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7 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Army Not Interested in... · 0 replies · +1 points

Close. Its more - "I thought your attack helicopters were supposed to do CAS not strike missions." or "Why did the old Army guard (including in Congress) keep trying to horn in on USAF territory of fixed wings and strike? Forget those WWII Army glory day command structures."

Of course Joint Forces are a lot more Joint teamwork nowadays. The Army now gets USAF strikes on the targets the Army wants hit and with the type and level of damage requested -- pretty much all the time and on time.

Also partially as result of vastly improved accuracy and timeliness on damage assessment of USAF strikes. As late as the end of Vietnam, USAF strikes were not always as effective as planned yet strikes were reported as if the plan could not fail. No good "eyes on target" after strikes many times.

7 years ago @ DoD Buzz - Army Not Interested in... · 0 replies · +2 points

Bottomline: it appears its time for the Army to get its attack helicopters out of the strike business and back into that originally planned CAS role. A role which the USAF would be glad to give up -- if only the Army continues its ceasefire on using CAS to leverage itself back into combat fixed wings. (That generation of Army is now safely dead isn't it?)

7 years ago @ MilitaryAdvantage.Mili... - Sky-High Price Has VA ... · 0 replies · 0 points

Cutting out the FDA and civil courts would help a lot. In Europe and Canada or Mexico costs are in part a lot lower because most of the responsibly for treatment legally rests with the patient. Doctors and medicine labels are merely considered expert advice but the ultimate choice & responsibility is yours. In most non-US cases as long as the drug is chemically clean and as described, you won't be collecting big lawsuit money if you as the patient put your faith in the wrong product.

Thus you can inject extract of apricot extract for cancer without rigorous proof of effectiveness. (By the way I seem to remember that was pretty expensive foreign miracle treatment considering the humble source.) You can inject stuff known to be poisonous as your own chemotherapy within any proof of the ratio of benefits to drawbacks. Its your body under most foreign medical laws,. Of course exotic treatments usually do not fall under free national health care or price regulation but you are free to haggle for private services without fear of legal liability costs to manufacturer or administering physician driving up cost.

7 years ago @ MilitaryAdvantage.Mili... - Sky-High Price Has VA ... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yeah well I suspect the availability issues are by location. So your mileage may vary. But most importantly any shortages are NOT going to be permanent. It just means that the most severe cases get it first and the mildest cases might have to wait up to a year. I mean some people got in 2014. Most will get it in 2015. But some might have to wait for new budgeting for 2016. If not ...well you can bet it was because Congress failed to see the need to fund drugs 100%. And in this particularly expensive drug's case it probably will have a separate VA budget request line so it will be Congress saying don't finish curing everybody in 2016.

7 years ago @ MilitaryAdvantage.Mili... - Sky-High Price Has VA ... · 0 replies · +1 points

A lot of good cheap drugs from Canada. But also a lot of counterfeit sources that keep the Mounties and US LEOs jumping. Generic Viagra is for instance by customs surveys of inspected product 80% placebo (no active ingredients). And its not unknown for counterfeit drugs to occasionally include mild to severe poisons where the makers were simply concerned with molding pills that looked right and used stuff left behind by prior factory owner.

So substitute drug sources can have their issues. Need a treaty with EU to buy up their official overruns and close to expiration lots if you want cheaper than overregulated US sources. But right now those are supposedly going largely to charity like Doctors Without Borders and certain national low income programs.

Plus when have you heard about big lawsuits driving up the cost of foreign drugs? You won't because you usually can't sue.

7 years ago @ MilitaryAdvantage.Mili... - Sky-High Price Has VA ... · 0 replies · 0 points

Yes drug companies gouge. But part of the reason they get away with gouging is the "free drug" counter-movement overreaction. The two extremes leave politicians unable to tell where the middle ground is and unwilling to take a stand.

Specifically the successful drugs have to support all pharmaceutical R&D. The above activists knowingly fail to mention that drug company R&D costs include many failed drugs which never go to market or which do but incur huge lawsuits for unforeseen side effects. Their assertion that drug companies should simply fund R&D only for drugs that will become successful is the worst sort of crystal-ball posturing.

Realistically drug companies should probably report total R&D costs publicly and tell how those costs are scheduled for recovery via sales of individual products. At least that would be in everyone's best interests or the public will demand governments take it over that business.

*** Government-run pharmaceutical programs would cost everyone much more. Because military weapon programs already show how extremely hard it is to kill off government projects even when it becomes obvious that their approach is a dead-end or some better solution has already filled the need.

7 years ago @ MilitaryAdvantage.Mili... - Sky-High Price Has VA ... · 0 replies · +1 points

No point in giving drug to anyone who has not got a positive lab test for Hep C.
If both VA and private labs say you are Hep C free...they need to ramp up your mental health treatment for paranoia etc.

But VA should quickly treat everyone who had a positive test from ANY accredited lab -- VA or private. VA should also reimburse anyone for lab costs who had a negative VA test but then got positive results from private lab within 60 days of VA lab being administered. That should keep VA bureaucrats and SNAFUs from simply burying or falsifying lab results to keep drug budgets within projections.

11 years ago @ Defense Tech - Is a Lack of Secure Co... · 0 replies · +1 points

yeah right

Its not like Khaddafi doesn't have a fair amount of experience with what targets an aircraft performing accidental assassination can attack. I am sure he is bunkered under the biggest most clearly marked combination children hospital, mosque, and veterinarian's clinic complex in Libya. Definitely SEAL or Spec Ops time...except we promised everyone not to do that...and its not really plausible to say he died there accidentally without any collateral damage.

And Raptor losswise... no international commission is going to let liberator pay their war loses out of the treasury of the liberated country. In fact you are expected to double your financial losses with a contribution to put the newly liberated nation on a smoother path.

11 years ago @ Defense Tech - Is a Lack of Secure Co... · 0 replies · +1 points

awefully expensive aircraft to fly where there really isn't any need. As for using Iraq and Afghanistan for practice...well to be honest accidents (birdstrikes etc) and emergencies do happen and the USA remains a pretty friend place with lots of places to MAYBE recover a distressed aircraft. But even Iraq and Afghanistan pose a lethal environment to a partially or totally disabled aircraft. Once you have an engine fire its amazing how much easier it is to hit you as you try to land and no go arounds to clear the perimeter of hostiles.

Heck the #1 issues is the lack of alternative landing zones. And in hostile areas you have to blow up your aircraft to prevent intact capture. The USA many landing areas including private strips and if you land intact you don't need to blow up the aircraft.

12 years ago @ Community, Code, Rando... - How John Birmingham lo... · 1 reply · +1 points

Additionally if there are AUDIO books made then contractually text to speech violates the standard audio performance clauses particularly for exclusive audio performance contracts.

And YES most authors should know that unless they are in the habit of signing away all their book rights including future movie deals in one big bundle.

So we could assume that either they didn't have their morning coffee to wake up and remember they sold those audio rights to a separate publisher or they let their agents worry about all those details.

But most likely the authors are just politely pretending that you are not a cheap skate. Audio books typically cost 10-20% more than the hardback printing and do not drop in price until 3rd or 4th printing of the paperback editions...and still cost 40-60% more than the trade printings. Everyone makes a mint on the audio book versions.