Sunday, January 31, 2010

Frank's Birthday

February 1, 2010; is Frank's birthday.

Frank who? How old is he? Why am I writing about someone I do not know?

Frank W. Buckles was working for a shipping company in Manila, Philippines in the 1940's. The Japanese captured him in 1942 and he then spent the next three and a half years in the Los Banos prison camp. He was rescued on February 23, 1945.

Frank Buckles was honored by President Bush in March of 2008. He has testified before Congress. Congress gave special permission for him to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery whenever he dies.

So, who is he? Why single him out?

Frank Buckles is the last living Doughboy. The name of Doughboy was given to American Army soldiers in The Great War (WWI). Cpl. Buckles was born on 2/1/1901, and is now 109 years old. He has outlived every other American soldier from WWI. His trips to Washington D.C. have been for the purpose of getting a memorial to those who fought in WWI built on the mall in Washington.

When America joined the fight in Europe during April of 1917, Frank tried to enlist. He kept being sent back home as they would not believe he was 18, as he claimed. He was only 16. Since that stretch of age was not working, he tried a new tactic. The next recruiter asked him is age and he claimed to be 21. He was welcomed into the Army.

He has been interviewed many times for various magazines and newspapers. During an interview with The Washington Post, he was asked what was his secret to such a long life. His answer was "Hope". He then added, "when you start to die...don't."

Happy birthday, Cpl. Frank W. Buckles.

Information is from

Friday, January 29, 2010

War Journal - Jan. 29, 1945

Pappys Pram - 802 - This old wreck has been given to us now. It has 125 missions and still going strong. It brings us back every time. It finished war with 172 missions.
Foil in upper turret of B-26.

Sgt. John Strange in nose of B-26.

Mission today was to the small town of Kall near Fuskirchen. Solid overcast all the way - no flak & no fighters - PFF with good results. Believe we destroyed the whole town. It was a milk run.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


BIOB - Bring it on, Buddy! Even though that works, it is not right.

BIOB - Blame it on Bush! Will we ever reach a point where BIOB ceases to be a point made in a presidential speech? Probably not as long as BO, or BOOBB (Barack Obama our biggest blunder - BOOB for short) is in office.

Our cry-baby president, or as Rush would say - "The man-child", owns no responsibility for anything that goes wrong but somehow assumes all credit for anything that he believes has gone right. You may argue that you have never seen BOOB take all the credit. That is only because it is so rare that anything has gone right since he was elected.

BOOB seems to always BIOB, no matter what the issue or when it happened.

BIOB - BOOB had to cause the unemployment rate to go over ten percent.
BIOB - BOOB had to take over the auto industry.
BIOB - BOOB has had to spend at a record deficit level (almost four times the deficit for Bush in the previous year).
BIOB - BOOB could not get unity from the democrats to pass healthcare.
BIOB - BOOB has no respect from foreign countries.
BIOB - BOOB is giving the rights of citizens to foreign terrorists.
BIOB - BOOB's stimulus bill has been an utter failure.
BIOB - fill in the blank...The Chicago fire, Global Warming, WWI, Cain killing Abel, the Flood, etc...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What BO Said...

Tonight BO gave the State of the Union address. This is what he said:

I blah blah blah
Bad Republicans
I blah blah blah
I, I, I, We, I, I, I
I blah, blah, blah
It was Bush's fault
I blah, blah, blah
Republicans need to work together
I blah blah blah
Michelle blah blah blah
I, I, I, I
God bless America

My take is that BO again showed himself to be a lying hypocrite. He twisted facts, refused to accept responsibility for his own blunders, has not learned from recent setbacks, etc.

He claimed that Bush had a one year deficit of over one trillion dollars for his last year - that BO inherited. The truth, Bush had a record year deficit of $400 and some billion dollars. In BO's first year, he has a deficit of almost four times that amount.

He claimed that he had no lobbyists in policy making positions. The fact, he has several lobbyists in his administration.

He attacked earmark projects but signed bills with thousands of them included (over 5,000 just in the stimulus bill).

He challenged Republicans to present a plan for our problems. The fact is that they have been trying to do just that all of last year, only to find that they have been excluded from any input or deliberations.

He claimed to have lowered income taxes on 95% of families. The truth, he lowered withholding tables but income tax tables are unchanged. This means that people took home more of their paycheck but now that it is tax time, they have to make that difference up on the tax bill.

It was a typical, partisan, political speech - uninspiring and full of rhetoric but short on specifics.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

War Journal - Jan. 27, 1945

Foil looking down from balcony of Hotel du Paris on Rue de la Madeline.
Paris taxi.

Foil in Paris motel.

Returned from Paris today for the second time. Did not have a big time as before but enjoy a nice quiet two days doing nothing. Looked up Waver Thomas from Franklinton and went out with her one night.

War Journal - Jan. 26, 1945

Edwards in Paris motel
"Paris Mac" in taxi

Although there was no entry for this date, I do have some photos for this date.

Super Bowl Commercial

During the Super Bowl, this year, CBS is selling 30-second ads for around $2.5 million. Focus on the Family bought a spot to air a pro-life message.

Tim Tebow and his mother Pam will tell a personal story. When she was pregnant with Tim, she was diagnosed with amoebic dysentery and she went into a coma. The treatment she received could damage or kill an unborn baby. The doctors advised her to abort the baby. Her and her husband, being strong Christians and missionaries to the Philippines, chose to keep the baby.

Tim was born as a healthy baby and has grown up to be one of the top college football players of all time. He is the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy, which is an award to the year's best football player.

Though Focus on the Family has not released the details of the message they will air during the game, they did let the word out about doing the spot. This knowledge has sparked an outrage from various left-wing feminist and pro-abortion groups. These groups are demanding that CBS refuse to play the ad. Their reasoning, as quoted from The Arizona Republic newspaper, "which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message." Duh, you think! Why do you think a strong, pro-life group, like Focus on the Family would pay that kind of money?

We all need to support CBS for showing the ad, if the continue their current position.

"Pro-Choice" appears to only be a good thing when the pro-death leftists are deciding your choice for you. To them, CBS should not have a choice. The viewers should not be presented with a Pro-Life choice. Only pro-death or anti-life conclusions are acceptable.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jobs Created or Saved $$$

A year ago, Congress passed a jobs stimulus bill, which BO signed into law as soon has he took office. The cost of the "stimulus" was over $700,000,000,000. That amount did not include the thousands of pork-barrel projects tacked onto the bill.

Now, BO and his minions are patting themselves on the back for the great successes of "jobs created or saved" (JCS). This past weekend, three of BO's buddies are on TV bragging about how many JCS they claim. One stated it is "thousands and thousands"; the next, "one and one half million"; and the other, "two million".

Even if the most optimistic claim is accurate, which it is not, BO is claiming to have JCS of two million. Over the same time period, our unemployment rate has jumped to over 10%, with millions losing their jobs during BO's first year.

BO claims that the stimulus was so successful but that more is needed. He wants another jobs stimulus bill to do the same this year. Before we jump onto the bandwagon, let's do a little math. Even if it did produce 2,000,000 JCS and even if it ONLY cost the $700,000,000,000; what is the cost per JCS? The tremendous success of the stimulus resulted in a cost to the taxpayers of $350,000 per JCS.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The State of the Union - 2010


The current state of the Union – in one word – fragmented.

President Obama will deliver his first State of the Union speech during the next few days. This annual event is a constitutional requirement of the President. It is not required that it be a speech delivered to a joint session of Congress, but the leader of the country is required to give Congress his version as to where we stand as a country.

I would imagine that most if not all of you have watched a President give such a speech. The government and the media treat it as a very big deal each year. It is one of those events that you can watch on your choice of several channels on TV. Following the speech the commentators will attempt to tell us what he just said. Then a member of the political party that opposes the party of the President will give a rebuttal speech to us through the media.

President Obama will stand there, all pressed and smug, glorying in the applause that will be given over and over again. He will read his speech from his teleprompters and most likely deliver a well written speech. This being his first State of the Union speech, it should be interesting to hear how he sees the present condition of the United States. We have statements by Obama, from the past, where he disses this country. We have his wife claiming that her husband’s success in the primaries caused the very first time she had ever been proud of America. We have their pastor swearing profanities about America in his sermons. So, what does our President really think about this country that he is supposed to be leading?

I do not expect him to cut down America on national TV, especially when he is the one in charge of its current condition. No, he will stand there and make claims to successes over the past year, will tell us that there is still a long way to go (as if we didn’t already know that), and may attempt to blame the past administration (Bush and Cheney) and/or the current Republicans in the House and Senate for blocking his noble attempts to solve all of our problems. He will stress his good intentions and the Democrats will stand and applaud. He will call on Congress to work together to pass the most liberal agenda ever submitted in the history of our nation.

When he finishes, the liberal media pundits will claim that we just witnessed one of the greatest speeches ever delivered. The more conservative pundits will mostly be polite about the lack of content. The night will wind down and we will all go about the rest of the week.

What is the state of our Union?

During these speeches, Presidents usually recap what they have accomplished over the past year and lay out a plan for what they want to see happen in the following year. Here is where Obama is at great disadvantage. What will he claim as his great accomplishments from 2009? A year ago, when he took office, we were struggling as a nation. Now, with a new captain at the wheel, we are worse off than when he started. Though he claimed to be “the one we have been waiting for”, he has failed to deliver on positive steps to recovery. His messiah-like self-promoting image has withered and the batteries for his media halo have died. He has shown himself to be a pompous bag of hot air. He has no great accomplishments to brag about. He has done nothing other than make speeches, intimidate those who oppose him, and travel the world several times.

Our present state of the Union – we are in trouble. We are just about a rudderless ship. There is no strong, positive leadership in Washington. Most of the rest of the world has lost respect for the “super-power” nation. There is no fear, not even from tiny dictator nations. Obama has undercut our allies, insulted our friends, apologized to our enemies, and basically made a fool of himself on the international stage.

An honest list of what he has accomplished during his first year is not very long. He signed into law, within his first few days in office, the “stimulus” bill Congress had passed in anticipation of Obama coming to town. He has then managed the almost one trillion dollars this law included in a way that it became a slush fund to reward his political supporters. The stimulus did not stimulate so now he wants “Stimulus II”. Should we believe these funds would accomplish anything when the first law failed?

He apologized to the terrorists, only to be laughed at. Then he watched them attack us on our soil for the first time in eight years.

He pushed for climate change treaties and legislation, only to be embarrassed internationally and to be rejected at home.

He then put most of his eggs in one big basket – Healthcare Reform. This he wanted passed by last August, then October, then November, then December, then before he had to make the State of the Union speech. He was a failure at this too – thank God.

He can claim that he has created or saved millions of jobs, but the statistics say otherwise. He promised that unemployment would not go above 8% if Stimulus I was passed. It passed, but we have over 10% unemployment. And that number only includes the individuals collecting unemployment compensation. He spent $18,000,000 on the creation of a web site to impress us with his job creation success. Within two weeks, the claims were proven to be bogus and we hear nothing about any longer. Even liberal media sources have made fun of his claims of specific “jobs saved” numbers.

He has campaigned for three democrats over the past few months – all three lost their elections.

He has succeeded in weakening our military, lowering our defense capabilities, and tying one hand behind the backs of our soldiers on the battlefields. He has brought terrorists POWs to our soil and given them access to civilian, criminal courts and constitutional rights. He has found a prison in Illinois that he wants to move other Gitmo prisoners to in order to keep his promise to the left-wing wackos about closing Gitmo. He has failed to end the wars and bring our troops home, even though he appeared willing to accept defeat during the campaign. But, he has given our enemy a timeline for our withdrawal from the battle. He has published new “terms of engagement” for our troops, so the enemy will know how to take advantage of us and be more successful in killing American soldiers.

He has acted as a fascist dictator with his many czar appointments and taking control of various aspects of our private business sector.

This list could go on and on. But, one thing is clear, his list of positive accomplishments for America is empty. He can only, honestly, brag about how he has weakened the best nation on earth, how he has personally overseen the attempted destruction of the free market system on our economy. He can claim to have nationalized industry, bribed and threatened CEOs, attacked the wealthy who have been successful, demonized the insurance companies, banks and Wall Street.

He cannot claim that we are better off than we were one year ago, because he knows all the statistics prove that we are not.

He has proven himself to be a fraud and utter failure. He sports an arrogant mask hiding evil intentions. The real Obama is being exposed as an unqualified leader and a habitual liar. He cannot be trusted and is a terrible example to the youth of our country. He has done one thing, he has become the first half-black president. Even in that, he still pulls the “race card” as an intimidation tool. His advisers are thugs and he runs the White House as a den of thieves.

What can we hope are the goals for his next year? Well, I hope he realizes that We the People are tired of him and his policies and do not want to hear from him again. I hope that he understands that he is just a lame duck president and sits in the oval office playing card games on his computer. I hope he packs his bags and goes back home to Africa or Southeast Asia, where he came from. I hope that no other Supreme Court Justices retire or die during his presidency. I hope our industry and financial leaders tell him to jump in the lake and leave them alone. I hope that there will be some on Capital Hill who grow a backbone and start representing the people back home. I hope there is a change in leadership in the coming election. I hope there is a change in the American people and they are awakened to stand and fight for liberty. I want the change we see on main street and from the grassroots to be the hope of our future. I am not against Hope and Change, you just have to define your terms.

During his speech, Obama will not itemize the defeats the Left has encountered over the past few weeks. These will conveniently slip his mind. Each of these conservative successes has been battle victories. The left has not lost the war, just encountered some setbacks. They have not been neutered, but they have been semi-vasectomized. They still pose a danger to reproduce themselves. We have to sharpen the knife and finish the job. We have to win the next elections and do a better job at educating the next generations. We are fighting a war, not with bullets, but with ballots and ideals and principles and prayer. I have great hope for America and the picture in my mind is Obamaless.

There is one other thing he did that he will not mention. He succeeded in awakening the conservative giant in the land. Now, we will not slumber and we will prevail!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Present State of the cRats

A Republican/Conservative whirlwind swept the nation over the past few days. All of a sudden, the Right has a glimmer of HOPE and the Left is wondering about the CHANGE.

We are hearing from some cRats that BO's healthcare plan is on life-support. Various Representatives on the Left are launching a mutiny towards Caption Pelosi. We heard Senator John Kerry (who served in Vietnam) talk about the need to reach across the aisle and that this is a time for bi-partisanship. We have the Supreme Court striking down portions of Campaign Finance Reform (the parts that were blatantly unconstitutional). And, what got it all going was the special election in Massachusetts last Tuesday. A dark blue state is sending a iCan to DC as their Senator.

Unbelievable! What a week!

So, where have the cRats found themselves? I would like to say that they have been neutered. But, I know better than to jump to such a great conclusion. I believe that what has happened in this past week will affect the rest of the year, but it is more similar to a semi-vasectomy. They are still dangerous and carry a retarded ability to produce offspring. They are still firing darts with a point on half of them. It was not a full castration and we should not be dancing around the fire just yet.

I had this thought a few days ago, Is BO a lame duck President? He still has a majority in both houses of Congress. He is still acting like the incarnation of the second coming of the one we have been waiting for. He is saying that he is not defeated and is, instead, "doubling-down". But, the scene is of a sinking ship with a bunch of cRats jumping ship. His honeymoon is over! The razzle-dazzle in him making another speech is gone. Not too many, on either side, are too excited about the Hope and Change we have seen so far. He has accomplished almost nothing in the first year except for: apologizing for America, bowing to foreign leaders, winning the peace prize, losing the Olympics, setting POWs free, increasing the unemployment rate, raising taxes, wasting a trillion dollars of "stimulus" money on a slush fund for his buddies and supporters, aiding government to take over large portions of the private business sector, destroying the economy, etc.

He has shown by three examples over the past few months that when he campaigns for a cRat, they lose. He has seen that the leaders of foreign countries do not jump when he says "Boo!". He appears to be shocked that the terrorists are still attacking us, after all he is on their side.

The lose of one Senate seat may be the straw that broke BO's back. He may actually have to learn how to stay home and work. He needs to see that we do not want any more speeches or trips to Europe for him and 500 of his closest friends and staff.

What lessons has he learned? None! He is showing himself to be just as arrogant as ever, maybe a little more bull-headed, but none the wiser.

If we go into a period of his term where nothing continues to get done, we will be experiencing the earliest example of a lame duck President in our nation's history.

Now, do I believe this is what has taken place? I wish I could say that it is done, BO is over and a new dawn has sprung across the land. I can hope and pray that the changes of this past week are dramatic and permanent, but we will have to wait and see the next moves in the game.

So, stay sharp and active, pay attention and make your voices heard. These have been mere battles in the war for our liberty. Who knows, they may be planning a Battle of the Bulge (association intended).

Remember - They were at war with us but we were not at war with them! We are playing catch-up.

A Wet One

These were taken this morning. This week we have been on the receiving end of a very wet storm. Now I have an idea what some of the rest of you deal with.
Monday thru Thursday we had 6.24 inches of rain with over four inches on Thursday. Then on Thursday night it started snowing for two days. Friday's snow was very wet and heavy so I am sure we have over eight inches of moisture this week.
For us, that is half of our annual moisture.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

War Journal - Jan. 22, 1945

Returning with our laundry.
Discussing the weather.

Pulled our thirteenth mission today. The first mission today was scrubbed but we made the second one. Flew thru a snow storm going and landed in one when we got back. Hit the town of Blankenheimer, Germany with very good results. Light inaccurate flak & no fighters were experienced. Except for the weather it was a milk run. We received our Air Medals today.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bullets or Ballots?

Yesterday's election in Massachusetts for a replacement to fill the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy in the Senate ended up having a great ending. It was the 1970's since a Republican held a Senate seat in that state. Through most of the campaign the Democrats acted as though it was their right to fill the seat with one of their choosing. During the past month, the underdog Republican, Scott Brown, made astonishing gains on his Democrat opponent. By the time the votes were mostly counted, last night, Mr. Brown was a clear winner.

This Republican victory has sent shock waves across the nation throughout the Democratic Party. Massachusetts' registered voters have 3.5 Democrats for every one Republican. For the Democrats to loose the seat that Kennedy held for decades was a shock to the politicians on the left and a great victory for those on the right. Seating one more Republican in the Senate in the place held by a Democrat, causes a shift in power. Now, the left will not have an automatic 60 votes to block any Republican filibuster. The election also shows the politicians in D.C. that We the People do not want what they are selling.

So, though we are patting ourselves on the back today, let's keep this in perspective. This was not the war, it was a battle. The war rages on many other fronts. We won a battle, a big battle, but still just a battle.

I have been writing about the American Revolution and the parallels to today. We are in the second American Revolution (A.R. II). The hearts and minds of the people have been awakened and energized over the past couple years and they are taking to the streets in protest. We are fighting a string of battles over many left-wing issues and proposals. In the balance is the direction that the United States will take. Will we continue to be a country based on individual freedom and liberty, a country where your success depends on you? Will we be self-responsible as citizens; or will the socialists and fascists take us down a path where the government runs our lives for us and decides what is best for each of us? Will the U.S. be weak as a nation or continue to be the defender of the weak and the promoter of liberty? Will our economic system allow a business to succeed or fail, or will it have such tight controls by government that politicians make those decisions? The list is endless of situations that are affected by the decisions being made this year.

The war continues. Do not get distracted. We are fighting battles to preserve a great nation. It is worth the effort, trouble, time and expense. If we lose the battles of 2010, we will probably never have the opportunity to turn the country back around and restore liberty.

Our war is not with bullets but with ballots. While we are gearing up to the election-war in November, continue to fight the battles of principle. Let freedom ring!

Family Photos

Mom with her doll.
Pre-NRA membership.

War Journal - Jan. 21, 1945

Night Bomber - This plane led A-20s on night missions.
Bill Pehr was in this tail when it was hit by a dud.

Still being briefed & scrubbed every day. If this weather ever breaks we will do a lot of flying. Almost made the mission today. The runway was a smooth sheet of ice - so four of the first ten ships never got into the air - the few of us that did make it were scrubbed because so many were crashing on takeoff including the Pathfinder. We circled almost three hours waiting for them to clear the wreckage from the runway so we could come in again.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A.R. II - Part Three

All battles are not fought with bullets, sometimes ballets can bring about victory!

Today, a ballot battle was won for America. The state of Massachusetts, which is just about as liberal of a state as you can find within our borders, actually elected a Republican to the US Senate. This is a state that had Kennedy and Kerry as their two Senators. When Kennedy passed away, his open seat resulted in a special election. One month ago, none of the "experts" were even slightly considering the possibility of a Republican win. Scott Brown surprised everyone. He not only won, but did it decidedly.

Over the past few weeks, one of the key points in his campaigning was this claim that if he were elected, he would be the needed vote to stop Obama's healthcare reform. With his win, the Democrats no longer have the magic 60 votes needed to stop a Republican filibuster of a bill.

It also sends a message to Washington that We the People do not like what they are doing and we will not put up with it.

Folks, this is BIG! It is a major step in slowing down the runaway train of the cRats. Maybe, just maybe, there are some iCan'ts out there that deserve to be iCans!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A.R. II - Part Two

A.R. II – Part Two

Where do we start with the second American Revolution (A.R.II)? That question has already been solved for us. A.R.II has already begun. As mentioned, the first A.R. was a period of time where the hearts and minds of the colonists changed. This has already been taking place in America. As more and more citizens begin to pay attention to the deeds of the government in Washington, they are getting energized and involved. The number of Americans who are now identifying themselves as being “conservative” has steadily grown over the recent past.

A.R.II has witnessed it’s own version of the “Tea Party”. This grassroots movement spread across the country, last spring and summer. It became such a dominant force that many of our so-called Representatives were afraid to hold town-hall meetings with the people they are supposed to represent. These tea party protesters have drawn harsh criticism from the Democrat leadership in D.C. These citizens have been called “unpatriotic”, “domestic terrorists”, and many other outrageous labels. The truth is, they are exercising a very patriotic and constitutional right to express their displeasure with our elected officials. They want answers and are not afraid to ask the questions. Their leaders, on the other hand, are very reluctant to meet with them, address their concerns, entertain their open questions or give them straight answers. This further energized the patriots and exposed the socialists and fascists for what they are.

The Tea Party is not dead and has not given up. Find out what similar groups are doing in your area and get involved. Make your voice heard.

This is a very, very important election year. Get educated about your elected officials and those running against them. Do not take a politician’s word for gospel. They have a tendency to tell you what you want to hear and then go and do what they wanted. Just because your Senator or Representative, during the campaign, claims to stand for conservative principles, states that they are behind original Constitutional principles, they are for limited and smaller government, they are for lower taxes, etc.; do not believe them just based on stump speeches. Do your homework. Check them out on the Internet. Check their voting record.

As an example, look at my senior Senator from Arizona – John McCain. He is a Republican. He has been in the Senate for several campaign cycles. He continues to get re-elected based on campaign claims and the advantage he has of being the incumbent and having great name recognition. Sen. McCain runs as and claims to be a “conservative” every time he is in election mode. And, I admit, there are some things he is very conservative about – national defense, the war on terror, etc. But, there are other things that his core principles do not align with typical conservative principles.

Thanks to McCain, we have the so-called “campaign finance reform”. You remember, this is the bill that President Bush signed into law with the explanation that he was confident the Federal Courts would correct the portions that were unconstitutional; such as, limiting we the people from advertising for or against a candidate near election dates. This bill did not solve campaign finance problems or corruption, it just stole part of our First Amendment rights of Free Speech.

It was John McCain who helped form the “gang of 14” which had great influence on which of President Bush’s nominations for Federal Judge positions would be considered for approval. These 14 Senators basically took control of the long-standing process of judicial nomination approvals.

John McCain was one of the strongest proponents of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” (CIR) in the summer of 2008. CIR would have basically granted amnesty to illegal aliens if they “jumped through the necessary hoops”. The hoops were not high or difficult to get through, but were an excuse for the politicians who wanted amnesty to be able to claim that it was not amnesty.

When the public rose up against CIR and the bill was dropped (temporarily), that was a form of A.R.II in action. When McCain ran for President, this subject came up and his response was, “I got the message, enforcement first.” But, this being during a campaign, we have to take what he claimed with a grain of salt. After losing the election, he went on to announce that it was time to reconsider CIR and that he would work with Obama to get something passed.

We have a gang in Washington that cannot be trusted. The White House is full of members of this gang and so it the Capital building. These snobs think we are stupid and have short memories. We are not and will not forget! McCain is just one example of the problem. The Democrat members of the Legislative and Executive branches of government are full of similar problems. The government bureaucrats (non-elected government workers) are also a major part of the problem.

When Obama was running for President and some of his background and associations surfaced, it began to awaken a sleeping giant. That giant is us. We are aroused from our past laziness and inattention. We are paying close attention and aware of what these people are tying to do to us. What’s more, we do not like what we see!

Get engaged in the process. Study and learn about your current and prospective “public servants”. Demand straight answers to the important questions that affect the future of our country. Do not accept slogans, such as “hope and change” to be the wave that gets some guy into office. Demand that our leaders follow the strict letter of the law – with the Constitution being the main foundation of that law. Show up and support gatherings such as tea party demonstrations. Write and call your Representatives and Senators in Washington. Express your concerns and show your dissatisfaction with what they are doing. Make it clear what you want from them and that if they go against the Constitution that you will work to see them kicked out of office. Support true conservatives who are running against members of the gang.

Washington may not acknowledge or recognize it, but the power still lies in the hands of “we the people”. We only lose when we do not exercise the power we rightfully have.


Being a national holiday, I thought it was only proper to comment on Martin L. King, Jr.

I do not like this holiday! I believe it is racist! I do not agree that there should be a national holiday to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.

You may be thinking, "Talk about the pot calling the kettle black." (No pun intended.) Don't I realize that anyone who speaks out against MLK or his holiday must be a racist and is sure to be called one? Sure I realize that, but racism is not the basis from which my views emerge.

I do not like this holiday because of it being the only birthday we celebrate as a nation. We dropped Washington's birthday - our first President, the commander of our army in the War for Independence, and one of our Founding Fathers. We dropped Lincoln's birthday - the President who presided over one of the hardest times this nation has ever experienced, the President who proclaimed an end to forced slavery and declared freedom to the many slaves. We do not celebrate Ronald Reagan's birthday - the President who revived our economy, the President who stood up to the USSR, the one who is credited for the fall of the Berlin Wall and the victory in the Cold War. We do not celebrate the birthdays of FDR or Truman - the Presidents who presided over the US during WWII. We do not celebrate the birthday of JFK - the President who wanted the US out of Vietnam and was assassinated. We ignore Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Grant, Eisenhower, etc.

But, we do celebrate, as the only birthday celebration our nation recognizes, MLK Day.

Why do I believe it is a racist holiday? I do not say that because I am racist or because I am against MLK because he was a black man. I say it because I believe the only reason we celebrate the day is because he was black. It is racist in a backwards sort of way. It is not racist because we are against blacks, but it is racist because we have gone to the opposite extreme. Now, if a man is black, especially a national figure like MLK was, everyone has to be very careful to not say anything that could, by any stretch of the imagination, be taken as racist and to prove that, we will make a holiday for him which raises him above all of the other individuals in the history of our nation.

I have a lot of respect for MLK and what he accomplished. He made a tremendous difference in the improvement of race relations and helping to get more equality for the blacks in America. He was the right man at the right time and in the right place. Contrary to what I wrote above, I really have no problem with there being a MLK holiday. My problem is with it being the only birthday holiday we have. I believe that if MLK had said and done exactly what he said and did and had accomplished the exact same things and faced the same death as MLK faced, but had of been a white man, we would not have this holiday. That is why I believe it is racist.

MLK, himself, wanted an end to men being judged based on the color of their skin. He was not trying to get black men elevated above white men, he wanted them on equal footing. He believed that "all men are created equal" and he wanted the same rights for blacks that whites enjoyed. For all of that, I salute him and agree 100%.

So, what went wrong? The civil rights movement was hi-jacked by radicals after the death of MLK. They no longer seek equality and fairness and blind justice. They seek advantage, they promote racism, they abide at the table of division and turmoil. These radicals will never be happy with race relations in America. If they ever reached a point where they admitted that blacks and whites are truly equal, the need for their existence would be over and they would become irrelevant. They cannot allow this to happen. That is why, whenever any little thing comes up in the US that involves a white and a black, some radical black leader shows up and stirs the pot of racism. Keeping racism alive is job security for them.

My hat is off to MLK and I pray that God blesses his family.

I encourage each of you to take the time to read these two articles: (MLK-"I Have a Dream" speech)
and the MLK letter from the Birmingham jail

Whas Up?

Well, since you asked...

Sandee and I have two dogs, as most of you know. The golden retriever, Tahoe, is eleven; and the German shepherd-mix, Cody (not to be confused with my new grandson), is twelve. Recently, we have noticed some swelling under Tahoe's jaw. The vet put him on antibiotics for the infection. Last week, on Tuesday, we noticed that he had lost his eyesight. His eyes were half full of blood. Being very sharp about these things, I determined that this probably was not normal. So, back to the vet we went.

After running tests, he determined that Tahoe has cancer that seems to be pretty far along. His eyesight seems to come partially back for brief periods but then goes away again. It's sad to watch him bump into things and get lost under a desk, etc.

When I stand on one side of a piece of furniture and call him to me, with his tail wagging, he runs right into the furniture. To see if he learned anything, I do it again with the same results. Being scientific, I realize that this test has to be run several times - all to my disappointment and with nose marks on my furniture. He has now convinced me that he is not faking it just to get attention.

(Just kidding!!!)

On to another sad picture for you to imagine -

Yesterday, I ran in my 8th half marathon. It was the 5th time I ran the Rock-and-Roll race in Phoenix. For some reason (and I am sure it has nothing to do with conditioning) my times seem to get a little slower each time.

Not having the longest of legs or the most athletic abilities, you can imagine this 59.8 year old guy running the 13.1 mile course. For some reason, each and every time I go do this, I have the belief that this time my time will be faster, my legs stronger, my stride longer, and the wind at my back. Well, the weather was good - not to hot or too cold and no wind.

Six years ago, when I ran my first half marathon, I had no idea what would be a decent time as I had no exposure to any such thing. So, I trained hard and ended up at 1:53. That was not bad for someone who was 53, in their first race, and clueless. In that run, I beat 82% of all runners. Realizing that I had found my path to fame and fortune, I decided to do it again the next year - 1:58. The next year - 2:03. The fourth year I missed while building the house. The following year - 2:10. Last year I got sick and missed. Now - 2:13. I don't know how the fame part will end up, but so far, no fortune. Who says that age does not take it's toll?

Having some sore and tired legs this morning, I have to remind myself that this is "good for me". And, yes, I do plan on doing it again. Next year I will be in the next age bracket and my competition will only be similar old farts.

War Journal - Jan. 18, 1945

Foil with P-51
B-24s made weather stop here

Missions briefed & scrubbed every day & life goes on as usual. The snow is beginning to melt a little.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A.R. II - America's Second Revolution

America’s Second Revolution

It was less than 250 years ago that our founding fathers led the 13 colonies in an effort to break away from the control of England. The residents of America were not united. Less than a majority were backing the idea of going to war with England. From what I have heard, the people were divided into three categories: about one third did not want to change the relationship with England, another third was prepared to go to war in order to gain independence for America, and the last third did not care either way.

"... it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen to set brush fires in people's minds..." Samuel Adams

What is our situation today? We have a government (though domestic) which has basically abandoned the Constitution in some areas and has twisted its meaning in other areas by the concept of it being a “living document”. That term sounds acceptable until you understand what they mean. Yes, the Constitution, as the foundation for the existence of our very nation is as though it is alive. But, what the liberals mean by a “living document” is that it is ever-changing and must be constantly re-evaluated and interpreted in light of current trends and philosophies. This opens the door to fluctuating meanings of the various clauses and amendments within the Constitution.

The Constitution was never meant to be interpreted in the light of changing trends. If it were, it could not be a suitable foundation for a nation. The foundation must be solid, immovable, steadfast and dependable.

A “living document” caters to the whims of the current majority. It cannot be counted upon to be the guide used the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If this document were meant to change with each new generation, it would not have been written with black and white statements. It would be a shady grey without absolutes. Our Constitution is not wishy-washy, it lays down limits and boundaries. What the leftists do not like is that the boundaries it contains limit the government, not the people.

The Founders recognized that the natural trend in men, who gain a position of power, is to desire to expand upon their authority and gain control over the people. So, as they debated the wording and wrote this document, they did their very best to save America from such men and their selfish ambitions. The people then took it even further. Even though the Constitution was written to limit central government, the people insisted upon further clarification of the freedom of the people and the boundaries on the government. They added the Bill of Rights. These Rights do not explain what rights the government has over the people. They explain some of the rights of the people and the limited power of the government and the boundaries within which it must operate.

Our government was further set up to self-control itself. There are checks and balances built into the framework of all three branches – Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. Each branch has a proper part to play and each working within its own responsibilities imposes a balance on the whole. As they established our new system of government, they knew from the beginning that there would be those who would want to stretch the boundaries and discard the limits.

On September 18, 1787; as the Constitutional Convention came to a close in Philadelphia, a lady asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin answered, “A republic if you can keep it.”

If I remember correctly, it took a couple years for a sufficient number of the states to ratify the Constitution and add the Bill of Rights. With this accomplished, the new foundation for the new nation was laid. It provided the beginning for what would become the greatest nation on earth.

Over the 220 years since then, generations have allowed the redefining of this document into a loosely held set of suggestions. It has been attacked from all sides, undercut at every junction, and watered down in an attempt to limit its limits. As this gradual process has taken place for many decades, if not centuries, the assault upon the Constitution has never been more intense than during the past 50 years with the apex reached with the current administration and Congress. Presently, they are in an all-out effort to abandon the principles that made America great. We are being force-fed anti-Constitutional legislation, regulation, and legal opinions. All three branches are shredding the parchment as fast as they can.

A Republic is a government based on laws, with the Constitution being the supreme law of our country. We hold democratic elections where the majority of the people select their representatives, but we were not intended to evolve into a Democracy where the majority changes the rules based on how they currently feel. Our basic system of government has been and is being hijacked. The leftists are altering the system as fast as they can with the intention that it will never return to the roots we hold so dear.

When you consider the issues with England that resulted in the American Revolution, they pale when compared with what our current government is doing to exercise unlimited control over each of our lives. England imposed taxes that the colonists believed to be excessive and where the colonies had no input. England insisted that some of their soldiers be housed in private homes. England laid claim to natural resources, etc. These examples of control over men who wanted to be free were unacceptable.

When will free men reach the point where burdensome taxes, restrictive regulation, punishment for achievement, and dereliction of the rightful responsibilities of our government become unacceptable? How far will we allow them to push us? When will we the people declare our independence from an evil and oppressive bunch of politicians? How many Rights must we lose before it is too many? What is the breaking point?

Or, will there ever be a point that is too far? Will we the people surrender to the power and control that a small number of men and women impose upon us? Will we become just like the socialist European countries or the communist nations of the world? Is a Republican form a government something that exists only in history books or can it be revived in America?

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence were willing to risk everything to be free, to live in liberty. That document ends with the following words:

“…we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

These were not just words on paper. This was the reality of what they were facing by this declaration.

What price freedom? Is our liberty still of any value? If so, how much?

"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." -- John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, July 17, 1775

The Founders recognized the dangers of government going too far. They understood the selfish ambition of men (and women). They warned us to protect our Liberty. Will we, before our liberty is lost forever?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

War Journal - Jan. 13, 1945

Ice on our tent.
Slid off of runway on landing.

Not much happening these days - Snow is about six inches deep & makes flying very hazardous. The weather for the past week has made it impossible. My 23rd birthday passed forgotten by all of us until the card from home arrived.

A.R. - The American Revolution

What was the American Revolution?

John Adams wrote, “But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

A series of events took place between 1763 and 1776. These brought about a change of heart and attitude within those who were loyal to the King. By the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, America was ready to fight for freedom. British actions resulted in American reactions.

April 5, 1764 – Britain passed the Sugar Act, which was a tax on trade with America.

April 19, 1764 – Britain passed the Currency Act, which restricted the issuance of paper money in the colonies.

May of 1764 – James Otis raised the issue of the colonists being taxed without representation in Parliament.

August of 1764 – Bostonians boycotted British-made luxuries.

March 22, 1765 – Parliament passed the Stamp Act as being the first direct tax on the American colonies.

March 24, 1765 – Parliament passed the Quartering Act which required the colonists to pay the cost of housing British soldiers in America.

May 29-30, 1765 – Patrick Henry made a speech as a brand new delegate to the Virginia House of Burgesses. He discussed that one of the basic liberties of the colonists was the right to be taxed by representatives of one’s own choosing. He added that only colonial assemblies had the right to tax their constituents. On the next day, he spoke again and made a reference to past assassinated leaders of other countries. Others cried out, “Treason”. He then finished with, “If this be treason, make the most of it.”

Summer of 1765 – Massachusetts organizes to oppose the Stamp Act. The Sons of Liberty intimidated those supporting Britain and enforced boycotts in Boston.

October of 1765 – The Stamp Act Congress met in New York City. This was to organize opposition to the Stamp Act in the various colonies.

November 1, 1765 – The Stamp Act took effect in the colonies. This was followed by the Stamp Act Riots in New York City.

February and March of 1766 – Parliament repealed the Stamp Act.
August of 1766 – More riots in New York over the Quartering Act.

Summer of 1767 – Townshend Acts passed. These included a restraining act on New York because they did not want to pay what was demanded for housing British troops. Another act was the Customs Service Reorganization, which created an new Customs Board in Boston, increased the use of “writs of assistance” which were similar to search warrants, and added more British courts in the colonies. It also included the Townshend Duty Act, which added new duties on items such as paint, paper, glass, lead and tea imported into the colonies. The colonists were outraged and resisted. They pressed local merchants to not import any of the duty items.

February 11, 1768 – James Otis and Samual Adams sent letters to the colonies opposing the Townshend Acts.

June 10, 1768 – British seize John Hancock’s ship, the “Liberty”.

October 1, 1768 – British troops occupy Boston.

Throughout 1769, non-importation agreements spread through the colonies. This continued to hurt British trade with America.

January 16-18, 1770 – The Sons of Liberty fight the Redcoats in the Battle of Golden Hill in New York.

March 5, 1770 – The Boston Massacre followed by removal of troops from the city. Bostonians resented the presence of British troops in their city. Tempers flared and an argument broke out between a merchant and a sentry. Other citizens gathered and reinforcements of other soldiers arrived. As things got out of hand, the troops opened fire on those gathered. Three colonists died instantly and two others later. Samuel Adams and Paul Revere helped spread the story of the massacre to gain support for opposing the British.

April 12, 1770 – The Townshend duties were repealed except for the tax on tea.

May 10, 1773 – The Tea Act went into effect. Britain, in an attempt to aid the East India Company, which sold tea, gain business in America, passed an Act which gave this company a monopoly on selling tea to America, but at a lower tax than previously imposed. Local merchants protested the monopoly. In some ports the ships were turned away.

December 16, 1773 – The Boston Tea Party. Three ships loaded with tea arrived in the Boston harbor. Samuel Adams lead a group who vowed that the tea would not be unloaded. When one of the ships attempted to leave, the British refused to let them go and seized the ship for non payment of the tea tax. At this point, a group of men boarded the ships and dumped the tea overboard and into the water.

March 31-June 2, 1774 – Britain passed the Coercive Acts which were referred to as the “Intolerable Acts” in the colonies. These included the Boston Port Act, which closed the Boston port until the East India Company was paid for their losses in the Boston Tea Party. The Quartering Act, which changed the law from requiring the people in the colonies to pay to house the British troops to requiring the people to house the troops in their own residences. Administration of Justice Act, which some referred to as the “Murder Act”. It allowed for British officials who use deadly force to suppress riots and collect taxes in Massachusetts to avoid local courts and be taken to England for any trial. Also, the Massachusetts Government Act, which was to punish this colony after the Boston Tea Party. It replaced elected officials with British appointees and put control of the colony directly in British hands.

September-October, 1774 – First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia. This gathering was not about independence for the colonies from Britain. Instead, they worked on agreements to present to the King to try to solve the differences. They issued the “Declaration of Rights and Grievances”. Most in the colonies considered this meeting a success. They also agreed to enforce boycotts against trade with Britain. They were concerned that the crackdown by the British in Boston also threatened the rights and liberties in the rest of the colonies. Congress urged resistance to the Coercive Acts and the formation of militias.

February 9, 1775 – Britain declared the colonies in a state of rebellion.

March 23, 1775 – Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech to the Virginia Convention. They were gathered to debate the issue of forming a militia for a possible war with the British. Part of what he said is as follows:

“Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable — and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace; but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?
Forbid it, Almighty God — I know not what course others may take; but as for me — give me liberty or give me death!”

March 30, 1775 – Britain passed the New England Restraining Act. This was to punish the northern colonies. It imposed restrictions, which were later expanded to other colonies, to limit trade to being only with Britain and the British West Indies. It also prohibited ships from New England from the North Atlantic fisheries.

April 18, 1775 – Paul Revere made his famous ride to warn the patriots about the British troops heading their way.

April 19, 1775 – The Battles of Lexington and Concord took place. This was the opening round in the battle for independence.

May 10, 1775 – The Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia. They dealt with issues such as appointing George Washington as commander-in-chief of the army, approved Dickinson’s “Olive Branch Petition” which was followed by the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms”. Richard Henry Lee proposed a resolution (June 1776) promoting independence from Britain. This was followed by the “Declaration of Independence” in July of 1776. During the same month, the “Articles of Confederation” were proposed.

July 5, 1775 – “Olive Branch Petition”. Promoted and authored by John Dickinson, a conservative delegate to the Second Continental Congress, from Pennsylvania; the Olive Branch Petition was a final effort to seek reconciliation with Britain and end the fighting. It appealed to King George III and contained a strong protest against British policies and asked the King to halt the war, repeal the Coercive Acts and bring about reconciliation. It expressed loyalty to the King but was critical of Parliament.

The petition was shipped to England, where it was not well received, to say the least. The King refused to entertain the petition as the war progressed in the colonies. Part of the problem that the King had was the other passed document – “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms”.

July 6, 1775 – The Second Continental Congress passed the “Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking up Arms”. This document, though expressing loyalty to the King, also included wording that indicated that if the King did not make things right that the colonies would declare independence and go to war.

August 23, 1775 – King George III proclaimed the American colonies to be in rebellion and urged that everything should be done to “suppress such rebellion, and bring the traitors to justice.”

As John Adams discussed, the American Revolution (A.R.) was not the war, was not even the taking up of arms against an enemy, but was the period of time where the transformation of public attitude and allegiance shifted. The A.R. resulted in a unifying of the various interests into a fairly united position. This position had the strength necessary to declare independence from Britain, see the people through the upcoming war and the establishment of a new nation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Opportunity Lost

I have been thinking about the current budget crisis in my town, my county, my state and other towns and states across the country. If you remember, BO's staff said that a crisis is something to take advantage of and get things done that you normally would not be able to get. Well, even though I do not like what his motives were with his statement, I do believe that the budget crisis we are seeing in the various town to state governments are opportunities. The problem is that the leaders of each of these governments are not taking advantage of their crisis.

The crisis lies in the money shortage compared to the demand on public funds. Arizona, just like other places increased spending dramatically over the past several years. Now that revenue has dropped, they do not seem to know how to cut spending. Many politicians see the solution in raising taxes. Others try to cut spending, but do it in the wrong places. No one seems to see that the problem lies in the social welfare programs.

Arizona pulled one of the dumbest solutions I have ever heard. It has an extremely short upside and a forever thereafter downside. In order to help balance the 2009 budget, they put the state owned buildings and facilities up for sale. This, they say will generate millions of dollars to help balance the budget. Have they looked past the current year and considered that this means that all future years will now have an additional expense to cover - the rent and leases on these same buildings that they once owned.

Arizona has also closed all road-side rest areas due to the cost of maintenance. They have closed some state parks and are preparing to close all of the rest. They are closing many of the MVD offices around the state. After all of this, the current year budget is still around one billion in the hole. The projections for next year is a three billion deficit. Still, social programs are off of the table and not being considered as the real problem.

An article in the Arizona Republic newspaper stated that the politicians see one of the main problems is that the voters passed restrictions on state spending and taxes. Good thing that we did or their solution would be hit us harder with higher taxes.

The opportunity lies in these politicians being forced to look deeper and hopefully, some day, seeing that the problem lies in the handouts. Until they are willing to honestly deal with social programs being out of control, they will not be able to balance anything.

We are already paying enough tax money to have rest areas - we paid to build them. We are already paying for the state parks to be open. We expect government to do what they are responsible for and to stop seeing themselves as the robber and the Santa at the same time.

Use this time to stop playing Santa and concentrate on basic government functions. Maintain the infrastructure, provide for the public safety, etc. We did not elect you to take our money and give it to someone else. If we want that done, we will do it through our charitable giving.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Waste Basket

I just had a few small items of interest, but not enough for a Trash Can posting.

The US had 1,400,000 bankruptcies in 2009. That was up 32% from the prior year.

Watch Out! BO's bikini briefs are on fire! His pants burned a long time ago. "You lie!", the famous shout at the President in his recent address to the joint session of Congress, is appropriate again. I brought this up before but will mention it here again. BO promised a tax cut to 95% of Americans if he were to get elected. Well, we have him now, where is the tax cut? Adjusting payroll withholding tables to leave more in your paycheck is not a tax cut. Now that it is time to do your tax returns, you will find that the IRS tax tables were never lowered.

Another related item of interest. When BO claimed that 95% would get a tax cut, he set the income level at $250,000 and below. Evidently, at that time, just over a year ago, 95% of the people made up to that amount. The latest income figures show that 95% now make under $160,000. Is it too late to call for a mulligan on the last election?

We continue to hear horror stories about the public education system in the country. Let's review, now that we have God completely removed from the schools, now that the only morals taught have to do with exercises in deciding who you would choose to through out of the life boat, now that the teacher unions and the federal government are firmly in control; what did we end up with? We have a lower quality of education, more disclipine problems, and more money than ever being spent on education. The problem was not God in education, it is Government in education. If we went back to the basics for elementary education, would it be better or worse? I believe it would be better.

Now that both houses of Congress have passed various versions of Healthcare, this week their leaders will be working on a compromise bill. Remember, if anything is changed in the Senate bill, they will have to re-vote and they had no margin for error last time.

Vocabulary word of the day: "Transparency"-1. The process of saying one thing and then doing another in the operation of government. 2. Telling the stupid people that you are being open in healthcare negotiations when they are being done behind closed doors. 3. Skipping the process of a conference committee, which is the way it is supposed to be done, for reaching consensus on the healthcare bill.

When Hairy Reed and Queen Pelosi (QPee) emerge from the smoke filled room with a bill in their hands and a sickening smirk across her scrawny little plastic face, you can bet that no one will be allowed to read it in detail prior to it being voted upon. We will not know what has been passed and is becoming law until it is too late.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each received government bailouts of $200,000,000,000 each. (Remember, a government bailout is a redistribution of your wealth - it is the gov taking it in taxes from you and then giving it to someone who has failed to show they deserve any help.) Their bailouts have all been spent and they were again ready to fail. So, since we did not learn anything from the first bailouts, dear ol' gov did it again. This time, why worry about the amount, let's just give them a blank check to cover all of their losses now and in the future.

Rest easy, we are in good hands.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wasn't That a Raise?

Remember back to the presidential campaign, to BO's promise that 95% of all Americans would be getting a tax cut. Or, the other promise that everyone who makes less than $250,000 will get a tax cut. Did you wonder whatever happened to your tax cut?

You must also look back to last spring for your answer. You may recall that the payroll withholding tables were adjusted to allow an additional $8 per week in your paychecks. BO took credit for that tremendous boost in the economy as the keeping of his promise to give all of us a tax cut.

At the time, I warned that you should not get too excited as whatever you gained on a weekly basis would be required to be paid back at the end of the year. Adjusting the withholding tables does not change the IRS tax tables. So, now the reaper is calling and wants your temporary gain back.

If you are not convinced that this is accurate, you may want to pay attention to your radio. I just heard a new commercial for It was a warning to us that we need to go to our employer and have our withholding adjusted to make up for the reduced withholding from BO's great plan from last spring. It stated that if we do not, we will be faced with a higher tax bill or lower refund at the end of this year. The other voice asked, "Wasn't that a raise?" The answer was, no.

The government is admitting that BO lied, that there was no tax reduction as he promised.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

War Supplement - Jan. 5, 1945

Events of 1/5/1945:

Dad’s Story – “I was flight-engineer/gunner on a six man crew piloted by Duane R. Borst, and co-pilot, Eugene G. Cowart. There was snow on the ground making takeoffs and landings very hazardous. Our target for that day was road junctions about 20 miles northeast of Bastonge, Germany. This mission may have been in support of the recent Battle of the Bulge, but was identified as supporting Gen. Patton’s 3rd Army. My notes indicate that the weather was clear, flak was heavy and we suffered damage to our electrical system from the flak.”

He drew a sketch of a cross section of a B-26 showing the bomb racks and bomb bay doors. As he remembers, the load was four 1000 pound bombs that day. Each bomb has a fuse in its nose and a propeller. When the bomb drops free of the plane, the safety pin is pulled by the safety wire, which lets the wind spin the propeller. As the propeller spins, it rotates off of the bomb and arms the fuse. With four large bombs, there would be two on each side of the catwalk. The bombs on one side were dropped over the target but the lower bomb on the other side hung up inside the plane. The bomb above it released from the rack and was resting on the lower bomb. As the bomb bay doors were open, the wind caused the top bomb to arm itself.

“We tried repeatedly to release the bombs by both electrical and manual means. The bomb shackle on bomb #1 (the lower one) would not release but bomb #2 did release. Since bomb#1 did not move in the bomb bay, the safety wire was still in place keeping the bomb from becoming “armed” and ready to explode. However, bomb #2 dropped far enough to become “armed” before becoming lodged between the wall and bomb #1. We were told that a 7 pound jolt would set the bomb off. It was a very hazardous situation.

Since I was the only one on the crew that had gone through the Air Force armament school, it fell my lot to try to solve the situation. The pilot and co-pilot were opposed to try landing until we had secured the bomb, if possible. After exhausting all other options, I decided to climb onto the loose bomb and attempt to remove the fuse. The fuse consisted of several pounds of TNT. Luckily, the fuse had been inserted hand tight making it possible for me to unscrew the fuse and remove it. After removing the fuse, I handed it to Jack Edwards, tail-gunner, who then passed it into the forward section of the plane to James Pappas, radio-gunner. James wrapped the fuse in his sheep-lined jacket, sat in a corner of the radio compartment on the floor and hugged the fuse to his body for protection of it. One of the difficulties I experienced was negotiating the bomb bay, crawling onto the bomb and removing the fuse all the wile dealing with a chest parachute. I wore the chute just in case the bombs decided to release while I was sitting on them over open bomb bay doors. Other problems included the extremely cold temperature making it necessary to wear gloves continually. The temperature was below zero F most of the time at altitude. After removing the fuse, the bomb was relatively safe from explosion. If it came loose while landing, it still could have easily wrecked the plane without exploding. One of the issues we discussed in the plane was whether or not anyone was aware that the fuse was booby-trapped. On occasion we had carried bombs whose fuses were set to explode if anyone tried to remove the fuse after it had been inserted. Obviously, that was not true in this case.

We landed safely and immediately put the episode behind us.”

Gene Cowart’s story – “450th Bomb Squadron-two 6 ship javelin formation as part of 322nd Bomb Group (Medium). Total group was 36 airplanes, two boxes of 18 airplanes, each box with 3 six airplanes javelin. I’m going back almost 60 years here so there may be one or two errors. (Sure) We usually flew in the deputy lead position in position 4 which is in the middle of the six ship formation and right behind and under the tail of the plane leading the 6 ship formation. I was co pilot and possibly at the controls as I often flew in that spot.

Our target was listed in group history as Couvy France. However I cannot find such a town in France but there is one in Belgium. That was probably our target. At that time the Germans were retreating after the battle of the Bulge and were probably still in Belgium.

For some reason I want to think that we were carrying 500 lb bombs that day. (?) David probably remembers well. I also remember that the weather was clear which didn’t happen often. At any rate we dropped our bombs (B 26s carried 4,000 lbs of bombs usually and that meant we had 8 on board.) Shortly thereafter some one on board, probably David who was closest to bomb bay in top turret said we had a hanger; i.e. one didn’t drop. It was soon verified that this bomb had only partially released. By way of explanation each bomb was suspended in the bomb bay in bomb shackles, two to a bomb one fore and one aft. Bombs are dropped in a sequence set by the bombardier in accord with target definition that he set into an intervalometer (sp?). (On long interval settings it seems to take forever to get them out especially in heavy flak.)

Bombs are also carried in the “safe” condition that prevents the small arming propeller to spin up on the way down thus arming the fuse. This propeller is “seized” by a wire that prevents spinning until it is pulled free as the bomb falls away from the plane. We had an armed bomb hanging nose down in the bomb bay that had armed as it halfway released. Not good is an understatement. If you shut the bomb bay doors it may release and detonate going thru the closed doors. If you try to land with it, it may drop free at touch down and explode under the plane.

Now the “Go To Guy” in mechanical system problems was David Foil on our crew. His knowledge and judgment that he exercised throughout my tour of duty is the main reason I’m able to sit here and write this. (I’m alive). As an aside although I could fly the plane it was not until many years later that having graduated from engineering school and perusing an old copy of the B26 Pilots Information File that I finally understood what David was doing when he was turning a bunch of valve handles to transfer fuel that had to be done on every flight.

At any rate David had to go in to the open bomb bay and see if the bomb could be released. In the B26 the pilots wore back pack chutes but the crew had a chest pack that had to be clipped on the front of their chute harness. This was because that aircrew, in their duties have to move around and could not wear their chute (until it was needed (doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?). I doubt that David could have worn his chute while wrestling with a reluctant bomb in an open bomb bay. It had to be the top bomb or one would have hit on the way out. The B26 had a “keel” that ran down the bottom of the middle of the plane and bombs hung on both sides in the bay. David had to stand on this while in some manner he was able to release the armed bomb. By falling part way off, the bomb was armed as slip stream would cause the bomb to arm in its hanging position.

As I stated I think he had to do this sans chute.

He managed to do this and as I think back I think we were too dumb (or numb) to really appreciate what he had done. There should have been a DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) at a minimum. However we usually when we got back to our field after a raid we had no interest in talking to the flacks that hung around debriefing looking for something to write up. Just another day at the office. Heroism?-in retrospect hell yes-but things are transitory in your 20s. As a further aside David did get one break around this time. (Don’t tell Maxine) Our group was pretty well bunged up after the Battle of the Bulge and we needed more airplanes. David was one of those selected for a trip back to England to crew some replacements. And there (maybe this was Christmas before the bomb incident) I have picture of David. And lo and behold in the midst of WWII he sits making goo goo eyes at some Red Cross girl sitting next to him. Oh well he was always lucky (witness hanging out in the open bomb bay) and wound up with Maxine.

Mike, I know you only wanted to know what time it was and I’ve told you how to build a watch—but David Foil was and is an Extraordinary Man and you don’t meet many.”

(Gene Cowart named his first son after Dad.)

The “flacks” Gene mentioned were a group of men that met each crew as they got off of their plane to see if there were any news stories or acts of heroism to report. Dad said that by the time they landed, this day, it had been a bad day and no one wanted to talk about it and no one mentioned to the “flacks” what had just taken place.

The pilot Borst and the co-pilot Cowart have both indicated to me that they credit having the rest of their lives due to what Dad was able to do that day.

You will notice some variations in the two stories. Was Dad wearing a parachute? Were they 500# of 1000# bombs? Also, based on the entry in the journal, two bombs were disarmed.

You can see the same photo Gene mentioned, of Dad, on the blog entry for 12/26/1944.