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September 12, 2006

H&I* Fires 12 Sep 2006

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Heh. *This* is interesting, from the LA Times today:

In recent years, it has become common for British politicians to lament declining electoral turnout. Between 1945 and 1997, participation never dropped below 70% and regularly exceeded 75%. In 2001, it fell to 59.4%; 2005 saw little improvement at 61%. A common explanation is that voters feel participation makes no difference. One way to confirm that is to deny them influence over who controls Britain's nuclear weapons.

Brown describes the private transfer of power by which he hopes to inherit the premiership as "a stable transition." George Orwell could not have invented a blander euphemism for a constitutional coup d'etat. It is appallingly undemocratic that Blair can be ditched without a general election. It makes Britain look little better than a one-party state. If the beauty of an informal constitution is that it always adapts to new circumstances, then Britain's cannot adapt fast enough. Our new prime minister should be elected, not appointed.

The whole article is a discussion of the (to American eyes) peculiar position of the Prime Minister in juxtaposition to the office of the Presidency in the US. The thrust of the article is essentially, absent a general election, the transfer of power to a new Prime Minister is truly an exercise in the politics of the smoke-filled room, to borrow a metaphor from US politics. What say you who live in Parliamentary systems? Thoughts? Explanations?

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Some lighter fare today...

The trials of a small-town police chief:

My wife is 6-foot-3 and weighs 300 pounds," said Ozmun, who became chief in January 2005. "If there is somebody that thinks they can control her, have at it. I have tried for 11 years and haven't been able to.

And did you know crows are this smart? - FbL

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I don't usually promote myself here, but I wrote a series of articles on the drunk driving death of a teacher at Thomas's old school. It's the only thing I've ever written about that gained the attention of the parties involved. It became very personal, and in the end, I pulled the posts at the request of the victim's family. I'm hoping my new post brings this story full-circle and helps with the healing of the Haumesser and Wolford families. ~AFSis

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Homefront Six shares with us the hidden benefits of having a deployed spouse. - FbL

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For those of you who are eligible to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign, and like to target your donations, Emily, of the Thomas More Law Center, would like you to know that they are now a part of the CFC and you can earmark for them. If you're a blogger, and wish to offer some support... well, she'd like that, too.

Hello,

My name is Emily, and I work with the Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm (more information here) based out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Recently, our organization has been selected to participate in the Combined Federal Campaign.

We're a conservative, Christian organization, dedicated to helping in the fight against the ACLU in situations such as that of the Mt. Soledad Cross in San Diego, California, and we depend on donations to maintain our legal services. We were wondering if we might enlist some of the Milibloggers, who are a popular staple around our office, and daily reads, in helping us spread the word that members of the armed forces can designate us in the CFC campaign for their contributions, if they believe in the mission of the law center. Organization number 9366. We are not asking for much--perhaps just a mention--but anything you could send our way would truly be helpful. I can even provide ready made links to our home page, or a small picture.

Here you go, Emily. -the Armorer

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The Instapunk on... luxury. Hat tip - Eagle1 via Milblogs. -the Armorer

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Kewl! An airplane which defends itself against hijackers...

A computer system designed to avoid collisions by changing the aircraft's trajectory to stop it being steered into a building or mountain is among the potential on-board devices.

There may also be a computer which, through a sophisticated biometric system, can defy a mid-flight takeover by spotting an intruder and guiding the aircraft to the nearest airport.

Of course - at some point, the pilots become... redundant, don't they? -the Armorer

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Profiling? Who needs it! Bah! Apparently the Syrians use it quite well, because Islamic militants unsuccessfully tried to rush the American Embassy today. ~AFSis

*A term of art from the artillery. Harassment and Interdiction Fires.

Back in the day, when you could just kill people and break things without a note from a lawyer, they were pre-planned, but to the enemy, random, fires at known gathering points, road junctions, Main Supply Routes, assembly areas, etc - to keep the bad guy nervous that the world around him might start exploding at any minute.

Not really relevant to today's operating environment, right? But, it *is*

The UAVs we fly over Afghanistan and Pakistan looking for targets of opportunity are a form of H&I fires, if you really want to parse it finely. We just have better sensors and fire control now.

I call the post that because it's random things posted by me and people I've given posting privileges to. It's also an open trackback, so if (Don Surber uses it this way a lot) someone has a post they're proud of, but it really isn't either Castle kind of stuff, or topical to a particular post, I've basically given blanket permission to use that post for that purpose. Another term of art that might be appropriate is "Free Fire Zone".

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