Friday, June 30, 2006

Lagomorph on Loan

Our puppy found 5, tiny lagomorphs in a pile of composting leaves. We waited for the mother to return, but for some good reason she never made it back.

They needed care so we took them in, read up on internet veterinary advice and went shopping (it was late sunday evening) for the right supplies.

The photo shows our sole survivor, Peter. The strongest of the original five, he eats well, exercises (including daily attempts to escape from his laundary basket) and even recognizes the puppy who came to his aid.

They say that a very critical period for survival comes at 4-5 weeks when bunnies convert to solid diet. We will obtain expert help before that point.

A friend of mine has decades of experience raising rabbits (for his family's consumption). The only time I have ever eaten one was at sea on a submarine as Thanksgiving fare (had thought it to be fried chicken- yep, all the turkey was gone before I came off watch).

If he survives, Peter will be another family pet, we think at this point. Releasing him to the wild is a certain death sentence due to predator populations. Hopefully, he will be eligible to vote by November elections.


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Submarine Offensive Laser Test

SUBMARINES: Always silent; always strange.

A no-brainer concept. The stuff of science was once only fiction (DARPA). Is this still fiction like this book from August 2003: By Dawn's Early Light, Vol. 1? Publisher's description: On the Bay of Bengal a civilian research vessel witnesses a submarine fire a laser into the sky. Before they can process what they see, the sub blasts them out of the water and captures the lone survivor. Immediately, one of the United States spy satellites becomes inoperative, and seemingly disappears.

A photo worthy of thousands of words all omitted here. What follows is barely fifty ...

An offensive submarine weapon (unannounced) or hypothetical, blue-green communications laser? Mystery aircraft undamaged. Yes, powerful offensive laser beams would be invisible (e.g. CO2 laser beams), so what gives with this faint, bluish image? Effective range is easily hundreds of miles into the atmosphere and beyond with nuclear plant power.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Remember Al Qaeda's Longstanding Claim of 90% Readiness to Attack the U.S.?

Bringing you insightful information first:

In March of 2003 al Qaeda had planned to launch a deadly gas attack in NYC's subway system, according to a recent book by Ron Suskind and related news reports. In days leading up to the Coalition's invasion of Iraq, the gas attack was called off by Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, himself: why would AQ want to give an invasion force greater will to win (by slaying 3,000 subway riders) beforehand? Obviously, they would not. Their original plan was set aside and, after the invasion, AQ wanted to demonstrate for the world its ability to attack the U.S. with even more casualties than 9-11.

Certainly, we recall reports of suspicious middle eastern types photographing NYC's subways in the months after 9-11. Many were detained and questioned, some were arrested and a few even convicted. We heard, in years after our invasion of Iraq, threats by AQ that they were 90-95% prepared (in 2004) to launch a new attack in the U.S. of even greater proprtions than 9-11. (meaning at least 10-50,000 deaths). Never happened. Why not?

AQ's hallmark, refuting any notion that jihadists lack sophistication, is mass lethality through multiple, simultaneous attacks. Imagine how imponderable the various subway line schedules must have appeared to AQ planners. Arrivals and departures rarely follow the published schedule as operation of the overall system is choreographed for best overall performance in the face of the odd power disruption, pesky track problem, emergency repair, and other daily interferences. Overlay all of this with organized labor rules. Then, consider that the schedule itself changes based upon current ridership needs. In all probability, this is why AQ's subway attack preparations, unlike Madrid's railway, never got to 100%.

Certainly, security professionals and terror experts are attempting to envision AQ's plot. How did AQ intend to trap and gas at least 50,000 riders? They could hardly do that, nor could they deliver deadly gas to crowded stations by subway on reliable schedule. Obviously, power outages would be the least suspicious method (compare to murdered bodies on the tracks) of stopping trains during rush hour. But, where to hide gas canisters at the stations?

Simultaneous detonation is not beyond AQ's remote controlled IED's, right? Wrong! Infrared and radio signals are difficult to use in NYC's subway architecture. Timers would work, but remember the trains really keep to no schedule with German-like reliability. AQ would have been embarrassed to gas just-emptied stations.

Infiltration of the transit workers was another possibility AQ no doubt considered. Not all of the subway system is below ground, and very few people know the system intimately. Pity the terrorist apprentice trying to glean insider information from the Transit Workers Union.

NYC's subway was a very poor choice of target to couple with usual AQ methods. Let's hope it remains so, and AQ continues to distract itself with more projects it can never master. - Vigilis


Friday, June 16, 2006

SSN Submarines Play a Significant, Clandestine Role: Images You Will Never See in Iraq

The U.S. military on Thursday (June 15th) revealed for the first time a photo of the man said to be the new leader of al Qaeda in Iraq. Vigilis (thanks to the World Wide Web) revealed this 6 whole days earlier, in this comment on June 9th:

"Thanks for highlighting Ledeen's article, Teflon (The Real al Zarqawi ). In fact, Zarqawi's elimination is even more significant than Ledeen recognized. Zarqawi and Rahman managed an effective insurgency and hid better and longer even than Saddam himself. Bin Laden currently manages nothing effective and hides as well as if he were dead (or, is he?). With Zarqawi's expertise missing (his most senior leaders had all been captured or killed) there will be relatively inferior training opportunities for enemies of the Iraqi police. Al-Masri cannot become an al Zarqawi overnight; he will be fortunate to avoid capture this year."

You will of course not see images of Pinnipeds (seal mammals) in Iraq as the upper extreme of their survivability is in the low 80 degree 'F' range.

USN SEALs will not be photographed during their submarine launched, clandestine missions, of course.

Al-Masri will not be seen until his remains are retrieved from the next 500-lb. bomb attack coming to newspapers in your community, later this year.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Man-induced climate change. Ha-ha-ha!

Even those who consider themselves open-minded should only do so with healthy skepticism.
Finally, the skeptics are gathering a voice counter to what appears to be a well-organized, politically-motivated Global Warming Scam.

The gods are laughing at Al Gore's doozies...
Scientists who work in the fields liberal arts graduate Al Gore wanders through contradict his theories about man-induced climate change. Here are a few excerpts from a short, but informative article the truly open-minded voter should certainly read in full.

the ex-vice president commits numerous basic scientific mistakes:

Gore repeatedly labels carbon dioxide as "global warming pollution" when, in reality, it is no more pollution than is oxygen. CO2 is plant food, an ingredient essential for photosynthesis without which Earth would be a lifeless, frozen ice ball. The hypothesis that human release of CO2 is a major contributor to global warming is just that -- an unproven hypothesis, against which evidence is increasingly mounting. In fact, the correlation between CO2 and temperature that Gore speaks about so confidently is simply non-existent over all meaningful time scales.

Over the intermediate time scales Gore focuses on, the ice cores show that CO2 increases don't precede, and therefore don't cause, warming. Rather, they follow temperature rise -- by as much as 800 years.

It goes on and on and gets better. As Vigilis has quoted before apropos Al Gore, everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege. It is becoming clearer that he is either very dim-witted, or is spearheading a scam for which he has a financial conflict of interest. In fact, his interest in the recent movie An Inconvenient Truth, could be offset by production costs claimed as advertising/marketing for his investment company, based in London. Shameful, really shameful, but not illegal.

Mr. Gore, and the scientists doing the environmental alarm mongering will die much richer before the accuracy or error of their arguments can ever be proven. - Vigilis


Iran's Al-Sabehat Submarine Revisited

In August 2000, Iran launched its first domestically produced mini-submarine. The Iranian news agency said that the Al-Sabehat-15 submarine was designed to plant mines and carry out reconnaissance missions.

Jane's calls the Al Sabehat a swimmer delivery vehicle, ideal for covert, special-forces operations that could well be a prototype for larger mini-submarines of the future.

The BBC NEWS reported (upper image) that the sub can accommodate a two-man crew and up to three divers. What are the chances of technician-divers? How about peaceful atomic bomb technician-divers?

The XRAYDAR (lower image) shows what appears to be a Little Boy (as in, Hiroshima) type atomic bomb. That would be a 15 kilton atomic mine. I will sleep well tonight, because Tehran promises only peaceful uses for its atomic programs. How about you?


Monday, June 12, 2006

Updating Prison Ships: The Proposed Submarine USS Guantanamo

What is big and black and interchangable (no visible hull number or name)? ans. submarines

brig (brĭg) n. jail or prison on board a U.S. Navy or Coast Guard vessel.

Do "prison ships" serve their purpose moored or at sea? See prison ships in photo above (confusing).

Commodore Edward Preble (1761-1807), for whom the United States Naval Academy's Preble Hall is named, was held prisoner by the British as a young officer aboard the prison ship New Jersey.

Can you think of an accused terrorist who has been held at a naval brig (in Charleston)? ans. Jose Padilla

Think this is an original proposal? Think again (from BBC NEWS US faces prison ship allegations 06/28/2005, et al):

"The use of prison ships would allow investigators to interrogate people secretly and in international waters out of the reach of US law", British security expert Francis Tusa said.
"This opens the door to very tough interrogations on key prisoners before it even has been revealed that they have been captured," said Tusa, an editor for the British magazine Jane's Intelligence Review.

Nowak said the prison ships would not be "floating Guantanamos" since "they are much smaller, holding less than a dozen detainees."

Submarines could add clear advantages to confinement possibilities. SSGNs could hold several dozen terrorist suspects, who would be responsible for their own hygiene, manners, etc.

More on international waters here.


Stealth Wings for Aerial Suicide Bombers?

United States territorial waters begin three miles offshore and end 24 miles out to sea. In 1999, U.S. agencies were empowered by presidential proclamation to enforce American law up to 24 miles (39 km) offshore, doubling the previous limit.

While there should be little doubt our president might intervene pre-emptively inside this zone, a terrorist stealth attack launched from outside the 24-mile limit could be more problematic for an administration beset by intimidating lawmakers who regularly question the legality of every move against radical islamist terror and want to impeach the man responsible for checking its secretive spread.

This artificial 24-mile boundary assumes incendiary proportions for defense against terrorists, including aerial suicide bombers, however, thanks to amazing, new personal flight technology (detailed, enlargeable photo here). Remember how advanced U.S. defense technology spread to China, via a contributor to a certain administration’s re-election campaign? Suppose a wealthy, state supporter of Wahhabi Islam influenced a future administration?

ABC NEWS ONLINE broke this story Wings' to carry paratroopers 200km (124 miles) from Jane's Defence Weekly on May 27th, and by now, many of you have read about. The 124 miles, by the way, is a low estimate. In otherwords, the hypothetical range not only exceeds United States territorial limits, it covers targets almost 100 miles inland.

The modular wing system is almost totally silent and extremely tough to track by air or ground-based radar. Jane's Defence Weekly reported that the next upgrade will use small turbo-jet drives, as used on unmanned aerial vehicles, allowing jumpers to be carried longer distances without jumping from such extreme heights.

You might think I am giving terrorist suicide bombers a good idea. Not at all, I detected what has already been done (June 6th) here. STRAP-ON 'STEALTH WINGS' ARE NOW AVAILABLE (see title at top and “Autor(a): Islamic Community”). Follow the thread; see photo above. note: Interesting Chiapas connection: villages under Zapatista control territory in an autonomously goverened region independent of Mexico.

What would prevent suicide Islamist paradise-seekers from adopting this new technology to carry Semtex or c-4 in aerial, stealth bombing attacks on any target within 100 miles of our coast? Comlpeting training would be crucial, in my opinion. Extremists intelligent and brave enough to successfully pass ‘batwing’ training are unlikely to focus on a suicide mission afterwards - the sense of accomplishment would overpower their despondency. All suicidal terrorists are encouraged to avail the training, nevertheless.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Toward a Submarine Christened "USS Terror"

Three warships of the United States Navy wore the name USS Terror. The last one earned four battle stars for service in World War II. Once the only U.S. ship built exclusively for laying mines, she was decommissioned by 1956.

Which class of ship now deserves the name USS Terror in the struggle with terrorist upstarts, of course, remains to be seen. Given the world-class fighting reputations of our United States Marines and Navy SEALs, however, and their growing appreciation for submarine stealth, the name should probably be reserved for an awesome platform.

The last, purpose-built cruise missile submarine was USS Halibut (SSGN-587). When cruise missiles were superseded as strategic weapons by ICBMs, Halibut was redesignated an attack submarine for her last 15 years. How times have reversed!

Although a very creditable submarine in her own right, the fish name Halibut is more likely to make terrorists smirk than to cause agita. Terror, on the otherhand, strikes a rather fitting, asymmetric awe even in limited, terrorist vocabularies. While terrorists have only a prayer of ever touching one, SOF teams or cruise missiles can strike them with deadly surprise and precision, almost at will and even from an easterly direction


Monday, June 05, 2006

"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years"

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

From Molten Eagle 05/30/2006:
Mr. Gore, and the scientists doing the environmental alarm mongering will die much richer before the accuracy or error of their arguments can ever be proven.

From Article by David Harsanyi: 06/05/2006 :
The only inconvenient truth about global warming, contends Colorado State University's Bill Gray, is that a genuine debate has never actually taken place. Hundreds of scientists, many of them prominent in the field, agree. [emphasis added]

Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.
"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was." Gray directs me to a 1975 Newsweek article that whipped up a different fear: a coming ice age.
"Climatologists," reads the piece, "are pessimistic that political leaders will take any positive action to compensate for the climatic change. ... The longer the planners delay, the more difficult will they find it to cope with climatic change once the results become grim reality."
Thank God they did nothing. Imagine how warm we'd be?


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Submarines, Always Silent & Strange

The pictured submarine was part of an unflattering jingle (familiar to all submariners in the latter days of diesel boats) alluding to the fabled unavailability for sea duty of these Tang-class subs: Harder, Darter, Trigger, Trout, always in, never out. This sub appeared as the fictitious nuclear submarine USS Neptune diving and surfacing in the opening credits of Gray Lady Down. She later became a UUV for NAWCAD.

Harder (SS-568) was decommissioned in 1973, sold to Italy in 1974 and served as Romeo Romei until 1988, when decommissioned and then scrapped. Darter (SS-576) was decommissioned in 1989, and sunk by Tautog (SSN-639) as a target in 1992. Trigger (SS-564) was decommissioned in 1973 and transferred to Italy, where she served as Livio Piomarta until decommissioned in 1986. Ex-Trout, shown in the photo, is still "out" as of 2006!

Trout was extensively overhauled in 1978. With new engines, batteries, and in excellent materiel readiness, she was decommissioned, struck from the Naval Vessel Register, sold to the Shah of Iran, and renamed Kousseh. Her Iranian transfer crew abandoned her in New London, following the Iranian revolution (March 1979), however. Kept at Philadelphia while finances were resolved, she reverted to US ownership in 1992. In 1994, ex-Trout was sold for scrap to the PEO USW and moored at Newport, RI. She was then acquired by the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Key West Detachment as a remotely controlled submersible sonar target ship, an underwater acoustic target for ASW research and development, operational testing, and training.

Ex-Trout has been on hold since March 2004 at INACTSHIPS in Philadelphia, where she will depart as a gift (Nigeria, perhaps), as a submarine memorial, as scrap, as a target, or ___? Regarding AGSS-555 (USS Dolphin), here an anonymous commenter asked why spend 40+ mil on a boat to fix it up and then decom it a couple of years later? I can think of several good reasons now, can you?

Pieces of particular submarine histories will remain mysterious by necessity. Suppose for instance that AGSS-555 was configured to be an AIP simulator (in San Diego) before the SSK Gotland became available (in San Diego)? Good contingency planning, but instant surplus. What a thought.

We live in a world where submarines are almost always silent and strange, but not uniquely. Consider this, for example, from the UK's Independent News and Media Limited:
A British-built "spy in the sky" is already in service with the US Immigration Department, patrolling the Mexican border where millions of illegal workers cross into the US every year.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Mystery Submarine from Antiquity?

Ignore the title. Venture your best, educated guess on the identity of this naval vessel under construction. Lubbers Line not eligible, as his kin no doubt served upon her during her brief service.


USS _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ?

Constructed only a few years after this (Photo #: NH 93521-KN) World War I Victory Medal was awarded to U.S. submarine war veterans.

Note the shape of the surprisingly early USS Albacore-like hull. An early forerunner?

The craft was built from a new alloy and had a significant edge in safety over earlier designs.

Christened in October 1923, she was sponsored by the wife of the Secretary of the Navy and commissioned the same day.

She was lost in a storm. Her commanding officer and 13 other officers and men were killed. Twenty-nine men survived. The tragedy prompted an officer to criticize Navy leadership, leading directly to his court-martial for insubordination.

Still need a hint, sailor? Maria Sharapova
(similar curves, although admittedly different form, fit and function).

Confused? Lubbers Line will give us the correct answer, if no one else has by the time he sees this. Or, in about 72 hours, Molten Eagle will post full references.