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Everything posted by Blue

  1. It's almost as if man-made climate change is nothing but a made-up boogeyman to keep people distracted from the real ills of the world.
  2. Got curious and spent some time trying to figure this out. They built four Scorpions, and this article from five years ago included a shot of all flying in formation, including tail numbers. Here are the most recent flights according the FlightAware, note only N534TX has been flying recently. N531TA: Aug 2017 N530TX: Dec 2017 N532TX: Aug 2021 N534TX: 28 Jul 2022 It's a shame. Given all of the commonalities with the Citation business jets, the Scorpion would have had the benefit of a ready supply base, for one thing. CH's comment below rings true. Without having any inside knowledge, I'd assume anything turbine powered was a non-starter from the beginning. Turbine military aircraft is the realm of Boeing/Lockheed/Northrop. Those companies don't want someone like Textron getting their "nose under the tent" with an aircraft that is an order of magnitude cheaper. If the Scorpion started performing well, it's possible Congress would eventually take notice and reprogram money away from the F-35 and other sacred cows. And you can't have that happening, after all.
  3. The timing seems interesting. Wonder if the AT-6 is slated for some FMS contract as a runner-up prize to armed overwatch.
  4. Seems like a pretty standard contract award, $170 mil to kick off the contract execution, with work to begin immediately and running through 2029, leading to delivery of up to 75 aircraft. However, do these kind of contracts usually include a "maximum ceiling value," and is it always this high? $3 Billion seems a lot for fielding less than 100 aircraft.... Related, wonder what the ferry range is on these (couldn't find it online). Saw some mention of the ease of disassembling, loading into a C-17, and reassembling. Was air to air refueling considered in AOW? Did any of the contenders consider it, or is it silly to consider air to air refueling for an aircraft with this kind of mission?
  5. Interested to hear "the rest of the story" here. No matter how it comes out, Air Force amn/nco/snco is always an entertaining read. They also do a good job of shining the light on fraud/waste/abuse/asshole-ishness/absurdity/etc. I wish they had some kind of "Top Ten" or "Greatest Hits," because I know there have been some real changes made based on stories that were first publicized on their page.
  6. When the topic of "energy policy" comes up, I've defaulted to tuning it all out. There is just such an absurd amount of nonsense around climate change, electric cars/planes/trains, decarbonization, etc. Anyone who tries to ask any legitimate technical or scientific questions is shouted down as a heretic. Our current standard of living depends on burning hydrocarbons. Politicians and other talking heads can do all the hand waving they want, it doesn't change that fact.
  7. Yeah, my limited understanding is they had some level of training on what to do in the event of a school shooting. Can't comment on the level of skill of the officers involved. I've heard of PD's having a tough time recruiting/retaining officers in the wake of "Defund the Police," ACAB, etc. Maybe Uvaldle has lost experienced folks, but I expected that to be more of an issue in the blue states and not Texas. Who knows. All that aside, if it's possible for good to come out of an abhorrent event like this, maybe it'll crystallize the fact that "calling the cops" is not some panacea. Folks like the NRA like to tout clichés like "When seconds count, police are minutes away," but the fact of the matter is it's true. The 2018 Parkland Shooting resulted in the Coward from Broward. Maybe these guys will be dubbed the Uvalde Useless. I supposed it all depends on the environment in which you were raised, but most everyone I know defaults to "I'll call the cops!" when serious trouble arises. As if Johnny Law will instantaneously teleport to your location, defuse the situation, and put any preparator in cuffs and a striped shirt. Here in Chicago, violence has always ebbed and flowed. Over the years, the local government and PD seemed to be "business as usual" as long as the crime stayed in the right places and amongst the right people (i.e. on the South and West sides, and amongst the gangs and the poor). Every now and again, crime would spike in the Loop or the North side (where all the money is), and city government and PD would respond with a quickness, upping patrols and reassigning manpower until the crime abated. Now, you've got events like this. In Lincoln Park, one of the nicest neighborhoods in the city, some dude lies in wait behind a building, then jumps out to rob someone of their phone. Guy fights back, there is a struggle, and the poor SOB gets shot twice. While the victim is lying on the ground in agony, the perpetrator demands his phone password, and once he has it, he puts a bullet in the guys head. It's like something out of a movie. Since it's in a nice neighborhood full of monied people, the whole thing is caught in high definition audio and video via some homeowner's security camera. In days past, this would have ignited a flurry of police press conferences and the like. Now, it's just another Friday. Shits getting bad. It's gonna get worse. If you run into trouble, by all means, dial 911. But realize that may just get you some guys to arrive after-the-fact and take down the official report of what transpired. You may be all on your own. As awful as it is to think about "the next school shooting," I assume it's bound to happen. I'd like to think any concerned parents will wait a hot second to determine what the cops are doing. If the parents don't see immediate action, they'll take the opportunity to jump in themselves.
  8. Try as I might, I can't look away from the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, because they do a good job of publicizing these kinds of shenanigans. They did not disappoint. Highlighted that MSgt Westmoreland wasn't authorized to be wearing the MTI hat when not acting as a MTI, some criticisms of his uniform, etc. Subsequently, MSgt Westmoreland reached out to the page mods and asked them to take down their posts. Which of course the mods declined, and published the message exchange. 400+ comments so far. Always love a "Play stupid games, win stupid prizes" moment. Good entertainment with my Sunday morning coffee.
  9. The way I read the last several posts, people expect mask mandates to be reinstituted sometime this fall or winter. Along with speculation about how the November elections play into the timing of reinstituting mask mandates. I think the unsaid implication is that Democrat politicians recognize they have an uphill battle in November, so they'll delay reinstituting mask mandates until after the election, since they know mask mandates are generally unpopular.
  10. I didn't get that out of @GrndPndr's post at all.
  11. Here in Chicagoland, our most recent indoor mask mandate ran from 17 Aug 21 to 28 Feb 22. It was lifted citing drops in "key metrics" including hospitalizations and case numbers. I assume mask mandates will return this winter. They'll want to wait until after the midterm elections on Nov 8, so I'd wager sometime around Thanksgiving. They seem to be paving the way already. Our "COVID-19 Community Level" was raised to "High" by the CDC on 27 May 22. As part of being rated "High," indoor mask wearing is "strongly recommended," but not required. However, the city has stated: "Major mitigation changes (e.g. citywide indoor mask mandates) will be made based specifically on City of Chicago's COVID-19 hospital burden rather than the federally defined Health Service Area." So, as soon as hospitalization rated tick up in the winter (as they have in the past), I assume indoor mask mandates will return. Not to worry, the city has provided handy guidance (copied below). Remember, it's important to get your vaccine. I mean booster. I mean second booster. I mean, just make sure you stay "up to date" on your vaccine........ Also, good news, vaccinations are available for Chicagoans as young as 6 months. Hurry up, Mom and Dad, get the kiddo out there to get their shots.........
  12. For sure there are the true believers in all things Woke. The "useful idiots," as it were. Folks like Col Coyle though, I figure he's just taken stock of the situation, and realized what he's got to say and do to get promoted. Toe the party line, tout "Diversity is our strength" a couple hundred times, and maybe the Gods will shine down upon him and he'll get that first star. After all, what the hell else are you gonna do as an O-6 ABM?
  13. Yeah, those of us ~40 and older have seen it happen before our eyes. It's interesting to watch the implosion of some of these "movements." What once was a real, meaningful cause evolves further and further into absurdity. LBG became LGBT in the '90s. I saw LGBTQIA+ for the first time the other day. I watched the military change from an outright ban on LGB members, to "Don't ask, don't tell," to "Ask, tell, we don't care." That should have been the pinnacle, an acknowledgement of how far we progressed as a society. Instead, now we have the never-ending focus on all things LGBTQIA+, along with arguments about absurdities such as "should transsexuals be allowed to serve, and which bathroom should they use?" The environmental movement was similar. We came such an incredibly long way from the bad old days of the 1970s. The modern automobile is a triumph of engineering. Modern industrial pollution controls are incredible. If anyone really gave a shit about the environment today, they'd put their focus on how emerging economies like China and India pollute in a fashion that's 100's of times worse than anything ever done in this country. Instead, we get people on an absurd quest to ban carbon dioxide emissions and forever shouting about the boogeyman of "global warming." The battle against racism is the same. So much progress in the US since the 1960s. However, it can't end, we need to continue to find more and different groups to battle for, leading to the most recent chimera of "AAPI hate," as in "Hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities." If you haven't heard a whole lot about it, it might be because it turns out that scooping everything from the eastern boarder of Europe and Africa all the way to the West coast of the Americas into one giant catch-all racial category is regarded as a little difficult. Doesn't change the fact that when you google AAPI, you get a whole page about AAPI rights, AAPI discrimination, battling for AAPI equity, etc. It's a racial "group" that exists only to provide something for the Woke to battle for. If there is a glimmer of hope, it's that these movements will all grind to a halt and implode as a result of their own inner conflict, and attempts to "out-woke" each other. This recent Intercept article is timely: Elephant in the Zoom: Meltdowns Have Brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History. I'm not the world's biggest Bernie Sanders fan, but I'm not entirely a critic either. This quote kinda sums up the article (emphasis mine):
  14. My conclusion after five years in the Air Force and six years at a defense contractor: The priorities of the military are as follows: 1.) Serve as a conduit for money into defense contractors 2.) Push woke agendas 3 through 353.) Other stuff 354.) Protect and defend the US. I think it's interesting and telling that the "WTF" thread so often ends up discussing all things Woke. Perhaps my tinfoil hat is too tight, but I really believe that the collection of increasingly absurd Woke movements is designed to keep people enraged and otherwise distracted from the real concerns in modern society. Everyone's mental bandwidth is taken up by trying to understand how trans rights and other absurdities appear to be the biggest news story of the day, while meanwhile the country descends further and further into a quasi-oligarchy. Half of the country is scratching their head and wondering if local libraries hosting Drag Queen Reading Hour is really a thing, while the other half is getting ready to go march in support of Drag Queen Reading Hour.
  15. Wow, the 552nd Air Control Wing is the LGBTQ+ gift that keeps on giving..... Article link here. Some excerpts quoted below. Capt. Gregory St Clair's comment is especially interesting. I struggle to think of anyone in the entirety of the DoD who does not know the LGBTQ+ community exists. Indeed, one would have to be living in an underground bunker inside of a faraday cage to have missed the incessant amount of posturing the DoD does regarding LGBTQ+.....
  16. I'm not savvy to the inner workings of labor negotiations at the airlines. If airline management is offering substandard contract terms, is that just a sign that they're anticipating a slowdown in the industry? And they're just trying to "run out the clock" until the economy cools, airline traffic decreases, and union members have less bargaining power? Is there any penalty for the airlines if they keep "kicking the can down the road" when it comes to signing a pilot contract?
  17. Sounds like a good recommendation. Looks like it's available on Amazon, with the US title "Generation War." As a side note, it stars Volker Bruch, who also stars as Detective Gereon Rath in Babylon Berlin, a German neo-noir series that is still in production. It's set in the inter-war years in Germany, and also shows the country's slide towards WWII.
  18. Yeah, people going off the rails on abortion being "banned," when the reality is more complex. The legality of abortion will be up to the states. There are various maps out there outlining the expected results state by state. My recollection is 26 states will leave abortion completely legal, a handful will outright ban abortions, and the rest will have a mix of bans after X amount of weeks. All subject to lawmaking in individual states, of course. And I think people may be surprised at how their state legislatures react. Almost 50 years since Roe was first passed, and many states have changed a lot in that time. Will be interesting to see if all the current marching in the street against the Supreme Court decision translates into people marching on their individual state houses. I'd like to think that would be the case, but for so many people, it seems their knowledge of the political process doesn't go beyond "My Team Good, Your Team Bad" and whatever clown show AOC is doing that week. I've heard the whole "abortions led to a decline in crime" idea before, but I've seen better arguments for the phase-out of lead gasoline leading to a decline in lead-related brain damage, and an associated drop in crime.
  19. Yeah, I was scratching my head at Scott Kirby's recent Linkedin post heralding their "agreement" with ALPA.
  20. Yeah, it does seem like a lot of grandstanding. I would have assumed just about any Congressman of note would receive at least a handful of similar letters every year. Lots of crazies out there, after all. Sure enough, from the article: 9000 potential threats, spread over 535 Congressmen and Senators. I assume Kinzinger probably has a selection of letters he could have chosen from when he published this one.
  21. Two things can be true at the same time. Ashley Babbitt shouldn't have been where she was, but that doesn't completely exonerate the Capitol Police, or anyone else who was involved. I'd like to see a complete, non-partisan review of Jan 6th, but it seems that's never going to happen, given the current political climate.
  22. I imagine the FAA Administrator is a tough job to staff. The population of people with aviation experience at an executive level (whether public or private) is pretty small. To add, the person you nominate has to want the job. With commercial aviation reeling from Covid, Boeing's shenanigans with the MAX and 787, etc, I'd think some qualified people would respond "thanks but no thanks." However, the reality is that, in the hierarchy of qualifications for these politically-appointed jobs, experience is pretty far down the list. It's Identity Politics above all, which means the number one criteria Democrats are looking for is that the nominee either be a woman or a "person of color." When you constrain the candidate pool that much, it's no surprise that you end up with candidates who have really thin qualifications.
  23. Careful what you ask for. From the Seattle Times:
  24. I saw the first Presidential Debate (Sept 29th, 2020) as a prime example of this. Trump could have "parked his ego in the corner" and just let Biden run his mouth. Biden has historically been a poor performer at debates, normally providing a steady stream of verbal gaffes. Instead, Trump came in with both guns blazing, all all Biden had to do was sit back and watch the night implode. Still shake my head at that whole debate.
  25. Some recent rumblings about Biden being too old to run in 2024. The cynic in me thinks that these stories aren't simply plain old journalism, rather they've been timed appropriately to "test the waters" and gauge the public's reaction. From the NYT last week: Should Biden Run in 2024? Democratic Whispers of ‘No’ Start to Rise. In interviews, dozens of frustrated Democratic officials, members of Congress and voters expressed doubts about the president’s ability to rescue his reeling party and take the fight to Republicans. Related article in The Atlantic from yesterday: “It’s not the 82 that’s the problem. It’s the 86,” one swing voter said in a recent focus group, referring to the hypothetical age Biden would be at the end of that (very) hypothetical second term. The Chicago Tribune is going so far as to speculate that IL Governor JB Pritzker's recent trip to New Hampshire is signaling a "soft launch" of his presidential campaign. The guy has a net worth close to $4 billion, so would be interesting to see the impact of his money on the race.
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