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

Friday, July 31, 2020

Staying safe as a "Gray Man"

I ran across this article on the internet and thought it was a good article, and no Old NFO you are still the "gray man" to the rest of us, LOL.  With the craziness going on, especially with the crazies targeting the rest of us, it is kinda smart to pay attention to what is going on around us in case someone decides to "either make an example" or "go out in a blaze of glory" and you are collateral damage.

" I heard a family member make remarks on the ‘victims’ of Hurricane Katrina , who knew well in advance the possible horrors which came crawling their way. But were those who decided to stay victims given the warnings? They also espoused, essentially, that rescue teams shouldn’t put their lives at risk for those who remained in harm’s way.
This brought me back to a conversation with a man who has been big on situational awareness in terms of avoiding assailants who aim to pierce your heart and rob you while you lie in a pool of your own blood. He asked this question about what one does when in a dark alley and you see a suspicious character coming your way? My response was something to the extent of whether or not I even had to be in the dark alley? That was his point.

Now, I’m not remotely suggesting rescue teams avoid doing their job, but it did get me back to situational awareness and understanding the justice brought about when you are foolish enough to venture into a dark alley on the wrong side of town, or remaining in Florida when you damn well knew the potential risk involved.
That got me thinking about the recent political violence and acts of domestic terrorism caused by Black Lives Matter and Anti-Fascists. So, in regards to our contemporary state of the political and cultural arena, and what surely awaits us in the next US presidential election, here are some simple, basic tips about situational awareness and being prepared in case civil unrest breaks out.

1. Understand The Baseline Of Your Environment

Political rallies across the US demonstrate the capacity of violence and the willingness to assault in ruthless manners. Both men and women of more right-wing views have been assaulted, been threatened to be raped, have their families killed, get doxxed, have dead animals thrown at their living quarters, had their finances threatened, etc. It’s a goddamn nightmare on the more North Side of America than the South Side, where not everyone has a bamboo stick up their ass.
There are many great articles written on situational awareness. And that’s key: situation. The environment, in a general sense, has a baseline. It’s the basic overall feel and operation of that set area.
For example, you go to the mall. What’d you expect to see, generally speaking? People walking and talking, laughing and usually carrying a bag or two. It would, in this context, be out of the ordinary if an individual, dressed in all black, is quickly walking through a crowd while he has his hoodie on and hands in his pockets. It’s odd behavior. Same for someone moving nervously carrying a bag that does not appear to be bought at a store or, to add to that, he doesn’t have workman apparel. It’s out of the ordinary.
If I’m at a bank and someone walks in, sits in the corner for an unreasonable amount of time without engaging in any transaction and appears to not work there, I’m alert. Are his eyes moving around scanning for cameras, are his lips moving to suggest he’s counting something, is he in apparel which could perhaps more easily conceal a gun?

Same if I’m out sitting while enjoying coffee and an all-black car pulls in and just sits. Whether the engine is on are not does slightly change the degree of the potential threat of the situation. If it’s on, is it a quick getaway for a potential crime? And is it at night where there are fewer people and witnesses?
These are all pretty basic to practice, in my view. So it doesn’t help when everyone’s head is glued to their smartphones. Especially with women. They appear to be much less aware than men who themselves very much have this issue with their smartphones.

2. The Gray Man At Political Rallies

The concept of the Gray Man is simple: blend in. Do not create stimuli around you. Gray is often considered a very bland color. It’s boring, lifeless, moot. This isn’t to suggest wearing gray makes you undetectable, but the concept works well with this color.
Blend in so well to your environment that you essentially appear bland. But if you’re at a political rally, then you know anyone is a potential threat. Wearing a Trump hat or an American flag raises suspicion, creates stimuli from your political adversary, and now you are made. If you’re European-American, wearing a hat over your shaved head is a good idea in terms of lessening your presence because there is still widespread delusion about the reincarnation of literal Nazis.
People involved with BLM, AntiFa and other leftist gangs are already going to make assumptions about your character and will dehumanize you and engage violently. Perhaps lessening that delusion, if even possible, could potentially add to your safety and security, in some respects.
It’s not that one desires to give up their chosen head-wear and so on, but weighing the pros and cons should be obvious if you wish to avoid conflict. Which, again, these days is hard to do.

3. Consider Your Neighbors And Conversation

Depending upon your living situation, if you’re in California, talking openly with your neighbors about politics in relations to conservatism, in a positive light, creates quite a stir of stimuli. And, given the next US elections are coming up, you’ve made an impression in their mind. If they believe you are a literal Nazi, you’ve coined a political adversary. If you’re in the deeper South surrounded by red-necks and American-loving Christians, chances are, from my observations, you’ll be less likely to be attacked for your political (or religious) views.
I personally despise having to sometimes lower my voice or take a quick glance around because I’m about to say something that might cause stimuli to a potential assailant. But, in these contemporary times, it’s up to you to decide what’s worth it and what’s not.


These are merely a few things of quality in regards to your safety and security. I’ve been quite observant. It’s not always intentional, but I’ve seen things and made assumptions (or had a strong thought about it) and turned out to be spot on.
Identity your adversary. Weigh in how much of a threat they are to you. Pay attention to who they know or talk to, then extend that person’s conversation partners and then extend it again. Leftist are ruthless, dangerous, hateful devils. And remember, if you ever see anyone wearing the hammer and sickle, then be even more alert.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Some local going on here at Casa De Garabaldi

Blogger has gone to this "new and improved format, and it is taking some getting used to......
                                                                  *edit* 10:44
Well crap, I just found out that Herman Cain died, I was a supporter of him when he ran in 2012 in the GOP for President and he got bumped off by some crap by the Romney camp  during the Primaries and he withdrew.  I went a couple of his campaign stops and afterwards, he was a class act and I honestly believed that he could have beat President Obama in 2012, his message was of hope and American Dream unlike the swill the President was pushing at the time.

I considered him a class act and a good man.  May he Rest in Peace.

Some background, about 15 years ago the county I live in bought some property that a skirmish was supposed to have been fought on related to the  Battle of Jonesboro
They bought the property to turn it into a county recreational use including a museum where they had yearly recreations of the battle of Jonesboro would be hosted there and at Stately Oaks plantations.

But demographically my county was changing.  Now some background,  from the 1996 Olympics, they took all the projects and tore them down and placed the denizens in refurbished apartments in Clayton County, Immediately the crime skyrocketed as the new arrivals found fresh hunting grounds for their activities, as the projects were being demolished for the upcoming Olympics, I was hearing about it because I was a Pizza Manager and we keep a pulse on the crime rate and we saw the spike in crime and our drivers getting robbed and hassled by all these new people and I also had gotten my introduction to white/black relations in 1993 when 2 15 year old black kids decided to beat the crap out of me for the pizza I had and my wallet.  I collected  stitches in the side of my head and an abdomen scar.  Before then I was colorblind, after that I was a bit skittish.  Shortly after that I transferred to Panama City for a bit, but I was burned out of Pizza, came back to Atlanta, got a job doing Security and a job as a commercial courier.  A classmate who was working at the Ford Atlanta Assembly Plant got me an application and I was one of many that stood in line and passed the rigorous hiring process to get hired on.  I really was looking for a good job, I was dating who was to become my spousal unit and I wanted a stable job and career.

 Meanwhile sudden influx of both people from the projects and at the same time Jet magazine had trumpeted that Clayton County was the place to live for the Up and coming African American Middle Class, so between both, the county went majority white to majority minority in a few years and this changed the local elections in 2 to 4 years, all the faces changed from white to black.  I remembered driving into Clayton County to visit my Dad and seeing a campaign poster for one of the people running for office and she was a democrat female and her catchphrase was "Now it is OUR turn" and she got elected.  The same thing was going on with the school boards and this would cause problems in a few years.  The First black Sheriff of Clayton County Victor Hill was elected, and the first thing he did was fire all the White deputies.  The turmoil in the county continued as the decade marched on and the school board started feuding, rather than handing issues dealing with the education, they had their own personal agendas, it got so bad the Southern Association of Colleges and schools pulled accredidation   which that any kids trying to go to college, their grades and G.P.A. would not transfer and this would prevent their attending college.  It took several years before this all got corrected, but it created an exodus.   All I know is that I started to see a lot of cars with "Clayton County Tags" dropping off kids in Henry county schools. as parents moved their kids to relatives or rented apartments or moved into Henry County so the demographics of my county changed.  It went soft blue in 2012 to full blue in 2014 and  in the process we got a new slate of county commissioners including one for district 2 by the name of "Dee Clemmens" who immediately saw Nash farms and racial grievance as her chance to make a name for herself.  Nash Farms was being used by reeinacters and she as a county commissioner forced the museum to close and anything associated with the confederacy off "County Land" in the name of "Racism".

  Fresh off her victory she made a play for the Confederate soldier in the square in McDonough ,the one that has been there since 1910.   Her chief of staff bussed in paid protestors from dekalb county to protest the confederate soldier statue in the square and got caught, this squelched any removal....for the time being. Until George Floyd....and the BLM protest.  This gave her the excuse to push the issue and she and the other democrats in the county commissioners pushed through a voice vote and ignored the citizens wishes and voted to remove the statue.

The citizens protested to no avail, we called the commissioners, and they turned a deaf ear and ignored us, they were more afraid of the BLM mob than they were afraid of us.  Our Governor had signed a law protecting confederate monuments from removal, but the law was ignored by the county commissioners, the rule of law meant nothing, appeasing the mob was more important.
  Here is the video link Confederate Statue is removed  One of my Neighbors is in the interview

This was posted by another of my neighbors, and this basically sums it up for a lot of people
I don't know what is next for us, but this will continue.  A lot of my neighbors are incensed by this, especially how fast it happened and by how we were ignored.  My neighbors are pushing to get the statue reinstated but I don't see that happening in a "Blue" county. It is a "fait accomplished.   I have a couple of years here then we will move somewhere else, but we will move.
     On a different note, My son took me to his favorite store...

It is located north of Macon and it is their Fulfillment center/Warehouse center/clearance/store and it is Huuuge.   I saw this as I got closer..

I got a chuckle out of that, as we went inside of it I of course saw this..

I had fun walking around, I didn't buy anything except a box of ammo in remembrance of the Garand I used to have that was lost in the tragic kayaking accident several weeks ago...*Sniff*,

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

"Never Complain, Never Explain

I cribbed this from the "Art of Manliness", This is something people can learn, especially the young that seem to think that the more noise they make the more they are respected.  Sometimes Silence is Golden.    

vintage painting british men standing around arguing
                                        " Never complain; never explain."
This pithy little maxim was first coined by the British politician and prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, and adopted as a motto by many other high-ranking Brits — from members of royalty, to navy admirals, to fellow prime ministers Stanley Baldwin and Winston Churchill. The maxim well encapsulates the stiff-upper lipped-ness of the Victorian age, but the timeless wisdom it contains has made it a guiding mantra of powerful, confident, accountability-prizing men up through the modern day.
The “nevers” of course aren’t ironclad and don’t apply to every situation, and even when they should apply, they can be hard to follow through on! But understanding when, where, and why to apply this maxim is truly a great help in becoming a more autonomous and assertive man.
Its four words pack a lot of truth in a small space and work on a few different levels. So let’s unpack them, starting with the meat of the matter — “never explain” — and working backwards.
“Never explain — your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe you anyway.” –Elbert Hubbard
When Winston Churchill was a young cavalry officer, he was always looking for ways to get to the front and experience battle firsthand. With much persistence, he eventually secured a position in the field as a personal attendant to Sir William Lockhart, who was overseeing the British military’s campaigns in what is now Pakistan. When Churchill first joined the general’s staff, he “behaved and was treated as befitted my youth and subordinate station.” But then one day he saw an opportunity to offer a bit of advice that led to him being “taken much more into the confidential circles of the staff” and “treated as if I were quite a grown-up.”
Churchill heard that the general and his headquarters staff had been hurt and angry to hear that a newspaper correspondent who had been sent home from their camp had published a very critical article about one of their recent campaigns. The officers smarted at what they felt were unfair charges, and the Chief of Staff had written up a thorough rebuttal and mailed it off to the newspaper to be published. Churchill at once spoke up and tried to convince the staff that such a move was ultimately a bad idea, and that the piece ought to be intercepted before it was ever printed:
“I said that it would be considered most undignified and even improper for a high officer on the Staff of the Army in the Field to enter into newspaper controversy about the conduct of operations with a dismissed war-correspondent; that I was sure the Government would be surprised, and the War Office furious; that the Army Staff were expected to leave their defence to their superiors or to the politicians; and that no matter how good the arguments were, the mere fact of advancing them would be everywhere taken as a sign of weakness.”
In this, as in many things, Churchill turned out to be quite prescient and wise. Offering explanations does indeed demonstrate weakness, for several reasons:
Explaining gives power to another. When someone criticizes or insults you, gets offended by something you do or say, or questions your decisions and why you’ve chosen to do something a certain way, it’s natural to want to explain why you think they’re wrong — especially if said party has impinged on your integrity or honor. And some kind of response may indeed be in order.
If the person is someone you know and respect as an equal — someone you consider to be inside your “circle of honor” — and they have said something intelligent and interesting, you may want to explain yourself in order to invite further discussion.
If they’re your boss or a customer, you may need to offer an explanation to hold onto your job or their business.
If they’re someone you care about — a loved one or friend — and you’ve had a gross miscommunication, you may want to explain yourself in an effort to preserve the relationship.
But, if the critical/offended/skeptical party is someone you don’t know personally (like a stranger online or the public in general), don’t care about, and/or don’t respect as an equal — someone who shouldn’t have any say or sway over your choices — then taking the time to explain why they’re wrong, or why you’ve made the decisions you have, is ill-advised.
To be concerned with what someone outside your circle of respect thinks, is to allow yourself to be pulled down to his or her level.
Explaining yourself is essentially an attempt to seek another’s approval. It shows you’re stung that they’ve withdrawn that approval, and desirous of getting it back. When you show that you care about an opinion that you, and any observers, know you really shouldn’t, you show weakness. In losing the fight between trying to ignore them and craving the catharsis of engagement, you demonstrate a failure of self-control.
Further, when a chucklehead elicits a response, you validate his importance. He’s made you do something against your better judgment. You’ve given to him two of your most precious resources – your time and attention. You’ve gone from the offensive to the defensive. His status goes up and yours goes down.
People — whether irrationally angry customers, estranged family members, or a controlling significant other — will often demand explanations for what you do. They’ll say you are weak if you don’t offer one. But this is the cleverest of ploys! By targeting your pride, they’ll get you to hand over your power.
Of course restraining yourself from responding to someone who’s goading you on is easier said than done! As someone who’s subjected to a constant barrage of feedback on my work, day after day, I find I am able to successfully ignore about 98% of it. It’s when someone says something that impinges on my honor (even when I know they’re not part of my honor group), or when they seem like a dude I can have a good debate with that I get in trouble.
When someone is clearly off their rocker, it’s easy to ignore them as really out there. And when someone has something critical but intelligent to say, engaging them can actually be interesting and instructive. It’s the people who greatly distort who you are/what you did/what you said, but mix together sensible sounding discourse with nuggets of crazy, who prove the most irresistible. They almost sound like someone you can have a reasonable discussion with; it almost seems like you could explain to them why they’re objectively off the mark. But as it invariably turns out (and this is a lesson I have to learn over and over!), if someone’s mindset/mentality is such that they’re able to grossly misinterpret something, no amount of explanation — no matter how thorough and well-reasoned — is going to change their mind. Quite to the contrary — they’ll simply dig in their heels all the more!
“Never complain; never explain” doesn’t necessarily mean not saying anything to your doubters, complainers, and critics, but limiting your response to a sharp rejoinder. Disraeli in fact formulated his maxim after hearing the advice of fellow politician Lord Lyndhurst, who said: “Never defend yourself before a popular assembly except with and by retorting an attack.” Thus, a short, pithy rebuttal or a humorous, yet withering sarcastic quip (Churchill was the master of these) may be in order. Then you turn heel and don’t engage further.
Of course, even a simple retort may draw you into an argument you never wanted to have, which often makes complete silence the best possible response. In fact, nothing drives someone nipping at you heels crazier than to have their questions and demands go utterly ignored and unacknowledged.
Explaining demonstrates a lack of confidence in your choices/creations/principles. Have you ever been looking at a book or product on Amazon and seen that its author or manufacturer has jumped in and responded to people’s negative reviews? I don’t know about anyone else, but for me, even if the negative reviewer sounds like a real ding-dong, and the rebuttal is reasonable, well-done, and conciliatory, I still end up thinking less of the author/company, and cringing a bit on their behalf.
Most everyone knows that authors and companies check in on their reviews at least occasionally, but when you give people demonstrable proof that you’re hovering around, you confirm your insecurity and/or vanity and thus show weakness and a lack of confidence in your work. In stepping from the ranks of the creator, to that of the consumer, you lose status.
If you arrived at your creative vision or set of principles for good reasons, if you said everything you wanted to say, in the best, clearest way you knew how to say it, and endeavor only to put out your very best work, then you can be content to let your decisions and your work stand on its own. You have nothing else to add. People either get what you do and are about, or they don’t.
There will always be those who twist your words, or misinterpret your meaning, or don’t find your design sense to their liking and mistake their subjective taste for objective truth. If you’d rather make money than stay true to your creative vision, then by all means, try to explain and change the minds of those unhappy with your work. Try to hold onto all the customers you can. I don’t mean this sarcastically; sometimes products are not vessels of your values, but merely utilitarian, and it can make sense to be very connected to the needs of your customers.
But, if you’d rather fail and have to try something else, than change your ideas and principles to suit the tastes of others, then choose to be like Jack London, who felt that the public continually misunderstood his work, and contented himself by deciding: “The world is mostly bone-head and nearly all boob.”
Or as the British academic Benjamin Jowett put it: “Never retract. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl!”
Explanations easily turn into excuses. Naturally, even when you endeavor to give people your best, unforeseen problems do sometimes arise. When you’ve objectively messed up, should you explain to people what happened?
People do typically appreciate a little explanation as to the what, when, and why of your blunder. But the explanatory part of your apology should be kept short — for as Lord Acton, yet another explanation-spurning British politician warns: “Beware of too much explaining, lest we end by too much excusing.” You should pivot as quickly as possible to taking responsibility and saying how you’re going to make things right. In the words of an old proverb: “Don’t make excuses; make good.”
While “never explain” and “never complain” are two discrete parts of the couplet, a common thread runs through them: autonomy and accountability.
Once you understand why you should rarely explain, you should understand why you should rarely complain. You simply put yourself in the shoes of the party you’re seeking an explanation from, and act accordingly.
If a person or company has failed to meet their own clearly delineated standards, you can of course ask for an apology or file a complaint, asking for your money back or what have you. Keep the explanation for your unhappiness short, moving as quickly as possible into what you’d like them to do to make it right.
If you think your feedback could help someone improve something, offer it in a constructive way.
If you’re in a situation where a complaint will accomplish nothing, then common sense dictates that you should remain silent.
If you’re in a situation where complaining will accomplish far less than going about trying to make the desired changes yourself, choose action over whining.
And if you’re tempted to complain about something on the basis of subjective taste, reconsider. For the party you seek to complain against has a purpose and vision outside of your own needs and desires.
Take professor evaluations in college, for example. Some students will complain that the professor “sucks” because his coursework is challenging, while others students will praise him because the coursework is so challenging. The professor has a purpose and a set of principles all his own, and while you might disagree with him, and decide never to take another of his classes, why complain that his priorities are not more like yours? If people complained against your vision or work, you shouldn’t care, so why should he?
I once read an interview with Ben and Jerry — the ice cream makers — in which they said they wished they could forward one set of the letters they received to the senders of another set. Because some people would write saying they wished their ice cream had less/smaller chunks of things, while others would write saying they wished the chunks were even bigger and more numerous. Which complainers did Ben and Jerry listen to? Neither, of course. They stuck with their own vision of what constituted the best kind of ice cream, and the heavens rained down dough of both the monetary and cookie varieties.
I’ve gone out to dinner a couple of times where the experience was so bad, I felt I couldn’t wait to get home to write a bad review of the place online. But invariably, that feeling would dissipate, and I’ve never written a bad review of anything in my life. Because ultimately…who cares? Maybe my experience was atypical, or maybe some people like the food that I thought was completely gross. The restaurateur is doing things the way he wants to do them, and I’m content to let the market decide whether his vision is a good one or not.
The world doesn’t exist to meet my expectations, and if they’re not met, I figure I can do one of two things — go somewhere else, or create something myself more to my liking.
I never complain because I don’t think I should have to explain myself to other people, and I don’t think other people should have to explain themselves to me!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Why the 747 isn't as popular with airlines as they are with passengers.

My apologies, Monday Music didn't drop like I planned, it will drop Next week, I didn't get it finished Sunday night, I had one of those days at work, you know one of those days where you feel like the little burro carrying the 400 pound lady down the Grand Canyon, in July kind of day...I was too tired to set it up properly so it didn't happen.   This post is about the 747-800 or the "Intercontinental" as she was called, I had blogged about the plane a lot, I was hoping my employer would buy a couple of them, but we never did, I understood the reason when I spoke with the director of our routing and marketing director during an Employee breakout I was invited to and explained that with the route structure we have, the plane would be expensive to operate on the routes we have and yes he likes the plane but we can't justify the cost of running an airline on "likes", we have to run the airline on most efficient especially because fuel is the most single expensive thing an airline has to pay is the fuel bill.  What he said makes sense so I understood the logic, we are in business of running a airline the best way possible, the most efficient way possible because the other guy is doing the same thing.   We still stop and look when a '47 occasionally very occasionally comes by our hanger at work and cruises by, the plane has that effect on us.  She is "The Queen" 
I clipped the article from "Simply Flying, and I augmenting the article with some of my photo stash.

Boeing anticipated selling about 300 of the 747-8. Its passenger variant, the 747-8I, or Intercontinental, received a mere 47 orders before being discontinued. How could it be, that an upgraded, superior model of one of the world’s most popular widebody aircraft did so poorly on the market?
Boeing only received 47 orders for the 747-8 Intercontinental. Photo: Lufthansa
The Queen of the Skies has carried passengers for half a century. Beloved by travelers all over the world, she has been an iconic and exciting feature on the runways from the first 747-100 introduced by Pan Am in 1970.
The initial model was designed and built by a team at Boeing known as “The Incredibles,” and it carried two and a half times as many passengers as the manufacturer’s first jet, the 707. Its size, range, and speed helped transform air travel and turned it into something more accessible for a wider clientele.
But the era of the massive four-engine aircraft seems to be over. As reports are surfacing that Boeing will most likely end production of the legendary plane in lack of sufficient orders, let’s take a look at what happened to the much-upgraded 747-8, and why it was not the commercial success for which Boeing had calculated.
British Airways, Boeing 747, History
The 747 helped transform long-haul air travel, making it more accessible. Photo: Getty Images
The history of the final passenger version of the jumbo jet is a short-lived one. The first 747-8I only took flight on March 20th, 2011, and today’s production is limited to the freighter version, the 747-8F.
Boeing predicted it would receive 300 orders for the 747-8. After all, the previous variation of the jumbo, the 747-400, landed at 442 for its regular passenger model, and 694 including the extra range options and freighters, and was operated by over 40 carriers worldwide.
However, it only received 47 orders for the passenger Intercontinental variant and hasn’t sold a single one since 2017. And that was for the repurposing of two 747-8Is previously belonging to Transaero.
Lufthansa was the first carrier to order the new version of the jumbo in 2006. The German flag-carrier took delivery of the aircraft in May 2012, and it entered service the next month.
The freighter variant of the 747-8 did much better, with orders tallying in at 103, for a total of 150 orders for the model. Its largest customer is UPS Airlines, which has 28 and has almost single-handedly kept production going.
While production is still ongoing at Boeing’s Everett facility for the freighter variant, the 747-8F, this will most likely also come to an end once the manufacturer completes its backlog of 15 orders. The company believes it will need another two years to complete the outstanding deliveries.
Boeing 747 F
The 747-8F is the last of its kind to remain in production, but for how long?. Photo: Boeing
The 747-8 built on its highly successful preceding sibling, the 747-400, launched 20 years earlier. While its technical specs may have outdone any of the jumbos to date, for various reasons, it failed to become as popular with airlines as any of its predecessors.
First of all, the same factors that have seen carrier after carrier send the 747 into retirement come into play. The rise of the much more fuel-efficient long-range twin-engine aircraft has simply outdated the need for the jumbo.
Particularly the arrival of the A350 Ultra-Long-Range and Boeing’s new 777X is shifting the long-haul landscape. Two engines are also much more economical than four. Twice the engines equal twice the maintenance cost, after all.
The 777-9, the larger of the 777X models, can carry as many as 407 passengers, which is nearly as many as the 747s maximum 467. And it does so on two engines, rather than four. Airlines have already placed orders for 309 of the 777X.
Boeing 777-9
The Boeing 777-9 can carry almost as many passengers as the 747. Photo: Boeing
When taking a closer look at the popularity of other models, Boeing may have shot itself in the jumbo jet wing. While the 777X was introduced later than the 747-8, the 787 beat it to the punch.
The 747-8 was introduced in 2005. The planemaker had debuted its Boeing 787 Dreamliner program only a year prior. Despite several hiccups along the way, the Dreamliner has since proceeded to snag an impressive 1510 orders. That is just under the total number of orders for all of the 747s combined. The largest customers for the 787 are All Nippon Airways, who has ordered 95, Ethiad Airways –  71, American Airlines – 69, and United Airlines – 64.
Emirates, Airbus A380, Return
The failure of the 747-8 has much in common with that of the A380. Photo: Dubai Airports
The hub-and-spoke model that made the 747 such a success throughout the years has also given way to customer-driven point-to-point operations. Passengers have also displayed a preference for a wider selection of departure times. This makes the large capacity of the jumbo, as well as the superjumbo, the A380, challenging to fill and thus obsolete.
As previously stated, Boeing only received 47 orders for the passenger variant of the 747-8 or the Intercontinental as it is also called. Only three commercial airlines opted for the latest version of the jumbo, with Lufthansa taking 19, Korean Air ten, and Air China seven.
As you may have noticed, those numbers combined do not really add up to 47. The missing eleven orders are made up of eight Business Jet models going to VIP customers, one “unidentified,” and two 747-8Is previously belonging to Transaero. These are to be refitted and augmented on request by the US Government to replace the Air Force One fleet.
UPS is one of the largest customers of the 747-8F. Photo: UPS
While it is incredibly sad to be saying goodbye to the 747, it is understandable that by the time the 747-8 hit the market, despite its upgraded and more fuel-efficient specs, other options were already on the horizon. The new twin-engine widebody solutions turned the jumbo jet into a thing of the past, and carriers eager to modernize their fleets looked to the future, rather than to upgraded versions of old favorites, no matter how classic a silhouette it may be.

Friday, July 24, 2020

U.S Army Uniform goes to the traditional "Pinks and Greens"

I wish they had this style uniform when I was in the service, rather than what I had issued when I was in.  We called what we had "The Bus Driver Uniform".

 Look kinda like that.....
  If we really wanted to look good, we had to buy the "Dress Blues" and to really make it pop. get the belt with it.  We were issued "the Garrison cap", and I never cared for it and I purchased a "Service" cap
 My Service Hat on top of the Center Helmet

 and it was an acceptable option under regulations and I had a copy of the regulations in case while I was wearing it someone tried to give me crap about wearing it(Yes it did happen twice) and I put the copy of the regulation inside of the service cap.  I did spend the extra money to get the better quality cloth from clothing sales than what was issued to me when I was in basic, it was a little darker in color and better weave and when I went in front of the Soldier of the month boards for promotions and stuff like that, it helped me look sharp. When promotions points are high in your MOS, you do what you can do to get what you can get the extra recognition to help your career.   It is nice to see the military services going back to the traditional uniforms of our past.  Tradition is important to a military organization, it reminds us of our past, of what the unit has done, of it past glories and of what is capable of and the standards that it has set so the soldiers will strive to meed the goals of the unit, especially during "the suck" it will let them dig way down and embrace the standard because others have already have already done it and they don't want to let their unit down, it is "esprit de corp" and it will let a group of people do the impossible if necessary.

Soldier models pose in the final prototypes of the proposed "pinks and greens
Soldier models pose in the final prototypes of the proposed "pinks and greens
The US Army uniform is getting a ‘glow-up’ it has been confirmed, with the new duds looking rather like the old WWII ‘pinks and greens’, but with a modern flavor.
The Army has made no secret of the fact that the new issue uniform is based on what grampa was wearing back in ’45 and expects it to be standard issue to all new soldiers enrolled in 2021.
US Army Product Manager, Lt. Col. Jonathan Allen, said the new uniform was a response to the fact that the current options available to the military were not suited for ‘everyday business environments’, and that the army was keen to set, ‘a more appropriate standard for professionalism in an office setting.’
Dwight Eisenhower, at his desk, 1942.
Dwight Eisenhower, at his desk, 1942.
Beginning in January 2021, soldiers completing basic training will receive the new pinkish-brown trousers and olive-green jackets. Before then the new look will be rolled out to recruiters and drill sergeants in October this year.
It is being sold as a cost-neutral change which will have no impact on US taxpayers and will not hit enlisted soldiers in the pocketbook either.
850 of the new service green uniforms have been distributed to senior leadership, the Army Band and others for their comments on the new style/old style uniform

Sergeant Major Daniel Dailey told reporters that the US Army had been cautioned against referring to their new dress uniforms as ‘pinks and greens’. ‘We’re calling them Army Greens,’ he said, ‘pinks and greens is a World War II nickname.’
The new “Army greens” will be a general service uniform while the blue Army Service Uniform (center) will return to its former use as a ceremonial and parade uniform
The new “Army greens” will be a general service uniform while the blue Army Service Uniform (center) will return to its former use as a ceremonial and parade uniform
The new Army Greens are expected to be adopted by all 1.1 Million soldiers within the next eight years, which might seem like a long time, but to get from recruiters to the National Guard and Army Reserve Dailey said would take time.
‘We also have to give soldiers time,’ said Dailey, ‘to receive that money in their clothing allowances so they can pay for that uniform prior to it being required.’
In the meantime, the Army Service Uniform, the blue ASU the new Army Greens will replace will be retained as a traditional dress uniform.
World War II U.S. Army officers wearing the “pinks and greens” uniform.World War II U.S. Army officers wearing the “pinks and greens” uniform
The famous forebear, the ‘pinks and greens’ uniform was brought in in the 1920s and included a Sam Browne belt up until 1942.
In 1944 a field jacket was introduced, which was adopted by Dwight Eisenhower and nicknamed the Ike jacket as a result. A new version of the Ike jacket is also being considered by the Army, along with an option for a leather flying jacket.
At the end of WWII, the US Army was eight million strong and a source of immense pride for a nation emerging as a global power. Sadly, ten years after the end of the war there was a huge surplus of the uniforms as the Army slimmed down.
The new “Army greens” will be a general service uniform while the blue Army Service Uniform (center) will return to its former use as a ceremonial and parade uniform.
The new “Army greens” will be a general service uniform while the blue Army Service Uniform (center) will return to its former use as a ceremonial and parade uniform.
The change from the ‘pinks and greens’ to the dress green service uniform came quickly when in 1958 it was ‘deauthorised’ for US Army officers and the National Guard in 1959. Part of the reason for the change was that the uniforms were being used as cheap work clothes for labourers and agricultural workers.
In some states surplus uniforms were even being used to clothe prison inmates, driving the need for change.
SMA Dailey wore the Army’s proposed ‘Pink and Green’ daily service uniform, modeled after the Army’s standard World War II-era dress uniform.
SMA Dailey wore the Army’s proposed ‘Pink and Green’ daily service uniform, modeled after the Army’s standard World War II-era dress uniform.
However, seven decades on from WWII the abiding memory of the ‘pinks and greens’ remains one of pride, and the new uniform has received a warm welcome throughout the service, with many commentators welcoming the return of a classic.
Whatever Sergeant Major Dailey says the new ‘glow-up’ will invite comparisons with the famous WWII uniform, taking the Army back to when its status back home in the USA was riding as high as it ever has.
That the new iteration of the uniform could possibly capture some of the pride of 1945 is undoubtedly a target within Army sights.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Most lethal unit of the American Civil War.

I have heard of the term "SharpShooter' and here is where it had paid off, and with few exceptions the South had better marksmen than the North did.  After the war between the States as we southerners called it, the NRA was formed in 1871 by Union officers who were appalled by the  lack of marksman that was apparent to the American Public, especially the Northern states and they formed the organization to teach marksman to the American public in the belief that everyone needs to know how to shoot.  When I was in school and also when I was playing AD&D and other things I always wondered "Why didn't they dress and equip a unit for actual service in the field rather than look good in the parade ground, I know the Americans did a bit better at it than the British did during the American Revolution because we had to deal with the indians and nobody fought like the indians so we had to adapt to the indians and that is where Rogers Rangers came from and the Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion, we adapted to the Terrain, we used camouflage to make it harder to be spotted.

Very loosely strung, these 204 veterans represented the only Federal opposition between Law’s brigade and Little Roundtop.
Very loosely strung, these 204 veterans represented the only Federal opposition between Law’s brigade and Little Roundtop.
At approximately 4:00 PM, July 2, 1863 the great Confederate turning movement at Gettysburg, meant to roll-up the Federal line from left-to-right, finally stepped-off, General Evander Law’s Alabama brigade leading the way.
Longstreet’s entire division was to deliver the blow, the assault performed in left echelon, one brigade going-in after the other. Law’s objective was Little Roundtop, a rocky hill, then unoccupied, that dominated the Federal line.
If the Confederates could secure that hill, the remainder of the Federal line could be enfiladed from the heights and rendered indefensible – game over.
As the Confederate skirmishers initially moved forward there appeared to be no force between them and their objective, but this was misleading.
Unseen to the Rebels, a thin skirmish line of Federals was posted from the base of Big Roundtop (approximately ¼ mile south of Little Roundtop) running west about 900 yards.
Very loosely strung, these 204 veterans represented the only Federal opposition between Law’s brigade and Little Roundtop. Fortunately for the Federal cause that day, this unit was the 2nd United States Sharpshooters, one-half of the most lethal detachment of the American Civil War.

The Battle of Gettysburg by Thure de Thulstrup
The Battle of Gettysburg by Thure de Thulstrup

Waiting behind a stone fence, Wyman White, one of the U.S. sharpshooters later recalled: “They came yelling and firing and struggling over fences and through the timber. Just in front of where I was, the land was open and, as they were mostly dressed in butternut colored clothes they had the appearance of a plowed field being closed in mass formation.”
Although outnumbered more than 10 to 1, the Sharpshooters calmly took aim, and began firing. “As we took the matter very coolly,” said White, “many a brave Southron threw up his arms and fell. But on they came, shouting and yelling their peculiar yell.”
The Sharpshooters had no hope of stopping Law’s advance, of course, only slowing it, and they went about this with deadly professionalism. Moving in groups of four, two laying down suppression fire while the other two withdrew to cover, the Sharpshooters began taking a heavy toll on the lead elements of Law’s advance.

General Evander McIvor Law, Confederate States Army, 1860s photo
General Evander McIvor Law, Confederate States Army, 1860s photo
The Sharpshooters had been built for just such an occasion. Uniformed in green hats, coats, and pants, these with leather gaiters (with no brass anywhere that might reflect sunlight), the Sharpshooters were deliberately camouflaged for guerilla-style warfare, a style with which they had become expertly familiar.

They wielded the Sharps, 1859 breech-loading target rifle, a weapon they could load and shoot from any position (prone, standing, or in a tree) with a rate of fire three-times that of any standard rifle. The Sharps was frighteningly accurate up to 600 yards, still deadly beyond.

Battle of Little Round Top, initial assault. Map by Hal Jespersen
Battle of Little Round Top, initial assault. Map by Hal Jespersen

More importantly, the Sharpshooters were a truly elite unit. To qualify each candidate had to pass a difficult shooting-test by forming a “string” of ten consecutive shots in a ten-inch-wide target from the distance of 200 yards.

Undoubtedly patterned after the British Green Jackets of Napoleonic War fame, the Sharpshooters were the brainchild of Colonel Hiram Berdan, and they had performed superbly throughout the war.
Professionally selected, trained, and outfitted, fighting in a fire-and-maneuver tactical scheme, the 1st and 2nd Regiments of Sharpshooters were essentially a 20th Century battle unit, fighting a 19th Century war.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain ordered the bayonet charge on Little Round Top.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain ordered the bayonet charge on Little Round Top.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the men of the 2nd Regiment managed to significantly slow the momentum of Law’s advance, taking a heavy toll on the Confederates with their rapid-fire, breech-loading weapons.
Many Rebels fell, this sewing much confusion in the ranks. One Rebel officer noted, “the slaughter commenced in earnest for we were in good range of their sharp-shooters, but we could get no crack at them.” The rock-strewn woods west of the Roundtops proved ideal terrain for the Sharpshooters, but a nightmare for infantry advancing in ranks. Major Stoughton, in command of the 2nd, later wrote:
“While they were advancing, the Second Regiment did splendid execution, killing and wounding a great many. One regiment broke three times and rallied, before it would advance.”
Firing as they gave ground, the Sharpshooters fell-back across a small swamp, then over the western face of Big Roundtop before reaching the summit of Little Roundtop.

There they came upon the 83rd Pennsylvania, falling-in with them amongst the trees, rocks, and heavy boulders. The Sharpshooter’s pin-point shooting and stubborn withdrawal, had forced the Confederates to take an hour to traverse a mere quarter mile, providing critical time for Federal reinforcements to rush forward.

Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Major General Gouverneur Kemble Warren. From the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
From their strong position the Sharpshooters helped repulse desperate charge after desperate charge of Rebel infantry, principally by the 15th and 47th Alabama, cutting Law’s men down as they swarmed toward the hill. White describes the fighting: “First the fire was by volleys which soon turned to a continuous fusillade of rifle fire. T
he bullets hummed and spatted the rocks and trees, glancing off with a hideous screech and hum.” The Confederates came-on time and again, only to be turned away, time and again. “Again the ranks withered,” White tells us, “but they showed the same desperate courage as they had before.
Our line was invincible so it proved, and again these brave men, broken, torn and exhausted, turned their faces down the mountainside.”

Battle of Little Round Top: final assault. Map by Hal Jespersen.
Battle of Little Round Top: final assault. Map by Hal Jespersen.
At long last Federal reinforcements arrived, and Little Roundtop was soon turned into a Union bastion, not to be tested again. Of the Union success that day, White wrote: “I think the breech loaders of the Sharpshooters was quite an item in the balance.”
White was hardly alone in his analysis. Years after the war, Colonel William C. Oates, who had led the 15th Alabama into action that fateful day, praised the U. S. Sharpshooters, claiming that, had they not been where they were, and fought as they had, he most certainly would have taken Little Roundtop. “They ought to erect the tallest monument on the field to Stoughton and his Sharpshooters,” said Oates.

LTC William C. Oates, commander of the 15th Alabama Infantry from Spring of 1863 to July 1864
LTC William C. Oates, commander of the 15th Alabama Infantry from Spring of 1863 to July 1864
Not only did the 2nd Regiment play a significant role that day, but the 1st Regiment also did their part earlier that afternoon in Pitzer’s Woods, northwest of the Roundtops.
Sent out to scout along Seminary Ridge with the 3rd Maine, the Sharpshooters stumbled upon the 10th and 11th Alabama Regiments of Wilcox’s Brigade, ordered into Pitzer’s Woods to refuse the right flank of the Confederate line.
Unaware of the Sharpshooters presence, the 11th was greeted by a torrent of well-aimed gunfire from the green-clad Federals. The 11th fled, while the 10th came-up and gave battle.
Outnumbered, the Sharpshooters once again gave ground, fighting tree-to-tree, in a stiff action that went on for almost a half-hour. Wilcox then threw-in the 8th Alabama with orders to flank the Yankees.
Only when the 8th appeared to overlap his position, did Berdan break-off the engagement; a spirited fight that exposed the true length of the Confederate position to the Federal high command, observing from a distance.

Little Round Top today, seen from the Devil’s Den. The 15th Alabama’s assault was made on the portion of the hill lying to the far right in this photo.
Little Round Top today, seen from the Devil’s Den. The 15th Alabama’s assault was made on the portion of the hill lying to the far right in this photo.
The Confederates also had excellent sharpshooting units, of course, but none rose to the level of the U.S. Sharpshooters.
The exceptional service rendered by the U.S. Sharpshooters throughout the course of the war was readily acknowledged by officers in the know, nevertheless – like most Civil War detachments – they were fought to death, then simply disbanded.
How good had they been? In his Regimental Losses in the Civil War, Lt. Col. William F. Fox wrote of the Sharpshooters: “They undoubtedly killed more men than any other regiment in the army. In skirmishing they were unequaled,” a firm testament to their multidimensionality and sheer lethality.

Monument of General Warren overlooking the battlefield from Little Round Top
Monument of General Warren overlooking the battlefield from Little Round Top
Unfortunately, no one at the time seemed to grasp what the Sharpshooters truly represented – the face of combat’s future.
The Industrial Revolution had stimulated a rapid evolution in military hardware, a progression in lethality that had already rendered massed infantry assaults – the very backbone of warfare since its inception – obsolete.
Unfortunately, no one seemed to take notice. Even the generals who led troops into WW I did so initially as if refighting the Civil War, thus marching millions into a maelstrom of virtually unavoidable death.
As a result, all the lessons of warfare the Sharpshooters represented had to be relearned in the 20th Century as the world careened into two catastrophic World Wars.
Only then did it become clear that Berdan’s small group of elite Sharpshooters were, not only the most lethal fighting force in the Civil War, but a proven template for infantry of the future.