Wed. Mar. 6, 2019 – that was fun

35F and 45%RH? Possible. But the furnace is running like crazy. [added- actual! and sunny with clear blue sky too]

Well, my CPA class kicked off last night and it was a lot of fun. Very diverse group of ~100 people, ~50 in the Tuesday class, and the same in the Thursday class. Naturally, there were a lot of retirees. Retirees tend to dominate any of the civic things I’ve been involved in. More time on their hands, and interest in the community I guess. Quite a few people heard about the class thru social media or a news report and said, “Oh, that sounds neat!” Wide spectrum of occupations from grad student to trucker, to police hopefuls, and family of cops.

For the pursuit driving, we just got to ride in the vehicles while the instructors went through the course. The other program, we actually drove with an instructor coaching. Still pretty impressive. The city standardized on Ford Explorers with the police package. They handle shockingly well. Very agile, very fast, very sticky. You can do a J turn with them, which I’d never attempt in my Expedition. I asked and they are pursuit rated. The evaluation team liked them for their roomy interior vs. cars.

The defensive tactics part was a bit of a disappointment, but did demonstrate the difficulty of choosing appropriate force level for response to differing threats. There was some discussion of lawful use of force, force escalation, and why tasers aren’t the panacea people think. No one got tased though.

Interesting night, and I’m looking forward to the next class.

Oh, I also learned the DEA, FBI, and another national 3 letter agency run CPA programs in Houston… I’ve got some googling to do 🙂

n

55 thoughts on “Wed. Mar. 6, 2019 – that was fun”

  1. For the pursuit driving, we just got to ride in the vehicles while the instructors went through the course. The other program, we actually drove with an instructor coaching. Still pretty impressive. The city standardized on Ford Explorers with the police package. They handle shockingly well. Very agile, very fast, very sticky. You can do a J turn with them, which I’d never attempt in my Expedition. I asked and they are pursuit rated. The evaluation team liked them for their roomy interior vs. cars.

    My wifes 2016 Exploder has a normal V6, a real, mechanical emergency brake — enabling the J-turns — and limited gadgetry. It is nice to drive on long trips. The big problem with the car for my wife (and the Austin police from what I’ve seen) is visibility and big-ness.

    Plus, again, we got hosed at Costco’s buying program … but I digress.

    The new Exploders went on a rear wheel drive platform — not a truck — which Ford has teased will be the foundation of a new Crown Vic/Police Interceptor to address the desire of the police departments and fleets (taxis, limos) who still need that kind of vehicle, especially in the city. However, the election seems to have derailed the development since Congress isn’t going to do anything about taking over CAFE this session with the House in Dem hands.

    Plus, unless Ford stashed the tooling in a warehouse, a new Crown Vic can’t offer what made it great for fleets beyond the size/speed — the ability to run the vehicle 400,000 miles on nothing but the maintenance depot idiots changing the oil and rotating the tires, with a replacement cost under $25,000 even customized for police work.

    My father, a Ford lifer except for 10 years working for himself, always said that the end of the old Crown Vic would be the real end of Ford, regardless of what happens with trucks. His connections went up and down the management chain so I take what he said seriously. He died before the cars went away. We’ll see what happens.

    Trump only delayed the CAFE mandate of 54 MPG. The next Presidential election could determine if the US auto fleet goes over a cliff of insanity so the automakers are still planning as if they’ll have to meet the standard.

  2. Subbing again today. First half is one teacher, second half is another teacher. Wonder if it is worth it for $60.00. Probably not but it is something to do and helps the school. I must look at the noble issue rather than the money issue.

    This first teacher is well organized. Desk is neat and clean, full instructions for the sub, as in detailed instructions. Room is not cluttered, spartan but clean.A refreshing change. First time I have subbed for this teacher who teaches US government.

    Second teacher has planning the last period of the day. Thus I get to leave early.

    I subbed at the middle school once and they pissed me off. When the teacher had their planning period I was told to come to the office and file papers. They were paying me for all day and I was to not goof off during the planning period. I said OK, but I am not returning to this school. The vice principal had a look of shock on her face. I have never returned to that school.

    Subs, good ones, are not easy to come by. Schools need to learn to not piss off subs, especially retired subs. We don’t need the money and can easily walk. Fortunately the high school treats their subs well and thus I don’t mind subbing here.

    Wife and I are both subbing on Friday.

    Added: One student had his head on his desk, appeared to be sleeping. I asked if he was done studying, he said yes. I said than sit up and get your head off the desk or go to the office. He replied “You’re crazy dude”. I sent him to the office immediately. He stormed out of class. I will not be disrespected by anyone. I suspect this is not his first rodeo in the office.

  3. Today I start my 68th trip around the sun. It’s astounding how fast these things go once you have completed 50 or so. Was remembering our vacation to New Zealand with my wife last night and in my memory it seems only a couple of years ago not eight. We lived there till 2004 and that “feels” so recent. I miss NZ. I have wished I’d stayed almost since we got back to the US. But NZ has a sensible and well enforced immigration law that puts special restrictions on OAPs and people over 55. Sigh. No going back for us short of winning the lottery. So it’s onward we go, one more year to retirement. I have begun recording my memories for posterity when ever I get a few quiet moments. The wife has me doing final edits on her second book “Venice” for self publishing on Amazon. It’s based very loosely on experiences I had while touring Europe and the Soviet Union in 1968 as a teen. She wants me to get it on-line before we leave for our visit to Italy next month.


  4. one more year to retirement

    You are old enough for SS and Medicare. Why the wait? I anguished over when to retire, was going to wait until 70.5 (I am currently working on my 69th trip around the sun, I am 68) to get maximum SS. What did the decision for me was my best friend, two months old than me, dying suddenly of a heart attack.

    I have enough income to live on if worse comes to worse and my savings were exhausted. Everything is paid for so no danger of losing the house as long as I pay the taxes. I would not live high on the hog but would get by OK.

    Next year will be better as wife goes on Medicare and that eliminates the obuttwadcare.

    Which has me in a dilemma. Her medicare will start Feb 1 of 2020. Thus there is one month where I will either have no insurance or one month of obuttwadcare. Do I just skip coverage for a month? Or will the obuttwadcare site recognize that I only need a month? Or by signing up does that commit me to paying for a full year. Surely the site is smarter enough to know. (I also make stupid statements sometime).

    Still fighting the hospital and insurance company over my wife’s surgery. Hospital is refusing to refund the over payment saying I agreed to the charges by paying them before the surgery. Insurance company is no help since I paid up front and is not part of their billing and payments. Maybe the hospital is just stalling to keep my money as long as possible.

  5. Going for my annual physical with my family doctor shortly. Be back with wait time history later.

    Also for Ray, how I do with my medicare and private insurance supplements.

  6. Why wait another year to retire?
    Simply to keep the excellent company health coverage for my wife who has heart disease, diabetes, and failing kidneys. She will need a transplant or be going on dialysis this year. Next December she is eligible for Medicare and we can move on. Once we move to our new retirement home in Oklahoma, my health care will be covered by my tribe at excellent new facilities. Sadly, her Cherokee ancestors refused to be put on the Dawes Rolls and so she isn’t recognized as a tribal member. As you pointed out, I am eligible for full Social Security and have already begun to receive my monthly stipend. The wife filed at the same time and gets 50% of what I get. I find I am already getting a short timer attitude. The company is undergoing radical IT restructure, replacing most management and staff. I am the only IT person left with more than 2 years seniority. With well over a decade in service, I would get a very nice package if they decided to make me redundant. I have my fingers crossed.


  7. Marvel ‘set to cast first openly gay superhero’ as fans beg for Captain America to come out

    By Rebecca Lawrence For Mailonline

    Marvel are reportedly looking to cast their first openly gay superhero, and fans have already suggested who could take over the role.

    Really. Fans are BEGGING for this. FANS.

    if every gay person in america went to this movie, it would still have fewer views than some youtube videos.

    comics are a niche market. GAY comics? Srsly? Who the hell would greenlight something like this?

    n


  8. Next December she is eligible for Medicare and we can move on

    That is the key. Medicare with a supplement and I pay nothing. When spousal unit is on Medicare my healthcare costs should be what I pay for Medicare premiums plus the supplemental. I think that works out to about $500.00 a month for both of us.

    I have found that I can get my healthcare at my local doctor paid for by the VA. There is not a VA facility close enough so I can use local doctors and facilities. I don’t think it is worth it at this point as I would still be forced to pay Medicare premiums and would need a supplemental for the spousal unit.

    Biggest mistake I made was not retiring at the end the year. I chose May originally, was talked into delaying until August. Big mistake. Cost me thousands in healthcare for obuttwadcare. Seems the premiums are not based on what you are making, but on what you made for the year. I got stuck with full premiums for five months at $1,200.00 a month for the wife. In retrospect December 31 should have been my last official day.

    I find I am already getting a short timer attitude

    I know the feeling. I really liked what I did and the place I worked was OK with the exception of a few people. Since I have left there have been changes made that I think I would not have liked. My original plan to stay until 70 would have been derailed by the changes.

    When I was in the USAF short timer was considered FIGMO. F*** it, Got My Orders. It was surprising how many people got that attitude and basically did as little as possible.

  9. I don’t think fans are begging for this. I think activists are begging for this.

  10. GAY comics? Srsly?

    What is the super hero going to do to a villain? Twinkle toes around the villain, then do a limp wrist point to send the villain to the corner with crayons to color their anger?

    I see a lot of crap on TV where gay people are cast in an apparent attempt to ram it down our throats. I don’t care about mixed race couples or people with disabilities. I refuse to watch shows with gay people as that is nothing but flaunting a lifestyle to make themselves special.

    Seems to me there are a lot more gay people than there were when I was younger. Is it because they kept it to themselves (good for them), or because it was really frowned upon (true I suspect). But this flaunting that is happening today is just ridiculous. I don’t care how people live but when they force it upon me, attempt to make me part of it, to try and make me validate it, then I push back. Were I to go in a gay bar and flaunt my heterosexualness I would be beaten to a pulp by a bunch of limp wrists.

  11. Naturally, there were a lot of retirees. Retirees tend to dominate any of the civic things I’ve been involved in. More time on their hands, and interest in the community I guess.

    Kinda scary.

    Retirees have ruined HOAs in Florida, especially military retirees. Many live on the edge and the appreciating property values of the houses are a huge part of their retirement/estate plans, using their residence as an ATM.

    After I sold my house for market value in FL in 2010, our selling price put roughly 1/4 of the households in my subdivision into some form of short sale/foreclosure/bankruptcy, including several retiree couples. When we signed the paperwork in Vantucky I knew the aftermath would be bad, but *wow*.

    Of course, after being threatened with death over sod after the HOA passed narrow new rules targeting my yard and having to shell out $4000 to make the puckered sphincters happy for grass which died in a year, my response was (Muntz voice) “Ha ha”.

    It was fun to watch from a distance. Fortunately Texas HOA laws are more relaxed in favor of the homeowner, but control freaks always find an outlet. Our subdivision awards “Yard of the Month” signs lately.

  12. I am months away from reaching 65. I am planning to work until about age 71 both to maximize Social Security (age 70), finish paying off my mortgage and some very minor debt. And, because of my employer’s compensation program, I get vested in some stock each year at 25% per year. Bonuses are given out early in the year, and stock toward the end of the summer. But whenever I leave, there will be a fair sum of money left behind.

    I also want to keep the medical benefits as long as I can. My wife had hip replacement surgery just over 2 weeks ago, and the insurance helps. She retired some years ago at 62, and only has Medicare and my company’s insurance. She needs spinal surgery, but that was delayed because of the severity of her hip pain.

    And also, if I retire as planned, I will have worked full time in IT for fifty-one years.

  13. RE: Gays
    My Best Friend, Mark, was gay. We met in middle school and bonded over a love of all things geek, X-Men, Spiderman, NASA, SciFi, etc. I knew even then that he was somehow different from my other friends because when he stayed-over he would get up early and make gourmet breakfast for my family. He wasn’t “swishy” or prissy and we enjoyed normal boy stuff like shooting and making explosives and adventure camping. I moved to another state but we remained close through high-school visiting often. Then when he hit 20 he “discovered” his gayness and came out with a vengeance. He went full on Gay Drama Queen mode for about a year. Very annoying. I didn’t see him much in that time as he was exploring his new “lifestyle”. Then he settled down and was back to the same old Mark I always knew, only with a whole new set of interesting friends. I accompanied him to several gay clubs and was amused when strange men tried to hit on me. Since I didn’t swing that way I wasn’t threatened, just amused, and getting a view of what women must feel like when men tried to pick them up. He didn’t buy into the whole “gays MUST be Liberal” theme and kept a poster in his office that said “F*ck it … NUKE the Whales”. His philosophy was very libertarian, live and let live. He ended up living in Silverlake in LA and I visited as often as I could. One dinner party included several Disney employees and the conversation turned to a detailed discussion of the quality of the 1960 Barbie wardrobe made in Japan vs other sources. I learned a lot. I also discovered from one of the animators of Beauty and the Beast that the Gaston character was a stereotype of straight men as seen by gays, while the man that the beast turns into at the end, was drawn as an idealized gay stereotype. Sadly, Mark acquired HIV in the 90s and hid it from friends and family. I knew something was wrong when he suddenly took a year off and spent it traveling the world to complete his bucket list. I was at his bedside when he died a year later. He was gay but it didn’t define who he was, it was just another aspect of his personality. He was a very good man and I trusted him with my life. I don’t give a damn who you love just don’t push it in my face and we can all get along.

  14. I don’t give a damn who you love just don’t push it in my face and we can all get along.

    I don’t think it is possible to work in tech and not have some degree of tolerance for people being different as long as it doesn’t affect their job.

  15. Greg – I used to think that way, almost all the techies I met were pretty open minded.
    Then I took on Server Management for Fannie Mae in DC. Most of the tech staff were H1Bs from all over the world. I felt right at home. But I had one kid from Long Island who had a chip on his shoulder. He was smart but arrogant having grown up in a very rich family. He came to me one day complaining that “they” were ganging up on him to make him look foolish. I asked who “they” were. He looked at me like I was an idiot. “The blacks of course” he said. Most of the team had dark skin from India to Jamaica to the UK. He seriously thought that the darker skinned techs were conspiring against him. I looked into his complaints and they were pure paranoia. I tried to council him but when I didn’t take action, he complained I was “on their side”. It got so bad that I had to refer him to HR and have him moved to a different division. I grew up in the south but I’ve never seen such racism as he showed. I’m happy I am no longer in management.

  16. Then I took on Server Management for Fannie Mae in DC. Most of the tech staff were H1Bs from all over the world.

    I’m not a fan of H1Bs, but it has nothing to do with race. When they identify as “freshers”, I know I’m in trouble.

  17. Y’know, Harold, I’ve been a manager before. There’s a reason I choose not to work as a manager, and that reason boils down to “people”.

  18. I was promoted to management when I moved to the UK. I had a GREAT team. They knew their jobs and all they needed was direction and resources and me to keep upper management off their back. Then I was transfered to Hong Kong with a mostly Chinese team. Again, they knew their job and simply needed direction & support. Everything was swimmng till Fannie Mae. The H1Bs were very smart, well educated, and dedicated. I only had problems with the native Americans (not American Indians) on the team. Now I too am very happy not to have any resource responsibility.

  19. The H1Bs were very smart, well educated, and dedicated.

    I suppose it is possible, but I never encountered any like that at AT&T or GTE/Verizon.


  20. There’s a reason I choose not to work as a manager

    I had my stint as a manager at a credit manager. IT manager. Dealing with budgets, staff and users was a pain in the lower extremity. Especially the software vendor who did many things wrong for which I called them on the carpet. The account manager swooned the CEO with her tits and I was history. Got fired. Best thing that ever happened to me. My nights and weekends were now belonging to me. A few months later the CEO was fired by the board.

    I found a dead end job coding web applications. Small organization. Only person on the IT staff. I was mostly self directed. Got my life back. If I had stayed in the CU job I would have lost my wife and child. The job was killing me and my family from the stress. I sucked at being a manager.

  21. Not many techies make a good transition to management. I have seen a fantastic support technician go all Stalinist when made Tech Support manager. His insecurity caused him to act as a dictator and his technical skills refused to allow him to accept anything less than perfection from his team. He was promoted in June and fired before December. Sad.
    My management style was borrowed from managers that I liked to work for. I saw my role as interpreting business direction into prioritized work plans, providing the team with required resources and training, and keeping upper management off their backs.

  22. “Our Planet Is Not Fragile” by Walter E. Williams
    https://townhall.com/columnists/walterewilliams/2019/03/06/our-planet-is-not-fragile-n2542516

    “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.” The people at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change agree, saying that to avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050.”

    “Let’s examine just a few cataclysmic events that exceed any destructive power of mankind and then ask how our purportedly fragile planet could survive. The 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano, in present-day Indonesia, had the force of 200 megatons of TNT. That’s the equivalent of 13,300 15-kiloton atomic bombs, the kind that destroyed Hiroshima in World War II. Before that was the 1815 Tambora eruption, the largest known volcanic eruption. It spewed so much debris into the atmosphere that 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer.” It led to crop failures and livestock death in the Northern Hemisphere, producing the worst famine of the 19th century. The A.D. 535 Krakatoa eruption had such force that it blotted out much of the light and heat of the sun for 18 months and is said to have led to the Dark Ages. Geophysicists estimate that just three volcanic eruptions — Indonesia (1883), Alaska (1912) and Iceland (1947) — spewed more carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than all of mankind’s activities during our entire history.”

  23. Just got back from my annual physical exam with my family doctor. We have been with him for several decades and, previously, the practice was typical with long waiting room experiences and minimal face-to-face time. Then about 15 years ago, he and another doctor broke away from the other two and formed a concierage practice.

    Here is the time frame of today:
    Appointment scheduled for 9:00 AM and arrived then,
    Waiting room: 9:0 – 9:03
    Medical assistant/Nurse: 9:03 – 9:07
    Alone: 9:07 – 9:12
    Dr: 9:12 – 9:35
    Nurse: 9:37 – 9:46
    Dr: 9:52 – 9:55
    Nurse: 9:55 – 10:05
    A complete exam but no x-rays.

    But wait, it gets better:
    1. Several years ago, my wife had a terrible episode late in the evening.
    2. I did 911 and the FD emergency took her to ER at nearest hospital,
    3. I drove there but was shortly sent home,
    4. They called in the AM and was told to visit in the Intensive Care Unit.
    5. After getting there and getting buzzed into the ICU and meeting with the unit’s director, I called my concierage Dr. (who no longer had practice privileges there) to update him and he stated that he would meet me there.
    6. Met him at the door, got him signed in as visitor at lobby desk and then we got buzzed into ICU.
    7. Introduced him to ICU director and we were asked to sit down in his office.
    8. Director booted up files on office terminal, but applying medical privacy mandates,
    was obvious in swinging monitor away from our eyes.
    9. After some amiable comments, he hit some buttons and then swung monitor around for our Dr. to view.
    10. Our Dr. then checked on her, pulse and heartbeat as he wore his stethoscope and discussed his opinion with me and then he left.

    Note that I was never billed for his informal, but very comforting to me, visit.

    https://www.facebook.com/PrivatePhysiciansMedicalAssociates/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARDvgq93od2IxHHGmAaDw7MnrbszKw6YDr88bATZpCJ2SX1fGf8HTBTRZtdD9uTb5vIsGIYAFr4bBrkv

    Oh yes, for the concierage patients, there is an annual fee.

  24. Oh yes, for the concierage patients, there is an annual fee.

    Hillarycare would have made payments for medical services outside of the plan illegal, ensuring everyone would have to go through the central payment system for all care. If the Progs get a shot at Medicare-for-All, they will make sure to slip that provision back into the mix.

    Concierge medicine will go away … well, except for Congress.

  25. I’m in my third management stint. My previous management job was at a company that was tanking – had to get out fast. I went to a consulting position. I left that job for my current company, though not management at first.

    If it wasn’t for the people, it would be a great job….

    Seriously though, people suck. And when you have an insecure boss, well, it sucks more. I can keep him busy enough to stay out of my way of the important stuff though. I do think this is my last management position. I have no desire to climb higher. If I have the opportunity to go elsewhere for the same or better pay and not be in management, I’ll take it.

    I stay where I’m at right now for the schedule. It’s VERY flexible, and since my wife’s work schedule is very inflexible, it works out well for school pickups, orthodontist appointments, etc. My son turns 16 in a year and a half, and then my requirements for a flexible schedule go way down. Though I may need to get a second job for his car insurance…

  26. @lynn,

    We were both old enough for medicare when I retired 12 years ago and I signed us up for UnitedHealthcare, Supplement Plan, Part B and Part D (prescriptions).
    I have been very happy with them and am not looking for any change. My wife, unfortunately, suffered some serious issues and required EMTs, hospital care, and then subsequent home visitations, etc., but I cannot recall any charges that were not covered. Also, I cannot recall any “out of network issues” ever. However, I do have copays at the pharmacy for the everyday prescriptive drugs, but they are quite reasonable.

  27. Excuse me, I forgot to note UHC fees.
    Before my wife passed, it was $500+ per month, for both parts.
    For me, alone it is $300 per month for both.

    Oh yeah, also forgot about the wait times. People who have concierage service are far less likely to not show up for appointments. Consequently, those PCPs do not have to overbook to account for such.

  28. “Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that “the world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”

    The Republican party has to get over the shell shock from the Clintons. 20+ years is enough, and Ocasio-Cortez is not Bill Clinton. Her office is already under investigation.

    I will grant that many Republicans also want to have sex with her. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if the sugar daddy is a big liberal (R) campaign donor having a laugh at Trump’s expense.

  29. The Republican party has to get over the shell shock from the Clintons. 20+ years is enough, and Ocasio-Cortez is not Bill Clinton. Her office is already under investigation.

    Rush ??? mentioned this morning that it looks like she might have paid her boyfriend a million dollars from her campaign via a PAC. If that becomes true, she may get a slap on the wrist by the FEC.
    https://nypost.com/2019/02/28/alexandria-ocasio-cortezs-campaign-may-have-illegally-paid-her-boyfriend-complaint/

  30. Heck, it wouldn’t surprise me if the sugar daddy is a big liberal (R) campaign donor having a laugh at Trump’s expense.

    Koch brothers ?

  31. I didn’t know when the + sign went missing from google search but it has been very frustrating lately. So I googled it.

    “(Google Search) said:
    The + operator was retired when Google+ was launched, because + was needed as a searchable character rather than an operator.

    Have you tried the Verbatim search tool? It’s much more precise and predictable than other methods. You can avoid all Google’s annoying interferences with your search terms, such as spelling “corrections”, alternative spellings, personalization, synonyms, word stemming, etc. Just be aware that, occasionally, Google’s interference might just be helpful: I use Verbatim search as default, but occasionally switch to standard search if I’m not sure of a spelling, want to pick up both US and UK spellings, need synonyms, etc.

    You can default your searches to verbatim by bookmarking https://www.google.com/webhp?tbs=li:1 for searching. All searches from that homepage and subsequent results pages will default to Verbatim.”

    I never heard of the ‘Verbatim” option but it works great.

    n

  32. Rush ??? mentioned this morning that it looks like she might have paid her boyfriend a million dollars from her campaign via a PAC. If that becomes true, she may get a slap on the wrist by the FEC.

    I believe the boyfriend got around $6,000. The million went to her CoS’s company.

  33. I will grant that many Republicans also want to have sex with her.

    Um, no. Don’t stick that thang into Crazy.

  34. No.

    A thousand times, NO.

    Intercourse may be fun, but the consequences of intercourse tie a not in mine ‘most every time. I’m happy with what I have. It IS possible to control yourself if you have a penis.

    As @Paul said…


  35. Koch brothers ?

    Nah. Her chief of staff was one of the operators of the PAC and he’s a tech millionaire.

    She conveniently arranged his pay, as well as some other top staffers to be lower than average (supposedly to give lower level staff higher pay). However, it put them below the threshold for having to file financial disclosure forms.

  36. Ray: ACA policies can be canceled at any time. To cancel the whole policy (everyone on the policy, whether 1 or 10) there’s a two week lead time. Get it for January, and call on January 15 to cancel. If you have multiple people on a policy, and just want to drop 1 (“My kid left for boot camp today, now he’s the Army’s problem”) that can be done effective end of business today. Call on the weekends or after ~ 6PM Eastern, the wait will be shorter.

  37. Koch brothers ?

    Too old. Think someone 50-ish with tech money. X-er. Maybe construction (Daddy daddy was an architect of some note).

    Not to digress, but I didn’t know the Koch brothers owned Georgia-Pacific until the last story about the paper mill outside Vantucky downsizing to 1/3 of the current staffing.

    The great irony is that the paper mill paid awesome benefits up until Doh-bamacare, and, even afterwards, took care of their people. IIRC, a standard visit at my wife’s office would net the clinic $300 from GP’s self insurance carrier.

    (My wife was lucky to see co-pay BTW)

  38. County is broke and in debt, Sheriff is laying staff off…

    Before we left Vantucky, the two southwest-most cities in Oregon were in a tax war with the Governor. Outside of the big cities in the area (Coos Bay and ?) law enforcement was not available at night. No one living there really cared, including the Sheriffs, but the Governor needed a cause to distract from his scandals and, restricted by OR law from levying sales taxes or additional income taxes on just the residents in those counties, came up with the idea of taxing phone calls to provide graveyard shift manpower.

    I don’t know how it turned out. About six months after we left, the Governor’s scandals caught up with him two weeks into his second term, and he resigned.

    My guess is that SW Oregon still doesn’t have law enforcement on duty outside the cities at night … and the locals still don’t care.


  39. ACA policies can be canceled at any time

    @pcb_duffer: Thanks for the info.

  40. To sleep, perchance to dream…. and hopefully not that I’m a politician.

    n

  41. WTF is this doing in the Swiss news? Senator Martha McSally alleges that she was raped as a junior USAF officer.”

    Am I bad for not believing her? Conveniently so long ago, conveniently she refuses to give any details as to dates, places or persons – making it impossible to check her story. Conveniently, she just quietly carried on with her career, retiring as an O6. She’s a bit late, jumping onto the #metoo bandwagon.

    Anyway, wny bring this story up now? From the Swiss articles, it’s not clear, but it must play into something – something she needs sympathy for, or maybe credibility with the victim culture.


  42. Anyway, wny(sic) bring this story up now?

    To further her political career, to get her name and face in the news, cheaper than buying an ad on TV.

    When I was in the USAF starting in 1969 the military was the front runner in equality and fair treatment of people regardless of gender or race. We had to attend race relations training once a year which also included gender relations.

    Had this lady made the same charge against her superior office while in the military it would have been investigated without any repercussions against her. While investigated she would have been reassigned to a different unit, perhaps even a different base. Thus removing the accused from her chain of command.

    If the charges were even remotely founded the accused would have been severely reprimanded thus ruining the person’s career. If a senior level individual with 20 years or more in the service they would have been forced to retire. If 20 years had not been reached they would have had their commission revoked and ineligible for benefits.

    The military took charges of racism and sexual assault seriously and acted quickly.

    I suspect Senator Martha McSally knew exactly what she was doing. She was trying to advance her career using her gender. The fact that she made O6 indicates it may have helped. I also suspect that somewhere this information has been made available to her as a threat. Now she is countering with the rape claim, stopping the fire before it spreads.

  43. @Ray: That’s my take as well. I spend 10 years as an officer in the USAF, and saw absolutely zero problems or discrimination against women or minorities. What counted was whether you were any good at your job.

    Now, any barrel has a few bad apples, that’s just reality. But she was an officer – one has higher expectations than for an enlisted person – and one such expectation is not to put up with any sort of illegal shit. I recall this drum being beaten pretty damned hard in officer training, and later again in Squadron Officer School. If she was raped, all she had to do was report the person, and the USAF would have come down on them like a ton of bricks. Ergo: Either she was too young and stupid to be an officer. Or it didn’t happen. I really don’t see a third alternative.

    What irritates me the most is the role model she’s providing for young, female officers. Is she demonstrating that it’s ok to tolerate illegal behavior and to protect the criminals by not naming them? Or is she demonstrating that it’s ok to make up baseless, unprovable accusations in order to gain sympathy? Dear Colonel McSally: you must pick one, because there are no other choices.


  44. But she was an officer – one has higher expectations than for an enlisted person

    I find that argument repugnant. Yes, there are some loser enlisted people, same as there were some obnoxious officers. As an enlisted person I feel that I held myself to the same standard. Do my job, do it well, and support the mission. To say an officer would do better is annoying.

    Now I will grant that I was not involved with the maintenance, motor pool, tarmac people. I was with the technical people and they tended to be a little higher on the food chain. I worked with many enlisted people that for the lack of four years of college were just as qualified as, and better than some, of the officers. Enlisted had a contract, officers had a commission. Officers could leave at any time, enlisted only at the end of the contract, unless the military saw fit to terminate the contract early.

    Back on the subject at hand. Yes, I smell a rat. Something does sound correct in McSally’s accusations. As you stated any charges, claims, or whiff of improper sexual or racial conduct in the USAF was dealt with quickly and severely. I know one officer who’s career was ended because of charges. I know of one enlisted person I worked with who was suddenly, as in the morning, gone to another base that afternoon, who was accused of sexual misconduct.

    I think she is lying.

  45. @Ray: Sorry, it wasn’t meant to be offensive. But there is supposed to be a difference, in that enlisted folk are expected to follow orders and do their duty. Whereas officers are also expect to question those orders, if necessary. Also, officers tend to be older and better educated, if only by a few years. So where an airman 1st class might put up with some amount of crap and look the other way, a 1st Lt damn well should not.

  46. My guess is McSally got involved with someone, it didn’t work out, guy was probably married. He may have contacted her lately and she is protecting the affair by claiming rape. At this point, she should have been silent. Now she is open to backlash, as Mr. Brad said.

    I had the “joy” of investigating a couple of sexually inappropriate cases as an O4 (also as a Company Commander. I posted about it long ago “the naked Warrant Officer”). Nobody would talk, so the O6 could only warn the parties involved.

    I’m so glad I retired as an O5. All the tranny and gay stuff is crazy.

  47. @Brad: No need to apologize on this board. I understand what you were saying. I put up with that crap when I was in the service, looked down upon, because I was enlisted. I made many of my own decisions, created my own orders so to speak. I worked in a unit that was highly involved in technology and most of the work, and many of the technical decisions were made by us lowly enlisted people. The officers above us were merely front men for the projects involved.

    Some of the people I worked with had degrees that were enlisted people. They just did not want to become and officer. One guy was being paid $400.00 a month by IBM during his tenure in the USAF so that he would return to IBM when his contract was up.

    At Randolph AFB when I working on BLMPS, the military personnel system, we had a go live date of April 1, 1974. Most of our stuff was working except for one piece, an interface into the HQ system. We, as in the enlisted grunts and the OIC, knew that HQ (code we had no control over) had a problem that could not be fixed by the live date. The colonel in charge basically said to fake it. We objected. The colonel stated “this is a direct order”. Boom, case closed.

    Come April 2nd it was discovered there was a problem (we knew there would be). The unit, enlisted and OIC, were called into the two star general’s office. Present was also the colonel that gave us the direct order to “fake it”. General wanted to know what happened. My OIC, a captain, told the general exactly what had taken place.

    The colonel lied and stated he said no such thing. Eight enlisted people and one captain stated otherwise. The colonel persisted and said he gave us an order to NOT do it the way it was stated. The general believed the colonel. The captain got a letter in his file basically destroying his career. All the enlisted people got reprimands in our files for not following orders.

    That made my decision to leave the USAF. I was not going to be an organization where truth was based on rank, not actual facts. As enlisted people we were considered sub-human liars that were only protecting ourselves. The colonel, because of his rank, was considered to be the only one honorable simply because he was an officer.

    However, to counter that. I was in DC waiting for the afternoon shuttle back to Langley AFB. A three star general came into PACSERV and asked if there was anyone going to Langley as they would be welcome to travel on his plane. I was pointed by the counter person. The general invited me to ride on his plane. I accepted.

    Upon arrival at Langley the pilot had radioed ahead that a general’s plane was arriving and there were two passengers. Two staff cars were waiting on the tarmac. As we exited the plane and the general started to get in his staff car the other staff car started to leave. The general stopped the driver and told the driver to take me anywhere on base, his orders.

    Thus I got to ride in a staff car for the 0.5 mile ride to my barracks. It was fun to see people salute the vehicle as it passed as the driver had not removed the general flag from the front. That man was a general for a reason. He was not only intelligent, but wise. Traits that slimeball colonel lacked.

    My friend and I had researched the dress code and discovered that shorts were allowed in the summer. We were at Langley. We found shorts at the thrift shop and the necessary knee high black socks. We wore the uniform on morning.

    While walking to work we were stopped three times by officers who stopped their cars, jacked us up at attention, and proceeded to tell us we were out of uniform. After a few minutes of being chewed out we would show them the applicable dress regulation. Only one listened. The other two proceeded to tell us they knew the regulations and as enlisted people we were ignorant of the regulations. They wanted our names and we were to report to them in proper attire within the hour.

    We did show up with copies of the regulations clearing showing that what we were wearing was proper and official dress code. No apologies were given. We were just told to watch ourselves because we were on their radar. One of them then told us our haircuts were not acceptable and to get a haircut.

    The officer that believed us was a captain. The officers that did not were majors. I guess they thought they had busted a major uprising. They were not happy when shown otherwise.

  48. While I have many stories of my days in Uncle’s Nuclear Navy, this one from when we took President Jimmy and Roslyn Carter out for a ride on our submarine, SSN 688, Los Angeles, is very telling.

    First, Admiral Rickover was far from “Regular Navy,” he wanted his Nukes (Officer or Enlisted) to question orders, and he believed that the Nuke Enlisted was the top of the crop.

    When Rickover brought Jimmy and Roslyn (with Jody Powell, the only other person with the Carters’, no Secret Service) into Maneuvering (where the Nuke Plant, Steam Plant, and Electrical Plant are run) he made an announcement on the 1MC (General Announcing System) that ALL Officers were to report to the Wardroom, no Officer was to be at any Watch Station or anywhere other than the Wardroom until he, Rickover, released them. The Chief of the Boat (COB) took over the Control Room (CON), only Enlisted were at all Watch Stations. Rickover then announced over the 1MC that he was going to run extensive drills, fore and aft, to show the President not only the capabilities of the Los Angeles Class but also the quality of the Enlisted Sailor, particularly “His Nukes.” For the next more than one hour Rickover ran throughout the Boat running drills, ending with…, well I can’t tell you what all we did because it will forever remain Classified (I can tell you that I was at the Electric Plant Control Panel (EPCP)).

    Then we had lunch (after Jody Powell got a clean pair of skivvies).

  49. When I was working at Randolph on the BLMPS system there was one captain in charge of the unit working on the base level system. Under him there were 12 enlisted people, Hill’s Dirty Dozen. We worked fairly much on our own, knowing the task. Part way through the project we acquired a young office 1stLT. He worked alongside the enlisted and did not consider himself any better or any worse than any of us.

    Our outfit was fairly unique at MPC (Military Personnel Center). We worked at night begging computer time wherever we could find time. That may be at Lackland, Brooks, a civilian facility contracted to the USAF or actually on Lackland. We went to midnight chow and rarely wore our uniforms during the two year development phase. The name Hill’s Dirty Dozen was well named and well earned although we did shower unlike how the movie got it’s name.

    After the fiasco with colonel the unit went down hill. Scott Hill, the captain in charge, knew his career was doomed. He left the service under his own power a couple of months later.

    We got a new captain, Captain Wagner. He started out tough as nails sort of guy, going to run a tight organization. He announced that lack of titles when saying people’s names was to be stopped. He would known as “Captain Wagner”. To which a couple of us replied “Yes Sir CW”. From that day on he was referred to as CW within the offices. Outside the office he was referred properly as Captain Wagner as he was due that respect.

    The needs of our projects required a very loose military structure. We had to work as teams at times, individuals at other times, equals on many occasions. Using rank in the titles got in the way of the needs of the office and the requirements of the mission.

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