Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Economy & Global Warming
We're all going to die!!!!
Funny how everyone was panicking yesterday about the drop in the DOW/NASDAQ/ETC. If you watched the news you'd think we were just days away from soup lines and 'Hoover Towns' of box homes and starving people.
What the headlines should have said was, "DOW drops to December numbers." Basically it lost very little, and is still higher than it was all of last year. It could drop 1000 points and we'd still be in good shape.
Not if you listened to the news though. It's all a show for ratings.
I was watching a CNN story on how one of Al Gore's mansions uses 20x more energy than the average American. They transitioned to a website that calculates your 'carbon footprint'.
This is where it gets good.
Not only do they calculate your carbon footprint, they then give you the option of offsetting it by contributing a voluntary tax to an organization that cares about the environment. In other words, the more you drive, travel, and breathe, the more you need to pay.
I'm all for donating to worthy causes and to organizations that you feel make a difference, but this is a TAX, not a donation. I guarantee that you'll be seeing a 'Carbon Offset' tax within the next year here in the U.S. I know the UN has been trying to pass a global carbon tax, but we all know who'd be footing the bill on that one.
My challenge to this theory of taxing to save the environment is this: If we've been paying taxes to stop hunger, genocide, famine, and disease, why haven't those been taken care of yet? And, if these things aren't being fixed, why do you think taxing our toasters and washing machines will save the world?
This website is a glimpse of things to come.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I have a lame question only an Air Force guy could ask, but it's for a good cause.
Is anyone out there familiar with embroidery? I have an illustration I need to get embroidered, but some of the stores I've talked to have informed me that the image needs to be 'digitized', or converted into the format their embroidery machines use. Easy enough, except they all want about $50 bones per image just to convert the damn things.
1) Does anyone know which format embroidery machines use?
2) Is that format easy to convert to using other imaging programs?
Now, the reason I'm asking is because for years now I've been trying to find 'girly' pilot clothing and gear for my daughters. I live next to an Air Force base, yet all the pilot stuff is for boys. I want my girls to wear patches and cool shirts as well, and to always know that they too can fly if they want. Flying isn't just for boys. (Look at the Navy)
So, I finally gave up and had MauserGirl design some outstanding girl wings, patches, and images fitting for two little girls to wear. She did an amazing job by the way. Send her an email if you ever need something. My next step is to have these images embroidered onto some cool shirts and jackets for the girls, but now I'm hitting a wall. How do you get images embroidered onto clothing without spending a fortune?
Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated, and possibly rewarded! Not to mention there are two little girls who'd be very happy to get their own set of wings some time this century if I ever get off my arse and get this done.
America Is Not At War....
Couldn't have said it better myself.
Update to Last Friday's Stupidity/Insanity
Well, we made it to the Air Force Dining Out with only minutes to spare, and we both looked pretty slick. I ended up having an unexpected role in the ceremony which I performed flawlessly... but our Commander screwed up his part, so of course I was the one who looked like the meat-head.
Commanders aren't allowed to look like meat-heads.
A comment on the closing speech. During the event, whenever applause was necessary we were only allowed to tap our spoons on the table rather than clap with our hands. If we did clap, we would have been sent to drink from the Grog, which was in a toilet in the middle of the room. (Always classy). The closing speaker made one comment that said everything there was to say about the person was when he proposed more toasts. He ran out of things to toast to, so he decided to give rounds of 'spoon taps' to random people, places, animals, objects etc... you name it, the guy just wouldn't stop. The absolute worst one was when he asked for a round of spoon tapping for.... our country. No kidding.
"And let's give a warm spoon tap for (pause for effect) our country."
This request was followed by a few lonely taps that were mostly drowned out by some crickets outside the windows. Hell, we're all patriotic, but a spoon tap for our country?! I guess after giving spoon taps for so many random things, we were all tapped out. He should have had his microphone cut off long before he got to that point.
The Queen and I quickly fled after that and headed to a restaurant down in Cincinnati for some dessert and drinks. We had to wash down the rock-hard fillet/horse meat we paid 25$ for at the dinner. Of course I dumped half the chocolate fondue on my uniform, but it was dark enough to hide in the restaurant and we got a good laugh out of it.
In the end it was a good night.
And, my lesson was learned. Keep the events calendar updated bonehead! No more last-minute crap.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
MilBlogging.Com's 2006 Milbloggie Awards
I just found out that I'm nominated for the 2006 Milbloggie Award in the USAF category. Where have I been?! Thank you to whoever nominated me.
Now that I know I'm a nominee I have until 27 February to get schlep for some votes, so here it goes...
Vote For Me!!
If I win I promise to buy the adult beverage of choice to anyone who can provide a valid I.D. and can track me down at the Wright Brothers Bar down the road.
Okay, now get out there and do your duty!
Now back to reality. There are some pretty good Army, Air Force, Navy, and Military Supporter blogs out there, and Milblogger.com has done a great job in organizing the community. There are some great blogs that are nominated that could really use your votes, especially in the Army blog category.
As for this site, since I'm not deployed and currently flying a desk it's hard to write about what our brothers and sisters in arms are doing out in Southwest Asia. The one thing I would love to do with this site more than anything is to restart Arthur Chrenkoff's 'Good News From Iraq' posts. Once a month he would gather all of the great news that wasn't being reported, and combine it all into one excellent post that was a must read among all of us in the military who knew what was really going on, but just couldn't' find it.
I attempted this idea once, and it was so so, but it took a hell of a lot of work and time... more time than I had at that moment. This year I'm going to try it again, and maybe I'll get better at it as I continue the effort.
We'll see how it all goes.
In the mean time be sure to get out there and vote for your favorite Milblog site.
Friday, February 23, 2007
I'm In The Dog House....
Why??!! Because in the chaos with my transition to a new job, my Commander's retirement ceremony, and everything else, I forgot that the Air Force Dining Out was tonight instead of tomorrow night.
In other words, I had to call the wife and let her know. Try telling a woman that she had only a few hours to get her manicure, pedicure, hair, makeup, and dress all together.
Of course no matter what, she'll look like a Princess....
And since my uniform is still not ready, I'll be showing up in style...
I'm so dead.
Friday - Woooo Hooo!
Courtesy of people with more time on their hands than I.
Tumbleweed, my Weather Officer amigo held prisoner at an undisclosed Mid-West location for another few months sent me the following gems. I especially like the Weather patch. I need to make one for my career field, just with more kicking and blood.
That's not snow... THIS is Snow!
Last week I was joking about how the State of Ohio closed down because of 5 inches of snow.
Well, a friend of MissBirdlegs sent me this picture in response to that post, basically proving that these whiney Ohio dweebs I'm surrounded by can't hack it like the big boys. (I of course am from the Left Coast, so I'm NOT one of those dweebs!)
Not sure where the photo was taken, but that my friend is a good enough reason not to go to work. Reminds me of Alaska, just warmer.
Sadly, fluffy was found after the Spring Thaw
Using Cows to Teach World Economics
The very cool Finch linked to a very cool Bloomberg article that uses cows to describe the world today.
You have two cows. China has 1 trillion cows. Guess who sets the price of milk?
You have no cows. You slap advertisements on everyone else's cows. The milk floods in. You use the proceeds to reinvent the cow.
Click here to read the rest and 'edumacate' yourself. Personally, I went to college to be a stock broker and ended up a Historian/International Relations nerd. Why? Because I sucked at economics. Sure, I understand the Supply vs. Demand concept, but after seeing the 1000th graph showing me yet another way Supply vs. Demand worked, I lost my sanity and fled to the sanctuary of the History Department, where everything you studied already happened.
Probably explains why I'm not a millionaire yet.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Someone Call Please Call Air Force Public Relations About the New ABU
Hey Abu, where's Johnny Quest?
Ooooo, we're invisible... you can't see us when we're hiding in our cubicles.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Who Said Money Can Buy Happiness?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
This is the end.... my only friend, the end
As of today I am no longer an Executive Officer. With my Commander retiring, my office moving, and my unit evaporating, I no longer have a real job in this Air Force. (My mission of destroying a great unit has succeeded)
At least I'm unemployed for only one more day. I am moving on to less stressful and more enjoyable things tomorrow. Last week was truly one of the craziest in my career, but now it's time to settle down and enjoy life... until I have to move to another base of course. Still not sure what's happening with the move to LA or Boston, but I'm sure the AF will let me know soon enough.
This weekend I finally read Starship Troopers. No, not the crappy movie version, but the real deal. The book was amazing in that it made me realize how much I miss being an actual leader in the military. The Air Force has a unique way of training their Officers to be leaders, and then wasting all of that talent on reading email and powerpoint preparation. After reading this book I'm ready to go enlist in the Army and kill some bugs... it's that good of a book. I highly recommend it.
Today I will spend deleting thousands of files from my work PC, transferring thousands to another PC in another office, shredding documents and embarrassing pictures, and cleaning house. My Blues Brothers concert poster, transformers, GI Joes all have to be packed away, and honestly... I can't wait. Some people were made to be Execs.... I wasn't. I did my job and did it very well, but at a huge personal cost. Zero workout time, much less home time, and professionally I've lost a lot of opportunities on other projects I could have been working on, but I had to get this exec box checked off for the career. Thankfully what should have been an 18 month gig turned into a 5 month quicky, saving my sanity in the process.
So, hopefully these next few months will be a blast. I hope it's the same for you all. The regulars who read this blog (and you know who you are) are really some of the nicest and intelligent people out there, and I wish you only the best for this year.
I never thought it would be so hard to empty out the keg hidden under my desk.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
OK OK, Real Snow...
Dayton has been struck by a massive blizzard. We're all going to die!!!!!
Actually, it's not too bad, but it did happen to snow while I was organizing and hosting a 300+ person retirement ceremony for one of our base leaders. I've just been having a blast these last few days.
I need to take some leave.
Cuervo... take me away!
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Why is the snow turning yellow under your chair Dude?
Monday, February 12, 2007
Segolene Royal (w/Cheese), and The Death of France
I never thought the end of France would involve high heals and a skirt, but it's looking that way. The front-runner for the upcoming Presidential election is Segolene Royal.
Don't be fooled by her smile and great personality. She's proposing a very socialist economic recovery plan that she feels will revive her nation's plummeting economy.
Here's a little history lesson. Name one country in the last 100 years that saved it's economy from collapse by using an extreme socialist model. Even China was smart enough to scrap that plan and go with a capitalist economic model. It's just another example of France wanting to be 'different and special,' even if it means throwing up their hands and surrendering to stupidity.
She's the front-runner... I never imagined that the final nail in the coffin would wear lipstick. I always assumed it would be at the hands of a Jeac Chirac wannabe.
So long France. It was fun while it lasted.
Obama's Australia Snafu Shows He Lacks Gravitas... and 5th Grade Math Comprehension
"The US has 140,000 troops in Iraq, and Australia only has 1,400... maybe if the Australians sent 20,000 more troops to Iraq....."
Wave Your Hands In The Air If You're a True Player!
Here's a basic Math lesson for Mr. Obama... super math genuis.
The US has 300M citizens. We have roughly 1M active duty Army, Guard and Reserve soldiers. We have approximately 140,000 soldiers in Iraq.
The Australians only have 20M citizens, and an active duty Army of 26,000. They have %6 of their military fighting in Iraq, and many others fighting in Afghanistan. They're also leading the peacekeeping missions throughout the South Pacific (remember East Timor, dimwit?), which accounts for even more deployed troops.
Current Aussie Operations
In other words, if the Aussies listened to Mr. Gravitas Obama, they would need to send nearly 100% of their entire active duty Army to Iraq if they really want a say in how it's fought.
Good on John Howard for speaking the truth about Iraq to Obama, and for putting him in his place. Remember, Obama is a 2-year Senator with ZERO experience doing much else as a leader, yet he thinks he can run with the big dogs.
John Howard, you kick ass. Keep up the great work.
We Don't Need No Stink'n Ammo
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Soviet monument to make way for Ronald Reagan
(Story) "Opponents of Poland's former communist regime reportedly want to pay a posthumous homage to US President Ronald Reagan by erecting his statue in the place of a Soviet-era monument.
In an open letter to the mayor of the southwestern city of Katowice, the former anti-regime activists said that the staunchly anti-communist Reagan had been a "symbol of liberty," the Polish news agency PAP reported.
As a result, they said, he deserved to become the centrepiece of the city's Freedom Square, replacing a monument to the Soviet troops who drove out the occupying Nazis in 1945.
They also said that they wanted the site to be rebaptised "Ronald Reagan Freedom Square."
Friday, February 09, 2007
Report about the DoD Manipulating Pre-War Intel, and Clinton's 1998 Desert Fox Speech
After reading this article about the DoD manipulating Pre-War intel, I couldn't help but think of a speech President Clinton gave 16 December 1998.
First, the article: Report says Pentagon manipulated intel
"That was the argument that was used to make the sale to the American people about the need to go to war," said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. He said the Pentagon's work, "which was wrong, which was distorted, which was inappropriate ... is something which is highly disturbing."
If you read the entire article, they even throw in Cheney and Rumsfeld as instigators.
Now... the logical followup to this accusation: Who was behind the manipulation of intelligence leading up to Operation Desert Fox, when Clinton and Blair attacked Iraq due to its non-compliance with the UN resolutions?
The Speech: (Worth the read)
CLINTON: Good evening.
Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.
Their purpose is to protect the national interest of the United States, and indeed the interests of people throughout the Middle East and around the world.
Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.
I want to explain why I have decided, with the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, to use force in Iraq; why we have acted now; and what we aim to accomplish.
Six weeks ago, Saddam Hussein announced that he would no longer cooperate with the United Nations weapons inspectors called UNSCOM. They are highly professional experts from dozens of countries. Their job is to oversee the elimination of Iraq's capability to retain, create and use weapons of mass destruction, and to verify that Iraq does not attempt to rebuild that capability.
The inspectors undertook this mission first 7.5 years ago at the end of the Gulf War when Iraq agreed to declare and destroy its arsenal as a condition of the ceasefire.
The international community had good reason to set this requirement. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. Unleashing chemical weapons against Iranian troops during a decade-long war. Not only against soldiers, but against civilians, firing Scud missiles at the citizens of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Iran. And not only against a foreign enemy, but even against his own people, gassing Kurdish civilians in Northern Iraq.
The international community had little doubt then, and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.
...Read the rest here.
Isn't it amazing. Had Clinton or Gore been in office, an offensive operation against Iraq would have been supported by all sides.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
West Coast, East Coast, or No Coast
The wonderful people at the Air Force Personnel Center have given me three career choices to make by this Friday.
C: No Coast (otherwise known as Hasta La Bye Bye)
The clock is ticking..... any suggestions? Any good job leads outside the military? Any tips on choosing the best tin can and 'Will Work for Food' sign?
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Astronaut Stalker Was To Be Tracked By Satellites
Hollywood couldn't have made this up even if we tried.
"Orange County Judge Mike Murphy had earlier said Nowak could be released on $15,500 bond provided she stay away from the other woman and wear a monitoring device"
She was to be tracked with a GPS ankle bracelet, yet just before her release they slapped her with attempted murder charges.
(insert your own 'travel to strange black holes in prison' joke here)
And for all of you little kids who want to grow up and become astronauts, let me repeat....
Crack Is Whack!
Who Tied His Hands? Bush vs. Iran
Maybe it was the intelligence gap of 2003. Maybe it's how he's handled the current situation in Iraq. Then again, maybe it those in Congress that were inflicted with BDS the day Bush was elected to office, and have worked feverishly to remove any ounce of presidential authority he was Constitutionally given. Either way, the cartoon above says everything about how Bush's hands are now tied.
Iran continues killing our troops in Iraq, and the only acknowledgement of this fact I've heard from the left was from Barrack Obama, who said it's an important issue. Well, no sh*t Sherlock! Our guys are being killed by a nation-state, and you think it's an important issue.
What would it take to untie our hands and respond properly to Iran's current aggression?
-A glowing Tel Aviv?
-A full scale Iranian invasion into Iraq?
-An Iranian sponsored terrorist attack in the US? Nope, that wouldn't be bad enough according those who believe 9/11 wasn't all that serious, or that it was committed by President Chimpy McHalliburton and his evil Hitler-esq Neo-Cons.
And of course while this non-existent debate lingers on, more Americans die at the hands of Iran. If President Reagan was ballsy enough to bomb Libya after they sponsored a disco bombing in Germany, what would he have done after the first confirmed intelligence came into his office showing Iranian involvement in US deaths?
I guarantee more than a few precision-guided munitions dropped from unseen aircraft would have taken out some key decision makers in the Iranian government.
Sadly, today all we get is an accurate cartoon of our leader on top of a Humvee with a Megaphone, making Iran laugh as Hans Blix did to Kim Jong Il in the movie 'Team America.'
"If you don't let us inspect your facilities, the UN is going to draft a strongly worded letter telling you how disappointed they are, and if you don't let us in after that... we'll send an even stronger letter."
Whatever happened to our national backbone?
A True Martyr
Friendly Fire Video between US A-10s and British Tanks, and the Death of Lance Cpl Matt Hull
There's nothing one can say to truly justify this, no matter how accurate it may be. The 'Fog of War' is a terrible thing that has unnecessarily killed far too many people since the beginning of time, and this is no different.
My concern today is with the leaking of the video to the press. Classified means Classified, no matter what the information is. When I first heard of the leaked video I thought that someone was going to fry for letting this out. Who in their right mind would break their oath and hand this to a reporter?
After reading further into the story, it's clear that nobody in the US Air Force released this to the press. Instead, it was most likely someone on the British side who took part in the investigation and got fed up with the Pentagon's refusal to make the tape public. I doubt anyone can be prosecuted for releasing it since they're British, and I know our nations are too close to try and place limits on our information sharing after this. There are bigger things to deal with in the world right now.
Of course those who are against the war will replay the video over and over again, using this tragedy as an excuse for the Brits to withdrawal from this evil Bush war. Ignoring the obvious pain they'll inflict on an already devastated Hull family, this video will now be placed in the grand library of anti-war socialist propaganda, to be used and abuse for years to come.
And as always, the real tragedy that day will be forever lost in the fog of anti-war ignorance.
Lance Cpl Matty Hull, you will never be forgotten, and our Air Force is doing everything in its power to make sure this never happens again.
Navy Astronaut vs. Air Force Astronaut - An Intergalactic Cat Fight
A Jerry Springer episode of galactic proportions.
All I can say is... Only in America.
ORLANDO, Fla. - "It seems almost out of this world, but a lovesick NASA astronaut allegedly attacked a fellow female space traveler over the attention of another male astronaut.
Lisa Marie Nowak, a mission specialist on a Discovery launch last summer, was reportedly wearing a trench coat and wig as she carried a knife, brand new steel mallet, BB pistol, rubber tubing, plastic bags, black gloves and $600 in cash at Orlando International Airport this morning.
The 43-year-old drove from Texas to meet the 1 a.m. flight of a younger woman who had also been seeing Bill Oefelein, the astronaut Nowak had feelings for.
Police reports indicate that once Air Force Capt. Colleen Shipman arrived, Nowak followed her to long-term parking, tried to get into Shipman's car and doused her with pepper spray.
Nowak now faces charges of attempted kidnapping, battery, attempted vehicle burglary with battery and destruction of evidence. Police said due to the amount of weapons and disguises found, they consider her a real threat to the victim. They requested she be held without bail in the Orange County Jail.
Nowak told police that she was "involved in a relationship with" Oefelein, calling it "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship," according to the arrest affidavit.
Nowak told police she had discovered Oefelein was involved with Shipman, so she planned a trip to Orlando to talk to Shipman about their relationships with Oefelein. She explained the BB gun "was going to be used to entice Ms. Shipman to talk with her," the affidavit said. She did not provide an explanation for the plastic bags or the gloves."
Thankfully Air Force won this round, and Capt Shipman is still in one piece. Go Air Force!
On a much more important note, what the hell happened to NASA's stringent psychological screening of astronaut applicants? Does this mean I can finally apply? Can you imagine if these two had been in space together? It would have been bigger brawl then when the Iron Sheik fought Sgt Slaughter in a steel cage match.
Friday, February 02, 2007
'Women Only' Parking
After years of complaints by women over parking at a local Mall, the manager and the Mall owners have decided to create a "Parking for Women only" area located on the 3rd floor parking garage.
Friday Optimism, Weekend Fun
Too much bad juju in my life and the rest of the world at the moment, so I'm looking for some good stuff to start the weekend off right.
Global Warming - Good news? Well, according to these scientists, our last little global warming cycle in 1000-1300A.D. brought Europe more food, health, and growth than ever recorded. In other words, the temps back then were higher than they are now, and agriculture boomed throughout Europe and North America (as reported by the Vikings). So if we are indeed headed into another warm cycle (and I truly believe it is a cycle, and not man made), then looks like we might be a little more better off in terms of feeding the world and prospering. Now if we can just start building more solar arrays and ethanol plants, we can stop suckling off the tainted oil from Venezuela and the Middle East and really clean up the air.
Paris Hilton is an Idiot - I find this really funny. Some guys paid 2700$ at a storage shed auction, and ended up finding a treasure trove of Paris Hilton tapes, photos, notes, etc. They sold it to some website for 10 Million dollars. Now the website is publishing those videos and photos, and it turns out that Paris really is an idiot, confirming what we've all suspected. Something to laugh about over the weekend.
Fun With Scientology - I watched the South Park Scientology episode last night, where Tom Cruise locks himself in the closet... and he won't come out of the closet (wink wink), and the insanity of Scientology is exposed for what it really is. If you can find this episode on line or at the store, rent it. You'll be laughing for a good 30 minutes. Oh, and if you think that the South Park dudes do nothing but bash religion, they don't. They might bring to light some oddities about celebrities who wear their religion on their sleeve, but it's all in good fun.
Missile Defence - After listening to the folks in charge of building and activating our missile defence shield last week, I have two words for you: Kick Ass. Our system works, and works so well there's really nothing that can penetrate it. Of course it can't stop nukes from being smuggled in, but in just a few months we'll be inspecting up to 99% of all shipping containers coming into US ports. We've spent billions, but the systems are coming online and working quite well. Hopefully you'll sleep a little better tonight with that news. I know I have been.
Super Bowl Weekend - 'Nough Said. Enjoy the game. I'm sure the Bears will put up a good fight. Eat lots of good grub, drink lots of whatever you prefer, and have a good time.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Woo Hoo!
Thursday, February 01, 2007
The Future of Air Force PCS Moves in 2007-2008
Yes, the rumors are true. If you're in the Air Force and you are supposed to PCS (Move to a new duty station/assignment) this year, odds are you will not go anywhere.
Nothing has been announced, and most people I know are putting all of their move preparation (i.e. school enrollment, house hunting, etc) on hold because so little is known, but... the answer is now here.
There is NO money to PCS anyone this year, and possibly next. The shortfalls are mainly caused by poor planning, and because the bonus they are offering people to voluntarily leave the Air Force is coming out of the same pot, leaving nothing for actual PCS moves.
There will be some moves for extremely critical/vital positions, but some units will be left with zero personnel due to the lack of personnel moving from base to base.
So, if you're in the Air Force and you are supposed to move this summer, don't count on it.
Insurgencies Rarely Win - And Iraq Won't Be Any Different (Maybe)
An excellent and encouraging article by Donald Stoker at Foreign Policy Magazine, who examines why insurgents rarely win.
"Vietnam taught many Americans the wrong lesson: that determined guerrilla fighters are invincible. But history shows that insurgents rarely win, and Iraq should be no different. Now that it finally has a winning strategy, the Bush administration is in a race against time to beat the insurgency before the public's patience finally wears out."
Read the rest here.