Thursday, January 28, 2010

SOTU – Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

For the record, I did not bother to watch the SOTU speech, I have no stomach to be lied to in real time.

How many did he spew out either directly or by innuendo? Too many for me to count. The worst may be the one that is the most obvious and it includes the least Presidential that would be his call out of the Supreme Court for doing their protecting the 1st Amendment. When he stated that "foreign entities" would now be able to influence the outcome of a U.S. Election because of the Supremes recent reversal of part of the McCain/Feingold Act is utter Bull. That decision in no way affects the existing public law prohibiting foreign corporations from contributing directly to our election process. He is either an outright liar about this or he is going to use this to obfuscate the subject of campaign finance reform later and he needs to lay down some foundation. I think he is setting up to do a "Bush Lied" campaign which was so successful.

He also was very disingenuous regarding the Don't Ask Don't Tell (or DADT) policy with the military. Now, I don't know why the Democrats so hate the military that they want to do something to them that virtually no one says will help. I mean, leave them alone already. Good grief they got a lot on their plate right now without having to go around defending DADT or once it's shoved down their throats going around accommodating Gays. And the real LIE here is that he could end the debate with a simple Executive Order like Clinton did when he brought in DADT back when he tried to Homofy the military back in '92. Besides that, if you are Gay and you want to serve you can, no one is turned down unless you are OPEN about your gayness, thus the "Don't Tell" part of policy. I know that right now it can be used to smear a perfectly good service member but if you know the rules ahead of time you get no quarter here.

There are plenty of other examples: his complaints about the atmosphere in Washington like it wasn't partially his fault, how the Republicans getting in the way of his agenda, give me a break here, I mean he has MAJORITIES in both houses for cripes sake, it's his own party that is the problem with getting his agenda passed.

The point is the Man is a Liar. There is more here, fact checking being a cottage industries these days. Nice to see it happening to him for a change. Whenever he says "Let me be clear" I brace for fabrication because he means just the opposite.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who are You Sleeping With?

I got the below chart from Carpe Diem (I love that place) who got it from Art Little. I modified it a tad adding the little circles. As you can see the Democrats are squarely in the pocket of the Union's. No wonder they got that sweetheart deal in the Health Care "Reform" package, they bought and paid for it.

Does anyone wonder who the Party of Special Interests are? My god, this is so obvious its not even funny. And these are donors from before the big Supreme Court decision last week putting the McCain-Feingold act into the ditch.

You can see more over at where they have these great pull down's for you to look over, well worth the visit.

I don't contribute to any party, person or organization. I really think money has spoiled politics as shown by this graph. I heard some years ago that a Senator has to take in $20,000.00 per day, every day from the day of his swearing in until his next election in order to compete for that seat. That kind of money does not come from plain Jane and Jim doe's out here in the public. It comes from:

It should surprise no one Harry Reid's herculean efforts to pass Health Care "Reform" when you see who paid him off. National shame is what this is and there are no easy fixes. Term Limits come to mind but there is no way this current crop of AssHats will buy off on terminating their own importance, and don't even bring up Federal Funding of elections. NO Way.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tanker Wars – Part VIII

Words out that the Air Force is making minor changes to the RFP that will be released any day not for the massive Air Refueling Tanker buy. Not everyone is happy. Seems that the Fixed Price portion of the contract includes too much risk for NGS/EADS. And I thought they were bidding on a pretty much Off-The-Shelf product, hardly any development required to meet the Air Force requirements. Same as Boeing, if the cockpit is the only place that needs to be tinkered with to meet Air Force needs then why all the complaining. Not sure, but they may be looking for their excuse not to bid. They have been complaining all along that this new RFP looks like a replacement for the KC-135 and not a "new" aircraft. Huh? Is that not what they are doing?

And here I open my Aviation Week magazine (yes, I still get the paper version) and see this Ad:

NGS wants to make this thing about "competition", jobs for the "American" workforce, yet they never once mention that they are teamed with EADS for this procurement. Funny huh, I thought so too. And when you dig into contract awards it seems that the French Bias within the EADS consortium makes including them and "competition" in the same breath a real laugher. There is a one-way road here folks, the US Government is required to compete without regards to national origin and has frequently given good work away to not only EADS but other European companies (the very large Army contract for utility helicopters is an example of the former and look at all the French and Spanish equipment the Coast Guard flies as an example of the latter) yet you do not see such contracts the other way.

NGS long ago gave up its capabilities as a Large Air Frame manufacturer ceding this business to Lockheed and Boeing. Now they want back into the business and are willing to partner with the "French Devil" to get their share of the 35 Billion dollars that will come if they prevail. In the end, will NGS be back in that business, NO.

I would normally push the build it here in America by Boeing but I know a large part of the 767 is built outside of the US and is simply completed here in the US. This is not unlike what NGS and EADS have in mind with their KC-45/Airbus A330 airframe conversion.

But there is something to be said of a company on its own dime develops an airframe from scratch, sells it on the Free Market without help from government owned Airlines with no "Launch Aid" money and makes a success out of that airframe. The majority of the benefit of a Boeing award would be here in the U.S. not in Europe and that is enough for me.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life and Times with Jack

Note: This was the hardest thing I have ever written.

I first saw him sitting legs akimbo in one of the large pet boxes. His brothers and sisters were scampering to get our attention, yipping and standing, clawing at the wood of the box all clamoring for our attention. Except him, he sat alone off to one side, we made eye contact.

The Wife and two of the kids were with me (The Daughter and SN2) we were in the lone pet store in our area. All the puppies for sale were kept in large wooden boxes (maybe 6 foot on a side) with wood chips on the floor of the each box. We weren't actually looking for a pet, just happened to stop and have a look.

This particular brood was 6 to 8 Black Labrador, Australian Heeler mixes; their coat of black and white hair a mix that made them close to a grey-blue color. They were all good looking pups; they had all the signs of growing up to be big dogs. Large paws, big chests and heads.

The kids and the wife were drawn to all the activity at the front of the box. I reached in and plucked him up out of the box and held him to my chest. He snuggled right into the crook of my neck. His jet black ears were soft as silk. We snuggled like that for a minute or two before the Wife wanted to hold him. She has her own test of dog temperament and she wanted to try it out on this one, and she wanted to determine its sex. I handed him over and the Good Mr.'s T promptly flipped him over onto his back. Most dogs with control or trust issues will immediately show their displeasure in this maneuver. This one rolled up his legs, his head flopped to one side with his tongue dangling out. You could almost hear him purring as the Wife rubbed his belly and chest. This was dog nirvana for this pup. He was a boy; the Wife wanted a female claiming they would be easier to train, house break and would be more even tempered.

We passed this pup around to the kids, he handled the mauling from them well enough and when they were bored with him they handed him back to me. I put him back up onto my chest and he went back to snuggling while the kids looked at other puppies in the store. I knew what I had and was not about to put him back in that box.

He came home with us and we named him Jack.

Home Life

He was never a burden on us, a very pleasant dog to have around the house you just had to watch the food around you. I am convinced that "Labrador" is some ancient Indian Tribe word for "Food Hound" and that these dogs were originally bred to go out and steal food from the Pilgrims! We used to joke that Jack was immune to People Food. He ate it all too even bland stuff if you put something on it. You know celery dipped in a salad dressing, crackers with some cheese whiz, oh hell just spray the cheese whiz down his throat. It did not matter. He knew you had to wait for the beep on the microwave oven to get excited about snacking. He would follow the kids upstairs and wait outside the doors to their room hoping for scraps. And if you opened the Freezer he could expect Ice Cream. I am sure he kept an inventory of all the food in the house, knew what was available.

He was clever too; I des cribe him as the smartest dog I have ever lived with. Here is an example of how shrewd he was when it came to getting food. We ate a lot of pizza having teenagers in the house. Jack loved pizza. He got all of our crust and on his own he found ways to get whole slices. One night we got comfortable around the table each with a slice or two of the neighborhood pizza. Suddenly Jack starts barking and runs to the front door. This usually means there is an intruder penetrating the initial defense ring, maybe the UPS or Fed Ex delivery. Both the wife and I got up to investigate and as we approached the front door Ja ck retreated right back to my plate where he promptly relieved it of my slice of pepperoni. The kids all laughed at us being "punked" by a dog and I marveled at his creativeness. He attempted this again on another evening but, wise to his ways I hung back and busted him in the scam. On a third try a few weeks later instead of retreating back down the hall he did a flanking maneuver, circling through the Dining room and getting back to the kitchen before us. Score one for the dog. After that we started pushing our plates to the center of the table.

We were involved in Ice Hockey back then, hauling SN2 to games on the weekend. One weekend the Good Mrs. T cooked up lasagna for us all once the daily hockey game was done. We left it on the stove top with our oldest son staying at home; he had instructions to help himself. Upon our return the 8 x 12 inch casserole dish was empty. It was actually past empty it was slick clean, like someone had washed it after eating it all. The Wife went after SN1 accusing him of being selfish and eating the whole lasagna himself. But no, it was not him, he never left his room the whole three hours we were at the game. I knew it was Jack almost right away; normally he would greet us at the door crying and whimpering at us, his big tai l hammering the cabinets at the entry to the kitchen. This night he lay in the dining room wallowing unable to get up and come to greet us. He did wag his tail, and when the Wife figured it out she said bad things about him. I think I was supposed to also but I couldn't bring myself.

He loved poaching fresh veggies out of my garden, eating stuff right off the vine. His only problem was that he could easily get into the garden but he could not get himself out. It was a raised bed with a short fence around it and he could not come out without help. He would sit inside looking like Mr. Pathetic hoping someone would come out and free him.

He loved sleeping on the couch in our Family Room. You could find him there curled up or stretched out most anytime of the day. At night, I would sit at one end and the Wife would lay down at the other. She would of course fall asleep and Jack would want her spot. So, he would stand there looking at her and then at me with these pleading look. After a while I would wake the Mrs. up and send her to bed, Jack would climb right into the same spot.

The big guy slept with the Wife and I in our bed. While he was a puppy he was no problems but as he grew it became apparent someone would have to move out of the bedroom or we would have to get a bigger bed. A bigger bed it was. He always slept with some part of him making contact with me. Usually he laid his head on my legs as a pillow, sometimes he would simply sleep length wise his whole back on me, his feet pushing the Wife away. There was tension in the Bed, the big guy insisted on doing maintenance on his feet every night. He would lick each paw clean spending maybe 5 minutes on each. The licking sound and the movement of the bed drove the Wife crazy. She would always yell at him and he would stop, look over at me and see that I could care less and he would start up again. I think th e contact in bed with him put him in my dreams. He was in almost all of my dreams, he drove cars, trucks and airplanes. He was everywhere in my dreams, always at my side.

One night we had a big fight. This was after Lady started living with us, the Princess Pomeranian usually sleeping right next to my head. Jack always took the bottom of the bed. This one night the Wife is already snoring away and the Lady is in her position. Jack is stretched out in my spot and instead of getting up and moving south as usual he showed me his teeth. Now this was different, I thought a challenge for leadership of the pack. Well, this could not stand. We went at it, right there in the bed. The two of us rolling around, growing and snarling and I mean both of us. The Lady ran for cove r, taking refuge on the Good Mrs. T's pillow. The two of us wound up on the floor and I was able to get him pinned down where I held him. I snarled at him while I had him down and he soon went limp. I let him up. I then scratched him and petted him on the head, letting him know that I had no hard feelings. I got up into bed and then called him up, making him take his position right next to me. Order was restored and the hierarchy was maintained. Well except for Lady, poor thing never recovered. She never felt safe in the bed with us after that and today sleeps on her own bed on the floor.

On Patrol

We used to do walks twice a day. This was a period of time where I mostly worked from home so I had the time twice a day for an hour walk. I let him set the course at critical junctions. He really liked exploring and any where there was disturbed earth like a new development going in nearby we hit it. I think he thought these places were part of his empire because he got to whiz there first.

During the warmer months I carried a bottle of water on a sling and a foldable bowl. He was not shy about taking in his water especially on the longer walks. Sometimes we would get too far away and I'd have to call home for a pick-up. Nothing like running the gas out of a 100 pound dog. This was never a problem at night, and most of our night patrols were longer than 1 hour. Much longer.

Having a big dog gets you noticed. Having a friendly big dog gets you friends and we had them everywhere. I used to make him sit and "Be Nice" when little kids approached. I used to teach the kids how to approach a big dog safely and Jack was the perfect teaching aid. We knew every house where another dog lived and heard from them whenever we went by.

After a couple of years our neighbor started going on these patrols too, bringing her two dogs along. It was not uncommon for us to be out on the walk with 5 dogs, Jack and 4 Pomeranians. Quite the herd.

Jack loved riding in the car too. We never took him too far, the Vet or to the car wash. I used to take him for his bath to a car wash not far from here that had a bay converted into a pet wash. It was a great place to take him as he was a hand full when it came time for his bath. Afterwards I always took him to McDonalds for a meal, the #1 Value Meal with a Coffee for me, he got the Fry's and the two burgers.

The End.

I was away on a trip when it started. One Friday night he would not come inside the house, he was as far away on our lot as you could get. The Good Mrs. T thought he was just being mad or stubborn because I had not returned home. I usually came home from my trips on Thursday or Friday. This particular trip was a two week affair. Jack was a different dog when I was not at home and the Good Mrs. T thought he was just pouting. But it was a bitter cold weekend to be outside and she had to go out and herd him inside many times. More importantly, he had quit eating. This was a major issue.

Finally on Monday she took him to our Vet. He advised her to immediately take him to the Pet Hospital over in Quakertown. Jack was in dire straits and he needed to be in intensive care. The Good Mrs. T drove him straight away, the Vet calling ahead and getting things set up for her. She called me, I was in San Diego. I had to scramble to get all the equipment I had with me tendered and I had to make contact with people to let them know I was leaving town. It was a holiday Monday and most everyone was at home. But late that night I was on a non-stop flight for Philly. Try as I might I could not sleep.

I first saw him in this big metal kennel, he had two IV's goi ng into him and he was weak. But he was happy to see me, his big tail pounding on the sides of the kennel like it used to bang on the kitchen cabinets. I got down into the cage with him.

I stayed with him as much as possible, they let me take him on short walks in the small yard they had. He was weak but able to get up and outside. We would wonder around a bit me holding his IV bags, when he would stop he was always aligned pointing towards home.

On Thursday morning I was visiting him, he was weaker than before. The vet gave me an update, his prognosis was poor. The holiday Monday had put the Lab works behind a couple of days (it was all done out at a place near Harrisburg). She could not start a specific course of treatment without knowing what was wrong and she needed the lab work to be sure. I told her I wanted to take him home. I could always bring him back when the lab work came in.

They pulled his IV's and the ve t briefed me on the Med's I had to give him and she also explained what renal failure in a dog his size would be like, what to look for, what it would be like in the very end. I listened, took it all in, I carrie d one end of the stretcher they used to move the very sick. I loaded him into my Subaru and I drove him home.

I carried him to his beloved couch setting him up in his favorite place. I brought up a small desk and my laptop and set up shop right there next to him. He slept comfortably I think for the first time in many days. That night the neighbor came over to visit, bringing Jack some Pizza crust. He couldn't eat. I slept on the floor next to him so he would not be alone.

The end came early Saturday morning. Jack thrashed on his front paws only, his back legs were no more. He made his way to the door across the room but I wouldn't let him out. I took him in my arms and held him while he struggled. I kept saying to him "You're a Good Boy, You're a Good Boy" over and over. It took maybe 10 or 15 minutes but he finally whimpered and then went still. I continued to hold him for quite some time, crying into his fur. My big goffy, lovable Fella was gone.

Eventually I went and woke up the Wife, had us another Cry. We positioned him on a blanket in the Family Room, she went back upstairs to bed and I spent what was left of the night with Jack. As each of the kids got up I broke the news to them. In the late morning I carried Jack back to my Subaru and we took a drive around the Neighborhood one last time. I then drove him back to the Vet Hospital for his cremation.

That was 5 years ago today, January 22nd.

We still talk about him to this day, always with a laugh about some crazy thing that he had done, always something goofy or funny or about something about his eating.

He was one of a kind. He was my Best Friend. His name was Jack.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who You Calling Black!

Today the PresBO went after Tax Cheats! Yeah, I am not kidding you he is coming down hard on those that don't pay their taxes. What a rip!

According to the NYT PresBO used his "Executive Authority to direct the heads of federal agencies to bar "deadbeat companies" from doing business with the government." The "new" policy means that the GAO will not allow companies that are on the IRS "Watch" List to continue to be awarded contracts with the Government.

This was just PresBO's way of throwing some stink into the air of the failure to keep Ted Kennedy's seat in Democrat hands. Look, the Government can't get terrorist watch lists right, what makes anyone think they will be getting the IRS watch list any better attention. Not Me.

And what about all the Tax Cheats in his administration anyway? How many of them have there been anyway? Too many to count (but if you want to, here is a list). And here is another nugget; there are some 71 people in the White House Staff (Executive Office of the President) that owe over $600 Thousand dollars.

Hey PresBO, you want to find some Tax Cheats, just look around at the people around you, there are plenty.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

USS Independence Commissioning

Here is some Navy News, long time for these spaces:

"Independence is a 419-foot aluminum trimaran, the first of its design in the surface fleet. It has a displacement of 2,800 metric tons, is capable of speeds in excess of 45 knots, and can operate in water less than 20 feet deep. Propelled by four water jets in addition to two diesel and two gas turbine engines, the ship boasts a range of over 3,500 nautical miles."

Her mission will be the Littoral battle space, or the near shore what is called the "Brown" water. She is unique in other ways besides her hull design:

"Independence is manned by two rotational crews, "blue" and "gold," of 40 Sailors each. These crews are further augmented by detachment specialists for each of the mission modules."

The concept of operations is more akin to an aircraft than a ship in that "modules" of electronic sensors and operations consoles can be loaded onto the "Indy" specific to a mission be it ASW, ASUW or some other of the many missions envisioned for the LCS class ships.

Now, while I was stationed with VS-31 we were assigned along with Carrier Air Wing 7 to the "Indy" the CV-62 version, and I made workups and deployments aboard her over two years (we were moved to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN-69 when she was ready for aircraft). She was a good ship. As a full blooded Aircraft Carrier the CV-62 Independence was substantially different in every way, size, armament, power projection and in crew manning (about 5000 men with Air Wing attached).

I don't know why the Navy has gotten away from naming our capital war ships for the more traditional Navy names (along with Independence, Saratoga, Ranger, etc.) and to the names of dead and living Presidents but they should go back to that. Those of us who man such vessels fight for an idea and ideal if you will, not a man living or dead.

Can any good come from naming an Aircraft Carrier the Bill Clinton? Yeah, it does not quite roll off the tongue nor I think will it ever induce fear in a potential enemy. Well maybe it will scare the men into thinking their women folk were at risk cause you know, once you go Bill you don't go back.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Foot-in-Mouth Disease or The Joe Biden Moment of the Day

Here is a quote so rich in irony it should be used in the Dictionary for the word:

"Why would you hand the keys to the car back to the same guys whose policies drove the economy into the ditch and then walked away from the scene of the accident?"

This from Chris Van Hollen, Democrat Representative from Maryland (8th District) and the Chairman of the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee (slush fund manager for Communist leaning candidates) commenting on the Coakley-Brown U.S. Senate race in Mass.

Mary Jo Kopechne could not be reached for comment.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blame Bush – Enough is enough

Look, I get it. We voted someone into the most powerful office in the world with a paper thin resume. Never before in the history of the United States has the experience of the new president been so, well, lacking. He never ran a business, never had to make a payroll thus understanding where the true economic engine in this country lays, he had most everything handed to him (by his white parents/grandparents) so he does not understand how important hard work is to a functional society. He lived in academia or politics where reality is suspended for that Lefty fantasy world where Che Guevara and Castro and Hugo are Hero's not the communist butchers they really are.

He served in the US Senate during the last two years of the Bush Administration voting against anything good Bush wanted to do, he voted for ALL the spending that came his way. He was part of the legacy he would inherit, he helped craft it, helped make it what it is.

What I don't get is the propensity to Blame Bush for everything that does not go his way?

His latest was in his appearance at the Martha (Marsha) Coakley last night he bitched about the conditions he inherited. WTF, look he was part of the problem, he feathered his own bed in this regards and then went out looking to be put there, he volunteered to be elected, he was not drafted.

Good God Man, stand up, grow a spine and own up to the Job. Quite blaming Bush and move on. PresBO owns all of this, it has his stink on it and he should do something more than bitch about Bush and handoff to Nancy Pelosi. What a frigging cry baby!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

USA versus EU/the World

One of my arguments that I use when debating the issue with Progressives and Liberals (as if there were a difference between them) always want the USA to be more like Europe is what I call the T&T ratio. My argument being that why would anyone want our country to be like a country that does not have as many TV's and Toilets as we do, thus the T&T.

One of my favorite sites to visit and get an interesting presentation of data is Carpe Diem; wherein the good Mr. Perry is running a series entitled the EU vs USA in several parts. Here is a chart that illustrates not only my T&T ratio including other items as well.

My point is always that we enjoy incredible wealth here in the USA, even our poorest people have items that the poor in other counties can only dream about, in fact in most countries even the Average person does without items that our Poor enjoy.

Here is another chart that illustrates this with living area in the average homes:

The Poor here live with more than 25% more living area than the Average European. Now, I understand that Europe is a much smaller in size and that's what makes things in their society work that simply don't work here. Like small cars and Trains as mass transit.

But I always go back basics and that is why my ratio includes Toilets. In my travels throughout the Mediterranean countries (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and England) this is the one item that I noticed that stands out.

Indoor Plumbing. We got it and the rest of the world is struggling to catch up. So why do we care about being like Europe so much? I haven't a clue.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Navy Airdale – Ground Pounder Story: Mutiny on the Indy – Well Sort Of

It was the summer of 1977 and we were steaming and flying in the Med. That is VS-31 on board the USS Independence. The Indy. The days had become long and monotonous, a grind if you will even on the overnight shift. We were out on a 30 plus day line period which is a long period on a conventionally powered ship. You run out of milk, fresh eggs, and fresh veggies. After only a couple of week's powered eggs well, lose their charm. No amount of grated cheese or Tabasco will help. All the meat is either frozen or it comes out of cans and it tastes mainly of tin unless it's burnt.

The work was always the same, RADAR bad on every bird, SLU problems, no Data Link, a bad FLIR or two, always the Acoustic problem and always in the DIFAR section which takes like 19 minutes burning your ass in an ejection of testing to get down to. Every now and then an interesting wire gripe, something that takes some thought and digging around with a meter and leads.

The only reprieve was the nightly movie in the Ready Room. Now this was back when movies were on film and distributed around the fleet, shared if you will between ships. Traded for Ice Cream or fresh Eggs. Most every day there would be a different movie shown on a screen in our Ready Room. We had two showings, once for the day shift shortly after flight operations has ceased and then a late viewing for the night shift. We did 12 on 12 off starting at 0700 and 1900.

Now I was not a big fan of going to these, the movies being mostly "B" movies or worse if there were such a category. Each case of reels that the movies came in had numbers on them that indicated the "T & A" content in the number of exposures of each body part. The higher number the better for most and almost all the movies shown had some kind of both. I liked working better than being teased and eschew attendance. I was not alone.

The Night Shift Supervisor for my Work Center (WC 210) was by now a mild mannered Pennsylvanian by the Name of Bobby M. He was a First Class and trained as an AT (Aviation Electronics Technician) which was why he was supervising all of us AT's and AX's. Now Bob was smaller in size although he had these huge hands and he walked fast with a slight hop. You could always tell it was him in the dark because of that walk. But Bob M was a really good organizer of all the work activity that you needed done in a Squadron of aircraft packed full of Electronics. He thought of most everything, reminding each work crew about any routine inspections that could be done while working on an aircraft, he prepared paper work ahead of time such that only serial numbers had to inserted into forms and signatures affixed, this allowed a work crew to move immediately to another aircraft. He handled the interfacing between the shop and Maintenance Control, clearing the way administratively for anything we had in the way of unusual requirements like pulling a jet out of TOW (tail over water) or getting one into the Hanger Bay or arranging for an Elevator run if we had say a RADAR Transmitter or FLIR Ball that had to be moved to/from supply.

Bob M was good at the work but not so much with the People. He worked us like dogs. That was no problem for me as I loved staying busy and so did several of the other technicians. There was a kind of elite cadre of us that fought over the hard or interesting gripes. Bobby D, Mike L (or Lipp's as we called him), George S and myself were the core of the work center the ones who could fix anything and we were always paired with others, we were never paired together. The Slackers and Whiners and Go-Alongs were divided up between the four of us and we would go out and get the work done. Bob M knew who got along with who and on what gripes were best handled by whom. He made assignments and off we went. We would spend several hours on an aircraft clearing all the Grips from our shop, returning to the shop only for more tools or to arrange spare parts. After you cleared one jet you went back to the shop and you were assigned another aircraft. If you were not into the mental guessing game, the overall clearance rate or the fight against the clock this work became a grind. It was not for everyone.

Bob M also had a policy of NO MOVIES. Work came first and most of the time we had a full plate, took all 12 hours to clear our MAF Board. That was fine with me, keeping busy and trying to work more gripes than the other members of that little cadre. We would brag on how hard finding one box out of 11 in the acoustics system trying to outperform the others. The competition and bragging took on all aspects of the job from how quickly you could pull a FLIR Turret or an ESM POD off a wing tip to filling out MAF forms. We got a long great despite the many differences, such is Navy life.

So here we are working away this one night. I have Murphy with me, a competent technician but one of the Whiners, no problem for me I get him involved but he complains about starry night. But he mentions about wanting to see tonight's Movie. I only have heartily listen to him, I know Bobby M's policy and if we don't clear all the Gripes there is no chance of catching the Movie which will be shown around 0300 hours and there is little time to fix the problems on not just our jet but all of the gripes in the other 9 aircraft in our squadron's inventory, except the Hanger Queen. I pressed on with Murphy getting this first aircraft cleared before MidRats. After chow Bobby M found me work on another aircraft with someone else, Murphy being held back and assigned to someone else. He was pushing more and more for the Movie, finding anyone who would listen and getting some support.

We made quick work on the second aircraft which had only a few gripes on it, clearing them but not the flight deck. We stopped on our way at one of the other aircraft in work with a different working party. I did that frequently, stopping in to see what was going on, lend a hand or pick up some insight from one of the other in the elite cadre. We cleared that jet also after maybe another half hour and headed back to the shop to turn in gear and sign off Forms. And for me at least I wanted to pick up another aircraft with more problems to clear.

Most everyone was in the shop when we got down there, most were engaged in discussing the nights Movie. Murphy had been hard at work selling the idea of the shop packing it in for a change and going down for the 3:00 am showing. Now this is where the divisions occur, the Slackers, Whiners and the Go-Along's were game, but the 4 of us in the core were not so much. We were all eyeing the only other aircraft we had to work which were the two in the Hanger but they were not on the Flight Schedule for the next day so they were really optional for us to clear. In my mind they represented activity that would have to be done eventually and I would be more than happy to hit them and I think the other members of the core were in my camp.

Bobby M made the statement that we still had gripes and people willing to go out and work so there would be No Movie unless there was Mutiny. There was laughter over that but the Whiners started bitching about never getting to see the nightly movie. Some of the core guys were leaning their way. Then one of the Slackers complained about how unfair it was for the Night Shift to always "Clear the Board" while the day shift sat around fooling around. All the truly hard work was done at night and of course our shop was always busy, being dumped on by the Maintenance Control staff. Typical of the Slackers who all would love working day's because it was all true. But that was why we had so much manpower at night, 80 percent of the shop worked at night.

The debate raged on while I finalized paper work and then stood up to review the Gripes on the MAF board. The remaining core members were ambivalent about going to the Movie and it all hinged on Me, what I wanted to do. And I was reviewing MAF's and Bobby M was helping to sell me on hitting another aircraft. He was showing me Gripes that were interesting on the two jets in the Hanger.

If I took another Jet the reminder of the shop would have to go out and do Corrosion work some other menial work that we always had waiting for us. Everyone knew it; oh one or two members of the Core would go out with me leaving the rest to mope about cleaning or painting. I focused on the Gripe sheets trying to decide which aircraft to work next; I was ignoring all the comments about the movie. There was discussion about the high T&A rating. Then someone mentioned the name of the movie and who one of the big stars that was in it.

"Bobby Jo and the Outlaw"

I stopped my review of gripes, my arm frozen on the MAF Board holding up a series of slides that hold the actual Gripes. I asked for the name again. Murphy responded: "It's Bobby Jo and the Outlaw, it has Linda Carter in it and she is topless!" Every awed over that bit of triva. "Wonder Woman Boob's!" the banter started back up about the merits of "T's" and "A's". I stood there mesmerized if you will, lost in my own thoughts, my memories of a Sunday night some three years in the past.

FLASHBACK: It's April of 1974 and I was working the late Sunday night shift at the McDonalds on North 4th Street in Albuquerque. I was still in High School and would graduate in a couple of months and then head off to the Navy. But I was spending this Sunday waiting for the store to close. I had already suffered through the late Indian Big Mac Rush that was normal for Sunday nights. Many of the Pueblo Indian's that live around the City come into town on Sunday nights to watch Championship Wrestling, the pre-cursor to WWE or whatever Pro Wrestling turned into. There was great thrill among the Native Americans watching white people punch and throw each other around a ring, a kind of perverse revenge if you will. But when they were done for the night hundreds of them would stop in our little McDonalds and buy Big Mac's. We would do gang buster business for about an hour selling hundreds of Big Mac's, then it would go back to being a slow and boring.

This night a few minutes before closing a couple of well dressed men came into the store and asked for the Manager. An unusual request, I was making Big Mac collars, those little paper rings that were used originally to hold the Big Mac together. We put them together ahead of time and kept them in large plastic bags. I was alone on the Grill to cook any burger request that came through. No big deal, this time of night I could toast and dress the bread or rolls and cook the meat pretty quickly in ones and twos. There were three other workers in the store, two on Window and one at the Fry station.

The manger, a younger man named Fred stopped by after talking to the two men and asked me how long it would take me to cook another 50 Big Mac's and 50 Quarter Pound hamburgers. "If I had help with the rolls, dressing them maybe 10 minutes." I replied. And that was true, the meat for a Big Mac took only took a minute and 15 seconds to cook on the grill, the Quarter Pounder took longer by almost 4 minutes but I could heat up more of the Grill to cook more of them at a time. So, 10 minutes would be all that I would need.

"Start toasting the bread, I'll get you help dressing the rolls but don't start cooking any of the meat until I tell you." Fred commanded. I started, who ever these guys were they were hungry. Even though we were now closed we were as busy as when the Big Mac rush was on a couple of hours back. I pulled bread for the two types of burgers which I had already put away expecting to go home.

Soon the command to cook the meat was passed and I filled every inch of the 11 foot grill, I had a bunch of the bread toasted and one of the Girls from the Front was dressing, 6 Big Mac's and 5 Quarter Pounders at a time. The Manager had pulled these huge plastic boxes that he called "Product Warmers" and he was loading with the cooked and wrapped food. I had never seen them before. They were used to haul the prepared food en mass to an outside location. They would keep the food hot and thereby consumable for maybe 30 minutes to an hour. While I was toiling away with all that meat the others in the store were making 100 orders of French Fries and 100 large Soda's of various types. Fred asked me if we could pack the filled Product Warmers into my car for the drive to the site where this McDonalds feast was going to happen. I drove a Rambler Station Wagon (it was a natural fit for me since I had been born in the back seat of a Rambler, a different one than my little Ambassador). I gave him my keys and he pulled the car up to the side doors and we loaded almost all the hot food into my Wagon.

As I was cleaning up the grill and preparing to depart Fred came up to me and asked me to cook two more burgers. "Regular ones, pickles on the side, no onion or cheese. Make them nice." He said. The "nice" part was a code we used that meant he wanted the meat and the condiments centered on Bun's that were picked for their perfect shape. I trolled about for the right set of rolls, toasted them and then cooked the meat. I took great care to not splash the catsup and mustard and I wrapped many pickle slices into their own package. I put the whole meal into its own bag and headed out. Fred rode with the two men and all the drinks and I followed in my Rambler.

We drove about 20 minutes away to a place called Coronado State Park. It was the site of a former Pueblo of Indians that the Spanish had pretty much eliminated 400 years in the past. The Indians died from both disease and by smite, the Spanish taking revenge on the Pueblo Indians at this Pueblo killing the ones that survived the sickness that always followed Europeans. The structures that are on this location had spent some 400 years abandon (religious beliefs about the dead prevent Indians from going back) and the whole site was excavated by the whites in the 1930's. The state preserved the site to commemorate the villain Coronado (even though he is not vilified for his mass murder) but the site is interesting to visit. There is a huge Kiva there (this is an underground pit for conducting religious ceremonies) and much of the foundations of the original buildings are still there along with several water features, a gift of the Pueblo Indians ingenuity in water engineering. They moved water from the Rio Grande River up onto this Plain to irrigate their farm fields.

It was the perfect location for making a Film about modern day Outlaws.

There were large open tents set up with flood lights illuminating the area just past the parking area. Tables were set up under the tents and we unpacked the food. We laid out the sandwiches and fries on one table and the drinks on another. There were tables set perpendicular to these for everyone to sit around. People were assembling around the table and starting to sit down and eat. I was asked about the two special burgers I had cooked right before we left and I went to retrieve them from my car.

As I returned from my car I walked to one of the men that had come to the store, he was waving me over to one of them folding cloth stools you see on Movie Sets. This one had a Star on the back and embossed in cursive writing was "Linda Carter" and under it "Bobbie Jo". Just as I got to the table the Star of that particular chair appeared out of the darkness, she kind of materialized from out of the pool of light that illuminated the immediate area outside of the tents.

She was lovely. She was chatting with another woma n who took a seat off to the one side of the table. The woman who would become Wonder Woman (this film was being shot before even the Wonder Woman Pilot had been shown on TV) came to her stool turned towards me to take her seat. I was speechless but I managed to hold out the bag of sandwiches. She smiled at me and said "Are these for Me?" Her blue eyes seemed huge, almost unnatural by their size. But her cleavage was in direct competition and on full display. She was wearing a small Indian head band around her forehead and a leather vest that was open to reveal the most cleavage I had ever been near.

I was only 17 at the time and had no clue who she was. She was not yet famous but they were obviously treating her like a star. I could not talk, tongue tied as it were and could not respond when she asked me if I had cooked her sandwiches. Fred from across the table said that I had cooked all the sandwiches. Everyone applauded and hailed me as some kind of chef. Wonder Woman smiled sweetly at me and thanked me. I simply nodded.

Fred and I stayed only a few more minutes. We gathered up the Product Warmers and headed back to the store. I don't remember the drive just those beautiful eyes or was it the cleavage?

FLASHBACK to present. I had never seen that movie. I had in fact forgotten about it until Murphy had said 'Bobbie Jo' and Linda Carter in the same breath. I dropped my arm and stepped away from the desk. I must have had a strange look on my face because everyone had stopped talking. Everyone but Bobby M, he was still pitching gripes to me. I looked around and everyone was looking at me.

"No Bob, I think it's time we went to the movies." I said. Bob was stunned, but the rest of the shop was ecstatic. They started filling out into the passageway heading to the Ready Room not waiting for anyone to tell them otherwise. We left Bob M there standing by the desk wondering where his shop, his empire, his fiefdom had gone.

For the first time on that long cruise the VS-31 AT Shop attended the nightly movie in Ready7. We watched what should have been a horrible movie except for the many T's and A's that were on display. Especially those of Linda Carter. The projector operator ran that segment backwards and forwards several times so we all got a good look. And Yes, Bob M joined us for once relaxing and taking time for nothing but frivolity. I watched it all but saw only the scenes with Linda in them, knowing that among all of us I alone had seen here there in that place. The memories were still just as vivid more than three years later.

After the movie I remember sitting back in the shop, all of us, drinking bug juice and coffee. No one was worried about working on aircraft for the rest of the night, even Bob M was sitting back in his chair at the desk chatting away. It was one of those incidents that galvanize a small cadre of men, making us all closer than we had been before the night had started.

I have never seen that movie since that night and the only other Star I have met was Catherine Bell of JAG fame. Another powerfully attractive woman, if you know what I mean!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Voting on Race Relations in America

The recent spat with Harry Reid and his poorly chosen statements regarding PresBO is illustrative of both the hypocrisy employed by the Left and the main stream media but also of the loss of historical facts regarding Democrats versus Republicans and race relations in America.

You can easily see the wagons being grouped 'round that old pale white man by all the hungry Lefties, they hunger for more government entitlement programs or outright handouts from that government. They give him a pass, Blacks and Whites both ran to his aid, to cover his sorry ass and keep him and the Dem's solidly entrenched in an all out war on the Constitution.

Everyone points out the obvious double standard applied to the Democrat in trouble, but you better believe that if a Republican had uttered those words there would have been a long line to ride the bus they would have tossed him under. But if you review history carefully you will see an even bigger double standard and more importantly you will see the true color blind party, and it is NOT the Democrat Party.

Here are some FACTS:

Democrats fought to EXPAND slavery in America while Republicans (Whigs and Free Soilers) fought to END slavery: Democrat controlled states in the entire south had laws banning the education of Slaves, prohibited their marriage and allowed them to be bartered and sold outright.

Democrats in the new frontier states of Kansas and Nebraska fought for and passed Kansas/Nebraska Act which both protected and expanded slavery respectively. They also fought for the repeal of the Missouri Compromise which limited the expansion of slavery to the western and northern territories.

Democrats supported and backed the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision which ruled that Slaves and their descendants are not citizens and not entitled to any of the protections afforded by the Constitution. This affectively repealed the Missouri Compromise and allowed the expansion of slavery across virtually the whole of the frontier.

Democrats sponsored and passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 which required any slave that had escaped the South was to be returned to their owners. This was common and the law regularly ignored by the Northern states which were mostly controlled by Republicans (save New York and New Jersey). During this period of the nation's history the number of slave states outnumbered Free states and a result were all these laws for or allowing slavery. This ended with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president.

It was a Republican president that emancipated the slaves.

The 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were authored, sponsored by Republican and opposed by Democrats. These Amendments banned Slavery in all of the USA, extended citizenship to Slaves and extended voting rights to black Americans.

It was disaffected Democrats that founded the KKK and other similar terrorist groups that resisted Reconstruction. Historian Eric Foner in summarizing the activity of the KKK during reconstruction stated that "In effect, the Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democrat Party, the Planter Class and all those who desired a restoration of white supremacy." It was a Democrat that was the first Grand Wizard of the KKK, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Democrat Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia was a member of the KKK for more than 10 years and was at one time a "Kleagle" or Klan Eagle, an indication of his importance in the Klan.

Democrat Harry Truman was a member of the KKK (Joined in 1922 in Kansas City) although his activity therein is not known publicly.

Many Democrats opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and 1964 including Senators Robert Byrd, Sam Ervin, Albert Gore Sr., and John F. Kennedy.

I could go on and on, but here is a Blog Site that has a very good summary and it includes links to references for those out there that are suspicious of these claims. Thanks also to the Quinn and Rose Radio Show.

To say that if you are a minority in this country, especially if you are a Black person, you are throwing your vote away if you vote for a Democrat is an understatement. History shows that the Democrats are all about keeping people in Slavery and today that manifests as entitlement programs from the government. You are trading your Vote to Democrat "slave masters" like Harry Reid in order for them to stay in power and all they ask in return is YOUR Freedom and Liberty.

BT: Jimmy T sends.