Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Would I like to be tied into this group?

Creative Artists Agency

Does the large ursine mammal defecate in the forest? Dreams of a very Merry Christmas dance in my aged head.

This Is Serious Business!!!

Deja Vu Again

"Those who will not learn from the lessons of history will be condemned to repeat them."

In Teheran a mob has attacked and sacked the British Embassy. Any attempt to describe the action as a mob which Iranian security forces could not restrain is impossible. Nothing happens in the streets of Iran which does not have the approval of the government. The Iranians are unhappy with sanctions imposed as the civilized world attempts to restrain their efforts to achieve a nuclear weapon and then to fulfill their oft-repeated promise to deliver it on Israel. The whole purpose of sanctioning is to modify behavior. Sanctions are supposed to be unpleasant. The way to lift sanctions is to change your actions.

But in Iranian thinking the way of the future is the destruction of Israel and by extension the rest of the non-Islamic world. If in the process you unleash nuclear Armageddon, so be it. You are martyred in the cause and you will live forever surrounded by houris and lolling in luxury.

This is the deer-in-the-headlights response of the Leader of the Free World. This is what the "most powerful man in the world" does to compel a change in behavior by a rogue nation:

So, the date is November of 2011 and we are one year away from a presidential election. We see American in the throes of an economic recession and we see a once-respected nation now withdrawn from the position of leadership. We relish our secondary role as global by-stander and the President waffles and gripes about the laziness of an America that resists redistribution of their earned wealth.

Does it help to point out that the Bamster might want to dust off a recent history book. Look up what happened in November of 1979, one year away from a presidential election when a nation was mired in economic recession and withdrawn from leadership. The President waffled and griped about a malaise that he could not overcome.

History repeats itself and we need to learn the lessons. The very seeds that were sown on the embassy grounds of the American Embassy in Teheran have matured into the mad-dog president of that rogue nation. Ahmadinejad rose to power on the basis of the role he played in those events.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New York Times May Regain Respect

It will take a while, I'm certain, but with analysis like this appearing in the pages of the Gray Lady, there is hope:

Abandoning The White Working Class

Isn't that amazing? It honestly acknowledges that it is intellectual non-productive pinheads and welfare sucking dependency drones that constitute a potentially victorious majority in the nation. Is that a rational analysis?

Unfortunately it just might be.

But here is another analysis of the Messiah's thinking. This one from a more right-wing publication, the Washington Times:

Does Bamster Really Want to Win?

My guess is that he really DOES want to get re-elected. He loves the adoration of the hand-picked and filtered masses on the campaign trail. He definitely loves the perks of office. I mean, an executive jet is one thing, but a B747 for yourself and a 757 for the Missus is a whole 'nuther class. He digs the tee-times and the courtside seats. He loves the top rank talent shows in his own living room and the fawning to the left-wing intellectuals telling him he is the smartest guy since Aristotle and easily could best Thomas Jefferson on his worst day.

Where is this all going? I can't tell the future, but I sure can foresee the outcome for the nation either way we go next November.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interesting Experience

Yesterday at the Women, Pilots and Aviation Writers event at the Ft. Worth Library, I had fun and even had the chance to get my prejudices reinforced. First, the fun.

I missed my turn to the Ft. Worth Library and so wound up about three blocks north of where I needed to be. Not a problem though as a nice gentleman managing a parking lot redirected me and I found my destination. Surprisingly all of downtown Ft. Worth seems immune to the requirement for handicapped parking spaces. Pulled into a parking lot next door to the library and when I started to deposit all of the money I had in my pocket into the designated "Pay or Die" receptacle, he called to me and told me the extortion is only collected on week-days. Texas folks are nice that way.

Beautiful library and a great venue for a writer's signing event. Immediately met a lot of friends and quickly made some new ones among the writers and readers present.

Shortly thereafter I was scheduled to speak on my recommended route to getting published. A rapt audience of at least seven or eight people filled the 120 seat auditorium hanging on my every word except for the one gentleman who apparently found it a cozy place to get off the street and into a warm napping zone. At least I didn't get booed. Although maybe I did but the sound didn't carry from their little group in the far back row of the auditorium.

Following the presentation I had a chance to meet my long-time FaceBook friend, award-winning author Kathleen Rodgers who introduced me to the Book Section editor of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. She had previously held a similar position at the Dallas Morning Star. Kathleen offered that the woman held a Pulitzer. I shook her hand and inquired why I had been unable to get a review of the best selling Fighter Pilot upon release, after the Wall St. Journal coverage, or during the two years since it has been out. I also wondered why a north Texas author with three successful books couldn't get acknowledged.

Her reply was, "I don't need this!" and to simply turn and walk away.

I guess that explains a lot about journalism in America. The inquiring mind first requires stroking, affection and total subservience.

One could also assume the woman had not previously encountered many fighter pilots.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giving Advice

Leaving in about an hour for Ft. Worth Central Library where Ft. Worth Veterans Memorial Air Park Museum is holding an all-day event titled, "Women, Pilots, and Writers in Aviation." Gotta say that's an eclectic group.

There will be a collection of about a dozen military authors signing books and a day-long program of speakers on a range of topics from waiting wives to probing the reaches of hypersonic flight and space in the SR-71. I close out the speaker's schedule at 3:30.

Since my research on women is drastically out-of-date and even when it was current my advice probably wouldn't have been very good, I opted out of that topic.

I assumed the other pilots and aviation writers would be talking with their hands, shooting their watches and elaborating on their remarkable achievements without regard to their personal safety or the immutable laws of physics, so I declined to confirm the world's opinion of fighter pilots as arrogant, egotistical, bastards by recounting my exploits.

That left writing as my topic. Coincidentally there was a review in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about a recently opened Broadway stage-play about a seminar group seeking the route to publication at the feet of a successful author and noted cynic. Apparently young eager and aspiring writers pay up to $5000 each to be abused in the name of their art.

My presentation on the route to publication will not cost that much. But I will freely acknowledge that it will be worth exactly what the audience pays for it.

The goal of the day will be to prevent at least one individual from spending his own money to self-publish his worthless rambling which will be the literary equivalent of Uncle Seymour's Super-8 home movie collection from past vacations to the Catskills.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flaws In The Facade

Even those who might have been initially sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street movement have got to be seeing the totally ludicruous aspects of the positions. The class-warfare meme was little more than a facade. The argument of this politically shaped dichotomy between a symbolic "Wall Street" and a down-to-earth "Main Street" was already stretched quite thin.

Wall Street is a market. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a place where willing buyers and willing sellers come together to negotiate a fair price for goods. Someone who facilitates that exchange is a broker. They charge a fee for making that transaction possible and effortless.

Main Street is where the people who want to buy goods live. They can take money and buy goods at a favorable price and then if they have chosen wisely they may be able to sell that product for a higher price in the future. Some will lose and some will win. The marketplace has always been like that. Some may not trade directly, but they trade through their retirement funds, their savings accounts, their profit-sharing plans, etc. Wall Street is where Main Street does business. They aren't two enemy camps.

But the Occupy folks weren't just about that. They also sought "fairness," whatever that means and "justice." They looked into the TV cameras with pleading eyes and wailed about their college loans. They borrowed money without apparent understanding of the concept of a loan. They sought "education" in esoteric studies most of which offered no promise of a meaningful future beyond the ephemeral joy of intellectual pursuit. Now they owe money and can't get a job that matches their nebulous education. So, in fairness, they simply want their debts forgiven. There seems to be little regard for the fairness to the source of the money they received. That agency can simply take the hit.

Now this seems to cement the underlying fact which we've known all along:

Occupy Everything, Sell Nothing

The fundamental economics of their success seem beyond their comprehension. If they block the stores, they damage the corporation and their shareholders. They damage the workers who are striving to succeed for themselves. They damage the customers who are attempting to economize and shop for needed items at the best price possible.

In a recessive economy, the Occupiers who seek everything, apparently are expecting that if all business in America fails, if all Americans are out of work, and if all families are bereft of those items which sustain their lives, then all will be right in the Occupied society of their dim future.

The Occupiers are little more than anarchists, brainless anarchists at that.

Climategate 2.0

It will be interesting to see the mainstream media coverage of this:

Forbes Reveals Email Climate Cover-up Evidence

It would be hard to call that anything other than flagrant duplicity. I really like the part about the whole scam being funded on the back of DOE grants and that the US government is complicit in the lockdown of basic data.

Black Friday

There is simply no bloody way that I would go out at mid-day to the mall or big-box store let alone waiting in line for five hours to push through the doors at midnight or four AM. There is nothing in this world, no bargain, no deal, no incentive to suffer that sort of indignity when there is left-over turkey in the fridge, the beer is cold and there is football on the TV.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


It is easy for me to be thankful. I've lived a very full life. I've done things that many cannot dream of and been fortunate enough to have an appreciation of my experiences.

I grew up with loving parents and got a good education in Catholic schools. We didn't have much but we appreciated what we had. Holiday traditions were well established and we always celebrated Thanksgiving, even in those days when all we could afford was half a turkey. It never looked like the Norman Rockwell paintings of the feast, but it tasted just as good.

I earned a National Merit Scholarship but learned that because my father earned more than $5000 a year and my mother earned nearly $3000 that we were too affluent for financial aid for college. I worked my way through school and commuted from home on the bus and subway of Chicago. I graduated in four years with the bare minimum grade-point average, 2.01 for a 2.0 requirement. I was thankful for that.

My career path was clear to me and I was fortunate enough to have the skills and health and the opportunity to pursue it. I went to war when I wasn't ready but through the grace of God and a handful of exceptional leaders, I survived. When my turn came to lead others into combat, I paid it forward.

Along the way during my career I got VA benefits to fund two Master's degrees. I had the chance to spend a year and half in Asia and nearly eight years in Europe. I've skied the slopes below the Matterhorn and Eiger, sipped wine in the shadow of the Duomo in Florence, ridden through the lagoons of Venice, eaten at a dozen Michelin three-star restaurants in France, walked Picadilly and Tafalgar squares, watched Formula One races in Spain, Belgium, Germany, Holland and France, fought bulls in Spain and eaten cochinillo in the shade of a 1000 year old aquaduct in Segovia.

There's more, but you get the idea. I've been to Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Gibraltar, Portugal and Greece. It's all been good. And I know it.

I've been married to a loving woman who has tolerated some amazing shenanigans through the years. Somehow she still loves me. I'm very fortunate.

I've had cancer and survived surgery and radiation only slightly the worse for wear after almost nine years now. I'm thankful.

Today I can reflect back on a life that has been rewarding and full. I'm thankful for my family, small though it may be. I'm thankful for what God has given me in talent and skills. I'm thankful for my friends over the years. I've got not a single regret in my life and for that I'm immensely thankful.

I was fortunate to be born in America. And how much more can I be thankful for that?

I'm thankful today and every day.

A College Education

Some of us may still harbor a vision of what a college education means. The best and the brightest should be prepared to contribute to the future with their skills and talents. They should learn reasoning skills, judgment, ethical/moral behavior and along the way pick up technical knowledge to prepare them to fulfill their career aspirations.

Yet we must note that if the Occupy movement is showing us anything about college education in America it is that we are graduating students who have no understanding of fundamental principles. I learned very early in life that gifts are something special. Loans are temporary use of a commodity with the clear understanding that at some future point I incur an obligation to return what I have been lent. In the case of money that usually means a bit extra as well. I learned that if I want something I may or may not get it. The best way to eventually get what I want is to work hard and save for it. Frankly, I never thought the government would give me food, shelter, doctor's care or a retirement. And, I certainly never even considered the most remote possibility that my $100/week father or $60/week mother would build an inheritance. They couldn't and didn't.

Here we have another example of America's "gifted and talented" generation. Blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford some of the premium universities in the country and then participate in a very special program they engage in this:

Three Released After Protesting

A belief in democratic principles and freedom from oppression is certainly commendable. But did they not understand that in an Arab nation experiencing a violent revolution and under the control of a transitional government it would be imprudent to throw Molotov cocktails at the police? Are they unaware that a bottle of flaming gasoline can kill someone?

I can only ask why they were not left to rot in a Cairo version of Midnight Express?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Confirming What I Know

This little tidbit is much less about testimony on exploitation of Alaskan oil reserves than about the ego of a certifiable asshole of the left. Read the story, but then watch the video:

Historian Takes Umbrage in Hearing

Regular readers here know that I don't commonly refer to those I disagree with politically in the term I applied in the first paragraph. In this instance I make an exception based upon personal experience.

Many of you have read Palace Cobra, my memoir about the last days of the Vietnam air war over the North. Some of you are aware that the book was first contracted to Smithsonian Institution Press who published When Thunder Rolled. Along the way the staff I had worked with so harmoniously on the first book was replaced by a new agenda and a new editor.

In short order my work was modified significantly. The introductory poem I used to highlight the fighter pilot attitude was deleted as risque. The photo section was excised as too expensive. The title was changed to something that sounded more like a black socks and Lone Ranger mask porn movie. The cover art was culled from a cliche video game.

When the catalog of advance publications was published for marketing to book-sellers, the work was characterized as a tale of impending mutiny by dissastified and disillusioned pilots offended by demands of their government to fly "secret" missions into Laos and Cambodia. The characterization was promoted and the book was to be touted by "noted historian, Douglas Brinkley."

I called the publisher, not my editor, and expressed to him that clearly there was no "secret" war, there was no disillusionment, and that my reputation among peers and the public would be severely slandered by such a characterization. I also threatened law suit should Professor Brinkley come anywhere near a sponsored review of my book.

Eventually, Smithsonian defaulted on the contractual publication timeline. I read the fine print, reclaimed my manuscript, retained my advance, and have since enjoyed a satisfying working relationship with St. Martin's Press.

Mr. Brinkley's umbrage before Congress confirms my estimation of the man.

Tortoise and Hares

The tortoise in the race is now in the lead. After being almost immediately written off as yesterday's news and a target for redredging of twenty year old marriage difficulties, he has slowly and steadily climbed to the top with a message of thought-out policy statements, an aversion to knee-jerk press responses and an avoidance of trashing his opponents. That just might be what America is crying for.

If you live in Texas you can't help but be aware of the illegal immigration problem. We've got the longest shared border with Mexico of the four border states. We've got a growing Latino population, both legal and illegal. We've got towns, schools, businesses, ranches and farms that are directly impacted by the border and not always adversely. We encounter assimilating Latinos every day. They are hard-working folks, embracing the American dream and making significant contributions to the economy.

Watching Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts scion of wealth, privilege and politics or Michelle Bachman, the shrill voice of ultra-right policy from Minnesota express a position on illegal immigration you are almost compelled to ask if they have ever met a Mexican immigrant. Can they order a beer and a burrito in rudimentary Spanish? Who turns down the sheets in their hotel room, tends their lawn, or cooks in the kitchen of the coffee shop where they campaign? Do they know what they pay for vegetables or who builds most of the new houses in America?

Gingrich Speaks Common Sense

I think it is remarkably refreshing to hear a candidate say something that reflects a realistic understanding of a complex issue. I enjoy someone who says to the electorate, I won't pander to your simple desire but will tell you what you really need to do and if you choose to deny me support, then I will accept the outcome.

Rick Perry was exactly correct that the border must be secured. No question about that. But he also is realistic in acknowledging that an educated immigrant is more beneficial to society than one denied opportunity.

Bachman, spouts of "rule of law" and implies punishment, removal, isolation in society along with a desire for an easy way out. That sort of position will not deal effectively with the problem and while it may attract hard-core true-believers, it won't win in a general election where many states with significant Latino voting populations will flee to the left. That jeopardizes victory in states which would otherwise be firmly in the red column on election night.

If Gingrich keeps making sense, eventually intelligent people will notice. The worst outcome, which wouldn't be that bad, is that the other candidates learn from him.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ripley's Believe It or Don't

Proving there are no limits to with weirdness of man, we have this item:

That Will Be a Nice Firm Butt When It Sets

Yes, nothing says sexy like a rock hard gluteous maximus and super-glue with cement will definitely do that.

The Tingle is Gone

When you lose the loyal soldiers you may not have many for the coming battle:

Matthews Wants Marching Orders


Government Must Save Us

It would seem that the only possible way Americans can be great is if government tells us what to do. I grew up thinking that the nation was built by entrepreneurs, men of genius who took great risks and fulfilled their vision. Apparently that was some sort of revisionist history I was taught.

Greatness Is The Gift of Government

That certainly puts a perspective on Ms Maddow, doesn't it?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Defining Downward

Seriously, folks, we've gone overboard in looking for something to whine about. The group described here were exactly what most of us who grew up in post-war America looked like. It was then called "working class" or even "middle class". It was always viewed as hard-working, honest, frugal and striving to have a better life for their children. They were generally successful in that endeavor.

Census Finds "Near Poor" Startling!

When you find the government creating such a category you must reasonably expect to encounter that terminology with some degree of regularity emerging from the slavering mouths of the class-warfare politicos who will immediately justify increasing taxes to insure the successful will increase their fair share of support for the broadening of dependency on government programs.

Saturday Morning Rocker

An unlikely duo that worked very well:

Friday, November 18, 2011


No, it doesn't surprise me that someone would shoot at the White House. One need look no farther than any news source covering the Occupy activities. They country is now populated by loonies. They come in all ages, all races, and all have a certain unwashed, unkempt, wild-eyed look about them. But, it is difficult to avoid asking some questions about this:

Apprehended and Charged With Assassination Attempt

  1. Am I the only person in the nation that still wonders if this guy is an illegal?
  2. Do you mean that gun laws in Washington DC don't work?
  3. Can you attempt an assasination and miss by 8,000 miles?
  4. Did no one notice he was one sick puppy?
Wouldn't some enterprising journalist be thinking along the same lines I am?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not An Occupier

Karl Rove's column today recounts a story that helps to restore the perspective on real Americans. They aren't the trash of entitlement filling parks around the country demanding immediate gratification. They are a special class of folks.

Going Hunting With Heroes

Amazing people.

Logic In An Illogical World

The House of Representatives must have benefited from that reading of the Constitution at the beginning of the session last January. Someone may have noticed the "full faith and credit" clause. That's the one that says every state must give full recognition of the legal acts of every other state. That's the reason why your driver's license from Iowa is sufficient to drive in Missouri. It's why your marriage license gets you the same rights and privileges in every state...almost. It should be the reason why the concealed carry permit issued in one of the 41 states of the union is valid in every other state. Now they've taken a step in that direction.

House Overwhelmingly Approves Reciprocity Bill

Now we can only sit back and watch as the Senate tries to direct our attention away from the short man manipulating the levers behind the curtain which Toto has just pulled aside.

We'll again hear about Dodge City shoot-outs and unbridled mayhem when citizens who have been background checked and certified by their states exercise their Second Amendment rights. We will be asked to ignore the history of concealed carry everywhere it has been enacted and nod in favor of the places with the strictest gun control in the nation which clearly demonstrate that such control does not eliminate gun crime and actually exacerbates the violence which plagues the society of defenseless victims.

Anybody think that the Senate will pass this? Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Academia Personified

We should be aware that a university should be a forum for unfettered debate and exchange of ideas. That means in an atmosphere of academic freedom an individual should be able to say whatever they can defend and support with their reason, intellect and research. I will often say things in class to foment debate or discussion on a topic even if I don't espouse those positions personally. I warn my students at the beginning of the semester that not everything I say is my own ideology.

But, Roberta X points us at this toad this morning:

Care Packages For Troops Shameful

You can probably assume by looking at this face that he's not familiar with the US military from the inside. I can also assume that there are a lot of folks in the military that would like to take him under their wing, figuratively, and give him a new perspective.

What do Prof. Avery's students think of him? Well read the comments here:

Not Their Favorite

And, yes, he did spend some of his education years at the University of Moscow. Yep, that Moscow!

CV of Professor

He probably used the same class notes for his Constitutional Law course as the Bamster did at University of Chicago.

The Details You Need

There is a lot of controversy about natural gas recovery through hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." It's a big topic where I live in the midst of the Bartlett Shale area. I've commented previously about it and have sought a reasonable length video to offer you some information about the topic. Here's a concerned homeowner and an industry representative discussing the complexities:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paranoid? You Bet

You'll think I'm paranoid, but I can't overcome the feeling that Microsoft has stuck their monopolistic fingers into the workings of my beige box again.

I've been using Google Chrome as my default browser for about two years now and love it. It's fast, got a cleaner interface and is arguably more stable than IE. Yesterday it simply stalled and won't reload my default tabs on start-up. That happened early last week, but a quick update to the latest incremental upgrade of Chrome cured the problem

Yesterday, however, that wasn't it.

Naturally I temporarily reverted to Internet Explorer. Seems to work but is still a bit slow. I went through the usual suspects. Shut down and reboot. No help. Check on Chrome update. No help. Shut down modem and router and restart. Not it. Reinstall Chrome. Nope. Remove and reinstall Chrome. Still not doing it.

But IE works a bit better today.

Purged browsing history, cookies, log-ins, passwords, and temp files. Still no help.

This looks like the experience I had four years ago with FireFox. Total satisfaction for a while and then suddenly, failure and a need to return to IE.

Am I being paranoid, or are they really out to get me...and succeeding!

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

If you watched any of the Bob Costas interview with former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky last night you probably came away with the conclusion that this is one sick puppy. There's no other outcome possible. This is an adult, senior official on the university athletic staff who sees nothing wrong with bringing ten and twelve year old boys into the school athletic facilities then showering with them and "horsing around." Seriously?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Insight Into America

One big advantage I've gotten from my Kindle/iPad is that I read a lot more. It's incredibly easy to have book(s) at hand all of the time. I see a review of something that appeals and I can have it in front of me immediately and at lower cost than if I ordered it or waited for the library to make it available. Along the way I also now tend to have three or four books in progress at any given time. The advantage there is that I can now circumvent my own intellectual laziness which routinely defaults to fiction. I have no difficulty in achieving my goal of two-to-one, fiction-to-non-fiction reading. When the serious stuff bores me, I can put it aside for a while and come back when I'm more disciplined.

Yesterday I started on David Mamet's conservative dissertation, "The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling of American Culture."

I found myself stunned by his analysis. Mamet is a self-acknowledge former liberal who apparently was knocked off his ass by a flash of light on the road to Tarsus. Such a conversion is not that common. To then have the talents to express such a detailed and insightful view from his new perspective is surprising to say the least.

At about 120 pages into the book, I suddenly stopped and asked myself how this book was dealt with by the recognized left-leaning main-stream media in their book reviews. Google is my friend and here's what I found:

New York Times Irritated!

Surprisingly, the NYT reviewer seems to be oblivious to the fact that he is emphatically proving the main thesis of the book, that the left is totally intolerant of any challenge to their position. Try to counter their position and they will shout you down.

For an example of how a review might be critical of some of the points Mamet makes but still see merit in the overall argument, we turn to the WSJ:

Wall Street Journal Sees New Perspective on Stage/Screen

The Secret Knowledge tracks very closely to my own perspectives. I know of what Mamet speaks when he discusses his upbringing in Chicago. I see on a daily basis the abandonment of logic and reason in debate in favor of liturgy and catechism of the arguer.

The book is one definitely worth reading. Highly recommended.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Payback Ain't So Bad

Simply slip a big bag of money to the Bamster and apparently your company can latch on to nearly a half-billion dollars in sole source contract for a product that nobody seems to see a need for and which hasn't been proven to do anything anyway.

When the $9 Vaccine On Hand Isn't Adequate

You've got to admire the administration for sheer audacity.

How Does This Work?

You've heard him express his goals. He seeks energy independence for America. No more, or at least much less, foreign oil. He seeks to put Americans back to work. Jobs, jobs, jobs are the priority.

So then what do we make of this:

Keystone Project Delayed Until AFTER Election

Some points to ponder:

  • Between 10 and 20 thousand jobs are involved in the construction of the pipeline
  • The oil will otherwise go to China
  • There is already a Keystone pipeline for much of the route
  • The existing pipeline has had no problems
The man is a hypocrite. But, I repeat myself. 

Saturday Morning Classic Rocker

The album was a two-record set called "Eat a Peach." When it released Duane Allman was already gone, a victim of a motorcycle accident with a lumber truck. The story goes that in an interview someone asked Duane whether he had a "cause" that he supported. His reply was that whenever he returned to Georgia he would "eat a peach for peace."

There are more recent videos of Mountain Jam, but they simply highlight how great Duane Allman was. The Allman part is now handled by Derek Trucks, the son of band drummer Butch Trucks. Dickie Betts still pretty good!

Col. Don C. Wood

Yesterday Rebecca Wood asked a question, seeking some information about an F-105 pilot she is related to. This morning I got a response from Howard Plunkett, who probably has more detail about F-105 crews, aircraft and missions than the Air University Library archives. What he doesn't have in his personal notes, he'll find pretty quickly. Here's the story of Col. Wood:
16 Jan 1966  F-105D 59-1719

Call sign: "Olds 05".  Combat loss during a close air support mission for Royal Laotian troops.

"Captain Wood was flying a camera aircraft.  The mission progressed normally until the third strafe pass when No 4 observed Nos 1 and 2 make their third strafe pass followed by No 5, the camera aircraft.  As No 1 pulled up, he made a slight right turn, then turned to a westerly heading about 2-3 NM North of the target.  No 1 was at 10,000 feet when he observed an F-105 cross about 5,000 feet in front of him on a northerly heading in about a 20 degree climb.  At this time No 1 observed what he thought appeared to be a piece of masking tape come off the F-105 he was watching.  No 1 made one more strafe pass and requested the flight to join up.  No 1 had Nos 2, 3, and 4 in sight and requested No 5's position.  No 5 did not respond.  After a channel change and still no response from No 5, No 1 and 2 started searching the area, while 3 and 4 returned to the tanker for fuel.  At 1652 hrs "Crown" was alerted of a possible downed aircraft by Lead.  Nos 3 and 4 refueled from the emergency tanker, and relieved Nos 1 and 2 at approximately 45 mins.  Nos 1 and 2 landed at the same station after discontinuing search due to minimum fuel.  After landing, the four pilots were debriefed and assumed Captain Wood's aircraft may have crashed 8 to 15 miles north of the target.  No 2 stated that he observed one fire among many grass fires, which he thought might have been where an aircraft impacted.  He could not relocate the spot, however, due to haze and lack of smoke observed earlier.  No one saw Capt Wood or his aircraft after the third strafe pass or heard any transmission or beeper sound from his emergency radio.  Extensive visual, photographic and electronic surveillance was continued through 21 Jan 66.  No evidence of Captain Wood or his aircraft was found."  ("PACAF Intelligence Index of USAF Personnel MIA/PW in Southeast Asia", pg 2-001, AFHRA Call # K717.6031-3, IRIS # 1028640.)

"...Capt Wood was one of a flight of five F-105 aircraft on a mission over Xien Kouang Province, Laos.  Capt Wood ... (was) on a photo reconnaissance mission (with two 70mm camera pods on outboard wing stations)." 
Other members of his flight were:
#1 - Capt John G. Ahearne
#2 - Maj Lowell E. Shearer
#3 - Maj James H. Caldwell
#4 - Capt John C. Gordon

"It was suspected he was downed by flak, but from the summaries made by the returning crew members, it was indefinite as each man was concerned with his own part in the mission and with his leader or wingman.  An extensive search and rescue attempt was made the following day, but neither the aircraft nor pilot was located.  The mission was a close air support mission for the Royal Laotian troops and Capt Wood was downed in the late afternoon.  The remainder of the flight circled the suspected crash area but was unsure of the location due to numerous grass fires in the area.  Capt Wood was carried as MIA." (355 TFW History)
"A flight of five F-105s departed Takhli RTAFB at 1516 hours on 16 January 1966. Their target was automated AAA gun positions in the Plain of Jars, Laos.  Don C. Wood's RF-105D fighter aircraft was flying as the number five aircraft equipped with two, 70mm camera pods. His mission was to photograph the damage inflicted by the strike for damage assessment.  He followed every run in, not necessarily in formation to get photos.  They made 1 bomb run, 1 rocket run and 2 strafe passes.  During the third strafe pass #4 thought his gun blew up.  At the same time #1 called and asked who headed north and did a 360 degree roll.  Lead had seen an F-105 cross about 5000 feet in front of him on a northerly heading in a 20 degree climb.  That was Don Wood's RF-105D.  Confusion ensued as #3 checked #4 for damage.  Radio contact could not be established with Olds 5 on the tactical channel or on guard channel.  Olds 5 was not seen to crash; but was believed to have crashed 8 to 15 miles north of the target.  Olds 1 and 2 searched the area north and east for wreckage while #3 and #4 refueled by air tanker.  Then Olds 3 and 4 took up the search until dark.  All four F-105s had to land at Udorn due to minimum fuel.  Records indicate he was downed by AAA."

"While over the target and with flight members receiving 37-mm antiaircraft fire on their passes over the target, Captain Wood's flight leader determined Captain Wood was not present with the remainder of the flight.  The flight members searched a thirty-mile radius from their target and were unable to locate either him or his crash site.  Searches for him continued for the next three months and were unsuccessful. He was initially declared missing in action.

Two messages from the rescue group at Udorn described the initial searches for Capt Wood.  Brigham Radar at Udorn notified the RCC at 0950Z.  Five minutes later the RCC diverted an HC-54, Crown 35, "... to proceed to coordinates 19-12N and 102-53E to conduct electronic and visual search south, west, and north of the Plain of Jars. ... The last known position of Olds 5 was a visual sighting by Olds 2 at 19-43N and 103-03E approximately 10,000 to 15,000 feet heading in northerly direction. ... Crown 35 searched 5 NM either side of a line extending from 19-06N and 102-56E.  Effectiveness of search was 60 percent due to haze and approaching darkness.  Result of electronic and visual search was negative.  HC-54 stayed on scene until 16/1156Z and [until it was] too dark for positive navigation.  Crown 35 returned to Udorn and landed at 16/1240Z."
The next day the HC-54 searched across the Plain of Jars and an A-1E searched an "... area west, south, and east bordering Plain des Jares 20 NM wide."  The search was suspended when "... aircraft wreckage sighted in hostile territory at 19-31N and 103-11E.  Area too hot to make ground check of wreckage.  No indication that pilot ejected.  Deputy Commander 2 AD Thailand feels further search would not reveal results. ... RF-101 will retake photos of aircraft wreckage for positive I.D. [on] 18 January 1966.  Electronic search will be carried on by normal strike aircraft in vicinity of crash location.  Personal beacon with weak signal heard momentarily in heavily forested valley location at 19-45N and 103-00E.  Area searched thoroughly for 2 hours by 4 aircraft with negative results.  No ground fire encountered in any of the search areas."
Air Force resources expended for this SAR effort were:
HC-54 - 2 sorties for 14+15 flying hours
A-1E - 6 sorties for 6+00 flying hours
HH-3C - 2 sorties for 4+00 flying hours
A-1E - 6 sorties for 21+30 hours
F-105 - 16 sorties for 51+30 flying hours
KC-135 - 2 sorties for 8+00 flying hours
RF-101 - 2 sorties for 3+45 flying hours.
(Opening Report Mission # 2-4-16 Jan 66 TWX 162020Z & Suspending Report TWX 171206Z from Det 2 3 ARRGp, Udorn AB, Thailand.  AFHRA folder 66/01/09 - 66/12/31 Call # K318.2411-5.)

"... A Lao propaganda film obtained in January 1977 showed the identity card of Captain Wood together with blood chits, revolvers, helmet and other items which appeared undamaged.

"... (On 3) March 1980, Captain Wood was declared dead/body not recovered.  His remains have not been repatriated."

Sources: & 355 TFW history, Jan - Jun 66, USAF microfilm NO461, frames 1106 and 1107 & Report of the Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs, United States Senate. Jan 13, 1993

Capt Wood was born 11 November 1929, in Ogden, Utah.  He entered the service from Provo, Utah.  His name appears on the Vietnam Memorial wall on panel 04E line 76.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I Didn't See This In My Paper

With all of the breathless reporting from the MSM regarding the resurgence of the Messiah in last week's elections, I didn't notice a lot of coverage of this outcome:

Virginia Shows Heavy Republican Favor

Keep all of your legislative seats in both chambers, increase your majority to two-thirds of the state house of representatives, pick off three democrats in Congress last year, and corner the top three state executive branch positions. That's significant in most any analyst's book except for the major networks and the New Yawk Times and WaPO apparently.

Spinning it as a 30% turnout being too low to draw conclusions is pathetic.

Anarchy Among the Anarchists

Sometimes you've just got to wonder at the irony of the situation.

Shooting in Camp at Occupy Burlington

Oakland Occupy Hosts Shooting Too

But not all camps are hosting gun violence. You can wind up dead from other causes as well.

Occupy Atlanta Features TB Outbreak

Get An Exclusive Disease in NYC Occupy Camp

But, even if you aren't sickened or shot, you still might be assaulted by those nice, peaceful occupiers.

Portland Assaults Trigger Eviction

Yep, I'm definitely getting irony here. Or maybe poetic justice.

How long until the conspiracy theorists pop up among the Occupy Loonies? I've heard it is a carefully planned covert operation managed by Eric Holder himself.


What did you do in the war, Eddie?
I was spare for a strike on yet another POL storage area. This one was just over Thud Ridge, half-way between the ridge and the steel plant at Thai Nguyen. Preflight was normal until the point after engine start where I checked the gun sight. I have nothing. None of the modes work. Nothing functions in air-to-air mode. Nothing responds in air-to-ground. Circuit breakers checked, but still no sight. It may be burned out bulbs, but there is no time to check or replace them. Could both filaments burn out simultaneously or is it a problem somewhere else in the electrical circuitry? “Laredo, check.” It’s taxi time.

Laredo Two.”




We taxi. In the arming area we’ve got guests today. The wing chaplain stands just beyond the maintenance and munitions crews with Arthur Godfrey. The red-headed, freckle-faced radio personality is decked out in his familiar Hawaiian shirt. It’s all there but the ukulele. Well known as a pilot himself, Godfrey is fascinated by the activity, the noise, the turmoil and sheer menace of the huge airplanes. He watches intently as, one-by-one the aircraft are inspected for loose panels, fuel or oil leaks, cut tires or evidence of malfunction. He stares as the armorers pull safety pins from the bombs and fuel tanks, then open the gun bay doors to connect the electrical leads and arm the Vulcan cannon. He watches, without understanding what it means, as I observe the maintenance crew leader walk to the nose of the number two aircraft and display a prominent thumbs-down indicating that the aircraft will be turned back with a malfunction. Godfrey waves goodbye with a stupid grin as though we are simply leaving on a pleasure cruise. The chaplain blesses the airplanes with a theatrical sign of the cross as we turn to take the active runway. I’m now Laredo Two.

I’ve got an airplane that is technically not mission capable with no gunsight, but it never occurs to me not to go. Four airplanes are the standard package. Four airplanes have mutual support and good lookout. Four airplanes bring more bombs to the target and improve the odds of not having to go again tomorrow. Laredo needs four airplanes and I’m Laredo, even with no gun sight.

The weather is good for a change, but the defenses are enjoying the sunshine at least as much as we are. There is already one airplane down in the target area as we cross the Red. The Weasels have fired all of their Shrikes and are now trying to keep the SAMs away by faking attacks on emitting radars. Disco is garbaging up the radio as usual with long, drawn out warning calls that mean nothing to anybody, but they raise the tension level. We crest the ridge just ten miles north of the target, echelon the formation to the left and fan up for a roll in to the right.

With no sight, I simply estimate a point on the combining glass about two inches above where the end of the pitot tube is visible. I pull down a bit steeper than normal, let the airspeed build with the throttle parked firmly forward and press the target until I’ve got an entire face full of pavement, pipes and, hopefully, POL. I pickle and pull, depending upon six G’s to make the recovery without adding my own airplane to the load of delivered iron. I come off to the south, then rake back hard right to watch the blast and the rising fireball of a huge secondary explosion. Above the target, Laredo Four is still on the bomb run. Hopefully he’s got gun camera film to catch the hits and insure we don’t have to come back tomorrow. I’ve gotten the target. Even without a sight, I’m glad I came today.

I’ve got Laredo Lead ahead and I get back into formation just as we cross the Red west of Phuc Yen. Three and Four can be seen back at seven o’clock coming fast into position. It takes only seconds and we’re back across the river aimed for Laos and then home. The cost today has been two airplanes down in the target area, but Laredo has gotten in and out, and I’ve applied the magic theory of dive bombing with great effect. Two days later I get a note from intel indicating they’ve got some good film of an F-105 at remarkably low altitude delivering some bombs, it could only be Laredo Two.
Excerpt from "When Thunder Rolled" Chap. 15, "Hits and Misses".

History Is Made

The front page of the Dallas Morning News had the feature story, above the fold! Whitesboro Texas High School football team is going to the state playoffs for the first time in 100 years!!!!! History is made:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Interesting Dialog

I listened to a lot of WLS when I was growing up in Chicago. They did sports broadcasts and hourly news and some Top 40 sort of music playlists. Now apparently they do talk radio.

When you've got a right-wing talk-show host like Mark Levin grabbing quotes from another radio station but featuring a couple of CBS commentators, you've got an interesting dialog going on. Bill Kurtis is hardly a heavy-duty Republican talking head, so what's going on here?

The Reality of Politics

Remember that electrifying moment in the first Republican candidate debate of the current silly season when Chris Wallace asked a gotcha question of Newt Gingrich and got soundly trounced by a man with more intellect than half the states on the East Coast combined?

 I watched Newt two nights ago on the "Center Seat" segment of the Fox Report with Bret Baier. They've been having one of the presidential contenders on every other day or so to sit with the panel for about twenty minutes and answer some questions. I was struck by the dialogue between Newt and one of the arguably most intelligent folks on the planet, Charles Krauthammer. The interchange was noteworthy and it was easy to see that the two men had deep respect for each other even if they were not in total agreement.

Newt has characterized himself as the tortoise versus Romney's hare. We all know how that race turned out. When it comes to clear understanding of the issues both domestic and international, few have the depth of Gingrich. And, few have the ability to express complex issues clearly.

The danger, of course, is that America isn't smart enough for such dialogue. They are deep into three word slogans. "Yes We Can!" or "Hope and Change" or "Occupy Palm Springs." When they ask what time it is they want a digital read-out, not a lecture on how to build a chronometer. They may even wanted it dumbed down to simply "early" or "late".

I've discounted Newt as yesterday's news so far. He's been around for a long time and he's got some marital baggage that makes him tough to embrace for the ultra-conservative Right wing. But this isn't about choosing a spouse. It should be about choosing a governmental leader.

So, it shouldn't be surprising when one of the media elite spouts off to Gingrich and then gets enlightened in a most detailed way:

Piers Learns About Reality From a Realist

Telling someone like Gingrich his business is probably not prudent.

Because I Can

Prompted by some comments on Facebook's Phormer Phantom Phlyer page.


When you are thrust, whether reluctantly, willingly or eagerly, into the national spotlight it is inevitable that your history will come to the fore. That history can be benign and irrelevant or it can be indicative of a personality. Here we've got some history:

Cain Accuser Apparently Sees System as Road to Promotion

Wow! She didn't like an Internet humor piece so she filed a complaint about it. This doesn't seem that outrageous, but then I'm not seeking a leg-up in the business.
Computers are Like Men... 
In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on. 
They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem. 
They have a lot of data but are still clueless. 
As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer you could have had a better model. 
They hear what you say, but not what you mean. 

Computers are Like Women... 
No one but the Creator understands their internal logic. 
The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else. 
Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval. 
As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it. 
You do the same thing for years, and suddenly it's wrong.
Are you offended? Do you seek compensation? Should I be reprimanded. Are my presidential aspirations ruined forever?


Yes fans, this morning we have another for the YGBSM file. I'm not sure the Founders really envisioned something like this when they were talking about a "limited government of delegated and reserved powers."

Agriculture Department Establishes Christmas Tree Promotion Board...and TAX

I had to look twice to see that it wasn't in The Onion.

But can they do that? What about separation of church and state? Just kidding...

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Reality TV

Proving once again that Andy Warhol was right:

Hitting the Morning Talk-Show Circuit

My muscles are really sore this morning. I spent most of the evening trying to assume the described position in the back seat of my car. I did OK as I leaned my right hand over to move it up a skirt toward some "genitals". Then I got a pulling sensation across my shoulder as I established my left arm behind a head to pull it into my crotch which was obstructed by my right arm across my lap. When I began to play the video of "What are you doing? You know I have a boyfriend." I think I strained my back laughing and hurt myself severely when I did my best Simon Legree sneer and said, "You want job don't you?"

Couldn't they have written a more realistic script? Maybe they should have put in some sequencing so it didn't sound like a Cirq d'Soleil feature act.

Not saying it didn't happen that way, but it sure sounds strange. Particularly that last part where we simultaneously get the denial of political motivation coupled with the plea for Presidential conduct in the candidates. Yeah, this is getting interesting. It may draw audience from Real Housewives of Peoria reruns.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Heating UP!

Well, this is going to get more interesting this week. Rather than drifting into the twilight years of a mini-scandal, just now we've got this announcement:

Fourth Accuser Will Go Public

What remains to be seen here is the level of credibility of the accuser and the accusations. The representing attorney for the accuser is the somewhat notorious ambulance-chaser and scandal-monger, Gloria Allred. That does NOT discredit the accusations, but it does indicate that we will see a mini-series as Allred flogs her time in the spotlight for maximum exposure.

It should be kept firmly in mind here that Ms Allred is not an unbiased representative. She has a long history and her political ideology is very well-known.

Does she look credible?

Read Between the Lines

OK, class, your task this morning is to read this highly intellectual load of drivel and then attempt to avoid regurgitation of breakfast. There are some bad assumptions involved and a "research" that should be quickly recognized as an agenda piece that is a no-brainer for conclusion even before you collect any data.

Wealth Gap Greater Than Ever

Ain't that a "duh!" for you?

Someone who has worked a lifetime and been independent has amassed more wealth than someone who went into debt getting a worthless degree, is unemployed and has spawned four or five children without benefit of matrimony. Who woulda thunk it?

Why should you even compare someone at the start of a career with someone at the end? Why would you expect that there should be some equality? Why would you not relate that outcome to the emergence of the American welfare state and the culture of governmental dependence?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

The Evils of Anonymity

So, we get a revelation of misconduct. It is the inflammatory sort. To Kill a Mockingbird updated to 2011 scenario. The candidate is vilified and painted with the Clintonian brush of sexual misconduct. He was predatory, exercising the power of a chief executive over some lowly office functionary who could not resist his advance without sacrificing her job. It wasn't quite a BJ in the Oval or a love-child supported by campaign funds but gosh, something was said and the accuser felt uncomfortable. We can't have adults feeling uncomfortable in adult situations in America, can we?

She sued. She settled. She signed an agreement of non-disclosure.

Then someone disclosed. She, or a couple of shes as another duo piled on, were hamstrung by the settlement agreement. She lawyered up and the attorney went public in a big way. What could be done for these poor women without the National Restaurant Association waiving the non-disclosure provisions?

Oops! The NRA did waive. Now what?

Lawyer mumbles some vague additional charges but then says poor litigant just want to remain anonymous and not dredge it all up again. Which would raise the question of why she lawyered up in the first place and let her attorney go blazingly public?

Strange outcomes ensue:
Yet despite the maelstrom, Cain’s accusers remain anonymous and the details of the allegations oddly vague. With many conservatives believing that sexual harassment lawsuits are an industry and that frivolous cases are often settled to avoid more expensive litigation, there was a growing sense that Cain was being treated unfairly.
As typical with this sort of issue in America, you must go off-shore to get some coherent commentary on the topic. From the Daily Telegraph in the UK:

Funny Thing on the Way to a Lynching

Did the candidate mishandle the incident? Absolutely. The first rule of putting out fires is to stand tall and provide full and detailed disclosure. The death-of-a-thousand-cuts from gradual erosion in a daily series of revelations is much worse.

Cain will undoubtedly learn from this experience. That which does not kill us only makes us stronger.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Stepping Up The Rhetoric

It appears that the dovish President of Israel is on board with the hawkish Prime Minister.

The Options Drift to One End of the Spectrum

The Iranian administration has got to be aware that their posturing for domestic consumption cannot be so extreme as to poison the atmosphere of their participation in the global community.

A Litany For Consideration

Over at the Lair, we've got a list of Occupy Wall Street linkups that will water your eyes. It would be very hard to discredit all of them, I think:

Who Are Those Guys?

Certainly makes you want to question what the President of the United States is thinking these days.

Chicken or Egg?

I keep subscribing to the WSJ because they offer the closest approach to objective reporting in the mainstream media that I've found. I read the Op-Ed pages because they  make sense. The regular columnists are intelligent and informed. The guest editorials span the political spectrum but they are written by respected and knowledgeable people.

This one strikes close to home, literally!

It's About Texas, Folks!

Sure the basic question is which came first, the chicken or the egg. Which is it, did Perry cause Texas economic success or did Texas simply do what we do and Perry happened to be smart enough to stand out of the way. Regardless of which answer you choose, the important thing is that Texas makes business happen. It doesn't seek to obstruct it, over-regulate it, redistribute it, or selectively choose who should succeed.

Gotta love that!

Texas Saturday Morning Rocker

Friday, November 04, 2011

Perspective on a Debacle

When you start the editorial with a paragraph like this one, I know I'm going to have to read through until the end. I did and it was worth it.
This was once a serious country with serious newspapers, back in the day when they were edited by serious editors and a man had the right to confront an accuser before she was allowed to destroy his reputation, career and even his life.
Let's Get the Hanging Over So We Can Celebrate the Coronation

I would sure like to get some unvarnished facts out of this. The "Wilderness of Mirrors" double-agent skulduggery that is being attributed to the various players is confusing me terribly.

Developing News

Two days ago I noted that PM Netanyahu had been raising the question of pre-emptive strike against Iran. The ensuing discussion questioned whether Israel had the capability and whether or not they could go it alone.

They certainly have the capability. They've proven their military repeatedly. Can they deal with the distance? Well, when the issue is your very survival as a nation you  can be motivated to do some amazing things. And the assumption that their very existence is threatened is not that difficult to make when the Iranian leadership keeps shouting that they will have a nuke and the first target is Israel.

Is there self-interest of other nations to support Israel? Most assuredly! The assumption that Arab states would stand with Iran is a bad one. Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. They are Shiite predominantly not Sunni. There is a long history of animosity. The belief that both are unified against Israel is not necessarily true.

But here is the big nail in the project:

Guardian Reports UK Planning Effort & US Assistance

The question remains whether the US administration will have the strength to act or whether they will hang back until a fait accompli at which time they will be dragged to the podium to take credit for decisiveness.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Beebs Boffee Surfaces

Ohhhh, yeah! This is one who should be occupying some street rather than shaking down Poof-Boy.

Mariah Yeater Queen of the Welfare Hop

Simply over-qualified for groupie status. Welfare queen, school drop-out, tax scoff-law and front-row concert seat cadger extraordinary, she apparently had no difficulty with dropping her drawers by her own admission in just a matter of minutes after introductions to the teeny-bopper throb-maker.

Doncha just luv 'Merika? This is our future.

Citizen Satisfied

An American now restored to comfort and security within his neighborhood:
From: Carl Raabe
  Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 17:28
  To: Hubbard, Mark A CAPT CSFWP Commodore Cc: White, Michael S RDML(S) NPC, Pers-4; Black, Mark E CAPT CSFWP Deputy Commodore; Nelson, Todd M. CDR CSFWP OPS;
  Subject: RE: Noise Complaint 
  Captain Hubbard, 
  Thank you for your prompt and complete attention to this matter. 
  I am indeed encouraged and heartened by your rapid response to these past travesties. I am confident that your forcefulness in placing your hands firmly on the helm of this issue will pay dividends for all us... Your young aviators will get the training they truly deserve, the country will be better served by having the most competent aviators in the world, and I will get my "5 star rated" fly-bys. What more can we ask for? 
  Your leadership on this issue is exemplary, and is a credit to you and the Naval Service. I would be most pleased to favorably endorse your next FitRep accordingly, to ensure that the next promotion board is fully aware of your outstanding contribution to our country and the Naval Service. 
  If I may be of additional service, I will gladly assist your staff in any capacity as they pursue the work you have assigned them in reviewing this military training route. Even if the contribution is as small as providing occasional critiques of the aviator's route performance (from the comfort of my lounge chair by the pool), I will answer the call. 
  Your offer to accommodate both my wife and I as your guests at the Lemoore air show is both gracious and generous, and is a sign of your stellar leadership. Accordingly, we humbly accept your offer with great gratitude. 
  We would be honored to attend the air show on Saturday, 15 October.
  We look forward to meeting you, and being a part of this great event.
  Best regards, Carl & Gale Raabe 
  P.S. There is an answer to the above question, "What more can we ask for?"..... My wife says that attending this air show, with its "bone-shaking" jet noise, will hopefully, finally shut me up. She has had to tolerate the last 21 years in this house of my complaints about not enough jet noise and afterburners (on active duty, that need was satisfied by endless hours on the LSO platform on the Connie and Indy, and countless hours at the LSO shack out at NASL 32L). She has repeatedly stated that my complaints are louder than the jet noise, and she wants that changed.

The Response

Action follows citizen complaints quickly:
  From: Hubbard, Mark A CAPT CSFWP Commodore
  Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 5:15 PM
  To: Carl Raabe
  Cc: White, Michael S RDML(S) NPC, Pers-4; Black, Mark E CAPT CSFWP Deputy Commodore; Nelson, Todd M. CDR CSFWP OPS;
  Subject: RE: Noise Complaint 
  I assure you that this has my fullest attention. I have directed my Operation team to investigate these repeated injustices and to bring me the names of all the guilty parties. I am expecting to receive a briefing from my Operation Officer early next week. In the mean time I have asked my staff to review our SOP, route descriptions, and tactical training procedures to ensure we have the guidance in place to achieve the "The five-star rating". 
  In fact, once we are complete with our investigation I personally plan to survey the route myself to ensure we have not overlooked any training opportunities and will encourage others to do so as well. 
  I firmly believe that if we do not use these training routes to their fullest we may in fact loose them all together. Thankfully, we have great Americans like you who remind us that there are still some that appreciate the "Sound of Freedom". For that reminder I applaud your letter and tenacity to go directly to the top! 
  I would like to offer by way of apology an opportunity to re-blue the resonance of jet noise that will in fact shake you to the bone. If you and your wife would be my guest at our air show I would be honored. I have a limited number of VIP seats but would like to send you an invite to attend either Saturday the 15th or Sunday the 16th of October. 
  If you would be so kind to send me your address I will have an invitation in the mail in short order. 
  Sir, it would be an honor to make your acquaintance. 
  Proud to Serve,
  CAPT Mark A. Hubbard USN
  Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific

The Complaint

Gotta hope for more of this:
  Captain Hubbard,
  I am having an issue with noise that is generated by aircraft based at NAS Lemoore (and elsewhere), specifically, with their use of a low level military training route that your command is the controlling authority for. Rather than deal with mere underlings, I thought it best to go directly to the source of "where the buck stops". That would be you. 
  My home is located in a rural area of California's Sacramento Valley. I was unaware that when I purchased this home 21 years ago, it was located directly under the centerline of VR-201 (or VR-202, I can't remember which one it is), at GPS coordinates N39.38.610 W121.48.710, 210' MSL (according to the GPS in my car). Over the last 21 years, I have been subjected to the repeated injustices, insults to my eardrums, and affronts to my sensibilities as an American Taxpayer, that your jets have been responsible for. In the early 90's the use of this low level training route was frequent, but I tolerated it nonetheless. From about 1995 until early this year, use of this route was only occasional and sporadic, so I could generally overlook the issue. However, in the last three weeks, there has been a noticeable increase it its use. Specifically, I have observed the following,
  1. August 30th, 1135 AM PDT - A single F-18
  2. September 18th, 1430 PM PDT - A single EA-6B
  3. September 19th, 1120 AM PDT - A single F-18
  4. September 19th, 1145 AM PDT - A single F-18 
Here is my specific complaint.....

  1. None of these overflights were low enough...
  2. None of these overflights were loud enough......
  3. And, none of these overflights were fast enough!!! 
  As an American Taxpayer, I pay good, hard earned money, to provide your young Naval Aviators the best training possible. For that money, I EXPECT to get something for it. If my house is not shaken to its foundation, if the windows do not rattle in their frames, I judge this display of airmanship as incredibly weak. All of these jets listed above, were so high, that I could not tell if the Hornets were Super Hornets or Legacy Hornets (the Electic-6 was unmistakable). These jets were so high, that after one of them flew by, my wife looked at me and said, "That fly-by is so wimpy, you should call it a "Whisperjet".
  The ultimate goal is to earn a five-star rating, as viewed by me. To earn a five-star rating, your jets should create enough noise to break at least one window in the house. Not since '92-'93 has that happened. At the time, a flight of eight jets in a combat spread formation passed over my house at about 200' AGL, approximately 500+ knots. This flight consisted of four Hornets, two Intruders and two Turkeys. The thundering noise was awesome! Not only did I have to replace a few windows, but several of my neighbors did as well!! That was a fly-by truly worthy of Naval Aviators. 
  As a former naval Aviator (back in the day, we flew Lot V Hornets with planning link failures and collapsed landing gear), I am hugely embarrassed for my younger brethren. You and your young naval Aviators should be ashamed, for you have subjected me and my family to the indignity of these transgressions. My son, who is a KC-135 pilot in the Air Force has observed some these so-called "fly-bys", and has said that even his jet makes more noise when it is at 5,000' at cruise power settings. As you know, to fly the American flag upside down is a sign of distress. Perhaps you should bring in the young Naval Aviators responsible for these affronts to our dignity, and instruct them to wear their Wings of Gold upside down on their flight suits the next time they visit the O'Club, as a sign of their humility and penance for committing these transgressions.
  Very respectfully,
  Carl A. Raabe
  VFA-113 (circa '87-'90)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

One to Watch

Two things surprise me about this. First, I'm astonished that it has taken this long.

Knesset Probed For Pre-Empt Support

And second, I can't determine a purpose for this public action.

Usually something simply happens when Israel has their back to the wall.

Food For Thought

Salon bleats about injustice quite predictably while rationalizing the Occupy Wall Street gripes. Then wraps it in motherhood and apple pie with a headline announcing it as a "new Declaration of Independence." summarily dismantles it. Start with the first paragraph link to Salon or be satisfied with the whining excerpts offered before destruction by Reason. Your choice:

Not Going Quietly Into This Good Night

Nobody owes me a thing. I've earned what is mine. I didn't inherit if. I worked for it. I knew my career path and I followed it aggressively. I ain't "no fortunate son."

Herman Cain Mini-Me

You don't have to be a presidential candidate to suffer the slings of sexual accusations. This one is a bit more than "non-sexual gestures" found offensive or innuendo leading to discomfort. This one is about the ol' in-and-out" leading to procreation.

Honestly I found a whole lot to laugh about in the tidbit:

Beebs Baby Backstage Boffing Built Babe

Since I always think these Li-Lo, Paris, Kim K, or Britney scandals are manipulated, I'm trying to think how this works for Beebs.

Does it burnish his macho cred which is conspicuously lacking? Certainly the quote: “He began touching me and repeatedly said he wanted to (expletive) the (expletive) out of me," brings out the manly in the poof-boy. But does it sound like what a sixteen year old-virgin would be moaning?

And how macho is the 30 second hit and run? Just saying...

But the Beeb's spokes-parent sort of spikes the manliness thing with this one: "While we haven't yet seen the lawsuit, it's sad that someone would fabricate malicious, defamatory, and demonstrably false claims."

Yep, I'll give them demonstrably false. No way I can look at Beebs and see him going for girls. The very best he can hope for is asexual.