Literally years in the making, I’ve put together two versions of a photo essay of several surviving examples of the AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile. Available free for the downloading is Stagger Around #3: AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile, Abridged Edition as a 13 page PDF booklet. This contains photos of the AGM-129s on display at Hill Aerospace Museum in Utah, the USAF Museum in Dayton and the Strategic Air & Space Museum in Nebraska, ready to print.
Also available is Stagger Around #3: AGM-129 Advanced Cruise Missile, Full Edition. This 34-page edition includes more photos of these missiles, along with the missile at the San Diego Aerospace Museum restoration facility, a rare General Dynamics display model, official USAF photos of the AGM-129 in test and in service and drawings of the missile, including 1/32 scale layout diagrams. This is available through MagCloud, either as a downloadable PDF ($5.75) or as a professionally printed and bound edition ($11.80).
If you liked this and want to see more like it… feel free to toss fifty cents, a buck, a hundred bucks, whatever, my way. Think of it as a donation to a worthy cause. Or a bribe. Whatever you’re more comfortable with.
Famous ass-whoopin’ victim, amateur driver and booze-addled dumbass Rodney King has died. Given his life spent in the orbit of drugs, I would have expected him to get shot in a drug deal gone bad. But as it turns out, he apparently spent his last day getting drunked up, and decided to top it off with a swim to the bottom of his swimming pool, where he stayed until emergency personnel fished him out. Interestingly, while his fiance called 911 when she found him at the bottom of the pool, apparently she didn’t try to pull him out. Now, THAT is love and devotion.
In honor of Mr. King’s most noteworthy accomplishment, here is Chris Rock giving some tips on “how to not get your ass kicked by the police.” Some NSFW language, but on the whole, some remarkably good advice.
The Iranians have put on display what appears to be the RQ170 that went down. The color is odd, though. Could be a mockup. If it is the real thing, it’s in really good shape… indicating less of a shootdown and a crash than, perhaps, a hacking and rough landing.
Given that the Obama administration has shown itself willing to send weapons to the enemies of the US so that they can be used against the interests of the US in order to push the administrations social-change-ideology… one can be forgiven for wondering if perhaps this high-tech stealth aircraft was essentially “given” to the Iranians, who can be relied upon to share the technology with the Chinese and perhaps Russians. This would reduce Americas military technology lead… just the thing if your goals include knocking the US down a peg or three.
The Smithsonian seems to have gotten it’s mitts on some spy satellites. Just unveiled at Udvar-Hazy, and shown photographically here:
Has the last, really unpleasant open-casket photo of Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov… and further down, an audio recording of his last words. Would any Russian-speakers be interested in translating?
… is good for the Assange. Take a look at the Wikileaks founders sad, sad attempt to woo a chick who just wasn’t into him, by way of “leaked” emails:
Some guys can’t take a hint.
The issue of torture has been a popular one in the press the last six years or so. Surrounding the discussion about the supposed torture of terrorist “detainees” has been a whole lot of speculation, exaggeration and outright lies. Things took a turn for the surreal this week when 0bama, at his love-in curiously called a “press conference,” laid forth this:
I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British, during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “we don’t torture,” when the — the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat. And — and — and the reason was that Churchill understood, you start taking shortcuts, and over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people.
Really? The British didn’t torture? How very odd. The British newspaper The Guardian, a screamingly leftist rag if there ever was one, had something quite different to say back in 2005:
The London Cage was run by MI19, the section of the War Office responsible for gleaning information from enemy prisoners of war…
<>The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. The brutality did not end with the war, moreover: a number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948… An assessment by MI5 pointed out that Scotland had detailed repeated breaches of the Geneva convention, with his admissions that prisoners had been forced to kneel while being beaten about the head; forced to stand to attention for up to 26 hours; threatened with execution; or threatened with “an unnecessary operation”… he was stripped, given only a pair of pyjama trousers, deprived of sleep for four days and nights, and starved. The guards kicked him each time he passed, he alleges, while his interrogators boasted that they were “much better” than the “Gestapo in Alexanderplatz”. After being forced to perform rigorous exercises until he collapsed, he says he was compelled to walk in a tight circle for four hours. On complaining to Scotland that he was being kicked even “by ordinary soldiers without a rank”, Knoechlein alleges that he was doused in cold water, pushed down stairs, and beaten with a cudgel. Later, he says, he was forced to stand beside a large gas stove with all its rings lit before being confined in a shower which sprayed extremely cold water from the sides as well as from above. Finally, the SS man says, he and another prisoner were taken into the gardens behind the mansions, where they were forced to run in circles while carrying heavy logs.
What’s exceedingly bizarre about this story is how I heard of it: NPR, a screamingly leftist radio network if there ever was one, actually ran a story today that called out 0bama on his lack of honesty regarding the British in WWII.
Now, let me be clear: torture as punishment is and always will be wrong, and should be dealt with harshly by the legal system. Torture to extract confessions is equally reprehensible, and any such confession should be torn to shreds and ignored. And obviously torture for the amusement of guards and the like needs to be stamped out with an iron boot. But torture to extract information… well, that’s where things get iffy. We go to the hoary old chestnut of “you’ve captured a terrorist who you know has just planted a nuclear time-bomb in a major city , but he won’t tell you where it is just because you ask him.” In this case, of course you use whatever means you have. To save a hundred thousand innocent lives, you lie, cheat, steal, murder, torture, terrorize. You take your own human dignity and flush it down the shitter if you have to. Hel’s belle’s, even Star Trek, a fictional universe based on one of the most optimistic, utopian visions of uplifted humanity, recognized this unpleasant fact in the best scene of the best episode of the best series of Trek. But while “whatever is necessary” is the unfortunate requirement in some cases, there are good questions to be considered as to how good torture is at extracting useful information. On the whole, it’s my understanding that it’s just not that useful, since someone being tortured will probably say whatever they think the torturer wants to hear, regardless of accuracy. So if you’ve caught Mohammad Mohammedahomida, and you know he knows where the A-Bomb is… do you smack him around? Do you give him a couple of good electrical jolts? Or… perhaps you just pump him full of sodium pentathol. I’m reasonably certain the CIA knows what actually works.
Another issue that’s become quite popular is waterboarding and whether or not it’s torture. Among the chattering classes, the answer is clear and unambiguous: yes, it’s torture. But I argue that that is far from certain. Forget all the issues about whether it causes pain, fear, panic, whatever… there is one simple test: who is willing to volunteer? As it turns out… quite a few people.
Some schmoe gets wateboarded on a dare.
What looks like some dirty hippie at a protest gets wateboarded.
Another schmoe gets waterboarded for laughs.
Hell, YouTube is full of goofballs who have volunteered to be waterboarded. And the general concensus? It sucks, and they don’t want it to last more than a few seconds. But does that qualify it as “torture?” Well, here’s where some distinctions can be made. Would these same people who volunteered to be waterboarded volunteer for *other* forms of torture? How many are volunteering to be “beaten with a cudgel?” Or “pushed down stairs? ” Or given “unnecessary operations?” Or set on fire, electrozapulated, strangled until they passed out, kicked in the nuts, pumped full of unpleasant drugs, gnawed upon by rats, stretched on a rack, thumbscrewed, pressed, crucified or pretty much anything else that we’ve come to recognize as “torture?”
If people who have seen videos of a form of torture then decide to have it done to themselves… barring BDSM fetishists, can it be truly said that the “torture” is clearly and unambiguously “torture?”
Let’s try this. Around twenty years ago, two large men held me down while a third slit the toenails of both of my big toes right down the middle with a scalpel, then yanked out one half of each toenail with a pair of pliars. No anasthetic. This was an experience that I can assure you sticks with me quite clearly to this day. It was a pain that can be accurately described as “remarkable,” and one I’d not care to repeat. How many people who currently declare that waterboarding is torture but who would either submit to it themselves, or not do everything they can to prevent someone else from demonstrating it, would submit to having toenails pulled out with pliars? I suspect if you put that question to them, you might start to see where “enhanced interrogation techniques” separates from “torture.”
Note: It wasn’t a torture session, though it certainly felt like it. It was a botched double ingrown toenail operation. The dumbass jackass of a doctor injected the novocaine in the wrong damn place. About ten minutes *after* that little sonofabitch pulled out my toenails with a pair of pliars – all the while smiling and claiming that I couldn’t actually feel a thing – the anasthetic finally migrated to where it was supposed to be. Fricken OW.
Anyone who has worked with classified information has seen special cover sheets for them. They vary from company to company; each company has their own standards. The one reproduced below comes from a Bell document from the mid 1950′s (declassified via FOIA, and scanned as you see it here… meh). The original document was probably very colorful… the ones I’ve seen usually have white backgrounds with bright red lettering, or red backgrounds with black lettering. These days, perhaps not terribly eye-catching, but in the days when all a document was likely to have was typed pages, a bright red cover would be noticable. Which was the point: some dumbass leaves it just sitting on his desk, someone else would leap on it and run to management/security and get said dumbasses ass in serious trouble.
In a better world with better people, the person who finds it might actually tell the dumbass who left it out, and perhaps give him a good talking to, thus perhaps saving the dumbasses job. But let’s face it… we’re in a back-stabby world.