Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zombie Proof!

Cold Steel tests some products to see how well they kill zombies. They use pig and cow skulls so if you're a member of PETA, I advise you not to watch.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Battle Comp BC1.0 on M249 at BRTC

Now, that's impressive.

The Contraception Controversy

During her fake Congressional testimony (she was not testifying before an official Congressional hearing, just a pretend one arranged by Democrats for the press), political activist Sandra Fluke spoke of the "financial hardship" that she has witnessed among women studying at Georgetown University with her. Fluke and her fellow law students are apparently incapable of shopping around for better prices and she alleged that the total cost of contraception during the course of study came to $3,000.

In actual fact, birth control pills can be purchased for as little as $324 for a three year supply, almost a tenth of the cost that Fluke told her fake Congressional hearing. It seems that some of the brightest legal minds in modern day America, attending a school costing $46,865 per year, are oblivious to making the most of their personal budgets.

When challenged on this fact, Fluke retorted that for some women these pills are medically required and that cheap, generic brands just won't do. What Fluke- and the mainstream media- won't tell you is that the average salary for a Georgetown graduate upon leaving school is $160,000- which means that even if one of her fellow students did have to pay the full $3,000, that cost is equal to one week's pay. And remember, that's just the average starting salary.

Do Democrats really want to make wealthy lawyers the poster children for their contraception mandate assault on religious freedom? If Republicans tried a stunt like this then the media would make a huge deal out of the fact that a group of some of the country's more wealthy citizens were demanding to be given free stuff.

As Mark Steyn points out, would it really be so hard for one of these law students to go to their bank and take out a $3,000 loan for three year's contraception and then pay it back with that first week's pay?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WOW: Disaster Response | Mark's Daily Apple

There's a lot of advice on-line about being prepared for a disaster- and at the very least I suggest everyone have a bug out bag ready with enough food and water to see you through two or three days- but when it comes to being physically prepared the advice is usually to try and keep reasonably fit. Which is all well and good but have you ever wondered how to test to see if your fitness levels are sufficient to cope during a disaster? Well, wonder no more. Over at Mark's Daily Apple the Workout of the Week is called Disaster Response and it will let you know if your current level of activity is sufficient...or whether you need to reconsider your fitness regime in order to develop more practical strength and stamina.

WOW: Disaster Response | Mark's Daily Apple

Have fun, it looks like a blast.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It May Never End

I've just discovered this album by It May Never End called Such is Life and I'm really, really enjoying it. Have a listen and if you like it head on over here where you'll find links to download the album. Terrific stuff- I hope there's a follow up soon. This track is called To Fall Without Landing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Libya & The UK Military

The UK is not only involved in the no-fly campaign against Libya but PM Cameron seems to be desperately pushing to specifically topple the regime and kill Gaddafi. Just the other day a specific attack against him was called off at the last minute because of the presence of the press at the site. In fact, the government is now involved in a public spat with their top General on whether or not such a thing is even permissible.

The fact that the UK is even involved in Libya is of major concern to me, and not only because it seems to be a badly conceived, poorly defined mission with no clear objectives or command structure. My main concern is with the men and women of the UK military and the effects that another war will have on them, especially since the government has recently taken a machete to the military budget. Under the auspices of the Strategic Defence Review, the government has slashed spending, slashed jobs and slashed our nation's capability to wage war. The Independent described the spending review as meaning that the UK would be 'unable to launch major military operations overseas'. Which, let's face it, is precisely where you want to launch military operations.

The problem with this is that the SDR was not driven by the needs of the military nor based on the realities of the dangerous world we live in, it was driven by a need to cut spending and damn the results. Not only did the recent Strategic Defence Review not mention N. Africa once- no hint of turmoil anywhere in what is now one of the most volatile areas of the world- it takes no account of having to wage an air war in the Mediterranean or of having ground forces in the desert kingdom of Libya. In short, the paper upon which we're basing our future defence needs did not even have the foresight to predict major unrest a handful of months after its publication. Given that the military procurement process and training process moves at an almost glacial pace, it's important that our future needs are carefully considered. Skill sets do not appear overnight. If we lose a skill or a capability due to redundancies, we cannot simply regain it overnight when needed- it can take months or even years for the skill to be re-acquired and then for trainers to pass that skill on to the men who will take it into battle with them. And re-learning skills during a war is a sure way to get people killed. If we scrap a particular piece of equipment now, we not only lose it but the men with the ability to use it, plus the skills of those who maintain it. If at some later date we discover that actually we do need it, we not only need to re-purchase it but we need to re-learn and re-train a whole new generation of soldiers in its care and use. Not to mention the integration of the equipment/skill with the wider military.

Right now, 800 Royal Marines are on stand by to go to Libya, as the air war threatens to expand to the ground, and the SAS & SBS are already in country. But the UK has no aircraft carrier to stand off the coast and no Harrier jump jets to provide ground support- our new aircraft carriers won't be ready until 2016 and won't be able to carry planes until 2019. Incidentally of the two we're buying, only one will ever be operational- that's right, we're buying two but can only afford to run one.

Our armoured vehicles and artillery have been slashed (we've lost 40% of our tanks alone) - because when will Britain ever be involved in the flat, open expanses of desert where they are essential? Given that tanks not only provide the ability to project power against the enemy but also provide ground forces with a great deal of protection this makes no sense to me. Especially since other nations, for example Canada, are currently using them to good effect in Afghanistan.

Our number of soldiers has been drastically cut too so that we could not even mount another conflict like the Falklands without the help of other nations. Given that Argentina recently made noises about reclaiming the islands because of the oil there one has to ask who in government thought it was a good idea to make our future defence of the islands dependent on other nations. Who precisely? The US remained essentially neutral in the last conflict and the French, our current allies, supplied the Argentinians with Exocet missiles to attack our Navy. If Argentina moves to take the islands again, who specifically does the government see as helping us protect them? Who is going to lend us a fully functioning aircraft carrier? Perhaps this is a question someone, say an elected representative, should have asked before now. As it stands the new cuts mean that not only are we unable to launch a major offensive we will not be able to fight wars in more than one country at a time- only 30,000 men are available for a major conflict while 45,000 were needed for the initial invasion of Iraq for example. In a smaller conflict like Afghanistan we will only have a pool of 6,500 men- down from 9,500. If the no-fly zone fails to topple Gaddafi, how many troops will be needed and/or available to go in? What will that mean for the mission in Afghanistan? It bears mentioning here too that of all the foreign fighters in Iraq, the majority were from Libya- will they turn their guns on Allied troops once Gaddafi is gone?

At the time that Cameron was still threatening his intervention in Libya 170 nearly fully trained RAF pilots were made redundant, in addition to two whole Tornado squadrons (and all of our Harrier jump jets)- because when will Britain need pilots to enforce a no-fly zone or provide ground support to troops facing tanks?
Cameron has not only crippled the military with short-sighted cuts, his intervention in Libya now threatens to put servicemen at greater risk than they would have been only a year ago- in fact, the SDR specifically stated that there would be no wars of "liberal intervention" in the near future. The whole basis of the review was that Britain's future conflicts would look an awful lot like Afghanistan- it did not once take into account an action like Libya or any other potential hotspot around the world- back in October the thought of going to war against Libya was not even a possibility and yet here we are today on the verge of getting sucked into another ground war.

Basing future military needs on the actions we're currently involved in is not only short-sighted but it puts the lives of servicemen and women in danger- have they forgotten already how many died because British troops had Land Rovers and not armoured vehicles in Iraq? How many were killed because they had no body armour? In Afghanistan, troops have even needlessly been killed or maimed because they aren't even issued portable ladders so that they can enter walled compounds safely. Ladders for goodness sake- we can't provide troops with a simple item like that in the war that's already been going on for almost ten years and here we are starting another one.

Why is it always that the politicians who slash the military's capabilities are the same ones who so eagerly send them to war?

Monday, March 21, 2011

LGF And Breitbart

A recent tweet from Charles of LGF, retweeted by Andrew Breitbart, linked to a post which argued that the BIG conglomerate of websites were nothing more than a cargo cult. As evidence they presented the argument that the Planned Parenthood stings run by James O'Keefe "depended upon the right-wing fantasy that there exist extensive well-organized juvenile "sex-trafficking" rings, something that upon even cursory examination turns out to be utter crap."

Really? Organised sex trafficking rings pushing juvenile girls is a right wing fantasy? Well, not quite, as even a cursory examination- and an awareness of recent news- prove otherwise.

The owners of a local bar and restaurant are among 10 people accused of bringing young Mexican women and girls to Houston and forcing them into prostitution, U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno said Thursday.

According to the indictment, Maria and Jose Rojas were involved in the recruitment of Mexican nationals, ages ranging from 14 to 30, to travel to the U.S. with the false expectation of legitimate jobs in bars and restaurants, beginning in 1999. Once the women arrived, the indictment alleges that the suspects used force, fraud and coercion to compel the women to work as prostitutes at their businesses.

"Their families back home are under threat," said Deputy Adrian Garcia with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office. "It’s put into the minds of these women if they don’t cooperate, if they do have family back home terrible and horrible things will happen to them.

The indictment also alleges that beginning in 2003, the conspirators changed their tactics and began relying on pimps to provide the girls and young women and to keep them from escaping.

In fact, it's so NOT a fantasy that the FBI even operates an arm dedicated to combating Human Trafficking. A page on their website notes-

The majority of victims in FBI human trafficking cases are women and young girls from Central American and Asian countries. They are primarily forced into the commercial sex industry and..domestic servitude...there are an increasing number of young males being forced into the commercial sex industry as well.

So, far from being a right wing fantasy, a cursory examination reveals that it's actually a very real problem. Real enough for the FBI to dedicate efforts directly to combating it.

What was that you were saying about a cargo cult, LGF?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Chair

Stumbled across The Atlantic's photo section In Focus today and discovered a wealth of tremendous high-res photographs. I'd recommend popping over there to check it out, there are some amazing images on display.

The most recent post concerns the conflict in Libya and there are some photos I thought would be of particular interest here- images of rebel positions coming under aerial attack and those detailing the weapons (and techniques) used by the rebels. Russian arms are, not surprisingly, well represented but I was taken by the image below- a rebel armed with an FN FAL utilising an office chair as an anti-aircraft emplacement.