Space Wars & More $$ – For What???

“The next major conflict may be won or lost in space,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Tuesday. “We must confront reality. Weapons are currently deployed by our competitors that can attack our assets in space.”

Shanahan said that the U.S. Military “is not moving fast enough to stay ahead” of its rivals China and Russia in the space race. He warned that both countries have already acquired weapon technologies with the intent to strike American spy satellites in the event of conflict.

“The PLA [Chinese People’s Liberation Army] is also deploying directed-energy weapons, and we expect them to field a ground-based laser system aimed at low-earth orbit space sensors by next year,” Shanahan told the audience. “They are also prepared to use cyber attacks against our space systems and have deployed an operational ground-based ASAT [anti-satellite] missile system.”

He said that current U.S missile defense shields are “not capable of tracking” Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles. “Because of their actions, space is no longer a sanctuary — it is now a war-fighting domain. This is not a future or theoretical threat; this is today’s threat,” Shanahan said.

The acting defense secretary endorsed President Trump’s Space Force, will allow the military to combat hypersonic attacks more effectively.

“By creating the new service inside the Air Force, the additional cost is less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the DoD budget. Or put another way, the Space Force will cost about $1.50 per American per year,” Shanahan said, claiming that cost of the new service is relatively small compared to America’s $19 trillion economy.

The Pentagon currently spends more on defense than any other country.

“We are starting now because we refuse to fall behind. We can outpace our competitors and make it impossible for them to contest our dominance in space,” Shanahan concluded

* * *

“Pity the nation whose people are sheep

And whose shepherds mislead them

Pity the nation whose leaders are liars

Whose sages are silenced

And whose bigots haunt the airwaves

Pity the nation that raises not its voice

Except to praise conquerors

And acclaim the bully as hero

And aims to rule the world

By force and by torture…

Pity the nation oh pity the people

who allow their rights to erode

and their freedoms to be washed away…”

—Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet

War spending is bankrupting America.

Tyler Durden / Zero hedge / Used with Permission


BAE Invisibility Cloak — Take a Look

BAE invisibility cloak hides vehicles as scenery, cars and cows

05 September 11
British defence company BAE Systems has developedan “invisibility cloak” that can effectively hide vehicles from view in the infra-red spectrum.

The patented system — called Adaptiv — uses a matrix of hexagonal “pixels” that can change their temperature very rapidly. On-board cameras sweep the area to pick up the background scenery and display that infra-red signature on the vehicle.

This allows even moving tanks to be effectively invisible in the infra-red spectrum, or mimic other objects. “The tank skin essentially becomes a big infra red TV,” BAE Head of External Communications Mike Sweeney told “You can display anything you want on it — including a cow — while the rest of the vehicle blends into the background.”

The current system works in the infra-red spectrum, which could hide vehicles from heat-seeking missiles, drones and heat-sensitive goggles. However, BAE Systems engineers have combined the pixels with other technologies to provide camouflage in other parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum.

“Earlier attempts at similar cloaking devices have hit problems because of cost, excessive power requirements or because they were insufficiently robust,” explained project manager Peder Sjölund. “Our panels can be made so strong that they provide useful armour protection and consume relatively low levels of electricity, especially when the vehicle is at rest in ‘stealth [reconnaissance]’ mode and generator output is low.”

The pixel panels can also be made at different sizes to achieve practical invisibility at greater ranges. The resolution needed to hide a CV90 tank at close range is high, but disguising a building or warship from a great distance can be achieved with a lower resolution, and larger panels.

In tests earlier this summer, BAE systems has been able to make one side of a Swedish CV90 tank “effectively invisible” in infra-red mode, and will be showing this off at the UK Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition later this month ( will be attending). Over the next few years, the company hopes to see similar success in other parts of the electro-magnetic spectrum.

Get a closer look at the cloaking in action in our gallery below.

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Eye Witness Testimony, Memory, & Emotion

Eyewitness Testimony Can Be Tragically Mistaken

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer & Jeanna Bryner, LiveScience Managing Editor
Date: 22 September 2011 Time: 06:39 PM ET
Lady Justice holding the scales of justice.
A statue of Lady Justice holding scales.
CREDIT: Rob WilsonShutterstock

Last night’s execution of convicted murderer Troy Davis reportedly sent those convinced of Davis’ innocence into hysterics. One of their concerns — that eyewitness testimony in the case had been recanted — also concerns cognitive scientists.

“This is not the first time a person is pretty much convicted based on eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence,” said Jason Chan, assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University, adding that the number of eyewitnesses who later recanted their testimony was “relatively unusual.”

Seven of nine witnesses who implicated Davis in the shooting of a police officer recanted their testimonies. Others reporting the man who originally implicated Davis was actually the killer.

Chan can’t speak to the truth of the case, but he said eyewitness accounts of crimes are like other memories: They’re not reliable.

Part of the problem with eyewitness statements comes from the mismatch between an eyewitness’ sureness in their memories and the true accuracy of those memories, Chan said.

“A lot of times people overestimate their ability to remember things, and this overconfidence can sometimes lead people [like a jury] to believe what they are saying,” Chan told LiveScience. “Guess what, most people’s memories are not all that reliable.”

The failure of memory

Some of this failure of reliability happens at the scene of the crime, said Maria Zaragoza, a psychologist at Kent State University in Ohio. Things happen quickly; the emotional charge of witnessing a crime may keep people from cuing into important details. If there’s a weapon, Zaragoza said, people tend to become hyper-focused on it. They pay more attention to a gun than to the face of the person holding it.

Often, “the information getting into the memory system is very limited,” Zaragoza told LiveScience.

The next source of memory uncertainty happens during the investigation. Suggestive questioning can distort memories, Zaragoza said. Each time you relive the crime, either out loud to an investigator or in your own head, that distorted memory is strengthened.

In one famous case, 22-year-old college student Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by an intruder in her bedroom. Through her terror, Thompson tried to categorize the details of her assailant’s face. She went to the police and worked with an artist to draw a composite sketch. In photo, in a lineup and in court, she identified her rapist as Ronald Cotton.

“I was completely confident,” Thompson (now Jennifer Thompson-Cannino) wrote in a 2000 editorial in the New York Times. “I was sure.”

But 11 years later, new DNA techniques disproved Cotton’s guilt. He’d spent more than a decade in prison for a crime committed by another man, Bobby Poole.

It’s likely that working on the police sketch altered Thompson’s memory of her rapist’s face, Zaragoza said. Later, when she’d picked him out of a lineup, her confidence only grew. Cotton’s face started haunting her flashbacks. When she met her real rapist in court, she didn’t even recognize him.

What happened to Cotton and Thompson, chronicled in the book “Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption” (St. Martin’s Press, 2009), wasn’t a weakness of Thompson’s, Zaragoza said. Anyone’s memory can become twisted with time.

And often in witnessing traumatic events, such as a murder or even the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we think we remember all of the details vividly. The truth is, we’re often wrong, research has shown. In one 2004 study, researchers were even able to corrupt witnesses’ memories of a terrorist bombing by suggesting to them that they’d seen things — such as an angry animal — that hadn’t actually been in the scene.

Combining memories

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