Chaos Manor View, Thursday, August 06, 2015
I am very much in fiction writing mode, and most of my thinking is about worlds other than this one.
Everyone must understand that the American Era is over: the United States domination of the world is ended, just as the British domination of the world (pink all over the globe) I learned in grade school ended after World War II. For some this was an objective to achieve. For others it is a disaster. For all it is a coming fact. The nuclear weapon, like the .45 Colt, is an equalizer, and it is now inevitable that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons whenever they decide to do so, given that the deal essentially gives up on inspections, and Iran has announced that under no circumstance will there be any inspection of their military installations even if there is inspection – after 24 day’s notice – of their peaceful installations. Intelligence experts say Iran is about a year from their decision to have them. My guess is that there will be a demonstration in Summer, 2017.
Meanwhile the other nations of the Middle East will rush to acquire their own; they can read the newspapers as well as I can.
The good news is that I can actually type two finger with this Logitech K360 keyboard. I have ordered another so I don’t have to carry it back and forth. So far I have made no corrections in this, and look how far I have come.
The keys are not larger than keys on the comfort curve keyboard, but they are separated from each other by about 5 mm space, so that they remind me of the chicklet keys of the old unlamented IBM PC Junior. I would not recommend the K 360 to a touch typist, but it is pretty good for two fingers, which I seem condemned to after the stroke. But my accuracy is greatly improved by this; I’ve made only one correctable error so far (I managed to get an extra character in ‘chicklet’). I still have to look at the keyboard which means I am dependent on the Word spell checker, and I note that a couple of times I misspelled a word but when I looked up to be sure and hit space, autocorrect fixed it; I’d not have known I made an error. Obviously I must read everything over after I type it, but I always do anyway; but I can get a lot more done before I have to fix stuff. I’d say this keyboard has more than doubled my output. I can’t type as fast as I can think, but I’m a lot faster than I was on the comfort curve.
I worked on Mamelukes last night. I have been able to get communications between my three machines pretty well, now I need to come up with a filing scheme that makes sense because I really don’t understand the default. But I got real work done last night. I am not as fast as I used to be, but it is not intolerably slow either. Now to work on the colonization novel I am doing with Niven and Barnes.
I should have mentioned the death of my long time friend Robert Conquest, but it was depressing and I avoided it. I hate writing obituaries. Conquest and I were not close, but we were good friends. He was Possony’s age or thereabouts and Possony and he were close. I met Conquest at the Hoover long ago. We met in Moscow in 1989; they finally let us in as the regime was collapsing; the notion of a visa for Robert Conquest was absurd. We drank a toast to Stefan Possony. There few like them in this world today. The Wall Street Journal editorial above is a good obituary.
ISIS Sex Slave Prices
I don’t know what to say about this; I’m beside myself with shock and disgust. The United Nations investigated ISIS sex slavery and found an authentic document describing the prices of sex slaves:
We have received news that the demand in Women and Cattle market has sharply decreased and that will affect Islamic State revenues as well as the funding of mujahedeen in the battlefield, therefore we have made some changes. Below are the prices for Yazidi and Christian women.
The price for Yazidi or Christian women between the age of 40 – 50 is $43 (£27)
$75 (48) for 30 to 40-year-olds
$86 (£55) for 20 to 30-year-olds
$130 (£83) for ten to 20-year-olds
$172 (£110) for one to nine-year-olds
Customers are allowed to purchase only three items with the exception of customers from Turkey, Syria and Gulf countries.
Dated and sealed by ISIS in Iraq October 16, 2014.
Customers from Turkey? And Turkey would rather bomb Kurds than bomb ISIS right now? And Turkey isn’t controlling its border effectively, allowing ISIS to operate with impunity?
I wonder how close the regime in Turkey is with ISIS….
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
This is what I was talking about
Jerry, earlier this year I wrote you a letter about how the Air Force could make better use of air supremacy. (Another of your readers responded, accusing me of “victory through air power.) Here’s an article you may not have seen showing us doing exactly the type of thing I was advocating: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/08/02/us-led-raids-destroy-isis-bridges-on-iraq-syria-border.html?ESRC=navy.nl
You drop the bridges and it makes it harder and slower for ISIS to get troops, supplies and equipment to the front where they’re needed and that makes it easier for our “boots on the ground” to do their job. I do have to ask, though, what took them so long?
The classic air support doctrine, devised when it was still the Army Air Force, included isolating the battle area, also known as interdiction. The problem as the Air officers saw it, was that it required air supremacy; the kind of airplane that could perform the interdiction mission was not optimum for gaining air supremacy. There was strategic debate on principles of air supremacy, but it was agreed that it included operations against enemy air bases, and until you can fly and he can’t the air is dangerous to close support operations.
The usual reply of a ground officer was that his men were getting pounded while you fly boys go to the officers club between missions and my troops sleep in foxholes. Now get out there and isolate the GD battle area so we can win this bleeping campaign. The Army Air Force won politically and got Hap Arnold’s Independent Air Force, partly by convincing key Congresscritters that these ground ponders didn’t understand air strategy.
In those days, gaining air supremacy also included operations against ground based anti-air systems, which in those times was mostly flak towers and dual purpose weapons like 88’s, some of which needed joint heavy bomber/ ground support aircraft; now air supremacy requires destruction of SAM bases, which need not all be in the battle area at all.
A lot of this analysis came about after McNamara had the genius stroke of combining all combat missions in a single airplane. The result was the TFX which was pretty good at most missions, but there ain’t no prizes for second place in a dogfight. The TFX was great at the interdiction mission but not so much so in trying to gain air supremacy, and had to be escorted when close to the North. Long story.
I spent most of my aerospace career working for the Air Force, often in mission analysis and planning, and the Air Force definitely treats support of the ground army as a non-priority mission, important really only after air supremacy is achieved, because otherwise it’s just too damned dangerous. The P-47 Thunderbolt was a bit of an exception; it could drop its wing tanks and engage in air to air combat successfully; but that came late in the war after the Luftwaffe was fighting for its life and losing. Train busting was a decisive mission – a combination of recce/strike and interdiction. But by then air superiority was achieved and air supremacy (we can fly; they can’t) very nearly so.
The Middle East situation is complicated with SAMs. Warthogs really can’t operate in a high SAM environment, and have to be protected by a different airplane, which isn’t as good at the ground support mission as a plane meant for that purpose. It’s complicated by the fact that there’s no one other than the Marine Corps which sees both missions as important.
Which is why I have my doubts about the Independent Air Force. Wars are won when you stand an 18 year old kid with a rifle outside the enemy’s headquarters. Winning the air war is one way to do that, but not the only way.
Telling it like it really is
This is a very interesting couple of minutes.
“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” – Voltaire
NASA informed lawmakers on Wednesday that because Congress has failed to fully fund its Commercial Crew Program for the last five years, it is signing a $490 million contract extension with Russia to send Americans to space.
The new contract, running through 2019, means that NASA will continue to depend on Russia to get its astronauts to space even as tensions between Washington and Moscow escalate.
It will put money in Russia’s pockets even as U.S. economic sanctions seek to put pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government over the conflict in Ukraine.
It will also make the U.S. susceptible to threats from Russia, which in the past has suggested it could stop taking U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station. The U.S. has relied on Russia since retiring its space shuttle program.
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Joshua Jordan, KSC
Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.