Terry and the Pirates
If men who build IEDs out of cell-phone parts, explosive and Radio-shack components are called referred to as "Minutemen" and "patriots" by the some journalists what would you call people trying to build protective devices from century-old technology? Besides "mercenaries"? The Virginian-Pilot describes a something a little unusual over the skies of North Carolina.
For nearly two years, Blackwater has been developing an airship to tap a growing government demand for aerial surveillance and security - from patrolling U.S. borders and coastal waters to guarding military bases in hostile lands.
Earlier this month, its efforts finally got off the ground.
Officials with Blackwater Airships, a business unit of the Moyock-based tactical training and security company, say they successfully field-tested a 170-foot prototype on the grounds of a former Navy air station here.
Called the Polar 400, the non rigid blimp is designed to be unmanned and remotely controlled from a ground station. It would carry aloft such payloads as intelligence-gathering cameras, radar, communications gear and infrared sensors.
Blackwater! Well it's got to be bad. But why exactly? The article continues:
The increasing dollars have drawn plenty of companies to the market, including defense and aerospace giants Boeing and Northrop Grumman. Lockheed Martin and SAIC both are working on unmanned airship projects.
"Blackwater is attempting to enter a crowded market, and it would seem to me that they're going to have to have a pretty good story to tell - and maybe they do," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, an Alexandria-based group that monitors military and homeland security issues. "Companies like Blackwater are not going to have Iraq forever," Pike said. "They would have to be looking around to figure out other brand extensions they can develop that are relevant to their existing customer base."
Maybe this is the reason why Blackwater-built blimps are so much worse than those built by Boeing and Northrop Grumman.
Back in World War 2 private participation in the war effort was commonplace. For example, the Singer Sewing Machine factory made items ranging from .45 caliber pistols to B-29 fire control computers and turret castings. Why, Singer products might well have flown on raids over Tokyo! Politics is interesting because it makes things good or bad depending not on the things themselves, but on a point of view.