Tag Archives: Risks

U.S. Navy sets world record with new electromagnetic rail gun

Rail Gun
Rail Gun

The U.S. Navy has invented a new electromagnetic rail-gun weapon that is so advanced that it has set a world record. (H/T ECM)


A theoretical dream for decades, the railgun is unlike any other weapon used in warfare. And it’s quite real too, as the U.S. Navy has proven in a record-setting test today in Dahlgren, VA.

Rather than relying on a explosion to fire a projectile, the technology uses an electomagnetic current to accelerate a non-explosive bullet at several times the speed of sound. The conductive projectile zips along a set of electrically charged parallel rails and out of the barrel at speeds up to Mach 7.

[…]An electromagnetic railgun offers a velocity previously unattainable in a conventional weapon, speeds that are incredibly powerful on their own. In fact, since the projectile doesn’t have any explosives itself, it relies upon that kinetic energy to do damage. And at 11 a.m. today, the Navy produced a 33-megajoule firing — more than three times the previous record set by the Navy in 2008.

“It bursts radially, but it’s hard to quantify,” said Roger Ellis, electromagnetic railgun program manager with the Office of Naval Research. To convey a sense of just how much damage, Ellis told FoxNews.com that the big guns on the deck of a warship are measured by their muzzle energy in megajoules. A single megajoule is roughly equivalent to a 1-ton car traveling at 100 mph. Multiple that by 33 and you get a picture of what would happen when such a weapon hits a target.

Ellis says the Navy has invested about $211 million in the program since 2005, since the railgun provides many significant advantages over convention weapons. For one thing, a railgun offers 2 to 3 times the velocity of a conventional big gun, so that it can hit its target within 6 minutes. By contrast, a guided cruise missile travels at subsonic speeds, meaning that the intended target could be gone by the time it reaches its destination.

Furthermore, current U.S. Navy guns can only reach targets about 13 miles away. The railgun being tested today could reach an enemy 100 miles away. And with current GPS guidance systems it could do so with pinpoint accuracy. The Navy hopes to eventually extend the range beyond 200 miles.

“We’re also eliminating explosives from the ship, which brings significant safety benefits and logistical benefits,” Ellis said. In other words, there is less danger of an unintended explosion onboard, particularly should such a vessel come under attack.

[…]There’s also a cost and logistical benefit associated with railguns. For example, a single Tomahawk cruise missile costs roughly $600,000. A non-explosive guided railgun projectile could cost much less. And a ship could carry many more, reducing the logistical problems of delivering more weapons to a ship in battle. For these reasons, Admiral Carr sees the railgun as even changing the strategic and tactical assumptions of warfare in the future.

You may remember those big battleships that use to sail around 60 years ago during World War Two. Those are long gone now because even a 16-inch gun can only hit a target 20 miles away. But guided cruise missiles, like the Tomahawk cruise missile, came along and suddenly ranges of 200 miles became possible. That’s why you never see big guns on ships any more, and battleships are no longer built. The problem with SSMs though is that you can shoot them down with other missiles, like AEGIS-class vessels using RIM-161 missiles to intercept them. Can you intercept these rail gun slugs? I don’t know. If not, then that is a game changer.

I still think that this new weapon is not better than a nice carrier battle group with a couple squadrons of F-18 Hornets armed with Harpoon or Maverick ASMs. But it might be CHEAPER than a carrier battle group. And that is interesting. Maybe the Navy could mass produce these things so that they could be used in places where an expensive carrier battle group is not needed – against countries that do not have carriers or bombers of their own.

Previous story: U.S. Army unveils new guided grenade-launcher infantry weapon.

What does universal health care really mean?

I think the point of universal health care (at least the government-run variety) is pretty clear. The goal is to equalize life outcomes so that people who work the hardest pay the most into the system, and people who live in risky/immoral lifestyles withdraw the most. The biggest losers in such a system are the productive people who make responsible, moral decisions about their lifestyle – they pay the most and withdraw the least. The biggest winners are people who don’t work at all but who withdraw a lot.

I think that universal health care makes people irresponsible. The driving force behind universal health care is the idea that people should be able to do anything they want to pursue happiness any way they please, and that the natural limits of reality should be circumvented by spending other people’s money to “equalize life outcomes”.

Socialized medicine proponents are funny people. They think that no one should have to deal with the costs of their own decisions as long as they are sincere in their pursuit of happiness – it’s just not possible to predict what decisions will lead to good outcomes and what decisions will lead to bad outcomes. I once had two Canadian women bragging to me in an airport about how great socialized medicine was until I explained to them that at my salary level I would be paying 50% of my salary to the government and I had not been to the doctor for anything other than a check-up in my entire life. They could not see why I might like to opt out of such a system even after I explained it to them. They apparently thought that at any moment I might develop the urge for an abortion or two and then who would pay for it? Life is so unpredictable for a Canadian woman – it’s better not to have to worry about it and just let someone else pay.

So, let’s see what passes for health care in various universal health care systems around the world.

  • Here’s my previous post on taxpayer-funded in vitro fertilization in Ontario, Canada. It’s a human right! And that means it’s FREEEEEE!
  • But there’s more. Sex-changes are also a human right in Ontario, Canada. It’s FREEEEEE! The taxpayer has loads of money for that.
  • Do you know what else is FREEEEEE! in socialist countries like the UK? Breast enlargements. Yeah, because it’s a human right!

And of course it goes without saying that abortion is a human right everywhere, and should be taxpayer-funded. It really is about playing on people’s fears, and buying votes with other people’s money. The reason that the socialists don’t want health care to be left to private companies instead of government is because private companies would insist that people pay based on their likelihood of filing a claim – as with car insurance. But that is too “judgmental” for the universal health care proponents – they think that no one should feel obligated to behave responsibly just because of petty things like money.

I wonder what my readers think about this.

Is it OK for some citizens to make decisions that are costly and risky as they pursue happiness in non-standard ways, and then assign blame and costs for the inevitable failures and expenses to their neighbors? Is there a right to pursue happiness at the expense of others? Is life predictable enough that people should be able to rationally assess the costs and risks of their own decisions? Would private insurers do a better job of holding people accountable to make good decisions about their own lifestyles? Should people choose how much health care they want based on the coverages they want and the risks they want to incur? Should a person be able to say that they don’t want to be covered for sex changes and have the amount they pay into the system reduced? Should a person be able to opt out of government health care entirely and just buy a medical insurance policy privately, based on their own needs?

What causes homosexuality? Is there a gay gene?


Here is an article from Trayce Hansen, Ph.D. She summarizes the evidence on homosexuality in response to proposed changes to a California school board’s curriculum that would promote and normalize homosexual behavior.



Decades of research confirm that sexual orientation and gender identity are not inborn but are primarily shaped by environmental influences during childhood and adolescence. The proposed school curriculum will affect the sexual preference and gender identity formation of some children exposed to it because it teaches that all sexual and gender variations are equally acceptable. Sexual preference and gender identity formation are fragile developmental processes that can be disrupted and altered by environmental influences such as the lessons in the proposed school curriculum.


Many people continue to believe that sexual orientation is inborn, although that is not true. Extensive, worldwide research reveals that homosexuality is predominately influenced by environmental factors. For instance, recent large-scale studies compared rates of homosexual behavior in sets of identical twins. If homosexual behavior were inborn, every time one identical twin was homosexual, the other identical twin would also be homosexual 100% of the time. But this is not what the research revealed. Rather, every time one identical twin was homosexual the other twin was homosexual only 10% or 11% of the time. Homosexual behavior is clearly not genetic.

In fact, an accumulation of extensive research utilizing millions of research subjects finds that environment, not genetics, is the main factor in the development of non-heterosexual behavior. (To review these research studies see references 1-4 listed below).


Sadly, the research is also clear that individuals who adopt non-heterosexual lifestyles are more likely to suffer from a host of negative outcomes including psychiatric disorders, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide attempts, domestic violence and sexual assault, and increased risk for chronic diseases, AIDS, and shortened lifespan. Schools should not affirm and thereby encourage young people to adopt lifestyles more likely to lead to such devastation. (To review these specific studies see references 5-10 below).


The proposed school curriculum also teaches that transgendered lifestyles are a healthy and acceptable alternative to the norm. That is not true. Many transgendered individuals suffer from a psychiatric disorder known as Gender Identity Disorder (GID) that is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a mental disorder in need of psychological treatment… (For a thorough understanding of Gender Identity Disorder, see reference number 11 below authored by world-renowned GID experts).

Read the whole thing here, at the Ruth blog. The references to medical research publications are at the bottom of the article. The majority of the research papers cited are from 2005 to the present.

You may also be interested in a recent post discussing why people oppose same-sex marriage.