Thursday, December 30, 2010

WW II Aircraft Carrier Action

Thanks to Bill Neely for this incredible YouTube video link:

This is 16mm color (not "colorized") footage, that you may not have seen, of carrier action in the Pacific. There wasn't much color shot in the '40s - extremely expensive then, with a complicated and exacting development process. Enjoy...

Click on:

Friday, December 24, 2010

DC-3 over Tonga

This is absolutely the most excellent aviation picture of the year. It includes romance, adventure, beauty and all of those intangibles that go with aviation. I remember similar scenery, from a C-133 at 2,500' doing VFR over the Fiji islands and from a C-130, enroute to Belau (Palau). This was a carefully staged photo, for which the link is

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Coming Home

Thanks to Andrew Fleming, Sandy Sandstrom & Rick Spencer for the following link to a YouTube video of an Angel Flight arrival @ Dover AFB:

Click on: The Angel Flight

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Winter 2010, List & Book II

I. James Madison by Jack N. Rakove

II. The Law by Frederic Bastiat

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 Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) would be at the top of the list.

Through the years, I have read this seventy-six-page gem several times and never tire of it. I am suggesting it because much of the same situation exists in America today as in France in 1848, when they were faced with the seductive fallacies that rapidly turned them into a Socialist country. Presently, our American politicians constantly bombard their constituents with the same sophistic promises of Socialism, as were the French, screaming that by following their reckless reasoning they can provide a land of utopia.

Sadly, America’s unfunded liabilities of $200T are a result of these Socialist/Progressive fallacies of a ‘free lunch’ whereby the political elite who have made the laws have now legally turned to the forceful taking of its citizen’s privately earned property to finance their own personal devices. Bastiat calls this ‘lawful plunder’, but today we call it ‘wealth redistribution’ or ‘national fairness’. The Law examines how our body of basic law is thus diverted from its true purpose of preventing injustice to that of legally aiding and abetting the national plunder of an individual’s wealth and liberty.

The Law further suggests that by diverting these basic rules from their original purpose, such that they may now violate property rather than protecting it, everyone will ultimately want to participate either to prevent him or herself from being plundered or engage in it. The individual citizen is now faced with law and morality at odds, and what is legal is legitimate. This perversion of the law becomes the weapon for every kind of greed; and, the law itself becomes guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish. Sound familiar?

The Law was Bastiat’s last book, written while in ill health, and has become a classic moral defense of liberty and limited government; it is a message of immutable principal that is both timely and brilliant. To read The Law in light of today’s constant mantra, “…that more government is better government”, strikes a frightening chord of reality about today’s political rhetoric. It could happen here!

Richard Spencer

39th ATS, DAFB, 1962-1962

Book Reviews to Come:

III. Present at the Creation by Dean Acheson

IV. Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt

V. The Math Book by Clifford A. Pickover

VI. Before the Dawn by Shimazaki Toson and translated by W.E. Naff

VII. Leviathan by Hobbes

VIII. The Berlin Airlift

IX. Sacred Fire

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Different Christmas Poem

Thanks to Ted Feindt for this link to a great YouTube video (turn up the sound):

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rick Spencer Back in Action!

Hello C-133 crewmembers. I must apologize for falling behind my personal commitment to post a book review once a month that somehow ties into our USAF service no matter how tenuous the tie may be. . But, I, as you, have been very busy with the summer as that is when the kids and grandkids visit, perfecting my golf swing is a high priority, and the daylight hours take away from my time for reading and writing. Our beautiful Delaware Fall has entered it last days as it is now dark at about 5 PM, too cold for golf, the kids are gone, and I begin with my winter reading as a bear takes to his den. So, I thought that I would try something different and share my winter reading list with you in the event you find them of interest for your winter hibernation as well.

As you can tell from my past reviews, I like to write about the wisdom of history as it traces our nation’s rich intellectual legacy largely garnered through the invaluable lessons of Western thought that, in turn, lead us to insights about the three hundred years of Capitalism that has shaped our country and provided us with a very rich personal and national life. I would say, a life beyond our wildest dreams; one desired by all others; one to be protected for our progeny from future financial or villainous calamity.

But, mostly, I like to read about the every day American who stepped forth upon the world stage to represent us in times of great national or international peril with their unsuspected innate abilities to seize the moment and rescue the day regardless of its great personal danger. That singular aspect, some call it the essence of American Exceptionalism, has been the history of America and fosters ordinary citizen desire to protect our freedom and our Republic. Those moments of national danger also teach us much about the risks and rewards of being a superpower. C-133 crewmembers were an important part of such history during the latter part of the 20th century and we celebrated many of the events that involved us during our recent reunion.

So, I follow now with my winter 2010-2011 reading list that I shall take into my den, shut out the cold and darkness, and feast upon America’s past as it has been molded into greatness through the profundity of its leaders imbued with western thought. Enjoy!

I. James Madison by Jack N. Rakove:

Some months ago I read that James Madison, our fourth President, was the most profound of our Founders and that piqued my interest, as Hamilton has always been my favorite. So, I immediately called upon one of my college professor friends, who is a historian of merit, and asked him who has published the most readable biography of Madison that would suit C-133 crew members. He immediately suggested Rakove's as meeting my request.

Rakove notes that even though Madison’s contemporaries of the time excelled him in many ways, Madison’s reputation was as “…the most original, creative, and penetrating political thinker of his generation in creating the extended national republic of the United States”. He had many partners but few equals and played a key role in every significant development of our Nation during his career that spanned four decades. The author cites him as the author of the Constitution, and of the Bill of Rights, and Author of The Federalist.

To his last days, Madison was fascinated with the rights of majorities to rule and the dangers in allowing them to do so. That led him to constantly study the proper balance between the Union and its member states. Madison thusly anticipated the expanded protection of individual and minority rights by the federal Government that took place during the 20th century; and, Rakove considers that a potent legacy for a statesman born 260 years ago. The tyranny of the majority is a question we still debate and was significant in our just completed national elections.

I finished this very enjoyable biography a few weeks ago and do agree that Madison was a most profound thinker during the creation of the American Republic, and maybe the most profound. I believe you will as well.

Click on the following link to order the book online for $1.00 + Shipping:

James Madison and the Creation of The American Republic by Jack Rakove