Posts by ExNewsExSpook

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  • Marines admit error, say Iwo Jima photo didn't include Wisconsin's John Bradley

    06/24/2016 10:08:35 AM PDT · 15 of 27
    ExNewsExSpook to A_Former_Democrat

    Some similar thoughts:

    http://formerspook.blogspot.com/2016/06/correcting-history.html

    It appears that it was Harold Schultz in the second flag-raising, not John Bradley. But that does not take away from the courage and heroism that they—and thousands of other Marines and sailors—displayed on that island.

    And it’s easy to see how the confusion arose. Two flag raisings on Suribachi that morning; a firefight in between. Three of the flag raisers killed in combat before the search for them began in earnest. Many of the same individuals around the summit for both flag-raisings and the “gung ho” photo that was also snapped by Joe Rosenthal.

    Then, the Marines had to rely on the youngest (and least experienced) of the group, Rene Gagnon, to identify the rest. Gagnon, who was a runner for most of the battle and only fired his rifle once, made one mistake initially when he put Hank Hansen in the photo in the place of Harlan Block. And he identified Ira Hayes only with the greatest reluctance; Hayes was already consumed by the demons of battle and alcohol and wanted no part of any fanfare. John Bradley was a reluctant participant as well, and left the war bond tour as soon as the brass allowed. Remember: he is the same man who received the Navy Cross on Iwo and never told anyone—his family found the medal in a shoe box after his death.

    Harold Schultz had been through the same hell as thousands of other men and did his best to put it behind him. He knew what transpired at the top of Suribachi that day and that was (apparently) enough for him. It’s another testament to a generation that focused on doing their duty and sought no publicity or fame for their actions. It’s a lesson worth remembering and emulating today.

    Nimitz (I believe) said it best: Iwo was the place where uncommon value was a common virtue.

  • Brexit: Soros Defeated By Act Of God

    06/24/2016 6:42:18 AM PDT · 57 of 67
    ExNewsExSpook to Biggirl

    Not sure how much Providence aided the vote; turnout was approaching 70% in many areas—highest ever in any British election. I think Tump got it right (again); the British people took a hard look at what’s unfolding on the continent and said “no thanks.”

    And who can blame them? Countries like Belgium and France will be Muslim-majority within 20-30 years, if not sooner, thanks to mindless EU immigration laws. Beyond that, there are the reams of EU economic and environmental mandates being churned out by unaccountable bureaucrats, and the periodic requirement to support/assist in bail outs by the union’s failed economies in places like Greece and Portugal.

    The EU will be a shadow of its former self—if not gone altogether—in the blink of an eye. Conservative parties in France and the Netherlands and pushing for their own votes and there’s a decent chance those plebiscites will occur. If France departs, the EU collapses quickly; if smaller countries go first, the union’s death takes a bit longer.

    When faced with enormous challenges, the Brits almost always do the right thing. You could once say the same thing about us, but after eight years of Zero, I’m not so sure anymore.

  • Brexit Results

    06/23/2016 5:03:54 PM PDT · 51 of 192
    ExNewsExSpook to dfwgator

    I think the Swiss will be around long after the rest of Europe and the U.S. are gone. Lots of wealth stashed away; mountainous terrain throughout the country and a well-trained (and well-armed) populace.

  • Brexit Results

    06/23/2016 5:02:08 PM PDT · 50 of 192
    ExNewsExSpook to rbg81

    Fox News Correspondent in London just told Greta van Sustern that turnout in northern UK was much heavier than first reported, and that region is solidly in favor of Brexit.

    Sadly, though, I think you’re right: they will find enough votes in Londonistan to stay in the EU.

  • Marine Corps admits it misidentified man in iconic Iwo Jima photo from World War II

    06/23/2016 11:21:40 AM PDT · 52 of 63
    ExNewsExSpook to colorado tanker

    Never heard that Lowery claimed Rosenthal’s photo was staged. Another version says the accusation began with Time magazine (what a surprise). Someone from the publication asked Rosenthal if the photo was staged; thinking they were referring to the “gung ho” photo (taken after the second flag-raising), the AP photographer replied “yes.” It took him several weeks to get Time to correct their reporting.

    Incidentally, Lowery’s photos of the first flag raising didn’t appear in Leatherneck until 1947.

  • Marine Corps admits it misidentified man in iconic Iwo Jima photo from World War II

    06/23/2016 10:03:50 AM PDT · 43 of 63
    ExNewsExSpook to stylin19a

    You are correct. Apologies; medals are rightly earned and received.

  • Marine Corps admits it misidentified man in iconic Iwo Jima photo from World War II

    06/23/2016 8:31:03 AM PDT · 26 of 63
    ExNewsExSpook to NTHockey

    Also, medics in the Pacific carried weapons for obvious reasons—the Japanese showed no regard for the red cross, any other protected symbols, or the humanitarian mission of those personnel. There are multiple reports of Navy corpsmen and Army medics fighting off Japanese attacks as they tended to the wounded. John Bradley was forever haunted by the death of a fellow corpsman, who was taken by the enemy off the battlefield, tortured, disfigured and executed by the Japanese.

    So, it would not be unheard of for a corpsman to carry an ammo pouch for his weapon, along with his medical pack.

  • Marine Corps admits it misidentified man in iconic Iwo Jima photo from World War II

    06/23/2016 8:24:35 AM PDT · 21 of 63
    ExNewsExSpook to oh8eleven

    Bradley’s book—and official Marine Corps records for 60 years before that—were based on the best information available. John Bradley, a Corpsman who won the Navy Cross on Iwo, participated in the first flag-raising and may have confused the events.

    According to his son, the elder Bradley suffered severe PTSD from his experiences in the battle; he rarely discussed the war and only gave one interview about Iwo and the flag-raising—and only because a Chicago Tribune columnist “ambushed” him at the Wisconsin funeral home he owned. Indeed, his widow and children did not learn about the Navy Cross until after his death, when they found it in a shoe box in the back of a closet.

    All of the surviving flag raisers were reluctant participants. Bradley and Ira Hayes were ordered to participate in War Bond drives, and Hayes’ confirmation in the flag raising came only through Rene Gagnon, who was directed (by Marine officers) to identify the men in Rosenthal’s photograph. As I recall, Ira Hayes threatened to kill Gagnon if he identified him, but Private Gagnon didn’t really have a choice. Ironically, Gagnon was the only survivor who remotely discussed trying to leverage his fame, but had the good sense not to follow-up on that option.

    Gagnon dropped dead of a heart attack (while working as a school janitor) in the late 70s, and Ira Hayes died from alcoholism (directed related to his war experiences) in the early 50s. So, John Bradley was the only surviving flag raiser for many years, and he did not want to relive his war experiences, for obvious reasons. Apparently, Private Schultz felt the same way; as indicated in today’s NYT article, he only mentioned his participation once, at the end of his life and never requested an official inquiry to document his participation.

    There was a lot of “fog” surrounding Iwo and the iconic flag-raising. Three of the Marines in Rosenthal’s photo never made it off the island (Sergeant Mike Strank, Harlon Block and Franklin Sousley). The NCO originally identified in connection with the event was Sergeant “Boots” Thomas, who was directed to leave the front lines and participate in a CBS radio interview from a Navy ship offshore. Boots Thomas was killed in action just a few days after his 21st birthday.

    They are all truly heroes.

  • WWII Lancaster bomber and its crewmen's remains discovered in German field [after] 69 years

    06/23/2016 6:38:04 AM PDT · 25 of 31
    ExNewsExSpook to Robert A. Cook, PE

    If I’m not mistaken, RAF bomber crews had a “quota” of 30 missions on their first tour. If they survived—and very few did—their next assignment was (typically) in a training unit, preparing new pilots, flight engineers, navigators, bomb aimers and gunners for combat.

    Of course, training duties were not without risk; many instructors who survived an operational tour died in accidents due to crew mistakes or mechanical issues.

    When I read about the loss of this Lancaster, my first thought was they were an early victim of “Schrage Musik” the upward firing cannons installed on German night fighters, beginning in 1943. But a quick check revealed that the Luftwaffe didn’t claim its first kill with that system until June of that year, about two months after the Lancaster crew went down.

    Freeman Dyson, bomber command’s leading operations analyst, said his biggest failure during the war (and that of leadership) was ignoring intel reports about night fighters equipped with upward firing cannon which began to filter in during the summer of 1943. An attack from a Schrage musik-equipped fighter was terrifying; suddenly, the bomber began to disintegrate around the crew, as dozens of rounds tore into the aircraft from below. Many crew members died instantly, while others could not escape from their aircraft when the wing fell off and the Lanc went into an uncontrollable spin, or a round detonated the bomb load.

    Still interesting that the Germans managed to hit the bomber with multiple AA shells. Usually, one well-placed 88mm round was enough to do the job; bombers that took multiple rounds were often “coned” by search lights that blinded the crew and made it easier for AAA crews to target them.

    It would be interesting to know what German AAA defenses in that area looked like. The crash site is south of Frankfurt, so the flak guns were probably part of the city’s defenses. Guessing the bomber stream’s egress was designed to carry it south of the city—and the heaviest concentrations of flak, search lights and night fighters. I wonder if the RAF had grown a bit complacent and used that routing a few too many times and the Germans set a flak trap, or perhaps there were other targets near the crash site, and the egress route carried the unfortunate crew through that area. BTW, the crash site is about 210 miles west of the target area, so the crew was well into their return flight when they were shot down.

    Brave men all. Bomber Command’s cumulative KIA rate in World War II was 44%—more than 55,000 men. You had better odds as an infantryman in the trenches of World War I, although some of the best crews racked up amazing sortie totals. Wing Commander Guy Gibson, who led the “Dambusters,” logged more than 170 missions before being killed in a Mosquito pathfinder late in the war. Leonard Cheshire, who survived the war, flew 103 missions; his last was as the British representative on a B-29 that was part of the Nagasaki mission.

  • Fox TV Anchor Neil Cavuto Recovering from Open Heart Surgery

    06/21/2016 8:15:27 PM PDT · 38 of 50
    ExNewsExSpook to Hojczyk

    Prayers up for Mr Cavuto. Along with his battles with MS and heart disease, he is also a cancer survivor.

  • The US Navy just flexed its muscles in the world's most contested region

    06/21/2016 6:32:30 PM PDT · 27 of 39
    ExNewsExSpook to SaxxonWoods

    The Enterprise? It was retired two years ago. Sitting at Newport News Shipbuilding as crews deactivate its nuclear reactors. New Enterprise will be part of the Ford class—won’t join the fleet for years.

  • My son is off to Basic Training

    06/21/2016 6:29:50 PM PDT · 46 of 64
    ExNewsExSpook to IronJack

    If he’s been hitting the gym, getting ready for CCT training, basic will be a breeze. Yeah, the MTIs will play the usual mind games but after a few days, your son and the rest of his flight will settle into the routine.

    The real adventure begins after he completes basic. As I recall, the screening course for CCT and pararescue at still at Lackland. The daily push-up and pull-up count will be in the hundreds and they run everywhere. Selection school is only two weeks long; then its on to Keesler AFB, MS for 15 weeks, followed by Army Airborne School at Benning and USAF Survival School at Fairchild.

    That’s followed by 13 weeks at Pope/Fort Bragg for initial qual as a CCT. Once complete, they go on for 12-15 months of special tactics training, including free fall parachuting and dive school. Total training pipeline is well over two years long.

    I’m sure you’ve heard this in great detail from your son, but many people outside the USAF have never heard of CCT, pararescue, combat weather and special tactics—all a part of the special ops community. The training is rigorous, but it sounds like your son has the fitness foundation and the right mindset to succeed. And on top of everything else, he has to attain and maintain currency as an air traffic controller as a member of CCT.

    Those men who wear the scarlet beret are truly the best of the best. Best of luck to your son. He will be in very elite company in the near future.

  • Two sisters charged after brawl at Whitehaven IHOP

    06/21/2016 2:11:54 PM PDT · 92 of 102
    ExNewsExSpook to gatorhead

    The “widow’s pew”...err, Baby Mama’s section at his funeral should be rather crowded.

  • Two sisters charged after brawl at Whitehaven IHOP

    06/21/2016 2:09:41 PM PDT · 90 of 102
    ExNewsExSpook to wbill

    It was a Navy conference; for reasons known but to Congress, the sea service’s personnel command is headquartered at the Naval Support Activity in Millington, TN, just north of the city.

    BBQ is still great in Memphis, and so is the music—just don’t wander too far from Beale.

  • Two sisters charged after brawl at Whitehaven IHOP

    06/21/2016 12:27:48 PM PDT · 75 of 102
    ExNewsExSpook to Sybeck1

    Whitehaven used to be a nice, middle-class suburb. But as folks from Orange Mound and similar neighborhoods migrated south, anyone who could afford to leave did just that. There’s been a real estate boom just across the border in northern Mississippi (Southaven and DeSoto County) for more than 20 years. Ditto for Germantown and anything to the east of Memphis.

    Forty years ago, in my younger days, Memphis was the place we went to see a concert or shop at an actual mall. Much of the city was safe, and parents didn’t worry about thier high school-age kids going to Memphis.

    I was back in the city four years ago, for a military education conference. For some reason, they decided to hold it at the Marriott downtown, not far from Mud Island. On the first morning, we got a safety brief. Do not, we were told, venture from the hotel property at night unless you are in your car. Do not take the trolley (which ran by the hotel) to Beale Street—drive a car and go in a group. If you go to Beale, don’t venture more than three blocks past the center of that street. Beyond that, they said it was the “Wild, Wild West,” and you’d be taking your life in your own hands.

    Sad, but utterly predictable. Memphis has been run by one party for more than 50 years, and you can see the results in all directions. Without Fred Smith and FedEx, the city would be in even worse shape.

  • Swing State Poll: Clinton Leads Trump in Florida; Dead Heat in Ohio, Pa.

    06/21/2016 5:56:28 AM PDT · 30 of 82
    ExNewsExSpook to xzins

    Naturally, this poll isn’t getting a lot of media attention. Trump has just endured the worst patch of his campaign, and Hillary has out with new ads in swing states during the same stretch—yet Trump is dead even in Ohio and PA.

    Trump needs to bump up his cash reserves and develop a coherent media strategy (beyond the free stuff). Hillary’s “record” is the gift that keeps on giving—the crimes and misdeeds that launched 1,000 attack ads. My guess is that Trump waiting until after the convention, but you can’t go on the attack too early or too often against the Clintons and their allies in the media.

  • Bill O'Reilly takes stunning stance on guns after Orlando massacre

    06/16/2016 12:03:59 PM PDT · 134 of 134
    ExNewsExSpook to oldvirginian

    Thanks for the kind words about my Dad; he was very proud of his service and would talk about it occasionally, but focused only on the lighter moments.

    Those big Diamond-T tank retrievers had 12 huge tool boxes; as the 3rd Armored rolled through France and Belgium, grateful villagers would run out and press bottles of their best wine, cognac and champagne through the window of the retriever. As Dad said, “we couldn’t turn them down.” So, the tools were pitched into the floor of the cab and the boxes became a place to store donated liquor.

    But he saw a lot that he wouldn’t speak about, or mentioned only in cryptic terms. Dad once mentioned that one of the first items on the repair checklist for a damaged Sherman was to repaint the crew compartment. That puzzled me until I thought about the damage an 88mm AP round could do inside that small space. While the casualties had been removed by the time Dad and his men arrived, the effects of the battle could still be seen. So, any Sherman with damage in the crew compartment automatically received a fresh coat of white paint on the inside.

    After my father’s dead, I also learned that he earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, despite the fact he was a mechanic. He was initially trained as a ground-pounder, as part of the first-ever peacetime draft in 1940-41, then he became a mechanic. But getting the CIB also requires service in combat; all Dad would say is “we got into a few scrapes.”

    The Sherman was a product of pre-war parsimony in the U.S. military. As I recall, the Army’s tank development budget in 1940 was $80,000, so it’s little wonder the M-4 used a lot of “off-the-shelf” technology including the low-velocity 75mm gun (the artillery branch liked it because there was lots of ammo available and the tank could be used to support ground troops). The decision to power the tank with a radial aircraft engine was the product of similar thinking (though some models had diesel powerplants). The engine was easy to remove and service, but it also had serious flaws. One was its tendency to backfire when cranking up the tank in the mornign. The backfire was often loud enough to attract Germany artillery fire, so tankers knew they had to crank and roll before the enemy barrage arrived.

    In fairness, the Sherman was a very good tank early in the war, more than capable of defeating most German armored vehicles. But with the arrival of the Panther and the Tiger, the Sherman was seriously deficient, under-armored and out-gunned, and a lot of Allied tank crews paid for it with their lives.

  • The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement

    06/15/2016 2:44:16 PM PDT · 56 of 59
    ExNewsExSpook to EVO X

    At least he got a very marketable degree. If you can make it through electrical engineering, you’ve earned the nice salary those grads receive. Plenty of in-demand degrees; engineering, IT, accounting, even marketing. Unfortunately, today’s generation of snowflakes and cupcakes can’t handle the demands of a rigorous field of study.

    The market still does a pretty good job in determining the relative value of a college degree.

  • Bill O'Reilly takes stunning stance on guns after Orlando massacre

    06/15/2016 2:40:36 PM PDT · 94 of 134
    ExNewsExSpook to oldvirginian

    I agree; if you can afford a Sherman, by all means go for it, and park it in the driveway. Guaranteed to reduce neighborhood crime rates.

    My late father was a part of the 3rd Armored Division during World War II. He was the NCOIC of a platoon of tank retrievers—they had the job of pulling damaged Shermans and other vehicles off the battlefield, fixing them, and getting them back in action. They were easy to repair and the Army was full of men who had acquired mechanical skills in machine shops, factories and on family farms. There wasn’t much those men couldn’t fix, and M-4s that would ordinarily be written off were repaired and fought another day.

    My dad had the utmost admiration for the Sherman crews. Everyone knew the long odds they faced in going up against a Panther or Tiger. In fact, the tank crews took so many casualties that during the Battle of the Bulge, infantry replacements were retrained as tank crews and sent into battle with barely one day of instruction.

    For what it’s worth, Bill O’Reilly is an idiot. I guess he became an expert on tanks writing the god-awful “Killing Patton.” My wife gave me “Killing Reagan” as a birthday gift; I hated to tell her it was the biggest waste of ink and paper in publishing history. Not that O’Reilly cares; he’s got a nice little assembly line going and each book in the series adds more millions to his bottom line.

    BTW, my favorite nickname for the Sherman is the one the Brits gave it, the Ronson. Named for the British cigarette lighter that lights “first time, every time.”

  • Bill O'Reilly takes stunning stance on guns after Orlando massacre

    06/15/2016 2:17:46 PM PDT · 85 of 134
    ExNewsExSpook to rktman

    Yeah, he’s really “looking out for the folks.” As long as his bodyguards are armed, he could care less about the rights of individual citizens to protect themselves.

  • Toddler’s body recovered after alligator attack near Disney World hotel: source

    06/15/2016 2:13:46 PM PDT · 101 of 184
    ExNewsExSpook to longfellowsmuse

    Concur. Disney is notorious for fighting claims and lawsuits and the Mouse usually wins. But this is one case that Disney doesn’t want anywhere near a courtroom.

    Given these tragic circumstances, even an ambulance chaser of modest skill could extract a huge jury award—and there are plenty of Central Florida attorneys who have been fighting Disney for years and would love to take this one to court.

    And, don’t discount the mass tort crowd trying to find everyone who’s been chased or frightened by a gator at Disney bringing some sort of class action because the company tolerated dangerous, even deadly conditions for years. Doubt the plantiffs would see very much in way of a a settlement, but the lawyers really aren’t concerned, since they get the first cut of any settlement.

    My heart goes out to the family. Losing a child for any reason is tragic; I cannot imagine the horror this family endured. If Disney decides to fight the parents in court, they will wind up writing a check that will make Bob Iger’s head explode. Mr. Iger (and his lawyers) aren’t that stupid.

  • The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement

    06/15/2016 1:58:31 PM PDT · 54 of 59
    ExNewsExSpook to wbill

    My current job is in workforce development. If you look at the current job market, the biggest demand is for skilled workers with 6-18 months of specialized training beyond high school: welders, electricians, positions in advanced manufacturing; machining. You don’t even need an associate’s degree.

    A colleague runs a highly-regarded machining program at a community college on the other side of the state. Grads from that program (less than two years) typically have 4-6 job offers from companies across the country. There are about 600,000 advanced manufacturing jobs currently unfilled because firms can’t find people with the right skill set.

    Sadly, most young people today would rather pursue a worthless college degree (like Gender Studies) instead of enrolling in a Mechatronics certificate program. With that credential (and passing the Siemens Level I certification), you start off at $45K a year, plus overtime and full benefits. Earn your Level II and get a couple of years of experience, and you’re looking at $80K annually (or more, including overtime). Better yet, these are jobs that can’t be out-sourced, since they require IT, robotics, mechanical and trouble-shooting skills that are beyond the ability of low-wage workers overseas, or if you find someone with those skills, the labor cost advantage rapidly erodes and by the time you factor in transportation expenses, it becomes more cost effective to produce the item here in the States.

    Obviously, we’re talking about highly specialized manufacturing and very skilled workers. But those jobs are out there. Unfortunately, most younger workers have been brain-washed that manufacturing jobs are dull, dirty, repetitive and likely to be shipped to China. So, they rack up $100K in student loan debt for useless degree that qualifies them to work at Starbucks.

  • The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement

    06/15/2016 12:28:24 PM PDT · 49 of 59
    ExNewsExSpook to TomGuy

    Watch out..negative interest rates are already in effect in Europe and they will be here before you know it.

  • The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement

    06/15/2016 12:26:02 PM PDT · 48 of 59
    ExNewsExSpook to wbill

    I’m in the same category as you and your spouse. My wife and I are far from rich, but we try to live within our means and put something away. Of course, we’re fortunate that I retired from the military and have a monthly pension check coming in, plus healthcare (TriCare has plenty of faults, but it’s a Cadillac compared to Obamacare). Unfortunately, there is a move afoot to push military retirees into the exchanges to pump some additional cash into BarryCare. The effort hasn’t been successful yet, but the bean counters in the Pentagon keep trying.

    The folks I really feel sorry for are those under the age of 40. Meanwhile, many are stuck in dead-end jobs, living at home with mom and dad and burdened by enormous student loan debt acquired in the pursuit of worthless degrees—if they graduated. That’s why the snake oil from people like Bernie Sanders is so appealing. Sounds a lot better if your predicament can be blamed on someone else, instead of your own foolish decisions.

    Ironically, the plan you talk about is still available to the younger generation. Sock away 15% of your income, no matter what you make and cut out a lot of your discretionary spending. I have a young woman working for me who has done just that. She came out of college with a meaningless degree (fashion merchandising) and thousands of student loan debt. But she resisted the temptation to take on more debt for another worthless piece of paper. Instead, she found a part-time job at the college where I work, moved back home and began aggressively attacking her student loan debt. She paid that off in two years and began putting money away. Now, she has accepted a full-time job with a major corporation and will start that position with virtually no debt and enough money to put down a payment on a town house.

    There are a few young people who “get it” but the vast majority have been taught to demand everything now, no matter what the cost.

  • Janet Waldo, Voice of Judy Jetson, Dies at 96

    06/15/2016 9:13:43 AM PDT · 14 of 19
    ExNewsExSpook to greene66

    Ms. Waldo may be gone, but another legendary voice, June Foray, is still with us, and doing well at the age of 98.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/June_Foray

    She received her first Emmy nomination at the age of 94 and won, making her the oldest recipient of that award in TV history. Long overdue, especially when you look at her body of work.

    Chuck Jones, one of the greatest animation directors, once said that Mel Blanc was the “male” June Foray. High praise, indeed.

  • The typical American couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement

    06/15/2016 9:08:08 AM PDT · 8 of 59
    ExNewsExSpook to Lorianne

    I read until I reached the comment about “perverse” federal policies that make it easy for the rich to save while penalizing the rest of us, blah, blah, blah.

    My late father never made more than $40K a year, but he paid cash for a house and socked away enough to leave a $500K nest egg, even after raising two sons, spending 30 years in retirement (he lived to the age of 100) and living in a nursing home for the last year of his life—paid for out of his own pocket; as an “achiever” he received no help from government programs. Dad always put away 15% of his income, and it paid off. It’s a lesson my brother and I learned first hand, and we’re both on track for a secure retirement.

    Compare that to my brother-in-law who passed away last week. High school grad, but never tried to get any additional education. Got fired from two jobs for theft and then bounced from one dead-end factory job to another until retirement, and lived off his social security check. When his health began to fail, he was placed in a nursing home, with Medicaid paying most of the bill. If my wife and her sister hadn’t taken out a burial policy, it would have been “pass the hat” time at his funeral.

    Most of us don’t plan to fail at retirement, we fail to plan—and too many are more concerned about having it all now, with no concern for what lies ahead.

  • BREAKING: FBI TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON ORLANDO SHOOTING AT 7 A.M. ET

    06/13/2016 6:38:27 AM PDT · 102 of 111
    ExNewsExSpook to uncbob

    You raise the same question I asked after learning details of the attack. Obviously, the terrorist was armed, but he was outnumbered at least 30:1. And, as you note, there were plenty of improvised weapons available in the bar. Yet, no one (as far as we know) tried to organize any effort to go after Mateen.

    It’s more proof that most Americans still believe you can become “invisible” in this type of situation and survive. The mindset has been drilled into us for at least 40 years; how many times (in years past) did you hear a law enforcement type advise citizens to “give the criminal” what they want to improve your chances for survival.

    Clearly, times have changed, and I’ve seen any number of police and federal law enforcement officials urge individuals to fight back, particularly when the captives outnumber the attacker and improvised weapons are available. Unfortunately, most still go into the sheeple mode and they die in droves.

    Of course, all that was needed to stop Mateen was an armed citizen, but the gay bar was a “gun free zone.” And I’m guessing the terrorist was aware of that in selecting his target.

  • The Big Broadcast Gets a New Host

    06/10/2016 6:27:55 PM PDT · 11 of 14
    ExNewsExSpook to Vision

    Hammer, meet nail. Classic radio shows from the 30s, 40s and 50s stand on their own quite nicely. They are reflective of that time and era; trying to “relate” them to today’s entertainment and culture will be a colossal mistake.

    Also, when they refer to “African-American radio broadcasts” I’m assuming that archive doesn’t include Amos ‘n Andy. In the words of the “Car Talk” guys, that would cause the NPR satellite to go tumbling out of orbit (even though it’s a local show)

  • TWA 800: The Great Untold Story of Our Time

    06/08/2016 6:02:42 AM PDT · 142 of 205
    ExNewsExSpook to Lower Deck

    Depends on the missile; older MANPADs, which would have trouble reaching 16,000 ft, were designed to hone in on the largest IR signature, typically the engines, after-burner, etc. First generation weapons of that type (SA-7, Redeye) were strictly tail chase weapons; the target had to be moving away from the gunner to present the largest possible IR return.

    Newer MANPADs (Stinger, Russian SA-16/18/24) use a cooled seeker that gives them greater discrimination. That allows them to lock on to smaller IR returns, such as the heat along the leading edge of a wing, hot spots on the fuselage, etc. Some of these weapons can actually scan in two different frequency ranges and the gunner can select the best target. These are the same weapons with the ability to reach higher altitude targets, up to 23K.

  • TWA 800: The Great Untold Story of Our Time

    06/07/2016 6:42:11 PM PDT · 58 of 205
    ExNewsExSpook to kabar

    Later-model Russian MANPADs have similar capabilities. During my aircrew days, the rule of thumb we used for newer shoulder-fired SAMs (in terms of altitude) was 23,000 feet. Climbing against a night sky, with all engines operating above cruise power, the 747 would have presented a very good IR target.

  • The US may restart production of the world's most lethal combat plane

    06/07/2016 11:56:02 AM PDT · 13 of 56
    ExNewsExSpook to Nachoman

    We have plenty of exercises and drills that pits the F-22 against other fighters, both our own and those from overseas. The Raptor simply dominates all comers. Last I checked, the kill tally in these engagements was something like 350-2, if you accept claims by an F-16 driver (who got a lucky shot against an F-22 at Red Flag), and an RAF Typhoon who claimed a kill under similar circumstances.

    I spend most of my time in southeast Virginia, not far from Langley AFB. Langley is home to the 1st Fighter Wing, which became the USAF’s original F-22 unit about a decade ago. For several years, the wing also had an F-15 squadron. I asked a couple of Eagle drivers what it was like to fight against the F-22. Their answer was short and sweet: “it sucks, they said.” The Raptor always kills us long before we can see them. The F-15 pilots were always happy to see the F-22s head for home; they would usually stay in the MOA a bit longer and get in some meaningful training that didn’t involve being a sitting duck for the Raptor.

    Worth remembering that the F-15 has dominated the air-to-air arena for 40 years. An Eagle has never been shot down in aerial combat. But it can’t touch the Raptor.
    s

  • Air Force Secretary: ‘I’m Certain Transgenders Will Be Allowed to Serve in a More Open Way’

    06/06/2016 2:18:59 PM PDT · 29 of 34
    ExNewsExSpook to Olog-hai

    So glad I did my 20 and retired; I can’t imagine putting up with the mindless PC crap that today’s airmen have to endure—made worse by feckless commanders who will endorse anything put forward by Deborah James and her minions.

    I knew the military was heading for the rocks 20 years ago, during a tour as an ROTC instructor. The summer camp where I was assigned as a flight training officer was at Lackland AFB in San Antonio. Just before the cadets headed out for survival training, two of them came to me with an “issue.” Seems that both were Wiccans and the survival phase coincided with one of their high holy days.

    I told them I would consider their request, then headed for the base chapel. I had been in the Air Force (at that point) for 15 years; intel officer, weapons school grad and combat aircrew member, but had no clue what a Wiccan was.

    The deputy installation chaplain, a Catholic priest, gave me a quick-and-dirty on their “faith.” He also told me that we couldn’t deny them the opportunity to pursue their beliefs in the field, as long as it didn’t interfere with scheduled training. The chaplain also told me that Wiccans were suspected in previous vandalism incident at the chapel, because leadership didn’t expedite access to the facility. After that, I told the cadets they could hold their observance (as long as it didn’t impact training) and they would remain fully clothed during their ritual. Apparently, some Wiccans perform certain rites in their birthday suits.

    If either of those cadets are still on active duty, they are Lt Cols or Colonels. Obviously, we live in a free country that guarantees the right to practice religion as we choose, but I’ve always had grave doubts about the compatibility of new-age religions (and other alternative lifestyles) with military service. My best friend from my Air Force days was a Command Chief Master Sergeant who actually had an O-6 commander who bragged about her new age beliefs and openly ridiculed Christians. The Chief was the only person in the organization who stood up to her. Amazingly, she respected him for taking a stand—unlike the other spineless “yes men” (and women) in the command.

    Again, all of this was 20 years ago this summer, during Bill’s first term. The Wiccan controversy seems almost quaint compared to the social engineering that has gone on since then. I shudder to think what Hillary has in store for the military under her watch.

  • Dan Bongino Ready to Run for Congress in Southwest Florida

    06/06/2016 10:36:18 AM PDT · 16 of 24
    ExNewsExSpook to Qiviut

    Bongino shouldn’t feel guilty. All he could have done is ask for another assignment, and it’s likely his superiors would have shipped him off to Duluth or Fargo to chase down counterfeiters. Protective detail is supposedly a plum for Secret Service agents, and Bongino was clearly well thought of within the agency.

    Of course, being a junior guy worked against him, too. I’m sure other agents, with a little more seniority, were able to dodge the assignment without impacting their careers. It’s no secret that HRC has hated the USSS since the 92 campaign and the agents feel the same way.

    Hope Bongino wins his race; he’d be terrific on the House Homeland Security Committee or the Oversight Committee. Very few house members with any sort of law enforcement or investigative background. Plenty of lawyers, but that’s a totally different skill set and sometimes you need a street smart cop/federal agent who can ask the right question at the right time.

  • Muhammad Ali: Never the White Man’s Negro

    06/06/2016 10:26:26 AM PDT · 23 of 106
    ExNewsExSpook to blueunicorn6

    Always found it interesting that Ali, the civil rights “icon,” repeatedly referred to Joe Frazier as a gorilla. Part of it was a psychological ploy against Smokin’ Joe, but much of the insult was based in Ali’s dislike of Frazier, and his willingness to use racial slurs against him. There was supposedly some sort of reconciliation just before Joe Frazier died, but many boxing writers indicate that Frazier carried the resentment to his grave.

    The irony, of course, is that Joe Frazier lobbied hard to have Ali’s boxing license restored after he won his conscientious objector case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Frazier knew that a fight with Ali would give him a huge payday, but there was no requirement for him support Ali’s efforts to return to the ring.

    Of course, Ali knew the press would never call him on using racial taunts against black opponents. In that sense, he was a pioneer; Ali knew how to manipulate the media to his advantage, realizing he could get by with slurs and insults that others could never utter publicly.

    Ali’s legacy has also been white-washed of his views on such subjects as homosexuality. As a traditional Muslim (he left the Nation of Islam 15 years ago), he was vehemently opposed to gays, both in the closet and out. His hagiographers have also stripped any mention of Ali’s support for Ronald Reagan in 1984, because Ronaldus Magnus favored a return of religion in our schools.

    Biography belongs to those who write it, and the life of Muhammad Ali has been subject to some very careful editing.

  • Clinton opens up double-digit lead over Trump nationwide - Reuters/Ipsos poll

    06/03/2016 3:51:12 PM PDT · 93 of 217
    ExNewsExSpook to PA Engineer

    Forty-six percent of the sample are Dims. Pretty well destroys the polls credibility

  • Blue Angels who died in Smyrna, TN crash identified as Marine Corps Captain Jeff Kuss

    06/02/2016 5:51:32 PM PDT · 23 of 33
    ExNewsExSpook to Oldexpat

    At this point, can’t be sure; however, just last week, Military Times reported that the Navy’s operations & maintenance account is under-funded by $800 million. Carrier Air Wing One (which just returned from deployment) is facing a fourth-month standdown during to a lack of parts, maintenance and flying hours.

    Here’s the most disturbing comment; a friend was at an event yesterday where Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes (R) was the guest speaker. Forbes, chairman of the HASC Seapower Sub-Committee told his audience that there “are no replacments” for Navy aircraft currently deployed, because only 25% of the F/A-18 fleet is fully mission capable on any given day.

    Conditions are just as bad in the Air Force.

  • Clinton and Trump in Tight Race, Poll Shows, With Votes Split on Gender Lines

    06/01/2016 11:43:40 AM PDT · 8 of 17
    ExNewsExSpook to 2ndDivisionVet

    Internals, anyone? Don’t have time to read the Slimes “let’s-do-a-poll-and-generate-news” piece between meetings today. Or do they even provide the internals? Almost guarantee it’s a Democrat-skewed sample.

  • Gary Johnson Shoots Himself in the Foot: Throws Out Austin Petersen’s Gun

    05/31/2016 5:05:53 AM PDT · 16 of 22
    ExNewsExSpook to mindburglar

    Yes, his little “exhibition” pretty much tells everything you need to know about the current Libertarian Party. Their nominee can’t decide if U.S. intervention in World War II—World War II, for heaven’s sake—was justified. His running mate appears to support some sort of gun grab, and one of the candidates for party chair puts on a strip tease for the assembled delegates and a C-SPAN audience.

    And Libertarians wonder why they can’t get any traction with voters.

  • N. Korea's missile launch appears to have failed

    05/30/2016 6:45:38 PM PDT · 22 of 35
    ExNewsExSpook to TigerLikesRooster

    The three previous Musudan failures originated in the Wonsan area; very good chance this was a BM-25/Musudan as well. The missile is a North Korean copy of the Russian SS-N-6, a sub-launched ballistic missile. Moscow claims the design was “de-nuclearized” before being sold to Pyongyang, but it could be easily reconfigured to carry a nuclear warhead.

    Iran has invested heavily in the program and BM-25 airframes and support hardware was exported to that country several years ago. Tehran is probably pressuring NK to prove the missile works and Kim Jong-un will keep executing missile scientists until they get it right.

  • Is Rush Limbaugh in Trouble?

    05/30/2016 1:48:37 PM PDT · 70 of 231
    ExNewsExSpook to econjack

    Precisely. Many national “brands” and retailers have avoided talk radio for years—locally and nationally—because they’re afraid of controversy, no matter the station or the host. At the same time, some of the advertisers who have used talk radio have been very surprised by the results, for a couple of reasons. First, the talk audience is by far the best informed/educated of any in radio and secondly, they have more disposable income than any other demo.

    With more boomers working into their 60s and 70s and earning comfortable incomes, advertisers may have to re-calibrate their approach. Would you rather go after the “Depends” demo—the audience once ignored unless you’re selling burial policies or Medicare supplements, but the group that actually owns homes and can afford to buy new cars. Or, do they prefer to chase millennials who racked up more than $100,000 in debt on a worthless college degree and are living at home with their parents, because they don’t qualify for any job paying more than $10 an hour.

    Radio as a whole and talk radio in particular have proven surprisingly resilient. Sixty years ago, the smart boys and girls were writing radio’s obituary because of the arrival of television. Radio not only survived—it thrived. Likewise, talk radio evolved from a “fringe” format into the most popular on the airwaves. And BTW, Rush Limbaugh is the #1 reason that AM radio survived into the 21st Century and that news/talk became the top format.

  • Is Rush Limbaugh in Trouble?

    05/30/2016 1:36:28 PM PDT · 63 of 231
    ExNewsExSpook to Cinnamontea

    Exactly. So-called experts have been predicting his demise for decades, but Rush keeps soldiering on. With at least 13 million listeners a week, he’s still the biggest draw in talk radio—by far. And, as even Politico is forced to admit, Premier Radio still makes money on Rush, even when they pay him $38 million a year.

    As for Rush’s departure from WABC, that was dictated in large part by the financial woes of Citadel (which bought the former ABC stations) and Cumulus, which picked them up when Citadel went belly up.

    Lew Dickey, the self-styled genius who ran Cumulus into the ground (until the company board of directors fired him last year) was among the radio executives who complained long and loud about Rush and the impact of his Sandra Fluke remarks. Of course, Lew never mentioned that Rush consistently out-performed other programming on his stations. He’s typically #3-#5 in his timeslot on WMAL in Washington, making him the station’s highest-rated personality. Meanwhile, Dickey’s favorite host, Michael Savage (who Dickey installed in PM drive around the country) rarely cracks the top 15 in that time slot.

    Also missing from this story are the markets and stations where Rush does well. He’s #1 in Atlanta on WSB, and he also tops his time slot in Raleigh, NC, which is a pretty liberal city. Rush is also a ratings powerhouse on a number of other affiliates around the country. In fact, many of the stations that have dropped him have problems that go far beyond the cost of Rush’s program, or the ad revenue they have to split with him. That includes stations like WABC and WLS in Chicago, which are shadows of their former selves under Cumulus’s gross mismanagement.

    Obviously, radio has changed in the internet and satellite era. Still, Rush will be able to command a big check when his contract is up next month.

  • 6 Must-See Movies for Memorial Day

    05/30/2016 11:39:21 AM PDT · 87 of 109
    ExNewsExSpook to Ammo Republic 15

    In the same vein, “Victory at Sea” is one of the greatest documentary series every produced about World War II. First aired on NBC on Sunday afternoons beginning in the late fall of 1952 and continuing into the spring of 1953. It was both a critical and financial success; critics hailed the series as an example of television reaching its potential, and subsequent airings on local stations, foreign networks and cable channels generated a surprising amount of revenue for NBC.

    “Victory” was the product of having the right people in the right place at the right time. Producer Henry Salomon was a Naval officer in World War II and was assigned to the staff of Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morrison, who wrote the history of American navy operations during the conflict. Salomon was aware of the vast amount of operational footage that had been recorded by USN and Marine Corps photographers during the war and had viewed key sequences while working with Morrison. So, with millions of feet of film to review for the documentary, Salomon knew where to begin the search.

    Additionally, Salomon had been a Harvard classmate of Robert Sarnoff, the NBC executive who ran the network’s filmed programming division. Sarnoff was the son of David Sarnoff, who had built NBC into a radio and TV powerhouse. The younger Sarnoff got his father to sign off on the documentary project and gave Salomon a huge budget by early 50s standards ($500,000).

    “Victory” still holds up well, more than 60 years after its debut. Some of the combat footage is stunning; the score, by Richard Rogers and Robert Russell Bennett, is stirring and Leonard Graves’s narration is superb. Interestingly, when a theatrical version of “Victory at Sea” was released, Graves’s voice was replaced by Alexander Scourby. Mr. Scourby was probably the greatest voice artist of his era, but I still believe Graves did a better job on “Victory at Sea.”

    Interestingly, actor Robert Montgomery (also a naval officer in World War II) was originally slated to narrate the documentary. But after viewing a scratchy rough cut, Montgomery ripped into Henry Salomon, calling him unfit to produce the series, and bowed out of the project. When the incident was relayed to Richard Rodgers, the composer suggested Leonard Graves, who was the understudy to Yul Brynner in the original Broadway production of “The King and I.” Graves got the job and his dramatic narration is perfect for the production.

  • Actress Beth Howland, who played Vera on 'Alice,' dies at 74

    05/25/2016 2:40:48 PM PDT · 30 of 41
    ExNewsExSpook to bigdaddy45

    Very rare in Hollywood, indeed.

  • Documents show ‘American Sniper’ Chris Kyle embellished record

    05/25/2016 2:28:33 PM PDT · 18 of 73
    ExNewsExSpook to yarddog

    Also possible that Kyle was decorated for highly classified missions and those awards may not show up in Navy biographies and personnel records that can be released to the public.

    During Vietnam, scores of USAF pilots flew for Air America, the CIA’s aerial support operation. Officially, they “resigned” their commissions before joining Air America, but they actually remained on active duty. Their personnel records were moved to a secure area within the USAF Personnel Center. As far as I know, their performance evals and decorations earned while flying with Air America never entered into their “official” records, because so much of what they did was classified.

    I will defer to those with more expertise in these areas.

  • During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Sent Updated World War II Bombers to Hit Laos

    05/24/2016 11:51:41 AM PDT · 19 of 101
    ExNewsExSpook to sukhoi-30mki

    B-26 was a notoriously difficult plane to fly. Most of the crews trained at MacDill Field in Tampa (now MacDill AFB). The unofficial motto during World War II was “one a day in Tampa Bay,” reflecting the number of crews who crashed leaning to fly the B-26.

  • Sources: BU [Baylor] Regents Remove Starr As President [ed]

    05/24/2016 11:48:59 AM PDT · 7 of 30
    ExNewsExSpook to Ancient Man

    Absolutely agree, but having been in/around academia for a good portion of my adult life, I can tell you there’s more here than meets the eye. Typically, these dismissals come after a series of run-ins between the board of regents and the president. If the college is successful academically and athletically (as Baylor has been), the regents have to wait for something else. In this case, it was a sex scandal involving members of the football team.

    Since Baylor is a Texas school, there was no consideration of firing Briles, since the school has enjoyed unmatched success on the gridiron during his tenure. And, you can’t fire the AD, since he has capitalized on Baylor’s new-found athletic prowess to fund raise. So, who gets canned? The college president who had been fighting an on-going board with the regents.

  • VA secretary: Disney doesn't measure wait times, so why should VA?

    05/23/2016 1:25:29 PM PDT · 61 of 83
    ExNewsExSpook to Haiku Guy

    The irony, of course, is that Disney (and the other theme parks) pay a great deal of attention to how much time their guests spend in line. They know that excessive wait times = a paying guest who is unlikely to return. You can find predicted wait times on various websites like this one:

    https://touringplans.com/magic-kingdom/wait-times#

    Or, you can download the app and learn exactly how long your wait will be.

    For a guy who once ran Proctor & Gamble, Robert McDonald is an absolute idiot. He’s following Zero’s orders to play out the string and avoid any meaningful VA reform. Barry is more concerned about the government workers at the various VA centers (a reliable Democrat voting bloc) than the vets they are supposed to serve.

  • VA secretary: Disney doesn't measure wait times, so why should VA?

    05/23/2016 1:16:33 PM PDT · 59 of 83
    ExNewsExSpook to Mariner

    McDonald is a West Point grad who left the Army after his service obligation was up. Went into the corporate world and eventually became CEO of Proctor & Gamble before being “recruited” by Zero to lead the VA.

    Also famous for lying about his Army background during a photo-op for a program designed to get homeless vets off the streets. In a conversation with a homeless man who claimed to have been in special forces, McDonald claimed he was SF as well. In reality, McDonald graduated from Ranger school, but was never assigned to a Ranger regiment, and he never qualified as a Green Beret.

    Funny, I have yet to see a Republican call for McDonald to resign. It’s clear McDonald is just as clueless as his predecessor—and conditions in the VA are still bad—but no one is demanding his head on a platter. The GOPers are spineless as ever

  • Carlson: Beck Acted Like He Wanted to be Zuckerberg's 'Manservant'

    05/21/2016 12:49:05 PM PDT · 43 of 49
    ExNewsExSpook to Pining_4_TX

    Beck’s immediate concerns are more basic. His media company is essentially out of money; he’s gone through a succession of CEOs like Kleenex and needs someone to bail out The Blaze. Beck probably thought he could find someone in Silicon Valley willing to invest in his failing enterprise, but it was a fool’s errand.

    On its current trajectory, Beck’s media empire will be gone within a year or so. Of course, Glenn still draws a nice check from Premier Radio for his daily talk show, so he’ll be okay. May have to give up that new private jet, but the folks who will pay the price are his workers. Their odds for long-term employment with Beck are decidedly slim.

  • Glenn Beck: Facebook Employees ‘Liberal’ but ‘Not Progressives’

    05/21/2016 6:55:10 AM PDT · 43 of 58
    ExNewsExSpook to C19fan

    Beck’s “performance” at Facebook was feckless and embarrassing. With The Blaze tottering on the edge of insolvency, I’m sure Beck hit up everyone from Zuckerberg on down about investing in his company.

    Since his groveling in Silicon Valley didn’t pan out, I’m guessing he’ll revert to the “apocalypse is upon us” schtick, and predict another, pending economic collapse. It’s probably the most accurate prediction he could offer, but Beck is looking at it in terms of new advertisers, clicks and revenues, since he gets a portion of the sale from every food survival kit sold through his program.