Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t merely horrific, war-ending events. They were lifesaving.
Bret Stephens writes: The headline of this column is lifted from a 1981 essay by the late Paul Fussell, the cultural critic and war memoirist. In 1945 Fussell was a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the U.S. Army who had fought his way through Europe only to learn that he would soon be shipped to the Pacific to take part in Operation Downfall, the invasion of the Japanese home islands scheduled to begin in November 1945.
Then the atom bomb intervened. Japan would not surrender after Hiroshima, but it did after Nagasaki.
I brought Fussell’s essay with me on my flight to Hiroshima and was stopped by this: “When we learned to our astonishment that we would not be obliged in a few months to rush up the beaches near Tokyo assault-firing while being machine-gunned, mortared, and shelled, for all the practiced phlegm of our tough facades we broke down and cried with relief and joy. We were going to live.”
“Would the Japanese have been awed into capitulation by an offshore A-bomb test? Did the Soviet Union’s invasion of Manchuria, starting the day of the Nagasaki bombing, have the more decisive effect in pushing Japan to give up? Would casualties from an invasion really have exceeded the overall toll—by some estimates approaching 250,000—of the two bombs? We’ll never know.”
In all the cant that will pour forth this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the dropping of the bombs—that the U.S. owes the victims of the bombings an apology; that nuclear weapons ought to be abolished; that Hiroshima is a monument to man’s inhumanity to man; that Japan could have been defeated in a slightly nicer way—I doubt much will be made of Fussell’s fundamental point: Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t just terrible war-ending events. They were also lifesaving. The bomb turned the empire of the sun into a nation of peace activists.
“We only know that the U.S. lost 14,000 men merely to take Okinawa in 82 days of fighting. We only know that, because Japan surrendered, the order to execute thousands of POWs in the event of an invasion of the home islands was never implemented. We only know that, in the last weeks of a war Japan had supposedly already lost, the Allies were sustaining casualties at a rate of 7,000 a week.”
I spent the better part of Monday afternoon with one such activist, Keiko Ogura,who runs a group called Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace. Mrs. Ogura had just turned eight when the bomb fell on Hiroshima, the epicenter less than 2 miles from her family home. She remembers wind “like a tornado”; thousands of pieces of shattered glass blasted by wind into the walls and beams of her house, looking oddly “shining and beautiful”; an oily black rain.
And then came the refugees from the city center, appallingly burned and mutilated, “like a line of ghosts,” begging for water and then dying the moment they drank it. Everyone in Mrs. Ogura’s immediate family survived the bombing, but it would be years before any of them could talk about it. Read the rest of this entry »
“In Texas, we cook bacon a little differently than most folks.”
Cruz is seen wrapping bacon around the barrel of a machine gun prior to firing away at a shooting range. The video was released Monday by the Independent Journal Review.
“There’s grease comin’ down…Mm… machine gun bacon!”
Man airlifted to a nearby hospital, jaw wired shut
DALLAS (Reuters) – Lisa Maria Garza reports: An East Texas man was wounded after he fired a gun at an armadillo in his yard and the bullet ricocheted back to hit him in his face, the county sheriff said on Friday.
Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe said the man, who was not identified, went outside his home in Marietta, southwest of Texarkana, at around 3 a.m. on Thursday morning. He spotted the armadillo on his property and opened fire.
“We didn’t find the armadillo.”
— Cass County Sheriff Larry Rowe
“His wife was in the house. He went outside and took his .38 revolver and shot three times at the armadillo,” Rowe said.
The animal’s hard shell deflected at least one of three bullets, which then struck the man’s jaw, he said. Read the rest of this entry »
In this News Minute from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, Jennifer Zahrn addresses the false claim that 40 percent of gun sales do not go through background checks.
‘If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.’
Cyrus Farivar reports: The way William Merideth sees it, it’s pretty clear-cut: a drone flying over his backyard was a well-defined invasion of privacy, analogous to a physical trespassing.
“Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?”
Not knowing who owned it, the Kentucky man took out his shotgun and fired three blasts of Number 8 birdshot to take the drone out.
“It was just right there. It was hovering, I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down at my girl’s room, and came with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work. I know they’re neat little vehicles, but one of those uses shouldn’t be flying into people’s yard and videotaping.”
“It was just right there,” he told Ars. “It was hovering, I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down at my girl’s room, and came with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work. I know they’re neat little vehicles, but one of those uses shouldn’t be flying into people’s yard and videotaping.”
“We have a lawyer and there’s a court date and then there’s going to be a hearing. It’s not going to stop with the two charges against me, which I’m confident that we’ll get reduced or get dismissed completely.”
Minutes later, a car full of four men that he didn’t recognize rolled up, “looking for a fight.”
“Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?” one said, according to Merideth.
“The people that own the drones and the people that hate guns are the only ones that disagree with what I did.”
His terse reply to the men, while wearing a 10mm Glock holstered on his hip: “If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.”
The men backed down, retreated to their car, and waited for the police to arrive.
“Now, if I’d have had a .22 rifle, I should have gone to jail for that. The diameter of those things are going to come down with enough force to hurt somebody. Number 8 birdshot is not. Number 8 is the size of a pinhead.”
“His only comment was that he hoped I had a big checkbook because his drone cost $1,800,” Merideth added.
“The bottom line is that it’s a right to privacy issue and defending my property issue. It would have been no different had he been standing in my backyard. As Americans, we have a right to defend our rights and property.”
The Kentuckian was arrested Sunday evening in Hillview, Kentucky, just south of Louisville and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. He was released the following day. The Hillview Police Department did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment. Read the rest of this entry »
Stephen Coyle was flying his DJI Phantom 3 drone near a Letterkenny, Ireland, school when he spotted a few kids running on the roof and seemingly up to no good. In a video posted to YouTube, Coyle writes that the kids spotted the drone and mistakenly assume it was after them, causing a comedy of errors that led the kids to where he was piloting the drone….(read more)
Richard Whittle writes: Sweat the small stuff.
That’s the unofficial motto for this year’s edition of the military exercise Black Dart, a two-week test of tactics and technologies to combat hostile drones that begins Monday on the Point Mugu range at Naval Base Ventura County in California.
The military categorizes Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by size and capability, from Group 5 drones that weigh more than 1,320 pounds and can fly above 18,000 feet like the Reaper, down to Group 1, mini- and micro-drones less than 20 pounds that fly lower than 1,200 feet. Previous Black Darts have covered threats to troops overseas and targets at home posed by drones of all sizes.
But small drones are this year’s focus, said the director of this 14th edition of Black Dart, Air Force Maj. Scott Gregg, because of worrisome incidents since the last exercise.
Gregg cited the quadcopter that a drunk crashed onto the White House lawn in the wee hours of Jan. 26 and sightings of unidentified small drones flying over nuclear reactors in France. In the wake of those events, he said, “Even though we’ve been looking at [the small drone threat], it’s taken on a new sense of urgency.”
Gregg also could have mentioned how, to protest government surveillance, the Pirate Party of Germany flew a small drone right up to the podium as Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in Dresden two years ago. Or how in Japan last April, a nuclear-energy foe landed a drone carrying radioactive sand on the roof of the prime minister’s residence. And there was a report last week that British officials are worried ISIS may try to bomb festival crowds using small drones.
The United States enjoyed a near-monopoly on armed drones for much of the past 15 years, but with more than 80 countries now buying or building drones of their own, and with terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and ISIS known to have used unarmed drones in the Middle East, that advantage has evaporated.
Few countries and no terrorist groups are likely to emulate the complex and costly US system of undersea fiber-optic cables and satellite earth terminals in Europe that allows crews in the United States to fly drones carrying missiles and bombs over Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
But anyone can buy a Group 1 drone for a couple of hundred dollars and put it to nefarious use. Arm it with plastic explosives, radioactive material, biological or chemical agents, and it can be crashed, kamikaze-style, into a target.
“I’d say for the Department of Homeland Security, it’s one of the biggest concerns,” Gregg said.
The threat isn’t imaginary. Former Northeastern University student Rezwan Ferdaus is now serving 17 years in prison for plotting to pack C-4 plastic explosives into 1/10 scale radio controlled models of F-4 and F-86 fighter jets and fly them into the Capitol and Pentagon. Ferdaus also supplied cellphone detonators for IEDs to people he thought were agents of al Qaeda but turned out to be working for the FBI….(read more)
This year the surrogate threats will include three Group 1 drones — a Hawkeye 400 hexacopter, a Flanker and a Scout II — and one Twin Hawk drone from the Group 2 category (21 to 55 lbs., slower than 250 knots, lower than 3,500 feet). Six Group 3 drones, all of them 13.5-foot wingspan Outlaw G2s made by Griffon Aerospace, also will be targets. Read the rest of this entry »
The number of pistols made has nearly tripled during the Obama administration, which could reflect more people turning to firearms for personal protection.
Tim Devaney writes: Gun production has more than doubled over the course of the Obama administration, according to a new report from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award. People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”
— Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America
The manufacturing boom has come in the face of the president’s push to expand background checks and place new restrictions on guns in the wake of high-profile shootings like the recent mass-killing in Charleston, S.C., and the 2012 massacre at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Pistols are the most popular type of gun, accounting for 4.4 million of the firearms made in 2013, according to the report. Meanwhile, gun manufacturers produced 3.9 million rifles and 1.2 million shotguns.
The numbers paint a picture of gun owners who are concerned about new restrictions on their Second Amendment rights, activists say.
“President Obama has been relentless in his attacks on the Second Amendment, and it’s not shocking people are frightened and want to protect themselves. He’ll stop at nothing to strip people of their constitutional rights to self-protection.”
— National Rifle Association spokeswoman Jennifer Baker
“The ATF report confirms what we already know, that Barack Obama deserves the ‘Gun Salesman of the Decade’ award,” said Erich Pratt, spokesman for the Gun Owners of America. “People have been rushing to buy firearms because they’re afraid that Obama will take away their Second Amendment rights.”
“President Obama has made it very clear he wants to strip away our gun rights, so people are going out and purchasing more firearms and ammunition.”
— Joe Neville, director of political affairs at the National Association for Gun Rights
The ATF’s annual firearms commerce report tracks the number of guns manufactured in the United State, which provides an indication of gun sales around the country.
“The gun lobby seizes on those fears and uses scare tactics and doomsday rhetoric in order to sell more guns.”
— Mark Prentice, spokesman for Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun safety group run by former congresswoman Gabby Giffords
The number of guns manufactured increased by 18 percent during the George W. Bush administration, while the Clinton administration actually saw a 9 percent reduction. Read the rest of this entry »
‘It’s the only amendment that’s obscurely written’. People should be allowed have guns if they ‘participate in a militia’, only.
Awr Hawkins writes: In a July 23 interview published in the New York Observer, actor Richard Dreyfuss said he would like to rewrite the 2nd Amendment to make it clear it applies to the militia rather than individual rights.
Dreyfuss said this after being asked, “What was the Founding Fathers’ biggest mistake” and “What article of the Constitution would you rewrite?”
Read more at National Review Online
The Wand Company Unveils Upcoming Bluetooth ‘Star Trek: The Original Series’ ‘Communicator’ at Comic-Con in San DiegoPosted: July 13, 2015
The Wand Company unveiled its upcoming fully functioning Bluetooth Star Trek: The Original Series Communicator at Comic-Con in San Diego. Using the new product, Trek fans of all ages will be able to make and receive mobile telephone calls using an exact replica of the iconic communicating device that Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew famously flipped open to request Scotty’s transportation services. [more]
On Eve of Historic U.S.-Iran Nuclear Diplomatic Breakthrough Iran Demonstrates Good Faith, Honorable IntentionsPosted: July 12, 2015
Both de Caro and Russell have concealed carry licenses
A cross-country road trip got derailed for a former CNN anchor and her husband after a would-be robber forced his way into their motel room and a shootout ensued.
Lynne Russell told reporters Wednesday that her husband, Chuck de Caro, decided to stop at a Motel 6 on Albuquerque’s western edge because they were tired after a long day of traveling. When she went out to the car to get something and returned to the room, a man was at the door with a handgun.
“He pushed me into the room and that’s when my husband came out of the shower and saw what was happening,” Russell told Albuquerque station KOB-TV. “We tried to calm him, confuse him and do everything we could do to just come out of it in one piece.”
After grabbing her husband’s briefcase, the man started shooting at de Caro. Russell ducked behind the furniture and de Caro fired back, hitting the man.
The robber was killed and de Caro was wounded.
“It was a gun battle, and Chuck was bleeding heavily, but he didn’t stop firing because the man was firing on him,” Russell told The New York Post.
In a telephone interview with The Associated Press, Russell said her husband was shot three times and was recovering at a hospital but she did not immediately know his condition.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” she said. “He took three shots, including a couple to the abdomen. But magically, his organs were not affected.
“He’s my hero. He saved my life,” Russell added. Read the rest of this entry »
Rezvani Beast, as the name speaks for itself, is a high-performance supercar built by Rezvani Motors. Introduced in the year 2014, Rezvani Beast is adorned brilliantly with a lightweight carbon fiber body based on the… 350 more words