Hellfire, Morality and Strategy
by George Friedman,
February 19, 2013
Airstrikes by unmanned aerial vehicles have become a matter of serious dispute lately. The controversy focuses on the United States, which has the biggest fleet of these weapons and which employs them more frequently than any other country. On one side of this dispute are those who regard them simply as another weapon of war whose virtue is the precision with which they strike targets. On the other side are those who argue that in general, unmanned aerial vehicles are used to kill specific individuals, frequently civilians, thus denying the targeted individuals their basic right to some form of legal due process.
Let's begin with the weapons systems, the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper. The media call them drones, but they are actually remotely piloted aircraft. Rather than being in the cockpit, the pilot is at a ground station, receiving flight data and visual images from the aircraft and sending command signals back to it via a satellite data link. Numerous advanced systems and technologies work together to make this possible, but it is important to remember that most of these technologies have been around in some form for decades, and the U.S. government first integrated them in the 1990s. The Predator carries two Hellfire missiles -- precision-guided munitions that, once locked onto the target by the pilot, guide themselves to the target with a high likelihood of striking it. The larger Reaper carries an even larger payload of ordnance -- up to 14 Hellfire missiles or four Hellfire missiles and two 500-pound bombs. Most airstrikes from these aircraft use Hellfire missiles, which cause less [....]
Hellfire, Morality and Strategy | Stratfor
The Past, Present and Future of Russian Energy Strategy
by Lauren Goodrich; Mark Lanthemann,
February 12, 2013
The future of Russia's ability to remain a global energy supplier and the strength the Russian energy sector gives the Kremlin are increasingly in question. After a decade of robust energy exports and revenues, Russia is cutting natural gas prices to Europe while revenue projections for its energy behemoth, Gazprom, are declining starting this year.
Russia holds the world's largest proven reserves of natural gas and continually alternates with Saudi Arabia as the top oil producer. The country supplies a third of Europe's oil and natural gas and is starting to export more to the energy-hungry East Asian markets. The energy sector is far more than a commercial asset for Moscow; it has been one of the pillars of Russia's stabilization and increasing strength for more than a century. The Kremlin has designated energy security as the primary issue for Russia's national security, especially since recent changes in global and domestic trends have cast doubts on the energy sector's continuing strength.
Throughout Russian history, the country's energy sector periodically has [....]
The Past, Present and Future of Russian Energy Strategy | Stratfor
Ten Reasons I Wish George Washington Were Still Alive (Part 1)
by Chuck Norris,
February 19, 2013
Many conservatives point to great modern men and leaders, such as Ronald Reagan, as models we can follow, and I concur with their sentiments. But I think the best leaders lived long ago, during the founding of our republic, away from the limelight and luster of today's politics and Washington drama.
With Feb. 18's being Presidents Day and Feb. 22's being the actual day George Washington was born, I thought there would no better time to honor the man I consider to be one of the greatest leaders ever born. And I'm going to take a few weeks (columns) to do it.
Let me begin by highlighting a few background notes for some who might not be so familiar with this pillar of American life beyond the basics, as documented by the University of Virginia and the History channel.
On Feb. 22, 1732, George Washington was born to a family of middling wealth in Westmoreland County, Va., the second son from the second marriage of a Colonial plantation owner.
In 1752, Washington joined the British army and served as a lieutenant in the French and Indian War.
In 1759, he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow, and adopted her two children.
In 1775, at age 43, Washington became the commander in chief of the Continental Army, and in 1783, he led America to victory over the British after eight years of war.
As far as his political career [....]
Forget Reagan, Let's Bring Back Coolidge
by Daniel J. Mitchell,
February 20, 2013
As you can see here and here, I’m a huge fan of Ronald Reagan.
But it’s not just that the Gipper had good rhetoric. He also did a decent job of restraining spending and he significantly lowered marginal tax rates.
Combined with other pro-market reforms and his stalwart willingness to rein in inflation, as well as the fact that his policies led to the collapse of the evil Soviet Empire, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration that Reagan saved America.
That being said, he may not be the greatest president of the 20th century.
I’ve already shared a famous Calvin Coolidge video to show he said the right things. But, even more important, he did the right things.
Here’s some of what Amity Shlaes wrote about Coolidge for today’s Wall Street Journal.
…while Reagan inspired and cut taxes, he did not reduce the deficit. He did not even cut the budget. But if you look back, past Dwight Eisenhower and around the curve of history, you can find a Republican who did all those things: Calvin Coolidge. …The 30th president cut the [....]http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/danieljmitchell/2013/02/20/forget-reagan-lets-bring-back-coolidge-n1515571/page/full/
Black Students 3-Times More Likely To Be Expelled In CCSD
by Paul Takahashi,
February 15, 2013
If you're a black student in the Clark County School District, you are three times more likely to be expelled from school than your nonblack peers.
Furthermore, your odds of getting suspended are more than double those of your nonblack peers.
These are the startling facts that have surfaced in a Vanderbilt University report on student discipline in Las Vegas. The study, which was commissioned by the School District, prompted Superintendent Dwight Jones to begin rethinking school conduct policies that disproportionately impact black students.
Schools across the nation are suspending and expelling black students at a higher rate than any other ethnic student group, resulting in hundreds of days of lost instructional time.
That has been particularly true in Clark County. Although black students constitute just 12 percent of the student population, they accounted for 43 percent of [....]
Bill Cosby (I Spy!) Speaks:
Dr William H. Cosby Jr., addresses the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Brown v Topeka Board of Education. This is commonly known as Mr Cosby's "Pound Cake" speech:
Ladies and gentlemen, I really have to ask you to seriously consider what you've heard, and now this is the end of the evening so to speak. I heard a prize fight manager say to his fellow who was losing badly, “David, listen to me. It's not what's he's doing to you. It's what you're not doing. (laughter).Ladies and gentlemen, these people set, they opened the doors, they gave us the right, and today, ladies and gentlemen, in our cities and public schools we have fifty percent drop out. In our own neighborhood, we have men in prison. No longer is a person embarrassed because they're pregnant without a husband. (clapping) No longer is a boy considered an embarrassment if he tries to run away from being the father of the unmarried child (clapping)
Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic and lower middle economic people are [not*] holding their end in this deal. In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. (clapping) In the old days, you couldn't hooky school because every drawn shade was an eye (laughing). And before your mother got off the bus and to the house, she knew exactly where you had gone, who had gone into the house, and where you got on whatever you had one and where you got it from. Parents don't know that today.
I'm talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? (clapping) Where were you when he was twelve? (clapping) Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don't know he had a pistol? (clapping) And where is his father, and why don't you know where he is? And why doesn't the father show up to talk to this boy?
The church is only open on Sunday. And you can't keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you (clapping). You can't keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you (clapping and laughing). God was there when they won all those cases. 50 in a row. That's where God was because these people were doing something. And God said, “I'm going to find a way.” I wasn't there when God said it... I'm making this up (laughter). But it sounds like what God would do (laughter).
We cannot blame white people. White people (clapping) .. white people don't live over there. They close up [....]
[MORE Related Material:]
Cosby Won't Let Up; Neither Should We
by Laura Washington,
July 5, 2004
I had never seen the Rev. Jesse Louis Jackson cry in public. And he's seldom upstaged. Until Bill Cosby came to town.
Last week Jackson invited Cosby to the annual Rainbow/PUSH conference for a conversation about controversial remarks the entertainer offered May 17 at an NAACP dinner in Washington, D.C.
That's when America's Jell-O Man shook things up by arguing that African Americans were betraying the legacy of civil rights victories. "The lower economic people," he said, "are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids -- $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics!"
Thursday morning, Cosby showed no signs of repenting as he strode across the stage at the Sheraton Hotel ballroom before a standing-room-only crowd. Sporting a natty gold sports coat and dark glasses, he proceeded to unload a laundry list of black America's self-imposed ills.
The iconic actor and comedian kidded that he couldn't compete with the oratory of the Rev. But he preached circles around Jackson in their nearly hourlong conversation, delivering brutally frank one-liners and the toughest of love.
The enemy, he argues, is us: "There is a time, ladies and gentlemen, when we have to turn the mirror around."
Cosby acknowledged he wasn't critiquing all blacks -- just "the 50 percent of African Americans in the lower economic neighborhood who drop out of school," and the alarming proportions of black men in prison and black teenage mothers. The mostly black crowd seconded him with choruses of "Amens."
To critics who posit it's unproductive to air our dirty laundry in public, he responds, "Your dirty laundry gets out of school at 2:30 every day. It's cursing" on the way home, on the bus, train, in the candy store. "They are cursing and grabbing each other and [....]
Part 2 MAY follow....