impressive as hell

I built a website for my new team today on Army Knowledge Online. AKO beats the sh1t out of AF Portal, without working up a sweat.


The NCO's prayer


give me for today the wisdom and energy to lead American fighting men.


Privatization dead?

Now that I am reconnecting with the media somewhat, it appears that the urgency for privatization of Social Security is on the wane.

This is not frigging acceptable. Simply not acceptable. Of course a President must pick his battles, but I would advise that Dubya let the Senate GOP majority take on the issue of Senatorial advice and consent for his judicial appointments, so he can keep beating the drum for SS privatization.

And I agree with Ed Crane that the better selling point for privatization is simple human dignity, not some abstract solvency for SS. I don't give a rat's ass whether SS will be solvent in the year 2040. Most other people don't either. They and I will care whether there will be any money left in our estates to pass to heirs, whether we in our dotage will be draining the wealth of our children. Speak to that dignity, speak to that recurring fear among aging parents, Mister President. Privatization can solve that, if not for all of the Boomers at least for the wiser of them.

Back to the President picking his battles: the diversion to the Terri Schiavo matter was a mistake at the Federal level. I got off work early one day to attend a town meeting with my US Representative, to hear him promote SS privatization. When I got there, he wasn't, and some staffers and SS functionaries were holding the town meeting in his stead. The rest of the audience was comfortably past the age of 55, and there were enough of us that a thuggish little furball with an embroidered badge on his polo shirt saying Fire Marshall wanted to kick out those of us who couldn't find a seat.

My rep wasn't there because he had been called back to DC, to vote on a law to authorize Federal courts to hear Terri's whining parents. That day, that one day knocked the wind out of privatization because the GOP's eyes were taken off the ball.

Mister President, get your skinny ass back out there and sell this plan, and don't allow any distraction, even the Chinese launching on Taiwan. You have Rumsfeld for that.

Please. Sir.


. . . and they loaded up the truck and they moved to Laramieeeeeee

. . . County, that is. Drivin' wind. Antelope.

First week was a cluster for reasons I'd rather not recount. But I was hired to put things in order, after all, and that I will do.

A Quiz With No Known Correct Answer for all five of my regular devoted readers:

You might not know that at Air Force Bases, the Commissaries (subsidized grocers for the servicemembers) do not hire baggers. Volunteers bag your groceries, and work only for tips. A little box or jar right at the end of the cashier stand lets you drop in as much or as little as you will for your bagger.

While I was still at Golfball Prairie AFB, sometimes Barbaloot would text me a full shopping list and I would buy it and drive home with it. I'd make sure I had a couple of bucks---not $1 per bag like an airport skycap, Hey, I work for a living!---and give it to the bagger when she loaded it into my trunk. BTW, the baggers there are all Japanese or Korean. Wonder why . . .

On the other hand, there were times when I had no cash, and I knew I could get a tray of sushi at the Commissary, put it on plastic, and get back to work quickly, but chose not to tip the bagger because hell, it was only lunch. The bagger dutifully bagged it for me anyway. I had to concentrate to not feel like a heel for not tipping.

So it's crossed my mind every time I shop at an AF Commissary, either at Golfball AFB or now at Windswept AFB: who do you think tips best and who tips worst? Airmen, Junior NCOs, Senior NCOs, Company grade officers, or Flag officers? Married or single? Male or female? High-and-tight, or Post-modern?

If any genuine Commissary Baggers read this sheet, I'd like you to chime in.