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Friday, May 25, 2012

This is Big, Real Big


Dragon arrives at space station in historic 1st


CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — The privately bankrolled Dragon capsule made a historic arrival at the International Space Station on Friday, triumphantly captured by astronauts wielding a giant robot arm.
SpaceX is the first private company to accomplish such a feat: a commercial cargo delivery into the cosmos.
"There's so much that could have gone wrong and it went right," said an elated Elon Musk, the billionaire maestro of SpaceX.
"This really is, I think, going to be recognized as a significantly historical step forward in space travel — and hopefully the first of many to come."
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit used the space station's 58-foot robot arm to snare the gleaming white Dragon after a few hours of extra checks and maneuvers. The two vessels came together while sailing above Australia.
"Looks like we've got us a dragon by the tail," Pettit announced from 250 miles up once he locked onto Dragon's docking mechanism.
NASA controllers applauded as their counterparts at SpaceX's control center in Hawthorne, Calif. — including Musk — lifted their arms in triumph and jumped out of their seats to exchange high fives. The two control rooms worked together, as equal partners, to pull off the feat.
The company's youthful-looking employees — the average age is 30 — were still in a frenzy when Musk took part in a televised news conference. They screamed with excitement as if it were at a pep rally and chanted, "E-lon, E-lon, E-lon," as the 40-year-old Musk, wearing a black athletic jacket with the SpaceX logo, described the day's events.
Alcohol was banned from the premises during the crucial flight operation, Musk noted, "but now that things are good, I think we'll probably have a bit of champagne and have some fun." The crowd roared in approval.
Although cargo hauls have become routine, Friday's linkup was significant in that an individual company pulled it off. That chore was previously reserved for a small, elite group of government agencies.
Not only that, the reusable SpaceX Dragon is designed to safely return items, a huge benefit that disappeared with NASA's space shuttles. It's the first U.S. craft to visit the station since the final shuttle flight last summer.
Two hours after the capture, the crew attached the Dragon to the space station as the congratulations poured in.
"Now that a U.S. company has proven its ability to resupply the space station, it opens a new frontier for commercial opportunities in space — and new job creation opportunities right here in the U.S.," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.
"Nearly 43 years after we first walked on the moon, we have taken another step in demonstrating continued American leadership in space," said Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin, the second man to step onto the moon.
The bell-shaped capsule— 19 feet tall and 12 feet across — is carrying 1,000 pounds of supplies on this unprecedented test flight. The crew starts unpacking Saturday and will have just under a week to unload the food, clothes and other contents.
After this test flight, SpaceX — officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp. — has a contract to make a dozen delivery runs. It is one of several companies vying for NASA's cargo business and a chance to launch Americans from U.S. soil.
SpaceX launched the capsule from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday with its Falcon 9 rocket. On Thursday, the Dragon capsule came within 1½ miles of the space station in a practice fly-by. It returned to the neighborhood early Friday so Pettit, along with Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers could capture it with the station's robot arm.
First, the capsule went through a series of stop-and-go demonstrations to prove it was under good operating control.
NASA ordered extra checks of the Dragon's imaging systems as the capsule drew ever closer to the space station, putting the entire operation slightly behind schedule. At one point, SpaceX controllers ordered a retreat because of a problem with on-board tracking sensors.
Given that the Dragon is a brand new type of vehicle and this is a test flight, the space agency insisted on proceeding cautiously. A collision by vehicles traveling at orbital speed — 17,500 mph — could prove disastrous for the space station. NASA's space station program manager, Mike Suffredini, said the way the SpaceX team handled the problem and the entire operation was "remarkable."
President Barack Obama is pushing commercial ventures in orbit so NASA can concentrate on grander destinations like asteroids and Mars. Obama's chief scientific adviser, John Holdren, called Friday's linkup "an achievement of historic scientific and technological significance."
"It's essential we maintain such competition and fully support this burgeoning and capable industry to get U.S. astronauts back on American launch vehicles as soon as possible," he said in a statement.
Without the shuttle, NASA astronauts must go through Russia, an expensive and embarrassing situation for the U.S. after a half-century of orbital self-sufficiency. Once companies master supply runs, they hope to tackle astronaut ferry runs.
Musk, who founded SpaceX a decade ago and helped create PayPal, said he can have astronauts riding his Dragon capsules to orbit in three or four years.
The space station has been relying on Russian, Japanese and European cargo ships for supplies ever since the shuttles retired. None of those, however, can bring anything of value back; they're simply loaded with trash and burn up in the atmosphere.
By contrast, the Dragon is designed to safely re-enter the atmosphere, parachuting into the ocean like the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules did back in the 1960s. Assuming all goes well Friday, the space station's six-man crew will release the Dragon next Thursday after filling it with science experiments and equipment.
Going into Tuesday's launch of this Dragon, NASA had contributed $381 million to SpaceX in seed money. The company has invested more than $1 billion in this commercial effort over the past 10 years.

116 comments:

  1. This will be a monster industry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Federal government should cut NASA funding, entirely.
      Private enterprise can carry the load, if the load needs to be carried.

      The Federal government does not manage any enterprise economically. There is no need for Uncle Sam to be in the space flight business any more. The field has been seeded.

      The Federal government should divest itself from Amtrack.
      There is no Federal trucking company, no Federal airline. That model should be emulated in all transportation endeavors.

      Delete
  2. Yeah, invest all the money saved into Obamacare.

    The real Obama budget deficit for 2011: 5 trillion dollars.

    We can afford it, because

    "Its the Law"

    ...and the law says we don't have to pay,
    so we can afford it.

    Hell, we can afford anything,

    ...as long as it's an entitlement.

    ReplyDelete
  3. DC benefits from the Universal Actuarial Constant,

    which yields zero in the master balance sheet

    no matter what new entitlements are piled on

    before the next election.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I disagree with Anon. I'm for heading out to Mars, and this seems a stretch for private industry to pull off all alone.

    Besides, we must keep in mind NASA's new instructions to reach out the the muslim world and make them feel all better about themselves.

    Besides, I don't want PayPal to claim Mars, or even the Moon.

    Who wants to kiss the girl while looking up at a PayPal Moon?

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course the big b wants government funded space travel. He seems to support an ever expanding Federal presence in American society.

      He obviously is a supporter of big government and the ever increasing national debt that will be left for his progeny to pay. He, like Mr Obama is no fan of free enterprise and capitalism.

      Delete
    2. You ain't been around here long, sonny.

      Me, big Tea.

      Goddess Sarah.

      Fuck the government, on most things.

      big b

      Delete
  5. Max,

    You were asking a few threads back about other issues besides reproductive rights that might animate the Catholic Church.

    Here in Ontario Canada the Provincial Government funds the public schools. There are two school boards; The Public School Board and the Catholic School Board (this stems from the historical power of Catholics in Canada). It seems there are anti-bullying school groups popping up in schools organized by the students. Many of these groups have chosen to call themselves the "Gay Straight Alliance". The Catholic School Board said NO, homosexuality is a sin and you can't have groups with that name. The Provincial Government has sided with the students forming these groups on this issue. The Catholic School Board is not happy and it may end up in court.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here in Ontario Canada the Provincial Government funds the public schools.

      That in itself is bad news. Here in the backwaters, the school that scored highest on the state exams was a private Christian school.

      And, Ash, they have a dreaded dress code!

      Can you believe it? What happened to their rights to dress as they please?

      And, folks have relocated here, the whole family, in four or five instances, to get their kids in this school. Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri. I know, cause I talked to a couple parents yesterday. They drive their kids thirty miles round trip daily to attend.

      b

      Delete
    2. If a kid graduates from high school without learning to dress themselves they have received a poor education.

      Delete
  6. Pssst! Rufus!

    D'joo heah wha da man say up abuv? Theys no Fedrul Truckin bidness? Theys no Fedrul Airlines?

    Here yo chance bro! Get in on da gron flor! Fergit dat shit bout pimpin some uder dudes scam ... lak duh corn squeezins...or duh windermills...

    Corner yasef a hole sectur...

    Rufus Fedrul Air!!!

    Rufus Fedrul Truckin!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ruf Fed Distillery!

      And, Distribution Network.


      b

      Delete
  7. Good to know Catholics are told what they must believe by the Government in Canada as well as in the USA.

    A new baseline has been set re:

    "Freedom of Religion"

    ...as long as it's PC, and the Government does not object.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Doug, I was busy today and just got around to responding to Ash and Max' posts on the employee mandate issue two streams back if you are interested.

      By the way, I realize that 'da kine' is a somewhat ambiguous phase that can mean any number of things, therefore, I took it in the best and most flattering sense.

      :)


      .

      Delete
    2. Sayeth Quirk von Vaunt.

      Delete
    3. The government (the tax payer) is paying all the bills, not the church.

      Delete
    4. .

      If that's the case and the government is paying for religious schools, unlike how they are funded here in the US, then the government should be calling the shots. And it sounds like they are. It also sounds, if I understand you correctly, that there is only a partial seperation of church and state in Canada. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Regardless, it does sounds like the system is working as it was designed.

      But I realize that was not the point you were trying to make so let's discuss the real issue.

      If I understand your post, the Catholic Church, the administrator of those religious schools, did not object in any way to the anti-bullying clubs being formed; what they objected to was the name. Because of their religious beliefs.

      Good heavens. That is outrageous. Of course, it doesn't effect the opperations of the clubs in any way, but still. Those damn Catholics. For shame.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      One further question. Why would the students want to call it the 'Gay Straight Alliance' rather than say the more general 'Allaince Against Bullying' or 'United Stand Against Bullying', or 'Anti-Bullying League'?

      I mean it's not like gays are the only ones who get bullied. I could cite half a dozen cases here in Michigan reported over the last year, serious cases since the only ones that seem to make it to the news are where kids are driven to suicide. There was the case of the wannabee cheerleader who when beaten out for the position began, along with her mother, a relentless bullying campaign against the winner. Just today, it was reported a 7 year whose parents were divorced committed suicide, reportedly because he was bullied and teased for being the only boy in a home with eight women. Who hasn't seen some nerd bullied when they were going to school. Blacks are bullied in some schools while whites are bullied in others. And of course gays are also bullied.

      But isn't the name 'Gay Stright Alliance' actually a form of discrimination against gays placing them in the victim category all by themselves, further isolating them as a group. I would imagine that would be the last thing they would want.

      But I could be wrong.

      Maybe it's a cultural thing and everyone in Canada is attuned to the fact that the term 'straight' includes blacks, whites, asians, 'other', successful cheerleaders, dorks, prom queens, kids who are perceived to be different, etc.

      Or maybe, within the PC prone, gays are the new blacks. Whereas, in the past you proved your PC bona fides by supporting every black cause imaginable, now the blacks have been replaced on that totem by Muslims and at the very top of the PC heirarchy are the gays. This would explain the choice of the name 'Gay Straight Alliance' rather than some more general and inclusive name. Among Canada's youth, raised in a culture dominated by the infamous Canadian Human Rights
      Commissions and Tribunals, a general but all-inclusive name just wasn't sexy enough, thus we get the 'Gay Straight Alliance'.

      .

      Delete
    6. "By the way, I realize that 'da kine' is a somewhat ambiguous phase that can mean any number of things, therefore, I took it in the best and most flattering sense."

      ---
      Certainly.
      I felt I was safe in assuming all the assembled worthies here at the Bar (That leaves out Rufus and Max) also feel likewise.

      Delete
    7. Yes the Catholic School Board is fully publicly funded. This is a Quirk of history, a legacy of Catholic power.

      The public funding of religious schools has spawned an interesting debate. In a past election the Conservative candidate came down firmly on the side of funding a whole bunch of different religious schools with the basic rationale being the Catholics get funded so too should others. He was the front runner but once he started down that path the Conservatives got thrashed.

      Unfortunately de-funding the Catholic Board is politically treacherous and no one seems willing to address that issue.

      It is a club formed by kids, run by the kids, named by the kids. I don't know the details of each of these clubs and why they chose the name but I'm guessing it has been a reaction to gay bashing. The point is that it is the kids who form these clubs and name them not some authoritarian administrator.

      Quirk wrote:

      "But I could be wrong"

      Yes, you are. What is the point of those last two paragraphs? You are sounding like a grumpy old man who needs more fiber. A constipated old fart ranting some shit about PC conformity. I simply pointed out another area the Catholic Church is conflicting with others.

      All those Catholic hospitals in the US, how are they funded? Solely by the Church? No Medicare patients need go there in your conception of the world? Only those of the faith need work there? riiiiight.

      Delete
    8. .

      The point of the last two is merely an observation on my part.

      I have pointed out before that some of the lowest tiers in hell should be reserved for hypocrites and purveyors of PC. It is often the case they reside in the same person. Here for instance, those who in WiO's words demand sainthood from Israel yet nothing of anyone else. Or others who denounce opponents of gay marriage as 'rascist' and 'discriminatory' and then in the next moment describe Muslims as 'muzzies'. Note both words are 7 letters long. Or on a lighter note, those who when called un-subtle fuminate at the 'ad-homenem' attack and respond with 'grumpy', 'constipated old fart', 'dense', and something about 'tin-foil and a hat'.

      Most times these people fail to see the irony in their remarks. Often their views are troubling. And then occasionally, as in the last instance, downright funny.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    9. Yeppers, you start with the ad hom's and I will reply in kind. Glad some amusement was obtained!

      Now eat your breakfast Muslix.

      :)

      Delete
    10. .

      Forgive me, Ash, for insinuating you were being hypocritical in your umbrage or that you might occasionaly indulge in a little ad homenem without being thoroughly 'provoked'.


      AshWed May 23, 11:35:00 AM EDT

      Deuce, Bobbo, and DALE appear to be one of a kind!

      Looney Tunes!!




      As I recall, that was the sum total of your contributions on the subject of Obama's B/C that day. Succint but hardly 'subtle'. Whoops, there's that word again.



      But keep it up. You continue to amuse.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    11. Ya, I've got little tolerance for the incessant blathering on about Obama's birth status. Reminds me of the Obama crack addict stuff and the Rev. Wright crap. Soon, I bet, we will be riding the Obama bogarts the joint train!

      Delete
    12. and yes, I've been known to cast the first stone in a ad hom battle.

      Delete
    13. .

      George Bush might refer to it as preemptive ad homenem.

      Not logical. Does nothing the advance the argument.

      But still, most will admit it can be fun at times.

      .

      Delete
  8. RE: Security of Person

    Doug: Yeah, the current rulers of South Africa reveal our founders to be the dolts modern liberals see in everyone other than themselves.

    Canada, Turkey, New Zealand, and U.K., as well as being part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Regarding the caliber of South African thinkers relative to the WASP founders of this country, I can only observe that the formulation of civil rights are directly and intimately correlated with the indignities and injustices that percolate up through the fabric of indigenous cultures. It was true for the founding of this country and it is true for the South Africans.

    Aside from which, the very concept of "security of person" strikes me as worthy of consideration, regardless of who 'thunk it up' first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I can't help it that I'm white."

      heard in Joberg

      Every white S. African that has the means is leaving.

      b

      Delete
    2. Thunk up long ago. Indeed a worth consideration. The Romans even thunk it up....if you were Roman.

      b

      Delete
    3. Max,

      BHO thinks the whole Constitution is Backwards, what with it being a compilation of "Negative Rights"

      The Garbage you cite is more in line with BHO's views.

      None of these august folks see the genius behind a document that has stood us well for over 200 years. (Longer than anything else in the History of Mankind)

      The founders were well aware of the primacy of the need to reign in the "rights" and POWERS of the Federal Government, and showed further genius in trying not to define, and therefore limit and allow to be circumscribed the RIGHTS OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

      Delegating ALL RIGHTS not granted to the Feds to the states and Individual Citizens.

      Rufus likes to bitch and moan about all the miseries visited on manking by religion, but history shows they pale in comparison to those exacted on the multitudes by those in charge of massively centralised, totalitarian governments.

      (Think Hitler, Mussolini, STALIN, MAO, Pol Pot, the Tin Pot Clan up North Korea way, etc etc)

      I am confident our Constitution will outlast the majority of any real alliances brought together under some Master Universal Treaty over this part of the Universe.

      (However, if Obama is re-elected, I expect to live to see the Constitution be Completely Neutered by More Nominees like Kagen and her fellow Wise Fat Chick)

      Delete
    4. Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      Regardless of the more narrow definition, as in the Fourth Amendment, or the broader definition, as in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [LINK], security of person is clearly a negative right.

      The modern rights documents include both negative and positive rights. I tend to agree with the libertarians that positive rights should be granted by contract.

      You appear to be new to the recent religious discussion, so I will say this just once. I have no objection to the practice of pursuing and nurturing a spiritual life, or whatever one chooses to call his personal belief system. Organized Religion, including everything from the Sunday televangelists to the Catholic Church, are institutional hierarchies subject to the same decay, dysfunction, and corruption that plague public bureaucracies and private enterprise.

      Delete
    5. On the contrary:
      The Fourth Ammendment is a positive right.

      ...which is why some of the founders were against having a Bill of Rights, for the reasons I refered to in my previous post.


      Not sure your point re: Religions.
      I just find it Hilarious that liberals reflexively howl about intrusions into people's personal lives/morality, yet nothing comes close to the intrusiveness of the oppressive Big-Government Nanny State telling us what we can and cannot say, giving sex-ed classes to kindergarteners, approving the garnishing of wages by Unions through a state tax system such that the victims never even see the money, what sexual equipment we must buy for our sisters and brothers, etc.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. Frank Miniter in Saving the Bill of Rights:

      [T]he Fourth Amendment is actually a very straightforward list of protections designed to keep the government out of our "persons, houses, papers, and effects," unless they have a lawfully obtained warrant[.]

      It is clearly a "freedom from" not "duty to" formulation. I suppose if one wanted to argue around the edges, it can be contorted into a positive right by imposing a "duty" on the government to acquire a search warrant. In substance it is a negative right.

      (The concept of positive rights coming from Karel Vasak, Czech jurist who left Czechoslovakia after the Soviet invasion of 1968, not some "wannabee flunkie in South Africa.")

      I think you do get my point about religion but I'll try one more time. The road from private worship and belief to institutionally organized activity directed by those beliefs is subject to the same corrupting influence as any bureaucratic hierarchy, public or private. The Church is not immune, as amply demonstrated by the Sunday televangelists and, all too often, by the Catholic Church. In fact the Catholic Church remains as the more egregious disappointment, particularly regarding women, and the priesthood, which they have been unconscionably slow to clean up, with the Sunday televangelical crowd making little pretense of aiming high.

      Re the Nanny state rant

      The obvious rebuttal would be corporate welfare, if I were arguing that broader subject, which I am not, any more than I am arguing the dangers of theocracy by noting the absurdity of those who actively advocate a Christian theocracy as the inevitable end-state of a "purely" conservative society, as has been argued, with about as much mainstream traction as the Nanny State screams of quelle horreur!

      Delete
    8. Yeah, the Nanny State is nuthin to worry about.

      Just takin the largest chunk out of our GDP in history, asside from WW II.

      Having destroyed the Black Family, it now eats away at Hispanics and poor white folk.

      PC Rules in the schools and increasingly on the street and in our Churches.

      Nothing to see here, move right along.

      Neither Churches nor Corporations have the ability to force themselves upon us with the rule of law backed up by force and the power to tax.

      Not insignificate distinctions in my book.

      Delete
    9. The Negative Rights in the Constitution refered to by Barry and myself are those that define and circumscribe what the Feds can regarding individuals, or co-opting powers that are delegated to the states.

      To repeat:

      Some of the founders opposed the idea of putting specific positive rights to paper on the grounds that that might provide fodder, a starting point, for those who would like to restrict other rights not already specifically ennumerated in the Bill of Rights.

      Quite sure Barry was not born in Czecheslovakia

      Delete
    10. ...leaving All Powers not specifically granted to the Feds to be delegated to States and Individual Citizens.

      Delete
    11. RE positive vs negative rights

      We'll have to agree to (tentatively) agree - about the general issue of positive rights. I have heard the term bandied about usually accompanied by tones of horror and dismay. Karel Vasak described "three generations" of human rights, first generation being negative rights, second generation being positive rights, and the third generation being an amalgam. (The interested can do their own research but here's the wiki LINK.)

      The reason I raise the subject is that Vasak's thinking clearly implies an evolutionary component to the definition of human rights - a component that is synchronized with civilizational advance, in other words a developmental arrow of (dare I say?) progress.

      There are two tracks to monitor. One is the political track, as represented by Obama, who emerges from a liberal progressive environment and makes all the right noises, as politicians are wont to do. Grain of salt.

      The other track is academic, as represented by Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the "wide fat chick" (although I do not know her views on the subject of positive rights - Ginsberg is on record.) These people, elevated to positions of authority and influence, are of legitimate concern. Something to watch.

      But, regarding the specific case of the Fourth Amendment, I disagree. It is clearly a negative right.

      ....................................................

      Quite sure Barry was not born in Czecheslovakia

      Are you sure?

      ....................................................

      Christian Science Monitor:

      The US Department of Health and Human Services has decided to exempt only those religious groups whose primary purpose is the “inculcation” of religious values and who primarily serve their own members.

      The vast majority of faith-based groups do far more than simply teach their tenets or minister to the faithful. ....

      Yet the administration now refers only to “freedom of worship,” or a private faith, rather than “freedom of religion,” which includes engaging the public. By that distinction, the works of Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, the Salvation Army, or any modern-day good Samaritan would not be religious.

      LINK

      CSM makes a finer distinction - between the more narrow "freedom of worship" and the broader "freedom of religion that includes engagement in public works."

      As Rufus (or I) might say, if Organized Religion wants to play in the venue of "public works," then it has to make room on the bench for other interests, including that of the state. You don't like it? Don't go there. Most Catholic women already have.

      Delete
    12. To clarify the above, I do not support positive rights at the constitutional level - yet - but I do acknowledge an evolutionary component that *may* (but not necessarily) change the landscape as societies evolve.

      My sense is that we will be dealing with Other Problems before we get to that philosophical inflection point.

      Delete
  9. Meanwhile Obama today cancelled the deportation orders for 350,000 Salvadorans on the grounds they had an earthquake there some years back.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  10. Big news?

    Iran has been outed with 27% uranium...

    Which means it's far worse than we thought...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not worse than I thought. I thought they had all the fixings by now, and were just working on the delivery systems. And I still do.

      b

      Delete
  11. Thanks to exogenous threats, if any country has a rational need for the bomb, it is Iran. They have been attacked by Iraq, threatened by four nuclear powers, are surrounded by US bases, war ships and surveillance. There are daily threats from Israeli and US politicians. Iran is provoked and damaged by sanctions which in themselves are acts of economic war. Someone is murdering their scientists. They are in missile range from Pakistan, India, Israel, Britain and the US.

    Who could possibly have given them the notion that an Israeli and US style nuclear defense nuclear defense system would be helpful?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Outed? Absurd. What other countries in the Middle East discuss their nuclear capabilities or aspirations? What other nuclear power in the Middle East hides its nuclear deterrence system? Where do these Persians get these ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  13. I recently wrote a post about a secret Israeli nuclear base whose veterans had somewhat indiscreetly established a Facebook group which was, at one time, open for public access. A Yediot Achronot reporter asked to Friend the group and was accepted though he was not a base veteran. He wrote a story about “Israel’s most secret military base–on Facebook.” It raised a stink and the group founder, somewhat chastened, changed the privacy settings so non-members could not access it.
    But due to the ever-looming IDF censor, the Yediot reporter couldn’t name the base or discuss in any detail its purpose. That was left to me through the help of an Israeli source who did a good deal of the detective work.
    Another major Israeli publication attempted to publish an article about Sdot Micha, but had to settle for a bowdlerized version thanks to the censor. But the uncensored version leaked out and I have a copy of it. To be clear, I did not receive this version from the author or the publication or anyone acting on their behalf.
    When I published a link to my earlier post at the Israeli Fresh military forum, I also received a firestorm of invective (calling me a “terrorist” was one example) for my chutzpah in thinking I knew anything at all about either this base or the IDF in general. Everything from my sources to my political views were either made a laughingstock or lied about. But now I’ve come into possession of the original, uncensored version of the article and it confirms everything I wrote in my post. In fact, many of the censored passages seem to have been sourced from the Global Security website, an authoritative site I used and linked to in preparing my own post. The article does NOT include any information about Jericho III missiles, which were deployed at Sdot Micha (Beit Zechariah) in 2008 and have a far greater range of 11,000km (roughly 7,000 miles). That information is in my earlier post.

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  14. {…}

    The fact that the censored material is widely available online should indicate to you how ludicrous is Israeli censorship. All any Israeli or any spy seeking to do damage to Israel would have to do is to know English and know how to do a Google search to find this material. Unfortunately, Israelis are not deemed mature enough or intelligent enough to be trusted with the same information.
    Come to think of it there is another important issue lurking here. The reason the censor might’ve reacted so strongly to article is that any public revelation about Israel’s nuclear program or facilities, even one based on an easily accessible website like Global Security, might rock the boat as far as the current sensitive state of affairs for Israeli WMD. Recently, Israel boycotted the Obama hosted NPT conference because the state was afraid it would be ostracized for refusing the join the treaty. At this week’s Obama-Netanyahu meeting, Israel feels it received assurances from the U.S. to protect it from any harsh attacks by Arab states singling it out for being a nuclear rebel. In this context, stories like this one threaten to focus attention where Israel would rather it not be focussed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. {…}


    I’m including below all the censored passages in italics:
    Israel’s top secret base exposed on Facebook
    Israeli soldiers who served at one of the country’s most secretive bases, believed to house a significant portion of the Jewish state’s undeclared nuclear arsenal, have set up a group on the social networking site Facebook.
    The Facebook group allows veterans of the top secret Air Force base Sdot HaElla base to upload photos and videos of their shared experiences on the base, and has attracted 265 members.
    Sdot HaElla (Ella Fields), also known in the Israeli military as Kanaf 2, Sdot Micha and Beit Zachariah, is an Israeli Air Force base located 28 miles south of Tel Aviv near the towns of Sdot Micha and Zachariah.
    The group, named after the base, is accessible to anyone surfing the Web and is advertised using the Hebrew expression “There things hidden from us, which we will never know or understand.”
    “Give respect,” the group’s description reads. “The group with the most quality serving people on Facebook.” [this is a mistranslation--the correct translation is "the group with the highest quality and most disturbed people on Facebook" with "disturbed" intended as a joke, as Americans sometimes use the term "he's mental" as a joke]
    To see any further content, and the list of 265 members, a visitor must request to join the group and be approved by its administrators.
    A reporter for the Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonot was accepted to the group without his identity being cross checked against a list of base veterans. He copied a number of the posts on the group’s wall.
    “Guys, we were privileged to get to be in this fantastic place,” wrote one member. “Keep in touch and protect the secret.”

    ReplyDelete
  16. {…}

    {…}

    The Sdot HaElla base is home to the 150th, 199th and 248th squadrons and is believed to be equipped with nuclear-tipped Jericho ballistic missiles.The base is located just south of the Sorek River between Kiriat-Gat and Beit-Shemesh, a few miles southwest of the Tel Nof Air Base, which a number of military analysts have also alleged is a storage site for Israeli nuclear weapons.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Built in a limestone region, an extensive network of tunnels and hollowed out emplacements at Sdot HaElla are believed to house a number of nuclear-tipped missiles. Globalsecurity.org, a defense analysis firm, estimates that the base has 23 to 50 hardened missile shelters capable of supporting operational Jericho-2 missiles, which have a range of at least 1,500 kms. A Jericho-2 was test fired from the base in December 1990, just before the Gulf War.
    The base also may hold a series of Jericho-1 missiles, which were developed in the 1960s and have a range of over 450 kms, although it is possible these missiles have been decommissioned.
    Sdot HaElla also houses extensive munitions, likely as a support for the nearby Tel Nof base. The two bases are rumored to be connected by underground tunnels. There are also rumors that the base is connected to a missile factory in Beer Yaakov by a secret, underground railroad running along the Sorek River.
    The airspace above Sedot Micha and the surrounding area is closed to commercial air traffic.
    Much of the publicly available intelligence on the base depends on satellite photos taken in 2002 by the commercial satellite Ikonos, as well as photos from the American spy satellite Corona, and released by the CIA after the Federation of American Scientists used the United States’ Freedom of Information Act to win access to them.
    Commercial satellite imagery of almost any point on the planet can be purchased on the open market. However, Israel has convinced the US and Russia to use a special patch that prevents American and Russian companies from selling satellite images of Israel at a resolution of less than two feet, meaning close-up satellite photography of Israel often seems blurred.
    Speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, an Israeli soldier intimately involved in the army’s cyber operations said the group is one example of many serious security breaches by Israeli soldiers in online social networks.
    “It’s a security failure and they made a big mistake,” the soldier [said]. “There is a reason why this base is a secret and this will undoubtedly cause harm, allowing Israel’s enemies to get important information and use it to attack Israel.”
    Not only did they set up a group, they used the official, public name of the base, rather than the secret name or some code, and they setup the group publicly, rather than by invitation only,” they said.
    …The Israeli Army, as well as the Israeli Military Police, did not return a request for comment on this article….
    “The reality is that you can go on Facebook and find pictures of almost any base in the country, including the Kirya,” he said, referring to the Israeli army’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. “So this is a problem that the army is very aware of and has a hard time dealing with, but they are trying to find a solution.”
    “In this case, it’s quite foolish what they did,” he continued. “These are soldiers who are meant to be a bit more aware of the issue of information security.”
    Soldiers from Sayeret 13, the unit that was involved in Israeli assault on the Gaza-bound flotilla, were recently ordered to close their Facebook accounts.
    …While Israel has a policy of neither confirming nor denying its possession of a nuclear arsenal, it is widely believed that the country has over 200 ready-to-launch nuclear warheads.The US has put mild but increasing pressure on Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a request the Jewish state has so far refused.
    US President Barack Obama has publicly supported a push for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, but he has predicated such an initiative on a comprehensive peace agreement that will make Israel feel secure in the region.

    ReplyDelete
  18. http://www.richardsilverstein.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. ABOUT

    “The day is short, the task is great, the master is insistent. It is not your duty to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it….”
    –Pirkei Avot, 2:21

    I’ve been writing Tikun Olam, one of the earliest liberal Jewish blogs, since February, 2003. It focuses on Israeli-Palestinian peace and includes commentary on U.S. politics and human rights. Technorati ranks this blog 21st of all world politics blogs and a member of the Top 100 in that category.
    I also created the Israel Palestine Forum, a discussion forum for progressives about the I-P conflict. Israel Palestine Blogs aggregates 50 peace blogs writing about the conflict. I wrote a chapter for the Independent Jewish Voices essay collection, A Time to Speak Out. I’m a regular contributor to Truthout and contributed to Haaretz, Christian Science Monitor, Jewish Forward, Los Angeles Times, Comment Is Free and Al Jazeera English. My work has also been in the Seattle Times, American Conservative Magazine, Beliefnet and Tikkun Magazine. I’ve done several segments for Al Jazeera TV’s Listening Post and Israel’s Channel 10 Tzinor Layla news program. The NY Times featured my reporting about the Shamai Leibowitz FBI tapes on its front page.

    I attended Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University, earning a BA and Bachelor of Hebrew Literature. I have an MA in Comparative Literature from UCLA and studied toward a PhD at UC Berkeley. My languages were Hebrew and Yiddish. I spent an undergraduate and graduate year studying Hebrew literature at the Hebrew University and co-founded of the Bay Area Jewish Music Festival.
    Born and raised in the Hudson River Valley, my father’s family’s roots go back to Peekskill, NY in the 1920s. I’ve always had an abiding affection for the River and the Hudson Highlands. In 1969, I crewed for a week on Pete Seeger’s sloop, Clearwater.
    I have been interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since I was a teenager in 1967 and have worked all my adult life to promote dialogue and mutual recognition. I am a progressive (critical) Zionist. I support Israeli withdrawal to pre-67 borders and an internationally guaranteed peace agreement with the Palestinians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm for the unilateral and unconditional surrender of all views Judaic to the Superior and more advanced culture of Mohammadism.

      Every woman in the World should have access to the privilege of living under Sharia.

      Not to mention all gays, lesbos, and tranzis.

      Delete
    2. .

      I had heard that among the intelligensia in Canada there was some talk of trying to have both the Bible and the Koran declared hate speech and banned.


      .

      Delete
  20. if you believe, as I do, that the proliferation of nuclear weapons is undesirable, then the logical step is to institute and pursue a non-nuclear region in the ME. Threatening to bomb Iran so that it will not pursue nuclear defense is tantamount to fire fighting with gasoline.

    Netanyahu and the US war lobby talk of an attack on Iran because Iran is irrational and they are the rational ones. How Orwellian is that?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Let’s just call it what it is, Netanyahu’s jihad against Iran.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, Aquadinnerjackets near constant vows to exterminate the Israelis, and their intercontinental efforts to undermine freedom and destroy the Great Satan is a Netanyahu inspired Orwellian Plot.

      Bring Back the Desert Rodent!!!

      Delete
    2. .

      I agree.

      Bring back the rat!!!

      If there wasn't some antipathy that existed between the two, I would suggest sending Bob south to chase down the rodent. Bob would likely be ideal given his experiance with covert intelligence and black ops.

      .

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. Yep, Netan has been on jihad against Iran since during the days of the Shah.

      That's one thing we all know for sure.

      Quirk, I chase down bears and wolves naked with my spear. I don't do rodents. You know that.

      b

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    5. .

      Quirk, I chase down bears and wolves naked with my spear.


      Yes, and I've been meaning to talk to you about all these complaints we've been getting.


      .

      Delete
    6. I hope rat hasn't suffered some life disaster, like a bad disease or something. While we had 'issues' I hope his health and basic well being are intact.

      Rat really knew his horses. If he were around I'd ask him a couple of questions I have pondered recently, given all the activity out at the stables.

      Bodemeister doesn't look to be in the Belmont. I'll Have Another will be going out the big favorite. Field isn't totally set yet.

      Your trackster will keep you informed as new info is available.



      b

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    7. I hope he is healthy, alive and in prison. Where he belongs.

      Delete
    8. Iran's race for a nuke will get interesting...

      If Iran is not stopped?

      Good luck with a jihadist nut case nation with icbm's

      The world didnt stop stalin, hitler pol pot and a score of others before the mullahs why should they stop them now?

      meanwhile assad being armed by iran and russia...

      fun..

      but let's blame the jews... it's easier...

      Delete
  22. It's not good when one's leadership is grounded in superstition, and mythology - be it Mohammedan, Catholic, Pentecostal, or Judaic.

    It's a prescription for War, Famine, and Misery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. spoken like someone who knows little about what they are speaking..

      Delete
    2. Like the Myths that The One, Stalin, Mao, Che, and the rest of them that considered themselves God on Earth.

      The misery and megadeaths exacted by these Godless, Totalitarian regimes puts the lie to Reefer's yammerings about religion.

      Delete
    3. Absolutely, not even close. Add in mechanization, you got BIG trouble.

      b

      Delete
  23. If you understand that I'm also including such mundane topics as Contraception, and Marriage. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Once again the point is missed. No one here is trying to defend the Catholic or any other church or religion, neither their structure nor belief systems, definately not any specific belief. However, certain rights accruing to them have been recognized in the U.S. Constitution. Those rights are not limitless and case law has helped determine what those limits are. However, where the rights apply, it's not the prerogitive of the state to arbitrarily abridge them.

      Some here have argued that the Constitution needs to be updated, brought up to date so to speak. There is a process for that and it is written into the Constitution.

      The obvious issue confronting those who have a problem with a particular aspect of the Constitution, freedom of religion for instance, and think the state should take steps to curtail it, is that it sets a precedent and you never know what the next 'right' is that will be diminished by that same state. It's ironic the 4th Amendment was brought up above given the recent actions and pronouncements we have seen come out of this administration.




      Be careful what you ask for, Ruf.

      Some day a couple guys in dark glasses may drive up in a Crown Vic, knock on the door, hand you some official looking papers, and say they are there to inventory your guns.

      :)

      .

      Delete
    2. Inside the Church the Catholics can do pretty much as they please, but when they become an employer, as in a hospital, or University, the game changes. At that point they must abide by the same laws as other employers. If they don't like it they can get out of the "employment" business.

      Delete
    3. Quirk apparently has no problem with the courts writing exceptions to constitutional protections.

      :)

      Delete
    4. .

      That is an opinion Ruf. You don't get to decide. If their lawsuits aren't reviewed by SCOTUS, your opinion is probably right. If the issue makes it to SCOTUS they will decide and I suspect your opinion will have little consequence.

      There are exceptions granted throughout case law on issues of constitutionality when fundamental rights come into conflict even in that 14th Amendment Ash is so fond of quoting.

      .

      Delete
    5. .

      I have no problem at all with the Court drawing exceptions when fundamental rights come into play.

      I am troubled when they create 'rights' out of whole cloth.

      .

      Delete
    6. It is, also, an opinion that the Supreme Court has expressed in the past. :)

      Delete
    7. I don't know; I'll try to find it later. maybe :)

      Delete
  24. I totally disagree on Marriage. Rationalizing that a man and man can be married in the same manner as a man and woman carries with it the burden that anything, no mater how basic, can be rationalized into law or out law. Law gets replaced by edict.

    It reminds me of the “uniform of the day” edict. It is not too absurd that we would on a daily basis have to check in with a website to see what is allowed and forbidden on any given day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not really; in one case the state is getting "out of your business," in the other case it's forcing its way in.

      Let's face it, Deuce, the argument against allowing gays to marry always ends up as a "religious" argument - and, as such, it has no business in the "business" of governance.

      Delete
    2. Of course, the reasonable thing to do is to get the Government out of the business of issuing Marriage "Licenses."

      What possible business could the government have issuing "marriage licenses?"

      Delete
    3. hmmmm, let's see, hmmmmm, ah, cause there are a hundred different issues concerning property ownership, inheritance, child care, support payments for kids, medical issues, on and on, where it is nice to know who is pappa, momma, who is married to whom, and who isn't?

      Just guessing.

      b

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    4. Joke around this outback--

      What is the definition of confusion?

      Father's Day in Lapwai.

      (Lapwai is Nez Perce Tribal headquarters - substitute modern locale of your choice)

      b

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    5. Lapwai in indigenous lingo is Land of Butterflies. And it's true too, they have lots of butterflies, or at least used to.

      Does it seem to you that in your area you have leas butterflies than when you grew up? Or is it only a trick of youthful memory?

      b

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    6. Some papers filed at the Courthouse proclaiming an intent to form a "marriage partnership" is one thing - the State being allowed to choose which paperwork to accept is something altogether different.

      DNA.

      Delete
  25. I am more and more convinced that this country is not big enough for all of us. Resist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a pretty big country, Deuce. :)

      Delete
    2. hmmmm, Idaho and Montana combined weren't big enough for both the Nez Perce and the Blackfoot, and there were only a handful of them. The entire middle east with all its vast emptiness isn't big enough for both the muzzies and Jews.
      Something is going on here.

      b

      Delete
    3. I didn’t have geography on my mind.

      Delete
  26. Plunger Alert!!!!

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/05/the_folly_of_low_flow_toilets.html

    b

    ReplyDelete
  27. FWIW footnote: The Federal government needs work, but not along the lines in the sand established by traditional left vs right rhetoric. (A couple of BC posters, well that's maybe generous, one actually makes a similar argument - he is routinely shot down, unlike Crazy G-y.)

    All the Nanny State, constitutional debates, regulatory burden blah blah crap is (highly successful) diversionary animation. A colorful Pixar cartoon. The Catholic Church is in more danger from internal rot (LINK) than it is from some State-sponsored assault. (Birth control and the constitutional war game would be a non-issue if the Church were to refocus their barnacle-encrusted institutional dogma on the modern world inhabited by it's female members. Give me a real encroachment issue instead of this phoney "but we have religious objections to birth control and you can't make me nyah nyah" nonsense.)

    The country is "over-regulated" - in some areas (studies show that 50% of the 'regulatory burden' is related to the tax code) - with obvious notable exceptions. It's funny, in a pitch black way, listening to attempts to reconcile the financial deregulation leading to 2008 crash with the theme of 'Grim and Determined Socialists using regulatory burden to stifle capitalism.'

    It's the corruption. Bend that fact to suit one's ideology as you wish but it's still the corruption. I believe DR called them Washington federals. Clean that up first and then you can have your ideological debate. Everything else is just Gertrude Stein's effete parlor room antics.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Scientists could be a big step closer to inventing a birth control pill for men. New research at the University of Edinburgh has pinpointed a gene called Katnal 1 that manages the final stages of sperm development, reports the Daily Telegraph. In theory, the work could lead to a new drug that would block the gene.

    "The important thing is that the effects of such a drug would be reversible because Katnal 1 only affects sperm cells in the later stages of development, so it would not hinder the early stages of sperm production and the overall ability to produce sperm," a researcher tells the BBC. A professor also noted that the genetic research from the study could "shed light on why some men are sub-fertile and why their sperm does not work properly."

    Thank God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stay away from our bodies!

      Men's Liberation Front

      Delete
  29. The price of cattle is at an all time high. Management of one of our properties was at a dismal low,
    calling for an intense reaffirmation of the principles of private ownership.

    No jail time, just chasing the cattle and getting them to market.

    Leaving little time for social interaction with the commoners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I figured you were dead. Good to see I was wrong!

      Delete
    2. Need some alfalfa? It is looking better than last year, and o it looked good then.

      b

      Delete
  30. Have a great day and continue fretting about the Iranian's great military capacity, while the Pakistani continue to piss on our parade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Rat, good to see you're alive.

      I was worried that you might have overdone it with the 'crazy-hot' taco sauce down at Xochiomilco's and been laid up waiting for a stomach transplant or that the guys in the black glasses finally caught up with you for that 'stuff' you did during the war.

      Stop in when you can. I've run out of people to argue with and piss off. It's so bad, I've been forced to start agreeing with Doug on some things.

      .

      Delete
    2. .

      By the way, had you been a bear or a wolf, we would have sent Bob down to search you out.

      .

      Delete
    3. Yeah, them Ideehoans have such a great record in the "wolf-huntin'" dept. :)

      Delete
  31. Obama and his two sons -

    Obama unglued, or telling true?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/05/what_the.html

    Howdy rat.

    You can't stable your horse in the bar, though. That's what the post is for outside.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  32. How to make the Nanny State look ridiculous?

    Scores of federal regulators are stationed inside JPMorgan Chase’s Manhattan headquarters, but none of them were assigned to the powerful unit that recently disclosed a multibillion trading loss.

    LINK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The offices of JP Morgan that made the "bad: trade bets, well, they were in London.

      Little wonder then that US regulators were not checking on their activities.

      Delete
    2. It's not the regional location, but the specific trading activity that is subject to regulatory control. OTC derivatives trading is largely unregulated. But bond trading, here or in London, is subject to SEC (and CFTC) authority. My understanding is that the JPM loss was OTC derivatives trading, so point taken.

      Delete
    3. With qualifications. If you read the link, it's more complicated.

      Primary point being Dimon - and his conflict of interest role as a banker and a member of the NY Fed, one who is on record opposing further regulatory oversight.

      Delete
  33. They can check and see if the toilets have water saving devices.

    I think Obama must still be on drugs. If he's talking about his sons.

    b

    ReplyDelete
  34. Joining my now discarded and forgotten list of luminaries endorsing Obama, I hereby include Larry Flynt, pornographer.

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also add Castro's daughter who said she would vote for Obama if she could.


      Standing+Wolf

      The publisher of Hustler magazine endorses the Hustler in Chief? Why, how very surprising!


      And fitting.

      b

      Delete
  35. Beyond any reasonable doubt, the Kenya birth information was supplied by Obama himself (and the bio was most likely written by Obama).

    At this point, we should pause to consider why this explosive story is being largely ignored by the "mainstream" news media: no matter how it's spun, when the dust settles, the story is a lose-lose for Obama. Either way, Obama has lied. And either way, the respective lie is no small matter.


    Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/will_the_1991_biography_discovery_force_obama_to_open_the_hood.html#ixzz1w2Hq1VMQ

    Good short article about Obama's disinformation, etc. We should always keep this in mind.

    Let's see, would, say, Eisenhower have gotten himself in such a pickle?

    b

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of really good comments after this article, for instance -

      sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

      Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his investigative team is on the right side of this issue, they are pursuing the crimes. A falsified selective service record carries a $250,000 dollar fine and a 5 year prison sentence and that is the easiest to prove. The Selective Service has never used a two digit number showing the year of registration and the Usurper's registration shows a two digit number rather than the typical four digit number.

      Liked

      Today 11:01 AM
      in reply to Questioning
      43 Likes


      Well worth reading.

      b

      Delete
  36. Canuckistan:

    Canadian Premier on US health procedure: 'This was my heart, my choice and my health'...

    This was my heart, my choice and my health," Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.

    "I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."
    ---
    His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.

    He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

    That's where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.

    Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.

    ReplyDelete