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Monday, May 9, 2011

Postponing the Inevitable?

May 9, 2011

LOGAN, Utah—
A flood watch has been canceled by the National Weather Service for parts of Northern Utah as cooler temperatures are preventing mountain snowpack from melting.

A flood warning, however, has been issued in Cache County for the Blacksmith Fork River, but no serious damage or injuries have been reported. The river has reached flood stage, but water receded a couple of inches Monday morning. Residents nearby the river have been bracing for weeks since the area has been forecasted to be one of the hardest hit by floods in the state. More rain has been forecasted for the area in the next coming days and crews are pumping water out of several areas in danger.
"At the Country Manor subdivision we have pumping operations going," said Craig Humphreys with Logan City Fire. "The residents are still pumping water to keep that from collecting in their basements and the city has some pumps running there also."

Debris is also a concern for fire marshalls because it could hit bridges and back water up, leading to road closures. There are no reports of homes flooded at this time.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

God Bless America

May 3, 2011

Lets get our boys and girls home from endless wars and back to work building their future.

Lets help our homeless get off the sidewalks.

Lets inspire our fellow citizens into making a success of their lives, and then give them the opportunity.

photo by Donald Kinney

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is Prompt Global Strike?

Prompt Global Strike (PGS) is a United States military effort to develop a system that can deliver a precision conventional weapon strike anywhere in the world within one hour just as an ICBM can do with a nuclear warhead.

Potential scenarios that would require a fast response, currently only available in nuclear weapons, include an impending North Korean missile launch or an opportunity to strike Al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan. "Today, unless you want to go nuclear, it's measured in days, maybe weeks" until the military can launch an attack with regular forces, said Marine Corps General James Cartwright.
The PGS system will be designed to complement Forward Deployed Forces, Air Expeditionary Forces (which can deploy within 48 hours) and Carrier battle groups (which can respond within 96 hours). Possible delivery systems include:

-a rocket like those of existing ICBMs, launched from the United States mainland, or SLBMs
-an air-launched hypersonic cruise missile, such as the Boeing X-51
-launch from an orbiting space platform

As of 2010, the Air Force's prototype is a modified Minuteman III ICBM.[4] In March of 2011, the Air Force Major General David Scott stated that the service had no plans to use a sea or land based ICBM system for Prompt Global Strike, as they would be expensive to develop and potentially "dangerous." Instead, efforts will focus on a hypersonic glider.[5] The next day the Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz said that it was still an option.[6]

The George W. Bush administration considered such a weapon, but shelved the idea because an ICBM-launched weapon may trigger the nuclear warning system of Russia.[7]

But the Obama administration and others believe such a system could allow the U.S. to shrink its nuclear arsenal while maintaining deterrent and quick strike capabilities.

Under the Obama plan, the Prompt Global Strike warhead would be mounted on a long-range missile to start its journey toward a target. It would travel through the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound, generating so much heat that it would have to be shielded with special materials to avoid melting. (In that regard, it is akin to the problem that confronted designers of the space shuttle decades ago.)

But since the vehicle would remain within the atmosphere rather than going into space, it would be far more maneuverable than a ballistic missile, capable of avoiding the airspace of neutral countries, for example, or steering clear of hostile territory. Its designers note that it could fly straight up the middle of the Persian Gulf before making a sharp turn toward a target.

The Pentagon hopes to deploy an early version of the system by 2014 or 2015. But even under optimistic timetables, a complete array of missiles, warheads, sensors and control systems is not expected to enter the arsenal until 2017 to 2020, long after Mr. Obama will have left office, even if he is elected to a second term.

Osama bin Laden Dead

May 2, 2011

I will say, if it wasn't for the fact it's on a reputable site like CNN, I'm not sure I'd have believed it... been such a long wait.

U.S. forces kill elusive terror figure Osama bin Laden in Pakistan

The mastermind of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil is dead, U.S. President Barack Obama announced late Sunday night, almost 10 years after the attacks that killed about 3,000 people.

Osama bin Laden -- the founder and leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in a mansion in Abbottabad, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.

In an address to the nation Sunday night, Obama called bin Laden's death "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."

"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan," Obama said. "A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

The mission that killed one of the world's most notorious terrorist leaders was carried out by U.S. forces with the cooperation of Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night.

Osama bin Laden -- the longtime leader of al Qaeda -- was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.