Crazy Airports

Some airports are awful. Like LGA Laguardia. Others are not bad at all. DFW, Dallas is, in my opinion, a pretty decent airport.  LAX is a hassle, but PSP Palm Springs, and SNA John Wayne Orange County are pretty nice. And LGB Long Beach is delightful.

But those are big airports, servicing jetliners. I grew up flying out of a tiny little strip into SEA SeaTac.  And even that wasn’t too crazy of an airport. Some airports have, shall we say, impressive approaches. Most of us have seen videos of the crowds watching jets come right over the road to St. Maartens.


And St. Maartens twin, St. Barths, has one of the more impressive approaches, skimming downhill to a rather short runway.


But my favorite crazy airport doesn’t even have runways! Barra, off the coast of Scotland, simply uses the beach. It has regularly scheduled airline service, but the schedule varies due to the tides.


But for crazy approaches, and if you’re only going to watch one video on this post, this is it.


What’s your thoughts on best and worst airports?

CDR Salamander: LCS and MIW … You Knew This Was Coming …

The Navy had an opportunity last decade to regain its credibility and to save us all this waste by killing LCS when it had the chance, but no … too many people had too much of their ego tied up with it. Better or worse, we are stuck with it and its wedontneedfrigatessowewillcallitafrigate spawn FF. Too many people had no concept of sunk cost – both financial and political capital wise; they had to splite their eights and double down.

Source: CDR Salamander: LCS and MIW … You Knew This Was Coming …

Phib takes a look at the continuing dumpster fire that is the LCS.

The Navy has been fooling with this for a decade and a half, and had ships in commission for almost a decade. And they still cannot perform any one of their supposed missions.

Seriously, this makes the JSF look like a model of acquisition excellence.

The Chinese Economic Collapse


It is bad, far worse than is thought.  As is the case in totalitarian governments when economic conditions turn hard down, the scapegoats are to be found within and without.  Finding domestic entities and individuals to blame for a market collapse is bad enough.  The blaming of foreigners has resonated thunderously across the world markets.

In a worrying signal for global investors with a presence in China, some officials have argued strongly for a crackdown on “foreign forces”, which they say have intentionally unsettled the market.

“If our own people have collaborated with foreign forces to attack the soft underbelly of the market and bet against the government’s stabilisation measures then they should be suspected of harming national financial security and we must take resolute measures to subdue them,” said an editorial in the state-controlled Securities Daily newspaper last week.

One Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager, who asked not to be named, said: “Global investors are listening to the language of retribution and watching this witch-hunt going on, and they are trying to understand what this means for them.”

Any serious attempt by China, or the Chinese Communist Party (because they are, after all, one in the same), to punish foreign investors for their economic troubles will lead to an immediate exodus of foreign capital.  Companies and funds with Chinese equities will divest in a flash, as once-trusted Chinese government policies will look more like Venezuela than the United States.  When that happens, the bottom is likely to fall out entirely.   Such would be remarkable in itself, as China is a very large economy on the world stage.  But there is the added and unpredictable factor.  The Chinese Communist Party has for three decades or more tied its legitimacy to economic prosperity.  Should that prosperity evaporate, as is seemingly very possible, the Party may be in a struggle for its very existence.  And when a long-entrenched ruling caste struggles for existence, it becomes increasingly desperate.  Which often causes that caste to look externally to agitate against foreign governments and push patriotism as their means of holding onto the levers of power.  South China Sea, anyone?  Korea, perhaps?

Roanoke Gunman: “Professional Victim”


The AP tells us how the black gay man who murdered two innocent white people (while filming the barbaric act) is the very incarnation of the grievance society so carefully crafted by Secular Progressives and leveraged by black and gay activitsts everywhere.  In this new world of perceived slights and “micro-aggressions”, a world in which any remark or comment or expressed opinion/view can be twisted and construed to become racist or sexist or homophobic or islamophobic, we have Vester Flanagan.

Dan Dennison described Flanagan, who shot and killed a reporter and a cameraman on live television Wednesday, as a “professional victim” during his time at the station before being fired in 2013.

He was victimized by everything and everyone and could never quite grasp the fact that he was the common denominator in all of these really sometimes serious interpersonal conflicts that he had with people,” Dennison said.

Flanagan, 41, interpreted efforts by the station to improve his performance and persuade him to work more cooperatively with colleagues as discrimination, said Dennison…

A gay black man has no requirement or incentive to grasp that he is the common denominator, because he has any number of avenues open to protest to people who will take up his cause, with a legion of pro bono legal assistance, ready to demonize anyone who might be merely accused of slighting their special snowflake client.  LGBT activism such as those who led the charge for the lesbian couple who sued over a wedding cake, along with black agitators like Sharpton and Holder and Obama, have all but given the green light for this kind of self-pity and rationalization for violence against those they believe aggrieved them.  Ask yourself how a straight white guy would have fared on the ol’ employment references with this work history:

Flanagan’s hair-trigger temper became evident at least 15 years ago at WTWC-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, said Don Shafer, who hired him there in 1999. Shafer recalled Flanagan as a good reporter and a “clever, funny guy” — but said he also had conflicts with co-workers “to the point where he was threatening people.”

“Had some physical confrontations with a couple of people, and at one point became such a distraction that we finally had to terminate him,” said Shafer, now news director with XETV in San Diego.

Others who ran across Flanagan after he lost his job at WDBJ described a man increasingly irked by slights more often imagined than real.

A former co-worker at a UnitedHealthcare call center where Flanagan worked until late 2014 said he tried to grab her shoulder and told her never to speak to him again after she offhandedly said he was unusually quiet.

Even with all that in his past employment, he got enough positive references to be hired by WDBJ in Roanoke, any push for “diversity” by the station (he was, after all, a “two-fer”) notwithstanding.  What is the result of a lifetime of this enabled victimhood and grievance mongering?  Not surprisingly, it is a belief that, despite the cold-blooded murder of two innocent people, Flanagan felt himself justified.  Black rage and gay rage rolled into one.

We are to blame for Vester Flanagan’s murderous rampage. We racists and homophobes.  Oh, and guns are to blame, too.  The solution, according to Hillary and the far-left, is gun control.  Was there ever a doubt?

Squads to test training to improve combat casualty care

Soldiers wounded in combat may have a better chance of surviving if the Army gives its warriors better, more realistic point-of-injury training to help their wounded battle buddies, say officials with the Army’s Squad Overmatch Study. Training to respond immediately to combat injuries can be vital, as about 80 percent of the initial treatment in combat situations is done by the wounded soldier himself or the soldier next to him, rather than their medic, they say. A team is working on ways to improve immediate care for soldiers at the point of injury so they stand a better chance of surviving until they get to the next level of care, and ultimately to the hospital. The team includes scientists, medical simulation experts, psychologists, engineers and advisers. This fall, six squads — four Army and two Marine Corps — will take part in a joint effort to improve tactical combat casualty care, or TC3, at the squad level, a move officials say can help fill a gap in tactical training.

Source: Squads to test training to improve combat casualty care

Training for individual first aid/buddy aid/self aid is leaps and bounds beyond what it was when I was in. The tools available to the individual soldier and the Combat Lifesaver as well as the attached medic are far and away improved over what it was at the beginning of the War on Terror.

Having said that, there’s always room for improvement. As noted, this is a part of a larger initiative, known broadly as Squad Overmatch.

Currently, there really isn’t some great gap in organic capability between an American rifle squad and any other in the world. Small arms are pretty much small arms. The advantages our squads have are the quality of training, and the access to support from higher echelons, be it fires, sustainment, or intelligence.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Ft. Benning is working to find ways to increase the capability of the rifle squad to better enable it to defeat an enemy squad. Much of that involves improved training. Some involves improved technology, and some is about improving what the squad carries with it.

That last item is a real challenge. The squad has to be able to maneuver. That is, move. But between weapons, armor, radios, and other mission essential equipment, the squad is insanely loaded down with weight. That makes it almost impossible to move rapidly. Training and physical conditioning can only take you so far. And the Army has struggled for decades to reduce the soldier’s load, while in reality seeing it ever increase.