Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Springfield Stays In the Fight For the 183rd

Once again, Springfield is presenting its case for keeping the 183rd Fighter Wing. I hope the hydrazine processing plant issue will help keep the base in Springfield. We already have the infrastructure and the environmental advantages, so why not keep the unit here?

And another thing... F-110 aircraft? Now, I fixed F-111s (EF-111As, to be exact), and I know that a base near my old home station flew F-117s, but I've never heard of F-110s. Searching for it, I see it's an old name for the F-4. So, what the Department of Defense wants is for F-4s to have their engines inspected at Springfield? No one uses them anymore, except maybe for a couple of reconaissance squadrons that are far from Springfield. I guess maybe they're used as target drones now, I don't know. We certainly don't fly them on air superiority or anti-radar missions anymore.

(Update: Google is my friend. For whatever reason, F-110 is the designation that McDonell-Douglas gave to the aircraft better known as the F-4 Phantom II series of fighters. I have corrected and updated my comments. The reporter was correct in the report.)

Someone decided to vandalize the house and car of a family who had just lost a loved one in Iraq. If it was done with political motives in mind, so much the worse. Pfc. Hines deserves better than this. The people of Fairfield deserve better than this. At least the neighborhood came right back with more flags to put into the family's yard.

(Thanks to Ed at Captain's Quarters for bringing this to everyone's attention.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

SEIU and Teamsters Splitting from AFL-CIO

Wow, this is huge in the world of labor unions. The two splitting unions have a point, though, in that union membership is dropping and that the AFL-CIO board has not provided a successful remedy to that. The trade unions like IBEW, the Machinists' and Carpenters' unions have always provided training as well as bargaining representation and provide a good format for other unions. Unions like the United Mine Workers' Association have kept safety standards in place for their workers. Other groups like the UFCW (of which I was once a member) have made me suspect some unions' real goals. Are they all there to provide a good service for all their employees, or are they there to put the screws to part-time workers in favor of full-time workers? So I do understand the Teamsters' view. They're trying to keep afloat and increase their business share. If they can do so by splitting away from the AFL-CIO and forming a new group, more power to them. Going off and doing your own thing is very American, very businesslike. Good for the Teamsters and SEIU.
Tom Tancredo Brings Stupidity to the Press Once More

Hugh Hewitt links to a Denver Post commentary article by Rep. Tom Tancredo claiming that he will not take back his comments about bombing Mecca. Can we get a little censure thrown Tancredo's way? He seems to need it to remind him that what he says doesn't just play in his district, it plays worldwide.

Seriously, kids. This is like threatening to bomb the Vatican in the 1980s in retaliation for an IRA bombing done in London. Yes, Londoners do remember those bombings, which is why I think they're playing it very calmly and professionally in the aftermath of the recent al-Qaeda-inspired bombings.

Once again, I'd like to call for Rep. Tancredo to sit down, shut up, and get out of Congress. He's no better than Dick Durbin.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Well, yesterday was a bit on the exciting side for London, wasn't it? Police there actually shot and killed a suspect as he attempted to flee further into one of the Underground stations. Odd that BBC World Service seemed a bit angry that police were carrying guns in the first place considering what just happened in their city. I guess they're just not used to armed officers.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

More stuff on British bombings

So far, only one injury according to Fox News.

I spoke with one of the British folks who work here, and he's pretty ticked to say the least. He thinks it's a different group than the ones who performed the 7/7 attacks. I hope he's right in one way, that the best bombers offed themselves last time, but I hope that he is wrong in a way that we're not seeing copycat bombers with other axes to grind against the British government.
London Underground Evacuated Again

I know that British law enforcement authorities don't want to scare anyone, but come on, guys. We read about three suspicious explosions in public transportation facilities that are two weeks from the last attacks, and yet that's no cause to treat these explosions as terrorist attacks? Just because no one has been hurt doesn't mean you can't treat this as something terrorist-related.

Hmm, according to ABC news on WLS, they look like fake nailbombs where only the detonators exploded. Still, this is no terrorist incident?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Iowahawk boils down lefty activists to one simple form letter. Beautiful.
New Supreme Court Pick Angers The Usual Suspects

I have a feeling that John Roberts knows what he's getting into, so I don't think we have to worry too much about him folding under Democratic attacks and slanders. NARAL isn't happy because he argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. Newsflash to NARAL: John Roberts was a lawyer at the time. What do lawyers do? The argue their client's case, as Judge Roberts did for George H.W. Bush in this instance. So, NARAL obviously has a problem with lawyers who do their job.

Slightly above that, the article gets a quote from Senator Dick "Springfield? I can't recall ever living there" Durbin, stating that he wants to ensure that Judge Roberts has "mainstream values." Basically, Durbin wants to give yet another nominee a political test. I suggest that Senator Durbin also continue his line of questioning to ensure whether or not he has ever stepped inside a church for something other than political gain. If we're going to have an abortion test, he might as well have a religious test to determine whether or not he believes in God. I certainly wonder if Senator Durbin does.

John at Marathon Pundit has some good opinions on Dick Durbin, and links to an interesting article about Durbin in the Republican-run Illinois Leader.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tom Tancredo, please shut up.

The Republican Representative from Colorado's 6th District really stuck his foot in it yesterday in a radio interview in Florida. Bombing Mecca in retaliation for a (God forbid) nuclear attack on the US? That would make our troubles even worse should such an attack happen. There's a smart way to win the War on Terror, then there's overkill. This is a case of overkill combined with a need to make oneself sound tough on terror. Congressman Tancredo, much like I said to my Senator from Illinois a few posts ago, shut up and step down. You're not making this any easier for the troops or for those who want them to win this war.

Monday, July 18, 2005

You'd think that having a much shorter drive home from work would mean that I'd have more time to post. By the time I get home from work, I really don't want to read the news for a while. I just want to relax and take care of dinner. There has been a lot of interesting news as of late, especially the Valerie Plame issue (or non-issue, depending on where you stand on this stuff). So, if her name got leaked, but she hadn't done covert service in years and her husband listed her name and job on his online profile, does it really count as a scandal? And if Karl Rove got it from a journalist, doesn't it show that her name was already out there for public scrutiny? Is this really an issue at all? From a security standpoint, I doubt it.

The only way it's an issue is because Karl Rove is a very efficient campaign manager, and the Democrats don't want to have him working for any other Republican campaigns.

As for the continuing fight with Fort Wayne, IN and Springfield over the fate of the 183rd Fighter Wing... I got nothin', as people are wont to say around here. My take on this is if the Department of Defense is trying to take Springfield's aircraft away as punishment over the friendly-fire incident a few years back, then it's most likely the worst solution to realignment that DoD planners could find. Central Illinois needs a good air patrol as does northern Illinois. The 183rd is it for the most part. If the Missouri ANG squadron out of St. Louis is still there, then Southern Illinois is fine, but what about everything north of US Route 40, much less I-72?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

You go on vacation...

And all kind of craziness happens.

Here I was, all set to talk about my bad luck fishing and the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, G-8 and the Olympics selection, and then London gets bombed by terrorists.

As an American, I would like to extend my own personal offer of help to the British. I don't know what a customer service minion with a background in East Asian History can do, but let me know. I hope my government will do the same. You've stood by us through thick and thin, even when you've disagreed with us, so we should do the same. It's only right, after all.