The Geography of a Recession

This is a scary video; it shows, by county and state, the spread and the breadth and depth of unemployment from 2007 to today. It’s also interesting to note the places (CA and MS) that already had high unemployment in 2007. We need to take back control of our country and help small businesses (the real employment generators) get back to ‘business’… Just sayin…

Kabuki Politics…


Well, I listened to some of the “Health Care Summit” while travelling back this afternoon, and I was NOT impressed… They cost us 7 1/2 hours that could have been put to productive use, like fixing the ECONOMY STUPID…. sigh…

Neither side was very impressive, it was all rhetoric and talking points, and it didn’t help that Obama tended to talk twice as long as everyone else. He came in with an agenda that, in my opinion, DID NOT include any kind of real deal making, but was a photo op/attempt to embarrass the Republicans into giving in. I believe there is a plan B in the wings the Dems are going to push through if they fail on the current plan…

I will give the Republicans credit, they did offer a clean sheet and fresh start, or to deal from areas of agreement, but that was obviously NEVER on the table either for Obama or the Dems.

A couple of things I found interesting, were the discussions about Tort Reform- McCain brought up Texas attempts, and the success they’ve had, and Obama’s counter was “Oh, the STATES should do Tort Reform, not the Feds”; he then turned it over to Durbin, who promptly trotted out all the ‘bad’ things the medical people have done and the sob stories about loss, etc… Durbin must be a lawyer…

Another was who pays/how to pay for the people without insurance… That was just a cluster f**k… plain and simple… The dems swearing up and down it will actually SAVE money. Last time I looked, $1 Trillion + is NOT a savings…

And there was a big argument over basic accounting principals, like if you count the ‘savings’ from Medicare, you can’t then turn around and SPEND that same dollar and call it 2 dollars total…

One thing was obvious, the democrats don’t care what people (us) think. They are going to push this POS through come hell, high water, public opinion or otherwise…

I heard an outtake interview with Ben Cardin (I believe he is a dem from MD), who basically said WE WON, MAJORITY RULE, SCREW YOU, and prepare for reconciliation… And Pelosi categorically said, “It’s too late to start over!” WTF???

Woman you are talking about ONE SIXTH of the total US economy! Shouldn’t you be more worried about GETTING IT RIGHT??? sigh…

If this continues, I for one, just cannot see how this country is going to get back on it’s feet and get any kind of bi-partisan legislation going on ANYTHING! This also doesn’t bode well for us as a country, when the politicians categorically refuse to listen to us; think they know better than we how to manage our own lives, and are dead set on putting government in the middle of everything we do.

Two side notes:

The Canadian minister who came to Miami to have surgery, and point blank said, “Hey, I can afford it and it’s my body, so I’m getting the best care I can.”

Now what is going to happen if we end up with the same kind of socialized medicine Canada has, where do we go then??? Australia???

And one follow up on DADT– The Commandant of the Marine Corps came out against DADT today in briefings to SECDEF, and Gen Casey, the Army Chief of Staff said there needs to be more study done. A poll that was discussed had something like a 70+ percent negative reaction to DADT (I think it was done either by or for the Army on one of the bases, maybe Ft. Bragg and only with troops). FWIW, this diametrically opposite of the many polls that have been put forward supposedly saying the troops ‘support’ DADT.

In Other News…


Well, it’s ‘official’ the Army investigation of Hasan has come out with their report and guess what???

The military investigation into the Ft. Hood terrorist attack has concluded what the rest of us already knew–that Major Nidal Malik Hasan was allowed to regularly violate his oath and openly promote subversive Islamic extremism since 2005…to protect “diversity.” link
HERE
Next-

And this whole brouhaha over the laptops in PA is, I think, the tip of the iceburg… First the kid who was ‘confronted’ by the asst. principal over a photo saying he was doing drugs, that now the school system says doesn’t exist and the student “made up” the whole thing, to an admission that the software was used 42 times “to recover lost or stolen laptops”…

And they have disabled the functionality…

And oops, they’re sorry they didn’t tell anyone (students OR parents) about it…

Now other students are coming forward saying that they saw the green light (signifying the camera was on) at various times. Now lemme see, these were take home units, so they probably ended up in the kid’s bedrooms (male AND female)…

And now the FBI is involved…

And the school district has released a statement HERE

One can only wonder how many OTHER times that software has been used and what was seen??? I’m betting if the truth EVER comes out, this system was used on a regular basis, and somebody or somebodies probably got an eye full on more than one occasion… I’d also bet that even though the school system is saying they will preserve the “evidence”; some people at that school are sweating bullets and hoping that erase feature really DOES work on those monitoring computers…

Just sayin…

And in the latest retraction on the globull warming front…

A study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report’s author now says true estimate is still unknown!

“Scientists have been forced to withdraw a study on projected sea level rise due to global warming after finding mistakes that undermined the findings.”


The link is HERE in part the article states, “Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper’s estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.”

Announcing the formal retraction of the paper from the journal, Siddall said: “It’s one of those things that happens. People make mistakes and mistakes happen in science.” He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study’s conclusion.

“Retraction is a regular part of the publication process,” he said. “Science is a complicated game and there are set procedures in place that act as checks and balances.”


I find it rather interesting that I have seen NOTHING in the US press about this retraction… Anybody??? (crickets)

And some more history- This time WWII specifically Iwo Jima in photographs taken mostly by Air Corps photogs the link is HERE

There are some duplicates, but worth the time. I thought I had seen/studied a good bit about Iwo and Saipan, but I’ve never seen a lot of these!!!

Some of them are NOT pretty, included are some rare photos of aftermath of the last Banzi charge after the island had been declared “secure”

Think about it Squadron Commander at 23 years of age. About 100 hours of flight time when they went into air combat. This also shows the terrible conditions these guys had to live and fight in. They wrecked more P-51’s than probably today exist!

High winds, cross winds, shot up airplanes, 8 hour missions, volcanic dust and sand took their toll… AND THEY KEPT FLYING!


God Bless Them!!!

Sorry for the scattershots today, but I’m back on the road, so trying to get things on ‘paper’ that I’ve heard yesterday and today…

Random Road stuff, part 359…

Another week on the road comes to an end…. the week, not the road…


A friend of mine sent me this- and it IS a real piece of aviation history…
A list of the first 100 people to fly the F4H in 1958/59.

Look closely, and you will see a few ‘familiar’ names…

And the even more interesting document is the original list of proposed names and the votes for each! The Fleet and NATC folks wanted the name SATAN for the airplane!!!

It was and still is a real handful to fly, also nicknamed the Flying Fridge or Flying Brick, and I think the first and last airplane bought by the military with a negative glide ratio (1:2)!

Oh yeah, the name PHANTOM II actually finished 4th in the voting!!!

Somebody asked me if I travelled a lot and did I collect anything… well, other than calluses on my butt, not much; but I do bring back fridge magnets for the office manager and receptionist. This is a pic of the office fridge- I didn’t get everyone up there, but I got a LOT of them…

And a little video of a weird airplane for y’all – GROB EGRETT, a powered glider, kinda/sorta…


And this is the video I was talking about from Italy…

This is the Greek Theater at Taormina, note how good the acoustics are- you can actually hear my shoes skritching across the stones as I walk out…


Y’all have a good weekend, and enjoy the time with friends and family!!!

Bumper stickers seen on military bases…


Non-PC warning...
"Except For Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, WAR has Never Solved Anything."    
"Artillery Brings Dignity to What Would Otherwise Be Just A Vulgar Brawl"    
"One Shot, Twelve Kills - U.S. Naval Gun Fire Support"    
"Do Draft-Dodgers Have Reunions? If So, What Do They Talk About?"    
"My Kid Fought In Iraq, So Your Kid Can Party In College"    
"A Dead Enemy Is A Peaceful Enemy - Blessed Be The Peacemakers"    
"If You Can Read This, Thank A Teacher. If You Can Read It In English,  Thank A Veteran"    
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a  difference in the world. But the Marines don't have that problem."  ...Ronald Reagan    
"Army Rangers - Certified Counselors to the 72 Virgins Dating Club."    
"Water-boarding is out, so kill them all!"    
"Interrogators can't water-board dead guys"    
"Rangers - Travel Agents To Allah"    
"Stop Global Whining"    
"When In Doubt, Empty The Magazine"    
"Army Rangers - When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be Destroyed  Overnight"    
"Death Smiles At Everyone - Rangers Smile Back"    
"Marine Sniper - You can run, but you'll just die tired!"    
"What Do I Feel When I Kill A Terrorist? A Little Recoil"    
"Marines - Providing Enemies of America an Opportunity To Die For their Country Since 1775"    
"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It"    
"Happiness Is A Belt-Fed Weapon"    
"It's God's Job to Forgive Bin Laden - It's Our Job To Arrange The  Meeting"    
"Machine Gunners - Accuracy By Volume" 

Enough already…

Saw this on the way to work… algore hung in effigy in Alexandria… 🙂


It’s snowing in places they can’t even SPEL snow… Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina- And getting record snow falls. Everybody jokes about DC drivers in the snow, can you imagine Atlanta or Dallas in the snow??? I don’t EVEN want to think about it…

Here’s a pic from South Carolina- 7 inches of snow…


And in other news, it don’t get no better than this folks…

Muslem leaders claim that body scanners violates muslim standards of decency. At airports, they will have the option of bypassing the scanner and getting a hand inspection.The irony here is that the only reason we need these scanners is because of the radical muslims and they will be allowed to opt out!!!

Here’s the LINK. sigh…

And by now everyone has heard about the shootings in Alabama, except this time it was a female professor from Harvard that went off the deep end because she didn’t get tenure!!! The woman was described as “not being able to deal with reality” and “not as good as she thought she was.” She joined the UAH biology faculty as an assistant professor in fall 2003.

And now the gun debate on campus will start ALL over again… Now those that want to arm professors/teachers will have this thrown in their faces… sigh…

How many more must die???

Well, I’ve been home a whole two days, it’s time to leave again, so back on the road tomorrow… Blogging/reading/chatting will be light as long days will be the norm for the next week or so.

DADT- My perspective…


Disclaimer- This is my PERSONAL perspective based on my career and my own knowledge…

Since this is obviously a hot topic both in and out of the military, and has been the subject of a number of blogs including THIS POST from Atomic Nerds, and today’s Stars and Stripes (EUR edition) featured a column by Kathleen Parker HERE on page 17. And watching two military lesbians at breakfast (one in uniform, one not; but not hiding their status) kinda kicked this off…

In part, Ms. Parker did allude to a couple of what I consider critical points…

The military is not now, and has never been a democracy; nor is not allowing gays and lesbians to be ‘open’ a violation of their civil rights…

She also alludes to the real motivations for the people pushing this- e.g. real military imperatives or civilian imperatives…

Her closing statement is correct- “Be all that you can be” was a nice recruiting slogan, but the military really is not about you. And the right to serve belongs to no one.

This also brings to mind the arguments raised by the whole WIN thing back in the 70-80’s about women serving in combat billets in the Navy. I served with women in one of the first deployed unit in 1976-77. The CO held an all hands meeting on the hangar deck and said point blank, he ONLY considered us Navy Blue, not by gender, ethnicity, religion or any thing else; he also stated he would NOT tolerate ANY deviations from this. We had no problems…

But women were raising hell about “women” being sent overseas/on ship with ‘their’ men…

A few points-

Make no mistake, gays and lesbians HAVE served with distinction in the military for years. I have served with people whom I’m pretty sure were gays and lesbians, but I didn’t ask and they didn’t tell me. The large majority NEVER came out during their careers, and many of those now “protesting in uniform” are in fact retirees or those who resigned for other reasons.

For those who have served, either on ship or in combat (or both), unit cohesion is a CRITICAL part of that unit’s success or failure. Anything that degrades that cohesion (and/or morale) WILL impact that unit negatively. Also, many cannot understand the rigors of deployment, nor the impact of combat operations.

Try living for 6-8 months in a 20X50 space with 50 other bodies, sharing limited showers, toilets and sinks; and working 12-18 hours a day for days on end. Stress brings out the best/worst in people, ANY personality flaws tend to be magnified (cleanliness, work ethic, morality, religion, drugs/drinking, mental stability, etc.), I’m not JUST talking about men here, women also suffer under the same stressors.

The same occurs in battle- your foxhole buddy is your best friend as long as s/he’s keeping the bad guy off your back…

Just for clarity sake, I also served with a pedophile (whom I helped send to prison when I found out), a murderer (who killed his wife a week after getting a medal for superior performance), and a drug dealer (who is still doing time in Leavenworth).
I have relatives who are both gay and lesbian, and have lived next door to and been friends with a gay couple in San Jose.

I have no problem with people living their own lifestyles, as long as it doesn’t DIRECTLY impact me, or they try to force that lifestyle on me; AND they do their jobs…

People WILL use anything they can get up on somebody else, be it rank, threat of ‘exposure’, or bad performance ratings to “trade” for sex from either side…

A couple of examples of the ‘negatives’ I’ve observed-

This male had hidden his orientation for almost 4 years, but on a detachment to Kodiak (where I was the OIC), he got drunk and literally put the make on another crew member in a bar. When he was refused, he begged that no one be told. I was notified that night by the mission commander, and brought the individual in to discuss the situation. He at that point acknowledged his position and requested removal from the crew and to be sent home since he was now “uncomfortable” with the situation…

I refused, and forced him to continue to fly for the remainder of the det, I also refused his request to be segregated. The crew he flew on did NOT handle the situation well, and crew cooperation degraded seriously over the remainder of the det, but operational requirements precluded replacing him…

Upon return, I turned over my report to his CO, he was subsequently transferred to another command pending separation. At that command, he used his rank to solicit sex from numerous very junior enlisted men, and was totally unrepentant when he was once again caught. He was separated from the service within about a year, and later sued (with the support of the California alternative lifestyle alliance) to return to active duty.

That single individual’s actions caused a number of problems over at least the next three years (I’m aware of), as he kept attempting to “out” individuals he ’suspected’ to be gay within the military community via the local papers and TV. His vindictiveness was amazing!

One of my “fellow” officers on a staff (an intelligence officer) was lesbian, and also used her position once she was on shore duty to solicit sex from junior enlisted females in both our command and others. She was courts martialed and received a BCD.

I also had a situation when I was an LPO where two females were caught in the barracks and brought up on charges. They lied to investigators, even when confronted with pictorial evidence, and tried to burn down the NCIS offices to destroy the evidence.

In the bigger picture, Gay/lesbian lifestyles ‘may’ work in some militaries, but even in those ‘accepting’ it; e.g. the Dutch, there is still a wariness and desire from most officers and enlisteds NOT to serve in close working environments with gay or lesbians.


One of the commenters on the Nerds brought up that assholes will be assholes- This is a true statement…

This is a LIST of the punitive articles of the UCMJ. You DO give up a lot of rights when you come into the military, and you CAN be tried for conduct unbecoming (Art 133) or the general (Art 134) depending on what you’ve done, in addition to other specific articles…

My bottom line- What ever decision gets made, it needs to made with an eye on what is BEST for the military, NOT what is best for a particular set of individuals…

If you take the money, you should do your best to give an honest days work; you should also ‘play’ by the rules… If you can’t, don’t join…
EDIT- Gay Cynic (who commented earliers) has put up a post discussing DADT HERE with an interesting set of options…

They did it!!!


Well, after 43 years, the Saints are no longer the Ain’ts… 🙂

And now a little humor…

The World’s Shortest Books

THINGS I DID TO DESERVE THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
by Barack Obama
________________________________________
OTHER BLACK PEOPLE I’VE MET WHILE YACHTING
by Tiger Woods
________________________________________
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY COUNTRY
by Jane Fonda & Cindy Sheehan
Illustrated by Michael Moore
________________________________________
MY CHRISTIAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS & HOW I HELPED AFTER
KATRINA
by Rev Jesse Jackson & Rev Al Sharpton
_______________________________________
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL
by Hillary Clinton
_______________________________________
THINGS I LOVE ABOUT HILLARY
THE SEQUEL
by Bill Clinton
_______________________________________
THINGS I CANNOT AFFORD
by Bill Gates
_______________________________________
THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY
by Dennis Rodman
_______________________________________
THINGS WE KNOW TO BE TRUE
by Al Gore & John Kerry
_______________________________________
AMELIA EARHART’S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC
_______________________________________
A COLLECTION of MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES
by Dr. J. Kevorkian
_______________________________________
TO ALL THE MEN WE’VE LOVED BEFORE…
by Ellen de Generes & Rosie O’Donnell
_______________________________________
THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY
_______________________________________
MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLER(S)
by O. J. Simpson
_______________________________________
HOW TO DRINK & DRIVE SAFELY
by Ted Kennedy
_______________________________________
MY BOOK OF MORALS
by Bill Clinton
introduction by Rev. Jesse Jackson


*******************************************************
AND JUST ADDED:
COMPLETE KNOWLEDGE OF MILITARY STRATEGY!
by Nancy Pelosi

And here is an interesting little Pew Research Quiz… I got 11 of 12, but the spread is AMAZING… Definitely NOT a Bell Curve.

Food Pron…


This is my lame attempt at some food pron…

Unlike Brigid, I didn’t cook it, I just ATE it 🙂

This is from my favorite Italian restaurant, it’s called Buon Gustaio and is in the castle town of Motta S’Anastsia, Italy

Is this a street???

Ah… Yep… You literally have to step up into a doorway for the car(s) to clear you…

It’s a little hole in the wall (damn near literally), with 7 tables.

We had-

Caprese (with fresh Buffalo Mozzarella)


Spaghetti- No pic of that…

The Italian name for this is about 4 inches long, I just call it flat chicken with mustard sauce and georoasta potatoes. Ummm GOOD!

And finally, freshly made Tiramisu!!! With an espresso 🙂

Burp… 🙂

No back to your regularly scheduled ‘stuff’…

Tour Guide Crap…


By request of some folks…


I’m down in Sicily with a couple of folks that have never been here, so have been drafted as the tour guide and driver (since they are both scared s**tless to drive over here)…


The “attractions” have been Motta which I linked yesterday (Food Pron); here is a pic from the battlement of the castle… Now ya gotta remember, this was back in the day (1050 AD appx) when the Lord was literally master of ALL he surveyed… Motta is probably 20 miles as the crow flies from the coast, which you see in the distance. He also owned Mt. Etna!
Siracusa, which is the ancient Greek city of Syracuse where they have the largest intact Greek Amphitheater outside Epidaurus, GR. In Ortigia, the old town of Siracusa, there is also a plaza named for Archimedes since he died here of “unfortunate” circumstances…

The Theatre Greco is still used on occasion for special performances and can hold about 10,000 people. It was built in 500BC!!! At one time it was all covered with marble. The original water supply is still flowing too!
And additionally the Romans built a small coliseum adjacent to the Theatre… And stole most of the marble…
Here’s a picture of Archimedes Fountain in Ortigia, complete with Italian couple…
Next was Taormina, a sea side fortification and the only other Greek Amphitheater (but on 5400 seats) outside Greece. It was built around 300BC, and modified by the Romans in 200AD.

Here’s a pic and I have a short video- sadly, our ears are MUCH better than the mics on the cameras, we could actually hear each other fine, and he could actually hear me scuffing my shoes over the ancient stones as I walked out at the bottom on the stage area…
And the Odeon, a small Roman speaking area inside the city walls (held about 500)…
And a pic of the original wall and port cochure with original Roman engraving (this ain’t Disney land, this is REAL)…