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Support Missile Defense, Now More Than Ever (Opinion)

Excellent analysis!

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Americans get regular reminders that we live in a dangerous world.
 
Already this year, for example, Iran shot down a civilian jetliner as it was leaving Tehran airport. That attack, which the Iranians called a mistake and blamed on “human error,” followed an American strike to kill Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a known terrorist leader. Meanwhile, North Korea had promised to deliver a “Christmas gift” to the United States. The fact that it hasn’t attempted an attack doesn’t mean it isn’t planning one.
 
What would we do if an Iranian or North Korean missile was in the air?
 
Missile defense that can shoot down incoming weapons must be part of our preparation. We all hope that such a system never needs to be used, but “hope” isn’t a protective strategy; missile defense is. Recognizing that, foresighted leaders have invested over the years in several layers of defense, including the final level, known as Ground-based Midcourse Defense. GMD provides a final line of defense in case our homeland is attacked.
 
At this dangerous moment the Pentagon is investing more time and money into missile defenses. On Dec. 27, it increased its planned investment in GMD by adding $265 million to expand its existing contract. “Under this modification, the contractor will support the GMD Communications Network Modernization, the in-flight interceptor communications system data terminals technology upgrade, and complete the GMD fire control communication ground systems software,” the Pentagon explained. That’s a good step, and can help make GMD even more effective.
 
Americans should also keep in mind that this entire system is defensive; it’s not a weapon but a shield to protect against weapons. “GMD is designed to defend against limited ICBM threats from rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran, and is not designed to counter the strategic forces of nations that possess advanced ICBM capabilities such as Russia and China,” as the Pentagon puts it. There are more than 40 interceptors installed at sites on American soil.
 
It has worked in trial runs. As recently as 2017, the Missile Defense Agency and the U.S. Air Force corroborated to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile target for the first time using GMD. This was the first live-fire test against an ICBM target. A less-intensive test three years earlier had also been successful. And there have been a number of unsuccessful tests, which only makes sense.
 
After all, GMD has the most difficult job imaginable: essentially to use a missile to shoot a missile out of the sky.  That requires more than just the missiles in their silos. “GMD employs integrated communications networks, fire control systems, globally deployed sensors, and Ground-based Interceptors (GBIs) that are capable of detecting, tracking and destroying ballistic missile threats,” The Pentagon explains. “The Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) is a sensor/ propulsion package that uses the kinetic energy from a direct hit to destroy the incoming target vehicle.”
 
Sadly, we’re not as far along as we could be. Last year, Dr. Michael Griffin, the under secretary of defense for research and engineering, told Boeing to stop its work on the Redesigned Kill Vehicle. This doesn’t slow the deployment of defensive systems, but means they’ll be relying on the EKV instead of a potentially more effective RKV.

This isn’t the time to try to skip generations of equipment within missile defense; the country needs to keep developing the system one step at a time. We’re fortunate that some lawmakers are pushing back. “I am deeply concerned about the announcement to cancel the Redesigned Kill Vehicle program,” Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska announced. He promised to look into the RKV program. Some House lawmakers expressed concerns, too, as well they should. 
 
Policymakers should insist on further investment in all phases of GMD, because the system needs to grow so it can keep protecting us against threats. Americans have enemies, and they have dangerous weapons. GMD is crucial. Just in case.

Bryan Crabtree, is author of new book, “The Trump In You: Acting Like Trump Is Actually A Good Thing.” Crabtree is a radio host on AM 920 The ANSWER in Atlanta, GA and the publisher of Talk40.com

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COVID Permanently Destroyed 60% of Businesses that Shutdown for Mitigation

New data finds that 60 percent of the businesses that shut down for COVID mitigation will be closed permanently and won’t be coming back.

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New data finds that 60 percent of the businesses that shut down for COVID mitigation will be closed permanently and won’t be coming back.

New data from Yelp shows the terrible state of affairs, according to CNBC.

Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll.

As of Aug. 31, some 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed. That’s down from the 180,000 that closed at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, it actually shows a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July.
In addition to monitoring closed businesses, Yelp also takes into account the businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased throughout the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening.

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“Overall, Yelp’s data shows that business closures have continued to rise with a 34% increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July,” Justin Norman, vice president of data science at Yelp, told CNBC.

Congratulations Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci, and the entire Democrat establishment for destroying most of the country with you ineffective, unscientific lockdowns.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

New data finds that 60 percent of the businesses that shut down for COVID mitigation will be closed permanently and won’t be coming back. New data from Yelp shows the terrible state of affairs, according to CNBC. Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Impact Report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic toll. As of Aug. 31, some 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed. That’s down from the 180,000 that closed at the very beginning of the pandemic. However, it actually shows a 23% increase in the number of closures since mid-July. In addition to monitoring closed businesses, Yelp also takes into account the businesses whose closures have become permanent. That number has steadily increased throughout the past six months, now reaching 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening. “Overall, Yelp’s data shows that business closures have continued to rise with a 34% increase in permanent closures since our last report in mid-July,” Justin Norman, vice president of data science at Yelp, told CNBC. Congratulations Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci, and the entire Democrat establishment for destroying most of the country with you ineffective, unscientific lockdowns. Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Six Foot Social Distancing Rule Has Murky Origins, Says Former FDA Chief

So…was it all just made up?

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At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of precautions and guidelines being slung about, some a little more diligently than others.

This was a novel virus, after all, and the guidance of our experts was expected to shift somewhat as we learned ever more about the way this strain of coronavirus was going to behave.

But, as we’re finding out now, some of these suggestions may have come right out of thin air.

Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), admitted during an interview on Face the Nation that the six foot social distancing rule recommended by public health officials for months on end was actually “arbitrary in and of itself,” and he noted that “nobody knows where it came from.”

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Speaking with Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan, Gottlieb discussed the rules and risks early in the pandemic, explaining that the Trump administration shifted its focus to the impact lockdowns and rules would have on the economy and children.

The admission came during a conversation about bringing children back into the classroom.

“And in fact, when the Biden administration wanted to open schools in the spring, this past spring, they got the CDC to change that guidance from six feet to three feet,” Gottlieb continued, admitting the original guidance was “arbitrary” and had unknown origins.

“The six feet was arbitrary in and of itself, nobody knows where it came from,” he said. “The initial recommendation that the CDC brought to the White House and I talk about this was 10 feet, and a political appointee in the White House said we can’t recommend 10 feet.”

One can only imagine how things would have turned out differently for the restaurant and live music industries had there been an understanding that this number wasn’t based in absolute science.

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were plenty of precautions and guidelines being slung about, some a little more diligently than others. This was a novel virus, after all, and the guidance of our experts was expected to shift somewhat as we learned ever more about the way this strain of coronavirus was going to behave. But, as we’re finding out now, some of these suggestions may have come right out of thin air. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), admitted during an interview on Face the Nation that the six foot social distancing rule recommended by public health officials for months on end was actually “arbitrary in and of itself,” and he noted that “nobody knows where it came from.” Speaking with Face the Nation’s Margaret Brennan, Gottlieb discussed the rules and risks early in the pandemic, explaining that the Trump administration shifted its focus to the impact lockdowns and rules would have on the economy and children. The admission came during a conversation about bringing children back into the classroom. “And in fact, when the Biden administration wanted to open schools in the spring, this past spring, they got the CDC to change that guidance from six feet to three feet,” Gottlieb continued, admitting the original guidance was “arbitrary” and had unknown origins. “The six feet was arbitrary in and of itself, nobody knows where it came from,” he said. “The initial recommendation that the CDC brought to the White House and I talk about this was 10 feet, and a political appointee in the White House said we can’t recommend 10 feet.” One can only imagine how things would have turned out differently for the restaurant and live music industries had there been an understanding that this number wasn’t…

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