Webster

The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Another Attempt on an El Al Airliner

 I get reports of incidents of Commercial Aircraft incidents and accidents from 3rd party sources, I believe English from the spelling and the sentence structure.   But this one raised eyebrows.  I betcha the Iranians are behind this one hoping the snare a airliner full of Israeli's, can you imagine the propaganda value, but of course it wouldn't be the Iranians, it would be the "rebels" in Somalia or the Houthi's with their "QUD's" advisors.  They would use them to try to get Bebi to back off the Gaza operation, especially since most of the hostages they seized in October 7th that are still in the hands of Hamas are most likely dead and Israel is after vengeance, and a whole new set of hostages would change the dynamics.  This is why most of the western based airlines are avoiding the area because of crap like this, and the American carriers won't go anywhere near this area.


Photo of El Al 4X-EDJ, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

El Al 4X-EDJ, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Photo credit: tagsplanepics-lhr / Flickr / License: CC by-sa)

Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 17, 2024

Classification
Incident

Airline
El Al

Flight number
LY-88

Departure
Phuket, Thailand

Destination
Tel Aviv, Israel

Aircraft Registration
4X-EDJ

Aircraft Type
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

ICAO Type Designator
B789

An El Al Boeing 787-9, registration 4X-EDJ performing flight LY-88 from Phuket (Thailand) to Tel Aviv (Israel), was enroute at FL400 over Somalia when the crew received instructions via ATC frequency that were in conflict with the flight plan. The crew ignored the instructions, switched to a different communication method and continued to Tel Aviv for a safe landing about 3.5 hours later.

The airline reported a "hostile elements" attempted to take over communication with the aircraft on Saturday (Feb 17th) night and divert it from its destination. This had been the second such incident in the area. Crews have been informed about frequent communication interruptions in that area and frequency and have received instructions of how to handle the flight professionally when this happens.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

"Our Dysfunctional Overclass"

 I saw this article and the information did and didn't surprise me, It talked about our "Cloud People" and what they believed and what they would like to do to us "dirt People" you know the "Hoi Pelloi".  We are down in the Gunshine State visiting my brother and Sis in law in the panhandle near Destin.



What does America's overclass think of the rest of us? The short answer is "not much." They think ordinary people's splurging on natural resources is destroying the planet and needs to be cut back forcefully. And that the government needs to stamp down on ordinary people enjoying luxuries that, in their view, should be reserved for the top elites.

These are the implications of the results of two surveys of elite people conducted by pollster Scott Rasmussen by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, an organization that supports low tax rates and low government spending. The surveys covered not large swaths of the population but were confined to the top 1% of society.

One survey, the Elite, included only respondents with postgraduate degrees, household incomes above $150,000 and residents in a ZIP code with more than 10,000 people per square mile. Another, Ivy League graduates, included adults who attended Ivy League or other selective private colleges such as Chicago, Duke, Northwestern or Stanford.

You probably won't be surprised that the large majority of this Elite feels economically well off. Nor, if you've kept up with recent changes in party identification, will you be much surprised that 73% of these elites identify as Democrats and only 14% as Republicans.

What is surprising is the extent to which this American overclass would deprive its fellow citizens of things they have taken for granted. Half of these groups, 47% of Elites and 55% of Ivies, say the United States provides people with "too much individual freedom."

More than three-quarters favor, "to fight climate change, the strict rationing of energy, gas, and meat," a proposition rejected by 63% of the public. Again, "to fight climate change," between half and two-thirds favor bans on gas stoves (a recent target despite demurrals of Biden bureaucrats and New York state Democrats), gasoline-powered cars (heavily disfavored by Biden Democrats and California rules) and SUVs, "private" air conditioning and "nonessential air travel."

The ascetic economist Thorstein Veblen, in his 1899 book "The Theory of the Leisure Class," argued that the rich engaged in "conspicuous consumption" activities such as golf, polo and art collecting, for which ordinary people had neither the time nor the money.

A century and a quarter later, America has rich people hoping to deprive ordinary people of "conspicuous consumption" activities they can afford and where they clutter up the airports, interstate highways and high-end malls.

For generations, Democrats have liked to portray themselves as the tribune of the little man, the defender of policies that enable ordinary people without special advantages, or with many disadvantages, to live comfortably, securely and in dignity. There may be some condescension in this posture, but also a considerable element of respect

This survey shows that today, this 1% of the public, which includes virtually all elective and appointive Democrats in Washington and states like California, New York and New Jersey, tends to see the bulk of its fellow citizens as selfish and destructive, in need not just of discipline but deserving of harsh restrictions on their freedoms.

This attitude is echoed by the wider group of Democratic voters. A 2023 Pew Research survey shows that while 31% of Republicans, even with their party out of power, think America "stands above all other countries in the world," only 9% of Democrats do so.

It's an unstable and dangerous situation when a largely one-party elite looks, with fear and loathing, across what Rasmussen describes as a "Grand Canyon gap" between it and its multiparty fellow citizens. It's reminiscent somehow of the "let them eat cake" French royalists in 1789 or Russian nobles in 1917. An overclass this disconnected and contemptuous risks disruption.

A better approach comes from an undoubted member of America's elite, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Speaking to CNBC at Davos last month, Dimon recounted a bus trip to Spokane and Boise and Bozeman: "People are growing. They're hungry to grow. They're innovating. It's everywhere. It's not just Silicon Valley."

Perhaps aware the Mountain West votes Republican, Dimon, who calls himself a centrist Democrat, conceded that former President Donald Trump "wasn't wrong about some of the critical issues" and was "kind of right" about NATO and immigration and "grew the economy quite well."

Of elite Democrats' contempt for Trump supporters, he had less to say. "The Democrats have done a good job with the deplorables, hugging their Bibles and their beer and their guns. I mean, really? Can we stop that stuff and actually grow up and treat other people respectfully and listen to them a little bit?"

It's a question other members of our dysfunctional overclass might ask themselves.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. His new book, "Mental Maps of the Founders: How Geographic Imagination Guided America's Revolutionary Leaders," is now available.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

10 of the largest Military Tanks in History.

 I ran across this in Slash Gear,  I'm still trying to find the information for my other post I am trying to work on....I didn't realize how many articles I had on President Trump....



Challenger II tank ready to fire© Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

By their very nature, tanks are heavy. After all, they are armored vehicles that often have inches of hardened armor to protect those inside and huge main guns that are capable of destroying other tanks (or almost anything else in their way). Since their introduction a century ago, tanks have played an essential role in warfare, and their designs are often a compromise between firepower and armor against maneuverability and mobility.

That means that many tanks are not only very expensive to build but also incredibly heavy, especially if the aim for the tank isn't for it to move around at high speed. With so much hardware to fit into the vehicles, ranging from massive engines to fire control systems and ammunition, even modern tanks can weigh several dozen tons. Here, we are going to look at the heaviest tanks ever built, all the way from the First World War to the modern era.

For this article, we've listed all tank weights in metric tons, which is equivalent to 1000 kilograms or 2204 pounds. This is to avoid confusion with short and long tons that are often used. We've also limited our scope to tanks that had units or working prototypes built, although they may not necessarily have entered active service.

Read more: 11 Of The Oldest Locomotives Still In Service Today

K2 Black Panther — 55 Tons

K2 Black Panther driving on street© Bloomberg/Getty Images

The K2 Black Panther is a recent addition to the world of main battle tanks. Built for the South Korean military, it only entered service in 2014 after some 10 years of development. Due to the threat posed by North Korea and its allies, the tank is designed to be highly mobile so that it can strike hard and fast. This has made it attractive to other nations, with Turkey and Romania showing interest in the design.

Like many modern main battle tanks, the K2 Black Panther comes equipped with a 120-millimeter L/55 smoothbore gun. Its Tognum MT 833 diesel engine allows it to reach top speeds of up to 42 miles per hour on smooth terrain. Thanks to its advanced fire control system, which allows it to target and fire on enemy units that are up to six miles away, and its smart network features for sharing information, the tank is among the most expensive on the planet with an estimated price of $8.5 million.

In many ways, the K2 Black Panther is very similar to the M1 Abrams. This is perhaps due to the close relationship South Korea shares with the United States. However, the K2 is significantly lighter than its counterparts, despite featuring modular composite and Explosive Reactive Armor, and weighs just 55 tons.

M103 Heavy Tank — 62 Tons

M103 heavy tank© Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

While the most famous tank to serve in the U.S. military is undoubtedly the M1 Abrams, American forces had another workhorse that predated it by almost two decades. The M103 is a heavy tank, a classification of vehicle that includes tanks that were produced during World War I and continued to be used through the Cold War. These tanks became popular in the Second World War because their increased firepower made them a bigger threat on the battlefield, while the heavier, thickened steel armor protected them from most forms of attack.

However, they eventually fell out of favor when advances in technology meant that medium tanks could have similar levels of protection and firepower in a far more maneuverable form. That's the fate of the M103, which was ultimately replaced by the superior M1 Abrams. That didn't stop it from being an effective tool while it was in operation, though, and around 300 of them were produced between 1957 and 1974. Manufactured by Chrysler, the tank had a total weight of 62 tons and was both longer and wider than the M1 Abrams.

Much of that weight came from the impressive 120mm M58 main gun and up to five inches of steel armor at the forward position. The M103 also came equipped with an M89 turret for close-quarters combat but was limited by its top speed of just 21 miles per hour and its range of less than 100 miles. As it never saw active combat, it is not possible to know exactly how effective this tank was, yet there's no denying it was one of the heaviest ever built.

Leopard 2 — 64.5 To 67 Tons

Leopard 2 on mud© Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images

Among the most expensive and widely used main battle tanks in the world, the Leopard 2 is a German-made tank that was first introduced in 1979 and has since gone on to become the backbone of more than a dozen nations' military forces. A third-generation tank, it is Germany's equivalent of the Challenger II and M1 Abrams, and has seen more than 3,600 units produced over the last 40 years. The Leopard 2's versatility, maneuverability, and advanced technology makes it a standout tank, with the most recent models costing in the region of $30 million each.

Standard Leopard 2 tanks feature a 120mm main cannon, two 7.62mm machine guns, and a 1,500-horsepower engine that allows the tank to reach a top speed of 42 miles per hour. In terms of armor, the German tank boasts modular armor that includes hardened steel, tungsten, and titanium to ensure it can withstand direct hits. The current Leopard 2A7V model has a weight of around 64.5 tons. However, the sheer number of different models means that there is a wide range of weights for each variant of the Leopard 2. For example, the upcoming Leopard 2A8 will have an operation weight of between 65 and 67 tons.

Tiger II — 68 Tons

Abandoned Tiger II tank© Allan Jackson/Getty Images

Going by many names, the Tiger II is a German heavy tank that was designed in 1943 and entered active service the following year. Less than 500 were created, despite an order of more than 1,500 from Germany's high command, due to British RAF bombing campaigns that severely damaged facilities responsible for manufacturing the tank. A successor to the Tiger I, this new tank was more mobile than its predecessor and also included a number of notable improvements, including more effective sloping armor and a more powerful engine.

The need for a heavier and better-protected tank led to the Tiger II weighing significantly more than the Tiger I, with a mass of 68 tons. Much of that weight was due to the newly produced 88mm KwK 43 main gun (which gave the tank a maximum firing range of around 6 miles and allowed it to effectively take down opposing tanks) and six-inch thick armor to defend it from incoming attack.

The Tiger II played an important role at the Normandy landings and was arguably the most deadly tank that was in active operation at that stage of the war. Manned by a crew of five individuals, the Tiger II had a top speed of just under 26 miles per hour and could travel cross-country at more than 12 miles per hour.

M1 Abrams — 71.2 Tons

M1 Abrams in Australia© Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Wherever the U.S. Army has fought over the last four decades, the M1 Abrams has steadfastly provided armored support. The main battle tank has proven to be an incredible success story; there have been approximately 10,000 produced since they were first introduced in 1980. Named after General Creighton W. Abrams, the tank has gone through dozens of revisions over the years, with the M1A2 SEP Abrams being the most recent version.

Costing over $10 million per unit, the M1 Abrams is not only one of the heaviest tanks ever created but also among the most expensive. The most widely used tank across the globe, it has seen action in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen, and is used by the militaries of such countries as Australia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

The tank now comes fitted with a 120 mm L/44 M256 smoothbore gun (but has previously been equipped with a 105 mm L/52 M68A1 rifled gun), has a 1,500-horsepower engine, and can reach a top speed of 42 miles per hour. The M1A2 SEP also features graphite-coated armor and the Trophy active protection system, adding further defensive capabilities. This variant weighs a total of 71.2 tons, up from the 60-ton weight of the original model.

Challenger 2 — 75 Tons

A Challenger II tank© Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Challenger 2 has become one of the most reliable and versatile main battle tanks of recent times. Essentially, it is the UK's answer to the M1 Abrams and the Leopard 2, and it first entered service in 1994. Since then, it has become the mainstay of the British Army and it is also used by the Oman military and Ukraine in its defensive efforts against Russia. The innovative Dorchester 2 armor provides it with plenty of protection against anti-tank weaponry, while the powerful 120mm L30 rifled gun gives the tank its main form of attack. There's also two 7.62mm chain guns to provide close protection from infantry attack.

Costing around $5 million to produce, the Challenger 2 is capable of reaching top speeds of 37 miles per hour and requires a crew of four to operate it. Around 400 of them have been built since 1998, and it is an incredibly successful vehicle. It was only in 2023 that a Challenger 2 tank was destroyed by enemy forces, with previous losses coming only due to friendly fire. Typically, the Challenger 2 only weighs around 64 tons; still a heavy vehicle but not quite as massive as other tanks. However, the tank can be outfitted with a number of optional armor modules to provide extra protection, and some of these can take the overall mass to 75 tons.

Char 2C — 69 To 77 Tons

A Char 2C crossing river© Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Many of the heaviest tanks come from the era of the First and Second World Wars. This was a time when tanks first entered service, and designers were constantly looking to improve them to make them more effective machines of war. Yet, the technology of the day often meant that these tanks were limited in terms of their mobility and weight, especially when they were intended to be heavily fortified and use incredibly powerful weapons. That was certainly the case with the French-made Char 2C, a super-heavy tank that was created with the intention of being larger and heavier than any other tank of the era.

Design for the Char 2C began during the First World War but wouldn't be completed until 1921 when it first entered service. However, the vehicle saw little action and they were intentionally destroyed when Nazi Germany invaded France during the Second World War to prevent them from being captured and used against the French. Just 10 of these behemoths were put into service and they were mainly seen as a propaganda effort to keep the French population content after the success of British and German tanks during the First World War.

While other tanks have been heavier than the Char 2C, it is considered to be the heaviest of those that were in operation and were not mere prototypes. While there is some debate over their exact weight, estimates suggest that it is anywhere between 69 tons and 77 tons. That makes sense considering the huge size of the Char 2C, which was more than 33 feet long and required a crew of 12 to run.

Tortoise Heavy Assault Tank — 79 Tons

Tortoise heavy assault tank© Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

World War II posed many challenges for the Allied forces. Germany had built up extensive fortifications during the war and in the run-up to the start of the conflict, with the Atlantic Wall and Siegfried Line being two of the most famous examples. Even the most powerful tanks and gun platforms would pose little threat to these heavily fortified positions as they often included devastating weapons, bunkers, and strong barriers. With an invasion of Europe from the UK necessary to defeat German forces, plans were put in place to create tanks that would be able to destroy such fortifications and allow Allied troops to break through.

The Tortoise heavy assault tank was the result of these plans, although production only began near the end of the Second World War and they never had the chance to enter active service. With the war concluded and hostilities over, in addition to newer designs being commissioned for future tanks, the Tortoise heavy assault tank was shelved after just six of them had been fully constructed.

The purpose of the tank, though, meant that those that were created were incredibly heavy and large. To withstand enemy fire from fortified positions, the Tortoise heavy assault tank had armor that was up to nine inches thick. It came equipped with an Ordnance QF 32-pounder 94mm gun capable of easily penetrating German tanks, along with several machine gun turrets. At 79 tons, the tank was only able to travel at a top speed of 12 miles per hour.

T28 Super Heavy Tank — 95 Tons

T28 Super Heavy Tank on display© Schierbecker/Wikipedia

With many nations constructing super-heavy tanks during both World Wars, including the French Char 2C and the British Tortoise heavy assault tank, it became necessary for the U.S. to develop its own model to ensure it wouldn't be left behind. The T28 Super Heavy Tank was designed for much the same purpose as the Tortoise heavy assault tank: to break through fortified positions such as the Siegfried Line. To do so, it needed to be both heavily armed and armored.

Crewed by a team of four, the T28 was over 36 feet long and almost 15 feet wide, with a top speed of eight miles per hour. The first designs for the vehicle came in 1944, with production starting in 1945. Like its British counterpart, by the time the first two models were completed, the need for these super heavy assault tanks had gone, as Allied troops had successfully invaded Europe and reached Germany. Production was quickly canceled in favor of more conventional tank designs.

With armor that reached a maximum thickness of up to 12 inches and a 105mm T5E1 gun that had a muzzle velocity of 3,500 feet per second, the T28 was the largest tank the U.S. Army had ever constructed at the time and weighed a staggering 95 tons. This massive weight was one of the reasons that the T28 project was ultimately shelved, as it made it impractical to transport.

[Featured image by Schierbecker via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 4.0]

Panzer VIII Maus — 188 Tons

Panzer VIII Maus on display© Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Of all the tanks that have ever actually been built, the Panzer VIII Maus is easily the largest and heaviest. In fact, it is almost twice as heavy as the next contender and dwarfs almost every other tank that was ever constructed. Development on the project began in 1941, with Hitler determined to field a tank that was bigger and more powerful than any of those wielded by Allied forces. The end result of this was the Panzer VIII Maus, which was put into production in 1944.

Unfortunately for Hitler, he never got to see the Panzer VIII Maus in action. Only two models of the tank were ever completed and, of those, only one had a functioning gun turret fitted. The vehicle was involved in testing when Allied and Soviet troops were nearing Germany. In fact, Soviet forces captured the only two versions of the Panzer VIII Maus that had been built just three weeks before Germany surrendered.

Unlike most guns on tanks, this vehicle sported a 128mm KwK 44 gun L/55. This was effectively an anti-tank artillery armament that was incredibly heavy on its own and was able to destroy any opposing armored vehicle of the time. Throw in the thick armor -- which measured between six and nine inches -- and the massive engine needed to power the tank, and it quickly becomes clear why the Panzer VIII Maus was so heavy at 188 tons.

Read the original article on SlashGear.