29 February 2008

Experience! Hope! Change!

The sad part is, looking toward Election '08 I find myself in almost exactly the same position I was in four years ago... not wanting to vote for GWB, but having NO OTHER CHOICE!
On the other hand, it truly is gonna be entertaining watching this story unfold!
By my way of thinking, Democrats have a mighty short time-frame to get things under control. There are rumblings that Hillary might end up with the nomination, even if she isn't chosen in the primaries. Think of the long term effect of such an action! Is that truly possible? Remember, we're talking about the Clintons!
Of course the probability is that "Mr. Hope and Change" will be running against "Mr. Ticking Time-Bomb"... I squirm, thinking of how interesting this will be!

Texas and Ohio loom heavily over the horizon. We know too much about Hillary... not enough about H&C. Hasn't he been masterful, NOT answering questions?!
I already know enough about him to know I can't vote for him. You probably do too, but help me here by reminding me if I've missed anything...

This guy "Barry Obama/Soetoro" has now popped up with more ties to Muslim Madrassas than previously thought. There is some conjecture about his faith from the time he was 10 until he was 27 or so. Religion was a factor for Romney... will it also be a factor for Obama/Soetoro?

Both Democrat candidates are promising to repair U.S. relationships with allies, while both threaten to break treaties with our closest neighbors (NAFTA).
Yeah, showing what little regard we have for our friends... that'll facilitate repair!

Obama has not been pressed to answer questions about Tony Rezko because of the love affair the media has had for him, and his opponent is every bit as dirty as he. That will change in an instant when the General Campaign gets underway.

I'm hopeful one of two things happens:
1. McCain names a true conservative as his running mate, and convinces me he'll lean heavily on him/her as an advisor.
2. As we approach the General election it's obvious we have another Nixon/McGovern blowout on our hands and I can smile while I fulfill my threat and write in "NONE OF THE ABOVE" as my candidate!

Excuse me, I'm gonna go pop some popcorn.

28 February 2008

27 February 2008

Small (Internet) World!

The response to ThirdWaveDave's post, was touching,
and as is so frequently the case, prodded me to write about something similar that happened to me...
The internet has made our world small in many ways.

Shortly after my return from Viet Nam I attended a party back at home and found many of my High School classmates there. After our host made the announcement that I was home after a year of "fling-winging" my way around the unfriendly skies, one of my friends said, "We had two schoolmates that went to Viet Nam as helicopter pilots, and only one of them is alive." It was there that I learned an acquaintance two years older had also gone to flight school, and had been shot down and killed.

~Fast forward to a couple years ago.
At a Blog established for High School classmates, "Jerry" once again came up.
I poked around the "Viet Nam Helicopter Pilot's Association" website and found the following about Jerry, then posted the information at that Blog:


Name: 1LT Jerry Dean Adams
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/18/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 23.1
Date of Birth: 01/05/1945
Home City: Franklin, IN
Service: AR branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: C/3/17 CAV
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 67-8
Service: AR branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 39E-079
Short Summary: Believe Adams helicopter was down for maintenance so he flew along as observer on this mission.
Aircraft: OH-6A tail number 66-07836
Service number: O5233465
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 61204
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Started Tour: 10/03/1967
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 02
Location: Tay Ninh Province III Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 01/04/2002

From the above we learn that Jerry had been in Viet Nam five months. His normal aircraft was grounded for maintenance, so he volunteered to act as an observer on an OH-6......(the type helicopter used on the TV show "Magnum P.I.").

Then there's this.......information about the helicopter:

Helicopter OH-6A 66-07836
Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 66-07836
The Army purchased this helicopter 11/67
Total flight hours at this point: 00000018
Date: 02/18/1968
Incident number: 68021828.KIA
Unit: A/3/17 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was in Bank Right at 0075 feet and 060 knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 4 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Cockpit
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 KIA . .
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft was diverted prior to accomplishing any mission objectives.
TAY NINH recovered the helicopter.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database.
Also: LNOF, 80167, CASRP, FM232 (Lindenmuth Old Format Data Base. Casualty Report. )

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998

A couple things of interest here.
Notice: Total flight hours at this point: 00000018
The aircraft was brand new!

My unit's main mission was also recon, and we used this same machine.
In my year in South Viet Nam I never saw an OH-6 get more than 300 hours on it before it was shot down. Obviously, this was a dangerous job.

They were flying at 75 feet, going 60 knots.
At the beginning of their recon, the aircraft was hit by four bullets, probably an AK-47, (.30 calibre) and Jerry was hit.
The aircraft continued to fly........probably to the nearest fire base where the pilot tried to get medical help for Jerry, (that is conjecture on my part.)
The aircraft was recovered at Tay Ninh, Viet Nam, (probably sling loaded below a Huey), repaired, and sent out to fly again.

Cold, impersonal facts.
Hard to read when you can put a smiling face to the name that generated the data.

That Jerry volunteered to fly along as an observer on this mission says a great deal about his courage. This was, in my thinking, the most dangerous flying job in Viet Nam.
He wasn't required to do it... he volunteered.

Shortly after I posted that information I received the following via email:

I wanted to thank you so much for what you wrote about Jerry.
My name is Kelley ***** ****** and Jerry is my father.

I surf from time to time just typing in his name to see what comes up and that's how I found your post.
I was adopted by my mom's parent's, lived in Greenwood and married a CG grad. My 4 year old son looks a lot like Jerry......at least that's what my family thinks. Let's just hope he doesn't get the teeth! He definitely has the dimples.
I wish I could have known Jerry. I was only two and a half when he was killed. I've always wanted to know if the men he was flying with that day made it back from Nam. I hope so.

Another classmate had several letters she had received from Jerry while he was in Viet Nam that she had saved all these years, and she agreed to give them to Kelley so Kelley could get a better feel for the sort of man her father was. I was floored to even be a factor in that hook-up!

So indeed we live in a small world... gettin' smaller every day!

22 February 2008

Hope, Change, and Hoping For Change...

I like him, this Obama guy.
He seems the sort of guy I'd like to snort cocaine with, IF I ever did that sort of thing.

Others, including JFK's daughter Caroline, have compared him to JFK. I don't see that at all... cannot imagine Obama initiating a Bay of Pigs invasion, or ramping up troop deployments to protect an ally like South Viet Nam. But that's another post altogether, and I'm sure the JFK comparisons will quickly cease as soon as the General Election campaign gets underway.

There is a JFK comparison that REALLY does scare me though, and I'm sure you may have thought of it too. So please, please, please... no more of lapses like this, ever! (And unbelievably, in Dallas!)

20 February 2008


Of course it's all Bush's fault!
He's in charge of the bureaucrats responsible for this incompetence, isn't he?

I'm certainly not gonna vote for him next time!

15 February 2008

Faster Than A Speeding Bullet!

"One day, high above Arizona , we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to check his ground speed. 'Ninety knots,' ATC replied. A twin Bonanza soon made the same request. 'One-twenty on the ground,' was the reply. To our surprise, a Navy F-18 came over the radio with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was. 'Dusty 52, we show you at 620 on the ground,' ATC responded. The situation was too ripe. I heard the click of Walter's mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, 'Aspen 20, I show you at 1,982 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast. "

When Gary Powers' U-2 was shot down in 1960, my old man opened my mind to "outside the box" thinking. To the general public, the U-2 was a revelation... we had been flying over the Soviet Union with impunity for years! My mind reeled when Dad asked, "I wonder what else we've got brewing?"
We learned the answer to that question a few years later... the SR-71 "Blackbird".

I love SR-71 stories. I once sat next to a guy in a classroom setting for a couple weeks that had been a back-seater in the airplane. His stories of suiting up like an Astronaut, wearing thick flight gloves to protect against the heat of the canopy fascinated me. A few of his insights surprised me... The airplane made much use of titanium because of the heat it would be exposed to at such high airspeeds. He said that titanium had to be procured through surreptitious channels because it was mined in the U.S.S.R.!
Fuel lines were routed around the cockpit to act as heat absorbers to help keep the pilot and RSO cool.

At missions end, the pilot and RSO were frequently winched from the airplane because the fuselage was too hot to be touched.
Stuff of legend, to be sure.

Knowing I'd enjoy it, a friend brought
this account to my attention. It's a little long and will take a while to read, but I must admit I got a little misty at the end of the telling, so I enthusiastically recommend it to those of you that are also fly-crazy.
Let me know what you think.

911- Placing Blame

If you were disabled and unable to get out of bed on your own, would you smoke in bed? This woman did, and you can click the video and hear how the 911 call was handled. There's general outrage being directed at the 911 operators, and I'd agree some of that is deserved.
But who do you think is responsible for her death?

A Death In The Family

ThirdWaveDave sent a link this morning. Frank Piasecki is dead at age 88.
What a guy.

14 February 2008

Berkeley After Action Report

ThirdWaveDave and Move America Foward take on the Berkeley crowd, and you know how that turned out, don't you?
Dave's report here surprised me with revelations about how the rules for one side didn't apply to the other.
Go take a look.

The Check's In The Mail...

"High tomorrow, 52."

That was the forecast as I shut the TV off last night.
Two nights ago we had a spell of freezing rain, followed by snow showers that accumulated three inches of the fluffy stuff on top of that icy foundation, followed by two hours of freezing drizzle/fog. The result is beautiful, but the freezing drizzle and fog formed a pavement-like crust on top of the snow... it'll support my weight without breaking. It's very slippery... like oiled glass, and would be far more work than I want to expend to shovel it away.
A 52 degree temperature means I won't have to risk having a massive heart event trying to get rid of it... Mom Nature will take care of my problem!

Now it's a new day. The sun is by itself in the sky... there are no clouds. Per my normal routine, I turn on the radio to listen to my local news-talkers and catch up on the latest gossip/News/Weather/Sports in my little town.
"High today of 42."
What?!! Did I hear that right? 42 degrees ain't gonna get the melting done!
Yep. The next report repeats the offensive statement.

How much are these people paid to be so often wrong?
Do they make a pretty good living?
I'm in the wrong vocation.

13 February 2008

A Clarification-

Just so there's no confusion,
This is an image of "Mohammed":

...This is an image of a "Mohammed Thong":

Class dismissed.

The Beehive

This election process has been a real eye-opener.
We REALLY aren't in Kansas anymore, Toto!
As a matter of fact, each day, the country looks less and less like the country I grew up in. The Democrat candidates are both calling for change... and I'm fearful the changes they indicate they will make will take us "two steps back".

It's true isn't it?... We really don't learn from History. I'm shocked to find we don't learn from some of the most basic courses we all took in college...
Psych 101 and Soc. 101...
By that I mean, reward positive behaviors and negatively reinforce behaviors you want to diminish.

I'm fascinated watching the infighting going on within the Democrat party. I think some had questions during Bill Clinton's denial of human and Civil rights to those women he assaulted and allegedly raped, followed by the acceptance of that violence by Liberal organizations like the National Organization of Women...
Continuing with Billary's idea of how stupid it was for Barack Obama to have "fairy tale" dreams of being President when he was in Kindgergarten...
To Governor Rendell's revelation that White Democrats in Pennsylvania probably won't vote for a Black candidate!

It makes me wonder...
Have we finally reached the "Dr. Phil" point in our society?
That point where people take a close look at their lives and ask, "How's that workin' for me?"
To those with years and years of devotion to the Democrat party, voting straight ticket because "Democrats are our friends", looking at the present disaster in Congress I ask...
How's that workin' for ya?

We really are at a point where we have to take a look at what we want from life, what's best not only for us personally , but for the country as a whole.

The Liberals are hoping to gain control.
These are the folks that have passed new laws concerning where and when you can smoke.
Laws about gun ownership.
Laws about where the Marines can and cannot recruit troops...
Marines that will then be forced to defend the lives of those deranged flakes that would, if they could, do away with the Corps altogether.

Do we want a "Beehive" society?
"To each as to his needs. From each as to his abilities?"

A Liberal loved one once wrote to discuss the country's use/overuse of oil. Now I won't attempt to defend our use of oil, or the situation we presently find ourselves in because of our need for the substance. It sucks.
But this Liberal loved one reminded me that he regularly rides his bicycle to work in order to conserve. And I think that's great... I wish I could follow his lead. But it's 36 miles to my workplace, and although I might physically pull that off in three hours or so, I'd be in no condition to fly a 12 hour shift, then ride the bike home again. Add to this scenario the certainty of 96 degree August heat or January's 15 degrees with 3 inches of snow on the ground, and you can see that even a gas saving motor-scooter is impossible.
In my response to my Liberal loved one I asked, "How serious are you about energy conservation? How big is your home? Since your kids have moved away have you down-sized in order to conserve energy?"
I wasn't surprised when he ignored my question...
It WAS, after all, probably "An Inconvenient Truth."

But it's hard isn't it, trying to be confident about the best route to take? Getting back to the "To each/from each" quote...
Obviously we cannot live like bees... each of us doing only what is necessary to further life for the collective society. We're individuals. We chafe at the idea of others telling us what to do...
at some point, if the control becomes too burdensome, some of us may respond violently.

But there are things I think we could learn from the bees, like collective defense.
Approach the hive and whack it with a stick. What happens?
When do the bees retreat?

Bees have been found encased in Amber, millions of years old, virtually unchanged from the animal we know today. Their longevity indicates they are doing many things right.
Should we emulate them to the degree we can?...
Work together toward a mutually beneficial life, including the defense of our colony as a whole?
I think so.

Now, I think a good starting place would be to go back and review Sociology and Psychology 101.

12 February 2008

Stayin' Up-To-The-Minute

Fearless "Eyewitness Reporter" ThirdWaveDave helps defend our Marines in the land of the "Code Pinkos" via Andrea's blog.
Fist are being thrown. Drop by frequently to stay informed!

06 February 2008

Tet of 1968

"In truth, the war in Vietnam was lost on the propaganda front, in great measure due to the press's pervasive misreporting of the clear U.S. victory at Tet as a defeat. Forty years is long past time to set the historical record straight."

Our news media deceived us then...
They're deceiving us today.

The whole article, worth reading, is here.

Let's Get Started!

Are you as fed up as I am with the lack of choices in our political process?
It's time to quit complaining and start making the "changes" all these candidates are talking about.
Click the link
here and let's get this show on the road!

04 February 2008

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True_

Commercials on TV Nationwide,
Seminars in towns all over the country that had thousands of folks signing up for big loans for training,
and news of a bent helicopter or two every week...

Now it looks as if the chickens have come home to roost.

TWD- Happy Birthday!!

BlogFriend ThirdWaveDave has had a few health issues over the last year.
He has endured them with grace and a positive attitude. We talked over the telephone a couple days ago and he reports he feels better than he has since 1958!
Today is Dave's birthday.
I'd be pleased if you'd click the link and tell Dave you're glad he's a year older, and tell him Greybeard sent ya!

From someone older than dirt...
Happy Birthday Dave!

03 February 2008

This Could Be Explosive...

You probably know, John McCain scares the puddin' outta me. We've all heard stories of his short-tempered, foul-mouthed, near out-of-control tantrums. Like Hillary rifling ashtrays at her philandering husband, is this the sort of behavior we want in charge of "the football"?

Still, six years as a P.O.W. commands our respect and should make us all consider what we would have done under the same circumstances...
Could I have handled that stress?
I'm glad I'll probably never know the answer to that question.

But now there are rumbles in the distance about that story. I'm at once repulsed and fascinated by the possibility that new information may be emerging about McCain's six years in the "Hanoi Hilton".
Take a close look at Andrea's post and the comments that follow. Similar to the just-prior-to-election revelation of GWB's drunk driving arrest, this makes me feel VERY uncomfortable...
Sleazy politics?

But there is a great deal of "smoke" out there, and we need to be sure there'll be no fire appearing in the future.
If you have time, why not check out the BlogTalkRadio links at Andrea's blog, tune in, and participate in the chat during the show? As voters, it's our responsibility to be as informed on this subject as we can possibly be!
I hope to join ya in the chatroom tomorrow night at 9 P.M. Eastern time.

01 February 2008


In the movie "Network", Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, captures the attention of the masses by losing his cool on a live Network news broadcast, telling his viewers to go to the window and shout "I'm Mad As Hell, and I'm Not Going To Take It Anymore!"
His viewers are obviously of the same mind.
Soon the "I'm mad as HELL" shouts are being heard from all corners of the country.

Now, I must say I can identify with that rage.
I'm literally watching my country being destroyed, piece, by piece, by piece.
I keep hoping some "straight talking" leader will emerge... someone who can communicate well enough to illustrate how the path we are taking differs little from the disastrous course other countries have taken... someone who can show us there is no "free lunch"... that the path we must take will be hard, but will, in the end, be worth the pain of traveling.

I had high hopes this year. I thought, "surely it is plain to everyone we are on a course to failure".
I was wrong. My "Knight in Shining Armor" has not appeared over the horizon to take charge of the chaos and save us all. Instead, from ALL candidates, we get suggestions that Government programs are the solution to our ills.
Ask yourself this folks...
In what way does any Government program you can point to truly work efficiently? (And I'm not talking about the back alley, Rezko to Obama type Government program!)

So here we are again, facing the disgusting choice of having to vote for a scoundrel, or a tyrant.
I've been voting since 1968. In all the time I've been voting, only twice have I voted FOR someone, (and one of those votes was wasted, to show my disgust).
Shortly after casting that wasted vote, we had the "revolution" of 1994.

I think it may be time for another Revolution.
I think Weblogs are the vehicle to drive that revolution.

Are you as disgusted as I am with the lousy choices we face in this election?
If so, what are we gonna do about it... once again hold our nose and vote?

I have a better idea...
I suggest a 'Write-In" campaign...
Write in "NONE OF THE ABOVE" as your choice for President in 2008.
Done in huge numbers, it is the only way I know to show how broken our present system is, and how sick many of us are of voting for the lesser of two bad candidates.

And Bloggers... PLEASE steal my idea.
The only way this will have the necessary impact is if lots of folks are going to their windows shouting,

UPDATE, 1608 Hours...
Take a quick look at what
THIRDWAVEDAVE has to say about the subject and check out the video there. I had the quote wrong... it's "I'm mad as Hell, and I'm not gonna take THIS anymore!"

Also, Andrea tells a story I fervently hope proves to be false.