Monday, October 22, 2007

This just wrong.

Yep, an elderly, wheelchair-using nun being frisked at a US airport by a veiled Muslim. Gotta love that TSA.


Found the photo at an interesting blog called Klein Verzet, which I found via The Jawa Report.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The guys who flew and maintained these babies did more for our country than Hilly, Billy, Teddy, Nancy, Harry and Little Johnnie Murtha combined.

And unlike all of the above (Murtha excepted...grudgingly) they weren't "too good" to serve. And die.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is supposed to be a joke, but it's so true that it's not really even funny.

Bob Sheiffer, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and a tough old U.S. Marine sergeant were all captured by terrorists in Iraq. The leader of the terrorists told them that he would grant them each one last request before they were beheaded.

Sheiffer said, "I'd like one last bowl of hot spicy chili." The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chili. Sheiffer ate it and said, "Now I can die content."

Brokaw said, "I'd like to hear the song "America the Beautiful" one last time." The leader nodded to a terrorist who had studied the Western world and knew the music. He returned with some rag-tag musicians and played the anthem. Brokaw sighed and declared he could now die peacefully.

Couric said, "I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe someday someone will hear it and know that I was on the job till the end."

The leader agreed and Couric dictated some comments. She then said, "Now I can die happy."
The leader turned and said, "And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?"

"Kick me in the ass," said the Marine.

"What?" asked the leader. "Will you mock us in your last hour?"

"No, I'm not kidding. I want you to kick me in the ass," insisted the Marine. So the leader shoved him into the open, and kicked him in the ass.

The Marine went sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9mm pistol from inside his cammies, and shot the leader dead. In the resulting confusion, he leapt to his knapsack, pulled out his M4 carbine and sprayed the Iraqis with gunfire. In a flash, all the Iraqis were either dead or fleeing for their lives.

As the Marine was untying the three news anchors, "Ms Perky" asked him, "Why didn't you just shoot them in the beginning? Why did you ask them to kick you in the ass first?"

"What?" replied the Marine, "And have you three %$#(&#@@ report that I was the aggressor?"
A Green Beret walks into a bar and takes a seat next to a very attractive woman.

He gives her a quick glance then casually looks at his watch for a moment.

The woman looks at his wrist and remarks, "That's some watch. I've never seen anything like it before. What is it?"

"I just got this", he replies. "It's a new military issue. It has a small computer chip which has threat detection and situational awareness."

The intrigued woman asks, "What's so special about it?"

The Green Beret explains, "It can detect any threats within a 50 yard radius and gives me an awareness of my surroundings.

The woman asks, "What's it telling you now?"

"Well, according to what it says, you're not wearing any panties...."

The woman giggles and replies, "Well, it must be broken because I am wearing panties!"

He taps the face of his watch several times and says, "Aw, hell, the damn thing's an hour fast."

Friday, October 12, 2007

I'm absolutely thrilled by the seedings in the Democratic primary race. It appears so far that Hillary is the front runner with Obama following at a distance.

Fine with me.

Now, I'm not exactly thrilled with the Republican offerings, but I'm terrified by the Democratic offerings. Ergo I'm thrilled by the fact that the Democratic front runner is a thoroughly unlikeable person with stupid ideas and the second place runner--albeit a distant second place--is an absolute political lightweight who also has a lot of stupid ideas.

Hilly has no qualifications other than unfettered cold ambition and the fact that she is married to a former president. Of course, said president screwed around on her pretty much constantly and demonstrated his commitment to the furthering of womens' rights by keeping a girl roughly his daughter's age under his desk while he made phone calls to legislators and the fortunately now deceased Yassir Arafat. Yep, a real feminist icon. Can you say "misogynist?" But I quibble.

Hilly grew up in Illinois, met Bill in college in Connecticut, married him and ended up living in Arkansas. Yet her ego is so inflated that she simply decided she should be a senator for the state of New York. Never lived there, but she decided that by God, she deserved being a senator for New York. What an incredible display of all-consuming ego. Demonstrating their superior intellect, the people of New York actually elected her.

Doesn't matter that she's really never done anything other than work for the Rose law firm, during which time she was involved in some shady deals. The paperwork for those deals has mostly disappeared, but some suddenly appeared on a bureau in the White House and some was found in the trunk of a junked car. (yeah, I trust her...). Doesn't matter that she's done some incredibly stupid things such as deciding she was in charge of health care reform and held hearings that were illegal under the federal "sunshine" law. Doesn't matter that she's chosen two ill-vetted "poster children" for her moronic insurance idea (the idea that was hatched illegally)--it turned out that the first poster child was being poisoned by her mother, who is now in jail, and the second poster child comes from a family that claims indigence but actually owns their own business, a huge house and both children go to a private school to the tune of $20K/year each.

So Hilly's only qualification is ego. Oh, and that she's kinda sorta married to some guy who used to be president. But she has no sense whatsoever. And she is one cold fish (no wonder Billy keeps flouncing around with his fly open). Nobody likes her, not even her husband. So please, please--nominate her.

Barack Obama, the second runner, has pretty much the same qualifications as Hilly--"I want it and I deserve it". Why does he deserve it?--the same reason Hilly thinks she does: because he thinks he does and that makes it so. Is he a political lightweight? You bet. He recently announced he wanted to rid the planet of nuclear weapons, evoking the image of a breathless Miss America pageant contestant announcing that her project, should she be elected, will be to eliminate poverty and hunger throughout the world. Good luck to both Obama and the contestant. It ain't that simple.

It's probably quite nice living in a fog of naivite and denial, but some of the rest of us--those with the stones to go into the military--know better. Too bad Hilly and Billy were--in Billy's own words--"too good" for military service.

"Too good" If that doesn't speak absolute volumes, I don't know what does.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Army is adopting a new parachute.

Freefall parachutes aside, the history of the Army parachute has pretty much been one of evolution. The current T-10 and MC-1 parachutes differ little from the T-7 and T-5 that preceded them. Mostly it's involved improving the material the parachute is made of and updating the buckles and snaps. While diameters have varied, all have been parabolic in shape. The MC-1 stands out in that it is the only steerable parachute, but frankly, it looks like a T-10 with a couple of holes in it, and the reserve is....a T-10. Well, a T-10R, which a T-10 with some modifications to make it suitable for use as a reserve.

Even the absolute latest MC-1 is nothing more than the old MC-1 made with a lower porosity fabric in order to slow the rate of descent. The MC-1 is only used by special operations forces, which tend to jump heavier than conventional forces, so the lower rate of descent was much welcomed, even though it means a more potent opening shock. I got hurt and had to leave the Army before 10th Group moved to Colorado, but I understand the first year of jumping in the thin mile-high air wasn't much fun until the lo-po canopy came along.

By the way, the reason for the two canopies, the T-10 and the MC-1, is that the 82nd regularly fills the sky with parachutes. In that sort of situation steerable canopies could create catastrophic collisions. A Special Forces group jumps far smaller numbers--as small as 12 at a time, therefore they can afford the extra luxury of a steerable canopy. Out of nearly 100 jumps I have exactly four T-10 jumps. You make five jumps in Airborne school and of the five you get one MC-1 jump, so I have four T-10 jumps from Airborne school.

The new canopy, the T-11, definitely breaks the mold. This is revolution, not evolution. The new canopy has been a long time coming. According to "Air & Space" magazine, the T-10 was designed to handle a gross weight of 250 pounds, while modern paratroopers jump in weighing nearly 400 pounds. This has resulted in a rate of descent in the area of 24 feet per second. I've actually seen guys literally bounce when they hit--bad landing technique on their part, I know, but the fact is you do slam in pretty hard. The new parachute slows the rate of descent to 16 feet per second.

I gather there's yet another revamping of the MC-1 in the works as well. But anyway, here's the venerable T-10:

And "my" parachute, the MC-1 (by the way, currently both the T-10 and MC-1 have netting sewed around the bottom perimeter of the canopy to keep lines from sliding over the canopy and causing it to open upside down. Upside down won't hurt you, but the steering is backwards. I did that once with a square freefall canopy. It was benign, but disconcerting)

And now, the the new parachute, the T-11. This bad motorscooter looks nothing like its predecessors. It even has a slider to reduce opening shock, something that was once only found in freefall parachutes. (The slider is that piece of cloth over the parachutist's head. It slides down the lines, slowing the rate of inflation, thus reducing opening shock)

And the reserve parachute is a conical, another design that the Army has never used, although the Navy used conicals for years as aircrew survival parachutes.

Check out the details here