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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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2560 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Jul 2014 at 3:45 AM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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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