Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Cool Pic!

Don't Move!

I'm just as curious about how he got up there as how they are going to get him down.

Cool Pic

Now That's Snow!

Candy...I Need Candy!

Who hasn't felt like doing this?  Of course, you'd need to have a forklift handy...

Around the Horn I

Back in what seem like the dark ages now, 1991, I had the opportunity to participate in an adventure that was pretty unique in Navy circles.  Everyone goes on deployment.  Most leave the East coast of the U.S. and head to the Arabian Gulf via the Med and the Suez Canal or leave the West coast of the U.S. and head to the Arabian Gulf via the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean.  It gets to be pretty routine.  Oh, there are exceptions and different destinations, but those are the norm.  The journey is usually about 6-8 months, the days long, the flying can be routine or terrifying, and the ports-of-call become known to the old hands.  We all know what we signed up for, most find terrific adventures and make life-long friends, gain both professional and life experience, and come to accept these deployments as a fact of life.

When I was fortunate enough to be screened for command (which is a whole other story), like almost everyone I was thrilled.  From the time you put on your wings and start to understand the culture you are entering, most aspire to command.  To lead a group of men (and now women) through all the ups and downs of squadron life for what seems like an all too short period is the pinnacle of your life as a Naval Officer and Aviator.  At least, it was for me.  I had subsequent chances for command and other jobs that were fulfilling, but for me, there was nothing that compared to my first command tour and that it was with a front line, sea-going helicopter squadron made it all the better.  It was also great that the methodology that the Navy had adopted in its aviation squadrons was the fleet up concept.  That meant I went in as XO for 18 months and then assumed command for 18 months.  36 months in one squadron as XO and then CO.  It's a pretty ideal scenario.  And in my case, I was going to be the XO for a terrific, if a bit straight-laced, guy and the squadron had a great reputation.  

The squadron had just transitioned to a new aircraft, the SH-60F and HH-60H Seahawk, from the venerable SH-3H Seaking.  It was truly like going from a covered wagon to a Cadillac.  It was faster, more powerful, air-conditioned, possessing the latest digital cockpit, and a bunch of other great bells and whistles.  

So I landed in a great squadron, with great people, flying the fleet's newest aircraft.  What could be better?

Shortly after my arrival, we got the word that our Air Wing was transferring to the USS Kitty Hawk from the USS Carl Vinson.  This was necessitated because the ChuckyV, as the Carl Vinson was affectionately known, was headed to the yards up in Bremerton, WA.  She'd be in dry dock for a couple of years and certainly wasn't going anywhere, much less need an Air Wing aboard.  So there was a bit of trepidation, which always accompanies a change like this would entail.  Was the new ship any good, would it have it's act together, how did it get along with the Air Wing, what was its schedule, and on and on.  Kitty Hawk was also a steam-powered ship whereas ChuckyV was a Nuc.  What kinds of differences and pains would that entail?  Endless speculation.  And then the news came that Kitty Hawk had just spent 3 years in the Philadelphia Shipyard undergoing a major renovation.  Groan!  Any ship coming out of the yards is notoriously a dogs breakfast.  They are all over the map. The crew is green.  Really green.  Their procedures are as rusty as an old can that has been laying out behind the garage for a couple of years.  From the mess decks to the flight deck, the learning curve is steep.  So there were a lot of questions.

About this time we also got a new Air Wing Commander.  In the Navy, this guy is called CAG.  It's an old term that has stuck.  CAG stands for Carrier Air Group and is not really accurate today, but like a lot of things in the Navy, tradition wins.  So CAG it is.  The old guy was beloved, was an Admiral in the making (in fact he went on to retire as a Vice-Admiral), was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and we were all sorry to see him go.  But as it happens,  the new guy was terrific too.  He was a genuine, no shit war hero.  He had done some legendary flying in Vietnam.  The stories were legion.  He also was an operators operator.  His time on staff duty was minimal and he was the "best stick" I've ever seen.  And he had an, ahem...terrific sense of humor.  He was the definition of a guy who works hard and plays hard.  He hit the ground running and everyone liked him right off the bat.  More importantly, they respected him.  He too had Admiral written all over him.  But it was not to be.  More about that later.

At some point, it dawned on us that the ship had to move from Norfolk, VA where she was temporarily stationed to San Diego.  And unless she was going the long way, there was really only one way to go.  Around South America.  Ships the size of Kitty Hawk couldn't get through the Panama Canal, so it was around South America for her.  It's called sailing "around the horn".  Hmmmm...this could be interesting.  

After what I'm sure was a lot of back-room wheeling and dealing, it was decided that our Air Wing would send a group of aircraft to accompany the ship around the horn.  Not the whole Air Wing.  But a representative group that could work the deck, provide some training to the ship, gain some at-sea experience, and respond to any contingencies.  In the first round of discussion, there was no mention of the make-up of the aircraft that would participate.  We also found out that a supply ship would also go and that a helicopter detachment would be aboard to provide vertical replenishment from the supply ship to the Kitty Hawk and that this detachment would consist of two CH-46's, who specialize in moving stuff around.  As the discussions continued and we started hearing about various proposals, there was no mention of helicopters in the make-up of the Air Wing contingent.  One of the things that is true in the aviation Navy, it is a jet Navy.  Others can sometimes be an afterthought.  At least, that was true in those days.  Today, things have changed pretty dramatically.  Today, the largest number of pilots in the Navy are helicopter pilots.  They are also flying some of the newest, most highly technical aircraft in the inventory.  And doing some of the most important and hair-raising missions.  But anyway, the "powers that be" had determined that a squadron from the East coast would make the trip.  They reasoned that the squadron could easily get aboard as they are stationed in Jacksonville, FL and when the ship arrived in San Diego, they could just make the cross-country trip home.  What?  Another squadron going with our Air Wing.  We thought that was bullshit and said so.  Additionally, we were now flying the H-60.  Faster, more powerful, a better aircraft to fly across the country, and we needed to integrate with the Air Wing just like everyone else.  Remember that new CAG I told you about?  He agreed.  And in the Navy, there are some folks who have power.  CAGs are one of them.  So just like that, we were going!

Here's another bright idea that we came up with that caused a lot of consternation in the helicopter world.  The CH-46's, all of them, were on their last legs.  They are a great aircraft to perform vertical replenishment, but they were really, really long in the tooth.  It was so bad that the rotor heads had to be disassembled every 10 hours to check for cracks.  Talk about inefficient!  There was a contingent in the helicopter world that believed that the H-60 was the future of vertical replenishment.  That the H-60 was the natural replacement for the H-46.  But it was not without controversy.  To replace a tandem rotor aircraft with an aircraft with a tail rotor was heresy.  Folks over in the H-46 community took to wearing a little button with an H-60 on it and a big X through it.  Like I was a touchy subject.  So when we went to CAG and made the case that we should go with the Air Wing, we also proposed to do all the vertical replenishment for the trip around the horn.  It was going to be a unique deployment, shorter than most at 3 months, pretty low-pressure as everyone would be in the learning mode, and we needed to prove that the H-60 could do the vertical replenishment mission.  He agreed. Did I mention that he was a great guy?  He got it right away.  He saw this as an opportunity to bond with the Air Wing, get the squadron some great experience and, as a bonus, prove a new concept that many were discounting.  And simple as that, we were in and the H-46 detachment was out.  They were mad as hornets but as we say...that's the breaks of Naval Air!

As soon as we started planning, there was a complication.  It turned out that the ship needed to go to sea for 3 weeks to do some shakedown operations, get some inspections done, do some rudimentary operations, and get ready for the trip.  This little 3-week jaunt would take place about a month before departure.  But that timing posed a big problem for our Air Wing.  Not a big problem for the helicopter guys, but a huge problem for the rest of the Air Wing.  Gigantic.  Because this little 3-week at sea period just happened to occur at the same time that a little event up in Las Vegas called "Tailhook" was going on.  And like I said, our CAG was a great guy and also just so happened to be the President of the Tailhook Association.  So he couldn't possibly miss the annual symposium.  And if he wasn't going to the East coast to spend 3 weeks at sea doing not much of anything, then his guys weren't going either.  So what did he do?  Why he proposed that one of the Air Wings based on the East coast take the at-sea period.  Sounds logical, right.  Well, not to the guys picked to go to sea.  They raised quite a ruckus but to no avail.  Back in those days, everyone knew about Tailhook and everyone went.  And certainly the President couldn't be at sea.  For a little while, it was determined that no one from our Air Wing would go.  But we went to CAG and gave him all the good reasons we should go to Norfolk with 4 helicopters and support the ship.  We were in a faster and more cross-country friendly aircraft, we were new to the aircraft and the trip would provide us with some much-needed flight hours, and we'd get a jump on working with the ship, which is important for the helicopter squadron when first going to a new ship.  

So the day came and off we went.  Four helicopters set off from San Diego for Norfolk.  It was a two and a half day trip.  The first night we stopped at El Paso, TX.  Now there is a garden spot.  But there were no issues and we left bright and early the next day.  The next night we did a RON (remain overnight) in Pensacola, FL.  Now if you're reading you probably have some familiarity with Naval Aviation.  And if that's true you know that it all starts in Pensacola.  That's where we all went to flight school.  And we all have some fond and terrible memories of the place.  The time there was too short, but we all made a valiant attempt to find our old haunts and relive a little of the memories.  And as "fleet aviators" it was a pretty sweet night.  But the next morning we set off to Norfolk and arrived early afternoon.  The big thing about that trip I remember was that I had a massive toothache that started about Tucson.  And it just got worse.  But no way was I turning around or leaving.  As was the case in many, many, many times over my aviation career, my Crew Chief saved me.  He had some very effective pain medication that allowed me to continue on.  Don't know what it was, but it worked.  And even though it's almost 25 years later, I'm still loath to admit to self-medicating.  But it was what it was.  You do what you need to do. After we arrived in Norfolk, I hightailed it down to Dental and they did a root canal on the offending tooth.  The relief was massive!!  The next three weeks were a bit of a blur.  We spent a few days in Norfolk, then flew to the ship as she got underway.  The "other" Air Wing flew aboard after us and we settled into a routine.  Of course, they were perpetually pissed off the whole time.  They were sitting on a ship just out of the yards off the East coast of the U.S. while the guys who should be there were having fun in Las Vegas.  As I said, lots of training, lots of sitting around, lots of walking through procedures, lots of just establishing procedures.  It was a bit excruciating but we were glad we went.  And when it was over we reversed course and headed to San Diego.  We had fulfilled our goals and really had proven just what a great and reliable aircraft the H-60 was.  No problems the whole way. 
But there was an other little problem.  Remember the year.  1991.  If you don't know about it, Google "Tailhook 1991".  Yep.  That was the infamous year.  The year it all blew up.  I'm not going to get into the scandal, the behavior of a few drunkards, the cowardly reaction by many in Navy leadership, the injustice that was perpetrated on so many, and so on.  But I do have first-hand knowledge of the impact of many in my Air Wing who attended.  Many fine and honorable Naval Officers lost their careers as a result of the overzealous prosecution.  And that included CAG.  He is one of the most honorable guys I've ever known.  And he took it all on his shoulders.  Or tried to.  The pressure was immense.  But after a while, he cracked.  He stayed with us for another year and made it to the start of our long deployment, but he eventually cracked.  Oh, today he is okay.  He lives a great life.  But not the life of a retired Admiral like all expected.  

And that other Air Wing?  Well, when the NCIS agents came sniffing around, they had the perfect excuse.  They weren't there.  They were at sea.

That's enough for one bite.  Next time...we're heading South!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cool Pic

As Long as There is a Reason!

Old Ernest had a lot of clever quotes.  Not sure, but this one maybe makes the most sense!


I really like fishing.  Been going fishing my whole life.  This looks like an ideal place to spend the day relaxing and wetting your line.  Plenty of room for your stuff and nice and peaceful.  It must be summer because for some reason I sense it's sorta hot!


Restroom sign in a restaurant.  Pretty clever.  Nothing like making a statement regarding the differences between men and women while directing people where to go pee.

Democrat Philosophy

This is it, isn't it.  The Dems are all about bribing people for their votes.  "If you vote for me, I'll give you this".  It's been that way since I can remember.  And as a strategy, it's not too bad.  Take what you need from someone else and give it to the guy who is likely to vote for you.  It's cynical and dishonest has hell, but it works.  Too bad.

Fantasy vs Reality

I bet the photo on the left is used in a lot of travel brochures.  Unfortunately, the photo on the right is probably closer to reality.  Remember that when you're shopping for a vacation.


I've already found my soulmate.  But if I hadn't, I could relate to this.  But the list would probably start with beer instead of wine.


Man, this guy really, really, really wanted a Big Mac!!

Isn't This the Truth!

I'm trying real hard not to be an old dude and getting impatient with people.  But it's getting more and more difficult.  I guess that means I'm just getting older and older.  But is it just me or is everyone obsessed with not only doing some freaky, wacky, trendy thing but also announcing it to everyone they meet.  I'm thinking all of you who are vegans, vegetarians, gluten free, lactose intolerant, cross fitters, marathoners (BTW...take the 26.2 sign off your car...), etc, etc, etc.  We get it.  You're better.  You're unique.  You're absolutely the best.'d don't have to tell everyone.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Motivation Monday

Saw this quote in some random tweet and it really resonated.  Put it up on FB and will replicate here. Especially in these times of unrest and various people looking to assume leadership positions, it's worth stopping and asking what kind of person they really are.  Character...that's what matters.

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power -- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sometimes Ya Need a Hammer!

I've seen and heard of reset buttons.  Push the button, reset everything.  But sometimes you need a bit more persuasion.  Like this...

Thoughtful Parents

I like this.  A lot!

Functional, But...

This would be a curiosity.  And pretty cool.  And I guess it would store a few books and knick-knacks.  But functional?  And economical?  Nope.


A bit crude...but this is as good advice as I've ever provided on this blog.

Beautiful Starfish

I love nature!  This is as big a starfish as I've ever seen.  And it's pretty well formed.  You're welcome!

Pay Attention!!

Not sure what this guy is listening to, but it's pretty likely that he is distracted!

Great Start

It took me a minute to get this one.

Good Advice

When I go up to the Eastern Sierra to go fishing or skiing, I go through a little town in the middle of nowhere out in a remote part of the California desert that has a prison up in the hills above the only crossroads.  I always think to myself what a miserable place that must be to be incarcerated.  And there is a sign similar to this one on the road that goes by it.  I also always think to myself who in the world would pick up someone hitchhiking near this sign.  But maybe there are exceptions...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Church and State

I'm an Episcopalian.  I'm not a "cradle Episcopalian" as so many of my fellow parishioners so proudly proclaim.  I was not born to it, raised in it, nor embraced by it.  Rather I came to it in a haphazard and unexpected manner.  Some friends invited us to check out their Episcopal church about 15 years ago and we decided to give it a try.  From the beginning, we were hooked.  One of the things that I've come to love about the church is the concept of 'via media' or the middle way.  The Episcopal church is famous for its reasoned approach to the issues of the day and indeed to all things.  I found this pretty good description on the net:

“Anglicans do not ascribe an absolute authority to Scripture. At the same time, Anglicanism rejects the absolute claims of an infallible papacy. Anglicanism is distinct in its reliance on the ‘Three-Legged Stool’ of Scripture, Reason, and Tradition.”
Attributed to the 16th century English writer, Richard Hooker, the “Three-Legged Stool” has become the essential feature of a distinct “Anglican Ethos.” Its popularity appears to lie in the manner in which it functions to exclude any form of religious “absolutism.” Neither the Bible, nor the authority or the Church, nor the reasoning intellect can claim the last word, but together they offer a balanced way to discern the will of God."
Scripture, tradition, and reason.  That seems like a pretty good combination to me.  And it allows for growth, questioning, and arriving at previously unconsidered positions.

One of the things you'll also know about me is that I served in our nation's Navy for 25 years.  I'm proud of that and I'm a loyal and fierce defender of American exceptionalism, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution.  In looking at our Constitution, I believe that the most important Amendment is the 1st Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

What this Amendment has always meant to me is that it is the foundation for our freedoms.  And it has also meant that we are all free to believe what we want and are free from the church, any church, imposing its will or command on the population.

So putting those two things together, I was deeply distressed and disturbed when I got a general email from our diocesan Bishop yesterday.  Here it is in its entirety:
Beloved in Christ,
Over the last few weeks, our nation has been fixated on the unlikely candidacy of Donald J. Trump. For some, he seems to be the straight talking, outside-of-the-establishment leader that we need. Others see him as careless and divisive. What seem clear is that his message resonates with a significant number of people. Never mind that he is willing to use race to divide, or that he is eager to exploit fear of outsiders, making Muslims and undocumented persons convenient scapegoats. It is particularly chilling to watch African-Americans roughly removed from his campaign events, events in which white participants in the last couple of days have looked eerily like those at Fascist rallies from another time with arms raised in fealty to a leader.
I have simply assumed that this would go away as we came to ourselves and rediscovered our common principles. Mr. Trump, however, does not appear to be going away. And the reason he is not going away is that he is not the problem. He is the symptom. The reality is that the leaders that we choose reflect us. Too many of us have been silent. And far too many are being fooled into believing that others are to blame for their woes and that by diminishing others we shall find salvation.
These tactics might win elections, but they will not heal a broken world or improve a nation. Mr. Trump proposes to make America great again, but he suggests doing it at the expense of others. He would wall out migrants, raise tariffs, build walls, and bring back torture. He postulates a world of desirables and undesirables, and he is banking that enough of us will imagine ourselves in his lucky pot and will vote accordingly.
What is particularly vexing is his assertion that he is a great Christian. His recent dust up with the Roman Catholic pope does not even seem to dent his assertion. As a bishop of the church, I have for too long shaken my head and remained silent. No more! As the old hymn says, "They'll know we are Christians by our love." To be a Christian is to follow Jesus in fearless love. To be a Christian is to be one who offers that love to all, who sees Christ in all others, who shows Jesus' preference for the poor, the outcast and the stranger. How does Mr. Trump's rhetoric of division and blame reflect the way of Jesus? We should ask Mr. Trump that famous question asked of Jesus: "who is my neighbor?" The Christian definition of neighbor will never tolerate walls or torture or any form of disparagement and division.
My Christian faith requires that I reject what Mr. Trump espouses. This moment, however, is an opportunity for us to ask, as a nation, what our core values are. In the words of the first Republican president, we are invited to discover the "better angels of our nature." As a nation of immigrants that is increasingly coming to terms with our complex history around racism, sexism, and homophobia, we can claim a generosity of spirit that transcends our individual religious identities. It begins and ends with the premise that we are indeed created equal, as scripture says, "in the likeness of God." All carry the potential of the divine. All are to be respected. Each person is neighbor to every other person. Black lives matter and all lives matter, and we are going to do something about all lives. In the end, unity is stronger than division; hope is stronger than fear.  And always, love wins out over hate. It is up to each of us to change this political campaign, this country and this world. We do it by how we treat the least in our midst; we do it by how we vote.
Now, to be clear, I'm not a Trump supporter.  If you've been reading at all you know that I've had plenty to say about the Republican primary saga.  I was a Kasich guy and wound up switching to Rubio for a lot of reasons.  After last night, I'm back with Kasich but realistically he has no chance.  So the hope is that no one arrives in Cleveland with 1237 votes and then the delegates wind up deciding.  So be it.  That's our system.  And there is one fundamental truth that I have not wavered on since the beginning.  That is that any of the Republicans are better than a criminal or a 74-year old socialist.  And after last night it's looking like the criminal is likely to be the nominee...if she isn't under indictment.

So having said that there are a couple of things about the Bishop's email that I found objectionable.  First, he is dangerously close to violating, at least, the spirit of the 1st Amendment.  Put simply, stay out of politics.  Second, from my perspective, he's crossed the line regarding IRS rules for nonprofits.  I'm not squealing, but he'd better be very, very careful.  Third, and probably most importantly, from my perspective, his message is breathtakingly shallow and narrow-minded.  He has taken the media line hook, line, and sinker.  I'm sure he hasn't been to any Trump speeches.  I'm sure he hasn't pored over Trump proposals and policy papers.  And yet he defines Trump as careless and divisive.  I've got news for him.  Divisive started 7 years ago.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  When Obama was elected I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.  He wasn't my guy but I was willing to support him.  But he left me, and those like me, behind pretty quickly.  He has been unbelievably divisive and dismissive.  The Bishop has also bought the media narrative on some events that have occurred at Trumps events.  From my perspective, that is ignorant.  Those who are against Trump have used reprehensible tactics to disrupt his peaceful assemblies.  Have there been some tempers that have unfortunately erupted?  Yes.  Were they provoked beyond all conventional standards?  Arguably yes.  Remember, there are two sides to every story.  He also talks about Trumps comments about immigrants and Muslims.  First, take our neighbors to the South.  Go check out the jails in any county along our Southern border.  Go to some the Hispanic neighborhoods along the Southern border and check out how they are ruled by gangs of Mexican thugs.  Simply, there are a lot of bad guys coming across the border, exploiting their own kind and terrorizing innocents.  That is just a fact.  It's not everyone.   Not by a long shot.  But it is a big problem.  I for one value the sovereignty of our nation.  I think borders matter. And it seems to me logical that securing our border should be the first order of business.  I've mentioned before in this space and many, many others have begged for comprehensive immigration reform.  But instead of leading an effort to solve the problem, Obama has ignored it and actually made it worse for political purposes.  I like the old saying...good fences make good neighbors.  I too am offended by the comment that we should ban Muslims from entering the country.  But I'm also smart enough to know that it was a comment voiced out of frustration and perhaps newness to the political process.  And the fact is that a medieval cult is taking over vast pieces of the Middle East, they hate us, they are beheading Christians, and they want to export their form of terror the rest of the world.  And they are already impacting Europe.  So I'm not for banning Muslims (and I don't think most people are) but I'm certainly for doing something.  It needs to be a reasoned approach and not developed in the heat of a campaign, but it needs to happen.  The Bishop also mentions tariffs.  Is the bishop getting into export/import policy?  Not wise.  Not wise at all.  There are a lot of things I don't like about Trump, but he is absolutely right that we are getting our butts kicked by the Chinese and so many other countries in the world when it comes to trade policy.  Having someone in the White House that understands this wouldn't be such a bad thing.

I agree with the Bishop that our country has so many problems that are sociological, economic, security related, etc and that the way to address them is not to divide us.  But that has been going on for 7 years and he has said nothing.  You can't have it both ways.  At least, if you're a religious leader you can't.  He has said nothing about Obama's divisiveness.  He has said nothing about Hillary's behavior and lying over the last several decades.  He has said nothing about her enabling of Bubba's abuse of women.  He has said nothing about her responsibility for the loss of 4 brave Americans in Benghazi.  And probably most heinously, he has said nothing about her cavalier, superior actions that have done untold damage to our national security.  You can't have it both ways.  Talk about one, talk about the other.

I mightily hope and pray that this email was an aberration.  That the Bishop was frustrated and decided he had to act.  He's a good man.  I can forgive him.  But this was a breach.  A serious breach.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Cool Pic

Great Rationale

And sometimes when a bi slice of chocolate cake with white icing is sitting right in front of me, the rationale kicks in...


Batman!  Yeah that's it...Batman!

Dogs Are Cool!

And cats are evil!!


The interesting thing about this graphic is that old saying, "where you stand depends on where you sit".  For me and people of my ilk, this totally applies to Obama and how he has divided us over the last several years.  And there is much evidence that is true.

But for the crowd protesting Trump, he embodies the same thing.  So I guess it's true...where you stand depends on where you sit.

The Beach

This could be my mantra...

Cool Pic


Man, this guy is against everything. good protest deserves another!

Kill The Climate Deniers!

Just when I think I've heard it all, a new thing pops up.  This week the story leaked out that the Obama administration all the way to the Attorney General has been discussing how to prosecute those who are skeptical of climate change.  Pretty interesting...and scary.  Guess they've decided that the 1st Amendment doesn't apply.  You can read about it here.  And here's the key point.
"...the cabal of activists, scientists, academics, shyster politicians and hacks promoting the global warming agenda are quite astonishingly low grade. They’re low grade morally – which you’d expect – but they’re also so low-grade in terms of competence, credibility and intellect that it’s quite amazing how they manage to hold down their jobs. (Probably because they mostly work in the public sector, would be my guess). 
What’s really going to do for the Climate Alarmists in the end, I think, though, is not so much their stupidity or their venality but their arrogance and their complacency. They’re so spoilt by being part of a protected, padded, taxpayer-funded Establishment, so used to dismissing their opponents with appeals to authority, ad hominems and bully boy tactics that they’ve completely lost sight of how weak their position is."
I'm not a denier nor do I embrace the current theology of climate change.  Is there something going on that has been caused by man?  Probably.  Will it impact us in the short term (150 years)?  Probably not.  But should we be taking reasonable precautions and steps to minimize man's impact on the environment?  Definitely.  But overwhelmingly I've seen a lot of scams and shysters in this business.  And at the end of the day I keep coming back to something pretty basic...follow the money!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ntl Pancake Day/Intl Women's Day!

March 8th...a big day.  Today is International Women's Day and National Pancake Day.  Hmmm...I'm not going to draw any linkages.  Largely because I don't really think there are any.  But it got me thinking about the efficacy of having "days".

Now when it comes to pancakes, I think we can all agree that it's pretty harmless.  Oh, I guess the No Carb Nazis or the Gluten Free Maniacs could decry the day.  I mean, while eating pancakes is definitely not healthy (although you are getting fruit if they have blueberries in them) and normally aren't on any diet I'm aware of, they are pretty yummy.  Especially with real butter and thick syrup.  So you can make the case that eating an occasional pancake isn't necessarily harmful but isn't something you'd want to do every day.  And then I hear of this story.  It seems that IHOP uses today to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network and Shriner's Hospital.  In fact, they invented the day for just that reason.  If you went into an IHOP today you got a free short stack of pancakes and they asked for a donation.  Last year they raised $3.5 million!  Not bad.  Not bad at all.  This is something I can get behind.  Too late for me today, but next year watch out!
And coincidentally today is International Women's Day.  Interesting.  I'm all for empowering women.  And I'm all for lifting up all those discriminated against in many, many non-enlightened countries around the world. And I'm all for raising people up.  Give them a hand up.  Make sure all are treated equal.  Take action to protect women when they suffer the unspeakable atrocities that we hear about in other cultures.  Of course, we (the U.S. and other western countries) don't seem interested or able to do that.  We've lost our way when it comes to protecting those who need it.  Since we don't have a "national interest", we do nothing.  Sort of like this...
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.  Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." 

But in the U.S. it just seems to me like another reason to divide us.  The political class, the intelligentsia, academia, the media...they all like to do that.  Put people in buckets and get them to identify with a particular group.  Say one group is better, or in greater need, or disadvantaged, or more entitled, or discriminated against, or whatever.  I know, I know.  Women don't make as much.  Women can't make it for whatever reason.  I'm sorry.  That's just not my experience.  From where I sit in almost all walks of life that I see women are valued, treated equally, and certainly have an equal footing in almost everything.  It's said that women don't earn as much.  Once again, not my experience.  It's said that women are disadvantaged in job selection.  Once again, not my experience.  But I'm willing to admit that that isn't the case everywhere and in some locales, different economic stratum, different geographic locations, etc there are issues.  So let's just do this.  Let's each of us try to treat everyone equally.  Like we're all Americans.  Like we like each other.  While we're doing that let's not lose our sense of humor or proportionality.

If you've been reading you know that I have several granddaughters.  From my view they have every opportunity that their male counterparts have.  I'm optimistic that they will see that as they grow up and will step up to bearing the responsibility of being a free person in the greatest country in the world.  It's not always easy.  But it should be fair.

You also probably know that I'm a retired Naval Aviator.  Women didn't get integrated into the military until the waning years of my service.  I won't lie.  There were difficulties and growing pains.  But today we're better off for it.  Today, all jobs are open and if they are capable and qualified, women can do anything.  Witness this...

Monday, March 7, 2016


I follow this guy's blog, The Conservative Wahoo.  He is ideologically pretty close to me, but much more active in national security circles.  I resonate pretty strongly with his thoughts.  Electing Trump would be a big risk.  And there are huge negatives.  

However...I like what Trump says about winning.  And I think he would surround himself with pretty smart people.  He has always done that.  And maybe he would grow in the job.  I don't know...maybe I'm just rationalizing the inevitable.  And there is still a long way to go.

But the same fundamental truth rules the day...he would be infinitely better than the criminal or the socialist!

Class Act!!

Don't need to say much.  Just pull up a chair, grab a beverage, and watch it all.