A gift of time


Time will stand still for one second this evening (June 30) as a "leap second" is added to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), the time standard by which most clocks are regulated. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), which keeps track of time for the world, has decided that the extra second is needed to deal with Earth's irregular but gradually slowing rotation.

What will you do with your extra second?

Long live the A-10


The long-range plans of the Air Force and the Pentagon to retire the A-10 Thunderbolt took another hit Thursday from a non-partisan government report questioning Air Force projections on the savings from mothballing the fleet.
The Air Force estimate of $4.2 billion in savings over five years was unreliable and "may overstate or -understate the actual figure," the Government Accountability Office said in a preliminary report to Congress on the decision to retire the fleet.

(And a plug: Hogs website with links to the series.)

What to do about Iran

Item in today's NY Times:

Five former members of president Obama’s inner circle of Iran advisers have written an open letter expressing concern that a pending accord to stem Iran’s nuclear program may fall short of meeting the administration’s own standard of a ‘good’ agreement” and laying out a series of minimum requirements that Iran must agree to in coming days for them to support a final deal.

Story. Letter.

Gee, no kidding. Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb, and will build a nuclear bomb, no matter what. Any other conclusion is naive and ridiculous.

At this point, the best bad solution is to a) continue sanctions and b) destroy Iran's capability to deliver the weapons - in other words, destroy their missile projects, which is much easier than hitting the nuclear facilities, and their air force (ditto).

Make no mistake, the likely outcome of that is an accelerated program to develop the bomb. But that's going to happen anyway. And a ferocious enough attack might - emphasis on might - make Iran more willing to be serious in future negotiations.

Though I wouldn't bet on that.

An agreement that truly freezes the program would be better - you need time not so much for a regime change, but for improvements in anti-missile defenses - but that is not happening. And has never really been happening.

The next question will be what to do about Saudi Arabia's bomb, an even more difficult problem to address.

It jumps . . .

Slowly but surely (too slowly for many), the F-35 makes its way toward the front lines and full operational capability.

Less can be more

I spent last week with Ivan Castro, the Green Beret turned marathoner who, by the way, happens to be blind. In theory we were working on our new book - to be published next year by St. Martin's Press - but I think Ivan's real goal in having me come down was to kick my butt around the gym. He had me doing two-a-days, cardio and weights, and easily putting me to shame on both.

One thing I learned: If you ever get the opportunity to work on a Gravitron, remember that the weights are a counter-balance. In other words, twenty pounds is NOT the easy setting.

(It is a cool machine. Here's an instruction video here.)

E3 Afro trailer

Hopefully the demo will be ready for the floor . . .