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Posts by darth

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  • UCSD Students Protest Dalai Lama Speech,Claim Violates Schools Values of Respect, Tolerance...

    02/18/2017 2:43:22 PM PST · 33 of 34
    darth to davikkm

    Only commies could employ such logic.

    The same profs oppose colonialism and conquest of native people everywhere in the world...unless it is China doing the colonizing.

    The Chicoms attacked and conquered Tibet, which is NOT China, in 1949 IIRC. Since then they have tried to destroy the native population and religion.

    The Chicoms want to do the same to a number of neighboring countries. I was shocked recently when I spoke to a Vietnamese immigrant college professor. She said she expected that Viet Nam would end up as a province of China. She said they were just too big and powerful to defeat.

    IMHO, the best tactic to use against China is to start sending Green Berets to Monterey to learn the languages of minority groups under Chicom domination, e.g., Tibetan. That is a bigger threat than our Navy!

  • 'Relieved' Family Publishes Honest Obituary for 'Evil' Texas Man

    02/10/2017 3:50:16 PM PST · 22 of 29
    darth to nickcarraway

    Meanwhile in Louisiana....

    Mrs. Boudreaux called the local newspaper and asked for the obituary man.

    When asked what she wanted to post, she said,

    “Boudreaux done died. Funeral at the Catholic Church on Sunday”.

    The caring reporter gently suggested, “Now Miz Boudreaux, you can add some more words if you like. There is no limit on the length of obituaries.”

    She continued, “OK, put this on the end. “BASS BOAT FO SALE””.

  • Why China and Russia Fear America's New Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers

    01/30/2017 7:10:00 PM PST · 58 of 63
    darth to nathanbedford

    I think that carriers will still have an important role in this century.

    However, the new “top hammer” will be weapons launched space-to-ground/sea/air.

    Not only will the battle in space decide who communicates, recons, has GPS, etc., but the ability to strike at 7 km/sec or more anywhere at any time is overwhelming.

    Space power will become much more important than air or sea power.

    And treaties? They only restrain those not willing to break them or discard them when advantageous.

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 7:40:14 AM PST · 36 of 37
    darth to Kirkwood

    Kirkwood, I have given more thought to my reply.

    The UT engineer said that the puff of smoke (or carbon black) was due to the joint failing which would have the same effect as the sealing O-ring failing.

    YES, the investigators SHOULD have found evidence of the extra bolt holes causing the failure. The fact that they did not find such evidence does not surprise me.

    I think we all start with different attitudes based on our experiences. My experience in working with NASA was that, while there were many competent and trustworthy individuals, there were many who were not competent nor trustworthy.

    My experience going back to my days as a cadet in the military academy is that official accounts almost always are INCORRECT. I don’t attribute this to malice in all cases.

    Occam’s Razor of Government is that if it can attributed to stupidity or incompetence, that is the most likely explanation.

    In any event, I was NOT there. I am simply reporting what I heard from a trusted source. Do you think he was making it up?

    Once again, I hope some journalist or investigator uses my data point to dig out the truth.

    Should we trust the MSM and government? I think that issue is settled! I NEVER trust the fedgov whether pubbie or dim nor the media.

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 6:17:41 AM PST · 30 of 37
    darth to Kirkwood

    I will not dispute your point, however is it possible that they missed the ripped metal? It may have melted from the heat of the hot gases escaping?

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 6:15:46 AM PST · 29 of 37
    darth to ETL

    Livestock fed...

    No, I am talking about the insulating foam on the ET. The cryogenic liquids inside freeze atmospheric moisture on and within the foam. The adhesive is to keep it attached to the ET on ascent. The foam gets pretty heavy in spots from ice build up and that was always recognized as a risk.

    The tile adhesive also may have been replaced by an inferior product, but I don’t recall the details of that story.

    Columbia officially crashed because a piece of ice-laden foam peeled off the ET and hit the leading edge. The part that the public does not know about is what I mentioned about the RCC.

    The leading edge of the Shuttle wing is RCC. At the point where the nose shock wave impinges on that leading edge, there are very high heating rates.

    Rockwell’s Lab and Test found that the RCC was “de-densifying” at that point. The high heating rates were causing oxygen to migrate into the RCC and it outgassed CO.

    The problem was most severe on Columbia because it was the oldest Shuttle and had spent the most time on the pad. The salt from the KSC environment was catalyzing the C-O reaction.

    They catscanned the RCC and later found you could poke your finger through it because it had become so weak!

    Like I said, I left the program before I found out if they followed our recommendations. However, in that first meeting at JSC we were told that there was no money in the budget to replace the leading edge on Columbia.

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 5:54:16 AM PST · 25 of 37
    darth to darth

    Gotta take a break now and feed the livestock!

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 5:52:16 AM PST · 24 of 37
    darth to 21twelve

    I do not recall the story about the EPA and the O-rings, however I DO know the story on the ET foam adhesive.

    In the early 1990s, the EPA told NASA they had to switch adhesives used to stick the insulating foam on the External Tank. It seems the old adhesive relied on fluorocarbons, which everyone KNEW were destroying the ozone layer.

    The new adhesive was not so good. The foam gets loaded with ice on the launch pad and then peels off hitting the Shuttle tiles when the bird hits supersonic speeds.

    It was one such piece of foam that hit the wing leading edge on Columbia and broke a hole in the RCC (Reinforced Carbon-Carbon). That led to losing the second Shuttle.

    I was in the meeting at JSC when we briefed them on the weakened RCC on Columbia. I still have my meeting notes in my file cabinet. I am not sure if they replaced it before the accident.

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 5:44:25 AM PST · 21 of 37
    darth to ETL

    I was an engineer on the Shuttle Program for most of my career, but the real source was the guy from UT that I quoted.

    A bit of my history:

    After grad school I started at Northrop in Hawthorne. Got hired by Rockwell in Jan. 1983. I initially worked for Chuck Gould as a Payload Integration Engineer. This led to me supporting MIT Lincoln Labs when they flew the ground laser experiment illuminating the Shuttle from AMOS (Air Force Maui Optical Station) in 1984.

    Later, I spent most of my career working under Larry Lewis in Advanced Engineering at Downey.

    I worked on many SDI projects such as the venture with Los Alamos to fly a Neutral Particle Beam experiment on Shuttle. That ended when we realized that the astronauts would get a fatal dose of X-Rays if we fired the thing up!

    Later, I was a Project Engineer on the Advanced Launch System and spent several years pursuing fed R&D money to supplement our IRAD funds.

    I took early retirement in 2002 and have been an entrepreneur since then.

    As for the bolt hole story, I was always too busy making a living to go pursue it further. However, I recently spoke to a writer who has published numerous books on the space program. Perhaps someone will take up the investigation.

  • On this Date in 1986

    01/28/2017 5:03:55 AM PST · 12 of 37
    darth to Bull Snipe

    I have posted this story before.

    I spent most of my aerospace career as a Shuttle engineer.

    Like everyone else, I thought the official O-ring story made sense. There’s even a new book out by a Morton Thiokol guy on the O-ring disaster.

    However, in 1999 I was talking to an old engineer who had worked for United Technologies at KSC. This is what he told me:

    “Solid Rocket Boosters are made in segments. After the SRBs burn out, they land in the Atlantic with parachutes, are recovered, and refurbished at Morton Thiokol. Then, they are re-assembled at KSC for another launch.

    However, on one landing, the SRB hit hard and was bent. No one realized this until they tried to assemble the section into an SRB at KSC.

    The bolts are approx. 1” diameter on 4” centers at the joints. On this section, the SRB segment had been bent out of round and the bolt holes did not line up.

    So, an engineer suggested plugging the problem holes and drilling NEW holes for the bolts between the old ones.

    So, with their NASA Manager’s approval, they took out about 30% of the steel by drilling new holes. NO structural analysis was performed. The NASA guy got a bonus for “saving” the SRB segment.

    Upon pressurization, the area with extra holes ripped open like a perforated sheet of paper. You can see the puff of smoke in the launch video. The flame hit attach point hardware weakening it. When they hit a wind shear at about 30,000 feet, the SRB broke off and hit the External Tank.”

    This UT engineer assumed that the Accident Commission would find all this out. When they had a press conference, he was shocked they were blaming O-rings.

    So, he went to the head of the Commission and told his story. The top guy responded, “We already had a press conference. If we change our findings now, NASA will lose credibility. All of these imminent scientists and engineers will be embarrassed. We will NOT change our findings.”

    So, the innocent were punished. The guilty NASA Manager kept his bonus. Everybody kept their mouths shut.

    They quietly put the word out to never drill extra holes in an SRB.

    I doubt the Shuttle Program Manager, NASA Administrator, or almost anyone else in the world knows this.

    I record this story in the hope that someday a historian or journalist will set the record straight.

    Ad astra.

  • Protesters who destroyed property on Inauguration Day were part of well-organized group

    01/23/2017 8:20:44 PM PST · 60 of 62
    darth to 2ndDivisionVet

    I don’t hang out with leftists, so I don’t have much personal contact.

    However, in grad school 35 years ago, I rented a room off campus from a guy that was deeply involved with the 1960s-70s New Left. A parade of strange characters came through the house, mostly looking like a cross between hippies and marxists.

    I think he was actually operating a safe house for some of them on the run from the law.

    Later, I dated a former girlfriend of his. She told me that he lied when he said he inherited money. She said he had a machine to counterfeit airline tickets which he sold. He was using his lefty contacts to sell the tickets for him. He also ran pump&dump stock scams.

    Needless to say, he was a lawyer.

    Strange characters indeed!

  • FBI, 5 other agencies probe possible covert Kremlin aid to Trump

    01/18/2017 3:12:09 PM PST · 39 of 112
    darth to Mariner

    Reminds me of a T-shirt based on a TV show:

    Deny everything
    Admit nothing
    Make counter-accusations

    As some said, this is a ruse to create an excuse when Trump’s investigation reveals the millions (billions?) sent to Clinton from foreign powers, a counter-accusation.

    I don’t think the ruse is working.

  • How Pearl Harbor Created a Climate of Fear

    12/07/2016 4:30:30 PM PST · 23 of 44
    darth to nickcarraway

    I had a relative who was AT Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. Her father was in the Navy.

    She told me that there was a beauty shop just outside of Pearl staffed by Japanese women. When Navy wives were in the beauty shop, the staff would ask them casually what ship their hubby was on, where it was, etc.

    Right after the attack, Navy Intel searched the beauty shop. They had a short wave radio in the back room.

    I’ll bet that is NOT in the history books.

    Another anecdote: I know a guy in Mason, Texas whose father was a petty officer in the US Navy. He told me his Dad was on active duty in 1939 in CHINA leading an infantry company against the Japanese. This remained secret for many years until his Dad told him.

    I think Roosevelt authorized such secret missions knowing that we would have to engage the Empire in the Pacific sooner or later.

    I’ll bet that one is not in the history books either.

  • I Served With James Mattis. Here's What I Learned From Him.

    12/02/2016 5:25:47 PM PST · 29 of 32
    darth to dubyagee

    I, too, studied Sun Tzu.

    One of the things he advocated, Western countries almost never follow.

    To paraphrase Sun Tzu, “As you move through the enemy’s country, pillage it so that your forces grow stronger while the enemy becomes weaker”.

    Applied to the Middle East, I think that means seizing the oil resources as we attack. What if the islamonazis knew that we would take their oil if they were implicated in attacking us (specifically thinking of the Saudis)?

    Applied to a political situation, I think it is wise to go after the financial portfoilios of leftist foundations and individuals who have committed crimes. For example, I think the misdeeds of the Clinton Foundation should result in their resources ending up in the Federal Treasury.

    This is why I think it is so important to prosecute crimes such as vote fraud, so the government can seize the assets of the perps.

  • Limbaugh: "Massive, sweeping series of proposals, a massive agenda is coming"

    11/18/2016 4:18:31 AM PST · 24 of 76
    darth to Buttons12

    Voter ID is NOT enough.

    We need a national law backed by the DoJ to protect poll watchers during all national elections.

    For example, I was a Poll Watcher at an early voting location in Houston.

    I stood behind the Clerk checking in the voters on the Voter Roll to insure that the name given was actually on the ID and that the photo on the ID matched the person in front of me.

    The dim Election Judge told me I could not stand there because it would “intimidate” the voter.

    In reality, the dim activists would show up and the dim Clerk, who knew the activist personally, would let them vote in someone else name. That is how they vote for the dead, people who have moved, non-existent “phantoms” that they have created and registered, and, even, Republican voters.

    Unless Poll Watchers from all parties can monitor every aspect of the election, there WILL be fraud.

  • The Far Left Is Planning The Biggest Political Protest In United States History For Inauguration Day

    11/14/2016 10:49:10 AM PST · 95 of 101
    darth to Pearls Before Swine

    The organizations and individuals paying for the “protests” will be liable for personal injuries to police, bystanders, and damage to property.

    Bankrupt the bastards.

  • PA: Old man; Old.22 Handgun; Dead Career Criminal

    11/13/2016 5:44:57 AM PST · 38 of 95
    darth to marktwain

    Reminds me of this scene from the movie, “Repo Man”.

    Duke blames society:

  • China Claims Its New Anti-Stealth Radars Can Detect The F-22

    11/12/2016 5:22:10 AM PST · 4 of 13
    darth to Fennie

    We have to respect China where they graduate over 500,000 engineers each year.

    Also note that many of their leaders are engineers, not lawyers.

    The Chinese people are quite nationalistic and are happy that China’s restored economic might has made her into a powerful nation again.

    While it is true that their espionage operations have been extensive and quite successful, I would not be surprised if their new radar systems relied mostly on their own developments.

    The technical principles on how to defeat stealth technology have been known publicly for over 25 years, at least to aerospace engineers.

    If the USA wants to remain as the technology leader, we have to streamline our technology development and weapon system development apparatus. I was an aerospace engineer for decades and I have been appalled at the incredible tangle of bureaucracy and political infighting that slows our fielding of new systems while making them outlandishly expensive.

    Norm Augustine in his book, “Augustine’s Laws”, forecast decades ago that the rising cost per aircraft would eventually allow the entire DoD budget to purchase ONE per year.

    We’re almost there.

  • Ensuring Electoral Integrity in 2020

    11/10/2016 11:18:00 AM PST · 53 of 55
    darth to HiTech RedNeck

    Using binoculars would not have helped.

    The dim Election Judge would NOT allow a Poll Watcher to stand behind the Clerk’s table checking in voters.

    My point is that all the laws in the world are useless unless you can police and enforce them.

  • Ensuring Electoral Integrity in 2020

    11/10/2016 7:09:44 AM PST · 27 of 55
    darth to justlurking

    It is not enough to have a good system of ID. We need strong, nationwide laws protecting Poll Watchers.

    I was a Poll Watcher in Early Voting. The Election Judge would not allow me to stand behind the Clerk checking voter IDs to see if they matched the book. He said that this would be “intimidation”.

    So, the dim activists came in and claimed to be someone else. The Clerk KNEW the activist personally and allowed them to impersonate the voter.

    This is a favorite method for massive vote fraud now.

    Poll Watchers in national elections MUST have the right to observe everything in the Polling Place as well as how ballots and computers are handled after the election.

  • Trump Supporters Should Vote As Close As Possible to Election Day

    10/26/2016 4:36:46 AM PDT · 19 of 45
    darth to trebb

    Vote ASAP!

    I have seen numerous cases where a dim activist simply goes into Early Voting and claims to be someone else.

    They used to only do this with voters they knew to be dead, registered but never vote, etc.

    Note that even if ID is required, dim election workers let the scam artist vote. In some cases, they KNOW the activist and what he is doing.

    In 2012, millions of Republicans went to the polls on election day and were told that they had already voted!

  • It Wasn't Only Sore-Loserman in Election 2000 [VANITY]

    10/21/2016 8:05:01 AM PDT · 16 of 17
    darth to Redmen4ever

    The inside story on the 2000 Florida “recount”:

    I know an attorney from Houston who flew immediately to Florida to observe the recount.

    When he walked into the room, he noticed what looked like snow on the carpet under a woman’s chair.

    She had sharpened a long fingernail to make a punch and was in the process of punching out hundreds of chads for Gore.

    This is the origin of the “confusing, butterfly ballot” lie in the MSM. Every Bush ballot that she punched became a double vote that would be thrown out.

    The attorney went to James Baker and told him, “If we don’t stop this fraud right now, we will lose the election”.

    Now you know what really happened.

  • The Hidden Glaciers Of Mars

    10/14/2016 8:40:15 PM PDT · 10 of 15
    darth to BenLurkin

    My son actually made this discovery first...before NASA scientists.

    My kid was an undergrad geology major who did a term paper for a class on the use of remote sensing in geology. He studied the Mars Orbiter images.

    Because he was studying geology, he immediately recognized the glacial moraines and erosion on Mars. He wrote a paper on it and presented at the American Geological Society.

    When he was growing up, he was fascinated by rocks. I have a photo of him standing IN the San Andreas Fault in California where we visited when he was doing a school science project. I helped him make a seismometer for that project. He was 8 years old.

    Obviously, I am very proud of my offspring.

    I did a couple of things right. We had NO TV. No cable or antenna, only pre-recorded cartoons. We lived in a rural area and the only kids who visited were invited. If they misbehaved or were a bad influence, they did not get invited back. My kids had tree houses, rope swings, animals including a pony to ride...really an idyllic childhood. Outside all the time. They started reading science fiction at an early age.

    Oh yeah, at Halloween I would don my Darth Vader costume and he went as Luke Skywalker.

    I remember a backpacking trip when he was 12. All he wanted to do was talk about propulsion ideas for starships.

    Now he is grown up and running the research division for a big geology lab.

    I’m getting all misty thinking about my kids....

  • California’s Soberanes Fire Is the Most Expensive in America — Ever

    09/22/2016 7:08:34 PM PDT · 16 of 16
    darth to kaktuskid

    I understand that fires are part of the native CA ecology.

    However, if people are going to build homes in those areas they need to modify the local ecology.

    I lived in the hills and had an acre of ice plant around my house with sprinklers mounted on the roof.

    Nevertheless, I had a plan to evac in 5 minutes if warranted!

    Once, the Fire Chief in La Habra Heights, where I lived, told me that under ideal conditions our entire city could burn to the ground in 20 minutes. Luckily, the bottom of the hill was only a mile away and was safe.

  • California’s Soberanes Fire Is the Most Expensive in America — Ever

    09/22/2016 4:32:06 PM PDT · 6 of 16
    darth to nickcarraway

    Having lived there for decades, I understand that CA has unique problems with wildfires.

    However, there are partial solutions:

    1. Log regularly
    2. Graze down the brush with livestock, especially goats
    3. Plant fire resistant species
    4. Have lots of firebreaks and forest access roads

  • Iowa Absentee Ballot Requests (9/17/12 vs 9/20/16); Dems underperforming and GOP overperforming

    09/20/2016 8:09:26 PM PDT · 17 of 20
    darth to funfan

    When I have been an Election Judge, the Voter Roll is annotated to show who requested an Absentee Ballot. If they show up in person to vote, they have to vote Provisional. If the Absentee Ballot shows up as VOTED, then the Provisional can be thrown out! So, it is possible for a scam artist to cast your ballot for you.

    This is why it is vitally important for everyone to vote as soon as Early Voting begins. And drag everyone you can find with you.

    The GOTV has to be MASSIVE to beat the fraud machine this time. I guarantee the dims will go all out. The Left is terrified of losing power. Imagine Trump and his captains going around the fedgov telling people, “You’re fired!”

  • Iowa Absentee Ballot Requests (9/17/12 vs 9/20/16); Dems underperforming and GOP overperforming

    09/20/2016 6:03:57 PM PDT · 4 of 20
    darth to Ravi


    I have seen dims apply for absentee ballots by impersonating pubbies. They then cast a ballot in the other person’s name.

    My advice to all is to vote as soon as you possibly can.

    I will be in line on the first day of early voting!

  • Is China the world's new scientific superpower?

    09/14/2016 5:44:31 AM PDT · 16 of 17
    darth to aquila48

    My son had a PhD prof in grad school who was from China. The prof was a geologist with a very high IQ.

    The students asked, “Why did you decide to study geology?”

    The Chinese immigrant replied, “I was so honored when the government told me I had been selected to study geology. They CHOSE this field of study for me; I had not expressed a preference. I resolved to study as hard as I could to make my family proud.”

    So, now he lives and teaches in Houston. Our gain...China’s loss.

    China graduates over 500,000 engineers yearly. Even with their screwed up, fascist system, they will achieve dominance through numbers alone.....

    Unless we can open the door to many of the best Chinese immigrants.

    YES, we need to figure out how to motivate American-born students. YES, we need to graduate more scientists and engineers.

    But, we can also try to attract the best and brightest from around the world. China cannot do that!

    I firmly believe that what will get American kids off the couch and away from video games is competition.

    By the way, when I was young, what motivated me to study science and engineering was the space program. The idea of exploring the Solar System and colonizing new planets drove me through 20 years of school. I noted that many of the Apollo program veteran engineers were immigrants.

  • Appeals Court blocks Kansas, Alabama, Georgia on voter ID rule

    09/10/2016 1:25:16 PM PDT · 41 of 41
    darth to PROCON

    Once, I sat outside a polling place in Port Arthur, Texas.

    It was a fire station in the middle of an empty field. I could easily see all the entrances from where I was parked 100 yards away.

    Guess how many voters entered in a four hour period? ZERO! But, at the end of the day, that precinct showed over 100% turnout.

    How is that possible? If the entire precinct crew is dim, they just wait until the end of the day and cast a ballot for everyone on the Voter Roll. They sign the book too. I have copies of Voter Roll books where all signatures are in the same handwriting.

    No need to rent vans or hand out box lunches or spend money on get-out-the-vote. Just have the right crew running the precinct.

    Continuous videotape would spoil this scam. You would have solid proof of how many voters actually entered and left the precinct.

    Unfortunately, after the election, expect all hell to break loose.

    I recommend a motorhome with a bathroom and a crew with multiple cameras so you never miss a minute.

  • Appeals Court blocks Kansas, Alabama, Georgia on voter ID rule

    09/10/2016 12:35:15 PM PDT · 34 of 41
    darth to PROCON

    With all of my experience re the subject of vote fraud, I have been considering ways to fight it.

    For example, facial recognition technology has come a long way. Recently, a friend of mine checked into a hotel he had never stayed at before. The Front Desk Clerk greeted him by name. The security cameras had identified him from a database as he walked into the hotel!

    What if someone takes continuous video of people entering polling places? While cameras are illegal inside polling places, they are legal outside of the boundary which in most states is 50-100’.

    If the illegals can see that they are being videotaped going in and out, they know that they may be identified and prosecuted later.

    This would also serve to deter the serial voter. A serial voter enters one precinct after another, sometimes changing shirts or whatever, to vote under various names. In my state it is a common practice for activists or paid vote scammers to vote for people who are dead, out of town, rarely vote, etc. They have now expanded this practice to assuming the identities of Republican voters.

    Without ID, there has to be a way to catch them.

    Video and face recognition may be able to deter them.

  • Biohacker Implants ‘Smart Gun’ Key That Can Never be Dropped

    08/26/2016 2:37:50 PM PDT · 29 of 66
    darth to Blood of Tyrants

    I think that bodyguards for politicians should quickly adopt this new technology to prove that it improves safety.

    Of course, if said politician was assassinated by someone using a jammer to prevent the bodyguards from protecting the “package”.....that would be very sad.

  • Texas teacher's new homework policy goes viral on social media

    08/23/2016 5:07:48 AM PDT · 73 of 141
    darth to Zakeet

    In my experience...

    I attended public school back when they had sectioning with the slowest kids moving down and the achievers moving up to more challenging classes.

    Beginning in 4th grade, I had 4-6 hours of homework per night working math problems, reading chapters in the textbooks, writing essays, research papers, etc.

    We had great teachers who pushed us hard. By 7th grade I had finished calculus and was studying the Existentialist philosophers.

    When I got to West Point, I saw nothing new in math or physics; I had the same books in high school for the most part.

    I also found time for reading thousands of science fiction stories, playing sports, church, the school band, etc. What I did NOT have time for was an extensive social life and getting into teenage trouble.

    I still have a teenage child-by-marriage at home. Her time is filled with texting, chatting, Facebook, watching TV, etc. Utterly empty except for the SJW programming and propaganda.

    Little wonder that our society is going to Hell in a handbasket!

  • Interstellar Comparisons (terraforming moons and planets in the solar system)

    07/04/2016 6:29:17 AM PDT · 12 of 14
    darth to LibWhacker

    I see terraforming as “planetary chauvinism”, i.e., the idea that humans can only thrive on the surface of a planet.

    Why use all that energy to escape Earth’s gravity and then descend into yet another “gravity well”?

    Asteroids and habitats in free space will definitely come first:

    There are enough resources easily accessible in the inner Solar System to create habitats that support several times Earth’s current population.

  • How Jerry Brown acted on sweeping gun control bills.

    07/01/2016 4:40:49 PM PDT · 28 of 33
    darth to sheik yerbouty

    I had not heard of Troy Defense pump action rifles until now:

    Thank you, FR!

  • After Home Invasion, Kelly McGillis Is Going to Conceal Carry Her ‘Top Gun’

    06/25/2016 6:54:58 AM PDT · 25 of 30
    darth to dp0622

    Some individuals are unlucky and some are just innocently walking into bad situations.

    I have known a particular woman for over 30 years. She was raped four times in her life starting when she was only fourteen. Drugs and alcohol played a part, but not every time.

    She narrowly escaped death at the hands of a pair of serial killers when a military police jeep patrolling a desolate stretch of desert on MacGregor Range spotted the vehicle that she was being held in. The MPs stopped the attempted rape/murder.

    She was always an innocent never expecting evil from anyone. No common sense.

    For example, one night she discovered a guy looking into the bedroom window of her daughter. She asked him, “Can I help you?” He mumbled an excuse and scurried away. It did not dawn on her that he was stalking the kid!

    She was quite intelligent but just could not fathom that there were men who wanted to do her harm.

    Lib, of course.

  • TWA 800: The Great Untold Story of Our Time

    06/08/2016 9:23:33 AM PDT · 170 of 206
    darth to TalonDJ

    Yeah, I know, but this is vitally important for our country.

    BTW, the new sensor did NOT use IR or RF..or anything else that easily comes to mind.

    Like I said, it was designed to kill the largest solid object in the sky.

    At the time I was briefed it seemed like a cool innovation.

    However, I did have a fleeting thought about how an autonomous missile could distinguish friend from foe.

    My point is and was: The media covered up for the US guvmint. The Russians and Chicoms were not fooled. The cover up was only designed to keep the sheeple in the dark.

    I can understand the panic in the Black World when this happened. What if the media started asking a lot of uncomfortable questions?

    If you worked in R&D, you know that compartments are as small as possible. I have seen programs where only the scientist or engineer, one guy, really knew what was being developed.

  • TWA 800: The Great Untold Story of Our Time

    06/08/2016 7:05:23 AM PDT · 153 of 206
    darth to OA5599

    Sorry about the delay. Suddenly, my computer is having problems. What a coincidence!

    Answers? I don’t have answers to all questions.

    However, I think it is wrong to make assumptions. I do not assume the the system was operational in 1996. I think this was a live fire test.

    As you know if you read AWST, several nations now have the ability to launch anti-aircraft missiles from submerged subs.

    I think it is a mistake to assume that a Navy sub was used for the test. The same company that was developing the missile also makes subs. The launch platform could have been very small and used for testing new capabilities.

    Yes, I find it hard to believe that everyone kept their mouth shut. However, I see that NTSB personnel kept quiet until they retired. I kept quiet until 10 years after I retired when I saw that others had opened up.

    When I was briefed, the idea was to launch the anti-aircraft missiles when the sub heard sonobuoys begin operating. The fabulous new sensor was designed to go after the largest solid object in the sky.

    Once again, I think it was an accident. It probably shut down the program for years. It probably sent shock waves through the Black World. But, Black World people don’t talk to anyone. I have seen situations where no one including the SecDef had a need to know.

    Gotta log off. Computer is not operating properly.

  • TWA 800: The Great Untold Story of Our Time

    06/07/2016 9:02:28 PM PDT · 100 of 206
    darth to GreenLanternCorps

    I have posted before what I know.

    At the time TWA 800 went down, I was an aerospace engineer. I had been briefed on almost every missile either in the inventory or planned when I worked on SDI.

    Based on what I know, the missiles were OURS. They were launched out of a single canister in a torpedo tube from a submerged sub.

    The project I was briefed on had added a first stage to a shoulder fired missile to achieve greater altitude. Very importantly, the missile had a new sensor that would ignore chaff, flares, etc. and would home on the largest solid object in the sky. I cannot divulge how this worked, obviously.

    The program went black after I was briefed.

    I doubt that Clinton or even the SecDef were aware of the test. I doubt that the sub captain even knew what the engineers sent out of his torpedo tube that day because he had no need to know.

    I could not say anything at the time because I had an active clearance.

    The bottom line is the the press obediently lied to the American people. The Russians and Chicoms knew immediately what we had just tested.

    Several nations now have similar systems for subs to protect themselves from aircraft.


  • What's your Best method to start a fire for Survival

    05/19/2016 11:12:54 AM PDT · 66 of 82
    darth to w1n1

    My son was on a canoe trip with a group of wilderness instructors when they had to camp in a pouring rain.

    No one could start a fire, except my son.

    He started a fire using only one match just like old Dad taught him.

    I was never so proud!

  • Untold Riches—Way Above

    05/19/2016 11:07:31 AM PDT · 2 of 10
    darth to Sean_Anthony

    The High Frontier is the New World without the natives.

    There are endless resources, land, and energy once you escape Earth’s gravity.

    The Vikings, among others, discovered the Americas, but lacked the ships, navigation instruments, and economic incentive to colonize the new lands.

    Columbus came along with better technology. Plus, the Spanish discovered rich empires to conquer.

    Outer space will follow a similar path. When we have cheap, reliable access to space, we will mine and colonize the new lands.

    Ad Astra

  • Jerry Pournelle Wins the National Space Society Robert A. Heinlein Award

    04/13/2016 11:12:44 AM PDT · 16 of 28
    darth to EveningStar

    I met Jerry in 1984. At the time, he was drinking quite a bit. Having read his books, I was already a supporter when we found ourselves on the same panel discussion at a SF convention.

    He shocked me by being loud and abrasive.

    I guess he cleaned up his act.

    He was a great author and another of Mr. Heinlein’s Children.

    Jerry, may the Force be with you and thanks for all of your contributions to the sanity of humanity.

  • A Visionary Project Aims for Alpha Centauri, a Star 4.37 Light-Years Away

    04/13/2016 11:08:33 AM PDT · 45 of 45
    darth to MarchonDC09122009

    Its way too late to hide.

    We have been broadcasting our position for over 100 years now to any who might listen.

    I think when we create the first colony starship, we should tell them to change course a few times and never use RF to communicate at all, much less with Earth.

    The only way to insure survival is to go full stealth.

  • A Visionary Project Aims for Alpha Centauri, a Star 4.37 Light-Years Away

    04/12/2016 12:22:08 PM PDT · 39 of 45
    darth to MarchonDC09122009

    I came up with an idea about 30 years ago when I was an aerospace engineer.

    Using asteroid resources we can build a mass driver, which is a linear magnetic accelerator, in gravity gradient mode around the Sun. The mass driver could be up to several thousand kilometers long. In space there is no real limit on the size of such as structure.

    Using solar power, we can accelerate nano-probes (5 kg or so) to about .1 C

    Such a mass driver could launch millions of probes in every direction over a period of decades.

    To return a signal to Earth, I proposed a very slow rate of laser pulses that would be picked up by dedicated telescopes.

    I like this better than laser propulsion. We already proved in rail gun programs that we can build sophisticated nano-craft that take over 100,000 Gs of acceleration.

    So, when we got our rail gun up to 100,000 Gs, what do you think we launched first? A Timex watch! It was still ticking when we pried it out of the backstop.

  • Trump predicts a ‘massive recession’ but intends to eliminate the national debt in 8 years

    04/03/2016 12:24:18 PM PDT · 52 of 57
    darth to Mad Dawgg

    Mad Dawgg, I have a degree in Econ as well as engineering.

    I worked as a for the Army or the fedgov for 25 years.

    YES, we can pay down the debt. None of the steps are easy, but:

    1. Go thru the entire fed bureaucracy with a complete restructuring. NASA has already been surpassed by the private sector launch biz.

    Outsource everything possible. Why does the fedgov have factories? Aircraft repair depots? Nuke weapons manufacturing? In almost every case, you need about 5% of current actual govt employees to manage the contractors who will do the work.

    Large numbers of fedgov employees have no discernible product in Dept of Education, Dept of Labor, Commerce, etc. EPA and OSHA could be completely replaced by state agencies regulating workplace safety and environmental pollution.

    Like The Donald sez, “Yer fired”.

    2. Take a hard look at all entitlements. Drug/alcohol testing to get food stamps, housing, etc. Hard to say it, but we need to have means testing for SS and Medicare. I have a buddy worth over $5M who gets the Obamacare subsidy because he keeps his taxable income low.

    3. Reform Medicare and Medicaid to make them more patient-outcome oriented and less bureaucratic.

    4. SELL FEDGOV ASSETS! Half of the land West of the Mississippi belongs to the fedgov. Why? Get the land and the minerals and agriculture and forestry into private, American hands. Trade fed bonds for land.

    5. Open up our own resources. Fire the greenies from the BLM, Forest Service, Interior Dept, et al. Why are we importing rare earths, titanium, uranium, etc. when there are deposits here to be mined?

    The USA should be the Saudi Arabia of coal for export. It is one of the most transportable forms of energy.

    6. Legalize drugs (with prescriptions for addicts), put the cartels out of business, and tax them. Yes, it is terrible, but we lost the war on drugs a long time ago.

    7. Sue foreign competitors for their offenses, e.g., stealing intellectual property and seize their assets (fed bonds).

    How are those for a start?

  • Obama commutes sentences of 61 drug offenders

    03/30/2016 9:18:48 AM PDT · 19 of 56
    darth to detective

    Back in the day when I was busting drug dealers, we often knew through informants that the dealers were probably guilty of extortion, armed robbery, and murder.

    However, we often busted them for possession because we could not prove the more serious charges. Possession is easy to prosecute and prove.

    Expect that the people that Obama is releasing will go on to murder a few folks in the ‘hood.

    That said, I have come to the conclusion that there was a “War On Drugs” and we LOST.

    It is time to begin legalizing drug use again. I would start by letting clinics hand out prescriptions to known addicts. Of course, we will have to prevent them from selling the drugs on the street, but we already handle that problem with methadone clinics. At least, we did the last time I looked.

  • Tired of politics..Gun and supply talk anyone?

    03/25/2016 9:47:28 AM PDT · 37 of 53
    darth to Big Red Badger

    I have not tried this with ammo, but in my business, I often have to pack zinc plated steel parts in drums up to 50 gal.

    The parts used to rust in the bottom of the drum as the zinc plating outgassed water over time and dripped to the bottom.

    I solved the problem by dumping charcoal briquettes or kitty litter in the bottom as a sorbent. Then I layered newspaper on top to keep the parts clean before filling the drum with parts.

    In my area, Houston, there is as guy who sells used steel drums with removable tops for $9 each. That beats the hell out of plastic totes from Wallymart or an ammo can. First, you have to scrub the residue out of the drum (appplesauce from China), then dry it before use.

    I find the drums ideal for storing things like bags of sugar and salt in my barn (heat does not affect those).

    I would not, of course, store primers or powder in a hot barn regardless of how dry it stayed.

  • Adventures with a Pair of Bushmen

    03/19/2016 6:07:28 AM PDT · 4 of 25
    darth to marktwain

    I once took a trip through Morocco with a buddy.

    We encountered a lot of hostile natives, some of whom were in large groups. Many had large daggers at their waist.

    I carried a pair of nunchuks as well as a couple of blades. I also had a Wrist Rocket with a bag of ball bearings.

    The Moroccans had seen enough Bruce Lee movies to recognize the nunchuks which I carried openly.

    They never had to learn that I did not know how to use the chuks; the intimidation was enough.

  • Ashley Graham Makes History as the First Size-16 Model to Cover Sports Illustrated

    02/14/2016 10:43:33 AM PST · 96 of 97
    darth to TigerClaws

    That gal is built like a bag fulla bobcats.

    Very healthy!

  • The CIAs Secret Heart Attack Gun

    02/14/2016 7:20:26 AM PST · 85 of 162
    darth to DeathBeforeDishonor1

    I had a friend back in 1974 who was in Army counter-intel.

    He caught a US sergeant selling secrets to the Russkis. He caught him at the meeting and bagged two Russki spy handlers as well.

    A few months later my friend ended up in a hospital in Rotterdam where I assume he was on assignment. His leg swelled up, turned black, and had serious necrosis.

    The docs concluded after testing that it was Brown Recluse Spider venom.

    Brown Recluse Spiders are not native to Europe.

    Apparently, he was hit by a dart so small he did not know he had been shot.

    This kind of thing does not just happen in movies. Payback, you understand.

    Oh, the docs saved his leg. Last time I checked, my buddy was still working in Europe.

  • A Reagan Doctrine for the Twenty-First Century - Let's take off our gloves

    01/31/2016 6:18:41 AM PST · 28 of 31
    darth to Cincinatus' Wife

    Retired Cold Warrior here.

    My credentials: I graduated from the Hudson Trade School for Wayward Boys (service academy), studied nuke war strategy, contributed as an engineer to Reagan’s Star Wars programs, and had success forecasting the downfall of the Soviet Union over 10 years before it occurred.

    My observations:

    Russia wants their damned Empire back! The Czars spent hundreds of years expanding it, the Marxists continued this expansion, and the current leaders are just as nationalistic.

    The USA and its allies need to let limits and make those clear to the Russians. For example, while the Russians could keep Crimea (which had been “given” to Ukraine), they cannot re-conquer Ukraine itself which was independent for much of its history and wishes to remain so.

    As for Syria, keeping Assad in power and preventing Persian Gulf oil and gas pipelines from competing with Russia in Europe is clearly the Russian goal. Despite the protest from our Persian Gulf “allies”, I think we should leave this one alone. Maybe the pipelines should go through Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon instead? That could be very profitable for those countries.

    There are no Good Guys in Syria to speak of. Furthermore, the USA is a major oil producer just like Russia, Saudi Arabia, et al. Why are we helping one competitor at the expense of another?

    The best US strategy to deal with this is to COMPETE with Russia as a supplier of hydrocarbons to Europe. We should be shipping oil, coal, and LNG as fast as we can. Russia’s threatening posture against European customers can result in more profit for the USA. What’s not to like?

    Reagan’s strategy against the USSR was to bankrupt them by lowering the prices for oil, gold, and diamonds which were their sources of hard currency. The current oil glut and Russia’s foolish decision to rely upon hydrocarbon exports has accomplished the same for us now. When Russia’s economy is smaller than Spain’s, they do not pose much of a threat to Europe.

    As for defense, YES, we should maintain a commanding edge over all competitors. However, we need to be very careful about where we commit forces. In retrospect, it turns out that conventional victories in North Africa and the ME don’t always produce better end results.

    One area that DOES pay rich dividends is a robust anti-missile capability.

    Few people realize that the most important benefit of Star Wars was not to defend our cities against Russian nukes. That was the public window dressing.

    With even a limited SDI, we could prioritize and defend Navy ships in port, air bases, and missile silos thus preserving a powerful second strike capability.

    This is what drives the Russkis nuts. A limited missile defense checks the threat of a Russian first strike. They always planned to use a first strike BOOB (Bolt Out Of the Blue) attack to remove our nuke forces. This would leave our cities as hostages and force check mate.

    At this time, Russia is only a super power in the area of nuke arsenal. If that is negated, they lack the threat to defeat Europe.

    Reagan’s advisers, some of whom I worked with, understood this.

    In summary, we need to find as much common ground as possible with the Russians. We have common enemies such as the islamonazis and common competitors. We should be working together when possible.

    I vote for peace through strength.