After successful testing last year, the Navy is preparing to deploy its first directed energy weapon to the fleet. When it puts to sea this summer, the afloat forward staging base ship USS Ponce will be equipped with the Navy’s Laser Weapon System (LaWS).
LaWS is a system based on a design developed by the Navy Research Lab and engineers at the Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren. Its purpose is not to vaporize enemy ships but to provide a low-cost way for the Navy to defend against drones, small boats, light aircraft, and missiles at ranges of about a mile.
While the Navy will still depend on missiles and guns to defend against bigger targets, the LaWS system is designed to cost about a dollar a shot without the fuss and muss of the depleted uranium bullets spewed by the Navy’s Phalanx Close-In Weapons System (CIWS). It can be used for a “hard” kill on smaller targets (directing enough energy at the target to set it on fire or explode fuel aboard it) or for a “soft” kill by blinding a drone or missile’s imaging sensors.
“The effects are scalable,” Navy Captain Mike Ziv, the Naval Sea Systems Command’s program manager for directed energy and electric weapons, told the Department of Defense’s Armed With Science blog. “In some cases [the effects are] reversible, and in some cases it can be used for destruction.”
In a test last May, an initial prototype of the system used the CIWS’ radar system to target, blind, and then destroy a drone in flight from the deck of a ship.
Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke.
found on the internet
Every year, there are five million girls married under the age of 15.
For most 8-year-olds, helping out a friend at lunchtime might involve sharing a snack or making a mutually beneficial trade. But when third-grader Cayden Taipalus realized some students at his school had to forgo hot meals because they had negative lunch account balances, he raised enough money to help thousands of his peers.
“I just want to make kids have a better lunch,” he told TODAY.com.
It all started two weeks ago, when Cayden came home upset from Challenger Elementary School in Howell, Mich. During lunchtime, his friend had been forced to give up his hot lunch for a cheese sandwich because the overdue balance on his lunch account hadn’t been paid off yet.
“He wanted to know how he could help,” Cayden’s mother Amber Melke-Peters told TODAY.com.
Cayden and his mom came up with a plan to pay off the overdue lunch accounts at his school by returning empty bottles and cans and soliciting donations from friends, family and neighbors. Last Monday, he handed over the fruits of his labor: $64, which paid for around 150 lunches.
That small gesture of kindness has since grown into a widespread effort. After a local radio station mentioned what Cayden had done, others expressed their desire to help, and he and his mom started an online campaign to collect donations.
Hundreds of people from the U.S. and abroad have since pitched in to donate over $10,800 to his cause.
“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this would happen,” Melke-Peters told TODAY.com. “He’s just a little local boy trying to do some good.”
Remember when President Obama was lambasted for saying “you didn’t build that”? Turns out he was right, at least when it comes to lots of stuff built by the world’s wealthiest corporations. That’s the takeaway from this week’s new study of 25,000 major taxpayer subsidy deals over the last two decades.
Titled “Subsidizing the Corporate One Percent,” the report from the taxpayer watchdog group Good Jobs First shows that the world’s largest companies aren’t models of self-sufficiency and unbridled capitalism. To the contrary, they’re propped up by billions of dollars in welfare payments from state and local governments.
Such subsidies might be a bit more defensible if they were being doled out in a way that promoted upstart entrepreneurialism. But as the study also shows, a full “three-quarters of all the economic development dollars awarded and disclosed by state and local governments have gone to just 965 large corporations” — not to the small businesses and start-ups that politicians so often pretend to care about.
In dollar figures, that’s a whopping $110 billion going to big companies. Fortune 500 firms alone receive more than 16,000 subsidies at a total cost of $63 billion.
These kinds of handouts, of course, are the definition of government intervention in the market. Nonetheless, those who receive the subsidies are still portrayed as free-market paragons.
"The three most damaging words you can tell your son."
A Bloomberg Businessweek profile published Thursday revealed Newsmax.com founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy’s plans to expand beyond his highly-trafficked website and influential magazine into television with a 24-hour cable news channel called NewsmaxTV — described as a “kinder, gentler Fox” — launching as early as June.
“Our goal is to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing,” Ruddy told the magazine.
If you question the strategic location of Ukraine, check out this map that Agence France-Presse made last in December — two months before protesters in Kiev forced President Viktor Yanukovych out of office.
As the international tug-of-war for Ukraine continues, the tension involving economic relations in the region — especially regarding gas flow from Russia to both Ukraine and Europe — will increase.
Germany is perhaps the best example of this, as described by Noah Barkin of Reuters: ”Heavily dependent on Russian gas and closer to Moscow than any other leading western nation, Germany faces a major policy dilemma as the Ukraine crisis descends into a Cold War-style confrontation of tit-for-tat threats and ultimatums.”
Debo Adegbile was selected by President Obama to be assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Senate, aided and abetted by seven Democratic senators, just killed his nomination. Why? Adegbile worked at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund and in that capacity, he helped out on a brief seeking to overturn the 1982 death sentence for Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted in the killing of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner.
Adegbile’s cardinal sin? He worked on a Legal Defense Fund appeal (that the NAACP had already been involved in before he took the position) contending that there was racial discrimination in Abu-Jamal’s trial and then, later, on a brief arguing that the jury instructions in Abu-Jamal’s trial were constitutionally improper. This was a contention that prevailed in a federal appeals court. Later the LDF represented Abu-Jamal in a Supreme Court case when prosecutors sought to reinstate his death sentence.
To be clear, then: Adegbile was not himself a cop-killer. He didn’t help a cop-killer get off and roam free with false claims of innocence. What he did do—which fits pretty readily within the historic mandate of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund—was to help ensure that the American criminal justice system, and especially the death penalty, is administered fairly and constitutionally. As a representative of an organization that is institutionally dedicated to ensuring that justice is administered fairly, he fought for fairness and (totally unfair!) judges agreed that unfairness occurred.
…The notion that the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division should have ever fought for civil rights has now become disqualifying.
…Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) proclaimed: “This was not simply a case of a lawyer representing an unpopular client. … It was a political cause. There was really no question about it.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Adegbile of “seeking to glorify an unrepentant cop-killer.” Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) put it this way: “This was a cause in search of a legal justification.” And Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) slammed LDF for “lionizing” convicted cop-killers: “We all should agree that violent criminals should be punished. And we all should agree that those who go out of their way to advocate for, to celebrate, to lionize convicted cop killers are not suitable for major leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Justice.”
And so the claim that Abu-Jamal deserved to be spared the death penalty because of an injustice perpetrated in his trial is converted to a liberal party trick, a scam that conflates rooting out legal injustice with lionizing and celebrating killing. Civil rights advocacy is cast as an act of grotesque political and legal fraud. And the notion that the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division should have ever fought for civil rights has now become disqualifying.