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Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Wednesday - January 31, 2007

Through The Looking Glass

“Don’t Tread On Me”

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Back in June, during “Valiant Shield 2006,” the largest joint Exercise in recent history, held off Guam, three carrier strike groups posed for the camera, something that had not occurred in some 20 years. These shots, taken on June 18, 2006, show the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in the foreground, with the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), and, in the background, the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), while 17 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy, & Marines fly overhead. Altogether 28 ships, 300 aircraft, and some 22,000 personnel from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard took part in the exercises.

-- Official U.S. Navy photos by Chief Photographer’s Mate Todd P. Cichonowicz

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 09:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyMilitary •  
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Motivational Poster Of The Day

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 05:55 PM   
Filed Under: • Motorvators •  
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Our Brass Monkey Surrenders

It is now 18° F here in St. Louis and it ain’t gonna get any warmer today. It has been like this for the last week. Our highs have been in the high teens or low twenties day after day after day. SHIT, it’s cold!

Guess what, though? It’s about to get worse! Yes, we have an Arctic Express blasting its way down from Canuckistan, lots of moisture coming up from the Gulf Of Mexico so tons of more snow is on the way. Punxatawney Phil has left the country on a flight to Acapulco. I may not be far behind. DAMN this glowball warming!

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 05:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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Latin Nazi

A rigged election and a populace cowed by secret police. Nationalizing everything in the country in a “socialist” revolution. Passing laws to make the President a lifetime leader. Buying up arms from all over the globe and building a strong military presence. Drafting citizens into national military units. Stirring up trouble in neighboring democratic countries and forming alliances with neighboring dictatorships and socalist friends.

Sound familiar? All this bastard needs is a tiny mustache and a German accent. National Socialism is experiencing a rebirth right here in our own back yard.

Mark my words, there is real trouble brewing in South America. How long before Chavez decides to take his poison across the hemisphere? What will Chavez’ friends Jimmy Carter, Danny Glover, Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte say then? Stay tuned ....

Venezuela Poised to Hand Chávez Wide-Ranging Powers
CARACAS, Venezuela (WASHINGTON POST) - Wednesday, January 31, 2007

imageimageThe line forms every day after dawn at the Spanish Consulate, hundreds of people seeking papers permitting them to abandon Venezuela for new lives in Spain. They say they are filled with despair at President Hugo Chávez’s growing power, and they appear not to be alone. At other consulates in this capital, long lines form daily.

Two months after Chávez was reelected to another six-year term by an overwhelming margin, Venezuela is experiencing a fundamental shift in its political and economic climate that could remake the country in a way perhaps not seen in Latin America since Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly is expected to entrust him with tremendous powers that will allow him to dictate new laws for 18 months to transform the economy, redraw the structure of government and establish a new funding apparatus for Venezuela’s huge oil wealth.

Chávez’s government announced earlier that it intends to nationalize strategic industries, such as telecommunications and electric utilities, and amend the constitution to end presidential term limits.

The new, more radicalized era is enthralling to the president’s supporters. To them, Chávez is keeping the promise he has consistently made over eight years in office—to reorganize Venezuelan society, redistribute its wealth and position the country as an alternative to U.S. capitalist policies.

“This is a moment that could be key in the history of Latin America,” said Joanna Cadenas, 36, a teacher in the state-run Bolivarian University. “I never thought you could love a president.”

But the moves—which opponents say are marked by intolerance and strident ideology—are prompting some Venezuelans to leave the country and others to prepare for a fight in the last battlegrounds where the opposition has influence. A few are trying, against the tide, to remain apolitical in a country marked by extreme, even outlandish rhetoric.

“What we’re seeing happen here is not good,” said José Manuel Rodríguez, 42, an accountant seeking travel documents at the Spanish Consulate. “What we see here is the coming of totalitarianism, fewer guarantees, fewer civil rights. I want to have everything ready to leave.”

Chávez’s moves are worrying Bush administration officials, who have voiced concern over the ideological nature of nationalization plans that have targeted companies such as CANTV, the dominant provider of fixed-line telephone service, and the utility Electricidad de Caracas, both of which have stakeholders in the United States. U.S. officials have also expressed concern that the government will not renew the broadcast license of RCTV television, which Venezuelan officials charge supported a short-lived coup against Chávez in 2002.

“We should all be concerned about the direction President Chávez is taking his country,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, said in a statement this week. “Any leader who tries to tighten his grip on power by destroying the institutions of democracy, curtailing press freedom and using his office to intimidate pro-democracy opponents is setting in motion a dangerous process with potentially ominous consequences.”

Venezuelan government officials argue that the president’s moves are the will of the people and that his latest electoral victory is a mandate for Chávez to deepen what he calls his Bolivarian revolution.

“We cannot disqualify Hugo Chávez as social leader who, with the support of big majorities, makes decisions,” said Haiman El Troudi, a former chief of staff to Chávez who now works at the International Miranda Center, which is funded by the government. “I don’t see people moving forward against this. I see the same old opposition groups.”

- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 04:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Latin-America •  
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The Skipper Theorem

imageimageIt’s all about the air we breathe. We’re looking at the wrong datum in our assessment of climate change. Everyone is concentrating on temperature changes and worrying about melting ice caps and flooding Florida beaches. None of you can seem to see the forest for the trees so I’m finally going to explain the real problem here and I guarantee you won’t like it but you cannot deny the facts so pay attention.

First of all, take a look at the temperature chart below. This shows the cycle of climate changes based on ice core samples from Antarctica. The evidence for a global catastrophe is right there in front of your nose. No, don’t look at the squiggly blue line. That only shows temperature variations and is merely a side effect - a symptom, not a cause.

No, the danger we face is due to the squiggly red line and that danger will cause the extinction of the entire human race unless we take immediate steps to reverse this terrible scourge. The problem is quite simply ... lack of oxygen. That’s right. Our brains are being starved of much needed oxygen due to rising levels of carbon dioxide. As a direct consequence of this brain starvation, stupidity is on the rise all over the globe. Take a look around you. Look at your co-workers and friends and family. See what I mean? They’re all nuts.

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If you can’t see this plague overtaking mankind then you are probably one of the first victims of Oxygen Starvation Extinction. Don’t believe me? Consider this - why are all the really smart people dead? Hmmm? They’re all dead because they lived in the past when there was more oxygen in our atmosphere. Less oxygen today, more stupid people. There is a direct correlation.

In addition, the level of stupidity is going up as anyone can plainly see from the posts here and news stories every day. The stupid people are getting stupider and stupider and the really smart people are decreasing in number or being driven into hiding by the stupid people. I have to confess that in all modesty I am one of those surviving smart people and my days may be numbered unless ... I can convince the government to fund my research with a $5 billion grant to (a) determine the level of stupidity and how much of it is reversible, and (b) look for ways to reverse the effects of Oxygen Starvation Extinction before all intelligent members of our species die out and are replaced by Neanderthals growing in number in our midst.

I cannot stress how important this research is and the immediate need to begin looking for a solution without delay so Washington needs to hurry up and send me the grant money before we reach a critical point in the Stupidity Curve. My initial research shows we will reach the point of no return at 11:32am ET on June 22, 2007. After that there will be no hope for mankind. Contact your government representative today and apprise them of the Skipper Theorem and urge them to begin measures to fund this research.

If you are still skeptical, consider this: (1) the stupidest people are in the Middle East where there are no trees and nothing but desert - no trees, no oxygen; (2) there are no smart people in Canada where everything is covered in snow and ice - again, less oxygen; (3) the real stupid people in the US are in crowded metropolitan areas on both coasts - again, too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen.

Time is running out. Help me fund this research. Plant a tree today. Stock up on oxygen tanks today (do not store next to your ammo). Forget saving the whales. Lets’ save the smart people first. Never forget the lesson of the dinosaurs: they faced the same problem and were wiped out when they got real stupid and tried to fly. Only the smaller dinos succeeded in learning how to fly. The rest? SPLAT! End of story - end of species.

This message brought to you by The Save The Humans Foundation


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 03:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Satire •  
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France Nods Off

If you live in France (I’m sorry) you can only work 35 hours per week and no more. You are required to take a minimum of a month’s vacation every year. You may soon be required to take a nap at work because you naughty French-persons are staying up too late doing God only knows what when you should be sleeping. Now take your sleeping pill and go to sleep, France ... and try not to suck your thumb or snore ...

French Health Minister Seeks Nap Study
PARIS (AP) - January 31, 2007, 8:25 AM EST

imageimageThe French already enjoy a 35-hour work week and generous vacation. Now the health minister wants to look into whether workers should be allowed to sleep on the job.

France launched plans this week to spend $9 million this year to improve public awareness about sleeping troubles. About one in three French people suffer from them, the ministry says.

Fifty-six percent of French complain that a poor night’s sleep has affected their job performance, according to the ministry.

“Why not a nap at work? It can’t be a taboo subject,” Health Minister Xavier Bertrand said Monday. He called for further studies and said he would promote on-the-job naps if they prove useful.

France’s state-run health insurance provider will send letters explaining the importance of good sleep. The Health Ministry’s Web site offers tips on how best to get a good night’s rest.

The ministry’s online “Passport to Sleep” recommends cutting down on coffee, tea, colas, and athletic activity after 8 p.m., shunning TV time or working late in the evening, and listening better to the body’s own sleep signals, such as yawning.

Bertrand said sleepiness causes 20 percent to 30 percent of highway accidents across France each year.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 03:12 PM   
Filed Under: • EUro-peons •  
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

Used to be that if you wanted to claim asylum and come to America you had to be politically unwanted and in danger of your life from the government in your home country. Nowadays it seems all you have to do is argue that you are unable to hide your homosexuality.

I can think of about a dozen things wrong with this argument, starting with the fact that comparing homosexual prejudice to political dissent is absurd. It seems the lunatics really are in charge of the asylum ...

Gay Man From Mexico Wins U.S. Asylum
LOS ANGELES (AP) - January 30, 2007, 10:41 PM EST

An immigration judge who previously denied a gay man’s asylum bid on the grounds that he could conceal his sexual orientation if he returned to his native Mexico reversed the decision Tuesday.

In allowing Jorge Sota Vega to remain in the United States, Judge John D. Taylor said that gays should not be required to dress or act a certain way to avoid persecution and that Vega’s lawyers proved he would be at risk if he were deported to Mexico.

Vega’s case attracted attention from national gay rights groups when Taylor denied his application and said that Vega could live safely in Mexico because he did not look gay and could hide the fact that he was.

“It seemed to us this is a real double standard,” said Jon W. Davidson, legal director of Lambda Legal. “Courts don’t deny asylum to someone based on their political beliefs by saying, ‘If you just didn’t tell other people what you believed, you would be fine.’”

Vega, 38, lived in Tuxpan and Guadalajara before he fled to the United States. He said in his 2004 asylum bid that he was beaten by police and told by authorities in Mexico he would be killed.

Now a New York resident, Vega appealed to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The San Francisco-based court sent the case back to immigration court last year.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 02:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-Lawyers •  
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Backstage

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Gary McCoy - Cagle Cartoons


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 02:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 30, 2007

Through The Looking Glass

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“BMEWS”

One of the two radar faces of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System, or BMEWS, site is photographically captured during a short period of twilight, using time-lapsed photography to capture the minimal amount of available, ambient light Jan. 25 at Thule Air Base, Greenland. Thule AB Airmen with two major space missions support Air Force Space Command. Two tenant units contribute to the space mission here.

-- (U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Tolzmann)

HEY! They stole our name! Actually, they were the first BMEWS, having been built back in the 1950’s. My dad did a six-month TDY at Thule in the late 1950’s. When he returned, he took leave and the entire family spent the next month in Tampa. Dad didn’t thaw out until the third week on the beach. We were afraid his skin was going to stay blue forever.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 09:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
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Quote Of The Day

The Growing Chorus of Antiwar Conservatives
BRUCE BARTLETT (NY TIMES) - January 29, 2007, 5:44 pm

In many ways, the war in Iraq is looking more and more like the last days of the Vietnam War. It is becoming increasingly clear that the situation is hopeless and the administration’s strategy is incapable of achieving victory. Yet the president insists that additional resources can still turn the situation around. Although he has little credibility left, many continue to support him in some vain hope that the sacrifices of our soldiers can somehow be vindicated and given meaning.

But unlike in 1973 and 1974, when political conservatives rallied around President Nixon, growing numbers of those in the conservative intelligentsia have concluded that the war was wrong to begin with and is now unwinnable. Even as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and other right-wing talk show hosts have, over the last year, loudly ratcheted up their support for the war, the number of conservative critics has been growing almost daily.

-- Bruce Bartlett is the author of “Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy.” In the 1980’s, Mr. Bartlett was the executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.

HOGWASH!


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 08:43 PM   
Filed Under: • Media-Bias •  
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Motivational Poster Of The Day

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Note: I couldn’t help it. I just loved this movie and when one of our readers here suggested I do an “Anger Management” poster, I instantly saw John Goodman and “The Dude”. The motivational thought sure as hell fits today’s modern world, don’t it?


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 07:00 PM   
Filed Under: • Motorvators •  
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Geek Stuff

Microsoft is officially launching Windows Vista upon an unsuspecting world today. The official launch site is up and running. There is even a demo page that lets you see the brand new, bright and shiny O/S in operation. Here is the bad news ... the official price list ....

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Full versions

• Windows Vista Home Basic: $199
• Windows Vista Home Premium: $239
• Windows Vista Business: $299
• Windows Vista Ultimate: $399

Upgrade versions

• Windows Vista Home Basic Upgrade: $99
• Windows Vista Home Premium Upgrade: $159
• Windows Vista Business Upgrade: $199
• Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade: $259

As I told you yesterday, I’ve been running Vista for some months now and I’m here today to offer you a few tips if you want to jump on the latest and greatest from The Borg Empire at Redmond.

Hardware: pitch your old PC in the trash. It won’t run Vista worth a damn. In spite of Microsoft’s recommendations, here is what I think you need: (1) a 2GHz or higher processor, (2) 2GB of RAM, (3) 500GB hard drive, (4) DVD-RW drive, (5) high-end 5.1 channel audio card (Audigy or better) and speakers, (6) SLI-capable PCI Express video card. That last is the most important. And this is what I consider the bare minimum.

I built a machine from scratch to take advantage of all of Vista’s features. Here are the specs: (1) AMD Athlon dual-core 64-bit 4600+ CPU, (2) 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 128-bit RAM (3) 2 Terabytes of SATA-2 hard drives, (4) Sony DRU830A DVD-RW drive, (5) RealTek high definition 7.1 channel audio card with Altec Lansing surround speakers, (6) EVGA GeForce 7950 GX2 PCI Express, video card with 1GB video RAM. The video card is the most expensive component, ringing up a $450 price tag. It works well with the Planar 21” LCD monitor.

Total cost of the above “monster” system: $1390.00. That includes Mini-ATX Shuttle case and 600 watt power supply.

64-bit or 32-bit If you’re going to go, go whole hog. I remember the mid-1990’s when we were all switching over from 16-bit O/S (Windows 3.0) to hybrid 16/32-bit O/S (Windows 95) to full 32-bit O/S (Windows XP). Now the time has come again to raise the bar. I’ve had a 64-bit O/S on my Linux server here for some time. Red Hat Enterprise Server 4.0 64-bit version. Slick and smooth. Works like a champ.

I wish I could say the same for 64-bit Vista. You guessed it - no 64-bit drivers yet. A trickle of drivers from the larger manufacturers has slowly allowed me to get almost everything working in 64-bit Vista that I had working in 32-bit Windows XP. Almost. I’m still waiting on Canon for my scanner and HP for my printers. It will be the end of this year or early next year before all vendors catch up but I wouldn’t waste money on a 32-bit system at this point. It will be obsolete in two years. Trust me.

Anti-Virus: By now you all know Microsoft is pushing their Windows Defender as the AV tool for Vista and they have tried to shut out McAfee, Symantec and others. Lawsuits stopped that but the other vendors are way behind. I found a really good anti-virus tool called Avast! from Alwil software. They have a free “Home Edition” and a relatively inexpensive professional edition ($39.95 annual subscription). It works with both 32-bit and 64-bit Vista and works quite well.

Vista Aero Interface: The coolest thing about Vista is the new Aero display interface. Transparent window frames and 3-D windows is only the start. It just is very pleasing to the eye. The problem is that a lot of older programs use their own color scheme and this blows Aero out. When you start one of these older programs, the screen flashes, goes dark and a warning message pops up to tell you that Aero has been disabled because your old program sucks.

Most vendors are already rushing to fix this incompatibility. The programs work fine but you lose the cool display while they are running. One major Aero killer is java. Any app that uses java will kill Aero - unless you go grab Sun’s just-released Java 6 SE JVM. Remove all older versions, install it and all your programs (including Firefox) work with Aero.

That’s all for now. I’ll have more tips in the weeks and months ahead. If you have any questions about Vista, drop me an e-mail and I’ll post the answer here. Before I leave you with this though, I better tell you that on the day of the official launch Windows Update dropped no less than TWELVE (12) KB (Knowledge Base) patches on my system. I heard the machine churning all last night. I finally had to turn audio off to get some sleep. That bodes ill. You might be best advised to wait until this Fall before even thinking of upgrading. By then SP1 (Service Pack 1) will be out and most of the major bugs will be fixed.

Or you can go buy a Linux or Macintosh box and laugh at your friends fighting Vista ... LOL


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 05:02 PM   
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FUBAR

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Bruce Plante - Chattanooga Times Free Press


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 07:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsIraqMilitary •  
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WTF?

110th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 387

To prohibit the sale by the Department of Defense of parts for F-14 fighter aircraft

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 25, 2007

Mr. WYDEN introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Armed Services
To prohibit the sale by the Department of Defense of parts for F-14 fighter aircraft .

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ‘Stop Arming Iran Act’.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION ON SALE BY DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE OF PARTS FOR F-14 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT

(a) Findings- Congress makes the following findings:

   (1) The Department of Defense is responsible for demilitarizing and auctioning off sensitive surplus United States military equipment.

   (2) F-14 `Tomcat’ fighter aircraft have recently been retired, and their parts are being made available by auction in large quantities.

   (3) Iran is the only country, besides the United States, flying F-14 fighter aircraft and is purchasing surplus parts for such aircraft from brokers.

   (4) The Government Accountability Office has, as a result of undercover investigative work, declared the acquisition of the surplus United States military equipment, including parts for F-14 fighter aircraft , to be disturbingly effortless.

   (5) Upon the seizure of such sensitive surplus military equipment being sold to Iran, United States customs agents have discovered these same items, having been resold by the Department of Defense, being brokered illegally to Iran again.

   (6) Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, and the Department of State has identified Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism.

   (7) Iran continues to provide funding, safe haven, training, and weapons to known terrorist groups, including Hizballah, HAMAS, the Palestine Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

   (8) The sale of spare parts for F-14 fighter aircraft could make it more difficult to confront the nuclear weapons capability of Iran and would strengthen the ground war capability of Iran. To prevent these threats to regional and global security, the sale of spare parts for F-14 fighter aircraft should be prohibited.

(b) Prohibition on Sale by Department of Defense-

   (1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in paragraph (2), the Department of Defense may not sell (whether directly or indirectly) any parts for F-14 fighter aircraft , whether through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service or through another agency or element of the Department.

   (2) EXCEPTION- Paragraph (1) shall not apply with respect to the sale of parts for F-14 fighter aircraft to a museum or similar organization located in the United States that is involved in the preservation of F-14 fighter aircraft for historical purposes.

(c) Prohibition on Export License- No license for the export of parts for F-14 fighter aircraft to a non-United States person or entity may be issued by the United States Government.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/30/2007 at 07:38 AM   
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DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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