interest waned in the 1980s and 1990s because international prices for nickel, copper and other commodities thought to be most easily mined from the deep seabed at the time were insufficiently high.
The U.S. Navy used to operate three manned submersibles, including one, called the Sea Cliff, that was capable of going down to 6,000 meters, but didn't replace it after its retirement because of defense cutbacks in 1998.
Now, many experts say the U.S. risks falling behind potential commercial and military competitors as rising commodity prices make undersea mining more profitable, and China and Russia apply for rights to explore newly discovered deep-sea deposits thought to hold larger quantities of silver, gold, copper, zinc and lead in particular.
The race has commercial, scientific and military implications comparable to space exploration, in which China is also now a world power as one of only four countries—alongside the U.S., Russia and India—capable of manned space flight.
Although Chinese officials say the Jiaolong is for civilian purposes only, foreign military experts say such a craft could be used to intercept or sever undersea communications cables, to retrieve foreign weaponry on the ocean floor, or to repair or rescue naval submarines.
Its primary purpose, however, is to help explore potentially huge but hitherto inaccessible undersea reserves of the metals and other natural resources that China needs to keep its economy growing, said Chinese and foreign experts.
China developed the Jiaolong as part of an ambitious deep-sea ocean-exploration program that was launched in 2002, and also includes plans to start building a deep-sea exploration center in the eastern city of Qingdao, where the Jiaolong will be based.
"This definitely was no 'rush to headlines' but rather a carefully evolved program," said Don Walsh, an undersea-engineering consultant and former U.S. naval officer who was on the Trieste in 1960 and has met the team that designed the Jiaolong.
"I believe we will see more manned and unmanned submersibles from this team," he said in an email. "And they will be welcome additions to the world 'fleet' of undersea vehicles. Collectively we need as many 'eyes' in the deep oceans as possible since there is so much we do not know about the 'mysterious deep,' " he said.
He also said the Jiaolong's designers had purchased a lot of "off the shelf" technology from overseas, and had benefited from training dives on the U.S. Navy's Alvin manned submersible, which is operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The institution didn't respond to a request for comment.
The Jiaolong passed its first major benchmark last year when it dived to 3,759 meters beneath the South China Sea—site of territorial disputes among China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines— and planted a Chinese flag on the ocean bed.
That dive put China in an exclusive club of only five countries—along with Japan, Russia, the U.S. and France—that can explore the ocean below 3,500 meters.
If the Jiaolong's current mission is successful, it will attempt to dive next year to 7,000 meters, the maximum depth it is designed to withstand, said officials involved in the project. That would put it ahead of Japan's Shinkai submersible, which can dive to 6,500 meters, and Russia's Mir, which can go down to 6,000 meters and was used to plant a Russian flag on the ocean floor beneath the Arctic in 2007.
It would also allow China to access an estimated 99.8% of the all the world's seabed, said Chinese officials and experts.
The most capable U.S. deep-sea manned submersible still in service is the Alvin, which was launched in 1964 and can dive to a maximum of 4,500 meters. An upgraded version, designed to go down to 6,500 meters, isn't due to be completed until 2015.
A submersible differs from a submarine in that it typically relies on a mother ship, has little use on the surface, but can achieve great depths and is highly maneuverable underwater. The Jiaolong is 27 feet long and has a round titanium hull to protect its maximum three passengers from the enormous pressure of the deep sea.
"It looks like a great white shark, with a white, round-shaped body, an orange head, and an X-shaped stabilizer at the rear," Xinhua quoted Xu Qinan, the Jiaolong's chief designer, as saying. It will need two hours to reach the seabed, where it will take video and photographic images, as well as topographical measurements and samples from the ocean floor, he said.
The Pacific test site was selected because the state-run China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association, also known as Comra, signed a contract in 2001 with the International Seabed Authority, a United Nations body that oversees mining in international waters.
The 15-year contract initially allowed Comra to explore 150,000 square kilometers of seabed for polymetallic nodules—small rocks containing metal ore—although the area was reduced to 75,000 square kilometers after eight years.
ISA, which is based in Jamaica, is meeting to discuss, among other things, unprecedented applications from China and Russia to explore a more recently discovered mineral source, called polymetallic sulphides.
They are found around volcanic springs on the seabed and are thought to contain larger quantities of metals, especially gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper.
Oceans cover about 70% of the Earth's surface and average about 4,000 meters deep.
The ISA estimates that polymetallic-sulphide deposits can range up to 110 million tons each, but only about 5% of 60,000 kilometers of oceanic ridges, where most deposits are thought to lie, have been surveyed in any detail.
According to ISA's website, Comra applied in May 2010 for the rights to explore polymetallic-sulphide deposits in the Southwest Indian Ridge, which roughly bisects the sea between Africa and Antarctica.
Nii Allotey Odunton, ISA's secretary-general, has described the applications from China and Russia as "groundbreaking in nature."
ISA is also considering, for the first time, two applications for deep-sea exploration rights from private companies, sponsored by the South Pacific islands of Tonga and Nauru, in what Mr. Odunton called a "a new milestone in the life of the authority and for the regime for deep seabed mining."
The U.S. isn't a member of ISA as it hasn't ratified the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Among those who have urged Washington to ratify the Convention are Thad W. Allen, a senior fellow at Rand Corp. and former commandant of the Coast Guard, Richard L. Armitage, a former deputy secretary of state, and John J. Hamre, the president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former deputy secretary of defense.
They made a public appeal in April, arguing that the move would "provide American companies with a fair and stable legal framework to invest in mining projects in the deep seabed," as well as benefiting the military by codifying navigation and overflight rights.
Write to Jeremy Page at jeremy.page@wsj.com


  1. Nothing disgusts me more than the American apathy about the Chinese threat to the US. Since 1968, when as a young man working for the US Air Force as a Raytheon engineer, my eyes were opened when my crew detected the atmospheric nuclear test of a thermonuclear weapon by the Chinese at Lop Nor, China. The time from China's first test of a nuclear weapon till the time of their capability of using a hydrogen bomb was very short. It was obvious to me that the Chinese were a talented, capable sinister and dangerous threat to US security.

    Four years later in 1972 Nixon was in China toasting the Communists and the largest con job of the Twentieth Century began where Western manufacturing and technology was turned over to the Chinese PLA. Seventeen years later the West was stunned at the Chinese slaughter at Tiananmen Square. I wasn't. Still nothing changed and Chinese theft of US technology accelerated.

    The first Chinese space missiles for space exploration missiles had massive stability problems as the American Vanguards had in the fifties. Slimy Us corporations helped the Chinese fix the problem.

    When I started this blog six years ago and expressed my fears of Chinese naval intentions, I was always amazed at the lack of concern expressed by most people.

    Like many, I foolishly believed that the US won the Cold War over The Soviets. In fact it is becoming more and more obvious that the US has punched itself out and can lose to China. Thank the politicans that didn't notice or care and placed regulation over regulation on American industry, the lawyers that ran American industry ragged with bullshit law suits and the money merchants on Wall Street.

    Thank George Bush, the worst, for his wrecking the economy and military in his democracy missions to Islam while the Chinese marched on.

    Now China is beating the US to outer space and to the bottom of the seas which will be protected by the Chinese navy and PLA paid for with American dollars exchanged for cheap products most of which now rest in American landfills.

    How are things going on Dancing with the Stars?

  2. The US has spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan with nothing to show for it. We suffered over twenty thousand casualties. During that time the Chinese have opened a $4 billion copper mine in Afghanistan, have cozied up to Pakistan and are buying up stakes in Iraqi oil with dollars they got from US sales.

    The Chinese are all over Latin America and have one million people economically exploiting Africa.

  3. The US has relinguished the ability to put a man in orbit and the Chinese march on at an accelerating pace and have demonstrated the ability to take out American sattelites.

  4. And, they still plant, and harvest corn by hand.

    And, import from us when their crops, inevitably, fail.

  5. Deuce said...
    The US has spent over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan with nothing to show for it.

    Not so! The Afghans are now assured of a good night's rest since the U.S. brass outlawed the shooting of Taliban roadside workers.

    Meanwhile at Fort Hood, Texas, Major Hasan's chief civilian defense counsel has temporarily withdrawn from the case, further delaying Hasan's slow boat to China.

  6. Euro-Zone Manufacturing Flat

    European services and manufacturing growth weakened more than economists forecast to the slowest pace in almost two years, adding to signs the euro-region recovery is losing momentum as the debt crisis persists.

    A composite index based on a survey of euro-area purchasing managers in both industries fell to 50.8 in July from 53.3 in June, London-based Markit Economics said today. That’s the lowest since August 2009. Economists forecast a drop to 52.6, the median of 17 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

    Eurozone tanking

  7. China's Manufacturing is also flat for the last month.

  8. Jobless Claims - 418,000

    Not as bad as I feared. But, not good.

  9. In China the State sponsors, everything.

    In the US, private enterprise is king.

    Unless it is your preferred piece of pork that should be made a sacred cow.

    As noted in the post, the US once led in undersea research, in the era before NASA. We left the oceans and went to the moon.

    No commercially viable products there, either.

  10. The US Government has decided to debate whether or not all appropriated spending should be cut 44% on 3AUG11.

    No time for mini-subs when there are carrier battle groups to maintain.

    The US has 12
    The Chinese have none.

    They have a new deep sea submersible, the US does not.

    Choosing priorities, when you cannot have it all.

  11. Is the Space Race over for America

    In an era of multi-trillion-dollar budget deficits and a national debt of $14 trillion and climbing, pouring billions of tax dollars into manned space travel may not be the wisest use of limited resources.

    Especially not when the private sector is stepping up and investing hundreds of millions of perfectly good dollars to advance the space race.

    Billionaires such as Microsoft's Paul Allen, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and, of course, Virgin's Richard Branson are clearly committed to making commercial space travel a viable business.

    "Governments are not going to be running the future of space travel," Branson told an audience at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference on Wednesday. "Private enterprise is." He's right. Branson's Virgin Galactic plans to begin regular launches into low Earth orbit next year. Other companies are looking even beyond the moon.
    It isn't difficult to imagine an American team exploring not just the moon but also Mars within the next decade. But why should it be a crew from NASA?

  12. A GOP Representative from PA, Charlie Dent, is now saying there could likely be agreement to $1 trillion in spending cuts, and an extension of the debt ceiling until after the 2012 election.

  13. I'm more afraid of Iran with 10 nukes than China with a thousand.


  14. Iran does not have a single nuke, let alone a delivery system for the highly feared but still imaginary weapon.

  15. Robert Heinlein said an armed society is a polite society. Same thing works for nukes. Great nations used to go at it toe-to-toe all the time...1871, 1914, 1939... Nowadays they just get into coalitions and take on itty bitty countries like Libya and Grenada.

  16. I think those carrier battle groups would not last a day in a major conflict. Also it seems to me that if the Chinese were to expand somewhere it would be up into Russia and since the Russians are massively nuclear armed there's not much chance of that.

    I hope they have a series of really bad harvests.

    Because the clock is ticking and the day approaches, obviously.



  17. China Naval Modernization:
    Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities—Background and Issues for Congress

    Ronald O'Rourke
    Specialist in Naval Affairs

    From the Congressional Research Service.

  18. And can't even handle Libya. I love stalemates.


  19. There is little to fear from the Chinese Navy, especially if you are not off the coast of China.

    Little to fear from their air force, if you are not over China.

    They've had operational nuclear weapons for decades.

    The attempt to make Iran into a whirled threat to US, would be comical if it were not so dangerous.

    China is a major trade partner of the US, we are deep into the Russell Company strategy of engagement through trade, with China. The Chinese are not a military threat, to any direct US interest.

    If those are the "best" enemies the Federal Industrial Complex can come up with, well, there will be budget cuts in their part of the realm, too.

  20. The US, boob, is not engaged in hostilities in Libya.

    Our NATO/EU allies are carrying that load. That they are moving a tad slower than they publicly anticipated, not a major factor to any of the EU combatants, but bleeding both the Colonel and the new Government.

    Keeping both sides of the conflict in governing dysfunction, but the rebel ports are open for export.

    By Sarah Kent

    --Oil tanker loads second known shipment of Libyan crude since February.

    --Tanker believed to be chartered by Vitol.

    --Traders say crude supply is in exchange for Vitol's shipments of products to rebels.

    --Ultimate destination of crude unknown.

  21. 1.2 Billion Starving Chinese with Nukes?

    Nah, I don' thin so. Let's pull for Great harvests in China.

  22. Well the Colonel has put the Libyan shipping fleet on the market.

    Qadhafi shipping fleet:
    For sale or trade

  23. Phillie Fed Up 3.2

    -7.7 from last month, Unrevised.

    Leading Economic Indicators Up 0.3

  24. From ABC

    President Obama is holding onto a 7 point lead over his chief Republican rival, Mitt Romney, in the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll.

    If the 2012 election were held today, 51 percent of adults said they would pick Obama compared to 44 percent who would support the former Massachusetts governor. (They were tied in early June.) Important to note, however, is that among registered voters, Obama's lead over Romney narrows to 49 percent to 47 percent. No other Republican challenger fares as well as Romney in head-to-head matchups against the president. http://abcn.ws/nUXx7F

    But there’s a bigger take away from the new numbers than just the 2012 horserace.

    “Obama looks to have turned the budget debate to his advantage,” writes ABC pollster Gary Langer. “His position on the deficit is more broadly popular, he’s taking less heat than the GOP for unwillingness to compromise and he’s got a sizable lead in the view that he cares more about protecting the middle class.”

  25. Well, it's coming at the expense of employment, but our Manufacturers Are starting to compete more effectively in the Global Marketplace.

    Now, according to "Economic Theory," more money should flow into American Manufacturing, and the Labor Force should be Upgrading its skills.

    And, this might be in the early stages of happening.

  26. Of course, having an inane Corporate Tax Policy that has "Locked Up" $2 Trillion of our Investment Money, overseas, makes it harder.

  27. While this season it is Al Jaseera that opines

    CIA veteran: Israel to attack Iran in fall

    The Israeli security establishment is increasingly worried by Netanyahu's bellicose stance towards Iran.

  28. Those extended Federal unemployment benefits probably should have come with a few strings attached.

    Requiring some sort of "retraining" program, or whatnot.

  29. Speaking of Iran: India owes the Persians about $5 Billion for Oil, but can't find any banks (supposedly) that are willing to handle the transaction.

    As a result, Iran is cutting them off, and, starting in August, India has to find 400,000 bbl/day on the World Market.

  30. The US, boob, is not engaged in hostilities in Libya.


    All them bombs adroppin'

    The US has no ground troops in Libya.

    You stupid shit.

    Folks, rat can't keep his mind off women's breasts. He has no knowledge of Buffalo Woman and likes to look at women with lustful intent. Said so his very self. And he had a very very hard time learning to correctly spell Israel.


  31. Relax Rufus we will feed them, we will feed them.


  32. Is it real?

    Mis-spelling, as any student of Samuel Langhorne Clemens would know, can have meaning beyond the obvious.

    Guess that part of the Master of Literature lesson plan passed you by.

  33. That, taken in turn with the techniques of propaganda advocated by Saul Alinsky, by creating furor with humorous tweaking of the opponent, are part of the Lessons Learned, at the Elephant Bar.

  34. 132 bombing missions.

    That is not hostilities, that is whirled wide policing against terrorism and the support of the UN and NATO obligations as they attempt a military remedy for the challenge posed by the Colonel.

    Until the Supremes say it is not.

  35. 132 bombing missions against ongoing crimes against humanity, that does not rise to the level of "Hostilities" as envisioned in the "War Powers Act".

    A piece of legislation that is of questionable Constitutionality.

  36. The War Powers Act is pretty clear that UN and NATO operations are exempt from the War Powers Act.

    Section 8(b) states that further specific statutory authorization is not required

    to permit members of United States Armed Forces to participate jointly with members of the armed forces of one or more foreign countries in the headquarters operations of high-level military commands which were established prior to the date of enactment of this joint resolution and pursuant to the United Nations Charter or any treaty ratified by the United States prior to such date...."

    This section was added by the Senate to make clear that the resolution did not prevent U.S. forces from participating in certain joint military exercises with allied or friendly organizations or countries.

    The conference report stated that the "high-level" military commands meant the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, (NATO), the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) and the United Nations command in Korea.

    NATO and UN Commands are not covered by the War Powers Act.

    Easily argued.

  37. .

    That is not hostilities, that is whirled wide policing against terrorism and the support of the UN and NATO obligations as they attempt a military remedy for the challenge posed by the Colonel.

    Rat, once again I have to say it. You are a nitwit.

    Orwell would have loved it.


  38. Go read the Act The War Powers Resolution: After Thirty Years

    March 11, 2004

    Richard F. Grimmett
    Specialist in National Defense
    Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

    Such a low level of activity, as part of the NATO Command, under UN Authorization and thus Command, exempts the military actions from the War Powers Act.

    An easy position to argue, one that could even pass muster, with the current conservative majority in the Supremes.

  39. Orwell would love it, Q.

    So would Alinsky.

    Well beyond Goebbels.

    Misinformation that is systematic in the governmet, as with the realities created by Fleming v Nestor with regard "Entitlement Rights".

    But Obama could argue he is operating well within the letter and spirit of the War Powers Act, and win, supporting the NATO Command as we are.

  40. .

    Such a low level of activity, as part of the NATO Command, under UN Authorization and thus Command, exempts the military actions from the War Powers Act.

    Who gives a shit about the War Powers Act. Obviously not Obama since he ignores it although he doesn't actually have the balls and come out and challenge it directly.

    Who gives a shit what it says? My comment about you being a nitwit centered on the comment of yours that I posted and whichever applies, you actually believing the comment or your belief that we would believe your comment.


  41. Sometimes, Q, in literature not everything printed is believed.

    All the more so when it's just bits of bytes.

    It is entertainment, for me, maybe you.

    I don't care, it is not about you.
    Enjoy it or not.
    Reply or not.

    Believe I believe it, or not.

    I see a lot of humor in most all of this.

  42. .

    Lest there be any question about which of your comments I took exception to.

    That is not hostilities, that is whirled wide policing against terrorism and the support of the UN and NATO obligations as they attempt a military remedy for the challenge posed by the Colonel.


  43. This comment has been removed by the author.

  44. .

    Sometimes, Q, in literature not everything printed is believed.

    All the more so when it's just bits of bytes.

    It is entertainment, for me, maybe you.

    I don't care, it is not about you.
    Enjoy it or not.
    Reply or not.

    Believe I believe it, or not.

    I see a lot of humor in most all of this.

    Perhaps you are right rat. Maybe I lack a sense of humor.

    On the other hand, perhaps it is you that fails to strike the right satirical chord. With some of your posts it might be wise to offer some of us denser readers a hint. You know, maybe a clue as Melody has suggested, SFI, sarcasm font initiated.

    Something like this:

    "Did your wife die yet?" (SFI)


  45. Well, Q

    ... the support of the UN and NATO obligations ...

    There is an exemption in the WPA for operations engaged as part of the NATO Command and/or UN Authorization and Command structures.

    That's written into the Act and is one reason why the Act does not apply.
    NATO Operations are exempt!

    Read the Law.

    That what Nitwits tend to do.
    That's why they're winning.

  46. The wife line, Q refers to one of boob past story lines. His dear wife went terminal, a sad sad day, that elicited many a kind comment.

    Only to be told later, that it was all part of the fictional tales of our Master of Literature from Idaho.

    I keep waiting for the end of that chapter to be written.

    ... no storybook ending for Borders. The 40-year-old book seller could start shutting its 399 remaining stores ...

  47. .

    That's written into the Act and is why the Act does not apply.
    NATO Operations are exempt!

    Read the Law.

    That what Nitwits tend to do.
    That's why they're winning.

    I have pointed out three times that I was not objecting to the War Powers Act or what it said. Instead, as I also pointed out, I was objecting to your post regarding what is actually happening in Libya. For three times now, you have ignored what I have said and continue to rant about the War Powers Act.

    That what Nitwits tend to do.
    That's why they're winning.

    That's why they are winning?

    I have pointed out before the form of anosognosia illustrated by the Dunning-Kruger Effect. You are a perfect example of it.


  48. .

    The wife line, Q refers to one of boob past story lines...

    I know exactly what it was about.
    As has already been pointed out, perhaps I lack a sense of humor.

    I don't see it as particularly funny making comments about Bob's wife just as I didn't find it funny or appropriate when others here made comments about your wife.


  49. What I was attempting to do was point out in my own way how easy it is to say stuff and people will believe you. It was for Melody's benefit. Trish goes O Bob and I said of course she's not dying of cancer.

    This place has gotten so goddamned toxic I'm going to follow Whit out of here. It just isn't worth it.


  50. I do not write the story of my wife into the story, Q.

    Others do use these family character choices as an integral part of their writing style.

    The characters are open parts of his story line. They are part of his posts, not exempt from literary comment or concern.

  51. I have to agree with Rat on this one, Q. Bob deserves anything he gets with that "my wife is dying," bullshit.

  52. .

    You are probably right Gag.

    Sorry for getting things started off on a confrontational basis.

    (On the other hand, I have to admit I haven't seen many posts on positive subjects here lately. Even melody has been kind of slacking off with the good stuff.)


  53. .

    If you say so Ruf.

    Knock yourself out.


  54. Getting off the ciggy-boos, are we, Q?

  55. .

    Back on the subject of this stream, T's comments about the nukes tied in with Deuce's comments got me thinking.

    Everything in the US has been on sale for the past 30 years it seems, whether you are talking about jobs, housing, technology, or the US' place in the world. The problem is that these days the ramifications of it are more important and quicker to come to fruition.

    Whether we are talking about the offshoring of US jobs, our debt crisis, our failure to supply enough math or science majors, or the loss of our military advantage, it all comes down to someone looking at short term benefits and the chance to make a buck.

    One example of what I am talking about is in military technology. One can argue (and many do) that unmanned drones are the biggest thing in military technology right now. The US is still far ahead but China is investing $ billions in an effort to catch up. Israel is producing them and every other country is trying to either buy or produce their own.

    It is likely that at least some F35's will be produced even if much less than were originally planned. But by the time they are deployed, they will likely be pretty much obsolete not to mention restrictively expensive to build and maintain. Drones are lighter, have a longer range, and are relatively cheap. People now argue that the F35 will be the last major manned fighter that will be made by the US. Why pay $150 million for an F22 when you can get a state of the art drone for $10-$11 million.

    It would easy to expand the discussion on drones. Maybe even Trish would join in if it turned to their use in assassinations. She was always fixated on the meaning of the word. However, I was talking about the selling of US technology.

    Currently, the US sells drones to its allies mostly of the surveillance type. However, all of these countries have programs in place trying to convert the surveillance drones to combat capable drones. I saw an article the other day where the general in charge of US procurement suggested that a list of countries be developed and provided to our manufacturers of drone components so that those suppliers would know who it was ok to sell to.

    It is interesting to me when the head of US procurement in effect becomes salesmen for the arms industry.

    As I said, everything is for sale these days. It took years (decades)for most of the world to start catching up when the US went nuclear. However, that time gap becomes much shorter with systems like drones especially when we are willing to move the process along by selling or gving away our technology.

    Just as our power was tested by assymetrical tactics, I suspect our technological lead may be tested not only on a competitively scientific basis but olso by the fact that we seem out to make a buck regardless of the long-term effect.



  56. .

    Getting off the ciggy-boos, are we, Q?

    Someone sugested I had developed a shitty attitude. More true than you might think.

    A couple months ago one of the drugs I was taking was changed right before I went on vacation. When I got back from vacation, I had picked up a case of food poisoning.

    Assuming that was the reason for the dysentary like symptoms I was going through, I went through two months of hell and a number of doctors before finding out the problem was the new drug I was on.

    Got off the drug and started feeling better within a few days. Just the last week or so I have been feeling anywhere near normal. Although still feeling a little punk. Did lose about 25 pounds though, although I've gained about eight of it back.

    Not fun.


  57. Then you should be in a better mood. :)

    Well, anyway, sorry to hear about the dysentary. 25 lbs would be a pretty big hit (maybe, not for me, but for most folks.) :)

    We're trying to sell F-35's to India, you know.

  58. Q

    There is nothing like a big ole Prime cut New York Strip cooked medium rare to get the system back ginning again. Go with me on this.


  59. Egypt's ruling military council said foreigners won't be allowed to monitor Egyptian elections, scheduled for November. That has some local activists worried about the credibility of the vote

  60. "The Five" is my new, favorite show.

    Bob Bechtel: Juan Williams said he got nervous when men in middle-eastern garb got on the plane. "I was so scared I got off the Fucking plane."

  61. .

    We're trying to sell F-35's to India, you know.

    Heck, we are trying to sell anything we can to anybody we can.

    But the longer-term outlook for the F-35 is uncertain. Its costly capabilities are intended to make it effective against the air defences of a sophisticated enemy, such as China. But the growing vulnerability of American aircraft carriers to Chinese missiles will mean operating from well beyond the F-35’s 600-mile (1,000km) range.

    Some military strategists already think that the job the F-35 is meant to do can be better handled by cruise missiles and remotely piloted drones. In many roles, unmanned planes are more efficient: they carry neither a bulky pilot nor the kit that keeps him alive, which means they can both turn faster and be stealthier. And if they are shot down, no one dies. Even the F-35’s champions concede that it will probably be the last manned strike fighter aircraft the West will build.

    The Last Manned Fighter?


  62. Yeah, you know, we forget that when we're looking at the very newest, super-duperish, military jet/rocket/etc we're looking at, on average, 15yr old technology.


  63. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney still leads the race for the Republican nomination -- but just barely, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday.

    Romney’s support among GOP primary voters has dropped 6 percentage points in recent weeks, from 23 percent in early June to 17 percent in the new poll, which asked about announced and potential candidates.

    Close behind Romney is undeclared candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry at 14 percent. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann comes in at 10 percent -- up from 4 percent in early June.

    Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Texas Rep. Ron Paul all receive 9 percent. Giuliani and Palin have not declared their candidacy.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/21/fox-news-poll-romney-perry-bachmann-top-2012-gop-picks/#ixzz1Smb9RVJo

  64. (Reuters) - Thousands of construction workers will lose their jobs and $2.5 billion in airport projects will come to a halt this weekend if Congress does not quickly approve new federal aviation funding, the Obama administration warned on Thursday.

    Projects in all 50 states would be affected but California, Florida, New York and Georgia stand to lose the most money if lawmakers to do not sort out political differences in legislation to temporarily pay for certain Federal Aviation Administration operations.

    "If we are not able to fund these projects these people that are working on these projects will have to leave the job site on Saturday," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters in a conference call.

    In addition, LaHood's agency said up to 4,000 FAA employees would be furloughed if Congress does not act by Friday night when current funding authorization expires.

    Air traffic operations would not be affected by the budget shortfall, but airlines would not be allowed to collect some $200 million per week in ticket taxes, LaHood said.

    At issue is a bill the House of Representatives approved on Wednesday to extend federal spending for airports and airways across the United States through September 16.

    The Senate has said it will not pass the bill, previously a routine task, due to a proposal in the House plan that would cut some subsidies to airlines that operate flights to underserved, mainly rural areas.

  65. The proposal would save taxpayers $12.5 million, according to the Republican-led House Transportation Committee.

    Democrats complain Republicans are playing politics with the measure -- pushing service cuts in the home states of Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana.

    Republicans, led by Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, are highly critical of air subsidies that exceed $1,000 per passenger in certain airports, including Ely, Nevada, and Glendive, Montana. The House bill also targets service at Alamogordo/Holloman AFB in New Mexico.

    LaHood, a former member of Congress and one of the few Republicans in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, said he is confident that Congress can pass an extension without any side proposals, like the service cuts.

    California would lose $131.5 million, Florida $88 million, Georgia $67.1 million, and New York $62.6 million, in any partial shutdown of FAA operations, the Transportation Department said.

  66. .

    Yeah, you know, we forget that when we're looking at the very newest, super-duperish, military jet/rocket/etc we're looking at, on average, 15yr old technology.

    Yeah, besides you've got to look at all the angles. What's our biggest problem right now? Jobs, right?

    How should we prioritize it? For the same money we get either 2300 F35s or 35,000 - 40,000 armed pilotless drones. We can talk about manuverability, range, maintenance costs, etc. but the real advantage with the drones is with jobs.

    We don't have to worry about training pilots to handle the F35. With drones, we already have millions of kids who are X-Box capable sitting around unemployed right now that we could hire overnight.



  67. Went to Camel Beach yesterday. I was ecstatic to find a veggie burger platter. Platter as in it comes with french fries. I was ecstatic until the girl told me that the fries were cooked in the same oil as the chicken tenders.

    "So how many times were you dropped on your head as a child." Even my BFF knows that when you mix meat with non meat it is not considered vegetarian and she is four. Why would you advertise that?

    Of course, I was the bitch for complaining but they will remember me when they're putting in an extra fryer for french fries after I send my letter.

  68. You put on a "smiley" face, Q. But, what you said is absolutely correct.

    You could take the kids from the poorest middle school in Mississippi, and develop a Squadron that could shoot any Air Wing in the world out of the sky.

  69. They're cutting this debt ceiling debate a little close, ain't they?