Keeping Up With The Jetsons

You want a flying car? We got your flying car right here, almost, maybe in a few years.

‘Flying Humvee’ moves ahead

A flying car that’s rugged enough for hardcore off-road driving, able to survive small-arms fire and can quickly take off and land is potentially just a few years shy of reality, according to reports sourced from DARPA, the U.S. military’s future-oriented research arm.

Aerospace companies Lockheed Martin and AAI Corporation have presented “feasible designs” to the military’s Transformer program, reports Aviation Week’s Ares blog, and have advanced to the next phase, which is to begin work on prototypes of the contraptions.




See also:
Is Darpa’s Fly-Drive Transformer on the Right Road?
The ‘flying Humvee’ gets off the ground as U.S. military plans first all-terrain, bullet-proof warcraft by next year
Flying humvee inches closer to reality
DARPA sets target date for testing ‘flying Humvee’
Coming soon: US army four-seater vehicle that can take off and land vertically
Progress to the Flying Humvee and enabling a revolution if door to door air travel up to 400 mile ranges
What’s The Point of Darpa’s ‘Flying Humvee,’ Exactly?
Military Developing Transformer To Solve Problems That Don’t Exist
Pentagon Wants Flying Humvee, For Some Reason
Transformer (TX)
Transformer (flying car)

I’m all for flying cars, but do we really need them for combat? The concept drawings of the Transformer TX makes it look like a huge ordnance magnet that, if it wasn’t blown up transitioning from ground to sky or vice versa, it would have so many complex moving parts that it would be undergoing maintenance for many more hours than it would be available for field use. Look at the trouble we already have keeping the V-22 Osprey in service.

/at a time when budget cutting and deficit reduction is the new national pastime, the Transformer TX would seem to be, in my opinion, a military toy too far

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What a buffoon, how pathetic was this? The markets sure didn’t like it.

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath, Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech

First, do no harm. That is a useful injunction for doctors, lawyers, and, it turns out, U.S. presidents.

But President Obama’s useless speech Monday about the basic soundness of the American economy managed to reinforce all the concerns Americans on the left and right have about his stewardship of the country.

The speech did at least temporary harm. As soon as he finished speaking, the already jittery financial markets plunged.

. . .

His calm, passionless, “voice of reason” message, without a single new proposal except his pledge to make specific proposals in the future and work with the Congressionally designated super-committee to address the deficit and debt crises – “leading from behind again” – actually panicked the markets. And no wonder. Americans were looking for a leader, and what we got was the professor again.

See also:
Dow plunges as Obama says US A-OK
Presidential Failure
Matt Gurney: Obama’s speech writers should have their salaries downgraded
Obama’s jobs-message problem
Obama’s Jobs Message Isn’t Catching On
The Washington-Wall Street Disconnect Grows Even Wider
The most powerful man on Earth?
World’s Most Powerful Man Seems … Powerless
Republicans pan Obama’s speech
Democratic logic downgraded

If Obama can’t lead the economy out of the wilderness, he needs to at least call off his regulatory zealots and generally get out of the way. I’m guessing his resignation would be too much to expect from someone so obsessed with himself.

/Obama wouldn’t know sound economic policy if you tattooed it on his forehead backward, so he could read it in the mirror

Why Aren’t We Stomping Syria’s Guts Out?

Obama couldn’t wait to bomb Libya using the flimsy excuse of “protecting civilians”. Well, Bashar al-Assad has killed at least as many civilians as Moammar Gadhafi ever did and today Assad backed mobs attacked the U.S. embassy in Damascus, arguably an act of war. Why aren’t we bombing Syria and demanding that Assad leave the country? What’s Obama waiting for, another Iranian hostage situation?

Demonstrators storm U.S. embassy in Damascus

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has lost the legitimacy to rule after pro-government demonstrators stormed the U.S. Embassy in Damascus on Monday in what U.S. officials described as an orchestrated attack.

Regime supporters hurled rocks, smashed windows and tore down the American flag at the embassy, triggering the strongest U.S. condemnation yet of the Syrian government. Clinton suggested that the United States is contemplating the prospect of a post-Assad future in Syria nearly four months into a brutal government crackdown on pro-democracy activists inspired by the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

See also:
U.S. accuses Syria of unleashing mob attacks on U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S., French embassies
Syrian protesters attack U.S. Embassy in Damascus
Syrian protesters attack US, French embassies
US Embassy In Syria Attacked
Assad’s Embassy Raid
Deeply disappointed by the attack on American soil?
Clinton condemns US and French embassy attacks in Syria
U.S. Official: Syria’s Failure To Protect U.S. Embassy Is ‘Outrageous’
Assad Has ‘Lost Legitimacy,’ Clinton Says After Embassy Attacked
U.S. says Assad “not indispensable” to Syria

Is this what passes for consistent foreign policy in the Obama administration? The leaders of both Libya and Syria have killed thousands of civilians. Syria is infinitely more of a threat to U.S. national security than Libya is. Yet we’re bombing the [expletive deleted] out of Libya and trying to kill Gadhafi or drive him out of Libya at the same time we’re politely, diplomatically “condemning” Syria and giving Assad a total free pass. WTF?

/if we have a legitimate reason to be doing what we’re doing in Libya, we have even more of a legitimate reason to be doing even more of it in Syria and, by corollary, if we’re going to do nothing concrete about Syria’s brutal crackdown on civilians, we have absolutely no business whatsoever bombing Libya and we should get the hell out immediately, we’ve already done enough human and infrastructure damage there without any tangible results

Taking NATO To The Woodshed

On his way out the door, retiring U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates lets it fly.

Gates Says NATO Could Face ‘Irrelevance’ in the Future

American Defense Secretary Robert Gates has told NATO members that they need to do more — and spend more — to support the alliance.

ROBERT GATES: “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the US Congress — and in the American body politic writ large — to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense.”

On Friday, Mr. Gates gave his last policy speech before he retires as defense secretary on June thirtieth. He spoke in Brussels, Belgium, at the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. NATO was created in nineteen forty-nine to defend western Europe against the Soviet Union.

See also:
Transcript of Defense Secretary Gates’s Speech on NATO’s Future
Gates rebukes European allies in farewell speech
‘Collective Military Irrelevance’
After Gates’ Blunt Warning, What’s Next for NATO?
US warns Europe over NATO future
Libya, Europe and the future of NATO
NATO’S future at risk, warns Pentagon chief
Gates offers grim account of NATO’s Libya efforts
Gates slams NATO allies over share of combat burden
Where Gates criticizes, Obama celebrates
How long will the U.S. find NATO relevant and affordable?

Just how worthless is NATO? They’ve been battling third rate military power Libya for three months now, NATO’s running out of ammunition, and Moammar Gadhafi is still there. What would NATO do if, say, Russia attacked western Europe? If NATO can’t defeat Libya, how can they possibly defend themselves? It’s more than obvious that NATO has outlived its usefulness and needs to be disbanded. Why should the United States continue to put up the vast majority of funding, troops, and equipment to support Europe’s defense, when Europe refuses to defend itself?

/and why the [expletive deleted] is Turkey a member of NATO, they not only don’t contribute much of anything, they actively work against the other alliance members, how insane is that?

The Navy Gets A Drone . . .

. . . the Navy gets a drone, Fly-Fer the carrier, the Navy gets a drone.

Navy unveils new bat-winged stealth bomber; unmanned X-47B is military’s deadliest new drone

An unmanned, bat-winged stealth bomber made its first demo flight in California, marking the first step in the Navy’s development of a new generation of killer drones.

The experimental warplane, named the X-47B, took off from Edwards Air Force base, shot to 5,000 feet and flew a racetrack pattern over a dry lakebed during the 29-minute demo flight on Friday, the Navy said in a statement.

“Today we got a glimpse towards the future as the Navy’s first-ever tailless, jet-powered unmanned aircraft took to the skies,” said Capt. Jaime Engdahl, the program manager for the plane, said in a statement.

Military leaders see the plane as a major shift from the current fleet of robotic aircraft.

Combat drones are usually controlled remotely by human pilots, but the X-47B can carry out extended missions controlled by a computer and is designed to fly faster and farther than existing jets, like the Predators and Reapers used in Afghanistan.

It’s also the first drone capable of taking off and landing aboard an aircraft carrier in the ocean.

See also:
X-47B Sorties Ramping Up
Northrop’s X-47B robotic jet makes first flight from Edwards Air Force Base
U.S. Navy X-47B unmanned aircraft successfully conducts first flight
X-47B stealth drone takes its first test flight
X-47B Unmanned Stealth Bomber’s Maiden Flight
Lockheed Martin Supports U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman in X-47B UCAS-D Successful First Flight
Unmanned X-47B bomber successfully completes first test-flight
X-47B unmanned Stealth Bomber performs successful maiden flight
GKN Aerospace partners with U.S. Navy, Northrop Grumman for X-47B first flight
New, stealthy Navy drone makes its maiden flight
Robot X-47B stealth bomber test flight
Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Unmanned X-47B Plane
X-47B UCAS
Northrop Grumman X-47B

Well, the X-47B is certainly going to take up a lot of space on board a carrier, without the ability to contribute anything towards carrier defense.

/they’re probably looking forward to using it in conjunction with the CVX Next Generation Aircraft Carrier