Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Alamo

Robert at Blackfork is doing a series on the siege of the Alamo. He started it on Feb. 22, and it is called 13 Days To Glory. Go Read it. It started me to thinking about the Alamo.

I was born and raised in Texas and have heard about the Alamo for as long as I can remember. I knew who Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and the others were before Walt Disney told the whole world about Davy Crockett and the Alamo in the fifties.

I have read every book about it I could find, saw every movie and television program I heard of, and anything else I could find.

I grew up in Tyler, Texas, which is in east Texas and not very close to San Antonio by even Texas standards, was not able to be there until the late fall of 1966 when I was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base for basic training.

When it came time for our first pass to town late in our stay at basic, the first thing I did was find out how to get to the Alamo. When the bus stopped downtown that is the first place I went. That was more the forty years ago some of the memories are not what I would like, but I remember being shocked at how small the chapel, which is all some people know as the Alamo, was.

Some of the rest of the old church which became a fort are still there to be sure, but is the chapel which to me and many others has become the shrine. I remember being inside the chapel and reading the names of the men who died there listed on the wall and being in awe of their courage and selflessness and grateful for the time they bought for Sam Houston. Without their sacrifice Texas might not exist.

I have been back to San Antonio and the Alamo many times since and still am in awe and gratitude every time I enter that chapel. But nothing has ever come close to what I felt the first time that I stood on the very ground that that had been occupied for thirteen days by men who very great and very courageous indeed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't Go To Mexico

Peter, reminds us once again that Mexico is becoming more and more dangerous and unstable by the day. Additional information is available from Peter here where he has links to additional information this growing problem. If you live anywhere near the Mexican border, you need to be concerned. I live about 450 miles from the border and I'm concerned, and I don't think I'm being overly cautious.

We do have an illegal drug traffic problem here and we also have a problems with illegal aliens, though few in government seem to want to deal with it. If local, state or federal government has any kind of plan to deal with the disaster that could result with the collapse of Mexico. I haven't heard even a rumor of it.

Also, to emphasize what Peter said if you have any plans to go to Mexico, don't. If you have friends or loved ones who plan to go to Mexico urge them not to go.

Update: Fixed typo

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Will They Ever Learn?

Just as I was about to reconsider my doubts about John Cornyn comes this from CNET News.

Republican politicians on Thursday called for a sweeping new federal law that would require all Internet providers and operators of millions of Wi-Fi access points, even hotels, local coffee shops, and home users, to keep records about users for two years to aid police investigations.

And these are so-called Republicans, folks!


I don't know how many may have heard of the plans for the Iowa National Guard to conduct an exercise in an Iowa town searching private homes for "arms dealers", but Michael Bane, Ace and OPFOR have posts on it. This post at the Bane blog tells how the Iowa Guard has called off the planned exercise. OPFOR summarized my reaction this way:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Portion Of The Stimulus

wireless and broadband deployment grant programs

(including transfer of funds to Doc G. for the Doc G. Personal Economic Stimulus Program)

    For necessary and unnecessary expenses related to the Wireless and Broadband Deployment Grant Programs established by section 6002 of division B of this Act, $2,825,000,000, of which $1,000,000,000 shall be for Wireless Deployment Grants and $1,825,000,000 shall be for Broadband Deployment Grants: Provided, That an additional $350,000,000 shall be paid directly to Doc G. in the form of subsidized loans that do not require repayment. Provided Further, That the funds be used by Doc G. to avoid economic catrastrophe and to be well armed for all eventualities or for whatever. Provided Even Further, That Doc G. will receive free Guy Clark tickets for life. Provided Even Further Still, That Doc G. shall be treated as a cabinet-level appointment for the purpose of income tax reporting, and therefore no taxes shall be paid on any of the aformentioned benefits. And one more thing: Arlen Specter is hereby expelled from Congress, effective immediately upon enactment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stimulus Chicago Style

I got this from an e-mail:

Stimulus Chicago Style

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One
is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota.
All three go with a White House official to examine the fence.

The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring,
then works some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job
will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit
for me."

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says,
"I can do this job for $800: $350 for materials, $350 for my crew and $100
profit for me."

The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the
White House official and whispers, "$2,800."

The official asks, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you
come up with such a high figure?

The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we
hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."

"Done!" replies the White House official. And that is how the new stimulus
plan will work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I got this from one of my online groups.

a definition of globalization that I can understand and to which I now can relate:

What is the truest definition of Globalization?


How come?
English princess
with an
Egyptian boyfriend

in a French tunnel,
driving a


with a
Dutch engine,

by a Belgian

who was

Scottish whisky,

(check the bottle before you
change the spelling),

closely by


Japanese motorcycles;

by an American doctor,


This is
sent to you by


Bill Gates's technology,

you're probably reading
this on your computer,

uses Taiwanese chips,





in a
Singapore plant,

by Indian


by Indonesians,

unloaded by
Sicilian longshoremen,

trucked to you by Mexican illegals....






That, my friends,

Monday, February 09, 2009

Porkzilla Lives

As most of you probably know by now, the cloture motion on the stimulus bill passed the Senate this afternoon 61-36. The usual GOP turncoats voted for it (Collins, Snowe and Specter). One of my senators, Cornyn, who I was already having reservations about,
was not present to vote. I have sent his office an e-mail asking why, but I really don't
expect an answer, much less an acceptable one.

Michelle contacted his office and received the following reply:

“Sen. Cornyn was out of town for a prior commitment, but his position is clear - he opposes the stimulus and will vote against final passage.”

On the final passage his vote will not be critical as it was tonight because it will not require 60 vote to pass. So this answer is BS and unacceptable.

I had posted earlier about having buyer's remorse about him and must say I definitely have it now. He was just re-elected for a six year term, but I have a long memory and will work to defeat him when he runs again.

Why Not Kentucky?

According to Hot Air Mr. Obama is going Elkhart, Indiana to give his speech tonight on the stimulus bill. When I saw that, my first thought was "Why doesn't he go to Kentucky if he wants to go somewhere?" But that might make him uncomfortable.

Can Anyone Explain?

On Friday the closing price on West Texas Intermediate cruse oil was $40.17 per barrel. The price of a gallon of regular at three stations near where I live was $1.77 a gallon. This morning it had jumped to $1.85 a gallon. According to Bloomberg at 12:05 EST the price was $41.10 per barrel for West Texas Intermediate crude. Similar situations have been occurring for the last couple of weeks. Can anyone explain this to me. Have basic laws of economics been changed?
Update: Had to fix link.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More On The Stimulus Bill

I've been trying to form my thoughts on the "stimulus" bill, but then I found Kurt's post on things and decided I couldn't do any better. Go on over there and read it.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Extraordinary Flying

A few days ago Old NRO had a post on the F-4 Phantom II that got me to thinking. The F-4 was indeed a great aircraft and I don't mean to take anything from it, but the aircraft I most admire is the North American F-100D.

The F-100 was the first supersonic fighter aircraft in the U. S. inventory. It was used by the U. S. Air Force Demonstration Team,The Thunderbirds, from 1956 until 1969, when it was replaced by the F-4E. I was stationed at their home base, Nellis AFB, in 1967 and was able to see them frequently.

I was not a pilot but, in Vietnam, I was also able to see them in action up close. I was the intelligence troop for small group of Forward Air Controllers (FACs) and sometimes I flew with them in the Cessan O-1, a small single engine observation aircraft. Basically the FAC being low and slow, would mark a target with a white smoke rocket, and then direct the fighter strike aircraft where to put their ordnance.

On one particular occasion I saw the best precision flying I have ever seen. We were putting in an airstrike on what I was sure an enemy ammunition cache with a flight of two F-100Ds. They had expended almost all their ordnance and we had gotten no telltale secondary explosion that normally indicates that there is indeed an ammo cache.

The FAC and I discussed this for a moment and then I asked him if he could get one of the F-100s to make a pass with his 20mm air cannon about 10 meters around the outside of the building where we suspected the ammo cache to be. He switched to the fighters frequency on the radio and relayed this to the lead pilot of the F-100s.

The F-100D had four 20mm air cannon mounted in the nose, two on each side. So the next thing I knew, one of the F-100 was in a dive toward the target firing his air cannon. Because the target building was surrounded by rice paddies I could see the 20mm incendiary rounds splashing in the water around the building. The pilot was stitching a near perfect square around the building.

Now in order to do this he had to maneuver the nose of the aircraft with the rudder pedals while flying at a high rate of speed.

When he was just about all the way around the building one of the largest secondary explosions I have ever seen occurred. Then there were several more. We had indeed located an ammo cache and I was able to see some extraordinary flying.

Update: Fixed typo. I never see them until after I hit publish.