Archive for September, 2011
Bank of America will start charging debit-card users $5 a month to pay for purchases. The move comes as the cards increasingly replace cash and as banks look for ways to offset the loss of revenue from a new rule that will limit how much they can collect from merchants.
Paying to use a debit card was unheard of before this year and is still a novel concept for many consumers. But several banks have recently introduced or started testing debit card fees.
The story is portraying this as some sort of scheme that’s trapping debit card users. So switch to banks that don’t charge fees.
Tell your friends. Let’s try to get everyone to switch away from banks charging these fees over to banks that don’t charge these fees. Then let banks decided whether or not to charge them.
Just thinking out loud, here.
F-35B Set for Sea Trials Next Week
Up to six weeks on USS Wasp (LHD 1).
Sea trails of upgraded aircraft-carrier set for 2012
Former “Admiral Gorshkov,” now India’s “Vikramaditya,” won’t begin trials until next May. It had been scheduled for the end of 2011 at the latest.
Admiral Kuznetsov to leave for Mediterranean in November
Meanwhile, Tass reports the Russian carrier will embark on a three-month cruise of the Atlantic and Med in mid-November.
Are Moammar Gadhafi’s Missiles Really Missing?
There seems to be more than a little confusion about whether many of the 20,000 supposedly-missing man-portable SAMs really existed in the first place. Let’s hope not.
Lockheed lobbies anew for new Taiwan F-16s
Murdoc thinks we should be selling them the new ones.
Navy’s 2nd Fleet to undergo disestablishment
North Atlantic area will become the responsibility of the United States Fleet Forces Command (USFLTFORCOM), which 2nd Fleet was part of.
‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Repeal Changes Announced
The Defense Department issued guidance saying decisions for use of DOD property should be made on a “sexual-orientation neutral” basis, and that military chaplains do not have to officiate at ceremonies that go against their religious tenets.
Next version of Fire-X tested at Yuma Proving Grounds
Based on a Bell 407, it’s bigger and faster than the MQ-8B Fire Scout.
Bears Hall of Famer Hampton refuses White House invite
One of his reasons is that he’s “not a fan of the guy in the White House.”
Deportation would force 19-year-old and mom to leave ‘everything I know’, including dad and siblings
Don’t know the details of the case, but the girl has been here since she was “a baby.” Seems like there should have been time to get citizenship straightened out.
Showdown in Berlin
At Checkpoint Charlie, US and Soviet tanks faced each other at point-blank range.
World’s largest renewable diesel refiner says cost of fuel is way more than anticipated
It’s almost like petroleum-based fossil fuels have some advantages.
Cartridges of the World
Richard Mann is helping with the newest edition of this classic book and wants your help.
USS Nevada bell back in state’s historic collection
61 years after Sen. Pat McCarran gave the bell to the Kiwanis Club of Las Vegas.
The results either provide a rough proxy for the amount of English-language content indexed over our planet, or offer an early warning into the geographies of the impending zombie apocalypse.
Look, we all wish we had some heavier hitters. From talk of re-activating the battleships once again to making use of the rapid-fire 8″ guns from the USS Des Moines on some sort of bombardment monitor, MO and its readers love us some big naval artillery.
But the fact is that the decision makers have decided differently and we probably won’t be seeing the big stuff unless/until we get some electromagnetic mass driver type systems.
So, in the meantime, it’s nice to see a little effort put into Stretching the 3-inch.
Murdoc didn’t intend to take any time off at all, let alone this lengthy span of near radio silence.
So here’s a tidbit:
The new law will allow the sale of cars from all models and years, and it legalizes ownership of more than one car, although tax rates go up slightly.
This is a great move by Cuba. At this rate they’ll join the 20th century sometime around 2035.
Murdoc’s not heard what the distribution plan is for the new grenade launcher or how far along it is, but it looks like 37th Infantry, part of the Ohio National Guard, has them.
The 37th Infantry also include elements of the Michigan National Guard, including the 126th Cav from the city of Wyoming (Grand Rapids area). That’s Murdoc’s stomping ground.
Murdoc’s got little to add to all that’s being said about the 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
He will say that the homily in this weekend’s Mass, which focuses on the Christian duty to forgive, was a good one. Clearly, this topic on this weekend is one that could easily press a lot of my buttons, and the previous priest in our parish said some things on different occasions that pushed Murdoc into DEFCON 1 mode, but this message was probably about as close to on the money as you’re likely to get in church.
Our priest pointed out that to forgive someone did not necessarily mean to pardon them, and that it certainly did not mean to forget what it was that they had done to need forgiving for. He also pointed out that to act out of anger or to get revenge on an enemy is not what we’re taught, and Murdoc agrees.
We don’t make war upon those who war against us out of hatred or anger or a desire for vengeance. We make war upon those warring against us out of a desire and need to see justice done and a peace return. And if those who declare themselves our enemies refuse to co-exist in the modern civilized world and we believe it’s in our best interest and the interest of our allies and the other peaceable nations of the world to fight, so be it. America and her allies are not lashing out in rage and anger, blindly striking at anything that looks like a target, in an attempt to strike back after 9/11. Critics at home and abroad would have you believe that that is exactly what’s happening (or we’re trying to steal the oil…it’s always so difficult understanding exactly what most critics are saying) but anyone who’s paid much attention to what’s actually happening instead of listening to the blowhard pundits and entertainers knows that the critics are not telling the truth.
Several years ago I wrote a summary of the first chapter of the 9/11 Commission Report entitled Planes. As in plural. The title of that chapter is “We have some planes”, which is something transmitted by the hijacker pilot of American 11. It is believed that he meant to make the announcement on the internal PA system but accidentally keyed the transmit button and was overheard by Boston Air Route Traffic Control Center. The statement is chilling because it indicated that this was not an ordinary hijacking and it wasn’t carried out by a lone group of terrorists but it was, as we learned, part of a large horrific plot orchestrated by skilled enemies who were very serious about their business.
“We have some planes.”
The man who said that is no longer in this world, and Murdoc strongly suspects that he is disappointed about how things turned out for him in the next one. But if he were taking messages, Murdoc’s transmission would be this:
“You have some planes? I’ll admit that’s bad. Even a little scary. But I’ve got a message for you, too. You don’t have ENOUGH planes. Not nearly enough. In fact, I don’t think there are enough planes in the whole world. Not for you to win. So you do things your way and we’ll do things ours; my kids and grandkids will see who was right.”
Today we remember the fallen. We honor those who went into the fires or who fought back on this day ten years ago. We respect those who keep us safe. And we know who will prevail.
God Bless America.
The lead story on Yahoo is usually either stupid celebrity crap or stupid internet video that was funny three days ago crap, but this morning they got one right:
As tragic as the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, was, the sky-blue day still held unexpected miracles, and Richard “Rick” Rescorla was at the center of one of the greatest — the evacuation of financial-services behemoth Morgan Stanley.
Murdoc’s written a bit about Rick Rescorla’s actions that day before: He was a soldier once.
For those unfamiliar with the story, check out what was written at Mudville Gazette years before TV shows turned Rescorla into “the man who predicted 9/11.”
Also interesting to Murdoc, in my post from March, 2004, is the fact that I added a note about what I was referring to when I used the terms “9/11″ and “World Trade Center.” There was at least one guy who kept playing dumb about that, saying that lots of stuff had happened on September 11ths throughout history (he liked to talk about Chile, in particular) and how the World Trade Center had lots of buildings and he was wondering if I could clarify which ones I meant. And this was only two and a half years after the attacks.
Takes all kinds, I guess. Unfortunately.