Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's a Tomahawk missile? Tomahawk cruise missiles cost $500,000 each - feel better now that YOU don't have a job?

The Tomahawk cruise missiles that were launched Saturday against Libya are unmanned, single-use, programmable jet-engine missiles used only by the U.S. and British navies.

They fly very close to the ground, steering around natural and man-made obstacles to hit a target that is programmed into them before launch. Newer versions can be reprogrammed in flight but in this case that was not done, at least not yet.
They are different from other unmanned aerial vehicles in that they can only be used once – they are fired, they fly to the target and blow up. End of missile. A Predator and some other unmanned aerial vehicles can carry missiles, hit a target, then continue flying.

Tomahawk missiles normally carry a 1,000-pound conventional warhead. They can also carry 166 combined-effects bomblets, or mini bombs that spread out over a larger area. They can also carry nuclear warheads.

Tomahawks, developed in the 1970s, were first launched operationally by the United States during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. They are about 18 feet long with a wing span of nearly 9 feet, and they can fly at about 550 mph. Regarding Saturday's strikes against Libya, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said the missiles were in flight for about an hour, so they were likely fired several hundred miles from their targets.

USA TAXPAYERS just $56 million to blow holes in the sand! Plus we'll spend another $56 million the replace the ones shot off!! AND we have not countered the money used to deplay and fire etc... FEEL BETTER NOW?

Brazil for the Obama's "what a wonderful first family"

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha ...

"Huckleberry Finn" and the N-word debate

Should a publisher replace the N-word with "slave" in Mark Twain's classic novel?

  • Should the N-word be replaced by the word "slave" in "Huckleberry Finn"? Byron Pitts reports on the debate Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
      (CBS News)  Expunging the N-word from "Huckleberry Finn" deprives students of the "teachable moment" its presence in the novel creates says a black scholar. But retaining it deprives others of experiencing the novel in school at all says a white publisher of a sanitized version catering to school districts that have banned the book because of the word.

      Byron Pitts talks to both men, as well as teachers and students for a "60 Minutes" story about the N-word in American society, to be broadcast Sunday, March 20 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

      Randall Williams, co-owner and editor of NewSouth Books, republished "Huckleberry Finn" with "slave" replacing over 200 appearances of the N-word. He believes the new edition can still offer a teachable moment as well as an alternative for school districts unwilling to inject the word into their classrooms.

      Prof. David Bradley of the University of Oregon uses the word in classroom and disagrees with the use of the new edition, telling Pitts, "You use the term 'teachable moment' and that's what [n*&^%$] gives you.

      That's why it's important to keep it in there," says the author and Mark Twain scholar. "I call "Huckleberry Finn" a power tool when it comes to education," says Bradley. "There are so many things [in it] that pry things open...That teachable moment is when that word hits the table in a classroom. Everybody goes 'wooh' Okay, let's talk about it."

      But some teachers will not utter the word in their classrooms even if it's in the book. Pitts talks to teachers in Minneapolis who are discussing the traditional novel in class. One will say the N-word in class and the other will not. Their students also had divided opinions about saying the word in class; a black student said it made him uncomfortable. That's why his version is needed says Williams. "It is the word itself that is the problem...all these repetitive instances of the offensive N-word in there," he tells Pitts. "Is the argument that these kids should be subjected to pain?" he asks. Williams feels it is better to replace the N-word with "slave" and avoiding any pain and giving those who would not get a chance to study it at all an opportunity to experience what many feel is one of the greatest pieces of American literature.

      "It's not 'Huckleberry Finn" anymore,'" counters Bradley. "What are we teaching them [by removing the N-word]? This may be their first encounter with slavery." He says that to withhold the N-word is to avoid an integral reality. "'Slave' is a condition...nothing for anybody to be ashamed of," says Bradley, "But [n*&^%$] has to do with shame...calling somebody something. [N*&^%$] is what made slavery possible."

      For more on the reporting of this story and a frank discussion about it between Editor Ann Silvio and Pitts, go to our Webcast at on Sunday.

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