Friday, February 10, 2006

Why Jimmy Carter Needs To Shut Up

Jimmy Carter's surveillance/wire tapping comment, made while addressing the attendees of the Coretta Scott King memorial service, was surely a left-handed (pun appropriate, but not intended) shot at the Bush administration. Tossing protocol to the wind, Carter's game for taking cheap shots at a sitting president, but he seems to forget his own role in the turmoil we now find ourselves in. You will recall that one of the high profile events of the Carter administration was the Iran Hostage affair. If Carter was one third the president he should have been (or the left claims he was), Iran would have been dealt with summarily and conclusively for taking US diplomats and military personnel hostage (an act of war). If the situation was addressed as it should have been, with the full weight of the US military, something tells me we wouldn't be groping around in a post 9-11 world worrying about dirty bombs, an 'addiction' to Middle East oil or the cartoon-hedeen. If I were Jimmy Carter, I'd keep my big mouth shut about wire taps and hope that history didn't catch up with me until after Alzheimer's did.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The American Indian ... arsonist?

Hmmm.

Ok this is pretty funny. One of the most enduring myths in America is that the Native American Indian lived in beatific harmony with nature. In reality the American Indian used fire to reshape the land and burn forests down to the ground to support the vast herds of wild buffalo.

Jonah Goldberg at NationalReview.com Link

An interesting article covering this subject. Link

Excuse me while I laugh.

Carter's Revenge

Hmmm.

Seems that Jimmy "What hostages?" Carter's son, Jack Carter, is now going to enter into Congressional politics.

I'd add some humorous and sarcastic comments but frankly I don't think I can top that statement.

“to hell with them hawks”

Hmmm.

Rich Lowry of NationalReview.com has an interesting angle on what might become the post-Bush foreign policy.

Link

Essentially what he describes are hawks that no longer believe that Arab or muslim democracy is really something that can be implemented on a wide scale. Either a lack of belief or perhaps a lack of zeal. I think it's clear that Iraq has sapped the will of many pro-Invasion Americans. Not because of the terrorism that still happens in Iraq but because even after all of the sacrifices and the incredible amounts of money spent much of Iraq and the muslim world continues to be a pustulant cesspit.

Frankly it's clear that the next two years will determine the post-Bush foreign policy. If Iraq can be turned around then perhaps there won't be a complete abandonment of a foreign policy based on creating democracies in the muslim world. But my estimate is that most people are just sick and tired of bleeding for muslims.

It's time that either muslims stood up and started acting like adults and dealing with their problems or it's becoming clear that it's time to stop the nation-building and being the nation-destroying.

An interesting military weapons concept

Hmmm.

1. Electromagnetic railguns are the projectile weapons of the future.

Normal chemical propellant based weapons are limited to the maximum expansion rate of the burning propellant. This can be increase by injection of plasma and other artifices, but the upper limit on velocity isn't all that much higher than what we've achieved already.

2. Rockets are very useful, but very very expensive in many ways.

One major expense is the propellant which not only has to accelerate the warhead but also the propellant itself.

3. Railguns can scale upwards pretty effectively.

This upwards scaling can either be in terms of the weight of the projectile or the maximum velocity/energy of the projectile. So the railgun could scale upwards in the diameter of the gun bore or in the overall length of the gun itself.

4. GPS and inertial guidance systems already allow projectiles to achieve incredible accuracy.

5. A large fixed installation based in Montana or Colorado would be easier to build, maintain and use than ad hoc installations all over the world.

6. There is a push in the military to reduce potential casualties by replacing humans with robotics.

...

Frankly I think the next major weapons system is going to be an intercontinental railgun. By building a large-scale railgun with a very long gun tube it would be possible to launch 250lb SDB GPS guided munitions across intercontinental distances.

The advantage of this kind of system is that it's extremely efficient. Rather than expending an enormous amount of energy to move an aircraft, manned or UAV, to a drop point, only the munition itself is sent. With this sort of system a massive rate of fire could be achieved and highly disparate bombing missions could be completed simultaneously. Another interesting factor is a ToT (Time on Target) mission utilising such an intercontinental railgun system. By launching GPS guided munitions on specific trajectories and at specific velocities, it would be possible to time the impacts so that a multitude of such munitions would either impact simultaneously or in specifically timed pattern.

Another important factor is that such a weapons system wouldn't require the permission of potentially hostile nations to the emplacement and use of local airfields. While airfields will continue to be necessary in the future, by implementing one or more intercontinental railguns it would be possible to have both the advantages of bomb laden aircraft and artillery, yet without many of the disadvantages of both.

It's an interesting concept.