Charlie Brown and the Next Generation Bomber

Blogs still don’t have rules, right? So there’s no list of concrete do’s and don’ts out there?

Good.

Today, I’m going to fill this space by swiping a comment written by someone else in a blog published by my direct competitor. This would be a no-no in my print magazine, but, hey, this is a blog, right? Consider this a toast to publishing anarchy!

I’m doing this because the comment in question is so good that I instantly wished I could exchange brains — however briefly — with the person who wrote it. That person happens to be the pride of the Australia’s defence blogging community, Eric Palmer, who also happens to be a frequent commenter on this blog. His comment appears at the end of my former co-worker Bill Sweetman’s excellent blog on the Boeing-Lockheed team on next-generation bomber.

Here’s what Eric said:

It will be interesting to see who ends up making the thing. I think bringing up Charlie Brown is useful. As we all know, according to Linus, on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch he deems the most “sincere”.

The Great Pumpkin then flies through the air to deliver toys to all the good little children in the world. Apparently, one can cause the Great Pumpkin to pass him or her by merely saying “IF he comes”, as opposed to “WHEN he comes”. This could mean that the Great Pumpkin is likely to pass by anyone who doubts his existence.

Not to be sexist, but I hope the bomber program manager is a woman. Consider this:

Sally, is usually the one person who Linus convinces to sit in the pumpkin patch. Sally’s number of Halloweens spent in the pumpkin patch, in fact, are surpassed only by Linus’s. Sally’s belief in the Great Pumpkin is quashed every year she waits in the pumpkin patch, yet the next time, presumably out of love for Linus, she believes in the Great Pumpkin just as strongly.

Peppermint Patty had been depicted at least once waiting in the pumpkin patch for the Great Pumpkin. She says she does so because she is very superstitious, as well as trusting, and, as she admits, a little bit stupid.

Marcie had sat with Linus in the Pumpkin patch on at least one occasion, and generally shows belief in the Great Pumpkin, albeit usually calling it the “Great Squash” or the “Great Grape”.

While I loved all those Charlie Brown TV specials as a kid, I think in the current funding environment, hopes of seen a new next generation bomber are about on the same odds as waiting for The Great Pumpkin. Somehow I don’t see the Obama/Winfrey elects as tolerating funding such things when the U.S. is billions in debt.

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One Response to Charlie Brown and the Next Generation Bomber

  1. Royce 29 January, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    While I’m skeptical about the new bomber, funding doesn’t seem like the issue. If money is so tight, why is the Pentagon going to ask for $750 million to fund a hypersonic plane? To me, the canary in the coal mine when it comes to funding is when the Pentagon stops screwing around on hyperexpensive pipe dreams and focuses on more attainable goals. Like building a new, cheaper stealth bomber.

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