Thursday, March 29, 2007

ten best april fool's hoaxes

They'll give you a chuckle. My favorites:
-- In 1957, a BBC television show announced that thanks to a mild winter and the virtual elimination of the spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. Footage of Swiss farmers pulling strands of spaghetti from trees prompted a barrage of calls from people wanting to know how to grow their own spaghetti at home.
-- Noted British astronomer Patrick Moore announced on the radio in 1976 that at 9:47 am, a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event, in which Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, would cause a gravitational alignment that would reduce the Earth's gravity. Moore told listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment of the planetary alignment, they would experience a floating sensation. Hundreds of people called in to report feeling the sensation.

Big HT to Relevant. Those guys know how to make you laugh and still talk about serious stuff. Any good ideas for your own April Fool's Day joke? I am plotting mine..... (insert evil laugh here).

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the u.n. is useless

You would think such hypocrisy would be obvious. But then I employ logic and justice in my life.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Via LGF.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

oh the places you'll go...

I did not realize how many places I've been, whether it was family vacations, school trips, mission trips, or flying with the AF. Anyone have recommendations of airfields with 4000' of runway that are interesting places to go (particularly in the Southeast US)?

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what no dinosaurs?

An excerpt from an interview with Michael Crichton. I have always had great respect for the man, and this just added to it. Over at The Daily Ablution, he speaks with Scott Burgess about the global warming "consensus" among other things
What is the most serious threat facing our civilisation?

Loss of classical liberal values in those western societies that embraced them.

England was the first modern state, the first superpower, the first nation to deal with moral issues around the world, and the first nation to install the benefits of what we might now loosely term a liberal society. I mean that in the 19th century sense of liberalism. That notion of liberalism was also present in America, but made it to the Continent only in a pale and limited form. It is a wonderful social conception that must be vigilantly guarded. It is not shared by other nations in the world. Nor is it shared by many citizens in English-speaking countries. Peculiarly, many of our most educated citizens are least sympathetic to classical liberal ideals. Indeed the term 'liberalism' in the modern day has come to imply a constellation of attitudes that John Stuart Mill would not recognize as liberal at all. Nor would, say, John F. Kennedy recognize them as liberal. Kennedy's conception of liberalism was simultaneously more tolerant and more tough-minded: tolerant about varieties of behavior within the society, and tough-minded toward threats to a tolerant society from without.

That's all gone, now. Today there is far too much sensitivity within societies, and too little hard-nosed recognition of threats from without. We are inclined to be intolerant of speech by our friends and neighbors, and tolerant of beheadings, rape, and homophobia in distant lands.

This makes no sense. But here we are.

HT Instapundit.

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Monday, March 26, 2007


I don't think I'm that complex. But I'm a pilot, so am I an exception?

HT Tiny. Thanks dude!

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iran snubs its nose at the geneva convention

Terrorists who hide behind children and women's clothing violate the Geneva Convention and they are freedom fighters, but British soldiers in uniform are not so special.
FIFTEEN British sailors and marines arrested by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards off the coast of Iraq may be charged with spying.

A website run by associates of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, reported last night that the Britons would be put before a court and indicted.

Referring to them as “insurgents”, the site concluded: “If it is proven that they deliberately entered Iranian territory, they will be charged with espionage. If that is proven, they can expect a very serious penalty since according to Iranian law, espionage is one of the most serious offences.”

I think Ahmedinejad needs to actually read the Convention, especially part 3.
HT Captain Ed over at Captain's Quarters.

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it's deja vu all over again

These stories seem familiar somehow..
New York times gets it wrong, again
On March 18, the New York Times published this story about female soldiers who served in Iraq and are now having problems as a result.

One of the women mentioned in the story claims to have been sexually assaulted twice in the last few years and that she suffers severe mental problems as a result of being deployed to, and injured in, Iraq. Her story is gripping because of the vivid details given.

One problem though: she never was sent to Iraq. She was in Guam the whole time.

The NYTimes did insert a correction in the online addition today, a full week after they published this story (anyone know about the print edition at all?), but knew full well when they went to print with this article that portions of it may have been inaccurate. Where have I seen that before?

The Times contacted the Navy just three days before this story went to print, not exactly giving them time to look into it. Nevertheless, the Navy DID provide enough info to the Times to where they should have questioned this woman’s story, at least to the point of leaving her out entirely.

Of course there’s NO agenda at work here, folks. None at all.

War story told by former sailor disputed
The Navy, while expressing sympathy to a woman it believes is suffering from stress, is annoyed that the Times did so little to check the woman’s story. A Times fact checker contacted Navy headquarters only three days before the magazine’s deadline. That, said Capt. Tom Van Leunen, deputy chief of information for the Navy, did not provide enough time to confirm Randall’s account of service in Iraq. Nonetheless, Van Leunen said, by deadline the Navy had provided enough information to the Times “to seriously question whether she’d been in Iraq.”

Hhmm... where have a I heard something like this before? Well, bad NYT stories are too numerous to count. But I experienced the fallout of women and sexual assault stories first hand. Let me caveat that with I hope that the women's attackers are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But I have seen damage done to the trustworthiness of all the women in a group based on the misrepresentation of a few.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

marine receives british honor

Bravery and service at its finist. Article here.
Major receives Distinguished Flying Cross at Buckingham Palace
March 21, 2007

LONDON -- The Queen of England presented the United Kingdom’s Distinguished Flying Cross to Maj. William D. Chesarek Jr., during an Investiture Ceremony held at Buckingham Palace, here March 21.

Chesarek, an AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter pilot, was recognized for his service as an exchange officer serving with the U. K.'s 847th Naval Air Squadron, Commando Helicopter Force during combat operations in Iraq in 2006. The award is a level three award for gallantry in the air while on active operation against the enemy and according to the U. K.’s Ministry of Defense office, this is first time this is being presented to an American service member since actions in World War II.

According to the U.K. award citation, during operations in the vicinity of Al Amarah on June 10-11, 2006, Chesarek, flying a Lynx AH7 helicopter, was providing communications relay support to the U.K.’s ground forces during a company sized search operation when the unit encountered insurgents armed with small arms and Rocket Propelled Grenades.

To assist the unit, Chesarek flew in to spot enemy fire and due to being trained as an airborne forward air controller he was able to coordinate, designate and control fixed wing assets in conducting close air support which resulted in dispersing the insurgents.

Additionally the citations states, being the only rotary winged aircraft in the area, Chesarek landed his helicopter adjacent to the scene and extracted a U.K. troop with a life threatening injury. Chesarek then flew the casualty to Shaibah Logistics Base and is credited with saving the life of the wounded soldier in addition to aiding in the safe extraction of the company.

“I am greatly honored and would like to accept this prestigious award for 847 NAS in memory of Lt. Cdr. Darren Chapman RN, Capt. David Dobson AAC, and Marine Paul Collins RM who were killed in action over Basrah in May 2006,” said Chesarek. “The awarded actions were only possible due to the combined effort of my combat crew; Lt. David Williams RN and Lance Cpl. Max Carter RM. My greatest sense of achievement that day is in knowing the ground troops all made it home.”

The first award of its kind since WWII. Well done brother. HT Chuck Simmins and Michelle Malkin.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

if your dog needs some exercise

Cesar recommends a treadmill, but this looks much more fun, and might keep their minds working too. Plus, if they're looking at the floor, your dog might not attack the TV (Mom!).

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

totally excited

Website here for more info and to request a screening in your town.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

"testosterone-unfriendly climate"

From Pajamas Media via Instapundit:
Declaring steaks, large vehicles, lawn mowers, and charcoal grills bad for the environment sounds like a blatant assault on guyhood. Could this be a metrosexual plot? Wouldn’t it be more plausible if a few items like styling gel, latte makers and tofu were said to destroy the planet as well? (National Ledger)

This got a "HEH" from Glenn, but I'd give it an "Ewww..." I presonally live in a pro-testosterone environment and would not have it any other way. But they you would expect no less from the military. Then again, I'm protesting Women's History Month until there's a Men's History Month. Just think, it would be full of great guy movie marathons. Who wouldn't like that? And I'm not alone.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

the last flight of a warrior

This story is refreshing and makes me proud to be an American once again. Via Blackfive and Ron over at Mountain Solitaire.
On board, 0600: "Good morning folks this is the Captain. This morning we have been attending to some additional duties and I apologize for being 10 minutes late for pushback but believe me we will be early to LAX. This morning it is my sad pleasure to announce that 1st LT Jared Landaker USMC will be flying with us to his Big Bear home in Southern California . Jared lost his life over the sky's of Iraq earlier this month and today we have the honor of returning him home along with his Mother, Father, Brother and uncles. Please join me in making the journey comfortable for the Landaker family and their uniformed escort. Now sit back and enjoy our ride, we are not expecting any turbulence until we reach the Rocky Mountains and at that time we will do what we can to ensure a smooth ride. For those interested you can listen in to our progress on button 9."

Up button 9: "Good morning UA 211 you are cleared to taxi, takeoff and cleared to LAX as filed." From the time we started rolling we never stopped. 1st LT Landaker began receiving his due.

4 hours and 35 minutes later over Big Bear MT, the AB320 makes a left roll and steep bank and then one to the right. Nice touch CAPTAIN. Five minutes out from landing, the Captain, "Ladies and Gents after landing I'm leaving the fasten seatbelt sign on and I ask everyone in advance to yield to the Landaker family. Please remain seated until all members have departed the aircraft. Thank you for your patience, we are 20 minutes early."

On roll out, I notice red lights, emergency vehicles everywhere. We are being escorted directly to our gate, no waiting anywhere, not even a pause. Out the left window, a dozen Marines in full dress blues. Highway Patrol, Police, Fire crews all in full dress with lights on. A true class act by everyone, down to a person from coast to coast. Way to go United Airlines for doing the little things RIGHT, because they are the big things; Air Traffic Control for getting the message, to all law enforcement for your display of brotherhood.

When the family departed the aircraft everyone sat silent, then I heard a lady say, "God Bless You and your Family, Thank You." Then another, then another, then a somber round of applause. The Captain read a prepared note from Mrs. Landaker to the effect, "Thank you all for your patience and heartfelt concern for us and our son. We sincerely appreciate the sentiment. It is nice to have Jared home."
February 7, 2007, Anbar Province , Iraq . 1st LT Jared Landaker United States Marine Corps, Hero, from Big Bear California, gave his live in service to his country. Fatally wounded when his CH-46 helicopter was shot down by enemy fire, Jared and his crew all perished. His life was the ultimate sacrifice of a grateful military family and nation. His death occurred at the same time as Anna Nicole Smith, a drug using person with a 7th grade education of no pedigree who dominated our news for two weeks while Jared became a number on CNN. And most unfortunately, Jared's death underscores a fact that we are a military at war, not a nation at war. Until we become a nation committed to winning the fight, and elect leaders with the spine to ask Americans to sacrifice in order to win, we shall remain committed to being a nation with a military at war, and nothing more.

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things that scare me

Europe without basic freedoms could become our problem. An excerpt from Native Revolt: A European Declaration of Independence, a blog at The Brussels Journal.
Although the EU warns against "Islamophobia," those who live in the real world know that there has been an explosion of violent infidelophobia in Western Europe staged by Muslim immigrants. This wave of violence especially targets Jews, but the attacks against Christians that are going on in the Middle East are increasingly spreading to Europe as well. In more and more cities across the continent, non-Muslims are being harassed, robbed, mugged, raped, stabbed and even killed by Muslims. Native Europeans are slowly becoming second-rate citizens in their own countries.

This violence by Muslims is usually labelled simply as "crime," but I believe it should more accurately be called Jihad. Those who know early Islamic history, as described in books such as The Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer, know that looting and stealing the property of non-Muslims has been part and parcel of Jihad from the very beginning. In fact, so much of the behavior of Muhammad himself and the early Muslims could be deemed criminal that it is difficult to know exactly where crime ends and Jihad begins. In the city of Oslo, for instance, it is documented that some of the criminal Muslim gangs also have close ties to radical religious groups at home and abroad. As Dutch Arabist Hans Jansen points out, the Koran is seen by some Muslims as a God-given "hunting licence," granting them the right to assault and even murder non-Muslims. It is hardly accidental that while Muslims make up about 10% of the population in France, they make up an estimated 70% of French prison inmates.

Read the whole thing, even if it is hard to stomach at times. Hattip Instapundit, and he has as associated book recommendation as well.

Violence against women is another big concern of mine. For the most part I feel like I can protect myself and that I live in a fairly safe environment, but I've had training and plenty of studly man friends. I'm no feminist, but you would think they would be up in arms about this kind of thing. Evan Coyne Maloney agrees:
A Saudi woman who was kidnapped at knifepoint, gang-raped and then beaten by her brother has been sentenced to 90 lashes — for meeting a man who was not a relative.
In the 1980s, scores of activists and celebrities spoke out quite publicly against the racial aparthied system in South Africa. But today, an apartheid of gender exists throughout much of the Middle East, and these activists are largely silent.

Associated article from MSN here.

If you value your free speech and basic freedoms, do not let these issues fall through the cracks, because when we realize that the problem is bigger than we thought, it may be too late.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

funny haha or funny weird?

So apparently women laugh more than men. I do not find this all that suprising. I might make an interesting subject to study in reference to how much I laugh in comparison to my male counterparts, seeing as I am out numbered by them, oh lets say 15-1. I work with some pretty funny guys, so they keep my chuckling. But when they laugh at me, its generally at me not with me. Things usually go like this:

Me: "Boy they really know how to please a girl."
Other guy: "So to speak!"
Every one laughs.

Anything that I say that could at all be associated with a sexual reference generally is. The expert says laughter all comes down to attraction anyway. Guys are trying to attract women, and women are attracted to funny men. Therefore women laugh at men they are attracted to.... vicious cycle if you are not the "funny guy" in your office. I knew there would be another plus of laughing too much!

Article from NYT via Instapundit.


Friday, March 16, 2007

what to do, what to do...

What do you do during a 12 hour drive? Here's my suggestion, and what I actually did listen to today:

Six segments of Hugh Hewitt
Six installments of Indiefeed: Alternative/Modern Rock
The latest Glenn and Helen Podcast
The latest Pajamas Media Blog Week in Review

Also the following albums in their entirity:
Neon Bible by The Arcade Fire
Let it die by Feist
Speak for Yourself by Imogen Heap
We Were Here by Joshua Radin
Sam's Town by The Killers
Committ this to Memory by Motion City Soundtrack
Trouble by Ray LaMontagne
Wincing the Night Away by The Shins
Colour the Small One by Sia
Show Your Bones by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Thank goodness for iPods and FM transmitters! And now I'm in Austin and not going to South by Southwest.... pure torture. Next year will be the year, I am promising myself right now. Free music here with the list of all the bands at the festival. The band names alone are enough to make it worth a look-see, you'll get a chuckle out of them.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

so there i was

In my last flight in the Tweet. That's right folks, I will fly that screamer no longer. I'm off to fly the newest aircraft in the AF inventory. I can't wait for air conditioning that works and GPS!

Head over to Michelle Malkin's for some hopping stories by guest bloggers Smash, Greyhawk, Matt Burden of Blackfive, and John Noonan of OPFOR. They have posted some great stuff the last few days. Here's a little bit of support for his AF bros from Matt. He thinks the Air Force should change their PR campaign a bit for more funds.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

just ridiculous

I find this hard to believe.... They could jsut sell really cheap tickets and get a few more people. Do American carriers have to pay for landing slots at major airports?
Airline flies empty to keep Heathrow slot
Posted on : 2007-03-12 | Author : World News Editor
News Category : World

LONDON, March 12 (UPI) An airline is flying an empty plane from England to Wales six days a week to preserve a landing slot at London's Heathrow airport.

British Mediterranean Airways has been operating the ghost flight since October because of a rule that an airline must use 80 percent of its Heathrow landing slots or face reallocation, The Times of London reported.

British Mediterranean resorted to flying an empty 124-seat Airbus after civil unrest in Uzbekistan forced the airline to scrap its flights to Tashkent.

British Mediterranean Chief Executive Officer David Richardson said the airlines looked at alternatives before deciding to fly the Cardiff route empty.

Our route network makes it difficult to put on additional flights to many destinations, due to bilateral agreements with the countries, Richardson told The Times. In other cases there isn't a big enough market, we would end up carrying the same number of people on more flights.Slots at Heathrow have been sold for as much as $20 million.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International



Monday, March 05, 2007

the fray take on tweets

The band produced a video of their orientation ride with my squadron. Except for the Top Gun music in the background, this is a pretty good video. I'm not one for much mainstream music, and I'm the last person who would celebrity worship, but they are good dudes.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

so to speak

Only in Missouri...

Do you think they actually thought about that before they put the phrase in a place to advertise their business?