Monday, November 14, 2005

The ripple effect.......

George W. Bush is coming to Asia........oh great!

He just made my job as a transportation planner twice as hard. Why? Because whenever the President goes anywhere, its not just Air Force One that goes wheels in the well. On average 6- 8 C-17's are positioned to move all the "crap" that goes with a presidential entourage. It would be all well and good if we had tons of spare C-17's around, but the truth of the matter is, we don't. There is this little fracas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Philippines, and Horn of Africa to deal with. So whatever region the President visits, hears the giant sucking sound of the USAF pulling aircraft of validated transport missions to be available to back up the back up aircraft. And as is always the case, the USAF immediately turns to the Navy and says, "suck it up!".

I've seen this before, when Bush came out for the APEC summit last year. We lost about 15 % of our validated missions for a period of almost 2 and 1/2 weeks. As I said before it would not be such a big deal, except that there are Carriers flying 100 sortie days, Helicopter ships doing sea surveillance, and other aircraft that need parts, many of which cannot be subcontracted out to commercial carriers due to the size and or composition of the cargo. AMC is always slow to respond or plan ahead for these evolutions because they are essentially a steady state operation despite their "Global Reach" propaganda. As a result the readiness of "real people" suffers due to the "ripple effect"......... Some of it you can work around, others you can't.

Under the category of "That's Entertainment" , Jenifer has come across some really interesting flash videos. Reading her posts lately, she and I are seeing eye to eye. She is a smart lady. She is sticking up for John Mc Cain, bashing Tom Cruise and Russel Crowe. She understands the USFSPA:

She even provides a free history lesson at her blog........

I'd offer her a beer, but she would just kick my ass, so I'll leave well enough alone.

I've been doing some reading lately of some pretty interesting and off the wall books. I recently finished a history called Empire Made Me . It is the story of Richard Maurice Tinkler, and Englishman who , when unemployed after the war, made his way to Shanghai to become a member of the Shanghai Municipal police, the folks who kept law and order in the British international settlement in Shanghai. Tinkler became famous at the outset of World War II for getting bayoneted by a Japanese soldier. As the book notes, " Tinkler would have remained just another anonymous and forgotten colonial policeman were it not for his unexpected death, at the hands of Japanese marines and an incompetent local doctor, in June 1939. His suspicious death created a noisy diplomatic incident that was picked up by journalists and splashed across the front pages of Britain's newspapers."

However, what I found interesting about Tinkler was the fact that the longer he stayed in Shanghai, the less he had a desire to return to England. He felt almost exiled by his old country, and also his service, a sentiment I can very much understand and empathize with. He came to enjoy the life of an expatriate and although he was very much a racist, he was also a keen observer of the world in Shanghai. The book is also an interesting expose of the racist undertones that were well present in the Empire during the interwar years and were echoed by Tinkler.........

I also went back and re-read The French Foreign Legion by Douglas Porch, formerly a history professor at my beloved alma mater. Lately, I have been trying to read as much as I can about Algeria and the revolt against 130 years of French rule. Its interesting for 2 reasons: A0 I think there are parallels with Iraq and b) the loss of Algeria set the stage for the current riots by Muslims in France. I'm still looking for a good history of the period, so if anyone knows of one, please let me know.

And finally, watch this charming little bit of entertainment and see if you can look at Rush Limbaugh the same way again.............Nasty, but still funny. It is safe for work, provided you don't work with ditto heads........


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