The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Couple of musings....

Apparently a Navy pilot was doing some stunt flying and drew a phallic symbol in the sky and people are butthurt about it..

..jeez really?   Anybody that has been in the service knows that serviceman draw phallic symbols on anything that doesn't move.   The meaning is that "we are screwed by the Green Machine.  It is a tongue in cheek crass humor that is prevalent in the service.  Terminal Lance, had some good comments about it.   I thought it was pretty good flying actually...People need to get a sense of humor again.
    Also the sexual harassment stuff is really ramping up, as far as the Alabama candidate goes, what happened?  it took 40 years for these allegations to show up?  After 40 years of public service?  Something reeks of crass political opportunism.  At one of the accusers works for the Hillary campaign...Now we have several prominent democrats get rolled up in this stuff,
 We have feminist that support the democrats because "sure they got assaulted, but it is for the cause, they should be sacrificed for the greater good of the cause."  I saw that quote from the Washington Post from a couple of prominent feminist.  Apparently besides the obvious different from the big  government stater that views individuals as to be sacrificed for the "greater good" and the conservative where all individuals are prized.

I guess if it wasn't for double standards, there would no standards with the democrats. And the establishment Republicans are in a hurry to throw the Alabama election to the democrats in hopes of derailing the Trump agenda. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Veterans Day at my Job

My employer believes in hiring Veterans and they are very accommodating to employees that get called to active duty and we at work do the "send care packages" to our troops in Afghanistan.
    Several years ago one of my friends started a "Veterans Day Celebration" and it has gotten bigger and bigger each year.  They ask us veterans to bring our shadowboxes and assorted souvenirs of our travels.
They had a cake cutting ceremony and the Oldest Veterans and the youngest veteran cut the cake, the symbolism from the oldest to the youngest and the bridge between all veterans.  The oldest guy is 58 and the youngest guy is 24.
The employer named one of their airplanes for the Veterans, the plane a Boeing 757 was repainted in October 4 years early and we have our own paint department and had the new graphics added for the ceremony.
And speaking of airplanes we had several Military planes make an appearance,
I figured Old NFO would be excited since this type of airplane is his war chariot.
Different View
The Plane number, I surmise that the plane is based out of Pensacola 
Jacksonville Naval Station
.The A10 Tank Killer, we Army guys love the A10, it would have been our edge against the wave of Soviet Armor as they flowed out of the Fulda Gap if WWIII had started, but the A10 romped amongst Saddam's Armor formation in Desert Storm and made quite an impression amongst the survivors.  It is one of the few planes that to my knowledge is NEVER offered for foreign sales but the Airforce keeps trying to kill the plane because they don't like ground support.missions.
The KC-135, a plane based on the "Dash 80", the prototype that was the inspiration for this plane and the Boeing 707.   They are similar but not the same airplane. 
The Tail of the KC135.  The Alabama ANG supplied the F16's from last year.
We also had this huge American flag that my employer uses for special occasions.
Another View
Also there there were several vehicles present.
The M1009 "CUCV"
A couple of funny stories from my first unit.  We had the colonels driver, this guy was an arrogant prick btw, he took the colonels CUCV romping on the tank trails at Honenfels and he figured he would splash one of the puddles on the tank trail....well he did more than that....he sank the vehicle in the tank trail...all you could see was the antenna's sticking out of the water...We called him the U-boat commander after that.  But that wasn't the end...what did it for him was that USAREUR has an oil analysis lab that analyzed the oil in all the vehicles to try to gauge the health of the vehicles.  Well  the test was done every 6 months and for 2 checks, they found metal shavings in the oil samples of the colonel's vehicle..Well they started investigating because the CUCV was new when issued and they found out that the driver was racing on the autobahns with the vehicle, by far exceeding the mandated speed limit set.  Well he got bumped.   We laughed our butts off....couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
The M38A1
The successor of the WWII "Jeep" and before my M151A1 jeep that I drove at my first Duty station

Baggage Cart..
My Employer has a specialized team that greets Soldiers that have died on America's battlefields and they have equipment dedicated for this use only and nothing else, they are painted a certain color and when they are not being used, they are parked under a concourse out of the weather.  
This is a video of the event.
The carts hold the challenge coins and various memorabilia since this got started several years ago.
The guy that started this was a mechanic on the line and he never served but his sons did and he wanted to do something that honored their sacrifice and it took off. This brings great credit on him, and the employer.
One of the tables of various stuff that we brought in to add to the festivities.
Some of my stuff, from my Soviet and East German Stuff to my 
Beer steins.  I could have brought more stuff but I still feel weird showing my 
stuff to other people.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Custers Last Stand

This is a model I have on my shelf depicting the last stand of General Custer

I remember reading about General Custer when I was in the 6th grade and it caught my imagination, the small group of soldiers that were overwhelmed by the Indians and wiped out.   General Custer was considered to my mind at that time to be a great leader, it wasn't until later I realize that General Custer was a showman and sure he was bold and brazen but he also made a lot of errors like leaving behind the 2 Gatling Guns that would have made a difference.
    Now there is a bit or background on this story.  The average cavalry soldier was indifferently trained, there was no standardized training and they used the Spencer repeating rifle where there was far better rifles out there like the Winchester out there and the Indians bought those from the American traders.  The Army still used civil war rifles and equipment.  in the 1870's if I recall the Government passed a budget and forgot to include a budget for the Army so they didn't get paid, forcing the Officers to get creative to make payroll.  The Army was a refuge for the freed slaves, misfits, criminals, drifters and other people.  The Army developed a poor reputation on the frontier because of the actions of their soldiers.

The Cavalry, armed with single shot carbines was no match against Native Americans with far more firepower. They were up against 100 repeating Winchesters and more Indian firearms numbering as many as 350 total. It was an onslaught they were unprepared for.

These Cavalry soldiers were possibly not all well trained. There were several minors that were not yet of military age among them, and several of the men found in archeological excavations were not in military uniform. Indian accounts of the battle describe the men as scared and in a panic.
By most accounts, many of the men ran away from the carnage to make defense farther up, and it was on Custer Hill that Lt. Edward Godfrey and General Edward McClerand (and later confirmed by archeologists) found the bodies of Cavalry men surrounded by a circle of dead horses.
“On top of Custer Hill was a circle of dead horses with a 30-foot diameter, which was not badly formed.  Around Custer some 30 or 40 men had fallen, some of whom had evidently used their horses as breastworks.”  – General McClerand

“Numerous dead horses were lying along the southwestern slope of Custer Hill.  On the very top were found four or five dead horses that were swollen, putrid, and offensive, their stiffened legs sticking straight out from their bodies.  Close under the brow of the hill several horses are lying together, and by the side of one of these Custer was found.”  – Colonel John Gibbon

2. The Sioux and Cheyenne Were Not Defending Their Own Homeland – it Belonged to the Crow
Crow Chief Plenty Coups had a vision as a child that if his nation was to survive, it would need to befriend the coming white man. He stuck to that his entire life, and upon his death in the 1920s; he donated his home to the National Park Service.
The Crow were originally from Lake Erie, but in the 1700s were pushed Westward by other tribes to first Manitoba, and then by the Cheyenne and Sioux into Montana. The Crow territory included Little Big Horn, and in 1851, that land was included in the reservation boundaries set by the U.S. government for the Crow nation.
For decades, nearly a century, before the formation of the Crow reservation and the Crow’s alliance with the U.S., the Cheyenne, and Sioux had been stealing Crow horses and warring with the less armed nation on a regular basis. They were, in a sense, bullies.
In 1868, after battling with the Sioux, the U.S. signed the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which gave the Lakota Sioux territory up to the crest of the Bighorn Mountains. The Sioux treatment of the Crow became worse, and in the two years leading up to the battle with Custer, it escalated and it further involved the U.S. Army.
The Crow did not have enough numbers to defend themselves and neither did the Army, but together they were better off. Sioux made numerous raids on the Crow and Army outposts, and the Crow would often sacrifice their warriors in attempts to recover stolen horses and goods.
Indian Agent Dexter Clapp began to plead with the government for assistance in helping the Crow. He said, “As long as they are being driven from point to point, there is no use asking them to settle down and farm.” Clapp himself, in the meantime, armed the Crow with guns and ammunition. “The Sioux are now occupying the eastern and best portion of their reservation, and by their constant warfare, paralyzing all efforts to induce the Crows to undertake agriculture.”
It wasn’t only the Crow that were being pushed around by the Sioux; other nations included Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Arikaras.

3. The Sioux Perspective on the Worth of Looted Goods

Black Elk and Elk - Oglala Lakota
Black Elk and Elk – Oglala Lakota
During the battle, in addition to scalps, the Sioux took things from the soldier’s bodies that intrigued them.
Watches were seen only as an object that ticked, and once the ticking stopped, they were mostly discarded. Black Elk says of one that he took from a soldier’s belt “It was round and bright and yellow and very beautiful, and I put it on me for a necklace. At first, it ticked inside and then it did not anymore.”
They also found compasses and saw that the needle floated and moved when the compass case was turned. Because of their position to the bodies of the dead soldiers, the compass happened to point at the bodies. They concluded that the device was attuned to the soldiers, and that’s how the white men found each other.
Paper money was of no use as it was seen as green art and was given to the children or thrown away. The wallets, however, were worth more and were kept – an interesting and opposite perspective than ours, but probably more correct.
The Warriors also found flasks. They assumed the strong, burning liquid inside was “holy water” and that it was this drink that made the soldiers act strangely – shooting at each other and committing suicide in panic.

4. Custer’s Soldiers Panicked to the Point of Suicide and Deadly Confusion

Battle of Little Bighorn
After Custer himself fell, the remaining soldiers fled in a disorganized panic toward a stand of cottonwood. The stampede was such that an Indian warrior compared it with a “hunting buffalo”.
“The white men went crazy. Instead of shooting us, they turned their guns upon themselves. Almost before we could get to them, every one of them was dead. They killed themselves.” – Wooden Leg
“More and more soldiers were getting off their horses, preferring to hide or crawl along the ground . . . As hundreds of Indians surrounded this ridge, I saw one of the soldiers point his pistol at his head and pull the trigger. Others imitated his example, sometimes shooting themselves, sometimes each other. When Chief Lame White Man reached the soldiers, all of them were already dead. Indians then attacked the first ridge, and again, most of the white men were already dead. The only thing remaining for the Indians to do was pick up the abandoned guns and ammunition.” – Kate Bighead

5. The Animals

Custer and his dogs with Crow Scouts
Custer and his dogs with Crow Scouts
There were, of course, horses at Little Big Horn, but there were also other animals – pets among them.
Custer wrote home to his wife “Tuck regularly comes when I am writing, and lays her head on the desk, rooting up my hand with her long nose until I consent to stop and notice her. She and Swift, Lady and Kaiser sleep in my tent.” His dogs were trained to run alongside his horse that could be how Tuck died in the battle. The other dogs had been left at camp with their caretaker.
The horses have far stranger stories. Aside from the trench of horses mentioned above, there were mysterious horses like Little Soldier, the horse of Bobtailed Bull, an Arikara scout working with Major Marcus Reno. After Bobtailed Bull had died in battle, Little Soldier made his way over 300 miles back to his home in the Dakota Territory.
Another horse was found by General Godfrey on the Yellowstone River. It was missing nothing. It had its halter, saddle, and bit – everything down to the oats to feed it. The saddle bags were empty, but the general was told that they did hold a carbine when first discovered. The horse had been shot in the forehead. There was no sign of the rider.
A horse that showed up in Canada after its sale by the Sioux was recovered by the Mounties, and after U.S. approval, the RMP superintendent, James Morrow Walsh was allowed to keep it. He named him “Custer”.
6. Art History – The Indians Painted the Battle

Battle of Greasy Grass
There are several paintings of the battle done by Indians, the most famous of which was done by Kicking Bear, a Sioux warrior and a later performer in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show. From his perspective, the central focus is himself, Crazy Horse, Rain In The Face, and Sitting Bull. It also features Custer and the departing spirits of the deceased.

Red Horse pictographic account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 1881
Red Cloud also shared his perspective in a pictograph.

7. There’s Buried Treasure – The Gold of the Far West Steamboat.

Captain Grant Marsh of the Far West Steamboat was the first to deliver the news of what happened at Custer’s Last Stand. His mission had been to take supplies to Custer, but instead, he ferried 51 wounded soldiers away from the massacre.
To do this, he had to drop some weight. Rather than drop the fuel needed for steam, or supplies needed for the men, he chose to drop $375,000 worth of gold bars on the shores of the Bighorn River. It has never been recovered.

8. Marked Where They Fell

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Montana. By 1025wil CC BY-SA 3.0
If you visit the battlefield at Little Big Horn, there is a visual cue for gaining perspective on how the battle went down.
Each marble marker marks the spot where a soldier fell. Originally, they were buried where they died, but the bodies were moved later. The markers remain.
The places where the soldiers fell are marked with white marble headstones, so from afar you can get a picture of what the aftermath looked like.

9. Custer’s Legendary Reputation is Legendary

Gen. George A. Custer
Custer’s life is a mishmash of failure, brazen luck, and some success, but he wasn’t the hero or anti-hero portrayed in movies.
He was known as a prankster at West Point and graduated as the lowest ranking cadet.
Most people believe he was a general, and he was for a while during the Civil War – a Brevet Major General. After the war, the rank reverted to Captain and remained so for the rest of his career.
He was court martialed twice – once for going AWOL to visit his wife.
During a campaign in Texas, the soldiers continually gave him gruff and balked at his discipline, and thought of him as a “vain dandy.” Custer was known for his appreciation of his hair and his attention to it with cinnamon oil for scent and other treatments.
Most of the legend surrounding Custer was embellished or even made up by Custer’s wife during speeches throughout her life, and by the shows put on by a friend and fellow soldier, Buffalo Bill.

10. CSI on The Big Horn Battlefield

It’s amazing what modern archeology and good investigation can accomplish.
Studies underway at Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument are so advanced that researchers can find a bullet on the ground and track where it was shot from, who shot it, and how adept at fighting the soldier was.
They conduct their research with metal detectors and microscopes and match firing pins to rifle cartridges. They are also working with new translations of Indian accounts of the battle.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Some Humor

I am still working my Veterans stuff at work post but I have some humor for y'all

       This is a new twist on the Hitler parody video that I and many others have used for the past several years   In this case it is Hitler singing "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, whooda thunk that Hitler is a metalhead.
To those that always lose a sock in the dryer, this is understood...LOL

   And I was challenged to send a B&W pic and I quickly scrolled past the various political pics and guns, I decided to use this pic instead..

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Music "King Tut" by Steve Martin

I remember when the King Tut extravaganza hits the United States, I was living in Alabama in the late 70's when the museum tour arrived.  There was a lot of hype and excitement about the tour partially because the sheer amount of treasure because the tomb was never pillaged by grave robbers.  The sheer craftsmanship of the items on display was incredible.  I had this picture on the wall in my room, I had clipped it off a magazine and pinned it up.

"King Tut" is a novelty song performed by Steve Martin and the Toot Uncommons (actually members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band). It was released as a single in 1978, sold over a million copies,  and reached number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  Martin previewed the song in a live performance during the April 22, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The song was also included on Martin's album A Wild and Crazy Guy.
"King Tut" paid homage to Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun and presents a caricature of the sensational Treasures of Tutankhamun traveling exhibit that toured seven United States cities from 1976 to 1979. The exhibit attracted approximately eight million visitors. In the Saturday Night Live performance of "King Tut," loyal subjects appease a joyful King Tut with kitchen appliances. An instrumental solo is delivered by saxophone player Lou Marini, who steps out of a sarcophagus—painted gold—to great laughter.

In the book Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, authors Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad write that the sketch was one of the most expensive productions the show had attempted up to that point. Martin had brought the song to the show and asked if he could perform it, not expecting the production that occurred—producer Lorne Michaels put everything behind it.
Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers recorded the song in a bluegrass version for their 2011 album, Rare Bird Alert.
The song is the subject of in-depth analysis in Melani McAlister's Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, and U.S. Interests in the Middle East, 1945–2000.
It is also referenced in a dialogue in the video game The Lost Vikings (1992) at the end of one of the Egyptian themed levels of the game.
Chicago radio superstation WLS-AM, which gave the song much airplay, ranked "King Tut" as the 11th biggest hit of 1978. It spent four weeks at the number-one position on their chart during the time the Tut exhibition was on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in downtown Chicago.