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I Don’t Lose a Wink of Sleep over North Korea September 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, foolishness, It's all about the $$$, rank stupidity, self-serving, silliness, Society, technology.
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Several people have asked me what I think of North Korea and all these threats emanating from Kim Jong Un.  What I think is………don’t fund their weapons development, otherwise, just totally ignore them and encourage every possible economic sanction.  They are a one trick pony.  All they have is threats.  If they ever act on those threats, their one trump card is gone and they are utterly destroyed.  So, it is best to just ignore them.

But we, the US, have paid for their atomic weapons and ballistic missile development efforts. In 1994 Kim Il Sung precipitated a fake “crisis” over a nuclear weapons program that resulted in a total cave from Billy Boy Clinton and North Korea receiving several billion dollars in US aid, upon the false promise that the Norks would stop their nuclear weapons development program.  Lo and behold, 12 years later North Korea explodes a low tech, low yield fission implosion device (similar to Little Boy of Hiroshima), and Bush ’43 rewards them with more US aid for another totally empty promise. Several billion dollars later and the Norks have at least IRBMs and now, it seems, a thermonuclear device.  Now they are out of development funds, I surmise, again, and so are rattling their sabers to complete their weapon miniaturization and RV development efforts (with massive aid from Iran, who Obama showered with tens of billions of dollars in unfrozen Iranian assets all for a totally empty promise that they won’t further develop the nukes they already surely have) and so are looking for another 5 or 8 or 10 billion US dollars to help them complete their fully operational nuclear deterrent force, which we have, in all likelihood, already funded to its present state of completion.

What they are already doing is ALL they can do.  They have one play and one play alone: the crazy man saber rattle bluff.  The last 3 US presidents have fallen for it.  Don’t let Trump be the fourth, and, thank God, I don’t think he will.

Look, North Korea can inflict grievous harm on the US with either an EMP -which I doubt they have the capability to execute, it’s much trickier than it’s made out to be – or with a strike on any US targets within their missile range (which is quite unclear at present). But US strategic nuclear forces were designed to ride out an attack 100s of times more massive than anything the NorKs can do and hit back with enough force to effectively decapitate and devastate another superpower, let alone a broken peasant state with entirely centralized command and control.  And the NorKs know this.  They attack, they die.

Sure they can engage in various levels of malfeasance short of nuclear warfare that may deserve varying levels of responses, but the one response you don’t do is to give into their shakedown tactics yet again.  If they stage another commando raid on the South, as they have done many times in the past, you respond in kind or let the RoK do so (people forget, Korea, Republic of, has an extremely capable and highly motivated military).  Let the RoK and/or Japan start staging “accidental” penetrations of North Korean airspace by armed tactical aircraft.  There are myriad things to do, short of all out war.

So let them keep flapping their gums and staging whatever missile flights they can, but don’t let it bother you any more than any test flight of a Russian or Chinese ICBM, which occurs almost monthly, as well, and to no great fanfare.  Communicate in no uncertain terms that THIS administration will not be shaken down by a bully, and this will all quickly pass.  In the meantime finally get serious about continental missile defense and start deploying far more X-band tracking radars and GMD interceptors.  The fact that we still only have about 40 interceptors deployed, enough to have a 99% assurance of taking out 10 RVs, after 10 years in service is criminal negligence.

Unfortunately Trump’s only response will probably some angry tweets with no actual policy follow-up.  Even this is forgivable if he just won’t cave into this shakedown racket.

Ground-Based Midcourse Defense System deployment to cover CONUS could emulate proposed Sentinel system of late 1960s. Relocate West coast sites 500 miles to the east just for spite – say, northern Idaho, central NV, and AZ-CA border. Add a site to the MS-TN-AL border triangle.

Approximate defended area for a single Sentinel site. GMD sites can actually defend a much wider area as they have higher-performing missiles. Nevertheless when it comes to strategic defense overlap is GOOD.

Today’s strategic interceptors are designed to work on a shoot-shoot watch shoot-shoot basis.  That is, each inbound gets 4 interceptors nominally assigned.  Since RVs will be coming in along a generally restricted corridor missiles can be reassigned to new targets as targets are destroyed.  Unfortunately the current command and control infrastructure is only set up to handle one off or very limited attacks.  To provide continental coverage and deal with much more massive raids the C2 infrastructure would have to be significantly beefed up if not totally redesigned from the ground up.

Of course the Russians and Chinese would lose their minds if we pursued this objective but defense is inherently moral while relying on threatening the deaths of tens of millions of innocents in retaliation is inherently immoral.  That is to say, money spent pursuing missile defense is an objective good, while that spent on offensive retaliatory systems is much more morally problematic.  You cannot uninvent nuclear weapons or wish them away.  They are, in fact, proliferating far more rapidly now than at any time since their invention, along with the means to deliver them.

And yes of course there are other means of delivery but do we send men into combat without body armor because the other side has guns?  Of course not.  There are defenses against the other means of delivery AND there are huge problems with things like “sticking a nuke on a container ship” and sailing it into Los Angeles harbor.  How does the bad guy know the ship will wind up in Los Angeles, and not, say, the harbor of one of his friends? Or his own? The fact that people make frequent recourse to these rhetorical red herrings when arguing against missile defense – THE primary means of delivering nuclear weapons today and for the foreseeable future – says to me that they know missile defense is extremely effective, but they, for reasons known only to God, deny to see their own nation defended from this threat.

At any rate I’ll get to the stuff you really care about next, God willing.

850 ton Active Electronically Scanned Array Sea Based X-Band Radar. Reputed to be able to track a baseball off the coast of San Francisco while floating in the Chesapeake Sound, a distance of over 2900 miles.

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Flightline Friday Extra: More Than Everything You Could Possibly Want to Know about APR-25/6 September 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Flightline Friday, foolishness, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Early in the Vietnam War, partly due to amazingly poor planning, but even more due to unbelievably onerous targeting restrictions, US tactical aircraft started racking up heavy losses to North Vietnamese Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs).  The SAM in question was the SA-2, which had been known about half a decade at that point, the SA-2 having played a role in the shoot down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 in 1960.

Since the rules of engagement imposed by the Johnson-McNamara Administration forbade attacks on SAM sites under construction, or even possibly under construction, for fear of “accidentally” killing any Soviet “advisors” present and thus potentially escalating the war, US airmen had to wait until positive proof that a SAM site was operational before they could attack it.  The only positive proof accepted was their being attacked by that very SAM site.  Obviously this gave enormous initiative to the enemy, and made attacking SAM sites when they were most vulnerable impossible.

Defensive measures were needed, and needed quickly.  But how to defend against a radar guided flying robot whose only purpose in life was the kill you?  Fortunately, the problem was well understood. Indeed, specialist aircraft like intelligence gathering types had been equipped with limited numbers of what were then called radar homing and warning receivers (RHAW) for years.  SAC’s big bombers also carried radar warning and electronic countermeasures (ECM) gear of varying degrees of effectiveness, but much of this was far too large and heavy to fit into a tactical aircraft.

Fortunately, a small company in northern California, Applied Technologies, Inc, later part of Litton, now part of Northrop Grumman, came rushing to the rescue, in late 1965, with their “Vector IV” product.  Consisting of 4 roughly equally spaced radio frequency receivers and some very basic analog processing equipment, Vector IV entered service as the AN/APR-25/6.  This equipment was first fitted to specialist “Wild Weasel” SAM hunter aircraft, and later, to almost every tactical aircraft in theater – certainly, every one that went up North.  It was fairly effective, but became much more so when coupled with the North American “SEE SAMS” (clever) system, which added capability to discriminate targeting and launch radar signals from regular radar tracking signals.

The equipment worked pretty well, and losses were reduced.  The seesaw battle of the electronic wizards on both defense and offense continues to this day, but, generally speaking, since the APR-25/6, the US has held the upper hand (we think/hope – we haven’t been seriously tested in 25 years).

The video below is an actual training film for USAF aircrew in APR-25/6 operation and tactics.  It gets way down into the nitty gritty, discussing import of length and intensity of strobe, billboard notifications and their meaning, and the varying sounds the equipment picks up when illuminated by various kinds of search, tracking, and fire control radars (a radar is like any other radio frequency device, and thus its signals can be interpreted as a sound).  Techniques used to spoof APR-25/6 are also discussed.  Very interesting if you are a slavishly devoted geek like me, all others will probably find it mind-numbingly boring.

I post this mostly to keep a record of this highly esoteric material since this video was posted once before but pulled because someone asserted the data therein was still classified.  Of course, it is not.

A picture of what modern radar warning receiver (today’s term) displays looks like.  Gone is the analog signal intensity reading and guessing, replaced by digitally processed symbology indicating the type of threat, distance and bearing, with priority ranking, etc:

 

Flightline Friday: Early Vietnam Helo Operations September 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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This is a really excellent video find from December 1963, featuring very tired old Piasecki H-21 “Shawnee” (aka the Flying Banana) and brand new (if more than a bit underpowered) Hueys of the UH-1A and UH-1B models.

There is some excellent footage of very rare early Huey attack model setups, including fixed forward firing M1919 .30 cal machine guns of WWII vintage mounted on the landing skids, and the first attempts at mounting rockets on the Huey design.  The UH-1B came from the factory with the XM-6 armament subsystem, which included dual M-60 machine guns on each side of the aircraft in trainable mounts.  This was a vast improvement over the fixed machine guns of the UH-1A.  Also discussed is the original US Army air assault unit in South Vietnam, the Utility Tactical Transport Company.  At this time, Hueys were used entirely as attack birds or for medevac.  The stretched UH-1D capable of carrying 9-11 troops would not enter service in Vietnam until the 1st Air Cav arrived in numbers in mid-1965.

The UH-1A was always badly underpowered*, with an armament load of fixed gun and dual 8-shot rocket stacks, they could barely manage 80-85 mph, which allowed even the lumbering H-21s to “race” ahead of them.  This problem was solved by the UH-1B, which had a more powerful engine, allowing the Hueys much better speed to escort the Shawnees, but the problem repeated itself once the UH-1D and UH-1H entered service.  The slicks were again much faster than their escorts, weighted down with heavy loads of weapons and ammo in very draggy mounts.  This problem was initially solved by late B model and then Charlie model Hueys being equipped with still more powerful engines, but was ultimately dealt with by the introduction of the AH-1 Cobra in late 1967.

There is also demonstration of early tactics among both the troop carrying and the attack helos.  It is rather amusing to watch discussion of basic tactics which were described as being so effective the VC had no response to them – well, you could say, they figured out plenty of responses as the war went along.  The very simple tactics described in this video would be replaced by ever more sophisticated ones as the war went along, but the ever-resourceful Vietnamese were almost always a match for Yankee ingenuity, finding their own responses to evolving American methods.

There is a great deal of rare footage in this video, covering a critical phase of the War in Southeast Asia as combat became more and more Americanized – just as certain elements of the US military establishment desperately wanted:

 

*- UH-1A had a little more than half the horsepower of the later H, E, L, and M models.

The Deep State Can Even Fool Ron Paul September 19, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, Flightline Friday, foolishness, It's all about the $$$, non squitur, scandals, self-serving, Society, technology.
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There is no more corrupt, insider-dependent government contractor than the entity known as United Launch Alliance (ULA).  Conceived as an obviously illegal monopoly and yet approved by the Bush 43 Administration, ULA was a way for giant defense contractors Lockheed and Boeing to avoid profit-inhibiting direct competition over space launch costs – which they were contractually obligated to do – in order to charge exorbitant launch vehicle and support fees and bilk the taxpayer out of billions of dollars; and this after having received further billions to develop two competitive launch vehicles whose contractual intent and obligation was to reduce the cost of “access to space” by 1/2 to 2/3 or more.

The obvious failure of the Space Shuttle program by the late 1980s left the United States in a very bad situation with regard to space launch – since the Shuttle had turned out to be an unbelievably expensive way to access space, and the only alternatives were derivatives of Cold War era ICBM-derived launch vehicles (with one exception), the US was falling badly behind European, Chinese, and then Russian alternatives which were often an order of magnitude or more cheaper than American launch vehicles.  Plus, many of the unmanned launchers were simply becoming so old they were unreliable and difficult to manufacture.  At some point the US might lose important space launch capabilities due to age.

The only bright spot in the US launch scene in the 80s and 90s was the reliable workhorse Delta II, which was cheap and had a great record but which was only capable of launching light and medium-weight payloads.  Delta II was actually cheap enough and reliable enough to compete with rivals from Europe and other nations.  But, it was a bit too limited in capability.

So, to insure continued access to space across the spectrum of mission needs and in the hopes of dramatically reducing launch vehicle costs, USAF began a program in the 1990s called the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.  The deal was this: USAF would fund development of two different launch vehicle families, which became the Boeing Delta IV and Lockheed Atlas V, in the hopes that competition between these two launchers would result in greatly reduced launch costs.  McDonnell Douglas (later acquired by Boeing) and Lockheed agreed, and received several billion dollars each to pay for the development of the new boosters.  However, once development was concluded, and once it became clear that the Atlas V with its Russian-designed and built engines would be much cheaper (which resulted in some ugly industrial espionage by Boeing against Lockheed), the two largest defense contractors decided it was easier to renege on their original agreements and bilk the US taxpayer of further billions than it was to actually compete with each other, and so they merged their respective launch vehicle design, manufacture, and servicing organizations into a new entity called United Launch Alliance (ULA).  Somehow, unbelievably, USAF and the Bush Administration went along with this.

Launch costs immediately skyrocketed. Far from lowering launch costs, numerous payloads actually saw increased costs, especially once Boeing phased out the cheaper Delta II and forced the government payloads to ride on either the (often massively over-capable) Delta IV or Atlas V.

This situation persisted for a decade, until a plucky little company out of Hawthorne, CA, started launching commercial payloads at rates nearly an order of magnitude cheaper than ULA.  ULA tried to use their political clout to freeze SpaceX out, but finally the obvious success of SpaceX and the far greater value it represented could not be ignored, and the Air Force (reluctantly) started doling a few flights out to SpaceX under Congressional pressure. Still, USAF has generally preferred to stay with ULA for now, because SpaceX doesn’t create literally scores of six-digit executive positions a year for former O-6s and O-7s to occupy because of ostensible concerns over SpaceX’s success rate, but this is really weak, as Falcon 9 is at this point in its life cycle more reliable than either Atlas V or Delta IV were at a similar point in theirs.

Should SpaceX continue to grow and maintain an excellent overall record, ULA will be ruined.  Both Boeing and Lockheed will have to exit the space launch business as completely uncompetitive players.  Obviously, they do not want this, since space launch has meant billions to their respective bottom lines.  Equally obviously, they will engage their massive lobbying arms (SpaceX lobbies, too, but at a trifling rate compared to ULA/Lockheed/Boeing) and significant government support to try to win the competition by other means.

Thus it was rather sad to see both American Thinker and former Congressman Ron Paul fall for what is nothing but ULA propaganda, excoriating SpaceX for purported excesses at the public teat while making the ludicrous claim that SpaceX rockets can not achieve the same orbits as ULA launchers.  Really, casting United Launch Alliance as the good guy, the relative innocent in a competition of draining the public purse is just beyond the pale.  Anyone who knows anything about space launch would just burst out laughing at such a claim.  No organization in space launch worldwide is more lowly regarded in the commercial sector than ULA.  Yes that even includes the Chinese.

Regarding the orbits, these are corner of the envelope issues and have nothing to do with orbit achieved, but payload to orbit. Yes Falcon 9 at present falls a bit short of the much more expensive Delta IV and Atlas V, but that won’t be the case within a few months, once Falcon Heavy launches.  Falcon Heavy will bury Delta IV and Atlas V in every respect – including cost.  Falcon Heavy will put nearly 3 times the payload into low earth orbit as Atlas V, and at 1/3 the cost.

This is what terrifies ULA.  This is why they have been waging a massive PR campaign against SpaceX and, especially, the person of Elon Musk.  Typical of the statist drones they represent, they accuse their adversary of the very evils they themselves not only commit, but utterly depend on.  There are many legitimate criticisms of Elon Musk, that SpaceX is too government-dependent, that most all of his recent businesses depend on government subsidies, etc.  But all the above applies to ULA to much, much greater degree. SpaceX launches dozens of commercial payloads a year.   ULA rockets are so laughably expensive they haven’t launched a commercial payload in over a decade (sorry they launched one, but at the behest of the US gov’t for Mexico).

This is how the Deep State works – misinformation, lies, insider access, misdirection, bureaucratic stonewalling, self-interest, buffaloing well-intentioned  public servants, lobbyist support, etc., etc.  They pulled a fast one on Paul and some of his close associates.  It’s easy to see how they could, they know these matters intimately while most Congress-critters and others do not.  It’s easy for them to spin misinformation to concoct what seems like a very believable story for those outside this specialized industry.  ULA is one of the worst, but far from the only practitioner of this.  No one can be an SME across every possible subject the US government deals with.  That is how the Deep State has managed to create such vast sinecures for themselves – the more the government is down in the weeds of everyone’s business, the more room there is for corrupticrats to carve out very comfortable niches for themselves.  ULA had that going for a decade-plus.

This is just one, small example.  There are others, far worse.  This is what happens with a tyrannical Leviathan state.

Baby Daughter doing much better thank you and some Flightline Friday content August 22, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, awesomeness, Domestic Church, family, Flightline Friday, non squitur, technology, thanksgiving.
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Thank you so much for your prayers.  My daughter has been home since late Thursday but required another 2 days to really recover.

Aye what a year.  All I can say is thanks so much and your generosity will not be forgottten. She started to really turn around shortly after I put out the mass request for prayers.  Yet another confirmation for how great our God is and how powerful – beyond our understanding – prayer can be.

I know I haven’t posted beans of late, very sorry, I really haven’t time for much of anything today (hopefully tomorrow), but here’s a little something non sequitur to tide you over if you care about this sort of thing – it’s some absolutely amazing footage of an Su-27P, probably of Belorussian origin, dogfighting with a USAF F-16 over Groom Lake/”Area 51″ in Nevada:

More images of the encounter below:

In truth this kind of thing has gone on non-stop since at least the mid-60s with the Constant Peg and Foreign Technology Division programs.  USAF pretended to kill this off in the early 00s but everyone rolled their eyes.

In reality, the fact that this occurred in broad daylight, in perfect clear conditions, and close to the border of the 8,000 square mile Nevada Test and Training Range (or close enough for super telephoto lens to grab these shots – probably no more than  6-8 miles from the Range’s boundary) almost certainly means USAF has far more modern and capable adversary aircraft for evaluation.  Su-27P is OK but dates from the late 80s.  Sukhoi has certainly turned out better variants of the endless Flanker series since (Su-27M Su-27SM Su-32 Su-33 Su-35 Su-30M Su-30MK Su-30MKK/I/M Su-34).

Space alien conspiracy theorists who try to penetrate the Range near “Area 51” report seeing Sukhois fairly regularly.  Some are surprisingly old – Su-22s, for certain.

That Flanker is a big b—h.  It’s got an absolutely enormous RCS, too, especially from the front, from what I have learned.

PS – May put this up with much more detail on Friday, but F-35 is, finally, 5 years late and billions of dollars over budget, starting to shape up.  Several score are in service with more and more active duty squadrons and the reports are extremely, extremely positive.  It’s kinematic/aerobatic performance is not so bad as it long appeared to be, and the integrated avionics/mission system are simply out of this world, a massive quantum leap in capability over everything that’s come before.

Still got fairly short legs and inadequate internal payload for stealth mode (thanks, Marine Corps and Congress!) BUT it is a far cry from the unmitigated disaster its widely been described as being.  I’ve been a very serious critic of the F-35 for nearly 20 years and think improved F-16s and/or Mudhens with a large F-22 buy would have more than sufficed for far less money, but this is what we’re stuck with and it does finally seem to be coming around.  It would be the height of idiocy to scrap the program now after ~$100 billion invested and with the investment finally about to start paying off.

The first practical functional software block (Block 3F) has been undergoing flight testing for months and should start to hit active training and tactical squadrons next month.  Given 6.5 million lines of code it’s hardly surprising it took some time to iron out difficulties, plus the program was very badly managed from a prototype to test to production standpoint, for political reasons the services were induced to place the aircraft in production far before it was really ready, and this has had the effect of adding a huge amount of cost while delaying overall full operational capability.  The good thing is these extremely extended service trials have revealed about all the bugs that could possibly be found.

We also have to note how much the procurement program has been derailed since McNamara royally screwed it up in the 60s, and then was made worse in the 90s.  The standards products have to meet to be qualified are ridiculously onerous, and teeny tiny corner of the envelope issues get turned into showstoppers.  Yes there have been not so teeny tiny problems with the F-35 but most of what is reported are situations that are unlikely to ever repeat themselves in real life.  That is one reason why it costs so much (and takes so long) to get complex systems into service these days, the test requirements are orders of magnitude more extensive (and in many ways just plain asinine) than they were in the 50s, 60s, and even well into the 80s.  Suffice it to say had the F-35 been developed along 1950s or 1970s lines it would have been judged an  unqualified success years ago.

Then again, it’s really an apples to oranges comparison.  Aircraft in the 50s and even early 80s were not nearly so software dependent, as they are today.

And every other engineer knows just how much the software engineers screw everything up.  Right, TE?

They Demolished the Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, Compromised Natural Sciences – now SJWs Come for the Engineers August 4, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, cultural marxism, disaster, error, foolishness, It's all about the $$$, non squitur, persecution, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, technology, unbelievable BS.
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Dr. Donna M. Riley, SJW extraordinaire, has been appointed Dean of the Department of Engineering Education -whatever that is, they didn’t have those in the benighted, practically prehistoric days of the 1990s when I was in school – at the University of Purdue. She aims to introduce a deep exposure to leftist political ideology into engineering curricula already overloaded with state-mandated coursework and already desperately short of actual practical engineering education for the real world/industry.  I think this much is obvious in her statements that engineering must be “de-centered from Western civilization” and her repeated and focused attacks on “specifically ‘colonialist’ white men.”

But the fervent proselytes of the religion of sexular pagansim must conquer the entire world – it is a fundamental tenet of their faith –  and having some corners of campus relatively uncorrupted by their perverse and destructive ideology simply must not be allowed to stand:

When one thinks of the Progressive subversion of higher education, many people assume that the hard sciences are devoid of the kind of social justice agenda one finds in the humanities. But in a fascinating piece for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, engineer Indrek Wichman complains that engineering education has become more about social engineering than actual engineering. “A phalanx of social justice warriors, ideologues, egalitarians, and opportunistic careerists has ensconced itself in America’s college and universities,” he writes. “The destruction they have caused in the humanities and social sciences has now reached to engineering.”

Social justice warriors, Wichman continues, “have sought out the soft underbelly of engineering, where phrases such as ‘diversity’ and ‘different perspectives’ and ‘racial gaps’ and ‘unfairness’ and ‘unequal outcomes’ make up the daily vocabulary. Instead of calculating engine horsepower or microchip power/size ratios or aerodynamic lift and drag, the engineering educationists focus on group representation, hurt feelings, and ‘microaggressions’ in the profession.” [This “engineering education” aspect, now instantiated in many universities as the controlling authority over the first year or two of so-called engineering education, is how the SJWs are inflicting leftist indoctrination on every student, since they control the requirements for freshman education]

Wichman points to the example of Dr. Donna Riley, the recently-appointed dean of Purdue University’s School of Engineering Education, which “envisions a more socially connected and scholarly engineering education,” according to its website. “This implies that we radically rethink the boundaries of engineering and the purpose of engineering education.” Radically rethinking boundaries — that phrase is a huge red flag. [As is “scholarly education,” which means heavy exposure to fields already dominated by SJWs]

Dr. Riley declares that her personal purpose is to “seek to revise engineering curricula to be relevant to a fuller range of student experiences and career destinations [interesting coming from one who has built a career not on actual engineering, but on the politicization of same, and the diversity/grievance industry that has funded her advancement. She apparently wants to see opportunities in this blood-sucking field increase], integrating concerns related to public policy, professional ethics, and social responsibility [leftism]; de-centering Western civilization; and uncovering contributions of women and other underrepresented groups [uncovering – meaning, inventing]…. We examine how technology influences and is influenced by globalization, capitalism, and colonialism [WTF is that even an issue in the world anymore]…. Gender is a key…[theme]…[throughout] the course…. We…[examine]… racist and colonialist projects in science….” [Just straight up leftist propaganda/indoctrination]

Riley goes on, Wichman reports, to disparage “the free movement of capital, the role of Western civilization, and the nature of men, specifically ‘colonialist’ white men. How can it improve the practice of engineering to bring in such diversions and distractions?”

It can’t, of course, but social justice warriors couldn’t care less about the practice of engineering. They care only about politicizing every aspect of life and education. [And don’t give a damn how many have to die as a result of their policies, resulting in shoddier engineering.]

“Riley’s purpose,” Wichman says, “seems not to be how best to train new engineers but to let everyone know how bad engineers have been, how they continue to ‘oppress’ women and persons of color, how much we need ‘diverse perspectives,’ and how the ‘struggle’ continues to level all distinctions and differences in society.” [piece goes on to note how much of engineering publications, especially in the academic environment, are already totally penetrated with SJW illogic]

You should read the CV of this woman they appointed head of the Engineering Department at Purdue, long one of the most respected engineering programs in the country.  She’s done virtually no, you know, actual physical research into engineering phenomenon, but has ridden the affirmative action and social justice gravy trains her entire career.

Go take a look at the Virginia Tech engineering education website, which is surely heavily influenced by Riley’s appointment as head of engineering education at VT, one year before she got a plum assignment at Purdue (the SJWs, they do seem to climb the ladder so quickly, don’t they?).  Even though white men make up over 60% of the VT engineering student body, you can hardly find a white face on the homepage of the department, while every manner of greatly advantaged minority is represented.

I’d even go so far as to say that anyone who has held appointments in Women and Gender Studies programs – fields utterly corrupt and devoid of value, according to Dr. Jordan Peterson, among many others, and actually so pernicious as to destroy rational enquiry – is unworthy to hold a professorship in an engineering department.

Honestly this crap has been going on in engineering since the late 80s at least, but it’s mostly been lip service to date, and hasn’t impacted the quality of engineering programs to a marked degree (it does vary by college, some have really declined in quality while others have maintained standards).  I saw this at UT where I was the only white male student to get a nice scholarship from Mobil, but my grades had to be a solid 1 point higher than the  minority students who received it, only one of which actually went on to graduate with an engineering degree.

And this has been the goal all along. I will never, ever forget my first direct exposures to SJWs and politically motivated persecution.  It was my first job out of college, and the plant had hired a white female diversity officer from some leftist hellhole. She made no bones about it, political correctness, affirmative action, “diversity” preferences in hiring, and all the rest were just reverse discrimination, which was perfectly fine and justified since the evil white male had been putting it over on all the poor oppressed minorities for centuries, and it was time for us to get ours.  That woman is now a senior VP at a very large and connected federal contractor, supervising, you guessed it, human resources and diversity programs.

Yeah, you could say I have strong opinions on the subject.

BTW this Riley chick is very politically connected, she got an invite to the Obama White House due to her LGBTQRSTUV-&*# status:

Spoiled white chick with major daddy issues seeks to wreck male dominated field.  Surprise, surprise.  But it disgusts me that she has built a career out of attempting to destroy something much better and greater than herself.  The real shame is on the institutions that have hired her and given her such influential positions.  It’s enough for me to write off Purdue, Virginia Tech, and Carnegie Mellon.

So am I the only one to get sucked into “The Expanse?” May 25, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology, Uncategorized, watch.
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Regular readers know that we haven’t got any cable or satellite, but I’m not completely dead to the culture, yet.  I still hear about things through blogs and news sites.  I heard about the SyFy network program The Expanse several months ago and quickly got sucked in.  Enough so that after I had exhausted the first season episodes available free on Amazon Prime, I waited a few months but finally cracked and bought the second season.  The show is by no means perfect, but it is very, very good.

One warning.  I guess the broadcast standards have really collapsed because the show has all kinds of cuss words in it.  It’s not really gratuitous, the situations generally call for such language, but the show features such dire situations so frequently the language does tend a bit blue.  And another warning – one unfortunate failing of the production was the inclusion of totally gratuitous sex scenes in the first episodes of both seasons.  This is such a sop to the sick and fallen culture it’s really sad to consider, because neither of these scenes is even remotely necessary for plot advancement or character development.

But aside from that there is very much right with the show.  The Expanse is set in the late 23rd century, a time when man has colonized much of the solar system, with Mars a heavily populated independent power and a huge population scattered on myriad asteroids and moons of the gas giants.  The Earth is still the greatest power in the solar system but Mars is rising and seeks to ultimately displace Earth.  There are lots of cold war-type tensions and then a radical new discovery literally changes everything.  The fight to gain control over this discovery and weaponize it for advantage drives much of the plot in the first two seasons.

The thing I like best about the show is that it is relatively realistic, as Sci-Fi goes.  It’s not quite 2001: a space odyssey, but it’s close.  They show real weightlessness, they show the effects of “high-G burns” when the interplanetary spacecraft must impose huge G-loads on the crew to do certain maneuvers, they show mostly realistic weaponry (but no anti-missile missiles is a pretty bad miss), long-range ship-to-ship, missiles, nuclear warheads, point defence guns, interplanetary guided missiles, etc.  It’s a quite fully realized universe and one that is enjoyable to watch.

The third major party in the series are the “belters,” souls who live among the asteroids and many moons colonized on the outer planets, people who have been in low-G and low-oxygen environments for so long their physiology has changed and they can no longer live on Earth.  They also have a unique language developed for the show, which to me sounds a lot like Afrikaans (and the English they speak is spoken with a South African accent).  The belters view themselves as outcasts who are preyed upon by the “inners” and violently punished whenever they “get out of line.”  This is another major story arc through the series.

The production values and CGI are top-notch.  There are some errors, like spacecraft with voluminous empty spaces serving no purpose (but they look pretty on TV) and crazily sped up transit times between, say, the rings of Saturn and the asteroid belt (which even at 5 million miles per hour – a speed the ships in the series regularly attain – could take many days or even weeks).

The acting ranges from fair to superb.  Shohreh Aghdashloo is brilliant as a leading Earth politician Chrisjen Avasarala.  I love Cas Anvar’s Martian of Indian-descent who speaks with a Texan accent, Alex Kamal.  Dominique Tipper has grown on me.  I think the dude playing James Holden is just OK.  Most of the others are serviceable but overall the acting does not bring the show down at all.

What really carries it along is the plot and the very well-realized universe.  The story is gripping and tends to draw you in.  They are dealing with end of the world solar system type scenarios quite regularly (hence, the language) but the scenarios are not utterly implausible.  Once you accept the MacGuffin that drives everything along it all flows very sensically.

If you like sci-fi it’s a definite must-see, provided you can get past the language and the two brief but gratuitous scenes in the first episodes of series 1 and 2 (fortunately you have a bit of warning for both and can easily skip past).  If you like good drama with a healthy amount of action, you’ll also probably enjoy it. If you think this culture has absolutely nothing to offer anyone and prefer a good book to anything broadcast, you’re probably wiser than I.  But sometimes my ‘ol noggin’ wants a break and this one wasn’t too bad.

Season 3 will air sometime in the first half of 2018.

Early Flighline Friday: DeHavilland Vampire Obliterates Runway at Halfpenny Green May 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in error, Flightline Friday, fun, history, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology.
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Halfpenny Green being a former WWII airfield still used for private and commercial aviation. Apparently the runway surface was not jet rated because this WWII-vintage DeHavilland Vampire ripped it to shreds:

Good grief. That exhaust is really close to the ground, but the Goblin engine powering the Vampire only made 3400 pounds of thrust.  The same as a Westinghouse J34.  Are they related?  Maybe so, many early US jet designs were based on British originals, and both are relatively rare centrifugal flow units.

I’ve never seen the like before.

Shock! Obama Official Admits Manipulating Climate Data for Political Purposes April 27, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, cultural marxism, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, Society, technology.
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As if we didn’t know this already, but it’s nice when the miscreant confesses to the crime:

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington D.C. often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion.

Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street JournalMonday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.

“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.

He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the NCA’s assessment was technically incorrect……..

……..Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic Administration (NOAA) and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added.

Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, for instance, recently jumpstarted an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.

Yeah, but nothing will come of it.  It never does.  There is one set of rules for the cultural elite (that is, no rules), and one increasingly onerous and repressive set of rules for the rest of us, especially the lowest class, Christian conservatives.

So what do you think of Trump so far?  He’s over 3 months in, that 100 day mark is about to pass, and he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, has he?

Mind you, I never thought he’d be a super-conservative, I hoped he might mean what he said about the wall, but so long as Hillary wasn’t elected and he nominated some solid judges, I was prepared to be satisfied.

Still, he’s given occasional glimpses of being capable of doing much, much more, but his administration seems to be sinking slowly into the swamp L’Enfant had our nation’s capital built upon.  I don’t know if one man, even a spectacular man (which I’m far from sure Trump is), can overcome the entrenched interests of the always left-leaning, always self-serving deep state.

Even Reagan failed to achieve much in the way of reducing the size of the federal government.  Most of his achievements were in the realm of foreign policy, or tax cuts (which gave us unprecedented deficits).  The last president to significantly reduce the federal budget was Eisenhower. But that was a different country, wasn’t it?

I should add, for completeness sake (and because someone will invariably bring it up in the comments), that the Catholic bishops have by and large accepted the cult of climate change uncritically.  Francis of Rome released an encyclical that indicated full-throated acceptance of this most dubious of theories, and the US bishops have certainly done the same.  What a wound it will be to the Church when this theory is finally debunked, which it eventually will be.  But I won’t hold my breath waiting for the USCCB to roll back some of its advocacy in this area in light of this report, they’ll pretend it doesn’t exist.

Flighline Friday: Lazy Edition March 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Flightline Friday, fun, non squitur, silliness, Society, technology, Victory.
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Consider yourself lucky, I’m at home.  This may be a lazy Flightline Friday, but it’s better than nothing.

Two videos showing some very early Tomcat footage.  Some of the earliest Tomcats built are in the first vid, the first 30 or so ships built had only the ALQ-100 ECM antenna under the forward fuselage where later appeared first an IR sensor, then an electro-optical telescopic camera, and finally both.  The development of the F-14’s “chin” is shown below:

The first video is a Northrop production hyping their involvement in TOPGUN:

The second is from Grumman and is an obvious – but very early – PR effort for the F-14:

The kids are home, so that’s all you get.  Whether it’s better than nothing is wholly debatable, but you get what you pay for………