A Kinetic Military Action By Any Other Name

Oh look, they put lipstick on the Operation Odyssey Dawn Pig, like no one will notice.

NATO in Libya: ‘Unified Protector’ hides divisions

The codename for NATO’s operations in Libya, “Unified Protector”, hides internal divisions that the alliance battled hard to overcome before taking on the mission.

The 28-nation military organisation is finally fulfilling Washington’s wishes, replacing the United States at the helm of all operations in Libya and is expected to be fully up and running by Thursday.

But to get to this point, the alliance had to ease Turkish concerns about the scope of the bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and convince France that NATO should be in command of operations.

Germany was opposed to any military intervention from the outset, refusing to vote for the UN Security Council resolution that authorised “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians.

Despite the squabbles, NATO is enforcing an arms embargo and a no-fly zone, and it finally agreed on Sunday to take over the riskiest mission: preventing Gaddafi loyalists from massacring the population.

See also:
NATO Assumes Command of Libya Operations
Nato takes over air war
NATO Operation Unified Protector against Libya Making Use of Greek Bases in Crete, the Peloponnese
NATO assumes full command of Libya operations
NATO takes control of Libya air operations
LIBYA: NATO assumes ‘sole command’ of coalition air operations
NATO Launches Operation Unified Protector & No Fly Zone Blockade
NATO takes charge of Libyan effort
NATO Assumes Full Command of Operations in Libya
Operation Unified Protector Factsheet
Operation Unified Protector

Dressing it up with a new name and putting a NATO fig leaf on the United States’ intervention in the Libyan civil war doesn’t hide the fact that Obama totally owns this kinetic military action and, so far, it’s not going well at all. The “rebels” Obama has decided to back in this all Libyan conflict are infused with al Qaeda and they can’t fight worth [expletive deleted]. If it weren’t for a highly publicized display of inept confusion, we’d have nothing to show for our efforts to date.

/watch out for Obama’s Runnin’ Rebels, retreating soon to a city or town near you!

World Record Cat Noise

How’d you like to have to listen to this all day? I shudder to think what it might sound like if you accidentally stepped on its tail.

Smokey the loud purring cat aims for Guinness World Record

Smokey’s owner Ruth Adams hopes the moggy can be entered into the record books as the loudest purring domestic cat on the planet.

The 12-year-old moggy is 16 times louder than the average cat when she purrs, reaching 73 decibels.

‘Guinness has very strict criteria,’ said Mrs Adams, from Northampton, who enlisted specialist help from her local college for the record attempt.

. . .

The record attempt took place in Mrs Adam’s house and Smokey was recorded with equipment usually used by music professionals.

See also:
U.K. Cat Makes Loudest Purr Attempt
Smokey the cat whose purr is as noisy as a Boeing 737 awaits verdict on Guinness world record attempt
Thunder cat! English tabby purrs as loudly as a hair dryer
Cat’s loud purr compared to lawnmower
World’s loudest house cat? Tabby’s purr measures 73 decibels
English tabby a purrfect purring machine
Cat Lovers: Can Your Pet Purr Louder Than Smokey?
Video: World’s Loudest Purring Cat?
Cat Smokey aims for purring record
Is this the world’s loudest cat?
Smokey goes for a purring record

Me, I like my cats nice and quiet.

/that’s why I own Exotics

End Times, Iranian Style

It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not, what matters is that the leadership of the Iranian regime believes it and believes they are presently involved in playing an integral part in bringing about the end of the world.

Iran’s End Times Documentary

The Iranian government has produced a bone-chilling documentary that claims that Ayatollah Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad, and Hassan Nasrallah are talked about in Islamic prophecy as leaders who will wage war to bring about the arrival of the Hidden Imam, which the film says is “very close” to happening.

Reza Kahlili, a former member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards who spied for the CIA and authored A Time to Betray last year, procured the entire film and says it was created by close associates of Ahmadinejad and was shown to top clerics two weeks ago. His chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, is said to have played a role in its creation. Kahlili allowed FrontPage to view a shortened version of the film over the weekend, which he says the Iranian regime intends to distribute to mosques and Islamic centers throughout the region with an Arabic translation and is currently being shown to members of the Revolutionary Guards and Basiji.

The purpose of the film is to make the case that Iran is prophetically destined to lead the war against Islam’s enemies, which is as a prelude to the appearance of the Hidden Imam, also called the Mahdi, who brings the final victory for Islam and reigns over the whole world. It uses current events to argue that “the final chapter has begun” and the Mahdi’s arrival is imminent. Most disturbingly, it teaches that Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and Nasrallah are the individuals prophesied to make this happen.

See also:
Iran film says Muslim messiah is near
Iranian Video Says Mahdi is ‘Near’
The Coming, and Why the Left Doesn’t Understand Iran
Iran Film: Iran Plans to Conquer Israel, World
Iran Video Says Mahdi Is Near – Judgement Day and Destruction of Israel Predicted
Appearing Soon: the Twelfth Imam
Iranian Propaganda Film Claims Jerusalem Is About to Be Conquered
“The Last Messiah”
Muhammad al-Mahdi

This is just what the Muslim world needs, even more radical Islamic incitement, this time with an end of days flair. Kill more infidels faster to achieve eternal salvation!

/this falls under the category of know your enemy and if Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, and Nasrallah truly believe that they’re destined to to bring about the end of the world in their lifetimes, the West in in for some serious trouble, heed the warning

Weekly Watch List

ARUN
BIDU
FOSL
NFLX
AGP
SINA
HS
CXO
BTU
INFA
CTSH
CVLT
ILMN
EW
ORCL

Additions:
CVLT
ILMN
ORCL

Subtractions:
PRGO

Last week, all the major indices moved higher. The Nasdaq vaulted 3.8%, the Dow jumped 3.1%, the S&P 500 added 2.7% and the NYSE composite rose 2.5%. Even though these gains were encouraging, they came on low volume, indicating a lack of institutional participation, and so the IBD outlook remains at “market in correction”. Keep your watch lists updated and look for a follow through day, confirming a new uptrend, where one or more of the indices advance over 2% on heavy volume.

With the market in correction, none of the watch list stocks can be considered as buy candidates.

/as usual, your mileage may vary, always do your own homework

Stardust Memories

A mission well played and an efficient use of taxpayer money too. They wrung every last bit of scientific data out of every last dollar.

Lights go out on NASA’s Stardust comet mission

Fresh off a bonus flyby of comet Tempel 1 in February, NASA’s Stardust spacecraft fired its four main engines for more than two minutes Thursday, draining its fuel tank as managers said goodbye to the well-traveled comet chaser after more than 12 years in space.

With Stardust’s single hydrazine fuel tank emptied, the craft lost its ability to control its orientation and the probe’s solar panels were expected to lose track of the sun, and officials anticipated the mission’s battery charge would be exhausted within hours.

Stardust was also programmed to turn off its radio transmitters about 20 minutes after the burn, just in case it might interfere with some future mission using the same frequency.

NASA announced the last transmission from Stardust was received at 7:33 p.m. EDT (2333 GMT) Thursday. Officials monitored the burn from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California and issued commands from the Lockheed Martin Corp. mission support center in Denver.

See also:
NASA and Lockheed Martin Say Goodbye to Historic Stardust Spacecraft
NASA’s Venerable Comet Hunter Wraps Up Mission
NASA’s Stardust: Good to the Last Drop
Inside NASA’s Space Funeral for the Comet-Hunting Stardust Probe
NASA kills off comet hunter
Comet-hunting spacecraft shuts down after 12 years
NASA Retires Comet-Hunter Stardust
NASA’s Stardust set to ‘burn to depletion’
NASA’s stardust empties its tank after 12 years
NASA’s ‘Comet Hunter’ Heads Off Into The ‘Sunset’
Stardust – NASA’s Comet Sample Return Mission
NASA – Stardust
Stardust (spacecraft)

Hopefully they put some type of return address on it.

/maybe, like a note in a bottle, something out there will find Stardust and bring it back home, as long as they’re good aliens that come in peace

A Paradigm Shift?

It looks like we’re going to get to see how a real world missile defense system performs under hostile fire.

Iron Dome to Become Operational

Following the recent escalation on the Gaza strip border, the IDF will deploy for the first time the Iron Dome missile defense system in strategic locations in the south of Israel as soon as Sunday, in order to shot down rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli civilians.

The Iron Dome is a one of a kind portable anti missile system, designed to protect an area stretching over 10 square kilometers from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system can calculate whether the rockets fired are a threat to civilian population or strategic sites based on their trajectory, thus intercepting only the ones which pose a threat and not handling the ones which will land in open areas.

The Israeli Defense Forces hope the system will perform as expected and intercept all incoming rockets. If it does do so, the IDF will mark another unprecedented historical achievement, which could mean a “game changer” in the Middle East.

See also:
Israel to deploy ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket system
Iron Dome Defense To Start Working Sunday in Southern Israel
Iron Dome heads south
Israel deploys air defense system ‘Iron Dome’ near Gaza
Israel to deploy Iron Dome anti-missile system across southern territories
Iron Dome to be deployed in South soon, IDF says
IDF Considers Deploying Iron Dome as of Sunday
What about the Iron Dome?
Vilnai: Israel has strategic reason not to use Iron Dome
Iron Dome

if Iron Dome works, what will the frustrated Hamas terrorists do, or the Hezbollah terrorists for that matter, with their vast Iranian supplied arsenal rendered useless?

/if I were a South Korean, living in Seoul, I’d be paying close attention

Syria Circling The Drain

So far, we’ve seen varying degrees of serious Muslim unrest in Pakistan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain, Libya, and Oman. Now, it appears that Syria is also on the verge of descending into chaos.

Thousands continue protests in Syria

Thousands of people took to the streets in the southern city of Dara, chanting “Syria, Freedom,” a day after a deadly crackdown on protests there, human rights activists said.

The demonstrations Thursday occurred at the funerals for some of those killed when government forces opened fire on protesters the previous day. Initial reports put the death toll at 15, but Reuters news agency, citing a hospital source, said more than 25 people were killed.

. . .

No additional violence was reported Thursday, but human rights activists said a number of Syrian writers and journalists who reported on the unrest in Dara had been arrested.

. . .

Presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban pledged to consider ending the emergency law in place since 1963 that has allowed the government to detain anyone without a warrant or a trial.

She said the government was also drafting a law that would allow political parties other than the ruling Baath party to operate, and loosen restrictions on news media. She also promised wage increases and health insurance for public servants.

But the human rights activists noted that the promises were not binding and pledged to move forward with their plans for Friday protests.

See also:
Syria’s Bashar al-Assad faces most serious unrest of his tenure
The Syrian revolt
Syria: patience of people running thin
Thousands Protest At Syrian Funerals
Thousands of Syrians chant “freedom” at Deraa mosque
Reports of bloodbath in Syria
Syrian Police Kill at Least 15 Protesters
Syria changes tack, promises reform
Syria offers reforms to calm violence
Syria crisis: Can reforms appease protesters?
Obama administration condemns Syria crackdown
2011 Syrian protests

Like Libya, here’s another revolt that I can heartily root for. Bashar al-Assad has buckets of American and Israeli blood on his hands and I would thoroughly enjoy watching his corpse being dragged through the streets. Tomorrow’s planned Day of Rage, after Friday prayers, could be a tipping point as to whether the Syrian government will fall or brutally repress the protesters. Stay tuned.

/of course, the Muslim country government that I would most like to see circle the drain is the Iranian regime, directly responsible for well over 90% of all the terrorism on the planet, maybe, hopefully, soon

Peek A Boo, We See You

This could come in handy. You know, if Obama actually lets us develop those “unproven missile defense systems“.

U.S. achieves the ‘Holy Grail’ of missile defense

A pair of low Earth-orbiting demonstration satellites built by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for the first time on March 16 detected and tracked a ballistic missile launch through all phases of flight, a Northrop Grumman official said March 22.

So-called birth-to-death tracking of a ballistic missile launch had never been done before from space and is the most significant achievement to date for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) spacecraft, said Doug Young, Northrop Grumman’s vice president of missile defense and warning programs.

“It’s the Holy Grail for missile defense,” Young said during a media briefing here.

See also:
U.S. Military Satellites Achieve ‘Holy Grail’ of Missile Defense
For the First Time, Satellites Track a Ballistic Missile Through All Phases of Flight
U.S.reports ballistic missile defense breakthrough
Satellites track complete missile flight
‘Holy Grail’ of Missile Defense Reached
Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)
Raytheon Company: Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS)
Space Tracking and Surveillance System

With Iran and North Korea well on their way to developing the technology to deliver nuclear tipped missiles, having STSS in service makes for a great orbiting security blanket. Of course, it’s only useful in conjunction with a robust ballistic missile defense system, a system Obama seems loathe to fully fund. We have the capability within our grasp to protect ourselves and our allies against rogue missile attacks, if only we have the commitment to build and deploy the necessary BMD systems.

/domestic bliss and tranquility mean absolutely nothing without national security

A New Space Capsule For Not Going To The Moon

The original reason for developing Orion was to return to the moon as part of the Constellation Program, but Obama canceled that idea.

NASA’s Orion capsule, testing center unveiled

The first version of NASA’s new manned Orion space capsule is ready to begin a series of rigorous trials, in preparation for the vehicle’s first test flight in 2013.

NASA’s prime contractor for Orion, the aerospace firm Lockheed Martin, unveiled the prototype spacecraft and a spacious, state-of-the-art testing center Tuesday near Denver. Lockheed’s Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC) will put Orion through various paces, testing its navigation, ranging, descent and landing systems, among other features.

“Lockheed Martin built this remarkable facility to develop and test spacecraft systems, further demonstrating our commitment to improve safety and advance capabilities for future U.S. human spaceflight,” John Karas, vice president and general manager for Lockheed’s human spaceflight programs, said in a statement.

See also:
NASA Space Capsule Begins Tests at New Proving Ground
NASA’s Orion Moon Craft Unveiled at New Spaceflight Facility
NASA’s Orion begins road to space travel
Lockheed Martin unveils first Orion spacecraft
Lockheed Unveils Orion Space Vehicle
Lockheed Martin Unveils First Orion Spacecraft
Lockheed reveals new simulation center, Orion spacecraft
The Future Of Space Exploration Takes Step Forward In Littleton
Lockheed Martin unveils Orion test facility
Lockheed Martin unveils Colorado training center for Orion
NASA – Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle
Orion (spacecraft)

Apparently, the Orion will be relegated to serving as an incredibly expensive emergency escape vehicle for the International Space Station, if the ISS is still even around sometime after 2013, when Orion might first be operational.

/you’d think we’d at least consider using Orion to ferry our astronauts to the ISS and back, instead of having to rely on the Russians, who keep jacking up the price, but no, apparently not

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