RIP Weekly Standard? No…Good Riddence

The one-time conservative magazine Weekly Standard just went belly up. When a conservative mag like this goes full anti-Trump,  ye reap what you sow.

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So Much For The Party Of “Science”

The Democrats/Liberals/Progressives/Socialists like to think of their “side” of the political aisle as the Science side – as they claim some kind of science-based high ground on all things science.

So chalk this one right up there with their belief there are no X or Y chromosomes or that gender is a construct or there is a “consensus” of scientists regarding “global warming” (or climate change or whatever the latest buzz-phrase is these days) (btw, there isn’t a “consensus”.)

‘A fetus needs permission to reside in someone’s uterus’


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The Chevy Volt is Dead

Chevy’s big entry into the electric car world will be no more. I remember seeing a number of these bought by the Navy at the Washington Navy Yard as  official government vehicles. Knowing the cost of them and watching the charging stations being built reminded me of the utter waste of government.

“We’re from the government  were here to help.”



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One of these things….

,,,is not like the others!

F/A-18 Hornets at NAS Oceana, 2015.

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To The Moon and Back

A nice capture of Joe “Reb” Edwards in his T-28 Trojan Navy trainer during the Culpeper Air Fest airshow last weekend (early October 2018.)

Joe Reb was an F-14 Tomcat pilot and we crossed paths back in the early 90s when I was with the Navy Operations team at Grumman in Calverton, NY and Joe Reb was doing F-14D sorts of things.

Joe ended up going on to a NASA career, piloting the Space shuttle on STS-89, the last trip to the MIR space station in 1998. Currently, he has a consulting company based out of northern Virginia and flies this beautiful aircraft on the air show circuit when he can through Joe Edwards Airshows.

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Hollywood Values

This is just insane. Hollywood actor Kristen Bell goes all Woke and politically correct on…a fairy tale.

Kristen Bell, the voice of Anna in Disney’s hit animated film “Frozen,” revealed in an interview published Wednesday her concerns about the message “Snow White” sends to her two daughters.

Bell told Parents magazine that she asks her daughters, “Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you cannot kiss someone if they’re sleeping!” she said.

Honestly.  If you can’t explain to your children what the difference is between a fairy tale and real life, you probably should just forget about that whole parenting thing.



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USS John F Kennedy, CV-67

Nice shot of my old carrier, USS JOHN F KENNEDY as she turns into the wind to launch and recover aircraft.  I took this from what we called high-holding, about 2,000 feet above the carrier as we waited for our recovery/landing time. We would watch, or “hawk” the deck to see when the last aircraft to launch were close to getting off the deck, then we would descend and get into our landing pattern. 90,000 tons and 1000′ of American steel.

The ship is retired now, sitting at a pier in Philadelphia, broken down and awaiting an ignominious fate, probably a ship breaker’s torch.  A number of groups have tried to save the ship for a museum but an unfeeling and uncaring Navy and overall cost of such an effort have proven difficult to get over. Sad.

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Blue Angel Knife Edge Pass

Was down at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach over the past 4 days for their annual air show.  As usual, it was a great time and the Blue Angels were the headliners, shared with the Canadian Snowbirds.

One of the shots that air show photographers look for is that crossing shot at show center where the team opposing solo pilots approach from opposite sides of the airfield, seemingly in in a head-on pass and end up passing by each other in a breathtaking maneuver.

As a photog, you try to capture that moment.  You need, though, a great deal of luck coupled with good reflexes, a fast shutter speed on your camera and a good multi-frame mode.

I think I captured a pretty good one (above) of Blue Angel #5 passing behind #6 at show center. I was tracking #6 coming from the right and started the shutter a second or so before what I thought would be the merge, and the timing worked out great.

Here are a few other show center passes I’ve managed to capture over the years.

Oceana, 2015

Below, USAF Thunderbirds,  Atlantic City, 2015

Below, Canadian Snowbirds, Oceana 2018

below, Breitling Flight team, Manassas Air Show, 2015

Below, Manassas Air Show, 2015

Below, Canadian Snowbirds, Oceana Air Show, 2018

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The Last Tomcat

Oceana Air Show, 2006. This was the last appearance of the Tomcat at the Oceana show. The aircraft was on her last legs by now, down to only a few squadrons as she was being phased out of service. Size, maintenance issues (even though practically all of these aircraft had low flight hours on them and were all D models – the very latest in the design,) a fundamental change in the strategic sea-based mission of the United States Navy, and just the desire to have a newer platform on the decks in the F/A-18 E and two-seat F aircraft meant the demise of the Tomcat was nigh.

The end of the Soviet Union 16 years prior was, in my opinion, the biggest reason for the end of the Tomcat. For so many years we had to be concerned about that opening in the North Atlantic called the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap, or GIUK where the Soviet navy would come through in the event of Grand Hostilities between the forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. As such, carrier battle groups would be sent up into that North Atlantic region to handle any Soviet sortie of surface action groups. Protecting the carrier battle group was paramount, and the long range of the Tomcat coupled with the long range of the Phoenix missile system allowed us to hopefully “shoot the archers before they shot their arrows” – bag the Soviet aircraft/bombers before they could release their anti-ship cruise missiles.

This was called the “outer air battle” and was a core tactic for the US Navy and Tomcats for much of its life through the 70s, 80s, and into the 90s.

So, when the Soviet Union went away that particular tactic and need went away, as well. The Tomcat hung around for an additional 15 years, morphing into a Jack AND Master of all or many trades, especially after the end of the A-6 Intruder medium attack aircraft.  The Tomcat, or “Bombcat” as it came to be known, turned out to be an excellent bombing platform, with powerful engines and a stable airframe that, when incorporating a laser designation system like the LANTIRN pod, could put a 2,000 lb laser guided bomb through a window pane of choice. Sweet.

But that wasn’t enough to save the Tomcat in a world that didn’t need such capabilities with the advancement of the upcoming Hornet airframes and models.

And, with the Imperial Iranian Air Force still flying Tomcats from the 80 (79 delivered) they purchased during the Shah years, no Tomcats were left flyable here in the US lest spare parts make their way to Iran through a black market. That means, unfortunately, you’ll never see a Tomcat fly again in the US, not at an airshow, not as some billionaire toy, not anywhere – unless we make nice with Iran and the Ayatollah again and they let us have one back.

Don’t hold your breath.

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McRaven Resigns from Defence Innovation Board

I haven’t gotten really political much – or at all – on the Instapinch 2 during this reboot. That may change, depending on if I can wean myself away from that vacuous and vapid sucker-of-life-force Facebook.

This particular tidbit pretty much flew under the radar the last week or so with the Kavanaugh news and Hurricane Florence getting all the press:

McRaven Resigns from Pentagon Innovation Board

William McRaven, the retired four-star admiral who led U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, has resigned from the Pentagon’s technology advisory board following a public critique of President Donald Trump, Defense News has learned.

How do I feel about it? Great. For all his honorable military service and leadership and blah blah blah, his defense of a ultra-hyper Obama flack  John Brennan, who voted a straight Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) ticket back in the 1970s and was (read this next line carefully) later named to head the CIA, is inexcusable and as far as I’m concerned negates right across the board any claims of cogent and critical leadership or critical thinking skills when it comes to these issues.  In short, I’d be hard pressed to trust the judgment of McRaven when he states Brennan has “unparalleled integrity” (again, Brennan voted for CPUSA leader Gus Hall for President and Angela Davis – yes THAT Angela Davis for Vice President.)

That whole “Defense Innovation Board” is something that came out of then-SecDef Ashton Carter and leans, precipitously and hugely (you could also say “bigly”) liberal:

On the whole, political donations from board members skewed heavily liberal, with members donating almost $2.4 million to democratic candidates and political action committees (PACs), compared to just over $236,000 to GOP causes, according to disclosed campaign finance figures going back to 1998.

I, for one, am pretty certain I don’t want a bunch of liberals/progressives/socialists to be entrusted with coming up with anything related to US policy, much less military/national security. I’m sorry, but I’d rather a less hyper-partisan group do what innovative thinking that needs to be done.

McRaven has puffed up Brennan with questionable fluff such as calling him

“…a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question…”

Obviously, some Trump Derangement Syndrome going on there.

So yes, I’m glad McRaven is gone from that organization – and more should go – and I hope he enjoys his retirement and disappears into the hedges and we don’t hear from him again.

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