Our ray guns aren’t even fit for sci-fi tv

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 2:34 pm by George Smith

Research into basic science and the American military don’t mix. That’s because our generals and admirals aren’t known for their zeal over it. Unless it promises the magical. (There is, for instance, this magical prediction that the jet fuel problem had been solved. We will make it from water!)

So they are rubes for private sector rip-offs and boondoggles perpetrated by American arms manufacturing giants.

It’s been easy to observe in the semi-regular cant/hype issued over “directed-energy weapons,” or ray guns, always said to be “game-changers” for the future.

From a recent Reuters piece (notice it comes from a convention hosted by private sector military and intelligence parasite firm, Booz Allen & Hamilton):

“Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense,” Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment.

The military has been working on such weapons for decades, but says many technology challenges have finally been addressed.

Of course, this is not correct. The military application of lasers has been stunted by power requirements and almost total lack of effectiveness in what my be called — the real world.

I’ll get to this in a minute.

Continuing from the Reuters piece:

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus told the conference the Navy was encouraged by testing of a laser deployed on the USS Ponce in the Gulf, which can destroy small boats and unmanned aerial vehicles, and can also be used as a telescope.

Mabus said the Navy was extending deployment of the laser on the Ponce, and using lessons learned to help produce a 100-150 kilowatt laser prototype for testing at sea in 2018 or sooner.

More accurately, the Navy laser is effective only at destroying the equivalent of souped-up motorized kites and the boats Lincoln Vail used to ride around on in The Everglades.

The Ponce, on the other hand, is a huge ship. It could just as well run over any of the threats the alleged on-board laser could counter.

Also, there is the “rail gun”:

He said a powerful new railgun that could hit targets 100 miles away would also be tested at sea next year. A railgun is an electrically powered electromagnetic projectile launcher.

If you watch the video you’ll see the nonsensical pitch by the BAE Systems salesman.

The Navy’s main problem are the power handling, generation and storage requirements as well as the hazard.

The rail gun is theoretically to be fitted to the Navy’s largest ships, one example being the Zumwalt destroyer, a program that was halted at three ships.

The rail gun, if published news is correct, requires at least half the power-generating capacity of such a ship when it’s under way. In addition, no one likes to talk about the ship-board hazard posed by the charging and discharge of such large power systems during repeating fire.

Conservatively, it will kill people. On board. And then break down.

Theoretically, charging capacitors as large as a house. Oy.

“Pentagon funding for directed energy programs would remain steady at about $300 million a year for now,” reads Reuters.

By contrast, the NRA generates around $300 million/year from its membership. So maybe the military really isn’t that serious about the programs, after all.

But, said Secretary of the Navy Mabus, who will want a job in high management at a US manufacturer of these things when he leaves his position: “[He] said Iran and other countries were already using lasers to target ships and commercial airliners, and the U.S. military needed to accelerate often cumbersome acquisition processes to ensure that it stayed ahead of potential foes.”

In other words, “Mr. President we cannot allow a [fill-in-the-blank] gap!”

Also, the rolling micro-wave non-lethal weapon that doesn’t work except on those willing to be shot by it, men trapped in a room, or a crowd hemmed in by police, usually know as the ADS or The Sheriff, might be useful:

Major General Jerry Harris, vice commander of Air Combat Command, said the Air Force had developed a high-power microwave weapon that could disperse crowds without killing people by rapidly raising body temperature, and the system could be put to use immediately on drones or other aircraft.

The Sheriff was deployed to Afghanistan and was brought back without firing a shot because, essentially, it doesn’t adapt well when people can shoot back. Plus, public relations problems related to the potential for atrocities, torture, ruined careers, things like that.


Trump/Nugent: In your heart you know they’re blight

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Ted Nugent, WhiteManistan at 2:12 pm by George Smith

Late this week, Timothy Egan at the New York Times, wrote “Trump Is the Poison His Party Concocted.” I could also describe it in four words: the Ted Nugent vote.


They say he’s trashing the Republic brand. They say he’s “stirring up the crazies,” in the words of Senator John McCain. But Trump is the brand, to a sizable degree. And the crazies have long flourished in the Republican media wing, where any amount of gaseous buffoonery goes unchallenged.

And now that the party can’t control him, Trump threatens to destroy its chances if he doesn’t get his way, running as an independent with unlimited wealth — a political suicide bomb.

Trump is a byproduct of all the toxic elements Republicans have thrown into their brew over the last decade or so — from birtherism to race-based hatred of immigrants, from nihilists who shut down government to elected officials who shout “You lie!” at their commander in chief.

And for years, GOP pols have been proud to also be associated with the classic rock kleagle, Ted Nugent, the only celebrity musician I know that’s ever been investigated by the US Secret Service.

Nugent is the boiled-down essence of the angry extreme right-wing extremist, a nativist and public bigot who regularly puts down everyone unlike him, but reserving his fury primarily for the president, African Americans living in cities and the need to destroy the US government, which he calls Fedzilla. His enemies are all subhuman, bloodsucking punks and Chicago is “Chiraq,” downtown south Los Angeles a place that ought to be machine-gunned from a helicopter.

And on the day John Russell Houser shot people in the back, killing two women in Lafayette, Louisiana, he was writing this for the right-wing hate speech and news site, WND:

Ban all gun-free slaughter zones. Ban freedom-haters from public office by supporting and voting for those candidates who support freedom and common sense while punishing those who want to put their boots on the throat of freedom and common sense.

A week earlier he devoted his column to describing what a potential GOP president must be prepared to do:

Only those on dope fail to recognize how foolish those on dope look, sound, smell and act like braindead dopey morons.

The trick is to not be a braindead moron and stay off dope.

The only sheep dishonest enough to vote Democrat are the dopey sheep benefiting from the redistribution scam artists, thereby enslaving the sheep to further engineered dependency …

Job 1: Annihilate anybody and everybody who publicly declares hate or danger to America, Americans or our allies. Unleash the greatest military might upon them with a fury that is inescapable. No more playing “containment” games. Wipe them out.

Next, end the scourge of bribing Americans and illegal invaders to be bloodsucking, nonproductive leaches [sic] riding on the backs of hardworking, sacrificing American families.

Secure the borders for God’s sake, and for the sake of a safe, excellent American America. Invaders must return home or face painful, extremely uncomfortable punishing jail time. Legal good, illegal bad. Know it, enforce it.

American America! The week before Nugent recommended Trump be given the Medal of Freedom, effectively endorsing him for President.

Like Trump, Ted Nugent is the Republican brand. He has been for years.

And if you’re curious as to what Ted Nugent looks like when his summer tour season is canceled, click here.

It’s not a pretty sight.

Hey, pot, see your friend, kettle!

Nugent, passing through Lafayette, pays his respects.

He calls it “heartware.”


What happened?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:42 pm by George Smith

Fire ants. That’s part of it.

Ted Cruz, electromagnetic pulse crazy

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 9:41 pm by George Smith

But you probably could have guessed.

Truth be told, every potential Republican Party candidate will have to join the cult. The dangerous GOP base of white American revenge-seekers, paranoids and nihilists demands it. (Some already have. Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Jeb Bush and, I think, Donald Trump immediately spring to mind.)

So, in the National Journal, Cruz buys another ticket for an insane right wing train that’s been riding the rails for virtually the last fifteen years, perhaps longer: Iran will hit the United States with an electromagnetic pulse and millions of people will die.


It’s not just Israel that could be in danger if Iran violates the terms of a nuclear agreement with the United States, 2016 presidential contender Ted Cruz says.

Cruz told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that the “worst-case scenario is that Iran actually uses a nuclear weapon.” Israel could be a target, but Cruz says the United States itself is also at risk.

“If Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, one of the most dangerous things it could do with it is load that weapon onto a ship anywhere in the Atlantic, fire the warhead straight into the air, into the atmosphere. If you get high enough and detonate that warhead, it would set off an electromagnetic pulse, what is called an EMP,” Cruz said. “That EMP could shut down the entire electrical grid on the Eastern seaboard, could take down our stock market, our financial systems, but even more importantly could take down food delivery, water delivery, heat, air conditioning, transportation. The projections are that one nuclear warhead in the atmosphere over the Eastern seaboard could result in tens of millions of Americans dying.

Actually, Cruz is a little off on his figures for apocalyptic electromagnetic pulse death. The Cult’s accepted value is usually that 90 percent of all Americans would be dead within a year of the attack.

Also, see Hitler, Obama and Neville.

Could almost be a song.

Another new rhetorical flourish from the paranoid right is the combination of imminent electromagnetic pulse attack with the hoax of global warming.

From the American Thinker:

Ironically, the evidence is overwhelming that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is highly beneficial. CO2 makes crops grow better with less water. A touch of global warming, all that we can possibly expect, is also beneficial, especially compared to global cooling …

The scientific credibility of the global warming has fallen to near absolute zero in the face of the 18-year failure of the Earth to warm. The science behind global warming may have collapsed, but the beneficiaries of government subsidies – scientists and crony capitalist developers of renewable power – are still promoting the theory that is their golden egg-laying goose. Scientific societies, supposed seekers of scientific truth, have fallen so far in promoting global warming as to make the greediest industrial unions look principled and honest by comparison.

[But] a real danger to our national survival that threatens the destruction of the electric grid is ignored. That threat is an EMP or electromagnetic pulse. An EMP can be created naturally when a solar storm on the sun ejects a cloud of particles that strike the Earth. An EMP can also be created artificially by exploding a nuclear bomb above the atmosphere at an altitude between 30 and 500 miles …

A single nuclear bomb, exploded 400 miles above Kansas, could wipe out much of the electronic and electrical infrastructure of the USA. Automobiles, trucks, and railroad engines might be so electronically damaged as to no longer operate. In any case, fuel would be difficult to obtain due to lack of electricity and due to destruction of the electronic control (SCADA systems) of refineries and pipelines. Electricity could be absent for months or years. The novel One Second After is a fictional account of what happens in a small town when an EMP strikes.

The great and illustrious archive on the Cult of Electromagnetic Pulse Crazy.

FBI and British police team up to bag mentally handicapped man in ricin sting

Posted in Ricin Kooks at 9:13 pm by George Smith


Since last year and perhaps earlier, the FBI has been deep into the so-called dark web with special agents posing as poison peddlers on the digital black markets accessed by the Tor browser.

The effort has generated a few arrests and graphically shown the FBI coordinates with British security when those who think they’re buying something like ricin on the — cough — “dark web” are from England.

Today, from the Mirror:

A married father of two bought enough ricin on the “dark web” to kill 1,400 people, a court has heard.

And Mohammed Ali allegedly hoped to make sure the deadly poison was genuine by testing it on a pet rabbit from a rescue centre.

Prosecutor Sally Howes said Ali asked for the ricin to be sent in five 100mg vials after contacting a US dealer with the name Dark Mart …

But Ali was in fact dealing with an FBI agent who alerted British police.

Ali, the newspaper notes while covering the trial, “has Asperger syndrome …”

From today’s Guardian:

On the third day of his trial on Thursday, jurors heard that Ali was placed into a protective boiler suit and led to a police van after up to 12 officers wearing gas masks raided the flat he shares with his wife and two sons shortly before 8am on 11 February.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Saunders, urged jurors to treat Ali’s remarks “critically” as they were made without the presence of a lawyer. He was then taken to a police station where he answered “no comment” to every question during five days of questioning, the court heard.

Saunders told jurors: “You must bear in mind at all times that it was an interview carried out without the defendant having the benefit of a lawyer there or someone on his behalf during the interview.”

If you read the piece, observers are again informed FBI special agents had mailed the accused man a harmless white powder.

From the Liverpool newspaper:

In October last year, [Ali] began trawling the internet for information on poisons such as abrin, ricin and cyanide, the court has heard.

Then in January, going under the online alias Weirdos 0000, Ali contacted a man called Psychochem on the internet black market and ordered 500mg of ricin – enough to kill 1,400 people, the jury was told.

Today, the jury was told that Ali, a computer software programmer, had displayed many traits of Asperger’s syndrome.

Giving evidence for his defence, clinical psychologist Dr Alison Beck highlighted his obsession from a very early age with computers …

Cross-examining, prosecutor Sarah Howes, QC, suggested: “People can be hooked on their computers and not have anything wrong at all.”

The witness agreed it was “not diagnostic in itself”.

Ms Howes went on: “Is it your assistance to the jury that as far as the offence is concerned it was just his obsession with wanting to deal with the Dark Net that was the end in itself?”

Dr Beck replied: “I think that so far as I understand it, Mr Ali was motivated with pushing the boundaries of what was possible with the technology.

“The relevance of the Dark Net was to procure ricin and that idea was implanted in his brain having watched the series Breaking Bad.”

She told jurors that he had tried to get ricin through “systematic research” which was “entirely consistent with Asperger’s mentality”.

Mohammed Ali is not the first man with Asperger’s to be arrested in connection with ricin.

In 2004, Robert Alberg, a man from Kirkland, Washington, with Asperger’s syndrome was arrested.

From this blog:

And in the earlier part of the decade, an autistic man, Robert Alberg, listed in my article The A-Z of ricin crackpots, purchased five pounds of castor seeds with the intent to make ricin and was arrested.

The court recognized Alberg was profoundly impaired and released him under a five year parole sentence. He promptly went back to trying to obtain castor seeds and was jailed.

Alberg was known in Kirkland, WA, as another outsider musician, one who sang songs, now mounted at YouTube.

An old mention of Alberg, from me, at GlobalSecurity.Org, eleven years ago:

Robert Alberg, a Kirkland, Washington, man with Asperger’s Disorder, recently admitted that he “cooked up” a batch of ricin in his apartment, by way of an article from the Seattle Post. The plea was part of an agreement that gave him five years probation, mental health treatment and placement in a group home for the impaired.

Alberg was arrested earlier in the year by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force acting on a tip from Gurney’s Seed & Nursery, which sold Alberg five pounds of castor seeds. The FBI found castor seed mash at Alberg’s residence and jars labeled “caution ricin poison.”


Happy 4th of July! PLAY IT LOUD

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle at 1:32 pm by George Smith

Dick Destiny Band’s The National Anthem, rewritten for our America!

Four years and running, ever more catchy and on the money than, like, ever!

Let’s flush all the excrement about the start up of the exceptional nation, fireworks and fighting for freedom. Take it for what it’s really worth, an excuse weekend to grill hamburgers and get good ‘n’ drunk. That’s what we do! Why, if the revolutionaries saw us now, some of ‘em might say:

F—! I can’t tell you guys from the ones we got rid of!

Freedom? You got no freedoms! Here’s your freedom — “freedom” to shop.

Welcome to the United States of Penitentiary
We all get there eventually
We lock up the poor for all the rich
And we do it right, without no hitch.

Share. Paste it on your blog. Send it to someone just to annoy them. We all have it coming.

Come hear me let the Hiwatt off its chain. Dick Destiny Band, live every Saturday in July in Pasadena at Artscape. Google.


Dept. of Famous Last Words

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 11:09 am by George Smith

Thousands of readers will probably remind the New York Times today that, in spite of this article of mostly wishful thinking, South Carolina has not yet taken down its flag. And that when the local dead-enders were given an out by an African-American woman who climbed up and took it down for them, they declined to take it, arresting her and immediately re-installing a fresh new flag.

The tribe of the old South (which ain’t just confined to the old South) is powerful in its ability to paper over the deepest problems, maintaining the status quo with only the most minor cosmetic changes.

Eliminating our hate flag, if it happens, won’t change a widespread national social and economic system of stealing labor, human rights abuse, marginalization, the maintenance of a labor force kept in poverty, suppression and imprisonment.

And pointing to Dixie’s right-to-work environment and payment of tax abatement bribes to businesses like Google aren’t signs of progress.

“Lured by the South’s call of cheap land and labor and limited regulations, businesses have flocked here from around the world,” reads the Times, hailing rapid change and an allegedly less predatory South. “Small businesses that have exploded into major corporations, most notably Walmart are now throwing their weight around …”

Boy howdy!

Recall, from this blog, the long commemoration of all things Civil War in the national media just a couple months ago, summarized in “Why No Burning of Atlanta Re-enactment?”

Germany was de-Nazified and rebuilt. And Army General Douglas MacArthur reconstructed Japan, removing its worship of [warlords] and instituting land reform to break up a system dependent on rich owners served by tenant farmers. Emperor Hirohito was not tried as a war criminal. But he was made a figurehead, his status as a deity expunged.

The thought experiment is an obvious one: Construct an alternate history in which the states of the Confederacy went through a similar process. Not one in which an entire mythology built on the imaginary nobility of a lost cause took root, slavery was repackaged through re-branding and immoral legal installations with the cooperation of southern money and industry in the need to maintain a labor force in poverty, of no social status, presumed inferiority and living in fear with no recourse.

The Tennesseean grapples with the economic character and heritage of Dixie, and is not entirely successful.

“[What] constitutes preservation versus celebration is murky,” it reads.

It is followed by a clickbait listicle: 5 Things to Know About Nathan Bedford Forrest.


Wind from the South

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 1:19 pm by George Smith

Today’s quote, from Ann Coulter, on what is probably a bog standard belief among the dead-enders:

The Confederate flag we’re talking about never flew over an official Confederate building. It was a battle flag. It is to honor Robert E. Lee. And anyone who knows the first thing about military history, knows that there is no greater army that ever took the field than the Confederate Army.

This is what you might call overcompensation from the tribe which, today, is still very aggrieved over defeat long ago.

Anyway, “Pickett’s Charge,” comes to mind. Against a second string Union commander, that was certainly a brilliant tactical stroke.

Without getting into the weeds on military details, I recommend Shelby Foote’s excellent three volume history of the Civil War. Reading it is a serious investment of time but also something of a thorough education. Foote was born in Mississippi.

As predicted and after all they talk, they still couldn’t bring themselves to do the right thing.

And from Kleagle Ted Nugent, more expertise on the Lost Cause:

One metro Detroit native who’s been known to sport T-shirts featuring the Confederate flag is “Motor City Madman” musician Ted Nugent.

But, he said, he wouldn’t raise the flag, or wear it, today.

The Confederate flag, Nugent told WWJ’s Laura Bonnell, did not in any way represent hate in his earlier days as a performer.

“Back when I would wear a Confederate flag on stage — along with an American flag and a POW flag and a ‘Don’t tread on me’ flag — I would be on tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and there wasn’t a racist thought to be found,” Nugent said.

[Colloquially, this is watcha call "a likely story."]

The issue with the flag, Nugent said, is more about political correctness than anything else.

Nugent said to some the flag is simply about the history of the south, and defended those who defend its continued display.

“I have to acknowledge — I think we all do — there’s an awful lot of information, an awful lot of people out there that believe the stars and bars, the Confederate flag, represents something heroic and something worth standing up for.”

No link.



Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, WhiteManistan at 2:49 pm by George Smith

Haven’t had much to say over the past week or so and it should be obvious why.

WhiteManistan, at its best, again horrifically showing the world racism is still very much part of our DNA, that the South still wages the Civil War, and the taint of it is in virtually every aspect of civil life and the economy.

It really isn’t a surprise, now, is it that the party of hate, and the politicians of South Carolina had to be dragged into voicing that the Confederate flag ought to be taken down in Columbia?

From here we can expect more foot-dragging, fingers crossed behind the back, perhaps much stalling and action taken in bad faith. We expect them to be as bad as they are.

WhiteManistan can’t fix itself. The dead-enders will see to it. They have locked up the American federal government and enervated the spirit and psyche so thoroughly the shooting of African-Americans is a normal day’s experience.

America is a place where the phrase, Southern by the Grace of God, has been polished into a vibrant cultural touchstone, a shibboleth that disinfected the Confederacy into a noble cause, a source of pride. It’s a continuing exclamation that Dixie is special, more special than any place else, so special that to be of it is virtuous in itself. But only if you’re the right kind of person, something that’s not going to change even if they’re forced to give up Confederate flags.

It’s slightly heartening when America’s big business has come to the conclusion it’s not good commerce to sell flags and souvenirs of hate, if only for a moment until the skies clear. But we shouldn’t give it too much credit. It’s done only out of a calculation that, for now, it’s just bad overall business.

What will happen in South Carolina, or the other southern states deeply invested in their blighted romanticism? You’d be a fool to be optimistic.

This is where it didn’t take the New York Times twenty minutes to dig up some run-of-the-mill yahoo to make the broken record assertion, it’s about southern pride (are you not thoroughly sick of that phrase), history and, laughably, that slaves fought alongside his ancestors in the Civil War. (Now you can’t find it. Someone must have pointed out it was so gratuitously offensive, it had to be excluded from later editions.)

All you can find is this, lifted from a Google copy, one you can’t reach through the cache:

Daniel Bledsoe, a construction worker, said the idea [of taking down the flag] was “kind of like treasonry.” “ I’m proud of my history,” Mr. Bledsoe, 22 …

Treasonry. Great word.

Hillary Clinton, being herself on the campaign trail, which is to say not particularly good, three days ago:

“You can’t watch massacre after massacre and not come to the conclusion that, as President Obama said, we must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction,” she said. “I lived in Arkansas, I lived in upstate New York, I know that gun ownership is part of the fabric of a lot of law-abiding communities, but I also know that we can have common-sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable while respecting responsible gun owners.”

“Race remains a deep fault line in America,” she said. “We need to be cities, states and a country that’s too busy to hate.”

You understand where the GOP candidates come from. The bigots are theirs, southern by the grace of God, the most loyal base.

But Hillary Clinton lived here, she lived there, she’s lived everywhere. Just like me.

So make “a country that’s too busy to hate.”

It’s just bizarre. The problem with racism in this country is that people, cities and states aren’t busy enough? We’ll just busy ourselves out of the nation’s original sin. When we are sufficiently industrious, it will all disappear.

Who would think that? Who would even think to say it. Who came up with it? A Clinton, it appears. Hillary Clinton is an aircraft carrier of the finest grade of iron pyrite, a disaster.


Not Stiff Enough: Training to be America’s flunkies not popular

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror at 2:17 pm by George Smith

Great quotes, from our old white guys in charge at the Pentagon:

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey, who also testified Wednesday, said he would not support shifting the strategy from sending U.S. military advisers to sending U.S combat troops [to Iraq]. “I would not recommend that we put U.S. forces in harm’s way simply to stiffen the spine of local forces. If their spine is not stiffened by the threat of ISIL on their way of life, nothing we do is going to stiffen their spine.”

The situation is apparently worse in Syria … [The Pentagon] has begun training just under 100 men at a camp inside Jordan. No Syrian forces have yet to graduate from any training program.

In the Middle East, having created failed states in Iraq, Libya and Yemen, our bolt is shot. Pin-prick raids, assassinations by drone, data collection and random tactical bombings mean nothing when the locals have virtually zero interest in fighting for your side or taking training.

Hey, want to be another lopped-off head for ISIS? What? No volunteers?! What’s the matter with you people!

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