Stand by for infuriated Marines in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

Oh, dear. The satirical Duffel Blog, which takes delight in tilting at every military windmill and barbecuing every military sacred cow it can find, has just produced another fine spoof.  It’s headlined “Army Study Finds Marines’ Tun Tavern Was Actually A Gay Bar“.  A sample: The original Tun Tavern burned down in 1781 and the space is now shared with Interstate-95 where it passes along Penn’s Landing. The initial goal of the dig was to locate any physical clues that could tie modern Marines with the past. . . . Perhaps the most noteworthy find was a decaying book pulled

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Lessons learned while moving to a new computer

You’ll recall that last month, I asked for input about buying a new computer.  I eventually settled on a HP desktop system from Costco, which was at an almost unbeatable value-for-money point.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve slowly been moving my programs and data onto it and setting it up as my primary workstation.  I’ve learned a lot in the process. First, I’ve used Mozilla Thunderbird as my e-mail client for many years.  I have several different e-mail accounts, depending on their purpose and scope (this blog’s is only one of them).  Thunderbird lets me open

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Thanks for nothing, NSA!

Revelations over the weekend of the extent to which the NSA has penetrated the security and nominal independence of the Internet, computer systems in general, and the privacy of every single user of either, have been breathtaking in their scope – not to mention the arrogance they display.  I’m not going to go into all the details here, because it would be impossible to cover them adequately in the space of a simple blog article.  If you’re interested (and I strongly suggest you should be!) you’ll find more details in these articles: Der Spiegel:  Inside TAO – Part 1: Documents

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‘Your money in pictures’

That’s the Heritage Foundation’s title for its top five financial charts/diagrams of 2013.  They’re very informative, illustrating key facts about our economy and budget in concise, easy-to-understand formats;  and they’re also very authoritative, using official figures and sources rather than guesswork or politically biased conjecture. As one example, here’s their chart headed ‘Obamacare’s Barrage of Tax Hikes’.  Looking to the future, it seems we ain’t seen nothin’ yet . . . Bet you didn’t know health care was going to cost all of us that much, over and above our individual premiums, did you? There are more graphics at the

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The Winter Olympics and the threat of terrorism

I’m sure most readers have learned by now of the suicide bomber who killed 15 people in Volgograd.  The city’s in southern Russia, only a few hundred miles from Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics are to take place in February. I’m afraid this incident may portend an upsurge in Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in and around southern Russia during the Games.  It’s very likely that terrorists regard the Games as an ideal opportunity to gain publicity for their cause, and inflict terror on the Russian government and people, whom they blame for the plight of their fellow religionists in territories

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Remembering another war hero

Those who inspired the World War II generation are leaving us faster and faster now, as they get on in years.  A few weeks ago we lost Wing Commander James ‘Jimmy’ Flint of the Royal Air Force, at the age of 100. Not only did he have an outstanding war record, rising from an NCO pilot to command a bomber squadron, but he holds a unique distinction.  He was awarded two medals for gallantry for the same action.  The Telegraph reports: On the night of July 5/6 1941 Flint and his all-sergeant crew took off in their twin-engined Hampden bomber

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The usefulness of IRST

A reader asked me whether the IRST (infra-red search and track) sensors mounted on many modern fighter aircraft (such as the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Russian Sukhoi Su-27 family, the Swedish Saab Gripen and the US F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-35 Lightning II) was of any real utility compared to radar and other sensors.  Here’s a picture of the IRST sensor (circled in red) on a Eurofighter Typhoon. It certainly is useful.  As Wikipedia reports: These aircraft carry the IRST systems for use in lieu of their radars when the situation warrants it, such as when shadowing other aircraft or under

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The problem with many bug-out locations . . .

. . . is that they’re hard to abandon in a hurry if the modern equivalents of the Huns, Goths and Vandals come over the hill, screaming war cries and brandishing weapons.  This converted Atlas missile silo is a perfect example. Florida developer Larry Hall is creating a 15-floor complex with facilities and supplies to support between 36 and 70 people for more than five years while off the grid. Residential condos are available in full-floor and half-floor layouts, with a full floor housing six to 10 people and the half-floor housing three to five. Residents have also been promised

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Pajama Boy ‘comes out’

I’m sure many readers are familiar by now with the hilarity generated by the Obama administration’s effort to spread the word about Obamacare with this Twitter advertisement. Both liberals and conservatives immediately had a collective attack of hysterical laughter.  I’ve seldom seen so much lampoonery (if that’s a word) of an ad campaign.  For a few examples, see Newsmax, Truth Revolt and Powerline. The model in the ad has been identified as Ethan Krupp.  Unfortunately for Obamacare, his views are so stereotypically moonbattish that he might be a poster child for all that’s wrong with the present Administration, let alone

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US foreign policy leaves a void in the Middle East

It was Aristotle who first coined the saying that has come down to us as ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’.  He was speaking of the physical world, but the saying has been applied to almost every area of human life.  It certainly applies to politics. The USA has seemingly abandoned old friends and allies in the Middle East, following the shambolic and dysfunctional foreign policy directed by President Obama.  It’s already had profound effects, as we’ve noted in these pages before.  To name but one example, Saudi Arabia apparently feels like it’s been stabbed in the back by the Obama administration

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