Archive for July, 2009

Single Payer crash and burn Re: 6 months

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 29, July 2009 by chockblock

As the socialized medicine goes down in flames, fingers are being pointed:

While viewers may seize upon numbers that indicate the size and scope of reforming health care — 47 million uninsured Americans or costs in the trillion-dollar range — most eyes glaze over when terms like “public option” or “bundled payments” get tossed around on the air.

“It’s not only not a cable TV-friendly story; it’s not a journalism-friendly story,” said John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC.

Harwood, also a political writer for The New York Times, explained that reporters need to first understand the intricacies and nuances of health care policy before they can then try getting the story across to viewers and readers. Last week, Harwood said, he was “trying to get [his] head around the issue of cost control” before penning a Times column.
Health care talk sinks Obama press conference ratings (h/t: Patterico)

Translation: you rubes should let your betters plan your future. Despite jacking up costs with a shell game designed to hide the bill, scary polices denying coverage and a bill no one has yet to read, you should let the left vote for it anyway!

Yet another right winger:

See, Noah Logue is a deaf. You see, Emanuel, an advisor to the president
” believes that “communitarianism” should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled.
. Does this remind you of anything? No wonder Mr. Logue fired back.

BTW: the costs, dear God the costs of this nightmare:

Spending vs. Taxes for Single Payer

Spending vs. Taxes for Single Payer


Source: CBO calls a TKO on the House health bill; Keithhennessey.com (h/t: Hotair)

Ace o’ Spades quotes polls showing undecided voters at 35% in favor and 60%. opposed. Only 16% of them strongly favor the legislative effort while 47% strongly Oppose.

The media is in the tank for this administration, some even admit that they are no longer objective. The public can see through the BS and are now “speaking truth to power.”

As single payer burns, the fingers are being pointed to cover up the shameful bigotry and Eron-esque accounting that will ruin 1/7th of our economy.

America is waking up and they don’t like the change.

6 months

Posted in politcs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 25, July 2009 by chockblock

Health care. It seemed so simple during the campaign, make promises about universal health care, make campaign ads, win then pass legislation.

Ask former president Bill Clinton. It seems that the Obama Administration is following his playbook. Meeting in secret with lobbyists (and paying them with the funds from the legislation) and pushing through a huge government program that would place 1/7 of our economy under government control. GOP string up trouble? Silence them. Forbid them from saying “government run health care” in mailing to their constituents.

But then it all comes crashing down. Clinton’s Waterloo was the “Harry and Louise” ads from the insurance industry. They built up support against his proposals (Ironically those actors are in ads supporting “Obamacare” today). For the left and it’s masterminds in the Whitehouse and Congress the following spells doom:

  1. Pro-Obamacare rally is outnumbered by Tea-Party protesters, who despite 3rd grade taunts, hold their own.
  2. Democrat eats Democrat over the costs and details on Obamacare.
  3. Sinking poll numbers, even after a prime time press conference.
  4. People -gasp!- asking hard questions of talking back to their Congressmen
  5. Not enough votes to pass any legislation, despite what San Fran Nan says.

Advocating euthanasia, rationing and other radical pogroms based on leftist dogma does not endear you to the average American.

“Two Republican leaders in the House of Representatives are confirming reports that the health care restructuring bill the House is currently considering promotes euthanasia. A leading patients rights advocate is worried about the effects of the legislation.”–Gatewaypundit quotes Lifeline News.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
“Maybe you’re better off not having the surgery, but taking the pain killer..”
He didn’t really say that, did he? I must say I was appalled when watching this ABC news clip of Obama making this ludicrous statement to the daughter of a now 105-year-old woman who needed a pacemaker (she needed the surgery at 99). — Dr Helen

Ouch, to her face even. Anyway, the Administration and the loony left misread the public. This bill/proposal/campaign promise was supposed to bring costs down. The poor would have health insurance. We woulnd not have to chose between pills or food. No more sob stories. Universal coverage etc. etc. But paying for this pipe dream is another matter.

President Obama premised the need for reform on the claim that medical costs are destroying the economy. True. But now we learn — surprise! — that universal coverage increases costs. The congressional Democrats’ health-care plans, says the CBO, increase costs on the order of $1 trillion plus.–Krauthammer: Why Obamacare Is Sinking h/t LGF

Costs go up, that’s why we’re getting this “end of life counseling” BS aimed at us. They will tax us and balance the health budget on Gran-Grans casket. By delaying procedures, they hope to save a buck now. Of curse that just makes the diseases more expensive and costs mucho bucks later, but you are not supposed to know that. They trot out the insurance horror stories and make stuff up just to scare you into pleading for government intervention. People are seeing trhough this ruse and refusing to drink the Obamacare kool-aid.

However, the recent media attention focused on Sara Palin and “Skip” Gates shows that the media has gargled and drank it. Gov. Palin leaves office and the media won’t stop talking about her. As the people soured on socialism, the media seemed to focus on a former governor who lost as opposed to a President who won.

A professor at an elitist university back talks campus police when confronted. I don’t care if it was at his own home, you never sass a cop. That makes them assume you’re dangerous and/or up to no good. Why does a President need to weight in on the matter? The police department stands by their officer, who is far from a “rogue cop”. It seems that the professor is a very rich man with friends in powerful places and able to garner attention of the national media. I guess some in the administration thought that any attention would be a good distraction from the health care mess.

Now I know some of you out there who read this blog argue that we need the government. “Obscene” profits are hurting the average person and the big evil corporations [tm] are making us sick/denying care/etc.

O RLY?

We have government health care already: “The Shape of Things to Come?” (via: In From The Cold)

To be fair, many military doctors and treatment facilities have a well-deserved reputation for excellence. The Air Force mobile hospital at Balad AB near Baghdad has saved literally thousands of wounded troops; many go on to state-of-the-art rehabilitation centers in the U.S. that have produced their own share of miracles.

But talk to anyone who’s served in the military for any length of time, and you’ll hear horror stories about a system that is often inadequate. In some cases, base pharmacies don’t stock the latest medicines due to cost. Advanced medical treatment is also difficult to obtain; the only transplants conducted at military hospitals are kidney transplants, a procedure that was only offered decades after their introduction at civilian facilities.

In one example, a retired NCO was told his severe chest pain was nothing but “indigestion,” and sent home. He died hours later of a massive heart attack. At the same military hospital, a woman complaining of low back pain was given Motrin and told to “rest.” Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. The Air Force doctor who made the original, mistaken diagnosis was later reassigned to administrative duties, not as a result of the mistake, but because the service couldn’t confirm that the man (who was born overseas) had actually graduated from medical school.

If you want a taste of nationalized health care, just take a look at the military medical system. Some of us have seen the future–or Barack Obama’s version of our medical future–and it isn’t pretty.

The left may try to paper over it, deny it or distract us, but they want to destroy the village in order to save it.

You’ve had over sixty years. You promised, promised us that you could deliver health care, end war and make the world a better place. You failed. You failed in the 60’s and 70’s, you failed during the entire Cold War, you failed with Hillary Care and the terrorist threats of the 90’s and you are failing again. The more things change…

I’m just surprised that it’s only 6 months into a new administration.

War and Peace: Missile Defense on the Brink

Posted in army life, politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18, July 2009 by chockblock

While the left in government fiddle with health care Rome is burning. We are told that defense cuts are for our own good.

Yet over 1,000 missile defense workers just got their pink slips:

“Our hearts and compassion certainly go out to our employees” and others affected by the layoffs, [Boeing VP Tony Jones] said Thursday.

In a statement, Boeing said layoff notices will be issued to about 250 employees working in GMD [Ground-based Midcourse Defense, i.e. long-range ICBM interceptors]at various locations, including Alabama, Alaska, California and Colorado. They are to receive an official 60-day advance notice today, but Jones said it won’t be a surprise.

“We’ve talked to all of our employees,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of work” to try and minimize the impact, find jobs in other programs for as many as possible and provide other assistance.

The cuts are part of 1,000 jobs Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems said this week it plans to eliminate at various locations because of changes in defense spending.
Huntsville Times, quoted by Closing Velocity.

The multiple kill vehicle, KEI and Airborne laser got the ax as well. They would have added to our growing missile defense. These patriots reward for serving their country as opposed to Wall Street? Getting bounced out on their butts in the midst of the worst economy since 1929.
Once this expertise is gone its gone forever, we just can dust it off or turn it back on. Only in the movies does some mothballed airplane or missile get a second chance.

The cuts of the Clinton and Carter years ate at our military. Both times retention, maintenance and combat performance fell because the doves and accountants in Congress wanted to save a few pennies. They hate a strong America and/or want to spend money on other programs. They had their chance. Ever since the 1960’s we’ve heard the refrain “A nation that can go to the moon…” (fill in the socialist pipe dream of your choice).

We don’t need universal anything. They had their chance, the “Great Society” was made of EPIC FAIL. Socialism is a joke. The European countries of NATO are just now facing a world where they have to step up to the plate and they are having trouble.

Our enemies are upgrading, our gear is wearing out but the “peace at any price” crowd want to gut our military. In. A. Time. Of. War. Even Wired magazine has to admit that missile defense works.

Change indeed.

Chew on this: Vs.

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 16, July 2009 by chockblock

Tasty links :

  1. Who would you want working for the government: An evangelical Christian or a man who suggests “Adding a sterilant to drinking water or staple foods “?(Michelle Malkin)
  2. Gee, Obamacare is not going well. It seems that the people don’t want to be taxed to death to pay for less health care (Pundit & Pundette, Patterico)
  3. Fighting two wars? That’s like, so 2001. (Neptunus Lex)
  4. Three from Jawa: Hamas blames Israel for spiked chewing gum, China jails jurnos over ibloody riots between the Uighurs and the Hans and the corrupt politicians (D) prove money talks.
  5. Coasties first drug bust in mulit-million dollar cutter. (Warisboring)
  6. There are many links pro and con on the F-22 this is one of them (Defense Tech)
  7. Bush on tape more popular than Obama live (h/t: Confederate Yankee)
  8. PowerPoint kills brain cells. (h/t:Defense Tech)

Take your daughter to the Rave day:

War and Piece: Stupid is as stupid does

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 16, July 2009 by chockblock

So the left smells blood in the water over a program that never even got out of the gate:

I’ll let Blackfive’s Uncle Jimbo debunk that rant:

Politics, the breakfast of idiots

Science Fail: The new Science Czar is a nutcase

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11, July 2009 by chockblock

Nightmare Fuel, Germany 1939:

Hitler was in favour of killing those whom he judged to be “unworthy of life”. In a 1939 conference with health minister Leonardo Conti and the head of the Reich Chancellery, Hans Lammers, a few months before the euthanasia decree, Hitler gave as examples of “life unworthy of life” severely mentally ill people who could only be bedded on sawdust or sand because they “perpetually dirtied themselves”, or who “put their own excrement into their mouths, eating it and so on”.[13]– Wikipedia on the Nazi T-4 program

Flash forward to 1977:

Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.

One way to carry out this disapproval might be to insist that all illegitimate babies be put up for adoption—especially those born to minors, who generally are not capable of caring properly for a child alone. If a single mother really wished to keep her baby, she might be obliged to go through adoption proceedings and demonstrate her ability to support and care for it. Adoption proceedings probably should remain more difficult for single people than for married couples, in recognition of the relative difficulty of raising children alone. It would even be possible to require pregnant single women to marry or have abortions, perhaps as an alternative to placement for adoption, depending on the society.
….
A program of sterilizing women after their second or third child, despite the relatively greater difficulty of the operation than vasectomy, might be easier to implement than trying to sterilize men

Neo-Nazis? Nope, that is John Holdren, the President’s new science czar. Yes, you read that correctly.

The left hates life. The left hates the family. The left hates children. Despite acting like spoiled children. They hate the elderly, the disabled and the poor too. In the book Ecosicence, John Holdren advocates a regime that would eclipse the Nazi’s, Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China in terms of butchery. Forced sterilizations and abortions, families torn apart, the population “sterilized by infertility drugs intentionally put into the nation’s drinking water or in food.”

All the horrors they accuse the right of planning, the left wants in the name of the environment. Holden is an environmentalist. In the 1970’s, the ecology movement sprung from the anti-war movement. Virulent anti-western and class warfare fused with pseudo-science to predict global cooling. Mass fish kills from polluted waters, world populations of 40 billion, global food shortages etc, ad nausea.

When the world did not cool down, they came up with global warming. Citing early probes of the planet Venus (Carl Sagan was first to popularize this), they predicted that carbon dioxide would warm the planet. So much that the effects above would kill us all.

The solution? Kill’em all. No really. Industry? Bad, pollutes and exploits the poor. Science? Only that which proves our wacko theory, all other science is bad. Capitalism? Industry and science in the service of evil white men.

From Charles Manson, to the SLA to, to Earth First, ALF and other psycho‘s, violence of some form is the solution to heal the planet/opressed/the youth. One of Earth Day’s founders was a man who killed his girlfriend and ran from the law. So they have lots of practice.

But back to John Holdren. Just what does a “science czar” do?

He was unanimously confirmed as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology on March 20, 2009.[8]– John Holdren, Wikipedia

His academic work is all on “ecology” and energy. The papers not on those are on arms control. He opposes a nuclear response to a bio or chem attack on US soil. He’s an eco-nutcase who hates the US. He clearly hates the American people. He claimed that,”if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.” Now he’s in a position to advise the president.

Advise is not the word. Groupthink is better. The left believes in the fantasy of Global Warming. The climate is not warming as much as they say it is, the ice caps are not melting. The emperor has no clothes. This nutjob would recommend crippling taxes, stifle growth and other measues while sneaking in support for radical population control “pogroms”. Yea, progroms.

You see one of the early advocates for abortion was a bigot. (h/t: Michelle Malkin)

again wikipedia on Marget Sanger:

Methods of social intervention (targeted at those seen as “genetically unfit”) advocated by some negative eugenicists have included selective breeding, sterilization and euthanasia. In A Plan for Peace (1932), for example, Sanger proposed a congressional department to:

Keep the doors of immigration closed to the entrance of certain aliens whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race, such as feebleminded, idiots, morons, insane, syphilitic, epileptic, criminal, professional prostitutes, and others in this class barred by the immigration laws of 1924.[22]

My wife is blind. These people would have had her aborted. They want to control your life, the lives of your children. Similar views were expressed by health care “experts” on the elderly.

They are evil and now one has the ear of the president.

BTW, if you believe that the quotes above are fake, Ace of Spades had links to the book search on John Holdren hippie Mine Kaumpf.

Economic/Healthcare FAIL

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 9, July 2009 by chockblock

For some reason, single payer, universal health care socialized medicine seems to be en vogue with our new administration and our state run independent media. But if the government takes over health care what does that mean? Surely the government will be able to do better right?

Finally, critics say that because of its breadth and national reach, the public plan will be able to collect and analyze patient information on a large scale to discover the best ways to improve care. The public plan might even allow clinicians who form accountable-care organizations to keep a portion of the savings they generate.
–Robert Riech Why the Critics of a Public Option for Health Care Are Wrong

Not so fast. Most Medicaid and Medicare already collect stats on their use. In New Mexico, the mental health system (Medicaid Salude) took over when private insurance companies bowed out. They left due to rising costs. New Mexico Medicaid found that “universal mental health care” was so expensive that they turned over day to day operations back over to private HMO’s (shocka!) to keep costs down.

Reich again:

Critics say the public option is really a Trojan horse for a government takeover of all of health insurance. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an option. No one has to choose it. Individuals and families will merely be invited to compare costs and outcomes. Presumably they will choose the public plan only if it offers them and their families the best deal — more and better health care for less.

Well, in my experience, whether it private health insurance or public, the accountants rule. Doctors, nurses and drug companies don’t make most of the decisions to deny care. Sure their are a few scrooges with medical degrees out there, but 90% of the time they want to treat you or give you the drugs you need. Big pharma needs you to buy it’s drugs to support their reseach efforts. Docs and nurses want to treat you.

No the biggest boogy man is the MBA or administrator who decides that you’re too expensive.
The answer is always no. It’s easier to deny care than to supply it at any cost.

Hospice is one option, but we do need take account of the cost — you know, I hate to say it, the cost-benefit of some of the things we do. And either we can do it directly, or we can do it by bundling the payments and let the delivery system deal with it. So it’s a combination of the delivery system dealing with it, or, and/or providing more information for people to make the right decisions, both for themselves and for the care.–Professor Stuart Altman of Brandeis University Via HotAir.com

Gee, does that remind you of anything?

So the elderly cost to much. No new drugs cause the ones we have are “cheaper”. I remember
the Medicaid forms had a 2″ x 2″ square where client’s goals (the treatment plan) and problems (things that would mess up that plan) were supposed to be written down. Mind you, these would take up to 4-5 pages in the doctor’s notes, but the HMO wanted us to jot it down in a square about the size of a single sheet of toilet paper.

As to the idea that government has more resources for research, yes but (and this is a big but) the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are not slacking off either. When I used to work in mental health, the drug companies and hospitals collected reams of data from my bosses. Hospitals that are run for profit want to maximise profit and drive down costs. Those that cut corners risk being sued into the ground. Lawyers love repoing doc’s BWM’s.

Costly mistakes and duplication do not magically disappear when government enters the arena. Remember what I said about New Mexico and Medicaid? Amtrack is a classic example of the government subsidizing a dinosaur. Instead of rail traffic improving, the government alternative is dying (we all pay for amtrack even if we don’t ride it).

A big chuck of the costs are in the administration of the health care system.

Supporters of the for-profit, free market health care system contend that the high level of administrative costs cited by advocates of publicly funded care arise out of the substantial level of government regulation that exists in the United States health care sector.[79] According to a study by the Cato Institute this regulation provides benefits in the amount of $170 billion but costs the public up to $340 billion.[79]– Wikipedia

Even private insurance gets stuck:

But private insurers, who strongly oppose public options, say the concept of a “level playing field” is a myth.

“Government today underpays for Medicare and Medicaid services. The only way hospitals can stay in business is to charge private insurers 130 percent of costs to offset the underpayments for government programs,” says Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry’s lobby.
A hot button in healthcare reform: US role as insurance provider CSmonitor.com

Medicare vs. Private Insurance (via HotAir.com)

[O]n a per-person basis Medicare’s administrative costs are actually higher than those of private insurance–this despite the fact that private insurance companies do incur several categories of costs that do not apply to Medicare.

Pointing this out is sufficiently dangerous to the Left that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman attacked Book’s study — or, more accurately, attacked the Heritage Foundation, as ad hominem is twice as good coming from someone who used to advise Enron. Unfortunately for Krugman, the NYT allows comments, thus allowing Book to embarrass Krugman on his own site.

Admin costs will only skyrocket as the government moves in. The democrats see that they are losing this one like they lost HillaryCare. They tried to sell us on how “unhappy” the American public is with our health care system. Wikipedia again:

According to a Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health in 2003, 86.9% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their health care services, compared to 83.2% of Canadians.[80] In the same study, 93.6% of Americans reported being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their physician services, compared to 91.5% of Canadians (according to the study authors, that difference was not statistically significant).

Yet the left wants taxes, red tape and rationing. They even want to tax health bennies (someting Pres. Obama drummed Sen. McCain on back in 2008). Option? Riech gets it wrong, many on the left want you to sign up for gov’ment health care or be penalized if you do not. (H/T ace)

There could be a tax penalty for those with adequate financial resources who don’t elect to get insurance, according to the outline…

Worse still, even if you opt in, the government will make it impossible to opt out. Why? Money. To keep the system solvent, you can’t have the unwashed masses paying out of their own pocket. In the name of efficiency, the government will bully any hospital or private insurance (assuming any are left) to weighs the costs of treatment against the relative value of the person getting treated. The downside is that the terminallyill and elderly get the shaft.

…Basically, the government will tell some people that they’re just not worth the effort to treat, and will send them to hospice to die instead. And thanks to what will eventually be a nationalization of the health-care industry, just as in Canada and “England”, there won’t be any private options left, either
Hotair.com

Which goes back to the youtube video of the “expert” professor above.

Why all the fuss? The common argument is the “better” health care avaible in Canada. Far from being a guide, Canada is not a model:

Ho believes, however, that there are also inefficiencies in the Canadian system. In her own work on hip fracture, she found that Canadian hospitals held patients for longer periods because there was no incentive to discharge them. “These patients are easier to take care of,” she explains, “and that helps [hospital administrators] justify their budget…. I think there is room for economic incentives [in the Canadian system].”

“Personally,” Ho adds, “my view is that the Canadian system is good for Canada and the American system is good for America. Neither side should switch, because the systems are a function of the population—the Canadian population believes much more in maintaining social safety nets.
We’re Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.SciAm.com

So all aboard the failroad. We get taxes, more red tape and health care administrators with all the empathy of the Nazi’s T-4 program. Change we don’t need.

failroad

War and Peace: Technology marches on

Posted in guns, politcs, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 6, July 2009 by chockblock

Every few years it seems that pundits and think tanks come up with reasons to short change the military. Too expensive, unnecessary and unproven they say. The F-22, MV-22, the Future Combat Systems, missile defense, are current examples.

Pundits get it wrong many, many times. Before Desert Storm, it was conventional wisdom that “high tech” US forces would be at the mercy of the tough low tech Iraqi army. The curb-stomp they got at the hands of a modern maneuver-based force took the world by surprise. As a result, many of the world’s bad apples took to upgrading their forces.

A spear can’t beat a tank, but cheap advances in technology can upset the balance. Rumors of a black box the Chinese developed to beat U.S. HARM missiles caused the US Air Force to react accordingly. The US may have beaten it, but that doesn’t mean the game is over:

“The point I was trying to make with the box was the way in which asymmetric power does allow cheap things to undo expensive ones — to introduce both the idea of the “Assassin’s Mace”(which I think fits many asymmetric systems) and to lead into some of the technological oscillations behind Offense/Defense balance, which I get into later on…. the best Assassin’s Maces are still secretly guarded and definitely aren’t for sale — at least not yet.”– Joshua Cooper Ramo, quotes in:
China Looks to Undermine U.S. Power, With ‘Assassin’s Mace’ (Wired.Com)

It’s a game of punch, counter-punch, feint with in feint. Just because the current global economy sucks doesn’t mean we have to quit. In the 1930’s while the Great Depression sapped many countries cash reserves, it propelled Hitler and other tyrants to power. Seeing a military solution to their problems, they bankrolled development of a whole new generation of weapons. Sadly with our current economic climate history may repeat itself.

Only this time technology require less investment, less time between design work and cutting metal. From IED’s to missile technology, it’s getting easier to buy the means to hurt people. Treaties are either toothless or impossible to enforce. The Missile Technology Control Regime and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty are jokes. North Korea is testing nuclear weapons and new ballistic missiles, Iran just tested a new missile a few months back.

The UN is of no help, the IAEA is a toothless watch dog. They watch while Iran and North Korea are becoming nuclear states. Disarming is not an option, they hate the west, nukes or no nukes. It’s a choice between law or chaos.

On the conventional front, upgrades around he world continue apace. China and Russia sell to who ever has the money (i.e. Iran, Syria). North Korea has a sizable military, South Korean will need our help in dealing with them. The pacific is getting hot (the Spratly Islands have oil under them and are contested by no less then five nations), China has even developed a ballistic missile to hit our carriers. The middle east is boiling (Israel, Iraq, Iran etc). Africa? The euros are doing something about Sudan, but they need to step up. Fueling the wars are small arms from China and Russia.

It’s easy to say “We don’t need X, We can’t afford Y.”

Also, the F-22 is outrageously expensive. The 187 now authorized are costing the nation more than $65 billion, almost $350 million for each one…
Its “stealth” characteristic is greatly exaggerated. And, while the F-22 is less detectable by some radar at certain angles, it is easily detectable to many types of radar in the world, including early Russian and Chinese models. Just ask the pilots of the two stealthy F-117 bombers that were put out of action by Serbs in the 1999 Kosovo air war using antiquated radar systems.
–Politico Robert Gates is right on the F-22

The people saying that don’t have to deploy or attend threat briefings. They don’t have to maintain older equipment that is breaking down.

Entirely untrue. That’s averaged across the entire development program. The “flyaway cost”– i.e., the marginal cost out of pocket for each additional new F-22 built– is $138 million. Still expensive– roughly twice the flyaway cost of a new F-15E or the “notional” cost of an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (which itself also hasn’t been fielded yet, for any price)– but nowhere near $350M.

….We only lost one F-117 in the Kosovo War. And while the way the Serbs bagged it is still classified, what they had to go through in order to do it wasn’t simple, wasn’t easily replicable, and required an ample dollop amount of low-tech luck.
–Ace of Spades quotes an E-Mail blasting Politico.

In the US, we tried chasing a non-existent “peace dividend” after the end of the cold war. The result is aircraft that are falling apart from metal fatigue, body armor that was not up to OIF 1, delays and cost increases across the board.

Now some programs were managed poorly or had to be canceled. The Future Combat Systems was a good example. The vehicles were too light, but the UAV’s and missiles are high-speed. They are being spun out. Landwarrior was almost doomed to be cut, but it has been given a second chance. Troops even added features and had it redesigned to be lighter. Even the Stryker has been doing well in Iraq.

Despite their hatred of “high-tech”, some in the media are looking to the future to replace costly manned systems. For instance, UAV’s could some day replace manned combat aircraft. “Someday” is still far off however (the author of one article admits that the technology is still a ways away). But UAV’s are playing a greater and greater role in combat operations.

The irony is that unmanned systems are going to be more expensive and require more costly R&D.

Increased defense spending is a must in a world that hates us. Not because of the last eight years, but because we stand for freedom. Willaim Gibson said “The street finds it’s own uses for things.” Whether it’s high tech or low tech re-purposed, nations and extremist groups find newer and better ways of blowing up their neighbors. The US must do more than keep pace. We must upgrade and research. We don’t want a repeat of 1939. We can’t afford cuts.

1776

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 4, July 2009 by chockblock

800px-Declaration_independence

John Trumbull’s painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress. The painting can be found on the back of the U.S. $2 bill. The original hangs in the US Capitol rotunda.
–Wikipeda: source.

Air Defense History: The Patriot Missile system from 1975-2003

Posted in ADA, army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2, July 2009 by chockblock
M-901 Launching Station for the Patriot missile system circa 1991

M-901 Launching Station for the Patriot missile system circa 1991

Patriot started in 1964 with the Army Air Defense System for the 1970s (AADS-70s) which became Surface-to-Air Missile, Development (SAM-D). Development started in Huntsville Alabama. In 1975 it hit a drone at White Sands Missile range. Continued development saw the name change to Patriot. A famous Air Defense Urban Legend says that the development team were fans of the New England Patriots football team. Type classified as MIM-104, Patriot began to replace Nike missiles in 1981.

Unlike Nike, Patriot is mobile. The “Big 4″: Radar, Engagement Control Station(ECS), Antenna Mast Group(AMG), Electric Power Plant (EPP) are mounted on trucks or in the case of the radar, towed.
Nike needed buildings and commercial power with a generator backup. Patriot uses the two massive generators on the EPP to make it’s own power.

Japenese Patriot Radar

Japenese Patriot Radar

The Patriot radar is phased array. Forget what you saw in the movies, the radar sends out thousands of pulses because it has many elements. That is the “array” in phased array (the number is classified, wikipedia says 5,000 elements. The AN/MPQ-53 and AN/MPQ-65 radar sets are passively scanned arrays. That means a traveling wave tub sends radio energy at the main array and that array sends out many, many pulses. If the Nike radar was like having a man with very powerful binoculars, the Patriot radar is like having a large group of people with those binoculars.

That means that parts of the array can be dedicated to IFF, others talk to the missiles (Track-via-Missile or TVM). Imagine shooting an arrow at a target and getting to see the bull’s eye from the point of view of the arrow. That’s what TVM does. The system can steer the missile to the target much better than Nike. Plus, the many elements make Patriot lethal to small targets like stealth aircraft and UAV’s. No aircraft is invisible, stealth just makes it harder to be seen on radar, but the system can see farther and better than older radars. Jamming a phased array is harder too.

Dutch Engagement Control Station

Dutch Engagement Control Station

The AN/MSQ-104 Engagement Control Station (ECS) it the brains of the outfit. “The Van” as we call it has two consoles, UHF/VHF radios and the weapons control computer (WCC). An enlisted soldier is on one stations, an officer is on the other. The WCC is ancient by today’s standards, but it gets the job done. It aims and fires the missiles and diagnoses system faults. The officer controls the fight from his station by watching the IFF indications, but the enlisted soldier fires the missiles.

AMG OMG!!

AMG OMG!!

The radios are in “stacks” inside the van. But radios are useless without antennas. FM radios inside the van have antennas on the roof. They are used to talk to the rest of the battery and HQ. But to send data large UHF/VHF radios have cables that connect to a truck called the Antenna Mast Group or AMG. The AMG is a pair of big antennas that provide communications (both unencrypted and encrypted).

Now about that launcher pic on the first paragraph. The launcher has not changed much. Hydraulics point the missiles at the sky. Radios and fiber optic cables provide two forms of communications fromt he launcher to the ECS. 14T soldiers drive the launchers where they need to go and they use a special crane to reload them.

Crane loading missiles

Crane loading missiles

Patriot Missile Launch, PAC-2

Patriot Missile Launch, PAC-2

In the 1988, Patriot was tasked against tactical ballistic missiles(TBM’s). Previously, Patriot Advanced Capability-1 missiles were only for use against aircraft. PAC-2 was an upgrade in explosive power and radar and software. It made the missiles more powerful and added the ability to search for TBM’s in the sky. During Desert Storm, PAC-2 intercepted Scud missiles fired by Iraq against Saudi Arabia and Israel. While many dispute Patriot’s effectiveness, it did much to end the Scud menace. One Scud did hit a barracks due to a software error. Latter upgrades for PAC-2 included better fused to hit missiles sooner and harder. Some scuds were hit in the back or motor section and not in the warhead. They still fell despite being hit.

A PAC-3 Launcher in South Korea

A PAC-3 Launcher in South Korea

As part of SDI, the Extended Range Interceptor (ERINT) was added to Patriot. Called PAC-3, thse smaller missiles hit the target instead of blowing up next to it. PAC-3 added more missiles (16 per launcher instead of the earlier 4) and a complete software and hardware changes. Whereas PAC-2 could look for a TBM, PAC-3 could tailor it’s search for a specific threat much faster and more efficiently. It can have a “keepout” altitude where it hits missiles before they get too close. By hitting the missiles directly instead of hitting them with fragments, the PAC-3 missile destroys WMD warheads inflight. Further upgrades included Link-16 for data transfers to allied units and our Air Force and Navy, LCD screens to replace the CRT’s we use and more software upgrades.

All in all it’s a hell of a system for a 1960’s era cold war baby. In 2003, the PAC-3 missiles destroyed all Scuds fired.

Fort Bliss has a long history with Patriot. The 6th ADA Brigade used to train Patriot soldiers there. MOS 14E and 14T are the fire control and launcher soldiers respectively. 6th Brigade has moved to Fort Sill Oklahoma to be next to the field artillery school.

The system is used by our allies as well. It replaces Nike or compliments it in the following countries.
* Egypt

Egyptian Air Defense Command

* Germany

Luftwaffe

* Israel

Israeli Air Force

* Japan

Japan Air Self-Defense Force

* Republic of China (Taiwan)

Republic of China Air Force

* Kuwait

Kuwait Air Force

* Netherlands

Royal Netherlands Air Force

* Saudi Arabia

Royal Saudi Air Defense

* South Korea

Republic of Korea Air Force

* Spain

Spanish Army

* United States

United States Army Air Defense Artillery

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