August 14, 2011

О чем Этот Blog Является Всем (2nd Anniversary Post)

This is perhaps the height of arrogance, but I just realized I have been doing this blog for two years. Now, that's not as long as some but to me it's chilling that I could stick to this for such a long time -- and still have as much fun. The War Planner started out life as Voyska PVO (as explained in this reprise of my first post) but, in order to clarify the ambiguity, it reverted to my other Cold Warrior persona and was named as it is today. I am sincerely grateful to those who have been kind enough to visit, read, and comment; -- particularly Odie, LCR, Supi, MA, LL, and all of the others. I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting many of you in person but treasure all of you as close friends. Here's hoping we all stay fired up for the next fifteen months and beyond.

..Спасибо, мои друзья.

("About what This Blog Is All")
Firstly, disabuse yourself of any notion that I am Russian or that I speak the language. Or that I am a communist. The name for this blog came from a middle age spent absrobing too many Tom Clancy novels (especially The Sum of All Fears) and a youth, the first eight years of which were committed to the United States Air Force.

The name of the blog - Войска ПВО - literally translated means "Armies of Air Defence", pronounced as "Voyska PVO", and is the military organ of the now-defunct Soviet Union charged with repelling air attacks from, presumably, the United States, NATO, and their other enemies during the Cold War.

Many years ago, circa 1964-68, I attended the University of California, Los Angeles and, because I sought refuge from the grasp of the the Selective Service System, I had enrolled in the Air Force ROTC. My father - who was ponying up half of the loot for my education - wanted me around after my graduation to recoup his investment ~ and, I suppose, for other reasons. In any event, the operative theory was that being stationed stateside in the Air Force for four years was preferable to carrying a rifle in SEA for two years.

So it was that, when I graduated from UCLA in 1968, I received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant and orders to report to Strategic Air Command Headquarters at Offutt AFB in Nebraska. My work involved writing software for the SIOP - war plan - and my responsibilities involved developing the flight plans for the SAC B-52s and FB-111s in the event we went to war.

Still confused? Think of the envelopes that Slim Pickens distributed to his crew in the Kubrik movie, Dr Strangelove.

My counterparts - adversaries, as it were - were the members Войска ПВО, unseen but ever-present. I came to adopt this as my sobriquet from a perverse sense of irony and because of a respect for an opponent who, while misguided in spirit defending a political philosophy, were nonetheless noble in courage, sentiment and ambition. Posting on conservative sites fraught with trolls who patrol at the behest of their masters, I discovered that those cretins did not realize cyrillic characters could be pasted into the edit boxes. Therefore, it tended to cut down on annoying responses on blogs like PJM, etc.

So, to complete the mystique and since I was an officer in the USAF and a lover of military aviation from any country, I adopted the persona as a pilot in that arm of the Soviet air defense force. This is, I submit, a noble endeavor; an effort to defend one's country, it's innocent people, and it's integrity as opposed to attacking another to impose a political philosophy by aggression.

..I'll stop here lest the baloney gets sliced too thin.

But again, I refer you to the modern day camaraderie between Jack Ryan and his former Cold War enemies in the Soviet Union. By the way, that picture is not me on the left. It is - or was - an actual serving pilot in Войска ПВО.

But, while this is supposed to be a vehicle for my political rants, I also would like to post on other subjects of interest in my life. These might variously include amateur radio, bicycle racing, firearms, and other muddled subjects. By way of further introduction and to pad my posting count, these will be discussed in subsequent entries.

For now, a statement about my politics. I am decidedly conservative, Republican, but have respect for Democrats who are honorable and hard working and have a firm set of principles. Heck, my brother, James, is a Democrat and a former member of the New Hampshire state legislature. He sponsors a turkey shoot out on his expansive estate near the Vermont border and is one of the few Democrats who received the highest approval rating from the National Rifle Association.

But I am barely tolerant of ("big L") Libertarians - they are smug and do not begin to comprehend what is involved in keeping this country safe from foreign aggression. Also, I cannot abide leftists, socialists, apologists, and self-aggrandizing politicians (from either side of the spectrum). I will listen to argument and will, as much as I can, debate in response. Hell, I'll even concede points if they arise from well-reasoned discourse.

As for the rules for commenting here: they're mine, they're arbitrary, but they're fair (from my point of view). Trolls are the bane of our existence and there's a ton of sandboxes for them to crap in. Obscene comments will be deleted immediately. Whining, insulting, or carping will be deleted at the slightest provocation. Those whose views differ from mine and evince an attempt at civil debate will have a longer shelf-life -- in all likelihood, perpetuity.

So, that's it; more to come later..