Looks like an “interesting” place to land

It’s Tegucigalpa Airport in Honduras.  According to the History Channel, it’s the second most dangerous airport in the world.  Here’s an outside view of a Boeing 757 making the steep final diving turn to land on the (rather short, uphill) runway. And here’s the approach, filmed from the cockpit of a Boeing 737. I’m glad that airport’s not on my normal travel route! Peter

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Doofus Of The Day #887

Today’s award goes to an irresponsible idiot in Wisconsin. Lisa Kroll went to feed her horses this summer and found a grease-spotted bowling ball on the floor of her barn and a hole in the ceiling. Out in her pasture she found her 5-month-old horse dead with a lump on its head. Now, a man from Spring Valley, Wis., faces charges of unsafe use of a homemade cannon and endangering Kroll in the incident. There was not enough evidence to show that the cannon killed the horse. . . . Neighbors admitted they had fired eight to 10 bowling balls

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The real political “establishment” in America is wealth

We hear a great deal these days about the political “establishment”.  Some opine that the “establishment” will try to prevent Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders from becoming Presidential candidates for their respective parties.  Others claim that the popularity of those individuals is precisely the result of a rebellion against the “establishment” . . . but what, precisely, is the “establishment”? It’s not career politicians, that’s for sure.  They’re nothing more than servants of and flunkeys for the real establishment – which is wealth and those who hold it. I’m no socialist;  I absolutely believe that your money is yours, and

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GDP: more lies, damned lies, and statistics

I was angered (yet again) to read a headline claiming that ‘U.S. Has Record 10th Straight Year Without 3% Growth in GDP‘.  Here’s an excerpt from the article. The BEA has calculated GDP for each year going back to 1929 and it has calculated the inflation-adjusted annual change in GDP (in constant 2009 dollars) from 1930 forward. (Click the chart for a larger view) In the 85 years for which BEA has calculated the annual change in real GDP there is only one ten-year stretch—2006 through 2015—when the annual growth in real GDP never hit 3 percent. During the last

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Recompense, but not justice

Readers will remember the tragic case of 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, who was critically injured in 2014 when a SWAT team tossed a flash-bang device into his crib.  I wrote about it at the time, and in a follow-up article six months later. Now comes news that financial recompense will be made, even though the guilty parties have not been (and probably will not be) punished. A federal judge has approved settlements totaling $3.6 million to the parents of a toddler who was severely injured when a flash grenade detonated in his playpen during a raid. The settlements were

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The creative juices are flowing again

After several months’ hiatus due to health issues, followed by the disruption of moving from one state to another, I’m back at work writing for my living.  I’m pleased to report that things are beginning to pick up speed once more.  I’ve just finished the first draft of a 10,000 word short story, which will go off to the editor of an anthology next week.  It still needs polishing, of course, and ‘tweaking’ to fit in with the other contributions, but that will be done as and when required.  Initial feedback from Old NFO and Lawdog has been positive. Maxwell

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Doofus Of The Day #886

Today’s award goes to an overly sentimental bird lover in Florida. According to Suncoast Animal League, an animal shelter in Palm Harbor, Florida, [a] man encountered an injured kestrel earlier this month and decided to take it home. The bird had no apparent signs of trauma besides some light swelling and a bruised eye—typical of hitting a vehicle—and appeared to be relatively tame, so the man decided to keep it as a pet. Possession of wild animals without the proper permits is illegal. Further, despite the fact that kestrels are the most abundant raptors in North America, they are protected

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PTSD: it’s not all it’s cracked up to be

I’m sure most of my readers are familiar with the acronym PTSD.  It stands for ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder‘, and is commonly bandied about concerning combat veterans, those in high-risk, high-stress jobs like law enforcement, emergency medical services and firefighting, and the like. It’s also perhaps one of the most misunderstood and fraudulently applied diagnoses in the USA.  Chris Hernandez has just written an excellent analysis of the situation.  Here’s an excerpt. It’s fair to say most of us combat veterans have suspicions about PTSD claims. We’ve been frustrated by stories of horrible, disabling PTSD from people we know were never

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The changing face of anti-submarine warfare

I recently learned with interest of Elbit Systems’ Seagull unmanned surface vehicle (USV).  It’s designed to hunt both underwater mines and submarines, operating at sea in the same way that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operates in the air. According to initial reports, a Seagull system consists of two vessels and a control station, which can be either ashore or on another ship.  The USV’s are about 40′ long, can cruise at up to 30 knots, and can operate for four days at ranges of up to 62 miles from the control station.  Each can be tailored to carry whatever

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