Goin' to charm school

Commuting out of ORD, I had snagged a jumpseat on a United 757. The captain was a highly friendly fellow who was fairly senior and his FO was just getting ready to go to captain school for the 75 and seemed like a pretty cool guy as well. We blasted out of ORD and as we leveled off at cruise one of the Flight Attendants came into the cockpit. This FA was... well... as they like to say "OG" or openly gay. Now it is a vast misconception that all male FAs are gay. In fact a large portion of them are not. I once had a flight student who was a male FA at American and he liked to say that the way you get laid a lot in life is to be a straight guy working as an FA. Anyhow, the OG-FA politely asked if we'd like anything to drink.

Offering the crew something to drink at cruise was a standard practice in the pre-9/11 era when cockpit doors did not have to be barred and locked and then welded shut from the inside during flight. I said I was okay and didn't need anything, the FO echoed my answer and then put his hand over his mouth as if to conceal a smirk. The captain, however, just looked straight out the front window and stiffly said "Nothing, thank you." The OG-FA then left with a friendly "See ya'." An instant later, the captain reached over and hit the FA intercom button. When the lead FA answered the call he said sternly, "Cone in here please." By now the FO was looking out his window as if to say "I don't wanna see this."

In about a heartbeat later the lead FA came in and the captain directed her to close the door. "I don't care what you do for the rest of this flight," the captain snarled as he looked at her in a hateful manner, "but you keep that f%$&ing faggot out of my cockpit!" The stunned and clearly offended lead FA simply murmured "ok" and left, slamming the cockpit door.

No sooner had the echos from the slammed cockpit door faded than both the captain and the FO burst into laughter. The captain turned to me and saw that I was a bit stunned and began to sing "I'm goin' to charm school, I'm goin' to charm school, I'm goin to charm school..." The FO turned wiping his eyes and said "You sick bastard, I don't believe you just did that." The captain began to dance in his seat "I'm goin' to charm school, I'm goin' to charm school..."

"I'm missin' somethin' here." I mumbled. The FO decided to fill me in. You see, they can't fire United pilots for something like that. Instead, they take them off the schedule and send them to sensitivity training... in Denver... for a week. "He's done this before." the FO explained, "What was it last time?" the FO asked the captain. "Ski season." the captain replied happily. "And before that?" the FO went on. "Prime golf weather, just like now." the captain replied with a large knowing smile. "It works great," the captain explained to me, "You insult some fruity FA that you're probably never gonna see again, they send you to charm school in Denver, you spend the days learning charm and the rest of the time golfing or on the slopes. All ya' have to do is go in acting like Archie Bunker and pretend to slowly turn into Alan Alda by the end of the week. You get a passing grade and go back to work. You still get yer' guarantee, so you don't lose any money and you get an all expense paid vacation in Denver just to attend a bullshit sensitivity class."

"But... three times?" I asked. "Hey, I keep fallin' off the wagon." the captain smirked, "Can't help it, must be a defect in my personality."

A contrail could be seen high up in the eastern Ohio sky and at the very point of it were three pilots snickering like schoolboys over the concept of charm school. You can lead a pilot to charm school, but you can't make him sensitive.


The face of ObamaSpace-via Klyde Morris

ObamaSpace- NEUTERED!

On the first day of February, 2010 the ever leftward bound Obama administration presented a budget proposal for NASA that was nothing short of an outrage. Apparently, a hand full of the president's bootlickers cooked up a "new direction" that probably sounded real good while sitting on the floor in a semi-circle in some academic pow-wow and then decided that they alone would set a new direction for United States spaceflight. Our leader, who is said by those closest to him to be the "most aware" "most intelligent" and "most engaged" human who ever drew breath on the planet earth, simply rubber stamped the proposal which was then dumped on the nation.

ObamaSpace sought to cancel the entire Constellation program, including the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, it sought to send the the majority of funding from Constellation to "commercial" and "new space" companies. Instead of continuing in its efforts to explore space and return to the moon, NASA would now focus on completely undefined "game changing" and "path breaking" technologies. It would have also dictated that NASA spend much of its time in the study of "climate change." The result would be that NASA's program of training and flying astronauts would immediately end, the VAB, launch complex 39 and the Launch Control Center at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) would all be shutdown and effectively "Abandoned In Place" immediately following the final shuttle flight. ObamaSpace had no goal, no direction and would accomplish nothing other than downsizing NASA into a small R&D agency that could easily be defunded in a few years. It represented the ripping down of a half century of United States leadership in space- it was a liberal's wet dream.

Reaction the ObamaSpace was instant and extremely negative. Congress was taken completely by surprise and they were beyond unhappy- they were down right insulted. With the exception of a few Obama zealots, space experts came out in droves against ObamaSpace. Some managed to point out a very few good points in the proposal- such as an increase in NASA's overall budget... which just happened to come real close to what the Obama Administration had cut the previous year. There was also added funding for aeronautics and for research and development. Yet the overall picture as quite sinister as it was very clear that this was a death proposal for NASA.

So loud was the reaction to Obama's FY2011 NASA budget proposal that it actually drew the president's attention away from March Madness basketball. In a "meeting" (No one is really sure if anyone who does not totally agree with das leader actually does get to "meet" with him), Sen. Bill Nelson, D FL, said that he had explained to das leader how badly das leader's space proposal was being received. Nelson stated that he was given an assurance by "the administration" that changes would be made and das leader would announce those in a visit to KSC on April 15th. Knowing how the "administration" actually functions, however, the question was put to Nelson "...and what if Obama doesn't change his proposal enough to save the space program?" Nelson replied "Then we (the Congress) will change it for him."

On April 15th Obama's teleprompters were set up at KSC, an audience of hand-picked Obama suck-ups was seated and das leader got up and spoke. With an Orion spacecraft that he had canceled and a Space Shuttle Main Engine, that he considered as non-game changing technology and thus obsolete, as backdrop Obama proceeded to say that we would not be going back to the moon- because we've been there- done that. He said that we would spend the next five years deciding on a heavy lift launch vehicle and he would un-cancel Orion and instead turn one or two of them into escape pods to be hung on the International Space Station. Yep- he changed ObamaSpace... and if you got real close and squinted, you might just see the change. Effectively, he stabbed Bill Nelson in the back... then das leader jetted down to Miami for a high-priced fund raiser.

The Congress, however, joined forces across party lines and, led by Bill Nelson they proceeded to take das leader's budget proposal and "Change it for him." Hearings were held and overall, out of all the member of Congress who were involved, only 5 did not out rightly condemn ObamaSpace- especially for its cancellation of the Constellation program. By mid-summer the United States Senate had come out with S.3729 which passed by unanimous consent and was their new direction for NASA. It contained a fully capable Orion for exploration beyond low earth orbit and directed the immediate development of a new heavy lift launcher to replace the shuttle in both the manned and unmanned configurations. Although the bill contained enough of ObamaSpace to draw the ink from the president's signature pen, it was in fact a sharp rebuke of the administration's FY2011 NASA budget. Meanwhile the House was working on their own rebuke of ObamaSpace. Between recesses and other Congressional business, however, the House was not able to get their bill to the floor before the ending of FY2010. As a result, the House adopted S.3729 and passed it by greater than a 2/3 majority. ObamaSpace had been blown up in the administration's face.

Almost immediately, two of ObamaSpace's biggest hucksters and Obama worshipers- NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and his deputy administrator Lori Garver began to provide political cover das leader. Their formula is very simple- just act like S.3729 is ObamaSpace and has been what the president wanted all along. Charlie's first public statement said, in part, "...we now can move forward with plans to execute the vision set for us by President Obama..." and later went on to say, "Drawing on the ambitious plan for our agency laid out by President Obama, the Congress approved the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010." and "Passage of this bill represents an important step forward towards helping us achieve the key goals set by the President." Following S.3729's passage Garver stated, concerning NASA's return to the moon that thanks to Obama, "we will be going back with humans..." even though- ObamaSpace, and Obama himself both direct that NASA should NOT be going back to the moon- only S.3729 and the Congress changes that.

This response to the Congressional rebuke of ObamaSpace ignores the bits and pieces of the administration's proposal that blew up in their collective faces and sounds a lot like Pee-Wee Herman when he drives off of a cliff and simply says "Ha, ha, I meant to do that."