Deer Trail, Colorado Considers Issuing Hunting Liscense To Shoot Down Drones


drone

You have to love the fighting spirit of rural America when you hear news like that out of Deer Trail, Colorado where officials are debating whether or not to issue permits to shoot down drones.

“Officials from Deer Trail, Colo., are thinking about issuing $25 hunting licenses to shoot down drones. The town would even go further and award $100 to someone with a license who could provide proof that he shot down the drone”

Needless to say the Feds were not real happy about the idea of citizens attempting to down one of their high priced drones.  The FAA pleaded with the public not to shoot at the drones.  Officials from Deer Creek responded by saying that “The FAA doesn’t have the power to make a law”.  With that in mind perhaps the FAA should think twice about routing drones on flight paths that overfly Deer Creek.

http://defensetech.org/2013/07/22/faa-to-town-please-dont-shoot-down-drones/?comp=1198882887570&rank=2

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The Earth As Seen From Saturn And Mercury


The brightest blue dot in the picture is the earth.  The picture was taken by the Cassini Probe while orbited around the planet Saturn.

The brightest blue dot in the picture is the earth. The picture was taken by the Cassini Probe while orbiting around the planet Saturn roughly 900,000,000 miles away. Courtesy of

This a picture of the Earth from the Messenger Probe which is orbiting around Mercury about 60 million miles away.  You can clearly see the moon orbiting the Earth with roughly 200,000 miles between them.

This a picture of the Earth from the Messenger Probe which is orbiting around Mercury about 60 million miles away. You can clearly see the moon orbiting the Earth with roughly 200,000 miles between them.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/07/23/earth_from_afar_cassini_and_messenger_spacecraft_photos_of_our_planet.html

BAE, EADS And Britain In The 21st Century


The proposed merger between BAE, the British defense conglomerate, and EADS, the multi-country European aerospace and defense giant is more than a merger of two companies.  It could quite literally help dictate whether Britain remains a proud, independent nation in the world or becomes ever more stuck in the quick sand that Europe and the EU have become.  You might ask yourself how could the merger of two companies could determine the fate of not only nations but perhaps even an entire continent?  The answer is simple, if BAE merges with EADS it will destroy what is left of the British owned industrial base in Britain.  Britain will still have a manufacturing sector within its borders but less and less of it will actually be owned by Britain.  Most of the major car manufacturers are owned by foreign companies, Jaguar by Tata, Mini by BMW, etc.  In fact the defense  industry in Britain led by BAE has been one of the few bright spots for British owned manufacturing in the country and the merger with EADS raises serious questions about whether or not there will be any major British owned industrial companies left if it goes through.  Ceding one of your last strong domestic manufacturing industries to the French is not sound policy.

This is because the merger will accomplish two things, first the company will no longer be British, second the new company will stand to lose access to the all important US defense market.  The fact that the company will no longer be headquartered in Britain might not sound like a big deal at first but then you play out a few scenarios in your head like how do companies achieve synergies when they merge.  Well first off they would eliminate redundancies within the new company.  So that means since BAE is the junior partner in this deal then you could expect much of the white-collar jobs in Britain will quickly be eliminated in order to achieve maximum cost savings.  Hundreds, probably thousands of top paying jobs all eliminated.  Second, the current British government has already done its best to destroy its own armed forces by enacting drastic cuts that happen to be one of the reasons BAE is even contemplating this.  Since they are already dismantling their defense industrial base right now does anybody in Britain really think they will have any incentive to carry out big defense projects like the proposed new British nuclear submarines.  One of the few current incentives about doing this is that it will help maintain the defense industry jobs but if the merger goes through will that still be the case since at least some if not a large amount of the work will be done outside Britain.  I think not.

Secondly, roughly 40% of BAE’s profits come from doing work in the gigantic US defense industry.  They are one of the few foreign companies allowed to do this.  Other companies like EADS do business with the pentagon but are not allowed access to advanced technologies to safe guard intellectual property.  This is not the case with BAE because they have special agreements with the US government allowing them to share in this defense work.  The reason for this is simple, they are British.  Because the obvious special relationship they get access that others like the French and Germans don’t and never will.  This alone should give both BAE and EADS pause about the merger.

Finally, if the deal goes through Britain will be drawn closer to Europe at a time when the Continent is in steep decline.  Losing access to the US market will force the new company to look even more to Europe for work.  This in turn will force the UK to get deeper involved with the EU at a time when many in the country want less to do with it.  And if your forced to look more towards Europe they will no longer be able to be that close to the US.  If I were British I would advocate less severe defense cuts both to maintain capabilities but also to maintain an important part of their economy.  I would also focus even more on joint work in the US defense industry because one, it is bigger and two, you don’t have to surrender more of your sovereignty to the failing EU.

Minefields await for EADS-BAE deal

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary/ref:C50534A0EA81CF/

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2202939/BAE-Systems-merger-EADS-faces-flak-sides.html

Boeing Unveils New 747-800


 

Boeing has just unveiled an updated version of its venerable 747.  The new model is longer by about 18 feet for the fuselage, and the upper deck has been lengthened by about 13 feet.  It also features brand new engines and redesigned wings which both should allow for the 747-800 to be more fuel efficient.

 http://www.couriermail.com.au/travel/gallery-fn301512-1225714654376?page=1

Boeing goes long with new 747-8 jet – USATODAY.com

 

China Puts First Woman In Space, Who Cares?


 

China’s launched its first woman into space and I have to ask, who cares?  Is this some major milestone that the rest of the world should really take note of?  I could understand it being a big story in China because she is Chinese, as for the rest of the world especially the US and Russia which have had female astronauts in space for literally decades it seems rather redundant?  Frankly, I’m tired of hearing about it this week and I am into space news.  The way the US media has made this out to be a huge deal is just something beyond me, I don’t understand it.  The real story here is that China sent 3 astronauts into space to perform docking manuevers for the first time with the space capsule Heavenly Palace.  This is actually important news because once mastered the docking skills will mark an important milestone for China’s space program as it tries to acquire the skills necessary to become a leading nation in space.  The fact that a woman happened to be one of the three really is not news worthy outside of China.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentina_Tereshkova

China puts its first woman astronaut into orbit

This woman was newsworthy because she was the first woman in space Russian cosmanaut Valentina Vladimirovna “Valya” Tereshkova who launched into space way back in 1963.

 

This Is Not A UFO


 

For the second time in a short span people have seen one of the US military’s newest drones being transported by truck and thought they were witnessing a UFO in transit.  No folks it is just the X-47B, a carrier launched stealth drone that is still in the testing phase.  Should it eventually join the fleet on active duty it would mark a milestone finally achieved for the US Navy because while the air force has had stealth capabilities for literally decades the navy has been left with conventional aircraft to get the job done.  This would be a serious upgrade for the navy greatly increasing their reconnaissance and strike capabilities.  Since the US Navy will be in the lead in confronting China this is also something they can’t afford to be without.

X-47B Completes Cali Flight Testing, Moves to th