The Day before Thanksgiving

I was looking for a more traditional Thanksgiving post, running through the archives from this time last year and the years before. I discovered that the issues I write about, Reid’s Nuclear Option, Obama’s failures and lies, democrat duplicity, were the same issues I wrote about last year, and the year before.

Year, after year, and no real progress has been made except is slow slide downward towards tyranny, loss of liberty and more deliberate failures of government.

It gets tiresome.

Therefore, for this Thanksgiving, I’ve decided to repost from the past, a lighter post that still seems appropriate for our current times. Below is a repost from prior years on a lighter meme…Fairy Tales. This will be the last scheduled post until December 2nd, 2013…unless war breaks out and then I may be too busy to write.

From time to time, it’s prudent to review writings from the past and of other bloggers of note. The one below is a repost but it is still great. Therefore, I give you:
The LawDog Files: Twisted .sig lines

Some years back I got a little impish and wrote some brief passages to use as signature quotes on the forums I was frequenting. Since I am, well, me, they were a wee bit … warped.

I was leafing through some old notebooks, and found some of them.
~~~~~~~~~~
“This,” Thought the Big Bad Wolf as Little Red Riding Hood reloaded, “Is why I voted for the Democrats.”
~~~~~~~~~~
“We go in hard and fast. Watch your fire sectors and your threat ID.” Happy slammed a full mag into his MP5, “Nail anything taller than four feet except the Queen. Dead queens can’t give us antidotes.”Dopey looked up from his equipment check, chin quivering, “What if she won’t talk?”

“She’ll talk,” said Doc, grimly, “They always talk. Eventually.”
~~~~~~~~~~
“FIRE!” bellowed the King, and the palace guard opened up on the Evil Fairy with full-auto AK-47s.
~~~~~~~~~~
“That sounded like the safety on a Browning Hi-Power,” murmured the Old Witch.

“Uh-huh,” said Gretel.

There was a pause.

“I suppose the whole oven thing is out of the question, then?”
~~~~~~~~~~
“I’ll huff and I’ll puff …woah! Nice shotgun. Umm. Look at the time! Should have been home hours ago! Wife will be frantic. Nice meeting you. Bye, bye now!”
~~~~~~~~~~
“Plan ‘A’ is to ask the ogre to change into a mouse. I eat the evidence, no muss, no fuss, no body” said Puss-in-Boots as he screwed the silencer onto his HK Mk 23, “Plan ‘B’ gets messy.”
~~~~~~~~~~

LawDog

Ghosts

It’s near Halloween. That means it’s time for ghost stories. We, over time, create our own ghosts. We all have some for one reason or another. Life events, especially of people we’ve known well, have loved, create ghosts—the remembrance of those, their ghost, remains with us throughout life.

One of mine is my Grandmother.  She died in 1960 when I was 13, quietly of heart failure. It was late Spring. School was still in session. Mom was teaching in a nearby town. I was a Freshman in High School. Dad, after being laid off at the mines, was working for the county, clearing brush along rural county roads.

A cousin of my Grandmother had died. Visitation was that evening and the funeral was scheduled for the next day. As usual, Grandma spent the day preparing for the funeral dinner—baking several pies and a large blackberry-jam sheet cake. With the pies and cake baking, she worked awhile in our garden, one of three that totaled over an acre. She usually spent the day working around the house and yard. When the rest of us got home, she had supper waiting for us.

I don’t remember much about the visitation that evening. There was no one my age around. On the way home, Grandma said she felt tired and was going to nap. I sat in the back seat next to her. The trip home took about a half hour.

When we arrived home at the farm, Grandma wouldn’t wake up. Mom noticed Grandma wasn’t breathing. We rushed her to the county hospital ten miles away but it was too late.

As usual when we traveled, Grandma always held my hand while we sat in the back seat. I remember she squeezed my hand when she said she was going to take a nap. Sometime during that drive home, she died…holding my hand.

Years later when I was working toward a degree in Psychology, I had a class where we spoke about a traumatic event in our lives. I repeated this story. The trouble was…it wasn’t traumatic for me. My Grandmother was a strong Christian—as were we all. Yes, I was saddened she died but I expect to see her again. Also, I was young and younger folk, through their inexperience in life, sometimes aren’t as affected as are adults.

We all have our ghosts, memories of those who have gone before us. They live in our memories, accompanying us as we travel through life. I believe our behavior is guided more by our ghosts than anything else.

I’m older now and have acquired more ghosts—my Mother, Father, my Father and Mother-in-law, a few high school friends, too. Ghosts need not be fearful. They can be a comfort, our memories of them, of all the good and occasional bad events in our lives. I’m fortunate to have many of the former and few of the latter. I wish the same for you.

What’s the slowest you’ve flown?

From time to time, I receive stories from Internet friends that I just have to post for my blogger buds. This is such one. I think Brigid will like this as well.

(H/T to Norm Glitz.)

What was the slowest you ever flew the Blackbird?

Brian Shul, Retired SR-71 Pilot via Plane and Pilot Magazine

As a former SR-71 pilot, and a professional keynote speaker, the question I’m most often asked is “How fast would that SR-71 fly?” I can be assured of hearing that question several times at any event I attend. It’s an interesting question, given the aircraft’s proclivity for speed, but there really isn’t one number to give, as the jet would always give you a little more speed if you wanted it to. It was common to see 35 miles a minute. Because we flew a programmed Mach number on most missions, and never wanted to harm the plane in any way, we never let it run out to any limits of temperature or speed. Thus, each SR-71 pilot had his own individual “high” speed that he saw at some point on some mission. I saw mine over Libya when Khadafy fired two missiles my way, and max power was in order. Let’s just say that the plane truly loved speed and effortlessly took us to Mach numbers we hadn’t previously seen.

So it was with great surprise, when at the end of one of my presentations, someone asked, “What was the slowest you ever flew the Blackbird?” This was a first. After giving it some thought, I was reminded of a story that I had never shared before, and relayed the following.

I was flying the SR-71 out of RAF Mildenhall, England, with my back-seater, Walt Watson; we were returning from a mission over Europe and the Iron Curtain when we received a radio transmission from home base. As we scooted across Denmark in three minutes, we learned that a small RAF base in the English countryside had requested an SR-71 fly-past. The air cadet commander there was a former Blackbird pilot, and thought it would be a motivating moment for the young lads to see the mighty SR-71 perform a low approach. No problem, we were happy to do it. After a quick aerial refueling over the North Sea, we proceeded to find the small airfield.

Walter had a myriad of sophisticated navigation equipment in the back seat, and began to vector me toward the field. Descending to subsonic speeds, we found ourselves over a densely wooded area in a slight haze. Like most former WWII British airfields, the one we were looking for had a small tower and little surrounding infrastructure. Walter told me we were close and that I should be able to see the field, but I saw nothing.

Nothing but trees as far as I could see in the haze. We got a little lower, and I pulled the throttles back from 325 knots we were at. With the gear up, anything under 275 was just uncomfortable. Walt said we were practically over the field—yet; there was nothing in my windscreen. I banked the jet and started a gentle circling maneuver in hopes of picking up anything that looked like a field. Meanwhile, below, the cadet commander had taken the cadets up on the catwalk of the tower in order to get a prime view of the fly-past. It was a quiet, still day with no wind and partial gray overcast.

Walter continued to give me indications that the field should be below us but in the overcast and haze, I couldn’t see it. The longer we continued to peer out the window and circle, the slower we got. With our power back, the awaiting cadets heard nothing. I must have had good instructors in my flying career, as something told me I better cross-check the gauges. As I noticed the airspeed indicator slide below 160 knots, my heart stopped and my adrenalin-filled left hand pushed two throttles full forward. At this point we weren’t really flying, but were falling in a slight bank. Just at the moment that both afterburners lit with a thunderous roar of flame (and what a joyous feeling that was) the aircraft fell into full view of the shocked observers on the tower. Shattering the still quiet of that morning, they now had 107 feet of fire-breathing titanium in their face as the plane leveled and accelerated, in full burner, on the tower side of the infield, closer than expected, maintaining what could only be described as some sort of ultimate knife-edge pass.

Quickly reaching the field boundary, we proceeded back to Mildenhall without incident. We didn’t say a word for those next 14 minutes. After landing, our commander greeted us, and we were both certain he was reaching for our wings. Instead, he heartily shook our hands and said the commander had told him it was the greatest SR-71 fly-past he had ever seen, especially how we had surprised them with such a precise maneuver that could only be described as breathtaking. He said that some of the cadet’s hats were blown off and the sight of the plan form of the plane in full afterburner dropping right in front of them was unbelievable. Walt and I both understood the concept of “breathtaking” very well that morning, and sheepishly replied that they were just excited to see our low approach.

As we retired to the equipment room to change from space suits to flight suits, we just sat there-we hadn’t spoken a word since “the pass.” Finally, Walter looked at me and said, “One hundred fifty-six knots. What did you see?”
Trying to find my voice, I stammered, “One hundred fifty-two.” We sat in silence for a moment. Then Walt said, “ Don ’t ever do that to me again!”
And I never did.

A year later, Walter and I were having lunch in the Mildenhall Officer’s club, and overheard an officer talking to some cadets about an SR-71 fly-past that he had seen one day. Of course, by now the story included kids falling off the tower and screaming as the heat of the jet singed their eyebrows. Noticing our HABU patches, as we stood there with lunch trays in our hands, he asked us to verify to the cadets that such a thing had occurred. Walt just shook his head and said, “It was probably just a routine low approach; they’re pretty impressive in that plane.” Impressive indeed.

Little did I realize after relaying this experience to my audience that day that it would become one of the most popular and most requested stories. It’s ironic that people are interested in how slow the world’s fastest jet can fly. Regardless of your speed, however, it’s always a good idea to keep that cross-check up…and keep your Mach up, too.


History Lesson for democrats: The Ghosts of ’38.

I ran across this article in the Investor’s Business Daily. My wife reads their editorials daily. I’m not so attentive, but this one caught my eye. The news on Friday indicates that the House Obamacare bill and the Senate Cap ‘n Tax bill will be pushed through their respective houses on Saturday with the dems using every coercive move in the book to get their waveringly members to toe the party line. And there is every possibility they may succeed.

***


Amongst my many failings is that I’m a history buff. I discovered early in life to have a modicum of doubt on those things known as, “well, everyone knows…,” or, “It’s a fact that…” I’ve found it’s better to search history and historical events on my own.

I could lay a groundwork on the IBD editorial, but I won’t. Whomever wrote it did their homework. For the original column, go here.

Politics: After their rout Tuesday in key state elections, Democrats would be wise to take a lesson from history. No, we’re not talking 1994, when the GOP took back Congress after two years of Clinton. We’re talking 1938.

That little-remembered year during the depths of the Great Depression was one of the most edifying in electoral history. With FDR in the White House, and still very popular, a rogue Congress with radical ideas embarked on a series of legislative initiatives that helped push a recovering economy back into depression.

The result: Democrats lost 80 seats in the 1938 election, after gaining seats in 1930, 1932, 1934 and 1936.

How did this happen? As Amity Shlaes notes in her history of the Depression, “The Forgotten Man,” Roosevelt believed less competition and high wages would heal the economy. Aided by Congress, he went about engineering those two things with a vengeance, trebling the size of the federal government in less than a decade.

At the time, such drastic action may have seemed warranted. Within three years of the 1929 crash, GDP had fallen nearly a third and a fourth of the U.S. work force was idle. Even so, the economy appeared to stabilize in 1934 and 1935, and in 1936, Democrats won landslides in both Congress and the presidency.

What happened next is a tale of overreach and hubris — one that holds lessons for today’s Democrats.

It starts with a series of far-reaching changes to the economy that FDR initiated after entering office in 1933. They included the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which slapped new taxes on farm goods and forced prices to go higher, and the National Industrial Recovery Act, which created business cartels, set prices and imposed more than 500 “codes” governing prices, wages and workweeks.

Both the NIRA (1935) and AAA (1936) were found unconstitutional. But they set the tone for economic tinkering. In a 2007 landmark study, economists Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian calculated that without these restrictive policies, the economy would have recovered in 1936 — seven years before it actually did recover.

Conditions only got worse in 1936 and 1937. Worried about budget deficits and the possibility of inflation, the Fed contracted the money supply. As it did, the newly enacted Wagner Act raised labor costs, encouraging many companies to lay off workers. Those who still had jobs noticed that their paychecks had shrunk, as Social Security withholding kicked in for the first time ever.

The Roosevelt Democrats also unveiled a 5% tax on corporate dividends, and raised the top income tax rate to 90% from 63%.

As today, anti-business rhetoric was rife. FDR called businessmen “economic royalists.” Congress imposed new taxes on corporate earnings and put more restrictions on the stock market.

By 1937, notes the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s study “Great Myths of the Great Depression,” the economy had scored a first — a “depression within a depression.” Real output fell in 1938 by 6%, as business investment shrank by a third.

Democrats are following the same playbook today, spending wildly, trying to raise taxes and imposing government control over vast swaths of the U.S. economy. They’d be wise to back off. If they don’t, 2010 could turn into a repeat of 1938.

History Lesson for democrats: The Ghosts of ’38.

I ran across this article in the Investor’s Business Daily. My wife reads their editorials daily. I’m not so attentive, but this one caught my eye. The news on Friday indicates that the House Obamacare bill and the Senate Cap ‘n Tax bill will be pushed through their respective houses on Saturday with the dems using every coercive move in the book to get their waveringly members to toe the party line. And there is every possibility they may succeed.

***


Amongst my many failings is that I’m a history buff. I discovered early in life to have a modicum of doubt on those things known as, “well, everyone knows…,” or, “It’s a fact that…” I’ve found it’s better to search history and historical events on my own.

I could lay a groundwork on the IBD editorial, but I won’t. Whomever wrote it did their homework. For the original column, go here.

Politics: After their rout Tuesday in key state elections, Democrats would be wise to take a lesson from history. No, we’re not talking 1994, when the GOP took back Congress after two years of Clinton. We’re talking 1938.

That little-remembered year during the depths of the Great Depression was one of the most edifying in electoral history. With FDR in the White House, and still very popular, a rogue Congress with radical ideas embarked on a series of legislative initiatives that helped push a recovering economy back into depression.

The result: Democrats lost 80 seats in the 1938 election, after gaining seats in 1930, 1932, 1934 and 1936.

How did this happen? As Amity Shlaes notes in her history of the Depression, “The Forgotten Man,” Roosevelt believed less competition and high wages would heal the economy. Aided by Congress, he went about engineering those two things with a vengeance, trebling the size of the federal government in less than a decade.

At the time, such drastic action may have seemed warranted. Within three years of the 1929 crash, GDP had fallen nearly a third and a fourth of the U.S. work force was idle. Even so, the economy appeared to stabilize in 1934 and 1935, and in 1936, Democrats won landslides in both Congress and the presidency.

What happened next is a tale of overreach and hubris — one that holds lessons for today’s Democrats.

It starts with a series of far-reaching changes to the economy that FDR initiated after entering office in 1933. They included the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which slapped new taxes on farm goods and forced prices to go higher, and the National Industrial Recovery Act, which created business cartels, set prices and imposed more than 500 “codes” governing prices, wages and workweeks.

Both the NIRA (1935) and AAA (1936) were found unconstitutional. But they set the tone for economic tinkering. In a 2007 landmark study, economists Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian calculated that without these restrictive policies, the economy would have recovered in 1936 — seven years before it actually did recover.

Conditions only got worse in 1936 and 1937. Worried about budget deficits and the possibility of inflation, the Fed contracted the money supply. As it did, the newly enacted Wagner Act raised labor costs, encouraging many companies to lay off workers. Those who still had jobs noticed that their paychecks had shrunk, as Social Security withholding kicked in for the first time ever.

The Roosevelt Democrats also unveiled a 5% tax on corporate dividends, and raised the top income tax rate to 90% from 63%.

As today, anti-business rhetoric was rife. FDR called businessmen “economic royalists.” Congress imposed new taxes on corporate earnings and put more restrictions on the stock market.

By 1937, notes the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s study “Great Myths of the Great Depression,” the economy had scored a first — a “depression within a depression.” Real output fell in 1938 by 6%, as business investment shrank by a third.

Democrats are following the same playbook today, spending wildly, trying to raise taxes and imposing government control over vast swaths of the U.S. economy. They’d be wise to back off. If they don’t, 2010 could turn into a repeat of 1938.