Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Concern about Pending Troop Pullout

Contrary to what the Fifth Column Fourth Estate would like you to believe;

Afghan Officials Concerned about Pending US Troop Pullout
The US announcement that it will start withdrawing troops from Afghanistan is causing consternation in Kabul.

Speaking at the Pentagon on January 4, US President George Bush confirmed that American forces in Afghanistan would be reduced from 19,000 to about 16,500 during 2006. Over the same timeframe US troop levels in Iraq will decline from 17 to 15 combat brigades.

Many Afghans are interpreting Bush’s comments as laying the groundwork for a complete pull-out of American troops in Afghanistan, despite repeated assurances made by US officials that Washington "will never abandon" Kabul. In private conversations, senior Afghan officials are using harsh language in criticizing the Bush administration’s decision. They see the withdrawal as driven by US domestic factors, namely the Bush administration’s desire to bolster the Republican Party’s prospects in congressional elections in late 2006. Republicans have been weakened by a widening corruption probe in Washington. Bringing troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan could help revive the Republican Party’s image [Yet the liberals™ would have you believe that the kind of "discussion" (read "Bush bashing") that they propose is good for the U.S. - ed.].

While US forces appear to be viewed as an unwelcome presence by a growing number of Iraqis, the majority of Afghans still consider American forces as a security asset. They also view the American military presence as a tangible sign that the international community remains committed to assisting Afghanistan’s reconstruction.
Read the whole thing. There is some discussion of the nonsensical belief that NATO will fill the gap.

This stuff is important, we should be paying attention.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Littoral Combat Ship

Most of you, my faithful readers, are aware of the shift in our national strategic interest to littoral warfare vice the deep water naval warfare that we have been prepared for since WWII and through the Cold War. That is not news. In support of this strategic shift, the Navy abandoned production of the Seawolf class of submarine and has purchased the Virginia class.

Now we are begnning to see the new littoral warfare concept being applied in the surface fleet. Meet the Littoral Combat Ship. See it here too. My company, General Dynamics (I work for Electric Boat Corp.), has won a large LCS contract (yipeeee!). This is GD's site.

From the Press Release;
The LCS is the Navy’s newest surface combatant and is a key element in the Navy’s surface combatant force transformation strategy. Designed to accommodate focused missions modules for mine warfare, antisubmarine warfare and antisurface warfare, among others, LCS will ensure and enhance friendly force access to littoral areas.

The General Dynamics Littoral Combat Ship's innovative trimaran hull form will give the Navy a ship that can reach open ocean speeds nearing 50 knots and possesses outstanding seakeeping capabilities. LCS 2, has a flight deck larger than any other surface combatant that will support near-simultaneous operation of two MH-60R/S helicopters or multiple unmanned vehicles. LCS 2 will also provide one of the largest useable payload volumes of any U.S. Navy surface combatant and deliver greater payload per displacement ton than any ship of comparable displacement.

The General Dynamics Team has designed a technical infrastructure that is not bound by proprietary systems. The result is a flexible information technology backbone that uses strict industry standards, commercially available products and published interfaces to ensure the Navy will not be locked into a proprietary system that will limit access to alternatives. The open architecture design eliminates dependencies on any specific hardware and software products thereby making it possible for the Navy to take advantage of rapidly changing advancements in the market place.

Bath Iron Works is leading a best-of-breed team that includes Austal USA (Mobile, Ala.), responsible for building the team's aluminum and steel trimaran warship. General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, of Arlington, Va., is leading the ship's open-architecture-based Core Mission System design and integration from its Pittsfield, Mass., facility.

Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (Baltimore, Md.) will provide the Integrated Combat Management System, BAE Electronic Systems (Rockville, Md.) will provide the radio communications system and L3 Communications (Leesburg, Va.) the automated ship control system. Maritime Applied Physics Corporation, (Baltimore, Md.), General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products (Burlington, Vt.), Electric Boat (Groton, Conn.) and General Dynamics Canada (Ottawa, Ontario) are also team members.

This is going to be some really good stuff.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mexico is Not a Real Country

It is a criminal enterprise. I have written on Mexico before. Now we have this, Mexican military incursions reported;
The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions into the United States by Mexican soldiers "trained to escape, evade and counterambush" if detected -- a scenario Mexico denied yesterday.

The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson, Ariz., comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.

It also cautions agents to keep "a low profile," to use "cover and concealment" in approaching the Mexican units, to employ "shadows and camouflage" to conceal themselves and to "stay as quiet as possible."
Mr. Laveaga said some drug smugglers headed "both north and south" wear uniforms and drive military-type vehicles, and might have "confused" U.S. authorities.

"Give me a break," said T.J. Bonner, a 27-year Border Patrol veteran who heads the National Border Patrol Council. "Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug loads happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents.

"Why else would they be in the area, firing at federal agents in the United States? There is no other explanation,"
said Mr. Bonner, whose organization represents all 10,000 of the nonsupervisory Border Patrol agents.

He also challenged reports that Mexican military units had crossed mistakenly into the United States, saying, "Every country's military has a [global positioning system] nowadays, including the Mexicans.

"If the border is so poorly marked, why don't the thousands of Border Patrol agents working 24/7 along it ever seem to get lost, and none of us have been issued a GPS," he said.
And if that were not enough, in a commentary by Justin Darr, America Versus Mexico's Ponzi Pyramid Scheme;
Corruption is an endemic aspect of Mexican government. Extending from the local police who routinely shake down people who commit minor infractions for cash all the way to top government officials who habitually cut deals with political cronies and drug traffickers to shape Mexican law.

After endless decades, this culture of corruption has taken its toll. Over 20% of the Mexican population lives in poverty, only 62% of people have access to clean drinking water, 25% of the economy is illegal, and in the oil rich state of Chiapas; 40% of all homes have dirt floors and 21% have no electricity. All in a country with a $1 trillion gross domestic product.

Mexico has all the resources to develop a successful economy and enable its citizens to earn a comfortable, modern life, but chooses not to do so for the simple fact that the government is unwilling to stop enriching themselves at the expense of average people.

Faced with these realities, is it any wonder 46% of the Mexican population would like to immigrate to the United States?
And about Mexican support for its "citizens" violation of our border and laws...
In fact, encourage it. Not only does illegal immigration reduce the number of impoverished citizens who might get mad enough to vote you out of office, but it also creates an outstanding, if unauthorized, source of national income in the form of family remittances. Last year, Mexicans living in the United States sent over $17 billion in cash remittances to their families in Mexico, constituting the largest single source of income into the Mexican economy, outpacing even the oil industry.

However, more important to many Mexican officials, illegal immigration creates vast new opportunities for them to do what they do best; collect bribes and extort cash.
The conclusion is inescapable. Actual countries work to govern, support and protect their citizens by providing for their own national security, economy, and welfare. Mexico does not even pretend to begin to do this.
Is it any wonder Mexico is fighting to prevent the United States from securing its borders? If America were to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, then Mexico would be forced to deal with its own problems and actually address the issues that have forced millions of its citizens to want to flee the nation, namely, the incompetence of its government.

Mexico has recently claimed the United States' efforts to secure its borders are an international human rights abuse. However, the only human rights abuse occurring in this case is Mexico's treatment of its own citizens. It is not the United States' responsibility to act as Mexico's economic savior and pull its people out of poverty, but to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, and force Mexico to change itself. Truthfully, it is the only moral decision we can make.
Mexico is just another criminal enterprise deserving of absolutely no respect. As a country it is a pathetic joke. Need more? How about this, and this.

We need a wall on that border.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Tribute to America

I am travelling on business and, for a time, had little internet connectivity in my hotel room, While going through a bunch of old files and deleting many, I found an old piece on a hard drive of mine and thought that I should post it here for everyone. The file that I had was posted at alt.religion.islam on July 3, 2002. After doing a bit of Googling, I found that it was printed by SFGate.com on June 29th, 2003. It is by Dinesh D'Souza (it was not accurtely copied). Here is the actual piece by Dr. D'Souza, 10 things to celebrate, Why I'm an anti-anti-American;
America is under attack as never before -- not only from terrorists but also from people who provide a justification for terrorism. Islamic fundamentalists declare America the Great Satan. Europeans rail against American capitalism and American culture. South American activists denounce the United States for "neocolonialism" and oppression.

Anti-Americanism from abroad would not be such a problem if Americans were united in standing up for their own country. But in this country itself, there are those who blame America for most of the evils in the world. On the political left, many fault the United States for a history of slavery, and for continuing inequality and racism. Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism, we hear influential figures say that America has become so decadent that we are "slouching towards Gomorrah."

If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed. And who can dispute some of their particulars? This country did have a history of slavery and racism continues to exist. There is much in our culture that is vulgar and decadent. But the critics are wrong about America, because they are missing the big picture. In their indignation over the sins of America, they ignore what is unique and good about American civilization.

As an immigrant who has chosen to become an American citizen, I feel especially qualified to say what is special about America. Having grown up in a different society -- in my case, Bombay, India -- I am not only able to identify aspects of America that are invisible to the natives, but I am acutely conscious of the daily blessings that I enjoy in America. Here, then, is my list of the 10 great things about America.

-- America provides an amazingly good life for the ordinary guy. Rich people live well everywhere. But what distinguishes America is that it provides an impressively high standard of living for the "common man." We now live in a country where construction workers regularly pay $4 for a nonfat latte, where maids drive nice cars and where plumbers take their families on vacation to Europe.

Indeed, newcomers to the United States are struck by the amenities enjoyed by "poor" people. This fact was dramatized in the 1980s when CBS television broadcast a documentary, "People Like Us," intended to show the miseries of the poor during an ongoing recession. The Soviet Union also broadcast the documentary, with a view to embarrassing the Reagan administration. But by the testimony of former Soviet leaders, it had the opposite effect. Ordinary people across the Soviet Union saw that the poorest Americans have TV sets, microwave ovens and cars. They arrived at the same perception that I witnessed in an acquaintance of mine from Bombay who has been unsuccessfully trying to move to the United States. I asked him, "Why are you so eager to come to America?" He replied, "I really want to live in a country where the poor people are fat."

-- America offers more opportunity and social mobility than any other country, including the countries of Europe. America is the only country that has created a population of "self-made tycoons." Only in America could Pierre Omidyar, whose parents are Iranian and who grew up in Paris, have started a company like eBay. Only in America could Vinod Khosla, the son of an Indian army officer, become a leading venture capitalist, the shaper of the technology industry, and a billionaire to boot. Admittedly tycoons are not typical, but no country has created a better ladder than America for people to ascend from modest circumstances to success.

-- Work and trade are respectable in America. Historically most cultures have despised the merchant and the laborer, regarding the former as vile and corrupt and the latter as degraded and vulgar. Some cultures, such as that of ancient Greece and medieval Islam, even held that it is better to acquire things through plunder than through trade or contract labor. But the American founders altered this moral hierarchy. They established a society in which the life of the businessman, and of the people who worked for him, would be a noble calling. In the American view, there is nothing vile or degraded about serving your customers either as a CEO or as a waiter. The ordinary life of production and supporting a family is more highly valued in the United States than in any other country. America is the only country in the world where we call the waiter "sir," as if he were a knight.

-- America has achieved greater social equality than any other society. True, there are large inequalities of income and wealth in America. In purely economic terms, Europe is more egalitarian. But Americans are socially more equal than any other people, and this is unaffected by economic disparities. Alexis de Tocqueville noticed this egalitarianism a century and a half ago and it is, if anything, more prevalent today. For all his riches, Bill Gates could not approach the typical American and say, "Here's a $100 bill. I'll give it to you if you kiss my feet." Most likely, the person would tell Gates to go to hell! The American view is that the rich guy may have more money, but he isn't in any fundamental sense better than anyone else.

-- People live longer, fuller lives in America. Although protesters rail against the American version of technological capitalism at trade meetings around the world, in reality the American system has given citizens many more years of life, and the means to live more intensely and actively. In 1900, the life expectancy in America was around 50 years; today, it is more than 75 years. Advances in medicine and agriculture are mainly responsible for the change. This extension of the life span means more years to enjoy life, more free time to devote to a good cause, and more occasions to do things with the grandchildren. In many countries, people who are old seem to have nothing to do: they just wait to die. In America the old are incredibly vigorous, and people in their seventies pursue the pleasures of life, including remarriage and sexual gratification, with a zeal that I find unnerving.

-- In America the destiny of the young is not given to them, but created by them. Not long ago, I asked myself, "What would my life have been like if I had never come to the United States?" If I had remained in India, I would probably have lived my whole life within a five-mile radius of where I was born. I would undoubtedly have married a woman of my identical religious and socioeconomic background. I would almost certainly have become a medical doctor, or an engineer, or a computer programmer. I would have socialized entirely within my ethic community. I would have a whole set of opinions that could be predicted in advance; indeed, they would not be very different from what my father believed, or his father before him. In sum, my destiny would to a large degree have been given to me.

In America, I have seen my life take a radically different course. In college I became interested in literature and politics, and I resolved to make a career as a writer. I married a woman whose ancestry is English, French, Scotch-Irish, German and American Indian. In my twenties I found myself working as a policy analyst in the White House, even though I was not an American citizen. No other country, I am sure, would have permitted a foreigner to work in its inner citadel of government.

In most countries in the world, your fate and your identity are handed to you; in America, you determine them for yourself. America is a country where you get to write the script of your own life. Your life is like a blank sheet of paper, and you are the artist. This notion of being the architect of your own destiny is the incredibly powerful idea that is behind the worldwide appeal of America. Young people especially find irresistible the prospect of authoring the narrative of their own lives.

-- America has gone further than any other society in establishing equality of rights. There is nothing distinctively American about slavery or bigotry. Slavery has existed in virtually every culture, and xenophobia, prejudice and discrimination are worldwide phenomena. Western civilization is the only civilization to mount a principled campaign against slavery; no country expended more treasure and blood to get rid of slavery than the United States. While racism remains a problem, this country has made strenuous efforts to eradicate discrimination, even to the extent of enacting policies that give legal preference in university admissions, jobs, and government contracts to members of minority groups. Such policies remain controversial, but the point is that it is extremely unlikely that a racist society would have permitted such policies in the first place. And surely African Americans like Jesse Jackson are vastly better off living in America than they would be if they were to live in, say, Ethiopia or Somalia.

-- America has found a solution to the problem of religious and ethnic conflict that continues to divide and terrorize much of the world. Visitors to places like New York are amazed to see the way in which Serbs and Croatians, Sikhs and Hindus, Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants, Jews and Palestinians, all seem to work and live together in harmony. How is this possible when these same groups are spearing each other and burning each other's homes in so many places in the world?

The American answer is twofold. First, separate the spheres of religion and government so that no religion is given official preference but all are free to practice their faith as they wish. Second, do not extend rights to racial or ethnic groups but only to individuals; in this way, all are equal in the eyes of the law, opportunity is open to anyone who can take advantage of it, and everybody who embraces the American way of life can "become American."

Of course there are exceptions to these core principles, even in America. Racial preferences are one such exception, which explains why they are controversial. But in general, America is the only country in the world that extends full membership to outsiders. The typical American could come to India, live for 40 years, and take Indian citizenship. But he could not "become Indian." He wouldn't see himself that way, nor would most Indians see him that way. In America, by contrast, hundreds of millions have come from far-flung shores and over time they, or at least their children, have in a profound and full sense "become American."

-- America has the kindest, gentlest foreign policy of any great power in world history. Critics of the United States are likely to react to this truth with sputtering outrage. They will point to long-standing American support for a Latin or Middle Eastern despot, or the unjust internment of the Japanese during World War II, or America's reluctance to impose sanctions on South Africa's apartheid regime. However one feels about these particular cases, let us concede to the critics the point that America is not always in the right.

What the critics leave out is the other side of the ledger. Twice in the 20th century, the United States saved the world -- first from the Nazi threat, then from Soviet totalitarianism. What would have been the world's fate if America had not existed? After destroying Germany and Japan in World War II, the United States proceeded to rebuild both countries, and today they are American allies. Now we are doing the same thing in Afghanistan and Iraq. Consider, too, how magnanimous the United States has been to the former Soviet Union after its victory in the Cold War. For the most part America is an abstaining superpower; it shows no real interest in conquering and subjugating the rest of the world. (Imagine how the Soviets would have acted if they had won the Cold War.) On occasion the United States intervenes to overthrow a tyrannical regime or to halt massive human rights abuses in another country, but it never stays to rule that country. In Grenada, Haiti and Bosnia, the United States got in and then it got out. Moreover, when America does get into a war, as in Iraq, its troops are supremely careful to avoid targeting civilians and to minimize collateral damage. Even as America bombed the Taliban infrastructure and hideouts, U.S. planes dropped food to avert hardship and starvation of Afghan civilians. What other country does these things?

-- America, the freest nation on Earth, is also the most virtuous nation on Earth. This point seems counterintuitive, given the amount of conspicuous vulgarity, vice and immorality in America. Some Islamic fundamentalists argue that their regimes are morally superior to the United States because they seek to foster virtue among the citizens. Virtue, these fundamentalists argue, is a higher principle than liberty.

Indeed it is. And let us admit that in a free society, freedom will frequently be used badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best. The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives desire our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amid the temptations of a rich and free society, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen.

By contrast, the societies that many Islamic fundamentalists seek would eliminate the possibility of virtue. If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in an unfree society like Iran's. The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all. Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There is no modesty in this, because she is being compelled. Compulsion cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue. Thus a free society like America's is not merely more prosperous, more varied, more peaceful, and more tolerant -- it is also morally superior to the theocratic and authoritarian regimes that America's enemies advocate.

"To make us love our country," Edmund Burke once said, "our country ought to be lovely." Burke's point is that we should love our country not just because it is ours, but also because it is good. America is far from perfect, and there is lots of room for improvement. In spite of its flaws, however, American life as it is lived today is the best life that our world has to offer. Ultimately America is worthy of our love and sacrifice because, more than any other society, it makes possible the good life, and the life that is good.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ted vs. the Little Guy

Everyone knows that Liberals™ and the Left™ are all for the poor and disadvantaged. They love them and wish to keep them that way as these will vote for continued "entitlements". Of course, not all of those who are disadvanted or helpless will see the good will of the "liberals". Steve Breen has a little bit to say about that.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Truth About 9/11 and More!

The Mad Revisionist has the Truth!

The TRUTH about SEPTEMBER 11 Exposed!
Naturally, our first suspicion was directed against the most obvious suspect: Sweden. It has long been known by revisionist researchers that the people of Sweden define themselves as Swedish, as opposed to all other people who are non-Swedish and therefore considered, by implication, inferior with regards to whatever qualities make someone Swedish. And even though this division of the world between Swedes and non-Swedes is based to a large extent simply on whether someone has been born in Sweden or to Swedish parents, the world has been strangely silent and reticent about this obviously racist criteria for inclusion. Besides, any people who would produce sweet mustard must be capable of any depravity.

However, unable to attribute any specific motive to Sweden, our attention was directed against the only country that did have a clear and obvious reason to stage an attack on the United States in precisely this manner: Canada.

This site has the truth of all of the important events of our day. In addition to 9/11, there is this The Sun Hoax Reavealed!;
As for eyewitnesses, the sun is said to be very difficult to look at. This means that there are NO reliable eyewitnesses. This is clearly problematic. As for photographic evidence, once again as with the moon, no photograph was taken of the sun before the 19th century. The sun appears indistinct in most photographs - that is if the developers even return pictures featuring the sun, which they suspiciously dispose of as "faulty".

Clear photographs of the sun used in textbooks are always produced with modern telescopes, containing the necessary devices used to view (read: fabricate) the sun properly. The telescope manufacturers along with the organisations which use the telescopes, those very organisations which propagate the moon-hoax, have an interest in their being a sun, and so their evidence cannot be accepted as authentic.
As for copying his copyrighted material, he has very strict rules.
DISCLAIMER: All editorial content on this website is strictly not the writer’s/author’s opinion. THE MAD REVISIONIST, located on the moon, is owned and operated by accident. The content of this page is the copyrighted property of THE MAD REVISIONIST. Any illegal copying or circulating of this page, in whole or in part, without the expressed permission of THE MAD REVISIONIST will be taken as a compliment.

USS Florida (SSGN 728) Next

Having just completed the USS Ohio conversion, I have been sent, for three weeks, to Virginia to assist in the conversion of USS Florida. I had to move on only three days notice, and have just now caught up enough to begin posting again. I will keep you posted as best I can.

USS Florida is scheduled to go on sea trials this spring.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Religion of Mercy

This is the Picture of the Week at TheReligionOfPeace.com. And before any Leftists™ out there try to draw a parallel with capital punishment in the U.S., this is the required punishment for adultery and very many other "crimes" in Islam. It is a function of the religion.

From This Week in Islam for 1/01/06
This week’s "Picture of the Week" was inspired by ExamineTheTruth.com, a Website run by Nadir Ahmed, the so-called Muslim apologist with a penchant for self-promotion. To support the claim that "Christian morality" is inferior to "Muslim morality" Nadir’s Morality Debate page is decorated with contrasting photos that show flowers and a soft drawing of a hijab (sans female) beneath the Qur’an while images of decadence appear beneath the Bible.

Rigging the "debate" in this fashion is about the only way that Islam can win such an argument. It's also the same formula for survival that's laid out in the Qur'an and practiced in Muslim countries, where critical opposition to Islam is strictly forbidden and the penalty for converting to another religion is death. In other words, Islam survives by suppressing freedom of thought and expression with brute force.

Although Western debauchery is nothing to be proud of, it is unsanctioned by Western religion and is therefore immaterial to the point that Nadir Ahmad is trying to make. He is disingenuous about the fact that culture can exist independently of religion outside the Muslim world. To counter this deception, we offer a picture of a woman who is about to be stoned to death for adultery in accordance with Sharia by the religious leaders of Iran. While stonings are rare in the Islamic world, honor killings, regrettably, are not. We aren’t sure how much Western fornication it takes to outweigh even a single honor killing, but we don’t expect "ExamineTheTruth" to do the math for us anytime soon.
Make no mistake, as the Islamic civilizational cancer spreads, shari'a will spread with it.

Apostates of Islam has more information on stoning and on the tender mercies of Islam.

"Merciful" or "have mercy"? includes a link to a video of a stoning in Iran.
Stoning to death is a cruel insane Islamic punishment given to people who are married but still voluntarily have sex outside marriage. This punishment was ordered by the "merciful" Prophet, who of course was the messenger of the "merciful" Allah.

Many hadith, including Sahih Bukhari give proof that Stoning was ordered and practiced by Muhammed, for example:
Volume 2, Book 23, Number 413:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar :
The Jew brought to the Prophet a man and a woman from amongst them who have committed (adultery) illegal sexual intercourse. He ordered both of them to be stoned (to death), near the place of offering the funeral prayers beside the mosque."
Click here for more hadith which verify that Mohammed ordered stoning
As to the relative morality of Islam vs. Christianity, in Christianity martyrs [Read this link, it is worthy of its own post. - ed.] do not become martyrs during acts of mass murder.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Other Submarine Work

I have written several times about the conversions that the USS Ohio, USS Michigan, USS Florida, and USS Georgia are undergoing. The other four Trident submarines that have been based at Bangor, WA are also ungergoing a conversion. USS Henry M. Jackson (SSBN 730), USS Alabama (SSBN 731), USS Alaska (SSBN 732), and USS Nevada (SSBN 733).

These boats have been deployed with the C4 TRIDENT I missile. They are being converted to carry the D5 TRIDENT II missile. USS Alaska went first and returned to the fleet in 2002. An article published in the Winter 2003 issue of Undersea Warfare on the occasion of her return gives a good account of what had to be done for this conversion. The work included upgrades to the boats, NAVIMFPAC, and SWFPAC.

This backfit improves system reliability, readiness, and survivability (range is increased, giving us more water to hide in) while reducing cost by achieving a single fleet-wide system using commercial-off-the-shelf technology (COTS).

Alaska is Back; Trident D5 Reaches the Pacific.

Not everyone was in favor.

How Arabs Deal with Cows

Mahmood al-Yousif, who writes Mahmood's Den, has a humorous post;

How Arabs deal with cows.
You have two cows. Both are voting for Mobarak!

You have two cows. You create a website for them and advertise them in all magazines. You create a Cow City or Milk Town for them. You sell off their milk before the cows have even been milked to both legit and shaddy investors who hope to resell the non-existent milk for a 100% profit in two years' time. You bring Tiger Woods to milk the cows first to attract attention.

You have two cows. They've been sitting there for decades and no one realizes that cows can produce milk. You see what Dubai is doing, you go crazy and start milking the heck out of the cows boobs in the shortest time possible. Then you realize no one wanted the milk in the first place.

Since milking the cow involves nipples, the gov't decides to ban all cows in public. The only method to milk a cow is to have a cow in on one side of the curtain and the guy milking the cow on the other.

You have two cows. Some high government official steals one, milks it, sells the milk and pockets the profit. The gov't tells you there is just one cow and not enough milk for the people. The people riot and scream death to the government and carry Iranian flags. The Parliament, after thinking for 11 months, decide to employ ten Bahrainis to milk all the cows at the same time so cut back on unemployment.

You have two cows. One is owned by Syria and the other is controlled by the government.

You once had a cow.
But then it got kidnapped.

Upon hearing how popular cows are in the Gulf region, a group of young male Kuwaitis buy a herd. Unfortunately, they attach so many accessories (ski-racks, 3500 watt sub-woofers, nipple lights, etc) that the cows almost collapse under the weight and/or embarrassment. The herd are all tragically killed in a massive pile-up whilst their owners are attempting to perform donuts by the Towers.

The British Government sends in a herd of 20 cows in a trial run to help a village outside Basra. The villagers are extremely grateful for the extra milk and the health of the children improves daily. A terrorist group then kidnaps the cows and accuses them of being traitors to "the cause" (whatever that is). The terrorists then produce signed confessions from the cows and systematically assassinates each one of them in front of Al Jazeera television cameras.

You have three cows, they are all healthy and produce good quality milk for sale at the market. Unfortunately, your son discovers that the money he received at the market can be used to buy beer. Your grand expansion plans for a new high-tech farm are put on hold indefinitely.