Category Archives: Carroll LeFon

Transients

By lex, on January 17th, 2012

Well, the video uploading was summat of a bust. Which is a pity, for I put some real time into it, not merely in the recording of the stuff, but in editing and adding motivational music, like. Which was my downfall, in the event. To hear YouTube tell it. Divers and sundry techniques were attempted to get around the prohibition of playing someone else’s music for no personal gain, to no effect. Thus far. We have not yet given up the fight!

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Video

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

Which that was more time consuming to edit, than it was to take.

Untitled from Nep Lex on Vimeo.

A lot more.

Update: Copyright issues, as many have surmised. Which there’s several ways to skin that cat, but all of them are time consuming and I’m on my way to Fallon via, Camarillo, amn’t I?

I am.

But I’ll figure something out. In time.

Update 2: Up, I think. Which that’ll be a long walk to a small house.

Update 3: Which the last two minutes or so didn’t make, something of a pity.

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Sensitivity

By lex, on February 15th, 2012

The Navy’s EOD school gains some:

The phrase “Initial Success or Total Failure” has long served as the unofficial motto of explosive ordnance disposal technicians in the U.S. military.

Until recently, the slogan hung on a wall at the Naval EOD school at Eglin. It was removed after senior EOD leaders decided the words were insensitive.

“It holds some potential insensitivity and implies that our fallen and wounded EOD warriors have somehow failed,” said Joy Samsel, deputy public affairs officer at Naval Education and Training Command in Pensacola. “We don’t want to do that to families.”

Samsel said the EOD school has never had an official motto and has no plans to adopt one.

Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, commander of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, took issue with the slogan and said that “to imply that failure is an option is unacceptable.”

Explosive ordnance disposal is an exceptionally stressful and rigorous profession, and those that have chosen that path are truly our nation’s unsung heroes over the last decade. But the truth of their profession is this: If you succeed at your task, a bomb is disabled. If you fail, you pay for it with your life. It’s binary. That doesn’t imply any level of personal failure – some of these devices are truly infernal – but it is a fact that if bomb goes off in an uncontrolled fashion the mission was not successfully accomplished. Ergo, “total failure”.

Warriors do not thrive when coddled, and flag officers used to have more substantive issues to concern themselves with.

Honestly, sometimes I despair of us.

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“User Fees”

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

A tax, by any other name: *

After almost 9,000 people urged the president to take damaging aviation user fees off the table, the administration on Jan. 13 offered its response: No way.

In a response to a petition ** on the White House’s “We the People” website, Office of Management and Budget Associate Director for General Government Programs Dana Hyde reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to a proposed $100-per-flight fee for use of air traffic services, claiming that the fee would both “ensure that everyone is paying their fair share” and help reduce the deficit.

“We are disappointed but not surprised that the administration continues to seek a $100 user fee on general aviation flights,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Congress has repeatedly said that a GA user fee is an unacceptable method of funding the air traffic system. Pay at the pump has worked since the dawn of powered flight and it still works. The last thing we need right now is to create an expensive new bureaucracy to fix what isn’t broken.”

Mr. Fuller should know that there is no intent here to “fix” anything. The the national airspace infrastructure is in place, and  – unlike roads and highways – air routes are famously indifferent to government-funded “repairs”.  Aviators already pay at the gas pump for their privilege to fly, with those who use more paying more.

No, it takes money to own and operate an airplane, and money implies success. As a point of moral order, success should be penalized, in order to subsidize deficiency.

Having no expectation of success themselves, some people more readily vote for a share of someone else’s money.

Because of the “fair share”, and that.

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** Original link gone; changed – Ed. 

*** Original link gone; no replacement – Ed. 

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See-Saw

By lex, on January 16th, 2012

When our forces first went into Afghanistan, it was all about the kinetics.  A couple of years ago, the mission moved to “hearts and minds”, firepower being eschewed in favor of making nice. Then came the “Afghan surge”, which never included as many forces as the forward commanders requested, but definitely resulted in increased presence and concomitant kinetics in places the NATO coalition had never been, or where they had been too thin on the ground to effect either a tactical or strategic difference.

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Relaxed Stability

By lex, on January 13th, 2012

Two flights yesterday, one day and one night. In the day hop, we joined with two Marine FA-18s to serve as their wingmen for the adversary presentation. Merely maintaining formation and maneuvering mildly with the much more modern fighters vividly displayed what twenty years of fighter evolution can produce. A pair of medium bypass, afterburning fan engines, a model wing with automated high lift devices and digital flight controls can do things without trying that a J-79 engine mounted on a pure delta wing cannot, or at least, cannot do easily. I was in and out of afterburner just staying in position. Once the machine gets slow – anything less than 300 knots is officially “slow” – there’s just so much wing in the breeze, so much induced drag.

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The Latest Outrage

By lex, on January 12th, 2012

Third Battalion, Second Marines is in the headlines, and not in a good way:

The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating a video that surfaced online today in which several Marines appear to urinate on the corpses of suspected Taliban fighters.

The video, which is less than a minute long, appears to show four men in uniform looking around before urinating on three dead bodies, at least one of the men chuckles as they do so.

“Have a great day, buddy,” one of the men is heard saying, apparently to a dead body.

The Marine Corps responded quickly after reports of the video surfaced, calling for a full investigation.

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