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The latest news from Robert Johnson on Business Insider

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    Yesterday's news of Robert Bork's death left most Americans with a vague recollection of the Supreme Court nomination he'd somehow lost out on, if anything at all.

    But Bork's death and legacy meant far more to Gawker editor John Cook, whose post on Bork, hours after the man's death, left many stunned and appalled. 

    Cook's piece leads with: "Robert Bork was a terrible human being and no one should grieve his passing," then zips into an introduction so peppered with indignation and adjectives I expected a follow up paragraph to acknowledge the fact.

    Thankfully I hadn't held my breath, because Cook had only gotten started and brings readers straight back to the dark and stormy year of 1973, when Bork made history.

    President Richard Nixon had finally accepted the fact that his illegal campaigning and wiretapping were to be publicly exposed. In response, he ordered the Attorney General to pink slip U.S. special prosecutors in charge of the case. The acting Attorney General refused and resigned; so did his successor; then came Bork.

    From Gawker:

    It was Bork who, as solicitor general of the United States in 1973, stepped up to the plate and carried out an order from Nixon that two of his superiors found too abjectly corrupt to obey. In what became known as the Saturday Night Massacre, Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox and his entire staff. The order came shortly after Cox had, over the objections of the president, subpoenaed a cache of presidential tape recordings ...

    Richardson had a spine and character, so he refused, choosing to resign instead of help a liar and a cheat mop up his crimes. The order then fell to Richardson's deputy, William Ruckelshaus, who likewise summoned the courage to step down rather than fire Cox. As solicitor general, Bork was third in line at the Justice Department, so the order fell to him. Sniveling bootlicker that he is, he carried it out.

    Bork even sealed federal offices using the FBI so that Nixon could stroll in and collect the criminal evidence against him. Seems Bork would have done most anything for the Attorney General spot and possibly considered it a highlight of his career.

    Or maybe not, since he was promptly investigated, found to have acted illegally and forced out of office eight weeks later. 

    That's all public information, but the string of Bork obituaries from other media outlets touch on those facts hardly at all. 

    Commenters were all over Cook's post at Gawker:

    JohnDonne wrote: John Cook, I can almost hear the rot and hate flowing through your veins. A ghoul, who is more suited shooting Jews in the head in Communist Russia. I know, if you could, you would take a knife and stab Mr. Bork's corpse, bathing in his blood. You are a vile, disgusting coward, without the balls to write this while Bork was alive. Hide behind your talisman and puff out your chest, little man.

    And tipareth666 wrote: Had you written a biographical article and merely taken the position that his actions under Nixon outweighed any positives you would have had more impact. Unfortunately your tone and language make this a crap piece regardless of how justifiable your stance is. And the reason people rankle at speaking so of the dead regardless of accuracy is that it is cowardly.

    Others were less harsh, but regardless of where opinions fall on the piece it was refreshing to see honesty that wasn't hedged in journalistic restraint and editorial blowback. Maybe a generation of politicians would be more concerned of their legacy if obituaries like this became the norm.

    With a nod to Gawker and Cook,  I suggest checking out the post yourself — if only for the final sentence —>

    SEE ALSO: The things you didn't know about Supreme Court Justice Scalia

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    Non-Lethal Military weapon

    Whether dealing with Afghan villagers or a Cairo mob, the U.S. military needs non-lethal weapons for delicate situations more than ever. 

    The items here were introduced this year and with a new batch due again, we're interested to see how far technology has come.

    Despite packing a non-fatal blow, these devices still pack a powerful punch.

    From vomit-inducing underwater guns to plane-mounted heat beams, the creative concepts are a fascinating look at non-lethal conflict.

    The Long Range Ocular Interruption Laser is a large, portable laser designed to temporarily blind and suppress enemies within a 3,000-meter range.

    *In development

    The Impulse Swimmer Gun, built for underwater security, emits a strong, targeted sound wave that will induce nausea in any swimmer within a range of 150 meters.

    *In development

    The 40mm Human Electro-Muscular Incapacitation Projectile is fired from a grenade launcher to deliver an incapacitating electric shock to its target, like a long-distance taser.

    *In development

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    NYT Snow Fall

    The New York Times released a new serial story by John Branch called 'Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek' and it includes elements of all that makes the Web great.

    A big beautifully animated header, embedded video, slideshows, dynamic mapping, and in the middle of a story about skiers caught in an avalanche, a self-playing video of a mogul pounding skier heading straight for the video camera.

    Sitting in front of a widescreen monitor in an office brimming with bandwidth it's a pretty impressive array.

    It concludes with a time-stamped map and the words: "End of Chapter One. Remaining Chapters Coming This Week."

    The only thing not on the screen are any advertisements and while the story is available from an open link it makes sense that this would be subscriber exclusive content.

    It will be interesting to see where the concept leads and if it will boost readership, but forget about all that and check it out for yourself —>

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    The new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, 'Zero Dark Thirty' arrived in theaters last week and reviews have been mixed, but the acting head of the CIA is not impressed.

    Michael Morell, standing in after David Petraeus resigned, issued this statement about the film, to Agency staff, late Friday (from the CIA website).

    Statement to Employees from Acting Director Michael Morell: "Zero Dark Thirty"

    December 21, 2012

     I would not normally comment on a Hollywood film, but I think it important to put Zero Dark Thirty, which deals with one of the most significant achievements in our history, into some context.  The film, which premiered this week, addresses the successful hunt for Osama Bin Ladin that was the focus of incredibly dedicated men and women across our Agency, Intelligence Community, and military partners for many years.  But in doing so, the film takes significant artistic license, while portraying itself as being historically accurate.

    What I want you to know is that Zero Dark Thirty is a dramatization, not a realistic portrayal of the facts.  CIA interacted with the filmmakers through our Office of Public Affairs but, as is true with any entertainment project with which we interact, we do not control the final product.

    It would not be practical for me to walk through all the fiction in the film, but let me highlight a few aspects that particularly underscore the extent to which the film departs from reality.

    • First, the hunt for Osama Bin Ladin was a decade-long effort that depended on the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers.  The filmmakers attributed the actions of our entire Agency—and the broader Intelligence Community—to just a few individuals.  This may make for more compelling entertainment, but it does not reflect the facts.  The success of the May 1st 2011 operation was a team effort—and a very large team at that.
    • Second, the film creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Ladin.  That impression is false.  As we have said before, the truth is that multiple streams of intelligence led CIA analysts to conclude that Bin Ladin was hiding in Abbottabad.  Some came from detainees subjected to enhanced techniques, but there were many other sources as well.  And, importantly, whether enhanced interrogation techniques were the only timely and effective way to obtain information from those detainees, as the film suggests, is a matter of debate that cannot and never will be definitively resolved.
    • Third, the film takes considerable liberties in its depiction of CIA personnel and their actions, including some who died while serving our country.  We cannot allow a Hollywood film to cloud our memory of them.

    Commentators will have much to say about this film in the weeks ahead.  Through it all, I want you to remember that Zero Dark Thirty is not a documentary.  What you should also remember is that the Bin Ladin operation was a landmark achievement by our country, by our military, by our Intelligence Community, and by our Agency.

    Michael Morell

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    Gas Attack

    Just hours after Syrian forces bombed a line of starving residents waiting for bread, reports came out that the government used chemical weapons on the city of Homs, a rebel-held city in Western Syria.

    There has been no official confirmation yet, but if these reports are true, it may force the U.S. to intervene.

    The U.S. said in August that such a move by the Assad regime would constitute a "Red Line" and shift its military position. Obama amplified the warning again in early December when news of chemical weapons preparation came out of Syria.

    Now it's clear even the American public considers it unacceptable: a Washington Post poll out last week states 63 percent of Americans support military involvement against Syria if chemical weapons are used.

    All of this makes the most recent reports out of Homs even more concerning.

    While there is no official confirmation, The Times of Israel reports that at least six rebels are dead and 60 injured after opposition forces say "poison gas bombs" were dropped on the town of Homs.

    Al Jazeera reports seven people have died in Homs after inhaling a poisonous gas "sprayed by government forces in a rebel held Homs neighborhood."

    There is video here on YouTube via Al Jazerra from “a field clinic in the city” of exposed victims explaining and exhibiting their reported symptoms.

    From Al Jazeera:

    Activists also told Al Jazeera that scores of others were affected in al-Bayyada neighbourhood. Side effects reported include nausea, relaxed muscles, blurred vision, and breathing difficulties.

    Residents said they did not know the nature of the gas sprayed.

    "The situation is very difficult. We do not have enough facemasks. We don't know what this gas is but medics are saying it's something similar to Sarin gas," Raji Rahmet Rabbou, an activist in Homs, told Al Jazeera.

    This Google+ page claims to have the names of those killed so far in the attack.

    Haaretz reported that they spoke to a Syrian activist who says government jet fighters dropped the "poisonous material" on Homs.

    However, there has still been no official confirmation of the attack. We also don't know exactly what gas was used in the attack, though some people believe that it may be chlorine. Iris Mentus at American Jihad Watch twitter stream posted that the gas may be chlorine at about 7 p.m. yesterday evening.

    The Chechen Center, a self-described "pro-Russian newspaper also indicated that the gas may be chlorine. It tweeted"Parts of Syria are currently under chemical attack. Most reports seem to indicate chlorine attacks similar to those in Iraq in 2007."

    If it is chlorine, it should be easy to determine. It moves in a green cloud, has a strong odor and is water soluble. The last part is good news for anyone on the receiving end of chlorine because covering the nose and mouth with a wet cloth goes a long way to diminishing the danger. U.S. Army manuals direct those exposed to chlorine to "Mask and Move"

    While not the most lethal chemical weapon, chlorine's psychological effects following an attack are legendary. And for a rebel group already on the edge of exhaustion, hunger, cold, and despair there's no doubt that will be the case in Syria if the attacks are in fact genuine.

    The following video is one of two posted on Al Jazeera English and the one not requiring proof of age due to its graphic content.  WARNING: Content is still difficult to watch.

    This is breaking news we will continue adding to.

    SEE ALSO: What the SAW really means to an outnumbered soldier >

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    The Navy does its best to get troops home for the holidays when it can, but this display at Norfolk Naval base is still more the exception than the rule.

    Nine "Flattops," five aircraft carriers, and four amphibious assault ships, are crammed together here at Norfolk among smaller ships and nuclear submarines from December 20, Navy photos. The nine flattops alone, number more than all eight battleships at Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    This cohort of ships at Norfolk could all be together for the last time as sixty percent of U.S. ships head to the Pacific and the carrier USS Enterprise (third ship from left, third picture down) falls to decommissioning after 52 years of service.

    Ships serving in the Pacific Fleet generally call the Naval Base in San Diego home, making it the largest Navy base on the West Coast.

    Norfolk Flattops

    Norfolk Flattops

    Norfolk FlattopsNorfolk Flattops

    SEE ALSO: What life is like aboard the US aircraft carrier Eisenhower >

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    Reports that chemical weapons were used this weekend in Syria were effectively confirmed today after doctors at the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) interviewed witnesses and victims of the attack.

    Doctors at SAMS describe a "probable" use of what chemical specialists refer to as "Agent-15," or 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate, or what NATO calls "BZ." They classified their report as "probable" because the higher classification of "confirmed" would require laboratory testing.

    From SAMS:

    The Gas effects started [a] few seconds after the area was shelled. Right after the shelling, patients described  seeing white gas with odor, then they had severe shortness of breath, loss of vision, inability to speak, flushed face, dizziness, paralysis, nausea and vomiting, and increased respiratory secretions. Doctors who treated patients said that patients had pinpoint pupils and bronchospasm. Patients were treated in a field hospital. Gas masks were not available.

    The particularly nasty aspect of this chemical weapon is that use of atropine needles, a common countermeasure against nerve agents, is actually a toxic combination and can lead to exacerbation of symptoms, even death.

    Referred to as an "incapacitating" chemical in military circles, the worst known non-lethal reactions to high doses of BZ include stupor, hallucinations and "regressive" phantom behaviors such as plucking at one's hair and disrobing.

    Conversely, Agent-15 is not nearly as lethal as Assad's stockpile of nerve and blistering agents— Sarin, VX, and Mustard — which can kill from the mildest direct exposure.

    SEE ALSO: Assad Is Reportedly Using Chemical Weapons >

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    V-22 Osprey

    The move has been in the works for a few years now, but come the turn of 2013, Barack Obama's presidential fleet of Marine helicopters, "Marine One," is due to add 14 V-22 Ospreys.

    Now, manufacturers added few modifications to the V-22s in preparation for the transition: a removable "VIP kit" which basically hides all that unseemly industrial interior, along with some snazzy floor carpeting.

    Beneath those mods though, lurks the same hardcore baby the Marine Corps has been boasting about over the years — and in case you're wondering, yes, it's a hell of a ride.

    Regardless, they aren't for Obama to fly in personally. Reports say the helos will carry "supplies" and the "White House Press Corps"— which inspires images of white knuckled journalists at the whim of hot shot Marine aviation officers.

    The Osprey took its first flight in 1989 and despite accidents that have killed dozens of troops — it's billed by some top ranking officers as one of the safest aircraft in the fleet

    One of the problems with the plane is that the rotor can slip too deeply into its downwash — lose lift on one side and flip — the Osprey now has indicators alerting pilots when this situation develops

    Aside from its vertical and traditional flight capabilities the aircraft can haul 8,600 gallons of fuel and fly twice as fast as the Sea Knight helicopter

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    132nd Fighter Wing

    The end of the fighter pilot, and nearly a century of military fighter planes, is an idea that garners a lot of attention lately and this report out of Nebraska is a prime example why.

    Andrew Nelson at the World-Herald writes that all 21 F-16s at the Iowa National Guard's 132nd Fighter Wing will be replaced with an unnamed type of pilotless drone.

    From the World-Herald:

    Under a budget deal set for approval this week, the Iowa National Guard's 132nd Fighter Wing will lose the jets. The decision comes after months of wrangling between Iowa's congressional delegation and the Air Force. The 132nd has flown F-16s on missions in Afghanistan in recent years.

    Now, after 70 years of flying manned aircraft, the wing will fly remote-controlled unmanned planes, according to the proposal. The aircraft will be based elsewhere, possibly overseas. U.S. House and Senate negotiators agreed to a deal this week that will mean the removal of all 21 jets from the Des Moines Air National Guard Base. The House could approve the defense spending bill as soon as today and the Senate on Friday. President Barack Obama is expected to sign it.

    The move will be a blow to the local economy and its fighter support jobs, but that's part of a drone's appeal, it's cheaper and easier to maintain than a piloted jet.

    The 132nd's F-16's were largely scheduled for retirement between 2018 and 2020, but with almost 70 years of fighter piloting tradition behind it, the move appears to be a surprise to legislators and local residents.

    The unit's jets flew more than 800 combat missions, and 3,200 hours since 1992.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 most effective weapons in the US arsenal >

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    China Type 054A

    As five other countries claim ownership of the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, and its supposed billions in oil and gas deposits, China's backing its claim by sending the newest warship it has to the region.

    The Taiwan-owned China Times reports the Liuzhou Type 054A warship entered the South China Sea Fleet of China's PLA Navy, making it the sixth 054 warship in the area.

    Though the Type 054A is not a new design, this most recently commissioned vessel will have the latest technological advantages.

    From China Times

    Liuzhou is currently considered one of China's most advanced surface combat Type 054A vessels. It has a stealthy hull design with sloped surfaces and radar absorbent materials. Equipped with a medium-range air defense missile system, the vessel is capable of destroying air targets at a distance up to 50 km. Although it is not as lethal as the Russian-built Sovremenny class and domestic destroyers, the new frigate still serves well as a multi-role warship in the Chinese fleet.

    Among all 16 frigates in the same class and currently in the service of the PLA Navy, Liuzhou is the newest addition. Since Liuzhou is commanded by the South Sea Fleet, which is based in Zhanjiang of Guangdong province, analysts believe that its primary mission is to protect Chinese interests in the disputed South China Sea. The mainland and five other countries — Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei — have competing claims to the region's islands and atolls.

    The Liuzhou's deployment comes days after the U.S. vowed to increase its military presence in the Philippines and China's ensuing outrage over the decision.

    The warship carries an array of sophisticated weapons including anti-submarine ordnance and stealth features allowing it to evade radar and move undetected.

    054A Gun

    SEE ALSO: An inside look at the US Navy destroyer BARRY >

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    Phosphorous Bomb

    Early last week we reported that Syrian rebels were claiming exposure to chemical attacks from the Assad regime and new reports back up their disputed claim.

    Ynetnews, a widely read Israel newspaper, reports that "Western intelligence sources" learned its initial doubts were wrong and chemical weapons have been used no more than 19 times.

    From Ynet:

    A close examination of footage and other material by experts in the West proved that the regime's army has in fact been using paralyzing chemical agents for a few months now against the rebels and civilians who support them. These agents are not mustard gas, Sarin nerve gas or VX, which are classified as chemical weapons, but they can definitely be considered toxic and harmful to humans.

    For now, there have been less than 20 incidents in which Syrian army forces and the Shabiha militia have sprayed gas or a toxic liquid in rebel-held residential neighborhoods. Since the rebels did not display any bomb remnants, it is safe to assume that the gas was sprayed manually.

    Videos at the time and independent medical sources lent credence to reports last week, but U.S. officials told Wired's Danger Room they doubted the claims.

    More unnamed sources to rebut unnamed sources, with each side having its own agenda. Israel bombed a Syrian nuclear facility in 2007 and if the U.S. admits chemical weapons are in use it will have crossed the "Red Line" of military action.

    Th "Line" was the Pentagon's promise to intervene militarily if it learned Assad's regime put the weapons into play.

    Breitbart goes a step further and calls out the Obama administration for "Yawning" at the facts and ignoring its commitment.

    From Breitbart:

    Rebel forces in Syria report that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is now using chemical weapons on them. Moreover, intelligence operatives from the West have confirmed those reports as well. But there has yet to be a peep out of the Obama administration over it. This news is made even worse by the fact that death numbers rolling in from Syria show 24-hour periods in which 400 people have been killed by conventional warfare alone. Add chemical weapons to that and who knows how high the death toll for one day could climb?

    To date, over 44,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict and estimates are that the number could climb to 100,000 by the end of 2013 if there is no true intervention.  

    CNN confirms that 100,000 estimate and mentions Saturday was perhaps the deadliest single day of the conflict with nearly 400 fatalities listed by the opposition.


    SEE ALSO: The 25 most effective weapons in the US arsenal >

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    north korean government guid

    Just weeks after launching a long-distance missile that surprised the world, North Korea now wants to make amends with the South.

    The launch came after the U.S. delivered advanced weapons to the South, and increased its allowable missile range deep into the North. Today's announcement, made in a rare New Year's speech by President Kim Jong-Un, comes as the U.S. debates also selling advanced drones to its longtime Southern ally.

    The Telegraph reports the president's speech is a first by Northern leaders in 19 years.

    From The Telegraph:

    The 29-year-old made his address standing at a huge wooden lectern ... "Let us bring about a radical turn in the building of an economic giant with the same spirit and mettle as were displayed in conquering space," he said.

    He also held out an olive branch to South Korea, whose new president, Park Geun-hye has promised new efforts to engage North Korea and an increase in aid. "An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the north and the south," Mr Kim said.

    "The past records of inter-Korean relations show that confrontation between fellow countrymen leads to nothing but war."

    The last war ended in 1953 without ever achieving an official declaration of peace. After three years of fighting and more than 1 million deaths, including 36,516 Americans, a ceasefire drew the countries together for a meeting.

    That Armistice Meeting broke without a formal agreement ever being reached and North Korea has claimed it won the war ever since.

    Military tension and aggression remained part of the North/South relationship, but the North is struggling under sanctions with an ailing economy and that is likely what it's looking to remedy with this gesture.

    Sangwon Yoon from Bloomberg reports:

    “Kim’s speech mentioned the importance of the economy at far greater frequency than the military,” said Cheong Seong Chang, senior research fellow at the Seoul-based Sejong Institute, in an e-mail. “The success of the Dec. 12 missile launch has given Kim enough confidence to not have to rely on his father’s military-first policy to garner support.

    ‘‘The urgency of economic issues also compounds to the North’s need to better ties with South Korea, which makes it likely that Pyongyang will aggressively engage in efforts to resume dialogue,” Cheong said.

    While ambitious, the South will likely not go along with any changes until the North dismantles its nuclear program and that's something it isn't likely to do.

    SEE ALSO: 65 beautiful pictures of the US military in 2012 >

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    lights 2013 girls new year snow

    It's a new year, and time for your life to become what you want it to be.

    Best-selling author Robert Greene brought us the book and so 33 clearer ways to accomplish your goals in 2013.

    In the book, Greene writes "the problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for peace, and we are not at all prepared for what confronts us in the real world - war."

    Whether it's an office rival, an overbearing boss, or lack of teamwork — Greene's book is a guide to victory in all things conflict. Happy New Year.

    The Polarity Strategy

    Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with purpose and direction.


    An excerpt from Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies of War.

    The Guerrilla-War-Of-The-Mind Strategy

    What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past. You must consciously force yourself to react to the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired methods. Wage guerrilla war on your mind, allowing no static lines of defense — make everything fluid and mobile. 


    An excerpt from Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies of War.

    The Counterbalance Strategy

    In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep you presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield. 


    An excerpt from Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies of War.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The great thing about eBay is that it has a little bit of everything, but this De Haviland Firestreak missile may be a first.

    The De Haviland was employed for 31 years by the UK, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia from 1957 to 1988 and was the first of its kind for the Royal Air Force.

    The Firestreak used the aircraft's radar to lock onto a target and the state-of-the-art technology provided the first effective British air-to-air missile ever. It could only be fired under clear skies, with no cloud cover, but was still a special weapon to the UK that only installed them on select fighters.

    Ebay has a pretty extensive weapons and military gear policy, and the De Haviland seems like it would fall in the following guidelines of restricted items:

    Military ordnance such as weapons, ammunition, and their related parts—even if the items are considered demilitarized, demilled, rendered inert, or unserviceable. We can't confirm whether an item has been changed in such a way that makes it safe and legal to sell or transport.

    The listing says the Firestreak has been disassembled and its explosives and fuel removed, which is a good thing for more than one reason.

    The Magpie motor used a toxic fuel that required handlers to wear chemical and radiation suits for protection.

    Missile bidding starts at £800.00 or about thirteen-hundred bucks, may be picked up in the United Kingdom and it's up for auction another five days.


    SEE ALSO: The 25 most effective weapons in the US arsenal >

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    FJ-1 Fury

    Aircraft consume a huge portion of the money spent every year on defense by Washington, everything from hand launched drones to immense transport planes, but nothing costs more than a new fighter jet.

    The Pentagon spent more than $54 billion on military aircraft last year and that's just a fraction of the $396 billion it will spend on 2,500 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters alone over the years.

    Jets are expensive, and like the F-22, they don't always do what they're supposed to as technological advances become integral to new designs.

    Those advances have gone hand-in-hand since the FJ-1 Fury took to the skies in 1946.

    The Fury was just mildly faster than propeller driven planes and was armed with only machine guns, but it help lead to the creation of all the other military jets that followed.

    The Fury's first flight was September 11, 1946

    The fighter jet had many design elements of the wildly successful P-51 Mustang that shot down nearly 5,000 enemy fighters during WWII

    The Fury carried six Browning machine guns and 1,500 rounds of ammunition

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    It's not often that news of a massive military breakthrough comes out of New Zealand, but local author Ray Waru has changed that for good.

    Waru wrote in his new book "Secrets and Treasures" that the U.S. and New Zealand worked together during WWII to create a bomb that could cause a 33-foot tsunami.

    The news was picked up by The Telegraph and is quickly working its way across the Internet and into conspiracy theories everywhere.

    From The Telegraph:

    The plans came to light ... [when] Ray Waru ... examined military files buried in the national archives.

    "Presumably if the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," said Mr Waru.

    "It was absolutely astonishing. First that anyone would come up with the idea of developing a weapon of mass destruction based on a tsunami ... and also that New Zealand seems to have successfully developed it to the degree that it might have worked." The project was launched in June 1944 after a US naval officer, E A Gibson, noticed that blasting operations to clear coral reefs around Pacific islands sometimes produced a large wave, raising the possibility of creating a "tsunami bomb".

    Called "Project Seal," the design team reportedly went through 3,700 bombs before declaring success and deeming it capable of destroying coastal cities around the globe.

    Using 10 successive detonations about five miles from shores the bomb would require about a million pounds of explosive.

    "If you put it in a James Bond movie it would be viewed as fantasy but it was a real thing," Waru told The Telegraph.

    News of the bomb has been around for years, though this is the first time anyone has declared it a success. In 1999, The New Zealand Herald found an expert who said it was "viable" but that the program ended in obscurity without conclusive results.

    SEE ALSO: The FJ Fury ushered in a generation of carrier jets >

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    Joshua Boston

    The U.S. is awash in well-trained warriors, fresh from comba,t while it also faces off on gun control issues.

    That includes more than 5 million Post 9/11 vets who may not take lightly any new gun-control laws. Those millions have been raised on weapons and felt how important firearms can be. It's what they're taught.

    Any servicemember knows their mission is to kill people, in the end, during conflicts, it's why we're serving.

    Even in my "soft," non-infantry unit, a cadence we exercised to included a line, "Blood, blood, bright red blood it makes the green grass grow." The warrior ethos is kneaded into the psyche from day one.

    Just a bit of context from a former servicemember who never relied on a series of weapons for immediate survival or survival of my friends. From someone who never developed relationships with the tools of the battlefield; who never slaved to keep a weapon performing endlessly and without question. Someone who never exercised the profound care and diligence that requires in the harsh gritty environments of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    An eight-year Marine veteran named Joshua Boston feels very strongly about California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's plan to require him to register his assault rifle and ban him from selling or buying any more. Joshua would likely have been one of the guys who developed those relationships with his weapons.

    The letter follows Joshua's posting to CNN's iReport:

    Senator Dianne Feinstein,

    I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government's right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime. You ma'am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

    I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.
    I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

    I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

    We, the people, deserve better than you.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Joshua Boston
    Cpl, United States Marine Corps

    Feinstein's bill is pretty comprehensive and can be checked out here on her website with a .pdf copy here.The reference to the Senator carrying a weapon she's trying to keep Josh from owning may be a reference to Feinstein's desire to outlaw handgun ownership while admitting she carries one herself, for protection.

    Of the 1,000 weapons listed as exemptions under the bill, not one is a pistol. Following is the legislation's summary:

    2013 legislation:

    • Bans the sale, transfer, importation, or manufacturing of:
      • 120 specifically-named firearms;
      • Certain other semiautomatic rifles, handguns, shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have one or more military characteristics; and
      • Semiautomatic rifles and handguns with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds.
    • Strengthens the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban and various state bans by:
    • Bans large-capacity ammunition feeding devices accepting more than 10 rounds. 
    • Protects legitimate hunters and the rights of existing gun owners by:
      • Grandfathering weapons legally possessed on the date of enactment;
      • Exempting over 900 specifically-named weapons used for hunting or sporting purposes; and
      • Exempting antique, manually-operated, and permanently disabled weapons.
    • Requires grandfathered weapons be registered with National Firearms Act, to include:
      • Background check of owner and any transferee;
      • Type and serial number of the firearm;
      • Positive identification, including photograph and fingerprint;
      • Certification from local law enforcement of identity and that possession would not violate State or local law; and
      • Dedicated funding for ATF to implement registration.

    Joshua's letter went up a few days ago and is hitting peak visibility this morning. No word yet from the Senator's office.

    The short list of the 120 final named weapons, for those interested, is below and catch-all categories to them may be found here:

    Rifles (or copies or duplicates): M1 Carbine, Sturm Ruger Mini-14, AR-15, Bushmaster XM15, Armalite M15, AR-10, Thompson 1927, Thompson M1; AK, AKM, AKS, AK-47, AK-74, ARM, MAK90, NHM 90,

    NHM 91, SA 85, SA 93, VEPR; Olympic Arms PCR; AR70, Calico Liberty , Dragunov SVD Sniper Rifle or Dragunov SVU, Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, or FNC, Hi-Point20Carbine, HK-91,

    HK-93, HK-94, HK-PSG-1, Thompson 1927 Commando, Kel-Tec Sub Rifle; Saiga, SAR-8, SAR-4800, SKS with detachable magazine, SLG 95, SLR 95 or 96, Steyr AU, Tavor, Uzi, Galil and Uzi Sporter, 

    Galil Sporter, or Galil Sniper Rifle ( Galatz ). Pistols (or copies or duplicates): Calico M-110, MAC-10, MAC-11, or MPA3, Olympic Arms OA, TEC-9, TEC-DC9, TEC-22 Scorpion, or AB-10, Uzi. Shotguns (or copies or duplicates): Armscor 30 BG, SPAS 12 or LAW 12, Striker 12, Streetsweeper.

    I've included links to a few of the potentials and they're not an entirely unreasonable set of weapons to want off the streets, but that's one of the problems with gun control: It can make so much darn sense.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 most effective weapons in the US arsenal >

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    When we first wrote about the Aeroscraft ML866 in October it was still being built, but the airship has finished testing and is preparing for its first flight.

    Built by Worldwide Aeros Corp. in California, the lighter than air vehicle uses technology developed by DARPA in 2005. That feasibility project was called Walrus HULA and spurred awards to both Lockheed Martin and Aeros for initial development.

    The company is betting on its success: Aeros CEO Igor Pasternak says, “This is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years.”

    Meet the AerosCraft. The 1st Rigid Variable Buoyancy Air Vehicle in the world

    The AerosCraft uses a lightweight yet yet incredibly strong interior frame to carry large loads for long distances at great altitudes

    The AerosCraft could revolutionize wind farming by delivering large turbines to remote locations

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Demon Fighter Jet

    The F3H 'Demon' served as the U.S. Navy's strong arm in the air from 1956 to 1965, when its younger brother, the famed F4 Phantom took to the skies.

    Though the Demon never saw much combat, it did serve as a deterrent against those pesky Soviets during the Cold War.

    The Kremlin's long range bombers didn't stand a chance against the Demon — designed to lift off from a carrier well off the U.S. coast — intercept any insurgent aircraft.

    Development started on the Demon in 1949 with the hopes that it could fly sorties in Korea.

    Like many other defense initiatives, problems plagued the F3H, particularly the Westinghouse J40 engine.

    Despite flying its maiden flight in 1951, it wasn't officially fielded until 1956, coming up short to support operations in Korea.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Fighter pilot attitude is the stuff of legend with whole movies based on potential cockiness alone, and sometimes it's easy to see why.

    There are few other place so much power and speed are combined for a person in one place. The video below is short, not high resolution and lacks much action, but is still very cool. The F-15 is finishing its refueling, and then heads off to take care of business with a flourish.

    Powered by twin Pratt & Whitney engines producing up to almost 30,000 pounds of thrust apiece, the jet can reach speeds of nearly seventeen-hundred miles-per-hour. Suddenly, watching Top Gun again seems like a great idea. Some choice movie quotes are below video via IMBb.

    Top Gun
    After writing with commenters this morning, I shrugged off all remaining restraint and wedged some of the best Top Gun lines below. Ideally, the trailer should be running through this link in the background as you read.
    Iceman: You two really are cowboys. 
    Maverick: What's your problem, Kazanski? 
    Iceman: You're everyone's problem. That's because every time you go up in the air, you're unsafe. I don't like you because you're dangerous. 
    Maverick: That's right! Ice... man. I am dangerous. 

    Charlie: Excuse me, Lieutenant. Is there something wrong? 
    Maverick: Yes ma'am, the data on the MiG is inaccurate. 
    Charlie: How's that, Lieutenant? 
    Maverick: Well, I just happened to see a MiG 28 do a... 
    Goose: We! 
    Maverick: Uh, sorry, Goose. *We* happened to see a MiG 28 do a 4g negative dive. 
    Charlie: Where did you see this? 
    Maverick: Uh, that's classified. 
    Charlie: It's what? 
    Maverick: It's classified. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. 

    Maverick: Tower, this is Ghost Rider requesting a flyby. 
    Air Boss Johnson: Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. 

    Jester: That was some of the best flying I've seen to date - right up to the part where you got killed.

    Viper: In case some of you are wondering who the best is, they are up here on this plaque. 
    [turns to Maverick
    Viper: Do you think your name will be on that plaque? 
    Maverick: Yes, sir. 
    Viper: That's pretty arrogant, considering the company you're in. 
    Maverick: Yes, sir. 
    Viper: I like that in a pilot. 

    Goose: (checking out the plaque with names of the best of the best) No, boys. There's two "O"s in Goose.

    Stinger: Maverick, you just did an incredibly brave thing. What you should have done was land your plane! You don't own that plane, the tax payers do! Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash. You've been busted, you lost your qualifications as section leader three times, put in hack twice by me, with a history of high speed passes over five air control towers, and one admiral's daughter! 
    Goose: Penny Benjamin? 
    [Maverick shrugs
    Stinger: And you asshole, you're lucky to be here! 
    Goose: Thank you, sir. 
    Stinger: And let's not bullshit Maverick. Your family name ain't the best in the Navy. You need to be doing it better, and cleaner than the other guy. Now what is it with you? 
    Maverick: Just want to serve my country, be the best pilot in the Navy, sir. 
    Stinger: Don't screw around with me Maverick. You're a hell of an instinctive pilot. Maybe too good. I'd like to bust your butt but I can't. I got another problem here. I gotta send somebody from this squadron to Miramar. I gotta do something here, I still can't believe it. I gotta give you your dream shot! I'm gonna send you up against the best. You two characters are going to Top Gun. 

    Wolfman: [watching a video of planes being shot down] This gives me a hard on. 
    Hollywood: Don't tease me. 

    Carole: Hey, Goose, you big stud! 
    Goose: That's me, honey. 
    Carole: Take me to bed or lose me forever. 
    Goose: Show me the way home, honey. 

    Slider: Goose, whose butt did you kiss to get in here anyway? 
    Goose: The list is long, but distinguished. 
    Slider: Yeah, well so is my Johnson. 
    Editor's note: Only a matter of time until I get Highway to the Dangerzone out of my head.

    SEE ALSO: The BLIMP that could change world travel forever >

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