Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ridiculous ROE Jeopardizes A Career

Today's Washington Examiner has another story of the effect our ludicrous Rules of Engagement (ROE) is having on our troops. 

My dad said the most vicious killers her encountered during the Korean War were teenagers.  The genital-eating tyrants of sub-Saharan Africa know this all-too well, along with the the jihadist masterminds.

Once the teen-titans decided to evac the Taliban bombmaker they became legit targets.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obama's State of the Re-Election Address

Last night, Our Dear Leader gave his State of the Union Address, which was watched by 38 million viewers.  I wanted to avoid it, but I was on duty and the speech was on every station.  There was no escape.  Fortunately for me, this is what mute buttons were invented for.  I know it's bad form of me not to listen, even if it's to hear directly what I would disagree with. 

However, from what I've heard since, it was as I suspected--the same leftist rhetoric of more government programs to solve individual problems, higher taxes on all those rich folks (which will trickle down to anyone with some money in a savings account), more not-so cost-effective green programs, etc, so-on and so-forth.

Most of our Lamestream Media are singing praises to Obama's speech.  The UK's Telegraph, though sounds the warning of where Obama's plans will take us as a nation--into further decline.

The Week's Weak Logic Regarding the Muslim Brotherhood

Comrade Karla stumbled across a Yahoo News editorial section called The Week.  Today's offering was an attempt to re-assure us Islamophobes that there is nothing to fear from Egypt's Islamist parliament.

After reading the article, I came up with the following rebuttals:

1.  The religious parties are divided.

Yes, they are.  However, the scholars at The Week forget the Mideastern motto--The enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Islamist hatred towards Jews and other assorted infidels outweighs whatever intra-parliamentary bickering the different parties engage in.  Just ask the Coptic Christians.

2.  The military is still in charge.

For now.  But for how long?  The same was said for Turkey--until the AKP took over.

3. Liberal parties will (slowly) gain influence.

Really?  Where?  The only Mideastern country where liberal parties have gained influence, that I know of, is Israel. 

4. Egypt's Islamists won't seek trouble abroad.

Oh?  Just like the Hamas and Hezbollah Islamists won't stir-up trouble with Israel?  Once all the Coptic Christians are killed, or driven out of The Land of the Pharaohs, the Islamists will have to look beyond the borders for enemies.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Women and Children First"--So Hundred Years Ago

(Image from:  The National Post)

On 13 January, the Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Isola Di Giglio.  Last week's National Post contains several dramatic photos and illustrations. 

Captain Schettino was one of the first to abandon ship.  However, the behavior of many of the men on board the stricken vessel was equally contemptable.

What does this maritime tragedy say about social norms of the 21st Century?

On 15 April 1912, when the RMS Titanic struck an iceburg, the call went out for "women and children first."  Now it's "every man for himself."  No one clarifies how far our society has sunk than Mark Steyn.

Update, comments added, 7:25 PM:

Kind of like the episode of Seinfeld where George was at his girlfriend's son's birthday party and there was a fire in the oven and George went screaming out the door pushing people (including an old lady in a walker) out of the way and later in the show Jerry said to him, "So I guess for you, the idea of women and children first is a little outdated?"

Kind of sad how life is imitating art.

Lockhead-Martin--We Have a Problem

The F-35, like previous aircraft progams, has had it's teething problems.  But a major issue has now come to has come to light.

Unlike this computer-generated photo:  The F-35 cannot land on an aircraft carrier--one of the critieria for calling this aircraft a "Joint" Strike Fighter.  Aviation Intel has the story.

Several of my friends were, or still are, in the Navy.  So this story spawned the following comments:

No kidding! This one is particularly scary, because it means almost every weight distribution parameter on the F-35C’s simulated and model-based tests were inaccurate. So I cringe to think what the other 1st, 2nd, and 3rd order effects will be.

I'm hesitant to take this at face value. The F-35 has suffered through a lot of problems but so have plenty of other weapon systems. I have very fond memories of some of the great stuff that people wrote about the B-2 when I was working on that program like, "It won't fly very well because it doesn't have a tail," (thank you Senator Glenn) to claims that the airframe disintegrated when it got wet because of the composite materials needed to make it stealthier.

...the particular issue we were discussing (carrier landing tests) is genuine and accurate and—this late in the program—not a good sign at all. I am sure that 15 years down the road, most people (except GAO and other watchdogs) will have forgotten all the teething pains for the F-35, just as we tended to forget the teething pains from the F-14, F-18, F-16, F-15, B-2, B-1, and just about every major combat aviation program. The principal concern is that those “teething pains” are trending in an ominous direction (much more costly and indicative of systemic management, engineering, and other weaknesses). At least with all the other aircraft I listed above, what we got on the other end made all the previous pain worth forgetting. I am not sure we will be able to say that of F-35, given the expectation gap that surely exists between what industry/DOD posits about what that aircraft will be able to do and what we will actually get in the final product.

Anybody recall reading about ‘teething problems’ of earlier aircraft? Seems like we always had three or four types going all at the same time, each more suitable for one sort of deployment, less for others. Of course, there were many other, different problems to be dealt with in those days, and there were usually greater numbers involved. Today, we have one type intended for many tasks

Not only do we only have one type, but we have no real give in our industrial base to have say, Corsairs and Hellcats. We just have the F-35.

Better make sure that F-18 line stays open.

The problem for the F-18 production line is that once the USN stops buying them that is pretty much it because the Australians are the only foreign customer for the Super Hornet. On the Air Force side, the F-16 and F-15 lines are still open because of numerous export customers. However, the USAF does not seem to be interested in more of those. Granted the air frames are a bit dated but with AESA radar, new avionics, and new weapons the 15, 16, and 18 are all still pretty bad ass jets and they are a lot cheaper than the 5th gen fighters - that's why they are still competitive in the global market over the newer designs like the Rafale and the Eurofighter.

I understand that.  Two thoughts; We (Navy) were about to shut the DDG-51 line but didn't so there's precedent and we are the only customer.  Obviously some differences b/t ships and planes, but doable and worth thinking about.  Second, I think industry and program managers over inflate the capabilities of an adversaries weapon systems, particularly aircraft.  I'm with you and agree that the 15, 16, 18 are all good a/c and with our pilots training and experience should be able to wipe the floor with our adversaries.
Having a Wildcat equivalent in case the Buff...I mean "Lightning II" doesn't work out would be prudent.

Mind you, the Buffalo does sometimes get a bad rap—there’s an Air and Space article (IIRC) that was pretty good covering this.  Similar conclusions can be drawn about the P-39. If it sucked so bad, how come V-VS pilots racked up 30, 40 and 50+ kills with it?  Right now we have a problem on an order of magnitude far larger—it seems we’ve shrunk our industrial base to the point where we can only build one or two really high tech things—and if they don’t work, there’s no back up.  So if your P-39 performs below specs, you can’t turn to a P-40 or design a P-51 in short order to fill the gap.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Mouseketeer-in-Chief

A few days ago our Dear Leader gave a jobs speech at Disney World--right after axing the Keystone Pipeline.  This was wrong on several levels and Michelle Malkin puts it best in her Land of Obama Make-Believe article.

Obama's latest excursion sparked a few great observations from my friends:

...what is the point in going to Disney World to talk about job creation and tourism. If there is one place in the US that is not hurting for tourists, it's freakin' Disney World. Plus, I'll argue that it is incredibly rude and insensitive for POTUS (any POTUS not just the current) to go to a place like Disney World given the security requirements. I'd like to know how many people's vacations got screwed up because of this. How many "working class" families saved their money to take a trip there and in some way shape or form had it disrupted because of all Pratorian Guard like security protection that POTUS gets. I'm sure if Bush had gone to Disney World, we would have been subjected to seven or eight weeks of human interest stories on the news with little kids crying because they didn't get ride Space Mountain or the Flying Dumbos because POTUS and his entourage took over the park that day.

Tourism is also a lousy economic model because there are only so many good paying jobs in the restaurant and hotel industries. Everything is minimum wage or not much higher. A number of cities, Cleveland and Baltimore to name two based their urban renewals on the false logic that new stadiums downtown with flashy waterfront districts with bars and restaurants would bring their cities back from the dead. They're nice places to visit, go see a ballgame, and have dinner but at the end of the day the tourists go back home and the locals with a few exceptions are stuck with low paying, low skill service jobs.

This admin is pretty much bankrupt when it comes to economic ideas that work (they’re trapped in some sort of hellish 1970s government-control model).  He’s getting a bit desperate to do something like this—sort of how the Italian economy works “come and see where the gladiators walked…”

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Adding "Ad Sense"

Writers are always on the lookout to earn money for their work. With this in mind, I finally signed up for Google's Ad Sense this evening. After Google reviews my blog, there will be advertisements placed in the side bar. I could have opted to have ads attached to each post, in addition to the sidebar notes, but I didn't to bombard my readers with "This post brought to you by..." messages.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Endangered Species?

(Image from the movie:  Willard

Washington DC is infested with rats.  No not politicians, but the real-rodent variety, thanks to the Occupy DC movement.  Instead of calling the exterminators, DC officials are opting for a catch and release program.  This of course, has DC's neighbors in Virginia very concerned.

Reading--Important for a Healthy Civilization

Victor Davis Hanson (VDH) comments on why reading is so important.  Otherwise, societal decay ensues.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Snowmaggedon 2012

Western Washington State got hit with another snowstorm last night.  This one worse than the previous one.  Several counties activated their Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), which promted the State Emergency Management to follow suit.  Because snow is relatively rare event in the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area, it often makes national news headlines.

While the snow tapered off by late morning the temperatures are suppose to drop below freezing tonight.  This will make tomorrow's morning commute --interesting--to say the least.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Western Washington's Winter Wonderland

(Image by:  Courtney Blethen Riffkin of the Seattle Times)

While snowfall in the Cascade Mountains is measured in feet, it only takes an inch or two of fluffy flakes to put the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area into a tailspin.  Sometimes literally as pictured above.  We're currently under a Winter Advisory, which normally wouldn't be anything to get excited about--except in metropolitan areas.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Urinating Scandal for USMC

Speaking of having a lack of empathy, (see previous post), several US Marines could be facing charges because they were filmed peeing on the bodies of several Taliban terrorists.

Okay, I admit it--I have no empathy for anyone trying to kill Americans.  Most of my like-minded friends don't either. 

Comrade Karla Sr. put it best:

I really hate war. War is not civilized. Any persons subject to involvement in personal combat, especially front line troops, are supposed to hate the enemy. Pissing on enemy corpses is only one manifestation of some troops who survive bitter fighting. If our leaders do not like war, they shouldn’t have them. If, for whatever reason the US must get involved in a war which involves sending anyone into a firefight with a tough enemy, for God’s sake don’t expect them to act like missionaries. Encourage them to be mean. In war, you want such people to be heartless determined killers who hate and detest the enemy. Be happy some of them manage to have piss in their bladders after a fight.

In the second war, US troops behaved cruelly, especially in the Pacific Theatre. It’s happened in every war. It’s perfectly normal to abuse the enemy; it’s part of the game. Many, perhaps most, troops who get blood in their mouths manage to ‘turn it off’ after a fight; some do not, Just don’t take photographs and don’t brag about it!

Well said, sir.

A couple other comments followed:

Wonder if Karzai feels the same way about abuse/murder of underage women?

Pissing on dead Taliban sounds fine to me. I’d poop on them, too, for good measure.

Non-Empathy for Non-Liberals

Mark Steyn points out the Left's lack of empathy towards non-liberals in his article Politics Trumps Left's Empathy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Seattle "Whines" About Illegal Immigrant Students

This article in the Seattle Times complains about the lack of scholarships and other funding for illegal aliens.

Not too many of us feel this is a problem:

Easy enough to answer: NO, they are not.  And, predictably, rather than fix the problem they whine about the consequences of not following the law and then act like that result is the cause of these problems.  I note there’s no way to comment on the article….

I was trying to find the comments too, but I was wondering if it was my usual lack of cyber skills. In past ST articles I noticed well over half the comments are conservative-leaning. If this article were open to comments, I have a sneaky feeling, two-thirds to three-quarters of the comments would be conservative.

They were sneaky and put the comments link at the top of the article under the "Share" section. I found a good portion of the comments to from conservative minded people.

Here's the masked reader feedback section.

I've noticed that about the responses to the ST's articles. Looks like Seattle doesn't quite have the liberal majority liberals claim there is.

The funny thing is, the more I pay attention, the more it appears there is not the liberal majority liberals claim there is anywhere. The Media seems to be a Force Multiplier. Take the OWS crowd. Their numbers pale in comparison to Tea Party events across the country, yet if you watch and listen to the reports about this hack group, you would think that they represent.... Oh wait, 99% of the population and have influence and power that is sweeping from Sea to Sea. While the Tea Party are just a bunch of terrorist-Astroturf-white-ex-Klu-Klux-Klan members.   I'm not sure what's more pathetic, the reporting or the people who believe all this crap.

I think they are both on the same plane. The scary thing is, the MSM will go all out to reelect their guy—it’s already starting. I sure hope the Romney camp (or any of us who don’t want to see a 2d term of The One) are on their game and (1) understand the nature of the forces aligned against them and (2) are ready to do what it takes to discredit this nonsense.  Let’s hope so.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

55 Days At Peking II?

(Image: Siege of Peking, Boxer Rebellion)

President Hu of China is worried that his country is once again being hemmed in by foreign devils.  Of course, we're doing nothing of the sort.  It's not our fault the world finds American culture more appealing than what the PRC's Politburo has to offer.  However, Walter Russell Mead writes just how the come to feel this way in The American Interest.

Comrade Karla pointed out these tidbits that would have added weight to Mead's article:

Imperial Germany used similar arguments prior to 1914, calling it “Einkreisung.” Just sayin’.

But the author might have taken it a step further—China does have an history of being divvied-up and “overseen” by non-Chinese powers—not that anybody’s trying to do that (that I’m aware of), but when trying to reason out a country’s motivations, it’s something that must be considered.

We still kind of suck at doing that.

Changing Hollyweird back to Hollywood

John Nolte discusses the Top 10 Ways Hollywood Can Win Its Audience Back.

This line sums up the article:  Everyone loves movies, but most everyone has contempt for Hollywood.

Some extensive commentaries followed:

I think Hollywood needs actors, true craftsmen of the trade. I’ve been watching a lot of BBC shows like Doc Martin and Kingdom ( and of course the Dr.) and the quality of acting, writing and production is as good or better than many Hollywood films movies. For the most part, the actors in the UK treat acting as a occupation not a series of appearances intended to maintain movie star or celebrity status. I mean look at Michael Cain, Anthony Hopkins, and the like. They will work on stage when not doing films (most started there anyway). Granted in film they’ve done some really bad ones (Jaws 4 for Cain for example) but the point is they keep working. The only equivalent in American I can think of are the old school country musicians like George Jones who keep touring no matter where they are on the charts or the size of the venue. It is their chosen occupation and they go to work every day like us.

Yeah, and the United States needs Statesmen…Not holding my breath for either
Cain was quite frank in several interviews that he considered even the bad films to be ‘work’ and that Jaws 4 paid for the new deck on his house.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Getting Riled Up--For the Cameras

Ed Driscoll, from PJ Media, illustrates the media's influence and even active participation in protest movements, in his How the Sausage Gets Made article.

Of course, the lamestream media and Barack Obama, complain about the one "biased" news network.

Can you guess which one?

Here's a hint...

No Carriers Allowed

Iran is now making bold noises about "taking action" against any US aircraft carriers re-entering Persian Gulf

Iranian leaders are either:

a.  Deluded, or

b. As Comrade Karla said--They must really be confident we aren’t going to do anything.

POS Post-Mortem

POS = Piece of "Crap." 

Said POS wound up as a corpsicle on the slopes of Mount Ranier.  True, it doesn't bring Margaret Anderson back, but at least we won't have to go through the media circus--formerly known as a trial--for a POS like this.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Park Ranger Slain, Manhunt Continues

Yesterday, Margaret Anderson a Park Ranger at the Mount Rainier National Park (pictured on the right), was shot and killed.  The manhunt for Benjamin Colton Barnes (left), considered a person-of-interest, continues.  The shooting occurred yesterday morning. 

I was on duty and spent the better part of my shift trying to coordinate the employment of aircraft and helicopters.  We're hoping for a swift conclusion to this tragic incident.

Update, 1:55 PM PST:  Suspect possibly found dead.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Not Off To A Good Start

Despite my hopes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year, 2012 is not off to a good start.   Last week Obama asked for yet another $1.2 trillion.  Normally, this would have warranted it's own "WTF?" posting, but I spent most of the Holidays away from the internet.

Anyway, to catch you up on things, Mark Steyn "...rings out the new and rings in the old...", with his Puncture the Cocoon of Denial article.

2011 provided Mark with a lot of fodder for us denizens of "the brokest nation on the planet."  Here is Pundit & Pundette with a 2011 Year in Review, Via Mark Steyn.

But Steyn isn't the only source of news this New Year's Day.  Comrade Karla finished off 2011 by forwarding an article on the White House's establishing a new obstacle for illegal immigration enforcement.


Not quite the harbinger of glad tidings for 2012 is it?

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all of you throughout the New Year!