TBT…

Back in the day (early 1900s)…

There were postcards…

Gold’s Curio Store, Santa Fe, New Mexico, circa 1897. This was the first Indian curio business established in Santa Fe. The ramshackle old adobe building with wood carrying burros in front of and or around the corner on Burro Alley made this innovative curio shop on San Francisco street a favorite subject for photographers of the late 19th century. It’s no longer in existence…

The Lobby, Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Park, ca 1897, still open, 120 years later…

The Arcade, Cleveland, 1901, still open for business, 117 years later…

The Old South Church, Boston, 1900. The second oldest church building in Boston, built in 1729. During the siege of Boston, the British gutted it, burned the pews, and used the building as a riding school. Old South survived fires in 1810 and 1872,and was destined for demolition in 1875 when concerned citizens stepped in, formed an Old South Association, and raised the money needed to save the building. Today, the association continues to operate Old South as a museum.

It is the site of lectures, meetings, concerts, plays, and church services. The steeple now contains an 876-pound bell cast by Paul Revere in 1801. Hooked up to the 1766 tower clock, it rings out the time on the hour, reminding Bostonians of an earlier era. – Walking Boston

Now before anyone goes off, yes there are MANY places in Europe that are older and still in use, but these are AMERICAN institutions…

I’ll give you one, just one from overseas… Bonus points if you recognize it. 🙂

Answer below the fold…

My friend, Robert Langham out of Tyler uses the old school cameras, has taken many shots of the West and east Texas.

Continue reading

Oopsie…

Don’t ya just hate it when the truth comes out???

The Washington Post wrote on Friday that President-elect Donald J. Trump “fired” the commanding General of the D.C. National Guard who is heading up the military presence during the coming inaugural event — in the middle of the oath of office ceremony. Yet a second story on Saturday did not contain the claim.

Normally, a CG can stay an additional 60-90 days to ensure a proper turnover. In this case the General himself made his resignation effective at 12:01 on the 20th, contrary to the published reports!

Once the questions started, the real truth emerged…

Full article, HERE. Oh the games they play… Apparently this guy spent over 30 years in the Guard and NEVER deployed! Amazing…

And in the sure to piss off every military person and veteran, Obama ‘commuted’ the sentence for “Chelsea” Manning… Article, HERE. Apparently he, she, it is having ‘mental’ problems… Really??? Ya think???

If there is good news, as of now it appears that Bergdahl WILL NOT get a pardon, instead will stand trial.

A follow up to Sunday’s post…

My friend Neil Hansen, better known as Weird Neil, was an Air America pilot in SEA during Vietnam.

This is the speech he gave at EAA Oshkosh two years ago. It’s a little long at 51 minutes, but if you’re interested in the history of Air America and it’s actions, this is from a man who was there…

Neil is quite the character, and these are some of the ‘tamer’ stories…

He talks about one of his shoot downs at the 34 minute point, if you’re not interested in the history. I’ll also warn you, this is NOT a politically correct speech, he tells it like it is, and some may not like his sense of ‘humor’…

It’s ‘black’ humor, laughing at death and being a survivor. We’ve talked about it and Neil’s take is that was ‘his’ way of dealing with, in addition to survivor’s guilt, being surrounded by death and destruction on a daily basis, and what he saw feeding the little villages and outposts throughout Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

If you’re interested in a book, Christopher Robbins wrote Air America, an inside story of the airline. Click the cover to go to Amazon. Sadly, there isn’t a Kindle version.

 

Who @$#$^% cares…

I sure as hell don’t…

It appears twenty something Dem congresscritters won’t be at the inauguration of PRESIDENT Trump. If they think their little hissy fit really means anything, they are sadly mistaken.

Link, HERE.

Re John Lewis, he’s traded on Selma and MLK for years, while doing little or nothing for his district in Atlanta, according to folks that have tried to work with him. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if, say John McCain, had said the same about Obama in 2008??? OBTW, Lewis is now using the kefluffle for FUNDRAISING!!!

Rep. John Lewis’ first response to Donald Trump‘s scathing tweets Saturday came in the form of a fundraising pitch for the Democratic Party.

“Today, Donald Trump attacked me on Twitter. He said that I’m ‘all talk’ and ‘no action,'” the Georgia Democrat said in a DNC fundraising email.

Link HERE to the article. Makes one wonder if this was all on purpose?

If those dems were my representatives, I’d be asking whose side they are actually on, theirs or Americas…

Aviation Art…

Sadly, I’ve run out of aviation paintings, so after a year this series will end…

But the last one is a real goody! h/t Gerry for this one of a kind painting!

And the ‘rest of the story’, as they say…

by Keith Woodcock, Oil on Canvas, 2007

Donated by Marius Burke and Boyd D. Mesecher

 

On 12 January 1968, four North Vietnamese Air Force AN-2 Colt biplanes lifted off from an airfield in northeastern North Vietnam and headed west toward Laos. The aircraft were on a mission to destroy a US radar base that was guiding bombers in attacks against targets in North Vietnam. Known to the Americans as Site 85, the radar facility was perched atop a 5,800-foothigh mountain, Phou Pha Thi. Manned by US Air Force volunteers “sheepdipped” as employees of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, the site had been in operation only a few months. The mountain, used for many years as a staging base for CIA-directed Hmong guerilla fighters and American special operations and rescue helicopters, was only 125 nautical miles from Hanoi. Air America, a CIA-proprietary, provided aerial support for the facility, the technicians, and the security forces.

The Colts reached Site 85 early in the afternoon, and two began bombing and strafing passes as the others circled nearby. Coincidentally, Air America captain Ted Moore, flying a UH-1D Huey helicopter carrying ammunition to the site, saw the attack (“It looked like World War I,” he recalled.) and gave chase to a Colt as it turned back to the Vietnamese border. Moore positioned his helicopter above the biplane, as crewman Glenn Woods fired an AK-47 rifle down on it. The pursuit continued for more than 20 minutes until the second AN-2 flew underneath the helicopter. Dropping back, Moore and Woods watched as the first AN-2 dropped and crashed into a ridge just west of the North Vietnamese border. Minutes later, the second Colt hit the side of a mountain three miles farther north. The other Colts escaped, inactive observers throughout. Within hours a CIA-controlled ground team reached the crashed aircraft and found bullet holes in the downed planes.

In the mists of the Annamite Mountains and part of a secret war, Air America employees Ted Moore and Glenn Woods gained the distinction of having shot down a fixed-wing aircraft from a helicopter, a singular aerial victory in the Vietnam War. Two months later, North Vietnamese commandos attacked and destroyed Site 85, inflicting the deadliest single ground loss of US Air Force personnel of the Vietnam War.

On 27 July 2007, CIA officially received An Air Combat First in an event attended by members of the Air America Board; pilot Ted Moore; Sawang Reed, the wife of flight mechanic Glenn Woods; CIA paramilitary legend Bill Lair; and the donors of the painting, former Air America officers Marius Burke and Boyd D. Mesecher.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and I thank you for the many comments!!!

Hearing Protection Act…

Once more to the well…

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo on Wednesday for introducing the Hearing Protection Act, an important bill that eases restrictions on tools that help gun owners and sportsmen protect their hearing. Similar legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House (H.R. 367).

“The Hearing Protection Act would make it easier for sportsmen to purchase the tools necessary to protect their hearing,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “Many gun owners and sportsmen suffer severe hearing loss, and yet sound suppressors – a tool that can reduce such loss – are overly regulated and taxed.” 

The Hearing Protection Act, S. 59, would remove suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act, replacing the current process with a National Instant Criminal Background Check. In addition, the bill would reduce the cost of purchasing a suppressor by removing the $200 transfer tax.

 Suppressors are often mischaracterized. Unlike in the movies, they do not “silence” the sound of a firearm.  By reducing the decibel level made by a firearm to a safe range, suppressors reduce hearing damage for those who shoot and hunt.

S. 59 would make it easier for gun owners and sportsmen to purchase suppressors in the 42 states where they are currently legal. Purchasers would have to pass a background check prior to a sale.

“Gun owners and sportsmen should be able to enjoy their outdoor heritage with the tools necessary to do so safely. This bill makes it easier for them to do that,” concluded Cox.

Maybe this time it will actually make it to the floor!!!

h/t NRA Media

Rimworld- Another tease…

I’m on the road today, so you get another tease…

Usual disclaimers apply…

Operations

Fargo could smell the heat on the outside of the shuttle as it burned back down into atmosphere. Whoever was driving was damn good. They’d done a max boost to get high and supersonic as soon as they’d loaded. He was still pissed at Nicole for tagging along, but she did have a point. He didn’t speak any of the Hindi languages and she did.

All they knew was that the two GalPat and a magistrate were pinned down near the square in Delhi. There had been an honor killing of a daughter of one of the local powers, which was strictly outlawed on Hunter. Apparently the Patels had brought in two different sects to work their lands, and love had jumped the sects.

The colonel had accompanied them, along with Major Palette and Warrant Hartsfield, with the major now waiting in GalPat battle armor. The shuttle came in hard and fast, the aft ramp pointed away from the direction of incoming fire as a flat female voice called possible shooters in the two story building facing the plaza and the trapped men.

“Ten seconds to grounding,” the loadmaster called as the aft ramp started down.

First platoon deployed quickly from the aft ramp, followed by the colonel and warrant as the major slowly clomped down the ramp. As soon as Palette was down, the colonel called, “Okay Boykin, lift and hold. You’re weapons tight.”

A laconic, “Roger,” came back as the ramp started up and the shuttle lifted. The colonel and warrant hustled toward their troops as Fargo deployed first platoon in an urban combat spread. His intent was to get behind the building with the shooter or shooters and root them out at close range.

Yash and Kamadev, his spotter were looking for height to provide overwatch as the rest of the platoon, Horse in the lead on one side and Adhit in the lead across the street as they bounded down a side street that would bring them behind the two story building where the shooters were. Coming to a cross street, they rotated and moved down it quickly.

Stacking up at the corner, Fargo moved forward and peeked around the corner at knee height, keying his comm he said, “Can’t see the back door, blocked by a building but we know there is an alley between them. I see two windows that face us. Nothing in either window. Two choices; bum rush as a group, or split and half go one more street over to cover from that side.” Fargo thought for a second then said, “Naik, take your half of the platoon, go one more block. We’ll cross and hold until you’re in position.”

Naik replied, “Horse is riding. On me.” He charged across the street at a dead run, sweeping both sides of the street as he went, closely followed by the rest of the troops. Adhit nodded at Fargo and moved swiftly but quietly across the street and into cover by the houses as he edged forward until he was just back of the alley. Fargo eased forward until he was two behind Adhit.

As Horse called in position, he heard Nicole’s soft, “Shit. Look at that asshole.”

Fargo took a second to figure out what she was talking about as Palette came lumbering up the street in battle armor and keyed his PA system, “You, you are surrounded throw out your weapons and surrender. There is no chance of escape. If you do not throw down your weapons, I will fire on you with my weapons in ten, nine…”

Fargo made an instantaneous decision, “Go, go, go! We’ve got to get to the back door before they do.” Adhit took off at a dead run, getting a couple of yard lead on everyone else. Fargo huffing along saw Horse and his troops pounding up the alley from the other side of the building and he said, “’Ware the crossfire.”

Adhit got to the door just as it flew open and a figure emerged, there was a bang and Adhit dropped to the ground. Fargo had his rifle up ready to fire, but as he started to press the trigger, Horse, kukri out, yelled something and cut down hard. The man slumped and Horse hacked at him again, grabbed something and charged into the building. Fargo yelled into the comm, “We have building entry in the rear, do not, repeat do not fire into building. We are clearing from the rear.” Fargo glanced at Adhit as he went by, hoping he was just stunned, “Medic up. Adhit is down at the rear door.”

Fargo and Ganju paired up and cleared the lower floor, room by room, only to find it empty. Fargo heard a couple of shots from the second floor, but he couldn’t be in both places and had to trust Horse and the others to clear it. He heard a weird noise like someone screaming a prolonged “Nooooo”, followed by what sounded like amplified retching and sobbing.

He and Ganju finished the first floor and Fargo jumped up the stairs, not knowing what he would find. As he cleared the landing, he could see Horse standing near the front windows, head down. Fearing he was also injured, he bolted down the hallway, not bothering to clear any rooms. As he approached Horse he said, “Angel six.” Horse merely nodded and Fargo saw that Horse had his kukri in his right hand, blood dripping from it. “Are you hit Naik,” he asked.

Horse turned slowly, “They tried. The armor worked. That should be me at the back door, not Adhit. He was always proud he could outrun me.”  Fargo glanced around the room and saw three headless bodies, trails of blood going toward the broken out window.

Fargo said, “We don’t know that Adhit…”

Horse said dully, “Adhit is dead. I saw the bastard shoot him at an upward angle and blood blossom in the helmet.” Waving his arm, “These do not pay for Adhit. There is one more head that I will take.”

Fargo said gently, “Let’s clear for now.” Over the comm he said, “Building is secure. We are exiting the rear and will come around the north side.” He led Horse back down the stairs and out of the back door, noting Adhit was no longer lying on the dirt and he saw nothing but anger from the other troops. Looking at Nicole, he saw tears in her eyes as she shook her head sadly and it hit him that he’d lost another troop.

He saw red and charged around the side of the building, looking for someone to kill. As he cleared the front, he saw four heads laying in the street, one of them a woman. Ignoring them, he continued toward Colonel Keads who was standing with a short fat dark skinned man who was berating him for the vicious attack on his property.

Fargo slid behind the man, locked an arm around his neck and started drawing his kukri, only to feel someone pinning his arm. He looked over to see Horse, smiling, “No, this one is mine. Release him please.”

Fargo stepped back and Horse walked around in front of the man, “Patel, your life is forfeit.”

Patel gibbered at Horse then turn to the colonel, “You cannot let this scum talk to me this way, I am a property owner and rich man! He has killed four of my employees and he should be owing me money for their lives!”

Colonel Keads looked at him curiously, “Patel, you brought this on yourself. I just got a dump of your file and the cooperative’s files. You were banned from emigrating to New Mumbai due to your actions on Earth Four. Somehow you got a contract for Hunter, which specifically prohibited from bringing more than one sect to Hunter. You lied, somehow kept the two sects apart on the trip out, probably with stasis. Warrant tells me you’ve set the one sect up as basically slave labor, again contrary to the cooperative paperwork. Then you apparently approved the honor killing…”

“It’s my right! I own…”

Horse stepped closer and his smile got bigger, “No, I own you. One of mine died, now you are forfeit to me. Colonel, may I?”

Keads rubbed his chin, turned to Warrant Hartsfield who nodded slightly, then turned back, “Yes, but first we must gather the heads of the two sects here. Captain, can you make that happen?”

“With pleasure,” Fargo growled. Keying his comm he said, “First Platoon, in pairs. Locate and bring leaders of both sects here, now.”

Ten pairs of grim Ghorka fanned out, and twenty minutes later eight men and women stood nervously in front of the colonel, along with Patel’s wife and two children. Patel’s wife was in shock, obviously not understanding what had brought her and her children down to the level of the common people.

The colonel had been busy on his data comp in addition to talking with the warrant, Major Palette having gone back to the shuttle, now sitting in the plaza with weapons ports open.

With one last entry on his data comp, Keads looked around at not only the eight standing in front of him, but the fifty or so curious individuals who were standing nearby. He said, “Boykin, gimme PA.” With a pop, the shuttle’s PA system came on and Keads said, “In accordance with GalPat standards, Patel’s cooperative is now found in violation of contract and said contract is null and void. As the de facto approver of the honor killing of one Fathi Khanna, he is guilty as an accessory to murder. With the death of militia member Adhit Rai, he is guilty of accessory to murder of a peacekeeper. I hearby sentence him to death, to be carried out now in the presence of both sects.”

Turning to Horse he said, “If you would be so kind?”

Smiling, Horse raised his kukri and sliced three times, caught Patel’s head as it flopped free, and held it up with a cry of triumph. Keads turned back to Patel’s wife, “You will be sent back to Earth Four, along with your children. Your lands will be split equally between the two sects you imported in violation of the cooperative agreement. You will be allowed one hundred pounds of lift apiece. You have four hours to collect what you would take.”

***

Fargo stood on the bank of the freshet that tumbled down from the Green below the Enclave, staring morosely at the funeral pyre built on the edge of the water, First fucking mission and I get one of my best troops killed, lucky shot or not. I never should have taken this damn position. I don’t ever want to write another letter to a wife or mother. I still cannot believe Ujjwala hugged me and said Adhit had died with honor, and I wasn’t at fault. He felt himself shaking in anger and was surprised to feel a hand on his elbow. He glance over to see Nicole standing next to him, a single tear rolling down her cheek.

“It’s not your fault Ethan, there was no way to know that would happen, or that it was even possible for someone to die that way. Freak accident is what it was. The one perfect angle that round had to take to glance off the plate and slide up the seam to his head.”

Fargo tasted her emotions and knew she believed exactly what she was saying, but that didn’t ease the pain, “No, he died because I put him on point. That should have been me. I can’t do this, I just…”

The priest and Aadi, Adhits’ son marched down the bank to the pyre, and Aadi, all of thirteen standard years old, touched the first torch to his father’s funeral pyre. He turned to Fargo and offered the torch, as Horse and Lal took up two other torches. He hesitated until he felt a gentle push from Nicole, then took the torch and went to the unoccupied corner of the pyre. The three of them simultaneously touched their torches to the pyre then he followed Horse and Lal in extinguishing the torch.

He went back to stand by Nicole, thankful that the winds were blowing away from them as the fire leapt higher and higher until Adhit’s body was consumed. The priest continued his prayers as the fire burned lower, as Nicole translated that the family would now go into eleven days of mourning.

***

Nicole turned to Fargo at the door of the Copper Pot, “Can you, would you stay with me please?”

He looked down at her, “What?”

“I don’t want to be alone. Not tonight. Please, just to sleep.”

“Nicole, I…”

“Please. I don’t want nightmares tonight, please.”

Fargo sighed, “Only sleep.”

An hour later, Fargo lay on his back, Nicole’s head on his shoulder as she murmured softly in her sleep. He was doing every blocking exercise he could think of to not read her thoughts, cussing himself for getting into this bag of worms and thinking, No, just stop it. This can’t end well. Stop frikkin thinking. Just go to sleep. Imagine its Canis or Cattus next to you. Just stop it!

The next morning he woke to find his arm around Nicole and her looking at him with a smile, “Thank you for being a gentleman. Now can you let go of me? I need the fresher.”

Fargo jerked his arm away, blushing, “Sorry. I didn’t…”

Nicole laughed sadly, “Well, at least we’re sleep compatible and I didn’t have a single nightmare. That’s better than the fleet average.” She got off the bed and disappeared into the fresher. Fargo jumped up and quickly got dressed, then walked into the restaurant part of the building searching for a bulb of coffee.

***

Colonel Keads said, “So in summary, Patel clan is gone, we’ve turned their house into a barracks for the unmarried males of both sects and peace bonded them, under penalty of death. Did the same for both sects for any honor killings.”

Fargo saw nods from the split screen of Nicole and Jiri and others at the Enclave, “That’s good, but what about keeping the peace? Are we going to be on the hook for that?”

Keads leaned back smiling, “No, but you’re the threat I’m holding over them. The four that Horse…?” He looked down at his notes, “Yes, Horse beheaded turned out to be the father, mother and two brothers of the Fathi Khanna. We’ve pretty much let it slip, if you will, that the Ghorkas will be happy to repeat that education if it happens again. Any questions?”

Fargo smiled, “Good. Just one question here Colonel.”

“Go.”

“There were some weird noises as we were clearing the building, I was wondering what the source was.”

The colonel looked around furtively, “Ah, that was the major. He forgot to turn off the PA on his armor. Apparently he was, shall we say, mildly upset when heads started coming out the window. It seems he has a rather weak stomach. Of course he said he must have had a touch of food poisoning.”

 

TBT…

This one’s for Rev Paul… 🙂 Back in the day forty or so years ago…

“Lovely” Adak, by the way…

And from the mid-80s, an always ‘thrilling’ sight- Watching a Harpoon come off the wing, especially from the TACCO seat, when you did an on wing start!!! 🙂

Your hindbrain is going “Please don’t turn right, please don’t turn right”… LOL

This wasn’t one of mine, I was usually WAY too busy doing the checklist to make sure I didn’t screw something up…

Looking at it, I’m guessing this is a TLM head for data collection. Thankfully, I never had to fire one in anger.

And one more left wing melt down for ya, HERE… Sigh…

And more meltdowns…

These are ‘sadly’ funny…

A visit from a plumber left ThinkProgress senior editor Ned Resnikoff “rattled” due to fear that the plumber may have voted for Donald Trump.

Full story, HERE. And there is one about grief from Fusion, HERE.

Then there is this…

As outgoing President Barack Obama plans to head off on vacation when he vacates the White House next week, his staffers and appointees are struggling to find work in Washington, D.C.

And the Hillaryites too… Article HERE.

I can’t help but wonder how many of them went ahead and signed leases for those high dollar apartments in Georgetown and NW DC… There goes their credit ratings too! LOL Now they will actually have to get real jobs and WORK!

In the YGTBSM department, Sen Leahy (D,VT) really DID ask Jeff Sessions if he would prosecute Pres-Elect Trump for grabbing a woman by her genitalia, HERE!!! Talk about cheap shots… And no Sessions couldn’t, that would take a special prosecutor…

And Al Franken using disproven comments from thirty years ago just proves how badly the Dems are ‘reaching’ to try to find something on Sessions… Funny how 8 years ago there wasn’t any of this crap, even though the Pubs lost.

And then there is At home and abroad, Obama’s trail of disasters, from the Boston Globe, HERE… THAT has to leave a mark, when a staunchly left leaning paper comes out with something like this!

10 more days…

The left appears to be continuing the meltdown, now 30 days and counting… They cannot rationalize HOW they could possibly lose, much less that they DID lose…

To whit- Meryl Streep’s rant at the Golden Globes, HERE. Seems like this isn’t the first time she’s gone off the deep end without cause, or research, HERE.

As Jenn said, “Dance monkey, dance. If I want to hear you, I’ll load a movie.”

It appears BO is continuing to do everything he can to torpedo Trump before he leaves office… The Utah deal, the ‘sanctions’ against Russia for their so called ‘hacking’, etc…

Apparently he doesn’t remember his own statement…

In January 2009, Barack Obama, soon to become president, boasted, “Elections have consequences – and at the end of the day, I won.” After Hillary Clinton was defeated, the President met with President-Elect Donald Trump. Obama resisted commenting to reporters on Trump’s cabinet appointments, saying, “I think it is important for us to let him make his decisions. The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”

Full article, HERE.

The weekend before President Obama’s planned farewell address was a good one by Chicago’s violent standards — only one person was killed by gunfire and eight others were wounded.

Full article, HERE.

USS MAHAN had to fire warning shots in the Straits of Hormuz day before yesterday, HERE. Since there is no carrier in the Gulf, no air support… Iran is poking us once again, trying to get a reaction… And our folks are on a VERY restrictive ROE, thanks to this administration…

Is it Jan 20th yet?