“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lesson From Caucasus, Buy More F-22 Raptors.

In the world that we live in, the US must develop, build, own and use the best possible fighter aircraft on the planet. They need to be available for simultaneous multi-theater operations. That will do the most to ensure that we have to use them the least. There is no other sane alternative.


Analysis: A case for the US increasing its Raptor purchase

By Craig Caffrey Janes

05 September 2008
F-22 Raptor (Patrick Allen/Jane's)

Since US President George W Bush's 1 May 2003 speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) declaring an end to major combat operations in Iraq, the US Air Force (USAF) has been fighting a low-intensity war on two fronts for which its inventory is poorly suited.

Since that time the USAF has been criticised for spending its strained budget on programmes that have little or no relevance to events on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has been argued in Washington that money could be better spent on platforms with more immediate applications, particularly with regards to intelligence, surveillance and recconnaisance (ISR) assets. Lockheed Martin's costly F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft is seen as an example of this unresponsive procurement strategy with the number to be acquired reduced from 381 to 183 as a result of political and budgetary pressures.

Given Russia's invasion of Georgia on behalf of the breakaway region of South Ossetia on 8 August, some of the lost emphasis on preparing to fight potential future conventional war is likely to have been rediscovered. Jane's believes the case for extending the procurement of the F-22 has seemingly been strengthened by events in the Caucasus. While the conflict in Georgia will not establish a firm requirement for additional Raptors, it will give more credence to those voices that advocate the potential for future conflict with advanced states.

After almost two decades of post-Soviet neglect, the Russian Air Force has begun a long, slow process of modernisation, the centrepiece of which is a plan to induct a fifth-generation fighter aircraft of its own by 2015.

Simultaneously, in China both Shenyang Aircraft Corporation and Chengdu Aircraft Corporation have been involved in a fifth-generation fighter programme, dubbed J-XX.

While Jane's understands that it is doubtful these aircraft will be as technologically advanced as their US counterparts, both aircraft have been designed with Lockheed Martin's fifth-generation F-22 and F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) in mind.

While the JSF programme will ensure that an additional 1,763 F-35 fifth-generation multirole fighters will enter service with the USAF alongside the F-22, it should be remembered that the F-35 was designed with a 70 per cent air-to-ground and 30 per cent air-to-air focus. While this does not mean that the Chinese and Russian designs will be a more a capable air superiority platform, neither does it guarantee that the F-35 will have the upper hand. The F-22 represents the technological pinnacle of the USAF's current air-to-air combat capability, while the F-35 does not.

© 2008 Jane's Information Group


  1. Bennet Caller says Duncan Hunter has a stable of 11 Iraq Vets running for Congress.

  2. We had a "fun fly" poster a few days ago.
    Reminded me of Joe Wurtz.
    Wish he was working on some of our RPV projects.
    This from an Australian Event Flyer:

    "Joe Wurtz has been incurably addicted to every facet of R/C soaring for over 20 years.
    He excels in every class he tries.
    By 2006, Joe had represented the USA in 12 World Championships and he has been World Champion in both F3J and F3B.

    His most recent win was F3J at
    the 2007 USA Nationals.
    He does all this with good humour and a willingness to share his experiences with others.

    In 2008 he will share his experiences with you at the Sailplane Expo in Armidale.
    I got to fly w/young Joe for two years when he was a computer science major @ Cal Poly.
    You learned from him by osmosis, owing to his talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
    Not sure what he's up to proffession-wise.
    Australian Electric Flight Association - Sailplane Expo 2008 ...

  3. 2164th wrote:

    "In the world that we live in, the US must develop, build, own and use the best possible fighter aircraft on the planet."

    Why? Is it to maintain the Empire or are you keen on bringing electricity and running water to every Yemeni/Iraqi/Afghani home?

  4. He wants President Palin to have best of breed air to air assets.
    I want a new bomber.
    Maybe 767 based, just to be economically/carbon footprint prudent.

  5. This is the new Democrat battle cry (from Daily Kos):

    "Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor"

  6. This is the most disgusting attack yet. Fsck the whole Left and the horse they rode in on.

    What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick


    Palin has a right to her religious beliefs, as do fundamentalist Muslims who agree with her on so many issues of social policy. None of them has a right, however, to impose their beliefs on others by capturing and deploying the executive power of the state.

  7. I'm with you, Deuce. They Gotta know, "They Can't Win." That's the Only thing that will keep the Vladimir Putins of the world in check.

  8. The World's done pretty good under Pax Americana, Ash. We fight the little brushfire wars, and the World, overall, prospers (while cussing us, of course.)

  9. The F22 is no brush war plane.

    It is not the plane the US needs for the next series of brush wars, either.

    All in all we're talking about 183 aircraft.

    By 2006, the Pentagon said it will buy 183 aircraft, ... total cost of the program by 2006 was $62 billion, in April 2006, the cost of the F-22A was assessed by the Government Accountability Office to be $361 million per aircraft.
    (edited from wiki)

    the incremental cost for one additional F-22 (of) around $138 million

    No one is going to be risking $361 Million USD in the Brush Wars, supporting US and coalition troops, on the ground.

    Better we skip this last generation of fighter aircraft and go directly to drones. Which can be built for much less and can perform at higher levels, without the human factor "blacking out".

    Prioritizing Security spending is now a paramount concern, since we are half a trillion in the hole, from policing operations in Iraq.
    The F22 is not a priority, but another fancy toy for the Air Force's collective.

  10. Even our friends in OZ, seem to agree, they will wait for the F35

    In 2006, ... the Howard government ruled out purchase of the F-22, on the grounds that it is unlikely to be released for export, and does not have sufficient ground/maritime strike capacity. This assessment was supported by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which claimed that the F-22 "has insufficient multi-role capability at too high a price."

  11. No Ash, my primary motivation is to protect personal freedoms and Western Civilization. It is all based on some dark strains of DNA induced masochism in my makeup that feeds my cravings to keep reading your inane comments.

  12. Proof that the US will not deploy the "best" toys, is the V22 Osprey.

    If it had been in Afghanistan, the commandos going after that four man Seal Team would not have been in heliocpters flying at the edge of their operational envelope.

    The Osprey
    the FY2005 defense budget request boosts the price 19% to $114.8 million per aircraft. The US Air Force requests three similar CV-22s in FY2005 for $443.0 million; or a unit cost of $147.7 million each. If the $395.4 million requested in FY2005 for V-22 research, development, evaluation and testing is included in this buy of 11 V-22s, the total cost of each V-22 is $159.7 million.
    The US Army has lost 41 helicopters over Iraq and Afghanistan this past year, with another 24 so badly damaged they are likely to be scrapped. This is proof that employing ultra-expensive V-22s over combat zones is unwise, especially since they are larger than any helicopter in the US inventory. The V-22 weighs twice as much and costs four times more than helicopters with comparable abilities. For example, the Navy's FY2005 budget requests 15 MH-60S helicopters for $400.8 million; or a unit cost of $26.7 million each. This helo weighs one-third as much as the V-22, but can pick up nearly the same payload. It has room for 13 combat equipped Marines, compared to 18 for the V-22. If Congress canceled the V-22 and diverted its $1756.5 million FY2005 request to buy MH-60Ss, this could provide 67 modern helicopters for the Corps, which can also carry machine guns, rockets, and Hellfire missiles, unlike the V-22.

    The technology and its costs have outpaced the ability to field it, due to the risks of losing one.

    The same will be true of the F22.

  13. ash —

    We need the best fighter aircraft on the planet so we can protect your right to be an asshole.

    That's one essence of freedom — allowing jerks freedom to be jerks.

  14. I can't agree with that, Rat.

    The Main thing is to remember that the Main thing is the Main thing.

    The Main Thing is to prevent the Big War. You prevent the Big War by making sure that you're So Strong that the "Crazies" don't dare attack you. The little brushfires will take care of themselves.

    You don't overlook bad tires, and a leak in the brake-line just because your wife wants to replace the cigarette lighter, and put new hubcaps on the car. First things First, and the First Thing is the Main Thing. Hold off the "Big Boys."

    F-22's, B-2's, Missile Defense, the most "invisible" Boomers. That's what Protects you. That's First Job.

    Agree on pushing forward with the "unmanned" platforms. We want to be the "Firstest" with the "Mostest," there, too.

  15. From Paul Steinhauser
    CNN Deputy Political Director


    A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey out Tuesday indicates that 62 percent of men questioned have a favorable opinion of the Alaska governor, nine points higher than women.

    In the poll, conducted Friday through Sunday, entirely after the end of the Republican convention, 23 percent of men have an unfavorable view of Sen. John McCain's running mate, seven points lower than women.

    The gender gap is also apparent when it comes to whether Palin is qualified to serve as president. Fifty-seven percent of male respondents said Palin was qualified, 14 points higher than women. A majority of women polled, 55 percent, said Palin is not qualified.

  16. One interesting thing. This is the first time in history that Colorado (good call, Rat) is The Swing State.

  17. We have and do hold off the "Big Boys", rufus, with ICBMs.

    We still have that capacity.
    Or should we scrap the "Boomers".

    There is no plane in production, any where, that matches the F15.

    The drone fighter aircraft, which are the next new thing, will more than able to take care of the Russians. By the time the Russians can FIELD an aircraft that can take the F15 in aerial combat.

    As the BBC reports

    A US defence contractor has received more than $1bn in funding to build a prototype unmanned fighter aircraft for the American military.
    Northrop Grumman will build at least three full-scale flight prototypes for the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) over five years.

    The contract win will allow Northrop to continue work on its X-47B combat drone.

    It is hoped that many unmanned fighters would be networked and controlled from land or from an aircraft carrier.

    Key missions envisaged for the vehicle include suppression of enemy air defences, precision strike, electronic attack and surveillance deep into enemy airspace.

    Boeing is already developing another drone called the X-45C under the same operational assessment phase of the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (J-UCAS) demonstration programme, led by Darpa.

  18. Better we skip this last generation of fighter aircraft and go directly to drones. Which can be built for much less and can perform at higher levels, without the human factor "blacking out".
    Both Israel and the US have programs developing these. But you need manned aircraft because remote control can be unreliable and susceptible to jamming.

  19. I've got to assume, until I'm shown, differently, that all Blue States will stay Blue, and that One Red State, Iowa, is Gone.

    That means Mcnutz has to keep, either, N Mexico, or Colorado (with Colorado seeming the most likely.)

  20. Use the F35 as the bridge to tomorrow. It is a "better" aircraft.

    Much more multi-role and much less expensive.

  21. There is no plane in production, any where, that matches the F15.
    I don't think that's true.

  22. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one, Rat. I don't want the Pooty-Poots of the World to Ever get the idea that they might have a chance.

  23. Colorado
    FOX News/Rasmussen 09/07 - 09/07 500 LV Obama 49, McCain 46,
    Obama +3

  24. Link away, mat.
    Show us the truth.

    Well that type of luxurious thinking was possible, prior to Team43 taking office, rufus, the Long War has busted the bank. Especially with a Congress solidly controlled by the Democrats.

    I know it is hard, but prioritizing security needs is now the order of the day.

  25. We will not be buying all the toys that folks want.

    Which things shall we not fund, so as to buy the F22s, in numbers that can be considered "enough"?

  26. The F-15 is getting Old, and the new Russian plane is said to be able to make it a "fair fight.

    There is Nothing more Abhorrent in War than a "Fair" Fight.

    The F-35 is a Great Plane; but, it's "Primary" role is "Attack." Also, you can bet your sweet bippy that the same people that are calling for shutting down the F-22 lines, today, and concentrating on the F-35 will be the same ones calling for shutting down the F-35 production lines, and waiting for the "Unmanned" version, later.

  27. There is no way that Obama is going to carry Colorado.

  28. Link away, mat.
    That's not necessary. That statement can stand on its own.

  29. It stands on your opinion, mat, which if I needed some teeth pulled, would be of value.

    The original need was for 750 of these F22s, good to see that 183 can now do the job.

    Seems, "enough", keeps getting redefined, downward.

  30. Defense is Never a luxury, Rat. Defense is Existential.

    The last Energy Bill gave the Big Oil Companies $32 Billion in Tax Breaks. THAT would buy 70 F-22's. They could cut my SS COLA back to the CPI, and not CPI + Wages. Maybe, the Next time Hillary wants to fund a "Woodstock" Museum they'll boot her ass out of Congress. In a $14 Trillion economy we can find the money for a few fighter planes (a whole lot easier than finding the money to fight a Big War.)

  31. It stands on your opinion, mat, which if I needed some teeth pulled, would be of value.
    It has little to do with my opinion. Nobody is buying F15s anymore. (They're still buying F16s, but not for long).

  32. I'm sorry you find the comment inane 2164th but it does go to heart of the issue - what is the purpose of these expensive things. Basically you've responded and said that it is the US role to be global cop, to protect all of the western world. This is a pretty expansive and paternalistic role you posit. It is also proving to be beyond our economic reach.

  33. I do not disagree, rufus, but I am not the one that needs convincing.

    The F22 is a fine, fine machine, best of its type, in the world.
    No doubt of that.

    But Senator Obama and his ilk will not fund any more. No matter the name calling from President McCain.

    As you said, rufus.

    What are the priorities.
    How many grunts should die, for lack of air to ground support?
    While the F22s control the skies.

    The US military cannot secure Afghanistan from border bandits, today.

    Priorities, amigos.

    Unless we should abandon the Brush Wars, and defend Fortress America, instead.

  34. You don't get it, Ash. We're not protecting the "Western World;" we're protecting Ourselves.

    BTW, Don't get me wrong. I think it's important that intelligent peoople make the argument that Rat's making.

    That's the beauty of our system. It's dynamic, flexible, and the opposing argument gets made.

    No One Group of idealogues will, consistently, come up with the course that's best for the Country. We Need the "Two" Sides, arguing.

    Even when the Other Side drives us Bonkers. :)

  35. Those nine GIs killed in Afghanistan, last month, where was their Close Air Support?

    The US has air superiority in Afghanistan, unassailed superiority.

    But not enough ground attack aircraft, on call, on target, in time.

    When the aircraft finally did arrive, the Taliban suffered, greatly.

  36. rufus, that may be what you are arguing but not deuce

    Blogger 2164th said...

    "No Ash, my primary motivation is to protect personal freedoms and Western Civilization."

    So unless you interpret Western Civilization as being just the US he is talking a much broader role. The role will help determine the method.

  37. We'll never secure Afghanistan, Rat. It's just too big, too inconveniently located, and, most of all, too damned poor.

    They'll never be able to afford their Own defense; and, they're just too poorly located for us to be able to do it for them.

    Iraq was, always, going to be a source of frustration; Afghanistan was, from the start, going to be the "Tarbaby."

  38. DR wrote:

    "When the aircraft finally did arrive, the Taliban suffered, greatly."

    Using aircraft can be a powerful but bloody instrument that doesn't necessarily achieve our goals:

    "Criticism from Afghan president

    The civilian deaths in Azizabad have caused new friction between President Hamid Karzai and his Western supporters. Karzai has long castigated Western military commanders over civilian deaths resulting from their raids.

    Karzai ratcheted up pressure on Western military forces after the Azizabad incident by ordering a review of whether the U.S. and NATO should be allowed to use air strikes or carry out raids in villages. Karzai also called for an updated "status of force" agreement between the Afghan government and foreign militaries."

  39. Western Civilization

    That's an interesting point. Who's included, who's not. I'd argue that most of the world (including China, India, Russia) is now part of Western Civilization. The only exception is dar al-Islam.

  40. You bring up The Important Challenge for the next President, though, Rat.

    As Iraq winds down, and Afghanistan Heats Up, while Pakistan wobbles into who-knows-what a whole new set of frustrations await us. Great for Boeing, and Northrup, and Infantry Officers hoping to make grade; but, a Holy Headache for the next Prez.

  41. Karzai is just trying to "Stay Alive." Glad it "Him," and not Me.

  42. Air raids on villages and compounds and using air support in close quarter combat are two very different things, ash.

    Planned raids can be accomplished with very limited assets, a few drones operating at a tempo of US choosing.

    Ground combat support, that's an entirely different kettle of fish.

    We need more A10s or a newer equivalent, especially if you want to keep that Bear contained.

    With current geography, re: Afghanistan, the distances are to great for helicopter gunships to get "there" in time.

    We went to Afghanistan, to get Osama bin Laden, we failed.
    Why we've stayed, well that's not been well explained.
    But stay we will

    That is the priority, now and for Team44, whomever that may be.

  43. Mat is correct. Western Civilization is the dynamic culture of the 21st Century. It is composed of friends and enemies and is a work in process.

  44. Sure wish they'd find some oil in Afghanistan. That'd make things a whole lot easier. :)

  45. Western Civilization allows for wars to happen and be resolved in a rational basis. Rationalism and Western Civilization.

  46. 100 V-22's, and 1,000 Advanced Predators, and Afghanistan might start looking a lot different.

    Throw in a few dozen of those "laser-shooting" C-130's, and that border with Pakistan could become history's largest (and, funnest) Turkey-shoot.

  47. Who's making inane comments now? Deuce war is the antithesis or rationalism.

    5 results for: rationalism Browse Nearby Entries Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source - Share This
    ra·tion·al·ism Audio Help /ˈræʃənlˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[rash-uh-nl-iz-uhm] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    1. the principle or habit of accepting reason as the supreme authority in matters of opinion, belief, or conduct.
    2. Philosophy.
    a. the doctrine that reason alone is a source of knowledge and is independent of experience.
    b. (in the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza, etc.) the doctrine that all knowledge is expressible in self-evident propositions or their consequences.
    3. Theology. the doctrine that human reason, unaided by divine revelation, is an adequate or the sole guide to all attainable religious truth.
    4. Architecture. (often initial capital letter)
    a. a design movement principally of the mid-19th century that emphasized the development of modern ornament integrated with structure and the decorative use of materials and textures rather than as added adornment.
    b. the doctrines and practices of this movement. Compare functionalism (def. 1).

    Sorry, but you started it with the inane designations.

  48. "This helo weighs one-third as much as the V-22, but can pick up nearly the same payload. It has room for 13 combat equipped Marines, compared to 18 for the V-22. If Congress canceled the V-22 and diverted its $1756.5 million FY2005 request to buy MH-60Ss, this could provide 67 modern helicopters for the Corps, which can also carry machine guns, rockets, and Hellfire missiles, unlike the V-22.
    The technology and its costs have outpaced the ability to field it, due to the risks of losing one.
    The same will be true of the F22.

  49. Western Civilization is now a Global Village.

  50. "Iraq was, always, going to be a source of frustration; Afghanistan was, from the start, going to be the "Tarbaby.""
    Bush MADE it a Tarbaby, just like LBJ MADE Vietnam a Tarbaby.
    'Rat and I woulda wiped out al-Queda/Taliban w/a few B-52 missions in 2004.

  51. Western Civilization is now a Global Village.
    Western Civilization is the Global Scientific & Entrepreneurial Village. Again, dar al-Islam is the antithesis of this.

  52. Your opinion on that matter has been analyized, discussed and discounted and discarded by the US, mat.
    The village authorities totally disagree.


  53. Obama is morphing in to John Kerry

  54. The advantage of the V-22 is, Speed, Doug. It can get there in a hurry. That means you can control (kinda) a much larger area with a smaller, well-trained force.

    For instance, five airbases - each with, say, 20 V-22's, and a couple of Battalions of Marines could lay down a pretty big footprint.

  55. Obama is John Kerry w/a Black Hoe instead of a Rich Eurohoe.
    ...and yes, we have no Tomatoes.

  56. You could be right, Rufus, but I don't buy it.

  57. Let's put it this way. Every village has someone who bears watching. With Russia, ours is no exception.

  58. The village authorities totally disagree.
    The Taliban has its rackets, and the US military "industrialists" have theirs. In the end, it is WE who are the village authorities. We just need to realize this, and guide ourselves past the malarkey.

  59. I always thought John McCain was closer to John Kerry. Both John's, uber rich wives supporting them, use their Vietnam experience as qualification for political office, and a decidedly similar penchant to be for something before they were against it and visa versa.

  60. Well, I'm not sure that I buy it, completely, Doug. It's just that you gotta try to do what you gotta try to do.

  61. ... and RANGE ...

    A much greater over the horizon reach with the Osprey.

    There still seem to be challenges for the V-22.

    V-22 Osprey in Iraq
    Posted by Lurch on October 11, 2007

    The Marines have deployed the V-22 Osprey to Iraq – sort of.

    BAGHDAD — The controversial V-22 Osprey has arrived in a combat zone for the first time.
    It was an epic trip for the innovative tilt-rotor plane, one that took more than 25 years of development and cost 30 lives and $20 billion. Even the last short hop — from an aircraft carrier into Iraq — went awry, U.S. military officials said Monday.

    A malfunction forced one of the 10 Ospreys that were deployed to land in Jordan on Thursday. The Marines flew parts to it from Iraq and repaired it. After it took off again Saturday, the problem recurred, and it had to turn back and land in Jordan a second time, said Maj. Jeff Pool, a U.S. military spokesman in western Iraq. It finally was repaired and arrived at al Asad Air Base in western Iraq late Sunday afternoon.

  62. I didn't Buy the Stryker, 'Ruf, but apparently I was wrong.

  63. Yeah, there's a reason why no one's ever been able to build a dependable tilt-motor, Rat.

    Interesting, though. They've been in Iraq almost a year, now, with no bad news. The last I heard Petraeus was flying around in one. I wonder if he still is?

  64. If it makes you feel any better (I don't know why it should:) We were both wrong. I thought it was a "boondoggle," acoming.

  65. Putting all those Marines in a test aircraft WAS a big F... Up!

  66. Marine Col. M. D. Mulhern told reporters that, although the dual engines in the tilt-rotor aircraft perform well, they are not lasting as long as the Marine Corps expected under a 1998 agreement with Rolls-Royce.

    "Now, as we are operating the airplanes, the engines aren't lasting as long as we would like or as long as they would like," Mulhern said at a briefing during an exposition sponsored by the Navy League.

    Muller said the Marine Corps is working with the manufacturer but also plans "to cast a wide net to see what's available," acknowledging that rebidding the engine is a possible option. "We have some long-term issues with Rolls-Royce that we need to work out," he said.

    Jawdropping is the term used by the author to describe the reaction by reporters who attended the briefing and have covered the troubled tiltrotor for a long time.

  67. V-22 May Need New Engine
    By Sharon Weinberger
    March 19, 2008

  68. "Jawdropping is the reaction"
    'cause good men die from a simple, PREDICTABLE, malfuncion.

  69. War Machines ain't toys, Doug. They "Break," and people die. Young men push them to the edge of the envelope, and, sometimes, . . . . . . . . ..

  70. We lose scores of men (and, women) every year in helicopter, and, fixed-wing accidents. It's the "nature" of the business. You can't take "risk" out of war, and war machines.

  71. Bobal (from prior post) - Someone on BC is always saying corporations don't pay taxes, passing them on to the consumer, which may be true in a more or less monopoly situation, but not otherwise, I'd think.

    Catching up and saw this comment and am compelled to add my two cents. With some background in economics, agriculture and business (including monopolistic telephone companies), I have to say that, in my experience, the only businesses that cannot pass on tax increases to their customers are those whose products are pure commodities - as in agriculture. At the other end of the spectrum, you are correct about those monopolies - just look at all the bullshit add-on charges on your phone bill (FCC this, local 911 that, etc.) In between, most companies maintain the power to set prices for their products services in the marketplace. When a supplier increases any other cost, to maintain margins, the business must assess whether its competition is likely to incur the same cost increase. In the case of taxes, its a universal cost increase, affecting all companies more or less equally, so most businesses will inevitably pass the increase along. It's not that the corporation DOES NOT pay taxes, merely that they become a vehicle THROUGH which any tax on business gets passed on to the business's customers.

  72. corporations may also have some ability to shift profits offshore thus evading taxes.

  73. Which is, also, a good argument against being the high-tax state.

  74. Ash: I always thought John McCain was closer to John Kerry. Both John's, uber rich wives supporting them, use their Vietnam experience as qualification for political office

    The difference is that one threw away his ribbons and called his fellow soldiers war criminals, while the other'un had war crimes committed against him and says his fellow soldiers kept him alive when he was too crippled to feed himself. I know, a quibble, but still...

  75. Don't the cost per unit of these fancy military items ever come down anymore if you make a lot of them? Seems to this uninformed observer that 183 planes isn't that many planes.

    I do have an opinion on that hovering Osprey. Junk it.

  76. Russia had a perfect opportunity to knock all this shit off, but with a little oil and gas money and a bastard like Putin the Poisoner looks like they're right back at it. They could have gone one way or the other. Their great statesman is taking them the other. I just can't see it as the Western world's fault even with all their talk of encirclement.

  77. Sarah Palin is doing to Obama what Jesse Jackson could only dream about.

  78. Isn't it really a beautiful thing to watch one middle class--lower middle class really--(financially)--woman shake things up, just by being herself? It's hard to detect any guile in that woman.

    What a high class woman in the best sense of the word. Hope it doesn't go to her head.

    When a real self made woman comes along, the crowds flock to her, the real thing, rather than some false NOW actress.

  79. Ash, if we accept that rational is the opposite of irrational, and if a decision can be either or, then every decision is one or the other. A decision is rational or irrational.

    The outcome of a decision can be expected or unexpected based on similar logic.

    Therefore a rational decision can have an unexpected outcome. An unexpected outcome does not imply an irrational decision even though one would intuitively expect that irrational decisions would result in outcomes that were less desirable.

    A decision can be both rational and risky.

    An irrational player is more apt to make unpredictable decisions. Think of it as someone driving a car. they do so with the expectation that people will stay in their own lane, follow the basic laws, and be concerned for their own welfare.

    Western Civilization is based on the common practice and expectation of rational behaviour. It is not a predictive indicator of whether a country will go to war or not. War in itself is not irrational.

  80. Monday, September 08, 2008
    Email a Friend Email to a Friend

    The latest Fox News/Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Ohio, finds John McCain out in front of Barack Obama 51% to 44% (crosstabs available for Premium Members).

    The latest numbers, which are the first to be released since the conclusion of both parties’ conventions, mark an improvement for the Republican nominee. In August, McCain had a slightly more modest advantage over the Democrat. In fact, the GOP hopeful has held a modest lead since July in the swing state that finally decided the 2004 election.

    McCain is viewed favorably by 63% of Ohio voters and unfavorably by 35%. Obama’s ratings are 50% favorable, 48% unfavorabl

  81. jwillie says--

    I have to say that, in my experience, the only businesses that cannot pass on tax increases to their customers are those whose products are pure commodities - as in agriculture.

    And, I say, I can personally testify to the truth of that statement :(

  82. Palin/McCain are only back by 2 in Pennslyvania, up by 2 in Virginia, and really close in Colorado, and Michigan is closing too.

  83. My Nader/Gonzalez alert informs me Ralph the Likeable Laughable is now on the ballot in 45 states, a new record for his perpetual campaign.

  84. Ash

    once again I think you have mixed your meds.

  85. I'll bet that when McCain and Palin split up, and start campaigning separately for awhile, Palin brings in crowds bigger than McCains, a first in American politics, if it happens, the VP outshining Number 1.

  86. I don't like John McCain; but, J. F'n Kerry is the Only Politician I "Ever" Truly Hated.

    Something about being called a "Barbarian."

  87. Ash: I always thought John McCain was closer to John Kerry. Both John's, uber rich wives supporting them, use their Vietnam experience as qualification for political office, and a decidedly similar penchant to be for something before they were against it and visa versa.

    I wish I had a uper rich wife.
    John McCain doesnt use his Vietnam experience for gain. It is real and it is a topic others use. Kerry shoved his Vietnam experience down our collective throats at every opportunity.

    Your last comment above I cannot comment because I don't know what the Hell your saying.

  88. If Team Maverick can flip PA, then it's game over.

    Big if, that.

  89. GM, Ford Bankruptcy Risk May Decline With U.S. Loans (Update3)

    By Jeff Green

    Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC's bankruptcy risk will fall as the likelihood increases that they will get as much as $50 billion in U.S. government loans, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst said.

    The loans, intended to assist the shift to more fuel- efficient vehicles, will gain political support because of the importance of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania as swing states in the U.S. presidential election, Himanshu Patel, the New York- based analyst, wrote in a report today.

    ``We suspect the spirit behind supporting funding of the advanced automobile technology loans is to provide a helping hand to financially strapped Detroit,'' he said. ``As such, if the bill is eventually funded, the potential dollars involved could materially reduce near-term bankruptcy risk'' at some or all of the U.S.-based automakers.

  90. Not a `Bailout'

    ``I absolutely don't think it's a bailout,'' Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally told reporters after a speech in Dearborn, Michigan, today. ``We haven't decided the exact nature of it but I think it's going to be a loan at lower interest rates. We're going to have to pay it back.''


  91. NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric Co, is teaming up with Google Inc on a multi-year partnership in which Google will act as a broker to sell TV advertising on some NBC cable channels.

    In a joint statement, the two companies said NBC Universal will offer advertising time from several of its cable networks for Google to sell advertising through its Google TV Ads service.

    The deal, set to go into effect in coming months, covers advertising inventory on Sci Fi, Oxygen, MSNBC, CNBC, Sleuth, and Chiller, with more NBC Universal channels possible in the future, the companies said.

    "Advertisers using the Google TV Ads platform can reach NBCU Cable's national audience and gain access to viewership data at an unprecedented scale," the NBC Universal and Google statement said

  92. Sarah Palin is not such a small-town girl after all
    By James Bennett

    An interesting perspective from across the pond.

  93. Another dolt from CATO:

    The U.S. currently imports two-thirds of its oil needs -- even President Bush believes the nation is "addicted to oil." But commentator Jerry Taylor says that since importing oil is cheaper than producing it domestically, energy independence isn't a good idea, or even practical.
    KAI RYSSDAL: Barack Obama made another speech today -- this one was on the war in Iraq and its effect on the economy. He said the war's part of the reason oil prices are so high. Hillary Clinton was stumping in Indiana today, where she blamed oil company profits for rising gas prices.

    Most of that oil's not ours, we buy it from overseas. But commentator Jerry Taylor says the notion of energy independence doesn't hold water.

    Jerry Taylor: President Bush and many others are fond of saying that oil prices are high because we import too much oil. In reality, they've got it exactly backwards. We import energy for a reason: it's cheaper than producing it here at home. A governmental war on energy imports will, by definition, raise energy prices.

    Energy independence won't protect us against embargoes, because embargoes are nothing but symbolic gestures. Take the 1973 embargo: Instead of buying oil directly from Arab members of OPEC, we simply bought oil from people who bought oil from Arab members of OPEC. Oil imports actually went up during that period.

    And energy independence won't protect our economy from supply disruptions abroad. Say Saudi, Iranian, or Venezuelan crude oil production were to suddenly come to a halt. Oil everywhere will just become more expensive no matter where it's produced. For instance, the loss of Iranian crude oil in 1978 sent British oil prices just as high as Japanese prices. The thing is, Britain was "energy independent" while Japan depended entirely on imports.

    Energy independence won't necessarily guarantee more stable sources of supply. We could substitute gasoline for corn ethanol. But we would just be trading geopolitical risks for much larger weather-related risks.

    Energy independence won't win the war on terror. Even if we reduced oil consumption -- and thus, oil imports -- enough to drive world oil prices down from current levels to, say, $20 a barrel, it would simply return us to the world of the 1990s. And as you may recall, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Saudi-financed madrassas were doing quite well under those conditions.

    If you are a domestic oil producer, there is a good reason for you to like the idea of energy independence. It drives out a long list of competitors from the American market. It also raises prices and fattens profits. For everyone else, energy independence makes no more sense than, say, food independence. There is no BTU exception to the case for free trade laid out in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.

    Jerry Taylor is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

  94. Commentary
    Fannie And Freddie: What Next?

    Steve Forbes, 09.08.08

    Will the Bush administration in its remaining months continue policy by reaction, or will it take positive initiatives to end the credit crisis? Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--or as wags call them, Fonie and Fraudie--were too big to fail. Defaulting on their bonds would have triggered the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression. That’s why drastic action should be taken now.

  95. were too big to fail
    Right. What else is too big to fail?

  96. Why that's an easy one, mat.
    The Global Village, of course

  97. The Global Village

    And The Federation Of Earth Planets. :)