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Send In the F-15’s (Opinion)

Exceptional opinion from Pastor Greg Young…

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In the typical action movie, the person playing the president will turn to his chief-of-staff at some point and ask, “Where are our forces?” In today’s world, however, that president should probably just ask “Where are the F-15s?”

Consider the strife in the Middle East, where Turkish forces are attacking Kurds in (or near) Syria. Fox News reports that when Turkey’s troops recently came too close to American warriors stationed there, “Air Force F-15 fighters and Army Apache attack helicopters arrived on the scene.” In other words, the versatile F-15 is now participating in ground support missions, while continuing its primary mission of maintaining air superiority throughout a battle space. That’s a weapon that can really do it all.

Yet, for some reason, the Air Force is being pushed to spend far more for far less.

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National Defense Magazine reported this year that, “The fiscal year 2020 national defense authorization bill approved June 27 by the GOP-controlled Senate would authorize $10 billion to procure 94 F-35 joint strike fighters, 16 more than the Trump administration requested.” Lawmakers seem to be thinking that the JSF can replace the F-15. One problem with that is obvious: the JSF isn’t replacing the F-15 because it isn’t capable of replacing the F-15.

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The problem begins at the beginning, when the JSF was on the drawing board in the 1990s. As Popular Mechanics reported in a lengthy 2016 piece, “The F-35 is still dogged by decisions like the one to build the plane using the strategy of ‘concurrency,’ or building the first planes before the experimental design was truly finalized.” In a way, contractor Lockheed Martin was building the plane as it attempted to fly it.

Because untested jets were pressed into service, test pilots were frequently uncovering problems that had to be fixed on the planes that were already out of the factory. This led to an expensive cycle of delays and recalls. Of course, as all this was happening throughout the ’90s and 2000s, aging F-15s successfully completed tens of thousands of missions, from the Balkans to Iraq and Afghanistan.

From that troubled beginning, things never got much better.

The JSF kept missing deadlines and couldn’t be pressed into service, even as our forces deployed around the world. The platform went over budget year after year. By the time President Donald Trump was getting set to take office in 2017, the Pentagon admitted the JSF was more than 6 years behind schedule and $13 billion over budget. The program, the Air Force admitted, found it “difficult to overcome a troubled past.”

Trump vowed to bring the JSF costs down, but is administration hasn’t managed to do that. “The estimated total price for research and procurement has increased by $22 billion in current dollars adjusted for inflation,” Bloomberg reported this year. “The estimate for operating and supporting the fleet of fighters over more than six decades grew by almost $73 billion to $1.196 trillion.”

Meanwhile, the military can have the more effective F-15 at a more affordable price. The Trump administration wants to buy eight new, next generation F-15X jets. That seems like a sensible hedge as the F-35 struggles to make it into the sky. These F-15s wouldn’t be in place of any of the planned F-35s, but would be in addition to them. As Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson explained this year, “If they chose to have an order on F-15, it won’t be at the expense of F-35 quantities.” Maybe they should be, but time will tell on that issue.

The bottom line is that the entire idea behind the JSF is that it would be able to do it all. Instead, it’s the F-15 that’s getting the job done, in Syria and everywhere else. Let’s have more of that, please.

Pastor Greg Young is host of the nationally syndicated Chosen Generation Radio Show which airs Monday through Friday on Stations coast to coast. He served as a Russian Linguist is the USAF, discover more at chosengenerationradio.com.

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Apple Backs Down, Will Allow Parler Back on App Store

The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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Free speech is a fickle thing, and precious too.  If we’re not careful, it can be stripped away but those who hide behind the claim that a “private” company can limit your personal freedoms. Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms are almost always the culprits here, bending the algorithmic reach of those with whom they disagree. Enter Parler:  A free speech app where only the bare legal minimum of content would be moderated. The platform became incredibly popular with an astonishing swiftness, but soon faced trouble from companies who had previously aligned themselves with Facebook and Twitter’s more controlling stance. Apple, who had previously booted Parler from its App Store, has now relented to the Constitution. Apple has approved Parler’s return to the iOS app store following improvements the social media company made to better detect and moderate hate speech and incitement, according to a letter the iPhone maker sent to Congress on Monday. The decision clears the way for Parler, an app popular with conservatives including some members of the far right, to be downloaded once again on Apple devices. The letter — addressed to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck and obtained by CNN — explained that since the app was removed from Apple’s platform in January for violations of its policies, Parler “has proposed updates to its app and the app’s content moderation practices.” On April 14, Apple’s app review team told Parler that its proposed changes were sufficient, the letter continued. Now, all Parler needs to do is to flip the switch. The news is seen as a major boost for the First Amendment.

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WATCH: NC Man Slings Rabid Bobcat Across His Front Yard

WOW!

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For many North Carolinians, neighborhood living brings with it the peace of mind that the most invasive animals you might have to deal with are squirrels who are trying to rest in your attic, or raccoons hoping to fatten up from your trash can.  The Tar Heel state has some bears, sure, but they’re not often the pestering or dangerous type like you might see in the Pacific Northwest or parts of California. But one man this week got up close and personal with a seriously frightening creature this week, after it lunged at his wife from underneath their car. A disturbing video captures the moment a rabid bobcat attacks a North Carolina woman—and the moment her husband grabs it off her and throws it through the air. Kristi and Happy Wade of Burgaw were walking to their SUV to take their cat to the vet the morning of April 9 when the growling animal ran across the street and attacked, WIS-TVreports. After throwing it several feet, Happy Wade eventually shot it after it ran into the couple’s garage and then continued to charge, ABC 11 reports. A neighbor who had been jogging by at the time stopped to help and called 911. Video of the incident is simply unbelievable. https://twitter.com/nojumper/status/1383145940807163904?s=20 The bobcat was injured by Wade and later euthanized by local law enforcement.  An autopsy revealed that the animal was indeed rabid, and the family has been undergoing treatment for their numerous bite wounds.

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