With muscle cars, it’s all about “blood and guts, tits and ass.” Or at least it should be.
This arrived in my inbox a while ago, and although I can’t say for sure if it’s true, it certainly is Truth.
Subj: “I WANNA BE A FIGHTER PILOT”
I am D.J. Baker and I would appreciate it if you could tell me what it takes to be an F-16 fighter pilot in the USAF. What classes should I take in high school to help the career I want to take later in life? What could I do to get into the Air Force Academy?
From: Van Wickler, Kenneth, LtCol, HQ AETC
Anybody in our outfit want to help this poor kid from Cyberspace?
A worldly and jaded C130 pilot, Major Hunter Mills, rises to the task of answering the young man’s letter.
Obviously, through no fault of your own, your young, impressionable brain has been poisoned by the superfluous, hyped-up, “Top Gun” media portrayal of fighter pilots.
Unfortunately, this portrayal could not be further from the truth. In my experience, I’ve found most fighter pilots pompous, backstabbing, momma’s boys with inferiority complexes, as well as being extremely over-rated aeronautically. However, rather than dash your budding dreams of becoming a USAF pilot, I offer the following alternative:
What you really want to aspire to is the exciting, challenging and rewarding world of TACTICAL AIRLIFT. And this, young DJ, means one thing..the venerable workhorse, The C-130! I can guarantee no fighter pilot can brag that he has led a 12-ship formation down a valley at 300 feet above the ground, with the navigator leading the way and trying to interpret an alternate route to the drop zone, avoiding pop-up threats, and coordinating with AWACS, all while eating a box lunch.with the engineer in the back relieving himself and the loadmaster puking in his trash can!
I tell you DJ, TAC Airlift is where it’s at! Where else is it legal to throw tanks, HUMVs, and other crap out the back of an airplane, and not even worry about it when the chute doesn’t open and it torpedoes the General’s staff car! No where else can you land on a 3000 foot dirt strip, kick a bunch of ammo and stuff out on the ramp without stopping, then takeoff again before range control can call to tell you that you’ve landed on the wrong LZ! And talk about exotic travel; when C-130s go somewhere, they GO somewhere (usually for 3 months, unfortunately). This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture long enough to give the locals a bad taste in their mouths regarding the USAF and Americans in general, not something those C-141 Stratolift pilots can do from their airport hotel rooms!
As far as recommendations for your course of study, I offer these:
1. Take a lot of math courses. You’ll need all the advanced math skills you can muster to enable you to calculate per diem rates around the world, and when trying to split up the crew’s bar tab so that the co-pilot really believes he owes 85% of the whole thing and the navigator believes he owes the other 20%.
2. Health sciences are important, too. You will need a thorough knowledge of biology to make those educated guesses of how much longer you can drink beer before the tremendous case of the G.I.s catches up to you from that meal you ate at the place that had the really good belly dancers in some God-forsaken foreign country whose name you can’t even pronounce.
3. Social studies are also beneficial. It is important for a good TAC Airlifter to have the cultural knowledge to be able to ascertain the exact location of the nearest topless bar in any country in the world, then be able to convince the local authorities to release the loadmaster after he offends every sensibility of the local religion and culture.
4. A foreign language is helpful but not required. You will never be able to pronounce the names of the NAVAIDs in France, and it’s much easier to ignore them and to go where you want to anyway. As a rule of thumb: waiters and bellhops in France are always called “Pierre”, in Spain it’s “Hey, Pedro” and in Italy, of course, it’s “Mario”. These terms of address also serve in other countries interchangeably, depending on the level of suaveness of the addressee.
5. A study of geography is paramount. You will need to know the basic location of all the places you’ve been when you get back from your TDY and are ready to stick those little pins in that huge world map you’ve got taped to your living room wall, right next to the giant wooden giraffe statue and beer stein collection.
Well, DJ, I hope this little note inspires you. And by the way, forget about the Academy thing. All TAC Airlifters know that there are waaay too few women and too little alcohol there to provide a well-balanced education. A nice, big state college or the Naval Academy would be a much better choice.
But I Get a Kick Out of You
Colorado residents don’t need to be told who Douglas Bruce is — he’s the guy who gave us TABOR. And we’re thankful for that. But even non-Coloradans will know Bruce as “the guy who kicked that reporter.” Read:
Bruce pulled up in his “MR TABOR” license-plated car about 8 a.m. with a jar of Jelly Bellies that hinted at Ronald Reagan’s sweet tooth. Things soured two hours later, when Bruce kicked a photographer who tried to snap his picture during the House’s morning prayer.
Typically, Bruce was unrepentant:
Bruce refused to apologize, saying the photographer was the one who owed him an apology.
“He needs to get a lesson in manners and decorum,” Bruce said. “He ought to be ashamed of himself.”
Word of the kick spread fast around the Capitol as lawmakers hit the Internet to watch the news video.
I’m searching for a link to that video. Trust me.
Ted Bronson doesn’t like the New York Times’ numbers — or anything else about it, for that matter.
It’s the stubborn, cranky ones who always seem to last the longest. So you just know that Tim Blair is going to be around a good long time yet.
Sure, I took on Iowa that one time. But only Dave Barry is man enough to tell off the big states, all at once:
Iowa and New Hampshire will do anything to be first. You populous states can’t beat them, because they want it more than you do. They’re like the people who camp out for two weeks so they can be in front of the line to buy tickets for a hot concert, except that instead of a hot concert, it’s a chance to shake hands with Duncan Hunter six different times.
Take that, Florida.
Here’s what constitutes a concession speech (or at least a pre-concession speech) during primary season:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has decided to pull his advertising from South Carolina, where he was hoping to take on Mike Huckabee and John McCain, and from Florida, where Rudy Giuliani has been spending time and money.
“We feel the best strategy is to focus our paid messaging in Michigan,” Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Wednesday.
Retreat and retrench isn’t a good strategy — although it is sometimes a necessary strategy.
With 65% reporting, and Clinton up by 5,000+ votes, it’s time to call New Hampshire for Hillary. Nice try, Barack, but the knockout just didn’t happen.
How’d I do? Man, I suck at predictions.
I thought McCain vs Romney would come down to a few hundred or a couple thousand votes. Instead, it was a bit of a blowout for McCain. Also, I thought Paul would get 10% or better in third place. Dr Paul came in fifth at less than 8%. I was wrong, but I’m giggling. Where were all of the Paulistinians in America’s most libertarian state? Hmm? Having a few internet ballot-box stuffers does not a campaign make.
I’m a little shocked that New Hampshire voters went for Huckabee in much bigger numbers than for Paul. And a little disappointed in them, too. But, hey, it’s not like they picked the Huckster to win, and that makes New Hampshire about eight times smarter than Iowa.
For the Democrats, I thought Obama had a shot at breaking 45%, leaving Clinton with less than 30%. Couldn’t have called that more wrong — unless I’d gone off my meds and predicted a big Kucinich surge. But if Venus ever becomes an American colony… then look out, because Dennis is comin’ on strong!
Everybody has McCain pegged as the easy winner, even at this early hour. So, safe to say he’s got New Hampshire in the bag. Take that, Mitt. I don’t like McCain, and I think he’d make a lousy president. But unlike Mitt, I know where McCain stands somewhat better than half the time. That makes him the lesser evil, and a great foil tonight for getting Romney out of the race.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed on that last point.
And Hillary is ahead of Obama? By four points? I’m telling you, you’ve got to run a stake through the heart, separate the head from the body, burn the remains and scatter the ashes in heavy winds if you want to put a Clinton down for good.
I’m just about the last guy in the world anyone would expect to come to Ron Paul’s aid, which is precisely why I should do it in this case. But this hit piece in The New Republic is just that — a hit piece.
The gist of James Kirchick’s great big exclusive pile of muck is that Paul is a racist, a bigot, a homophobe, cheats at solitaire and doesn’t always courtesy flush when doing the deuce in public bathrooms. And you have to admit, there’s some pretty damning stuff in the article, most of it culled from Paul’s old newsletter from decades ago.
Fact of the matter is, Paul’s newsletter was ghostwritten. And, when Paul found out what was getting printed with his name on it, he put an end to it. But there’s no news here — this particular story had been brought up, and promptly debunked, months ago. Why TNR is suddenly treating it as news is anyone’s guess, especially if anyone’s initials happen to be “Primary Voter.”
There’s also the case of a $500 campaign donation from the neo-Nazi Stormfront group which Paul accepted and declined to return. I would find Stormfront’s money too tainted to touch. However, Paul does make a certain, mercenary sense when he argues that [wildly paraphrasing from memory], hey, the stupid people have $500 less and we have $500 more. In fact, I took a look at a lot of this same stuff while writing a anti-Paul cover story for The New Individualist back in October [Jan/Feb issue], and concluded that I had to take Paul at his word on this one, even if “he doesn’t always make it easy.”
Do I think Paul should have shown better judgement in hiring and firing writers? You bet. Would I take money from avowed racists? No way. Then again, I’ve always found Paul’s judgement to be suspect, on those few occasions where it wasn’t just plain old wrong.
All that said, Paul has publicly praised — in his own, non-ghostwritten words — Martin Luther King, Jr and Mohammed Ali. And, again in his own words, Paul has denounced racism as “simply an ugly form of collectivism.” Now it’s no secret that you’ll find a lot of closeted (and not-so-closeted) racists in Paul’s legion of fans. Just check out the comments over here. But there are nutcases of every stripe attached to Team Paul. He’s like the pied piper of Arkham Asylum.
Fact is, Ron Paul is a lot of things. He’s a conspiracy-theory nut, a gold fetishist, and an old-fashioned populist phony posing as a defender of liberty and the Constitution. What he’s not is a racist.
If what seems to be going on today in New Hampshire is really happening, then it’s time to drop the Obama = JFK comparisons. The Kennedy he reminds me of most – or, rather, that his support reminds me of – is Robert Kennedy in 1968.
Think about it. The vigorous, relatively youthful insurgent generates a real groundswell among independents and the young, knocking aside a tired incumbent who supported an unpopular war.
Forty years later, it’s still an exciting story, even if you don’t necessarily approve of all the players.
The Drudge Report headline, complete with flash siren, reads: “EPIC TURNOUT FOR DEMS — We Are Out of Ballots!”
Let me tell you something. Hillary Clinton is not driving that kind of turnout. If the Dems really are running out of ballots, then I think Obama has a real shot at 45% or better in New Hampshire today.
Dixville Notch, NH, residents voted at midnight like they always do. The interesting thing isn’t that Obama or McCain won, or even that the whole town stays up until midnight to vote. What I got out of the story is that there were slightly more Democratic voters there than Republicans. At least according to the photo accompanying the article.
Can’t remember the last time that happened.
You’ve got to be kidding me:
What should be controversial in the proposed revisions to Title 24 is the requirement for what is called a “programmable communicating thermostat” or PCT. Every new home and every change to existing homes’ central heating and air conditioning systems will required to be fitted with a PCT beginning next year following the issuance of the revision. Each PCT will be fitted with a “non-removable ” FM receiver that will allow the power authorities to increase your air conditioning temperature setpoint or decrease your heater temperature setpoint to any value they chose. During “price events” those changes are limited to +/- four degrees F and you would be able to manually override the changes. During “emergency events” the new setpoints can be whatever the power authority desires and you would not be able to alter them.
In other words, the temperature of your home will no longer be yours to control. Your desires and needs can and will be overridden by the state of California through its public and private utility organizations.
You’ve got to be freakin’ kidding me.
Full story at The American Thinker.
I can either be alone and drunkblog yet another fake Republican debate on Fox News, or enjoy a rib roast and a glass of something red from Napa with my bride and child.
After four hours of the former last night, I think I’m ready for rib roast and wine.
UPDATE: Steve Egg has got your liveblogging needs covered.
Glenn Reynolds recently said that Heart’s Crazy On You “is without a doubt the best Cold War-inspired song about oral sex ever.” And how are you going to argue with that? See, people come to the blogosphere because we’re willing to tackle the bold issues that the Mainstream Media dare not touch.
And so VodkaPundit presents…
The Unusual Categories Music Awards
Best Breakup Song: It’s Too Late by Carol King (“Tapestry,” 1971). Spare, perfect, devastating. It’s obvious that King honed her songwriting skills at ABC’s old Brill Building — nobody ever trained’em better than the Brill. Check out this sample lyric:
It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool
That’s the second verse in its entirety. King took all of 33 words to tell you everything you need to know. Also, It’s Too Late has that really nice sax solo from all the other singer/songwriter hits of the early ‘70s.
Best Sinatra Album Almost Nobody Seems to Even Know About Except for Me: “Sinatra & Sextet: Live In Paris” (1962). Sinatra was the guy in front of the big, big band — the swing crooner. He left the jazzy stuff to Tony Bennett. Well, not this time. On tour through Europe with a six-piece jazz combo, Sinatra put the swing aside one summer and turned out some of his best performances. Listen to his best-ever recording of One For My Baby, where Frank bends more notes than Salvador Dali during his sheet music period. Great stuff.
Best Album You Ever Once Owned a Cassingle From But The Full CD Is Now Out of Print So You’ll Have to Buy It On EBay Like I Did: Michael Penn’s “March” (1989). Maybe you used to own the single of the hit song No Myth. Never has sarcasm ever sounded so catchy. The rest of the album is even better. Find a copy today.
Funkiest Song About Killing Yourself: Woke Up This Morning by A3 (“Exile On Coldharbour Lane,” 1997). You probably know this one from the opening credits of The Sopranos. Listening to that edit, I always assumed the song was about a tough guy with a gun. Which is a pretty safe assumption, given that the lyric repeats “woke up this morning/got yourself a gun” about a dozen times. Listen to the full version, however, and you’ll hear a song about a guy at the end of his rope, looking at his gun at the bleakest hour of the day — to a really wicked bass line.
Best Song Performance Cut From an Unwatchable Movie: You’re The Boss by Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret (“Viva Las Vegas,” 1964). Don’t laugh:
Ann-Margret in shiny short-shorts, giving her sultry best to a virtual Dom/sub duet? C’mon, that’s the kind of thing people live and die for, or ought to.
I’ll post five more, as soon as they occur to me. Meanwhile, I’m accepting ideas for Unusual Categories below in the comments. And to be clear, I’m taking suggestions for categories — not for nominees.
George Will on this election’s Populist Twins:
According to [John] Edwards, the North Carolina of his youth resembled Chechnya today — "I had to fight to survive. I mean really. Literally." [Mike] Huckabee, a compound of Uriah Heep, Elmer Gantry and Richard Nixon, preens about his humble background: "In my family, ‘summer’ was never a verb." Nixon, who maundered about his parents’ privations and his wife’s cloth coat, followed Lyndon Johnson, another miscast president whose festering resentments and status anxieties colored his conduct of office. Here we go again?
Huckabee fancies himself persecuted by the Republican "establishment," a creature already negligible by 1964, when it failed to stop Barry Goldwater’s nomination. The establishment’s voice, the New York Herald Tribune, expired in 1966. Huckabee says that "only one explanation" fits his Iowa success "and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people." God so loves Huckabee’s politics that He worked a Midwest miracle on his behalf? Should someone so delusional control nuclear weapons?
I think Will is being far too kind.
BLEG: Does anyone know anything about using WordPress on OS X? Because I’ve got to tell you, my experience with it sucks.
The Republicans will debate again tonight at 8pm Eastern on Fox News.
Tonight’s big VodkaPundit Wrap-Up is brought to you by PJ Media. And made damn near impossible by a generous grant by Absolut Vodka.