Sunday, January 27, 2013


     I surprise myself sometimes with what thoughts or memories come to mind as I hear of new events… at first glance it may seem unrelated but then it ties together.  

    I’ve spent many years on flightlines around the world. One of the things I use to do was take my girls out on slow days to let them see what “daddy does” and give them a chance to be on the jets. They were always excited to sit in the cockpit or explore the cabin (big smiles).   Lots of other mechanics did the same, bringing children, visiting relatives or friends out.   I like to share the story of one mechanic and his special son.

    Steve was a Technical Sergeant stationed with me at Mildenhall RAF in England. One day he called me on the radio and asked if we had any jets down that he could take his son on.  I told him “I have a Fred (our slang for the C-5A/B) we just finished refueling and still have power and hydraulics on it for lights and ladders… Good enough?  I’ll pick you up in a few minutes”. 

    As I pulled up to the flight office Steve and his son were standing at the door.  The little boy sparked up and popped me a salute saying “Hi Sir, I’m Anthony”, he looked to be maybe 10 years old and I knew he was special, this little boy is due a bit of VIP treatment, I thought.  We drove out to the jet and started the tour.  I sat in the truck watching as father and son walked around the outside of the largest jet in the Air Force. The boy stopped at one of the main landing gear wheels stretching his arms up trying to reach the top of the tire that stood taller than him.  When Steve and Anthony finished looking at the outside I got out of the truck and started up the entrance ladder just to give a hand as they climbed up.  Anthony’s eyes widened when he looked down the massive cargo bay loaded with a couple of vehicles and web covered pallets of equipment but the climbing wasn’t finished yet, we had one more ladder to climb up to the cockpit.  In the cockpit Anthony went straight for the pilots seat climbing into it, griping the control wheel as if he were ready for takeoff then he stood up in the seat to look out the window  saying “Look Daddy, the truck is so small” (that gave me a little giggle). 

    When we climbed back down to the cargo bay I told Steve, “the nose and ramp need to be opened for cargo loading later, want to let Anthony open it?”  Steve says, “That would give him thrill”.  They stood at the control panel, father showing son what buttons to push, levers to move and lights to watch.  Anthony pushed the first button and the indicator lights came on, he pushed the next and the sound of the hydraulic fluid rumbling through the lines began, he lifted the lock lever and the popping of the lock latches echoed through the cargo bay.  Anthony looked back to his father not quite sure of himself now as the strange noises and flickering lights began to overwhelm him a bit, Steve put his hand on Anthony’s shoulder and said “You’re doing fine,  one more button to push.”  Reassured now the button was pushed and the monstrous nose door began to move, lifting slowly at first with the gap widening and sunlight pouring in, the look of excitement then uncertainty that had been on the young boy’s face had now given way to amazement. 

    Steve and I secured the door, lowered the ramp and the three of us walked down to the truck.  In the truck with one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen Anthony said “I’m going to work on the big jets just like Daddy” at that Steve and I looked at each other a bit tight lipped and with a slight knowing nod it went unsaid, it would never be…  Like I mentioned earlier, Anthony was a special boy, Anthony is a little boy with down syndrome.

     For all the excitement and desire of the little boy he would never have the capability to be an aircraft mechanic, he would never be able to master the skills and retain the level of knowledge he would need to ensure the safety of the crew and passengers on a jet.  Excitement, desire, even commitment will never change the fact that some are not capable of doing jobs they want to do especially if it would put others in danger.   Inserting women into combat positions is the current example. Yes you can always find the 1%+/- that can perform at the level of today’s combat troops but why disrupt cohesive units to prove that the exceptions may be out there?  The military combat unit will never be an equal opportunity organization; it will never be 50% male 50% female without lowering the standards.  How do lower standards improve effectiveness?  Will there be a quota (females make up approximately 15% of the force) or will it be voluntary and if so will the male troop be afforded the same option? Will the emphasized “equality” really be EQUAL?  In the event of a pregnancy could the female have administrative action taken against her for willingly compromising her combat readiness?  If a male combat troop engaged in any activity that compromised his combat readiness (not to mention for 9+ months) you know his A$$ would be in the proverbial sling.  A combat unit trains as a team and depends on each member.   There has been discussions of cutting back troop levels in all branches will more qualified members be dismissed just to make room for a less qualified individual?  Again I’m feeling safer already.  Women and men are different.  And by the way… the wife is also a retired Air Force Master Sergeant; I’m not against women in the military, I’m against putting a person into a job they can’t do!

Everyone has to be able to carry their part

    The TOMCAT      

Monday, January 21, 2013

Obama’s 23 Executive Actions

This weeks post has two loosely related stories (two for the price of one… Bonus)

Obama’s 23 Executive Actions
    As Mr. Obama promised he has taken decisive action to ensure the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School will never happen again…  He’s going to issue three memorandums, release five letters/reports, provide “incentives” for schools/states, address/clarify several “issues”, Direct the Attorney General (Eric Holder) to do a couple of things (I hope it doesn’t involve tracking guns… again), develop emergency response plans for vulnerable institutions while training law enforcement how to respond, issue several more regulations and Of Course… TALK ABOUT IT!    I feel safer already…

    My expectations were fulfilled, Mr. Obama blinded by his own warped vision missed an opportunity to right the course of the nation and unify what has been a polarizing debate.  There are five simple steps that would have a greater affect on all violent crime across our country.

1)    Rebuild the traditional family unit:  The dehumanizing effect of broken homes gives the youth of today (and future generations) a sense of low self-worth.   If they don’t value themselves and their family, how can they be expected to value others?
“It starts in the home.”

2)    Meaningful education:  For far too long our education system has been allowed to erode, instead of being institutions of learning they have become bastions of indoctrination.  Where once was taught the skills needed to excel in life, now supply a steady diet of victimization and vilification.  With everyone cast as either a villain or a victim the children become impotent or angry and then at some point they lash out.  No longer is the history of the United Stated and the exceptionality of its people presented in a manor that promotes pride and aspirations to build upon past achievements.     
“Standing on the shoulders of GIANTS”

3)    Support business and industry:  If there are no prospects of fulfilling employment to achieve goals and ambitions the vision of a productive life is lost and gives way to undesirable activities.  When business and industry see potential for growth they expand giving opportunities for people to apply their trades, skills and abilities.  On the other hand if industry is stifled either by regulations or economic constraints opportunities dwindle.      
“Idle Hands”

4)    Fix the national debt:  Like any household in financial distress (only on a ridiculously larger scale) a planned budget and sacrifices have to be made. Everyone benefits from the programs provided; everyone needs to contribute to fixing the problem.  Any business or family that relied upon a credit card to provide 46% of its monthly expenditures would soon find themselves in bankruptcy court.  The idea (or economic theory) of needing to barrow more to pay for what has already been barrowed is criminal. 
“A light at the end of the tunnel”

5)    Restore faith:  The government need not be in the business of promoting religion but it also shouldn’t be in the business of denouncing it either.  Stop forcing people/business to go against their core values and principles that are rooted in their religious beliefs.  Promote community support provided by these groups.  I hate to use the “Pepsi Argument” but its effective; If one person doesn’t like Pepsi is its advertisement removed from public sight?  Is its use restricted to designated locations behind closed doors?  No, their told not to drink the Pepsi if they don’t like it.  Same should apply to faith, if you lack faith fine but don’t demand that others restrict their display of faith.  
“Believe in something larger than ones self”

    Unlike Mr. Obama, I don’t see the government being all things to all people but when it sticks to the basics… The states, the cities, the communities, the neighborhoods, the families, the individuals can take care of the rest.  Can Mr. Obama even grasp these five little ideas?  I doubt they have ever crossed his mind because he is the product of the broken homes, he is the product of the indoctrinations, he is the product of a lack of fulfilling employment, he is the product of living off of other people’s labor, he is the product of not knowing there is something larger than himself…  To embrace the actions, the values needed to stop the insanity he would first have to admit to himself he has lived a lie.  This admission would take courage and integrity (Mr. Obama lacks both) so its up to me, you and everyone we can rally to our cause, to make it happen in-spite of him.  The bigger and more intrusive the Federal Government has become, the worse the social problems have become.  We fight, we argue, we make the changes…    
We Do What’s Right!!! 


Gift from Prince Harry
    I was reading a post on that speculated on an amendment Harry Reid (D-NV) put into the 2800 page Obamacare law.  Some theorized that Senate amendment 3276, Sec. 2716 part c. prevents the Federal Government from collecting “…information relating the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.”  According to Senator Ried “this provision (Gift) was added to keep the NRA out of the legislative fight over Obamacare.”  From what I gathered it only applies to actions in pursuant of medical care or insurance premium rates.  I didn’t see any provision in the O-care Act that would curtail say the DOJ, ATF or any other agency outside of the HHS arena from gathering information.  Myself I think someone’s grasping at false hope but it was nice of “Prince Harry” to offer up this little gift even though it’s not his to give… OR TAKE AWAY!      But it does bring into question if a doctor suspects someone of being a danger to themselves or others… According to the amendment, can they even ask if the patient has access to a firearm?  If they do, can the Doctor warn anyone, (Legally)?  Could a doctor be sued in civil court because of this amendment?  Think maybe they made an error (or two) in their rush to pass 2800 page bill without reading it?

    After reading the post I scrolled down through the comments (this could have been a mistake).  Anyway, the comments got quite nasty… a lot of bickering back and forth on what was being read into the text or what was being omitted and whose take was the right one.  I had just about given up when I came across this little jewel.  This is all that needs to be said.          

SOCRATESSOCRATES  (22:36 01/09/13)

    Very important point to be made about the 2nd Amendment NOW:

At the time the 2nd Amendment was crafted into our Constitution, “ARMS” were the most destructive and violent-capable devices of the time.  NOTE, yet the drafters of the Constitution MADE SURE to specifically state “the right to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!” 

This fact:

a)      has nothing to do with “hunting”

b)      framers SAID NOTHING about the functional capabilities of the various ARMS as to distinguish one arm from another

The 2nd Amendment WAS CRAFTED explicitly for the people to defend themselves against a tyrannical government.  The framers of the Constitution intended, without argument, TO ENSURE the citizenry were able to KEEP AND BEAR [all arms] not [some types].

American Patriots fight back now!
Contemplate on these points!  ALL of the most dangerous “arms” at the time of the Constitution’s writing were INTENDED to be in the hands of law abiding and free citizenry!

There is no argument against this!

SOCRATESSOCRATES, I commend you!  You nailed it, the 2nd Amendment is clear in its intent.  It gives FREE MEN a fighting chance to remain FREE!

For the rest of you I have a simple yes or no question:

Do you believe the current and all future administrations have (or will have) an unwavering commitment to you, your family, the nation and our way of life as their sole priority and they will protect you from all harm 24-7-365?

If you answered yes (without hesitation) go find a history book or go back to the TV… your choice,   I   DON’T   CARE.

If you hesitated or answered no… Are you armed and willing to fight for your freedom?

On my knees before NO Man!

The TOMCAT            

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Saturated Market

     By no means am I an entrepreneur, I have almost always worked for someone else.  But if I were to look at going into business for myself I would look at certain factors.

Is there a demand for my product or service?
Can I outperform competition in quality or cost?
Can I make a decent return on the money I’ll have to invest?
(There are many more considerations but if you answer no to any of these, why bother?)

    Just looking at these three factors I question the Al Jazeera decision to purchase Current TV.  Counting local affiliates, cable, satellite news organizations (ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, ect…) and the internet, there’s a gluttony of news sources in the North American market, so I don’t see an outcry for additional services.  Al Jazeera has announced that its planned programming will consist of 60% American produced content and 40% of the programming coming from Al Jazeera English (Headquartered in Doha Qatar) and has also suggested there will be limited or no commercial content, this could be a welcomed change from the three to five minute commercial breaks we’ve come to expect but leaves the question… Who’s Footing the Bill?  Being the government of Qatar is the chief financier what are they look for in return for their investment? (Al Jazeera revenues amount to approximately 1/3 of its operating cost)

    My cynical opinion is they are seeking something valued more than money or treasure; they are seeking an avenue to public opinion, a way to put a softer face on Islamic extremism.  There have been instances where the tone of reporting differs between the Arabic and English versions of the same stories (the Arabic versions being harsher and more anti-American).  I pulled their Sept. 12th account of the Benghazi attack and the killing of four Americans to see their slant.  Although they had a reporter on-site (Suleiman El-Dressi) they chose to report the attack was “… a protest against an amateur film deemed offensive to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad…”  The same disinformation being sent out by CNN, MSNBC and the White House (Kind of funny, the same day I put out a more accurate account of what happened and I was sitting in a cornfield in Indiana).  Along with the video story, they also sought to blame the United States State Department /Government by reporting U.S. personnel should have been pulled out of Libya after news of the offending video had broke.  I followed up with their coverage of mass shooting and they seemed quite focused on the need to disarm America as the only solution.  (How’s that banning of suicide bombs working out in the middle-east neck of the woods?  Background checks? Licensing requirements? Or closer to home in Qatar, that Islamic “Involuntary Servitude” thing…  Slaves? I think that went out in the 1860’s…  At least around here).           

    Not only are the Islamic political goals of Al Jazeera (and financial backer Qatar) questionable but economic concerns could soon come into play.  Qatar is the worlds largest exporter of natural gas, the United States is experiencing a natural gas windfall that could dwarf the middle-eastern supply thus the strangle-hold they have on the energy market.  Will bias reports by Al Jazeera America on U.S. natural gas extraction, technology and environmental impact make it to the anchor desk during the evening news to protect Qatar’s hold on market share (and their funding)?     

    As far as the celebrity endorsement by Hillary Clinton “Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news”.  Hillary just isn’t someone I would look to on matters of credibility, transparency, being forthcoming or honesty… The only excuse she hasn’t used on the Benghazi debacle (so far) is “Bill ate my briefing papers.”

    For myself, If I need a healthy dose of America SUCK’s or I get the urge to be told how I don’t need old-fashion rights or freedoms, I’ll click on over to MSNBC or tune in on an Obama speech.  Then if I’m feeling frisky and want to be told I’m wicked by someone with an accent I’ll jump over to CNN for some of Piers Morgan’s witty words…

    Al Jazeera, I think the market is saturated with what you’ve come to peddle.


I would like to commend Al Jazeera on its delay in closing the deal with Mr. Gore, what could have been a 15% tax liability for “Green Al” had the deal closed by Dec. 31, 2012 will now jump to approximately 24.7% (23.8 Cap. Gains + 0.9% Obama Care)…  I bet Green Al was seeing RED!

Al Jazeera Sep. 12, 2012 report on Benghazi

My POST on the Benghazi Attack (written Sep. 12, 2012)

Al Jazeera 22 July 2012 Does the US need stricter gun control laws



Monday, January 7, 2013

“Aren’t You Afraid?”

    Slumped over and wedged into position with my arms and head twisted in an electrical control cabinet, I heard a voice behind me.  In an almost whisper the voice asked “Aren’t you afraid?”  The first thought that ran through my mind was, had I forgotten to lock out the 480 volt electrical feed…  No, the input lights on the electrical cards were off.  Slowly I pulled my arms out of the bundles of wires and slid out from the cabinet, looking back I saw one of the guys from the assembly department.  I gave him one of those cocked headed questioning stairs.  Again, after taking moment to look around as if to see had anyone walked-up, in a more direct tone he asked “Aren’t You Afraid?”  I had no idea what he was talking about so I asked, “Of What?”  In an almost frightened voice he came back with “You know…, that stuff you write, Aren’t You Afraid They’ll Come After You?”   Wow I thought to myself, this guy is serious, I gave him a quick, “No, Not Really, Why do you ask?”   He paused for a moment looking for the words, “Well you poke a lot of people in the eye, important people” I ended our conversation with “There’s a lot of people, Beck, Rush, Hannity saying more than me and they have a bigger audience.  If “THEY” were to start coming after people that disagreed with them, I think I’d be pretty far down the list”.  With that he gave me a bit of an unconvinced smirk, turned and walked away.

    The conversation got me thinking, here was a young man, maybe half my age and he has a genuine fear of his own government.  I wondered will he live out the rest of his life afraid.  Will he be too afraid to question the actions of “Public Servants”?  Could be he’ll adopt the “Just Ignore It, Maybe It’ll Go Away” attitude that we see all around us.  Myself I think that attitude is what put us in to the predicament we’re in today. 

    Looking back on my own life it been many years since I have been truly afraid, I’ve been startled, alarmed or concerned by people and situations but not afraid.  I think the last time I felt fear was when I was 13 or 14 years-old and had a problem with a neighborhood bully, he was a few years older and a bit bigger.  All of us younger kids knew if we crossed paths with him we would get shoved to the ground, our school books would be thrown around and most likely we’d get a punch or two.  This went on for what seemed forever,  walking the long way around, running away when I saw him coming and just letting plain old fear run my life.  Then came that one day, the day walking along the path in the woods, BOOM, I was face to face with the bully.  No place to run, no place to hide… the path was lined with thick thorny briers.  Something came over me, maybe I snapped but I wasn’t going to lie down and be a punching bag this time. 

    I played football in the youth league; I was a middle linebacker, quick and strong for my age.  The bully may have been a bit older and a bit bigger but I’ve gone against bigger on the field and took them down.  I took the hits, bumps and bruises on the field but in turn I dished quite a few bumps and bruises out.  As I approached him I thought it through in my head, he’s going to push me I need to be braced and ready for it, then turn and burry my head into his stomach rap both arms around his leg’s lift and drive him into the ground just like I’ve done in tackling practice hundreds of times, then punch, with every muscle in my body I need to punch hard and fast, over and over.

    Things began to move in slow-motion as we got closer but I felt fast, ready and confident.  My thoughts were clear and focused (the adrenalin rush had kicked in).  As expected he reached out to shove me extending his body out and off balance.  I absorbed the shove like a compressed spring then I exploded into him with a textbook tackle, head buried, arms rapped and locked, his body slamming into the ground and thorns.  The next few moments became a blur, the punches and struggle slowed as his resistance waned.   I would like to say I got up and walked away but I allowed my rage and anger to take their shot.  As I stood over his crumpled body laying half on the path half in the thorny briers I gave his knee a solid stomp, kind of an exclamation point… No More! No more harassment, no more bullying, No More FEAR!  That was the day I gave up fear.

    That was the better part of 37 years ago, I’ve lost a step or two and gained a few pounds but it was never really about the strength or speed.  Fear comes from not being ready, from not being willing to act.  Like I said, I’ve been startled, alarmed or concerned by people and situations but I focus on what danger do they present, what options are available, should I take a defensive or offensive posture.  Then it’s just a matter of being confident in myself, adapting to the situation and executing the best option…  So to answer the question, No I’m NOT AFRAID!

      A few days after the young man came to me with his question I was able to sit with him and tell him this story.  We talked about fear and the feelings of powerlessness it gives you.  I gave him my views and admitted sometimes I have doubts but I search out the answers to my doubts.  That builds my confidence and allows me to go on living without fear of what’s going on in the world around me.   I saw a bit of a spark of hope in his eyes and his head held a bit higher as he walked away afterwards.  I just wanted to thank him for letting me share this story with the rest of you.

Till Next Time