Monday, November 23, 2009
Please pray for the teenager Rifqa Bary, who feels she is in danger by her parents and the muslim community in Ohio for converting to Christianity. She has asked the government to prevent her father or someone in her former mosque from killing her, a so-called "honor killing". This despicable death threat against a 16-year-old is so vile and evil that no one cannot condemn the muslim community for allowing such hatred and death to occur. When given the opportunity to denounce "honor killings" the muslim community in Ohio where Rifqa is from hasn't spoken a word against this despicable act. No one has stood up to try and protect this poor girl except people in her new church. Please pray that God will protect this poor woman from violence and death, and pray against the muslims of the world: truly a religion of evil. For more details about this story, see HERE.
The Other LCS Aces Sea Trials
November 22, 2009
The second of two American Littoral (coastal) Combat Ship (LCS) designs has successfully completed its trials. The ship, the USS Independence, will be commissioned in January. The U.S. Navy's first 3,000 ton LCS is already in service, and discovering what life is really like for the most radical new ship design in decades. Completed last year at a Lake Michigan shipyard, the USS Freedom is now at its home port, San Diego, and going to sea regularly. The USS Freedom is a more conventional design, looking like any other 3,000 ton warship.
The USS Independence is a little lighter (2,800 tons) than Freedom. The most obvious difference between the two designs is that trimaran design provides a larger, and more stable, flight deck for helicopters, and more interior space. The trimaran design is based on one pioneered since he 1980s by Australian ship builder Austal. This design has been used by several successful fast transports, used with much success in the Pacific since the 1990s. Austal was selected to design the Independence based on the success of their earlier trimaran designs, some of which were used by the U.S. Navy. Next year, the two designs will be put to a lot of tests to see if one is sufficiently superior to the other to justify a single design being used for all 50 LCS ships. There is also the possibility that both ships will prove suitable, in different ways, to get the job done. In this case, each design will get a share of the 50 or so LCS ships built.
In general, there are also several unanswered questions for the LCS, that could only be cleared up by actually taking one to sea. One issue was refueling at sea. Now the U.S. Navy has been doing this for over a century, and has the drill down pretty good. The oiler (fuel ship) and receiving ship move in parallel (30-60 meters apart), at a slow speed (about 25 kilometers an hour) and the oiler shoots over cables that hold a fuel line. The two ships maintain their position and speed by synchronizing the revolutions of their propellers. The LCS has two problems with this drill. First, the LCS doesn't use a propeller (but water jets). No problem, it turns out, as the LCS has a lot more control over speed. After some practice using a computer simulator, the "keeping station" with the oiler problem was solved. Another problem was the flat bottom of the LCS 1 (which makes it capable of entering very shallow littoral waters), makes the vessel roll in rough seas. This proved to be a minor problem. LCS 2, and its trimaran design, has less problems with this. Crews will get lots of practice with at-sea refueling, because the LCS has to do so every 3-4 days when travelling with a task force on the high seas.
Another minor problem is that the LCS is not equipped to take pallets of other supplies from an oiler (which is actually a combined cargo/tanker ship these days). So pallets will have to be delivered by helicopter. The USS Freedom has not yet received its SH-60 helicopter, but having pallets delivered this way is not expected to be a problem.
Another potential problem is the high speed of the LCS, which is the fastest seagoing ship to ever serve with the U.S. fleet. The USS Freedom has gone as fast as 85 kilometers an hour, and it's believed that the power plant can be tweaked to get that a little higher. At such high speeds, it's easier to run into whales. This occasionally happens, especially at night. For larger ships, the result is usually a dead, or badly injured whale, and little damage to the ship. But the smaller LCS, hitting a large whale, while travelling at high speed, could leave the ship damaged (the whale would definitely be dead.) So far, the sailors on the bridge are to keep a sharp lookout for whales when the ship is travelling at high speed.
The LCS has a crew of 40, which is pretty small for a ship this size (which, in the past, would have about four times as many sailors). But the LCS is highly automated. On the Freedom, the captain decided that officers, including himself, would pitch in with maintenance and housekeeping chores. More so than in larger ships, sailors learn to do other jobs on an LCS, and, as a result, work is lot more interesting and less boring. But it can get intense at times, and there are still questions about whether the smaller crew, and all the "smartship" tech can really handle the kind of damage control emergencies that crop up on military ships
Normally, an LCS would have another 35 crew manning its "mission package". The LCS is designed for a variety of interchangeable modules (e.g., air defense, underwater warfare, special operations, surface attack, etc.), which will allow the ships to be quickly reconfigured for various specialized missions. Crews will also be modularized, so that specialized teams can be swapped in to operate specific modules. Thus about 40 percent of the ship is empty, with a large cargo hold into which the mission package gear is inserted (and then removed, along with the package crew, when it is no longer assigned to that ship.) Thus the LCS has two crews when underway, the "ship" crew and the mission package crew. The captain of the ship crew is in charge, and the officer commanding the mission package is simply the officer in charge of the largest equipment system on board. In addition, the core crew of 40 is actually two crews ("blue" and "gold") who take turns running the ship. This makes it possible to keep an LCS at a distant posting for years, by simply flying in a relief crew every six months.
Three years ago, when construction began on LCS 1, it was to displace 2,500 tons, with a full load draft of under ten feet (permitting access to very shallow "green" and even "brown" coastal and riverine waters, where most naval operations have taken place in the past generation. Top speed is expected was to be over 80 kilometers with a range of 6,300 kilometers (at much slower cruising speed). The 378 foot long ship still has the range and top speed it was designed for. Basic endurance is 21 days. Thus the Freedom has to refuel and resupply more frequently than larger ships. When using its max speed a lot, much more fuel is burned, and that 21 day endurance can be reduced to 3-4 days.
Built using "smartship" technologies, which greatly reduce personnel requirements, the basic LCS was expected to require a crew of 40 in basic configuration, but will have billeting for about 75 personnel. The recent sea trials gave the smartship features a workout, which, so far appears to be successful. The successful sea trials were very important, because the LCS project was over budget, behind schedule and, worst of all, an untried new concept.
The two different LCS designs are quite different in appearance. Freedom has a semi-planning monohull, while Independence is a trimaran. LCS 1 (USS Freedom) was laid down by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wisconsin, in June of 2005 and was expected to be commissioned in 2007, after months of sea tests in late 2006. That schedule slipped, with the ship not completed until late 2008, and sea trials not starting until January, 2009.
LCS 2 (USS Independence) was laid down by General Dynamics in late 2005. These, and LCS 3 and LCS 4, were to be built by Lockheed and General Dynamics, respectively. These are also essentially prototypes, and serial procurement was expected to begin this year, after initial design flaws had been worked out. That has slipped a year or two. Ultimately, the Navy hoped to have 55 LCSs by 2014-18, at a cost of $90 million each. Congress has capped the price of LCS ships at $460 million, after years of increases, and threats to cancel the project.
There were a lot of problems with the LCS design. The USS Freedom ended up costing $500 million, more than twice what the first ship in the class was supposed to have cost. Next year, the navy will choose which of the designs will serve as the model for all future LCS class vessels. At that point, the winner will build two more ships of their design, and the loser one. All five of these LCS ships will be used heavily to determine what changes in the basic design are required. Then, mass production will commence, to build another 50 ships. The US Navy has ordered a second LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) from Lockheed Martin.
The LCS is armed with a 57mm gun, four 12.7mm machine-guns, and an eleven cell SeaRam system for air and missile defense. The RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles replace Phalanx autocannon. SeaRAM has a longer range (7.5 kilometers) than the Phalanx (two kilometers).
Friday, November 13, 2009
Accuracy in Media's blogs have already acknowledged Lou Dobbs' resignation from CNN, but the story here requires a little more delving. Reading about the situation, I cannot help but remember someone else's recent resignation-which turned out to have a lot more behind it.
As it turns out, leftist organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and Media Matters have been working hard to get Dobbs off the air for months. On July 24, 2009, SPLC President Richard Cohen wrote to CNN President Jonathan Klein to complain that Dobbs was "questioning" the verity of President Obama's birth certificate and "push[ing] racist conspiracy theories [and] defamatory falsehoods about immigrants." On the other hand, Media Matters' George Soros funded the Drop Dobbs website, which since September 2009 has been featuring charming pages on Dobb's "History of Hate." This Drop Dobbs campaign has been taken up by a number of radical organizations, including the National Council of La Raza, and the Center for New Community.
For those who don't know, La Raza is a far left, racist radical group. As AIM's Cliff Kincaid pointed out:
Tancredo had called the Council a Latino KKK because the commonly accepted definition of the term "La Raza," meaning "the race," has clear connotations of a racial or racist agenda. The Council insists that "La Raza" has been "mistranslated" and only means "the people" or "community." But whatever the definition or translation, the term still refers to putting group rights above individual rights.
The Center for New Community, on the other hand, has a grander goal. The Center is fixated on "transform[ing] the world" by addressing "contemporary social, economic and racial justice issues" and "mak[ing] real the vision we share for a new community, and a nation in which the dimity and value of all humanity is manifest." It remains to be seen how the Center will make the dimity of humanity manifest.
Dobbs quit on the air; you can read the transcript of it all here. It's worth noting that his decision came after "talks" with CNN President Klein-kind of like how Van Jones' resignation came after "talks" with Jonathan K. Carson, the chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Examine Dobbs' words of resignation (emphasis my own):
I truly believe that the major issues of our time include the growth of our middle class, the creation of more jobs, health care, immigration policy, the environment, climate change, and our military involvement, of course, in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But each of those issues is in my opinion informed by our capacity to demonstrate strong resilience of our now weakened capitalist economy and demonstrate the political will to overcome the lack of true representation in Washington, D.C. I believe these to be profoundly critically important issues and I will continue to strive to deal honestly and straightforwardly with those issues in the future.
Unfortunately, these issues are now defined in the public arena by partisanship and ideology rather than by rigorous empirical thought and forthright analysis and discussion. I'll be working diligently to change that as best I can. And, as for the important work of restoring inspiration to our great free society and our market economy, I will strive as well to be a leader in that national conversation.
It would appear as though Dobbs' true reason for leaving is that his "rigorous empirical thought" and "forthright analysis and discussion" of capitalist issues are now viewed as "partisan" and "ideological," and clearly, CNN would never stand for anything partisan or ideological on their channel, ever. That's why they have balanced, objective reporters like Fareed Zakaria and Anderson Cooper.
This is the second time this year CNN has chased away a conservative; early on in 2009, Glenn Beck left the network to pursue his career with Fox News (although the deals were signed in October 2008). And apparently, this hasn't worked out well for them yet. CNN is still failing when it comes to prime-time news, as WTOP.com reports:
CNN's average prime-time audience was third behind Fox and MSNBC during October, and it was even eclipsed by sister network HLN among younger viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. Perhaps more ominous, CNN finished well behind Fox when big news was breaking Election Night [sic] and the Fort Hood massacre. Big stories usually sent viewers flocking to CNN.
On November 11, 2009, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton said that he wanted CNN to deliver "factual" and "timely" news around the world, stating, "We compete against a lot more than Fox and MSNBC."
Well, "compete" is a strong word for Walton to use, considering that at any given time, Fox News has at least twice and often three times as many viewers. Maybe it's wishful thinking-especially since CNN just ditched Dobbs, its last prime-time conservative, and the only one who could reasonably compete for the conservative-leaning audience of Fox.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
America Again Turns a Blind Eye
By John L. Work
November 6, 2009
Yesterday, November 5th, 2009, United States Army Major Nidal Hasan, an American citizen born of Jordanian parents, a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, educated in the universities of this nation – and a Muslim – reportedly yelled the Arabic language jihad war cry Allahu akbar, God is Great, as he opened fire and waged a horrendously bloody act of jihad on unsuspecting soldiers and civilians at Fort Hood, Texas, the largest military installation in the world. We now know that Hasan gave us lots of notice that he might do this, including pro-jihad statements he reportedly made to other military officers and his anti-war internet postings that were known by federal authorities.
So, how could this happen?
Unbelievably, as the event was still unfolding yesterday, the FBI announced to the nation by and through Fox News TV that there was absolutely no terrorist nexus or connection to this incident. How many times have we seen FBI spokesmen sprint to TV microphones before an investigation has even commenced to breathlessly assure us that a murderous incident like this is isolated and is not related in any way to Islam or to Muslim jihad terrorist activity? How much longer are we going to give credence to anything the FBI tells us? Please, stop lying to me.
Today begins the official media scrubbing clean, or in columnist and author Diana West’s word – sanitizing – of Islam and any connection to Muslim doctrine, law, tenet, or accepted mainstream Islamic belief from yesterday’s horrific events. Major Hasan’s Muslim family is stunned. The imam at Hasan’s mosque in Maryland is puzzled. The big news outlets, with the exception of Sean Hannity at Fox News, are blindly, pathetically searching for elusive, mysterious answers to the conundrum. Even some conservative talk radio show hosts I have listened to this morning do not have it right.
I am not stunned or surprised by this act of jihad. The slaughter enrages me.
What is truly stunning to me is the continuing depth, breadth and immensity of the abject ignorance of America’s political leaders, military leaders, and big news outlets about Islam. Words are not adequate to describe my disgust at the fact that, years after the jihad attacks on the cities of New York, Washington, D.C., London and Madrid, virtually no one in the higher levels of our government or our major media seems to have even a clue as to what we are really up against.
America continues to willfully turn a blind eye to that which is right in front of her face, like an elephant standing in the living room that no one will talk about.
The World of Islam is at war with us.
We have listened to Bill Clinton, George Bush, and now Barack Obama, tell us that Islam is a religion of peace and that we are not fighting a war against Islam. It’s time to awaken and see what is truly before us, before it destroys our way of life and our nation.
The skull-cracking truth, America, is that in the World of Islam, politics, government, religion, civil law, criminal law, personal hygiene, clothing style, and all other minute facets of life are rolled and bundled into one totalitarian package. And we’re just unbelievably not getting it yet into our heads that if we do not come to grips with the doctrines and law of Islam that are driving the jihad, including the horror yesterday at Fort Hood, we are going to lose this War.
There is such an emphasis on the spiritual dynamic of Islam that America has foolishly and ignorantly repeatedly leapt to the mantle of the First Amendment to excuse and accommodate the relentless incremental demands for Muslim law to be imposed on our culture. Footbaths at the JBS plant in Greeley, Colorado and a new Muslim prayer room at the University of Colorado come to mind.
The issue before us for the survival of our way of life is not one of religion. So, please, America, please get that First Amendment stuff out of your head for the moment. It’s not relevant to the problem at hand.
Here’s the problem we face: There is an immense package of codified Muslim civil, criminal and political law, which includes the repression of women and non-Muslim men, the command for establishing the supremacy of Islam over all other political and legal systems, and a barbaric, unspeakably cruel system of criminal law and punishment for offenses against Islam. That is the issue facing us. In radio talk show host Peter Boyles’ words this morning, would a Nazi sympathizer have been permitted to join the U.S. Army in 1943?
So, where to now, America? When are we going to begin to examine and publicly debate the laws and doctrines of Islam without the fear of being labeled racist or xenophobe, in order that we may survive this relentless onslaught of jihad?
It’s not a matter of race relations. Islam makes no exclusion based upon race. There are Muslims all over the world of many different races. And we’d better get our heads around that idea pretty quickly, then stop listening to the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Yesterday it was a successful deadly attack on Fort Hood. Countless numbers of attempts to commit terrorist attacks have been foiled. Eight years ago it was New York City and Washington, D.C. According to eminent scholar of Islam and author Robert Spencer there have been over fourteen-thousand violent jihad attacks world-wide since the 2001 World Trade Center destruction and killing of nearly three-thousand Americans.
Wake up, America. We’re still under attack. And the enemy has infiltrated our armed forces.
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
Published on TheHill.com on November 6, 2009
As the suicidal Democratic congressmen proceed to rubber-stamp the Obama healthcare reform despite the drubbing their party took in the '09 elections, the president trotted out the endorsements of the AMA and the AARP to stimulate support. But these -- and the other endorsements -- his package has received are all bought and paid for.
Here are the deals:
* The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians' reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill...or else!
* The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.
* The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs. (A drop in the bucket of their almost $3 trillion projected cost over the next decade.) They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.
* Insurance companies got access to 40 million potential new customers. But when the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don't buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and now oppose the bill, albeit for the worst of motives.
The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn't go along with Obama's blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accouterments of healthcare.
So these endorsements are not freely given, but bought and paid for by an administration that is intent on passing its program at any cost.