Category Archives: ARMY TRAINING

New, cutting edge drone technology, from 1961

In the late 1950s, various pieces of rocketry and missiles began to enter the Army’s inventory. One of the challenges the Army suddenly faced was pinpointing targets for these deep strike weapons. And so the call went out for an unmanned high performance drone that could use radar, infrared or photography to reconnoiter places of interest.  Fairchild responded with the attractive SD-5 Osprey jet powered autonomous drone.

Some folks say the program was cancelled on budgetary grounds, and that likely is mostly true. But one must also suspect the Air Force was not at all thrilled with the prospect of the Army flying a high performance recon drone, and considered the reconnaissance mission its own turf and the rightful job of its RF-101s and RF-4Cs.

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Traders recall the ‘rush’ and ‘roar’ as famed pits close –

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Meegan had every intention of going back to college, but then he got a summer job in the Chicago trading pits and fell in love with the “roar” of the floor, the excitement of “4,000 people yelling, ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!’” and decided no more classroom for him.

That roar will soon go silent. On Monday, most futures pits in Chicago and New York, where frenzied buying and selling once helped set prices on cattle and corn, palladium and gold, and dozens of other commodities, are expected to close for good. Traders yelled and shoved and flashed hand signals, just as they did in the movie “Trading Places.” But now the computer — faster, cheaper and not nearly as noisy — has taken over.

It will be a sad day for Meegan, still in the pits 34 years after dropping out of college, donning a trading jacket and mustering the courage to tell his dad.

“I thought he was gonna kill me, but he was like, ‘I don’t care if you pick up garbage or you’re a dog groomer. If you are happy doing what you are doing, you’re ahead of 99 percent of the people in the world,’” recalls Meegan, now 54.

via Traders recall the ‘rush’ and ‘roar’ as famed pits close –

Working on  a trading floor is, in its own way, every bit as stressful as combat, though without the risk of death or significant injury.  Indeed, death or injury is the worst that can happen to you in combat. In the pits, you face catastrophic financial disaster, which can be tougher to face than mere death.

The pits are at once competitive and cutthroat, and oddly collegial. After all, if you stand next to your competition every day for years on end, you’re bound to make enough small talk during slow periods to establish a bond of respect, if not admiration.

I was at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, rather than the Merc. Still the fundamentals of open outcry are the same.

Making Trading Places today with online trading would make for a much less interesting movie.

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The Greek “Haircut”; Watching How It’s Done


Pay attention to Greece.  It seems that the EU countries that have loaned billions to Greece, which continues to hemorrhage cash because of its rejection of “austerity” (austerity: not frittering away a THIRD infusion of someone else’s money on an unsustainable socialist paradise), have the temerity to ask for decent terms for payback of loans.  For the Greeks, that is absolutely unconscionable.

Faux outrage aside, what is of interest is that, in order to prevent a collapse of the banking system in Greece, a “bail-in” is being considered, similar to what happened in Cyprus a couple of years ago.  Where is the money going to come from?  Why, it will be confiscated from private citizens’ bank accounts.  Whereas in Cyprus, the accounts which were pinched were those over €100,000 (at the time nearly $130,000), Greece seems to be shooting for a much lower number.

The plans, which call for a “haircut” of at least 30 per cent on deposits above €8,000, sketch out an increasingly likely scenario for at least one bank, the sources said.

Why accounts so small?  Here’s why:

With few deposits over €100,000 left in the banks after six months of capital flight, “it makes sense for the banks to consider imposing a haircut on small depositors as part of a recapitalization. . . It could even be flagged as a one-off tax,” said one analyst.

Hmmm.  A tax.  That word should be worrisome to Americans.  Seeing as not long ago we have had “taxes” foisted upon us that were not intended to be taxes at all.  As if the Ninth Amendment simply doesn’t exist.

How Greece’s problems approximate ours is a bit easier to grasp if you think of Greece having one giant EBT card, instead of tens of millions of smaller ones.  Greece wants nobody to tell them what they can spend the EBT cash on, despite the fact that the money on the card is someone else’s.  Oh, and when the money on the EBT card runs out, Greece feels perfectly justified in asking for more.  In fact, if the creditors want to have anything to say about how Greece spends their money, or the terms of the next installment on the EBT card, why, it is terrorism.

Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s finance minister, on Saturday accused the country’s creditors of trying to “terrorise” Greeks into accepting austerity.

“What they’re doing with Greece has a name: terrorism,” he told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “Why have they forced us to close the banks? To frighten people.”

That smug sense of entitlement should ring familiar in the ears of middle-class Americans, who hear constantly about paying their “fair share” from the socialist-communist far Left that includes such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, the Occupy nincompoops, and various Hollywood half-wits.  More troubling, though, is that you can bet the Obama Administration (and every leftist candidate for 2016) is watching how Greece plans and executes the out-and-out confiscation of private wealth for the purpose of continuing government largess, while keeping the socialist sheeple placated long enough to get away with it.

The United States is walking a parallel path to Greece, and eventually, the music will stop.  Then, debt will have to be paid, or loans defaulted.  (This, despite record tax revenues for the second year in a row, incidentally.)  When the reckoning comes, we will be subject to the same unfettered, oppressive, and draconian actions that the Greek government will enact (or allow) against its citizens in the current crisis.

We might see sudden limitations or “taxes” or “fees” on large cash transfers or withdrawals, followed by restrictions on ATM or debit cards.  Then, couched in the familiar language of class warfare, the seizure of private wealth from large accounts, the “haircut” we saw in Cyprus and will see in Greece.  When it is clear that such action cannot be prevented by the anger and outrage of the demonized wealthy class, the threshold for expropriation to feed the Great Society Welfare Furnace will be lowered by increments until the redistribution of private wealth by government fiat is completed to the satisfaction of the ardent socialists who so despise capitalism, and insist that prosperity comes from robbing the selected Peter, to pay the collective Paul.  

For those who would say that such actions to expropriate private wealth cannot happen here, because there are laws to prevent those actions, I would offer that much we once viewed as illegal activity by the government in this country is now quite permissible, provided it furthers the far-left agenda.  With a Supreme Court that acts as if the Constitution is a mere list of suggestions, don’t expect such actions as described above to face serious challenge.

So watch Greece, just as we watched Cyprus.  You can be sure this Administration and its potential successors are taking copious notes, for when it is our turn in the barber’s chair for our “haircut”.



The Greek Debt Crisis Explained

For those of us not fluent in international finance, Bloomberg has a helpful 12 minute video.

As Ace quipped, if you want to spend like the Germans, turns out, you have to work like the Germans.

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Monday Morning Links

We’ve got the usual tasks and chores of daily life to address today, so for now, just some links.

Bell sees V-280 Valor as common attack-utility platform.


Lockheed’s F-35 Live-Bomb Drops Hit Targets

Either this month or next, the Marines will declare Initial Operational Capability for the F-35B.


Iran second Ghadir radar unveiled.

Large array long wavelength phased arrays are probably the best bet for detecting stealthy aircraft. Unfortunately for Iran, that’s not quite good enough for a fire control solution.


Footage of French Navy’s F-8 Crusader initial carrier flights

Live Leak- Autoplay warning.


Marines Testing Operating from Foreign Ships, Near-Forgotten Platforms to Bring Units Back to Sea

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Here’s 38 minutes of the Thunderbolts of the 362nd Fighter Group strafing the heck out of Germany at the end of World War II

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Navy Fireworks.