Daily Archives: January 11, 2013

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Come_And_Take_It_Mural.jpg

“Come and take it” is an American patriotic slogan most notably used in 1778 at Fort Morris in Georgia during the American Revolution, and later in 1835 during the Texas Revolution. The phrase is similar to Molon labe, which is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae.

 

January 11, 2013

Dear President Obama:

Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Vice President Joe Biden have said you are weighing using “executive action” to implement gun registration and licensing beyond even the ban on semi-automatic firearms proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and others.

When the National Firearms Act passed in 1934, Congress still understood that it didn’t have the power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to regulate Title II weapons, so it imposed a tax – an exorbitant tax, perhaps, but still a tax. Since then, however, overbroad interpretations of its power to regulate “interstate commerce” have become the norm, and Congress now feels free to legislate gun laws.

IT’S CALLED ‘USURPATION OF POWER,’ MR. PRESIDENT

“usurpation: …the unlawful or violent seizure of a throne, power, etc.” – Webster’s Dictionary

Apparently, however, even congressional usurpation of power is no longer sufficient for you: What you now threaten violates Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution. Since you seem to have forgotten it, here it is:

“All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.”

Is your usurpation of power by circumventing the legislative process a bid to turn our Republic into an autocracy? What will be your next Executive Order? Will it give you another four – or perhaps forty – years in the White House?

IT’S NOT ABOUT GUNS, IT’S ABOUT FREEDOM

Do you expect the American people to take so lightly this assault on their freedom?

They won’t, Mr. President. Millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens will refuse to comply, and by so doing become criminals. But I suspect you know that, don’t you? Maybe that is exactly what you want because, as George Orwell noted in his book “1984,” government has no control over the law-abiding; it can only control people who violate existing law, such as it may be.

And what happens next, Mr. President? Do S.W.A.T. teams break into the homes of our citizens at night to confiscate arms and arrest offenders? Make no mistake: That is what enforcing this law will require.

And what happens when, inevitably, some resist? Do you honestly believe people will go peacefully into bondage? How many will die as the direct result of your actions?

There is no need to send the Secret Service to my door, Mr. President (although I suspect you might anyway). I am not advocating violence; I am merely saying what others are afraid to.

The real question, Mr. President, is whether you so hunger for power that you are willing to foment what might be the next American Revolution. Will that be your enduring legacy?

At the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidus I, facing demands by the numerically superior Persian army for the Spartans to surrender their arms, responded with what is now expressed as “Molon labe.”

It means, “Come and get them.”

Armatissimi e liberissimi,

F. Paul Valone II
President, Grass Roots North Carolina
Executive Director, Rights Watch International

Source

Scientists make supermaterial a reality

Published on Jan 10, 2013 Scientists have created the first pure carbon nanotube fibers that combine many of the best features of highly conductive metal wires, strong carbon fibers and pliable textile thread. In a Jan. 11 paper in the journal Science, researchers from Rice University, the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid, the U.S. Air Force and Israel’s Technion Institute describe an industrially scalable process for making the threadlike fibers, which outperform commercially available products in a number of ways.

 

Friday, January 11, 2013

t’s been a long time coming, but scientists are at the cusp of realizing the dream of carbon nanotubes.

What’s the dream?

A low-weight material that’s as strong as steel, as electrically conductive as copper and conducts heat like metal. It’s like Spidey silk, only better.

Such a material would open up a new realm of engineering properties, for everything from common wiring to spacecraft hulls.

Scientists have long recognized the potential in single-walled carbon nanotubes —  but they’ve been expensive to make in quantity and quality, and it’s been difficult to connect the tiny, micron-long tubes into longer, useful fibers.

Now, in a new paper in the journal Science (see abstract), Rice scientists say they’ve devised a new carbon nanotube fiber that looks and acts like textile thread and conducts electricity and heat like a metal wire. The process of creating these fibers also appears to be scalable, which means it shouldn’t be too difficult for industry to make them.

“It’s a known technology to scale this,” Matteo Pasquali, a Rice professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, told me.

The feedstock and chemicals used to make these fibers are also relatively common, meaning that once a manufacturing process is put in place, the carbon-base materials and catalysts aren’t expensive. Pasquali is working with the Dutch firm Teijin Aramid to make this happen.

The new material is not quite the perfect carbon nanotube fiber: it’s stronger than steel; it’s thermal conductivity is much better than aluminum or copper, but it’s not quite as electrically conductive as aluminum or copper. But he said there’s still room for improvement.

The bottom line is that it’s resilient, conducts electricity and dissipates heat. Yeah, I think in the 21st century, a world of iPhones and Dreamliners, we might have use for a material like that.

Source

Tidewater Buys Three PSVs Under Construction at STX OSV (Norway)

STX OSV Holdings Limited (“STX OSV”), one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of offshore and specialized vessels, announced that Tidewater Inc. (“Tidewater”) has acquired contracts for three Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) under construction at STX OSV in Norway.

STX OSV had originally secured the contracts for the design and construction of three vessels for STX Pan Ocean Co. Ltd. in 2010, and Tidewater has now entered into an assignment agreement with STX Pan Ocean to take over these contracts. The first vessel in the series will be delivered to Tidewater during 1Q 2013. Deliveries of the next two vessels are scheduled for Q2 and Q3 2013.

Mr. Roy Reite, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of STX OSV, said, “STX OSV has in the past delivered ten offshore vessels to Tidewater. We are delighted to welcome Tidewater back to us as a client, and we look forward to cooperating with their team again.”

The vessels are of STX OSV PSV 09 design, developed by STX OSV Design in Ålesund, Norway. The overall length of the vessels is 87.9 meters, with a beam of 19 meters. The hulls are built at STX OSV Tulcea in Romania. Two vessels will be delivered from STX OSV Søviknes, the third from STX OSV Aukra in Norway.

World Maritime News – Tidewater Buys Three PSVs Under Construction at STX OSV (Norway).

 

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