Monday, November 30, 2009

Guns and Such

Interesting data in the below widget:

I am surprised by the one sided nature of the number of Guns used in self defense. I guess the News broadcasts are geared to bring the horrific, but not the everyday.

Also, the number of suicides by gun is surprisingly very high as well. Watch the Compares with items that cycles.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ClimateGate – Part 4 – Eating their own!

Oh yeah it is finally starting. This article at Climate Depot is all about the scientists calling out the lying and cheating scientists. They want them off the UN IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) because their reputations now carry the odor of the con. The stink of distortion. Their credibility is in question and I hope so too are their conclusions in the many reports they have contributed to the entire story line selling "Climate Change" out of Global Warming.

Blog fodder aplenty, more to follow I am sure.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Oh we have much to be Thankful for here in the Swamp.

Our Oldest Son is doing well in Indiana, recently promoted to E-6 he is doing fine with his new wife (after many years of living together they married). He has a hard decision coming up in the New Year, his enlistment will be up and he will have 8 years of service under his belt, should he continue on with the USAF/National Guard or try the waters here in the public sector? I'll help from the sidelines; I left 9-years of active service on the table when I departed uniformed service, also as an E-6.

The Daughter is home, seems the Forest Service does not want its employee's in the field while hunting season is in full swing so she has 10 days off. She loves the work even and especially the overnights in the wilderness of West Virginia for to do the surveys that are required for the rehab of the Appalachian Trail.

They Young One is still in Afghanistan, we have not heard from him in a long time but from the Marine Mom Network we hear he is doing fine. His units return to CONUS is eminent and I hope and pray the Boy's keep their wits about them and not get complacent. Short Timer fever has squashed many a happy home coming.

Funny to have two grown kids living on the ground, sleeping under the sky, though tens of thousands of miles apart, and in a small way or a strange quirk of fate, both are avoiding bullets.

We are headed to the In-Laws for the big feast. The Wife, the Daughter and the Princess Pompeian we will travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmothers house we go. Though the river is concrete and asphalt and the woods are forests of houses, the destination is still warm and cuddly and the turkey well, it's to die for.

To all a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Shopping Season!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Here is something from Oliver North and the NRA about Marines. Just one more thing to be Thankful for!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ClimateGate – Part Three

First. Peer Reviews. This was what the sold the world so NO ONE else would go out and collect and examine data. This is what kept many more scientists off doing other research or keeping to themselves. No need to 'fact check' if we are doing rigorous peer review. Well it seems they were shopping their peers, finding supposed academics that were either ignorant of what they were doing so they coached them through the analysis or ones so onboard with the agenda that they went along.

Second. Code Analysis. They are taking apart the source code of the modeling software used by the Hadley CRU. Seems they embedded comments in there to help themselves figure out what was real data modeling versus code added to manipulate data. There are several smoking guns in there and they have only just begun to look it over. Another reason to leave programming to programmers and science to scientists.

Third. Virtually nothing from ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN. Can you imagine any of these supposed "media" outlets completely ignoring an NRA report that was fabricated or heavily doctored in some way? Like this: Since January 1st, Number of Homicides committed with a gun: 15, 502. Guns Used in Self-Defense: 2, 184, 463. Yet if that number was "cooked" or 'doctored', or 'manipulated' or let's say some padding of the data was happening, don't you think the so called MSM would be all over that? They would hound down every last person involved including event he guy that selected the type setting used on the blog where it came from. But not when it is a Liberal agenda item, suddenly it's the ole "Hear No Evil, See No Evil we will Speak No Evil".

Lastly. I want to laugh at all those political statesman who sold the Global Warming Bill of Goods to their states and passed huge taxes on energy and supposed carbon producing products so as to help bring down that non-existent temperature rise. Think California, they have been eating all hype like it was some going to make them all better.

More here:

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Hide the Decline – the Video

You got to admit, when the crap hits the fan there is always someone with more creativity and imagination to come up with something funny.

I just which the MSM would do their job on this issue instead of ignoring it outright.

My tip to anyone that went out and purchased Carbon Credits for the investment that was in it, get your money back while you still can!!

Hat Tip to the good folks at: Weasel Zippers – "Scouring the Bowles of the Internet so You don't Have to"

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life after Death – DOD style

In this article from the Hill, the White House and the Defense Department are hammering details for a replacement to the VH-3's flown as Marine One shuttling the president around. The previous development effort known as the VH-71 was cancelled although not all of the spending on that program is over. Seems prime contractor Lockheed had some built in penalties that required compensation for early termination. Normally I would rant on about Lockheed screwing us all over but there is a lot of blame to go around on that program, not just to Lockheed. This is not unlike the cancelled A-12 from long ago, that case is still in the court system.

The VH-71 was troubled and infested with requirements creep. No one wanted to say "No" to anything proposed and it became a monstrosity. They did build 4 test vehicles and 9 "Pilot production" aircraft. And they do look nice in presidential colors.

But for the good of going forward they need to put the big stake in the heart and kill off this entire program. They also need to figure a way to embed more favorable terms to the public on government contracts. Makes no sense to me to continue using up valuable tax dollars to simply pack up and shred documents and move hardware into a warehouse or to the surplus sales yard. You'd think the loser would simply say thank you for the money over the years and move on to the next program. Instead they continue to pick the pocket of the public of all the money they can lay claim to. Of course it would help if the Civil Servants tasked with overseeing all this activity actually did that job. Well, not if they want to go to work for them later in the future.

Hat Tip to: Alert5

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Where there’s Pink Smoke there is ???

USAF Photo: Students in the Combat AirmanSkills Training Couorse use a smoke diversion tactic while practicing patrol maneuvers on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. November 12, 2009. U.S. airman assigned to the 421st Combat Training Squadron teach the course to prepare airmen for upcoming deployments. The squadron is assigned to the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol.

You know what they say: Train like you Fight, Fight like you Train. So popping pink smoke goes where???

I think the idea is that smoke in general is used to cover your movement from your enemy. The USAF is using the color of the smoke to set the enemy off laughing their asses off while their "warriors" move. Works either way. I guess you got to have balls to light off Pink smoke on a battle field.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Settled Science

News from the OwlGore set, environmental weenies have their panties in a tight knot over the release of a huge amount of raw data from one of the most formerly prestigious Environmental Science outfits was stolen. The Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Brittan was hacked and their emails and hundreds of "supporting" documents were released into the great inter-tubes.

Seems that the raw interpretation of Global Warming data did not support the graph Al Gore was pushing around in his award winning movie. So they cooked them. That's right; they made up the numbers that supported the famous "Hockey Stick" graph that Al Gore has in his movie. You know the same one that got him the Nobel Pease Prize.

The response from the left has been predicable; they claim the data show only that there is debate within the Warming Circles. Oh, that's what passes for debate, which fake numbers you want to pass to the public.

How funny those guys in Stockholm look now, giving the Pease Prize to someone who was lying. Next they will simply be giving that prize away for someone who simply talks about good deeds. Oh, wait they did do that with Obama's prize!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Throwing Protons at Protons

I love tech stuff. This kind of research is fascinating but I really wonder how practical this is going to be to the world. Humanity may not need to know how the Big Bang happened, we know how it turned out. Maybe they will find out how to beam whole matter around and eventually bring us the Transporter Beam. Any way, what ever, there was a huge amount of money sunk into this facility which was supposed to go here in the U.S. but federal money could not be had so it went overseas.

This video does a really good job of describing what is going on inside the several underground rings. Really fascinating to me.

On my last flight out west I flew through Chicago's Midway airport which is not anything special but on the flight out heading west the plane flew low for many miles instead of the immediate climb to cruising altitude. As we flew southwest over the Illinois prairie I could easily make out the ring of the buried Fermi National Accelerator which is no where near the size of the Hadron Collider (6.28km versus 27,m). Just as impressive however for what they use them for, almost nothing. Fermi Labs being famous for the first controlled nuclear pile (hand calculations provided by Enrico Fermi himself).

Interesting. Not sure of the benefit except for winning at Trivia.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conflict Rising:

One of the biggest items hitting the fan this last week is the Justice Department's decision to try War Criminals in the U.S. in the same court and the same standards as common criminals. A lot has been said and I will not repeat any of that here but there is one issue that seems to be getting a pass.

When this announcement was made Eric Holder (the U.S. AG, the countries chief Prosecutor) mentioned that his Department was finally moving beyond the delays of the last 8-years and actually prosecute these men. His characterization of the last 8-years of delay in bringing these men to justice is an issue with me.

Those 8-years of delay were thrown in the way of the Bush Administration by the many Lefty groups that felt it was their mission to delay the prosecution or at the very least get them moved out of the hands of the Military.

In many cases, these delays were caused by Lawyers working for the law firm that employed Eric Holder and some of the delays were even of his own making. HE was part and parcel to the 8-years of delay. Here is more.

And now he is complaining about the delay as if it were all the fault of the Bush Administration. What kind of man does that, what kind of balls does it take to be there causing this mess and then throw it all back on someone else. What a piece of Crap this man is.

This is straight out of the Obama Administration Talking Points – Blame Bush first and often. Creeps.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Interesting Aviation News

First Up: F-35 Activity

An F-35 flew off the production line in Fort Worth, TX as the 4th F-35 to enter the test fleet. This aircraft is a CTOL or Conventional Take Off and Landing version of the aircraft that will be used by the Air Force. It was designated AF-1 and is part of the LRIP lot of 31 of which 13 should have been delivered by October (2009), so they are having some growing pains. One of the more unique items associated with this aircraft is that it is the first fighter aircraft to be built on a moving assembly line, like cars are made. Usually in the manufacture of an aircraft the hull is placed in a manufacturing bay and the various trades work the aircraft in place. Periodically the aircraft is moved to another station for assembly work and eventually it is rolled out to the paint hanger and then for flight testing. Here, they are literally laying the hull at the start of a long assembly line which moves the hull through the fixed work station. It is a novel concept and I think may actually bring down the cost of assembly of the aircraft. Given they are planning on building so many this may pay huge dividends over the long run.

Also from F-35 land: The first STOVL version F-35B was flown to the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Maryland for extensive tests to be conducted by the Navy and Marine Corps. The F-35B will replace the AV-8B's flown by the Marines and the Royal Navy. The base at Pax River is the home of NAVAIR and the home of Navy/Marine Flight Testing. The F-35B will add to the noise in the sky there at Pax that includes all the newest Navy/Marine equipment. I spent many years working there supporting the War Hoover and saw all the latest in Naval Aircraft. It was a fascinating place to work if you were an aviation buff.

Air Force Flying Safe:

The USAF finished their safest flying year ever in their history with only 17 Class A mishaps. The Class A is an accident that results in the total loss of the aircraft or the loss of life (or permanent total disability). Given they are flying their wings off supporting two Wars way over on the other side of the world this is huge feat. I am not sure what the total flying hours are or the total number of sorties but they have to be astronomical. My hat is off to the Boys in Blue. Great Job.

Fun with Ray Guns:

Boeing announced that they successfully destroyed in flight a UAV (5 of them in fact) using a mobile laser system and tracking system. In a program sponsored by the Air Force the Boeing system is designed to be installed and used from an aircraft although for this series of tests the system was ground based.

Cool Pic here:

This is a system we need more of and I hope they continue to receive funding for this. The big Airborne Laser program (the 747 based ABL program) was recently cancelled by the Obama Administration. Scary, you would think these kinds of advanced systems would be welcome into our military's inventory but not so for the Obama Administration.

Here in the heading of You have to Start Somewhere: "Scientist Stun Nematode Worms with UV Phaser" Straight out of Star Trek. They did a lot to make this work and it was just a bunch of Nematodes but they did use a "ray" on them and that did stun them so, lets just say that more research is required. Next maybe they can build up a Proton Torpedo!!

And Finally, "Shocker Doesn't Arrive in Time for Lobster Fundraiser": The Child and Family Resources in Tucson Arizona annually sponsors a Lobster dinner fund raiser. PETA objected and the good folks at the Child and Family Resources negotiated to use the all new "Crustastun" which would stun the Lobster in a humane way prior to cooking. Problem though, the Crustastun was sent via truck by UPS instead of air by FEDEX (it's a Union thing you know) and never made it in time for the fund raiser. PETA agreed to allow the Lobsters to be dispatched in the usual way; death by boiling water. Oh well. If all those Liberals could get on the same page they might actually get something right!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Missing Movement

Sorry about the lack of activity here. My daytime job has required my undivided attention more or less 10 to 12 hours per day and over both of the last two weekends. I long ago ran out of prepared material that I thought I was going to need during this period but it lasted longer than I thought. We are developing a system for a Foreign customer and the Formal Acceptance testing was being conducted this week. So the last two weeks have been spent getting everything 'finished' and set up for the Customer to observe the testing. During the build-up I had to fire a programmer who's lackadaisical attitude during a time when we have high unemployment was simply amazing. Once he was escorted from the building I had the undivided attention of the remaining staff. Funny how that works. So, we have completed our format tests, successfully I might add, and we had the long 2-hour feast at a nearby Arab cuisine restaurant (did I mention our customer a Friendly Arab nation). Now, we document what we did, finalize the software and commence tear down and packing of all the equipment for the long boat ride east. We will be spending time in the desert sometime in the New Year.

But right now, we get back to our old regime; fresh posts are on the way folks.

Thanks for sticking by me.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plane Pron - Edwards AFB Air Show

Here are some really great pictures of the Edwards AFB Air Show - great work by Bernard Zee.


BT: Jimmy T sends.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tanker Wars - Update

Time to update everyone with some news, old and fresh off the wires on the USAF Refueling Aircraft procurement program. When last I noted Northrop Grumman was crying in its soup about the USAF having shared with Boeing its pricing details on its now ill-fated KC-45 offering. Seems they think that would be detrimental to future bidding as their opposition would know how they came to their overall cost and could you know, under bid them. Seems reasonable, but the USAF thinks otherwise, they claim, no harm no foul, Procurement moves on and forward.

Now some updates:

Round 1: After the crying session NGS claimed that they are finding numerous problems in the Draft RFP that required answers from the USAF. The USAF responded to their Questions. Boeing had no comment at that time, one of the complaints that NGS had was that the new specifications were tilted in favor of a smaller airframe. One of the cost drivers the USAF needed to factor in was the impact to existing infrastructure, things like making hangers larger at all the bases where the new aircraft will be repaired or maintained so to fit a bigger aircraft into if one is bids say a very large aircraft OR reinforcing the taxi ways, runways and parking aprons to accommodate a much heavier airframe if you bid something that carries say, three or four times the gas. NGS thinks this is unfair. Boeing: No Comment.

Round 2: After USAF responds that their proposal evaluation process will hold fast NGS threatens to Boycott the bidding process altogether. USAF responds by saying that they are "open" to maybe making some alterations to the evaluation scheme. NGS backs down on the Boycott threat.

Round 3: Then we have the AFL-CIO jumping in claiming that the Boeing offering would be better for the country. The Union, which also represents that the Boeing employees in Washington state says that the Boeing aircraft will create thousands of "family-sustaining union jobs" while the NGS/EADS aircraft will create mainly "only a few thousand lower-paying nonunion jobs." Wow, what an endorsement, I would never have expected that. Oh wait, this just in: Boeing purchases the Vought production facility in Charleston South Carolina and then elects to open a second production line for the new B787 Dreamliner at this facility. It's non-union.

Round 4: Then we have the World Trade Organization or WTO, weighing in and ruling that Airbus has illegally benefited from subsidies from the participating governments of the consortium. These payments have for many years allowed Airbus to price their aircraft well below its competitors, including Boeing. In particular are payments made "in kind" by countries investing in production facilities, dubbed "launch aid" facility improvements and improvements to infrastructure helps Airbus bring to market new aircraft well below their actual cost?

USAF continues to say it will ignore the WTO ruling while evaluating the proposed offerings.

Round 5: Now Senator John McCain has stepped into the mess, or maybe he never really left it in the first place. In any case he has released a letter he has dispatched to the SECDEF decrying the unfairness of the USAF proposal and how it favors a smaller aircraft that Boeing is most likely to bid. Well now, this begs: what did Boeing do to piss off John McCain? I mean at every turn of this 10 years of wiggling he turns up and throws wrenches into the works, and I am talking about great big wrenches too not those crappy craftsman ones. You would think he was flying a Boeing aircraft when he was shot down over Vietnam and tortured for flying Boeing. Oh, but he was in a McDonald Douglass aircraft; the old A-4 Skyhawk. Well, McDonald Douglass is now owned by Boeing but back then they were on their own. Who knows but here he is pissing on the process, and you know how those old fogies are about their bladder control.

Who knows where this is going but you got to believe there is a mess there waiting for them. Can it get any worse? It's too bad the DOD/USAF just won't strap on some balls and say that they are going to buy an X-aircraft and be done with it. Simply state what they want and pull out the Credit card and start buying them. But, they have no balls, no spine and no clue.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Screwing America – Obama Style

Gird your loins; this is going to be a messy ride. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (or KSM) and 4 others held in Gitmo will be moved to a prison in NY State and then tried in a civilian court for his crimes against the U.S. The prosecutor will be the US AG, the very same one that dropped charges in Philadelphia against the "new" Black Panther Party who intimated voters on Election Day at a polling place with bats/batons. All caught on tape. Easy case to win, all you have to do is show up and Eric Holder passed.

Now this very same "prosecutor" is going to get justice out of KSM? Yeah, I'll believe it when I see it. In fact, I'll predict right now that KSM walks. That's right, walks, scot free. You see, the rules of evidence in a civilian court are very much different than in a Military court. In a Military court they can take members of the Jury who will all have security clearances and reveal secrets, they can't do that in civilian court. In a civilian court, the jury will most likely be packed with Liberals (re: anti-Bush) and most likely one or two Muslims and since you need unanimous consent in a civilian criminal court I can guarantee there will be either a hung jury, miss-trial or an outright ruling of innocent. He will walk.

This Administration has time and time again demonstrated its distaste and outright hate of America. That's right, PresBO and Eric Holder and most of his leftwing/communist staff and advisors, all those Czars are all America haters and are doing everything they can to tear apart the basic foundation elements of this country. Read here, this is a great article, a bit long but it shows and highlights all the things that prove that PresBO hates America. Look at what they are doing, they seem hell bent on collapsing the American economy, they are spending us into oblivion, setting the stage for hyper inflation and most likely the collapse of the dollar. He is now claiming that he does not like the military options presented to him for Afghanistan and wants to look at a "civilian only" option. Yeah, that will work! This man does not want to hurt Muslims or upset the Muslim world by warring on it further. This is why the administration will not refer to what happened in Ft. Hood as a terrorist act committed by a Muslim terrorist. You will not hear them call it that, and wait and see if Eric Holder does not pull this case away from the military and try him in the same court that lets KSM walk. I would not be surprised.

We have elected the enemy.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apology Tour Pacific Rim Edition

PresBO is off on a tour of Asia. He has to go make sure those Chinese keep buying our Dollar, but besides that I am sure he is going to apologize for America's transgressions in the region. Here is what I think will be some of his agenda:

Japan –

Sorry for those huge giant glowing smoking holes we gave you, we should have tried to negotiate a settlement with you, I mean you couldn't have been all bad.


Sorry we got in the way of the Communist Unification of the country. All these years you guys would have been even more productive then your brothers in the south have been. Shame on us for preventing that, I mean you could have had all the Nuke Power you need to you know, light up the north if we had just stayed out of your way. Maybe next time, especially if you hurry and invade before I leave office.

China - Sorry we did not get behind the that whole "cultural revolution" thing but I do have a lot of Mao followers in my Administration. I'd have even more if that loud mouth Glenn Beck would stop pointing them out on his TV and radio show.

Vietnam – oops, well just see Korea above!!

Indonesia – it's so nice to be back in what I consider my second home you know after Kenya, er ah, Hawaii!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tale of two Industries

I showed a similar picture last week, it was the difference between the Democrat-Pelosi Health Care Bill and a competing Republican bill. This picture shows the 2007 Master Contract between the Ford Motor Company and the UAW on the left, and the same contract back in 1941, yes that is a paper clip and a pen to give you scale.
You want to know why Ford-USA will ultimately fail and go out of business or be taken over by the Government similar to the way GM and Chrysler went. There it is the stack on the left defining the many (thousands) of different job classifications and work rules imposed on Ford by the Union.

The funny thing is that Fords best cars from a quality standpoint are both built in a non-union factory in Mexico. Yes, the Ford Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ are rated by Consumer Reports higher than other vehicles in the same class (that would be the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord for the Fusion and the Acura and Lexus against the Lincoln).

This brings to mind a thought that I have had regarding this, that is the issue of Investment Choice. Let me explain.

I have in other venues complained about Boeing spending so much money in China. Many years ago Boeing started investing in China, setting up at first a repair and overhaul activity. This evolved into manufacturing smaller size aircraft components like panels and doors or flight control surfaces. This investment included not only cash to buy facilities but also in technical expertise. You can't simply open a factory, hire warm bodies and then ship Flaps for B747's. It took Boeing many years and hundreds of millions of dollars but it is paying off. Large parts of the B787 Dreamliner are being built in China and flown to the US for final assembly. Soon the Chinese will be able to design, develop, engineer and then build aircraft that will compete with Boeings product line. Part of me thinks this is swell, it is what capitalism is all about. This investment is paid back with orders for Boeing product by the national airlines. A good thing for Boeing.

But, my criticism is not about the actual investment which is an important thing for Boeing to do. What I protest is that they did that in China. I contend that this investment is better spent in Mexico. Why China, was it because there was a bigger market for Aircraft, most likely. But I think in the long run, if you are going to build an industry from scratch and I am really talking about taking pheasants out of the fields there in China some 30 years ago and training them from the ground up. Why can't those have been Mexicans? Would not this have been better for not only our country but Boeing too? I read somewhere that by the time a B787 finishes assembly; it will have 26,000 miles on it because of all the parts being flown in from out of the country. Would it not have been cheaper to fly those major assemblies up from Mexico and not across the entire Pacific?

Benefits to the Mexican economy and to some of the problems here in the US regarding immigration need no explaining, but 30 years ago Mexico was as blank a slate as China was back then. No one who has lived with and seen Mexicans at work can complain about their work ethic. It is to be admired. And that is with them toiling in the mundane, I can't imagine what you get if you give them some education and technical work to do.

Well, actually you can, just ask Ford.

Hat Tip to: Carpe Diem and the WSJ

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Project VALOUR-IT Final Push

Yes, today is the end of the VALOUR-IT drive and Team Navy is back in third place. The Marines crossed their finish line yesterday and they are now piling on! The Army is in second but Navy has a chance to catch them and take second place. The "Chair" Force is bringing up the rear but remember dear reader, all the money works for the Injured Military members.

Donations to VALOUR-IT/Solders' Angels is tax free and a deductable donation as an IRS 501(c)(3) charity. Also, a 100% of your donation will go to buying technology to be used by the many injured protecting You and Me.

Here are the three ways to donate:


Solders' Angels Website

By Snail Mail at the following address:

Soldiers Angels

1792 E. Washington Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91104

Please mark the donations to Team Navy.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Veterans Day

To all of our Veterans, Reservists and Active Duty personnel, Thanks for your Service. By the hard work of our Military we have been given Freedom and Liberty and it is from generations of brave Men and Women who step up and take their turn at keeping us free that we continue to be the freest nation on Earth.

Thank You!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wrangling for Budget

Here is an interesting article regarding a new study group within the Pentagon that is chartered with "combining the capabilities of the US Air Force and the Navy" in an effort to "offset their vulnerabilities and better use their assets to deter or defeat future enemies.

Hmmm, me thinks there is something foul afoot! Now I hate to be pessimistic about something with such a noble goal, you know that whole make things better, touch feely study and PR first. When you have to sell the concept with flowery words pulled out of the PR Department one has to pause and remove the rose tinted glasses. To be sure when someone says this is a "win-win" I get really curious about ones motives.

Besides the cultural differences between the two branches what of the institutional attention paid to a given capability or service? I am speaking of something low key but vital that is de-emphasized because of institutional malaise. I'll give you an example, CAS. Close Air Support is something vital to the Army and Marines. Ask any Infantryman hunkered down in a fire fight and what do they want? They want aircraft that can drop steel on the enemy. Today, only the Marines have fully integrated CAS, the Army has to rely on the Air Force to provide that capability. And dare I say, begrudgingly? You see, the Air Force many years ago tried to retire the best CAS aircraft ever built, the A-10 Warthog. Why, because it was not a flashy fighter aircraft? Who knows, the effort was there to strip that capability out of service in favor of using F-15E's and F-16's instead of something purpose built for the role. It speaks to the institution.

I understand that there is some overlap between the services, and that there could be 'vulnerability' because of gaps in capabilities but to want to "combine the capabilities" I think is frightening.

There are other examples and the Navy is guilty of the same issue. I come out of an ASW background, carrier based ASW is vital to a Battle Group out beyond the littorals, yet the Navy got rid of the purpose built aircraft for that mission and now relies on land based aircraft to "scout" ahead of the Battle Group. A mistake I believe but this too speaks to the institution.

They do list one example of something they hope to address; I laughed at it and it got me to thinking that there is more here than you see on the surface. The example they use, from a "veteran analyst" by the way, maritime surveillance. The use of Navy P-3 aircraft over Afghanistan has left the U.S. vulnerable to submarines, since the traditional role of the P-3 is ASW. The "veteran analyst" theorizes that a package could be developed and installed on B-52 Bombers which can then be used to patrol for submarines. Now, I laughed at this because the problem is the lack of ISR assets over Afghanistan and the "veteran analyst" fix is to use USAF B-52's in an ASW mission? What a joke. Yeah, fix the symptom, not the problem. Why not get more dedicated airborne ISR assets overhead in the AF and those P-3's can go back to doing ocean work and the B-52's can find another job, maybe dropping bombs!!

I wonder if the whole reason for this study is to justify the flying platforms on hand and shoe horn them into roles they are not suited. It will be interesting to see where they go and what comes of this but I think it's more of a grab for the budget that is shrinking and not a concern for the projection and protection of the country.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

234 Years Strong

Somewhere deep inside the Nawa District of Helmand Province of Afghanistan, my Son the Marine, I am sure is enjoying some Surf and Turf. Steak and Lobster: flown to his Combat Outpost especially for today's celebration of the Marine Corps birthday. I know this because I know how important this is to the Marines, to get to their men, no matter how remote their location may be, no matter how austere the conditions, they celebrate this day like no other service.

So, here is to those few, those proud, those US Marines. May we enjoy the Freedom and Liberty they provide to all of us for another 234 Years.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

The Last Starfighter

"Rig the Barricade, Rig the Barricade!" boomed the Boss over the 5-MC. We were all ready for it, waiting in place along the starboard foul line and behind the Island. We were briefed by the AG-O (Arresting Gear Officer) who stood on a tractor to tell us how he wanted this to go, it was more important to get it right than fast. We would have only one try at grabbing this aircraft and it was important that everyone understand that. We did.

The aircraft in distress was an F-4 Phantom from VF-33, the Starfighters as they were called. This one some 20 minutes earlier had been involved in a Ramp Strike. That is to say that it came in too low and struck the back of the ship, ripping off the port main landing gear and a portion of the left wing (the part that folds). We had spent the intervening minutes cleaning up all the FOD and getting two tanker configured KA-6B's into the air. We also landed several aircraft, getting as many down safely as we could.

But the F-4 was a handful and the pilot needed to get the plane on deck or alongside and ditch. Ditching was apparently ruled out or would be tried if the Barricade failed. We were conducting "Blue Water" operations, meaning that there were no Bingo fields or auxiliary land bases to fly to, it was back home to the steel deck or you go into the sea, blue water. And it was late, sometime after midnight and it was raining with very poor visibility, which I am sure helped with causing the accident in the first place and I am sure weighed on those deciding on using the Barricade first over simply ditching the aircraft.

The tractor pulled out a brand new barricade from the below deck locker. Not that almost black color the practice barricade was, all those times it was hauled out across the greasy dirty flight deck. This one was bright white. We followed the tractor on the forward side, waiting to take the top part and stretch it forward. On the aft side Blue Shirts carried the deck plates that would be latched together to form the ramp that the plane would drive up and into the barricade.

In a very deliberate way we moved, taking our time but doing the job correctly. We pulled out the upper side and carried it forward where Green Shirted AG men connected the upper cross brace to the tops of the lowered stanchions. We pulled and slapped the slack out of the barricade all the while additional Green Shirted men tied into the 5th AG Engine the cross deck pendant. When we were done we retreated and they raised the stanchions.

I stood along the foul line looking at the barricade in the reddish gloom of the flood lights from off the Island. They were turned up to full bright and bathed the Landing Zone in an pall that mixed with the falling rain. The wind was starting to kick up as the ship increased in speed. I turned to retreat to safety when I was pulled to man a fire hose. They wanted two sets of fire teams in place and the one I was 'volunteered' to man would be aft of the Island just beside the Landing Zone, slightly forward of the actual barricade. I would have a front row seat for the landing and if we were lucky the aircraft would go straight into the barricade. If things went south and the jet hammered into the ramp again, there would be debris and fire directly in front of us. We would be the first responders.

"On the Flight Deck, Starfighter is now 3-miles back, make a ready Deck, prepare to land aircraft, clear the foul line, clear the catwalks aft." We knelt down holding the hose low, waiting. It was only now when I felt the coldness from the rain, it was only now that I started to think about what we were doing. When something happens and you react in real-time you operate off training instinct. Now that we were going slow to go fast, I could think this all through.

"One mile out, Starfighter is now 1-mile out." The Boss advised. We braced, it would take an F-4 mere seconds to cover a single mile. I watched aft into the reddish gloom streaked with the rain. The Boat was hustling through the water, making up for the high approach speed of the wounded F-4. I stared into where I thought the Phantom would appear at any second. And there it was.

It burst out of the darkness behind the Boat and settled directly into the sweet part of the flight deck, immediately aft of the barricade. The plane twisted to the left as it settled down onto the left wing, there being no landing gear on that side. The Phantom screeched up and into the barricade ramp throwing out the deck plates, pitching them forward and towards us. One flew by inboard and ahead of us, I looked up as it went by, I could plainly see the number painted on the bottom, marking its place in the ramp line. #13. It flew forward hitting the Island, but I was now focused back on the Phantom, it straightened out once it got into the barricade, the nylon webbing snagging the starboard wing and pulling it back to straight. I watched as the barricade wrapped around the jet and was pulled out of the arresting gear. The barricade is designed to be pulled down the flight deck with the aircraft decelerating and holding the aircraft to the flight deck.

The Phantom and the barricade soon passed out of my view, it had passed into the forward part of the landing zone on the other side of the Island structure where from our angle we could not see what was happening. As I knelt there I could hear the screeching sound of metal on metal and we could see the sparks flying up but it lasted too long. Then there was a small explosion sound, a kind of loud popping sound.

The 5-MC boomed louder than ever "Aircraft in the water Port Side": You could hear the emotion from the Air Boss as he bellowed about a crash on deck. We all stood and left our hose and moved to where we could see beyond the Island. There lying in the Landing Zone was the Barricade. It was ripped to streamers flapping in the wind. The Phantom was gone.

Then from above going aft and outboard was a parachute. Hanging from it was a crewman, he hung there limp as the chute drifted out away from the Boat. I watched as it descended down into the ocean just forward of the LSO platform. I saw several men run to the edge and throw their flashlights into the water to mark the spot. I searched the sky looking for the second crewman but saw none. The Boat soon slowed and turned back towards where the lights in the water were, the helo's were soon circling, their flood lights illuminating the froth of the ocean.

We were all called back to the business at hand. A photographer came out and took pictures of the ruined barricade before it was stripped out of the Gear and hauled away. We then did a couple of sweeps for FOD. We had aircraft circling overhead that would have to land and we needed to clean up the flight deck.

We were all dismayed by what happened, the barricade was supposed to save the jet and the lives of the men within. In this case it had done neither.

We would land most of the aircraft, the lone S-3 remained overhead using its FLIR to hunt for the missing. It found none. We would return the ship to the scene after recovery and wallow in the water hoping to find either of the men in that aircraft. A couple of hours later we would retire and proceed on our original course, the S-3 and later the two Helo's would recover aboard. Flying was suspended for the night. And the next day.

We all got to see the playback of the crash on the ships Plat and flight deck camera recordings. The Phantom had indeed ran into the barricade and it seemed to be perfectly caught, pulling it out a good 100 feet down the flight deck. But all the web strapping gave way and snapped releasing the Phantom. It's speed was reduced to a crawl and as the aircraft reached the end of the landing zone the back seater ejected. It was him that we saw in the chute. The forward seat never left the aircraft and the camera playback showed the big F-4 slip into the darkness where the light from the flight deck ended. The front cockpit was still inhabited. There was no bright flash of the rocket motor from the ejection seat for the Pilot indicating that he either did not try to eject or the seat failed. Either way he rode the Phantom into the water.

This was the third time I had helped rig a barricade on this cruise, the other two times it was to grapple the single engine A-7's. In each of those instances we had saved the aircraft and the single pilot aboard. It was an eye opener, the sure think failing. It was heart breaking. Especially because we were only a couple of weeks from the end of the deployment and these would be two of only three men lost on the entire cruise. A record low causality rate back in the day. It was also the last F-4 Cruise for this squadron, they would exchange their F-4's for brand new F-14's. A bitter end for the Starfighters.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Osprey’s in the AF

MV-22 Osprey's are in the AF. 10 aircraft were flown across Pakistan from the USS Bataan and are now bedded down in the capable hands of a Marine V-22 Squadron that was flown there without its aircraft. VMM-261 deployed sans aircraft while VMM-263 (REIN) was deployed on the USS Bataan with its full complement of V-22's. This is not unprecedented in the V-22 community, when the V-22 conducted its first deployment to Iraq the Squadron that initially deployed with the aircraft were relieved when their time in country was complete and they returned to the states, leaving the V-22 in country in the hands of a different Squadron.

The V-22 was designed to replace the CH-46E medium lift helicopters and has had a very dubious past. The Marines have worked hard to erase those bad experiences and putting this aircraft into a combat area will go a long way to proving that this system is worth the loss of so many during its infancy. Or it will show it to be the boondoggle that many think of the system overall.

I have seen these close up, I used to work at the NAVAIR HQ in Patuxent River Maryland and these things were a common sight in the sky. I was able on more than one occasion to climb aboard and look around. As interesting as they are to an aviation buff, I was shocked at the lack of armor to protect the cargo. Now, maybe this is common in combat helicopters and I know that weight is an issue in any flying machine, but the men and women that will ride these into a hot LZ are sitting on mere plastic. A scary thing for a parent with boy in the Marines. I am sure the creative ones will come up with a wide to ride them safely.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Lay Down with Nancy Pelosi, get up without your Spine

Hey NY-23 voters, how do you like them apples? You voted into congress another bald face liar.

During the campaign Bill Owens claimed to be firmly opposed to cutting Medicare Benefits, taxing health care benefits and increasing taxes on the middle class AND that he was against the famous "public option" as an item in the Health Care reform. These positions made him appear more like a 'moderate' liberal (one of them 'Blue Dogs') and close in position to that of his two rivals from the right side of the political spectrum. Details here including some of his campaign material.

He prevailed against the conservative candidate on the strength of these positions. He was quickly sworn in to office by the Princess Nancy herself and promptly changed his position on all the above.

In the span of just 24 hours Congressman Bill Owens solidified his position as a solid Liberal by voting in favor of a bill that contains all the provisions he claimed he was against.

Oh, lying comes so easy to a Liberal.

I hope all of you 'moderates' that live in NY-23 that voted for this scumbag are happy. The good news is that he has to run for re-election next year. Maybe someone will remind you before the next vote what kind of spineless slug this man is before you cast your next vote.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Navy Tech – Rigging the Barricade

Whenever an aircraft has suffered a causality (a substantial system malfunction or battle damage) that necessitates recovery of the aircraft or when conditions exist that deem the ejection from the aircraft more risky than landing the Jet then we rig the Barricade. The Barricade is a huge kind of a net that is erected in the landing zone, on top of and connected to one of the arresting gear engines that serves to grapple the aircraft by the wings and the slows and stops the aircraft. It is a last resort. We practice installing the Barricade all the time while at sea and it must be pulled out of its stowage locker and connected to the arresting gear engine in 4 minutes or less.

The Barricade is made of nylon straps that are woven together at the top and bottom to form a kind of net. It is unlike a net in that the straps only go vertically, there are no connections laterally except at the very top and very bottom. This allows the aircraft nose and forward fuselage to drive through the straps with the wing actually taking the brunt of the stopping force applied using the arresting gear engine. The Barricade is held up with stations built into the flight deck that are deployed only when the barricade is deployed.

Also as part of setting the Barricade a steel ramp is set up that causes the aircraft to drive up and over the lower portion of the Barricade. This keeps the nose wheel from pushing the strapping up and over the aircraft or from tangling into the nose gear assembly and causing the aircraft to tumble. The ramp is built using steel panels that interlock into each other and lock into the flight deck. The panels are carried from storage and laid in place at the same time the Barricade is being hauled out of storage by tow tractor.
Above. Hauled out of a below deck locker, the Barricade is laid out for connecting into the AG Engine and the stanchion. (USN Photo)

4 minutes seems like plenty of time but a lot happens, the Barricade must be connected to the Arresting Gear engine at the bottom and at the top of the two stanchions, once the stations are raised, they are placed in tension pulling the slack out of the Barricade. It is usually an all hands evolution.

Below. Pulling the Barricade into position, this is the top of the Barricade and you can see how big the combination of the webb strapping is accross the top. Same size at the bottom. (USN Photo)

Below: Up goes the stanchion. The wire at the top is pulled tight with using an air ratchet. (USN Photo)

Below. Good Rig? You can see the area in between the straps, sized to allow the forward fuselage of the aircraft to drive through and the straps to actually "foul" on the wings. (USN Photo)

Below. Time to put the greasy monster back into its hold. (USN Photo)

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tale of two Bills

These are competing Health Care Reform Bills, the one on the Left is from the Republicans and the one on the Right is the Nancy Pelosi monstrosity.

The one on the left actually lowers costs to holders of Insurance Plans, will actually reduce the deficit over 10 years and is paid for in a straight forward method, no funding gimmicks or accounting doublespeak.

The one on the right is what you get when you want to buy votes and don't care what it costs to buy those votes.

Only the monstrosity on the right will actually get a vote, the one on the right will be put into the nearest recycling bin. A shame, waste of good trees.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It’s called a Sacrifice

That is something they do in Baseball: deliberately bat into an easy out of the batter in order to advance a runner closer to home. To surrender something prized or desirable for something else considered having more value.

That is what happened in the NY23 race for Congress. Would it have been nice for the Conservative to have won that over the Democrat? Sure! But the real message was not to the Democrats, the DNC or to PresBO, it was to the RNC.

That message, the RINO is dead. Bring us no more candidates, either an incumbent or someone new that even slightly smells like a Democrat, just bring us a democrat and throw you money into a fire.

I applaud this as a victory for the Conservative base of the Republican Party; I only hope that the RNC receives the message loud and clear. No more Arlen Specters, no more Dede Sofa's and no more Lindsey Grahams. It is time to throw out the ones that roll-over and play the bi-partisanship game with the Lefty Agenda. It is time to stand up for the Constitution and Liberty.

We have to wait and see what the RNC does next.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Power to the People

Where do they get their power? Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are jamming a program down the public's throat based on the idea that it is what the public wants. This despite the numerous polls that indicate there is little support for their collective reform efforts. In fact, there is an indication that some of the uninsured don't want it either, and they were the main push to get health care reform done, to cover the uninsured.

But the bigger question remains, where do they get their power to cobble together a program of such magnitude? Even the biased estimates by the Dem's themselves the impact financially is enormous, all of it a burden on the Taxpayer. Economically speaking this is a program that will capture at the least 1/6th of the total GDP of this country and that is at its start, once it gets going, say 10 or more years down the road it will be eating much more of the total wealth of the country, it will become like the NHS in Great Brittan. There are so many people working for the NHS that it has become its own political force and you can bet it will do everything to stay alive.

But again, where do the House and Senate get the power for this kind of a program? I am talking Constitutional power? Why is no one asking this question? Why is no one standing up and saying that this kind of program goes way beyond the powers given to either the Executive or Legislative branches of our government? Is this why they originally wanted this passed by the end of July, so no one could challenge the constitutionality, is this why the "new" house rule calls for only 72 hours of debate? Why is no one talking about the enumerated powers of the Constitution and applying those standards to the Bill before the House and Senate?

Hat Tip to my friend at Random Acts of Patriotism for pushing on this issue, he has blogged about it twice in the last month and I think it needs more airing out. He points to a really good posting at The Patriot Post that covers this entire issue.

Read it and start asking the questions about how these elected Politicians have taken for themselves the power over our lives that are deemed to us alone. We need to take it all back.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Princess Pelosi’s Magic Tongue

1990 Pages and at 2.2 million a word the Nancy Pelosi Legacy Bill is out and what a load of crap it is too!

She claims it will not add one dime to the deficit but the largest item in the bill that will generate revenue outside an outright tax hike of unimaginable amount is the $500 Billion dollar cut to Medicare. However it is only a "proposed" cut and would likely be in another Bill. That means revenue for this bill will be mired in another bill wrought with its own political life. So, most likely that $500 Billion will be paid for by advancing this bill the money out of the treasury, or from out of that deep pit known as the Deficit.

Way to go Nancy, nothing like standing before the media and flat out lying to them, to all of us.

And here is another Gift – to the Trial Lawyers to boot!!

Section 2531, entitled "Medical Liability Alternatives," establishes an incentive program for states to adopt and implement alternatives to medical liability litigation.

Now who could be against that? And have not some of us out here been screaming for some tort reform? Well kind of, just answer me why you need an "incentive" program to save money in the first place, only a Democrat sees that as the way to do business. But let us take a look at the fine print in the measure.

….a state is not eligible for the incentive payments if that state establishes limits on attorneys' fees or imposes caps on damages.

There you go, protecting the Trial Lawyers once again and being able to say you are being inclusive with respect to the alternate party.

Oh yeah, this is how you speak out of both sides of your face at the same time.

BT: Jimmy T sends.