Friday 9th of June 2023

working like clockwork


I don’t know why but the new Aussie submarines seems to be suffering from irrelevance, obsolescence and workforce deficiencies. The French made some very unhelpful comments about the Australian commitment of the Adelaide shipyards.


Some businessman made some annoying facts and figure assessment of the program to make it go "nukular". So today we turn to our Boys’ Own Manual to show how you can build your own submarine with a display wooden stand for it, for not much more than the cost of two 24-toilet rolls packs "before the panic". All you need is some copper sheets, a clockwork and a soldering iron plus a few bits and pieces, including a couple of spigots (I love this word — it’s better than tap or faucet).

  Like all good submarine plans, the propeller is kept under wrap. Nowhere to be seen. Not a single diagram of this important gizmo, in the book. If you’ve seen photographs of Russian, or US, or Pommy submarines about to be launched, the propeller is ALWAYS covered up with tarpaulins as not to reveal the size or the pitch of the 132 blade bizo. I joke here. Modern submarine props only have up to 15 blades — but generally between 8 and 10. On our little sub, a three-bladed shall suffice considering the surface tension of water. But the 132 blade bizo could actually be inside the turbine for the pump-jet of the AussieSub...  On our 30 inches-long 1912 model, the rudder is more advanced than the latest Chinese contraption. Like a streamlining cage for water-flow, this rudder is an engineer’s delight and shaped like a Moore sculpture with the obligato hole in it.  I won’t go through the boring bits of step by step banging the copper sheets into elongated half-nuts nor into the amazingly simple automated controls which allow you to send your device under water like a couple of Japanese mini-subs into Sydney harbour — but with no crew on board, like a modern drone with a prefixed GPS landing address. Quite clever.   But I will draw your attention to the propulsion clockwork. The book makes sure you understand that this is not scalable. In quantum mechanics, this would be deemed non-scalar. The problem is explained in the picture below. But regarding the Aussie-French sub, we could venture as to explore the idea nonetheless. Considering that diesel engines are not the ideal to have to recharge the batteries like in WW1 subs — a technology maximised in the U-boots of WW2 — and that nuclear propulsion is iffy, using clockworks would not be so silly.  4  Here is the “brief”:  The Attack-class submarine is a future class of submarines for the Royal Australian Navy based on the Shortfin Barracuda proposal by French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) to replace the Collins-class submarines. The class will enter service in the early 2030s with construction extending into the late 2040s to 2050.[2]The Program is estimated to cost $50 billion and will be the largest, and most complex, defence acquisition project in Australian history.[1]

The Program to replace the Collins class began in 2007 with the commencement of the Defence Department acquisition project SEA 1000. Australia's unique operating environment (including significant variations in ocean climate and conditions) and rejection of nuclear marine propulsion had previously driven it to operate in the Collins class the world's largest diesel-electric submarines, capable of transiting the long distances from HMAS Stirling to their deployment areas.
Type: Diesel-electric attack submarine
Displacement: 4,500 t surfaced
Length: 97 m (318 ft)[3]
Beam: 8.8 m (29 ft)[3]
Installed power: Diesel electric AIP
Propulsion: Pump-jet
Speed: In excess of 20 kn (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km; 21,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) surfaced
Endurance: 80 days
Complement: 60
Sensors and processing systems:  AN/BYG-1 combat system
• 8 x 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
• 28 torpedoes:
• Mark 48 MOD 7 heavyweight torpedo, Harpoon anti-ship missiles or Mk III Stonefish mines   It seems though the power-plant isn’t mentioned some calculations need to be made. Here we turn to the American Navy…   Model testing has determined that [if] a ship [or sub] has an EHP of 30,000 HP at a speed of 19 knots. Assuming a propulsive efficiency of 70%, what SHP is required to be installed to achieve 19 knots?


SHP = EHP = 30,000HP ηP 0.70

SHP = 42,860HP

A total of 42,860 horsepower (43,000 HP) should be installed to achieve a speed of 19 knots
.  But this high number is due to a lot of energy waste, including cavitation and — cagey as usual — the Yanks do not mention the size of the ship. What they mention though is that basically due to various losses along the way, about 3/4 of this HP is lost before reaching the propeller. Not good.  This is where we have to turn to the Ruskies. Their subs can travel under water at 50 knots and do 33 knots on the surface. Note: in my little head, I have the uncertain memory that any displacement boat (not surfing nor planing on skids), the maximum speed is about 33 knots on the surface.   Though one needs one ton of spring to produce on HP, one can assume that for an Aussie sub to nonchalantly go to war at 10 knots, 500 tons of springs should do it. Divided into various clockworks, these springs could easily be clocked up by the crew 24/7. And no need of expensive battery sets with dangerous electrolytes or radio-activity (from what is really a 12 per cent inefficient nuclear boiler).  Supplies of course would need to include a large amount of bake-beans and toilet paper.  Next: how to build your own model hyper-speedoing weapon in your lounge-room...   Uncle Gus.  Note: if you see a wheel, below the body of the sub (image at top) don't panic. It's designed to prop the sub forward and back up, when it hits bottom (of the pool or bathtub). Ingenious, no?


Your neighbours won’t be happy about the rocket racket...

FROM A BASE in the Ural Mountains on 26 December 2018, Russia's armed forces launched a ballistic missile carrying an HGV called Avangard. After separating from its carrier in the stratosphere, the HGV zigzagged 6000 kilometers across Siberia at a searing Mach 27, Russian officials claimed, then smashed into a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Afterward, a beaming Russian President Vladimir Putin called Avangard “the perfect New Year's gift for the country.” [This was before “the viral-panic”was gifted to the world in 2019]. Russia's defense ministry announced ... that it has put the nuclear-armed HGV into combat duty—allowing Putin to claim that Russia is the first country armed with hypersonic weapons.

For decades, the U.S. military—and its adversaries—have coveted missiles that travel at hypersonic speed, generally defined as Mach 5 or greater. Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) meet that definition when they re-enter the atmosphere from space. But because they arc along a predictable ballistic path, like a bullet, they lack the element of surprise. In contrast, hypersonic weapons such as China's waverider maneuver aerodynamically, enabling them to dodge defenses and keep an adversary guessing about the target.

Since the dawn of the Cold War, the Pentagon has periodically thrown its weight behind the development of maneuverable hypersonic weapons, only to shy away when technological hurdles such as propulsion, control, and heat resistance proved daunting



So, how can you build a model of these babies on your kitchen bench? Here again, scaling is the key. But I won’t beat around the bush: models with clock springs won’t represent this amazing technology that has no moving parts… Scramjets and hyper-speed weapons work on sucking holes. We also know some politicians on this high sucking stuff...

in regard to reaching mach 27, like the Avangard, things are complicated, even if on a scale of 1:50. You need a special rocket launcher from which your contraption reaches the hyper-speedoes…Hyper-speeding does not work from a standing still position. As well, the need for controlling surfaces for pitch and roll is critical at such high altitude (100 kms), until the thingster destroys itself on target. You would not like to damage your handiwork, unless you’re a mad scientist, would you?...

But you can build a 2f 6” rocket that travels at 299.9 kms for 1500 yards by burning kero, and you’re sweet... No need for expensive metals. All you have to do is acquire a V1 rocket plan and scale it down. We did this in the 1950s.


We called these contraptions “Pulsreaktor”… See an English clown do the work for you:

But I recommend you give up now and read about hypersonic weapons instead… The fear of being blasted out of the planet before you can say "Geronimo" will distract you from the fear of catching a painful coronavirus in your lungs…

Coronavirus: Research, Commentary, and News


The Science journals are striving to provide the best and most timely research, analysis, and news coverage of COVID-19 and the coronavirus that causes it. All content is free to access.



Science's COVID-19 reporting is supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Highlighted story: ‘We have no choice.’ Pandemic forces polio eradication group to halt campaigns 

Can China return to normalcy while keeping the coronavirus in check? 

The United States leads in coronavirus cases, but not pandemic response 

With record-setting speed, vaccinemakers take their first shots at the new coronavirus 

Would everyone wearing face masks help us slow the pandemic?

Forecasting death: Can politicians rely on computer models of the pandemic to shut down cities and countries?

See more News from Science coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.

Research and Commentary

Holden Thorp (Editor-in-Chief), Science: Valda Vinson (Editor, Research), Lisa Chong (Editor, Insights), Caroline Ash (Infectious diseases editor)

A highly conserved cryptic epitope in the receptor-binding domains of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV
Meng Yuan, Nicholas C. Wu, Xueyong Zhu, Chang-Chun D. Lee, Ray T. Y. So, Huibin Lv, Chris K. P. Mok, Ian A. Wilson
Report | Science Date: 03-Apr-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb7269

Quantifying SARS-CoV-2 transmission suggests epidemic control with digital contact tracing
Luca Ferretti, Chris Wymant, Michelle Kendall, Lele Zhao, Anel Nurtay, Lucie Abeler-Dörner, Michael Parker, David Bonsall, Christophe Fraser
Research Article | Science Date: 31-Mar-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb6936

An investigation of transmission control measures during the first 50 days of the COVID-19 epidemic in China
Huaiyu Tian, Yonghong Liu, Yidan Li, Chieh-Hsi Wu, Bin Chen, Moritz U. G. Kraemer, Bingying Li, Jun Cai, Bo Xu, Qiqi Yang, Ben Wang, Peng Yang, Yujun Cui, Yimeng Song, Pai Zheng, Quanyi Wang, Ottar N. Bjornstad, Ruifu Yang, Bryan T. Grenfell, Oliver G. Pybus, Christopher Dye
Report | Science Date: 31-Mar-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb6105

This is real
H. Holden Thorp
Editorial | Science Date: 27 March 2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb9223

COVID-19 needs a Manhattan Project
Seth Berkley
Editorial | Science Date: 25-March-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb8654

The effect of human mobility and control measures on the COVID-19 epidemic in China
Moritz U. G. Kraemer, Chia-Hung Yang, Bernardo Gutierrez, Chieh-Hsi Wu, Brennan Klein, David M. Pigott, Open COVID-19 Data Working Group, Louis du Plessis, Nuno R. Faria, Ruoran Li, William P. Hanage, John S. Brownstein, Maylis Layan, Alessandro Vespignani, Huaiyu Tian, Christopher Dye, Oliver G. Pybus, Samuel V. Scarpino
Research Article | Science Date: 25-Mar-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4218

Combating COVID-19—The role of robotics in managing public health and infectious diseases
Guang-Zhong Yang, Bradley J. Nelson, Robin R. Murphy, Howie Choset, Henrik Christensen, Steven H. Collins, Paolo Dario, Ken Goldberg, Koji Ikuta, Neil Jacobstein, Danica Kragic, Russell H. Taylor, Marcia McNutt
Editorial | Science Robotics Date: 25-Mar-2020 DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.abb5589

Underpromise, overdeliver
H. Holden Thorp
Editorial | Science Date: 23 March 2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb8492

Crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 main protease provides a basis for design of improved α-ketoamide inhibitors
Linlin Zhang, Daizong Lin, Xinyuanyuan Sun, Ute Curth, Christian Drosten, Lucie Sauerhering, Stephan Becker, Katharina Rox, Rolf Hilgenfeld
Report | Science Date: 20-Mar-2020 DOI: 10.1126/science.abb3405


Hyper speeding weapons:

The choice of entertainment is yours.

doctors, scientists and journalists are working hard...

Yes, doctors, scientists and journalists are working hard... for the fascists. They have been tricked, unless it's the reverse and they tricked governments to become fascists in order to achieve a deep secret outcome: reduce global emissions of CO2. It's working wonders and the governments love it because it gives them full despotic power over a populace that enjoyed too much freedom.


We need to split the difference here. The scientists can be sneaky this way, the journos are dumb, the doctors saves lives... The governments are turning to totalitarianism. The opinionators are in raptures, without realising they've been tricked. Piece of cake. We're screwed.


Question: why didn't this "pandemic" happen say in 1949 or 1985 or 2003?... Answer: the Chinese fiddled with bat soup and pangolin scales since about 1452. Now you know why such virus hit the news-stands in 2019/20. Fair answer.


I know we had the polio and the German measles epidemics as well after WW2. We also had the Spanish flu after WW1. And we (I mean the "authorities") have been preparing for such a SARS style pandemic for a few years now. The makers of masks and medicines — and Hollywood —  have warned us about such. The warfare biolabs are so secure that nothing can escape, except some good old US-made anthrax in 2002 when we wanted to blame Saddam.


Please do not look for revolutionary thoughts from Uncle Gus... Observe the policed restrictions as not to be noticed like dorks in the middle of a Mensa convention, wash your hands with soap and play the social distancing to the max. You hated some people anyway... But to put a few more spanner in the works here is Corbet:



The Things You CANNOT Say About CoronavirusJames Corbett

Pssst. You.

Yeah, you.

Are you interested in talking about…things? You know, the kind of things that we’re not allowed to talk about anymore? You know, since the…uhhh…“The Event“?

You are? Great. I mean, you might have noticed things are getting a bit hairy out there. As in, you’re likely to get your head bitten off for daring to suggest that things may not be totally ok with the “new normal.”

It seems all these new social norms and cultural taboos that have arisen in the past few weeks have also created a raft of new thoughtcrimes: Things that must not be spoken for fear of being expelled from polite society . . . or worse.

That’s why it’s so vitally important for us to speak out about our concerns before these socially-policed thoughtcrimes become literal crimes. As I’m sure you know, if these new social norms are not confronted, voicing dissent will soon become impossible.

So, allow me to voice some thoughtcrimes of my own. But be forewarned: I assure you that you will find at least some of my ideas to be offensive. You will disagree with them strongly. You will become irate.

The real question is: What are you going to do to those voicing opinions you disagree with? Engage in dialogue with them? Or demand that agents of the state scrub their speech from the internet and lock them in a cage for their thoughtcrime?

Well, either way, I’ve already committed thoughtcrime numerous times in recent weeks, I might as well share them with you. Are you ready? Let’s go.


People imagine that when the boots-on-the-ground tyranny arrives, it will be enforced by the police or the military. Newsflash: the boots-on-the-ground tyranny is here, and it is being enforced by your neighbors, Joe Sixpack and Jane Soccermom.

Need proof? How about all the new “snitch lines” that are opening up in city after city and state after state all around the globe to help good citizens tattle on neighbors who aren’t practicing proper social distancing?

That’s right. It’s not just guys yelling out their windows in Brooklyn anymore. Now whenever you see someone within two meters of someone else it is your duty as a loyal citizen of the Brave New World Order to actively report them to the authorities so that they can be dealt with by Big Brother. Rest assured, a score card is being compiled for each jurisdiction, and the powers-that-shouldn’t-be are keeping a list of who’s being naughty or nice (Good job, Minnesota!).

Still, while we can all unequivocally and universally agree 100% with the idea that anyone who physically approaches another human being in this Year of our Virus 2020 deserves to be charged with manslaughter for their heinous act, maybe, just mayyyyyybe—and I’m just spitballing, so forgive me if this seems brash—we’re heading into dangerous territory here. You know, what with the social distancing Stasi becoming the enforcers of our new police state nightmare and all. Call me crazy.


When 9/11 happened, there was a marked and notable intensification in the propaganda glorifying the American military. Not that such propaganda didn’t exist before, but it was nothing like what we’ve seen since “the day that changed everything.” Yes, the hero worship of veterans is one of the hallmarks of the Age of Terror that 9/11 ushered in .

So if this plandemic is the new 9/11, what’s the new hero worship? Well, it should be obvious by now: Doctors are the new soldiers. Now we must dutifully show our appreciation for the brave medical workers on the front lines of this new war…or face yet more social castigation.

You may have noticed the interesting phenomenon making its way around the world. I call it “The Totally Spontaneous Balcony Applause Phenomenon.” Yes, completely out of the blue, all the people under lockdown have decided to show their appreciation for the valiant doctors and nurses in this heroic struggle by going to their balcony at a pre-appointed time and applauding. And no, this totally spontaneous phenomenon is not just occurring in one or two countries. Or three or four countries. But in seemingly every country around the globe.

Just like that. Just out of the blue. Must be something in the zeitgeist, I guess.

Now you’ll forgive me for being out of the loop, but as you know the corona madness has not quite made its way to Japan yet. (But, precisely as I predicted, the very same day that the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed the Tokyo Governor suddenly became gravely concerned about her city, and they are now going to “have to” lockdown Tokyo unless the poor plebs behave.) So I don’t know exactly how people decide on the right time to go to their balcony to applaud. Is it done by vote? What if I’m a few minutes late? Will people think I’m clapping for something else? What exactly is the etiquette here?

Here’s my thoughtcrime: I find these displays creepy and off-putting. I find the glorification of doctors and nurses unsettling. Not because I think they are all quacks. Not because I think they are all evil. Not because I am not grateful for the work that (some) doctors do (some of the time). Not because I don’t recognize the enormous stress that these doctors and nurses are under right now. But because this socially engineered adoration is going to be used to push an agenda exactly like the glorification of veterans was used to push the militarism agenda of the post-9/11 years.

This time, we are being asked to glorify doctors and nurses because these are the same trusted experts whose authority cannot be questioned who are going to be giving you the vaccine. You know, The Vaccine. The one that will bring an end to the then 18-month long psychological siege that we are being placed under.

What?? You still question the vaccines? You still dare to defy the authority of these brave doctors and nurses who risked their lives for us? You can’t say that, you disgusting conspiracy mongering throughtcriminal, you!

Be honest, you know that this push is coming. And they are getting the public to sign on with all these “spontaneous” balcony applause sessions. So perhaps you’ll forgive me for not joining in.


I am still baffled by the attention that otherwise sane human beings are given to the latest reported numbers from this or that health agency about the scourge of Covid-19. People are throwing around CFRs and R0s like they’ve been studying epidemiology their whole lives. In truth, they’re just regurgitating whatever they saw on CNN or were told in the latest Governor Cuomo press conference.

So what do we make of the baffling discrepancy in death rates from Covid-19 between different countries? Why is Italy’s death rate from the disease a staggering 10% while China’s is more like 4%? And what does that mean for the 70% of humanity that “experts” warn will be infected by this virus?

And while we’re at it, why don’t we ask some equally meaningful questions, like: What color is the Easter Bunny? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? And just how tasty is the cheese that the moon is made of, anyway?

As I demonstrated weeks ago, methods for diagnosing this disease vary so widely from country to country that making comparisons between countries isn’t even like comparing apples and oranges. It’s like comparing apples and aardvarks. And diagnosing a particular type of viral infection via CT scan? How can we possibly trust the infection numbers that are being generated by such methods?

All of that would make the calculation of mortality rates for this disease problematic enough. But, to make matters worse, we don’t even have an accurate tally of the number of people who have died from Covid-19. Take the infamous Italian example, for instance. We’re told that the staggering death rates in Italy (roughly 10% if we go by the official numbers at press time) are a sign of just how deadly this new virus can be.

…But there’s some problems with those numbers. As Prof Walter Ricciardi—scientific adviser to Italy’s minister of health—recently revealed, “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”

So how many of the people who are reported as “Covid-19 deaths” in Italy actually had coronavirus listed as their cause of death? Just 12 per cent. What’s more, according to the Italian government’s own report, half of those who died had three or more other diseases at the time of the death. Nearly 80 per cent had at least two other diseases that they were fighting when they died. Only 1.7 per cent of those who died had no other disease.

But why listen to James Corbett, conspiracy theorist, or those silly Italian government health advisors on this matter? Well, I’m not alone in this suspicion of the official numbers. It turns out the “Our World in Data” research group that has been attempting to keep track of the coronavirus numbers has stopped using the World Health Organization’s data because “we found many errors in the data published by the WHO when we went through all the daily Situation Reports.”

And John Ioannidis — who Corbett Report listeners will remember launched the replication crisis in science with his landmark 2005 paper on “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” — has recently come out questioning whether the current Covid-19 response is “A fiasco in the making.” As Ioannidis observes:

The data collected so far on how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving are utterly unreliable. Given the limited testing to date, some deaths and probably the vast majority of infections due to SARS-CoV-2 are being missed. We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300. Three months after the outbreak emerged, most countries, including the U.S., lack the ability to test a large number of people and no countries have reliable data on the prevalence of the virus in a representative random sample of the general population.


After this current madness passes, people will view the public’s blind acceptance of these practices in the same way that we look at the public’s blind acceptance of bloodletting and other methods of medical chicanery from times past.


OK, so you still insist on taking these phony baloney numbers seriously? Then let’s take another looks at that Italian report on those dying with (not of) Covid-19.

The report tells us that the median age of those who have been pronounced dead with (not of) Covid-19 is 78. To put that number in perspective, the average life expectancy in Italy is 82.8.

That means those who are dying with (not of) the disease are within years of reaching the average life expectancy (and, let’s not forget, they are also suffering in the vast majority of cases from at least two other diseases). I venture to say that a similar panic could be raised about just about any viral disease in circulation if it was being reported in the same way as this coronavirus is being reported.

Since we’re committing thoughtcrimes here, let’s be blunt: “Elderly Patient With Multiple Complications Dies After Contracting Respiratory Illness” is NOT a news story. It’s a daily fact of life.

But in fact, it is a news story. I have been keeping tabs on how the Canadian MSM have been covering the pandemic panic and saw a segment on one of the national news broadcasts about a woman whose 91-year old mother died in a nursing home. It was implied that this 91-year old woman’s life was tragically cut short by the coronavirus and, to make matters worse, her daughter was unable to hold a funeral or service for her mother because Canada is currently under lockdown. I don’t know if I have lost touch with reality or everyone else has, but let me reiterate: This is NOT a news story.

Don’t get me wrong: Any such death is doubtless a tragedy for the family involved. My heart genuinely goes out to all those who lose their relatives in such circumstances. But this is not something that we upend our entire civilization over. We do not stop all productive human activity on the planet, collapse the economy, send millions upon millions of people to the unemployment line, institute lockdowns, and begin talking about mandatory vaccinations, internal passports and other abrogations of essential human freedoms on such a basis.

In fact, if I were to be dying at the age of 78 due to some viral respiratory illness along with my other 78-year old cohorts, I can guarantee that I would be outraged that the powers-that-shouldn’t-be were using my death to upend the liberties that I had spent my life attempting to defend. It is disgusting.

“But what about the young people who die of the disease?” you ask. Fair enough. Again, according to the official reports (which, let me remind you, should not be trusted), there are people under the age of 78 who are dying from the disease as well, albeit in much smaller numbers. And, according to the “models” from the “experts” (who, let’s remember, are right about everything), there could be hundreds of thousands more deaths before this pandemic runs its course.

Well, that brings me to my ultimate thoughtcrime:


People die.

Sometimes they die of car accidents. Sometimes they die of work-related mishaps. Sometimes they die of old age. Sometimes they die under extremely questionable circumstances while trying to shed light on information that is uncomfortable for the deep state. And, yes, sometimes they die of respiratory illnesses during viral pandemics.

I’ll go one step further: Our mortality makes us who we are. Humans are blessed and cursed with a knowledge of our own fate. No one makes it out of this life alive. And so the question of what we do with our lives becomes paramount.

But more and more, death is being removed from life. Our elderly are shipped off to nursing homes to whither away so that we don’t have to face aging. The funerary industry is neat and anti-septic. Death has become an abstraction. Something that happens somewhere out there, to other people. Not to us, though, surely.

But this entire pandemic madness seems to be predicated on the notion that disease and death are somehow avoidable. That we have conquered such things. Or, at least, that no new disease could ever possibly arise (bioengineered or not) to upset our perfect balance with nature. I mean, yes, many people die of the flu every year, but that doesn’t count. That’s not new.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t work to cure diseases and improve our health. Quite the contrary. It’s just that this current bout of hysteria seems almost anti-human; as if we should be able to transcend our mortal humanity.

CJ Hopkins, in his characteristically humorous way, points out the absurdity of this “War on Death” in his latest article:

We can’t let these Russian dissension sowers, neo-Nazi accelerationists, and coronavirus-sympathizers confuse us. They want to convince us that Death is, yes, scary, and sad, but inevitable, and natural. How utterly heartless and insane is that?!


No, we need to close our minds to that nonsense. People are dying! This is not normal! Death is our enemy! We have to defeat it! We need to hunt down and neutralize Death! Root it out if its hidey hole and hang it like we did with Saddam!”


I don’t know why the idea that death is a part of life should be controversial. But, given that even a respected blogger like Craig Murray can be largely lambasted by his own audience for daring to post similar musings, I suppose that it is. I don’t know anymore. Perhaps I’m off my rocker.

All I know is that the room to express dissent on these topics is fast disappearing. It’s time for those of us who can tolerate thoughtcrime to circle the wagons. The Thought Police are closing in.

So maybe you disagree with me. Maybe you’re offended by what I say. Maybe you have your own thoughtcrimes that you’re afraid to express. But if we don’t engage in dialogue about these ideas now, what are the chances that this information will be easier to share in the future?

So what’s your thoughtcrime? 

Read more:
Read from top.


the "spanish" flu...




How Generals Fueled 1918 Flu Pandemic To Win Their World War

Just like today, brass and bureaucrats ignored warnings, and sent troops overseas despite the consequences.


The U.S. military has been forced by the coronavirus pandemic to make some serious changes in their operations. But the Pentagon, and especially the Navy, have also displayed a revealing resistance to moves to stand down that were clearly needed to protect troops from the raging virus from the start. 

The Army and Marine Corps have shifted from in-person to virtual recruitment meetings. But the Pentagon has reversed an initial Army decision to postpone further training and exercises for at least 30 days, and it has decided to continue sending new recruits from all the services to basic training camps, where they would no doubt be unable to sustain social distancing.

On Thursday, the captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, on which the virus was reportedly spreading, was relieved of command. He was blamed by his superiors for the leak of a letter he wrote warning the Navy that failure to act rapidly threatened the health of his 5,000 sailors.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper justified his decision to continue many military activities as usual by declaring these activities are “critical to national security.” But does anyone truly believe there is a military threat on the horizon that the Pentagon must prepare for right now? It is widely understood outside the Pentagon that the only real threat to that security is the coronavirus itself. 

Esper’s decisions reflect a deeply ingrained Pentagon habit of protecting its parochial military interests at the expense of the health of American troops. This pattern of behavior recalls the far worse case of the U.S. service chiefs once managing the war in Europe. They acted with even greater callousness toward the troops being called off to war in Europe during the devastating “Spanish flu” pandemic of 1918, which killed 50 million people worldwide.

It was called the “Spanish flu” only because, while the United States, Britain and France were all censoring news about the spread of the pandemic in their countries to maintain domestic morale, the press in neutralist Spain was reporting freely on influenza cases there. In fact, the first major wave of infections in the United States came in U.S. training camps set up to serve the war.

Read more:


rust buckets versus rust buckets...


By Phil Butler


When I was stationed aboard the USS Iowa (BB-61) for pre-commissioning of the battleship in the 1980s, the Ticonderoga class Aegis cruisers were the pride of the US Navy. I remember seeing several docked across the quay in Pascagoula Mississipi, and how fast, sleek, and intimidating they looked. Almost forty years on, and these greyhounds of the seas are mostly rust buckets, some of them just lucky to be afloat at all. So, when I read a story about the USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) breaking down on its way to the Eastern Mediterranean, I was naturally saddened and amused.

According to the latest reports, the Vella Gulf was several hours out of Rota, Spain when something busted. Apparently, the guided-missile cruiser had to be towed back to port because of some breakdown in engineering. Reading a bit of the ship’s recent history provided a few clues as to why the vessel may have turned back from a mission off Syria. The ship has been sidelined for emergency repairs several times, most recently back in February when a fuel tank rusted through and began leaking highly volatile gas turbine fuel. Another problem with the ship’s complex reduction gears also plagued the aging ship, scheduled to be decommissioned early on account of aging systems and no funds to fix them.

These fleet and once technologically superior vessels were once the center of fleet operations because they sported the Aegis combat operations modules slid into their superstructure like Tony Stark’s power supply in his Ironman suit. The system, which is made up of the Aegis Combat System (ACS) to direct and advance weapons control system (WCS), uses highly advanced (at the time) computer systems to simultaneously track and engage multiple air, subsurface, and even surface combatants. The system is now produced by Lockheed Martin, but originally the system was developed by RCA and General Electric.

It’s almost funny, but back in 2003, a modernization of the Aegis computers was undertaken because the dinosaur software and hardware the cruisers used was less powerful than the average Playstation kids game. From what I can discern, the Java and PTC Perc deployed in the new Aegis Open Architecture upgrade, may still be in use today. As of 2019, some of these cruisers and other applications for the Aegis system were having their software upgraded to something called Baseline 9. I can find no reference to Vella Gulf getting this upgrade. So, then it’s safe to say the rusting to pieces CG-72 may not just be suffering from disintegrated gas tanks and gummy bears in her turbine gears, she may be the most powerful senile smart warship afloat. What could go wrong if a warship with nuclear capability losses its mind or its buoyancy?

Back in 2010, retired Vice Admiral Phillip Balisle issued the so-called “Balisle report,” which told of an over-emphasis on saving money that led to a dramatic decline in the operational readiness of the Aegis Combat Systems. Some readers will remember it was this system, deployed on the USS Vincennes, that ultimately shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in 1988 resulting in 290 civilian deaths. While the navy tried to vindicate the system, experts say the Aegis user interface and other system parameters caused the misidentification of an airliner for an F-14 Tomcat on attack vector.

The reason these rust buckets have not already been mothballed or scrapped is that the US Military is wankers. Okay, let me explain. The Pentagon experts the US Navy will fall short of its requirement for 94 missile defense cruisers and destroyers beginning in FY 2025. Ninety-four, let’s focus on this number for a second. By comparison, China does not even have an operational cruiser and only has 37 destroyers. Russia has five cruisers, all except one having been built prior to 1989. Putin’s navy also has 12 destroyers, three of which were actually built in the last 25 years.

Even the most modern of the destroyers were designed back in the 1960s. It’s safe to say that most of Russia’s fleet since it’s not made of Titanium, is rusting to pieces alongside America’s expensive naval forces. But get this, the only serious threats to US naval superiority in the world, Russia and China, only have just over half as many heavy surface combatants as America. To make matters even crazier, NONE of these fabulously expensive ships has ever had a major engagement. You read that correctly.

The toughest foe the USS Vella Gulf ever engaged was a band of Somalia pirates in a dingy. African pirates wielding machetes, in a dingy! In another crucial service in defense of my homeland, the USS Lake Erie managed to blow up a satellite in decaying orbit over Alaska with an SM-3 missile back in 2008. As I think back, I wonder how much aviation fuel these gas turbine-powered cruisers and destroyers have burned up in the last three decades? By comparison, those pesky and aggressive Russians hardly ever steer their ships out of port. Possibly over the better advice of chief engineers aboard them.

The Ticonderoga class cruisers cost about $30 million dollars each year just to sail them all over the planet showing the stars and stripes. As far as I can tell, the ships have limited capability against alien invasions from another galaxy, despite the films Hollywood produces. For the sake of your time and mine, I will not even get into the dismal disgrace known as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) which is the biggest naval shipbuilding muck up in the history of the world. The $600 million dollar stealth ships are the Edsels of naval shipbuilding. And they cost $70 million a year to fight off pirates and space invaders. As for Russia, China, and America, it seems like the three biggest rusty navies would learn from the English, and who just let their nuclear submarines disintegrate tied up at the piers of HMNB Clyde.

What a Titanic (pun intended) waste of resources and potential, our policies toward one another are. We could visit the stars, cure everything, maybe even live forever for all the folly of weapons systems.


Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.


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The same applies to submarines... people catch fish using dynamite... All you need is a bigger stick of dynamite to catch a sub... A hypersonic rocket with under-water penetration capability will do. You cook in your little tin... Read from top.


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hypersonic money.....

 Michael Klare, Creating a Hypersonic Pentagon Budget POSTED ON APRIL 16, 2023


In our present social media world, who even remembers that the Internet’s first “mothership,” as Ben Tarnoff put it at the Guardian years ago, was the U.S. military, thanks to a Cold War era urge to link computer communication to the potential front lines of war? The world that we now know began in 1969 with a computer network created by the Pentagon’s lavishly funded Advanced Research Projects Agency, or ARPA. That network was then called Arpanet, wasn’t yet mobile, and couldn’t be used to communicate with forces in the field or, say, American bombers then flying over Vietnam.

It took another two decades-plus before there was a World Wide Web and even longer before none of us, military or otherwise, could go anywhere without being more in touch with the rest of the world than once might have been faintly imaginable.  More than half a century later, we’re now entering an even newer, potentially far more daunting world in which artificial intelligence, or AI, is threatening to have its way with us. And once again, as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare so vividly describes today, the U.S. military is helping reshape our world in a fashion that someday we may all live (or die) to regret.

Only recently, hundreds and hundreds of worried tech types, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Twitter head and billionaire Elon Musk, and experts of many kinds, unnerved by how quickly AI is developing into its own version of us, called for a six-month pause in experimentation on its development. Think of it as a moment when we can all try to take in the world we’re heading into, lest we end up in an all too artificial and deeply unrecognizable hell on earth. But I’ll put my money on one thing, having read Klare’s piece today: the Pentagon isn’t going to agree to any six-month pause in its AI research and Congress won’t either — not when it comes to the military. For the members of both parties, not even the sky is the limit for the Pentagon, financially speaking. In fact, as Klare makes all too clear today, when it comes to that military and the sky (not to speak of the land and the high seas), there are no limits at all. Tom 

Spurring an Endless Arms RaceThe Pentagon Girds for Mid-Century WarsBY 

Why is the Pentagon budget so high? 

On March 13th, the Biden administration unveiled its $842 billion military budget request for 2024, the largest ask (in today’s dollars) since the peaks of the Afghan and Iraq wars. And mind you, that’s before the hawks in Congress get their hands on it. Last year, they added $35 billion to the administration’s request and, this year, their add-on is likely to prove at least that big. Given that American forces aren’t even officially at war right now (if you don’t count those engaged in counter-terror operations in Africa and elsewhere), what explains so much military spending?

The answer offered by senior Pentagon officials and echoed in mainstream Washington media coverage is that this country faces a growing risk of war with Russia or China (or both of them at once) and that the lesson of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine is the need to stockpile vast numbers of bombs, missiles, and other munitions. “Pentagon, Juggling Russia, China, Seeks Billions for Long-Range Weapons” was a typical headline in the Washington Post about that 2024 budget request. Military leaders are overwhelmingly focused on a potential future conflict with either or both of those powers and are convinced that a lot more money should be spent now to prepare for such an outcome, which means buying extra tanks, ships, and planes, along with all the bombs, shells, and missiles they carry.

Even a quick look at the briefing materials for that future budget confirms such an assessment. Many of the billions of dollars being tacked onto it are intended to procure exactly the items you would expect to use in a war with those powers in the late 2020s or 2030s. Aside from personnel costs and operating expenses, the largest share of the proposed budget — $170 billion or 20% — is allocated for purchasing just such hardware.

But while preparations for such wars in the near future drive a significant part of that increase, a surprising share of it — $145 billion, or 17% — is aimed at possible conflicts in the 2040s and 2050s. Believing that our “strategic competition” with China is likely to persist for decades to come and that a conflict with that country could erupt at any moment along that future trajectory, the Pentagon is requesting its largest allocation ever for what’s called “research, development, test, and evaluation” (RDT&E), or the process of converting the latest scientific discoveries into weapons of war.

To put this in perspective, that $145 billion is more than any other country except what China spends on defense in toto and constitutes approximately half of China’s full military budget. So what’s that staggering sum of money, itself only a modest part of this country’s military budget, intended for?

Some of it, especially the “T&E” part, is designed for futuristic upgrades of existing weapons systems. For example, the B-52 bomber — at 70, the oldest model still flying — is being retrofitted to carry experimental AGM-183A Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapons (ARRWs), or advanced hypersonic missiles. But much of that sum, especially the “R&D” part, is aimed at developing weapons that may not see battlefield use until decades in the future, if ever. Spending on such systems is still onlyin the millions or low billions, but it will certainly balloon into the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in the years to come, ensuring that future Pentagon budgets soar into the trillions.

Weaponizing Emerging Technologies

Driving the Pentagon’s increased focus on future weapons development is the assumption that China and Russia will remain major adversaries for decades to come and that future wars with those, or other major powers, could largely be decided by the mastery of artificial intelligence (AI) along with other emerging technologies. Those would include robotics, hypersonics (projectiles that fly at more than five times the speed of sound), and quantum computing. As the Pentagon’s 2024 budget request put it:

“An increasing array of fast-evolving technologies and innovative applications of existing technology complicates the [Defense] Department’s ability to maintain an edge in combat credibility and deterrence. Newer capabilities such as counterspace weapons, hypersonic weapons, new and emerging payload and delivery systems… all create a heightened potential… for shifts in perceived deterrence of U.S. military power.”

To ensure that this country can overpower Chinese and/or Russian forces in any conceivable encounter, top officials insist, Washington must focus on investing in a major way in the advanced technologies likely to dominate future battlefields. Accordingly, $17.8 billion of that $145 billion RDT&E budget will be directly dedicated to military-related science and technology development. Those funds, the Pentagon explains, will be used to accelerate the weaponization of artificial intelligence and speed the growth of other emerging technologies, especially robotics, autonomous (or “unmanned”) weapons systems, and hypersonic missiles.


Artificial intelligence (AI) is of particular interest to the Department of Defense, given its wide range of potential military uses, including target identification and assessment, enhanced weapons navigation and targeting systems, and computer-assisted battlefield decision-making. Although there’s no total figure for AI research and development offered in the unclassified version of the 2024 budget, certain individual programs are highlighted. One of these is the Joint All-Domain Command-and-Control system (JADC2), an AI-enabled matrix of sensors, computers, and communications devices intended to collect and process data on enemy movements and convey that information at lightning speed to combat forces in every “domain” (air, sea, ground, and space). At $1.3 billion, JADC2 may not be “the biggest number in the budget,” said Under Secretary of Defense Michael J. McCord, but it constitutes “a very central organizing concept of how we’re trying to link information together.”

AI is also essential for the development of — and yes, nothing seems to lack an acronym in Pentagon documents — autonomous weapons systems, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), and unmanned surface vessels (USVs). Such devices — far more bluntly called “killer robots” by their critics — typically combine a mobile platform of some sort (plane, tank, or ship), an onboard “kill mechanism” (gun or missile), and an ability to identify and attack targets with minimal human oversight. Believing that the future battlefield will become ever more lethal, Pentagon officials aim to replace as many of its crewed platforms as possible — think ships, planes, and artillery — with advanced UAVs, UGVs, and USVs.

The 2024 budget request doesn’t include a total dollar figure for research on future unmanned weapons systems but count on one thing: it will come to many billions of dollars. The budget does indicate that $2.2 billion is being sought for the early procurement of MQ-4 and MQ-25 unmanned aerial vehicles, and such figures are guaranteed to swell as experimental robotic systems move into large-scale production. Another $200 million was requested to design a large USV, essentially a crewless frigate or destroyer. Once prototype vessels of this type have been built and tested, the Navy plans to order dozens, perhaps hundreds of them, instantly creating a $100 billion-plus market for a naval force lacking the usual human crew.

Another area receiving extensive Pentagon attention is hypersonics, because such projectiles will fly so fast and maneuver with such skill (while skimming atop the atmosphere’s outer layer) that they should be essentially impossible to track and intercept. Both China and Russia already possess rudimentary weapons of this type, with Russia reportedly firing some of its hypersonic Kinzhal missiles into Ukraine in recent months.

As the Pentagon put it in its budget request:

“Hypersonic systems expand our ability to hold distant targets at risk, dramatically shorten the timeline to strike a target, and their maneuverability increases survivability and unpredictability. The Department will accelerate fielding of transformational capability enabled by air, land, and sea-based hypersonic strike weapon systems to overcome the challenges to our future battlefield domain dominance.”

Another 14% of the RDT&E request, or about $2.5 billion, is earmarked for research in even more experimental fields like quantum computing and advanced microelectronics. “The Department’s science and technology investments are underpinned by early-stage basic research,” the Pentagon explains. “Payoff for this research may not be evident for years, but it is critical to ensuring our enduring technological advantage in the decades ahead.” As in the case of AI, autonomous weapons, and hypersonics, these relatively small amounts (by Pentagon standards) will balloon in the years ahead as initial discoveries are applied to functioning weapons systems and procured in ever larger quantities.

Harnessing American Tech Talent for Long-Term War Planning

There’s one consequence of such an investment in RDT&E that’s almost too obvious to mention. If you think the Pentagon budget is sky high now, just wait! Future spending, as today’s laboratory concepts are converted into actual combat systems, is likely to stagger the imagination. And that’s just one of the significant consequences of such a path to permanent military superiority. To ensure that the United States continues to dominate research in the emerging technologies most applicable to future weaponry, the Pentagon will seek to harness an ever-increasing share of this country’s scientific and technological resources for military-oriented work.

This, in turn, will mean capturing an ever-larger part of the government’s net R&D budget at the expense of other national priorities. In 2022, for example, federal funding for non-military R&D (including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) represented only about 33% of R&D spending. If the 2024 military budget goes through at the level requested (or higher), that figure for non-military spending will drop to 31%, a trend only likely to strengthen in the future as more and more resources are devoted to war preparation, leaving an ever-diminishing share of taxpayer funding for research on vital concerns like cancer prevention and treatment, pandemic response, and climate change adaptation.

No less worrisome, ever more scientists and engineers will undoubtedly be encouraged— not to say, prodded — to devote their careers to military research rather than work in more peaceable fields. While many scientists struggle for grants to support their work, the Department of Defense (DoD) offers bundles of money to those who choose to study military-related topics. Typically enough, the 2024 request includes $347 million for what the military is now calling the University Research Initiative, most of which will be used to finance the formation of “teams of researchers across disciplines and across geographic boundaries to focus on DoD-specific hard science problems.” Another $200 million is being allocated to the Joint University Microelectronics Program by the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, the Pentagon’s R&D outfit, while $100 million is being provided to the University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics by the Pentagon’s Joint Hypersonics Transition Office. With so much money flowing into such programs and the share devoted to other fields of study shrinking, it’s hardly surprising that scientists and graduate students at major universities are being drawn into the Pentagon’s research networks.

In fact, it’s also seeking to expand its talent pool by providing additional funding to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). In January, for example, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced that Howard University in Washington, D.C., had been chosen as the first such school to serve as a university-affiliated research center by the Department of Defense, in which capacity it will soon be involved in work on autonomous weapons systems. This will, of course, provide badly needed money to scientists and engineers at that school and other HBCUs that may have been starved of such funding in the past. But it also begs the question: Why shouldn’t Howard receive similar amounts to study problems of greater relevance to the Black community like sickle-cell anemia and endemic poverty?

Endless Arms Races vs. Genuine Security

In devoting all those billions of dollars to research on next-generation weaponry, the Pentagon’s rationale is straightforward: spend now to ensure U.S. military superiority in the 2040s, 2050s, and beyond. But however persuasive this conceit may seem — even with all those mammoth sums of money pouring in — things rarely work out so neatly. Any major investment of this sort by one country is bound to trigger countermoves from its rivals, ensuring that any early technological advantage will soon be overcome in some fashion, even as the planet is turned into ever more of an armed camp.

The Pentagon’s development of precision-guided munitions, for example, provided American forces with an enormous military advantage during the Persian Gulf Wars of 1991 and 2003, but also prompted China, Iran, Russia, and other countries to begin developing similar weaponry, quickly diminishing that advantage. Likewise, China and Russia were the first to deploy combat-ready hypersonic weapons, but in response, the U.S. will be fielding a far greater array of them in a few years’ time.

Chinese and Russian advances in deploying hypersonics also led the U.S. to invest in developing — yes, you guessed it! — anti-hypersonic hypersonics, launching yet one more arms race on planet Earth, while boosting the Pentagon budget by additional billions. Given all this, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that the 2024 Pentagon budget request includes $209 million for the development of a hypersonic interceptor, only the first installment in costly development and procurement programs in the years to come in Washington, Beijing, and Moscow.

If you want to bet on anything, then here’s a surefire way to go: the Pentagon’s drive to achieve dominance in the development and deployment of advanced weaponry will lead not to supremacy but to another endless cycle of high-tech arms races that, in turn, will consume an ever-increasing share of this country’s wealth and scientific talent, while providing negligible improvements in national security. Rather than spending so much on future weaponry, we should all be thinking about enhanced arms control measures, global climate cooperation, and greater investment in non-military R&D.

If only…







Russia’s Kh-47M2 Kinzhal hypersonic missile made the news this week after destroying a Patriot radar station and five launchers in overnight strikes in Kiev on May 16. How did the Kinzhal get through? What other countries possess ultrafast missiles? Why is it that speed isn’t always everything? Check out our explainer to find out.

According to independent US media, the Patriots fired off as many as 32 interceptor missiles at the Kinzhals targeting them in a desperate attempt to intercept them. The Pentagon went into damage control, mindful that admitting the missile defense system’s weaknesses against Russian missiles would undermine global faith in the superiority of US weapons. Patriot missile maker Raytheon saw up to $10 billion shaved from its stock valuation over the news that its coveted weapons system had been hit.

US officials claimed the systems were “damaged,” but assured that they had not been destroyed. Ukraine’s military, meanwhile, claimed that it shot down six Kinzhals without losing any Patriots. The Russian military offered no comment.

But what else does Russia have in its missile arsenal?

What is the Fastest Russian Missile?

The Kinzhal is one of the speediest and most advanced missile systems in Russia's arsenal, but not the only one. The weapon is an air-launched hypersonic missile with a range of between 2,000 and 3,000 km, and a reported speed of Mach 10 (11,925km per hour) or even higher. The Patriot’s interceptors are significantly slower, capable of accelerating to Mach 2.8 (3,340 km/h) in the case of the PAC-1, and Mach 4.1 (5,000 km/h) in the case of its PAC-2 and PAC-3 variants.

The Kinzhal is not the fastest missile in Russia’s arsenal, with the strategic RS-28 Sarmat, and the submarine-launched Bulava missiles capable of accelerating to speeds of up to Mach 20 (25,500 km/h) and Mach 24 (28,600+ km/h), respectively. And while these are not hypersonic missiles, but ballistic weapons which travel into space and then release warheads that fall to Earth, they are capable of maneuvering like their hypersonic cousins (Bulavas at their boost stage, Sarmat warheads as they approach targets, or Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles fitted aboard Sarmats), theoretically making their interception impossible. Theoretically, because these weapons have never been tested in actual warfare, and, hopefully, never will, because their use would likely signal the start of a Third World War.

When it comes to missiles, speed isn’t everything, and the lower intercept speed wouldn’t be a problem if the Patriot were locking on to a traditional ballistic missile flying on a known trajectory. The problem is, missiles like the Kinzhal are capable of maneuvering in flight, making course corrections to make it more difficult to predict its trajectory and exact course.









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