Friday, 4 September 2009


There are two upcoming Presidential speeches.

These both end up as curious episodes. The first one is this Presidential health care episode at the House, with Senate members attending. It’s questionable what comes out of this. There were two pluses but both have passed.

If the President had stood up in May and done this speech….then it would have been a “push” and maybe they would have finished the episode by August deadline like he had envisioned. But for some reason…he didn’t see a need to do it then. Getting mileage out of this now? It won’t convince any Republicans and a handful of Democrats have now questioned this entire mess.

The other plus that would have occurred….a national momentum….is now meeting half of the country which has serious questions and developed an absolute attitude about accepting this plan. Too little….too late.

When people refer to experienced leadership…it’s planning ahead that makes these sort of things successful. This team missed their chance in May and this is make-up time, which simply isn’t looking good.

The second speech is this deal which the President addresses a bunch of high-school kids. Their goal is a great speech which encourages kids to change their attitude and rededicate themselves to education.

Frankly, with the state of education in America…..half of this audience will be asleep or listening to IPODs as the President speaks. Encouraging massive change? Well….what you do get is a small group of politically charged kids who take up the message and then begin this “sale” to other kids in the school system.

Imagine 14-year old Johnny trying to convince half of his classmates to side with the President’s vision of a new America. Then some kid recites some Glenn Beck comments, and then some girl recites Rush Limbaugh, and then you got political chaos in the ninth grade class. How would a teacher handle this? These teachers are lucky that they can even teach evolution or simple math.

At present, a number of folks are now talking about removing little Johnny or Stephanie from school on that day and just avoiding the whole issue. Some schools have come right back and said that Johnny and Stephanie can’t be absent. Course, they didn’t explain how they would arrive at this decision and you can smell court cases in the breeze.

I’m personally guessing that out of every one hundred kids there watching this….at least fifty will miss the entire message because they are drunk, doped up, writing love letters, staring at the wall, or asleep. Twenty of them will watch carefully but then take the entirely opposite position because they are anti-authority. Twenty will buy in entirely with an extreme view of support. The final ten percent? They will voice some kind of “1936 Germany-comment” and get kicked out of school for the rest of the day....grinning all the way (yes, my own personal group, without a doubt).

It’s hard enough to get kids through twelve lousy years of high school currently. We have half the teachers in America today who can’t teach. We have vast efforts of sports administration that carry schools today but can’t deliver any intelligent kids. We have teacher unions begging for more money because they can’t do nothing with the money they make currently. And this speech is the “encouragement” that will change their lives?

So I’m not tossing any points on either speech. The medical speech should have been given in May and this is way too late. And this educational speech probably brings too much baggage to the school system. All you need is one punk asking why the President is socialist and you have an entire class debating something that just doesn’t equate to anything.

Screw-Ups from the Air Force

Part of my series for September. Another screw-up.

The unit had acquired this training facility, which had these huge “monster-sized” bays where you could pull vehicles the size of fire trucks into. The unit wanted to convert these into regular office space. Civil Engineering started chatting about a twelve-month period of planning and drawing up plans. The commander wasn’t happy. So he directed one of the guys who knew get the materials and we’d do a self-help job.

There was the one smart guy in the unit who knew something about carpentry. He was the chief. I was tasked to the guy for 2nd two weeks of the project.

Phase one lasted two weeks and the three-man crew got all the drywall put up. It was an enormous project and they worked a good 40 hours each week to reach the conclusion of the drywall episode.

Then the inspector came by and said it was incorrectly installed....ALL of it. So crew two (my crew) was tasked to tear down two weeks of work and restart the whole project.

When the last crew finished the whole was determined that the sizing of the rooms really didn't match up with their future plans....which the Colonel had never shared with us.