Archive for July, 2006
Disrobed by Mark W. Smith actually arrived a couple of weeks ago while I was on vacation. Here’s the blurb:
How to Bring the Reagan Revolution to America’s Courts . . . FINALLY
With the Harriet Miers fiasco a distant memory and John Roberts and Samuel Alito sitting on the Supreme Court, conservatives can finally stop worrying about the courts, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong.
America’s courts, legal culture, and law schools remain solidly in the Left’s camp. Decades of liberal legal precedents fill volumes of law tomes. Absent a sweeping change–precisely what bestselling author Mark W. Smith calls for in Disrobed–liberals will ruthlessly exploit their dominant position in the law to continue advancing their radical agenda, as they have for the past seventy years.
Smith, a nationally recognized attorney, lays out an aggressive new battle plan to thwart the liberal assault on America by turning the courts into allies of the conservative movement. Be warned, Disrobed is not for the fainthearted. Smith implores conservatives: Toss out practically everything you think you know about courts, judges, and American law–because it’s naive, anachronistic, and self-defeating.
Thumbing through it, I see that it’s pretty activist and not at all moderate. Partisan to the core, it should resonate with the right-wing nutjobs who frequent MO. God bless ‘em.
(It’s official: Murdoc will never ever ever catch up on his reading.)
Geek Lethal at the Ministry of Minor Perfidy:
Someday, when Old Glory waves on 10,000 worlds and our mighty fleets cruise the galaxy, our fair descendants will look back at the Moon and Apollo as the start of it all.
“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. And we beat those Commie bastards, too.”
UPDATE: Unedited Apollo 11 audio on YouTube. (Warning: Foul Language and badly-confused preachy message at the very end) The video, however, is not genuine as much of it is clearly from other Apollo missions.
This is an odd story: Museum’s fighter called back to duty
The Evergreen Aviation Museum was poised today to take the first step toward addition of a choice piece to its collection – an F-14D Super Tomcat, the fighter plane Tom Cruise flew in the hit film “Top Gun.”
But the flareup of violence between the Israeli army and Hezbollah and Hamas militias in Lebanon and Gaza led to a change in plans. The Navy, which had been planning to replace the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt’s F-14 Tomcats with newer, more multi-dimensional F-18 Hornets, has decided to instead dispatch the carrier to the Middle East with its current squadron of F-14s – including the one promised to the museum.
This seems to be the only place reporting this. At this time I cannot find any word of the Roosevelt’s sudden deployment, with or without Tomcats. Even if she’s going, would the Cats be making the trip? Is it even reasonable?
UPDATE: Murdoc checked with his buddy Instapinch, and he got this from “the F-14 guys down at Oceana”:
“Just that, a rumor. VF-31 going to the boat for CQ. It’s been in the plans for weeks. I’d say the story out of Oregon just got twisted around. Yes anything is possible with what’s going on in the Middle East but my sources at Oceana say no right now.”
Until the Challenger accident, the US Air Force had been planning to use the Space Shuttle for a variety of missions, including the launch of spy satellites into polar orbits. Since launches to polar orbit are from Cape Canaveral are inefficient at best, the decision was made to launch polar orbit Shuttle Missions from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
To accomplish this, extensive support and launch facilities were required at Vandenberg, but Space Launch Complex-6 (SLC-6, also called “Slick Six”) was sitting unused. SLC-6 had originally been constructed in the 1960s for the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program’s Titan III rockets. The MOL was cancelled in 1969 and the complex, incomplete, was mothballed. A decade later work began again and SLC-6 was completed to Shuttle specifications by 1985. That year, the testbed Shuttle Enterprise was used in a series of tests:
The first Vandenberg Shuttle launch was scheduled for late 1986. It was to be commanded by Robert Crippen, a MOL astronaut who had transferred to NASA after the MOL was cancelled.
However, the Challenger accident changed all that, and eventually the Air Force decided to withdraw from the Shuttle program and rely instead on expendable launchers. SLC-6 was once again mothballed. In 1991, SLC-6 was chosen for the Titan IV/Centaur program, but this, too, was cancelled. Four launches of the smallish Lockheed Martin Athena were made from the pad, but it was again basically unused until reconstruction began in 2000 for the Delta IV program. On June 27th, a serious rocket finally took to the sky from SLC-6. (More info at Chair Force Engineer), who also mentions the “Indian Burial Ground” legend which supposedly explains the pad’s bad luck.)
More Enterprise pics below the fold…
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This means that the USS Cole, damaged by terrorists in Yemen in 2000, will play a role in the evacuation of up to 25,000 US citizens from Lebanon.
The Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group consists of USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7), USS Nashville (LPD 13) and USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41). USS Trenton (LPD 14) and High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) have also joined the strike group.
The Swift’s high speed, shallow draft, and large cargo capacity will come in handy if things get dicey. As will the LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) on the Whidbey Island.
Hopefully things won’t get as bad as needing to resort to that.
Incidentally, recall that the Iwo Jima expeditionary strike group played a big part in post-Katrina operations in the Gulf of Mexico last summer. (That was before the Cole re-joined the fleet.)
Those of us who remember playing Missile Command in the arcade are far too familiar with this situation:
See the missile base in the middle? The one that says “LOW”? That might as well say “You are running low on ammo…kiss at least one city good-bye, sucker.” (The computer graphics in the early 80s made this sort of message difficult to display clearly, so they just stuck with “LOW”…)
Northrup Grumman has an alternative to the “running out of missiles” plan:
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Received this email this evening:
Wouldn’t it be WONDERFUL to see the USS Cole off the coast of Beirut providing protection for 25000 fleeing Americans?
I think that’d send a knife-like message to UBL, and those who got so much pr from attacking it.
It’s in the area, and just did a port call in Greece a week or so ago.
I think in the War on Terror it’d be a great reminder of the USS Cole incident and as the world media reported its presence. Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya, MSNBC, CBS, NYT….they’d all be compelled to report its significance, the attack done on it, and the effect of not responding to that attack.
It’s the modern form of gunboat diplomacy for asymmetric warfare.
It’d send a damn fine signal that America can be hit, but not sunk.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Send your comments and hopes that the USS Cole be positioned for the world to see off the coast of Beirut….to the President
I don’t think comments to the White House will be necessary, however. The Cole is part of the Iwo Jima strike group, which is currently in the Red Sea completing an exercise with the Jordanians and will be sent to the coast of Lebanon if more muscle is required.
UPDATE: The Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Group is going. Thanks to the reader who alerted me that these orders had been given.
The Israeli army briefly entered Lebanon today, but it appears to be a raid targeting specific rocket positions rather than a general invasion.
And, contrary to Murdoc’s expectations, Israel floats idea to end Lebanon fighting. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the fighting
would end when Israel’s two captured soldiers are freed, rocket attacks on Israel have stopped and the Lebanese army is deployed along the border…Israel had previously demanded the full dismantling of Hezbollah as a condition for ending hostilities.
There’s no way that Hezbollah is anywhere near “dismantled” after only a week of fighting and very limited ground action. It’s also hard to believe that Israel would be willing to accept the negative backlash this fighting is going to bring without scoring any major strategic gains.
Folks, they wouldn’t be bombing the Beirut airport if they just wanted their two soldiers back.
Meanwhile, President Bush is cussing up a storm.
Finally, CDR Salamander discusses the missile hit on the Israeli Saar- 5. Be sure to read the comments, including this:
This event is a stark reminder that the LCS cabal needs to face reality more than they are right now.
Following the killing of 110 Iraqis in the first three days of last week, there emerged from both Sunni and Shia leaders in Baghdad a proposal which would have been inconceivable not long ago – deploying Kurdish troops in Baghdad to maintain order and keep the peace between Sunni and Shia Arab factions.
I doubt I’m the only one who wouldn’t mind seeing some Iraqis help keep the Iraqis in order. This is a sensitive move, but if it happens and it works, it will be HUGE.