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Uh oh… Another Boondoggle about to Come Home to Roost?

Good grief. Take a look at this report on the F-35. I’d heard before that the expensive new fighter jets are generally hated by pilots and not what you’d call a good value for the taxpayer dollar. But it’s much, much worse than I thought.

F-35These things are about to be inflicted on the Valley of We-Do-Mean Sun, as Luke Air Force Base, a beloved boon to the local economy, is a fighter-pilot training base. We’re told the racket they make is magnitudes worse than the F-16’s, whose roar can be heard clear over at my house all the way from the far West Valley. This is one of several reasons I’ve declined my dear friend’s suggestions that I move to newer, more broadly middle-class westside housing closer to her and resisted SDXB’s blandishments to move to Sun City, also under the flight path. At any rate, the noise pollution issue is what originally brought my attention to the new model. It didn’t sound good then, and it sounds a whole lot more dubious now., the source of this article, is one of several new long-read sorts of sites I’ve recently added to the Web-surfing list. Check out this lighter but right-on post at the same site.

Pro Publica, in my humble opinion, is the emperor of the long-read websites. Funded by philanthropic contributions, Pro Publica’s operators describe it as “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.” And that they do, with élan. One series won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, the first such prize ever for stories not published in print, and an earlier story took a 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, the first such award to an online news organization. More recently, a story broadcast with This American Life won a 2013 Peabody Award. Articles here are well researched, well written, and often eye-opening. Here’s one that’ll get your attention, and if that doesn’t, then this series certainly will

Longreads is a great and reliable place to find something interesting to read. It aggregates full-length nonfiction articles from a wide variety of publications. Like a good detective story? Here’s one from real life. And in the true crime department, Tara of Streets Ahead Living commented on this article in relation to restrictions placed on purchases of ordinary OTC cold nostrums and nail polish remover.

If you can stand its political slant, Mother Jones runs some excellent investigative pieces — and they don’t seem to mind goring their own oxen, when it’s called for.

PopSci has also become a regular check-in. Posts are short, light, and over-simplified, but often amusing to read or watch.

One that’s pending is called Epic Magazine — it’s expected to publish long-form nonfiction on subjects interesting enough to lure movie options, in hopes of creating a market that will allow writers to make a living wage. So far the proprietors haven’t put much up, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the site.

That used to be the function of the Fourth Estate — cluing the electorate to the boondoggles. Alas, with print  journalism dying on the vine, it gets harder and harder for most Americans to get this kind of information. There’s only so much Frontline can do. Recently, though, web presences like the ones above have stepped in to fill the ever-yawning gap left by the death of the metropolitan daily.

Seek them out. Read them. If you can, support them. And let your elected officials you know what they wish you didn’t know.


Image: The U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C. Public domain.


9 thoughts on “Uh oh… Another Boondoggle about to Come Home to Roost?”

  1. Yes the F-35 is a POS.
    I watch stuff like this and they should stop building them.

    This is where some congress person puts an ear mark into some bill that no one every reads and Viola, we get an F-35.

    My congressman lied to me, he said he reads every bill that crosses his desk, he can’t he’s a National Guard General on duty.

    Liar Liar. pants on fire.

  2. After I posted this, I was even more infuriated to find a much earlier report to the effect that a similar mock battle between digital Russian fighters and the F-35 ended in a very similar FAIL. So this is something that’s been known for some time.

    I hope these are exaggerations. But… {sigh} It’s hard not to worry: how many of our fighter pilots are going to have to die before the plane’s issues are fixed?

    …assuming they can be fixed…

  3. The Russian have a Su-37 and it is a hot jet. Not saying it’s a lot better.
    What about the pilot?

    For me that is the key thing.

  4. There will be a point in your life where you have to decide if the government has intruded enough into your life to really tick you off.

    Your choice.

  5. I’m going to say this once and never again. I spent 7 1/2 years in the NAVY as an intelligence analyst. The F-35 sucks and blows dead toads.

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