Friday, June 26, 2015

5 Things on a Friday: The Axeman Strikes!

It’s been a crazy week in Connecticut, folks.  I hope you guys are doing well.
Lots of Army stuff this week.  Not because I’ve been feeling particularly military or anything; this is just what caught my eye.  Let me know what you think.
The drummer for the United States Military Academy was performing as part of a segment on the show  when the anchor, attempting to hit a target, hurled the ax the drummer’s way, according to the article published on the Daily News’s website.
The… scene did not air on the TV network, but was captured on witness’s cellphone and posted on the video sharing website, YouTube.
That video is unbelievable.  Seriously, it takes Fox’s commitment to our soldiers to a whole new level.  Clearly no one at Fox has ever actually been in the military, or they would know that you can’t put folks behind the targets at a firing range.

The full-scale Hoverbike features advanced stability and maneuverability, and can be controlled to fly by itself on a pre-determined flight path, return to home, loiter and follow the controller.
The current prototypes are made from carbon fiber with a foam core.  Not exactly ideal for military applications, but that sure as heck sound cool.  Obviously that’s way more important.
Coming soon to an Infantry Division near you!

3. Friday Hair Metal: What’s Going On?
I’m on a Gaga kick.  I admit it.  I’m a huge fan.

Leaders of Mr. Walker’s party, which controls the Legislature, are balking at his demands for the state’s budget. Critics say the governor’s spending blueprint is aimed more at appealing to conservatives in early-voting states like Iowa than doing what is best for Wisconsin.
Lawmakers are stymied over how to pay for road and bridge repairs without raising taxes or fees, which Mr. Walker has ruled out…
“The governor rolled out $1.3 billion in bonding,” Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate majority leader, said in an interview. “It’s not been well received, is the best way to put it.”
Walker is a major player in the Republican race, but I don’t know if this is a big deal or not.  In a party that often cares more about ideology than results, the fact that Walker prefers debt-financing to tax hikes, even in the face of a revolt from his own party over the taking of additional debt, is probably attractive to a certain kind of national-level Republican.  That said, one of the reasons why I’ve been covering the race so consistently is that these early bits are the best way to truly get to know the candidates.  By the time actual voting starts, everything they say is gonna be down to soundbytes and platitudes.
What kind of candidate is Scott Walker?  He’s a guy who built his career busting public workers’ unions, who won’t raise taxes even to cover current account shortfalls even in a political environment where that’s considered desirable on both sides of the aisle.  Coming from Wisconsin, voters would typically expect Walker to be a moderate, but he’s a hawk on spending and especially on taxation.  That’s what his record says.
As my father used to say, “What you see depends on where you sit.”  I don’t personally favor debt financing for current account shortfalls, but I realize that I’m not going to convince you to see things my way if you believe that all taxes are a waste of money.  A lot of people do believe that.  My point here is just to point out the record, to keep track of what these guys do and say, so that we can all make informed choices later in the process.

On Saturday, [Coach Jeff Monken] and his staff are conducting their 2nd one-day camp of the summer, and on Sunday, the 28th, the staff will host a picnic for 75 new cadets and their families, when the Army 2015 Recruiting Class gathers together for the first time as a group…
Our list has 51 plebes coming from USMAPS and 24 who are coming straight from high school as direct admits. That's a large class, and it is top heavy on USMAPS grads. It will be the first class recruited entirely by the new staff.
Army put out around 300 hundred offers.  The 2015 recruiting class has 24 incoming direct-admits—including a handful of truly excellent 3-star prospects—alongside 50 from last year’s recruiting class who went to the Prep School, and an unknown number of current prospects headed to the Prep School to learn the offense and study for full admission in 2016.  It’s a little early yet to judge the overall quality of the recruiting class, but it’s hard not to like what we’ve seen so far.  It’s been a long time since Army has had multiple recruits who chose West Point over Air Force, Stanford, Navy, etc., but this year that’s exactly what we’ve got, and anecdotally, this is the first time I can personally remember seeing multiple 3-star athletes in the same recruiting class in quite some time.  If memory serves, Larry Dixon was the only former 3-star athlete on the whole team last season.  This was a large part of what made it so hard for Army to compete over four quarters of football.
So.  I’m reluctant to start naming names of cadet candidates before they’ve even entered Beast Barracks, but Coach Monken has said that he expects a plebe to contribute at Fullback, and there are a couple of would-be starters on the defense in the new class as well.  Nothing is a given, of course, but at this point I think we have a few reasons to be hopeful.  If we can figure out who’s going to run the offense at quarterback, I’ll be actively optimistic.
On the off-chance that any would-be new cadets are reading this, know that I wish you luck.  The Academy is a long, tough slog, but the best people in the world are there, and it’s worth a lot to stand in their company.
That’s all I’ve got this week besides just saying thanks for coming by.  The blog has been picking up readers lately, and in my personally life, people regularly tell me how much they enjoy this column in particular.  Thanks for that.  I really appreciate it.  Yes, I like to write, but it’s more fun when folks are reading your writing.

Have a good weekend.

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