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Agiel

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Agiel last won the day on May 29 2019

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About Agiel

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    ...at 80,000 feet... and climbing

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  1. I'm distinctly reminded of Sir John Hackett reflecting on the words of Arnold Toynbee and what he called "the Military Virtues": Granted from what people in the real-estate profession have said of Trump it's doubtful he's any good at being a real-estate mogul anyways. For as much as Trump claims to idolise figures such as Patton one would have to try very hard to convince me that had Patton lived long enough to meet Trump he would not shatter his jaw within ten minutes of being in his presence.
  2. At any rate I half-expected _a_ delay for Cyberpunk 2077, but hadn't foreseen it to be into the Fall. I had thought that it would be at worst in late July, which being so close to E3 meant that CDPR would feel justified in having just a token presence at the show (announcing CP2077 for next-gen consoles with side-by-side shots plus a teaser for the multiplayer portion). It would appear that they will now be having presentations at both E3 and Gamescom.
  3. There's going to be a lot of cancelled PTO requests for April on the desks of supes.
  4. "Neil! Play the Drum Solo of Life!"
  5. It if makes you feel better the vast majority of people in North America who deal with Iranians on a regular basis have nothing but positive experiences with them. One of my best friends through high school was Persian and about the only thing he did that could be remotely construed as vaguely pro-Iran was him curling his lip at the depiction of Persians in <<300>> and even I shared that sentiment. In college I had an Iranian roommate (as in he had emigrated from Iran) and had spotted me watching a documentary on Ruhollah Khomeini and the Iran-Iraq War and said to me "Why are you watching something about that a**hole?", and while at parties he could go at length about how crooked the Pasdaran and the Basij were. Trump often accuses other countries of "not sending their best and brightest" to the US, but in the case of the Iranians this simply wasn't true; I was at my cousin's Computer Science graduation at UCLA and you would go through several minutes hearing nothing but Persian last-names.
  6. Frankly I wouldn't let the Soviets off that easily on that basis. The behaviour of the flight that was not consistent with previous American reconnaissance missions should have tipped the Soviets off, and they had courses other than shooting down the jet (Put it this way: Technically in some US jurisdictions it is legal to brandish a firearm at or shoot some kid that intruded on one's property. Nonetheless the shooter shouldn't expect anyone to break out the 18-year old scotch for him at the next block party) per David E. Hoffman's chapter on KAL 007 in "The Dead Hand": <<Another plane flew in the sky that night, circling close to the Soviet Union, an RC-135 four-engine jet used for intelligence missions by the U.S. air force. The RC-135, a converted Boeing 707, was a familiar spy plane, known to the Soviets. Osipovich, the interceptor pilot, recalled he had chased it many times. The RC-135 flights were monitoring Soviet ballistic missile tests on an intelligence mission known as Cobra Ball. The plane was crammed with cameras and special windows down one side to photograph a Soviet missile warhead as it neared its target. The upper surface of the wing on the side of the cameras was painted black to avoid reflection. The RC-135s were based on Shemya Island, a remote rocky outcropping in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. Soviet missile tests often aimed at the Kamchatka Peninsula. How the missiles landed could help the United States monitor arms control treaties and look for violations. The pictures could show how many MIRVs came from a missile and the final trajectory. The RC-135 planes flew in circular or figure-eight orbits with camera lenses aimed at the Soviet coastline, in anticipation of a test. On the night of August 31, a missile test was expected and the RC-135 loitered in the sky, waiting. The RC-135 had a wingspan of 130 feet, compared to the 747, which stretched 195 feet and 10 inches across. Both had four engines, located under the wings. The 747 featured a prominent hump on the front of the fuselage for the upper passenger deck. As the RC-135 circled, at about 1 A.M., the larger 747 flew by, seventy-five miles south. This was a critical moment of confusion for the Soviets. They had been tracking the RC-135 by radar. When the missile test didn’t happen, the RC-135 headed back to its base on Shemya Island, but Soviet radar didn’t see it turn and go home. On the way home, the RC-135 crossed the flight path of the 747 at one point. The Soviet radar somehow lost the RC-135 and picked up the 747, now unexpectedly heading directly for Kamchatka. The plane was given a number, 6065, and the track was annotated with an “81,” which meant one unidentified aircraft. It was the off-course Korean Air Lines flight, but the Soviet ground controllers thought it might be an RC-135. The radar tracked the plane as it approached Kamchatka, but not constantly. Radar contact was lost, and picked up again while the plane was about halfway over the peninsula. When the airliner approached Kamchatka, Soviet air defense forces were slow to react. Controllers were groggy, commanders had to be awakened, and there were radar gaps. Transcripts of ground control conversations show they spotted the plane just as it flew over the air defense forces base at Yelizovo. They scrambled four interceptors. These planes zigzagged in the air for twenty minutes but could not find the jet, which was actually north of them, and they were forced to return to base. The plane flew on, straight out over the Sea of Okhotsk and toward Sakhalin Island, about seven hundred miles away. Radar contact was lost at 1:28 A.M. the plane just as it flew over the air defense forces base at Yelizovo. They scrambled four interceptors. These planes zigzagged in the air for twenty minutes but could not find the jet, which was actually north of them, and they were forced to return to base. The plane flew on, straight out over the Sea of Okhotsk and toward Sakhalin Island, about seven hundred miles away. Radar contact was lost at 1:28 A.M. .. Guk, the KGB chief in London, had been in Moscow during the shoot down, and he later took Gordievsky aside and told him that eight of the eleven Soviet air defense radar stations on Kamchatka and Sakhalin were not functioning properly. Dobrynin heard>> Emphases seem to corroborate the testimony of the Soviet defector pilot Alexander Zuyev, who claims that several EW and GCI radars remained inoperable because they hadn't been repaired in a timely manner despite the Far East MD's claims to the contrary. https://youtu.be/_glEQuvurFQ?t=107 <<At 3:09 A.M. an order was given to destroy the plane, but then rescinded. The Sokol command post duty officer wondered if the Americans would really fly a spy plane directly into Soviet airspace. They usually circled outside territorial waters. “Somehow this all looks very suspicious to me,” he said. “I don’t think the enemy is stupid, so … Can it be one of ours?” He called another command center at Makarov, on the eastern tip of the island, to see what they knew about the plane’s flight. “It hasn’t bombed us yet,” was the reply. ... The Soviet ground controllers asked Osipovich six times whether the airliner was showing navigation lights, on the assumption that a plane without them might be on a spy mission. At 3:18, Osipovich reported, “The air navigation light is on, the flashing light is on.”>> Note that contrary to popular culture examples even the SR-71 kept their flights outside of Soviet airspace, as they had sensors and photographic equipment powerful enough for their missions monitoring Soviet naval bases in Murmansk, Vladivostok, and Petropavlovsk from this distance. <<At 3:24, Osipovich’s radio crackled with orders: “805, approach target and destroy target!” The airliner was just slipping away from the Sakhalin coast. Osipovich recalled later it was at this point he had finally gotten a look at the plane, and he realized suddenly it was larger than an RC-135. “Soon I could see it with my own eyes,” he recalled. “It was a big plane, and I thought it was a military-cargo plane because it had a flickering flash-light. There were no passenger plane routes, and there had been no occasions of any passenger planes losing their way…I could see it was a large plane. It wasn’t a fighter plane, but either a reconnaissance plane or a cargo plane.” ... Dobrynin recalled seeing Andropov that day. Looking haggard and worried, Andropov ordered Dobrynin to rush back to Washington to deal with the crisis, saying, “Our military made a gross blunder by shooting down the airliner and it probably will take us a long time to get out of this mess.” Andropov called the generals “blockheads” who didn’t understand the implications of what they had done. Dobrynin said Andropov “sincerely believed,” along with the military, that the plane had made an intrusion into Soviet airspace as part of an intelligence mission to check Soviet radars. But even that, Andropov said, was no excuse for shooting it down instead of forcing it to land.>> The PVO commanders made a stupid gamble for the sake of their careers ordering the shootdown of KAL-007.
  7. That's rough. Our plan has the "rollover" of unused time off above an arbitrary annual limit reimbursed as back pay on the last paycheck of the year.
  8. And here I am with my three weeks of PTO banked up for just that occasion .
  9. I'd recommend giving Call of Pripyat a shake. For a great deal many STALKER fans who were in a similar boat as you that title managed to win them back.
  10. As an aside here's a Twitter account that is as criminally unrecognised as Black Metal Cats: I give you Conan the Salaryman.
  11. On the other hand were I to go to retirement communities in Florida and Arizona and ask the seniors living there whether or not they voted for Nixon in 1972 there will probably come a point at which I will find it difficult to believe them if they said they did not, considering the near total Electoral clean-sweep and popular vote landslide.
  12. The False Romance of Russia by Anne Applebaum Having recently brushed up on Roger Griffin's <<The Nature of Fascism>> and <<Terrorist's Creed>> the following seems particularly pointed: And what has always struck me as most surprising about the "blood and soil" right-wingers' weird fascination with Putin's Russia:
  13. At any rate I appreciate getting out of the police station and out in the streets of Raccoon City (even if Jill does spend a spell inside of RPD headquarters; developers after all capitalise on re-using old assets whenever they can) so that the player can appreciate the scale of the zombie apocalypse. RE2 Remake gave us a tantalizing view of that in the intro, but sadly still confined its scope to no more than two city blocks.
  14. I've heard some indication that this will be a more action-oriented entry, which is more my speed to be honest. Combine the atmosphere of the RE2 remake with a well-made zombie shoot-'em up and lose the Myst puzzles and I'm on board.
  15. By my estimation a Hillary Clinton administration would have been the biggest shot in the arm to the GOP since 94. As you often bang on about some of the biggest banking deregulation happened in Bill Clinton's administration, welfare as the US had known it until then had its heart ripped out and repeatedly trampled over, and the US bore witness to one of the most decisive routs of the Democratic party in Congress. Another Clinton administration would be impotent in the face of a GOP-controlled Congress, be under constant legal threat that would energise the opposition, and Democrat-leaning voters would be, as they were in 2010 and 2014, astoundingly derelict when it comes to both Federal and State elections in 2018.
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