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A View From the Edge

Cyberwarfare: Air Force to the rescue?

A View From the Edge

The 24th Air Force division is responsible for conducting U.S. defense cyber operations.

Lt. Gen. Michael Basla, vice commander of the Air Force Space Command, said, “We can’t defend the whole network just like we can’t defend all the air domain. Instead we defend the portion we need to operate in. We’ve done it already to assure [support for] Predator [in Afghanistan and Iraq] and space launch operations.”

Cyberwarfare: The coming battles

A View From the Edge

In the next three weeks, this column will take you on a tour of the newest form of warfare, the bloody battles already being fought, the mind-shredding complexities, the threats even minor enemies can impose, the plans to defend our nation and allies and, never least, what the youth of the country need to gear up for.

So, let’s start with a simple question: How serious is this new form of warfare?

Cyberwarfare: the coming battles

A View From the Edge

In the next three weeks, this column will take you on a tour of the newest form of warfare. Cyberwarfare: the bloody battles already being fought, the mind-shredding complexities, the threats even minor enemies can impose, the plans to defend our nation and allies and, never least, what the youth of the country need to gear up for.

So, let’s start with a simple question: How serious is this new form of warfare?

Interference and flight safety

A View From the Edge

The one thing you really, really want the pilot to know is this: Where the heck are we?

In the mid-1980s, I was flying to Tokyo and had the opportunity to sit up front with the pilots for an hour. Halfway across the Pacific, the JAL pilot, a Swede, had one leg across the armrest and was chatting amiably about aviation matters. The co-pilot, a novice, was Japanese and had his seat forward, white-knuckled hands gripping the wheel, staring unmoving out the windscreen, eyes flicking the horizon.

The co-pilot asked, “Where are we?”

Worldwide energy debate

A View From the Edge

It wasn’t the earthquake and tsunami in Japan that started the discussion, but they heightened the awareness of the risk to nuclear power plants. But what’s more, the failure, Chernobyl-like, of the Japanese plant, Fukushima Daiichi, has swung the “undecided” voting public in many countries to “no nuclear” — and Switzerland leads the way. There is no doubt that the energy debates globally have been changed from the bottom (coal) up (solar).

When free enterprise fails, what’s next?

A View From the Edge

What do you do when your economy is built on the mineral and natural assets of your country? In the case of an unregulated free enterprise system, the answer is watch them dissipate, be exported for quick profit, slowly dwindle till there are none. That’s the capitalist way, that’s the unchained entrepreneurial way.

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Now is a good time to bet on the American dollar

A View From the Edge

One of the problems with spouting good-sounding but dead-wrong policy changes is that it is so hard for the egos to admit they might have it even possibly, maybe a little, just a teensy bit, wrong.
You see, all this economic disaster has happened before — in fact worse — to many of the world’s largest economies. In the 1980s Japan suffered an economic bank meltdown that made our savings and loan disaster look like a kiddies’ party.

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An unholy alliance

A View From the Edge

I received my medical insurance renewal quote the other day: up a whopping 20 percent. When I called the insurance company, I was told — in the middle of hints that “Obama-care made us do it” — that the real reason was that malpractice claims are up: “Doctors have more claims made against them.”
In other words, it is the doctors’ fault. Said another way, this is like “the devil made me do it.” Here are a few facts:

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Labor unions and Trojan horses

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Several states are trying to bust unions out in the open under the full scrutiny of the media. And in several of those states the people have risen up, demanded recalls of elected officials who have somewhat naively committed political hara-kiri while publically carrying the banner of the way-far-right.
How at risk are these governors, state senators and state legislators? In Wisconsin, for example, the degree of separation between every public service worker (firemen, police, educators, sewage workers, etc.) and every voter in that state is nil, zip, nada.

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Why young Americans should be very afraid

A View From the Edge

Mom and Dad are moving in with you as soon as they reach 65. Get that spare bedroom ready, move brothers and sisters in together. We’re turning back the clock to pre-World War II: The family unit is back and the retired are, once again, about to be the burden of those still working.
Come to think of it, little Johnny and Suzy had better get an after-school job to help the family make ends meet. And you can forget about school loans for the high-school graduates, that first car, holidays or remodeling your kitchen — no one will be able to afford them soon, either.

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