Australia commits to buying 58 more F-35 joint strike fighters

•April 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Australia committed to buying a total of 72 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, down from a 2009 plan to purchase about 100 of what has become the Pentagon’s most-expensive weapons system.

The U.S. ally is ordering 58 of the Lockheed Martin (LMT) Corp.- made aircraft for A$12.4 billion ($11.6 billion), on top of the 14 it pledged to buy in 2009, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today in Canberra. Delays in the production and testing of the F-35s saw Australia announce last year it would purchase 12 more Super Hornets from Boeing Co. (BA) to address a shortfall in operational capacity.

“There has been some escalation in costs but nothing as dramatic as we sometimes see” in developing military hardware, Abbott told reporters. “We are confident that all of the logistical issues are well on the way to being ironed out.”

The projected acquisition cost of the F-35 has climbed 71 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since the Pentagon signed its contract with Lockheed in 2001. Original international partners such as Italy, Turkey and Canada have indicated they are re-evaluating their plans, while Israel, Singapore, Japan and South Korea are being monitored for signs their procurement orders may be affected by rising costs.

“The delays meant Australia purchased other aircraft as a stop-gap measure, which reduced the number of Joint Strike Fighters the country needed,” said John Blaxland, a senior fellow at the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in Canberra. “They are expensive but the fact that America’s key, modern allies are on board is telling: they are convinced they have to have them.”


so who are we banking on attacking?

lockheed would be rubbing their hands together..this is a plane that the creators arent even buying..that does not give me confidence..we dont need these fighters..


Asteroid impact risks “underappreciated”

•April 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment



A visualisation showing where sizeable asteroids have hit the Earth in recent years has been released by the B612 Foundation.

The US-based group, which includes a number of former Nasa astronauts, campaigns on the issue of space protection.

It hopes the visualisation will press home the idea that impacts are more common than we think.

The presentation leans on data collected by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

The CTBTO operates a network of sensors that listens out for clandestine atom bomb detonations.

Between 2000 and 2013, this infrasound system catalogued 26 major explosions on Earth.

None were caused by A-bombs; they were all the result of asteroid strikes.

They ranged in energy from one to 600 kilotons. By way of comparison, the bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Hiroshima was a 15-kiloton device.

Fortunately, most of these space rocks disintegrated high up in the atmosphere and caused few problems on the ground.

A few, people will have heard about, such as the 20m-wide object that ripped across the sky above the Russian city of Chelyabinsk last year.

But many will have gone unseen because they occurred far out over the oceans.

And just one of the 26 events was detected in advance, and then by only a matter of hours.


they want to remind us of these..regularly..


Newly released Clinton document describes the internet as “right wing” tool of “conspiracy commerce”

•April 25, 2014 • Leave a Comment



A previously unreleased White House document among the 7,500 published by the Clinton presidential library Friday warns that the burgeoning Internet of 1995 is being “seized” by the “right wing” and turned into a “communication stream of conspiracy commerce.”

The 1995 report, titled “The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce,” describes the Internet as a new method of communication ”employed by the right wing” and used to “convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media.”

Among those “fringe stories” were the now-infamous reports and lawsuits alleging extra-martial affairs with the president, including accusations from model and actress Gennifer Flowers, and murmurings about former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones, Mashable reports.

The White House counsel’s office and Democratic National Committee produced the report, which explains how “Republican staffers surf the Internet,” and describes it as “one of the major and most dynamic modes of communication.”

“The Internet can link people, groups and organizations together instantly,” the report reads. “Moreover, it allows an extraordinary amount of unregulated data and information to be located in one area and available to all. The right wing has seized upon the internet as a means of communicating its ideas to people. Moreover, evidence exists that Republican staffers surf the internet, interacting with extremists in order to exchange ideas and information.”


right wing? what about the left wing as well? i can show you a few sites if you dont believe me..of course the right are the only ones who have conspiracy theories.. *sarcasm

“convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media.”

because anything the left says is legitimate and correct eh? both sides have conspiracies..both sides push memes and agendas..


The only “Egyptian” pyramid in Europe?

•April 25, 2014 • 1 Comment



Egyptomania gripped Rome in the wake of the conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. Both massive original artifacts and inspired copies cropped up all over the city, but only two actual pyramids were known to have been built, and only one remains.

The Pyramid of Cestius was most likely built between 18 and 12 BC. The 36 meter (about 120 feet) high pyramid was built as a tomb for a wealthy Roman under the sway of all things Egyptian. Little is known about the man who may have once been buried here, since the tomb was long ago ransacked and the land around it has changed dramatically over the centuries. Now at the edge of a busy traffic intersection near a major train stop, originally the pyramid was well outside of the center of the city, surrounded by stately columns and two bronze figures (now in the Musei Capitolini).

The pyramid rises at a much sharper angle than the famous pyramids in Egypt. This may have been due to incorrect information on the Egyptian front, innovation on the part of the Roman builders who, using concrete as a building material, were able to more steeply, or they may have been inspired by the steeper Nubian pyramids near Jebel Barkal, now in Sudan. In any event, the unusual proportions of this pyramid close to home has been credited as the source of oddly proportioned pyramids in European art supposedly depicting the Egyptian originals.

During this craze for all things Egyptian the famous obelisks began to appear in the city. Two of them dating from this period still stand – one in the Piazza del Popolo, and the second in the Piazza di Montecitorio (though neither one stands in its original location). In addition to obelisks and other Egyptian imports there was actually another, larger pyramid in Rome, known as the “Pyramid of Romulus” near the Castel Sant’Angelo. This pyramid did not survive the building crazes of later generations, and its marble was used in the building of the stairs at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pyramid of Cestius is constructed of brick and cement, covered in white marble. Originally the interior of his tomb was decorated with lively frescoes, described in detail by early travelers, but now mostly gone. Between 271 and 275 it was built into the fortifications of the Aurelian walls, which likely helped it survive the centuries.

The inscription on the southeast side of the pyramid reads: “Gaius Cestius Epulo, son of Lucius, of the Poblilian district, praetor, tribune of the people, official of the public banquets. According to his will, this work was completed in three hundred and thirty days; it was executed by his heirs L. Pontus Mela, son of Publius, of the Claudian district, and his freedman Pothus”.


thanks to nomnomnom for the link..

didnt know about this one..another curious link between egypt and rome..


How did Harry Reid get rich?

•April 24, 2014 • 6 Comments


Try this thought experiment. Imagine that someone grows up in poverty, works his way through law school by holding the night shift as a Capitol Hill policeman, and spends all but two years of his career as a public servant. Now imagine that this person’s current salary — and he’s at the top of his game — is $193,400. You probably wouldn’t expect him to have millions in stocks, bonds, and real estate.

But, surprise, he does, if he’s our Senate majority leader, whose net worth is between 3 and 10 million dollars, according to When Harry Reid entered the Nevada legislature in 1982, his net worth was listed as between $1 million and $1.5 million “or more,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. So, since inquiring minds inquire, let’s try to figure out how Reid’s career in public service ended up being so lucrative. He hasn’t released his tax returns, which makes this an imperfect science, but looking at a few of his investments helps to show how he amassed his wealth.

In 2004, the senator made $700,000 off a land deal that was, to say the least, unorthodox. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations and whom one retired FBI agent described as “always a person of interest.” Three years after the purchase, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. But Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from the deal — a deal on land that he didn’t technically own and that had nearly tripled in value in six years.

When his 2010 challenger Sharron Angle asked him in a debate how he had become so wealthy, he said, “I did a very good job investing.” Did he ever. On December 20, 2005, he invested $50,000 to $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies whose shares it held included ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips. When he made a partial sale of his shares on August 19, 2008, during congressional recess, IYE closed at $41.82. Just a month later, on September 17, Reid was working to bring to the floor a bill that the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies — including those in the fund — billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees. The bill passed a few days later, and by October 10, IYE’s shares had fallen by 42 percent, to $24.41, for a host of reasons. Savvy investing indeed.

Here’s another example: The Los Angeles Times reported in November 2006 that when Reid became Senate majority leader he committed to making earmark reform a priority, saying he’d work to keep congressmen from using federal dollars for pet projects in their districts. It was a good idea but an odd one for the senator to espouse. He had managed to get $18 million set aside to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin, Nev., and Bullhead City, Ariz., a project that wasn’t a priority for either state’s transportation agency. His ownership of 160 acres of land nearby that stood to appreciate considerably from the project had nothing to do with the decision, according to one of his aides. The property’s value has varied since then. On his financial-disclosure forms from 2006, it was valued at $250,000 to $500,000. Open Secrets now lists it as his most valuable asset, worth $1 million to $5 million as of 2010.

How Reid acquired that land is interesting, too. He put $10,000 into a pension fund his friend Clair Haycock controlled, to take over the 160-acre parcel at a price far below its assessed value. Six months later, Reid introduced legislation that would help Haycock’s industry, a move many observers said appeared to be a quid pro quo, though Reid and Haycock denied that the legislation was the result of a property deal.

We don’t know how much more money Reid has or how he made all of it. For that, we’d have to see his tax returns.


and if you want to a recent example of how harry operates..just google “bundy reid cattle”..

this story could have have been about pelosi or rand paul or eric holder or mitt matters not the color of their coats..they are all in it to get rich and to use their influence and their allowance to inside trade to make millions..


Car giants flock to Beijing Auto Show despite austerity measures

•April 24, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Despite the Chinese leadership’s austerity measures and recent reports of weak profits from Chinese car makers, the country’s biggest car show opened today to much buzz.

More than a thousand vehicles are being showcased at the ten-day-long “Auto China 2014″ Beijing International Automotive Exhibition.

Throngs of auto journalists crowded around shiny new supercars, luxury sedans and green vehicles during the media preview on Sunday. International automakers flew in their top brass for the occasion, pushing the newest and best models to Chinese customers.

According to a McKinsey report, China may overtake the United States as the largest premium car market as early as 2016. International car giants are looking to cash in on the lucrative but highly competitive market.
Industry leaders such as Rolls-Royce are hoping to secure their future with China’s moneyed customers. They will open three new dealerships in the country this year.

“China is now one of our leading markets together with the U.S.,” says CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos who was in Beijing to unveil two new models. “In 2013, one out of four cars manufactured in Goodwood (Rolls-Royce’s bespoke design studio) came to China.”

Beijing was chosen for the world premiere of the Pinnacle Travel Phantom, the latest edition of the brand’s flagship customizable luxury sedan, as well as a Phantom from the Majestic Horse Collection, a limited edition range inspired by the Lunar Year of the Horse.

Ultra-luxe automakers Bugatti, known for their elite sports cars, also held the world premiere for the new version of the Bugatti Veyron Type 18 “Black Bess.” A legendary pre-war model that was one of the first supercars in the world, the updated version is on the market for $3.61 million. Only three will be made.


“”In 2013, one out of four cars manufactured in Goodwood (Rolls-Royce’s bespoke design studio) came to China.”

there are still plenty of rich elites who have the money to waste on these toys..and china is at the centre of it ironic is that?


US Navy to deploy combat dolphins for Black Sea military drills..US calls claim “fear-mongering”

•April 24, 2014 • 4 Comments


American combat dolphins and sea lions will undergo a lengthy plane flight in order to participate in NATO war games in the Black Sea, a spokesman for the US Navy’s marine mammals program reportedly said.

Twenty dolphins and ten sea lions will take part in the drills, which will last between one and two weeks, spokesman Tom LaPuzza said, as cited by Izvestia newspaper.

The war games are one of eight joint NATO-Ukrainian military exercises scheduled to take place this year.

During their Black Sea stay, the US dolphins will test a new anti-radar system, designed to disorientate enemy sonars. Both sea lions and dolphins will look for mines and military divers, LaPuzza said.

According to the spokesman, the exercises will be held within the framework of the marine mammals training program, which includes the protection of ships and harbors, as well as mine detection by animals.

New armor for dolphins, developed at a specialized research center at the University of Hawaii, will also be put to the test in the Black Sea, he added.

The marine mammals will be transferred from their base in San Diego, California to the Black Sea via a plane equipped with a special bath, the spokesman told the paper.

Such means of transportation were previously used to deliver dolphins to a drill on the island of New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean back in 2009.

This will be the first time in history that dolphins have participated in a NATO drill, LaPuzza stressed.

The exercise may also become the first time that US military dolphins meet their Russian counterparts in the open seas, as San Diego and Sevastopol host the world’s only military dolphin training facilities.

Ed Budzyna, the deputy director of public affairs at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, called the story “completely erroneous” and fabricated. “The person quoted has been retired for 8 or 9 years,” Budzyna told Foreign Policy, referring to the Navy spokesperson Tom LaPuzza to whom Izvestia had sourced the report.

The story was nonetheless picked up by the English-language news service RIA Novosti, and several outlets piled on with coverage, including Britain’s the Mirror and the Atlantic’s The Wire.

The falsified report about the deployment of America’s mammalian warriors comes after reports surfaced last month that the Russian army would be absorbing Ukraine’s combat dolphin program, which was based in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia. An employee at Sevastopol’s oceanarium told RIA Novosti that the formerly Ukrainian dolphins would be receiving new equipment from their new Russian caretakers.

So with Russian dolphins gearing up with new technology, it’s perhaps not surprising that Izvestia’s fabricated report claimed that America’s dolphins would be testing “new armors” in the waters of the Black Sea. (Could there be a weird weaponized dolphin arms race brewing? Alas.)

Navies use dolphins and their sonar capabilities to perform a variety of underwater duties — everything from attaching buoys to sea mines to patrolling waters for enemy divers. Both the United States and the Soviet Union launched their marine mammal programs at the height of the Cold War in the 1960s. The American dolphins were deployed in the Persian Gulf in the late eighties to protect U.S. flagged ships and Kuwaiti tankers, while the Soviet dolphin program remained in Ukrainian waters after the Union collapsed.


yes they use dolphins for warfare..yes i dont believe the us rejection of claims..the russians have taken over the ukrainian dolphins in crimea..the usa cant allow the “bad” dolphins to run the they will turn up with their own “good” dolphins..


a.k.a. CrimeanSpecialOpsLobster


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