Dumb Information

I Miss Louie

Is this what the news has come to? Are we at this point in our nation that the death of a cat is front page news?
Obviously so, as the death of the Clinton’s house cat is one of the top stories by the Associated Press. Not to take anything away from the importance of a good pet (as I have two dogs and my webmaster), but how is this front page material?
My beef with this is that much goes on in the world around us; deaths of soldiers, wars, skirmishes, hunger, starvation, deaths by beheading, and this is what pops up on Yahoo today. World news, what is meant to reflect the big stories going on, and I get a picture of a tuxedo cat that just spent his ninth life, as well as an entire story to go with it. DI has put together a few other insignificant stories around the globe during the mourning process of a feline.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – an official Pentagon report states that the prison meets the standard of humane treatment in the eyes of the Geneva Conventions, but cites many changes that need to take place. Hard core, dangerous criminals should be allowed to meet with the rest of the population, and have the privilege of additional recreational time. Prisoners also do not have dry cleaning services, mint on the pillow every morning services, or a hot cloth to wash their face after every meal.

Major League Baseball – it died, again, hopefully this time for good.

North Korea – plans to test fire an intermediate range ballistic missile in the next few months, despite a visit to the region by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, stating on other issues that she vowed “not to let human rights concerns hinder cooperation with China.”

Iraq War – leaders of the battlefield personnel want to push out the timetable for a troop withdrawal, while the politicians are still pushing for an immediate removal of the troops

George Mason University – picked a drag queen as the homecoming queen

Bailout – the population is now growing angry about the massive bailout, and the massive bailouts that have happened, and the massive bailouts that are yet to come, as homeowners that are struggling to keep up on their bills are now wondering why they didn’t just fall behind and not worry about it?

Israel – two more rockets were fired from southern Lebanon, injuring at least one

Obama Presidency – polls show that approval ratings for the new President are slipping, and articles gave us two to three sentences to explain why.

American Economy – it’s still tanking.

Yet, with all that is going on around us, we have to hear or read about the loss of the former “first cat.”
Thinking of this on a vehicle ride, I remembered my beagle that I grew up with. Louie, short for Louisiana, was a beautiful specimen, and one of the best friends a young boy could ever have. She was so protective of me and the rest of the family that she would somehow run away with any new dog we brought home, and amazingly find her way back home, alone. We lost several puppies, but always seemed to lure Louie back home with a single piece of cheese or bologna. She outlived her years, passing on my homecoming night junior year in high school at the ripe old age of 18 (126 in dog years). The Associated Press never showed up at my doorstep to write an article about that day, as they were most likely busy reporting more important things like the Serbian invasion of Bosnia, the Sri Lankan civil war, or the establishment of the European Union. I, however, didn’t care about any of that, because I had lost my friend; it just wasn’t news for the rest of the world.

A Letter to Congress

When I was first asked to take on this project, I was bombarded with information, letters, and directives immediately. I washed much to the side to try and keep my head above water, passing on many opportunities to present the world with the other side of the story, or stories in our case. For that, I apologize. But, with a stroke of luck, I have resurrected something very interesting and deserving of a post on our site. Please read and enjoy the below letter to a congressman.

Dear Congressman (name has been omitted per request),
I am writing this in reference to the increased amount of troops publically refusing to deploy to a war that they feel is unethical and immoral. I am a civilian contractor currently deployed in Iraq, and have spent the last 3 ½ years overseas. At no time have I witnessed a stronger force, a stronger will, a stronger determination than I have in the time spent in this country. The American military has been given orders to deploy, orders to fight and eradicate an insurgency that has bullied and terrorized a nation, and a hand full of individuals are standing up against the government that has given them the freedom to do so. No matter what the issue at hand, no matter the reason for an occupation of foreign soil, the cold reality is that the soldiers, airmen, marines, and seamen held up their hands, took an oath to stand between their families, fellow countrymen, and the enemy, both foreign and domestic.
It has always been the few that make it to the forefront of the media, the few that are held up and claimed heroes. Ones that defy their leadership, defy their government, defy even the simple thought of responsibility, which are forced in front of the couches and computers of modern day America.
“A month after US army reservist Matthis Chiroux publicly refused to deploy to Iraq, the former sergeant on Sunday set himself up for possible prosecution by failing to report for active duty with his unit in South Carolina,” quoted from Yahoo News.
My request, sir, is that I may take his place, or the place of Lt. Watada, to serve along side their once fellow soldiers, so that they have the extra set of eyes that could enable them to return safely to their always waiting families back home. What I want from life is the ability to show my daughters the good in man, not what is on the T.V. every night, portraying military men and women as oil thieves and rapists. Reality in pictures and words showing what the men and women of the Armed Forces do on a daily basis; repairing damaged dams, water pipelines, sewer treatment plants, constructing new schools and hospitals, delivering food to starving families world wide from someone that I hope and pray they trust, their daddy.
I have learned to realize that I can not change the world, but I can change the world of my children, a world in their eyes free of hate, free of violence, free of discrimination, free of starvation. A world created because of the hard work and sacrifice of the American Soldier driving an MRAP vehicle down a hostile street in Mosul, the American Airmen refueling a B-52 on Diego Garcia bound for the Middle East to provide air support for the ground troops, the American Seaman who guides in a F-18 on a wobbly deck in the Persian Gulf, and the American Marine who sleeps in a sand pit in the Anbar Province, taking incoming nearly as often as beads of sweat roll off his face.
I am not requesting this for fame, or public praise, only to join the likes of the true heroes of America’s modern day. I am officially requesting a waiver to join the ranks of the few, so that I too can defend this nation, my family, and the freedom of so many others worldwide.

Sincerely,
Name omitted per request

Sir, thank you for your dedication and love for your, I mean our, country.

The B-52’s

Posted in Air Force, Asia, death, Drinking, Dumb Information Hall of Fame, guns, Hall of Fame, Men, Military, War by Chop on 9 February 2009

You all must be growing tired of the same old thing, I know. It is hard to watch, or hear, or read the same thing over and over and over without wanting to slit your own wrists just to make the pain go away. Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same, as Robert Frost so eloquently put it. DI heard your cries, and took action. Our Hall of Fame inductee, although possessing many human characteristics, is not of this world. It was born from the imagination; it was born of steel and bolts, and became the greatest in its class, far outliving the competition, and still remains active to this day.
With absolutely no introduction required, I present to you the B-52, and I am not talking about the “Love Shack” one. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, nicknamed BUFF for being big, ugly, fat, with the last F being silent, sort of (feller for all you southern folks). The Strato rolled off of the production line ready for action in 1955, giving the American Air Force a deep offensive jet powered threat unheard of at the time.
General Nathan Twining, Air Force Chief of Staff from 1953 to 1957, said it best as “the long rifle was the great weapon of its day……Today this B-52 is the long rifle of the air age.” General, if you could hear us today in 2009, it would be the exact same thing, as the B-52 is still alive and flying high. The United States Military, over the course of the past century, has made costly purchases that never panned out, but got there monies worth and more with the old faithful Strato.
The B-52, among other things, is a veteran of several foreign conflicts, to include Vietnam and the Gulf War. In February of 1991 in support of the Gulf War, Barksdale AFB in Northwest Louisiana launched a pack of B-52’s which flew a nonstop combat mission, at the time the longest in history, striking targets inside Iraq. 14,000 miles and 35 hours later, the B-52’s touched down safely back at Barksdale. The B-52 holds the current record of the longest combat mission of 16,000 miles, a mission from Guam to Iraq and back to deliver critical blows to Baghdad power stations in support of Operation Desert Strike.
The Stratofortress has also outlived several of its replacements like the XB-70 and the B-1 Lancer. Mission after mission, the Strato’s performance far exceeded the rest of the pack, proving that age is not necessarily a bad thing. It is one of only five aircraft to have to have 50 consecutive years of service, with a projected future until at least 2040, which would give it an astounding 85 years terrorizing the skies of America’s enemies.
Far outclassed and outran by its want to be successors, the B-52’s mission readiness rates have hovered around the 80% mark, showing the B-1 Lancer (53%) and B-2 Spirit (26%) who the true giant of the sky is.
Most Buff’s in the current fleet are twice as old as the pilots who fly them, with the possibility of one day the men and women who call the beast home for hours at a time could affectionately refer to them as Grandma and Grandpa. A true hero and deserving HOF member, welcome aboard aircraft commander of the skies.
And last but not least, the B-52’s popularity across the nation resulted in a the naming of a viciously strong strain of marijuana, a multi layered cocktail shooter including Baileys Irish Cream, as well as the hit rock band B-52’s, being named for the shape of a beehive hairdo resembling the nose cone of the air king.
DI Pride, until next time; do you own research, and form your own opinions.