Om nom nom…

I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.

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*SNORT!*

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Gotta love junior Marines.  Positively brilliant sarcasm.  And they miss NOTHING.

I wish I could find one of the green skivvie shirts they were peddling in Ramadi.

Ramadi Spring Break 2004

“Ain’t no party like a workin’ party!”

H/T to YEMX.ORG via D James

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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?

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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.

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The Chinese Economic Collapse

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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?

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Load HEAT- Jeanne Tripplehorn

Man, was she sexy in Basic Instinct, or what?

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The Thud

Here’s a great documentary on the mighty Republic F-105 Thunderchief. I especially enjoyed the little seen footage of the prototypes and the testing regime.

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