Going Down in Flames…stopped his insanity.

First, before I start my own rant, I want to make it VERY VERY clear, that I do not condone what Mr. Joseph Stack did in Austin today. Having said that….here we go.

Before reading anything else via foxnews.com, I read what is now being dubbed as his “Manifesto“. I couldn’t help but think to myself, that if I was not reading a suicide letter, I would have agreed with almost everything he said. 

Am I insane? No, I don’t think so. Though in many circles, considering I just answered myself..I may be. What’s scary about the situation is this man was right in how he felt. Constantly getting burned by the system while the corrupt or lazy get a free ride. Was he on the edge? Obviously, but crazy…not so sure. It would be easy to label him as such, to get the broom and sweep this guy under the rug.  But just for a second, maybe we can concentrate on the message and not the messenger. Again, this was a tragedy in many senses of the word.

We live in a Country that has become complicated, lost, underestimated, tired and lively. Many people speak out on many different issues. Some are worthy of listening, some are a joke. What kind of Country do we live in when a man like this thinks or believes, this is the only way anyone will listen.  Would anyone have listened to his rant? Would anyone have cared? Will anyone read this and actually listen instead of judging. Who knows though I can assure you, I have no plans of offing myself or anyone else. One thing I have to believe in is things will get better and I can only pray that we don’t turn into a country where violence begins to represent our beliefs.

Back to the “Manifesto”. He writes of his story, his ups and downs, how many times he lost his retirement, how many times he got screwed by “The Man”.

Look around friend’s and foe’s. We are in a downward spiral and I don’t think a couple of pieces of candy will be at the bottom leading me to grow bigger or smaller. This is no adventure, though a white rabbit is leading the way. It’s become the 500lb gorilla but everyone keeps petting it like it’s a cute little hoppy, plushy pet. I have to ask myself why everything has become so complicated? I pay my bills, I have searched and searched for work, I pay daycare even when my son isn’t present. I see the doctor’s that write off an illness that’s serious into something mundane. I see criminals getting away with it again and again and I see politicians who give two shits about you or me. Something has changed and I don’t think it’s us, it’s the system. Somewhere in our young, old age…we lost. What’s depressing is, some of us don’t care anymore. We dance around the ring but no one wants to go in for the knock out. We want to complain and vent, but no one wants to say it when it counts. We’ve become Meek. I want to inherit the Earth…but not without knowing I fought for what was right.

If those in office who have the power only by those who have voted them in actually listened to what we are screaming everyday, maybe we would have a chance. But they won’t. Their agenda is blind and I never thought I’d say it but I’m almost sick of all of them, even my own party. I wish we could start over. Take out all the bullshit and sit quietly around a table rereading our Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It was all we needed to guide us in the right direction. That direction has been skewed, stretched, flipped and torn apart.

I could go on, about everything that has gone wrong but one thing is right; We, the people of the United States, have the power to make change. Not “Change we can believe in”..cause if I hear that bull one more time, I might just hurl all over my keyboard. How about change that is real, tangible. I want to touch it, smell it…taste it.

Joseph Stack will go down in history as a terrorist, as did Timothy McVey. Nobody listened to either of them and what followed was disaster, pain, and was not necessary if good ole’ Washington D.C. had taken two seconds to shut up and listen.

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Aim High? Or Putter Out?

Anyone who’s been in the military, working as a maintainer, knows how old the aircraft/equipment is.

We also know that the older they are; the more they break, the more time it takes to fix it, the more maintainers you need.

It’s an endless cycle but nothing new.

On May 8th, USA Today had a story on our wearing Aircraft in the good ole Air Force. As a prior Jet engine mechanic, I can say I have firsthand experience with our aging Fleet. I worked on TF-39’s, the C-5 Galaxy Engine.

This story features A-10’s or Tank Buster’s.

Compared to 1996, the Air Force now spends 87% more on maintenance for a warplane fleet that is less ready to fly, Air Force records show.

And the maintainers feel it! Believe me!

Gen. Ronald Key’s comments:

“I don’t want to write a letter, or have my successor write a letter, ‘Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith, your son or daughter are dead because the wing fell off on takeoff. We knew it was going to fall off, we just didn’t know when.’ That’s kind of what we’re getting down to,” Keys said.

What he’s saying is, ‘Give us more money for Aircraft and better Parts!’

The average age of a U.S. Warplane is 23.5 years old. In Aircraft term..that’s old. Think in dog years.

Then there’s this guy :

Aircraft age is misleading, said Christopher Bolkcom, a national security analyst at the Congressional Research Service. Some aircraft may have been lightly used for years and have safe flying hours left. Maintaining old planes may be expensive but often cheaper than buying a new aircraft, he said.

“Chronological age is only one measure of aircraft health,” Bolkcom said. “Age is not a safety issue.”

Lightly used for years??? Where the hell has this guy been???  Three well known wars, who knows how many “incidents” not to mention Humanitarian Missions.

The keyword with this guy is “Analyst”. That means he’s looking at numbers and not at aircraft. He’s not talking to the people working and trying to fix these planes everyday.  

What it all comes down to is cost…at-least Politically.  Right now the military has been downsizing, specifically the AF. That means less people to do the job. When you have ACFT breaking constantly and only two guys to do the job instead of four, you’ve got a problem. It’s a lot more then money. You got guys working 12 hour shifts 6 days a week. Mistakes can be made and mistakes cost a lot of money. When you downsize manpower and expect everyone to be on their toes with less people and more to do…it’s a recipe for disaster.