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(ABC)   Navy admits they spent $36 million in the last nine years flying a plane around Cuba every day to broadcast an anti-Castro TV channel the Cubans figured out to block on its first day and whose nickname in Cuba is 'the channel that cannot be seen'   (abcnews.go.com) divider line 88
    More: Asinine, Cuban, National Assembly, boondoggles, airplanes  
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2564 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Jul 2014 at 3:45 AM (34 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



88 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-07-08 12:08:45 AM  
Why does subby hate stimulus?
 
2014-07-08 12:14:13 AM  
$4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.
 
2014-07-08 12:21:06 AM  
You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?
 
2014-07-08 01:18:36 AM  
So for about $30/day all of Cuba got to ignore the US government? Can anyone sign up for this?
 
2014-07-08 01:24:28 AM  

Notabunny: So for about $30/day all of Cuba got to ignore the US government? Can anyone sign up for this?


Math fail. I'll go to my corner now.
 
2014-07-08 04:18:59 AM  
Still better than all the carcinogenic crap the CIA sprayed all over the country through the early 60s...
 
2014-07-08 04:33:56 AM  
Well that's stupid. And embarrassing. Don't we have better things to do?
 
2014-07-08 04:42:41 AM  
Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.
 
2014-07-08 05:08:17 AM  

MechaPyx: Well that's stupid. And embarrassing. Don't we have better things to do?


Well, they do still run spies in the US and still run the Atencion numbers station.
 
2014-07-08 05:15:24 AM  

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.


the other two have nukes and sh*t?
 
2014-07-08 05:20:57 AM  
That's why we need to drug-test people who apply for food stamps, it'll put an end to government waste.
 
2014-07-08 05:59:01 AM  

Zenith: starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.

the other two have nukes and sh*t?


Or maybe propping up a communist dictator in a close by country (by giving an obvious and powerful enemy for the dictator to always use to rally the people behind him) makes for a convenient bogey man in the US as well?
 
2014-07-08 06:01:06 AM  

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.


The commies in China are capitalists.  And they didn't nationalize a bunch of rich Americans' assets just when they were trying to turn the place into a tourist trap.

/although not sure if "say, that's a nice hotel, it's ours now" is worse than "requiring you to surrender intellectual property if you want to make things in our country"
 
2014-07-08 06:32:28 AM  
Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon lost $2B USD on 9/10/2001.

/study it out
 
2014-07-08 06:45:09 AM  

phillydrifter: Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon lost $2B USD on 9/10/2001.

/study it out


Or we could go with "you're asserting something; bring evidence to the table supporting declarations like that."
 
2014-07-08 06:47:03 AM  

Notabunny: Notabunny: So for about $30/day all of Cuba got to ignore the US government? Can anyone sign up for this?

Math fail. I'll go to my corner now.


are you sure you're not a bunny?

I hear bunnies aren't very good at maths
 
2014-07-08 06:51:05 AM  
and don't you ever imply that the defense department budget could be cut.  There is no waste there, nope, none whatsoever and any cuts would result in everyone speaking Russian and facing Mecca to pray.
 
2014-07-08 06:53:31 AM  

ajgeek: Or we could go with "you're asserting something; bring evidence to the table supporting declarations like that."


let me google that for you.
 
2014-07-08 07:09:57 AM  

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.


Momentum.
 
2014-07-08 07:11:19 AM  

Notabunny: Notabunny: So for about $30/day all of Cuba got to ignore the US government? Can anyone sign up for this?

Math fail. I'll go to my corner now.


Don't forget, that $4mil per year is the cost for the entire population of Cuba. Per person it comes out to about 3 cents a month.
 
2014-07-08 07:32:11 AM  

Zenith: starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.

the other two have nukes and sh*t?


One has an extremely vocal voting block in Florida.  Go figure.
 
2014-07-08 07:38:56 AM  

dookdookdook: $4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.


That's actually pretty cheap, considering.

And we don't really know how many people were watching.  A GAO report says that surveys within Cuba show fewer than 1% of those surveyed watched in any given week, but in a footnote it explains that the survey was a sample of those who had published telephone numbers in Cuba, which is just 17% of the population, and it also notes that people might not respond that they watched, even if they did, for fear of reprisals from the government.

BTW, here is a better article about the program:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/grounded-tv-marti-plane-a-mon um ent-to-the-limits-of-american-austerity/2013/09/02/18cdc324-1047-11e3- 85b6-d27422650fd5_story.html

And here is the FAA information about the plane itself:
http://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt =N 810CB

BTW, they haven't just "given up".  They broadcast through DirectTV to pirate satellite dishes in Cuba, they smuggle in DVDs, and they have a website, and the radio version, Radio Marti, apparently is somewhat popular in Cuba.
 
2014-07-08 07:42:07 AM  
Forgot to link to the GAO report:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09758t.pdf

The relevant footnote:

 IBB's telephone surveys are IBB's only random data collection effort in Cuba, but these 
data might not be representative of Cubans' media habits for two main reasons: (1) Only 
adults in homes with published telephone numbers are surveyed, and, according to BBG 
documents, approximately 17 percent of Cuban adults live in households with published 
telephone numbers; and (2) BBG and OCB officials noted that, because individuals in Cuba 
are discouraged or prohibited by their government from watching U.S. international 
broadcasts, they might be fearful of responding to media surveys and disclosing their 
media habits, and thus actual audience size might be larger than survey results
 
2014-07-08 07:51:10 AM  

Hiro-ACiD: Still better than all the carcinogenic crap the CIA sprayed all over the country through the early 60s...


Also better than the channel that can not be unseen.
 
2014-07-08 07:58:14 AM  

dookdookdook: $4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.


So you don't understand the difference between blowing your own money or blowing other people's money?
 
2014-07-08 08:03:24 AM  
Open the border. Seriously, if capitalism is so great it'll sell itself. Playing I'm not talking to you anymore at the national level is stupid.
 
2014-07-08 08:10:57 AM  

Mister Peejay: starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.

The commies in China are capitalists.  And they didn't nationalize a bunch of rich Americans' assets just when they were trying to turn the place into a tourist trap.

/although not sure if "say, that's a nice hotel, it's ours now" is worse than "requiring you to surrender intellectual property if you want to make things in our country"


When the people who owned said hotel have names like Jimmy the Rat or Luigi the Knife, and those
august legitimate businessmen contribute lots of money to politicians, yeah, its worse.
 
2014-07-08 08:24:21 AM  

Crewmannumber6: Open the border. Seriously, if capitalism is so great it'll sell itself. Playing I'm not talking to you anymore at the national level is stupid.


Not that simple.

The government of Cuba restricts private business.  They loosened up the restrictions a while back, but then they seem to have become more strict lately.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/06/24/324862512/cubas-buddin g- entrepreneurs-travel-a-rocky-road-toward-success
 
2014-07-08 08:29:44 AM  
I would imagine that the plane did some spying in addition to broadcasting.
 
2014-07-08 08:41:27 AM  

dittybopper: Crewmannumber6: Open the border. Seriously, if capitalism is so great it'll sell itself. Playing I'm not talking to you anymore at the national level is stupid.


Not that simple.

The government of Cuba restricts private business.  They loosened up the restrictions a while back, but then they seem to have become more strict lately.


We also maintain the claim that they owe us something like 6 billion dollars or so, from that one time when they nationalized a bunch of stuff, which included a bunch of American businesses' assets, 60-ish years ago.

There's also as bunch of stuff where we don't particularly have any moral high ground, but are nonetheless nationally upset. They've got a very aggressive espionage program. They're on the state sponsors of terrorism list for training rebels in Central America (something the US would never dabble in). And of course, they're pals with most of the countries we're not particularly fond of - not surprising, since we've been giving them the finger from the comfort of our comparatively thriving economy for decades.

Anyway, most actual people think it's a good idea to just friggin' let it go already, but yeah, the politics make it definitely not that simple.
 
2014-07-08 08:44:27 AM  

bubbadave1056: I would imagine that the plane did some spying in addition to broadcasting.


Almost certainly not, for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost is something called "desense".  If you have a radio receiver right next to a powerful transmitter, even if they are on different frequencies, you are going to reduce the sensitivity of the receiver.  Mostly, that's not really a problem, but signals intelligence requires very sensitive receivers in quiet conditions (quiet in a radio sense).

Second, you have a problem called "intermod".  If you have more than one transmitter operating nearby, the frequencies of the two can mix in a receiver and cause major interference on certain frequencies.  That will also fark up a SIGINT mission.

Thirdly, you can be sure that they didn't do any photographic reconnaissance, because the plane during normal operations flew over the Florida Keys.

But to go even further, this is what the aircraft looks like:

www.dtvmovements.co.uk
This is what actual US SIGINT aircraft look like:

upload.wikimedia.org

upload.wikimedia.org

upload.wikimedia.org

We've got plenty of available platforms to do that particular mission, so there isn't a need to try and overcome the problems of listening to weak signals while simultaneously transmitting a powerful TV signal.
 
2014-07-08 08:51:09 AM  
Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.
 
2014-07-08 08:56:06 AM  

MugzyBrown: dookdookdook: $4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.

So you don't understand the difference between blowing your own money or blowing other people's money?


Considering how much we pay out in tax credits per year or just outright exempting them from most their taxes, it likely both the people's money. That is why you have companies like GE who don't pay any taxes.
 
2014-07-08 08:57:16 AM  

give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.


That's all I'm saying, Give them a taste of what they're missing and it will all go away.
 
2014-07-08 08:59:16 AM  

phillydrifter: ajgeek: Or we could go with "you're asserting something; bring evidence to the table supporting declarations like that."

let me google that for you.


So..... you got nuthin'.

Surely, there is some sort of evidence to back up your claim that:

phillydrifter: Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon lost $2B USD on 9/10/2001.



I mean you make the claim as if it is as self-evident as the wetness of water, only to tell other people that they need to find the evidence for themselves rather than provide it yourself.

/and remind me again just how many billions (or even trillions) of dollars were spent on Bush's daddy issues and/or Cheney's oil buddies in Iraq?
//to say nothing of the 4,500 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed, and countless thousands more wounded
 
2014-07-08 09:00:48 AM  

give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.


Actually, we do trade quite a bit with them. I was listening to NPR on the way into work this morning, and there are entire businesses in places like Hialeah, FL who cater to Cubans.  There is a shop there, for example, that sells nothing but parts for Soviet-era cars like the Lada, Volga, and Moskvitch.   They buy the parts from Russia, and they are purchased here and either shipped to, or carried by, Cubans for use in Cuba.

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/329731459/goods-sold-in-cuban-shops-of te n-come-from-florida-stores
 
2014-07-08 09:18:38 AM  

dittybopper: give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.

Actually, we do trade quite a bit with them. I was listening to NPR on the way into work this morning, and there are entire businesses in places like Hialeah, FL who cater to Cubans.  There is a shop there, for example, that sells nothing but parts for Soviet-era cars like the Lada, Volga, and Moskvitch.   They buy the parts from Russia, and they are purchased here and either shipped to, or carried by, Cubans for use in Cuba.

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/329731459/goods-sold-in-cuban-shops-of te n-come-from-florida-stores


That's hardly a normalization of trade relations. In your example, it's effectively nothing more than a trip to Jim's Used Car Parts.

Normalization of trade relations and an end to the embargo would mean the Cubans could modernize their cars, replacing the crappy Ladas, Volgas and Moskvitchs with more modern vehicles like the Pinto, the Robin, and pretty much anything by GM.

Business trips are all fine and dandy, but why can't they come here on vacation for a few days and then just go back home? Why can't we go there for a quick weekend getaway? As it stands right now, about the only people who can go back and forth are the refugees from ~55 years ago and their descendants -- and even then, it's tough for them to even try to make the trip for reasons other than family reunions. They can't go to Daytona for Spring Break and boink some random drunk college girl, nor can they go to Disney World and take a dump in the Small World river when they think no one's looking.
 
2014-07-08 09:20:32 AM  

dittybopper: Actually, we do trade quite a bit with them. I was listening to NPR on the way into work this morning, and there are entire businesses in places like Hialeah, FL who cater to Cubans. There is a shop there, for example, that sells nothing but parts for Soviet-era cars like the Lada, Volga, and Moskvitch. They buy the parts from Russia, and they are purchased here and either shipped to, or carried by, Cubans for use in Cuba.


I think there is a difference between we trade with them (we can sell directly to them or we can ship directly to their stores, and vice versa) and it is allowed for citizens of cuba to come here and buy stuff, which they can turn around and sell.
 
2014-07-08 09:20:58 AM  
And here we get Fox News for our anti government propaganda.
 
2014-07-08 09:21:09 AM  

MugzyBrown: So you don't understand the difference between blowing your own money or blowing other people's money?


Right, the 1.3 cents a year the plane costs you is your (STOLEN AT GUNPOINT!!1) money, but the $500 in excess profit PepsiCo made off your doritos and soda habit last year is their money.
 
2014-07-08 09:22:15 AM  

LarryDan43: And here we get Fox News for our anti government propaganda.


Looks like privatization really does work.
 
2014-07-08 09:24:02 AM  
This might just be Obama's Watergate
 
2014-07-08 09:24:45 AM  
As far as boondoggles go, that's cheap.  Granted it was probably a complete waste of money from the get-go but I think the Navy loses $36 million when it takes a piss.

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.

Government representation.  Through their corporate proxies, China has far more representation in Congress than you do.  Frankly, while the ownership is in the U.S. (or more likely in the Caribbean), most consumer product manufacturers are Chinese in any way that actually matters.  Cuba's "representation" amounts to an anti-socialist platform which, may I remind you, is so strong that the U.S. didn't even consider a jobs program in the wake of the worst employment crisis since the 1930s.

bubbadave1056: I would imagine that the plane did some spying in addition to broadcasting.

 

dittybopper: Almost certainly not, for a couple of reasons.

Technical hurdles aside, I'm guessing if Cuba's up to any funny business they're probably not broadcasting it.  They'd have trouble getting anything that wasn't available for general public use, and frankly it's not hard to deliver a message within that country.  If they wanted to get a message out of the country, while it's slower, it'd be easier to circumvent the NSA by just stashing a message in, say, an empty oil barrel being shipped back to Venezuela or something.

If they're broadcasting anything at all it's probably propaganda that anyone with the right equipment could pick up from Florida.
 
2014-07-08 09:31:04 AM  

dragonchild: I'm guessing if Cuba's up to any funny business they're probably not broadcasting it


They most assuredly are. They're usually not broadcasting it in clear voice or plain text, but we've got an NSA for that.
 
2014-07-08 09:31:49 AM  

King Something: dittybopper: give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.

Actually, we do trade quite a bit with them. I was listening to NPR on the way into work this morning, and there are entire businesses in places like Hialeah, FL who cater to Cubans.  There is a shop there, for example, that sells nothing but parts for Soviet-era cars like the Lada, Volga, and Moskvitch.   They buy the parts from Russia, and they are purchased here and either shipped to, or carried by, Cubans for use in Cuba.

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/329731459/goods-sold-in-cuban-shops-of te n-come-from-florida-stores

That's hardly a normalization of trade relations. In your example, it's effectively nothing more than a trip to Jim's Used Car Parts.

Normalization of trade relations and an end to the embargo would mean the Cubans could modernize their cars, replacing the crappy Ladas, Volgas and Moskvitchs with more modern vehicles like the Pinto, the Robin, and pretty much anything by GM.

Business trips are all fine and dandy, but why can't they come here on vacation for a few days and then just go back home? Why can't we go there for a quick weekend getaway? As it stands right now, about the only people who can go back and forth are the refugees from ~55 years ago and their descendants -- and even then, it's tough for them to even try to make the trip for reasons other than family reunions. They can't go to Daytona for Spring Break and boink some random drunk college girl, nor can they go to Disney World and take a dump in the Small World river when they think no one's looking.


Actually, I don't believe there are any US restrictions on Cubans coming into the United States other than the normal visa process.  There are severe restrictions on US citizens going to Cuba.

The problem is one of money:  The typical Cuban makes the equivalent of $22 a month:

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=97506
 
2014-07-08 09:43:18 AM  

dookdookdook: MugzyBrown: So you don't understand the difference between blowing your own money or blowing other people's money?

Right, the 1.3 cents a year the plane costs you is your (STOLEN AT GUNPOINT!!1) money, but the $500 in excess profit PepsiCo made off your doritos and soda habit last year is their money.


If I don't buy PepsiCo products, they don't send armed agents to my door to arrest me.
 
2014-07-08 09:44:03 AM  
I had a friend who grew up in Cuba.
He liked to say that there were 2 television stations there.

Channel 1 was a man from the government telling you how great everything was.
Channel 2 was a man from the government telling you to tune back to channel 1.
 
2014-07-08 10:01:34 AM  

dittybopper: King Something: dittybopper: give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.

Actually, we do trade quite a bit with them. I was listening to NPR on the way into work this morning, and there are entire businesses in places like Hialeah, FL who cater to Cubans.  There is a shop there, for example, that sells nothing but parts for Soviet-era cars like the Lada, Volga, and Moskvitch.   They buy the parts from Russia, and they are purchased here and either shipped to, or carried by, Cubans for use in Cuba.

http://www.npr.org/2014/07/08/329731459/goods-sold-in-cuban-shops-of te n-come-from-florida-stores

That's hardly a normalization of trade relations. In your example, it's effectively nothing more than a trip to Jim's Used Car Parts.

Normalization of trade relations and an end to the embargo would mean the Cubans could modernize their cars, replacing the crappy Ladas, Volgas and Moskvitchs with more modern vehicles like the Pinto, the Robin, and pretty much anything by GM.

Business trips are all fine and dandy, but why can't they come here on vacation for a few days and then just go back home? Why can't we go there for a quick weekend getaway? As it stands right now, about the only people who can go back and forth are the refugees from ~55 years ago and their descendants -- and even then, it's tough for them to even try to make the trip for reasons other than family reunions. They can't go to Daytona for Spring Break and boink some random drunk college girl, nor can they go to Disney World and take a dump in the Small World river when they think no one's looking.

Actually, I don't believe there are any US restrictions on Cubans coming into the United States other than the normal visa process.  There are severe restrictions on US citizens going to Cuba.

The problem is one of money:  The typical Cuban makes the equivalent of $22 a month:
...


I haven't done enough research to know with 100% certainty (nor can I be arsed to), but I'm pretty sure that the embargo is a huge part of why the typical Cuban makes less in a month than the typical American makes in a day.

At this point, the embargo is being maintained for no other reason than to spite Fidel Castro, who will die of old age before the embargo is lifted. That, and because the GOP is friendly with the Cubans in Miami who want the embargo to be maintained at all costs (again, out of spite for Castro).
 
2014-07-08 10:03:06 AM  

incendi: dragonchild: I'm guessing if Cuba's up to any funny business they're probably not broadcasting it

They most assuredly are. They're usually not broadcasting it in clear voice or plain text, but we've got an NSA for that.


Actually, they use shortwave numbers stations.  Anyone with a typical shortwave receiver can listen to them. Sounds something like this:

¡Atención! ¡Atención!
cero cinco dos tres uno
ocho cero cero ocho seis
tres cinco cuatro tres ocho
ocho tres dos cero cinco
uno nueve uno ocho cinco
uno siete cuatro cinco tres
cero cinco tres uno uno
cero ocho cero cinco siete
cero cinco dos tres uno
Finale, Finale.


And yes, there is a message in that.
 
2014-07-08 10:05:00 AM  

dittybopper: ocho cero cero ocho seis seis ocho


Damn my sexylaid
 
2014-07-08 10:07:22 AM  

dittybopper: Actually, they use shortwave numbers stations.


Haha, I should've just specified encrypted. Of course they'd be using the one way to make my intent correct but the words nonetheless wrong.
 
2014-07-08 10:11:47 AM  
Would you really want to watch the propaganda channel anyway?

"your live sucks compared to americans. Why don't you join us. Oh wait, you can't!"

/what the fark could be on that station?
 
2014-07-08 10:17:24 AM  
What makes it a boondoggle? That fact that its not giving free money to people who aren't productive?
 
2014-07-08 10:20:37 AM  

Best Princess Celestia: What makes it a boondoggle? That fact that its not giving free money to people who aren't productive?


So, are you arguing that broadcasting propaganda to the residents of a foreign country who probably never see or hear it is better than feeding impoverished children and elderly, or are you just bitter that you're nominally an adult and have to pay taxes?
 
2014-07-08 10:25:41 AM  
img.youtube.com
 
2014-07-08 10:42:53 AM  
Two words.

Sabado Gigante.
 
2014-07-08 10:45:36 AM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?


Goddamn I hate that movie... thanks for plugging that into my head. I'll be hearing Judd Hirsch saying that line over and over again for the rest of the day.
 
2014-07-08 10:45:57 AM  

incendi: Best Princess Celestia: What makes it a boondoggle? That fact that its not giving free money to people who aren't productive?

So, are you arguing that broadcasting propaganda to the residents of a foreign country who probably never see or hear it is better than feeding impoverished children and elderly, or are you just bitter that you're nominally an adult and have to pay taxes?


How do we know they didn't see it?

As my GAO link above points out, the only surveys about who actually saw it are crippled by the fact that 83% of the population can't be surveyed, and the fact that it's illegal to listen to it within Cuba, means that any measure of how much it was listened to is going to be statistically invalid from the get-go.
 
2014-07-08 10:51:20 AM  

Satanus Maximus: MaudlinMutantMollusk: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?

Goddamn I hate that movie... thanks for plugging that into my head. I'll be hearing Judd Hirsch saying that line over and over again for the rest of the day.


Why?

It's not that bad of an example of the genre.  Especially the part about using Morse code on HF radio to organize the counter-attack.
 
2014-07-08 10:59:22 AM  

dittybopper: Satanus Maximus: MaudlinMutantMollusk: You don't actually think they spend $20,000 on a hammer, $30,000 on a toilet seat, do you?

Goddamn I hate that movie... thanks for plugging that into my head. I'll be hearing Judd Hirsch saying that line over and over again for the rest of the day.

Why?

It's not that bad of an example of the genre.  Especially the part about using Morse code on HF radio to organize the counter-attack.


The story is fine.  The movie's music score is one of my favorites.  I just can't get over on the acting.  I feel like I'm watching a Saturday morning cartoon.
 
2014-07-08 10:59:30 AM  

dittybopper: How do we know they didn't see it?

As my GAO link above points out, the only surveys about who actually saw it are crippled by the fact that 83% of the population can't be surveyed, and the fact that it's illegal to listen to it within Cuba, means that any measure of how much it was listened to is going to be statistically invalid from the get-go.


Well, obviously, as you've pointed out, we don't know (although, I'd assume that if we knew the source and amplitude of the jamming, we could probably math out the effective broadcast area very well). So, let's assume it hit the target audience with 100% success. What was the goal? Was the goal accomplished? Why bring up social welfare programs if not to start a discussion of the efficacy of spending in comparison? Even more to the point, would giving free money to "unproductive" people in Cuba have been more or less efficient at accomplishing our foreign policy goals than flying a TV station around?

Boondoggle or not, there's not much reason to say

Best Princess Celestia: What makes it a boondoggle? That fact that its not giving free money to people who aren't productive?

unless you're just looking to whine about government spending on things you personally don't like.
 
2014-07-08 11:22:51 AM  

Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate


yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.
 
2014-07-08 11:40:44 AM  

Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.


Truth is, if you bought it, you own it.  You can get by with the "B-b-b-but [previous president]" for only so long.  If you're still saying that half-way through the second term of the guy who replaced him, then you've got to own up to the fact that the new guy ain't much better than the old one.

Which, of course, is largely true, and has been ever since I started voting back in the 1980's.
 
2014-07-08 11:41:38 AM  
Hey, I found a great budget line item we can cut.  It's this.
 
2014-07-08 11:56:22 AM  

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.


You seem to be harboring the misconception that there are still actual Communists running Russia and China. Both countries have turned into capitalist plutocracies since the end of the cold war, so they are very well aligned with capitalist values.
 
2014-07-08 11:56:31 AM  

dittybopper: Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.

Truth is, if you bought it, you own it.  You can get by with the "B-b-b-but [previous president]" for only so long.  If you're still saying that half-way through the second term of the guy who replaced him, then you've got to own up to the fact that the new guy ain't much better than the old one.

Which, of course, is largely true, and has been ever since I started voting back in the 1980's.


I'm just a bill, heading for capital hill...

Multiple choice:

The Federal budget is decided by:

A. The President
B. Congress
C. Hint: The answer is B

Stop blaming Obama for things that are Congress' fault.
 
2014-07-08 12:00:17 PM  

starsrift: Explain to me again how you can do business with the commies in China, you can diplomat with the commies in Russia, but must forever use petty slaps againts the commies in Cuba.


IIRC, it's because the Cubans nationalized American companies' property.  They still want it back.
 
2014-07-08 12:08:42 PM  
Analogy: You could look at this the same way as how the Detroit Tigers got Miguel Cabrera.

Yes, Tigers, you can have Miggy, but you have to take Dontrelle too.

Canada said "Yes, you can have our oil sands, but we get to keep Cuba, so you have to keep onAnalogg being douchey to them."
 
2014-07-08 12:09:02 PM  

Geotpf: dittybopper: Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.

Truth is, if you bought it, you own it.  You can get by with the "B-b-b-but [previous president]" for only so long.  If you're still saying that half-way through the second term of the guy who replaced him, then you've got to own up to the fact that the new guy ain't much better than the old one.

Which, of course, is largely true, and has been ever since I started voting back in the 1980's.

I'm just a bill, heading for capital hill...

Multiple choice:

The Federal budget is decided by:

A. The President
B. Congress
C. Hint: The answer is B

Stop blaming Obama for things that are Congress' fault.


You have a severe reading comprehension problem, don't you?
 
2014-07-08 12:09:36 PM  
Analogy: You could look at this the same way as how the Detroit Tigers got Miguel Cabrera.

Yes, Tigers, you can have Miggy, but you have to take Dontrelle too.

Canada said "Yes, you can have our oil sands, but we get to keep Cuba, so you have to keep on being douchey to them."

/edited out the analog signal
 
2014-07-08 12:50:15 PM  

bubbadave1056: I would imagine that the plane did some spying in addition to broadcasting.


I thought I would troll with that statement, but you beat me to it.
 
2014-07-08 01:05:49 PM  

phillydrifter: Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon lost $2B USD on 9/10/2001.

/study it out


(I know you're not serious, but knee jerk response requires me to say) because the best way to hide the fact that you've lost $2 Billion is to go on tv and tell everyone about it, the DAY before you launch your massive inside operation to cover it up, rather than just waiting the extra day.
 
2014-07-08 01:26:30 PM  

Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.


Well, he DOES have a time machine, you know....
 
2014-07-08 01:36:51 PM  

dittybopper: Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.

Truth is, if you bought it, you own it.  You can get by with the "B-b-b-but [previous president]" for only so long.  If you're still saying that half-way through the second term of the guy who replaced him, then you've got to own up to the fact that the new guy ain't much better than the old one.

Which, of course, is largely true, and has been ever since I started voting back in the 1980's.


You do have to put it into context of priorities.  If there are so many big issues that still need to be corrected, and there are a lot of big things that have already been corrected.  It is not really right to act like the current President should own every little fark up of the previous President.

/b-b-b-  was about defending Bush fark ups by bringing up the unrelated fact that Clinton got a bj in the white house.  Not in the context you state above.  Know your memes.
 
2014-07-08 01:49:39 PM  
Headline sentence should start,

"Navy admits it spent ..."

/grammar nazi
 
2014-07-08 01:50:28 PM  
It's a bargain, libulardos, especially since it's like one-hundredth the money we spend on PBS and National People's Radio.
 
2014-07-08 01:52:24 PM  

dittybopper:  places like Hialeah, FL


born and raised!

/not proud of that
 
2014-07-08 01:55:53 PM  

Aldon: dittybopper: Aldon: Massa Damnata: This might just be Obama's Watergate

yeah,  I like how the biggest complaint now about Obama is that he is not fixing all of Bush's fark ups fast enough.

Truth is, if you bought it, you own it.  You can get by with the "B-b-b-but [previous president]" for only so long.  If you're still saying that half-way through the second term of the guy who replaced him, then you've got to own up to the fact that the new guy ain't much better than the old one.

Which, of course, is largely true, and has been ever since I started voting back in the 1980's.

You do have to put it into context of priorities.  If there are so many big issues that still need to be corrected, and there are a lot of big things that have already been corrected.  It is not really right to act like the current President should own every little fark up of the previous President.

/b-b-b-  was about defending Bush fark ups by bringing up the unrelated fact that Clinton got a bj in the white house.  Not in the context you state above.  Know your memes.


What about the shiat-sandwich that Bush was handed by Clinton? (Dot-com bubble burst, NASDAQ crash, followed by recession that started in the first two months of the Bush presidency)

What about the shiat-sandwich that Clinton was handed by Bush? (Reflected by the Clinton motivational phrase "It's the economy, stupid.")

But honestly, presidents have very, very little power over the economy.  It's a fool's game to blame the occupant of the White House for the economy, good or bad.  They *WISH* they had that much power.

The point I was making, though, is that if you blame the previous occupant for all the woes, then after a while you have to take credit for not having fixed it fast enough.  Either that, or you think the previous president was omnipotent and the current one impotent.  The truth is both are closer to the second case than the first one.
 
2014-07-08 01:58:04 PM  
BTW, no one has tried to take a stab at my numbers station transmission?  Farkers, I am disappoint.
 
2014-07-08 02:12:16 PM  

dittybopper: bubbadave1056: I would imagine that the plane did some spying in addition to broadcasting.

Almost certainly not, for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost is something called "desense".  If you have a radio receiver right next to a powerful transmitter, even if they are on different frequencies, you are going to reduce the sensitivity of the receiver.  Mostly, that's not really a problem, but signals intelligence requires very sensitive receivers in quiet conditions (quiet in a radio sense).

Second, you have a problem called "intermod".  If you have more than one transmitter operating nearby, the frequencies of the two can mix in a receiver and cause major interference on certain frequencies.  That will also fark up a SIGINT mission.

Thirdly, you can be sure that they didn't do any photographic reconnaissance, because the plane during normal operations flew over the Florida Keys.

But to go even further, this is what the aircraft looks like:

[www.dtvmovements.co.uk image 850x566]
This is what actual US SIGINT aircraft look like:

[upload.wikimedia.org image 641x362]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 800x640]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 850x546]

We've got plenty of available platforms to do that particular mission, so there isn't a need to try and overcome the problems of listening to weak signals while simultaneously transmitting a powerful TV signal.


I've touched that modified KC-135 with my head.  Maybe not THAT one, but I did a job at Offutt and one of the MSgts told me --nothing classified, of course, but way more than a civilian should probably know.
 
2014-07-08 03:13:30 PM  

give me doughnuts: Best way to fark with the Castro regime: End the embargo. Normalize relations with Cuba. Trade with them. Let tourists from America go there and spend money.


Speaking for all of us Canadians who've enjoyed an American-free Cuban vacation: please don't.
 
2014-07-08 04:09:57 PM  

dookdookdook: $4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.


Hell, they could pay me $1 million a year to sit on my ass and reach the same number of eyeballs in Cuba.

/a bargain!
 
2014-07-08 04:37:44 PM  

dittybopper: What about the shiat-sandwich that Bush was handed by Clinton? (Dot-com bubble burst, NASDAQ crash, followed by recession that started in the first two months of the Bush presidency)


Really?  One of the smallest, shortest recessions ever (that started AFTER Bush was President).  A Nasdaq crash to levels two years previous after it tripled in less than two years (duh!), Unemployment in the 4% range, a Budget SURPLUS (when have we ever seen that before or since?)... and no wars.

Are you really comparing that to the largest and longest recession since the depression that started over a year before Obama became president, 7.8% unemployment (and rising), a stock market crash (all markets, around the world) to lows it hasn't seen for 13+ years, a huge exploding budget deficit (over a Trillion) and two wars Bush couldn't finish/win in almost 7 years?

OK, be partisan if you want but jeez, you really have to be living in your own little world if you think Bush came into a shiat storm.  Or any kind of trouble comparable to Obama.
 
2014-07-08 05:54:27 PM  

phillydrifter: Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon lost $2B USD on 9/10/2001.

/study it out


He said that they were unable to track $2.3 trillion.
 
2014-07-08 05:55:46 PM  

Aldon: dittybopper: What about the shiat-sandwich that Bush was handed by Clinton? (Dot-com bubble burst, NASDAQ crash, followed by recession that started in the first two months of the Bush presidency)

Really?  One of the smallest, shortest recessions ever (that started AFTER Bush was President).  A Nasdaq crash to levels two years previous after it tripled in less than two years (duh!), Unemployment in the 4% range, a Budget SURPLUS (when have we ever seen that before or since?)... and no wars.

Are you really comparing that to the largest and longest recession since the depression that started over a year before Obama became president, 7.8% unemployment (and rising), a stock market crash (all markets, around the world) to lows it hasn't seen for 13+ years, a huge exploding budget deficit (over a Trillion) and two wars Bush couldn't finish/win in almost 7 years?

OK, be partisan if you want but jeez, you really have to be living in your own little world if you think Bush came into a shiat storm.  Or any kind of trouble comparable to Obama.


You do realize that the "great" Clinton economy was nothing more than the Greenspan Bubble, don't you?
 
2014-07-08 06:11:32 PM  

DrPainMD: Aldon: dittybopper: What about the shiat-sandwich that Bush was handed by Clinton? (Dot-com bubble burst, NASDAQ crash, followed by recession that started in the first two months of the Bush presidency)

Really?  One of the smallest, shortest recessions ever (that started AFTER Bush was President).  A Nasdaq crash to levels two years previous after it tripled in less than two years (duh!), Unemployment in the 4% range, a Budget SURPLUS (when have we ever seen that before or since?)... and no wars.

Are you really comparing that to the largest and longest recession since the depression that started over a year before Obama became president, 7.8% unemployment (and rising), a stock market crash (all markets, around the world) to lows it hasn't seen for 13+ years, a huge exploding budget deficit (over a Trillion) and two wars Bush couldn't finish/win in almost 7 years?

OK, be partisan if you want but jeez, you really have to be living in your own little world if you think Bush came into a shiat storm.  Or any kind of trouble comparable to Obama.

You do realize that the "great" Clinton economy was nothing more than the Greenspan Bubble, don't you?


Ha!

I heard the 'great' economy of the '80's was nothing more than a bank deregulation bubble that burst in the early 90's.

Don't you know that?
 
2014-07-08 08:59:01 PM  

brimed03: dookdookdook: $4 million/year? 

Think of how many companies blow hundreds of thousands per minute for TV ads that reach roughly as many eyeballs as the Cuba thing.

Hell, they could pay me $1 million a year to sit on my ass and reach the same number of eyeballs in Cuba.

/a bargain!


How would you? There is no way accurately gauge just how many saw it. See that GAO report I linked to?
 
2014-07-09 02:28:19 PM  

Aldon: DrPainMD: Aldon: dittybopper: What about the shiat-sandwich that Bush was handed by Clinton? (Dot-com bubble burst, NASDAQ crash, followed by recession that started in the first two months of the Bush presidency)

Really?  One of the smallest, shortest recessions ever (that started AFTER Bush was President).  A Nasdaq crash to levels two years previous after it tripled in less than two years (duh!), Unemployment in the 4% range, a Budget SURPLUS (when have we ever seen that before or since?)... and no wars.

Are you really comparing that to the largest and longest recession since the depression that started over a year before Obama became president, 7.8% unemployment (and rising), a stock market crash (all markets, around the world) to lows it hasn't seen for 13+ years, a huge exploding budget deficit (over a Trillion) and two wars Bush couldn't finish/win in almost 7 years?

OK, be partisan if you want but jeez, you really have to be living in your own little world if you think Bush came into a shiat storm.  Or any kind of trouble comparable to Obama.

You do realize that the "great" Clinton economy was nothing more than the Greenspan Bubble, don't you?

Ha!

I heard the 'great' economy of the '80's was nothing more than a bank deregulation bubble that burst in the early 90's.

Don't you know that?


Yes I do know that.
 
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