Archive

Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

This is why the US can’t have nice things #2

US military loses contact with hypersonic aircraft

US military scientists lost contact with an unmanned hypersonic experimental aircraft on its second test flight, officials said.

The Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) successfully separated from its rocket but lost contact shortly into its “glide phase”.

“We know how to boost the aircraft to near space,” Maj Chris Schulz, the programme manager, was quoted as saying on Darpa’s website.

“We know how to insert the aircraft into atmospheric hypersonic flight. We do not yet know how to achieve the desired control during the aerodynamic phase of flight. It’s vexing; I’m confident there is a solution. We have to find it.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14497641

When the left sleeps the right wins

The Tea Party protested in support of cuts. There was no answer from the left in America. The largest protest group in the US, with the exception of Wisconsin is the Tea Party, campaigning for their own redundancy notices.

When the Tories attacked social security in the UK there was no protest, sure the middle class and rich protested against student fees (which actually benefit the poorest) but welfare, nowhere.

Austerity budgets lead to more austerity. The great plan for Europe was to ride the wave of a resurgent US and a growing China. Say goodbye to the idea of a resurgent US.

The only budget that would have actually started to cut into the US National Debt would have been that proposed by the Progressive Caucus. It still makes that passed by the right wing UK look “far left” (UK top rate taxes of 50% and a partial removal of the National Insurance (Social Security cap). It was however completely ignored in media debates. The left was represented by the “middle”, that of President Obama. The right was the Tea Party and the middle was somewhere in between the two. A position far more right wing than anything Bush could have proposed.

We can not and should not blame the President for this. The message from November was clear from those selling that message. Cuts are wanted. That is the message that was sent to the President. That is the message Washington heard. That is the message the IMF and the Credit Agencies are forcing down the throat of European Nations.

We scream only at our own side. There has been no effective answer to the right.

There are real alternatives to austerity. Germany reduced their working week. Everyone took a hit but few became unemployed. They are now booming. They have no need to cut their social programmes and they have absolutely no desire to cut their social programmes to bail out Nations who did not do what they did.

In our great Anglo-American Economy, the richest 1% have had their incomes grow massively while those at the bottom are being forced to pay. The top end market for house prices in London has never been higher. The bottom end has collapsed because ordinary people can not get mortgages. Who paid to bail out the banks to save the wealth of the top? Ordinary every day workers.

An Empire died 20 years ago because they gave a higher priority to military spending than spending on their own people. Another Empire is now coming to an end.

There is one man responsible for the phone hacking scandal in the UK.

July 7, 2011 3 comments

This one man has been able to control the agenda of the political parties of the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. He has been able to create and destroy politicians.

This one man has wiped out the differences between the political parties. His empire has dictated the response of politicians to the created issues of the day for at least the last 30 years.

The closure of the News of the World is not enough.

Now is the time for politicians to say no to this man

Rupert Murdoch is not a fit and proper man to take over BSkyB, not is he a fit and proper man for politicians to fawn over.

The disgrace of his paper hacking the telephone of a murdered child as well as war widows should be enough to end his stranglehold over politicians from both sides of the hemisphere and the pond.

A rare Republican – one prepared to stand up for gay marriage

If only there were more like him.

Republican from Mississippi wants homophobes in the Army to have a “conscience clause”.

May 10, 2011 3 comments
A bigot who recently claimed to celebrate “Military Spouse Appreciation Day” wants his fellow Tea Party Terrorists to pass an amendment to the Defense Authorisation Bill that would require the US Armed Forces to issue new “conscience” protections for service members who hate gays, because standing next to a gay man is worse than getting shot at to most Republicans (when in public).The amendment states:

The sincerely held religious or moral beliefs of a member of the Armed Forces that homosexual or bisexual conduct is immoral and/or an inappropriate expression of human sexuality according to the tenets of the member’s faith community shall be accommodated…. The Secretary of Defense shall issue regulations setting forth guidance to insure that the sincerely held religious or moral beliefs of members of the Armed Forces regarding homosexual or bisexual conduct are protected, accommodated…

Congress would be required to enforce that this conscience clause is enforced.

The political wing of the Tea Party Terrorists, formerly known as the GOP or the KKK claims that extending equal rights to gay and lesbian people by allowing them to serve openly in the armed forces or enter into recognised relationships victimises bigots.

When asked about the Tea Party Terrorist started talking about tax cuts, while holding a kid and touching his balls.

Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?

Clay Hunt I can’t tell this story any better than the AP – besides, I don’t have the heart right now. Rest in peace, brother. See ya on the other side. (The post title is a line I took from a celtic song, The Green Fields of France.)
By KIMBERLY HEFLING, Associated Press Kimberly Hefling, Associated Press Fri Apr 15, 3:47 am ET

WASHINGTON – Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren’t alone. The 28-year-old former Marine corporal earned a Purple Heart after taking a sniper’s bullet in his left wrist. He returned to combat in Afghanistan. Upon his return home, he lobbied for veterans on Capitol Hill, road-biked with wounded veterans and performed humanitarian work in Haiti and Chile. Then, on March 31, Hunt bolted himself in his Houston apartment and shot himself. Friends and family say he was wracked with survivor’s guilt, depression and other emotional struggles after combat. Hunt’s death has shaken many veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those who knew him wonder why someone who seemed to be doing all the right things to deal with combat-related issues is now dead. “We know we have a problem with vets’ suicide, but this was really a slap in the face,” said Matthew Pelak, 32, an Iraq veteran who worked with Hunt in Haiti as part of the nonprofit group Team Rubicon. After news of Hunt’s death spread, workers from the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors met with veterans visiting Washington for the annual lobbying effort by the nonprofit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, or IAVA. A year earlier, Hunt had been with other veterans in dark suits calling on Congress to improve the disability claims process. Snapshots posted on Facebook reflect a mostly grinning Hunt. In one, he has a beard and is surrounded by Haitian kids. A second shows him on the Capitol steps with fellow veterans. There’s a shot of him from the back on a bike using his right arm to help push another bicyclist who is helping to guide an amputee in a specially modified bike. Friends and family say Hunt suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. But with his boundless energy and countless friends, he came across as an example of how to live life after combat. But some knew he was grieving over several close friends in the Marines who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. “He was very despondent about why he was alive and so many people he served with directly were not alive,” said John Wordin, 48, the founder of Ride 2 Recovery, a program that uses bicycling to help veterans heal physically and mentally. In 2007, while in Iraq with the Marine’s 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment, Hunt heard over the radio that his 20-year-old bunkmate had died in a roadside bombing. Hunt later wrote online about sleeping in his bunkmate’s bed. “I just wanted to be closer to him, I guess. But I couldn’t — he was gone.” A month later, Hunt was pinned by enemy fire in his truck as a fellow Marine, shot in the throat by a sniper, lay nearby. Hunt wrote that seeing his friend placed in a helicopter, where he died, is “a scene that plays on repeat in my head nearly every day, and most nights as well.” Three days later, a sniper’s bullet missed Hunt’s head by inches and hit his wrist. He didn’t immediately leave Iraq. His parents say Hunt asked to fly to a military hospital in Germany a day later so he could accompany a fellow Marine who was shot in both legs. Hunt’s mother, Susan Selke, said after Hunt was wounded, she’d hoped her son would get out of the military. Instead, he went to school to be a scout-sniper and went to Afghanistan. He seemed to do well. He was honorably discharged in 2009, married and enrolled at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. He was frustrated by the Veterans Affairs Department’s handling of his disability claim. He also piled up thousands of dollars in credit card debt as he waited for his GI Bill payments. Hunt found an outlet to help improve the system by doing work with IAVA. He helped build bikes for Ride 2 Recovery and participated in long rides.

“He really was looking for someone to tell him what it was he went over to do and why those sacrifices were made.”

Using his military training, he went to Haiti several times and Chile once to help with the countries’ earthquake relief efforts. He proudly told his parents of splinting an infant’s leg, and after meeting a young orphaned boy in Haiti named D’James, tried to persuade his family to adopt him. “If I had one thing to say to my fellow veterans, it would be this: Continue to serve, even though we have taken off our uniforms,” Hunt wrote in an online testimonial for Team Rubicon. “No matter how great or small your service is, it is desired and needed by the world we live in today.” Hunt’s friends say he was an idealist and voiced frustration that he couldn’t make changes overnight. He also questioned why troops were still dying. “He really was looking for someone to tell him what it was he went over to do and why those sacrifices were made,” Wood said. Last year, Hunt’s life took a downward spiral. His marriage ended, he dropped out of school and he began to have suicidal thoughts, his mother said. She said Hunt sought counseling from the VA and moved in temporarily with Wordin in California. Things seemed to improve for Hunt in recent months after he returned to his hometown of Houston to be near family. He got a construction job, leased an apartment, bought a truck and began dating. He called friends to discuss the possibility of re-enlisting. In the days before he died, he hung out with friends, and he had plans the following weekend to do a Ride 2 Recovery bike ride. He even told Garza he couldn’t wait to see him at a Fourth of July reunion with other Marines. Then he was dead. “Clay was always a fighter,” Wordin said. “He was always a guy to stick things out and he basically quit life, and I was mad that he felt he had to do that at that particular time.” Hunt’s friends and family count him a casualty of war — just like his buddies who died in the battlefield.

Civilian Ways” I hold the cold steel of my rifle as I dream of foreign lands And I promise myself I will cherish every moment I can But there’s ghosts that follow me around Everywhere I am When I say goodbye I try to be strong Now I’m going back to the U.S. where I belong

I ain’t never alone The war seems to follow me home No longer an active soldier When I walk down the street I’m shaking hands with everyone that I meet And I watch everyone wondering what they see

Civilian ways are now what’s foreign to me I came off a long tour I left this place in two o three May we never forget the sacrifices My friends made for me

I live in Marysville out on the county line And my Brother and my Mother both visit me all the time And visions of you are always running right through my mind We always talk about what we’re gonna do when the war is won We’re gonna fix up them old cars and ride them into the sun When I heard you’re no longer with us Man I was done

Civilian ways are now what’s foreign to me I came off a long tour I left this place in two o three

May we never forget the sacrifices My friends made for me.

Republican spending priorities – An engine nobody wants

Stuff the poor, let’s have the engine nobody wants.

Where is the so-called Tea Party now?