** Wagner Group is recruiting former American-trained Afghan special operations troops. Over twenty thousand of these men got out of Afghanistan when the Taliban took control of the government in mid-2021. These Afghan operators felt betrayed by the Americans and many found refuge in Iran, especially if they were Shia Muslims. Iran had long used Afghan mercenaries in Syria and, while Iran could no longer afford that, it did give the Afghan Shia operators much-appreciated sanctuary in Iran. (h/t Claudio)
** A great man is hard on himself. A small man is hard on others. – Confucius
** People ask what you do for a living so that they can decide how much respect to give to you. When asked, I tell people, “I work for a company that makes chalk.” – true story
** Smith and Wesson Model 39 – Hush Puppy
** Most buffalo don’t have wings and avoid ranch dressing.
** The Halifax Disaster (1917)
** Now the US military is concerned they may not reach the balloon wreckage before China can. The balloon was shot down 6 miles off the coast of Carolina. They can’t be serious, except that they are.
LL and Daughter
Mojave desert in winter
Ok, then… sometimes it’s good that you’re not invited.
Maybe a little ambitious…
Meme of the Day
Identify the Aircraft
Before WW2 began in the Pacific, this was intended to be used as a front-line fighter/interceptor.
Yes on the MiG 25
And the Westland
I’m guessing they don’t want to admit to incompetence by hiring a commercial salvage group to get the balloon?
Gee… do we slip every year in the SpaceX Mars plan graphic by the two years they’re behind right now? Or slip it four because of the necessity to stick with launches at the oppositions every two years?
Next launch window is in ’24. It’s looking like the first orbital Starship flight will be in ’23. Perhaps freight to Mars in ’24 and the first people in ’26?
If we can keep away from the wars.
They had every opportunity to drop The Biden Fantasy World “Da Balloon, Da balloon” over the vast Montana landscape without harming anyone with “shrapnel”…but chose to let it float around snapping pics, which may show up on TikTok.
True story- MrsPaulM had Montana in her corporate veterinary territory (giving talks to other DVM’s). One day she got a demerit type email from her manager and his boss demanding to know why she couldn’t see more clinics or do one talk a day ”to meet the metric quota?” Her response, “Unless you charter me a plane o helicopter you will see that each one is anywhere from 150-300 miles between” – drew disbelief. She told them to look at a map, pointing out that not every state in the USA is like suburban Jersey. There are people with the same lousy geographic knowledge as Buttigegeggg who believes EV Charging stations can easily be installed every 50 miles out West.
Musk- Might as well aim high, so to speak.
Maybe if she had a Ducati Diavel?
Don’t give her any ideas.
The Ducati would change her life for the better.
Nope, not telling her. (Heh) She had a ‘75 Full Dresser Harley pre-PaulM because she could toe touch when at a light. Rode it long miles on trips. Got rid of it when someone pulled out in front of her and she laid it down, luckily the full leathers saved her skin.
Told ya I married up. The stories between you guys and her around a campfire would be worth everything.
Identify the Aircraft:
1. Concur with Old Surfer
2. CAC Wirraway
3. Concur with Old Surfer
Yes, a Wirraway.
1. “I work for a company that makes chalk.”
chalk definition – A platoon-sized group of airborne soldiers.
2.”Wagner Group is recruiting former American-trained Afghan special operations troops”
betcha $ to donuts I know where you’ll find more than a few of them shortly
and the Israelis will not be happy
“Closed for private event?” Pete Buttplug must have been passing through. Just saying.
I paint houses.
As for the balloon: Incompetence or Treason?
Re the balloon, there isn’t any ‘package’ left. The AIM-9 hit it and destroyed it… P-8 and Coast Guard flew 8 hours last night searching, and picked up this morning. What little is left is on the bottom.
They could have used a gun on it over land and it would slowly. have descended. Just saying.
Yep. 60,000′ is a cake walk these days. Would have made an excellent high-altitude gunnery exercise.
The last time somebody (Canada, the Brits, and USAF) tried to shoot down a (Canadian) weather balloon with 20mm, it did come down slowly… in Finland, after first being engaged over Canada.
I’m pretty impressed with the AIM-9X seeker, actually.
It’s hilarious how Porridge Joe managed to turn a nothingburger of a story into a total fuckup.
I am shocked, simply shocked to find gambling in Rick’s casino.
But again, the Chinese are pikers. If they had their act together they’d have some guy called, oh maybe Paul Lahng-o-witz installed as Deputy Sec Def and Chinese nationals could come and go from his office as they pleased, without even showing ID much less signing in. That’s what people with real power would do. But no, the feckless Chicoms have to screw around with balloons. Losers.
Being both cynical and paranoid,I wonder what are we being distracted from seeing with all this focus on balloons?
I was going to say you could down one with a handgun fired from a Pilatus PC-6 Porter but the service ceiling is 28,000′.
The balloon was below 70,000′. Doesn’t the Air Force have several aircraft that can operate at that altitude? Guess not as sexy as using a $400,000 missile.
The operational ceiling for the F-15 is 50,000 ft. They can fly higher, but the pilot needs to wear a pressure suit (space suit). The U-2 flew at 70,000 ft. but the pilot wore a. pressure. suit.
The Armstrong limit is where you need the pressure suit to be full body, but you need something well below that, because somewhere around 45,000–49,000 ft the pressure drops so much that even 100% oxygen is not enough to breathe. But you can start with just a pressurized mask
The problem is, above the Armstrong limit the fluids of our body start to boil, and mainly boiling fluid lining the alveoli in the lungs would pose a problem, with death occurring in 60 – 90 seconds. So a full body pressurised suit is required above 19 km (82,000 ft), but Air Force regulations are far more conservative.
Geez. They have all the gear, and they had plenty of time to put this together. Wonder if anybody even brought it up?
Seems to me they intentionally picked the most destructive way to bring it down so there would be no telling evidence of what it was doing.
And I agree. Incompetence and treason.
I wondered that also… It seemed intended to destroy the evidence.
I am willing to say it could be incompetent orders by someone who didn’t know they could use a gun… COULD…
Saw a fun comment about the balloon & US response elsewhere: “At least our enemies can’t get inside the White House decision loop, because there isn’t any.”
I read somewhere that the F 22 was at 58,000 feet when it released the missile and the balloon was at 62K. Last time I checked the F 22s carry a very nice 20mm rotary cannon and a really good optical aiming system. I believe the only reason they used the missile instead of the gun is because they were ordered to. I guess the cockpit is fully pressurized since the pilots are saying (unclas) https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/34762/this-lecture-by-an-f-22-test-pilot-on-the-raptors-flight-control-system-is-bonkers that the plane regularly flies at 60 to 65 thousand feet and as LL pointed out the Armstrong limit comes into play.
One of the few fun and cool things about the Chinese Balloon Circus:
I’ve always like the M39 series for some reason and used to have several before I took that canoe trip. They seem to fit my hand and I shoot them well. No experience with a hush puppy though.
The S&W M39 and the M39 are the only pistols that feel better in my hand than the CZ75.
The 39 caused a flashback:
One of the guys (white with a thin bushy moustache) I worked with at Ft Sill (MPs) carried a 39 in shoulder holster when he went into Lawton to hang out in the pool halls. The clientele was exclusively black. Joel, in addition to the 39, had a S&W 2″ J frame .38 in an ankle holster, a Baby Browning in his right front pocket, a straight razor in his sock, and a blackjack in his right hip pocket. Joel weighed about a buck-twenty-five and would have drowned had he fallen in creek due the weight he carried.
I had no Idea what the attraction was for him at the pool halls, but he never had any reported problems.
His wife (very attractive) worked the late shift at a pawn shop and this when he went to the pool halls waiting for her to get off work. She was taller than he.
He drove black GTO.
He was from Tennessee where his dad was a county sheriff.
Weird guy. Kind of squirrelly. Re-upped for the $10,000 signing bonus.