Call me Ron

From CNN/SI:

Considering how zealously the NFL promotes and protects its product, the league can’t be too happy with Midway’s new football videogame Blitz: The League. The NFL declined to grant Midway an official license, which left the gamemaker free to take its shots at the league. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the new version of the game includes an Atlanta-based team called the Redhawks that looks suspiciously like the Falcons. The team’s quarterback? A chap named Mexico.

Heh heh heh….

Psychological armor

An interesting email received this morning. I can’t verify any of this, but perhaps some of you can.

Here’s one reason that so many American soldiers and marines have died in Iraq…

Back in 1981, I was the head of a bulletproof car company in Monterey, California. We’d construct a box made of Lexgard inside a limo or regular car. It was pretty effective but difficult to install. Lexgard is General Electric’s transparent polycarbonate armor, very effective at stopping handgun bullets. If you put a hard surface in front of it, such as glass or sheet metal, it will stop rifle bullets. After the bullet hits the hard surface it is upset slightly on its axis and is then trapped in the dense but crystal-clear polycarbonate material.

The FMC factory was in nearby San Jose. I read a story about the troubles with the aluminum armor on their new Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The Bradley was having PR problems already but now the issue was the armor. Aluminum is a bad material for armor, since it doesn’t stop bullets very well. When they come through, they cause something called “spall,” which means that the pieces of the armor itself become deadly little weapons. And aluminum burns.

The army, though, wanted to save weight so they told FMC to make the Bradleys out of aluminum. (FMC was later sold and is today United Defense LP owned in part by George Bush’s Carlyle Group.)

So I went to FMC and proposed to line the inside of a Bradley with Lexgard, the way we did with limos. This would protect everyone from spall and fire, because Lexgard is fireproof and non-toxic. Installation would have been relatively easy in the boxy Bradley. I was politely turned down.

Puzzled, I called Dr. Charles Church, the head of research at the Pentagon. He said, “Listen don’t try to modify an existing vehicle. If you want to do something, design it from the ground up and make your armor integral with your chassis.”

So that’s what I did. I came up with something I called “The FLEA,” which stood for, “Forward Light Escort, Armored.” I used an unknown but powerful fiberglass armor for the body with hardened Lexgard windows. It was to be hydraulically operated with its wheels almost two feet away from the body, for protection against tank landmines. My design was based on my experience with landmines in Rhodesia as a member of their security forces in the terror war in the 70s.

Shortly after my design was complete (1982), the army put out a request for proposal (RFP) for a new vehicle they called the “High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle,” or “HMMWV.” The new Jeep and light truck. I duly submitted the FLEA to Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) in Michigan.

After a month or so, I called TACOM and inquired as to the progress of the selection process. The officer said, “The FLEA yes, I have it here Oh, yeah this is armored. We don’t want armor.”

I knew the specification they wanted. The bodywork had to defeat the equivalent of a pellet fired from a pellet gun. Something like 19 grains at 435 feet per second. Something silly like that. I mentioned this to the officer. “Yeah, right. We call it psychological armor'”

“‘Psychological armor?'” I let that sink in to my brain. “You mean, the guys just THINK they’re sitting behind armor?”

He chuckled. “Yeah, pretty much.”

“But, ” I said, “I’m under the weight requirement even with the armor. Why not give them the protection?”

“That’s not what we want.”

Back in ’82, when the HMMWV was being designed, the US Army must have thought it was never going to be shot at, ever again. That’s the charitable view. A more realistic view is that the US Army doesn’t give a damn if the troops get shot at or not. They’re expendable, just like the vehicles.

But criticizing the Pentagon and the administration is a failure to support the troops. Right.

Mailvox: because it’s not irrelevant

JJ sees a blameless Bush:

Five members of the current Supreme Court are terrible (sometimes six, if O’Connor is included in many key decisions) and I agree with much of what you said in “Great Leap Backward.” But I see no reason why you had to bring up White House policy on democracy in the Middle East as part of that discussion. Only Congress has the power to do anything about Judges who are behaving badly.

The White House supports greater individual property rights and it had nothing to do with the bad recent Supreme Court decisions (which also include Lingle v. Chevron and San Remo Hotel v. San Francisco). The Bush administration supported property rights by nominating Janice Rogers Brown and insisting that she be confirmed for the D.C. Court of Appeals. WAM- Rent Board Stories #118 June 2005

It is safe to say that those who support individual rights in America are more likely to support those rights in the Middle East than those who are of a collectivist mindset who support “liberal” judges. So what sense does it make to have a discussion that objects to courts not protecting individual property rights while making an irrelevant collateral attack on an administration that is on the right side of that issue?

First, the administration is certainly not on the right side of the issue. Bush’s spokesman told the American people to respect the Supreme Court’s decision, he did not announce that the court had committed an outrage and he would encourage the Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against the five judicial criminals.

Second, the corrosion of freedom in America puts the lie to the administration’s oft-trumpeted notion of bringing freedom elsewhere. There is absolutely no point in wasting time, blood and money in any attempts to expand freedom in other countries while allowing it to be methodically destroyed at home.

No respect for the Law

From WND:

In a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court decided today to not allow display of the Ten Commandments at two government facilities. It was the first ruling on the issue since the court ruled 25 years ago that the Commandments could not be displayed in public schools.

At issue was the constitutionality of a granite monument on the grounds of the Texas Capitol and framed copies of commandments in two Kentucky courthouses. The decision affects every Ten Commandments display in the country and could set the future course for other governmental acknowledgments of religion.

This should finally put to rest the notion that the nation is specially blessed by God. The government, in the form of the court, is intentionally turning its back on its own moral foundations. This is, of course, ironic, given the court’s own Moses the Lawgiver display.

I don’t put much stock in this sort of display myself, but I do in the effort to ban such displays. The Supreme Court is challenging God, placing its so-called law above God’s Law. As per de Tocqueville’s formulation, America is no longer good and she will soon cease to be great.

UPDATE – and once again, it is demonstrated that you cannot expect the police to defend you and your family. In this case, the Supreme Court made the right decision, but it’s important in that it helps those who believe in the concept of “police protection” to understand that there is no such animal.

Discuss amongst yourselves

Mailvox: a swing and a miss

This kind of “mob” mentality leads to mob “justice” and that’s not where we really want to go, if you think about it. Besides, do courts and juries ever get it wrong? Yep, you bet.

I remember watching the case (on A&E) of this black man, Ronald Cotton, of Burlington, NC who was arrested of raping this white girl in 1984 and was tried and convicted of it in early ’85. He kept saying he didn’t do it and claimed the girl had it wrong, but she pointed him out specifically.

The significant difference, of course, is that Cotton denied committing the crime. The late and unlamented Spanish Torch admitted it without expressing any remorse for it.

When the king fails to provide justice, people will seek it on their own. Thus has it always been, thus will it always be.