Friday, July 19, 2019

It's All Fun and Games Until...

Hungarian protesters listening to the radio – 00:04 am, 18 Sep 2006
Ah those wacky socialists, what will they do next?
The 2006 protests in Hungary were a series of anti-government protests triggered by the release of Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány's private speech in which he confessed that his Hungarian Socialist Party had lied to win the 2006 election, and had done nothing worth mentioning in the previous four years of governing. Most of the events took place in Budapest and other major cities between 17 September and 23 October. It was the first sustained protest in Hungary since 1989. (Source)
I am surprised that I hadn't heard this story back in 2006. I need to read up on this (I mean I do seem to be going full political lately), sounds like people in some countries don't like it when their politicians lie to them.

Something we could learn from, methinks.

But like the title says, it's all fun and games until someone steals a tank!

Moral of the story? Never underestimate old dudes who once wore a uniform. (Some of them remember their training!)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Busy Day

Prise du palais des Tuileries le 10 août 1792, durant la Révolution française
Jean Duplessis-Bertaux
Busy day at the salt mine, had no time at lunch to write, decided to slack off upon arrival at the manse. Nose was to the grindstone die ganzer Tag. DIL and the kids have returned to sunny California, house is like empty. Also quiet, too quiet. Feline staff likes it.

At any rate, I'm too tired to provide quality, I'm too lazy to give you a rerun...

So you get homework.

Ten myths surrounding the French Revolution. Here.

Read it and let me know your thoughts. I have a French Revolution related post in the works. It's still in my head, I think I can get it out this weekend. It's related to the link I gave you yesterday.

Blogging is hard, talk quietly among yourselves. I shall return.

Oh yes, this happened as well. Juvat had the watch, he did a screen capture for posterity.

Thanks to all who stop by to read these humble scribblings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

More Politics

Some of us are racking our brains right now.

To be fair, Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn said this in the 20th Century, it is now the 21st Century, so, in essence, he nailed it. Perhaps he didn't envision this happening in the first quarter of the century, but it has certainly come to pass.

Yes, I have been kind of "political" as of late. There is a lot going on in this country which makes me worry. A couple of things posted by friends of mine over on koobecaF have set me to thinking, always a dangerous thing.

The first was a post by Scott R., a fellow continually in trouble with the koobecaF kops, who posted this quote from Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn:
For the average person, all problems date to World War II; for the more informed, to World War I; for the genuine historian, to the French Revolution.
Of course, this is rather a Eurocentric view of things, many Asians might have doubts about that particular quote. But it made me look the guy up, chase that source under that opening graphic, there's more quotes of interest.

Another koobecaF post from a guy for whom I have a great deal of respect concerned the French Revolution. Specifically this article. While Solzhenitsyn, indeed many others as well, may have mourned "Bastille Day" (officially la Fête nationale), the article itself is rather replete with what I like to call "bad history."

FWIW, Solzhenitsyn was a typical Russian novelist, rather brooding and moody and seeing most things through the lens of his own early life under Soviet Communism. Who can blame him? The chap lived in my old home state for a while and, as I recall, a lot of folks simply did not like him. Great writer, crappy human. As I didn't know him, I'll let that go, just relating decades-old gossip as I remember it.

So yeah, the 14th of July was Sunday last and was indeed the date of la Fête nationale, 'tis a big day in Paris, parades, flyovers, and the like. I can't say what it's like out in the provinces. Like most revolutions, there are lingering bad memories from those days, even 200 years on.

An interesting note (maybe only to me): in France the holiday is also known by it's date (le 14 juillet), as is our own Independence Day. I do have a certain set of friends, purists if you will, who insist on not calling Independence Day, the Fourth of July. Which is just, as they insist, the date of the event, not the event itself. As they say, "Would you refer to Christmas as 'the 25th of December'?"

A salient point, I guess.

Concerning that article about Bastille Day, I'll have more to say on that in a later post. Mostly to correct the bad history evinced therein. History is my thing, I hate seeing it abused. That article kind of went up my posterior in an uncomfortable fashion, sideways as it were.

As for Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, I am currently perusing an interesting book he wrote back in 1943 called The Menace of the Herd, or Procrustes at Large, which is available here, at my favorite price, free. Check it out. Herr von Kuehnelt-Leddihn was not a big fan of democracy (neither am I if you know what a democracy actually is) and that book goes into the whys and wherefores from what I've gathered so far.
The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it." (Source)
We live in a republic, not a democracy. There's a difference ya know...

Another interesting article on that topic is here. (I may incorporate a link to that website on the sidebar. POCIR)


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Enemy Within

Member of the fifth column with German paratroopers. May 1940.
Reading the news these days, I have to wonder what is going on with certain groups in the United States. They want: open borders, reparations for sins committed by people long dead, forgiveness of college debt, free health care, free college tuition, ad infinitum...

They can't possibly be serious. Who on Earth is going to pay for all of this?

To my way of thinking, they are not serious, all this nonsense is simply a stalking horse meant to weaken, divide, and eventually overturn the Constitutional government of the United States. These groups are, in essence, and I believe in fact, a Fifth Column.
A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. This term is also extended to organised actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force. (Source) 
During the Siege of Madrid in the Spanish Civil War, Nationalist general Emilio Mola told a journalist in 1936 that as his four columns of troops approached Madrid, a "fifth column" of supporters inside the city would support him and undermine the Republican government from within. (Source)
Is there an "enemy group or nation" at play? One could make the argument that Russia, China, and Iran all fit that case. The former two nations have been trying to extend their influence outside of their national borders, while the latter seems to be making a play to control what they call the Persian Gulf (which is what it was called when I was a youth), but which many now call the Arabian Gulf, what the Navy called it when The Nuke's destroyer was patrolling its northern reaches nearly fifteen years ago.

A weakened United States would go far towards allowing those three countries to throw their weight around in many ways. For one thing we can barely afford to keep out Navy maintained and forward as it is now. Start giving away all of that free shite demanded by the progs and we'll be lucky to afford the Coast Guard, let alone a blue water navy of the size needed to keep the oceans free. (Yes, that is our job now, who else can do that? Like it or not, we are the world's police force.)

Given the brouhaha after the last election (which is ongoing and makes me sick to my stomach), it's obvious to me that there are factions within the United States who, if they can't get their way legally, will attempt to do so by nefarious means. They want power, they don't care what the cost of that power is, they don't care who gets hurt in the process. They think they "know better" than the rest of us. Socialism works, but only if the "right sort" of people get to be in charge.

I don't know exactly where all of this is going but I am not liking the possibilities. The American people need to wake up. Our existence as a bastion of freedom is at stake. There are malevolent forces at work in the world. Maybe the apocalypse is coming as foretold, I don't know.

But it gives me pause...

Monday, July 15, 2019


Apparently, blogging is a lot like time travel.  For instance, I wrote this last Wednesday for publishing today about a post from some other blogger on July 1st about something that was done more than 70 years ago.*

Ain't life grand?

Anyhoo...Blogger CW Swanson, over at the perfectly named blog Daily Timewaster, posted this picture.
Source (AKA the blogpost I'm referring to)

And... because flying and Fighters and WWII, it caught my attention.

Turns out this wasn't a run of the mill P-47 (not that there are ANY run of the mill P-47s), instead this was a P-47 out of a Rescue Squadron.  Specifically the 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron.

Now, I'm sure our resident WWII expert, El Sargento de la fuerza aérea muy viejo, can wax salacious loquacious eloquently on said squadron.  The rest of us mere mortals must break out the search engine and boldly go where no one...

So I "ducked" on to the internet and found this site, which had a nice synopsis of the squadron.  Essentially, while the RAF had an air rescue capability from the start of the war, the 8th Air Force did not. With the daylight bombing campaign in full swing and losses mounting, the error of their ways became apparent. On May 8 1944, a conference was held where it was decided to rectify that situation.

With the support of Col Hub Zemke, the commander of the 56th Fighter Group in the 65 Fighter wing (that took quite a bit of digging to ensure that was the relationship), the squadron was outfitted with flyable P-47s that were no longer certified for combat.  Doing so allowed the squadron to fly its first operational mission within a week of the conference.

To put that last sentence in perspective, it took almost 20 years for the F-35 to become operational.  My how times have changed.

Back on target, juvat !   On Target, aye, El Sargento de la fuerza aérea muy viejo!

The way it worked was when a raid was launched, the squadron would launch formations of two that would escort the bombers to the English Channel. Each formation would orbit there until the bombers returned, being replaced by new formations as fuel dictated.  Bombers who were intending to ditch or in danger thereof would be closely escorted on return.  Once the damaged aircraft and/or crew were in the water, the fighters would drop a raft and radio the crew's location to the rescue boats.  The P-47s were also loaded with flares which could be dropped to assist in locating the crews.
The box-like stores on the wings are the rafts.  Because of weight limitations, the belly tank is smaller than on other P-47s and behind it is mounted the flare dispensers.  The Red, White and Blue stripes were applied to identify the plane as Rescue.

  Later in the war, the squadron was also outfitted with OA-10 Catalinas which increased their rescue capability.
Apart from the lack of US Navy anywhere on the aircraft I don't see a difference, but this is an OA-10A.

The 5th ERS flew a total of 3616 sorties and rescued 938 crewmen. 91 P-47s and 2 OA-10s were lost in the accomplishment of that mission.

5th ERS Logo
Fortunately, I have exactly the same number of takeoffs as landings, so I was never in need of rescue, but it was reassuring to know they were there, and was interesting to read how they got there.

*Why post early?  Mrs J has (had)  a travel agent certification course in Galveston.  Given the no-notice storm that may affect travel, I thought I'd rather be better safe than sorry.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

To My Kids

21 July 2018
It was nearly a year ago that The WSO and I laid in a course for Boston and sallied forth to see the Foo Fighters at Fenway Park. A tale I recorded here, for posterity dontcha know? Anyhoo, I remember that day with great fondness, it reminds me of a number of times that my adult children have treated their old man to some seriously good times. (Not sure what I ever did to deserve such great kids, I credit The Missus Herself with being an incredible mother. She raised 'em right. Sure, I helped, a little, mostly her though.)

At any rate, thanks to my kids I've been to a U.S. Navy ship christening, USS Nitze (DDG 94, The Naviguesser's second ship), and two ship commissioning ceremonies, USS Nitze and USS Colorado (SSN 788), the latter courtesy of The Nuke.

I've had the chance to ride two aircraft carriers, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The former was thanks to The Nuke, she was in ship's company as a nuclear propulsion officer, and the latter was thanks to The WSO, she was in USS Ronald Reagan's air wing as a Naval Flight Officer.

I still remember the day I was out in California visiting The WSO and her tribe when my son motored down from where he lives, over a two hour drive, and asked if I'd like to go down to Sandy Eggo for the day. The plan was to pop by The Shakespeare Pub & Grill for a spot of lunch, a place where Lex used to "hold court," as it were. While there I got to meet Tuna face to face for the first time and the good Cap'n of HMS Defiant and his lady.

We had a nice repast, had a Guinness or two (surprise, surprise), and great conversation. It was an afternoon well-spent. While there my son took me over to Fort Rosecrans, where the earthly remains of Captain Carroll F. LeFon, Jr. are interred. It was a very emotional day and my son drove us ten hours, round trip, just so his Dad could visit a place very meaningful to hisself. Long drive but we got to spend some father/son time together which we hadn't been able to do since he was in college. Now here he was, all grown up, five years in the Navy under his belt, chauffeuring the old man around Southern California.

Had a nice surprise from The Nuke a couple of Christmases ago, a chance to attend a Denver Broncos game live and in person. (Photo of us is in this post. Okay, we're hard to see, trust me, it's The Nuke and Your Humble Scribe.) Now that was a lot of fun. The roar of the crowd, football on the field, and a rather nice bratwurst for half-time. A bit different from the Christmas dinner we'd shared in the officers' mess on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower when she was in port at Norfolk, but every bit as special.

The WSO also surprised me with a trip to the F/A-18E simulator out at NAS Lemoore, courtesy of her husband, Big Time. That tale was told here, can't believe it was six years ago!

Anyhoo, the kids treat their old man pretty damned good, it's humbled I am.

Now t'other day on the Book of Faces, loyal reader Valory mentioned that "we've never seen these kids." While I'm sure she has, I thought I'd reprise a cuppla pictures from when the youngest granddaughter was baptized out Sandy Eggo way. Might be before Valory became a Chanter, but the following photos are from this post.

Going round the table in a clockwise fashion:
Your Humble Scribe, Big Time's Dad, Big Time's Mom, Big Time's uncle, Big Time's brother, Big Time's SIL, my DIL,
The Owl (The Naviguesser's youngest), The NaviguesserBig Oh (The Naviguesser's oldest), Little Bit (The WSO's oldest), The WSO, Big Time, The Nuke (holding L'il Sweetie, the youngest of all the grand-progeny),
and (of course) the lovely lady who is my wife, The Missus Herself.
The same crowd, taken from the other end of the table.
FWIW, the finger is much better, hence the longer post, and continues to improve. I may be back to strumming and drumming in a few weeks. Yes, spare a thought for the lovely lady who is The Missus Herself, I'm sure she can hardly wait.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Open Thread Saturday

The DIL and two of the grandkids are in town for a cuppla, so my time is rather booked for now. I'll be around and while I may have much to say, I won't have much time to write it down and share it with you. So...

I'll throw a topic out there and let y'all chew the fat on it while I entertain the progeny of my progeny.
In the United States, the term "deep state" is used to describe a conspiracy theory which suggests that collusion and cronyism exists within the US political system and constitutes a hidden government within the legitimately elected government. Some people believe that there is "a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process", whereas others consider the deep state to encompass corruption that is particularly prevalent amongst career politicians and civil servants. Wikipedia
A "conspiracy theory"?

I say nonsense, it's real.

What say you?