Monthly Archives: February 2013

Make It Stop

For the love of god is there no end to this man’s stupidity:

V.P. BIDEN: Well, the way in which we measure it is—I think most scholars would say—is that as long as you have a weapon sufficient to be able to provide your self-defense. I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, “Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.”

I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming. We can argue whether that’s true or not, but it is no argument that, for example, a shotgun could do the same job of protecting you. Now, granted, you can come back and say, “Well, a machine gun could do a better job of protecting me.” No one’s arguing we should make machine guns legal.

No one could ever claim that Biden is smart but this…this just takes the cake.  Seriously?

Shoot a gun indiscriminately thru a door to “deter people coming”.  And just who could those “people” be?

  • UPS delivery
  • USPS mailman
  • Neighbor
  • Kid from next door
  • etc…

As bad as his original advice from a week or so ago about just firing two shotgun blasts from a porch – which is highly illegal no matter what the circumstances are – this just goes beyond it all.

The worst part is that the sheeple will lap this up.  We don’t live in interesting times anymore folks.

We live in perilous times when someone with the mental acumen of a hammer is next in line to the presidency.


Filed under Idiots Among Us

A fresh take on `attrition`?

Let them wear themselves out before stepping in?

Not bad. I guess night vision and body armour is helpful, but it also depends on how many people you have left to use them.  Meanwhile, in Africa, it seems an intel projection has come very true.

H/t to Phantom Report

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I enjoyed reading Old Air Force Sarge’s last post. I think I can see from whither the man cometh. I wish to add to his musing a take on the theory of  current political `leadership` and have come up with what I feel is an interesting example of  the current style of `crisis management`.

For those unfamiliar with the series of comaedic plays that went by the name of “Blackadder” on BBC TV, the below example from the final series, set in France during WW1, was greatly appreciated by many surviving veterans of `the trenches` who managed to remain alive long enough to enjoy it and who are now greatly missed by my generation.

(As a footnote, I just wanted to say that although we are not in touch as much as we once were, I still think of Lex’s commenteers and rapporteurs, whose company I enjoyed immensely and still do – that means you!)

Incidentally, the term `Wibble` found its way into British police jargon and is still popular, occasionally being heard over the r/t when difficult questions passed over the airwaves are followed by long moments of silence


Filed under Funny Stuff, History, Humor, Uncategorized

The Gathering Storm

Gathering StormGeorges Michel

Gathering Storm
Georges Michel

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. (Matthew 24:6)

What is going on in this country? The Constitution is either the law of the land, or it is not. If it is not, then we are no longer living in the United States of America. If that be the case, then the current civilian leadership in Washington D.C. and the military leadership of the Armed Forces have decided to set aside their oaths of office and govern by fiat. Can the use of armed force to enforce the will of the current political regime be far behind?

A while back I was doing some research regarding the oaths sworn by both officers and enlisted upon entry into the Armed Forces of the United States. Well, I have been doing some further research on this topic and found something interesting, to wit:

One notable difference between the officer and enlisted oaths is that the oath taken by officers does not include any provision to obey orders; while enlisted personnel are bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey lawful orders, officers in the service of the United States are bound by this oath to disobey any order that violates the Constitution of the United States.

Before going any further, let’s take a look at the oaths. Here is the officer oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

And the enlisted oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Note that in both instances, the “So help me God” portion of the oath may be omitted for persons who desire to affirm rather than to swear to the oath. Yes, I have a bit of heartburn with that bit but Article Six of the United States Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

The underlined bit being that which relates to the phrase “So help me God”.

So those are the oaths sworn by the members of the Armed Forces of the United States. The President, Vice President, members of Congress and federal judges also swear oaths. All of which make reference to the Constitution.

The President:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

The others:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]

Now as regards the current President, he may actually not be in violation of his sworn oath. I say this because the oath does state “to the best of my Ability“. It’s quite possible that he is doing the best he can. It’s possible that he’s just not that capable and the office of the President is beyond his competence. If so, then the electorate is at fault for electing an incompetent to the office.

Now the oath as taken by members of Congress, the judiciary and the Vice President don’t cut them any slack as regards “ability”. Their oath states “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office”. My guess would be that if they are unable to do that, then they should step down.

Now all of that aside, there seems to be a hue and cry in this country for a “conversation” regarding firearms. Exactly which part of the 2nd Amendment don’t these clowns understand? To wit, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed“. No “conversation” is necessary, we have the right to keep and bear arms. The government is specifically prohibited from infringing upon that right.

The 2nd Amendment does not specify the type of arms. Various legislative acts and court decisions down through the years which have prohibited citizens from bearing certain types of arms are unconstitutional. The Supreme Court does make mistakes and has since the country was founded. I need only refer to the Dred Scott Decision.

From Wikipedia:

Dred Scott (1795 – September 17, 1858), was an African-American slave in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as “the Dred Scott Decision.” The case was based on the fact that although he and his wife Harriet Scott were slaves, they had lived with his master Dr. John Emerson in states and territories where slavery was illegal according to both state laws and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, including Illinois and Minnesota (which was then part of the Wisconsin Territory). The United States Supreme Court decided 7–2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott’s temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would improperly deprive Scott’s owner of his legal property.

While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage and deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil war Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.

So the Supreme Court made a mistake, they are, after all, human. Any decision made by the Court which infringes at all upon our 2nd Amendment rights is unconstitutional, period, full stop. One does not need a law degree to figure out the Bill of Rights. One just needs to be able to read and comprehend English.

The way I see it, the President, the Vice President and a large number of congress-critters are in violation of their oath of office and should either correct that behavior or resign their office. Any officer in the US Armed Forces who supports the infringement of the 2nd Amendment needs to reconsider that stance or resign their commissions. They are morally and legally bound to do so.

Enlisted soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and coast guardsmen need to understand that any order or orders which may cause them to infringe upon the rights conveyed by the 2nd Amendment are illegal orders and should not be obeyed.

Why are Progressive Elements in this country so intent upon dismantling the Constitution, or at least the parts they don’t agree with? Because they think they know what’s best for the rest of us.

Beware America. Once your 2nd Amendment rights are taken away, the rest won’t be far behind.

Say goodbye to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances, freedom to peaceably assemble, in short, say goodbye to the United States. You might as well learn how to speak Chinese. You’ll need it when the new rulers take over.


Filed under Freedom!, Perspective

A Visit To See A Hawk


The last few days, I have been reading some interesting articles on what we now call UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. And from what I have read reinforces my belief that there is very little truly “new” under the sun.

Most inventions, considered radical departures from the norm in society have had the stepping-stones from others, sometimes years ago, sometimes decades.

But to go into all this history, with a little post about our second visit to Beale, would tend to tell you a lot about everything and nothing specific about anything.

So maybe that will be for another post.

As a late friend would admonish me – focus.


A year or 2 after our visit to learn about the U2, we received another invitation to learn about the Global Hawk. Before this visit the only UAV I had heard of was the well-publicized Predator.

As I soon learned, there are UAVs for very specific purposes. While the Predator is capable of carrying missiles, the Global Hawk’s mission is strictly recon.

Anytime whenever I have had an invitation to see/learn about anything aviation-related, count me in.

While we didn’t go to the control room, we got a nice tour, including the area where the pilots “suit up” for the U2, (and previously the SR-71).

Join me for a vicarious tour.

Some facts about the Global Hawk. I don’t how much of this is applicable to its Navy variant.

In 2001, it was still under development by Northrop-Grumman, but rushed into production after 9-11.

Cruising altitude – 65,000 feet.

Cruise Speed – 341 kts (391 MPH). Time aloft without refueling – 36 hours. Do the math 😉

It’s flight – anywhere in the world – is controlled from Beale.

Its mission is programmed on the ground. It takes off – and lands – automatically and right down the centerline.

It’s engine is also used in a Cessna Citation jet. (30 years ago I worked for Cessna in Wichita when the Citation lineup was a lot simpler. Don’t ask me which Citation Jet today 😉 )

Landing gear is borrowed from the  F-16.

Wingspan – 130 feet.

At the time of our lecture, we were told that the FAA still didn’t know how to integrate large unmanned drones into the controlled airspace (which I think is still the case, and could be the subject of another article by itself!). So Beale gives a notice to airmen (NOTAM) advising them that a Global Hawk will be taking off – or landing.

We also learned a bit more about the U2 – I was interested to learn that there is a civilian life-support specialist – who worked at his desk right by the legendary Kelly Johnson, still under contract.

So join me for a vicarious tour around the base – with additional commentary by your tour guide!

At the start of the tour, we received a comprehensive lecture. My thanks to the Airman who gave this – in the interest of some privacy I’ll leave out the name(s) but you know who you are 😉


We headed out to a hanger that housed a Global Hawk – my impression of it was that it looked like a large flying Beluga Whale .

Just in case you don’t know where you are!



…your tour guide (about 20 lbs heavier)


…Lest you forget Beale has other inhabitants!


We left the hanger and went back to where the U2 drivers – Image

(and formerly SR-71 drivers) suited up

..This is the outside (and controls) of a altitude chamber – demonstrating Hypoxia (oxygen starvation to the brain) – what Lex wrote about .

Where U2 Pilots suit up, with a reminder of their other famous plane – now retired…



What the U2 pilots wear today…


…and no visit would be complete without a visit to Beale’s other famous inhabitant!





I hope that you enjoyed the tour and I hope that Lex, wherever he is, enjoyed it too.


Filed under USAF

Among The Joshua Trees

A final salute from 300 strangers: Royal Marine, 70, with no family gets a grand send-off after vicar rallies mourners on Facebook

  • James McConnell, of Southsea, Hampshire, died last month at age of 70
  • Care home staff thought they would be only people at Portsmouth funeral
  • But vicar put appeal on Facebook and more than 200 strangers attended
  • Little is known of Marine but he arrived at care home with Falklands photos

They’d never met him and they knew precious little about him.

But hundreds turned out yesterday to mark the passing of a former Royal Marine who died with no known family . . . or friends.

Some travelled hundreds of miles to the funeral of James McConnell in Portsmouth after a local vicar used Facebook to appeal for mourners.

Hero: Former Royal Marine James 'Jimmy' McConnell, of Southsea, Hampshire, died last month aged 70

Finish: The service concluded with two buglers from the Royal Marines Band Service playing the Last Post
Farewell to our brother……………………………………………

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An Afternoon Chasing U2s, Part Deux


As Promised – my little camera at the time could unfortunately take a 30 second video. We would trade off being the “lead” car – the driver, another pilot, calls out the distance from the rear main wheel to the ground helping the pilot…

They must wear out the right side tires in a hurry! They wait on the tarmac by the runway threshold, as soon as the plane crosses the numbers they floor it. By the time we are on the runway we are doing 60-70. By the time we are calling out the altitude – 200′ or so behind – we are doing 100-120.


by | February 20, 2013 · 5:19 am

You have seen the flash, now for the shockwave

from a 500 kt equivalent blast at 25 miles altitude

VERY good luck it entered at a shallow angle.

[Update by XBrad- I embedded the video]

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Among The Joshua Trees

Went up with some friends for a get out of Dodge thing.

Good weekend. Good Friends. Good Company. Good Eats. Beer.


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