for 27 February 2001. Updated every WEEKDAY.
Fast, Cheap, and Mission-Controlled
You let me tell you something, Ya know, what's really tragic about this whole thing is the money it's going to end up costing the American taxpayer, in particular, me. Bush and his Vietnam era staff are really trying to restart the cold war with some one who can't pacify a nation the size of Rhode Island.
This silly ass "Star Wars episode II" thing is just going to goad everybody into trying to buy more military technology they couldn't afford the first time around. Oh my god don't forget China!
Also, anybody who thinks the Abrams M1 is slow or lumbering has never had the sensation of nearly being run down by one of these 63 ton monstrosities. Well, Beers, since Jr. is going to "skip a generation" of development, you better start to think about your new laser gun and jet pack.
I've had the sensation of nearly being run down by one of those 63 ton monstrosities, on a tank trail at Fort Benning. I was driving a Bradley. Said Pfc. Bray: "Mommy!"
I got out of the way.
Pacifying Rhode Island with a laser gun,
I find myself in an odd spot. I agree with you and with the Hackworthies that a great many current weapons systems are boondoggles and unsuited for current realities. However, I disagree with you about the current administration. I doubt most seriously that Shrub's current posture of skipping straight to the next generation of weapons systems represents original thought. His retinue includes fans of such tax-dollar-absorbing tripe as the V-22 Osprey (1976's Weapon of Today) and, as you point out, Star Wars. It's also worth pointing out that updates to the old stuff often work nicely: consider the venerable B-52, still a fine way to get lethal payload from one continent to another, or the M16A2, merely the latest incarnation of a forty-year-old rifle.
My suspicion is that Shrub and his owners realize that some of the high-dollar systems that they are contractually obligated to continue buying are PR disasters in the making (only a matter of time before somebody gets a good 20/20 piece on the flammable aluminum Bradley IFV) and that they can afford to piss off one or two lesser defense contractors, if their goal is to wildly enrich more favored ones with contracts for vaporware. After all, skipping the current generation of war toys means buying ones that...aren't ready yet. But we do have neat prototypes, and in the meantime, would you like a few hundred of our almost-completely-tested model that will have to be replaced when R&D finishes with Armored Windows 98?
You're right on several points, but I'm still holding on to some hope. His retinue includes Dick Cheney, who I find really unimpressive generally but who also tried to kill the Osprey, way back when, when he was the secretary of defense.
Really, I think the extraordinary thing about all of this is that it's astonishing to even hear an actual elected politician say that, no, we shouldn't just spend more money on the military. And then actually asking someone with the reputation of a reformer to write a public examination of the big machine...
It's not much in fact, in substance it's nearly nothing but in an age of absolutely no political guts or creativity, it's Wizard of Oz stuff. (Look, everybody, there's a man behind that curtain. Uh, gasp.)
Still, yeah: If we're still working on the Osprey, and maybe getting ready to bring the Crusader out sometime before my grandchildren are born, it's hard to imagine how we can revolutionize a whole hell of a lot. Dick Cheney tried to kill the Osprey during, we say again, the last Bush administration and the Marine Corps cut back on testing to rush the project forward. Wow.
Anyway, let's give 'em a few months and see what they do next. Like I said at the end of the essay: wouldn't it be great to be surprised? I mean, to find out that it's still possible?
Good piece today. Wish you had a send to a friend feature. Nonetheless, I've let quite a few know about it. Also, linked to your piece at the top of "On the Web".
BTW Noticed you found the same link we used for Eisenhower's MIC speech I assume just a coincidence. We use Google a lot over here.
We do have a "send to friend" feature, but it's kind of outdated and we don't publicize it much. Basically the deal is, if you read something on Suck that you'd like to share, just notify us, with your friend's street address and a photograph, and we'll make sure he reads it. We are generally fairly gentle.
As for the link, yeah: Adding links is not the fun part. Google search, scan top two or three, cut and paste that sucker. This is not an area where my creativity shines. Especially since I have a 56k modem, and have to watch pages assemble themselves like a time lapse photograph.
Subject: Bar Hopping Bastards
Let Me Tell You Something,
I can't really say that I bemoan changed status of my favorite dive bar. The Satire Lounge on Colfax Ave. had long been a very scary dive where you could get a drink that would knock you on your ass or just get knocked on you ass. No more. There is a distinct lack of ruffians in the place. Now it's just raver / snowboarder type kids. Oh well. At least they aren't going to shiv you in the back. When you buy that summer cottage in Aspen I'll take you there sometime. They've chased of the junkies that user to shoot up in the alley so you'll have some place to park your Hummer*.
*P.S. My estimates of your financial standing are based on the fact that your "Goon on the Moon" trade paperback fetches about $3890.00 on Ebay.
A dive bar in Aspen? I wish I knew where it was the few times I was there. MacDanals was the only restaurant I could afford in that town, and THAT ought to tell you what my income is REALLY like!
Nice piece in suck today. Same thing is going on in Austin too, of course, as it is everywhere. Places like Austin seem to be getting it worse than the rest, what with all the yuppie high-tech migration here. I moved out of Austin to a little run-down town 9 miles east of Austin called Manor a couple years ago to escape the yuppification of my old neighborhood, and the increase in property taxes that has reamed out my friends that stayed (8 yrs ago my property taxes were 950$ a year, and this last year my brother had to pay over $4000!!). Manor is one of the sleaziest most forgotten little towns near austin- pretty much ALL the rest have all been sucked into suburbs or yuppified. We still have dirt roads and hillbillies, yee haw! All the dot-bomb layoffs etc going down lately hopefully will slow the process in austin. Bah, humbug! Of course, all the old-timers here in Manor seeing out-of-place weirdos like me from austin move here into the old shambling wrecked victorian houses are saying the same thing about us, I know, irony at it's best I suppose. I figure I have about 5 or 6 yrs here til this little town gets sucked dry too.
Your problem is that you're neither a yuppie OR a hillbilly or a little of both! So enjoy the "town" of Manor while you can.
Your fellow hybrid,
Amen and I love you. But no honorable mention for the Copper Gate Tavern? Ok, so it's way up on 24th Ave and 63rd and not on Ballard Ave. Still, it's the friendliest, homiest derelict bar in all of Ballard! I highly recommend.
Angie, you're the second person to say "What about the Copper Gate?" I know that place, though not well, as well as the one down the street from it, "Epps" I think it's called. And did you know "The Viking" is the oldest Ballard bar under the same name? But yeah, I zeros in on the Ave just for coziness' sake. There are places near my end of the hood (near 15th Ave) that I still haven't worked up the nerve to even enter.