Tips & Notices – September 2018

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology
Oh, and lately, cars ;-)

If something else is interesting to you, put a “tip” here as you like.

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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82 Responses to Tips & Notices – September 2018

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmm this is ominous if an officially sanctioned comment being field tested.
    Most likely saber rattling, but could also be set up for a provocation to test US reactions.

    This site appears to be a Russian friendly but deniable source to get out info prior to a formal comment by the official Russian organs like RT and Sputnik

    “Fort Russ News is the media wing of the Belgrade based NGO, the Center for Syncretic Studies”

    Has a clear and obvious pro Russian message and I presume a cover for the initial release for disinformation and testing of radical ideas that are not ready for prime time on the official Russian media outlets.

  2. Another Ian says:

    “Warren Buffett: Apple Investing in Tesla a ‘Very Poor Idea’”

  3. ray warkentin says:

    I get the impression that a lot of Americans still think of Russia as having a third rate military but with nuclear weapons.I hope Trump doesn’t believe this or succumb to the agitations of the Neocon warmongers some of whom it seems would love a military confrontation with Russia.The Russian military has become a very modern and potent force in recent years with better missiles on both the defensive and offensive side than the US. Their airplanes rival those of the US and their latest, the Su57 of which only a couple are deployed, but more on the way, is probably superior on balance to anything in the US arsenal.
    People who have studied the situation say there is no way that the US could defeat Russia in a conventional war inside of or near her borders. Russia’s missile defense capabilities are the best in the world and she has the offensive high tech hyper-sonic missiles against which there is no defense and with which Russia can destroy every US surface warship and military base within a thousand miles of her border. The Russians also claim that US stealth capability is useless against their detection technology and they also have very advanced jamming tech.
    Putin has been playing the long-game, avoiding direct confrontation to buy time for further deployment of the latest weapons and to allow the Russian economy and military manufacturing complex to become more internally self-sufficient. But he is getting increasing pressure from elements within the country to take a stand against any serious future provocation to teach the bully a lesson and to earn his respect and change his behavior.
    It’s not a good idea to keep poking this bear. If he turns on you he can do serious damage. What if Trump gives the go-ahead for another missile barrage against Syria in response to another phony staged gas attack and Russia sinks a ship launching the missiles. If trump didn’t respond, he would look very weak, be attacked savagely, and have his image and popularity plummet. If he does respond, where does the escalation end? The US can’t win a conventional war against Russia, Neocons notwithstanding. If it goes nuclear, well then anything we think or say here doesn’t matter and nothing else will much matter. So far Putin has been calm and steady and calculating against provocations in the face of increasing criticism at home. I hope he is able to maintain his posture.

  4. corsair red says:

    This is probably too late to help anyone, but all Corvairs were very tail happy, Despite the enthusiast magazine reports that the 67- 69 were good handling vehicles, the cars would go sideways in an instant when driven by someone unfamiliar with the term oversteer. The friend whose 68 I spun off a slalom course didn’t laugh or shake his head. He was even willing for me to make another run. I declined.

    By contrast, I could keep my dad’s pickup sliding sideways as long as there was room, and get it to go straight again when I wanted. I even did it once with him on the passenger side of the bench seat, not intentionally. Honest. He shook his head, kinda smiled, and said, ” A little fast there, weren’t ya? ” I grinned back, nodded, and thought I could tell the vent window post was bent. I never did it again.

    With his truck. Now, with my 8 year old grandson, and my S-10 with the V6, . . . probably best that doesn’t come to light around the womenfolk . I will say the big smile on his face and him yelling ” do it again, grandpa ” was worth quite a bit.

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry; political scientist Semyon Bagdasarov. has something to say. His cheering section,comments.are even more entertaining. I don’t share their opinion on the prowess of the Russian military over the Amercian’s. I rather doubt Putin shares those opinions as well. Putin knows how to play chess against a superior opponent. You play to survive. Trump has already openly given the US commanders the green light to use necessary force to protect their assets.
    There will be no Nuclear use as Modern warfare tactics does not require it. The Russian Bear has claws but he is weak and has few assets. Russians do not take on superior foes if they can avoid it. They prey on the weak…pg

  6. H.R. says:

    @Larry & p.g.:

    IIRC, 5 or 6 years ago the Russians paraded a flotilla past Great Britain and their aircraft carrier had problems, causing it to be towed past Jolly Old England. The U.S. has a similar maintenance problem, but the budget that President Trump signed reluctantly had the money to get what we have back up to readiness. I don’t know where Russia is on the readiness scale now, but they sure were towards the bottom of the scale a few years ago.

  7. p.g.sharrow says:

    HR; The last I heard was that the Russians had 1 carrier group, operating out of the Black Sea/ Mediterranean and the Americans had 11 groups operating around the world. Three in the Med area.
    It is a Russian thing to brag that they have the biggest baddest what ever. Part of the psychology of being a Russian. BUT, they are not fools. Americans are well trained in the art of war and have vast resources. Both Russia and China brag that the Americans can’t conquer them in a ground war, as if the Americans would even want to. There is nothing in ether nation that is worth that cost. Far better that they just be made impotent in vexing the other nations of the world…pg

  8. cdquarles says:

    Nice one, p.g. Americans treat war as a necessary evil, to be reluctantly involved in; yet, when necessary, to go out and win it decisively. The wars that America ‘lost’ were not lost by her military. They were lost by feckless politicians, all leftist and mostly Democrats.

    And that brings me to another one of my peeves. The current war in Afghanistan is not our longest war. Our longest war is Korea … started in the ’50s and still going on, though there’s no shooting going on at the moment.

    That’s right, folks. Ceasefires or truces don’t end wars in America. Only signed and ratified peace treaties do that. We have had that done in Iraq (war started in 1990, by the way, and had to be resumed a decade later, because of feckless politicians). Afghanistan is our second longest war.

    Oh, yeah, the Constitution requires Congress to declare wars; but the Constitution leaves it up to Congress to determine the wording, which includes not doing anything more than funding war operations.

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    @cd you are correct.
    The American military and the Nixon Administration. Actually won the Vietnam war to a signed agreement with the North. The war was over. the north was pulling out, and then the Democratic controlled Congress surrendered to the North by refusing to fund the peace agreement, just to spite Nixon and the Republicans for winning a war that the Democrats began and were deliberately losing.

    The Constitution makes the Navy and It’s Marines a permanent fixture of the American Government.. The Army and it’s derivatives must be funded by every Congress. If Trump wants to create a permanent Space Force it needs to be a part of the Navy! …pg

  10. ray warkentin says:

    “They prey on the weak…pg”
    Show me where post soviet Russia has preyed on anyone?
    Several years ago when under the prodding of the US the American ally Georgia invaded semi-autonomous Russian-speaking Azkhazia on Russia’s underbelly and in the process killing several Russian peacekeepers, Russia responded by invading Georgia, doing some damage to her military and military infrastructure and then after a few days, having made her point, withdrew and left Georgia alone.
    More recently, when the US orchestrated the coup against the democratically elected Ukrainian government and installed a pro western government with the intent of moving the Ukraine towards NATO and putting Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Crimea at risk Russia reclaimed Crimea which had been part of Russia for centuries via vote by the Russian-speaking population. They did not invade but were already there on a leased naval base. They also supported the ethnic Russian rebels in the eastern provinces in Ukraine. This was all done in response to US shenanigans in the Ukraine and from the Russian perspective was of vital importance and imperative from a national security and survival perspective to counter aggressive and hostile US intentions.

    Russia under Putin has not demonstrated any territorial ambitions, has not threatened or tried to intimidate anyone and has only responded defensively to Western threats. That is the case also in Syria, where the US instigated the conflict and financed and armed the terrorists and mercenaries to overthrow the Russia allied government and threaten Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base. Syria had been a stable country where ethnic and religious minorities had freedom and could prosper as long as they didn’t try to undermine the regime. That it has been wrecked is on the United States.
    What amazes me, is that the same people who recognize the misinformation, propaganda tendencies and corruption of the mainstream media in areas of reporting and comment such as the climate change issue or anything to do with Donald Trump, then turn around and uncritically accept at face and get all of their information and understanding of Russia and other foreign issues from the very same media.

  11. ray warkentin says:

    “HR; The last I heard was that the Russians had 1 carrier group, operating out of the Black Sea/ Mediterranean and the Americans had 11 groups operating around the world. Three in the Med area.”
    Russia has no need for carrier groups. She has no interest in long-range power projection and is husbanding her resources toward the military in a prudent way. She is orienting her military to the defense of the homeland and nearby areas.
    Carrier groups and naval warships are for yesterday’s wars and would be of little use in an all-out modern war against a major foe. They are still useful for aggression against small weak nations but sitting ducks against a modern military power and in fact a huge money-sink and gigantic waste of resources.
    For the last 15 years Russia has been working diligently on her missile technology and her domestic military manufacturing capability. She has done this in response to NATO encroachments up to her very border, the US surrounding her with military bases, the US placing missiles in countries bordering Russia and conducting military exercises just miles from her border. Only a few days ago the US announced expansion of a base in Norway close to Russia’s border with an increase in troops and upcoming military exercises.
    The upshot is that Russia is ten years ahead of the US in missile technology and can sink any US aircraft carrier at will even if sitting in home port.They don’t need to spend hundreds of billions dollars a year on useless carrier groups or on projects like the overly complicated latest US warplane with gigantic cost overruns that has compromised on capabilities in the interest of stealth which doesn’t really exist versus Russia, or on bases and force projection around the world. Most of those billions would be useless in a war with Russia and most of the monies already spent are wasted sunk costs moving the country towards severe financial distress.
    A big difference in military spending between the two countries is that Russia is prudently allocating spending to weapons that work and are relevant to modern warfare and to her limited ambitions-that is to say security and survival. The US is spending profligately in response to lobbying by the military industrial complex in the interest of profiteering.

  12. philjourdan says:

    ray warkentin says @September 2018 at 9:01 am

    I think you confuse democrats with Neocons. Democrats want a war. Neocons, well some are never Trumpers, so yea, some do. But one of the favorite pastimes of the left is in the underestimation of Trump. And their own ignorance. Take this for example:

    If “we” (the common man) know this:

    “Right now, there are only two countries whose industries produce these complete systems … one of them is friendly, and one of them is not so friendly,” Milley said, referencing Israel and Russia.

    You can bet Trump (and our military) does as well. The one thing “government” that Trump does appear to have respect for is the military.

  13. Another Ian says:


    Might be a link of interest here Comment by “Commiebob” at

    “The main thing with Marxism is that it is a command economy. Once the economy reaches a certain size and level of complexity, a command economy can’t possibly work. It’s a mathematical impossibility. link” Goes to

  14. jim2 says:

    ray warkentin says @
    “What amazes me, is that the same people who recognize the misinformation, propaganda tendencies and corruption of the mainstream media in areas of reporting and comment such as the climate change issue or anything to do with Donald Trump, then turn around and uncritically accept at face and get all of their information and understanding of Russia and other foreign issues from the very same media.”

    What amazes me is that you can read everyone’s mind.

  15. p.g.sharrow says:

    ray warkentin says:”Show me where post soviet Russia has preyed on anyone?”
    And then uses 30 lines to explain away the last 10 years of Putin moves against his neighbors. ;-)
    The little countries around Russia fear them for a reason. For a thousand years the Russ have prayed on their neighbors. The latest state of affairs is nothing new, except that the Americans have said STOP, no further.

    Putin knows that he can not hope to prevail against the nation that held the Soviet Union at bay. And as to the “Wondrous” toys he claims to have at his disposal, they are more claims then reality.

    American hardware is produced in volume, as are those trained in it’s maintenance and use. As to the expense, while much is made about the cost, it is small retaliative to the wealth that the Americans create….pg

  16. ray warkentin says:

    Hilary Clinton, the Obama regime, and the Bush regime before that were all aligned with the elitist,internationalist, globalist one world government agenda. The climate change narrative as a means of more control was a tool toward that end. The Democratic party, parts of the deep state, multi-billionaire business elites and the media they control, various intellectuals are all part of an apparatus relentlessly pushing that agenda. They want to weaken borders, weaken national governments and make them subservient to international rules dictated by the elite. And that means undermining national cultural heritage,shared values and unity, historical understanding, sense of patriotism etc. and any national ambitions. To bring that about they are using cultural marxism creating divisions-class divisions, race divisions, gender divisions, on and on. That’s why the Democratic party has become so destructionist in their motivations.
    When the soviet regime disintegrated, Russia was supposed to fall in line to the Western way and agenda and for a while moved in that direction. But Russia was floundering and in the process of becoming a colony of the western elites under Yeltzin. When Putin came on the scene he saw and understood the source of the suffering and determined to reject the internationalist plan and reestablish Russian sovereignty and the Russian cultural heritage. This also necessitated rebuilding Russia’s military to rebuff any foreign notions of intervention.
    Putin is a Russian nationalist. He has made speeches renouncing the globalist agenda and asserting the right of every people within a national border to determine their own culture and values and their own way of governance and their own development path free of any international interference. This has enraged the globalist elite in the west and it has been a non-stop propaganda and smear campaign against Russia and Putin in the western press controlled by this elite for years. In this case it involves Fox news as well even especially so. That is why so many people are so misinformed about Russia. All they see is lie upon lie repeated all the time.

  17. p.g.sharrow says:

    “When Putin came on the scene he saw and understood the source of the suffering and determined to reject the internationalist plan and reestablish Russian sovereignty and the Russian cultural heritage. This also necessitated rebuilding Russia’s military to rebuff any foreign notions of intervention. Putin is a Russian nationalist.”… ray warkentin

    On that we can agree! At some point. The Americans and Russians will ally to outlaw war and end the dreams of the Globalists. …pg

  18. ray warkentin says:

    Another Ian
    The great Austrian economist Ludvig von Mises made what is still the best argument against socialism back in 1920 in a paper which he later expanded into a book called “Socialism.” At the time it caused several academic socialists to renounce their belief. He made a strictly narrow economic argument. There are reasons why a creed of “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need” isn’t a good one. It is completely contrary to human nature and undermines incentive and motivation and stifles creativity.
    However Mises made the economic argument that without private property and free markets to exchange that property, you have a complete absence of honest price signals and profit and loss signals. Without these honest signals economic activity is a completely chaotic mish-mash resulting in prodigious misallocation of capital and human energy which results in misaligned production and destruction of capital instead of accumulation. The end result has to be poverty and misery. The problem is worsened by the inevitable politically influenced misuse of resources.
    Another thing socialists miss is that of necessity freedom is utterly incompatible with socialism no matter the good intentions of the socialist. When you have a centrally planned economy and society you cannot have multiple plans at once. Whichever direction and process is chosen must be followed uniformly because dissent would undermine and derail it. Not even other socialists are allowed to dissent in even small details. The societal structure then quickly evolves into an authoritarian totalitarian one. It has to!
    These things have been seen over and over again and yet the utopians retain their faith and sense of virtue and superiority. Of course many of the younger ones have little historical knowledge and so would lead us to hell in their enthusiasm. But what is the excuse for the older ones, especially the professor types?

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    The young are brainwashed in the school system. 90% of the people have “read only memory” and can not “unlearn” bad information, maybe half can be overwritten with enough hard knocks and constant pressure. This is why all cults resort to repetition in their “chants” or training efforts.
    Lenin said give me the young at 8 and I will own them for life. Socialists began infiltrating education 500 years ago at Oxford. They began seizing control of the Californian School System in the early 1950s. The only good thing is that most students are fairly resistant to any kind of training. But that still leaves a very enthusiastic cadre of believers that will do anything to achieve the aim of their leaders. These and their leaders must be thoroughly be discredited just as their cousins the Fascists/Nazis were in the 1940s…pg

  20. ray warkentin says:

    Well fancy that!
    Lew Rockwell at his site tonight has just published an article on the very topic I was talking about earlier. I’ll post the link but it’s going to be unsettling reading for some people.

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ray W:

    I was going to complain about your saying “Americans” were doing all that stuff, but the conversation moved around to the Globalists and Democrats so got there…

    The simple fact is that more Republicans are Nationalists and more Democrats are Globalists, and it is a Globalist effort, not an American one, to do things like poach Ukraine for NATO. Look up “Color Revolutions” and you find Ukraine listed as an example. Yes, the US Military tends to be the tool used too often, but the motivation and political manipulation has root in Soros and his NGOs and spread across the EU. The USA is presently trying to escape that trap (which is why there is so much effort to take down Trump). Russia already kicked out the NGOs and issued an arrest warrant for Soros. India kicked him out too. We ought to.

    Britain is 1/2 way trying to escape the worst of it via Brexit. Still unclear if they will regain full sovereignty. Canada my get it forced on them via Trump dumping NAFTA for bilateral agreements.

    I’ve frequently pointed out the history of Crimea as a probably illegal “gift” to Ukraine by Khrushchev. I get rocks tossed at me for saying Russia is a potent foe, but not being aggressive without cause and often with historical merit in the claims. Putin is quite willing to play dirty, but he plays smart and for his nation’s best interest; not for aggrandizement.

    BTW: I’d been thinking of an article on those Russian weapons systems… now I don’t need to. That’s a well done article. Only thing missing is Russian electronic warfare advances. Reportedly then can disable our EWO stuff and fly past a destroyer without risk… (Not seen independent confirmation of the one claim I’ve seen, but it was supposedly a sailor on the ship reporting it happened…)

    While our military is busy doing corporate welfare to an overpaid “defense industry” Russia focuses on what works well for the lowest cost. Comparing money spent is irrelevant.

  22. jim2 says:

    What Obummer says publicly about Russia versus what our intel agencies know and the military is building/doing are unrelated. Unless you have ties to deep intel, I seriously doubt you have any idea what the US is working on, much less already has.

    It’s good to think about these things, but without deeper knowledge, the import is limited.

  23. p.g.sharrow says:

    My reading of that article is it is a psyops piece to accentuate Russian abilities vs American abilities..Real world activities points to a lot of bs there.
    The DoD definitely wastes a lot of money in bureaucratic overhead both private and public. During the time that we investigated bidding on DoD contracts the required paperwork would triple the gross cost of the job over a private customer. Once you get into bidding on DoD contracts your total cost of operations rises so much that even private work becomes more expensive as well….pg

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    Russia is an interesting challenge to understand.

    When the Soviet Union collapsed, it led to near total collapse of their military system. The higher echelons of the military and government literally sold off huge amounts of military equipment as they picked the bones of their old empire for personal gain. What resulted is a hodge podge of military capabilities, some good and world class and others which are a mere shell of a capacity.

    As such Russia is no where near a true peer of the US militarily in world wide operations right now but they are struggling to get back into that category. It will be a long pull.
    Close to home like any major country they are dangerous near their boarders but more importantly is they have shown a willingness and an intent to slowly claw back the Warsaw Pact countries buffer zones. Historically they have always liked and strived for a strongly Russian influenced buffer zone of nearby states as protection since there are few major physical barriers to invasion. As shown by Operation Barbarossa and its outcome in WWII the major defensive barrier to the Russian heart land is simply miles and miles of Russian soil (and preferably buffer state soil) and winter cold and the challenge of logistics across that huge expanse for a major ground invasion. So what have we got?

    The USSR is clearly a world leader in large arctic ice breakers and operations in arctic environments. Technically their strategic missile forces are world class but although they have the technical ability to design and buildm they have historically had more problems with reliability and precision.
    Much if this is not equipment based but an embedded human factors and quality control issue combined with endemic corruption. It is hard to field world class military systems when you have a huge drinking problem in your society and about half of your troops are always drunk or recovering from last nights bender.
    Just because they can design and build it does not necessarily mean they can maintain and service it. They have a serious shortage of production capacity and skilled manpower to feed a logistical war fighting need.

    Keep in mind much of their top quality military hardware of the Soviet Era came out of Ukraine which is why they are trying to take it back. They are engaged in a major upgrade and build cycle in their strategic and nuclear capable tactical forces, which if fully operational and if it meets intended goals will be very formidable.

    Their current missile systems are nearing end of service life and must be replaced almost completely in the next 10 years or so. The old Soviet Missile capable SLBM fleets (Delta III and Delta IV boats) are late 1970’s and 1980’s vintage boats and nearing their end of service lives. They will be replaced by the newer Borai class boats which are just now entering service.
    The Soviet Era air force also is getting long in the tooth, and needing major upgrades or replacement.

    Click to access Russia_upgrades_its_missile_arsenal.pdf

    Their hypersonic systems are very much developmental and not operational. They have potential but as yet do not exist as an operational capability. They have tested in 2016 and 2017 but don’t anticipate actual operational deployment until at the earliest 2020. The US is in a very similar state where early developmental testing has been done, but they still have several years of development required to field an operational system.

    The use of hypersonic delivery systems is an effort to exploit a seam in the US ballistic missile protective systems as they are designed to defend against a ballistic warhead which travels in a pure ballistic trajectory and is thus predictable in its flight path. The hypersonics are trying to bypass that design expectation, by giving up speed in favor of maneuverability. If fully deployed including scram jet propulsion over tactical distances they would be very difficult to counter without use of advance directed energy systems due to their very short time of flight and ability to be maneuverable at those speeds.

    The Russian Air force is likewise a relic of the Soviet Era, they have a very small number of high performance near 5th generation fighters which in some flight regimes are comparable or even slightly superior to US designs, although they have not achieved comparable stealth technology they have reduced its effectiveness by systems with newer detection and antiaircraft technology, They can put it at risk and it is no longer essentially immune to defensive tactics but that does not necessarily mean they can defeat it completely.
    Their strategic bomber systems are very limited, their heavy bombers still depend on the old TU-95 bear style bombers.

    They also have a few of the blackjack class more modern bombers which they are trying to upgrade to current technology. The Tupolev Tu-160M2 is getting a range boost and upgraded electronics. The upgraded bomber is only now restarting production. And will enter low rate production in the next year or so. These systems only recently have been actually used in a long range bombing campaign in Syria (one of the likely reasons the Russians are there is it gives them a way to “field test” systems. This field test did not go well for their aircraft carrier, they have a LOT to learn about operational deployments of aircraft carriers, and the Kuznetsov is mostly a show piece and test bed not a useful piece of military hardware.

    In Armor they no longer have the capabilities they had in the Soviet era (and neither do the NATO forces) Their new Armata T-14 based systems are unproven in combat and only now going into operational service.

    In short if angered, Russia would be formidable foe near their borders (which is why the eastern European countries are so afraid of Russia, given its belligerent attitude and consistent history of putting those countries intentionally at risk to force them to be amenable to pressure tactics. As a result many of those small countries see themselves as vulnerable to the same sorts of attacks and mini-invasions already used in Georgia and Ukraine where Russia has developed a very significant capability of using hybrid warfare to create very limited war predicated on manufactured pretexts and operating just below the trigger point that will force NATO and other countries to get involved. In short Russia is replicating in a modern way the bit by bit usurpation of neighboring countries used by Germany during the prelude to WWII.

    Russia is no were near the world wide military power it likes to portray itself to be – (it is sort of like Mexico with nuclear weapons in fact) that does not make it harmless.
    It is a bad idea to under estimate your opponent even if you can identify major problems with their systems.

    Its doctrine for first use of nuclear weapons as just a bigger bomb and not recognizing its special nature makes their current doctrine quite dangerous especially if they really believe limited use of nuclear weapons would be tolerated by other countries.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    When I wrote the cost accounting system for the Bradly Fighting Vehicle, we had to have data entry, tracking, and reporting for every single bit of material used BY VEHICLE. So if a 1/2 ¢ washer was put on a bolt, there was a form to fill out, then it was processed, data entry, database update, reports printed, etc. etc. If a scratch in the paint was dabbed with a dinky brush of paint, a form was filled out listing the paint part number, amount used, etc. etc. Just incredibly stupid. Spending $Dollars to track pennies.

    But my company pulled down a $Million for the system we wrote, and re-wrote, and changed, and re-wrote… as they kept changing their minds…

    Per Russia:

    The historical problem for the USSR was production and last generation designs. BUT, they had some really great ideas and some very good scientists and engineers. Now they have good designs and still have their really good scientists and engineers. What is unknown is their ability to build and deliver more than one working example…

    IMHO, their demonstrated equipment is clearly superior to ours. That the USA is actively working to prevent “allies” from buying the Russian defense radar / rocket system leads me to think they can take down our “stuff” and we don’t want that knocking around the middle east / Europe…

    That said:

    The point Jim2 makes is the one that mutes the story. In about 1973 I was in the Engineering Library at U.C. reading a book that described how to make a hypersonic engine. Today we have hypersonic engines running. They are that same wedge design… Anyone really think it took 45 years to squirt fuel out the apex of an asymmetrical wedge on the side of an airframe?

    IMHO, we’ve been busy making hypersonic craft for decades. Just not letting anyone know it. NEVER let your opponent know something works until you know how to defeat it. Never tell your opponent they are wasting money building obsolete tech. Bank that ability and pull it out when you need it (just after the opponent reaches that level…)

    I think very similar things are done in every aspect of weapons systems. We could have had rail guns and laser weapons 20 years ago. (We had a test bed laser flying in a jumbo jet). We’ve known how to make tiny portable nuke reactors since at least the ’60s (Air Force atomic airplane program) and now ought to be able to make them even better. The list goes on.

    So my opinion is that as soon as Russia has spent a boat load of money building a lot of these systems, the USA will “catch up” and deploy the appropriate counter weapons. Stuff that is now all in the shadows.

    IMHO, some of it will be swarms of robotic autonomous vehicles so cheap that defending against them becomes economically prohibitive. But we don’t want our potential opponents to go that direction now when we can’t stop it; so it’s hidden. (What would a bunch of soldiers with rifles do against a swarm of $500 “toy sized” drones each carrying a claymore mine?… The answer is “die”…) The solution would be a robotic shotgun, FWIW…

    Right now the problem “going forward” will be hypersonic craft. We’ll need a hypersonic kill missile. Unclear is can we do things like just put a load of shotgun pellets in front of it. (A tungsten BB at Mach 10 impact is gonna mess it up a lot… so just some way to keep them in front of it long enough is likely effective). The problem is deploying it fast enough before the hypersonic attack hits. The present “explosive kill from nearby” isn’t fast nor accurate enough.

    Similarly, the Russian autonomous torpedo / drone can just sit quietly in the ocean waiting for a carrier group to get “near enough” and then sprint to 60 MPH and impact in just a couple of minutes. The fast reaction defense does not yet exist in the field. With a tactical nuke on it, it doesn’t even need to get very close.

    So IMHO there really is an issue with our present Carrier Task Force focus. All it takes is one “failure to defend” and we lose the whole thing. We have a limited number to lose. Send 100 drone submarine killer drones out and that gives a 10 : 1 ratio. I’d bet hard money one would make it to the carrier… So maybe $Billion to wipe out $100 Billion of Carrier Task Forces… That’s the problem I see; and I think it has been seen by Russia too.

  26. p.g.sharrow says:

    I keep hearing about a single nuc taking out a carrier group with a nearby hit. The ocean is a very big place and ships are quite small and blast hardened. During operations a group will cover 600 square miles of ocean and be moving at a respectable speed as well as maneuvering. Under battle conditions there are miles between ships. It would take megaton weapons to takeout nearby ships. Remember we practice surviving Soviet era atomic weapons in an all out war. The biggest problem that I can see is a generation of heavy use and poor maintenance of men and machine has eroded capabilities and readiness. Remember McCain blowing up the Forestall. Too many mistakes happened at one time on one day on a tired ship…pg. .

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes a carrier strike goup is a very big formation, and could not be killed by a single weapon.

    The air cap provided by the carrier itself would extend out to about 200 nautical miles, the outer picket ships would normally be out of visual range of the carrier at 15-20 nautical miles, and the inner defense ships would be around 10 nautical miles from the carrier with the exception of the ship assigned to pick up pilots during aircraft operations which might be within view of the carrier while it is in trail to recover pilots who go down near the ship during landing and take off evolutions.

    Because the carrier is such a high value target it also is usually shadowed by some nuclear fast attack submarines with form an under surface defensive boundary.

    Very large ships like carriers are also very difficult to kill because of their size and resources, as evidenced by the experience of carriers under kamikaze attack during the latter part of WWII, and the major incidents like the Forestall fire.

    (take note of the comment in the above link about the USS Bainbridge’s sprint to the burning Enterprise)

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Regarding hypersonic weapons, during the early days of the ballistic missile race between the USSR and the US there was discussion of using “The dust defense” against incoming ballistic missile warheads. The idea was to intentionally detonate a ground burst up stream from the ballistic missile field which would loft tons of dirt and debris into the air corridor through which the approaching warheads would have to pass to get to the ballistic missile silos.

    As noted above by EM one strategy to defeat hypersonics is to use the speed of the incoming warhead against itself by distributing a cloud of small particles to form a gauntlet of dense pellets which the incoming warhead would have to pass through. Unlike flak you would want to develop a way to hold a large number of dense pellets airborne for seconds or minutes in the flight path the weapon would most likely use to attack its intended target.

    Like radar chaff you would want something that disperses rapidly but then drifts slowly down. In a sense it would be a defensive measure similar to barrage balloons in WWI and WWII whose primary objective was to complicate the final approach to target. A large number of dense pellets embedded in light weight lifting bodies like small maple seeds which would slowly flutter to the ground might be the sort of system you would want to develop. You would need a short range rocket that could be launched quickly to carry the “pellet barrier” devices to a suitable altitude then open like a cluster munition and bloom into a large cloud of the pellet bodies. Or fast deploying helium filled balloons (or a drone swarm) which would lift a curtain of split shot on a rope, or small self contained systems similar to the Israeli Trophy system developed to protect tanks, which would each detect near by fast moving bodies and fire a shot gun blast in its direction.

    The better solution would be directed energy systems but that also has limitations due to weather, fog, rain dust and smoke.

    Regarding the adoption of Russian anti-aircraft systems I don’t believe that resistance is based on the idea that they are superior, but rather that it would be next to impossible to integrate them effectively into a NATO compatible air defense system, there would always be a risk of them having a back door in their software that would make them ignore Russian IFF systems or simply turn off at a bad time, and more importantly they are a gateway sale that gives Russian representatives access to currently closed markets.

    Right now Russia depends on foreign oil sales and foreign weapon system says for hard currency. Letting them make a sale would defeat sanctions and like Egypt in the 1950’s and 1960’s open the countries to adoption of entire foreign sales derivatives of military systems fielded by the Russians.

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    I did NOT say Carrier group. I said carrier.

    With a smart robotic nuclear torpedo (where we are arriving at now to soon) and a 60 MPH sprint and some stealth (zero noise when just listening and very very quiet at very slow meander, plus sound absorptive / deflective coating) you can put a string of them “at sea” in a likely arrival point.

    Then they listen. When passive sonar says “Carrier will pass 4 miles to the right” at that moment you sprint toward it and detonate inside the lethal radius.

    That same “vast ocean” and that same widely disbursed battle group also means it can’t detect or investigate everything that looks like a log or whale (or smaller).

    To the best of my knowledge, nobody has that specific device yet; but you can see them coming from here. Russia has that big drone sub version. We have smart torpedoes. Our nuclear subs have sound coatings. Suitcase nukes are old hat as are Howitzer sized. There isn’t a lot of “new” tech needed to make one of the devices. My guess is a few $Million in bulk. That price point makes a swarm attack reasonable over likely transit paths.

    Now, were I at DOD, I’d have thought of this too and been working on countermeasures. I hope they are… “But hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith” and I’m not seeing any highly effective strategy. Either a lot more small boats to investigate every log and whale or ??? Then what do you do if they can “bottom sit” in 5000 ft of water and rise at 1 mile a minute with a nuke that’s effective from 1/2 or 1/4 mile under the ship?…

    IMHO, it’s a major developing threat.

    A carrier battle group is a much diminished and imbalanced thing without the carrier…

  30. corsair red says:

    @E.M.Smith, Larry Ledwick, H.R., et y’all:
    Sounds like it’s time for another undersea movie on the order of The Hunt For Red October. Much more tension, though. I have always wanted to direct. James Earl Jones is still alive. If the money were to become available, technical consultants would be needed.* Lots of CGI necessary. Not a problem; I have grandkids who can paint on a screen.

    * Not to be construed as an offer of employment.

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    We have already gone part way there, with subroc, asroc and sealancet systems (this is a very old concept). With minor adaptations to modern technology the countermeasure could be quickly fielded. The basic subroc design with the modification that at the terminal point the “warhead” which would be a smart torpedo (see MK-50 below) would splash down and then sprint toward any fast moving object in the water. Those supercavitating torpedos would be very noisy and it would be like seeking on a search light (hard to miss detection) once the final attack profile of the attacking system was initiated.

    I was talking about the “carrier” since it is the reason the carrier group exists it is always the primary target, bonus points if you take out one of the other vessels in the group but it is always the primary target. Without the carrier it is just a small formation of destroyers and guided missile cruisers with no heavy punch beyond the cruise missiles on hand.

    I was pointing out that the supporting ships and aircraft create a very large bubble of protection, and if configured with something like I described above, those ships could get that countermeasure smart torpedo in the vicinity of the attacking torpedo in very short time. Not saying your suggestion is not a legitimate threat, the current undersea drones that use buoyancy changes to drive motion are very good at long long distance travel while being very very quiet (especially if configured to avoid sonor detection).

    Basically develop a modern system to get an upgraded MK-50 torpedo within 9 miles of the approaching threat and program it to sprint toward it and detonate on closest approach.

    As this last link shows there are some definite limits to the fast torpedo systems and utilization by submarines involves a very high risk of detection before they get inside the lethal radius of the torpedo and still be outside the kill range of their own weapon, before they are detected and killed by the escort bubble..

    The passive wait and kill booby trap you describe would solve part of that problem but would it be detectable by patrolling escort submarines. In the deep ocean the device would either have to be deep moored or be able to hover in place for an extended period of time. Both are possible but the question arises how difficult and for the relatively rare target of a carrier, would it be well spent effort or should the problem be solved by some other attack mode (hypersonic systems).

    I am sure the discussions we are having here now have been taking place for 30 years inside the naval research community.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    “get that countermeasure smart torpedo in the vicinity of the attacking torpedo in very short time. ”

    For the bottom sitter in 5000 feet you have 30 to 45 seconds to detect, decide, launch, arrive, and kill if it is traveling at the low end 60 MPH (one mile, 5280 ft., per minute). Proportionately less at 90 mph.

    It is that time compression of the decision cycle that’s the hard bit.

    Now, what do you do when 4 or 5 in a swarm all move at once…

    There’s a lot of commonly transited locations with 5000 or less depth. The ocean average depth is something like 12,000 feet, so it’s about 1/3 of it.

    Not saying it is impossible to defend against that, but just that it will be damn hard and they can lose 10 times but succeed on the 11th and still win; while you can never miss once.

    IMHO, it will take a fully automated defense system with full fire authority and significant hypersonic / supercavitating firepower of its own to stop that kind of threat. Then what do we do when it decides some unreported research submersible fits the threat profile? Do you shut it off when approaching places with lots of small surface craft and recreational subs? Or do your carriers just stay perpetually in the very deep ocean?

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    I don’t remember where I ran into this, but it is worth the read. Lays out the immigration issue rather nicely:

  34. A C Osborn says:

    Larry Ledwick says: 4 September 2018 at 1:46 am & E M.
    I have often wondered why they have never developed a Titanium/Steel mesh that can be deployed by missile or depth charge launcher in front of the approaching torpedo(s).
    At 30 – 40 knots the Torpedo would be completely shredded if it hit the mesh.
    I suppose it would depend on how low it is under the surface.

  35. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have also wondered about terminal defense measures against torpedoes, my reasoning has been along the line of existing systems.

    One option would be a mortar launched depth charge set to go off at only about 30 ft below the surface, or an adaptation of the hedge hog system setup the same way.

    Hedge hog system image

    The hedge hog replaced depth charges which went off at a preset depth with contact impact warheads which exploded on contact with the sub hull. The ship would set a heading to “run over the sub” and as the converged with the sub’s location it fired a pattern of the hedge hog bomblets to cover the area where the sub was located.

    First part of this video shows the hedge hog in action

    Add today’s smart fusing to the hedge hog system and fire a pattern of them in front of the on coming torpedo and build the bomblets have a short sprint mode in the water to all seek the torpedo motor and detonate when close. You don’t have to kill the torpedo outright just scramble its brains and shake it up enough that the gyros tumble or you break something or trigger a secondary explosion of its warhead.

    Modern torpedoes are designed to run under the target ship and detonate below the keel, this creates a large void in the water and breaks the ships back.

    Hmmm while searching some stuff on torpedoes stumbled across this system. The US already has a counter torpedo system designed to work against Russian “wake following” torpedoes.

  36. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like the Counter Anti-Torpedo (CAT) system is having some teething problems as of a few years ago so not fully deployed but I assume under active development, and perhaps adaptation to the super high speed conventional torpedoes and super-cavitating rocket powered torpedoes.

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    How to win friends and influence people – immigrants in Germany showing how it is done.

    Keep it up and they will trigger a repeat of Kristallnacht – the only question is which group will be the shop owners and which group will be breaking windows.

    As this continues, they are creating an entire generation of young Germans who are getting red pilled on massive immigration and sooner or later there will be a response in kind to these provocations.

  38. Another Ian says:

    “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?”

    “Swoosh is the sound of your share price dropping when you employ post-modernist MBAs in your marketing department?”

  39. Another Ian says:

    More on that

    “Nike Value Takes a Knee as Colin Kaepernick Becomes Face of Brand…”

  40. Larry Ledwick says:

    A follow up on the Carrier force debate above. Raises some questions about where and how the US Navy should use our carriers and if they are truly obsolete as some contend or just need to adapt operations to some different operational mission sets.

  41. E.M.Smith says:

    You must ask “for what?” and “against whom?” are carriers useful. That will always return a very high usability answer.

    The only problem is that a couple of very strong and crafty adversaries are developing effective countermeasures. So less usable against them in all out war. At least until our counter measures get a bit better.

  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes exactly – it will be more a case of adaption to changing roles than obsolescence. Even the Iowa class battle ship still has value if it was not so darn expensive to maintain for those isolated cases where the best solution would be very heavy naval gunnery. which is essentially invulnerable to even modern counter measures. (dumb 16 inch shells cost a lot less that missile interceptors capable of dealing with a 2700 pound shell moving at close to 2500 ft per second (mach 2) and could cover its maximum range of 23.6 statute miles in 1.5 minutes.)

    In the case of the carrier we are really faced with the same issue discussed in the other thread about collaboration – are we asking the right questions?

    Are hypersonic “carrier killer” weapons really as effective as everyone seems to think they wlll be or are they just a modern version of the WWII kamakazi which can be defeated with similar techniques.

    In WWII they countered the kamakazi flights by pushing their defensive picket ships out farther from the assets they wanted to attack to give them more time to deal with the incoming planes. The also used layered defenses with both ship based anti-aircraft guns and airborne fighters to break up the formations at a distance from the fleet.

    Perhaps a hypersonic weapon will be very easy to detect from orbit. It will be pretty easy to pick out an object moving far faster than any other that also has a surface temperature near the leading edge of between 1300 – 2300 K. By comparison the speed of approach of a hypersonic vehicle to a near stationary ship, is trivial compared to the closure speed of a ballistic missile reentry body and an antimissile interceptor.. So the tracking and evaluation problem has likely already been solved, the issue is how can we get a short reaction time defensive weapon on target of a very rapidly approaching warhead.

    The assumption seems to be that the ship will have a short reaction time due to the hypersonic weapon appearing over the local horizon. From a point of observation 50 ft above the water the horizon is 8.7 miles away (flight time at mach 5 = 8.3 seconds)

    Move that observation point up to a tethered balloon 500 ft above the ship and the horizon moves out to 27.4 miles and a flight time of 26.3 seconds. Move the observation point up to an altitude of 5000 feet on an orbiting drone and your horizon moves out to 86.6 miles and a flight time of 83 seconds. Move the observation point out to picket ships and at 5000 ft elevation and you gain even more time.

    It is clear that part of the solution for defense against hypersonic weapons would be something like a tethered balloon on a picket ship or a couple orbiting drones over the carrier task force to get a persistent stare capability to watch for incoming weapons far enough out to provide useful reaction time for defensive weapons.

    Next question is what are the weather limitations of hypersonic weapons, can they fly through even light rain for example during terminal approach phase? Can they be defeated by something as simple as a water curtain in their flight path?

    There are thousands of these unanswered questions and unstated assumptions in the current presumed threat posed by hypersonic weapons. Same goes to for the presumed vulnerability of Super Carriers, unfortunately some of these questions will not be answered until someone tries to sink one with modern weapons.

  43. E.M.Smith says:

    Or decent war games. Fake carrier and test hypersonic missile can answer a lot. In our own H.S. devo we’ll find lots of “problems” that become defenses. For the missiles I’m not so worried. Big automated shotguns at the picket with Tungsten pellets ought to work. Only the UW rocket nuke torpedo looks to me like a long term problem. (Detection before sprint is very hard, need not be real close, travel time of counter measure must be seconds through water a long ways…)

    In war games, many issues and what works get identified.

    Also, in air, things like rail guns and lasers are fast. Underwater, it is a power issue. Is the ocean transparent enough for any laser?

    I think the answer will be smart robotic systems. A hunter supercavitating torpedo swarm that swims slowly in rings around the carrier but about 2000 feet down, and sprint at any torpedo not in their network mesh, for example. Gets to the intruder at 4000 feet down / away. Hopefully enough for small nukes at depth… (I could see a sub as their pack leader on duty, and a surface tender to refuel and refit every day or two when they return to the nest for rotation)

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    Blue green lasers have the best ability to propagate through water, and are being actively investigated for under water communications, detection etc.

    If partnered with range gated imaging, they should be able to see even farther as the time slicing of the range gate will block back scatter coming from near the transmitter.

    Personally I would be surprised if our nuclear submarines do not have or are in the process of developing near field blue green laser illuminated imaging.

  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    Related to above comment:
    Blue green laser communication with submerged objects

  46. jim2 says:

    LL says: Personally I would be surprised if our nuclear submarines do not have or are in the process of developing near field blue green laser illuminated imaging.

    That lends new meaning to Blue Tooth!

  47. Larry Ledwick says:


    Since they are already working on under sea drones that use range gated imaging to see through the water, it would be a small small step to have either a cable tethered drone or a free swimming drone that a sub sitting on the bottom or in quiet hover could use to image nearby features.

    One usage would be when tailing another sub, there is the risk of rear ending them if they suddenly slow. Blue green imaging forward looking and rear looking cameras would be a nice option for a sub commander to check his 6 passively in case a super stealthy opponent has closed on him. Same goes for a periscope mounted system where they could image the bottom of ships or hazards like moored mines it would give them situational awareness of their immediate surroundings which are impossible with passive sonar and similar means.

    This of course might be a giveaway if too close to the surface unless the laser flashes are short enough to not be perceived by the human eye.

    It is my understanding that the human eye has a visual persistence of about 1/10 second so anything that happens faster than that is essentially invisible unless it is very bright (like a photo strobe). The question would be how much beam scatter would result if such a system was used. In daytime near the surface it would likely not be even noticeable to surface observers like sentries.

    I wonder if there is another band pass window for light in water that is outside the human visual range?

    One of the advantages of electronics is with image intensification techniques you might be able to add together multiple millisecond time duration blinks which are too short to be perceived or at least might be mistaken for light reflections on the water surface etc.

  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    Meanwhile back as the under sea vision problem for security it looks like the flash duration would have to be shorter than about 1/500 second to be difficult for a surface sentry to notice it. Depending on lighting conditions (dark night or bright day) and other variables but it seems it would be doable.

  49. E.M.Smith says:

    Per the NASA $ Million for a Martian CO2 to sugar converter:
    I submit the sugar beet.

    Really. Just needs the same environment as the staff , but a bit less picky. Apply sun, water, and dirt. Oh, and the odd bits of pee and poop. Can I have my million now?

  50. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry; first thing you need is a pressure vessel and a compressor to get close to a bar of pressure, from the Martian atmosphere which is less then 1% of Earth’s.Not sure about the intensity of sunlight on Mar’s surface. Guess the first thing you need is lots of energy! after that the rest is easy….pg

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    I agree but I suspect they are looking for an industrial process rather than a biological process.
    Bubbling CO2 through an mixture or water and an appropriate algae is where I would look if using a biological process. Since cellulose is simply a series of glucose units stuck together you would think it would be simple to grow cellulose from algae then work out a method to snip off the glucose units.

    Cellulose is an organic compound with the formula (C6H10O5)n, a polysaccharide
    consisting of a linear chain of several hundred to many thousands of β(1→4) 
    linked D-glucose units. Cellulose is an important structural component of the
    primary cell wall of green plants, many forms of algae and the oomycetes.
    Some species of bacteria secrete it to form biofilms. Cellulose is the most
    abundant organic polymer on Earth. The cellulose content of cotton fiber is
    90%, that of wood is 40–50%, and that of dried hemp is approximately 57%.
    Cellulose is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper. Smaller quantities
    are converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane
    and rayon. Wikipedia

    Something like the Fischer–Tropsch water gas reaction and Fe–Mn catalyst.

    Since glucose is basically a modified hydrocarbon with some of the hydrogens replaced with -OH radicals and a CH2-OH tacked on you would think you could start with Fischer–Tropsch to form simple hydrocarbons then use a catalyst to clip off Hydrogens and replace them with -OH

    Because of the similarity in structure using hexane or cyclopentane as starting points would seem to make sense. My chemistry background is way to weak to progress beyond simple speculation on similarities and the Fischer–Tropsch process model.

  52. cdquarles says:

    @ Larry,
    The running joke among chemists in the 70s was that all we needed to synthesize anything “organic” was ethanol and a known path.

  53. H.R. says:

    I like E.M.’s sugar beet idea. Anything else might require more apparatus, reagents, and catalysts than just shipping up the end product in the first place.

    The other thing about using sugar beets is you’d only need to bring a small jar of micro-organisms to feed and breed off the waste from the sugar extraction process. Pretty soon you’d have a fair mass of critters to convert to other useful things.

  54. p.g.sharrow says:

    If you guys want to create this thing you are right up my alley. Got the thing already cooking in my brain. Just a small part of pgruspace…pg

  55. p.g.sharrow says:

    oh yes algae is an important. So is my invention…pg

  56. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like 7.8 quake just south east of Fiji.

  57. Larry Ledwick says:

    Twitter just went all the way and permanently banned Alex Jones.

  58. philjourdan says:

    TCH had this about Nike –

    I disagree with the excuse. And given the impact, it looks like stupidity just killed another company. My comment was – Kaepernick does nothing for Nike’s exposure in Asia. But it does put Nike in the middle of what amounts to a domestic fight. And once the parties make up, those who are in the middle lose out all the way around.

    The left has become full stupid.

  59. H.R. says:

    Good point, phil. Outside of the U.S. it’s “Kaepernick who?” The thing is, I doubt if they are going to air Kaepernick ads outside of the U.S., and if they do it just won’t be the cultural touchstone that it is here.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like Google is up to mischief again.
    You know they already have an end game planned and code in the can to implement it.

  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting article here analysing where Russia stands in their efforts to catch up to the west in modern warfare tactics and methods as they throw off the old Soviet style of warfare and adapt to new technology and weapons capabilities.

    This is in my opinion one of the major reasons they are fighting in both Ukraine and Syria right now it is giving them a test bed (like Spain for Hitler) to work out the kinks in their force structure and learn the lessons of combat at a low enough intensity it does not cost them entire armies.

    The Collapse of the Soviet Union left behind an odd mixture of problems and capabilities and the world has changed a lot since the tank battles of Kursk in WWII and massive mobilization of that period, as precision weapons now have the capability to reach deep behind enemy lines and strike at key centers of gravity of the opposing forces all under the watchful eyes of satellites.

    Link embedded in above article gives good look at the Russian use of mercenary forces in Syria

    Russia like China has watched from the side lines warfare with modern weapons as US forces have figured out how to employ such systems against insurgent forces and have been taking notes on how to modernize their forces and methods. Warfare is undergoing one of those periodic changes in prevailing methods that happen every 100 years or so as we move away from the Vietnam proxy war model toward a newer smart weapon stealth warfare model.

  62. philjourdan says:

    @Larry – the old USSR battle tactic was to trade ground for troops. They had an abundance of both. Russia lost 40% of it population when the USSR broke up (and almost that much in buffer zones). So it is a natural outcome that the find a way to maximize the effectiveness of the non-people assets.

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    This is a disturbing tale of simply black holing a scientific paper because the conclusions stepped on some politically correct toes (or as some thought would offend some who misinterpreted the conclusions).

    The paper can be found here (at least for now).

    Click to access 1703.04184.pdf

  64. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry; this is a fine example if why socialists can’t grasp science and Engineering. They are not genetically fit, so, they gravitate toward easier studies where feelings are more important then facts…pg

  65. Larry Ledwick says:

    Huge medical discovery if it checks out as safe. A way to convert any blood type to type O universal donor using an enzyme treatment.

    The process has been know about for some time but not quick enough or efficient enough to become commercialized. Using human gut bacteria they have found much more efficient enzymes to accomplish the task which may make this blood type conversion a viable treatment option.

  66. D. J. Hawkins says:

    EM, I’m wondering how you plan to deal with the latest insanity from your beloved governor, 100% renewables by 2045?

  67. philjourdan says:

    @DJ – We will all be dead. That goes double for moonbeam. Once the rolling blackouts start, others will fudge the goals.

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    @D.J. Hawkins:

    I’m moving out of the State in 2020 or sooner… (it is just a matter of how fast I can sort out 30 years of accumulated “stuff”, pack, unpack, and sell…)


    Speak for yourself! I intend to make it to my 90s… ;-)

    But yes, last time we had rolling blackouts we dumped the Dims. We’ll do it again. (Or someone will do it…)

    FWIW, I moved to making my own electricity when needed. 2 Generators and a few inverters along with the start of a battery box. Pretty easy and less than $2000 gave me all I needed. I’d do some of the specifics a little differently, but not a whole lot. Folks who really care will just do that. Install a whole house diesel “backup” generator and be done.

    Or just move to a sane State ;-)

  69. Larry Ledwick says:

    Good catch – but it also I think falls in the gray zone of “sorta fake news”, as the assertion in that specific link, is in fact consistent with long standing Supreme Court Decisions.

    The Weelystandard article is also from 15 months ago (obviously talking about other stories that appeared during that time), also has some problems of its own.
    It contains links that go no where and is addressing commentary that does not exist in the story I linked.
    Dating back to the Bible Riots of the mid-1800s, the role of religion in public schools has been one of the most hotly disputed—and most frequently misunderstood—religious freedom issues in America. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court has long made clear that the Constitution prohibits public school-sponsored prayer or religious indoctrination, violations remain rampant in many parts of the country. The ACLU works to protect public school students’ religious freedom by curbing the practice of school-sponsored prayer and proselytizing while simultaneously ensuring that students may freely express and exercise their faith.

    That established case law, does do exactly what the linked story asserted, and as noted in my comment I had not seen any major media comment on this item so questionable but worth watching for any followup info.

    Snopes does however comment on the exact wording appearing in the link I posted above.

    As usual, however snopes does a subtle misdirection in the middle of the commentary that asserts something not addressed in the original story to make it clearly false.

    In reality, the high court has not considered the matter of Sharia law, a set of Islamic religious principles that various scholars and governments interpret differently.

    That is not what the story was asserting it was asserting “will NOT teach the tenets of Islam or Sharia law.” slightly different issues here. There have been several recent news stories of teachers having students perform assignments that cross over into teaching the tenets of Islam or related course work which as noted above by the ACLU is/should be prohibited under existing case law.

    I often post such links simply as a heads up this is out there and might be worth watching for. And when in a hurry do not always preface with qualifiers like this may be fake.

    I have been looking around for any confirmation of the posted link and have found none, so in that context it is unsupported, but its actual contents fit with past court decisions.

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    Unfortunately this time of night is my busy time – current trying to get a bunch of servers and their database backups running while not stepping on too much production processing so lots of multi tasking going on right now not a lot of time to chase down rabbits on the internet.

  71. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hurricane Florence 2PM EDT 9/13/2018 National Weather service text update

    WTNT31 KNHC 131753 CCA

    Hurricane Florence Intermediate Advisory Number 57A…Corrected
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL062018
    200 PM EDT Thu Sep 13 2018

    Corrected distances in summary block.


    LOCATION…33.6N 76.0W




    A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
    * South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
    * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico

    A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
    * Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina
    * North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

    A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
    * South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
    * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

    A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
    * Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

    A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
    * North of Duck North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia
    * Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort

    Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states
    should monitor the progress of Florence.

    A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
    inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline. For
    a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
    Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at This is a life-threatening situation. Persons
    located within these areas should take all necessary actions to
    protect life and property from rising water and the potential for
    other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other
    instructions from local officials.

    A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
    threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the

    A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
    somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12
    to 24 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be
    nearing completion.

    A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
    within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours
    before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force
    winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or

    A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
    expected somewhere within the warning area.

    For storm information specific to your area, including possible
    inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
    local National Weather Service forecast office.

    At 200 PM EDT (1800 UTC), data from an Air Force Reserve Unit
    Hurricane Hunter aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars indicate
    that Florence was located near latitude 33.6 North, longitude 76.0
    West. Florence is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17
    km/h). This general motion, accompanied by a gradual decrease in
    forward speed, is expected through today. A turn toward the west-
    northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected by
    tonight and continuing into Friday, and a slow west-southwestward
    motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday. On the forecast
    track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and
    South Carolina later today, then move near or over the coast of
    southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the
    hurricane warning area tonight and Friday. A slow motion across
    portions of eastern South Carolina is forecast Friday night through
    Saturday night.

    Data from the aircraft and Doppler weather radars indicate that
    maximum sustained winds remain near 105 mph (165 km/h) with higher
    gusts. Little change in strength is expected before the eye of
    Florence reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center
    moves inland.

    Florence is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward
    up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force
    winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km). A NOAA reporting
    station at Cape Lookout, North Carolina, recently reported a
    sustained wind of 53 mph (85 km/h) and a gust to 63 mph (101 km/h).
    Weatherflow private observing stations in North Carolina recently
    reported a sustained wind of 53 mph (85 km/h) and a gust to 70 mph
    (113 km/h) at Fort Macon, a sustained wind of 47 mph (72 km/h) and a
    gust to 60 mph (97 km/h) in Ocracoke, and a sustained wind of 45 mph
    (72 km/h) and a gust to 56 mph (90 km/h) in Pamlico Sound.

    The estimated minimum central pressure based on recent data from
    the aircraft remains at 955 mb (28.20 inches).

    STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
    tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
    rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the
    potential to reach the following heights above ground if peak surge
    occurs at the time of high tide…

    Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico,
    Pungo, and Bay Rivers…9-13 ft
    North Myrtle Beach SC to Cape Fear NC…6-9 ft
    Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC…6-9 ft
    South Santee River SC to North Myrtle Beach SC…4-6 ft
    Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC…4-6 ft
    Salvo NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border…2-4 ft
    Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC…2-4 ft

    The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of
    onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and
    destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative
    timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over
    short distances. For information specific to your area, please see
    products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast

    RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive
    rainfall in the following areas…

    Coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South Carolina…20 to
    30 inches, isolated 40 inches. This rainfall will produce
    catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river

    Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest
    Virginia…6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches.

    WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within
    the hurricane warning area this evening or early Friday. Tropical
    storm conditions are already moving onshore within the warning

    TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina
    through Friday.

    SURF: Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions
    of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas.
    These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
    current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather

    Next complete advisory at 500 PM EDT.

    Forecaster Stewart

  72. philjourdan says:

    Florence is a large hurricane

    Floyd was larger. I use to have a desktop gif of it just off the east coast. It stretched from Florida to Virginia (it eventually came on shore over the outerbanks and rained a lot here). It was not a major, just very big.

  73. Ralph B says:
    One of my favorite Chiefio posts was about pendulums. Thought you might find this interesting.

  74. cdquarles says:

    @ Ralph, well, I did. There is a local geological formation nearby known as Gravity Hill. The apparent density is such that the local g value is notably different than it is elsewhere.

  75. Pingback: Tips & Notices – October 2018 | Musings from the Chiefio

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