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The Evolutionary Perspective
Daily Archives: December 28, 2019
Posted: December 28, 2019 at 11:47 pm
Nothing beats a vacation on a luxury cruise ship. These types of holidays are like no other ones in the world. They allow travelers to experience several parts of the world in one swoop, all while enjoying the luxuries and amenities that a ship has to offer. Many people swear by cruises, foregoing all other kinds of travel.
When packing for a cruise getaway, there are some essential items that moms need to make sure they jam into their suitcases. Other items ladies might consider should be left at home.
Here are ten things no mom should consider bringing along with them on their cruise and five more that need to make the cut.
People sometimes want to get jazzed up for a few fancy dinners while on their cruise vacations. That is fine and dandy, but travelers might want to consider leaving the four-inch heels at home. If the high seas get angry and storms arise, that boat will be rocking, and a high heeled-wearing woman might get tossed to the ground.
Fact: You are going to want to take pictures on your cruise vacation. The ocean and sky are mesmerizing, and the islands the boat docks at will be full of exciting things to capture on film. That said, leave your pricey cameras behind. Bring along a cheaper version for all those silly cruise ship selfies.
Sometimes an outfit doesn't seem complete without the bling, and many women will be tempted to bring their diamonds and pearls along on their cruise vacation. Expensive or heirloom jewelry should never be brought along on any vacation. Items are always at risk of getting stolen or lost.
Depending on what kind of cruise you are taking (and these days you can take some pretty wild cruises) and what time of year you are vacationing in, you may choose to pack a waterproof jacket of sorts. You are on the ocean after all, and spray is standard. Stormy weather can also pop up at any given time.
If you are anything like me, you are a vacation over-packer. Try to avoid bringing a pair of shoes and a different outfit for every day of your trip. Cruise cabins are not exactly known for being spacious, so the less baggage, the better. Try and pack articles of clothing that can be mixed and matched with other items for versatility.
You will definitely want to bring a couple of bathing suits along with you for your cruise. With that said, maybe leave the ones that resemble dental floss back at home. Cruise ships have plenty of places to sunbathe but are not precisely private spaces. You won't find a lot of secluded spots to let it all hang out.
While on vacation, people try and forget about the concept of time. Trips are breaks away from the hustle and bustle of life. Not on cruise ships! When the ship anchors at an island, it expects passengers to be on board at a particular time so that they can set sail for the next destination. Bring a watch so that you never miss your ship.
It might be tempting to wander down the cruise ship staircase to the buffet and eat breakfast in slippers and a robe. Don't do this. Leave the robe at home and pack comfy sweats instead. Don't be "that guy" who thinks that every surface of the cruise ship belongs to him and him alone.
Packing a good pair of walking shoes for any vacation, including cruises, is a good idea. Island excursions are typical on specific cruises, and you'll want to be able to trek around without pinched toes and blisters. Shoes with excellent traction are also a great thing to have on hand while strolling through ship corridors. Those floors can get slippery.
Caftans and billowing articles of clothing look amazing for pictures you plan to put up on the Gram, but they are not always practical on ships. You wouldn't want to catch a corner of your gown on a rail and rip the thing right off. Winds can pick up on the seas and are often unpredictable.
We don't care how much of a base tan you think you have, or how well you brown and not fry. While vacationing on a cruise ship, a good sunscreen is essential. No one wants to deal with the aftermath of too much Vitamin D on their vacation. When choosing a sunscreen, aim for one that is water-resistant.
Even when cruise ships host fancy dinners, relaxed hairstyles and updos might be the way to go. Intricate updos will hold their own in the dining rooms and indoor spaces, but should you head out for some fresh air, the wind and seawater might make that updo look like a total bird's nest.
For the most part, you'll want to pack mostly casual clothes and bathing suits for tropical cruises, and weather appropriate clothing for cruises to the north. Formal wear is not usually at the top of the list. That said, a few nice outfits to wear to dinner would probably be a good idea. Don't go overboard with dresses, but bring one or two.
Having fake eyelashes put on can make a woman feel glamorous. Once these guys start to go wonky and fall off, though, they need immediate attention. Cruise ships might not be equipt to handle eyelash emergencies, and this can leave women with fakes looking a mess. It's probably best to pack a solid mascara instead.
One good rule of thumb for cruise ship vacations is: If you can not live without it, don't bring it. Grandpa's antique watch might look dapper, but it isn't worth losing. One carat diamond earrings might make you the Belle of the Ball but will also make you beyond upset if one goes missing.
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Posted: at 11:47 pm
The future of fantasy looks bright with these 10 sapphic YA fantasy books coming out in 2020 that you definitely want to pre-order and add to your TBR list.
From debut authors to returning favorites, 2020 is jam packed with sapphic YA fantasy books that we cant help but be excited about. 2019 was a monumental year for queer YA fantasy books, and its looking like 2020 will blow 2019 out of the water with representation of LGBT+ in fantasy.
Talking about normalizing LGBT+ in fantasy is something Im passionate about, as well as lifting #OwnVoices books up and finding new queer fantasy to read, which is important because representation in media matters.
This time, I wanted to highlight some sapphic YA fantasy books that are coming out this coming year that are not only on my TBR for 2020, but are at the top of it. There is something for everyone from revolution to different and unique magic systems, danger is. With perilous journeys and tough decisions to make, these young women are not only bad asses, but know how to get what they want.
Queen of Coin and Whispers is a standalone YA fantasy full of some of my favorite things: espionage, betrayals, and treason with a side of romance. This sapphic YA fantasy will surely not disappoint with its Queen heroine and her spymaster who must decide whats best for not only the country, but for themselves.
Add Queen of Coin and Whispers on Goodreads
Pre-order Queen of Coin and Whispers
Dangerous Remedy is the first book in a new series that mixes the French Revolution with the fantastical as it adds in a dash of disturbing magic powers that are sought after by people on both sides of the bloody war. Full of a diverse cast, this sapphic YA fantasy will keep you on the edge of your seat as Camille has to choose between being loyal to those she loves and whats best for the revolution in this intrigue heavy debut.
Add Dangerous Remedyon Goodreads
Pre-order Dangerous Remedy
Ruinsong is a standalone f/f, dark with a forbidden romance with two young women who belong to rival factions that have to come to terms with not only their feelings, but with what side they are truly on. Underground rebellions, bardic magic, and ruthless tyrannical queens make this a book you dont want to miss.
Add Ruinsong on Goodreads
Stunningly dark, Blood Countess brings a bloody retelling of the Countess Dracula herself, Elizabeth Bthory, from the point of view of one of her scullery maids. A historical horror novel, its obvious that this wont be a healthy representation of sapphic love, but one of manipulation and grooming that Elizabeth Bthory was famous for.
Add Blood Countess on Goodreads
Pre-order Blood Countess
A life swap, where two young women want to live differently than they do, leads to romance as one becomes a physician and another goes to finishing school to learn divination. Add in a war in which they work together to help end, Emilie and Annettes journey of self-discovery seems like the perfect sapphic YA fantasy to add to our TBR list!
Add Belle Rvolte on Goodreads
Pre-order Belle Rvolte
Kim Smejkals dark fantasy debut has unique tattoo-based magic that is linked to deities where the tattoos bind the recipients more than they help. With their lives built on lies, its up to Ceila and Anya to bring down malicious deities and their vicious zealot followers.
Add Ink in the Blood on Goodreads
Pre-order Ink in the Blood
Covens with a history of sordid black magic and murder at sacred sites, is only the beginning of the intricately made world of Witches of Ash and Ruin, a dark tale of ascending into powers and a dangerous murder mystery that two young women find themselves in the middle of. Its described as a mixture of V.E. Schwabs A Darker Shade of Magic and A Discovery of Witches, so this is at the top of my TBR in March.
Add Witches of Ash and Ruin on Goodreads
Pre-order Witches of Ash and Ruin
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea is an adventure on the high seas with pirates, cross dressing, arranged marriage, where mermaids are wanted for their blood, and two heroines on opposite sides are fighting to stop slave trade. Maggie Tokuda-Halls debut mixes pirates, imperial colonialism and its terrors, and Asian folklore, giving The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea a unique vibe we cant wait to sink are claws into.
Add The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea on Goodreads
Pre-order The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
Morally grey heroines are one of my favorite tropes. Not all characters need to be perfectly and lawfully good. Girl, Serpent, Thorn gives us a princess with a curse, where her touch is poisonous, and on her journey to learn more about her curse, she meets a demon with answers, and she has to decide what side of good or evil she falls on, or if there is such thing as being somewhere in the middle when youre cursed.
Add Girl, Serpent, Thorn on Goodreads
Pre-order Girl, Serpent, Thorn
This book has everything: seemingly evil queens, human sacrifice for the better of the people, an exchange of life for someone the heroine loves, and an unlikely romance. The Dark Tide is described as being similar to The Wicked Deep, Caraval, and Three Dark Crowns so sign me up immediately. Where not everything is as it seems, The Dark Tide looks to be enrapturing and alluring with its plot and character dynamics. Is it June yet?
Add The Dark Tide on Goodreads
Pre-order The Dark Tide
This is only a small sampling of the amazing queer representation and sapphic YA fantasy coming coming out in 2020. To delve deeper and add even more books to your TBR, check out this massive list compiled by Goodreads!
Go here to read the rest:
Posted: at 11:47 pm
What is Gaza to us but an Israeli missile, a rudimentary rocket, a demolished home, an injured child being whisked away by his peers under a hail of bullets? On a daily basis, Gaza is conveyed to us as a bloody image or a dramatic video, none of which can truly capture the everyday reality of the Strip its formidable steadfastness, the everyday acts of resistance, and the type of suffering that can never be really understood through a customary glance at a social media post.
At long last, the chief prosecutor of the International Court of Justice (ICC), Fatou Bensouda, has declared her satisfaction that "war crimes have been or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip". As soon as the ICC statement was made on December 20, pro-Palestinian groups felt a rare moment of relief. Finally, Israel will stand accused, potentially paying for its recurring bloodbath in the isolated and besieged Gaza Strip, its military occupation and apartheid in the West Bank, and much more.
However, it could take years for the ICC to initiate its legal proceedings and render its verdict. Moreover, there are no political guarantees that an ICC decision indicting Israel would ever be respected, let alone implemented.
Meanwhile, the siege on Gaza persists, only to be interrupted by a massive war, like the one of 2014, or a less destructive one, similar to the latest Israeli onslaught in November. And with every war, more dismal statistics are produced, more lives shattered, and more painful stories are told and retold.
For years, civil society groups across the world labored to destabilize this horrific status quo. They organized, held vigils, wrote letters to their political representatives and so on. To no avail. Frustrated by government inaction, a small group of activists sailed to Gaza in a small boat in August 2008, succeeding in doing what the United Nations has failed to do: they broke, however fleetingly, the Israeli siege on the impoverished Strip.
This symbolic action of the Free Gaza movement had a tremendous impact. It sent a clear message to Palestinians in occupied Palestine, that their fate is not only determined by the Israeli government and military machine; that there are other actors who are capable of challenging the dreadful silence of the international community; that not all Westerners are as complicit as their governments in the prolonged suffering of the Palestinian people.
Since then, many more solidarity missions have attempted to follow suit, coming across the sea atop flotillas or in large caravans through the Sinai desert. Some have successfully reached Gaza, delivering medical aid and other supplies. The majority, however, were sent back or had their boats hijacked in international waters by the Israeli navy.
The outcome of all of this has been the writing of a new chapter of solidarity with the Palestinian people that went beyond the occasional demonstration and the typical signing of a petition.
The second Palestinian Intifada, the uprising of 2002, had already redefined the role of the "activist" in Palestine. The formation of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) allowed thousands of international activists from around the world to participate in "direct action" in Palestine thus fulfilling, however symbolically, a role that is typically played by a United Nations protective force.
ISM activists, however, employed nonviolent means of registering civil societys rejection of the Israeli occupation. Expectedly, Israel did not honor the fact that many of these activists came from countries deemed "friendly" by Tel Avivs standards. The killing of US and British nationals Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2003 and 2004 respectively, was just the precursor of Israeli violence that was to follow.
In May 2010, the Israeli navy attacked the Freedom Flotilla consisting of the Turkish-owned ship MV Mavi Marmara and others, killing ten unarmed humanitarian workers and wounding at least 50 more. As was the case with the murder of Rachel and Tom, there was no real accountability for the Israeli attack on the solidarity boats.
It must be understood that Israeli violence is not random nor is just a reflection of Israels notoriety and disregard of international and humanitarian law. With every violent episode, Israel hopes to dissuade outside actors from getting involved in "Israeli affairs". Yet, time and again, the solidarity movement returns with a defiant message, insisting that no country, not even Israel, has the right to commit war crimes with impunity.
Following a recent meeting in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, the International Coalition of the Freedom Flotilla, which consists of many international groups, has decided to, once more, sail to Gaza. The solidarity mission is scheduled for the summer of 2020, and, like most of the 35 previous attempts, the Flotilla is likely to be intercepted by the Israeli navy. Yet, another attempt will likely follow, and many more, until the Gaza siege is completely lifted. It has become clear that the purpose of these humanitarian missions is not to deliver a few medical supplies to the nearly two million besieged Gazans, but to challenge the Israeli narrative that has turned the occupation and isolation of Palestinians to a status quo ante, to an "Israeli affair".
According to the United Nations Office in Occupied Palestine, the poverty rate in Gaza seems to be increasing at an alarming speed of 2% per year. By the end of 2017, 53% of Gazas population lived in poverty, two-thirds of them living in "deep poverty". This terrible number includes over 400,000 children.
An image, a video, a chart or a social media post can never convey the pain of 400,000 children, who experience real hunger every single day of their lives so that the Israeli government may achieve its military and political designs in Gaza. Indeed, Gaza is not just an Israeli missile, a demolished home, and an injured child. It is an entire nation that is suffering and resisting, in near-complete isolation from the rest of the world.
True solidarity should aim at forcing Israel to end the protracted occupation and siege on the Palestinian people, sailing the high seas, if necessary. Thankfully, the good activists of the Freedom Flotilla are doing just that.
Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of The Palestine Chronicle. His last book is The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story (Pluto Press, London) and his forthcoming book is These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons (Clarity Press, Atlanta). Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), Istanbul Zaim University (IZU). His website is http://www.ramzybaroud.net.
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Posted: at 11:47 pm
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for One Piece Episode 915, "Destructive! One Shot, One Kill - Thunder Bagua!"
Kaido, the primary antagonist of One Piece's Wano Arc, has made his presence known. The last of the mighty Four Emperors to appear in the series, he might very well be the most powerful of them all -- or at least the most dangerous.
Kaido rules in alliance with Orochi, the Shogun of Wano, who stole the land after burning Oden Castle down. But until the past few episodes, Kaido has only been resting in his castle, drinking and brooding. Viewers had no idea of the scale of his incredible power until he, in a few minutes, defeated -- and possibly killed -- the Straw Hat Pirates and friends, before beating Luffy into submission.
RELATED: One Piece Creator Teases the Manga's Endgame Is Nigh
The Four Emperors essentially reign supreme among the high seas of One Piece: Shanks, Charlotte Linlin, Marshall D. Teach and Kaido. Teach stole his position after slaying Whitebeard, meaning that, with the exception of Shanks, all of these guys are not exactly friends with the Straw Hat Pirates.
Kaido in particular has a grudge against Luffy and the gang. He depended on a supply of artificial Devil Fruits in order to transform his pirates into beast-men. These fruits came from Doflamingo, whom Luffy and crew very effectively defeated. Kaido was Doflamingo's biggest customer, who was then cut off from arguably his most necessary resource.
While Luffy didn't defeat Kaido in combat or shake his position of power, he did inconvenience the mighty emperor. Of course, Kaido has the ability to transform into a gigantic dragon, which certainly gives him an edge over Luffy. More than that, however, Kaido can annihilate the Straw Hat Pirates, which he basically does ... while drunk.
Kaido manages to one-shot all of the Straw Pirates while drunk. After drinking enough, he leaves his base to go on a stroll through the clouds, and ends up attacking Oden Castle, where several of the Straw Hat Pirates are hidden. All he does is rear back and deliver a single blast -- one mighty rush of fire -- that melts the castle.
RELATED:10 Things One Piece Needs Resolve Before It Ends
As of now, it's unknown who, if anyone, survived in the anime. As far as Luffy knows, his entire crew -- save for Zoro, Nico, Usopp and Franky -- is dead. On top of that, Tama, the girl Luffy saved at the cost of exposing himself to Kaido, was hurt.
The two-episode brawl consists primarily of Luffy delivering blow after blow, and none of them hurting Kaido. Yet, the fight ends with Kaido deciding to strike back. All it takes is a single strike to put Luffy down. But more than that, he doesn't only defeat Luffy, but he also attacks his pride. He dismisses his dream to be King of the Pirates, further proving that Kaido doesn't simply win on the physical level but also on an emoti9onal one.
Considering that he defeated Luffy while drunk, it appears that Kaido may very well be unstoppable. One Piece has featured powerful antagonists before; every villain, to an extent, is the most dangerous one Luffy has confronted to that point. Furthermore, he has faced the other Emperors before, but Kaido may be the most dangerous.
RELATED:One Piece vs. Naruto: 10 Anime Memes That Make Fans Pick Sides
Kin'emon's plan to defeat Kaido involved getting him, Orochi and the rest of the crew drunk at a certain festival, and slaying them while they're intoxicated. That might work out for the lower-ranking crew members, but against Kaido, their superior?
Kaido may be the single strongest character in the entire series to date. It seems almost absurd that Luffy can have any chance of victory, unless he can figure out a way to defeat Kaido from within his ranks.
Episode 915 adapts the start of Chapter 924 of One Piece. Knowing that, we can piece together a few details about where the anime will go in the next episode: Kaido didn't actually kill any of the Straw Hats, of course; they survived a mountain-melting blast. We also know that Kaido kidnaps Luffy, convinced he defeated all of the Straw Hat Pirates for good.
Luffy's usual, direct approach will inevitably fail against Kaido. The only solution is the more covert, clever approach that Kin'emon outlined in previous episodes. It's the only way to overthrow Kaido. Luffy clearly vowed to defeat the Four Emperors a long while ago, but beating them and shaking their authority over the pirating world might be far more difficult than Luffy anticipated. After all, Kaido far surpasses Luffy as a fighter. His only hope will be to exercise control and strategy, and to utilize the capabilities of his entire crew.
Or, perhaps, with Luffy out of the picture, the others can better serve Kin'emon's plot to defeat Kaido. It would be necessary for them to avoid a direct fight, because, as demonstrated here, a drunken Kaido can still beat all of them in a matter of seconds. Luffy has never faced an enemy as unstoppable as the raging ocean. In order to win, they will need to use all the strategy and resources available to them in order to win. It will become necessary for them to all work together as a team if they have a prayer of winning.
NEXT: One Piece: 10 Whitebeard Pirates Vs Roger Pirates Matchups We Would Have Loved To See
Rogue One Is Still the Best Star Wars Movie of the Disney Era
Posted: at 11:47 pm
Key Point: Here is the history of this weapon war.
World War II gave us many stories of aerial warfare, men and their machines fighting their way to victory and glory in the name of humanity. However romantic such a notion may be, World War II was the first in which airpower actually won battles, decided the outcome of campaigns, and ultimately the course of the conflict itself. That victory came about as a result of Allied airmen dropping ordnance onto the most important things the Axis countries owned, turning them into rubble or wreckage. Its a simple formula actually: precisely drop enough lead or high explosive onto something, and it will be destroyed.
Fighter Pilots Make Movies. Bomber Pilots Make History!
But not everyone saw the worth of that idea in the 1930s and 1940s. Most airpower enthusiasts of the day saw bombing in terms of large formations of huge multi-engined planes, fighting their way past hostile defenses to carpet an objective with bombs, the target being embroiled in the mess.
The early days of World War II, however, did not see Americas few victories won by huge formations of heavy bombers. Those battles were won by one small, tubby, and not terribly fast airplane, flown by men whose courage and tenacity are still a source of envy and wonder to historians of the period. There was a saying going around at the time: Fighter pilots make movies. Bomber pilots make history! The men who made that history were the aviators of the Navy and Marine scout and bombing squadrons, and their war horse was the Douglas SDB Dauntless dive-bomber.
It is sometimes difficult to remember that before laser-, infrared-, and satellite-guided bombs came into being, delivering ordinance from aircraft was hardly a precision process. Huge sums of money were spent developing specialized bombsights for level bombers, to help lay their loads onto targets with some modicum of accuracy. However, without some sort of terminal guidance for the bombs themselves, even the famed Norden bombsight of World War II would do no better than to lay a string of bombs across an area the size of several football fields. There were, however, simpler and more intuitive ways of putting a bomb close to an aim-point from the air.
Concept Of Dive-Bombing Created
Nobody knows who first came up with the idea of aiming bombs at a target from a diving airplane, but sometime in World War I this became an intuitive way of getting bombs closer to the desired target. The result was a specialized kind of weapons delivery known as dive-bombing. Technical dive-bombing was a uniquely American creation, the product of a small cadre of U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) aviators who wanted to provide close bombing support to riflemen on the ground. It was Lieutenant L.H.M. Sanderson who, in 1919 as a member of Marine Observation Squadron Nine, noted that a diving aircraft pointed at a target made more accurate deliveries, causing the tactical adoption of glide- and dive-bombing by the USMC. Further experimentation showed that the reduced horizontal velocity component of the diving aircraft (compared to that of a level bomber) combined with the superior view of the target by the pilot made for truly precise weapons deliveries by skilled pilots.
Navy Begins Procuring Dive-Bombing Aircraft
By the mid-1930s, the Navy and Marines had both seen the virtues of dive-bombing. The USMC was using it to support troops on the ground as flying artillery, while their sea-service brethren developed the tactics as a precision antishipping tactic. To this end, the Navys Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) began to procure purpose-built dive-bombing aircraft, with the specialized equipment and structures necessary to make them a truly deadly form of warfare. These included aerodynamic dive brakes (to slow and steady the aircraft during the dive), extra structure (to withstand the stresses of pulling out after the dive), trapeze bomb-release systems (to help the bomb clear the propeller), and telescopic bombsights (to assist the pilot in putting the weapon precisely onto the target).
Seeking The Next Generation Of Bombers
Curtiss, long a supplier of Navy and Marine aircraft, produced most of the early dive-bombers. In fact, it was a demonstration by Marine Curtiss F8C Helldivers that led German Air Minister Ernst Udet to procure several for the emerging Luftwaffe as the inspiration for the famous Ju-87 Stuka. The 1930s were a time of amazing technological advancement in the aviation industry, and several new companies began to produce dive-bombers for the Navy and Marines. One of these was the Vought SB2U Vindicator, the first all-metal, low-wing monoplane procured for use by the sea services. Brought into service in 1938, the Vindicator provided a great deal of experience in operations of such aircraft, and led the BuAer to look for a more advanced model for the Navy and Marines. That search led to an emerging aircraft manufacturer in southern California: the Douglas Aircraft Company (DAC).
Founded by Donald Douglas, DAC already had an impressive standing in the aviation world by the late 1930s. Manufacturer of the incomparable DC-3 (which became the military C-47/R4D Skytrain/Dakota), DAC already had built a solid reputation with the Navy with the TBD Devastator torpedo bomber. Despite the unfortunate reputation it would acquire at the Battle of Midway in 1942 (where 39 out of 43 would be shot down), the TBD was the finest carrier-based torpedo bomber in the world when it was delivered in 1937. Like the SB2U, the TBD was a rugged, all-metal, low-wing monoplane that clearly represented the future of carrier aircraft. With the clouds of war beginning to grow, the DAC was going to be a major player in that effort.
Initially, the contract for the Vindicator replacement went to the El Segundo division of Northrop, which was producing a fairly conventional scout bomber design known as the BT-1. But, Northrop sold this division to DAC, and with it came one of the greatest aircraft designers of all time: the legendary Ed Heinemann. Heinemann had already produced a number of successful designs and almost immediately saw the possibilities for an improved model of the BT-1. At the same time, Heinemann began to be influenced by DACs founder on how he might design better aircraft for the sea services.
They Have To Take Punishment And Still Work
He would later write in his book, Aircraft Design: One day when I was a young man just beginning to design airplanes, the great person who founded the company that bore his name, Donald Douglas, took me by the shoulder and taught me a lesson that was simple, though vital to success. At the time, we were trying to generate business from the U.S. Navy. Navy planes take a beating, he said. They slam down on the carriers when they land and get roughed up by the unforgiving elements of the high seas. If we want the Navy to buy our airplanes, we must build them rugged. They have to take punishment and still work.
Applying this and other ideas to the basic BT-1 design, he refined it into the XBT-2, what became known as the Scout-Bomber-Douglas Aircraft Company, or SBD.
SBD Rolled Out With Several Changes
The SBD was a surprising little airplane, as much for what it did not have in the way of features as for what it did have. For example, the SBD broke with the trend for folding wings to save deck and hangar space. By using a compact wing and platform, Heinemann was able to design the SBD to be small enough to fit up to three dozen onto U.S. carriers along with their other squadrons of fighters and torpedo bombers. The lack of a folding wing also saved weight and removed a weak point that made for a more rugged design. Another SBD innovation was the inclusion of perforated split dive brakes, which also functioned as flaps on takeoff and landing.
When fully extended, the split flaps allowed a pilot to dive the SBD at an angle of up to 80 with a terminal velocity (the point where aerodynamic resistance balances engine power and gravity) of around 250 knots. This limited the stresses on the aircraft during pullout and provided a more stable platform during the dive. Nevertheless, the Dauntless (the name the Navy gave the SBD) was stressed to withstand up to 9 gees during maneuvering, and even was able to handle so-called zero lift (nearly vertical) dives. To help the pilot see the target and assist in aiming, a padded 3X sighting scope was mounted over the control panel. All of this was designed to help the two-man crew (a pilot and radio operator/gunner) to put a bomb onto the deck of a moving ship or a ground target with accuracy.
Along with the aforementioned features, Heinemann designed the SBD to take full advantage of the new advances in lightweight materials and structures to improve weight and durability. Although relatively new for its day, the Dauntless had a hydraulic system to power extend and retract the landing gear and dive brakes/flaps, replacing earlier hand-cranked systems. To protect against enemy fighters, two forward-firing .50-caliber M2 machine guns were mounted in the cowling, while a pair of twin .30-caliber Brownings was carried in a rear-firing flexible mount.
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Posted: at 11:47 pm
Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 28 December 2019
Five persons who were arrested by the Western Naval Command with 35 sacks of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis have appeared before a Circuit Court in Accra.
The Tema Naval Command picked up the five on December 23, this year, on board a boat carrying 35 sacks of dried leaves suspected to be cannabis on the high seas.
Facing charges of conspiracy and possession of narcotics, the five have had their pleas preserved by the court pending further investigations into the matter.
They are Evans Adasu Laweh, Moses Akorlie, Moses Gyinadu, Norgbetey Buanor and Benjamin Bortey Dame.
The court presided over by Justice Mrs Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye remanded the five accused persons into prison custody to reappear on January 10.
Their remand, the court said, was to enable the Police conduct further investigations into the matter.
Prosecuting Assistant State Attorney Mr Adamah Watskin prayed the court to remand the accused persons into prison custody pending further investigations into the matter.
According to Mr Watskin, the substances were being forwarded to the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) for analytical examination.
The State Attorney indicated that that other accomplices who are at large were being sought for by the Police.
He said if the accused persons were admitted to bail, they might interfere with evidence and other accomplices who are at large, hence the accused persons should be remanded.
Posted: at 11:46 pm
As our focus now turns to the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump, we need Republican Senators who will act now, before the trial, to protect their ability to, as the oath requires, do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws.
The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell has stated that he is, coordinating with the White House counsel (to ensure that) there will be no difference between the presidents position and our position as to how to handle this [impeachment trial].
If there is a moment in U.S. history where the Constitution and what it represents to stable governance hangs by a thread, then this is that moment. Once McConnell sets the rules for the Senate trial in favor of Trump, the concept of three coequal branches of government will have been dealt a mortal wound as it is sacrificed in a show trial of obeisance to the preeminence of the presidency.
Any complaints by GOP senators about the trial after terms are set will be mere play acting.
We need senators of great courage to speak out now to put the Senate impeachment trial on the right constitutional track.
Republicans insist there was no evidence to impeach Trump. Will you dare risk censure by rallying other GOP senators to insist that White House witnesses, such as John Bolton and Mick Mulvaney, appear and White House documents be provided to allow senators to learn from primary witnesses and primary source documents what actually happened?
A Senate that suppresses evidence is no better than a see no evil, hear no evil kangaroo court with a prepared verdict.
Anything less than a real Senate trial will not convince most Americans. It will widen the rift that is tearing our country apart.
Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer, stated during the recent House impeachment debate that,
In 1974, one congressman [Larry Hogan, Sr.,] took the brave and principled step of becoming the first Republican on the Judiciary Committee to support impeaching President Nixon. He said to his colleagues and to the country, 'It isnt easy for me to align myself against the president to whom I gave my enthusiastic support. ... But it is impossible for me to condone or ignore the long train of abuses to which he has subjected the presidency and the people of this country. The Constitution and my own oath of office, demand that I bear true faith and allegiance to the principles of law and justice upon which this nation was founded. And I cannot in good conscience turn away from the evidence of evil that is to me so clear and compelling.
Hoyer then asked this question: Who among us many years from now will receive such praise as a man or woman of courage? Who will regret not having earned it?
If the Mitt Romneys and Susan Collinses go along to get along and participate in a trial of appeasement to protect an aspiring American autocrat, Winston Churchills prophetic words on Englands appeasement of a dictator will stand as a prophecy of the fruits of our own appeasement:
This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year after year unless, by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
Eric Hubner, Volcano, Hawaii, received both bachelors and masters degrees from Brigham Young University, as well as a master of social work degree from the State University of New York. He is a retired mental health therapist and school social worker, who also worked in the addiction field and coordinated services for families at risk of child abuse and neglect.
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For evangelicals, climate change causes a split between young and old that could hurt Republicans – The Boston Globe
Posted: at 11:46 pm
Lindsay Mouw, 25, grew up here, her family well-known for the Ford dealership they have owned since the days of the Model T, and she shares their deep Christian roots. But her ideas about religion are different now, because of a topic few people in her community talk about climate change. Concern for the environment has challenged her political views and those of many other young evangelicals, a trend that could one day spell trouble for the Republican hold on this religious group.
Mouws evolution began in 2015 on a study-abroad trip to New Zealand, where she learned about the devastating effects of noise and plastic pollution on the ocean. From that point on, I remember being pretty committed to saying, Im not going to contribute to these problems anymore. This isnt going to be on me, she said.
It was for her, as for many of her peers, the beginnings of a wedge between them and their older evangelical counterparts. Other issues, including LGBT rights and immigration, have likewise caused an internal reckoning that breaks along generational lines. Many though not Mouw now call themselves ex-vangelicals.
The church has become unrelatable to the world today, she said.
This split also reminds that while a generational divide seems already sure to affect the Democratic Party in 2020 with both the oldest- and youngest-ever candidates in pursuit of the White House so too could it shift the picture in the GOP. White evangelicals are one of the largest, most loyal voting blocs of support for President Trump, and a crack in that support could foreshadow trouble for the Republican Party if perhaps not in this election season, then in time.
Theyre reading the Bible and theyre saying, Wait a minute, something is not jibing and we need to rethink this, said Randall Balmer, a religion professor at Dartmouth College who studies evangelicals.
About a quarter of all American adults identify as evangelical protestants, according to a 2014 poll by the Pew Research Center. One in six of those is between the ages of 18 and 29,
Mouw lives a life well outside the norm in Sioux Center, a community of 7,000 with a strong Dutch heritage. Having left the GOP, she is working to elect a Democrat from Iowa to the US Senate, someone who believes in working to address climate change.
Also, for the moment, she no longer attends church.
Mouw and other young evangelicals find themselves caught where two political statistics collide. White evangelical Protestants are the most skeptical of any religious group about climate change, a recent poll found. But the overwhelming majority of young people believe climate change is happening and is caused by humans, according to the same poll.
And so, these young evangelicals have found that they share more in common with their generation broadly than with their faith community. Young people believe that climate change will harm them directly in their lifetime, giving the issue a personal sense of urgency that does not exist for some older Americans. And young people are poised to play an especially influential role in this election, projected to vote in numbers greater than ever before.
Youre right to say that younger evangelicals are probably particularly more attuned to the issue and probably give it a higher priority than maybe some of our older members, said Galen Carey, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a group that considers climate change a problem but does not lobby lawmakers on the issue. But were not giving up on our older members either. We want everyone to recognize what a concern it is.
Young people who care about climate change should push their elected officials to embrace both environmental issues and also antiabortion policies, he said.
But some of those young people, its unclear how many, have chosen to leave the evangelical church altogether. Others are turning to more progressive denominations. Then there are those, like Mouw, who have chosen to retain their evangelical identity even as they hope to redefine it.
I think we can reclaim it and say that this is what we stand for, and we can do good in the world, and we can be that light whereas most of society has written us off, she said.
For her, things began to change while she was attending Dordt University, a local college affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church. When she studied abroad in New Zealand, she encountered an approach to life utterly foreign to her. There, students composted, ate vegan and vegetarian food, rode bikes whenever possible, and grew their own food. This is some weird hippie stuff that Im not OK with, she thought at first. It seemed excessive.
Then her world turned.
In her marine ecology class in New Zealand, she heard from a marine biologist about the real effects of climate change on the environment.
Eventually I stopped pushing back. I was like, OK, this is pretty important, she said.
An introvert by nature, Mouw returned to Sioux Center energized and started an environmental club and initiatives on campus. This was in 2015 with the presidential election quickly approaching and Republican candidates starting to cycle through Sioux Center.
Mouw connected with the national group Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and soon they gave her a job asking every Republican who came to town for their views on climate change. She pushed through her fear of public speaking and started to seek out the microphone at rallies and town halls. Quickly she became frustrated and discouraged with their answers or lack thereof.
I really still believed at that point that Republicans could do this, she said.
Mouw tried speaking to her church pastor about climate change, but he told her the topic wasnt important enough to address in the 30 minutes he had each Sunday to preach to his congregation.
So she found other ways to apply herself. She journeyed to rural Minnesota, where she did environmental conservation work, and is now back in Iowa assisting the campaign of Democrat Michael Franken, who supports efforts to combat climate change.
I dont think it was really until two years ago that I abandoned the Republican Party, Mouw said, referring to the aftermath of Trumps election. I kind of gave up hope because you get to the point where youre just like, This is a losing battle.
This splitting away of younger evangelicals started in 2008 when Barack Obama ran for president, according to Balmer, the Dartmouth professor. Young conservative Christians had been raised to believe that abortion and same-sex marriage were the only salient moral issues to vote on, he said. But on college campuses, Balmer said, he began to hear from young people who cared about a broader spectrum of issues including climate change, hunger, poverty, and the Iraq War.
The 2016 election only exacerbated the generational divide, he said.
Its kind of a sad thing, in some ways, because this is something that they grew up with and they just cant, some of them, bring themselves to abandon it, he said. But they also kind of know instinctively that something is wrong, something is very, very wrong with this movement.
Young Evangelicals for Climate Action has sought to capture the energies and attention of these people hungry for change within their faith community.
More and more, we have younger evangelicals who are pretty disillusioned and disenfranchised with that traditional political alliance, said Ben Lowe, 35, who founded the group in 2012. Interest in climate change has only grown since then and the organization works to educate young people on Christian college campuses and in churches, as well as political leaders through legislative meetings and advocacy.
Mouws personal story and political work have attuned her to the views of older conservative Christians so now when she talks to them about climate change, she is prepared. One morning this fall, Mouw met some of her grandfathers friends, men in their 70s and 80s who gather every morning for coffee at the Dutch bakery downtown. The men agree that climate change is happening and they are concerned, but they do not think the government can be trusted to fix it.
Mouw listened quietly for the better part of an hour. When the conversation turned to her, she spoke without a hint of judgment.
I think we have the climate crisis because we are sinful, and we have failed to [care for the Earth] properly, she said, the men murmuring in agreement. She mentioned ways to curb global warming like energy-efficient home heating and alternative agricultural practices.
But then she continued, in her gentle but firm tone, with a second notion that is more controversial: I think its important for us as evangelicals who care about climate to really be involved in the political scene and make sure we are electing people who promote the sustainability of the earth.
The men werent sure what to say about that. One of them, Willis Alberda, a retired professor from Dordt University, asked Mouw if she makes that same provocative point when she meets with members of Congress. Mouw said she did.
Oh really? the 83-year-old asked with genuine curiosity. Some would agree with what you say?
Yes, she said.
Laura Krantz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @laurakrantz.
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Posted: at 11:46 pm
The blowback experienced by the magazine Christianity Today after last weeks editorial calling for the ouster of President Donald Trump is but one example of a damaging phenomenon in and around the Republican Party.
The Grand Old Party has, in rapid order, effectively become a subsidiary of the Trump Organization.
All presidents, by default, become their party leader. But there is usually room for some dissent. There is no such room in Trumps cult of personality.
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY used to favor free trade. Not under Trump. The Republican Party used to be concerned with deficits. Not under Trump. The Republican Party used to be suspicious of all things coming from the Kremlin or Pyongyang. Not under Trump.
The rapidity of the party U-turn on these issues and others is startling. So too has been the effective surrender of party figures whose established positions differ from Trumps.
Trump has either forced his intraparty critics out (see former senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker) or forced them to embrace him (see Sen. Lindsey Graham). Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, one of the most conservative members of the House, said during the summer that Trump had, in his view, committed an impeachable offense; within days, Amash was forced out of the Republican Party. Amash, who voted with the Democrats to impeach Trump, hopes to retain his seat as an independent candidate.
AMASH, AT LEAST, has not surrendered. Most establishment Republicans have. As noted this week by FiveThirtyEights Perry Bacon Jr., 26 House Republicans decided not to run again in 2018; another 24 have made the same decision as of the start of the week. Trump certainly isnt the only reason for two consecutive waves of retirements, but its no coincidence. Those Republicans still resistant to Trumps cult of personality are, increasingly, out of office and out of the arena.
The decision by the Republican Party of Minnesota to allow just one name on the states primary ballot is another case in point. There is no chance that allowing Joe Walsh or William Weld on the primary ballot would keep Trump from winning the primary, but party leaders reject the notion that there can be any alternative to the Dear Leader.
There are those connected to the evangelical wing of the Republican Party notably Rick Perry and Nikki Haley who describe Trump as chosen by God for the presidency. Christianity Todays editor who, like Flake and Corker, is about to abandon the arena and retire begs to differ and warns that the embrace of such a flawed figure damages Christian witness. We fear the same applies to conservative policy thinkers and politicians.
Free Press, Mankato, Minnesota
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Posted: at 11:46 pm
So far this year, 22 Republicans in the U.S. House have announced that they will not run for reelection next November. This represents the most retirements for either party in a non-election year this decade, according to an analysis by CBS News.
By comparison, six House Democrats have announced their retirements this year.
From potentially competitive 2020 reelections, to a growing dread of life in the minority, here are some of the factors that play into this year's Republican exodus.
After a year of court battles over partisan gerrymandering, a panel of North Carolina judges have approved a new set of congressional maps that are much less Republican-friendly.
Three House Republicans from North Carolina have since announced their retirements: George Holding, Mark Walker and Trump ally Mark Meadows.
Meadows' seat is likely to remain in Republican hands. Holding and Walker, however, both received new districts that included Democratic strongholds like Raleigh, or counties that Hillary Clinton carried like Guilford and Forsyth.
"I should add, candidly, that, yes, the newly redrawn congressional districts were part of the reason I have decided not to seek reelection," Holding said in his retirement statement.
Other Republican retirees in usually red suburban seats had their own wake-up call in 2018.
Texas Representative Pete Olson won his Houston-Fort Bend area district by 7 points in 2008. Every election since, he's won by nearly 20 points. That is until 2018, when he won by less than five points against Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni.
Of the six Texas GOP members that aren't running in 2020, three of them won by 5 points or less in 2018: Olson, Will Hurd, and Kenny Marchant. Democratic groups were quick to call the pattern a "Texodus" and are looking to pick up these three open seats that were competitive in 2018.
"We're doing a heckuva lot more offense than we were expecting to do," said Robby Mook, president of the House Majority PAC, a group dedicated to helping House Democrats keep their control. "We just have opportunities on the table that I don't think anybody anticipated."
Mook said the retirement of Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York's Long Island suburbs, has created another potential pickup for Democrats.
"King is a perfect example of someone who was pretty comfortable in his seat, but now that he's gone, that is a battleground seat," Mook said.
Former Congressman Tom Davis, a Virginia Republican who retired in 2008, said an increase in partisanship has made life harder for swing-district representatives.
"I sat in a Democratic district, but I never had a really rough race. Nowadays they spend four or $5 million just polarizing things," said Davis, who retired in 2008. "If you're in a swing seat, you're going to be challenged."
Since President Trump took control of the Republican Party, 106 House Republicans have either been defeated in elections or retired. This year's casualty list includes members who have criticized the president before, including Hurd.
"There's no such thing as voting with him when you agree with him and voting against him when you don't. You get primaried," Mook said. "The Republican Party's gone so all in with [Mr. Trump] that there's no there's no such thing as halfway anymore."
This presents a problem for Republicans who represent GOP-leaning suburban seats where Mr. Trump is unpopular.
"[Mr. Trump is] redefining the electoral landscape and I don't think Republicans can do much to change that," Davis said.
But to Ron Bonjean, a former spokesperson for House and Senate Republican Leaders, this year's retirements say more about life in the minority for House Republicans than about Mr. Trump.
"[It] has nothing to do with President Trump. It has every indication of being a very partisan atmosphere where little can get done," he said. "Being in the minority isn't any fun when you've been a majority and you know what it's like to drive the car. And now you're in the passenger seat, you can't make any decisions about where it's going."
Before the 116th Congress, Representative Bill Flores of Texas has only known life in the majority. He began his career in 2012, right after Democrat Nancy Pelosi ended her first stint as House Speaker.
Now Flores has had to deal with life in the minority.
"You don't control the legislative flow at all," he said. "You just have to be a little bit more agile on your feet than you are in the majority, to be able to put building blocks into what hopefully will become bipartisan legislation down the road."
Flores announced in September he would forego reelection in 2020.
Term limits, either self-imposed or due to House GOP rules, has also been a pattern amongst retirees. Ted Yoho of Florida said his retirement makes good on a promise to only serve four terms. Both Rob Bishop of Utah and Mike Conaway of Texas reached the limit of three terms in committee leadership when they decided to retire.
In response, House Republicans, as well as President Trump, floated the idea of easing the definitions of term limits to only count chairmanship titles, and not the ranking member status minority lawmakers get.
"House Republicans should allow Chairs of Committees to remain for longer than 6 years," Trump tweeted. "It forces great people, and real leaders, to leave after serving. The Dems have unlimited terms. While that has its own problems, it is a better way to go. Fewer people, in the end, will leave!"
The NRCC and outside Republican groups are banking on impeachment to cause vulnerable Democrats in Trump-won districts to lose their seats. To them, their path runs straight through those 31 districts, including newly-minted Republican Jeff Van Drew's New Jersey seat.
Republicans need to flip 19 seats red to gain back the majority, but also have to defend all 197 of their currently-held seats, including in all the districts with retiring members.
"I don't think there's confidence that they can win back the House anytime soon, and for good reason," Mook said.
"It's precisely because of open seats that I think they're really in a jam, because those open seats are giving Democrats a chance to help offset any losses. It's a vicious cycle," Mook added.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had already targeted Hurd's, Marchant's and Olson's Texas districts before their retirement announcements. Rob Woodall of Georgia's 7th district is also retiring, and he had one of the tightest 2018 victory margins, winning by just 0.2%.
Flores and Bonjean point to the earlier filing deadlines as a reason for the earlier retirement announcements, in an effort to give enough time to recruit viable candidates.
"You eventually get new blood in the system through recruitments," Bonjean said. "So the key here is for Republicans to recruit candidates in these districts wherever of retirement to make sure that we have good people going back to Capitol Hill."
A total of 12 candidates, including former Texas representative and former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Pete Sessions, are running in Flores' 17th district. Immediately after deciding he'd retire, Flores held "candidate workshops" to recruit candidates ahead of the December primary filing deadline.
Davis, who voted to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998, said vulnerable House Democrats will have to wait and see how this month's impeachment vote plays out in their districts next November.
"I think as you find out from Van Drew, you're more at risk if your buck your party, but these are no win votes for these members no matter what they did," he said.
In the end, Davis believes the dynamics of the 2020 presidential race could determine how the 2020 House races turn out.
"We're in a cycle now where you have less ticket splitting than anytime in history. So [Republicans] are going to rise or fall with how the president does," he said.
"But we don't know, things can change very rapidly, and if the Democrats nominate a [Bernie] Sanders, it can all turn around pretty quickly."