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Posts by Atlas Sneezed

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  • Spy Plane Fries Air Traffic Control Computers, Shuts Down LAX

    05/03/2014 2:50:33 PM PDT · 36 of 94
    Atlas Sneezed to george76

    Since it involves secret planes flying high over LAX, it’s worth sharing this wonderful story (this Freeper has met the author):

    There were a lot of things we couldn’t do in an SR-71, but we were the fastest guys on the block and loved reminding our fellow aviators of this fact. People often asked us if, because of this fact, it was fun to fly the jet. Fun would not be the first word I would use to describe flying this plane. Intense, maybe. Even cerebral. But there was one day in our Sled experience when we would have to say that it was pure fun to be the fastest guys out there, at least for a moment.

    It occurred when Walt and I were flying our final training sortie. We needed 100 hours in the jet to complete our training and attain Mission Ready status. Somewhere over Colorado we had passed the century mark. We had made the turn in Arizona and the jet was performing flawlessly. My gauges were wired in the front seat and we were starting to feel pretty good about ourselves, not only because we would soon be flying real missions but because we had gained a great deal of confidence in the plane in the past ten months. Ripping across the barren deserts 80,000 feet below us, I could already see the coast of California from the Arizona border. I was, finally, after many humbling months of simulators and study, ahead of the jet.

    I was beginning to feel a bit sorry for Walter in the back seat. There he was, with no really good view of the incredible sights before us, tasked with monitoring four different radios. This was good practice for him for when we began flying real missions, when a priority transmission from headquarters could be vital. It had been difficult, too, for me to relinquish control of the radios, as during my entire flying career I had controlled my own transmissions. But it was part of the division of duties in this plane and I had adjusted to it. I still insisted on talking on the radio while we were on the ground, however. Walt was so good at many things, but he couldn’t match my expertise at sounding smooth on the radios, a skill that had been honed sharply with years in fighter squadrons where the slightest radio miscue was grounds for beheading. He understood that and allowed me that luxury.

    Just to get a sense of what Walt had to contend with, I pulled the radio toggle switches and monitored the frequencies along with him. The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, far below us, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

    We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I’m showing you at ninety knots on the ground.”

    Now the thing to understand about Center controllers, was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna, or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the “ Houston Center voice.” I have always felt that after years of seeing documentaries on this country’s space program and listening to the calm and distinct voice of the Houston controllers, that all other controllers since then wanted to sound like that, and that they basically did. And it didn’t matter what sector of the country we would be flying in, it always seemed like the same guy was talking. Over the years that tone of voice had become somewhat of a comforting sound to pilots everywhere. Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

    Just moments after the Cessna’s inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. “I have you at one hundred and twenty-five knots of ground speed.” Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a navy F-18 pilot out of NAS Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check”. Before Center could reply, I’m thinking to myself, hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout? Then I got it, ol’ Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He’s the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same, calm, voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.”

    And I thought to myself, is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done - in mere seconds we’ll be out of the sector and the opportunity will be lost. That Hornet must die, and die now. I thought about all of our Sim training and how important it was that we developed well as a crew and knew that to jump in on the radios now would destroy the integrity of all that we had worked toward becoming. I was torn.

    Somewhere, 13 miles above Arizona, there was a pilot screaming inside his space helmet. Then, I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, and with no emotion, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?” There was no hesitation, and the replay came as if was an everyday request. “Aspen 20, I show you at one thousand eight hundred and forty-two knots, across the ground.”

    I think it was the forty-two knots that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. But the precise point at which I knew that Walt and I were going to be really good friends for a long time was when he keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we’re showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.”

    For a moment Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A.came back with, “Roger that Aspen, Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

    It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on freq were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day’s work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.

    For just one day, it truly was fun being the fastest guys out there.

  • The Bloomberg anti-gun backlash has just begun

    04/30/2014 8:25:19 AM PDT · 8 of 23
    Atlas Sneezed to driftdiver

    I thought Tom Ridge was a conservative?

    He’s been known as a gun-grabber since he entered the national political picture.

  • White House Wants to Lift Ban on Interstate Tolls

    04/30/2014 8:20:36 AM PDT · 95 of 96
    Atlas Sneezed to ansel12

    True, Obama and the libertarians seem in agreement on this.

    Ah, the liberty-hating troll speaks out on behalf of libertarians again.

    If you’re going to claim to convey your adversary’s position, at least find a link and a quote.

  • White House opens door to tolls on interstate highways, removing long-standing prohibition

    04/30/2014 7:48:52 AM PDT · 61 of 78
    Atlas Sneezed to SoFloFreeper

    This is a chance to create another TSA to employ unionized democrats and harass citizens at their own expense.

  • Congress Ignores Terms of Copyright Clause

    04/30/2014 7:27:28 AM PDT · 4 of 8
    Atlas Sneezed to Little Ray

    All so Disney can keep Mickey copyrighted...

    Mickey is also a trademark for a wide range of goods and services, and trademarks never expire if kept in use.

    The perpetual copyright is not needed.

  • Atlanta-area FedEx shooter carried assault rifle, knife, bandolier 'like Rambo'

    04/29/2014 12:21:15 PM PDT · 42 of 48
    Atlas Sneezed to ozzymandus

    See my retraction far above, and note that looking at Google images, you go a couple dozen “bandolier” images before you come across any with pouches as opposed to exposed ammo.

  • Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Voter ID Law

    04/29/2014 12:15:41 PM PDT · 57 of 180
    Atlas Sneezed to henkster

    I’ll bet the poor and minority people need an ID to get into this judge’s courthouse.

    I’ve never been asked for ID to get into any courthouse anywhere. Plenty of security, though.

  • Atlanta-area FedEx shooter carried assault rifle, knife, bandolier 'like Rambo'

    04/29/2014 11:48:04 AM PDT · 40 of 48
    Atlas Sneezed to Mastador1; SampleMan

    Please see my post #10 that caught my own error.

    Incidentally, My Google image search found no “Rambo” images (of Stallone) with any kind of bandolier, and a few showing fake images with ammo belts.

  • Atlanta-area FedEx shooter carried assault rifle, knife, bandolier 'like Rambo'

    04/29/2014 10:07:10 AM PDT · 10 of 48
    Atlas Sneezed to Atlas Sneezed

    Bandoliers are for belt fed.

    On second thought, I’m wrong. I think those Mexican “banditos” and such on the old west had individual cartridges in belts, for later loading into their rifles or pistols by hand.

  • Atlanta-area FedEx shooter carried assault rifle, knife, bandolier 'like Rambo'

    04/29/2014 9:58:57 AM PDT · 3 of 48
    Atlas Sneezed to PaulCruz2016

    Bandoliers are for belt fed. I suspect it was web gear with magazine pouches (like found on local swat teams and armed federal agents these days).

  • The New Normal American Dream: Homeownership Rate Plunges To 19 Year Low; Asking Rents Soar

    04/29/2014 8:10:36 AM PDT · 10 of 30
    Atlas Sneezed to Nachum

    The rent chart looks like a 4% inflation rate to me. Big deal.

    The home ownership graph looks like those who shouldn’t have owned homes during the boom no longer own them. As it should be.

  • Woman Says Letter Warned Magic Johnson Told He Had Aids Virus Two Months Before Doctor Knew

    04/29/2014 8:01:31 AM PDT · 17 of 22
    Atlas Sneezed to MHGinTN

    Here’s an interesting page that has a collection of medical studies on the subject:

  • Woman Says Letter Warned Magic Johnson Told He Had Aids Virus Two Months Before Doctor Knew

    04/29/2014 7:50:49 AM PDT · 16 of 22
    Atlas Sneezed to MHGinTN

    See the article in the post above.

    Also, men who frequent prostitutes often have open sores from other STDs, and they are quite vulnerable to AIDS infection.

    My efforts to google your study found nothing. Please let me know where I might find it.

    Also, ask yourself why AIDS is essentially unknown among prostitutes who don’t share needles or receive unprotected anal sex.

  • Woman Says Letter Warned Magic Johnson Told He Had Aids Virus Two Months Before Doctor Knew

    04/29/2014 7:46:38 AM PDT · 14 of 22
    Atlas Sneezed to wetphoenix

    ~If it was from sex with an infected woman, it would be the first medically-verified case of such transmission in the US.~

    You must be kidding.

    I’m not. It is essentially medically impossible for a healthy (without open sores on his genitals - compare Africa) man to seroconvert from (unprotected) vaginal sex.

    And when I say “medically confirmed” I mean that the man and the woman are both tested to verify that it is in fat the same strain, as some health departments do, or used to do. “I got it from a doorknob” claims are not considered confirmations.

    And if you want your head to explode, consider that it takes about 500-100 unprotectd acts of vaginal sex with an infected man for a woman to seroconvert. (Anal is a VERY different matter, and MUCH more dangerous).

    From the article:
    “What about woman to man? The first such partner study was again conducted by Padian. It found that of 41 originally uninfected men, over a period of years only one became positive and that relationship involved “over 100 episodes of vaginal and penile bleeding.” Her 1997 final report found two of 82 male partners had become infected, for a transmission rate of 2.4 percent over 10 years. “

    (I exaggerated on the “impossible” aspect, unless a couple of the study participants were receiving anal sex or sharing needles).

    Incidentally, the author is highly respected, and a long-time Freeper.

  • Rocky Mountain High and Unintended Consequences

    04/29/2014 7:27:22 AM PDT · 48 of 78
    Atlas Sneezed to rktman

    The article is intellectually disappointing, relating tragic anecdotes associated with marijuana use, and treating them as if they reflect a trend (and as if traffic deaths, suicides and violence never occur without marijuana).

    The best study shows that traffic fatalities decline after states legalize marijuana.

    Medical Marijuana Laws, Traffic Fatalities, and Alcohol Consumption

  • Woman Says Letter Warned Magic Johnson Told He Had Aids Virus Two Months Before Doctor Knew

    04/29/2014 7:10:02 AM PDT · 9 of 22
    Atlas Sneezed to SoFloFreeper

    So, how does Magic claims to have been infected?

    If it was from sex with an infected woman, it would be the first medically-verified case of such transmission in the US.

  • Justice effort aims to reduce racial bias in arrests (No more Trayvons!)

    04/28/2014 2:16:34 PM PDT · 16 of 24
    Atlas Sneezed to Dilbert San Diego

    Thus, it would stand to reason that black men get arrested in disproportionate numbers as well.

    The simplest way to determine bias in arrests, is to look at acquittal rates. The ones that are arrested over-zealously will tend to be acquitted more.

    One might control for other factors like quality of legal representation (public defender versus paid) and for each category of crime.

    The data for all that exists already.

    No, this is about intimidating local cops to be more lenient toward Holder’s People.

  • Paul Simon, Edie Brickell charged with domestic violence

    04/28/2014 9:03:22 AM PDT · 66 of 110
    Atlas Sneezed to LRoggy

    For my money he is the greatest US-born songwriter ever.

    He has put together some great bands, too. Steve Gadd’s drumming on 50 Ways and Late In the Evening are unforgettable.


  • Extended Donald Sterling recording includes more horrific racism (Reminder: Democrat donor)

    04/28/2014 5:54:09 AM PDT · 48 of 53
    Atlas Sneezed to TBP

    He’s a Democrat, so it’s OK. If it were a white Republican, they’d have been ordered by their foremen (Hijackson, Sharptongue, and the rest of the racists) to go on strike.

    Good point, but I think it’s even better to call them “overseers” than foremen.

  • Driver sues boy she struck and killed

    04/27/2014 1:41:38 PM PDT · 14 of 24
    Atlas Sneezed to bigbob

    This is total BS, regardless. Any kind of decent human being does not kill someones kid and then turn around and sue the parents. You just don’t do it.

    Unless they sued you first, and you need to defend yourself.