DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:“Are You Serious?” Awards 2018

Conn Hallinan
Friday January 04, 2019 - 04:26:00 PM

Each year Dispatches From The Edge gives awards to individuals, companies and governments that makes reading the news a daily adventure. Here are the awards for 2018:

The Golden Sprocket Wrench Award to Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest arms manufacturer, for its F-22 Raptor Stealth fighter, a fifth-generation interceptor said to be the best in the world. That is when it works, which is not often. When Hurricane Michael swept through Florida this fall, 17 Raptors—$339 million apiece—were destroyed or badly damaged. How come the Air Force didn’t fly those F-22s out of harm’s way? Because the Raptor is a “hanger queen”— loves the machine shop. Less than 50 percent of the F-22 fleet is functional at any given moment. The planes couldn’t fly, so they got trashed at a cost to taxpayers of around $5 billion.

Lockheed Martin also gets an Oak Leaf Cluster for its F-35 Lightning II fighter, at $1.5 trillion the most expensive weapon system in U.S. history. Some 200 F-35s are not considered “combat capable,” and may never be, because the Pentagon would rather buy new planes than fix the ones it has. That may cost taxpayers $40 billion. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:2018:Ten Reasons to be Thankful

Bob Burnett
Friday January 04, 2019 - 04:32:00 PM

New Year's Day was clear and sunny on the Left coast and it was easy to imagine that 2019 would be "all green lights and smooth sailing," as unlikely as that seems at the moment. Nonetheless, while 2018 ended with a government shutdown, and a flurry of ugly Trump Tweets, the year wasn't all bad. Here are ten reasons to be thankful.

1. The Blue Wave: Democrats won control of the House of Representative and Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House. (Pelosi is the right person to lead the Democratic Party up to the presidential convention in July of 2020.) -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: A Piece of My History: Functioning in Society While Psychotic

Jack Bragen
Friday January 04, 2019 - 04:38:00 PM

In 1996, I went off antipsychotic medication, and this was a mistake. This came after a series of crises in which I was threatened, assaulted, victimized by con artists, and otherwise attacked. By the time a stable situation was restored, I had deteriorated, and had lost the insight that the medication was the only thing that remained that held me together. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: End of Dismal Oakland Raiders Season

Ralph E. Stone
Friday January 04, 2019 - 04:35:00 PM

With a season win-loss record of 4-12, are the Oakland Raiders management now having second thoughts about that much ballyhooed 10-year, $100 million contract they gave to Jon Gruden. We can just barely hear Al Davis’s faint exasperated whisper from the grave, “Just win, baby.” -more-