Sunday, August 10, 2003

The first time I ever saw a jet, I shot it down. — General Chuck Yeager, USAF, describing his first confrontation with a Me262

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters, at least two dozen on various subjects. One of my favorites is Jim Beam’s Flight Times. I’m a small craft aeronaut from way back and although I haven’t flown in years, I still like to keep up on what’s going on in the field. Besides he always posts some fabulous pictures.

One of his regular features is the US Air Force website. I tend to read it every week. Today’s issue has me a little concerned. Since the War in Iraq allegedly ended, it’s been pretty mellow. A couple of human interest stories about life on the ground in Baghdad, but otherwise stateside stories about base events, nothing particularly war-like.

If you look at the site this week, every story speaks of imminent conflict. I have this terrible feeling that Bush is planning some stupid stunt to boost his polls for the election season. He has been tanking lately. The tone of these stories suggests he’s looking at Iran.

Here’s the top three. It’s worth the time to read them all in full.

First production Global Hawk rolls out

“The fact that we have hardware now rolling out of the factory a little over two years after the start of the formal acquisition program shows that we are realizing the vision of evolutionary acquisition,” said Col. Scott Coale, director of the Global Hawk program office at the Aeronautical Systems Center here. “It’s proof that we are shortening the normal 10- to 15-year acquisition cycle, and fielding this system that much sooner to support warfighter needs.”

The Air Force plans to purchase 51 Global Hawks.

Air Force leads EUCOM transformation

“It’s also a matter of fine tuning and developing forward operating locations that can provide better capability to move further distances,” Wald said. “Forward locations with refueling capability are important.”

B-2 drops 80 test bombs

The first demo test, scheduled for late August, will be the released 32 inert JDAMs onto the JDAM complex, which is set up to represent an operational airfield. The final demo test, scheduled for September, will release 80 inert JDAM-82 weapons at once with the potential of striking 80 different targets on the JDAM complex.

The rest of the stories are in the same vein. More service commitment time required to receive specialized training, new fitness standards for an expeditionary air force and incidentally, the suicide rate among personnel is up again, but not on the ground in Iraq, only at home. Let’s face it, if you’re suicidal in Iraq, all you have to do is go out on the street. They don’t allow the AFB personnel off the base at the Baghdad airfield.

How does this relate to the war on drugs you may ask. Well, there’s this story about the Civil Air Patrol receiving an award for their post 9/11 work. Granted they did contribute greatly to the humanitarian efforts in those weeks, however, they also volunteer to perform counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP has been undertaking missions for the United States for more than 60 years. I understand the value of delivering medical supplies in times of crisis but I am disturbed by the idea that they are conducting law enforcement operations. That seems to me to be crossing a line for an agency that calls itself Civil.



The inbox was full of outrageous editorials. Lou Dobbs, no doubt pissed that his last two polls came out so strongly against prohibition, wrote this unsubstantiated screed attempting to justify DZ John Walter's inhumane DEA policies. It really irritates me when he cites bogus statitics about the cost of parental substance abuse. Fool. As if we don't notice that the costs are associated with the incarceration of inner city minorities for simple possession and personal use, rarely for real abuse. Are we supposed to believe our prison population of 2.1 million is comprised of major cartel members?


Equally irritating is this disinformed editorial trying to justify the war by evoking underage use and health consequences of smoking the herb. No citations of course, since the scientific evidence proves there had never been a fatality attributed solely to marijuana smoking, while the legal drug tobacco, dispensed under guidelines for adult use, is killing hundreds of thousands a year. Hypocrites really annoy me.


These neo-cons are getting really desparate to justify their agenda. Last outrage of the day is this article detailing this administration's latest attempt to cook the drug war books. Apparently if you don't pass the political litmus test for appointees to an important drug abuse research committee, you just don't get on.


Not all news is bad however, The Toronto Sun gave Cannabis Canada a little free press for the event on August 30. I'm seriously thinking of getting up there for this event. There are five other places I should go first for a number of reasons, but the summer is almost over and I really want to get there before it gets too cold. Besides, they could still change the law at any time. I would hate to miss my chance to smoke on a city street legally.

Not to mention that while I'm there I might be able to participate in this new flash mob phenomenon. Cannabis Canda has started an alert page for instant smoke-ins. As a side benefit, I found that their home page had a photo spread of one of Marc Emery's police station smoke outs.

While I was cruising links this afternoon, I also came across the Cannabis Consumers Campaign. I love their gallery of out of the closet consumers. I had this idea myself for my own future website. We need to stand up and say, we're consumers and proud of it. We are good citizens that ingest an herb. They need to stop locking us up like common criminals.

With that in mind, last word of the day goes to our Commander in Chief's mom:

War is not nice.
Barbara Bush (1925 - )

Mr. President. Listen to your mother.



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