27 December 2007
As This Year Closes...
Like the proverbial procrastinator who has finally reached a deadline, the year 2007 seems to be cramming the final 10 pounds of "crap" into a 5 pound sack.
Allow me to elaborate.
Take for example the fact that only TODAY we have a headline about our fleet of F-15 fighters, that have been all but largely grounded due to an "air-worthiness" issue. Well for God's sake, the planes are over 35 years old. And we're only hearing about them getting long in the tooth...NOW?
It took ONE plane coming apart in mid-air to wake everyone else the hell up? Just because I, along with many other car owners (as well as the car-collecting crowd) happen to have a 25+ year-old vehicle in relatively pristine condition, doesn't mean we aren't checking it for impending problems...a lot. And like we all know, most problems in life will RARELY (if ever) fix themselves. They rather have a tendency to get worse when NOT addressed, so turning UP the radio when you hear that clunk isn't the universal panacea for vehicle repair.
And so it is with a multi-million dollar fighter aircraft capable of speeds approaching mach-2 while pulling up to 9Gs on a regular basis. With the stresses the airframe undergoes every day, it's small wonder we haven't had issues much sooner. Add to this the fact that the fleet of F-16s is ALSO being slowly phased out (again, due to age) to make way for the F-22 Raptor squadrons. So that stretches the resources of the USAF as far as continental air coverage goes.
We, as a nation, are by NO means defenseless, so don't worry about that. It's just that reviews are forthcoming concerning the F-15, and that means National Guard Air Units are being shuttled all over the USA to make up for any deficits. If you will recall, the USN retired it's fleet of F-14 Tomcats a few years back due to costs of upkeep (and old age), so this is nothing new to the military. What IS interesting to note is that when we rely on primarily TWO strike fighter aircraft (the F-15 & the F-16 until we roll out the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter within the next few years), and they will develop problems, that leaves us with little else in the interim until we deploy the F-22s and the F35s. It's not like the 50s and 60s when we had various planes for various scenarios. Then again, they didn't cost as much per plane.
Sounds like everything else in our lives.
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The ongoing debate about stiff sentences for crack cocaine limps along. Pundits are claiming that blacks are being unfairly targeted, and as I have stated before, NO ONE forced anyone, black OR white to place that crack pipe in their mouths and puff away...did they? But the judicial system wants to review the sentencing process for people already convicted of crack use (or even distribution), and should they rule in favor of lesser penalties, these "misunderstood" people will be back on our streets, bereft of rehabilitation that will ensure the safety for the rest of the people in a given neighborhood.
I still like MY idea best:
Gather up ALL the drug users, herd them into some outdoor arena, take all the drugs from police lockup and give all these morons AS MUCH AS THEIR BODIES WILL TAKE (and perhaps a bit more). When they all overdose and drop dead, we bulldoze the bodies out and bring in the NEXT bunch of losers.
We keep doing this until the jails are empty enough to place more perps behind those bars. And charge a fair price for admission too. If people want to bring this debate into the public forum, what BETTER way to demonstrate the negative side of substance abuse, eh? AND you get to chow down on some hot dogs and popcorn!
What better use for that new baseball stadium in the off-season than public executions? I mean it does provide entertainment..as well as NO commercials (unless we want to advertise the names of the drug distributors that the crack came from). A win-win all around. If the "critics" of this unbalanced sentencing want to do something productive...they can allow all these druggies to live on THEIR street...instead of MINE.
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And even our fair city of Fort Wayne is not exempt from trying to "squeeze" in a few more shady antics...such as the North river soil results. Greg Leatherman, heir apparent to the throne of "flim-flam man extraordinaire" has declined to release the results of soil testing along the St Marys river. Gee...I wonder why?
The city purchased 29 acres of land there, and paid about $4.3 million for it (our tax dollars at work), Leatherman stated that nothing unexpected was discovered there. But Avant Group, the company that did the testing, has received a total (to date) of $47,582 from the city for their "work". The area has served as a railroad yard and a home for metal recycling. The study is being kept close to the vest due to negotiations with a commercial entity (don't wanna tell us OR them the truth yet, do 'ya?) for the area. Leatherman is expecting another invoice for $12,000 from Avant for ground water testing. It just keeps getting better, doesn't it?
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Like I said...it's like trying to jam 10 lbs of crap into a 5 lb sack...and we can all expect the usual results. I just wish we could make this crap flow UPHILL for a change.
Maybe NEXT year?