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Yemen Charges Five Saudis With Plotting Attacks
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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7 00:00 Lone Ranger [285] 
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Man held for smelly feet
Police in the eastern Dutch city of Nijmegen have booked a man for his smelly feet, the Telegraaf newspaper reported on Thursday.

The 56-year-old turned up at a shelter for the homeless in the city near the German border and took his shoes off before putting his feet up.

The stench was so unbearable that staff asked him to put his shoes on again - a request the man refused to heed.

The police were called but the man refused to leave the centre. He was detained and taken to the local police station where the incident was booked.

Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Refused to toe the line...
Posted by: Hyper || 02/23/2006 18:35 Comments || Top||


Woman takes on polar bear to save 7-year-old
Lydia Angyiou's kids sure won't be giving her much trouble any more now that they've seen her wrestle a 700-pound polar bear.

Angyiou lives in Ivujivik, a village of 300 people on the shore of Hudson Bay in northern Quebec. One Wednesday evening earlier this month, Angyiou was walking near the village community center with her two sons when a group of children playing street hockey nearby started shouting and pointing frantically. Angyiou, 41, turned around and saw a polar bear sizing up her 7-year-old son.

She told the children to run and raced around to get between the bear and her son. Then she started kicking and punching the animal, according to police reports. In a flash, the bear swatted her in the face and she fell on her back. With the bear on top of her, Angyiou began kicking her legs in a bicycle motion. She was swatted once more and rolled over, but the bear moved toward her again.

Siqualuk Ainalik heard the commotion and came rushing over.
Seeing Angyiou wrestling with the bear, he ran to his brother's home, grabbed a rifle and headed back to the street. He fired a few warning shots. The sound diverted the bear's attention from Angyiou just long enough for him to aim and fire again. According to police, Ainalik fired four shots into the bear before it finally died.

With the help of some neighbors, Angyiou made it to the home of Nelson Conn, a constable with the Kativik Regional Police Force.

"She came in in a panic," Conn recalled. "She was obviously in shock. She was saying 'Bear. Bear.' I just took her over to our nursing station and I asked where and if the bear was dead. She said, 'Yes.' "

Remarkably, Angyiou suffered only a couple of scratches and a black eye. She and the local police have been fielding calls from across Canada ever since the incident first was reported last week in the Nunatsiaq News.

Meanwhile villagers still are marveling at her courage and there is talk of nominating her for a bravery medal. "I've been here 24 years and I've never seen this before," said Larry Hubert, a regional captain with the police force who arrived on the scene just after the bear was shot. "For sure, she saved the kids' lives."

Hubert has known Angyiou for 15 years and he can't believe she took on a bear. He said the bear measured eight feet in length and weighed at least 700 pounds.

Angyiou "is about five-foot nothing and 90 pounds on a wet day," Hubert said with a laugh. "She's pretty quiet. I'm surprised she went and did this. But I guess when your back is up against the wall, I guess we come up with super-human strength."

Ivujivik is Quebec's northernmost community, situated on a peninsula where the Hudson Bay meets the Hudson Strait. While polar bears roam the giant ice packs that float just off shore, Hubert said it's rare for them to wander into the village.
Posted by: DanNY || 02/23/2006 15:21 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Dude, hands down, my mom is tougher than yours.
Posted by: Jimmy Angyiou || 02/23/2006 18:05 Comments || Top||

#2  sounds like a nominee for Defense Minister
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 18:21 Comments || Top||

#3  I hope she gets the rug. She earned it.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 18:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Polar bears are nothing to mess with. One of they boys that went to high school in the town I lived in got attacked and half eaten by a polar bear at Point Lay in northwest Alaska. He and his girlfriend were walking home and the bear attacked. He told his girlfriend to skidaddle and she did while he fought off the bear. Villagers heard the commotion and came out and shot the bear. A fish and game necropsy found that the bear was starving. There was no fat on the animal except a little on the heart.

I have flown over a bunch near Cape Churchill on Hudson Bay, glad the engine was running fine...heh. They are impressive animals. Grizzly man Timothy Treadwell wouldn't get close to these party animals! Even had one wandering around the airport that day in Churchill.
Posted by: Al-Aska Paul || 02/23/2006 18:46 Comments || Top||

#5  I have too many polar bear pics to choose from.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:36 Comments || Top||

#6  How about a 44 magnum or 454 Casull. Just for a walking about gun.

Remember to a large Bear you are just food if they are hungry enough and just in their way if they are not.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/23/2006 19:49 Comments || Top||

#7  Well, it sounds like this lady's got what it takes - to be a cartoonist in the 21st Century world. Or - maybe newspaper editor.

More power to her.
Posted by: Lone Ranger || 02/23/2006 21:44 Comments || Top||


Can you “catch” obesity?
So, it's not my fault I'm fat, after all... besides, I'm not fat, I'm big-boned, dammit! Yeah, big-boned, that's the ticket...
Courtesy American Physiological Society
and World Science staff

There is a lot of good advice to help us avoid becoming fat, such as eat less and exercise. But if some researchers are right, you may soon be hearing a surprising new piece of advice: wash your hands.

There is growing evidence that some viruses may cause obesity, thus making obesity contagious, said Leah Whigham of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, lead researcher in a new study on the subject.

The idea isn’t new, but it has been controversial among scientists, Whigham said. “It makes people feel more comfortable to think that obesity stems from lack of control,” she remarked. “It’s a big mental leap to think you can catch obesity.”

Her study found that a human-infecting virus called AD-37 causes obesity in chickens. Previous studies had linked two three related viruses with obesity in animals or humans, the researchers added.

The study appears in the January issue of the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

AD-37 and its kin are adenoviruses, members of a family of viruses that commonly cause upper respiratory tract infections including the common cold.

Whigham said more research is needed to find out if Ad-37 causes obesity in humans. One study was inconclusive, she said, because only a handful of people showed evidence of infection with Ad-37, not enough to draw any conclusions.

Researchers should now identify which, if any, viruses cause human obesity, she added. Further steps could be to devise a screening test to identify people who are infected, and to develop a vaccine.

“If Ad-36 is responsible for a significant portion of human obesity, the logical therapeutic intervention would be to develop a vaccine to prevent future infections,” wrote Frank Greenway of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in an editorial in the same issue of the journal. “One would want to ensure that all the [subtypes] of human adenoviruses responsible for human obesity were covered in the vaccine.”

Whigham said there has long been evidence that factors other than poor diet or lack of exercise may be at work in an obesity epidemic that has affected many nations.

“The prevalence of obesity has doubled in adults in the United States in the last 30 years and has tripled in children,” the study noted. “With the exception of infectious diseases, no other chronic disease in history has spread so rapidly,” and the causes have not been clearly identified, she added.

Other diseases once thought to be the product of environmental factors are now known to stem from pathogens, she added. For example, ulcers were once thought to be the result of stress, but researchers eventually implicated H. pylori bacteria as a cause.

“The nearly simultaneous increase in the prevalence of obesity in most countries of the world is difficult to explain by changes in food intake and exercise alone, and suggest that adenoviruses could have contributed,” the researchers wrote in the study. “The role of adenoviruses in the worldwide epidemic of obesity is a critical question that demands additional research.”

The theory that viruses could play a part in obesity began a few decades ago, the researchers said. That was when Nikhil Dhurandhar, now at Louisiana State University, noticed that chickens in India infected with the avian adenovirus SMAM-1 had significantly more fat than non-infected chickens.

Since then, Ad-36 has been found to be more prevalent in obese humans, Whigham and colleagues noted.

In the new study, the team worked to determine which adenoviruses might be associated with obesity in chickens. The animals were separated into four groups, each of which was exposed to one of three adenoviruses, or no virus.

Chickens inoculated with Ad-37 had significantly more fat compared with the other three groups, which included those infected with Ad-2 or Ad-31, the researchers found.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/23/2006 14:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Then I must be friggin' typhoid Mary. Sigh.
Posted by: Jonathan || 02/23/2006 14:40 Comments || Top||

#2  I believe the current PC term is "overly nourished". At least that's one I've heard...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 14:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Whigham said more research is needed...

I knew it would be in there!
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 14:44 Comments || Top||

#4  Damn--I wish they'd keep AD-37 out of my Big Macs!
Posted by: Dar || 02/23/2006 15:14 Comments || Top||

#5  Americans are obese for two reasons (a) Because we overeat and underexercise (b) Because the government statistics on obesity are so insane they include many pro atheletes (basketball and football at least) as obese.
Posted by: Thomoting Clolush6746 || 02/23/2006 16:27 Comments || Top||

#6  some viruses may cause obesity
And they live in the refrigerator.
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/23/2006 16:42 Comments || Top||

#7  good thing there's no calories in my Jack Daniels on the rocks doubles...."another over here, bartender!"....if there was, I'd be able to see 'em
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:12 Comments || Top||

#8  There is a lot of good advice to help us avoid becoming fat, such as eat less and exercise. But if some researchers are right, you may soon be hearing a surprising new piece of advice: wash your hands.

Curse you, Col. Sanders, for being so finger-lickin' good!
Posted by: BH || 02/23/2006 17:26 Comments || Top||

#9  I understand stupidity shows viral clusters too.
Posted by: 6 || 02/23/2006 17:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Just sent this to my doc.
Can't wait to here what he says.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/23/2006 19:32 Comments || Top||

#11  Eat less. Exercise more.
Posted by: Hupomoger Clans9827 || 02/23/2006 20:32 Comments || Top||

#12  I am fat, I hate that obeise word and I tell you it is not from some damn virus. I like food and I an lazy to boot :)
Posted by: djohn66 || 02/23/2006 20:35 Comments || Top||

#13  Her study found that a human-infecting virus called AD-37 causes obesity in chickens. Previous studies had linked two three related viruses with obesity in animals or humans, the researchers added.

Ah. This would be the rumor that arrived at the Weight Watchers meeting as "eating chicken can make you get fat".

(No, I'm not joking.)
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/23/2006 21:33 Comments || Top||


Rats understand cause and effect(tm), researchers find
Rats may understand cause and effect, contrary to widespread belief among scientists, a study has found.

It’s well known that animals can quickly learn that events are connected in some way. They can learn, for instance, that one event usually follows another. But creatures aren’t generally thought to reason that the second event could happen because of the first.

But that assumption may be wrong, according to the researchers who conducted the study.

The scientists, Aaron Blaisdell of the University of California-Los Angeles and colleagues, repeatedly showed rats a light followed by a tone.

Then, if the tone was played alone, the rodents started to behave as though the light must also have gone on. But when rats produced the tone themselves—by pressing a lever—they didn’t act as though the light must have flashed, the researchers reported.

The rats’ reasoning was like our ability to understand that it hasn’t just rained when we see a wet lawn we just watered with a hose, according to the scientists.

They said they could ascertain the rats’ reasoning processes to some extent because when the light flashed, the rats were also given some food along with the sound. The rats learned to start looking for food after the light was flashed. But they didn’t do this as much when they themselves had set off the tone.

“A number of researchers have recently concluded that causal reasoning is a faculty that divides humans from animals,” the researchers wrote in the Feb. 17 issue of the research journal Science, where they reported their findings. “The present results cast doubt on that conclusion.”

The rats might not understand the detailed physical mechanisms underlying cause and effect, Blaisdell and colleagues added. Nonetheless, they argued, the rodents show a key component of causal reasoning: they “grasp the relationship between seeing and doing,” and how these influence events differently.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/23/2006 14:16 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [283 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No more calling liberals "you, rats".
Posted by: gromgoru || 02/23/2006 16:39 Comments || Top||

#2  maybe they can explain it to the Paleos?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:16 Comments || Top||

#3  As the higher-order species, don't be surprised if they decline...
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 19:40 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Kuwaiti PM sends condolences on death of Saudi princeling
His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammed Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah sent Thursday a cable of condolences to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and the Deputy Prime Minister, Defense and Aviation Minister and Inspector General Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud on the demise of Prince Fahad bin Abdullah bin Saud bin Nasser Al-Farhan Al-Saud.
Posted by: Seafarious || 02/23/2006 09:12 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [292 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Or, as we called him, "Vinny"...
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 9:57 Comments || Top||


Britain
UK: Armed Gang Nets Millions in Heist
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 04:30 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [288 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Kenny Noy.
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/23/2006 5:29 Comments || Top||

#2  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/713279.stm
Posted by: Howard UK || 02/23/2006 5:33 Comments || Top||

#3  heard on the radio on my way home that woman and man got caught. Supsect ties to organized crime.
Posted by: 2b || 02/23/2006 16:23 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Preval Says Aristide Can Return to Haiti
Another decade down the drain.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Haiti's president-elect said Wednesday that the nation's constitution permits the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, but Rene Preval declined to say whether he would welcome home his exiled former mentor.

Preval, a 63-year-old agronomist, said Aristide could not be barred from returning to the volatile Caribbean nation two years after he was toppled in a bloody revolt. ``My position is simple on President Aristide and any other citizen who wants to come to Haiti,'' Preval said in his first news conference since he was declared the winner of the Feb. 7 election. ``Article 41 of the Haitian Constitution says that no Haitian needs a visa to enter or leave the country.''

The United States said Wednesday that Arisitide's return would serve no useful purpose, with State Department spokesman Adam Ereli saying: ``Aristide is from the past. We're looking to the future.''

Aristide said Wednesday he wants to return from exile in South Africa, but that the timing of his arrival in Haiti would be up to ``my president'' and other leaders. ``The date of my return will emerge from consultations'' among Preval, the United Nations, the Caribbean Community and his host, the South African government, the ousted leader said in an interview with international news agencies.

Asked if he had spoken to Preval, Aristide said, ``It's a private issue.''

It remains unclear if Aristide could return without consequences. Officials with Haiti's interim government have said Aristide and every other person in Haiti could be charged with corruption and other crimes, though no indictments have been issued against him.

Preval said his government would have two main priorities during his five-year term: rebuilding Haiti's gutted and corruption-prone civil institutions, and improving security to attract private investment and jobs. ``I talked to a lot of people during my campaign, and almost everyone told me they don't have work,'' Preval said. ``It is the private sector that must invest, but it is the state that has to create a stable environment.''

The president-elect stopped short of saying whether he would offer amnesty to heavily armed gangs - some with alleged ties to Aristide - that have been blamed for a wave of kidnappings that helped delay the elections.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [405 views] Top|| File under:

#1 
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 0:34 Comments || Top||

#2  The question is, why would anybody but a masocist (or sadist) want to go to Haiti in the first friggin place
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/23/2006 23:15 Comments || Top||


Caucasus/Russia/Central Asia
Chinese progress towards an aircraft carrier
The IHT carries a 'they want one' story. But they miss this detail: the ex-soviet carrier that was purchased by a Chinese company for allegedly civilian uses is up for sale due to a bankruptcy.

Be interesting to see who gets it next.
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 11:41 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Good luck with that carrier. It was a piece of shit then, it is even a bigger and more expensive piece of shit now.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 11:58 Comments || Top||

#2  Aircraft carrier? Wanna buy one?
Posted by: Jacques Chirac || 02/23/2006 12:07 Comments || Top||

#3  Just 'cause they may eventually own a carrier doesn't mean they'll be able to operate one.
Posted by: Dar || 02/23/2006 12:33 Comments || Top||

#4  They probably reverse-engineered the Varyag years ago . . . not that that'll get them very far.
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 13:57 Comments || Top||

#5  They got _two_ carriers, the Minsk and the Varyag. This article concerns the Minsk, which was being used as a theme park.

I don't know much about the Varyag or what they're supposedly doing with it now.

One thing that seems to have escaped most people is that China may have other things on their mind than just Taiwan... and the Varyag, or something reverse-engineered from it, could be useful as a "lily pad" in much the same way a US carrier was used post-911.
Posted by: Phil || 02/23/2006 14:12 Comments || Top||

#6  Big targets make bigger booms. These days, a carrier without an Aegis phased array radar screen is nothing but a sitting duck. A Russian built air craft carrier epitomizes the term, "white elephant."
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:56 Comments || Top||

#7  Mike, you're right. Interestingly, they are doing the same thing with the US tech firms (Cisco, Dell, Yahoo, Google), they reserve engineer these companies' products and give them a kick out the door.

We are so gullible.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 16:49 Comments || Top||

#8  Doesn't China have an alleged aegis-equivalent destroyer class?
Posted by: Phil || 02/23/2006 17:18 Comments || Top||

#9  Here's an article, with pictures, of a recent Chinese anti-aircraft destroyer.
Posted by: Phil || 02/23/2006 17:23 Comments || Top||

#10  Doesn't China have an alleged aegis-equivalent destroyer class?

More importantly, does China's shipboard radar have anything remotely equivalent to the Aegis phased array system's tracking and fire control capabilities? I would be very surprised if they did. The processing power behind the Friend or Foe ID and targeting computations made by Aegis is simply phenomenal.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 18:08 Comments || Top||

#11  This quote from your article, Phil, is what makes me wonder:

The Soviets seem to have had considerable trouble in exercises with their Gorshkov phased array radar, as mechanical scanning Top Sail/Top Pair radars replaced it on the next Soviet carrier, the Tblisi. Sea operations attempting to successfully target incoming threats using external ship or aircraft platforms also seem to have failed.

The Chinese aren't much better than the Rusians at systems integration, which is what complex targeting and fire control equipment is all about.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 18:20 Comments || Top||

#12  Only the US ever figured out how to stabilize those beheamoths. A lot of Russians died trying to figure it out, and they never could, which is why their biggest carriers were only 2/3rds Nimitz class in size. Anything bigger and they wouldn't make it out of the port.

It takes many years to learn how to operate and maintain a surface and a submarine fleet, and it is a slow and deadly process. I'm pleased to see that the Chinese are using every shortcut available. This means that in short order we should see more and more Chinese naval disasters involving the phrase "...with all hands."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/23/2006 19:46 Comments || Top||

#13  I could be wrong but I believe Richard Fisher wrote an article describing how the PLAN will generally dev two types of carriers - one for anti-USN CV/Sub conventional/standard tacair opers, and one for dedicated support of amphibious opers.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 21:29 Comments || Top||

#14  I hope there wasn't one chinese worker within 10 miles of any of the US's carrier building plants; I'm still wondering why they even let Wen Ho Lee anywhere near Los Alamos! Can the US build anything without having a foreign national involved?

Rummy got a taste of this when the Chicoms told him; "Up Yours" when he wanted to visit some of their sites, deemed "Too Chinese" for him to see!
Posted by: smn || 02/23/2006 22:10 Comments || Top||


China-Japan-Koreas
Japanese Red Army Founder Gets 20 Years
Never forget. lotp points us to another article from the BBC.
TOKYO (AP) - A Tokyo court convicted and sentenced a founder of the Japanese Red Army terrorist group on Thursday to 20 years in prison for kidnapping and attempted murder in a 1974 attack on the French Embassy in the Hague, court officials said.

The Tokyo District Court found Fusako Shigenobu, 60, guilty of kidnapping and confinement, as well as attempted murder in the 1974 case, court spokesman Tomoyuki Kushida said. Shigenobu was also convicted of passport law violations. Shigenobu was arrested in western Japan in November 2000 after more than 25 years on the run, most of it in the Middle East. She had pleaded innocent to the serious charges against her.

The Japanese Red Army, a violent ultra-leftist group sympathetic to Palestinian causes, was formed by Shigenobu in 1971. Its stated goal was to overthrow the Japanese government and monarchy and help foment world revolution. It took responsibility for several international attacks in the 1970s, including the takeover of the U.S. Consulate in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1975. It staged an attack on the French embassy in The Hague in 1974, in which the French ambassador and 10 other staff were taken hostage in a bid to free militants in France. The group is also suspected in the 1972 machine-gun and grenade assault on the international airport outside Tel Aviv, Israel, that killed 24 people. Shigenobu's husband died in the cross-fire.
Good. He's had 30 years plus with Himmler.
Shigenobu has expressed regret for the deaths but defended the attack, which was carried out in co-operation with the militant Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Following her arrest in Japan, Shigenobu declared her group disbanded in 2001. Another key member is serving his life sentence in the case, with a third still trial at the Tokyo District Court. The fourth, Junzo Okudaira, remains at large.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [297 views] Top|| File under:

#1  A real class act. link
Posted by: Rory B. Bellows || 02/23/2006 0:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Read, SHIGENOBU > any and all Commies-Lefties are Fascists now, or at least RINOS-CINOS, like in Amerikkka USSA. THE USSR "IMPLODES", JAPANESE
"FASCISTS"/"NATIONALISTS" START CAUSING ANARCHY AND MAYHEM thru out the Land of Nippon/Yakitori.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 2:09 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Student Shouts "Remember Chappaquiddick" to Teddy
BROCKTON — A student who shouted "Remember Chappaquiddick!" during an appearance by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy at Massasoit Community College was questioned by campus police but will not be disciplined as he had feared.

"There is no disciplinary action planned against the student," Dick Cronin, Massasoit spokesman, said this morning. "The student was spoken to by campus police. That's the end of the matter."

Paul Trost, 20, of Foxboro said he was upset by the glowing introduction of Kennedy by U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., during their appearance at the school's Brockton campus on Tuesday.

He yelled the reference to Chappaquiddick at the beginning of Kennedy's speech, which focused on cuts in federal aid to college students and other Bush administration policies. Kennedy is running for his eighth full term in office.

"My goal was to make people aware of what he did," Trost said, referring to the 1969 accident on Martha's Vineyard that claimed the life of a passenger in a car Kennedy was driving.

Kennedy did not respond to Trost's shout, but Trost said that many in the crowd gasped and then he walked out of the student center where they had gathered.

Trost said a campus police officer spoke to him outside and he saw some state police troopers, who typically accompany Kennedy for security, go outside.

Trost, who is studying liberal arts, said he was told by campus police that he could face expulsion. "Campus police said it's an arrest-able offense for disturbing a public assembly," Trost said.

Trost said today he was relieved there will be no disciplinary action. He added, "I have a right to voice my opinion and I should be allowed to say what I want without fear of reprisal."

Trost said a teacher who overheard him talking to another student about the incident called him "ignorant."

In 1969, Kennedy left a party and was driving a car that went off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard. His passenger, Capitol Hill secretary Mary Jo Kopechne, died after the car landed in the water. At the time, Kennedy said he tried to rescue Kopechne but was unsuccessful and swam to shore. The accident was not reported until eight hours later. Kennedy said he was exhausted and in shock.

Kennedy entered a plea of guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He received a sentence of two months in jail, which was suspended. A grand jury later reopened the investigation but did not return an indictment.

"He told me he was tired of listening to hypocrisy," Edward Trost, Paul's father, said today about the heckling at Massasoit.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  One prize item in my collection of ephemera is a copy of the 1970s period National Lampoon which carried a mock VW ad showing the notoriously airtight Beetle floating in a pond with the caption:

If Ted Kennedy had been driving a Volkswagen he might be president today.

Of course, the issue was yanked from the stands after Teddy raised a ruckus, but not before I scurried out and snagged a copy.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 17:40 Comments || Top||

#2  Damn nice car he ruined too. Same in detail as my first car. 1967 White Olds Delta 88 hard top.
Silk electric seats.
425 Super Rocket - 13->1 compression ratio.
400hp
A trunk big enough to fit a mini-cooper
No good in the 1/4 mile but not too bad in the 1/2 mile.
Gets real squirrely much above 120 mph.
Drum brakes so high speed on 2 lane roads you don't know is a no-no.
When old made an excellent fishing car for a friend in Ketchikan Alaska...
When I finally died the good death I had been through many cars.

Kennedy kill both Mary Jo and a fine car before their time.
Posted by: 3dc || 02/23/2006 17:43 Comments || Top||

#3  Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 18:29 Comments || Top||

#4  Marry Jo: I am having your baby, Ted?

Senator: We'll talk about this, Marry Jo, as soon as we cross this bridge.
Posted by: ToughLove Not Hate || 02/23/2006 18:58 Comments || Top||

#5  "I'll drive off that bridge when I get to it!"
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 20:14 Comments || Top||

#6  Zenster, wasn't it Volkswagen who complained about the ad?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 02/23/2006 21:08 Comments || Top||

#7  Always wondered if Mary Jo was pregnant the night she died. Too bad there was no autopsy.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/23/2006 23:31 Comments || Top||


Dem Pol pushes bill: Cops may only shoot to wound, not kill
Makes a lotta sense. Especially in NYC...
ALBANY - Sen. David Paterson is pushing a bill that would require cops to shoot to wound, rather than using deadly force - drawing outrage from officers. The bill also would create a new provision for second-degree manslaughter that would be reserved specifically for an officer who "uses more than the minimal amount necessary" to stop a crime suspect.
...and who makes that call?
Paterson, who is on Eliot Spitzer's ticket as lieutenant governor, has reintroduced the bill twice since first sponsoring it in 2001, refusing to let it die. In a memo urging its passage, Paterson wrote: "There is no justification for terminating another's life when a less extreme measure may accomplish the same objective."
Why, thank you, Mr. Sanctimonious! Let's hope someone doesn't have a gun to your head some day and the ESU cops remember this quote. We'll see what you think then...
Current law gives cops a wide berth to use deadly force when a suspect presents a danger to another person's life. Paterson (D-Harlem) wrote that a police officer, under his legislation, "would have to try to shoot a suspect in the arm or the leg."
You know? Like "The Lone Ranger"! He used to do it all the time...
"This bill shows absolutely no understanding of just how difficult it is for a police officer when they get into situations requiring the use of deadly force," John Grebert, director of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, told the Daily News.
That's why he's a politician. But feel free to fire away with an antitank gun if you catch someone breaking into his house...
His sentiment was echoed by Dan DeFedericis, president of the New York State Troopers PBA, who said: "We are definitely opposed to this bill ... and we strongly believe it could endanger the lives of police officers and innocent civilians."
While Spitzer already has the endorsement of the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, that group's Albany lobbyist, John Poklemba, said, "This bill is very ill conceived. I can't imagine any police agencies not being opposed to it."
...and I must call Eliot and ask him why he has a friggin idiot on the ticket.
Paterson told The News last night that his bill would safeguard the public. He explained that he wrote the bill in response to the acquittal of four NYPD officers charged in the 1999 shooting death of the unarmed Amadou Diallo in the Bronx."Many people were surprised the officers weren't guilty of something, criminally negligent homicide or something that involved some negligence," he said. "I thought I was writing the bill that really mirrored what the department rules are."
That shows how "in touch" this guy is...
A Spitzer spokesman declined to comment.
We'll get right back to you on that....
Posted by: Psychic Friends Hotline || 02/23/2006 11:38 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [402 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Subversives, on the side of the criminals, always.

Untile THEY are in power and sneezing becomes a crime against THE PEOPLE and you get reeducation in a mental asylum if you disagree with Mao Tze Clinton.
Posted by: Poitiers-Lepanto || 02/23/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#2  Canada really hates their police force, don't they?
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#3  Sorry, misread.

The dems hate the police, don't they?
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 12:11 Comments || Top||

#4  This would never fly in San Diego. Here the police shoot early and often with the full support of an admiring public. Several years ago a "homeless" man threatened a number of folks (including 7 police officers and a police dog) at a downtown McDonalds with a big stick and was shot 41 times for his trouble. The only public outcry was that in the melee, one of the officers accidently shot the police dog. People were outraged at the cruelty to animals. Lethal force reduces recidivism.
Posted by: RWV || 02/23/2006 12:31 Comments || Top||

#5  Ignorant twit! Cops shoot to stop--not to kill, and not to wound--simply to STOP the perp.
Posted by: Dar || 02/23/2006 12:32 Comments || Top||

#6  This guy has watched too much Lone Ranger. It's hard to hit the wrist in the real world.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 12:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Aim low! He's a voter!
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 12:45 Comments || Top||

#8  Shooting someone in the arm or leg sounds so mean and painful. We should require the cops to simply shoot the weapon out of the alleged perpetrators hand. But only after all attempts to sweet talk the presumably innocent citizen into behaving nicely have failed. [sarcastic snorting noises]
Posted by: SteveS || 02/23/2006 12:56 Comments || Top||

#9  "If they can do it in Hollyweird, then we can do it here, too, goshdarnit! I saw it done on Law & Order, Special Stuff Unit!"

I wonder if this would hold true if Paterson's home was invaded and he managed to get his hands on a gun after one of the invaders had dragged his pre-teen daughter off to another room...
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 13:01 Comments || Top||

#10  "I sure as hell shot to wound. What a pity the perp moved, putting his center of mass where his arm had been."

Guarantee there'd never be a conviction.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/23/2006 14:02 Comments || Top||

#11  Several years ago a "homeless" man threatened a number of folks (including 7 police officers and a police dog) at a downtown McDonalds with a big stick and was shot 41 times for his trouble.

Wow, and not a peep out of Bruce Springsteen.
Posted by: BH || 02/23/2006 14:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Anyone who has ever received instruction in the handling of firearms knows two things:

A) Never point a weapon (loaded or unloaded) at another person unless you are willing to shoot them.

B) If you are pointing a weapon at someone you must be prepared to kill that person, whether you intend only to wound them or not.

Anyone who thinks that officers are able to choose or calibrate the level of harm inflicted by the firing of their weapons is a certifiable wingnut. An officer fires to prevent further loss of human life. At that point, the perp is posing sufficient danger to other people whereby his own life is forfeit.

Morons who are incapable of comprehending the reasoning behind such a decision chain are a danger to all around them.
Posted by: Zenster || 02/23/2006 14:06 Comments || Top||

#13  This guy is a danger to the public. No concept of how force is applied. The police never shoot to kill. The Police in NY should unite to run him out of office. A true TRANZI fool.
Posted by: Sock Puppet O' Doom || 02/23/2006 14:36 Comments || Top||

#14  Outrageous! The cop should first try a nice hug and then lead the perp and bystanders in a rousing round of Kumbaya.
Posted by: DMFD || 02/23/2006 15:16 Comments || Top||

#15  What? Current laws already require that an officer show cause before post incident investigators, that his life was in danger at the time of use of deadly force. Existing deterrents ensure that it is of last resort. In fact, non-lethal weapons are on the market, and many officers are trained in their use.
Posted by: ToughLove Not Hate || 02/23/2006 18:47 Comments || Top||

#16  In fact, non-lethal weapons are on the market, and many officers are trained in their use.

There is no such thing as a "non-lethal weapon". There are less lethal weapons.

After Cincinnati had a riot, the excuse for which was police shootings, the police started to use tasers. Then an overweight guy with a heart condition over-medicated himself with off-prescription hand-crafted pharmaceuticals and made enough of a public spectacle of himself that police were called. While trying to get him under control, a taser was used.

He had a heart attack and died.

Last I heard, the local rabble rousers were agitating against the use of tasers beause they're too dangerous.
Posted by: Robert Crawford || 02/23/2006 21:37 Comments || Top||

#17  Revenge of STAR-GATE, where a simple. no frills, bland Xmas Star on a similar green tree was NOT ENOUGH for Lefties in different parts of Amerikkka to complain about. NOw we have SANDOVAL's REVENGE, i.e. MARIO/GERARDO-GATE, where a San Francisco's demand that POLICE UNITS be the proper medium of response to any new terror attacks/new 9-11's > NEW YAWK wants their NY-specific, perennially cash-short State-Local-City Police responders to only wound any surreal future Osamas, NOT kill them even iff to save the lives of many, i.e. WE DON'T WANT TO INSULT ISLAM OR HURT THE TERRORISTS FEELINGS BY STOPPING THEM FROM KILLING AMERICANS!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 22:46 Comments || Top||

#18  over-medicated himself with off-prescription hand-crafted pharmaceuticals

Gorgeous, Robert!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 23:17 Comments || Top||


Poll: Dhimmidonk Obstructionist Policies Bad Politics
Democrat voters low on enthusiasm
Democrats, after 11 years as the minority party in Congress, still can't get it right with their own voters, a poll shows.

By objecting to virtually every initiative and proposal of the Bush administration and congressional Republican majority, Democrats are undermining their party's chances of regaining the majority this fall, the John Zogby poll of 1,039 likely voters suggests.

While House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other visible Democrats in Washington pick fights with Republicans, the poll shows that 58 percent of rank-and-file Democratic voters say their leaders should "accept their lower position in Congress and work together with Republicans to craft the best legislation possible."

Only 6 percent of Democratic respondents say the No. 1 goal for their party's lawmakers in Congress should be to bury Republican bills.

The poll suggests that many Democratic voters accept their party's minority status. Nearly a quarter of Democrats -- 23 percent -- say Republicans do a better job running Congress.

"Democrats nationwide now seem to be adopting this minority-status mind-set," says Fritz Wenzel, Zogby International spokesman. "Democrats are tired of the warring and bitter partisanship that goes on inside the Washington Beltway."

The Democratic National Committee disputes that interpretation. "The poll reconfirms what Americans have been saying for months: Under Republican leadership, America is headed in the wrong direction," said DNC communications director Karen Finney. "The truth is, a lot of Democrats know that Republicans aren't doing a good job running Congress, and a strong majority have faith in Democratic leadership and ideas."

The Zogby survey also finds that 29 percent of Republican voters deem their party's leadership in Congress a "failure because it has passed legislation that has caused massive increases in federal spending and has not made meaningful progress on issues important to the rank-and-file Republicans."

"Republicans have lost a third of their support in their own ranks," Mr. Wenzel said. "Respondents who identify themselves as 'conservative' or 'very conservative' are leading the way in unhappiness over the growth in government since 2001 and the ballooning federal spending and budget deficits."

Republicans in competitive races who are looking to hold on to their elected offices can take comfort in the poll's finding that 61 percent of Republican voters think the Republican-led Congress "has passed much legislation during the past 11 years that has reflected Republican values."

The Zogby poll indicates that Democratic voters are less enthusiastic about their party's representation of their interests and values in Washington. About 55 percent said congressional Democrats did a good job on that score, and 43 percent said they did not.

The poll's margin error was 5.1 percentage points for the Democratic and Republican subgroups sampled.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 05:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [275 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is a Zogby poll?!? The pollsters who called the last several elections for the Democrats? I wonder how bad it must be in the real world, for them to admit to numbers and interpretations such as these!

/going to make a cup of tea to calm my nerves
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/23/2006 8:25 Comments || Top||

#2  "By objecting to virtually every initiative and proposal of the Bush administration and congressional Republican majority, Democrats are undermining their party's chances of regaining the majority this fall…"

One could argue that this endogenous dynamic obviates the need for any explanations based on their plethora of uncorroborated exogenous justifications.

So rarely do I get to insert that statement into my daily conversation anymore.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/23/2006 12:41 Comments || Top||

#3  LOL!
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 12:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Zogby is pissed over the Port matter, his "polls" usually come out right after he gets ticked off and amazingly support his argument of the day.

A WSJ editorial by Henninger asked the question of why every issue that surfaces rings a "10" on the 0-10 rector scale for outrage by the Donks and the MSM.

Katrina, Libbygate, Cheney's buckshot gate, the terrorist surveillance program, Port gate, etc., etc., etc.

You would think there would be a periodic "6" or even "8"



Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 17:00 Comments || Top||

#5  the Spinal Tap "11" syndrome
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:27 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
India suspects foreign hands in artificially introducing bird flu into India
"Does this tinfoil hat makes me look fat?"... Of course, it might be true, who knows? WND sez the US nile virus epidemic may be a gift from Saddam, via Castro.
Posted by: anonymous5089 || 02/23/2006 14:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [291 views] Top|| File under:


International-UN-NGOs
Bolton Hardwood Diplomacy - Security Council & basketball
(H/T NRO Corner
NEW YORK --It was a night for the U.N. Security Council to forget scandals, global conflicts and divisive debates and watch cheerleaders, tumbling acrobats, a lopsided basketball game -- and even catch a glimpse of Woody Allen.

At the invitation of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, council members headed to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to watch the New York Knicks get trounced 103-83 by the Miami Heat, their 17th loss in the last 19 games.

"It was a fun game despite the outcome, and I think it gave the ambassadors a real view of what happens in everyday America and gets them out of their bubble," said Bolton, who holds the Security Council's monthlong rotating presidency. "I can't think of an event that's both more international ... but more American as well."

To get in the spirit but maintain his neutrality, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern handed out red NBA caps to the ambassadors.

"We think that basketball is the international language," Stern said. "It's a sport that was invented in America, but it travels the world. It's been an Olympic sport since 1936, and we have worked with many of the countries here."

Ambassador Kenzo Oshima of Japan, where the sporting passion is baseball, said he had watched basketball on television but was very excited at seeing "the real thing on the ground."

"I enjoyed it very much," he said. "But the closest the Knicks came was 10 points behind -- bad night for New York."

But Russia's Ambassador Andrey Denisov was thrilled about Miami's victory; he's a fan of the team, and especially its star, Shaquille O'Neal. He said he had long been trying to make time for a basketball game.

Danish envoy Ellen Margrethe Loj, the only woman on the 15-member council, arrived saying, "I don't know a thing about basketball." She got a crash course from former NBA player Mike Bantom -- now the NBA's senior vice president for player development -- who watched part of the game with her.

The experience was no first for China's deputy U.N. Ambassador Zhang Yishan. It was in Madison Square Garden that he saw his first basketball game over 30 years ago -- soon after communist China took over the Security Council seat from Taiwan in 1971.

"We have some minutes of being ordinary people," Zhang said. "Forget about the security, forget about the peace, you just enjoy yourself."

The diplomats later attended a VIP dinner where Woody Allen and his wife Soon-Yi Previn were at one table.

"Am I in any danger?" the film director quipped when asked if he knew he was sharing the room with the Security Council.

Did he want to meet Bolton or any of the other council ambassadors?

"No, I'm not a very social person," Allen said.
Posted by: Sherry || 02/23/2006 10:46 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Taking them to a Knicks game; that'll piss 'em off...
Posted by: Raj || 02/23/2006 12:06 Comments || Top||

#2  Reminds me of a scene out of "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest," where the insane folks were led out of the insane asylum for a day out.

I hope Bolton fed them their meds beforehand.
Posted by: Captain America || 02/23/2006 16:54 Comments || Top||

#3  ...and all agreed that seeing Woody and Soon-Yi together "creeped them out".
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/23/2006 17:14 Comments || Top||

#4  the UN? they were only creeped that she was a girl...
Posted by: Frank G || 02/23/2006 17:53 Comments || Top||


Science & Technology
Strategy Page: The TacAir Empire Strikes Back
Navy cuts funding for UACVs
Posted by: 3dc || 02/23/2006 01:11 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [299 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Read, its 2006 and da thingys are hyping up for possible mil action(s) this year. MadMoud and the Iranian Mullahocracy are all but officially demanding Iran be invaded this year, as early as March 28, 2006 iff PRAVDA, etc. is to be believed. STRATEGYPAGE also has an article describing the Top Ten Signs America will attack IRAN - gotta watch those Pizza and Take Out meters, boyz.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 2:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Get these dinosaur admirals out of the service. Unmanned vehicles are the way of the future.
Posted by: gromky || 02/23/2006 5:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Get these dinosaur admirals out of the service. Unmanned vehicles are the way of the future.

"Get these dinosaur fighter proponents out of teh service. Bombers are the way of the future." And the 8th Air Force suffered losses of 25% per mission without significantly denting German economy. Oh and before the A-bomnb (unforeseen by the proponents of strategic bombing) no air force was able to force ennemy to surrender without the help of those "unneeded" services called land army and Navy.

Before the weapon of the future is ready, admirals and generals have to fight the wars of the presnt. And the presnt is: UCAVs, real UCAVs with a real payload, can't land on carriers, and I suspect, barely on airstripes.
Posted by: JFM || 02/23/2006 5:43 Comments || Top||

#4  Gotta agree with JFM on this. Long range tactical UAV bombers are the future. Although where a bomber ends and a smart missile begins is purely a matter of $¢s.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/23/2006 6:38 Comments || Top||

#5  I might agree with respect to deployment but not with respect to R & D. There were plenty of cavalry officers in 1941. It's always hard to call these changes, but the Navy seems to be playing too conservatively here.
Posted by: Jack Bauer || 02/23/2006 8:00 Comments || Top||

#6  USN may be cutting back UCAV research, but USAF and Army are not - their budgets have greatly increased.
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 8:02 Comments || Top||

#7  Actually JFM, you're quite wrong about one thing:

UCAVs land frequently - and some of them autonomously - every single day. Lots of them. Many with unexpended ordnance. In combat areas.

So "barely" is wrong. Its quite routine anymore. There are place I've been that have those in the pattern along with manned vehicles, just fine.

And the issue of carrier landings is about to become moot - there is very little that these systems cannot correct for and do so much faster than a human. And with higher G-loads and lower weights (dont need all the stuff that keeps the pilot alive) for the same thrust, they are much more capable.

Update your knowledge base.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/23/2006 10:11 Comments || Top||

#8  Someday, UCAVs will completely replace manned aircraft for most applications. We aren't there yet, but it's probably just a few years off.

Spook, I think you're right about carrier landings. A combination ILS and terminal guidance system that could auto-navigate the UCAV right down to the arrester wire is probably not that much of a challenge anymore.
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 10:18 Comments || Top||

#9  OldSpook: the key word was real. I was not talking of improved plane toys barely able to lift a couple HellFires but of something large enough for carrying seveeral tons of ordnance. That means much larger take-off and landing speeds. Still larger if plane is required to have the kind of aerodynamics who allow to break the sound barrier.
Posted by: JFM || 02/23/2006 10:35 Comments || Top||

#10  For the latter, you might see hypersonic missiles deployed first.
Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 10:42 Comments || Top||

#11  There's the problem JFM - you're fighting the wrong war.

We dont need several tons of lift. This isnt WW2, we are not trying to level whole areas with mass tonnage -we dont need to drop thousands of 500lb bombs to take out a refinery anymore. This isnt Korea where we have to drop hundreds of bombs on the Sinju bridge just to mildly damage it. This isn't even Vietnam: Compare Rolling Thunder over Vietnam with iron bombs and B-52's, to the stand-off strikes via cruise missles from far fewer B-52's and the like in the first gulf war.

The max bomb size thats typically called for anymore is 500 pounds, and the Hellfire and new 250lb guided bombs are the preferred weapons. When you can put 250 pounds of modern HE within inches of the target, you simply do not need much more than that.

Anything more specialized (like bunker busters) or bigger than that the B-1 and B2 can delivery it. Remember we are talking tacair and direct support of ground operations, as well as opearational deep strike on targets - targets that dont qualify for expenditure of cruise missles.

So we dont need massive lift capacity for modern tactical air activity. And for this activity, UCAVs are every bit as capable, cheaper to fly and maintain, and lower risk.

And they can be bought in larger numbers - remember the most expensive component in a tactical strike aircraft is the pilot. If you drop that expense, then you can buy many more airframes and be even more effective.

And aside from that, if you've ever seen a pred or ghawk, you'd not be calling them toy planes.

You still might want to consider an upgrade to your knowledge base.
Posted by: OldSpook || 02/23/2006 11:41 Comments || Top||

#12  Certainly the Global Hawk isn't exactly a toy:

Global Hawk, which has a wingspan of 116 feet (35.3 meters) and is 44 feet (13.4 meters) long, can range as far as 12,000 nautical miles, at altitudes up to 65,000 feet (19,812 meters), flying at speeds approaching 340 knots (about 400 mph) for as long as 35 hours. During a typical mission, the aircraft can fly 1,200 miles to an area of interest and remain on station for 24 hours. Its cloud-penetrating, Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator, electro-optical and infrared sensors can image an area the size of Illinois (40,000 nautical square miles) in just 24 hours. Through satellite and ground systems, the imagery can be relayed in near-real-time to battlefield commanders.

When fully-fueled for flight, Global Hawk weighs approximately 25,600 pounds (11,612 kilograms).


The Predator is a smaller plane,

Length: 27 feet (8.22 meters)
Height: 6.9 feet (2.1 meters)
Weight: 1,130 pounds ( 512 kilograms) empty, maximum takeoff weight 2,250 pounds (1,020 kilograms)
Wingspan: 48.7 feet (14.8 meters)
Speed: Cruise speed around 84 mph (70 knots), up to 135 mph
Range: up to 400 nautical miles (454 miles)
Ceiling: up to 25,000 feet (7,620 meters)
Fuel Capacity: 665 pounds (100 gallons)
Payload: 450 pounds (204 kilograms)


but it's not a toy either, especially when you consider the whole operational system of which it is a part:

A fully operational system consists of four aircraft (with sensors), a ground control station, a Predator Primary Satellite Link, and approximately 55 personnel for deployed 24-hour operations.

The basic crew for the Predator is one pilot and two sensor operators. They fly the aircraft from inside the ground control station via a C-Band line-of-sight data link or a Ku-Band satellite data link for beyond line-of-sight flight. The aircraft is equipped with a color nose camera (generally used by the pilot for flight control), a day variable-aperture TV camera, a variable-aperture infrared camera (for low light/night), and a synthetic aperture radar for looking through smoke, clouds or haze. The cameras produce full motion video while the SAR produces still frame radar images.

The MQ-1 Predator carries the Multi-spectral Targeting System with inherent AGM-114 Hellfire missile targeting capability and integrates electro-optical, infrared, laser designator and laser illuminator into a single sensor package. The aircraft can employ two laser-guided Hellfire anti-tank missiles with the MTS ball. ....


That smaller size has some major logistical advantages:

The Predator aircraft can be disassembled and loaded into a "coffin." The ground control system is transportable in a C-130 (or larger) transport aircraft. The Predator can operate on a 5,000 by 75 feet (1,524 meters by 23 meters), hard surface runway with clear line-of-sight. The ground data terminal antenna provides line-of-sight communications for takeoff and landing. The PPSL provides over-the-horizon communications for the aircraft.

An alternate method of employment, Remote Split Operations, employs a smaller version of the GCS called the Launch and Recovery GCS. The LRGCS conducts takeoff and landing operations at the forward deployed location while the CONUS based GCS conducts the mission via extended communications links.



Posted by: lotp || 02/23/2006 12:01 Comments || Top||

#13  The new UCAVs in R&D are almost as big as normal aircraft and carry twice the payload as a manned fighter. They cost less, are faster and can withstand higher Gs and have longer legs and are easier to maintain then normal aircraft as well. These babies will be out around 2010-2012. They can be controled via satellite from anywhere in the world so they can pump out more sorties than manned aircraft as well since a guy doing an 8 hour shift in Space Command can hand off control to a guy in Guam at the end of the day. 24/7 control and flight. Mid-air refueling is also part of their package as well. Programing is better so the UCAV can choose its own course from live feeds from satellite and the human controllers really don't need to do anything except watch to make sure it doesn't fuck up. They use very tight communucation beams and frequency hop so they can't be jammed by normal equipment. (You can jam anything, but you would have to have a huge dish that jams every frequency and people on the other side of the planet would be able to target your ass.)
It is happening and will be here very, very quickly. Within 15 years, these babies will be on call 24/356 and able to lotter over a theater of operation with mid-air robotic refueling and able to hit anytime someone pushes a button.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 12:08 Comments || Top||

#14  To clarify the above post, it is the Air Force and Army making them. The Navy most likely will just buy some, hence the cutting of their budget. Why do the same work twice?
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#15  Because the stresses of a carrier landing are far greater than for a field landing. It's aslways been so unless the AF wants to adopt the Navy palne such as the F-4.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/23/2006 12:39 Comments || Top||

#16  Wonder if they aren't building them carrier-capable, just doing it under the AF budget. Anybody know?
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 14:06 Comments || Top||

#17  Mike,
I do know with the F-35 that the Navy version just has heavier landing gear and an arrester hook. I am thinking they might do the same with the UCAV.
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 14:31 Comments || Top||

#18 

"Within 15 years, these babies will be on call 24/356..."

What about the other nine days in the year?

Posted by: Vinkat Bala Subrumanian || 02/23/2006 15:12 Comments || Top||

#19  Those are the offical holidays. Can't work on them. Union rules you know.

;)
Posted by: mmurray821 || 02/23/2006 15:33 Comments || Top||

#20  Northrop Grumman is working a CV-capable UAV. regarding the comment that it is hard to tell where the UAV quits and the missle begins: real easy: the UAV is "s'posed' to come back" (snark disengaged)
Posted by: USN, ret. || 02/23/2006 15:38 Comments || Top||

#21  This is just a replay of the battleship vs carriers crap the Navy went through in the 1920s and 1930s : a bunch of brasshats made their bones on carriers and will defend them to the death. Of course, the first time we lose a carrier battle group to someone else's UAV swarm, the tide will offically turn. Until then, the Army and AF will continue the research, and the smart aerospace firms will spend some of their own funds to make their UAVs carrier-worthy.
Posted by: Shieldwolf || 02/23/2006 15:43 Comments || Top||

#22  OldSpook, the Navy is working on magnetic induction to launch and land aircraft with far greater control than at present. Paradoxically, this may save large capital ships like aircraft carriers, because the huge amounts of electricity needed can only come from a massive power plant, probably nuclear.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/23/2006 17:32 Comments || Top||

#23  And re post #4, I was agreeing with the quote JFM was disagreeing with, and therefore diagreeing with him.
Posted by: phil_b || 02/23/2006 17:34 Comments || Top||

#24  OldSpook: I kind of wonder if the US could build a high altitude aircraft as large an Antonov An-225, that Soviet behemoth. The reason being that even if it took two refuelings just to get it up to the Stratosphere, the ability to drop something on the order of 1,700 - 250lb JDAM iron bombs would be spectacular.

I gather a B-52 can "only" carry 51 such bombs, and even in a chalk of three, total 153 bombs, they can "only" obliterate a half-square-mile area.

So even if were just carpet bombing, we are talking the annihilation of over 5 square miles.

But a JDAM dropped from the stratosphere could glide hundreds of miles. Targetting 1700 enemy targets simultaneously. dayamn.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 02/23/2006 20:02 Comments || Top||

#25  the Navy is working on magnetic induction to launch and land aircraft

Ummmm, wouldn't that generate a pulse as great or greater than a nuclear EMP? (Square of distance, it's less than 10 feet away)
I know the military has hardened electronics, but this seems self-defeating, fry your onboard electronics each launch?
Also announce to the world (With EMP) your every launch and it's location?
Seems a very bad idea.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/23/2006 21:22 Comments || Top||


2 more moons for Pluto
Pluto, the most distant recognised planet of the Solar System, has two tiny satellites in addition to Charon, the moon which was discovered in 1978. US astronomers used the orbiting Hubble telescope to spot the moonlets, which have been labelled S/2005 P1 and and S/2005 P2 until formal names are approved after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) vets the find. P1 and P2 appear to measure between 48 kilometers and 165 kms across and take 38 and 25 days respectively to orbit Pluto, according to their paper, published on Thursday in Nature, the weekly British science journal. Pluto, discovered in 1930 by the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, is the outermost of the acknowledged planets, although a new contender for that title emerged last year in the form of an object called 2003 UB313.
"Look, honey! All the moons are out tonight!"
"Goddamn! It's cold! What's the thermometer say?"
"340 below zero."
"Let's go inside."
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [384 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The two new moons seem to be in an almost-resonance with Charon; the speculation being reported is that they were all formed from the debris of the same hypothetical collision that may have formed Charon.
Posted by: Phil || 02/23/2006 0:04 Comments || Top||

#2  Methinks it means no PLANET X approaching until 2009 or after!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 2:12 Comments || Top||

#3  With strong emphasis on "speculation" and "Hypothetical".
Posted by: twobyfour || 02/23/2006 2:12 Comments || Top||

#4  Heh, replied to the first comment, but it applies to the one Joseph slipped in just before mine, as well!
Posted by: twobyfour || 02/23/2006 2:19 Comments || Top||

#5  an object called 2003 UB313

Bah. I'd rather see something like "Uphong Hulpanger3752." Why not lend them your name generator?
Posted by: Jackal || 02/23/2006 8:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Pluto is such a Mickey Mouse planet, no one would ever go there.
Posted by: Marvin the Martian || 02/23/2006 9:40 Comments || Top||

#7  I propose "Huey" and "Dewey"
Posted by: mojo || 02/23/2006 10:41 Comments || Top||

#8  "Goofy" and "Minnie"
Posted by: Mike || 02/23/2006 11:39 Comments || Top||

#9  Hillary and Nancy (Pelosi)? Two coldest "moons" that we'd know of in our SS.
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 12:10 Comments || Top||

#10  BTW, in all reality, wouldn't Pluto's "days" be different from earth? In that, I mean, scientifically, their year (time to loop the sun) would be different, so wouldn't its "day" be different (time for the moon to circulate the planet)? Or, because there's now 3 moons, Pluto doesn't have a standard day?
Posted by: BA || 02/23/2006 12:12 Comments || Top||

#11  PLUTO

O where O where has my little rock gone?
O where O where can it be?
Far away in space,
In a very cold place!
A planet no longer you see...
Posted by: Ogeretla 2006 || 02/23/2006 12:25 Comments || Top||

#12  Ba, a planet's "day" is determined by its rotational speed, not by how often the moons circumnavigate the planet.
Posted by: Marvin the Martian || 02/23/2006 15:26 Comments || Top||

#13  Two more moons. Good! One for the heathens to be resettled from Gaza, and the other for the heathens exiting Judea and Samaria...
Posted by: borgboy || 02/23/2006 20:21 Comments || Top||

#14  I remember the Larry Niven story that suggested that any planets discovered past Pluto's orbit be named Caïna, Antenora, Ptolomea, and Judecca, after the rings of the Ninth Circle of Dante's Hell. Somehow, the names astronomers use for the recently discovered Trans-Plutonian bodies seem a lot less interesting.

Really, does anyone like “Sedna” or “Quaoar”? Or, darn it, “Xena”, “Gabrielle”, or knock-off “Buffy”?

And, Ogeretla, are you in the "Pluto isn't a planet" camp?
Posted by: Eric Jablow || 02/23/2006 21:21 Comments || Top||

#15  I say we give them nice Muslim names.
Posted by: IAU member since 1951 || 02/23/2006 22:59 Comments || Top||

#16  I remember the Larry Niven story that suggested that any planets discovered past Pluto's orbit be named Caïna, Antenora, Ptolomea, and Judecca, after the rings of the Ninth Circle of Dante's Hell. Somehow, the names astronomers use for the recently discovered Trans-Plutonian bodies seem a lot less interesting.

One has to hand it to Niven as he was willing to re-write Dante with the good doctor

http://www.marypat.org/stuff/mywords/dante.html
Posted by: Cheaderhead || 02/23/2006 23:41 Comments || Top||


Southeast Asia
Rain Dampens Hopes of Finding More Survivors in Philippine Landslide
Another downpour forced an international rescue effort to suspend the search for the mud-covered elementary school here last night, further eroding hopes of finding any life under 35 meters of wet muck. Officials said they were worried that conditions were too dangerous, with a number of holes that have been dug in the unstable mud collapsing. US Marines brought in a two-ton drill, capable of digging 60 meters deep to clear rocks and debris, that they rented out to help in the search, but it went unused when no one could find the poles needed to brace it.
Posted by: Fred || 02/23/2006 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [256 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Culture Wars
Protests over immigration bill
Hempstead rally decries House-passed bill co-sponsored by Rep. Peter King as an “un-American” law
Joining protests that have spread around the country, nearly 100 immigrants, advocates, union leaders and politicians gathered outside Hempstead Town Hall yesterday to denounce what they called the harshest piece of anti-immigrant legislation in decades.

They said the proposed legislation, co-sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), would turn undocumented immigrants into felons, send church workers and others who assist them to jail, and erect a 698-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"We're here on George Washington's birthday to demonstrate our moral outrage against this un-American bill," said Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance, an immigrant advocacy group. "Our founding father would be turning over in his grave if he knew what was happening."

Supporters call the 257-page bill a reasonable step to attack an out-of-control problem that has led to an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants -- including about 100,000 on Long Island.

The bill, filed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), passed the House in December by a 239-182 vote and is expected to be debated in the Senate in coming weeks. King has said it would allow, for instance, Pentagon technology to be used for border enforcement and permit "deputizing" local police as immigration agents.

He denies it would lead to jail for church workers or others who assist or hire undocumented immigrants, saying similar laws have been on the books for decades and are aimed at people such as smugglers. Still, he has said he is willing to retool that part of the bill.

"It's the strongest, most comprehensive enforcement bill we have seen in a generation or more," said Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based think tank that favors stricter limits on immigration. "It goes about 70 percent of the way to getting us to actually enforcing the law, if it were ever implemented."

But the protesters, who included Hempstead Village Deputy Mayor Henry Conyers, said the bill would do nothing to reduce illegal immigration and that it was merely red meat being thrown to anti-immigrant sectors. They also disputed King's contention it would not open church workers and others to prosecution. Some carried signs saying, "My grandmother is not a criminal" and "We are a country of immigrants."

"This will just push people deeper into the shadows," said Edison Severino of the Manhattan-based Local 78 of the Asbestos, Lead and Hazardous Waste Laborers. He added that "I would be a criminal for having members [of the union] who are undocumented. If you have a maid in your house or someone who takes care of your children who happens to be an undocumented immigrant, you'd be a criminal, too."

Protesters said the root of the problem is that the United States labor market requires 500,000 low-skilled immigrant workers a year but provides only 5,000 visas for them. King has said he is not opposed to reconsidering the visa system but believes border enforcement must come first.

The bill is provoking street protests among immigrants and activists from Boston to Miami to California. In Philadelphia, some restaurant workers stayed home on Valentine's Day. The same day, the foreign ministers of Mexico, Colombia, Panama and El Salvador flew to Washington to meet with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and voice alarm over the bill.
The 70% figure is interesting, though we'd rather see 100% compliance, of course. Paraphrasing FrankG - if they're squealing, then we must be doing it right... or at least close enough for Govt work.
Posted by: .com || 02/23/2006 05:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [281 views] Top|| File under:

#1  He denies it would lead to jail for church workers or others who assist or hire undocumented immigrants, saying similar laws have been on the books for decades and are aimed at people such as smugglers. Still, he has said he is willing to retool that part of the bill.

Well there's a big hole as usual. Anyone assisting in a crime is an accessory to the crime. You can be a driver at a holdup, if the heist goes sour and someone is offed, you as a participant can be charged with murder. By all means, church weenies and slavers employers should be subject to full penalties like any other crime.
Posted by: Angating Thravigum3028 || 02/23/2006 9:14 Comments || Top||

#2  "This will just push people deeper into the shadows"

Maybe if they had entered the country leagally they wouldn't be in the "shadows" in the first place.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/23/2006 14:34 Comments || Top||

#3  leagally = legally

Ugg..spell-check goood.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/23/2006 14:40 Comments || Top||

#4  Only the Scared + Criminal would wilfully egress towards the shadows, and wilfully stay there. The US Constitution, US Codes, CFR, and State Codes apply only to US Citizens, legal Residents, and the American Union of States - these were never originally intended to apply to illegals, let alone to help illegals stay "illegal" andor "unlawful" FOREVER/PERMANENTLY AND VIOLATION OF THE LAWS.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/23/2006 22:36 Comments || Top||



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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2006-02-23
  Yemen Charges Five Saudis With Plotting Attacks
Wed 2006-02-22
  Shi'ite shrine destroyed in Samarra
Tue 2006-02-21
  10 killed in religious clashes in Nigeria
Mon 2006-02-20
  Uttar Pradesh minister issues bounty for beheading cartoonists
Sun 2006-02-19
  Muslims Attack U.S. Embassy in Indonesia
Sat 2006-02-18
  Nigeria hard boyz threaten total war
Fri 2006-02-17
  Pak cleric rushdies cartoonist
Thu 2006-02-16
  Outbreaks along Tumen River between Nork guards and armed N Korean groups
Wed 2006-02-15
  Yemen offers reward for Al Qaeda jailbreakers
Tue 2006-02-14
  Cartoon protesters go berserk in Peshawar
Mon 2006-02-13
  Gore Bashes US In Saudi Arabia
Sun 2006-02-12
  IAEA cameras taken off Iran N-sites
Sat 2006-02-11
  Danish ambassador quits Syria
Fri 2006-02-10
  Nasrallah: Bush and Rice should 'shut up'
Thu 2006-02-09
  Taliban offer 100kg gold for killing cartoonist

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