Monday, June 8, 2009

Ran with permission from: One Marine's View
The Battle of Midway June 4-7 1942
Posted: 05 Jun 2009 04:11 PM PDT
Hummer Excluded from GM Sale
Posted: 05 Jun 2009 04:12 PM PDT
Army: Military Versions of Hummer Excluded from GM Sale Officials said some people called the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and AM General LLC, the company that makes the military vehicles, asking if the rights to the Humvee had been sold to the Chinese.
The U.S. Army is assuring people that General Motors' deal to sell its Hummer brand to a Chinese company has nothing to do with the military version of the rugged vehicle. Officials said some people called the Pentagon, Capitol Hill and AM General LLC, the company that makes the military vehicles, asking if the rights to the Humvee had been sold to the Chinese. Steve Clawson, spokesman for the South Bend, Ind.-based AM General, said the military and civilian programs are separate. "GM's proposed sale of the civilian Hummer brand would have no impact on the military Humvee program," he said. The Army's news service posted a story to clarify the situation on its Web site Wednesday, a day after news of the sale was announced. "We really wanted to clarify in the minds of our own soldiers as well as the general public what was happening, just so we were clear on the difference," said Lt. Col. Martin Downie, an Army spokesman. Staffers at the House Armed Services Committee contacted the Army after hearing the sale news and were reassured that the military vehicles would not be affected, said Josh Holly, spokesman for the committee. "I think the committee will continue to watch it just in case, but at this point I haven't seen much concern from members on the military side," he said. General Motors Corp. announced Tuesday that it had a tentative agreement to sell the Hummer brand to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co., a 4-year-old company with just 4,300 employees based in China's mountainous southwest. GM bought the rights to sell Hummers to civilians from AM General in 1999, and GM hired the company to build the H1 model at a plant in Mishawaka, Ind. The hulking, inefficient vehicle, which dwarfed most other vehicles on city streets, was based on the military Humvee. Later, the automaker designed the Hummer H2 civilian vehicle, and AM General continued to build it. A smaller version, the H3, was built by GM at a plant in Shreveport, La. AM General is privately held, owned by private equity firm The Renco Group Inc., and MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, both of New York. The company, born of Jeep heritage, was once part of American Motors Corp. It began designing the Humvee in 1979, and since then has sold more than 200,000 to the U.S. military and friendly nations, the company said on its Web site. The vehicles became famous in the 1991 Gulf War. Tengzhong, which is keeping production of the Hummer in the United States, will face daunting hurdles in reviving the vehicle, known in Chinese as "Han Ma," or Bold Horse. Soaring gas prices have battered sales of the boxy trucks, which roar along on oversize tires and can weigh up to 5 tons. GM sold 341,000 Hummers to civilians worldwide through 2008, but U.S. sales have dropped dramatically this year. GM sold only 5,113 Hummers through May, down 64 percent from the first five months of last year, according to Autodata Corp. In a chat on GM's Web site Thursday, GM CEO Fritz Henderson was asked how a Chinese company with no experience building personal vehicles was able to buy Hummer, and Henderson wrote that GM had limited interest in the brand. "The potential buyer Sichuan Tengzhong offered the best overall alternative, and we did not have broad portfolio of other buyers," Henderson replied.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The White House Said Little About This

Police Say Arkansas Shooter Targeted Military
June 01, 2009Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A man with "political and religious motives" killed a soldier just out of basic training and wounded another Monday in a targeted attack on a military recruiting center, police said. The shootings were not believed to be part of a broader scheme.
The soldiers completed basic training within the past two weeks and were not regular recruiters, said Lt. Col. Thomas F. Artis of the Oklahoma City Recruiting Battalion, which oversees the Little Rock office.
William Long, 24, of Conway, died, and Quinton Ezeagwula, 18, of Jacksonville, was wounded and in stable condition, Police Chief Stuart Thomas said.
Both men were from nearby hometowns and volunteered to work at the recruiting center to attract other locals to the military. "They can show the example, 'Here's where I was, and here is where I am,'" Artis said.
Police arrested Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, 23, along a crosstown interstate moments after the shootings at the Army-Navy Career Center in a shopping center in west Little Rock.
Muhammad acted alone, the police chief said, and based on an interview with officers, the suspect "probably had political and religious motives for the attack." He lived in an apartment just 1.5 miles from the recruiting center. A search warrant had been obtained for the apartment.
Thomas said Muhammad, previously known as Carlos Bledsoe, would be charged with first-degree murder, plus 15 counts of committing a terroristic act. Thomas said those counts result from the gunfire occurring near other people.
The accused shooter's father, Melvin Bledsoe of Memphis, Tenn., hung up on a reporter who called about his son's arrest Monday night.
Witnesses told police that a man inside a black vehicle pulled up outside the recruiting center and opened fire about 10:30 a.m. Long fell onto the sidewalk outside the center while Ezeagwula was able to crawl toward its door.
Police said Muhammad's vehicle was stopped on Interstate 630 a short time later and the suspect was taken into custody. Police Lt. Terry Hastings said the suspect surrendered without incident. Police found an assault rifle and other weapons in the vehicle.
Jim Richardson, the manager at a drug store around the corner from the Army-Navy center, said people at the store didn't realize anything was amiss until hearing sirens outside.
"Nobody heard any gunshots," Richardson said.
Steven Johnson, an 18-year-old recruit, was on his way to take a qualifying test when he found police cars at the center. By early afternoon, Johnson was waiting patiently outside the yellow police tape.
"I'm going to check and see if they're all right," he said.