Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Delaware Christmas

Then Rick adds this:

Now, if Jimmy checks in with an Upper Peninsula Christmas scene, Terry with San Diego, and Ron with upper NY, we will have pretty well covered the lower 48 needing only the Great North West. In the meantime, here is the Beach Cam close to DAFB and a C-133 crew members' favorite hangout during the summers of the 60's! But, remember those winters? Rick

Click on: Bethany Cam

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Key West Christmas

And from the "other end" of the 48 contiguous states, a voice is heard...

Our Book of the Month Reviewer, Rick Spencer says check out this live shot (click on): Sunset Cam

"Merry Christmas from Key West!"

Minnesota Christmas

This is what -34 wind chill looks like! Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Breaking News in Illinois

Totally unrelated to the purpose of this blog, I just couldn't resist the temptation to ask:

Who does Blagojevich remind you of more, Howdy Doody, or Alfred E. Neuman, or Eddie Munster?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Book of the Month

THE CLASSICAL WORLD: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian
Authored By Robin Lane Fox
Basic Books, 2006

As you know, for the most part during the past year I have been writing monthly reviews for C-133 crew-members about American military leaders who turned their skill into major civilian leadership positions. Discussions of these larger than life figures always leads to the question of “How did they transition from a warrior’s life of fierce defense for the country into that of a political leader?” Commanding men in battle bestows a certain humility that seems to transfer successfully into civilian leadership. We do surmise that each truly believed that the uniting of democratic values with the American people gave mankind its best hope.

These transformational leaders generally rose from ordinary beginnings to extraordinary accomplishments with a strong belief in the foundational values of Classical Western Culture. Honor and integrity were particular qualities imbued during their childhood upbringing; and, when under immense challenges, that became their strength. There is a reason that the American Armed Forces are the most respected of all U.S. Government institutions. But, what exactly was this culture and how did it develop? What were its military and civilian manifestations?

These questions are largely answered by Robin Lane Fox in The Classical World that is an introductory history about the ancient and classical civilizations of Greece and Rome where this culture began. Fox chronicles the period from Homer to Hadrian, from early Greece to Imperial Rome, some 900 years of political intrigue, of constant wars for fame and power, and of the ordinary life of the citizens. The relationship between the Greeks and the Romans has virtually no parallel in world history. It became a love-hate relationship, a fusion that created an extraordinary culture.

These nations dominated the western world for centuries; and, their art, architecture, drama, philosophy, politics, and military leadership determined the distinctive character and fundamental pillars of modern Western Civilization. The growth of the Arts that formed among the slaughter of the people during the constant turmoil of war seems impossible and is unprecedented. However, Classical culture, these many centuries later with its enduring strength is still typically expressed in our attitudes, habits, and beliefs. It is our ethos.

Fox has created an epic poem that tells the tales of those times in a continuous narrative that outlines the formative struggles within these ancient classical cultures that were largely influenced by man’s will to be free. Individual freedom; it is still and will always be the main struggle that we engage. It was in Athens that a radical or participatory democracy first evolved with origins as far back as 510B.C. Even though far removed from our present system of representative democracy, we tend to regard it as the spiritual ancestor of Western governance.

The author begins The Classical World with Homer, as his poems are the first written Greek literature to survive and ends with Hadrian as ‘classical literature’ ends with that reign. Hadrian toured his Roman Empire that extended from Britain to the Red Sea and was the one emperor who acquired a first-hand view of the classical world during his excursions in the 120’s and 130’s. Since Hadrian’s day, no other empire has ruled such a large expanse of territory. I refer you to this site about Hadrian’s Wall in Britain as an example of the Roman Empire’s reach.

Click on: "Hadrian's Wall" on Wikipedia

Hannibal and Rome is a most interesting chapter as it relates the famous battle at Cannae where Hannibal won a supreme victory over the Romans that is still studied in Western military academies. During the battle 48,000 enemy troops were killed at an estimated 500 lives per minute. Elephants and cavalry were a large part of the fierce engagements that ensued during the Hannibalic War. That War made Hannibal into history’s first global warrior. For more than 30 years he had been out of Carthage fighting in Spain, the Alps, and Italy. Hannibal’s memory continued to haunt Rome and years later in the 90’s AD, a Roman emperor had a Roman senator executed as he had a slave named Hannibal.

While reading The Classical World I was constantly reminded of Michael Howard’s The invention of Peace that I reviewed last January. Howard ‘s thesis still speaks to the truth that revolves about the notion that peace is a far more complex affair than war; so complex that it seems to remain beyond humanity’s reach; merely an invention of the international bourgeois community. Peace was and continues to be an elusive dream, simply the interlude between wars. Are we surprised! Thucydides the Greek first noted that in the 400’s B.C.

Scholars opine that these ancient battles, for all of their madness, are worthy of study if for no other reason than they are crucibles of history. A few hours of vicious fighting could determine the fate of an empire and alter the course of history. Marathon, Gaugamela, Masada, Teutoburg Forest, and Adrianople are examples that usually heralded the rise of one and the fall of the other. Students can easily study this long and unrelenting chronology about the chaotic complexity that underlies Howard’s thesis, as war was constant, integral, and vicious during the ancient classical world. Is it different in today’s world?

All in all, The Classical World is a fascinating depiction of how classical culture came into existence. It was a global world then and now; sometimes welcomed and encouraged, and sometimes resisted. It is well worth your study as the outcome from this distant and ancient past set the stage for the future development of modern Western civilization. Fox has created a compelling overview of the ancient human experience that began a long, arduous journey toward securing mankind’s insatiable desire for individual freedom. Freedom is a never-ending quest with the end result always in danger from the greater evils of power seekers. And, that is exactly what these great military/civilian leaders of America, well-educated in classical culture, knew even better. Enjoy!

Reviewed for the C-133 site By Richard Spencer,
39th ATS, DAFB, 1962-1965

Order this book for $2.95 here: The Classical World

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fading Away

Received the following from Crew colleague Dick Quimby:

Dick, and 133 troops: This morning I had coffee with a nearby friend here in Utah who flew with Ed Flanders in Germany in the 50th F-4 Squadron. He knew that Ed had also been in the 39th with me at Dover and asked if I had received Ed's email, letting folks know that his wife, Claire, had died on 10 Nov. I had not, but knew that Claire had been ill for some time, with numerous hospital stays.

Ed and Claire drove me up to New Hampshire from Dover after the last reunion, and we shared many war stories. (again!, Sheila and I knew them in the 39th) I spoke to Ed an hour ago, and he's certainly OK with letting C-133 folks know that Claire has passed away, so please pass this on to all. What great friends we've gathered, and what wonderful memories we share as we begin to "just fade away." Q

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

USAF Col. Leo Thorsness, was an F-105 pilot in Viet Nam in 1967. Here's an excerpt from a post on Powerline blog:

Colonel Thorsness is one of the most remarkable men I have ever met. He is one of the few (fewer than 150) living Medal of Honor recipients. His name should be known and his story should be told. He may be one of the "great-souled" men at the summit of human excellence of whom Aristotle speaks in the Ethics.

Listening to Colonel Thorsness talk about his experience as a prisoner of war, I thought to myself that someone has to write this up. I have since learned that someone -- Colonel Thorsness himself -- has done so (click on his memoir Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey ). Based on my interview with Colonel Thorsness, I look forward to reading the book and commend it to your attention.

To read the rest of this post on Powerline blog, click on: A McCain Campaign Highlight

Lockheed F-35B

Thanks to Rick Spencer for this video....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November Book of the Month

Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life
Carlo D’este
Henry Holt and Company, 2002

Thirty-Fourth President

Born: October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas

Died: March 28, 1969 in Washington D.C.

The roster of The Long Gray Line for the class of 1915 at West Point reads like a military Who’s Who of WWII. More than half the class of 115 graduates who served in the War became Generals. It was the “class the stars fell on” with two four-stars, seven three-stars, twenty-four two-stars, and twenty-five one stars. Additionally, there were two five-stars and one President of the United States: Eisenhower, possibly the most famous USMA graduate of the 20th Century. The Class of 1915 is the most famous in West Point history. It is the class that saved the world from the evils of the fascist tyrants. There will never be another like it!

D’Este writes a most compelling and readable biography of Eisenhower’s life as a soldier that leads to him becoming a national hero and one of the most universally respected Americans of his time. He rightly notes that more than a half century later it is still difficult to grasp fully the enormity of Eisenhower’s responsibilities. Even so, in war or peace, Eisenhower always insisted he was not an indispensable man. It was only the people that worked for him or the citizens of the country that he worked for that considered him indispensable. The verdict became overwhelming as he was accepted by the free world as one of the twentieth century’s most celebrated military commanders!

As one of six “hellions’ brothers from the wrong side of town all, including Ike, would never have dreamed that he would be thrust into the leadership of an international coalition of disparate peoples charged by Marshall to lead the Allied forces to victory during WWII. Only the shared hatred for Hitler and Eisenhower’s calming demeanor brought them together for this common cause. General Eisenhower is largely credited as the major military player that saved our Civilization from the evils of fascism. Oddly, her son’s profession was especially disconcerting to his mother, Ida Eisenhower, who had an abhorrence of war and never really reconciled her religious beliefs with his life choice.

Some historians have noted that Eisenhower was an astonishing man, one of the most astonishing in American history. He was born David Dwight Eisenhower but was best known as Ike. He exuded public confidence but was a nervous bundle of energy in private. During the intensity leading up to the Normandy invasion General Eisenhower was once heard to comment, “I hope to God I know what I am doing”; but, once the invasion was launched he somberly noted, “No one can stop it now”. The personal stress was so great that Ike increased his smoking habit to four packs of Chesterfields per day.

“I like Ike” still resonates among the American populace that elected General Eisenhower as our country’s thirty-fourth President. The author opines that Ike would have been elated merely to be remembered as a good soldier. And, that he was, as were all who have signed the blank check to enter into military service to defend the country up to and including their life asking nothing in return but dignity from their fellow countrymen. West Point’s teachings of Duty, Honor, Country became living values that served General Eisenhower and our soldiers well as we entered into one of the world’s great conflagrations. It was a time of dark despair for the democracies as the defeat of our Allies seemed eminent and our European military forces were now being trusted to a General of unknown fighting ability.

Carlo D’Este chronicles this portrait of Eisenhower’s life from birth to his Victory in WWII. Through it all, Ike remained an unpretentious man hoping that in the end to ‘gain an eternal peace for this world’. As Supreme Commander to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, General Eisenhower released the following statement, devoid of self-congratulation, declaring the War in Europe officially ended: The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945. Eisenhower. Ike was now a man for the ages.

I remember well the glorious news of that day, as do many of you. Celebrations were in order in every city and town in the country. The excitement for every citizen was palpable. The long ordeal was almost over with only Japan left to defeat. Families would finally be reunited. The headline in very newspaper was VICTORY! The exhilaration of that day is forever with each of us. It remains a defining moment in the lives of all. Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life is a chance to relive it minute-by-minute, battle-by-battle, and person-by-person.

Lastly, Eisenhower’s military and subsequent civilian leadership roles would seem to be a true model for today’s political leaders. His solid educational background honed by years of worldwide interactions within the highest levels of commerce and government created a proven, tested professional to assume national leadership. That background seems to be sorely missing among many of today’s leaders with their vacuous knowledge of economics, military affairs, and the role of America in today’s world. Ike and his colleagues seem to have been true adults in the room when measured against many of today’s sycophantic politicians that seek personal power for personal gain. Ike exuded a trustworthiness that few today do. I truly like Ike and wish there were more like him. . Enjoy!

Reviewed for our C-133 site
Richard Spencer
39th ATS, DAFB, 1962-1965

To order a hard cover copy of the book online for $1.00 + S&H,
click on: Bookseller

Monday, November 3, 2008

That's a Write-up!

Check out this video:

Friday, October 10, 2008

October Book of the Month

Houghton Mifflin Company, 1948

Winston Churchill authored a four volume series about WWII that was a continuation of his story about WWI. Churchill felt that his narrative of these two 20th-century conflicts covered an account of a second Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War was one of the great conflicts of early modern European history covering the years 1618-1648 when all of Europe was at war. Now, for the thirty years beginning in 1914, Europe and the entire world were at war. The period between the 20th-century clashes had been a time for rearmament by the enemies of democracy. Once again, peace was simply the interlude between wars.

These writings comprise one of the rarest series of books in the history of mankind as they are an inside account of the epic struggle that threatened the democratic foundations of Western Civilization. Churchill surmised that he was the only man ever recorded who had passed through the First and Second World Wars of the 20th Century in a high British Cabinet Post. He saved every scrap of significant material for the books that he knew he would produce. His active involvement in these two crises would validate for the world his ability to write about the great military and political events of the time from the personal experiences of an individual with authority. Churchill adhered to a policy of never criticizing unless he had previously expressed a public opinion or warning.

Interestingly, Churchill did not deem this series to be history but merely a contribution to history. These thirty years of personal action and public advocacy were his life effort and he was comfortable to be judged upon them. He gives his testimony according “to the lights I follow” not to what “may be popular or self-aggrandizing.”

Knowing that many captured enemy documents were being disclosed as he was laboring, Churchill announces to the reader that he writes and relies upon events, as he knew them, when all was obscure. He thus opines that a new aspect could be drawn concerning his personal actions during the War in the years to come but he was fine with that possibility. Churchill did not fear the history that would be written about him or the War as, after all, he had led his country through some of its darkest moments. When defeat and destruction of Western Civilization was at stake he acted to save mankind, as he knew it; they could write as they interpreted it; he was fearless!

Churchill’s personal search in authoring this manuscript was for a truth that would give guidance to creating a future world of peace and security to be governed in accordance with the “needs and glory of man”. As he was penning this series, the world was reeling from Communism and its insidious drive for worldwide domination. Churchill felt that we were in the grip of even worse perils than we had surmounted. He perceived an awful unfolding of the future, a Cold War to be exact. But, not even Churchill could have surmised that this totalitarian movement would perpetrate 100 million civilian deaths before it collapsed in utter disgrace.

Churchill recites the time when President Roosevelt was publicly asking for suggestions about what the war should be called. He said at once “The Unnecessary War” as in his view there was never a war easier to stop. Book One, From War to War, 1919-1939, is aptly titled The Gathering Storm and Churchill states the theme of the volume as “How the English-speaking peoples through their unwisdom, carelessness, and good nature allowed the wicked to rearm”.

Churchill’s above stated theme would seem to be a lesson for the ages as Western Civilization has never fully learned, appreciated, or followed this recurring theme to its logical end. Even though cognizant and fully engaged with the world about the wide disagreement among ideas, principles, and people that has often led to open warfare, Western democracies always seem to be caught unaware. Presently, the Bush Doctrine does have preemption as one of its several core principles; but it has been roundly criticized by many of our Western allies and our own domestic political parties. Thus, always the eternal question, “Will we be hoisted by our own petard and subjected to another extremist attack because of our unwisdom, carelessness, and good nature?” History says yes!

I am writing this review 30Sep08 seventy years to the day of one of the great historic events in the life of most of the readers that evokes feelings of sorrow and grief leading to the War. Churchill has labeled it “The Tragedy of Munich” and it is the story of Chamberlain and his deal with the devil, Hitler. In 1938, Chamberlain was in complete control of British foreign policy and the Cabinet was deeply disturbed but obeyed his wishes.

Chamberlain had begun a series of direct meetings with Hitler that astonished the Czech leaders as it had weakened their negotiations with Germany over the Sudeten. Hitler was demanding the annexation of the Sudeten areas to the Reich. Churchill stood adamantly against the partition of Czechoslovakia under pressure from England and France and wanted no part of this particular bid by Chamberlain to avert conflict. He felt such action would amount to the complete surrender of the Western Democracies to the Nazi threat of force. Churchill’s view was that such a collapse assisted by the West would bring neither security nor peace to England or France.

Churchill noted “…a belief that security can be obtained by throwing a small state to the wolves is a fatal delusion.” That simple but important historic lesson has often gone unheeded inevitably leading to a disastrous outcome. Chamberlain declared, “I believe it is peace in our time” and Germany soon attacked Czechoslovakia precipitating WWII. Marshall Keitel later established the unfortunate truthfulness of the “fatal delusion” that had created a false peace. He stated that Germany would never have attacked Czechoslovakia in 1938 if the Western Powers had stood by their ally.

Additionally, the Chamberlain tragedy flowing from Munich led to Hitler becoming the undisputed leader of Germany and the military conspirators planning his overthrow began to lay low. The stage was thus set for Hitler’s grand design for a war to rule Europe. Churchill had consistently and long predicted such an outcome while engaging in heated opposition with his many political opponents. Churchill suggests that “The Tragedy of Munich” provided one helpful guide; namely, that a nation must keep its word and to act in accordance with its treaty obligations to allies. This guide he calls “Honour” and honour points the path to Duty that will lead a country to avoid an unnecessary war, as was his characterization of WWII.

As one reads this series, the great intellect of this dominant figure of the 20tth century reflects the light of its brightest star. He wrote and spoke until his words became synonymous with the best in the English language and that adds enjoyment for the reader. Churchill’s action and words made him the embodiment of the Allied cause, and every C-133 member would know him for the magnificent speeches he made during times of peril. Now, they can know him for his professional prose, as they have become a permanent contribution to English literature.

Any C-133 member searching for a winter of pleasant reading about an account of WWII and the major events that have shaped our way of life will revel in Churchill’s command of the English language and his grasp of history. This four volume series is unique in that it is written by a man who played a major role in saving Western Civilization and thus preserving the world, as we know it. They are an excellent of example of why peace is more complex than war and often beyond the reach of humanity’s best efforts. In fact, many of our present political leaders would do well to read Churchill’s prescience writings for their enduring wisdom.

As a final note, Churchill had his first night of restful sleep in years the day America entered the War. Because of our mammoth manufacturing capability, he declared the War was won. It would just be a matter of time before the destructive tyrants of the world; the enemies of democracy would be soundly defeated. Enjoy!

Reviewed for the C-133 blog
by Richard Spencer
39th ATS, DAFB, 1962-1965

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Stan Forster gone west

This evening (7 Oct), Mike Forster called to inform me that Col Stan Forster had died. Mike said it was okay to pass the word via the web site. I never had the honor of meeting Col Forster in person, but there was lots of input from him for the book. I also was able to talk to him on the phone, a couple of times.

Mike said his grandfather was able to go to Travis for the last flight and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Those in the Dover squadrons, especially the 39th, who knew him will, I'm sure, share a moment of sympathy for the Forster family.

Russian Heavy Take-off!

Thanks to Jim Dugar for the following video:

Listen to the Australian controllers in the tower.....Ya Gotta Luv It! The "Vodka Burner" as they call it, literally uses every inch of the runway!! Click on the Play button below.......

Actually, the wing span and length of the IL-76 are a little less than the C-133, and the payload capability is about the same as the old 133 record (100,000 pounds). For more on the airplane, click on the following:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Volunteer Recognition II

Rick Spencer left the following Comment on a recent Post about Sandy Sandstrom:

I just wanted to let readers know that Sandy gave an amazing tour to my Grandson this Summer through the Dover AFB Museum. Richard still talks about the tour and it has spurred him to enter into a special engineering/aeronautical high school in Seattle. The museum is well worth one's time and especially appropriate and welcoming for youngsters. Thanks again to Sandy and his volunteers for their efforts.

Rick Spencer

Support the museum with your membership. Go to: AMC Museum Membership.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Final Flight!

Great photos of what is now the "Travis Bird"......CORRECTION! (my bad, as my grandkids say). These two photos are of the right "Bird," but they were taken by Cal Taylor's brother, Phil, on 28 Aug 08 at McChord AFB after it landed on the "next to the last flight." Still can't wait for those photos, DVDs, and published articles on the Final Flight....

You can still see Mark Meltzer's photos taken at Travis after "the final flight." Click on: http://boeing377.googlepages.com/c133

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Volunteer Recognition

Our own Sandy Sandstrom is recognized in a nice article in the latest quarterly newsletter just published by the AMC Museum. If you're not a member, support our Museum by going to the following website, and click on the Adobe pdf to get the application form. The newsletter is one of the benefits of membership. Go to: AMC Museum Membership

61999 Articles

I have two articles out there to be published. One will be in (possibly) the winter issue of the Journal of the AAHS. It is about the move from Anchorage to Travis. Another article will appear in a trade publication, Pile and Buck, that serves the pile driving and construction industry. The editor is Brian Stegner, whose father gave me bags of great maintenance info. The focus there is on how Cargomaster, Inc., used the airplane in Alaska. Also, check out the Nov 08 issue of Air Classics. Ralph Petterson was able to get an article into that magazine.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

September Book of the Month

Economic Sophisms
By Frederic BASTIAT
Translated from the French
Van Nostrand Company, 1964

If we were to take the greatest economists from all ages and judge them on the basis of their theoretical rigor, their influence on economic education, and their impact in support of the free-market economy, then Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) would be at the top of the list.

Since this is a presidential election year and the political rhetoric of protectionism always approaches a level of high intensity, I thought that C -133 crewmembers would enjoy Economic Sophisms by Frederic Bastiat. This historic series of brilliant and witty essays began in 1844 in order to expose the breathtaking nonsense of the French and English Socialists and their economic deceptions as they embraced protectionism during their quest for power. In spite of the cogent and devastating commonsense refutations put forth by Bastiat these major fallacies are still with us today, over 150 years later.

The fundamental argument existing during the whole of Economic Sophisms is how the few have managed to plunder the many through the sophistry that persuades the victims that they are being robbed for their own benefit. Even today, that powerful and shocking revelation is obscure for the many as they lack the knowledge and education to differentiate. When constituents are unable to detect economic fallacies, those elected are able to relieve them of a great part of their wealth and personal freedoms. However, wit and mockery were not Bastiat’s only weapons in his attempt to develop public understanding of the fine-sounding but empty language of sophists as he also used a powerful logic.

Bastiat stood alone in his criticism about the consequences of 19th century socialism but his arguments are astonishingly modern in their application across today’s rhetorical political spectrum. The present gullibility and ignorance of economics by the public and the demagoguery used by those interested in ever-larger government and central planning allows for the continuation of these delusive sophisms. There seems to be no end to their unseemly use to garner political power; and, unfortunately, it is pervasive across both national political parties.

As you read the thirty-five essays in Economic Sophisms, each usually about four pages in length, you will soon see that Bastiat draws attention to the consumer and the nation as the focal point for all arguments favoring free markets: That one should have the freedom to buy anything from anyplace as that is in one’s best economic interest. This reversal by Bastiat to draw attention to the importance that free markets play in personal and national economic interests is in direct conflict with today’s purveyors of protectionism. Existing vocal charlatans advocating protectionism look to favor certain domestic industry in order to garner political power or to eliminate effective international competition.

Present and past sophists of protectionism heap absurdity upon absurdity in their attempt to persuade that by limiting free trade they act in the country’s economic interest when, in fact, they are acting upon their own personal economic interest. With exceptional skill and sensible rational thought Bastiat demolishes, unexpectedly for them, their specious reasoning and the deception they employ in attempting to gain preferential and advantageous economic treatment. When he finishes, they have no place to go.

For at least the past 30 years protectionists have warned that the U.S. free market trade deficit will lead to ruin but it is closer to the truth to say that they have it backwards. The trade deficit increases when the economy is growing and declines when the economy is faltering. Hausmann and Sturzenegger of Harvard found the net return on the U.S. financial position in 2004 was roughly a positive $30 billion as it was in 1982.

The global exchange process has been a formula for U.S. success and there is a strong correlation between rising trade deficits and falling unemployment. Presently we are experiencing a falling trade deficit and falling employment, but that is the opposite effect promised by the protectionists. Ironically, those politicians who are the most insistent alarmists are promoting tariffs that would cause the most harm. Here is the academic discussion. Click on: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114247166848599620.html

Thus, nations that restrict free trade hurt only their own citizens by denying them a higher standard of living. No nation needs to wait for a reciprocal trade agreement. To foster international peace and prosperity the U.S. could declare itself a free trade nation scraping all restrictive trade barriers and set an example for the world. The statesman who achieves such a policy will go down in history as the greatest peacemaker in modern times. Less is an economic fallacy and a political failure that only encourages worldwide ill will.

Recently, a full collection of Bastiat’s writings have been released to the public along with a video that you can view online at this address. Click on: http://www.mises.org/store/Bastiat-Collection-P427C0.aspx . Here you can allow yourself a most enjoyable evening indulging in this economic genius from the 19th Century. His exceptional intellectual and creative achievements have gained worldwide recognition and have influenced economists and society in the institutions of law, government, money, and capital. Frederic Bastiat was an original thinker and they are rare, very rare!

Lastly, after reading Economic Sophisms, I can guarantee that you will forever eschew the discourse of most modern politicians trumpeting their own brand of economics and view it in the light it should be: generally, pure nonsense. Their sophistic ventures into your living room will be shortcut by your use of the magic TV wand to tune them out and to tune in the comics for laughter. By doing that, your time will be better spent and more aptly rewarded; and, you will likely enjoy doing it again and again! Enjoy.

Reviewed for C-133 crewmembers:
by Richard Spencer
39th ATS, Dover AFB, 1962-1965

Friday, September 12, 2008

New Photos of Travis 133

Here's the value of the blogs folks! We, in the 133 community, have a new connection. He left a link to his photos, and in a follow-up e-mail, introduced himself to us. Check out the red links below....

Hi Dick,

I found the blog in a Google search yesterday and just thought I'd drop my link on it. I am not a C 133 vet, just a 58 year old guy with a strong interest in old transport aircraft and their systems. I hope my comments about the Nav's work on 133s was technically accurate. I used Loran A myself in commercial fishing back in the day, mostly old APN 9s and even a few APN 4s. I also did celestial nav, mostly just noon sun shots but some star work too. I like navigation, which is a disappearing art now with cheap GPS on the scene.

Your blog was very hard to find for some reason, but glad to know it is there.

Man what an aircraft. I was knocked out by its size. Astounding that one was flying in 2008 without a giant maintenance and logistics org behind it. (Note: I'm sure all 133 crew veterans are also astounded about that!!)

Mark Meltzer

To see Mark's 133 photos, click on: http://boeing377.googlepages.com/c133

Also, Mark's web site is fascinating. Lots of "airplane stuff" from a sky-diver's perspective: http://boeing377.googlepages.com/skydive2

Monday, September 1, 2008

Eyewitness Comments & Videos

Thank you Aeroki and Dan H. for your Comments. You've helped connect the rest of us to the true end of an era we all remember well!! Click on Aeroiki's red youtube link below to see his video of the landing.....then click on Cal Taylor's red link at the bottom of the post....

Aeroiki said...

It was a very moving experience to see this plane land at Travis AFB Saturday. It was like watching an extinction. I posted two videos I shot on youtube.com. Others have started to post too so just search for C-133. Among the hits are a video of the roll out of the first Cargomaster!


Dan H. said...

On Saturday, Aug. 30 I took a trip back in time. It was the mid-60's, the war in SEA was going strong and the sky above Travis AFB was filled with the sight and sound of the mighty C-133. Unknown to most and relegated to Air Force footnote status, those who flew and maintained her will long treasure her memory. Welcome home61999! Dan H.

And Cal Taylor said..

This clip shows C-133A 61999 landing at McChord AFB, WA, 28 Aug 08. There is great sound of those huge propellers. We were also filming at the other end of the field and got great video of the entire movement of the airplane, from taxi to parking to taxi out and takeoff. Turn your sound up high. There will be a DVD in a while that covers the entire operation of moving the airplane from Anchorage, AK to Travis AFB, CA.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

61999 final shutdown

On 30 Aug 08, the airplane launched on its final flight. Takeoff at McChord was 0800 and landing at Travis at 1101 PDT. At shutdown, the airplane had logged some 18,250 flight hours with more than 6,100 landings. Thanks to all those who made this last flight possible. It will be an excellent display in the Travis Museum. There will be lots of excellent footage from which to create a superb C-133 DVD.

Friday, August 29, 2008

61999 at McChord, 28-30 Aug

The airplane touched down on a cloudy evening at just before 1900. We got really good footage of the roll-out, taxi-in and shutdown. Over two hours, three photographers shot a whole bunch of film, including interior and exterior shots, cargo handling and interviews. On Saturday morning, the subject will be engine start, taxi out, takeoff and departure. Hopefully, the active will be 16, which will take the departing airplane past the camera spot, with Mt Rainier in the background. Pray for clear skies.

There were only some minor squawks, including cracks in the outer pane of the right side forward windscreen. The engineer said not a problem. They are not carrying a high pressurization differential.

Some of the new USAF markings peeled in flight. But, that will not be a problem to fix. It will still be a USAF airplane on landing at Travis.

The engineer says 61999 is a great airplane that has never given much problem, over close to 35 years. The museum is getting a good airplane and he is happy that it is getting a good home.

61999 Now at McChord AFB

First leg successful! Go to Cal Taylor's blog and scroll down to the 28 Aug update for the latest report.

Click on: Cal Taylor's Blog

Thursday, August 28, 2008

61999 to arrive McChord AFB

The airplane now belongs to the Travis Museum. The ferry permit is in hand. Departure from Ted Stevens IAP, Anchorage, AK is at about 1100 local, with ETA to McChord at 1630 today, 28 Aug. There, it will park on the Echo Ramp, near the McChord Museum restoration hangar. If the crew is up to it, there will be a cargo swap this afternoon. Some stuff for the McChord Museum off load, onload of stuff to Travis Museum.

I will be there with still and video camera. There will be a professional videographer, working for the Travis Museum. PAO has been alerted. The plan is to film as much of the approach as possible, plus taxi-in, shutdown, and loading evolution. I hope also to shadow the engineer, during his preflight on Saturday and then to get engine start, taxi-out and takeoff (from a distance). Departure from TCM is probably NLT 0730, to make Travis at 1030.

There was an engine run at Anchorage, all okay, then two flights. One had a video team aboard to document the operation. Shots of takeoff/departure and of landing were also done.

The airplane has been re-militarized with stars and bar, tail number, etc, so it will be a USAF airplane landing at TCM and SUU.

Cal Taylor


BREAKING NEWS!! Just got the following from Fred Galey, who got it from Chuck (?):

The last C-133 flight will land at Travis on Saturday, August 30, 2008. It is one of the birds that was in Alaska. It is scheduled to land between 10 and 1030 Saturday morning. After landing it will become part of the Travis AFB Air Museum. It has been donated by the fellow that flew them in Alaska. They had to raise $68,000.00 to cover the fuel costs. Chuck

Wish I could be there! I'm sure Cal Taylor will provide photos, and probably videos!

Thank you, Fred!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Agent Orange Update

A new Comment was just added to a previous Post on this subject. I've re-Posted the Comment here for better visibility....thank you, Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

"Well, it looks like some of our brethren have sold the rest of us down the river on HR 6562. John Rossie and his cohorts have convinced Filner to modify the bill to the point that it has no chance of ever being passed in the House, much less in the Senate. I am disgusted with the whole thing and just feel that I can no longer believe anything this group has to say."

August 26, 2008 12:43 PM

Saturday, August 23, 2008

23 Aug Update 61999

Please put the word out to the C-133 community that we motored the engines and then started the engines on the 133, all went PERFECT! All four engines fired over without a single hitch, it was truly an exciting moment to see all four engines running, she's a stout old gal!
Speaking of towing, I had to pay $400.00 from our funds to have the 133 towed to the maintenance spot, the person definitely took advantage of us and our predicament.
This is why it is still important for us to put out the word that extra money for incidentals is badly needed!
Tuesday is the date we hope to do the test flight around Anchorage, there is no doubt in mind the 133 will perform flawlessly.
I will keep you posted on our progress,
Best regards from Alaska,
Terry Juran

Monday, August 18, 2008

"True Survivor" Colleague

The following three e-mails were just received by our Book of the Month Reviewer, Rick Spencer (39th ATS Navigator, '62-'65) from Bill Neely (40th ATS C-124s & 1607th Flightline Maintenance Squadron, consolidated maintenance, '55-'58, when the 39th was converting from C-54s to the brand new 133s). So Bill was in Dover when C-133 #54-0146 "augered in, inverted" in Georgetown, DE, with 4 fatalities. Here's his story:

17 Aug 2008

Hi Rick:
You probably don't remember me but I'm one of your high school classmates.
I spent nearly all my adult life in aviation as a mechanic and pilot. Also did about 20 years of skydiving and parachute rigging as a hobby.
I retired from the FAA in 1997.
I was talking to an old friend the other day who was in the Air Force when I was and we were discussing the various types of aircraft when we were on active duty.
I was at Dover AFB from 1955 through 1958. I was in a C-124 outfit as a mechanic and later a crew chief (started in the old 40th Air Transport Squadron-MATS).
There was also a C-54 squadron there.
About 2 years before I was discharged (maybe less) the new C-133's were assigned to Dover to replace the C-54's. While I was there they had the first (I think) fatal accident with the C-133.
A civilian C-46 (Logair) pilot supposedly saw the aircraft on it's back falling out of control.
I never did hear an official answer as to what happened. I think there was a rumor that the props may have reversed in flight.
One of our hangars was used to reconstruct the airplane wreckage.
As I recall the aircraft were grounded and I don't remember if they got back flying or not before I left Dover.
I was wondering if you could point me towards a web site that may have accident information on the C-133.
During my nearly 30 years with FAA I participated in numerous civilian aircraft accidents, but never got involved with any military investigations.
Since I survived many hours in "Old Shaky" and you did likewise in the C-133, we can be termed "True Survivors".
Thank you in advance for any information you may provide.
Stay safe.

Bill Neely

I found a brief description of the accident I inquired about.
It occurred 13 April 1958 about 8 months prior to my leaving Dover.
Crashed inverted about 17 mins after takeoff @ Georgetown, Delaware.
4 fatalities. Not much info.
That may be all that's available.

Thanks Rick:
That's the web-site that I had book marked from your message to Mitch quite awhile back.The accident I'd mentioned was the first fatal accident with the C-133. A probable cause was never determined. Most of the accidents with that aircraft went in the "undetermined" category. From what I found on various web-sites only one accident had survivors.
You are probably familiar with the various sites. They all have good info and many photos.
When I was at Dover the 39th was the C-54 squadron. As I mentioned, I was in the 40th. Later we became the 1607th Flightline Maintenance Squadron (consolidated maintenance).
Shortly before I was discharged we got a new assistant crew chief named Robinson. He had been a flight engineer on C-124's and got tired of box lunches and living out of a B-4 bag. He was one of my bosses those last few months of active duty.
Many years later he showed up at my FAA office in Columbia, South Carolina to get authorization to take the examinations for his civilian mechanic's license. He retired from Charleston AFB (troop carrier outfit). He was a civilian Fixed Base Operator in the Charleston area until he finally retired for good. I hear from him every now and then. Small world - huh? When I left the Air Force I never thought I'd see any of those guys again.
I met a lot of old C-124 guys in the FAA. Also at Charleston AFB civilian aero-club.
When I came to South Carolina in 1975 there was an aircraft museum in Florence, SC. It was out in the open along the highway beside the Florence airport. In it was 52-1074. A C-124 from Dover.
The owner of the place either died or went broke and the airplanes disappeared. It turns out that my friend Robinson and some other retired C-124 guys got the airplane patched up enough for a ferry flight to Charleston AFB. The airplane is on display inside the main gate of the base.
Robinson told me the ferry flight was quite an adventure. The fabric covered control surfaces were patched up with duct tape. There were fuel leaks everywhere and not many of the instruments worked. About 10 minutes out of CAFB the duct tape on one elevator came loose and set up a lot of vibration. Anyway they made it safely and the airplane is on display. Looked pretty good to me the last time I saw it. The crew chief on it when at Dover was a good friend of mine from Florida.
Once again, thank you for the information. It's good to hear from you. I look forward to the updates from Mitch. That's a nice thing he's doing for all us old farts. Later.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Important Agent Orange Input

Another Comment was left on Cal Taylor's original Post on this subject. Again, to make it more visible, I'm pasting it into this new Post. THANK YOU, VNVets for the connection!

Anonymous VNVets said...

I was at the introduction of the bill. One of the things I insisted upon when asking for this legislation was the inclusion of the "Blue Sky" Air Force Veterans who were stripped of their Agent Orange benefits in 1993 by the DVA, just as the Blue Water Navy Veterans were stripped of their benefits in 2002.

Congressman Filner's intent is to revert the criteria for presumptive exposure to Agent Orance to receipt of the Vietnam Service Medal. The bill, even though in its infancy, includes language that is specifically aimed at restoring benefits to the Air Force.

Also, we are in receipt of a letter [to an Air Force Veteran who served in Thailand, that Filner intends to include the TLC Veterans [those who served in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia] and received the Vietnam Service Medal. There will be more changes to the bill as it wends its way through Congress. This is HR 6562.

At the same time we are pressing for passage of a recently introduced bill [HR 6798 - Kagen [D-WI], whichj would add cancers of the gastro intestinal tract, including pancreatic, liver, and biliary cancer, to the list of Agent Orange diseases.

One other bill that already passed the House and is in the Senate now is HR 5892 - Hall [D-NY], which corrects many administrative deficiencies in the DVA, in addidition to fixing the widow's problem [widows will no longer have to recert to square one when their husband's die while a claim is in process. They can pick up as the claimant, and have an additional year to file evidence. The bill also expands the jurisdiction of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims to include the merits of the claim, rather than just the process itself.

If you would like to follow the progress of this and join our fight come visit the VNVets Blog at http://vnvets.blogspot.com

We've added your blog to our link list.

August 15, 2008 11:59 PM

Friday, August 15, 2008

Agent Orange Comment

In the interest of making a rare Comment more visible, here's one just left on an earlier Post:

"I was in that situation. I flew in and out of Vietnam from Travis and Norton. I did not have any problem convincing the VA that I had been there. I have a flight evaluation form which specifically referenced being at Bien Hoa and Saigon. That was all it took.

I can see where this legislation will make it easier for some but I also see where it could cause even more problems."


August 15, 2008 5:53 PM

To see the original Post, click on: Agent Orange Legislation


Thursday, August 14, 2008

61999 schedule

The closest we have at this point is "the 28th" or "the 29th", as MX backup. I requested that Ken Kozlowski, the FET/MX chief, email me when they have their ETA to McChord. I don't know where they will park, though I hope it will be in front of base ops. I'll post more detailed info as soon as I have some.

61999 Update 15 Aug 08

Terry Juran has the stencils cut for USAF markings on 61999. The big hope there is that the weather in Anchorage will be good, when he goes up to apply the markings.

There is money in the kitty for fuel and a bit more, but the inflow has pretty much stopped. If anyone can send money, it will help with various "incidentals," such as site prep, insurance, whatever.

The plan still is to fly to McChord on 28 Aug (with 29 Aug the MX backup) and then to Travis to arrive at 1030 on 30 Aug.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Update on 61999 move to Travis

Travis Museum director Terry Juran spent most of last week in Anchorage. The airplane will be test-flown there, later this month. A TV crew will document that flight, both externally and internally. On the ferry flight, FAA will allow only the essential crew (pilots and engineer).

The fuel fund is complete but any further contributions will be essential to covering incidentals: insurance, site preparation, aircraft renovation, etc. All contributions will be dedicated to the C-133 project.

Terry Juran will return to Alaska, in August, with all of the aircraft markings to bring it to USAF standard. So, it will be a USAF airplane that flies into Travis.

The basic schedule is, maintenance gods willing, to fly from PANC to McChord on 28 Aug, with 29 Aug as the backup. The final leg will be McChord-Travis on 30 Aug. That leg may even include air-to-air photos.

Details on the C-133 at Travis will be posted, when available, on the Travis AIr Expo web site: http://www.travisairshow.com/. They will also be on Cal Taylor's web site (http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/c133bcargomaster/home.html) and will be posted here.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

July Book of the Month

WARRIOR: Ariel Sharon
An Autobiography
With David Chanoff

I thought for this month’s book review I would examine Warrior, the autobiography of Ariel Sharon who was perhaps the most daring and successful commander in Israel’s extraordinary military history. During the short span since Israel’s founding, Sharon’s life of military and government leadership is reminiscent of many of our great leaders. Raising from ordinary circumstances this modern warrior became widely admired through a remarkably successful series of military and political achievements. Sharon was aided in his spectacularly impressive career by a personal force associated with his great physical and mental strength. It is safe to say that Sharon has been bigger than life in his country and on the world stage.

Ariel Sharon was born in 1928 in Israel of Russian immigrant parents who were known for their uncompromising strength, determination, and stubbornness. His father was an individualist in a socialist setting and that created an ill fit with their neighbors adding to the family’s already hard existence. The family, even though lacking money and material possessions, did maintain a rich cultural life revolving about the Russian heritage that they had been brought up to love. However, attempting to conquer the rugged land for agricultural purposes was the main effort of their everyday life.

Sharon’s and other Israeli village families outwardly held the prejudice that their farm children were superior. And, that purposeful but difficult existence derived from the soil during Sharon’s childhood and into adolescence formed a personality that was able to make decisions quickly, firmly, and clearly in the midst of battle or political turmoil. When at age seventeen he left home for military training that would begin the career of one of Israel’s great warriors, no one would have suspected his innate abilities or the scope of his future. But seldom would that be so for any as they are, without prior awareness, thrust into positions of major leadership relying mainly, during times of immense stress, upon the bedrock character developed from their youthful upbringing. Closeness to the soil creates a love for a country to defend it to one’s last full measure of breath. For Israeli’s there was no place else to go.

Modern terrorism against the United States upon its own soil began in the 1990’s and culminated September 11, 2001 with the attack upon the World Trade Center and the Pentagon resulting in 3000, mostly civilians, deaths. However, Israel has been a victim of such activity since its existence. Beginning in 1950 Palestinian terrorist groups began systematic raids within Israeli borders. Vehicles were ambushed, farms attacked, fields booby trapped, and roads mined and by 1956 nine hundred and sixty seven (967) Israelis were killed out of a population of about 1.5 million. This reign of terror was especially terrible during 1953 with over three thousand incidents, almost ten a day, with over 160 deaths.

Sharon was appointed commander of a newly created special anti-terrorist unit named Commando Unit 101 that was to be highly trained to kill and to destroy. This Unit was to strike at terrorist strong holds inflicting as many casualties as possible showing there would be a heavy price to pay for continuation of across border incursions. During the Unit’s development, Sharon showed and amazing grasp of organization, leadership, training, and tactical planning abilities. He always led from the field of battle rather than the command post. Sharon’s men came to have full confidence in him and would follow without hesitation. This was the beginning of his legendary military career, and the lessons learned by this initial terrorist-fighting cadre are still true. Today, we engage in practically the same fight; only time separates.

In Warrior, Sharon describes the major military battles that Israel was involved and in which he was a participant. His descriptions of the men, the battlefield, and the battles are lucidly described along with his role. Sharon had joined the Haganah at age fourteen, the Army at seventeen, and became an important player in all military operations from Independence through the Yom Kipper War of 1973. His discussion of the lead up to the Yom Kipper War was especially interesting. Reserves were mobilized and consisted of whole families where fathers had been participants in the early days of Israel’s founding battles and the sons had now become frontline soldiers as well. Many families lost both.

During the conflict, Sharon made one of his most famous and critical decisions that turned the tide of the War in Israel’s favor. The Israel Army could prevent an Arab victory only by crossing the Suez Canal in order to threaten the Egyptian forces in Sinai from their rear. Sharon’s division, with him personally in the lead, on the night of October 15 had taken on the most difficult, most complex, and the cruelest effort of the war by crossing the Canal. The crossing was described in Sharon’s final order of the day as the “…IDF’s greatest achievement…it brought victory.” In spite of headquarters’ doubt he made this most dramatic decision and was later vehemently attacked as a person who disobeyed orders. However, the Agranat Commission investigated and fully justified General Sharon’s actions stating that his decisions met the demands of military discipline.

Since Sharon had been called out of retirement for the Yom Kipper War, I would now like to briefly focus upon his civilian career as he returned to the political battlefield of the Knesset. He had previously been prominent in forming the Likud, a political Party to compete against the forty-five years of Labor dominance that was socialist in application. In 1981, as the Likud became successful, he was appointed minister of defense. Sharon continued to serve brilliantly and extended his reputation into the International arena as Israel prospered and as its military and commercial ties grew. There was much intrigue during that time as the Cold War was in full progress and the Middle East was an important battleground for both sides. Sharon’s description of this historic time reads somewhat like a spy novel as Communism and intrigue always threaten the fragile peace of the area.

Many of the particular occurrences described in Warrior will be familiar to C-133 crewmembers as a considerable number were participants in airlift missions relating to the events. In addition, our country as a whole was mesmerized by the depictions of the Wars on television. Sharon has described this important period in world history such that Warrior has taken its place among the most worthy and readable of modern historic documents. I have recommended it to several friends who have thoroughly enjoyed it for his informative description of significant happenings that have continued to elude resolution to this day. This we have lived.

Since Warrior’s publication in 1989, Ariel Sharon’s life has had many downturns and recoveries; and, one must turn elsewhere to learn of them. He was elected Prime Minister in 2001; endorsed The Road Map To Peace put forth by the United States; resigned from the Likud and formed another new political party in 2005 called Kadima; re-elected as Prime Minister; and, then on January 4, 2006, General Sharon suffered a massive stroke. He now lies in a long-term care facility having entered into a permanent coma with an extremely low chance of recovery.

His life was also filled with personal tragedies as he had a young son killed in a gun accident, lost his first wife, was severely wounded, had an ancient death curse placed upon him, engaged in a long libel battle with Time magazine, and was continuously involved in serious political controversy. But, through it all, he persevered to high command and sweeping victories that made him world famous. Sharon is well known publicly but Warrior helps one understand the private and complex personal side of this modern and outspoken Israeli military and political leader.

In order to obtain a critical overview here is a reference site that I suggest you peruse before you begin Warrior: Enjoy!

Click on: Wikipedia on Ariel_Sharon

Reviewed by:
Richard Spencer
39th ATS Dover AFB 1962-1965

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Agent Orange Legislation

HR 6562 - The Agent Orange Equity Act of 2008
Congress Must Act to Restore Earned Benefits
to All Vietnam Veterans - Including "Blue Water" Vets!

There are many MAC/MATS aircrew who flew into Vietnam but who never were on orders to a location in Vietnam. They have had a hard time establishing their eligibility for VA treatment for ailments presumed to be associated with Agent Orange.

Today, I received info on the legislation above. Check out http://veterans.house.gov/news/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=290 for more detail and write to your congressional representative.

Cal Taylor

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cover Photo/Story

The current quarterly publication (Summer, 2008) of the Air Force Museum Foundation, "FRIENDS JOURNAL," features a dramatic cover photo of an RB-57 in the National Museum of the USAF, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. Visible directly behind the RB-57 is C-133A, S/N 56-2008. And inside the magazine on Page 31 is the RB-57 story and another photo with a better angle showing the 133.

Here is their website photo of 2008:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sneak Preview

Coming Soon!
July Book of the Month

With this review, Rick Spencer puts a different spin on his theme of highlighting "ordinary citizens" who became military leaders with historical impact:

WARRIOR: Ariel Sharon
An Autobiography
With David Chanoff

(1928- )

Ariel (“Arik”) Sharon was born at Kfar Malal on February 27, 1928. He served in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) for more than 25 years, retiring with the rank of Major-General. He holds an LL.B in Law from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1962).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting close on N199AB

From John Burnett, 10 July

The Airplane will make only one stop and that will be at McChord. This stop is so that the timing is correct for the opening of the Air Show. The C-133 is due to arrive on Saturday August 30, 2008 at 10:30 am. It is scheduled to make several passes and then land and Taxi to a special roped off area. We are working hard on having a reserved area for former members of the 84th.

Now for the financial details that you are all waiting to hear.

WE NEED $ 67,000.00

WE HAVE $ 53,800.00 (as of 10:30 this morning)

WE NEED $ 13,200.00

So please help us bring 61999 home. We are so close and you can see lots of work has been put into this project so far.

Update on fuel fund for N199AB

Terry Juran tells me, this morning, that the cost of JP8 went up $1/gal, last week. The fund needs $67,500 to cover the fuel and has $48,825 on hand. That leaves another $18,875 to be raised by 1 Aug to make the Labor Day air show. Terry is contacting some other corporations that have been helpful in the past. I have a small piece in The Pacific Flyer that may also generate some interest.

Cal Taylor

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Better Brochure

I have loaded the brochure to the Gallery page on the C-133 web site.


The resolution is much higher. You can right click on each page of the brochure and save it to your computer. Then, you can print it out. Size it to 8.5 h x 11 w for the best rendition.

Cal Taylor

N199AB Brochure

I built a 3-fold informational brochure for the arrival day and for use with the airplane at the Travis Museum. It gives a capsule history of the C-133 fleet and of N199AB, both as 61999 and with Cargomaster, Inc., in Alaska. You should be able to get a better look by right-clicking on the image and then opening it in your favorite image editor. I'm working on the web site to post it in better definition.

Cal Taylor

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

N199AB Corporate Contribution

Among the contributions that have built the fuel fund to its current level was one from a European company for $10,000. They are simply interested in things aviation and saw this as a worthwhile project. I was asked to keep the name confidential but I have sent my personal thanks.

Cal Taylor

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Hamilton's Capital Compromise

Rick Spencer, our Book of the Month reviewer, has added a Comment to his June review about Alexander Hamilton. It's a fitting follow-up on this Independence Day weekend. Rick said:

"In the July 5 Wall Street Journal, page A11, there is an article about Alexander Hamilton and the compromise among him, Jefferson, and Madison to locate our capital in D.C.

The author states that Hamilton did more than any other to set the U.S. on a firm financial foundation. In other words Hamilton traded a capital location to ensure our capital wealth. Or, Capitol for capital; however, you might prefer to say it."

July 5, 2008 11:49 AM

To access the WSJ article, click on: "Alexander Hamilton's Capital Compromise"

To access Rick's original June review, click on: June Book of the Month

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

N199AB Update

Terry Juran tells me today that the fuel money is at 75% of what is needed, with a recent $10k donation. That is about $37k of the necessary $50K. So, another $14k or so is needed by 1 Aug to make the move happen. Thanks to all who have helped.

Cal Taylor

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Update on N199AB

From John Burnett:

July 1, 2008

This is an update as of today on the PROJECT C-133.

The response has been overwhelming from so many of you, the former members of the 84th ATS/MAS.

Then to know that you have called upon friends, and the many responses from the information on Cal Taylor’s site has helped us to be able to say that we are almost halfway to our goal of [$50,000] being able to purchase the fuel to bring the C-133 to Travis. Cal comment: That is $25,000]

But do not stop at the half way point ---we MUST have the full amount by August 1st to assure that the arrival will be during the Labor Day Air Show at Travis.



John and Jetta

June Book of the Month

Alexander Hamilton: A Biography
Forrest McDonald
Published as a Norton Paperback 1982

In my earlier notes published upon our C-133 site referring to this series of book reviews about ordinary citizens from ordinary backgrounds that stepped forth upon the National stage to defend and to ultimately play a major role in the development of our Country, I now turn to my favorite founder of America, Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander HamiltonThe major reason I turn to Hamilton is that his early political and economic theories led to the United States becoming the richest, most powerful, and freest nation in the history of the world. Each of us owes our richness of life to him alone as he struggled with his dream of allowing every citizen the freedom and chance to be all that one could be. Winning that struggle created the framework for this historic phenomenon we have with so many citizens from ordinary origins rising to such greatness in defense of the Nation.

Forrest McDonald, as he likes to say, spends his life in the 18th Century. As a professor of history at the University of Alabama, he has authored numerous texts about America’s gestation and among those was the biography of Hamilton. His interest in doing so was because of his surprise at Hamilton’s treatment by other historians who professed neither expertise nor interest in the areas of Hamilton’s greatest contributions: economics, finance, and the law. Also, all had failed to delve into the development of Hamilton’s intellectual life that led to his prescient national and worldview.

How did Hamilton come to dream the dream about an effective and enduring national government that would set its citizens free to act in their own best personal and economic interest but retain the desire to defend the country with their last full measure of devotion? McDonald notes our early history was failing to reward man’s individual industry as status came from personal relations, family connections, ownership of land, and birthright. Hamilton had none of these and felt it was inherently unjust for those citizens in a Democracy to be encumbered by such a social order. Hamilton’s genius was to devise an economic system based upon money as money is blind and is the ultimate, neutral, impersonal arbiter that stimulates growth, change, prosperity, and national strength. Here, the fruits of one’s labor would justly reward industrious citizens, as money would become the universal measure of the value of things.

Hamilton accomplished this miracle in the face of severe resistance, especially from Jefferson and his followers. This fascinating and definitive biography of Alexander Hamilton by Forrest McDonald vividly describes the efforts by Jefferson, the Jefferson heirs, and the Jacksonian Democrats to destroy effective national government in order that each state could make its own rules. Those in the South adopted Jeffersonian rules and their society rested upon the land, upon slavery, and upon the exercise of force without the impartial restraint of law. Others adopted Hamiltonian rules and their society rested upon the market, free labor, contractual relationships, and law. The Civil War brought about the triumph of Hamilton’s way leaving the Jeffersonian South in disrepair for decades.

More so today, Hamilton’s one-man mission would seem an unlikely and impossible task; but, it is the early history of our country and it was the success of his personal leadership and intellect. McDonald notes that the American nation reached the peak of its Hamiltonian greatness in the middle of the twentieth century and after that it became increasingly Jeffersonian. He further notes we became governed by coercion and the party spirit, our people increasingly more dependent and less self-reliant, our decline candy–coated with rhetoric of liberty and equality and justice for all.

Hamilton would have “cried for his country” as his dream was slowly destroyed by modern political parties seeking power through a strategy that would institutionalize massive federal government largess rather than continuing with the limited, but effective, federal role that provided a fluid and orderly society open to merit. National elections have now become a focus to redistribute the levied wealth that was personally earned through the industry of its citizens further empowering political parties. That would certainly be an anathema to Hamilton.

Today’s deviation from the original principles of Hamiltonian theories that were designed to provide an orderly society through a limited federal role to defend the country, to provide for interstate commerce, and to negotiate international affairs of State has presently divided the country to the extent that it borders upon political paralysis. Currently, congress is the least trusted of any of our major political and national institutions. If Hamilton’s vision is forever denied, what replaces it?

Alexander Hamilton died July 12, 1804 after suffering a bullet wound the previous day in a duel instigated by Aaron Burr. At the early age of 47 one of America’s most prodigious founders had fallen to the ‘code duello’. Hamilton thought the challenge was brought about by fifteen years of an acrimonious political rivalry between the two where Hamilton had repeatedly thwarted Burr’s ambition. Hamilton considered Burr irresponsible and lacking serious principle. But, the prejudices of the country would have regarded Hamilton as a coward had he not accepted Burr’s challenge and he would have forever been denied the prospect of future public service. It is not known whether Burr miscalculated in firing as gentlemen and men of honor usually and deliberately missed and Hamilton had made that his intention to Burr. McDonald sadly writes, “About two o’clock in the afternoon of July 12, his Maker took him.”

If you are interested in the political and economic foundations of early America, this is the book for you. To find out more about it, and buy it for $2.60, click on: ALEXANDER HAMILTON: A BIOGRAPHY

Reviewed by:
Richard L. Spencer
39th ATS, DAFB