Friday, April 30, 2010

Hold It In Juarez

I'm quite frankly getting sick of it. I am 100% in support of Arizona's governor and according to published polls of the people who matter, the citizens of the state of Arizona, 70% of them agree with me.

Read this and consider what is flawed in it:

Pull the All-Star Game for 2011

Did you start out by noticing that the offended individual with the suggestion is from New York? My advice is worry about New York for New Yorkers and let Arizona worry about their state.

Did you notice he is a congress-critter? The problem is federal non-enforcement of federal law. Instituting a misdemeaner in Arizona to enable law enforcement to deal with the mess that lack of federal action hands them makes sense. If the congressman is so offended, why doesn't he immediately introduce a federal bill to repeal limits to immigration and requirements for visas? If these folks in AZ weren't federally illegal the problem would go away.

Did you notice that reference to 40% of major league baseball players being Latino? The issue isn't Latinos, is it? It is ILLEGAL Latinos. What percentage of major league ball-players are in this country illegally? I would suspect zero.

Did you notice that he wants a free enterprise sports entity to do what he doesn't have the testicular fortitude to initiate. He notes correctly that baseball is colorblind, but he seeks to instill racism. What a guy!

Did you suspect that the "American Immigration Lawyers Association" might not be unbiased? Do you think that a convention of 300-400 people will shake the earth? If so, I recommend right now that the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot's Association scheudule their next reunion in Phoenix. We are also a convention of 300-400 people each year and I will personally guarantee that our bar bill will vastly exceed any revenue that AILA might have generated.

Did you get the hook of Martin Luther King Day? Personally I have been deeply offended by the fact that MLK Day seems to have superceded both President's Day and Veteran's Day in American school calendars. Both were much more significant to the nation and it isn't biased against MLK to say that his profound impact on the nation was still less than vets and Presidents.

Arizona has taken a proper step and I support and encourage Texas to follow suit quickly.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Where Do We Get Such Men?

The title question usually is asked with regard to heroes. Here it is asked about these jack-booted thugs. Can you see disorder or a threat from these folks? Is it worth a SWAT response? Did they feel good about themselves that night?

Some Losses

After posting this picture the other day, I went back and looked closer. Clearly this is an aircraft in rehab, possibly a museum project or one with a cockpit not normally open for display. There is a lot wrong or missing there.

Some notes:
  • Drag chute handle is in deployed chute position. Should be vertical and stowed.
  • Kick panel and right lower instrument panel section missing.
  • Refueling handle, emergency gear handle, emergency brake handle all missing.
  • DCU-94 (PAL) weapons control panel on center pedestal missing control knob.
  • Right and left hand rear-view mirrors missing.
  • Gooseneck map light along left canopy rail missing.
  • Gun camera, camera periscope and film pack mount missing.
  • Rubber radar hood missing.
  • Several square weapons panel status light lenses missing.

Other than that she looks as good as the day she was retired.

And, you can't see either right or left hand consoles which offered all of the radios, IFF-SIF, auto-pilot, stab-aug and other controls as well as the two side fold-out panels that offered access to still more weapons controls that weren't needed often but had to be accessed in flight.

Not To Worry...

The model of the US federal system which brings the states into a common interest union has had appeal in Europe since the end of World War II. In the 1950s the French, Belgian and German heartland formed a rudimentary system with a coal and steel union. That morphed into a broader "Common Market" which sought to reduce trade barriers between nations for the good of all. The military alliance forged by Harry Truman under the North Atlantic pact, NATO created another venue for consolidated efforts in solving a common problem. Problems didn't end at national borders and solutions were needed to be accepted in common.

When I lived in Germany I was barely twenty miles from the French border at Saarbrucken. On a Saturday morning we would often hop in the car and cross the border to the French market for breads, cheeses, fresh vegetables and, of course, wines. But, that border had varied often over the years. It wasn't always at the Saar.

Enroute to work from my little village, traveling in the opposite direction from France along the B40, I would pass a small gasthouse called Zum Alten Zoll. That was the "old customs house" or border marker. Once my village of Sandorf-Homburg had been in France.

During my time in Europe I saw borders open. Where once a passport check had slowed your travel between countries, the checkpoints were disappearing and it wasn't much different than passing a roadsign saying "Welcome to Colorful Colorado."

A European Union emerged with a pseudo legislature headquartered in Brussels. There delegates from the member nations would gather for jaw-boning but little binding action. Still it was a framework for federalism emerging.

Then came a huge step; the creation of the Euro. A common currency for member nations meant you no longer would worry about exchange rates and wallets full of different tender with different values that were always shifting. Initially established at one Euro equivalent to one US dollar, the Euro was both a giant step and a significant sacrifice of national sovereignty for the participants.

When a nation controls their own currency, they can control their own debts, inflation, interest rates, buying power, international status, etc. When they are inexorably linked to other nations with different national priorities, they increase their jeopardy.

The experiment was looking incredibly successful. The Euro looked like a wise decision. Britain was being continually pressured to abandon the pound sterling and join the group. Other nations lined up to join the consortium. The value of the Euro relative to the dollar rose significantly and all was rosy.

But, under it all, there was the problem of Euro-socialism. Without the constraint of eroding your own nation's currency value, it became much easier for demands for social spending to overwhelm the budgetary restraints that might otherwise exist. Weaker economies were effectively artificially propped up by the more robust economies. Debt would be easy because the common currency would be sound.

Now, things appear to be fracturing. Greece has been in financial trouble for months. This week the value of Greek financial instruments on the global market has been reduced to "junk" status. Portugal is in the same position. Both nations are essentially bankrupt.

Spain, which has an economy four times the size of Greece's, is apparently on the tipping point. Franco would not be pleased at how democracy has worked out for his nation. It will probably join the collapse sooner rather than later. Germany looks poised to jump to the aid of Greece with a bailout, but they would be unable to prop the Iberian states as well.

But, have no fears:

Messiah Concerned Over Debt--Greece's Debt, That Is

That's right, boys and girls, Mr. Fiscal Responsibility is expressing concern over mounting debt. Well, if there is one thing he knows about, it's debt!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What? You Doubt It?

Of course, I would have recognized her anywhere. That's the Speaker of the House for sure. You bet. No airbrushing or Photoshopping evident to me.

Gotta get my eyeglass prescription updated, I guess.

On the Radio

Listen on Monday, if it is available in your area, to the G. Gordon Liddy radio show for Christina Olds to be interviewed regarding "Fighter Pilot."

Why He's Got My Vote

This is what I'm talking about:

Too Small a Caliber, But Still a Message

I think I'd go with a slightly more effective caliber and eschew the laser sight if the weight or bulk was a problem. My Kel-Tec PF9 is only 12.7 ounces and the 9mm+P is a lot more cartridge.

Still, he ain't no Deval Patrick!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cold War Tale

A lot of folks who have never seen one in flight or heard the bang of a hard light J-75 afterburner will wax poetic about the F-105 as a ponderous bomber with little capability beyond the nuclear strike, low-altitude penetration mission. They link supposed design short-comings to losses over North Vietnam and categorize the airplane as the wrong choice for the war. Of course, they aren't really sure which end the hot air comes out of.

I'm a bit defensive and I tend to attempt to correct these errors in their historic thinking.

While I was in F-105 training at Nellis, we weren't yet very aware of our future in the next six months or the role which the jet would play. We weighed pros and cons of an assignment to Bitburg or Spangdahlem Germany against Yokota Japan or Kadena Okinawa.

It was inevitable that once we were pilot qualified in the airplane, even though not yet operationally qualified, that we would be briefed on the war-time role of the 70 or so Thunderchiefs at Nellis.

What was our tasking? What would we do if the balloon went up?

Our mission was going to be air defense against the bomber hordes from the Soviet Union coming toward the United States from over the North Pole. We would be the last line of defense after the early warning radars in Canada and the interceptors in the northern states had given their all. The profile demonstrates what the airplane could do.

We would be loaded with three external fuel tanks, a pair of 450 gallon wing tanks and a 650 gallon centerline along with another tank that was always carried in the bomb-bay. Roughly 22,000 pounds of fuel for the jet.

The weapons were a loaded Vulcan cannon with 1029 rounds of 20mm and two AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles; one on each outboard wing station. Strictly air defense against bombers.

We would launch in full A/B and climb on a supersonic profile to the north. As tanks went empty, first the centerline, then the wing tanks, we would jettison them. We would level at roughly 60,000 feet and reduce power to minimum A/B which would keep as supersonic at roughly M1.6 and follow ground radar instructions to an orbit point.

We could then orbit for almost three hours at supersonic speed waiting to be vectored to a target.

If that doesn't sound like something more than a low altitude bomb truck, I don't think you understand the concept.

An Ox Being Gored

The bleating was predictable and a rational person can only believe that the ludicrous basis of the liberal position will be clear to the common man who, it should be remembered, votes.

Scenario one:

A sunny day in Papago Park near Tempe AZ. A family is strolling through the zoo. Man, wife, two cute children entranced by the opportunity to see a real elephant, lion and orangutan. Two Maricopa county sheriff's deputies approach the man.

"Pedro, what do you think you're doing here. Let me see your papers. You're one of those damned illegals, aren't you."

"Excuse me, officer? My name is John Walker and I work at Tempe motors as a mechanic. I'm here with my family."

"Sure, Juan, let's see your proof of citizenship."

John left his wallet in the car. Within seconds he is handcuffed and hauled off to jail as his wife and children stand crying in the park. It may be hours, days or weeks before they see John again. He may be deported for no good reason other than being Hispanic.

Scenario two:

A 1997 Cadillac, rusty and badly in need of a wash, is weaving down Camelback Road. The Scotsdale PD stops the car and approaches the driver.

"Excuse me, sir, do you know why I stopped you?"


"You were weaving in traffic and crossed the centerline several times. Could you show me your driver's license, registration and proof of insurance?"

"I don't got none."

The first situation is one which the bleaters are posing as the commonality under the new law. The second is one which we are all familiar with, which we have faced for as long as I can remember, and which doesn't result in any loss of Constitutional protections under the current court rulings. Which is more likely in Arizona?

How does the situation change when a law enforcement officer has "reasonable" suspicion that someone is an illegal immigrant? Isn't the very term "illegal" one that justifies the officer proceeding with his investigation after an encounter for probable cause?

I'm afraid that the pleas for sympathy from a group which is trying to defend the indefensible are falling on deaf ears.

I Think I'm In Love

Some of what this young lady says is simply profound.

"What were they thinking?" Not a bad question Tucker, not bad at all!

When a Trump daughter expresses fear for her financial future you would have to say we are in deep, deep stuff!

"Appealing to the lowest common denominator..." Do ya think? Was it P.T. Barnum that talked about never going broke underestimating the American people?

Will we learn in time or is it already too late?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Class Warfare & A Crap Game

The language of the demagogue almost always includes appeal to "us" versus "them". If done well it motivates the larger and ostensibly disadvantaged group to revolt against the smaller but more successful, affluent or privileged bunch.

Go back to the language of Marx and Lenin. It was a laced with the terminology of class struggle, workers against opppressive owners, bourgeousie to be overthrown by proletarians. It worked, in terms of getting masses to take to the streets. It eventually failed in some areas because elimination of the bourgeousie led to inept management of the means of production. It failed in the capitalist society of the West because of co-optation of the workers into a middle class which was unanticipated by Marx. When workers participate in profit-sharing and can rise to middle management, they thrive. When the business survives the ownership prospers and the ownership in a capitalist society is filled with proles. We all want to be bourgeousie.

The language of today is the meme of Wall Street versus Main Street. Somehow we are are asked to create the familiar us-vs-them conflict and ignore the fact that Wall Street is incredibly small relative to the massive but fictitious creation of an isolated and disadvantaged citizenry on Main Street. We, the people of fly-over country are Main Street. We participate in retirement plans, we buy mutual funds, we have profit sharing and 401(k) plans, we aspire to be owners rather than renters. We are Wall Street AND Main Street.

Why should the masses demand that government, which quite arguably is inept at every enterprise it attempts to manage, take over or regulate the brokerage of Wall Street?

Wall Street possesses all of the equality of a full-blown crap game. If you've ever considered gambling in a Las Vegas casino you would quickly learn that the best chance you've got to come out a winner is at the crap table. Multi-deck blackjack favors the house. Slots are a fool's game. Roulette is a joke for James Bond movies. Poker is for flamboyant reality TV shows and basement games for the bar-room buddies. Craps is your closest approach to even odds.

The reason is simple. At the crap table, if you know what you are doing, you can bet either side of any proposition. You can bet "pass" or "don't pass"; you can get odds on any number; you can initiate your own new game regardless of what the shooter is doing. You make your choice and the house doesn't care.

Wall Street is the same way. You can buy when you want to buy, sell when you wish to sell. You can buy risky or secure investments. You can sell short or long, effectively investing in a stock to succeed or fail as you judge more likely. Wall Street doesn't care. They make a margin or arbitrage for each transaction, whichever way you go. For everyone who wins there is someone else who loses. It isn't Wall Street's choice.

But, like the crap game, you've got to do your homework. In investing it is called due diligence. In craps it is as simple as staying away from hard-way bets and any craps.

Sure, someone made profits on derivatives by betting them to lose. But someone else lost and each player had a chance to do their homework.

Now would someone please go explain that to Chris Dodd and Barney Frank.

Intimate Acts on a Trampoline

Maintaining the Bavarian Schwartzwalder theme:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Isn't It the Law?

I get it, but I really shouldn't. Let me summarize. We have international borders. We have established procedures for visitors, for workers, for immigration, for students, etc. These procedures are the law. They are federal law. If they are no longer good law, they should possibly be reviewed, modified, repealed or strengthened. That much seems clear. But right now they are the law and when you violate the law you are illegal and subject to penalty.

We have illegal immigration into this country during a period in which we have plenty of evidence that we are threatened with clear and present danger. We acknowledge numbers ranging from twelve to more than twenty million people in this country illegally. We don't know who they are, where they are from, or why they came. That much also seems clear.

There are four states which border on Mexico. These states carry a significant burden from illegals and it must also be admitted they benefit from a significant work force among the population of illegals. Still clear.

There is considerable lawlessness along the border. It is extremely violent and apparently beyond the control of Mexican authorities. Cities like Juarez, Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Acuna, and others are war zones in which competing drug cartels run rampant. The violence spills across the border into the US. Undeniably clear.

The US government is haphazard with regard to enforcement of the borders. This leaves the border states with a dillemma. Endure violence, drugs and human trafficking, or enact enabling legislation to authorize state and local law enforcement to deal with the issues. It is not unprecedented, in fact it is encouraged for state and federal law enforcement agencies to cooperate.

So what's with this:

Messiah Mad at Arizona Governor's Attempt at Law

It makes sense doesn't it? If you are responsible for security and law enforcement in your state, wouldn't you be required to do what the AZ governor is doing? Why does the Messiah deny his obligation to enforce federal law? Why does he fail to support local communities? Why doesn't he stand and clearly state what his intentions are? Should we let Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California descend into total chaos like Chicago, Detroit and the Bronx?

You know the answer, of course. It's all about political potential. It's all about amnesty and converting those illegals into voting citizens to perpetuate the welfare state. It's about pay-offs, and politics, and pandering. It isn't about protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Why would you even consider such a concept?

Politically Incorrect

As a follow-on to yesterday's good news about "Fighter Pilot" it was also mentioned by the folks at St. Martin's Press that the first week sales numbers were enough to put it on the New York Times bestseller list, except that the book didn't make the list!

Simply selling books in numbers sufficient to make the top 100 in the nation isn't enough apparently. If the topic is about American heroes, warriors and patriots you might not qualify.

Is this a great country, or what?

Saturday Morning Rocker

Talking to a guy yesterday who was just back from a trip to Jamaica. He said he stayed in Negril. I always wondered where Negril was since Bob Seeger mentioned it:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Remarkable News Friday


An initial press run of a new book is the publisher's estimate of first year sales. A lot of books don't "sell through" the initial run. I was hyperventilating when my first book, "When Thunder Rolled," sold through in four months and I got the word that there would be a second printing.

This morning I got an email from the editor at St. Martin's Press. "Fighter Pilot" was released on the 13th, just ten days ago. He was advising me that there might be some areas where the book would be temporarily unavailable. Ten days after release the book has just gone to THIRD printing!!!!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Count This

It's all in a name. Actually, the pronounciation might be more critical as in Count de Money or as he reminds us, "de Moh-Nay..."

Coming soon a a White House Rose Garden function...

Listen When They Speak

You don't need to dig or interpret. Simply listen to their words. No need to imply, infer, impute anything. Simply listen to the plain English when they speak. There is nothing hidden. It is clear. You don't have to read between any lines. The lines speak for themselves.

ACORN Leader Says It Loudly

She says it up front. She doesn't hide it. She is Socialist. She supports Socialism. She encourages all moves toward Socialism.

Are we all clear what Socialism is about? In the high flown rhetoric of ideological comparisons, it is about equality. But be careful there. It isn't about social equality, those inalienable rights or all men being created equal. It is about economic equality. It is about an entity, the government, being in charge of evaluating needs and then allocating the property to insure that all members of the society share it equally. It is about someone else, the administration, saying that what you have worked for, achieved, earned through your labor is not simply for your own enjoyment but for the good of society at large. It is taking from you and giving to someone else regardless of what you would wish.

Wherever it has been tried, it has failed. The reason is simple. Without the motivation to succeed, which is removed by a Socialist system which provides for all without regard to effort, the society will stagnate and the productive will cease production.

But look one more time at her words. Not only is she a proud Socialist, she is also an unabashed racist. Can there be any doubt based on those quotes? Jim Crow? Internment camps? The appeal to ascribe a racist motivation to the Tea Party movement? Has she not noticed that we have a Black President? How racist is this country?

And, look again at her statements. What sort of professional executive discusses an alternative viewpoint, a gathering of political expression, a movement among citizens of this country in scatological terminology as "a bowel movement"?

We need simply to listen. Their message is clear. Their motivation isn't the slightest bit murky.

Perpetual Depression

Remember that campaign promise that "95% of Americans will get a tax cut under my plan..."? Remember that focus on "jobs, jobs, jobs..."? Fuggedaboutit!

Here's the administration's solution to any recovery, any improvement in employment, any growth in America, and any possibility of financial success for the next generation:

Value Added Then Stolen From You

Spend any time in Europe and it won't take long for you to notice that everything costs more than here in the US. I'm not talking about minor differences, either. I'm talking about roughly 30% more. Clothing, home appliances, cars, furniture, groceries, whatever, will cost you a bundle more because of VAT.

The concept is simple, sort of like garotting or a coup de grace. Each step in the process of bringing a product to an end consumer gets tasked on the "value added". You might view it metaphorically like giving a pint of blood for the good of mankind. The blood-drawing is relatively painless and life goes on. It is done at each step, and the result is cumulative. If you then view the end-consumer as the body from which the blood was drawn, you will quickly realize that taking fifteen pints of blood out will be fatal. The consumer is the one who pays it all in the long run.

The VAT is common in many nations, but the distinction between those nations and the United States is important to keep in mind. The distinction is the Sixteenth Amendment.

We have a progressive income tax. It is significant for those who still work in this country. The more successful you are, the more severely you are penalized. The European nations which have a VAT do not have an income tax. The VAT, for them, is in lieu of whereas the VAT for us will be on top of.

Keep that little matter in mind as this develops.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cultural Crash Landing

OK, confession time. I watch American Idol. I actually like it. That's how I drifted into Glee last night. Too lazy to change the channel and the baseball game was over in the afternoon, so I watched Glee.

You've probably seen enough promos to get the drift. It's a high school musical, sort of. Comedy, musical acts, soap opera, etc. Fame meets Friday Night Lights in a gay bar with pole dancers.

Want to see what's happening?

Excuse me? HE is a single lady???? That's right folks.

They are high school students? Yep, butt-shaking, booty humping, sexual-innuendo drumming, pole-dancer wannabes right there for your titillation. Not that's there's anything wrong with that, Seinfeld-wise.

Last night I watched about ten minutes before being totally grossed by it. The theme for the night was a big Madonna-emphasis production. Of course, Madonna is the perfect role model for these 27-year-old "high school" body-swappers. Material girl values are what we instill in this educational experience.

And, the secondary theme was the recreational, no-strings-attached sex. We wouldn't want to have guilt about a little bit of coupling for its own sake, would we? Yes, the hunky hero needs to do the deed with the Asian hottie to restore his mojo with his real love interest. That makes sense, doesn't it?

Show her you're manly by humping somebody else and then she will want to get into it to displace the meaningless outlet for your libido. Works in the real world, if you don't get stabbed, shot or pregnant.

Between the no guilt sex, the trans-gendered androgyne, the bondage/discipline coach, and the nebbish male teachers, you had something to offend nearly everyone.

Where's John Wayne when we need him?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Imagination Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

"Assault weapons", "Cop-killer bullets", "Plastic Guns to evade airport security", "Sniper rifles", "Street-Sweepers", "High Noon in Suburbia", there is always some sort of new imaginary threat created by the hoplophobes to encourage gun banning legislation.

The problem is that as America grows more politically correct and pussified, each new generation knows less and less about firearms. When Sgt. York was growing up in the mountains every boy knew how to shoot a rifle. The result was a nation of riflemen that won WW I and II. Boy Scouts earned marksmanship merit badges and the coming of age ceremony of a first .22 rifle was an event. We all knew that the Christmas Story catch-line of "you'll shoot your eye out, kid!" was a joke.

Now more than half the country is convinced that a firearm in the home will someday activate itself and seek the humans out to shoot them in their beds. Mere existance of a gun will inevitably result in deaths in the family, apparently without human intervention.

Assault weapons aren't black rifles with strange sights and lights attached. They are selective fire military tools with an option for full automatic fire. Looking like one but as semi-automatics with only one shot per trigger pull makes them no different than a revolver. A name that sounds dangerous is a political ploy.

Cop-killer bullets are nothing more than regular bullets designed for personal defense, no more or less lethal than those with less ominous names. Guns with "plastic" grips still have metal barrels and actions so they don't evade security. Sniper rifles are bolt action rifles with scoped sights such as deer hunters have used for 60 years routinely. And so on. Creating the illusion of threat where none exists leads to fear which leads to a demand for legislation.

Which brings us to the "Gun Show Loophole."

Look for a deluge of media blather on the topic coming soon to a cable TV station near you:

Dictators of Democrat Cities Seek to Breed Fear

Have you found the gun show loophole? I know where it is. Have you been to a gun show? Did you see all of those tables of guns for sale? Did you see those people behind the tables selling guns? Did you ever buy one? Did you sneak through the loophole?

Those dealers are just that; federally licensed gun dealers. They hold an FFL. They keep required records of their inventory. They comply with federal law on background checks for all sales. If you buy a gun at a gun show from one of the vendors you will undergo a federal background check and complete all of the legal paperwork just as if you purchased in a gun store.

So, where's the gun show loophole that is so dangerous?

It's me and you.

If I own a gun and I wish to sell it to you, we are the loophole. I have some personal property and you wish to buy it for an agreed price. We don't have to complete a background check. Loophole!!!!!

Now, for me to get an inventory of guns and try to make a business out of the sale, I'll have to undergo a background check for every purchase. So, it is extremely unlikely I will become a black market dealer. If I want to buy in volume for a business, I'll probably get an FFL. And then I'll need to complete a background check on all my sales. Loophole closed.

What do the mayors want me to do when I wish to sell one of my guns? My suspicion is that they don't want me to be able to sell or give away my guns or even transfer them to my heirs. They want my guns confiscated. That isn't about to happen.

Molon Labe.

Another Human Right Identified

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..." Hard to disagree with Thomas Jefferson. And, he took that concept largely intact from John Locke who listed the trilogy as "life, liberty and pursuit of property."

I've got no problem with Locke's view. I've always felt that if I succeed in pursuing a lot of property I will become, almost by default, very happy.

But let's note that we start with life and we are free at birth, so those don't cost a tax-payer dime. And we are only acknowledged a right to "pursue" happiness. We aren't born happy or endowed with a lot of property. Pursuit does not guarantee capture of the prey. No redistribution of wealth required to gain any of the three.

Yet, we continue to expand the concept of "human rights." For some the expansion becomes almost satirical in its absurdity. For example:

And to Bask on the Beach at Malaga

Notice that this is not some loon waxing eloquent after an afternoon with his snout in a schooner full of Guiness. This is the European Union Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry speaking. This is a supposedly mature, responsible, fiduciary agent of the the taxpayers of the continent.

As one of those seniors on the short list of entitlement recipients, I think I like the concept! Now, who should I contact in the Obama administration to register my demand for this human right?

Hoist on His Petard

Nothing happens in today's political world by accident. There are no coincidences any more. If A occurs and it just happens to fit the administration's agenda for policy B, do not believe that B is a response to A or that A just blundered onto the scene at an inopportune time.

The most egregious example of this is the linkage between government ownership of GM and Chrysler with the safety issues and recalls of the largest competitor of Government Motors, Inc. Toyota is a global leader in vehicle production. Literally millions of automobiles bear the Toyota or Lexus logo. Do you really believe that a dozen of so "unintended acceleration" events just happened to surface now? If the California fiasco and falsification filming of the runaway Prius didn't make you suspicious, then the "Don't Buy" recommendation by Consumer Reports of a Lexus 460 for a safety issue that has yet to produce a single mishap should.

The nationalization of industry, healthcare, insurance and finance to create a government controlled rather than free-market economy has moved the agenda to "financial regulation." We've got that crack (no pun intended) financial guru and business leader, Barney Frank with his lame-duck cohort Chris Dodd seeking to build regulatory strait-jackets for Wall Street that will make entrepreneurship, investment and profit things of the distant past. To do this you must create a public clamor for a governmental solution. You need a villain. That's where Goldman-Sachs comes in.

Poor people hate rich people. They did in Paris in 1789 and they did in Petrograd in 1905. They also outnumber rich people by a significant majority. The result is that when you harness and direct the orchestrated anger, you can generate a revolution.

Goldman-Sachs is the scapegoat du jour. But, isn't this inconvenient truth a bit embarrassing?

What To Do About the $1,000,000 in Contributions?

Apparently the feeding hand got bit. Which is a hoisting for Goldman. And the Messiah is showing quite clearly that just because you support him today doesn't mean he will love you tomorrow. A bit of a petard jack-up for the One as well.

I wonder how that's going to play out for future fund-raising?

And for more than you ever wanted to know about being "hoist with your own petard" go here:

Explosives Have No Friends

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Tontine

You've heard of the concept, but may not have known what a tontine is. Look it up and you'll find it described as an "investment scheme" but really it is something quite different. It is the ultimate game of "Survivor."

The classic tontine had the members of a military unit buy a bottle of fine Cognac and mount it in a display case. Each year the group would gather to salute their fallen comrades until finally the last man alive would drink the brandy.

The Doolittle Raiders have a board with a cup for each member and over time the cups are inverted until one survivor will use his last standing cup.

The River Rats have fought hard not to be a tontine. There have been battles over the changes to membership criteria but wise leadership knew that we must adapt or the legacy will be lost and the good work of supporting scholarships for children of POWs and MIAs will be undone. We've added current tactical aircrew members and supporters of the organization to the roles and in the process created a mix of folks who can tell the stories to the next generation and maybe even overcome the tendency of revisionist historians to demean what was done by some very brave men.

ThunderTales has been a bit slow the last couple of days as I've been on the road to Orlando and four days with the kind of friends you can only gain through one process--sharing of intense experiences. It is always much more my great good fortune to be able to be with them than their's to be saddled with my presence. I am honored to be among true heroes and great warriors.

There is also the chance to stand slack-jawed looking at the youth entering the profession. This time it was a chance to lean on the bar with a proud father and his son.

The son was tall, clean-cut, athletic and looked just a bit too young to buy a drink in a legal bar. I estimated him at 18-19 years old. His dad introduced him to me as a Raptor pilot. Yep! A real, living, breathing god of tactical aviation flying the F-22 for a living!

He wasn't quite as green as I was when I went right out of pilot training to the F-105. He already had more than two years flying the F-15C including some time in the Sandbox. But, damn, he looked young.

I can't tell you how much I envy him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Morning Rocker

Supersonic Sans Airplane

A few days ago I commented on the Red Bull Extreme promotion in which a man would sky-dive from over 100,000 feet and achieve supersonic flight in free-fall:

Revisonist History

Last night I mentioned it to Joe Kittinger, teasing him a bit about how the new generation had missed his achievement. It turns out that Joe is actually a technical advisor to the Red Bull team on this.

So, Red Bull isn't unaware of Joe's remarkable achievement. And, Joe is still involved in truly remarkable things.

Every time I have a chance to gather with the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot's Association--River Rats, I marvel at how lucky am to know folks like these.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sort of Like Last Night

Orlando Fl at the Red River Valley Fighter Pilot's Association reunion. Last night in the hospitality suite was a bit like this:

A couple of minutes ago I met a guy who looked like he was seventeen years old. He's got two years operational in the F-15 and is now in the F-22 Raptor squadron cranking up at Holloman AFB in New Mexico. I don't know whether to envy him (I do!) or hate him. He looks like someone who would pick up your daughter for the prom, or deliver a Domino's pizza. Damn, but it's hell to get old!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Always Campaigning

The guy is always on stage. Smiles, glad-hands, air-kisses, back-pats, bro-hugs, disdain, joking asides, and inevitably the bow:

Yet, for our continental neighbor he's got a lecture apparently:

The welcoming dance was a bit stilted after Sarkozy's comments last week about the Bamster's ineptness:

It appears that he is offering the Italian PM, known for his dalliances with the ladies, a comment about the sweet thing in the third row with the short skirt and revealing decolletege:

The Finns aren't known for being the funniest folks at the fiesta, so he's got to really turn on the charm for this dour number:

I'm not sure who is enjoying this bit of kissy-face less:

It's probably not much easier to engage in the embracero with the Brazilian. He appears to be checking for the exit or noting which pocket he carries his wallet in:

And, why no bro-hug for the Nigerian? Did he just get ribbed about embracing his Kenyan heritage?:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Looking For a Reason?

Are you one of those who still have not been able to link up with a compelling reason for voting the trash out of Congress? It seems improbable, but I know there are still some out there who cling desperately to the hope that the fools on the hill are going to build us a better world albeit one without private property, defense from our enemies, or a future brighter than our past.

Still, you may harbor a lingering faith that they are doing what is right. They are fulfilling their obligations under the Constitution...

Well, what are some core obligations under that guideline?

We Don' Need No Steenkin' Budgets

Why would you want to waste time on a budget when you know that you are going to spend without regard and create new taxes as long as there remains one drop of blood in that turnip?

Wall Street Journal

As promised, the Wall Street Journal review runs today. Book reviews are always a thrill, a validation of your work and a feedback regarding how a reader perceives your efforts. This one is a homerun!

Man With a Mission--Wall Street Journal

This is going to be a fun summer!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Revisionist History

Why should facts get in the way of a good publicity scheme? You would think that for a project like this there would have been at least a couple of folks who would have heard the stories.

Supersonic Sans Airplane

Not only did they miss the previous time a man had been supersonic without a plane, they don't realize it was done FIFTY years ago!

Been Done Before

Among his other achievements were about 500 combat missions in Southeast Asia, a MiG kill and a bit of time as a guest of the North Vietnamese in a POW camp.

I don't suspect that the Red Bull guy has done anything similar to Joe Kittinger.

Spotted at Borders

A cellphone photo of a sighting at a Borders:

For those not in the publishing business, that is called "fronting" a book. Rather than hiding in the shelves accessible only by the title on the spine, the book is displayed full face with cover art visible. Books get sold that way!

Fighter Pilot

"Fighter Pilot: Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds" will hit the streets on Tuesday of this week, April 13th. Look for it in major book stores across the country. Pre-ordered book from Amazon should be in reader's hands on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Check the Monday Wall Street Journal for a review by Dan Ford.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Quick Thinking

It was a crisp, almost cold morning in Las Vegas. The kind of morning that you only get in the high desert with a deep blue sky and clean dry air that simply makes you want to go flying. Slip the surly bonds and all that.

I was a 2/Lt with the best job in the world. I'd just soloed in my first fighter two weeks before. I was an F-105 pilot and I was scheduled for a solo area flight. Two hours of dancing the sky on laughter silvered wings by myself, exploring the limits of my new steed.

I arrived at the airplane and climbed the ladder to pre-flight the cockpit. All the switches and strap-in gadgets were ready. I descended and read the entries in the AFTO-781. The airplane was fueled, serviced and in good condition. I walked the pre-flight with the smiling crew chief following me, watching as I checked out his airplane.

I'd put my helmet on the canopy bow already. Standing next to the ladder I bent over and zipped the thigh zippers to snug up my G-suit. I put my hand on that twelve foot ladder and started to mount.

The crew chief, stifling his grin interrupted my concentration, "Excuse me, Lieutenant. Are you planning on taking a parachute on this flight?"

Realization dawned. I wasn't going to look a fool. I turned and said, "Of course. But, it's cold this morning so I wanted to leave it in the squadron to stay warm until I was ready to get in..."

They Can't Dance Either

...but they are having fun:

Friday, April 09, 2010

Suzy, What a Deep Voice You Have

We've all got visions of regions of our country. They are admittedly stereotypes. You know what I mean. Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas sort of brings forth a bit of banjo playing in the background and some sort of wilderness experience that terrorizes. California elicits either a pseudo-hip kind of West Coast flamboyance or maybe an ultra-liberal Bay Area snob. West Virginia, for better or worse, is going to cause a flashback to revenooers and in-bred feuding families in the holler.

Maine gives me a hard-working, strange-accented, plaid-mackinaw clad independent Puritan type. I must be very wrong.

Maine Board Bans Gender Specific School Loos and Lockers

If that doesn't conjure up some images, I don't know what it would take. Yes, indeed, folks. We've got some supposedly mature and responsible adults up there in Maine who apparently have had their brains frozen into immobility.

Can you imagine fourth, fifth, sixth graders running around the school restrooms? The heady mixture of emerging hormonal drives coupled with a strong dose of blatant immaturity will lead to some interesting encounters I'm certain.

What evil is this supposed to cure?

A "transgendered 12-year-old" felt uncomfortable! How pray tell does a twelve-year old who is just barely at puberty even become aware that they are transgendered?

How is this going to work in the high school gym class locker rooms? Should reduce some reluctance by some to take that after work-out shower, I'll bet!

But, really, is this the solution? To inconvenience, embarass, risk, the majority for the sake of some sort of weird political correctness goal?

Why not leave it just the way it is and let the occasional "transgendered 12-year-old" simply experience a bit of free titillation?

I Can't Dance...

Nomex and a Helmet Would Have Been Better

Without further comment:

Maybe the Prophet Didn't Anticipate Internal Combustion?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Five Days To "Fighter Pilot"

The release date for "Fighter Pilot: Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds" is next Tuesday. Those who have pre-ordered should have the book in hand on Tuesday or Wednesday.

For folks with a Kindle, you can now pre-order the book for your Kindle. With the Kindle you will DEFINITELY have the book on Tuesday.

The kick in the butt from a book coming out never grows old!

Prime Rib and Hamburger Sort of OK

This will be a load off the minds of climate conscious carnivores all over the country. Of course you don't want to go out immediately like a human at the top of the food chain and ingest a lot of quality protein. Better to stick with brocolli and tofu casserole with soy milk for most meals. But for a once a month splurge, have some beef without guilt.

Inner Mongolian Cattle First Do No Harm

I am eternally grateful for the fact that this research was not funded by the Bamster's stimulus package. If this were a bit more than a week ago, I would think it was possibly an April Fool's Day spoof. I mean really, Dr. Butterbach-Bahl?

If you would wish to replicate Dr. Butterback-Bahl's work, first pick some well-known cattle grazing area like Inner Mongolia. Don't use Inner Mongolia again and look like a copy-cat. Try somewhere else like Dutch Guiana or possibly Tanganyika where they've got lots of grass and cattle and nobody really pays much attention to what you are doing with them because they are all starving trying to do their part to stop the ice-pack melting and save those polar bears.

Then fit all of the cows you find with a ludicrous seven-foot long fluorescent red gas bag and a pipe up their butt all held in place by a webbing harness. Warning, this is the most difficult part of the experiment. This is the point where Dr. Butterbach-Bahls became singular, simply one Bahl. The cows were not voluntary participants. Honestly, would you like to go around with an eighty gallon tank full of your emissions strapped to your back for a month or two? People (and other cows) begin to shun you.

See the picture for the idea of the apparatus as well as a close-up of a very disgruntled cow.

Now come back every day or so and see what you find in the gas bags. Be sure not to release it into the atmosphere because that will cause forty two hurricanes this year and the Eastern Seaboard to be re-established around Knoxville and Indianapolis.

Your experiment should prove conclusively that cow farts don't kill. Growing grass kills. Or something.

I'm so relieved. Maybe porterhouse tonight, rib-eye tomorrow and meatloaf on the weekend. Roast beef sandwiches for lunch. I'm doing my part for Nitrous Oxide control.

Insight to the Man

All writing is essentially auto-biographical. We write about what we know, where we've been, what we think, who has influenced us. Scratch the surface of even the most exotic of fantasies and you will find linkages to the author's soul.

We turn then to the Library of Congress web-site for these poems written by the Messiah. They provide us insight, but it might be terrifying in its implications.

We know that his mother married a Kenyan who fathered him and abandoned mother and son in short order. Mother, apparently unable to find suitable mating material within the evil United States became an expatriot to Indonesia where she married an alcoholic abuser. That didn't seem to work out well, so she packed young Barry up and headed to Hawaii for a short sojourn with mom and dad leading quickly to abandonment to their care.

So read and look into the soul at this exposure to his formative years:

Whiskey Shots and Underwear Sniffing

So, how's that male role-model thing working out for him? Abandonment by the black father, alcoholism from the Asian step-dad, abandonment by loving but revolutionary mom, and evenings spent watching grandpa throwing down shots and stuffing his Jockeys into your nose.

Is it any wonder that the President of the United States seems to be egotistical, narcissistic, self-destructive and driven to a utopian fantasy which will supposedly make everyone love him in gratitude for his largesse?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Lunatics Run This Asylum

I've been teaching it for years. The students don't get the idea of a progressive income tax. No one ever explains it to them in 12 years of public schooling. They express disbelief when I tell them 43% of Americans pay no federal income tax. Well, here's proof that I was wrong:

47% of American Households Pay Zero Federal Income Tax

But, don't worry. As the article clearly points out, the top 10% of Americans are bearing 73% of the total income tax burden.

What a perfect situation. Stand before the electorate and tell them you will give them more and they won't pay a penny for all of that largesse. We will simply tax "them", the wealthiest Americans.

And, it should be obvious that 10% of the population will not be able to unseat the robber barons of the government.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years.

Loose fiscal policy? Us? How long since 1789? That would be 221 years. Close enough to the average, I guess.

Defining the Fantasy World

Those who fail to learn the lessons of history...

The inability to call a spade a spade is problematic. When that unwillingness to name the names that are critical to the discussion becomes policy you are building a huge future problem.

Islamic Terrorists No Longer a Problem

Let me take a few quotes from that frightening news item:

Obama's advisers will remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror

OK, and who are these other terrorists who have been plaguing us for the last twenty years or more? Any Presbyterian John Josephson's on the roster?

"You take a country where the overwhelming majority are not going to become terrorists, and you go in and say, 'We're building you a hospital so you don't become terrorists.' That doesn't make much sense," said National Security Council staffer Pradeep Ramamurthy.

OK, why are we building them a hospital then? Are they buried somewhere in the healthcare reform legislation? You twit! That's exactly why we are building the bloody hospital!

Ramamurthy runs the administration's Global Engagement Directorate, a four-person National Security Council team that Obama launched last May with little fanfare and a vague mission to use diplomacy and outreach "in pursuit of a host of national security objectives."

Since then, the division has not only helped change the vocabulary of fighting terror but also has shaped the way the country invests in Muslim businesses, studies global warming, supports scientific research and combats polio.

That makes it clear. "..a host of national security objectives." Diplomacy and outreach to combat polio??? Didn't Jonas Salk do something about that in the '50s?

Why is the country investing in Muslim businesses? Where in the Constitution does it say that the federal government is empowered to invest in foreign businesses with ownership from a particular religion?

And global warming? Don't get me started.

"Do you want to think about the U.S. as the nation that fights terrorism or the nation you want to do business with?" Ramamurthy said.

Pradeep, may I call you Prad? Would you be offended if I told you that was a faulty dilemma? I want you to think about the US as a bright shining city on a hill which the rest of the world would aspire to emulate.

What I am seeing here is an administration run amok. I don't find much background on Pradeep Ramamurthy online through Google or Bing. I get more hits on my own name than this guy's. I learn that he's Muslim (surprise!) and not much more. Where was he born, how old, where educated, what qualifications? I'm hoping that more surfaces here.

Frankly, I'm going to ignore Pradeep. I'm still going to call a Jihadi an Islamic fundamentalist and a terrorist.

Buyer's Remorse

Act in haste, repent in leisure? It sure looks that way. I rail continuously, to the point of boredom possibly, about the inability of the electorate to understand issues or bestow their support rationally. Never has it been more apparent than in the last eighteen months with the election of the Messiah, the multi-trillion dollar spending spree, the nationalization of major financial and industrial segments of our society and, of course, healthcare.

Want evidence? Here's plenty to demonstrate that the great grabber element of our society didn't have a clue about what they were getting:

Where's My Free Doctor?

Apparently the caves of the Morlocks did not receive the news programs that discussed in great detail the fact that the Healthcare Reform Law imposed the costs for four years before delivering the first of the services.

Those of us likely to pay noted the breakdown, but the grasping horde didn't. Now they want to know where the pony is.

Face it Slug, there ain't no pony.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Superfluous Issue of the Day

In the never ending quest for irrelevant topics to harp on, Rush and a host of others were berating the Messiah for his failed attempt at being "one of the boys" yesterday.

I watched the video and really was gagging at the posturing. Pawing the rubber, taking the piercing look-in to the catcher, the stretch, the pause, the delivery and the high fly ball that could only benefit from a bit of Bob Uecker play calling. "Juuust a little bit outside...the beltway."

But the flail of the day is about the pure political pandering with the White Sox cap, followed by the interview in the booth with the assertion that he's been a long and loyal White Sox fan. But the Cubs are OK too and their fans are really nice as well. And, he was raised in Hawaii so he was an Oakland fan first... Never noticed how close Oakland is to Oahu before.

The real issue was his memories of "Cominsky" Park. Last year it was a more egregious malapropism when he called it Cominsky Field.

Rush jumped immediately on the fact that nobody from Chicago ever calls the southside baseball place "Cominsky" more than once without getting slapped silly. It is Comisky with no "N", thank you.

But the earlier iteration was even worse when he called it Cominsky Field. Any good Chicago boy, from either the northside or the southside knows that the place on Addison St. is Wrigley FIELD and the place on 35th Street is Comisky PARK. You don't mix the names.

Failure to be able to name a single "favorite" player either from current roster or legacy for the White Sox pretty much cemented the deal that once again this guy is a total phony. Not a core principle to be found anywhere in his body. Not one.


Why be surprised?

Woman March Topless to Protest Something or Other

Beyond my initial reaction being that they could apparently use a little more sun, I was wondering why this organizer wasn't aware of what the reaction would be:

Ty McDowell, who organized the march, said she was "enraged" by the turnout of men attracted to the demonstration.

What not-quite-parallel universe does this woman inhabit? She organizes a bunch of apparently attractive young women to march through the downtown area en deshabille and is surprised that hormonally fueled young men would be there oogling!

Wow, who woulda thought that could happen?

Leading By Bad Example

Lots in the news these days about bullys. Teens are hanging themselves in the closet in response to incessant bullying. What's the scoop?

Is bullying new? Not exactly. The scope of the bullying might be pushing new frontiers with a generation steeped in World Wrestling on the one side and New-Age pacifism on the other. But the solution to a bully remains what it has always been, Teddy Roosevelt's. "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

Nothing straightens out a bully faster than a firm foot to the groin, or a punch to the nose, or for the really serious bully, a meeting with the business end of a legally caried concealed self-defense weapon.

Now here is the a prime example of poor bully response:

Never Mind My Defense Department or the Threat, "No Nukes is Good Nukes."

Is it possible that a Harvard graduate could have missed the entire Cold War period and the concept of nuclear deterrence which kept the genie in the bottle for sixty years?

Instead, threats could be dealt with by "a series of graded options," he said, combining old and new conventional weapons.

Hey, Bamster, would you take a minute to review the American experience with gradual application of force in Vietnam? I watched people disappear daily during the summer of 1966 in Rolling Thunder. Twenty-five pilots at the morning briefing for the Hanoi raid each day and an average of one less every night for six months. Some days two or three and a few days none, but the average held. Gradual escalation sucks. Kill them all and get it done with!

The White House hopes to overcome Russia's expressed reluctance to move beyond START, especially if it means cutting Moscow's arsenal of tactical, or short-range nuclear arms.

What is it that Russia seems to understand that you can't get through your supposedly enlightened head, Mr. President? Could it be that we don't live in a world in which our disarmament will discourage emerging powers from seeking their own nuclear weapons. Other people can build gadgets even if we discontinue our production. We don't hold the exclusive book of knowledge on this.

We'll Respond to WMD With Something Really, Really Bad Maybe

The US unilaterally established a policy some time ago that we would not continue development of two out of the three legs of the triumvirate which is classic WMD. We would not develop or resort to chemical or biological weapons. They are indiscriminate and imprecise. They are crude and difficult to control. They are serious threats but we would voluntarily not use them because we could respond to them with nuclear response which would be certain and decisive.

That is a reasonable position. Now to remove the third leg of the package in the belief that somehow this is going to provide an "example" which the world will emulate seems beyond stupid.

For the first time, the United States is explicitly committing not to use nuclear weapons against nonnuclear states that are in compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if they attacked the United States with biological or chemical weapons or launched a crippling cyberattack.

Those threats, Mr. Obama argued, could be deterred with “a series of graded options,” a combination of old and new conventional weapons. “I’m going to preserve all the tools that are necessary in order to make sure that the American people are safe and secure,” he said in the interview in the Oval Office.

When five million people in New York are dying or dead after a nerve gas attack, or when an updated modern version of Captain Trips is spreading across the nation, the Messiah will never resort to nuclear response if the attacker is in compliance with the NNPT? Gimme a break!

"Graded options"? What the hell are they?

Once again what he does is exactly the opposite of what he says. "I'm going to preserve all the tools that are necessary..." but that doesn't include reasonable nuclear weapons and modernization of the existing arsenal.

This may be treason.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Are You a Sheeple or an Apple

Sheeple and Apple are increasingly synonyms. It's Field of Dreams for techno-geeks. Jobs will build it and they will come regardless of utility or purpose.

Witness the iPad. (No ladies, it doesn't have wings, absorb more, or make you feel fresher.) What is it? Frankly I don't know, but then I'm not that into Apple.

It's supposedly a "tablet PC", but that nomenclature doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. You can handle several tasks at once on a tablet PC, but only do one thing at a time on an iPad. No multi-tasking allowed. Want to check email? Shut off your tunes.

It's everything an iPhone is except a whole lot less. It isn't a phone. Of course who wants to run around with something the size of a tabloid newspaper pressed against your ear?

It does, however, require a telephone contract even though you can't make calls. And, no you can't simply add it to your existing wireless account. You've got to get a dedicated contract and then only through AT&T. No Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile. Frankly, where I live AT&T doesn't appear very often except at midnight of a full moon in an open field.

It does run a billion "apps" but only one at a time. It will let you surf the web, but don't expect any of the embedded Flash stuff to work. No Flash for iPad.

You could, of course, simply connect it to your home computer by USB cable and download content for work but alas, no USB ports, no HDMI for video and no GPS to get all those cool maps, directions and updates on nearby restaurants. Nope, none of that.

No camera for video conferencing or phoning. No back-side camera for the occasional photo opportunity either.

But, it is really neat and avant garde and you can be the first to have one. Simply charge it up and run it for as long as the single, sealed, unreplaceable, no-spares allowed battery will operate. Then, simply pack it up and ship it back to Apple for a replacement.

Meanwhile you can get all the content you want simply by purchasing from iTunes. Well, no they don't have nearly half-a-million books available like Kindle, but at least you know the money is going to a good cause...Apple; the same crew who socked you $800 for the bigga-Gigabyte model of the iPad.

Seriously, who needs this thing?

The Regular and Reserve Corps

Anyone who has served in the military of the United States has an understanding of "regular and reserve" components. They are the basic core of the force and the expansion capability to allow response to contingencies.

We also know that doctors, dentists, and nurses in uniform are not line officers, but members of a component force. Similar components provide for veterinarians, lawyers, bio-environmental engineers and similar specific specialties. These folks are not subject to the same criteria for commissioning, promotions, or duty.

Those who study government and the occasional itinerant citizen know that there is a Surgeon General in the Presidential cabinet and a national health service which has a cadre of healthcare practitioners to respond to national emergencies. There is a Center for Disease Control as well which responds late and inefficiently to issues like Swine Flu epidemics.

But, the Obamacare law also offers a new wrinkle.

What will be the function of this domestic army. What will they do that the existing federal structures cannot already do? Where will they be recruited from? What will their mission be? Who will give their orders? Where do they fit in the hierarchy of law enforcement? How will they be equipped?

This is not a good move. It is particularly ominous in light of the last minute of that video clip where it is noted that as of taping there was no source of the language and no Congressional Record mention of debate on the topic.

From the Bottom of the Easter Basket

Did the bunny possible leave you any of these delicacies?

New Bureaucracies, Anyone?

Why even Nancy Pelosi told us, they would have to pass the bill before we could see what was in it. Maybe that was because it was so over-loaded with new regulatory agencies and oversight that, like Guam, it was in danger of capsizing and tipping over:

Nebraska Congressman Offers List of 153 New Bureaucracies Created by Healthcare

I guess that's job creation, of a sort.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Keeping the Vow

Sworn to silence, the monks of France celebrate Easter:

h/t to Ray Blewitt, one of the best T-37 students I had while instructing and current Facebook contact.

Washington, Jackson, Grant, Eisenhower, Petraeus?

Six months to a year ago, I would have dismissed the concept out of hand. Now, not so fast:

A Man On A White Horse?

Much has changed since November 2008. Possibly the largest shift in the political landscape has been the rising wave of disgust at the entire, partisan, corruption-riddled, elitist, egotists currently in Washington.

Many voters yearn for an outsider, someone with authenticity, integrity and proven accomplishment. Someone who has not spent their life plotting how to ascend the greasy pole, adjusting every utterance for maximum political advantage.

In this toxic climate, perhaps the only public institution that has increased in prestige in recent years is the American military. Its officers are looked upon, as General George Patton once noted, as "the modern representatives of the demi-gods and heroes of antiquity".

I'm not so naive to buy that hyperbole. I know that the pole to ascend to general officer ranks is at least as greasy as the one for political gain. But I also know that deeply embedded in the military culture are the concepts of honor, integrity, patriotism, and self-sacrifice.

Without reaching as far as Patton and pronouncing them "demi-gods" I will say that if I were faced with a senior officer and a member of the US Congress and needed someone to hold my watch and wallet while I took a shower, I know who would get the job. And I would be damned cautious about taking a shower around any of those Congress-critters.

Throw a Lot Against the Wall

There was a cynical, if slightly scatological, saying in staff work in the military: "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

Increasingly we are seeing that. Wait a second, that's not right. We have been seeing it all along whether on the never-ending campaign trail, in the elaborately choreographed "press conferences", in the marathon soft-ball media interviews, in the seemingly ubiquitous TV speeches to the nation and here again:

Response to Why Pile Taxes on the Over-taxed?

The narcissistic fool loves to hear himself talk. But he may be the only one in the room who really believes what he is saying. The 17 minute diatribe in response to a simple citizen's query is a perfect example of bafflement. He throws everything he knows at the wall in the fervent hope that something will stick.

And, he maintains the belief that when you walk away you will be awestruck at his seeming command of arcania.

More Than Just a Bunny Day

There's more than bunnies and eggs to remember. Spring is arriving and a new cycle of life starts. Many religions of the world commemorate their beliefs this week. And life goes on. Except for some eggs, of course.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Way to Go, Napolitano!

Saudi Arabia

What's the common thread among those countries?

New Screening No Longer Targets Selected Threat Nations

That's right, boys and girls. We won't offend those nice people and we will screen based on a list of known or suspected terrorists because that will be so much more effective and we know that there aren't any new jihadis being recruited, trained and fitted for explosive Jockey shorts and enhanced Maidenform blow-up bras.

Don't you feel safer now? Ask the next five TSA goons you encounter at the strip-down facility if they've got access to the list. Whadaya bet they don't?

Healthcare, Massachusetts and the 10th Amendment

It has been used so often by the Bamster that it has been elevated to meme status, one of those cliche soundbites which apparently justifies the abuse of Obamacare.

'This is sort of similar to the bill that Mitt Romney, the Republican governor and now Presidential candidate, passed in Massachusetts,"

There are two problems with that. Recognition of either one will clearly show that it is a poor rationale for federal action.

First, it ignores the very clearly crafted language of the 10th Amendment which says that any power which is not expressly delegated to the federal government by the Constitution or denied by that document to the states, IS RETAINED BY THE STATES.

Since there is no enumeration of a responsiblity for provision of healthcare to the masses, then it is a retained state power in our federal system.

There are pros and cons to a federal system. One of the regularly cited positives is the crafting of localized solutions to problems. A state can serve the people of our diverse nation better than a one-size-fits-all national program. Additionally, the states provide a proving ground for innovation and evaluation of policy solutions.

That last part leads us to the second problem with the meme.

Massachusetts program is drowning in debt and dragging the state down with it. Worse than that is it shows us today where Obamacare will take us tomorrow:

MA Governor Patrick Cuts Prices for Insurers and Providers

Isn't that the standard fourth down play of a Democrat administration? Price fixing of free market providers to drive them out of business and tax cuts to supplement the balance by taxing the successful.

Next time you hear Massachusetts healthcare and Mitt Romney dragged into the discussion, mention the 10th Amendment and Federalism and watch the eyes glaze over. Then talk of profit and business and check the shift to personal attacks and ad hominems to quell the debate.

The Nellis AFB Bar

Last night, in a quiet ceremony (I'm sure!) there was a formal dedication of a gathering place of the finest warriors the USAF can produce. I wish I could have been there.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Caution: Strong language from my just down the road in Waco neighbor, the formerly Motor-city Madman:

Friday, April 02, 2010

Ya Gotta Shake It

My gag reflex is being overworked this morning. Here's a puff piece that further illustrates the state of America's "news media".

Yay (sic) Brocolli Shmocolli

I can only hope that this would have a lot of follow-up, with the WaPo revisiting the garden every other day from now until harvest, which will strangely be in about three weeks if the same amazing growth takes place this year as last. I want them to report progress each time the First Lady is back in the garden weeding and watering and tending to the crop.

Somehow I can't avoid the flashback to scenes of Tara with two separate cadres of "house" and "field" hands, except this one is done in a negative print with colors reversed.

There's An App For That

Frankly, I never thought of using my Blackberry for this:

Church Not Needed, I Get It Directly

I guess the flashback from twenty years in thrall to Rev. Jeremiah Wright has led to elimination of the middle man. Of course it would only follow that the Messiah would be on the email listserv for missives direct from God Himself.

I'll have to check the RIM website and see if I can get some inspiration on mine.

"Quality Reporting"

Yes, there is some serious journalism taking place in the mainstream media. No softball questions or neatly phrased lead-in lines for delivery of a sound-bite. This is the real thing:

Gotta Tone Down the Rhetoric Against Me

That's right! Why when George W. Bush was president there was none of this nastiness. No one portrayed him as Hitler. No one impugned his intelligence. No one thought he was too far-reaching or "imperial." Did they?

"It happens often when you've got an economy that is making people more anxious, and people are feeling like there is a lot of change that needs to take place.

I'll bet you didn't know that, did you? We're feeling that a "lot of change" needs to take place. NO! We're not! I don't want nebulous change. I want meaningful, responsible, LIMITED government. I want the Constitution placed on the front page of every piece of legislation or executive order with the words that authorize the act. Lacking that enumerated power, I want it not done. I don't want change for its own sake.

CBS Sports' lead college basketball analyst, Clark Kellogg, also shot hoops with the president and conducted an interview. The interview with the president, and the entire game, will be broadcast on Saturday during CBS Sports' exclusive live coverage of the 2010 NCAA Final Four.

That's news for you. The "game" will be broadcast and the "interview" will be aired during the Final Four!

Is there no escaping this fool? Is there no place we can go to be spared his propagandizing?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Grace Under Pressure

Ever wonder what it takes to become a senior flag-rank officer in the US Military? It takes grace under pressure. It takes the ability to keep a straight face in trying circumstances. It takes the self-control to not laugh out loud and say, "Are you f***ing crazy?"

Of course if you spend much time watching the results of democracy in America as manifested by our voting choices for Congress you must get used to it.

If this is the best we can do, we are in serious trouble.

More Evidence of Climate Change

You won't find it in the American mainstream media, but there is still more evidence mounting up with regard to climate change. The inconvenience of the truth is difficult to accept, but accept it we must:

The Cycles Takes Us Back to Normal

Now your children can sleep without tears, knowing that the polar bears will be nice and cold and Santa Claus will not have to mount wheels on his sleigh any time soon.

Do you mean that the global weather operates in cycles? Well, who woulda thunk it?

Modernization Effort

It is important for a modern city to be at the forefront of technology. You can't keep up and be competitive without applying the latest equipment and procedures.

Here's what's going on in my old home town:

Making the Margins Grow

It is about time. They were so out-dated that I could still drop off a gratuity on the same street corner my mother used to do it if we wanted the trash picked up, the snow plowed and the privilege of parking in front of our own apartment building.