Thursday, May 11, 2017

Eulogy

A friend died yesterday. He didn’t “pass away” or “succumb to an illness.” No, he died. In a lucid moment before he lost consciousnesses, Sy loudly and boldly told everyone present in his hospice room, “I’m not going to fucking die!” 

But, he did. Try as hard as he could, he could not stop it. None of us can, and we all know it. If Sy couldn’t win his last argument, none of us will. 

Sy was one in only a hand full of liberals who, in the late 60’s and early 70’s in the Miami IBM office, stood up for the young, apprehensive black new employees being hired as America joined the rest of the civilized world. Sy famously said “Segregation is bullshit! I’m a Jew and I know what I’m talking about!” 

He was true to his beliefs, and one of those most important to him was that we are all equal. Sy knew no color boundaries or religious definitions except one: intolerance. Sy was intolerant of intolerance. 

Anyone who knew Sy knew where he stood. His friends were his friends, regardless of where we worked or what we did. Political discussions were his wellspring and he would tackle any conservative or repressive, backward view of human rights with a vigor reserved for those who believe with all their heart that no one has the right to diminish any other human being. He was as fervent and dedicated in his opposition to tyranny and oppression, regardless of where he encountered it, as any one I have ever known.

Sy is missed. Sy will always be missed. 

George

Friday, April 7, 2017

Where There’s Smoke, There’s… Wait, What, No Smoke?


It’s early Friday morning, only nine or ten hours after President Trump ordered an air strike on a Syrian airbase in response to Bashar al-Assad using poison gas on his own people. The first videos and photographs from the airstrike are filtering in to American television as I sit here with a cup of coffee, and while reactions from most Americans and our allies are positive, there are those who question the attack.

What I fail to see is the result of the airstrike. After being hit by 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles in just a matter of minutes, one would expect burning aircraft and fuel dumps to dominate the photographs. What the Syrian television is showing are a bunch of bombed out hangars and buildings. The destruction of the facility is obvious, but where’s the smoke? Where’s the fire? Where are the airplanes that should have been there? When Secretary of State Tillerson warned the Russians of the impending airstrike, did they notify their Syrian buddies as well? What’s going on here?

While President Trump defiantly tells the world the United States will militarily defend the very people he won’t let enter the country, one has to wonder if he really went against Russian boss Putin, or was this just another case of collusion to befuddle the media and citizens alike. What was the real purpose of the airstrike? It is a multifaceted answer, with fingers going in every direction, but for Donald Trump it is a win/win gamble, the only kind he likes. He improves his image of planetary citizenship while not hurting his chances of a future relationship with Russia, and he gets to deliver a message to the real threat to the United States, the only one Trump really cares about; North Korea. And he is using North Korea’s biggest supporter as a messenger.

Trump’s actions just said to Chinese president Xi Jinping, due to arrive for a meeting with Trump today, “Here’s a taste of what we’re going to do to your fat little friend in North Korea if you don’t stop him.”

I have no  doubt Xi Jinping will sit there, having already seen his own satellite photographs of the Shayrat Airfield damage, and the Russian, professionally videotaped drone fly-through, taken within a matter of hours. He will have already listened to the reports of the U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson’s conversations with the Russians explaining the attack. 

Xi Jinping will be impressed with the incredible accuracy and reliability of the final iteration of the BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missile. Its ability to avoid the two Russian sections of the airbase while taking out individual bunkers elsewhere on the base with pin-point accuracy will cause him to re-evaluate his air defenses and ponder how to nullify the US's Achilles Heel, the GPS satellites. He will also be impressed with the absence of actual damage to Syria’s air force. There will be damage to almost every bunker, but according to the Russian video shown on CNN, the damaged aircraft, to me, looked more like AWOP, or aircraft awaiting parts than first-line combat aircraft. There is no burning fuel from the targeted fuel storage areas.

As they dine, an aide will lean over and whisper in the Chinese Premier’s ear that the airfield is already back in action. Xi Jinping will realize the scam, but he will show no sign of recognition to alert his unsophisticated host.

Trump will toast his guest and smile. He is saying to the Chinese President, by implication, “Let’s make deal!”

Xi Jinping will smile but say nothing. Trump is about to meet the master deal maker.

Opinion - George


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Second McCarthy Era?

[excerpted from Chapter 3 - Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory] 

When Dr. von Kármán took his leave of absence in 1944 to head Arnold's newly formed United States Army Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, his successor at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory was another aeronautical engineer who played a major role in the development of rocketry and missiles, Dr. Frank J. Malina.  Dr. Malina and von Kármán had co-founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Caltech in 1943.   Drs. Malina and von Kármán, along with Martin Sommerfield, John W. Parsons, and Edward S. Foreman, had earlier founded the Aerojet General Corporation in 1941 to utilize their research in solid fuel rocket motors.

One of the engineers involved with the research work, and one of the signers of the 1943 report to General Arnold, was Dr. Tsien Hsue-shen.  In an ironic twist of fate, or a show of unbridled stupidity, Dr. Tsien Hsue-shen, who was also later a member of Arnold's Scientific Advisory Board, was forced to leave the United States at the height of the McCarthy witch-hunts and, after five years of house arrest for having his name on a "suspected" communist meeting attendance list in 1938, returned to his native China in 1955 where he is now considered the father of the Chinese rocket and missile programs.

Dr. Malina was considered the father of the JATO rocket, the Jet Assisted Takeoff booster rocket. His team successfully "launched" an Ercoupe, a small, single engine civilian airplane, in 1941 as a display of JATO’s potential.  Development work continued on different types of solid propellants, including asphalt and many other forms of fuels and oxidizers, leading to the development of castable elastomeric (polysulfide rubber) material called Thiokol. The Thiokol fuel, developed by Charles Bartley during a 1945 JPL-ORDCIT project, became the solid fuel to power not only the booster bottles used in launching tactical missiles, but later ballistic Intermediate Range Missiles (IRBMs) and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) as well.  It was the work done with solid fuel propellants by this research team that allowed American design teams to soon develop the Zero Length Launcher, called ZEL, which made the first completely American designed and built tactical missile possible.  The first operational U.S. tactical missile was to be built by the Glenn L. Martin Company and be called the Matador.     

From my 2008 book, U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles - 1949 - 1969 The Pioneers - Chapter 3 - "Laying the Groundwork" - co-authored with Robert Bolton

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Peter Principle – 2017


I watched in awe as CBS Morning News showed the test launch of North Korea’s latest ballistic missile, originally reported on February 13, 2017. The launch caught my attention immediately as the solid fuel prime, or launch engine did not ignite until the missile was well clear of the launcher, exactly like all SLBM, Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles, even though this was a land-based launch. Not only does the missile look exactly like a modified US Navy UGM-73 Poseidon, it basically launches the same way! Why is North Korea testing submarine-based missiles? Or are they really using submarine-based systems modified for land use? What are US analysts missing here? Or are they simply afraid to tell us what is going on? Let me ‘splain, Lucy.
Poseidon launch per Wikipedia

Basically the prime logic behind submarine-based missiles is not only stealth, but simply, if you can not build a missile to fly far enough to strike a fixed target, simply move the launch point closer until the target is in range of what you can build. Simple. But does North Korea already have submarines, or are they surreptitiously testing for the Chinese who have already demonstrated rather obnoxiously they can fire a submarine based ballistic missile whenever and wherever they want. They can even use someone else’s test range if they choose, and, apparently, they already have. 1

While the U.S. media is in a tither of so-called President Trump’s grandiose, unprecedented public handling of the notification of the event in front of not only the Japanese Prime Minister, but also Trump’s butlers and wine stewards, the real event has gone unreported. It doesn’t matter if the missile, a Pukguksong-2, only has a range of only 1500 miles. If the launch pad is submerged and off shore of the continental United States, the point is moot. Especially if they use the MIRVs – Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle – which make US warheads so lethal.

Do you want to see the difference between a North Korean land based IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) such as the liquid-fueled US Army Redstone – which was stationed in Germany in the late 1950’s or the later solid-fueled medium range Pershing which took over the target assignment of the 38th Tactical Missile Wing’s air breathing cruise missiles in the 1960’s – then watch the “Autobahn” launch of North Korea’s Rodong missiles at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIsCIup94Qc These missile are not aimed at the US mainland, and were never designed to do so. They are to decimate South Korea and Japan.

“Pukguksong-2 launch , from KCNA
Now take a look at 
http://www.vocativ.com/402115/north-korea-tv-missile-launch/ According to 38 North,2 the media arm of the US – Korea Institute at SAIS, North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun provided pictures of what it is calling the “Pukguksong-2, solid-fuel missile.” 

The pictures show something very similar to the KN-11 solid-fuel submarine-launched missile successfully tested last August, which North Korea calls the Pukguksong-1. The discharge plume or exhaust trail, erroneously called a "contrail" by the US media, is startlingly familiar to those who analysed the mysterious California launch on November 9th, 2010. See the difference? The old land-based solid fueled Pershing ignited and launched without the primary "boost" and secondary ignition of the main engine used by the Korean missile. The Korean missile is designed to strike any adversary, anywhere on earth. It just takes a launch platform that can get close enough. And who has the launch platform?

The Chinese are once again laughing up their sleeves.


George


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Competence


Give him a chance!” you say. “Quit harping on him,” I’m told, “Just because you lost the election, you complain about everything he does.”

When you find a cottonmouth water moccasin in your path, you keep your eye on it until you remove the threat, one way or another. You stand a damn good chance of getting killed if you don’t.

Ignore Maury? I don't think so...
Everyone knows, regardless of their political position or their faith in God – or any other Supreme Being – Donald J. Trump displays incontestable symptoms of being mentally ill almost daily. 

Who knows what detrimental nonsense he will have espoused by the time you read this. He makes King George III, considered by some to be the real father of our country, seem sane in comparison. [Authors note: King George III is NOT George Washington, our first President, but then, a high school education would have eliminated the need for this note.] 

Trump proves daily he is delusional and acutely paranoid. Those who believe an invisible power will command Trump’s hand to lead them to their destiny or fulfill their ambitions will find the Native Americans were on to something when they sat their disconnected elders outside in the snow with a pipe of peyote rather than let them inside the tepee to divvy up the buffalo hides. Those advisers and family members close to the new President of the United States who condone, or perhaps even manipulate these deficiencies, are, to me, no less than traitors.

Trump has proven daily since his inauguration he has no concept of the Constitution he swore to uphold. He simply thinks all there is to being President is passing out somebody else’s wampum while he stands on the highest ceremonial mound in the village bragging about how lucky the braves are to have him do the important work. I was listening to his speech being broadcast on building the wall against Mexico as I wrote this. His fabrications and distortion of facts are mind boggling.

Now he’s claiming someone told him torture works. The list of bizarre Presidential actions and tweets grows daily. A fellow golfer, a German citizen no less, told him about wide-spread voter fraud and Trump responded with a controversial accusation that has turned our Democracy into turmoil. On Wednesday, Feb 1st, Trump insulted the Prime Minister of Australia and hung up the telephone on him! All the while, his friend Putin begins the invasion of Ukraine, unnoticed in the west because of Trump’s red-herring grandstanding in front of the media.

I am one of the few who has ever placed both hands on a live nuclear weapon. It was easy to do while reinstalling the live Explosive Relay Package in the arming system of the Mace missile, one of my Safety and Arming duties. I underwent intensive training, psychological screening, security background checks, and constant monitoring by my superiors. Several of my Air Force veteran friends on Facebook also know the intense scrutiny we were under, and while they may not share my political views, they know very well the consequences of displaying bizarre actions when you are entrusted with any nuclear weapon responsibilities. But, Donald John Trump is not subject to any of the intense scrutiny and constant monitoring every other Serviceman or Servicewoman involved in our nuclear weapons program undergoes constantly.

Anyone showing any symptoms considered unstable would be removed immediately from their position, but he is President, untested, unscreened, and untrained to have access to any nuclear weapon, and yet the media and half of Congress refuse to acknowledge Donald John Trump’s bizarre actions and statements.

And you, America, gave him not one nuclear weapon, but all of them.

George





Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Little Hands - Humor

A planned terror attack against the campaign headquarters of Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been thwarted, the FBI announced this morning. Intercepted telephone messages from the Association of People With Little Hands led FBI intelligence to a stockpile of huge, red foam rubber gloves that were printed with the logo,”Yes, we can too be trusted!” The gloves, usually found at sporting events with an extended forefinger saying “We're Number 1,” had been altered to have an extended middle finger instead. Attackers apparently planned on forcing all members of Rubio's campaign staff to wear the modified gloves during Rubio's next Republican debate. Rubio's strategy planners blamed the planned attack on either Vladimir Putin or David Cameron, both of whom vehemently protested Rubio's widely reported attack on people with little hands.
“You know what they say about people with little hands,” the Republican Presidential hopeful said thoughtlessly in an attack apparently aimed at Donald Trump. “They can't be trusted,” he said.
Rubios' planners said Putin and Cameron were being small minded as well as probably small handed.





:)


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Political Forecasts

***
Houston, Texas
Dec 24, 2016

President-Elect Ted Cruz today held a press conference defending his controversial plan to realign not only the the FBI, but all Federal law enforcement agencies to reflect the evangelical commitments he made during his Presidential campaign.

“The Constitution,” said the President-Elect, “states Freedom of Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion, so, using my extensive legal training in Constitutional Law at Harvard, I, upon my Inauguration, will by Executive Order, require all American citizens to present proof of Baptism or they will no longer be eligible for any kind of Federal payments, including Social Security and Medicare. We prefer one of the Christian religions, of course, but any religion that recognizes God will qualify, including Scientologists. We will not tolerate atheists,” He added. “We consider them to be Un-American!”

Complaints from left-wing liberals claiming the new guide lines were plagiarized from the handbook of the Islamic religious police known as the Mutaween, have been pooh-poohed by the Canadian-born President-elect. “Anyone who knows me knows I won't tolerate any Muslims,” said the President-Elect. “Allah is not a God, only a Prophet.”

The White House
Washington, DC
April 1st 2017

The newly appointed Secretary of Religion, Sarah Palin, stunned President Trump by resigning the position created just for her after she held the newly created Cabinet post for only three and a half hours. Sarah Palin stated she was leaving Washington to spend more time with her family. She shouted, ”I have all the religion I need,” over her shoulder as she stepped out of the heavily armored SUV that transported her to Joint Base Andrews – the former Andrews Air Force Base – for return to her winter home in Arizona. Her son, Track, released from jail just hours before by President Trump's pardon for Track's conviction for domestic abuse and battery, was scheduled to join her on the flight, but did not show up for the departure home, although, Palin's daughter, Bristol and her two children, were present. Neither of the two fathers of Bristol's children, however, made the trip as they were not legally eligible as family members to fly on government aircraft.

Ms. Palin's appointment was announced at a ceremony at the U.S. entrance to the Keystone Pipeline, and her resignation was announced before Air Force One had even returned to Washington. President Trump, who created the new post just for Palin, said, “Now I have to pick another Christian who shares the same fabulous values as I do! Can you believe that? Loser, she's a loser”


January 2nd, 2017

President-elect Marco Rubio today announced Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as his choice of Secretary of the Interior. “Governor Snyder has shown the fortitude and courage to stand by not only his Conservative convictions and his beliefs in his political associates, but by his financial understanding that the people of Flint, Michigan, had nothing to offer our Conservative restoration of American Values. His understanding of our budget principles show that nothing will deter us from cutting taxes, especially not public health, housing, or transportation.”

“Besides,” Mr. Rubio continued, “Flint voted Democratic anyway.”
______________________________________________________________________________
March 1st, 2017

President Cara Carleton "Carly" Fiorina today used Executive Privilege to outlaw the use of the color green on any Federal uniform or Federal correspondence. No reason was given.


January 2nd, 2017

President-elect Ben Carson discovered at a press conference today that he had been using a 2015 calendar to make his decisions and asked to have the press conference rescheduled at a later date. Reminded by a staff member that the Inauguration was to be held in less than three weeks, Dr Carson turned to an aid and jokingly remarked “I hope the patient is ready. I haven't even talked to the anesthesiologist yet.”

November 24th, 2016

President-Elect Bernie Sanders, the first Jewish candidate ever elected to the highest office in the United States, today pardoned the turkey being served as Thanksgiving dinner. While his son, Levi, cautiously whispered in his father's ear that the turkey was already carved and being served, President-elect Sanders quipped as he passed out the first plate, “Well, better late than never.”
_________________________________________________________________________________

January 20th, 2017

In her historic inauguration speech, the first woman ever elected to the office of President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, declared that from here in, things are going to be different. After thanking American inventors for their new, slim-fitting Depends, the newly sworn-in President declared she would not rest until all vestiges of the old White House intern program had been eliminated. “This is something I have dreamed of for years,” said the newly elected President as she symbolically closed her portfolio on the speaker's podium. Former President Bill Clinton appeared to not have heard the comments as he seemed to be preoccupied with his shoes.

***

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