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New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019

The Pentagon’s newest stealth jet, the nearly $400 billion Joint Strike Fighter, won’t be able to fire its gun during operational missions until 2019, three to four years after it becomes operational.

Even though the Joint Strike Fighter, or F-35, is supposed to join frontline U.S. Marine Corps fighter squadrons next year and Air Force units in 2016, the jet’s software does not yet have the ability to shoot its 25mm cannon. But even when the jet will be able to shoot its gun, the F-35 barely carries enough ammunition to make the weapon useful.

The JSF won’t be completely unarmed. It will still carry a pair of Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM long-range air-to-air missiles and a pair of bombs. Initially, it will be able to carry 1,000-pound satellite-guided bombs or 500-pound laser-guided weapons. But those weapons are of limited utility, especially during close-in fights.

“There will be no gun until [the Joint Strike Fighter’s Block] 3F [software], there is no software to support it now or for the next four-ish years,” said one Air Force official affiliated with the F-35 program. “Block 3F is slated for release in 2019, but who knows how much that will slip?”



Obama Drops Judicial Nominee Who Touted ‘Conservative Christian Values’

Source: ThinkProgress

In a victory for civil rights, abortion rights, and LGBT equality groups, President Obama will not re-nominate former Georgia legislator Michael Boggs to a lifetime position on the federal bench. Boggs, who was nominated last December as part of a deal with Georgia’s two Republican senators, did not receive a confirmation vote in the Senate before it adjourned.

During his time in Georgia’s House of Representatives, Boggs compiled a rather conservative voting record. Though nominally a Democrat, he campaigned on his “quality conservative Christian values,” including opposing marriage equality, opposing “homosexual Boy Scout leaders,” and supporting school prayer.

Boggs drew the opposition of civil rights legend and Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D) — as well as Rep. David Scott (D-GA), another member of the Congressional Black Caucus — for his record, including a vote to keep the Confederate battle emblem as part of the Georgia state flag.

Abortion rights advocates opposed his confirmation based on his support for granting “personhood” to fetuses, his backing of an expanded parental notification law, and his co-sponsorship of a “Choose Life” license plate that helped fund anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. In his May confirmation hearing, Boggs said he regretted a vote to post personal information about abortion providers online, despite the history of clinic violence against doctors.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/12/31/3607345/obama-drops-conservative-michael-boggs/

Whose Streets... Our Streets

A photo essay following the Dontre Hamilton protests in Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA. The march against police brutality and raising awareness of mental health in the homeless populace.

On April 30th, 2014 Dontre Hamilton an African-American male age 33 who suffered from a history of mental illness was shot and killed by a Officer of the Milwaukee Police Department. The Altercation began when a call was placed that a man was sleeping in the park. As police investigated the report they found Dontre Hamilton and began asking him questions as to his well being. A pat-down was performed which lead to an altercation between Dontre and the Police Officer responding to the call.

In the course of this altercation Dontre grabbed the officer’s baton and began attacking the officer. In response the officer unholstered his pistol and fired, striking Dontre 14 times, killing him.

the essay:


New Year's Eve Toon Roundup 3





New Year's Eve Toon Roundup 2

New Year's Eve Toon Roundup 1

Slowpoke Toon: Spot the Difference, NYPD style!

Senate panel sets hearing on Keystone XL

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on the contentious Keystone XL oil pipeline next week.

The hearing, announced Tuesday, will be the first one held by new chairwoman Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Notice of the hearing comes as Republicans are gearing up to take control of the Senate.

Before the end of the 113th Congress, incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said legislation approving the $8 billion oil sands project would be the first item brought to the floor by the GOP in January.


Given gas prices nothing is going to go through that pipe, even if built.

NRA-Backed Law Spells Out When Indianans May Open Fire on Police

Two years ago this happened:

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a state law this year that allows residents to use deadly force in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to protect themselves and others, or their property.

Every time police Sergeant Joseph Hubbard stops a speeder or serves a search warrant, he says he worries suspects assume they can open fire -- without breaking the law.

Hubbard, a 17-year veteran of the police department in Jeffersonville, Indiana, says his apprehension stems from a state law approved this year that allows residents to use deadly force in response to the “unlawful intrusion” by a “public servant” to protect themselves and others, or their property.

“If I pull over a car and I walk up to it and the guy shoots me, he’s going to say, ‘Well, he was trying to illegally enter my property,’” said Hubbard, 40, who is president of Jeffersonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 100. “Somebody is going get away with killing a cop because of this law.”

Indiana is the first U.S. state to specifically allow force against officers, according to the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys in Washington, which represents and supports prosecutors. The National Rifle Association pushed for the law, saying an unfavorable court decision made the need clear and that it would allow homeowners to defend themselves during a violent, unjustified attack. Police lobbied against it.



So when will we see Police turning their backs on Mitch, and NRA members? When does the work stoppage in Indiana begin?

Not the Onion: Monsanto Tries Patenting Natural Tomatoes


Many individuals are aware that biotech has developed a seed monopoly largely by patenting genetically modified organisms, but not everyone realizes that Monsanto tried to patent a tomato that had no biotech traits. Now, the European Patent Office (EPO), with help from an international coalition, No Patents on Seeds!, has revoked Monsanto’s fraudulent patent and claim to tomatoes that are naturally resistant to a fungal disease called botrytis.

These natural, non-GMO tomatoes, like many healthy plants, have a natural resistance to certain pests. In this case, a fungal disease, but this is not a novel phenomenon. Why Monsanto would try to claim they created it is about as believable as Syngenta or Dow saying they invented the sun.

Though plant breeders can help plants develop this natural pest resistance, much of it is innate – the same as our own immune systems. When individual plants reproduce, they pass along exceptional combinations of genes to their offspring. Varying environments (such as cold, or dry, moist or breezy) favor individuals with different physical and behavioral traits. Individual plants with genes that improve their survival will be more likely to pass along these genes compared to the rest of the population.

- See more at: http://naturalsociety.com/new-level-monsanto-tries-patenting-natural-tomatoes/
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