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January 13, 2007

H&I* Fires, 13 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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There's some attempted reform of the UN going on. Japan wants to be a UNSC permanent member and Abe is 'pressing the flesh' to see that they get there. Right now he's talking to Chirac.

Something lots of people said was impossible has at least been agreed to (there are light years between agreeing and doing, mind you): Somalian warlords agree to disarm. Maybe the nightmare that Skippy-san and Eddie saw coming has been dodged? I sure as hell hope so, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.
Go Navy. Go TF-HOA.

I first saw this at Armchair Generalist's joint, but now NeIN (Northeast Intel Network---didn't they have a tussle with She-who-threatens-lawsuits?) is also reporting on a claimed chemical tipped rocket attack of an FOB in Iraq.

Two, one reallllllllllly long, pieces from Bruce Schneir, the computer security guru. One on airport security and the other, the long one, on computer password security. Not a bad idea for our more professional readership to think about.
Oh, and just 'cause: LA Kings (Damn, they still suck.) recall Japanese goalie.
ry
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The Academic Submariner is somewhat annoyed with students at the University of Pennsylvania.

Via Stop the ACLU, the 9th Circuit surprises us, and we discover there are Klingons in the White House. Kewl. Also at STACLU, there's an approving post about the ACLU defending a Medieval Re-enacting Dork. I added a slightly different defense in the comments. Bottom line, leave the duct tape at home. -the Armorer

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Lex catches the NYT in constitutional revisionism and succinctly states the conservative perspective on liberal views of taxation. It looks like a good discussion is developing in the comments, too. - FbL

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Jules Crittenden points out the most absurd thing about Barbara Boxer's ridiculous comment to Condoleeza Rice (it's not what everyone is talking about). He also has a nice roundup of responses to Boxer. On second thought, he has so much good stuff.... just start here and keep scrolling. - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 13, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 12, 2007

H&I* Fires, 12 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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This is something John’s covered before. But it was prominently on The Keith Olberman Show last night and I found another report on it today: Reactive armor to beat RPG and ATGM, and more specifically the TROPHY system developed by Israel, that the Army refuses to buy and deploy in Iraq.

Yeah, throwing material in the way of oncoming missiles is a good idea. That's the idea behind the CIWS the Navy uses. In the right circumstances it’s a great idea. Is a Striker or Bradley MICV in a market full of people and with a bunch of dismounted infantry walking patrol such a circumstance? Doesn’t the utility of something like this in the current conflict have to be decided with that as a factor? Just blindly saying “We want the best for The Troops” is not actually doing what is best for the troops.

It also makes a lot of a very old problem. If it wasn’t designed and built by ‘Muricans we ain’t buying. Was ever thus. There’s some good reasons, and some terrible ones, for doing it this way. But that’s for another day.
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I think we have a new job for the old F-14s. Why ugly up an F-15 by putting a huge missile under her when the Tomcat was already designed to carry something monstrous and provide area defense?
Putting a PAC-3 (Patriot, advanced capability---meaning it has, among other refinements, an anti-ballistic missile capability) missile on a plane for CM and TBM defense? Brilliant. Putting it on an F-15? Not so sure it’s brilliance even if they were the vehicle of choice for the old ASAT system.

Now, would we really need such defense? That’s another post for another day, or at least to be argued in the comments.
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Something to think about from the boys (and at least one girl last time I checked) over at Crooked Timber. Again, I go so you don’t have to.

Don’t agree with it. The simple Prisoner’s Dilemma from game theory comes to mind---with a modification for small group benefit against large group benefit. Or, say, you know the other guy is limited to bargaining and are therefore being a royal pain getting more than you could otherwise? Wouldn’t it be nice for the other guy to have a trump card to make you play fair? Or how about simply not being able to compromise, which, while speculation only, may be the problem with ‘reconciliation’ in Iraq right now? Those situations DO come up in real life and in international relations.

But it never hurts to question yourself about biases you carry.
ry
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Klingenschmitt, the Navy Chaplain who insisted on pray 'In Jesus' Name', is out of the Navy.
ry
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Email today: starting tomorrow I shut up again. Hope your week wasn't that bad, Boss

My week was fine, thank you. And initiating H&I Fires is now your *job*, night owl. -the Armorer

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Ry,

I think the Patriot-on-a-Mudhen vs. a Tomcat has to do with the level of sophistication of the launch platform. The F-14 is (or was) years behind the A/C model Eagles, to say nothing of the E models. That's one of the reasons the 'Cat had two seats--it takes two to fly the jet and run the systems thanks to their design, not necessarily their sophistication (less user-friendly equals more hands/eyeballs required).

The Eagle started with the premise that a one-man jet needed a cosmic system to allow one guy to fly AND fight AND maximize the system's capabilities, which are formidable, and made even more so by the digital "backbone" in the jet that allows for rapid and frequent upgrades, software changes and capability expansion. The E-model went to two seats not due to design but due to capability--the radar/sensor/multi-weapon choice suite is beyond the ability of one guy to FULLY exploit.

Now, the F-14 may have been re-wired over the years to approach the F-15C/E's abilities, but I doubt it. That said, the F/A-18 is a design whose philosophy much more closely mimics that of the Eagle. However, the Mudhen, I think, has a greater payload capacity and is thus better for hauling a Patriot to the launch parameters the engineers are considering.

So, to cut to the chase, I think the Eagles offer both a more modern system that is easier to integrate with another system never originally considered for air launch and the aerodynamic capability (thrust-to-weight ratio, sufficiently structurally robust to carry large payloads, etc.) to get it to where the users need it to be effective. -Instapilot

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I got a job!!!!!!! - FbL

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Another "Macho Dem." (see here for context) - FbL

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Ry - on the issue of TROPHY, I've got some sources. IIRC, we are quietly buying Israeli kit (not just ammuntion, either) but we aren't buying Israeli kit that doesn't do what we need. We've got people who looked closely at TROPHY, and it didn't pass muster for a number of reasons, not least the unfortunate characteristic of collateral damage to exposed troops and nearby civilians, a subject already mentioned by MajMike, I believe. There is plenty to indicate now that the manufacturer is trying to win politically, via PR, what they were unable to accomplish on the merits. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 12, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 11, 2007

H&I Fires*, 11 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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I have it on good authority that Darryl Worley's new song, "I Just Came Back From War", tells it like it is. Go watch and listen to the video for yourself. Then go read the thoughts of America's Son.
-Barb / Proud blogmom

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Doing a little poking around to find reactions to the Pres last night/The Surge I found worth the look. So, I give to you:
a) TPM Barnett’s reaction (gollum’s take: I’ve always had dwell to deploy ratio and op-tempo issues with further plus ups. There’s good reasoning behind many of the arguments behind doing it, but in the back of my mind there’s always ‘what are we gonna’ do about tomorrow?’
I also think Tom’s gone a bit too far with his big list of nations to include in the discussion for regional security. Yeah, there’s good reason to bring in Russia and China---economics of the region--- but I think you have to worry about how the people in the region will react to you saying Russia and China’s interests matter as much as theirs. That might not play so well.

Basically, I hope The Surge works. It better work.)
b) Dan Froomkin of the WaPo. (gollum’s take: Found this to be the rather rational and representative of the ‘don’t do the surge’ from the anti-war side. Not so screechy.
A bit of wisdom Herr Low Intensity Conflict, him being an Intel Officer who saw trigger time, passed on to me once:, “Take what the opposition says seriously, believe that they believe what they say they do because if you act as if they don’t actually DO you’re bound for trouble in your created fantasy world. Now get me a gingerbrew before I kick your @55 all over the game board.”


Moving on.
Max Boot has something I love and hate going on with this piece. True, the MSM isn’t the enemy. They aren’t even purposeful enemy enablers (though I’m sure someone will tell me I’m on crack for saying that. The purposeful element should be taken note of, if you please.). They just make the enemy’s informational campaigned aimed at the most fruitful ground of all (that between your ears) job a whole lot easier by playing by the scripts they have been.

In the end, if Iraq is eventually and irredeemably lost, the MSM will have played a part in it, which they will deny forever (just as they do about the impact and role that reportage had on the ultimate loss of Vietnam. It wasn’t the sole cause, and maybe not a major element, since Johnson made a deal out of worries that China might get involved like they did in Korea that really had a serious effect on the conduct of te Vietnam War, but when the enemy’s most famous general, Giap, says it played a role and they build a shrine to the MSM’s influence in their War Memerial in Ho Chi Minh City you best believe it did.).

This from TNR shows how far Barnett’s idea of a ‘SysAdmin’ force idea has spread. Wild.
ry(scurries for hidey hole)
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Adding a c) to the round up from above: Mark, the ZenPundit, has a good roundup of his own and some pretty choice commentary about what the domestic political game is. Won't ruin this with my own take.
ry(rescurries for hidey hole)

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Interesting news from Iran - FbL

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OK, here are my two questions of the day:

First, what does this mean? What are we looking for? I heard this on the BBC World Service and have been thinking about it a lot.

Second question.........I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies. Where are these Patriot missile batteries going?.......Maggie

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There's no denying that the success of much of what the President outlined last night is dependent upon the courage and activities of Iraq's Prime Minister. So, let's hope this report is true. - FbL

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Jim Baen, SciFi publisher, culture warrior, all 'round Good Guy. H/t, JTG. - the Armorer

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Oh-oh! Alan, what's your lot up to? Dang Maple-syrup-swilling swine! H/t, CAPT H. -the Armorer

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Polls as "manufactured" news... on a whole new level.

Wow. "Fourteen members of an advisory board to Jimmy Carter's human rights organization resigned on Thursday to protest his new book, which criticizes Israeli policy in the Palestinian territories." Is there any rationality to Carter on Israel, or has he really gone senile?

And one more thing: Isn't anybody else disturbed that the "loyal opposition" wants and gets official rebuttal time during war after the CINC announces a new military policy/strategy? And Dick Durbin is the one who gets to do it??!! The same guy who 18 months ago compared American soldiers to Nazis, the minions of Pol Pot, etc? - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 11, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 10, 2007

H&I Fires*, 10 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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Since John hates Argghhh! being an echo chamber I give you things that are likely to put you on heart medication:
1) Senator Kennedy: More troops is an escalation of the war, and he can't do that without our(Congressional) okay.
(gollum's take: the verbiage used (the repeated use of 'escalation'), much less Kennedy coming right out and calling it 'Bush's Vietnam', is very, very odd---like they're running off a script or something(and makes CDR Salamander's Kennedy link real timely in more than one way.). Maybe it's because escalation means something to me in reference to military affairs---going from MOOTW/Low Intensity to full blown armored battle at Kursk type of situation, which the troop plus up wouldn't be doing----that it doesn't to other commentators. Keep that in mind. Jargon is a real bastiche. As are semantics games.)
2) Center for American Progress(CAP) puts something out there that kinda-sorta sounds like Kennedy ain't utterly off his rocker(or in the bottom of a whiskey bottle).
(gollums's take: I'm not a Constitutional Scholar. I think there's some problems with what Kennedy and CAP are saying, but I'll have to look into that a bit more. Separation of powers might be an issue or I could be really wrong. I wouldn't mind hearing from ArmyLawyer or Eugene Volokh on this.)
3) Why are we bombing Somalia?! Apparently we really aren't hunting Al Queda according to the folks over at at-Large.
(gollums' take: Well, at least she didn't claim the US created al Queda. And the 'confirmation' of Atta getting money from ISI doesn't make me like Pakistan more than I did before. But that I have to take with a grain of salt. People claimed Atta was in Prague based on another nation's intelligence but we dismiss that in certain circles because it's inconvinient. I dunno. Mushariff and Pakistan are the bastards we decided to shake hands with ages ago, and in terms of Pakistan I mean that quite literally. Not everyone is Australia or Canada when it comes time that you need a regional ally.)
4) US court will not block the trial of several alleged terrorist financiers.
(gollum's take: I couldn't leave you all with such a downer start to the midweek hump.)

Now to crawl back into my hidey-hole before Big Tribble is able to get his big mitts around my neck for sassing him.
ry
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Laurie at Soldier's Angels sends:

In lieu of trackback, thought some of your readers might be interested in seeing what else our wounded troops are in need of at combat support hospitals. Sheets, towels & other stuff
-the Armorer

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To supplement Ry's lighter fare at the end of his post, check out the cool activity over at Neptunus Lex. The comments alone are well worth the visit, but only after you carefully follow Lex's instructions. - FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 10, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 09, 2007

H&I* Fires, 9 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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Something has occurred to make me declare ry's rule #1 for having a happy husband.

Attempts to throw away my 15 year old, faded, falling apart, dingy, fugly hat will be met with divorce papers. Put The Hat down, step away, and nobody needs to get hurt, Jess.

Don't throw away truly cherished crap, ladies. Sure, make us decide which is truly cherished and which is merely stuff we simply don't want to part with (and will whine and try to come up with every excuse in the world to keep anyway, even conspire behind your back to sneak back in), but come near The Ugly Hat (chair, whatever) you best be prepared for Armageddon. It's taken us YEARS to get some of that stuff in the condition we like it to be and now you want to make us throw it away? Oh the humanity!
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I still don't know if it's whipped or outgunned (oi, I'm going to regret that one, again), but I just know it makes SWWBO happy. Like the new locks work against ferrets. I think I'm going to regret that one too.
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Serious now.
The Good 'Phibian comes with something good. Information warfare, narrative building for the masses, the impact of domestic issues on the decisions made in war and how they all come together in the Kennedy years. Some fairly mosaic type thinking there.
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There's a fairly serious discussion of Kilcullen going on around the 'net. JRobb's onto it, but you should troop on over to DNI and ZenPundit to see what they've got going on about it too.
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Eddie over at Live From the FDNF has a use of the Syngman Rhee example I'm not entirely sure I like or entirely agree with. It might just be me, but if you're going to cozy up to a bastiche it's typically best to 'have something on him' so you can move him out of the way when the strongman's time has passed. Have a read. Eddie is typically worth the five minutes it'll take.
For more go visit..... Skippy-san (persona non gratis with the Denizens of the distaff persuasion, but not a bad bloke otherwise.)
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Now I gotta find a place to hide 'fore John comes down with the Big Boot.
ry

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KtLW once made a similar tactical error. It was *not* a tranquil scene.

'Nuff of that. I expect the Squid Groupies 'mongst the Denizennes (and both of you know who you are) will be ecstatic over the news that every week in 2007 will be Navy Week. Well, *almost* every week, anyway. They left a couple for the Grunts, Zoomies, LGAMs and Coasties to coin-flip for... --Bill
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Can someone explain why *I* am the first one out here saying Bravo Zulu to the Zoomies in their AC-130s?
A U.S. airstrike hit targets in southern Somalia where Islamic militants were believed to be sheltering suspects in the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies, Somali officials and witnesses said Tuesday. - the rest of this story at CBSNews.
There are interesting writeups over at the CounterTerrorism blog with lots of links.
Oh, Chief? 42 weeks seems about right......Maggie

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Maggie - because I didn't have anything to say that wasn't being said elsewhere. You had something to say... that's why you have posting privileges... Dusty might have had something insightful or insidery to offer that wasn't an OPSEC violation. I had nothing new to offer. No insights. No analysis. So I kept my mouth shut. It's taken me 48 years to master that. Don't push me into recidivism. For the greater good of humanity. -the Armorer

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Oh, and apparently, we aren't done. Good. Take advantage of those guys having to come into the open. -the Armorer

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This is not an auspicious start for Navy Week in the Straits of Hormuz. --Bill

Bubblehead (a submariner) has more over on his blog. -the Armorer

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From the "Hmmmmm" File for WWII, comes the revelations of "Agent Zig-Zag. Meet Eddie Chapman, who anticipated the suicide bomber.

A British secret agent who offered to blow up Adolf Hitler at the height of the Second World War was dissuaded from carrying out the assassination by MI5, according to newly released wartime archives.

The offer to kill Hitler in a suicide mission was made by Eddie Chapman, a professional criminal and safe-breaker who was trained by the Nazis as a spy and went on to become one of Britain’s most successful double agents, codenamed Agent Zigzag.

H/t, Bob Tarantino, via Damian of The Torch. -the Armorer

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Just another day in the life of trying to help people rise above old habits - the Afghan National Army and the culture of corruption that holds Afghanistan back - via Bouhammer. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 09, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2007

H&I* Fires, 8 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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Jules Crittenden, bragging about family - Canadian family - and them talking about the GWOT. Going to be a busy day. In fact, it will probably be a busy week. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Jan 08, 2007 | TrackBack (0)

January 07, 2007

H&I* Fires, 7 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Today is SWWBO and the Armorer's 9th anniversary. I've been married three times, and never had one of those. Whee! Speaks to the quality of my decision-making. It improved over time. Hers... -the Armorer

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And on the subject of men and women... the revealing phenomenon of "Macho Dems." - FbL

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Courtesy of Capt H, an alternative to Macho Dems," if it suits ya. - FbL

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Over 5 years into a serious casualty-producing era of combat, and two things about the Institutional Army (vice the Operational Army) still stand out, painfully.

1. The pay system for reserve component soldiers is *still* broken.

2. The personnel system has serious issues. From the Washington Post:

Army Mistakenly Sent Letters To Dead or Wounded Officers

The Army said it will apologize to the families of about 275 officers killed or wounded in action who were mistakenly sent letters urging them to return to active duty.

The letters were sent a few days after Christmas to more than 5,100 Army officers who had recently left the service. Included were letters to about 75 officers killed and about 200 wounded.

The latest available Pentagon statistics report that, as of Dec. 2, 217 Army officers have died in Iraq and 894 have been wounded since the war

One can only hope the apologies are delivered in person by the people who screwed up, who will leave copies of their Permanent File Letters of Reprimand behind.

Sadly, I expect excuses will be offered. Oh, and no doubt the apologies will be in letter form, too. Feh. The people who screwed it up should fund their own TDY to put it right.

When I was a battalion adjutant, my battalion commander made it clear to me that if my Personnel Administration Center screwed a soldier, I would read about it in my OER. If it was bad enough, I would read about it in my Relief For Cause OER. I had no reason to doubt him on the issue. I won't lie and tell you the fact that my battalion had *no* late OERs, *no* late NCOERs, *no* late pay changes due to PAC personnel errors was wholly due to my sterling capabilities. It was due to my PAC Supervisor, SFC Sisson, and myself, making sure that everything happened on time and to standard. Period. But the fact that the battalion commander made it clear that I had nothing more important to do, period, than take care of the troops and their commanders, was also a factor. It was a lesson I carried forward the rest of my career.

Inexcusable. -the Armorer

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Oh, after that, I owe you this - Stop The ACLU's Sunday Funnies. -the Armorer

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

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January 06, 2007

H&I* Fires, 6 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

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CAPT H sends this interesting discussion of Discretion in Reporting from the War Zone.

He also provides this bit of naughty yet mild humo(u)r.

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for her sweetness and kindness to all. One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water, and in the water floated, of all things, a condom! When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.

The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the best of him and he could no longer resist.. "Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl.

"Oh, yes," she replied, "Isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the Park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter."

Jay, over at Stop The ACLU has Pig Races. Yes, you *do* want to click that link.

And, just in case you missed it - there is this offering for Charity - Pinups For Vets (though I can't imagine too many of you haven't seen this one already, but they asked me to post it...)

There is a Honeydew List today... and things may get weird periodically - we're back to tinkering in the guts of the software. -the Armorer

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The following is posted as a public service to our Canadian readers. From CAPT H:

Wajid Kahn Must Resign!

Good to see their moonbats don't spell any better than our moonbats, and that the cross-floor snark is alive and well in the Land of Maple-Syrup Swilling. -the Armorer

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Golly, Milblogs is simply chock full of toothsome goodness today. Just read it all... -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

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January 05, 2007

H&I* Fires, 5 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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Zenpundit is someone I always wish I read more often. He's always a portal to lots of good stuff, as well as his own commentary and observations. This post is just one of those portals to good chit for us wannabe (and you actual) theorists.
ry

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One of the fun things about what I do is that I get to hang around and look at all the "good ideas" coming down the pike. Because I work on it, I don't talk about it too much - but this one is safe, it being something I have nothing to do with, but still can keep an eye on via my network. Behold - Heinlein's Mobile Infantry is closer than you think. -the Armorer

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Interesting poll from Gallup: Majority of Americans View Media Coverage of Iraq as Inaccurate. The really interesting part is which "side" of inaccurate they think it falls on.

The Jamil Hussein story moves sideways. More from Michelle Malkin, who is in Iraq. In a related matter, Flopping Aces has some thoughts about Reuters stringers. UPDATE: Cassandra has a great post on the AP Hussein issue.

Mogadishu is celebrating its newfound freedom. - FbL

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Most times, a typo is a typo. Sometimes, it just may be our subconscious tossing something into the light. Like this bit from Brit Hume and Fox News...

It turns out that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's vow not to seek a second term wasn't the half of it. Maliki tells The Wall Street Journal that he regrets accepting the job in the first place — and wishes he could get out of it early. Maliki was sworn in for a four-year term last spring. He says he only agreed to the job to serve the national interest. His goal was to reign in secular violence, but the fighting has increased and Bush administration officials have questioned his ability to govern.

Emphasis added. -the Armorer

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Meanwhile, across the pond... Tom Newton-Dunn, writing in The Sun:

THE Army is facing a massive crisis as troops in frontline fighting battalions quit in droves over poor pay and slum homes.

All but one of 39 bayonet battalions are undermanned — and overall they have only three-quarters of the men they need.

Yet some of the worst-hit units are STILL being sent on dangerous operations to do the job expected of a full-strength battalion.

A whopping 14,560 troops left the Army last year, with the infantry suffering by far the greatest losses.

Recruiting is also falling short of targets after years of Government underfunding and “overstretch”.

Many battalions have done three six-month tours in Iraq or Afghanistan in as many years.

The shocking state of the Army is revealed in a classified document leaked to The Sun.

Read the rest, here. Come along, Mr. Blair. Lead. Or get out of the way. -the Armorer

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Fresh off the presses The Moat Monster Rules. - BOQ

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Dangit! We've got Microsofters amongst our readership! Where's yer loyalty! How come we Denizens didn't get in on this? I want my Vista Laptop! Yeah, we aren't tech-bloggers... so what? 8^D Waidaminnit! The Bassids! They're Indian-Givers! (oops, was that offensively non-PC?) Some people were not amused. Ah, the heck with it - I'll still take a free laptop. -the Armorer

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More from across the pond - this time the Royal Navy.

Royal Navy commanders were in uproar yesterday after it was revealed that almost half of the Fleet's 44 warships are to be mothballed as part of a Ministry of Defence cost-cutting measure. Senior officers have said the plans will turn Britain's once-proud Navy into nothing more than a coastal defence force. The Government has admitted that 13 unnamed warships are in a state of reduced readiness, putting them around 18 months away from active service. Today The Daily Telegraph can name a further six destroyers and frigates that are being proposed for cuts. A need to cut the defence budget by Ł250 million this year to meet spending requirements has forced ministers to look at drastic measures. MoD sources have admitted it is possible that the Royal Navy will discontinue one of its major commitments around the world at a time when Sir Jonathon Band, the First Sea Lord, has said more ships are needed to protect the high seas against terrorism and piracy. News of further cuts to what was once the world's most formidable fleet comes as critics say failings across the Services are becoming increasingly apparent. More details are emerging of the near-squalor that soldiers are forced to tolerate in barracks when they return from six months of dangerous overseas operations. Questions have also been raised about the poor pay for troops and equipment failures which continue to dog operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From one angle, the Decline of the West continues. Viewed from the other side, "About time we made it impossible for these people to go adventuring."

Read the rest here, in The Telegraph. -the Armorer

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Meanwhile, enjoy your tax filing for this year. The Dems are clearing the decks for next year. Larry Kudlow notes in The Corner:

John Fund reports today in Opinion Journal's Political Diary that the new Pelosi House has opened the door to tax hikes. Yesterday's package of new rules to govern the lower chamber erases the three-fifths majority that was required to raise taxes under the old Republican House rules. The new rules allow tax hikes through a simple majority vote. This is a bad sign. I wonder if today's stock market decline isn't picking up this high tax threat.

And... the New Kids On The Block are firing another one over the President's bow? Off of Drudge right now: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have sent a letter to President Bush saying 'surging forces' in Iraq is a failed strategy and calling for phased redeployment instead... DEVELOPING... -the Armorer

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The Letter:

January 5, 2007

President George W. Bush
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The start of the new Congress brings us opportunities to work together on the critical issues confronting our country. No issue is more important than finding an end to the war in Iraq. December was the deadliest month of the war in over two years, pushing U.S. fatality figures over the 3,000 mark.

The American people demonstrated in the November elections that they do not believe your current Iraq policy will lead to success and that we need a change in direction for the sake of our troops and the Iraqi people. We understand that you are completing your post-election consultations on Iraq and are preparing to make a major address on your Iraq strategy to the American people next week.

Clearly this address presents you with another opportunity to make a long overdue course correction. Despite the fact that our troops have been pushed to the breaking point and, in many cases, have already served multiple tours in Iraq, news reports suggest that you believe the solution to the civil war in Iraq is to require additional sacrifices from our troops and are therefore prepared to proceed with a substantial U.S. troop increase.

Surging forces is a strategy that you have already tried and that has already failed. Like many current and former military leaders, we believe that trying again would be a serious mistake. They, like us, believe there is no purely military solution in Iraq. There is only a political solution.

Adding more combat troops will only endanger more Americans and stretch our military to the breaking point for no strategic gain. And it would undermine our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own future. We are well past the point of more troops for Iraq.

In a recent appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, General John Abizaid, our top commander for Iraq and the region, said the following when asked about whether he thought more troops would contribute to our chances for success in Iraq:

“I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey. We all talked together. And I said, in your professional opinion, if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no. And the reason is, because we want the Iraqis to do more. It's easy for the Iraqis to rely upon to us do this work. I believe that more American forces prevent the Iraqis from doing more, from taking more responsibility for their own future.”

Rather than deploy additional forces to Iraq, we believe the way forward is to begin the phased redeployment of our forces in the next four to six months, while shifting the principal mission of our forces there from combat to training, logistics, force protection and counter-terror. A renewed diplomatic strategy, both within the region and beyond, is also required to help the Iraqis agree to a sustainable political settlement. In short, it is time to begin to move our forces out of Iraq and make the Iraqi political leadership aware that our commitment is not open ended, that we cannot resolve their sectarian problems, and that only they can find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq.

Our troops and the American people have already sacrificed a great deal for the future of Iraq. After nearly four years of combat, tens of thousands of U.S. casualties, and over $300 billion dollars, it is time to bring the war to a close. We, therefore, strongly encourage you to reject any plans that call for our getting our troops any deeper into Iraq. We want to do everything we can to help Iraq succeed in the future but, like many of our senior military leaders, we do not believe that adding more U.S. combat troops contributes to success.

We appreciate you taking these views into consideration.

Sincerely, Harry Reid
Majority Leader

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker

-the Armorer

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The letter above just set me off. For what it's worth (and not much, at that), I had to rant about it. So, my own "translation" of the Pelosi-Reid letter. - FbL

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January 04, 2007

H&I* FIRES, 4 JAN 2007

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. [Admittedly, I'm fibbing. Trackbacks are still broken]

You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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This is a bit familiar - though back in the day before all the comms were secure, our RTO procedure was a bit tidier, methinks. Which isn't being anal about rules - it's being anal about clearly understood comms. Not safe for work (soldier-under-combat-stress language and actual combat footage). You know your co-workers better than I do. At my place, this would simply draw a crowd, though I'd keep the sound down in consideration of others not watching.

Heh. Cindy Sheehan - free speech for me, but not for thee. Especially if it ain't what I'm looking to hear you say.

And lastly for the moment - Reason #569,485 that you didn't get that great job with the law firm. Or the investment banking house. Or Wal-Mart greeter, either. -the Armorer

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Maryann, of Soldier's Angels Germany, made todays Stand-to! email (news round-up for Army folk) with this worthy post - about our Canadian Brothers-in-Arms. -the Armorer

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January 03, 2007

H&I* FIRES, 3 JAN 2007

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You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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You know, I wish the UN would make up its mind. Over the issue of genocide in Sudan they say they can't go in or even craft harsh sanctions because of limits imposed by the plank respecting national sovereignty. They're criticizing Ethiopia for going into Somalia and not respecting sovereignty. But when it comes to whether one chooses to use capital punishment, in this case for what would be a Class A war criminal at Nuremberg if he was tried then, it's not okay for the new UN Sec-Gen to respect sovereignty as he did?

Call me when they make sense over there on Turtle Bay. -Ry

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Your phone won't ring anytime soon, Ry. Remember - it's the United Governments. When you look at it that way, it limns much more clearly. -the Armorer

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Fuzzybear Lioness brought up the NYT's latest problem with shoddy journalism in an earlier H&I. That said, mistakes happen. You measure greatness by the response to the mistakes. In this case, the NYT seems determined to measure themselves for the grave of responsible journalism. Byron York today over at The Corner:

THAT'S ENOUGH OF THAT [Byron York]

A few days ago, New York Times public editor Byron Calame revealed that the paper had seriously misrepresented a key fact in a story about abortion in El Salvador. The paper's editors told Calame they have no plans to issue a correction. Now, the New York Observer reports the Times is considering taking action: the action of eliminating the public editor position. Calame's term is up in May, and Times editor Bill Keller tells the Observer there is support for not replacing him: "Some of my colleagues believe the greater accessibility afforded by features like ‘Talk to the Newsroom’ has diminished the need for an autonomous ombudsman, or at least has opened the way for a somewhat different definition of the job," Keller said.

What a bubble these guys live in.

No, they aren't alone. -the Armorer

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Chuck's in a funk. Please drop by his place and see if you can brighten things up a little... - FbL

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Ry - think of the UN as the NYT with plate glass walls. Won't make it any more easily understood, but it'll be more fun to watch... --BillT

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Somebody is either whipped or outgunned. I just know which it would be in my house.;)
ry

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Fun poltiical quiz. I'm a 24. - FbL

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January 02, 2007

H&I Fires* 2 Jan 2007

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Associated Press back to their old Jamil Hussein tricks? Quite possibly

And the NY Times has a scandal on its hands:

This is major journalistic scandal, not so much for the initial error (bad as it is, especially the reliance on advocates for basic translation services) but for the stonewalling which has followed revelations of the lie. It is one thing to be sloppy, even unethical in journalistic practice, using biased sources as translators. It is quite another to stonewall in the face of facts.

Update on wounded milblogger JR Salzman at Blackfive (earlier updates by Laughing Wolf here and here). He's continuing to post on his own blog with his wife's typing assistance, though he will soon have the software and training for a voice-controlled laptop via Valour-IT.

Jim Sheeler of Rocky Mountain News continues his superb coverage of the fallen with an article on the burial at Arlington of Christopher Anderson, Corpsman of Marines and a man whose life he saved. An earlier article covered the fellow sailor (and dear friend) who brought him home. More links at the bottom of my post.

And finally, something to balance the darkness of the above... Posted on Christmas Eve, I suspect it got lost among the Holiday festivities: Christmas Spirit at the USO. - FbL

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O. Scott Card. Decent guy.

This is his iteration of something John has said quite forcefully in this space before: don’t hurl feces in Church during a memorial service.

You’re pissed that there’s a war. Fine. You hate the military and everything it stands for. Fine. Let the family be.

There are other places and other times for you to have your say. There are people of real power to change things to whom you can say your spiel to. But the family, they only get to live through this once. Let them get through it, ‘kay? Don’t add to their pain, and yes, you are definitely adding buttloads of pain, by being a jackalope---which you would be if you’re picketing the casket coming off the plane or hurling eggs at the hearse--- during their time of grief. Show some human decency and compassion.

It ain’t always about you.
ry

[Update - just in case Ry's commentary didn't inspire you to read the linked piece, how about this extract?

Instead, his experiences were with demonstrators of an older, more familiar variety. "Hippie college students," he called one such group. "They egged the hearse."

On that occasion, the brother of the dead soldier was so hurt and angry at these strangers who dared to defile his brother's memory and worsen his family's suffering that "he clocked one of them."

So the brother was arrested for assault and could not be with his family for the rest of the services in honor of one of America's fallen.

The demonstrators suffered no penalty. In fact, they received extra credit from a college professor because they had "taken part in a demonstration."

Emphasis mine. Feh. -the Armorer]

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This is a sad story, on several levels. But it does indicate our commitment to honor the dead (now if we can just get VA the funding to honor the commitment to the living...)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — She had traveled many miles in her short life.

She had lived on three continents, known several languages, become a soldier and an American citizen. But after she died, her father wanted her remains taken home to her birthplace.

In November, Pfc. Lena Karungi — accompanied by 10 V Corps soldiers and a U.S. Army Europe chaplain — was buried with military honors on a farm in Uganda.

Read the rest here.

This is another interesting story:

Day to Day, January 1, 2007 · Helen Gerhardt enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2000. She was 33 years old. Three years later, having just completed a double undergraduate major in fine arts and English literature, she found herself in the Middle East with the Missouri Army National Guard, 1221st Transportation Company.

Gerhardt drove eighteen-wheeled tractor-trailers throughout Iraq. In an e-mail to loved ones back in Missouri, Specialist Gerhardt shared her first impressions of the Iraqi people and their country. The e-mail, entitled "Here Among These Ruins," was chosen as part of the book Operation Homecoming.

Helen Gerhardt is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. She is writing a book about her unit's experiences in Iraq and the larger culture wars which divide us both nationally

Read the whole thing at NPR, here. Creative Non-fiction? Isn't that a NYT in-house training program? 8^)

Bouhammer writes a long story about a long trip to Kabul.


The other day we had a mission to Kabul and to our Task Force HQ. It was a short mission that only had us from our home FOB for a few days. We had to take a lot of guys up there to drop them off for leave and pass. We also had some administrative business to take care of while we were there. We have done this mission many times, and except for the snow that we expected on some of the dirt roads, it should not have been any different than normal.

Read the rest here.

A little smidgen of good news:

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK An 8-year-old boy from Afghanistan stood in Times Square Monday welcoming a new year that will bring him corrective surgery thanks to the concerns of twin Army doctors who met him while they worked for six months in his war-ravaged country.

"I'm happy. It's the first time I've seen something like this," Khatibullah Farqirzada said on a morning that also marked his birthday as he stood in the bright lights of one of the world's most famous landmarks.

"In Afghanistan, everybody celebrates in their homes. Here, everybody comes out to be together," he said.

His father, Shafi, said: "My hope is my son (has) a new year and a new life."

And you can catch the rest of that here. -the Armorer

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Scott Ott, the master of satire, responds very seriously to a so-called real editor. Must read goodness ... h/t to Teresa at Technicalities.
-Barb

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With all the grim news in the world, I just felt the need to declare my satisfaction with 2006. Nothing special, but it felt good to get it posted.
Year's end '06.

Happy New Year! -Sanger
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January 01, 2007

H&I Fires, 1 Jan 2007

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You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

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The Castle's reach in 2006...
The Reach of Argghhh!!!

We didn't get to as many countries as last year, Africa certainly seems to have lost interest. We have had about an 8% growth in visitors. It's been slacking off this last quarter, however. Must be getting stale, not to mention the ever-increasing amount and quality of the competition. Thank heaven's I'm not trying to make money at this! Well, that and the fact that the military service's net-nannie software is blocking us sporadically, so traffic we used to get daily now shows up on weekends (weekend traffic has been climbing to match the decline in weekday traffic, that's my guess as to the cause. In which case, I appreciate you guys who take time on the weekends to drop in! I appreciate you all - but those of you who have to take the extra effort... well, thanks.

We're gonna try to improve load times and get this place fully functional again. The last attempt at the software upgrade still has bits and pieces that went all kerblooey. We're seeking a qualified blog mechanic - and it's a paid position. -the Armorer

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Christie Blatchford gets a whiff of the essence of soldiering. Where are *our* MSM reporters, our Ernie Pyle? I'm not talking Yon, or Roggio, or Fumento - I mean a big network, big newspaper reporter? Sigh. H/t. CAPT H. -the Armorer

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Speaking of reporters. Looks like the MSM decided to roll in the New Year with a Front page Banner Headline regarding the death toll in Iraq. Some of us celebrate with champagne. Some of us celebrate with children. The MSM celebrates by dancing on graves, it seems, to attract the populace's attention.
-BloodSpite

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"The armed forces...are considering expanding the number of non-citizens in its ranks." Well, du-uhhh -- that's taking a page out of the playbook of forty years ago. Used to was, any well-intended citizen of the Outside World (including WarPac escapees) could enlist in a branch of the US Armed Forces (most entered the Army, for some odd reason) and, after serving for two years, would receive US citizenship

a. the day he was released from active duty or

b. the last day prior to beginning his second term of enlistment.

How do I know that? Simple -- I had three Panamanian Spec Fours working for me as ammo specialists in '71 and 72 at Mag #2 on Fort Dix and a Costa Rican NCOIC, an E-6 who had already become a citizen and was on his *third* enlistment.

Arroz col pollo for lunch every Saturday. Yum!

Two of my First Platoon pilots in the Delta were Canadians.

Half our neighbors in the 135th Assault Helicopter Company (okay -- they lived in Dong Tam and we lived in Can Tho, but that's close enough for neighborliness) were Ozzies. 'Course, they didn't come for the offer of citizenship, they came for the fighting...

I knew three Green Beanies who came to the Army from Latvia (by way of Finland). BTW, Latvia and Finland have all the vowels that Bosnia should'a been issued.

And don't forget Frequent Visitor and Honorary Denizen V29, who's Caledonia-born.

Enuff history -- Happy New Year!

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December 31, 2006

H&I* Fires DEC 31, 2006

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Good riddance to 2006. Though, truth be told, I'm not looking forward all that much to 2007. It has the potential to be much worse on a personal level, and just as boring on a professional level. You guys need to entertain me!

CAPT H is doing a pretty good job of that, with this link to Canadian War Stories.

New Year's Eve will be pretty tame here at the Castle. I'm building a trebuchet (with hollow axles, natch) and SWWBO and I will probably be asleep before midnight, if the last few years are any indication. We don't hang with a crowd that parties 'til dawn, and we're lazy. If the neighborhood behaves as it did last year, we'll have every critter in the Herd save the horses in bed with us, as our neighbors scare away the demons with loud explosions. (You'd think the demons would be used to this by now, and at least have developed some form of hearing protection...)

I might go see Apocalypto. SWWBO will demur from that one, I'm pretty sure.

What are your plans?

Oh, and for the recipe collectors - Carnival of the Recipes is up. -the Armorer

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Just call me mean, but I think it would have been better that Saddam's body been burned and the ashes dumped at sea, as we did with the Nuremburg criminals, to prevent their graves being a focus point. Any bets on how long it takes for a shrine or mosque of some sort to appear, whether we pull a Murtha or not? Mebbe I'll get surprised. -the Armorer

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Forget my plans, you gotta wonder what these people surveyed are going to do for New Years' Eve. I mean, "one in four predicts the second coming of Christ" within the next year?! Where did they get their sample?! I mean, I run in religious circles and I don't know a single person who believes that. - FbL

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Happy New Year to Murray, Trias, Geoff, and any other of you guys Down Under! -the Armorer

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Let me go on record over this item:

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | December 26, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The armed forces, already struggling to meet recruiting goals, are considering expanding the number of noncitizens in the ranks -- including disputed proposals to open recruiting stations overseas and putting more immigrants on a faster track to US citizenship if they volunteer -- according to Pentagon officials.

You can read the whole thing here.

1. I don't mind expediting citizenship for those willing to serve to earn it... but.
2. I don't like the idea of overseas recruiting. If we're going to create a Foreign Legion, then create one. My visceral reaction is not good. The staff guys are paid to think up ways to get things done - commanders are paid to sort through 'em. I hope the overseas recruiting bit falls off the table.

Hard enough to screen the people who've been in the country long enough to have some presence in our systems. The problems with screening foreign nationals, not already present, bothers me. Especially if we aren't going to essentially make it clear that it's a pathway to citizenship.

But all that aside - if we can't get enough citizens to volunteer, then just perhaps we should accept that we can't have the size of Army we think we need. And reopen the draft debate. With all that entails. Heh. We had a 700,000 man all volunteer Army in the 80's. The available pool is larger now. If we can't match the services of the 80's out of the available pool of 2006, then perhaps it's time to consider the limits of our power and the citizen's support of that power, vice recruiting foreigners to do it for us.

On a related note: would this allow an increase in the numbers of Europeans and Asians allowed in the country? Or would we be building a Hispanic Division? Currently, we allow hispanics in the country in far greater numbers than any other group. Europeans have very small quotas available to them. Are we going to relax those limits? Or will enlistees count against those quotas - essentially meaning that if you're a Euro who wants to escape the Euro-state, you have little choice but to join the US military? Just sayin'. This isn't about race, it's about equity and the underlying premise of US military service. -the Armorer

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Oh - and the answer to the last Whatziss? A US Military .357 Magnum round. -the Armorer

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Oh - and, Happy New Year, everybody. I actually did get some good news tonight... which I'll share in the morning. -the Armorer

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December 30, 2006

H&I* Fires DEC 30, 2006

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Froggy has started a firestorm over at B5 with his complaint about the ROE(rules of engagement) our Boys and Girls work under. Me? I'm with Kat-Mizzou and Skippy-san in the comments (most of which aren't worth the effort, but there's some good stuff in there). The full spectrum of the conflict must be considered and not just the tip of the spear. That doesn't mean that the two aspects, tip of the spear and the overall politics, shouldn't have an interplay though. They should. Which is what Skippy and Kat along with Froggy are arguing.
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Oh, and did you know that wanting 'violent retaliation' for 9/11 was bad for your health? Scientists say so, and so it must be true. Phhhhpppppt.
ry
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Project Valour-IT - money well spent. -the Armorer

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Reporting the war, MSM-style, as observed by Greyhawk.

Unlike in 1943-45, when there were thousands of them - there is only one are only two flyable Lancaster bombers. And those gnomes who spend their spare time poring over the commercial satellite imagery looking for things like airplanes in flight and military installations - found one, flying, in Google Maps. H/t, Monteith. -the Armorer [Update, Check out CAPT H's comment]

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Speaking of odd things found in Google Earth... how about that Chinese Nimitz-class aircraft carrier you (and the Navy) didn't know they had?

[Update - CAPT H points out another rogue Nimitiz. ] -the Armorer

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What? No Hussein swinging from a Star entry?

True to the last he had to argue, but he still ended up doing the Tyburn Two Step
C'mon, thats the best Christmas present I've seen all year!
Yes folks, Ding Dong the witch is dead.

Until we find out that his buddies hijacked him during the moment of truth and he's going to start leading the "Rebellion"

Until then, its a nice feeling knowing there's one less HVT out there.
Enjoy it.

Fillean meal ar an meallaire!

-BloodSpite

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December 29, 2006

H*I Fires 29 Dec 2006

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1SG Keith got a "Merry Christmas" comment from Mack.... who turns out to be an "Ex British Soldier and Falklands War & Northern Ireland veteran author & Poet & Father trying to make sense of the Traumatic events in my life." Please... go visit Rogue Gunner. Watch the first two videos, entitled "Royal Marine Tribute" and "Rest In Peace" ... and remember our British counterparts in the GWOT. Thanks Mack. ~AFSis

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Some light-hearted info on Feline Physics for the Castle Kitties. ~Barb

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Someone has been reading their Mahan and taking his lessons to heart.
Unfortunately, I cannot say it is us that’s doing it but have to say it is the PLAN(People’s Liberation Army-Navy of China) that intends to do so.
ry
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Rumors have Saddam taking the Long Drop at sunrise in Iraq. About 9PM or so, Central. While I'm not holding my breath, it would be good news. I'm not an ovewhelming fan of the death penalty - but some people are richly deserving. Russ, over at TacJammer, looks at it from a, um, slightly different perspective. I missed this musical. -the Armorer

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It's official -- Saddam just took the long step. Bill

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December 28, 2006

H&I Fires* 28 Dec 2006

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The headline may change by the time this post is published, but the current one is "Report: Ford Said Iraq War is Not Justified." The quotes in the story say nothing of the sort. In a previously-embargoed interview from 2004 (now published by the WaPo), Ford says he would have preferred to push sanctions more vigorously, but regarding justification for the war, he is quoted:

Rumsfeld and Cheney and the president made a big mistake in justifying going into the war in Iraq. They put the emphasis on weapons of mass destruction... And now, I've never publicly said I thought they made a mistake, but I felt very strongly it was an error in how they should justify what they were going to do.
So it sounds to me like his disagreement is with which emphasis they used in justifying it (WMD), not that the war was unjustified/unjustifiable as an action in itself. Disgusting, disgusting headline... to twist Ford's words after he had so obviously went out of his way to not publicly criticize Bush in even the small question of political tactics... I really can't think of anything else to say that would get past the PG-17 and John's "don't attack the messenger" rules. - FbL

UPDATE: Yup, they changed it. Now it's "Ford had problems with Bush Iraq policy." The new opening paragraph says, "Former President Gerald R. Ford questioned the Bush administration's rationale for the U.S. invasion and war..." But the following paragraph just restates the old headline. However, it goes on in additional new material to make explicitly clear what he actually meant:

Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him," he observed to the Daily News. "But we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does (Bush) get his advice?
There's no byline on this AP article. I thought the only question was, are they blinded by bias, or just incompetent journalists? But apparently somebody has enough shame to not want to claim this piece of filth.

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Great Britain pays off her WWII debt in full. I'm impressed, though I'd have thought we'd given them some credits, if nothing else, for their standing by us in the GWOT. Some commenters aren't, um, impressed. H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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Heh. Methane and jail. Not a good combination. H/t, Mike L. -the Armorer

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December 27, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 27, 2006

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Mebbe this should have been on my Christmas list...

I love this headline: Army Calls Up Unsuspecting Reserves To Fill Ranks The headline at the website has since changed to Not Over 'Till It's Over, which is certainly accurate!

While the obligation of returning to war is part of the contract soldiers sign upon enlistment, it's jarring for those who figured they'd left behind drilling, rations, chain-of-command orders and life-threatening perils.

"It kind of knocks you off your heels a bit," Mr. Kramer said in his living room last week, with his wife Jocelyn leaning on his shoulder on their couch. "For me, I always felt after being in the military, it's not a way to raise a family."

5 years into the GWOT... I'm sure it knocks you off your heels, but it surely shouldn't be all that unexpected. That said, some of us can't get recalled to despite our best efforts... H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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Heeee! I seems that John *** The Windbag** Kerry, has gotten himself Stuk all alone in Eyerak. Hope that you had a lonely little christmas there Mr. Kerry - BOQ

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The nervousness mounts. I see Ace of Spades was worried he'd gotten canceled... he didn't. He's doing fine now - TF Boggs, real milblogger just back from Iraq (vice us retired faux-milbloggers) is doing an excellent job - and he's the main guest for this show. Smash was good. I'm just gonna stutter and MSU. Those who know, know.

Hee! SGT Boggs just volunteered to be the next Churchill... soldier correspondent.

Boggs is being dismissive of the IED bombers - which is an interesting attitude. What I find interesting about the shift almost entirely to IEDs in combat is the indicator that the jihadis are less willing to face us in open combat - and are relying on external support - those Iranian IEDs - to continue the fight. That's a sign of winning.
-the Armorer

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Well, that went *much* better than I expected. That said, my best line got cut off by the break...

"The Iraqis don't want Saddam back - they want the stability. But they want the stability without being fed into industrial chippers." -the Armorer

Kewl. I've done radio. My first media in a looooong time. -the Armorer

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Go Ethiopia! Kick Islamist Booty.

Hmmm. Wonder what's different about their approach from ours in 1993? Oh, I know. They are there to kill people, break things, and then they'll leave. Easier to do when the MSM ignores your war. -the Armorer

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Hmmm... I wonder whether we are lifting a page out of previous struggles, and giving those Moon God Worshipers a taste of what we so aptly gave them Godless 4th Internationalists in Guatemala, Angola, Malaya, Burma, et alii, back in the 60's & 70's????

A SMACKDOWN BY PROXY

Somehow, me thinks that the good people sandwiched between Falls Church and Arlington, VA are performing with distinction.

Oh BTW - Many kudos to Massa John. yer on yer way to become a true Media Maven. - BOQ

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December 26, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 26, 2006

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Christmas at Family Central was pretty good. We hope yours, wherever you were, was as well. We're on the road, headed back to the Castle. Y'all behave. -the Armorer

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If you need something to kick you out of your post-Christmas torpor, Op-for has the cure. Whew!

And apparently he hasn't had the chance to post this yet, but word is that John will be on the Hugh Hewitt radio show Wednesday (27 Dec) at around 4:20 p.m. Pacific Time. The entire show, which airs from 3:00 to 6:00 Pacific (that's 1500-1800 for you military types), will be about milblogs. You can listen live online here. - FbL

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Mebbe I wasn't gonna advertise to have the whole world drop in and listen to me embarrass myself... just sayin'. I mean, I'm the filler in this crowd, what with Matt, Austin Bay, Froggy, TF Boggs, and mebbe Wretchard. I might be the biggest guy at that table, but I'm the smallest voice. -the Armorer

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Rita, one of my blogneighbors/blogfriends', son made it home for Christmas from the Sandbox.

To say the least his 6 year old son, who Rita helps watch, was elated at the return of his father for Christmas.

    It took him a second to see and then it was DADDY!!!! IT'S MY DADDY!!!!! And off across the terminal he sprinted, as hard as he could run, screaming DADDY DADDY DADDY DADDY!!!!!!! He leaped into my son's arms & hugged him as tightly as an almost-six yr. old possibly could, still yelling DADDY DADDY at the top of his lungs.

Read the whole thing here.

Radio & Blog Personality Don Elkins of Arkansas Tonight is heading East to assume a job behind a anchor desk in that locale instead of here. We'll miss ya Don.
H/t: tipthefiveforty

-BloodSpite

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December 25, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 25, 2006

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We'll be spending this morning with my parents, then go with them this afternoon to my sister's for dinner. If Prodigal Son and his Sweetie had been able to make it, it would have been the largest gathering of the Donovan blood in literally decades. Nephew and his Sweetie who were stranded in Denver finally made it home yesterday. Apparently for Nephew, it's good to have a Sweetie who's father is a travel agent!

Here's hoping the rest of you have good tales to tell of this day, and that traffic here is... negligible except for bored googlers! -the Armorer

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However, if you *do* visit today - click that Christmas Message link. It'll be good for ya.

Via Jules, comes this:

A Christmas Message from a guy in a cave.

Thank you very much, Scott. *That* was priceless. -the Armorer

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Merry Christ-Mass to one and all, specially to my good friend & classmate Tato - El Sapo aka 1Lt Ricardo Miranda Cruz - C Btry 1-162 FA BN - "Caribbean Thunders" who's headding back to 'Stan shortly - BOQ

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December 24, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 24, 2006

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Surely, hopefully, you have something better to do than hanging around here today? The Master and Mistress of Argghhh! are heading to Donovan Family Central. Hopefully you aren't braving the mall today paying for your procrastination... Merry Christmas, all! -the Armorer

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Sergeant Roy A. Wood, someone you should know. Go visit this link, and see why. Come back and join the dance.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam. -the Armorer

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"Memphis Center, [callsign], level, three-two-zero, direct Norfolk..."

If I have to work on Christmas, I guess being the right-seater on Santa's sleigh is as good as it gets...

Y'all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...and keep all our warriors, wherever they may be, in your thoughts and prayers.

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December 23, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 23, 2006

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Japanese Scientists capture a Giant Squid. The First.Ever.Caught.By.Humans. Well, as far as we know. And kill it. Sushi, anyone? I thought it was just us rednecks that killed rare things just to eat them?

Virgil Goode, (R) Virginia... idiot. Not the way to push the immigration issue. So Keith Ellison (D) Minnesota, wants to swear his oath of office on the Koran. So what? There are provisions for allowing Christians, whose beliefs do not allow them to swear on the Bible, to "affirm" their oath of office, why should this even.be.an.issue. Dolt. Not the face the Republican party wants to put forth on this issue. -the Armorer

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December 22, 2006

H&I* Fires Dec 22, 2006

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HFM learns the hard way.... Never underestimate the power of the blogger! Congratulations to Michael Yon for staying strong and hard, and helping to take down Shock magazine. I'm still trying to figure out why editor-in-chief, Mike Hammer, is "stunned" by the move. BUWAHAHAHA. Somebody buy that man a Clue Bat! h/t to Huntress, who had the pleasure of "breaking" the news to Michael this morning. (btw... Mike's working his way back to Iraq for more boots-on-ground reports) OH HAPPY DAY! ~AFSis

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For those of you who want the hi-res version of the Motivator series, Strategy Page just posted the whole set, original typos and all. -the Armorer

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Brit spy problems?

A BRITISH military aide to the commander of UK forces in Afghanistan has been accused of spying for Iran.

Cpl Daniel James, 44, appeared in court yesterday, charged under section 1 of the Official Secrets Act with communicating information “useful to the enemy”.

Read the whole thing here.

More things Brit: THE last surviving crew member of Lord Nelson’s former warship HMS Victory from its time at sea has died aged 103. Fair winds and a following sea, Mr. Perrett.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam.

And in the Ripley's Believe It Or Not entry for the day, there's this:

SKYDIVER Michael Holmes cheated death when his parachutes failed and he plunged 15,000ft — on to a BLACKBERRY BUSH.

The 25-year-old Brit screamed ‘s**t, I’m going to die’ as he plummeted at 100mph — but the thick brambles saved his life.

Read that story here - and H/t for all three of the above to Jim C. -the Armorer

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La Schlussel continues her meltdown - and foolishly takes on Baldilocks while doing it. Baldilocks has a useful warning for people of the Right who see Barack Obama as a target - treat him just like the Castle Rules of Commentating - Attack the Message, not the Messenger. H/t, Darleen. -the Armorer

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T'was an ACLU Christmas... the video is funny, but I think Jay's link to this guy and the ensuing discussion in the comments is perhaps even funnier. -the Armorer

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December 21, 2006

H&I* Fires, 21 DEC 2006

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Wow. I've never beat John to setting up the H&I Fires before so I consider this an honour even if I am acting well above my job classification.

I foolishly usurp all authority and step on toes all over the place just to pass on a neato post of mine over at the beer blog for the search for the world's oldest beer - Alan of GX40.

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I foolishly usurp all authority and step on toes all over the place just to pass on a neato post of mine Snerk. It's what the post is for. Leave it to a Canadian sorta-lefty to get a thrill from a cautiously defiant yet completely safe non-act of putative disobedience... 8^)

...I am acting well above my job classification... Well, you *did* neglect to set the post time so that it would stay up top all day... so we have neglected your BOS (Blog Occupational Skillz) training. Oh - and the category is "General Commentary," too. -the Armorer

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I'm sorry, but does it *really* matter whether it was the ferret or the puppy? I'd be more concerned about the toes and bad parenting, myself. *shakes head* ~AFSister
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Just think, you guys... we knew them when!! Major Pain (who used to be known as Capt. B) and Taco (Bell) are featured in the latest issue of Newsweek! It's the top story on their website right now, but the links I provided will go straight to the articles. OUTSTANDING! ~AFSis

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Elmo dons ACUs...

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2006 - Elmo and the characters of Sesame Street are going to give Americans at large a chance to see what military families go through when their loved ones deploy to war zones.

Coming soon to a PBS station near you... -the Armorer

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Sounds like Castle Denizens of the Northwest need to batten down the hatches again. And it sounds like Neffi has been snowed in, too. - FbL

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Cotillionite Stacy has posted pics of Life Near Neffi after the blizzard. Silly as it sounds, I'm jealous. I *like* snow. Like that. Once, once mind you, a year. Not that the Bladed Lawn Tractor of Argghhh! would be able to handle it... -the Armorer

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December 20, 2006

H&I* Fires, 20 DEC 2006

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The trip to DC went well. My client stood in the pit, facing the three 2-Stars, two from the Army Staff, one from a Real Unit, the two one-stars (one of them his boss' boss), and an assorted horde of eagles, and delivered the results of this last year's worth of work. And it was *very* well received. So much so, that my client is going on the Three-Star Dog and Pony Circuit. Me, I just sat in back and took notes, interjected when appropriate, and, like a Good Contractor, made sure my client looked good and got the spotlight. That's my job.

Down side, this is the second time my client has been able to make me run while we're TDY. Always to catch a bus.

Moving on - I agree with Mr. Smith. Power to the Swift Boat Veterans. And their evil twin.

But these groups aren't being punished for making errors in their filing papers. They're being punished for criticizing politicians. Now, it's natural that politicians don't like that and might pressure the FEC to shut their critics up — the FEC reportedly acted in part because of pressure from Congress and a lawsuit brought by Reps. Christopher Shays and Martin T. Meehan — but why should ordinary citizens feel offended by criticism of public officials? Shouldn't we be more upset by efforts to silence criticism of public officials?

Read the rest here.

Remember this, as Senator John McCain tries to assume the mantle of inevitability for the nomination. Remember that much of campaign finance reform has been aimed at making the little people shut-up and keep their place. -the Armorer

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If you haven't already - go check out Santa's UAS at Blackfive. -the Armorer

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BTW - anybody remember this little "Savage War of Peace?" I do. I wasn't there, but my old high school pal/brother-in-law (now back to just being old high school pal due to *my* divorce, he's still married to my ex's sister) and several buddies in the Ranger Regiment were. I was home on leave from the NTC when it broke - and got to be the guy who was explaining everything to my sister-in-law, who suddenly realized her husband was in the midst of all that.

Operation Just Cause.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

The last combat act of the 5th Infantry Divsion (Mechanized) before it was disestablished as a part of the Peace Dividend. -the Armorer

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As usual my favorite web comic has me all figured out. In this case though, considering John works with machine guns, and *cough* bayonets versus my work with electricity and ion/microwave radiation, I thought the comic should apply to him as well :)

Strip located here (too wide for just tossing up here. Any of you MT guru's are welcome to do it however!)

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

-BloodSpite
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Pat Buchanan's slide into irrelevance and stupidity seems to be accelerating. The sleight of hand and outright falsehoods the man uses here place him in the league of Krugman or MoDo(the dodo). 18 to 10? More like 18 to 14 to 10, with only the last cut coming under Clinton. Taiwan a 'new' commitment? Guess that Taiwan Relations Act (of 1979) don't exist then, hey? Look, many have argued long and hard that we never had enough when cannon counting going all the way back to 1950. It is true that often in our history what we've had hasn't been what was really necessary, but you don't have to lie about it to make the point.

But this from Buchanan is just silly 'lay down the burden' talk. Even the USAF and USN say they don't have enough to do what they are asked to do so Ol' Ramblin' Pat's wrong there too. If'n you wanted to write something to help the military, Pat, this wasn't it. If'n you wanted to say we should quite literally fence our selves off from the rest of the world, which you often do, this is perfect, Pat.
Oh, and Merry Christmas (and if you want a X-mas card from gollum I needs your mailage info).
ry

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December 19, 2006

H&I* Fires, 19 DEC 2006

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Today my client and I enter the lions den (or Viper Pit) of the Pentagon. However, we fear not, for we are armed with Data, and securely wrapped in the Armor of our Righteousness! We shall overcome. And the checks are already cashed and we know our tickets outta here tonight are good.

Snerk - scary right-wing fiction! Of course, all lefty fiction is simply reasoned extraction of trendlines...

If it all sounds a little strange and crazed, that's because it is. The right's sleep of reason is bringing forth dark, futuristic political thrillers.

This is not the first time literature has performed such a trick. The Cold War years inspired plenty of nuclear nightmare fiction, and the environmentalism boom produced hundreds of chillers about overpopulation, melting ice caps and worse. Before he was visited by extraterrestrials (or was struck by the vision of a giant advance) "Communion" author Whitley Strieber churned out "Warday" and "Nature's End," Bible-sized entries in the Armageddon and Enviro-geddon genres, respectively.

Nuclear scare and environmental disaster fiction played off fears that seemed very real. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins' "Left Behind" books hinge on an event — the Rapture — that millions of readers believe could happen literally at any moment.

But the new genre of culture war and terror war novel is different. In "Prayers for the Assassin," an awful and believable event — coordinated nuclear attacks on American cities, with Israeli terrorists framed as the culprits — kick-starts a future that's too ridiculous to be fearsome. Egged on by Hollywood celebrities, millions of Americans convert to Islam. Families haul their kids to the thrill rides at Palestine Adventures. Battleships are renamed for Osama bin Laden.

It sounds like satire, but here's the funny part: Ferrigno is serious. Promoting the book on its official website, the author intones that "the possibility of such events transpiring only adds to the power of the book." Americans giving up the cross for the crescent, skipping Ruby Tuesday's during Ramadan? Why not? It could happen if, as Ferrigno warns, people are "weakened internally by dissent, economic malaise and a consumer culture hostile to people's genuine thirst for meaning in their lives."

Read the rest here.

Julian Barnes writes in the LA Times:

WASHINGTON - The U.S. military's new counterinsurgency doctrine takes issue with some key strategies that American commanders in Iraq continue to use, most notably the practice of concentrating combat forces in massive bases rather than dispersing them among the population. The 282-page counterinsurgency field manual, unveiled Friday, seeks to bring together the best practices in fighting sustained insurgencies that the United States has learned during the Iraq war. It also lists tactics that have tripped up American forces, such as trying to make local security forces act like the U.S. military and overemphasizing killing or capturing enemies rather than providing for the safety of the population.

Although the military has moved away from some of these tactics, others are widely used in Iraq. Most special operations forces in Iraq spend the bulk of their time and resources trying to kill or capture Al Qaeda members and insurgents. But the manual says the best use of those troops is not hunting enemies but training Iraqi security forces or police.

This would be the manual that LTG Petraeus directed the making of (this point for those who think Petraeus was sent here for being a bad boy and dissenting). He does dissent, obviously - and has just published his points of dissent. Which doesn't mean he was being punished... Like a copy? Click here.

I gotta get to breakfast and then a briefing. See ya later. -the Armorer

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For the Geek/Sci Fi nut in you Blackfive has a short post that has prompted some serious, and some hysterical comments.

*cough*
*prepares old Muppets voice*
Maariiiinnne'sss in Space!

Source of said ideaology stems from a recent Popular Science article

I reiterate from comments at B5: Always remember your equipment was made by the lowest bidder. Now have a nice flight.......

-BloodSpite


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December 18, 2006

H&I* Fires, 18 DEC 2006

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I'm in DC today and tomorrow, helping my client convince his bankers that the product of the funding they provided is worth well in excess of what they paid for it. Seeing as how they've already funded another year's work on a new study, this shouldn't be too hostile of an audience. One hopes. I'm here to back him up and to defend the wargaming and resultant analysis, if needs be.

Denizen Murray wants us to know New Zealand is present in Iraq, if only as represented by individual effort, vice national policy. And that such presence has a cost.

In Afghanistan, old habits die hard, absent the lopping sword or choking noose of theTaliban (and look how fast old habits resurfaced). Amply illustrating the difficulties in effecting cultural change. Something to consider as we decide how to proceed with the GWOT. If we're going to proceed from the assumption of a long war... do we understand just how long it's going to be?

Speaking of Afstan:

"Suddenly, two huge explosions shook the night. And on the other side of the river to the north, where a moment earlier two men had been crouching down preparing the rocket, there was nothing left but the craters where the shells fired by the Leopard tank had detonated."

CAPT H sends us this: Sniping with HESH. That ought to make MajMike all funny in the pants. What? Oh. High Explosive Squash Head.
Yep. And the squash head does not refer to the target. I'll let the tankers explain, just because it will no doubt be fun to read. -the Armorer

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Hiding in Time's "Person of the Year" edition is a section called Power to the People, 15 profiles of people of the digital world. And one of those people is MilBlogs' own Wordsmith at War. - FbL

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It must be Leak Day at the Pentagon and CIA. CIA and Special Operations are clashing. Hmm... Interesting, but somehow I doubt this is anything new. More CIA vs. Pentagon here. - FbL

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December 17, 2006

H&I* Fires, 17 DEC 2006

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Newly discovered footage of a dogfight over Australia...

Heh. We're Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Literally. Wow. That's like, twice now I've made it! And if you're reading this - you made it too! About the only person in my family who didn't make it was... Mom. Everybody else uses the net. Mom still prefers the television. S'okay. She's still more important to me than the opinions of those yahoos at Time.

Jules does a pretty good job of skewering Senator Kerry. -the Armorer

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I'm sure John is busy with pre-Christmas activities, and the Denizen blogroll is again not updating automatically, so I thought I'd do a manual check on what's keeping the Denizens occupied... - FbL

SWWBO points us to the Amazing, Truly Awesome Akiane. You gotta see this!

AFSis requests, "Let me... entertain you..."

On the military side, The Torch points us to coverage of French, German, and UK activities in Afghanistan, and FbL shares a moment of Naval and photographic zen.

BCR isn't as worried about terrorists as some people are:

They show a consistent inability to think in a different way even if that's the only way to remain hidden and succeed in their attack. That's what an ossifying culture will do for you, and since they can't change that without risking other dangerous changes and letting in the evil forces of Micky Mouse and uncovered meat in general they don't dare. Bwahahaha.
She also reports that she's survived the latest storm ravaging the Northwest and has become a member of the local aristocracy: People With Power.

Princess Crabby reminds us to Practice, practice, practice! And apparentlyBarb and Abe Lincoln have something in common.

On the serious side, Trias digs into the "War on Christmas" issue and shares his thoughts. And Cassandra has a great essay on free will versus the desire to protect. It's well worth a read, if you haven't yet.

Alan is gonna sell stuff. I think. Maybe. Regardless, it's an interesting post...

Jack shares a Christmas memory and Rammer discovers the joy of earplugs, while The Beer Blog has beer recommendations... for breakfast.

U.S.S. John Rodgers is inching closer to returning home.

And last but not least, Murray takes on the able-bodied Canadian Kiwi handicapped parking hogs.

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December 16, 2006

H&I* Fires, 16 DEC 2006

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My eldest nephew graduates from college today. WAY TO GO TIM!!!

The Master and Mistress of Argghhh! contributed to this Blogger Recipe book - and it contains the recipe for Artillery Punch (no doubts who provided *that* recipe...)

Speaking of graduations... someone else has moved along in life...

Second Lieutenant William Wales.

Prince William was commissioned as an officer in the British Army on Friday as his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, served as the reviewing officer.

"This is a milestone day... which will stay forever in your minds," the 80-year-old monarch, dressed in a red hat and coat, told the cadets.

"You must be courageous yet selfless, leaders yet carers, confident yet considerate. ... These are very special attributes, but those whom you will command and your country too will expect nothing less. My prayer for your success and safety will follow you wherever you happen to serve.''

I found this comment intriguing - and I hope it doesn't pan out this way:

He is now formally known as 2nd Lieutenant William Wales and will train to be a troop commander in an armoured reconnaissance unit. However, he will probably never see front line action.

"He'll go into a regiment for sure but he'll not go into danger... he's the heir to the throne," said McKercher.

All I can say is - if the Blues and Royals deploy, Lieutenant Wales should deploy with them. Otherwise, regardless of the effort put forth by Lieutenant Wales, it's all a sham. The Royal Family benefited when Prince Andrew went to the Falklands, I can't see how it would be any different should Prince William go to Iraq or Afghanistan. Noblesse Oblige. I hope that Dr. Brian McKercher, a history professor at Canada's Royal Military College, is wrong. 'Nuff said. H/t, CAPT H. -the Armorer

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The Weblog Awards are over. Looking at the categories I was tracking, it's interesting to see how things went. In our category, we came in 7th, continuing our slide from 4th, to 5th, now to 7th (and no longer making the cut as a milblog). Lots of votes in the category, with prominent lefty blogs showing their college student muscle!

In the Milblog category, Matt retains his deathgrip on first - but Lex did very well, coming in second. But this category only drew half the votes of the Top 250 category we were in - which reflects milblogs aren't read much by people who spend most of their time going to school...

The other two categories I was watching are interesting too. Bubblehead came in second in the 2501-3500 Ecosystem category, but with 1121 total votes, vice Matt's 1772 or Lex's 1249, and stomping our measly 662, shows a quirk in the nomination system - Bubblehead got more votes than most of the milblogs nominated, but didn't make the cut as a milblog (yes, I know, you can vote in multiple categories, so Bubblehead got votes in his category he might not have gotten in a milblog category - still. It's bemusing.

CDR Salamander made a good showing in the 3501-5000 Ecosystem scoring, coming in third, with 751 votes - again out-polling the Castle. Well done 'Phibian!

Now just what the heck am I supposed to infer from all this? Fark it. I'm just going to be me, and when it's down to me, Ry, and Googlers, I'll strike the tent. -the Armorer

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MaryAnn, the director of Soldiers' Angels operations in Germany is back in the U.S. due to her father's sudden illness. She needs prayers and best wishes, but in her update she shares a beautiful Christmas story.

And in on the subject of Christmas stories, this one is beaultiful but much more painful: Bringing Doc Home. It comes from the same reporter who brought us the heart-rending "Final Salute" (cross-posted at my place). UPDATE: Lex has the airline pilot's perspective on these journeys.

And while we're on the subject of hospitals, I recently was reminded how small a world it is when Valour-IT brought a name from the past back to my email inbox. - FbL

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December 15, 2006

H&I* Fires, 15 DEC 2006

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British soldiers continue to prove their individual value and skill, despite (or perhaps because of) a government and leadership class that throughout history has treated them shabbily. Which is still, on the balance, better than going the German way.

The outstanding bravery of British troops who fought some of the fiercest battles in the last 50 years was recognised with scores of medals for gallantry yesterday.

Among the 134 personnel honoured was Pte Michelle Norris, 19, the first woman to receive the Military Cross, after she saved the life of a soldier while under sniper fire in Iraq.

The Parachute Regiment's 3 Bn also experienced one of its greatest days for awards after it was announced that the battalion had received a Victoria Cross, George Cross and 11 other medals for bravery.

Cpl Bryan Budd was the first posthumous recipient of the VC in 24 years after an act of "supreme courage" in which he saved the lives of his men by making a lone charge, while wounded, against a Taliban ambush.

Cpl Mark Wright became the first member of the Parachute Regiment to receive the George Cross in three decades after rescuing seven colleagues who had strayed into a minefield. He died of his wounds.

Read the rest here - H/t, CAPT H.

Follow-up on the Whatziss... Rick got it right early on, when he said 7.9x94, but he wasn't sure what kind of round, or whose it was. But he got the caliber right. Trias dropped in with his AP assertion, which was also correct. KC Steve weighed and promptly ran down a caliber rathole, and tried to have it both ways with AP or anti-aircraft. CAPT H jumped on Rick's bandwagon. I think MajMike was in the ballpark, though the Kurz confused me. Anyway - more info is available here, at Small Arms Review. You guys are getting better at this!

Then there's this - a discussion of Rules of Engagement over in Iraq - that includes soldiers in Iraq. Go visit Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal for more. -the Armorer

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Through CAPT H via Damian Penny of Daimnation, we find that MacLean's (the TIME of Canada) has designated the Canadian Soldier as the "Newsmaker of the Year". -the Armorer

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Oh, did you know this place is... idiosyncratic? Really. Say's so here, where we got linked by The Oregonian. While we love the attention, -10 for spelling! H/t, Flag Gazer. -the Armorer

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You can help wounded Marines get Home for the Holidays.

The Marines have Hobbits?! Cassandra has the details. - FbL

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I figger if John can post about screwing, I can post some PANDA PRON! "it's the sounds of breeding that stimulates them", the researcher said. This new revelation, and the fact that Panda's are about the size and weight of a stick of butter when they're born just reaffirms my desire to be reincarned as a Panda in my next life. ~AFSister

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December 14, 2006

H&I* Fires, 14 DEC 2006

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CAPT H sent along this lament: "I wanna screw like the old days..."

The same judge who ruled for Hamdan, just ruled against Hamdan. ArmyLawyer has more. Al-Jazeera's take. -the Armorer

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Happy Anniversary! When is the guy going to take the Long Drop? -the Armorer

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Today is the last day to vote for the 2006 Weblog Awards. Your favorite Milblogs appear in the following categories. It's your last chance to vote for them!

Best Military Blog
Best Indivdiual Blog: Blue Star Chronicles
Best New Blog: Blue Crab Boulevard and Jules Crittenden
Best of the top 250 blogs: The armorer suggests voting Stop the ACLU
Best of the top 251 to 500 blogs: There are a bunch of milblogs in this category
Best of the Top 1001-1750 Blogs: Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho and Mudoc Online:
Best of the top 1751-2500 blogs: From My Position and Parkway Rest Stop

- FbL

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Well, I figured it wouldn't be "man"... but bats!!?!? Oh, that's just not fair! Perhaps genetic altering isn't such a bad idea after all. ~WereKitten

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December 13, 2006

H&I* Fires, 13 DEC 2006

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Two steps forward and one step back seems to be the fate of the F-35. Yesterday Canada signs on. Today Britain tosses a hissy fit over it and threatens to not buy.
ry
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Snerk. Speaking of throwing hissyfits - Ry does a pretty good one himself over at Alan's place, and gets a pat on the back for doing it. Too much potty mouth for *this* space, though. No wonder Ry gets all wordy over here, he's compensating for the PG-17c!

Jules *likes* the Holocaust Conference in Iran. If only because, by their words and their deeds shall you know them. He also notes the death of an AP photographer (and other journalists) who actually did their job, rather than flacked their politics.

Oops. The recruiters and their recruits Just Don't Get The Message! How is Mr. Rangel going to get his draft if people keep joining voluntarily? -the Armorer

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Heh.

Ney lawyers urge letter-writing By Jim Snyder Lawyers for Bob Ney last week urged his friends to write letters of support in advance of the former Ohio Republican representative’s sentencing on corruption charges in January.

The attorneys hope to show the judge that the actions that led Ney to plead guilty to corruption charges in October were an aberration in a professional career otherwise dedicated to public service. Ney was a member of the House at the time of his guilty plea, but later resigned his seat.

“Letters of support are a very important part of the sentencing process, and, we hope, will give Judge Huvelle a clear picture of the kind of person Bob is, the contributions he has made, and the support that he continues to enjoy from his friends and others in the community,” wrote Ney attorneys Mark Tuohey and David Hawkins of Vinson & Elkins in a Dec. 6 letter obtained by The Hill.

Here's mine: Dear Judge Huvelle: A crooked and corrupt politician is a crooked and corrupt politician, who does much more damage to "trust and confidence" than is simply wrapped up in the dollar amounts of the graft. Please keep that in mind as you send him to the slammer for the maximum amount of time allowable, and hit him with the maximum restitution requirement. Let him *earn* his way back to polite society by his behavior in prison and performance in paying his debts. Anything else, for his ilk, comes off as a partial victory.

We shouldn't allow those who seek power to duck the responsibility for it's abuse, no matter how nice they are.

Cheers,

John of Argghhh!

BTW - the same thing applies to General Officers. Just sayin'.

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Today's Must-read: War Weary. Lex on "The Long War" with his usual...oh, I give up describing it. Just go and read it. It's good. - FbL

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I forgot: Vote for Us. The lefties are winning this category in a walk... though MVRWC and Stop the ACLU are giving 'em a run for the money. Oh, piffle. We can't catch anyone. Go vote for Stop the ACLU, and maybe the Right can score second place... Oh, and I'm throwing my votes to Lex for Best Military Blog - if only to keep Matt's head under control. -the Armorer

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December 12, 2006

H&I* Fires, 12 DEC 2006

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Eaglespeak, a lawyer desperate for attention and to beat CDR Salamander, begs your vote with "Bringing out the big guns and skimpy swim wear."

Me? I just say vote for us or Beth at MVRWC, so we can oppress those lefty blogs. I am a bit chagrined to see that CDR Salamander is shilling more successfully than I...

Funny Cats!

Sigh. I made the Deans List, oh, twice I think, while I was in college (of course, there was also that semester of, oh, 1.9 or something, too). I never made my high school honor roll, though my sister was a rash on it. Of course, I prolly overcompensated by winning the state wrestling championship by pinning all the way through conference, district, region and the state meet. Wait - there was one win on points at district. The all-state football thing prolly helped my self-esteem, too. Therefore, being completely unable to relate, I find things like this bemusing. High School Halts Publishing of the Honor Roll. Sigh. Nope, don't wanna reward or recognize excellence in any way. In fact, we really don't want to encourage it, seemingly. Feh. I blame Bush.

Hey! A reason to come to our neck of the woods other than incarceration... the National WWI Museum.

I was gonna comment on Kofi Annan's speech - but Jules covered it for me.

In Missouri today, departing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan delivered these thoughtful reflections on 10 years of learning: [translation follows]

In one of the backwater Jesusland flyover states yesterday, departing UN Secretary General Kofi Annan rudely lectured one of the few nations that actually tries to accomplish anything useful, from which he has been sponging for the last 10 years:

Read the rest here. -the Armorer in Jesusland.

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Iraq War News Now has a great pictorial of U.S. troops leading Iraqi police marksmanship training.

An analysis of Rumsfeld and the press and what it means for Gates.

Salamander discovers that Reuters and AP "stringers" are at it again: staged photos in Ramadi. - FbL

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To borrow a phrase, "Virginia Hall, Someone You Should Know:"

Escaping France by crossing the Pyrenees on foot in November 1942, Allied agent Virginia Hall cabled headquarters: "Cuthbert is giving me trouble, but I can cope." So hungry for Hall's capture was the Gestapo that even her wooden leg--dubbed Cuthbert--needed a code name..."The woman who limps is one of the most dangerous Allied agents in France," proclaimed Gestapo fliers, depicting a high-cheekboned brunet. "We must find and destroy her." As she fled to Spain, Hall's London-based compatriots misunderstood her cryptic communique. "If Cuthbert is giving you trouble," London cabled back, "have him eliminated."
More here and here. She is being honored today.

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Btw, the Denizen blogroll isn't updating, but that doesn't mean Denizens aren't blogging. Don't forget your favorite reads just because they don't have "New Stuff!" next to their names... - FbL

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December 11, 2006

H&I* Fires, 11 DEC 2006

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The 2006 Weblog Awards. Vote for us... or MVRWC. Don't let those lefty blogs have all the glory... Once a day every day until the 15th.

MajMike and the rest of you treadheads - this link's for you.

The 2006 Warbloggers Awards are posted at Right Wing News. Kinda like a very unscientific Coaches Poll. Just how unscientific? Take a look at where Andrew Sullivan placed.

I got an email last night:

Mom gives up kid to join Navy. Holy crap, she gave up her kid to join the Navy. Man, that's some cajones.

From KOMO-TV:

GRANITE FALLS - A local mother's dream to join the Navy comes with a heavy price: She had to give up custody of her 13-year-old daughter.

It's the toughest decision 32-year-old Rebecca Tate has ever had to make, but she believes it's the right choice.

"To be able to serve in the military and defend my country and do what I know is good and right makes me proud," she said.

As excited as Rebecca is to join, she's doing it with a heavy heart. Single parents cannot enlist in the Navy, so she had to give up custody of her 13-year-old daughter Anya to sign up.

You can read the rest here.

Heh. Five more years and she still could have joined *and* let her daughter loose at her majority.

There's dreaming, and there's responsibility.

Absent any other information - I am not impressed. I've been impressed with soldiers who have given up their military careers because of family requirements. Giving up the family to join the service? I suppose I needn't have concern about walking away from responsibility in order to pursue personal needs on the part of a Petty Officer Tate. She'll periodically get reassigned away from sailors who are inconvenient to her pursuit of her dream.

I am not impressed. Just sayin'. Your mileage may vary. -the Armorer

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December 10, 2006

H&I* Fires, 10 DEC 2006

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Greetings! SWWBO and I are in Princess Crabby's stomping grounds, Boston. Yesterday was the day of taking the Trolley to see the sights (so much stuff for a history geek packed into such a small area). Today is the day of the USS Constitution, USS Cassin Young, and wandering the Freedom Trail. Or, as some of our Commonwealth visitors have put it (to paraphrase) the "Greedy Merchants Forcing Everybody Into A War No One Wanted Trail".

Snerk. Boston - the Very Old (for America) sandwiched in amongst the New.

Boston - the Old Statehouse nestled amongst the tall buildings

SWWBO is getting all the seafood she can handle. She's actually here in Massachusetts for two weeks working in Lowell (fascinating place itself, as a monument to the Industrial Revolution), and she decided rather than leave me unsupervised in Leavenworth for a weekend (who knows how many sharp pointy things I might find to pierce my integuement) she'd fly me up here for the weekend.

One observation thus far: Boston - friendly people, good food, poor service. How can you let someone go at breakfast without once checking to see if that coffee cup needs refilling? Or dinner, with that ice tea glass? Or if another beer is needed? Shakes head sadly. Especially considering prices around here - you'd think service staff would fall all over themselves to pump up the bill! Anyway - that's it for me. You guys have fun. I'm off to see some warships. -the Armorer

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December 08, 2006

H&I* Fires, 8 DEC 2006

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First off: Break a leg Big Bro'. You don't need luck 'cuz you got skillz, but I'm wishing you luck anyways.

Second: gollum's back hurts. Seems everyone and their Mother has been coming down with both boots on the ISG and the regional talks recommendation. Oi. Getting jumped by Ralph Peters with biblical metaphors leaves a nasty welt. And being called 'Nevil' by the Boston Globe doesn't quite leave the same kind of hurtin', but it still stings. Barnett is calling 'hack!' over the ISG. Even SWWBO is taking a turn dropping an atomic elbow. Man, does it suuuuuck to be at the bottom of this dogpile.

Well, tdaxp kinda has my back. Thanks Dan. Barnett still calls 'Hack!' but sees what I see: playing for time to rebuild support back home. I think. Even with MountainRunner trying to hold up the ISG as not entirely crap we defenders of it have been savaged. No lemon juice throwing please.

I think I'm going to hide down in Castle Argghhh! Purgatory. It may be cold. The parachuting hamster may steal the blankets and eat all the Pringles. But at least nobody can jump from the top rope.
ry

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I'm in Stand-To! For those who don't know, it's "a daily compendium of news, information and context for Army leaders," an official Army publication [see the bottom of the RH column]. - FbL

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Warning! NSFW (In a Miss Thang Environment, especially!) Graphic new photographs of a newly discovered atrocity in Iraq, allegedly perpetrated by the Myrmidons of the US Armed Forces. We gotta cover the bad with the good, people, much as it grieves me to do so. -the Armorer

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Former U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick dies at age 80. There is more info over at the AEI website......Princess Crabby

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Greyhawk seizes the high ground in the Weblog Awards! -the Armorer

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This is a hoot. Google "touchy-feely liberally retards Democrats" and see what news organization pops up as "Number One in Google." Snerk. Good on ya, Chuck. -the Armorer

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I want one of these coloring books! Really! H/t, Chris M. -the Armorer

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These days, I can think of few subjects that would motivate enough Americans to support a nationwide push to amend the Constitution.

This might.

I'm not talking something complicated here...like trying to balance the separation of powers with, say, an amendment establishing a means to overturn a SCOTUS decision (Senate supermajority override, whatever). I'm talking about an amendment that doesn't change the national charter but clarifies it, i.e., one that would specifically state that the Second Amendment does, in fact, include the individual's right to keep and bear arms. In other words, a SCOTUS assault on what I think a majority of Americans take for granted being met not with a lot of harrumphing and rending of garments, but a quick, spare and cogent rejoinder that you don't have to be a ConLaw prof to understand, might just sail through the states. Comments, John? -Instapilot (H/T to Glenn Reynolds)

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December 07, 2006

H&I* Fires, 7 DEC 2006

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Just a reminder that the War on Terror is actually a global endeavor and a multi-generational one. Somalian Union of Islamic Courts offers praise to al-Queda support and influence in that country. -ry

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Someone we know and love 'round here finds herself being blogged about over at PBS... -the Armorer

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"Um, Lieutenant, sir? Don't you think we've been driving a long time for a 10 mile road march?"

"Of course not, soldier! I've got the GPS thingy. Keep heading Southwest."

"Uh, yessir - but the road sign back there said..."

"Troop, I'm not going to tell you again - keep driving!"

"Yessir."

This is why we neep to keep maps and map-reading skillz, in addition to the nice gizmos. Snerk. H/t, CAPT H. -the Armorer

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Chapomatic with an interesting list of readings on Organizational Change. I particularly indentify with the one regarding information displays, as I've spent a fair amount of time in the last 15 years trying to get a handle on exactly this issue. -the Armorer

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Jay over at Stop The ACLU made it onto Brit Humes last night... Not in person, but, still - whee! -the Armorer

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Supporting our Allies. Landstuhl receives Canadian Forces’ Unit Commendation. H/t Damian and CAPT H. -the Armorer

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[Snipped and made it's own post below. - the Armorer]

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A little Canadian Political Humo(u)r, eh? -the Armorer.

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They've released the name of the Viper driver who went down recently. Now, let's see how long it takes the Kos Kids to declare, "Screw 'im." -Instapilot

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Band together or hang separately?

We’ve got a problem on our hands. The latest election has caused some cracks to form in the US domestic coalition supporting the war. Two camps seem to be forming and both are pointing fingers that accuse the other of being dumb or worse. One can be called ‘kick their backsides until they get tired of it and quit as the path to victory in Iraq’ while the other can be considered the ‘Ack! We need to take half a loaf and take a longer view even if means cozying up to crapheads to win in the Long War!’ And we’re starting to see some real hatred form between the two.

My stance found here and of the ‘Ack’ school of thought, makes me kind of unpopular in some circles. My unpopularity is evidenced not only be the response it got in that thread but also by Lex’s dissing it in an illustrative manner to voice his displeasure of the general position here, which puts him in the ‘my leg don’t get tired of butt kicking’ school. Luckily, I’m not alone and have good company (or more like I hide in the shadow of some choice people).

(Rest is below the fold. Modified 23:50 7/12/06)

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December 06, 2006

H&I* Fires, 6 DEC 2006

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gollum is having some trouble getting at research materials for something he’s trying to write for Big Boot (And hopefully get out of Castle Purgatory thereby---I like the Russian Hamster Paratrooper and all, but he’s not much of a conversationalist and you can only read the comics so many times.).

Anyone have the ability to get at stuff from the archives at the Naval War College that can get me a look at stuff on PLAN doctrine and capabilities? Well, stuff that’s open source level anyways but for some reason I can’t access from home. Pleeeeeease? If so please drop a line in the comments section.

(gollum does too know how to write in a professional and sourced manner. He’s just typically to lazy to do so, and vitreous about his spelling.)
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Oh, and the Iraq Study Group report should be out today. I wonder how badly some people are going to feel betrayed. -ry

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Well, I think I discovered "shilling matters." The nomination process for the 2006 Weblog Awards is over. The Finalists are announced.

I find myself vaguely disquieted. In the 2004 Awards, we came in 4th for Best Milblog. In the 2005 Awards, we came in 5th, with those newbies, Op-For, pushing us down a notch.

This year, we didn't make the cut. We're not on the list at all. I admit, I didn't put forth any effort. I made one post about it, mostly because I wanted to see what difference it made. Sigh. Boy, did it make a difference, huh?

We did make the list for "Best of the Top 250 Blogs", along with these guys:

Best of the Top 250 Blogs

My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
All Things Beautiful
Castle Argghhh!!!
Stop The ACLU
Feministe
JustOneMinute
Orcinus
Sisu
The Median Sib
Talk Left

Winning in this category is, well, frankly, equivalent to... winning the NIT, eh? Consolation prize for the also-rans.

I know all the issues about popularity contests like this. But for some reason, not making the cut as a mil-blog, well, bothers me.

I guess I really *am* retired. And, damn but there's a lot of grey in this beard. -the Armorer

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December 05, 2006

H&I* Fires, 5 Dec 2006

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The blogfather posted a link to this (and others sent it to me as well) - Weapons That Don't Exist, but Should. Looks like a peek into BCR Labs. But you really should start here, in an entry I could have written. Weapon.

Carnival of the Recipes is up. Born August 20, 2004, SWWBO created something that has taken on a life of it's own. Kewl. How many of us can say that? I can't!

I'm really busy today, as you can tell. -the Armorer

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Looking for info, pliz ... Why izzit that this tool of the pacifist left isn't sweating in a military court room, but is free to appear at a screening of 'his story'??
- Barb

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Hey, Mike - good thing you got those drugs, eh?

Flatulence brought 99 passengers on an American Airlines flight to an unscheduled visit to Nashville early Monday morning.

Yep. Flatulence. -the Armorer

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Princess Crabby - on why *all* the amendments are important. So you can repel the whale pushers when they come for you.

And Maggie, it may not be the best, but it's certainly up there. -the Armorer

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December 04, 2006

H&I* Fires, 4 Dec 2006

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A number of must-reads today...

The NYT covers American intelligence agencies' efforts to modernize, particularly the application of innovations like blogging to spying. It's a long but fascinating read, and somewhat encouraging, too.

Jules Crittenden calls the AP to task for their shoddy/fabricated reporting.

Taliban-style threats and attacks come to Gaza.

If you haven't heard yet, here's the real story on the "flying imams," including the police report. Some of the details are rather eye-opening.

And Soldiers' Angel Laurie informs us in comments on yesterday's H&I Fires:

Patti Patton-Bader, founder of Soldiers' Angels, will be on MSNBC with Allison Stewart on Monday, December 4 [today!] at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time (2:00 Central, 1:00 Mountain, 12:00 Pacific). If viewership goes up, they may have her on again which means more exposure for Soldiers' Angels and more help for our troops.
Here's a list of the many projects of Soldiers' Angels. And if anybody has the capacity to record and post the interview with Patti, please do! - FbL

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Strategy Page on Rumsfeld's Memo.

Ah, this Fuzzy's-up-early stuff is *nice*! -the Armorer

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Given just how "Blue" an area Lawrence, Kansas is, being the home of Kansas University - this was good to read. The guys of Beta Theta Pi are sending Care Packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Good on ya, guys.

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Hello everyone. THIS may seem quaint; but I do miss the old days where Kremlinologist busily dissected our enemies' intentions. Things were much more simpler then.

Let’s see… Iran and Syria, are busily endeavour to destabilize our work in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, etc. and now we are going to break bread with them? Call me a simpleton, but this GWOT business, and the way we are prosecuting it is way too muddled for my taste. - BOQ

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Bush Accepts Bolton's U.N. Resignation
Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday.
Why??????? Maggie

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Lex delivers a smackdown to the morally blind Kofi Annan.

The NYT hits back on bloggers' deconstruction of AP reporting. Flopping Aces responds in the link above and has a roundup of the bloggers involved (the article is subscription-only, but widely excerpted. Or you can click here and enter "nytimes.com" for a password)- FbL

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December 03, 2006

H&I* Fires, 3 Dec 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.

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Since the Armorer seems to be otherwise occupied, I thought I'd do a Denizen round-up. - FbL

Princess Crabby renegotiates her Army-Navy bet with Anthony.

The Torch reports that the Canadians are on the receiving end of "holier than you barbaric warmongers" rhetoric.

Fuzzybear Lioness has a very Fuzzybear adventure and meets a remarkable immigrant sailor.

The League of Disgruntled Majors returns with a story of officer roster hijinks.

AFSis has a video that will put a smile on your face.

Barb reports on her blogson.

If you didn't before, be sure to read Bad Cat Robot's stories of adventures in the Northwest snow.

SWWBO gets an award!

Trias looks at a new website about Australia's involvement in Vietnam.

The Blog Princess reminds us of Operation Santa and takes a test that shows something we already know: she's a master of the english language.

Jack has your depressing but thought-provoking quotes for the day.

Sgt. B has a good excuse for blogging laziness. He's at his first drill weekend and the inside word is that he's revelling in hearing "Sgt. B_____" at the end of every sentence when he speaks to the younger guys.

Alan reports on Santa's Butt and the ACLU.

The O.E.S. Project returns (they're the guys who saved U.S.S. John Rodgers.

Murray has a story that will have the animal lovers and gallant protectors of the ladies reaching for a gun.

That's it. Have a great day, everyone!

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Boy-o-Boy am I glad I checked - because I was literally getting ready to do what Fuzzy just did. Thanks Fuzzy! I really appreciate the effort!

For those of you who played the Whatzis yesterday, y'all got it pretty quick - it is the SMAW spotting round, from the website that John S. directed you to. For those who didn't follow his suggestion, you can do so by clicking here. If any of you find one of those cut-away's laying around, gimme a call! Me Want!

And since my email is being flooded by people sending me this link - I guess I better post it - IED Hunter, a Marine tribute to the Crocodile Hunter. -the Armorer

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World's First Blog-Rant discovered... in England. It's Roman. H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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by Denizens on Dec 03, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

December 02, 2006

H&I* Fires, 02 Dec 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.

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Well, for some today is a day of unbridled optimism. Me, I think it's a day of forlorn hope.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

I'm not a grad, but I suppose, in an unfortunate turn of phrase, I'm sorta obligated to go down with the ship...

Update. Sigh. I *hate* swimming.

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Heh. I post pictures of ships - CDR Salamander posts pictures of howitzers, pansterhouwitsers...

Congratulations Chuck! When's the promo party and are you paying airfare now that you're a stinking rich field grade? H/t, Fuzzybear!

On the "Mistreated Coffin" story (which I have evinced some scepticism about) Chuck Simmins has more. All of which reinforces my scepticism. Well, actually, confirms it. [/smug look]

Jules notes some, um, interesting rulez for the Taliban.

Otay - I gotta go mail some cluebats! -the Armorer

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In an effort to help the In-Laws once again I'm shamelessly advertising something that may and or may not appeal to your history loving hearts

North Collins, New York in the Civil War

My mother in law is the Town Historian and is hosting the event for the Town Museum. Featured will be many period items, letters, and local history as well as a visit from the Columbia Rifles...which was founded by my Brother in Law.

Detecting a theme here yet? :)

With the holidays upcoming they're giving away autographed copies of his published story Christmas in the Irish Regiments

So for you lower Canada, Northeast America and New York readers, or frequent Civil War buffs, there's plenty to see and do. Wish I could be there this year.
-BloodSpite

Trackbacks still aren't working, so I thought I'd put this here: it's a tough decision. - FbL

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by Denizens on Dec 02, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

December 01, 2006

H&I* Fires, 01 Dec 2006

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Psiphon. A way for people who live in countries whose gov'ts censor the net to fight The Law and not have The Law win. Schweet. And it's from The Great White North to boot---take notes google. I knew there had to be a reason I like those Crazy People Up There.;)
(ht to the boys on the FYEO mailing list)

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The Wife is a fairly serious gamer, not otaku level, but serious enough to buy subscriptions to magazines and buy a title every month. So I was really surprised to see a pre-view of something. It being a game I'll take a pass on.

Rogue Warrior. I'm glad Dick Marcinko is making money and all (old Warriors still have ambitions and need to eat you know), but I wonder what those who went thru BUD/S think of this? Froggy? You got anything to say? Anyone else?

Game just is not for gollum (even if the game's tremendous fun.).
ry
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Jules - That's Ghillie Suit, not Girly Suit.

If the deliverable I'm working on will allow it - I'll take some time today and sit in on this:

Mr. Josh Rushing will be speaking to Information Operations (IO) elective on 1 December. He will do an FDP4 that should be of great interest to the faculty because he is a former US Marine Captain and a PAO Spokesman for CENTCOM at CENTCOM FWD HQ in Doha, Qatar at the start of OIF. Now, he is a correspondent and military analyst for Al-Jazeera International. Info about Mr. Rushing is available at his website http://joshrushing.com/

I hope I can make it. If you're on Fort Leavenworth, and interested in the when and where, drop me a note via your .mil address and I'll forward the location data. -the Armorer

Update. I made it. Fascinating. I'll write it up over the weekend.

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Calling all warriors! The subject is: Silly String.

No, we're not talking about the last line of defense for Army against Navy tomorrow (methinks it's going to be a slaughter, ever-so-glad I went to a Land Grant college and beat up on Army in football once, myself).

Rather - Laurie of Soldier's Angels New York wants to know if she should be gathering up silly string to send to the sandboxes for booby-trap detection duty.

She's really concerned, as a victim of silly string herself - if the utility of it will outweigh the Hearts and Minds aspect. -the Armorer

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In Re: Senator-Elect Webb: Peggy Noonan's take. She agrees with me the President was artless in his response. She's gentler on Webb than I, however. Nice to see I'm firmly in the mushy muddle of this one... My lack of stridency may cost me visitors, but this is a calmer place as a result. -the Armorer

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If you were placing a wager on tomorrow's Army-Navy game....what would you consider a cool prize from someone from Boston? I have been challenged with a unique wager. However, being a woman of no talent I have nothing cool to put up in return......Maggie

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by Denizens on Dec 01, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

November 30, 2006

H&I* Fires, 30 Nov 2006

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Air Force Pilot Identified; Three Servicemembers Killed in Iraq American Forces Press Service WASHINGTON, Nov. 29, 2006 – Defense officials have identified the pilot of an Air Force F-16C that crashed outside Baghdad Nov. 27 as Maj. Troy L. Gilbert. Gilbert is assigned to the 309th Fighter Squadron, Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and deployed to the 332nd Expeditionary Wing, Balad Air Force Base, Iraq. He is officially listed as “duty status: whereabouts unknown.” An investigation is ongoing.

Moving on - it iced in Leavenworth last night, and we expect a few inches of snow today. And we're handling it just fine. My normal 7 minute commute last night took... 20. Bad Cat Robot lives in Seattle. Where they don't do ice and snow much. See here, and here (if you've time for only one, read the last one about avoiding the sand truck) for a taste of what it's like to be Naifs-in-Wonderland! -the Armorer

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Sergeant John G, Someone You Should Know - although he's really like just about everyone you know... Admittedly, since I don't watch CNN, I didn't. I get my news from... blogs. -the Armorer

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Snerk! An ACLU Nativity Scene... -the Armorer

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Two things that go together: Weddings and... Valour-IT?! - FbL

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I read about this in email this morning - I'm one of those who thinks there is something wrong with this story, though I'm not sure just what. Laurie of Soldier's Angel's New York has the story. (yeah, trackbacks still seem to be broken, sigh) -the Armorer

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In re the polite (well done, folks!) imbroglio in yesterday's H&I regarding President Bush and Senator-elect Webb's interaction - George Will weighs in.

...Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.

Mr. Will has been harsh with President Bush of late - but in this bit, at least, he sides with me regarding Webb's behavior. And I'm just *positive* the column was written in response to our discussion in the comments... [sound of crickets chirruping] -the Armorer

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by Denizens on Nov 30, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

November 29, 2006

H&I* Fires, 29 Nov 2006

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That'll show 'im, by Gosh!

U.S. bans sale of iPods to North Korea By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration wants North Korea's attention, so like a scolding parent it's trying to make it tougher for that country's eccentric leader to buy iPods, plasma televisions and Segway electric scooters.

The U.S. government's first-ever effort to use trade sanctions to personally aggravate a foreign president expressly targets items believed to be favored by Kim Jong Il or presented by him as gifts to the roughly 600 loyalist families who run the communist government.

Heh. Can't hurt. It's not like they're a huge trading partner... Read the rest here.

Moving over to Britain...

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Dr Prakash Shah, a senior lecturer in law at Queen Mary University of London, said such tribunals "could be more effective than the formal legal system".

In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, says there is an "alternative parallel unofficial legal system" that operates in the Muslim community on a voluntary basis.

"Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions," he says. These are based on sharia councils, set up in Britain to help Muslims solve family and personal problems.

Sharia councils may grant divorces under religious law to a woman whose husband refuses to complete a civil divorce by declaring his marriage over. There is evidence that these councils are evolving into courts of arbitration.

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. "It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it's less awesome an environment than the English courts," he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade.

Read the whole thing here. For better or worse, this is how cultures commit suicide. Sadly, the English seem to almost welcome it. The Canadians are experimenting with it, and there have been rumblings about doing things like this in the US, as well. It begs the larger question - what happens to the rule of law, when you basically get to literally choose your law? I understand this is all voluntary, etc, and that the Brits (and Canadians) have some limits - but I think the whole philosophical and public policy underpinnings needs a far greater airing in society at large. In other words, we should be aware of, and arguing about it, not just waking up to find out it's there. Doesn't mean it isn't a good idea - but it sure nibbles away at some very basic principles.

Moving back to this side of the pond - Jim Webb, The Man With No Class.

At a recent White House reception for freshman members of Congress, Virginia's newest senator tried to avoid President Bush. Democrat James Webb declined to stand in a presidential receiving line or to have his picture taken with the man he had often criticized on the stump this fall. But it wasn't long before Bush found him.

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.

Regardless of how you feel about the war, Senator - you're a Senator now. Remember, the "most exclusive club in the world?" That was just sophomoric. You have the chance to make real changes in the Democratic Party that might just make them more mainstream. You don't help things by being childish.
From the Washington Post. -the Armorer

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Snerk- From the WaPo article on Webb, referenced above, Senator Schumer on politicians...

"He's not a typical politician. He really has deep convictions," said Schumer, who headed the Senate Democrats' campaign arm.

H/t, the Blogfather. -the Armorer

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Why we do it... just one end result of Valour-IT's generous donors and hard-working volunteers. - FbL

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by Denizens on Nov 29, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

I actually saw it! Live!

...not just whizzing by on the highway.

A quintessential piece of Americana, which was at the Fort Leavenworth Commissary yesterday. Sadly, I had no camera with me.

Souvenir postcard

And I've got the Whistle! Neener-neener-neener! SWWBO thought that was tres' kewl!

Ah, the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile.

I briefly chatted with the young man driving it. He says it handles just fine, crosswinds aren't even a problem. He says the back-up camera is very useful, however.

I asked about that blown engine from the commercial (as, apparently do a lot of people). It's a plastic add-on. *That* was kinda sad...

We return you now to your regularly-scheduled milblog. But hey, things like this are among the reasons Why We Fight!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 29, 2006 | TrackBack (0)

November 27, 2006

H&I Fires, 27 Nov 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.

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First up - CAPT H got the Whatziss correct. And in the second pic, I was just being mean. Those are the tracer loads that go into the bottom of 40mm Bofors rounds. I figured if anyone was going to get it, John was going to.

Yes, lets! Let us indeed have a BZ for some Diggers!

An email I got this weekend:

Hey,

I read your blog with regularity, and I thought you might be interested in this one.

{Click this link for the story}

Glad they are on our side.

KP,
CW4, TC, retired (but working on coming back)
MOS 881A

Well done, Sergeant A and Corporal B! Well done, indeed. I think the picture is a hoot, too. Good on ya, Chief P, for working that recall thing. Hope you have better luck than I have. And as for your, um, regularity, well, we're glad we can help with that, too!

The newly-promoted-to-Major Heartless Libertarian has discovered Someone You Should Know. I wanna know when the promotion party is, and are you paying airfare? -the Armorer

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So, this is what Lex does while on a cruise... H/t, Rich B. -the Armorer

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Jay at Stop The ACLU sees the shadowy hands of secularism in this coinage development. I see the trend of creativity in the paper specie moving to the coins. Just as the engravers wanted some new stuff to do, so too the die-makers. My absolute favorite coin in the world? The Brit 1 Pound coin. And I've always like the Germans putting the words on the edge of their coins. I say Huzzah! and I don't think it's all part of a conspiracy. But I've been wrong before. -the Armorer

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Warning, warning! Shameless self promotion alert! I just wanted to celebrate that I've gotten 50,000 hits on my blog! Yayyyyyy! Okay, shameless self-promotion alert ended. You may return to your previous level of alert. - FbL

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Andi of Andi's World is walking a path familiar to many bloggers and regulars here: saying goodbye to your furry best friend. This one got her through her husband's deployments. - FbL

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by Denizens on Nov 27, 2006

November 26, 2006

H&I Fires, 26 Nov 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.

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Once John leaked the location of the steel covered 6-inch gun from yesterday's post, I was able to track the little critter down and post more pics, with some added history. Now, I just have to go into town and take my own pics! - The Adjutant

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Negotiation or paying off kidnappers is the humane thing to do, right? Only if you don't worry about the consequences.

This story has been running around the blogs for a week or so, but it's finally hit the mainstream: Sunni tribes turning against the terrorists in Ramadi. UPDATE: Greyhawk has more . - FbL

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It is not too late. The United States can still extricate itself honorably from an impending disaster in Iraq - Sen. Chuck Hagel in the Washington Post

Where I have heard that before... Well, I was too young to have actually heard it... - FbL

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by Denizens on Nov 26, 2006

November 25, 2006

H&I Fires, 25 Nov 2006

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Things are more or less back to normal, with some improvements for readers (and yes, I know about the missing html buttons).

A good time was had with Thanksgiving with the family, and I'm pleased to see you all behaved yourselves and had a good time here, too. Except for that dammed brit cell phone spammer (my spam filter is still broken).

Today is Heavy Labor day at the Castle with the scheduled raising of the Garden Shed of Argghhh! This will require the Armorer to handle pointy-things, so who knows, we might have a bloody appendage picture for you...

Let's move on to something more important... Lizzie's Troop Batteries. Tissue alert.

Buck Sargent on "The Enemy of Good." H/t, Mike D.

Snerk - Jules on The Dowager of Doom - or, as his commenter Rebecca put it - Palestinian Medicare.

Okay, I'm off to annoy the neighbors with my hammer! -the Armorer

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 25, 2006

November 23, 2006

Well, you *can* comment.

And read the comments - but you have to hit the Permalink button at the bottom of the post. It's the pop-up window that's broken.

That is all.

Update by the guy who hasn't been sacked yet.
The pop-up commenty thingy is back working. It ain't as purdy as it once was, but it's functional. I'll get to dressing it up shortly.

Oh, the rememberer thingy that remembers your information is broked right now too but that my bloglets is also in the works.

Fall out, or something.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 23, 2006

November 21, 2006

H&I Fires, 21 Nov 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.

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"Even though the court recognizes that it could have unfortunate consequences, they're saying that Congress controls this area," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond.

I rather daresay *especially* a Republican-controlled Congress, in the opinion of this particular court. I guess they felt they could do that now that the Congress is safely in Democrat hands for the next two years.

Or izzat a libelous and defamatory statement?

To find out just what the heck this is about - go visit Jules and his post, "Free Speech, or a diaper for bloggers?" Hmmmm, do I detect a little MSM condescension there from the Big League Journo regarding us Bush-leaguers? /snark

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For people who like to sue for open records, the ACLU has certainly gotten all interested in their own institutional privacy all of a sudden.

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CAPT H points us to Celestial Junk, who have a collection of videos from Dutch, Canadian, and Brit troops in Afstan. He points you in particular to video number two, apparently because there are some tanks or something in it from some collection of rowdies known as "Straths" and as CAPT H is somewhat inordinately fond of a unit known as Lord Strathcona's Horse, you might begin to understand his desire to pimp 'em... -the Armorer

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I was gonna mention this Navy Tempest, but I think Chap's got it covered pretty well over at Milblogs. -the Armorer

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For those of you who detest Ann Coulter, skip this post. That said, I think this is the Quote of the Week:

"Six imams removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether."

Seems they were also chanting, "Allah! Allah!, Allah!" as they were boarding. Yeah, that would make me feel good as the Captain (as I reached for my FFDO sidearm).

Makes sense to me...heh. -Instapilot
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by Denizens on Nov 21, 2006

November 20, 2006

H&I Fires, 20 Nov 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.

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63 years ago today - if there was any doubt in the mind of the Japanese about US resolve...

Dead US Marines and destroyed equipment on the beach at Tarawa

Tarawa ended it.

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Leaving aside the other aspects of this survey... look who's the weaseliest "journalist". H/t, Mike D.

Snerk! This isn't the post Jules shilled me for - but it's the one I like best: Botchulism.

That oughta get ya started. -the Armorer

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The Smink is getting married! "Sminklemeyer" of In Iraq for 365 is tying the knot. For those of us who followed his stories of Iraq and his struggle with the aftermath, this is a wonderful thing. I'll never forget him talking about how shallow the girls seemed when he got back. Sounds like he found a deep one. Congratulations!!! And do not miss the proprosal story--complete with pictures, of course. - FbL

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Ok, JimB has something in the H&I Fires for 20 NOV 2006 comments that is making me crazy. These people are organizing a GlobalOr&asm. Ok, on the face of this, it sounds good. But no…..it’s a peacenik thing. These people (granolas, as my sister calls them) aren’t going to be happy until normal people have nothing left. No firearms, no smoking, no transfats…….now they want to interfere with my or&asms! I will not think about World Peace and they can’t make me. First off, it’s just silly. An or&asm is explosive thing, not a peaceful meditative thing as Ms. Sheehan states. Second, I can’t think of anything that would kill the deal faster than thinking of a woman named Sheehan. As Bosquisucio says “Sorry folks, but if Mrs. Sheehan is in the middle of that pile, my missiles won’t **er** launch.” Next, if you are achieving this or&asm with the assistance/thought of a man who blows things up, shoots things, drops out of airplanes, chases bad guys across the water with a fast ship it probably negates the whole deal. Like marrying a democrat, you cancel each other out.

So instead, I propose “Or&asm for Victory Day”. On December 22, 2006, when all the smelly, long-haired, rope-smoking, Birkenstock-wearing, moonbats, John Kerry supporting hippies are having their peaceful, blank, meditative state………..I propose that you cause and/or share an or&asm with a sailor, soldier, airmen, marine or veteran of the U.S. Military. Their website focuses on fleet buildup in the Persian Gulf, so please pay special attention to sailors and marines. To be sure that you achieve the best possible or&asm, please practice as much as possible in anticipation of the big day. The organizers believe that their movement can have global consequences. I want global movement, as in earth-shaking!!!! – Princess Crabby.

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by Denizens on Nov 20, 2006

November 19, 2006

H&I Fires, 19 Nov 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.

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SWWBO found something interesting... Fish School!

Jules Crittenden on The Last Man To Die For A Mistake.

At The Torch - Canada looks at its weak-sister NATO allies and tells 'em to Stand Tall.

AFSis introduces you to a Castle-locale hero... Secret Santa, aka Larry Stewart.

Princess Crabby points us to - Mud: A Military History. I was sure Bill was going to be the author. I'm sure he was a major source.

Everybody think positive thoughts for Fuzzybear Lioness. Oh, she's fine, just nervous.

Barb, the Castle Adjutant, got to meet some very interesting people. Four holders of the Medal of Honor.

After a bout of lethargy, Trias has been posting again. His take on the elections is... interesting.

The Grand Poobah of the League of Disgruntled Majors has finished his PCS.

74, is that hoodie really as *pink* as it looks?

The Armorer gives a Laurel, and Hearty Handshake to Snarkatron for this Declaration. If SWWBO and I ruled the Multiverse, it would be so.

The Snarkatron makes another couple of points:

Please take careful notes on how your conservative colleagues are handling the disappointment. No sulking in bed for three days, no demands for Zoloft, no fevered vaporings about emigrating, no wild-eyed claims of massive electoral fraud. This is how grownups behave when things don't go their way. We would like you to give this a try the next time your side loses. (Oh, yes it will.)

Can we, at long last, have you guys publicly admit a) elections work and b) the previous elections were legit? Otherwise you are kinda leaving yourselves wide open to a charge of being stupid in public. Your call.

Wolfwalker makes an *excellent* comment on how lefties *truly* seem to view electoral processes. But you'll have to go here to read the post to see what Wolfwalker had to say (and it's worth the trip).

Cassandra asks: Just what the helk *is* Victory?

Alan took a mug of spiked maple syrup and swilled it while watching the Santa Clause Parade. Santa's still allowed up there? Whodathunk? I'm sure someone was offended!

Oh-oh! Jack is fiddling with the knobs on his blog - and solicits your opinion.

Just in case you actually hang out on Denizen blogs and managed to miss it... Sergeant B has re-enlisted, and can no longer be considered a chickenhawk, but any stretch of a fevered lefty imagination.

Murray, our resident Kiwi, is, well, Murray. Which is a good thing, btw.

Okay, I'm done - you guys can have fun now. -the Armorer.

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Andi first reported this, but Blackfive has all the angles covered. What do a fallen Special Forces soldier, $100,000 and Las Vegas have in common?

An irresistable title: How Very Troll.

And as long as I'm linking Lex, how could you not want to read a post that ends like this? The evisceration is so complete, one must wonder if perhaps he should've been a surgeon.

The reader does not get a firm feeling from Ms. Kakutani’s review what kind of writer John Yoo, a man who spent his career as a lawyer in the arena, might make. He is left however with the certainty that if she had ever wondered to herself, in those heady days of her post-Yale youth, whether to pursue a career of open disputation in the law rather than that of the solitary polemicist’s argument by unsupported assertion, she chose wisely in the end. There’s a place for that sort of thing in the New York Times, but much less room for it in the law.

- FbL

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November 18, 2006

H&I Fires, 18 Nov 2006

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I admit it - I *don't* get this behavior. Whether it's for a PS3 or, well, anything, outside of survival items before a huge natural disaster. And even then it bemuses me.

BillT sent along this recruiting poster - So Simple, Even A Caveman Can Do It.

Good Riddance to the Gingrichites is an interesting read. But I still get struck by this cognitive dissonance when stuff like this slips in from the left:

Politicians in this country get a bad rap. For the most part, they are like any high-achieving group in America, with roughly the same distribution of pathologies and virtues. But the leaders of the GOP House didn't fit the personality profile of American politicians, and they didn't deviate in a good way. It was the Chess Club on steroids.

The iconic figures of this era were Newt Gingrich, Richard Armey and Tom Delay. They were zealous advocates of free markets, low taxes and the pursuit of wealth; they were hawks and often bellicose; they were brutal critics of big government.

Yet none of these guys had success in capitalism. None made any real money before coming to Congress. None of them spent a day in uniform. And they all spent the bulk of their adult careers getting paychecks from the big government they claimed to despise. Two resigned in disgrace.

The Dems are very big on this - when a Rep "resigns in disgrace" it's a Big Deal and Only Right. Yet, when their side gets caught up in the same sorts of problems... well, there is no disgrace, and certainly no shame. Bring me the head of Representative Jefferson, and don't put an impeached-and-convicted bribe-taking judge as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee and we'll talk. Not electing Murtha was a good step, but I still see Gerry Studds is idolized for boinking subordinates, as was the most recent Democrat President, while Dems demanded the resignations from positions of power for Republicans for the same offenses. And the big difference between the two - the Republicans actually do resign, or get forced out, at least when it gets egregious enough. -the Armorer

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BTW - Damian has a fun little bit on Canuckistanian Artillery going on over at his militant Canadian blog, The Torch. Part 1. Part 2. Someone you guys know ghosts in and out. Admittedly, it *is* a touch geeky. -the Armorer

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November 17, 2006

H&I Fires, 17 Nov 2006

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Hundreds of Northwest Arkansas residents gathered at the First Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas, recently to welcome their soldiers home after more than a year of deployment in Iraq. Approximately 150 soldiers with the Arkansas National Guard’s Battery B of the First Battalion, 142nd Fires Brigade marched proudly in formation to the site of the rally amidst a mass of cheering supporters and waving flags. The Northwest Arkansas soldiers initially mobilized on August 3, 2005, and returned to the U.S. via Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on October 31, 2006, where they spent a week going through briefings and processing.

During their mobilization, the battery worked at and eventually closed the Abu Ghraib prison. Their mission responsibility then switched to conducting patrols and providing convoy security in and around Baghdad.

U.S. Representative John Boozman was on hand to greet the troops at the rally, along with Springdale Mayor Jerre Van Hoose and the commander of the 142nd Fires Brigade, Col. Jeff Montgomery.

The Springdale soldiers are the first of Col. Montgomery’s troops to return home from the brigade’s recent flood of mobilizations. His brigade’s Bentonville, Arkansas, unit, which has spent the past year deployed to Kosovo, is anticipated to return before the end of the year, and his Rogers, Arkansas, battery is slated to return from Iraq in early 2007.

In October, approximately 325 142nd soldiers from the Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Siloam Springs, Arkansas, units began their deployment to Kuwait, where they will conduct security operations for the next year. The brigade’s Ozark unit will head to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, soon to prepare for their year in Iraq. With this unit’s move forward, Col. Montgomery will have approximately 800 of his Northwest Arkansas troops mobilized.

In total, the Arkansas National Guard continues to have more than 1,700 soldiers and airmen either mobilized or preparing to mobilize for overseas service. With more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen, the Arkansas Guard has supported the mobilization of more than 8,000 troops since September 11, 2001. Many of these soldiers have served on two or more mobilizations in support of the global war on terror. -Bloodspite

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Amir Taheri on Iran, Iraq and the Democrats. - FbL

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Holly updated her BloggerCars post - and she found some sweeeeeeet cages for SWWBO and I! -the Armorer

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Around here - this comes as no surprise. I'm in the charity business, not just with Project Valour-IT, and this gentleman's conclusions match my experience. Conservatives give more than Liberals to charity. -the Armorer

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You're going to hell, Cassie. Where'd you find that picture of me in high school with my other wrestling buddies? I thought I'd destroyed the negatives! At least you cropped me out... -the Armorer

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Is it wrong that when I read this headline "Kansas man shoots self in groin"... I immediately thought, "Gee. I hope John's alright..
you know, for SWWBO's sake." ~AFSis

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Hey! I only bayonet myself! Geez. Give a guy some credit. Heh. Castle Argghhh!: Still Number One in Google for "I bayoneted myself today" -the Armorer

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November 16, 2006

H&I Fires, 16 Nov 2006

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Penalty for early rising I guess. I get to open the Castle Windows for some brisk winter morning air. Shame to waste good coffee on news that doesn't get the blood flowing, so lets start with something almost "gare-own-teed" to get the blood flowin and the brain working.

How about local news for flavor?

Illegals account for 44% of the Worst Drug Related crimes in Northwest Arkansas, screams the headline. The reaction?

Ever the soldier (He's a US Army Reserve Colonel), Rogers Mayor, Steve "The Colonel" Womack is pushing for a Hazleton style ordinance, as well as ICE Certification and Training for the entire Police Department.

But its a Federal Problem...right Mike? /sarcasm
-BloodSpite

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I *was* going to blog the action San Francisco city government took in banning JROTC. But someone got there "firstest with the mostest" so I'll just carry water for Ken at It Comes In Pints and let him do the snarking. H/t, Cassandra.

Jules Crittenden weighs in on Pelosi-Murtha-Hoyer. H/t, shameless shilling by Jules. -the Armorer

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For once, Murtha is the good news for the day.

And here's your humor: Bloggers and their cars. - FbL

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While I appreciate Holly's work - I submit that vehicle is more suited to Noonan. Everybody knows my tastes run to this or this. Though I'm also partial to this and this. -the Armorer

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Heh. Young pups today got no respect for their elders. Captain Baer, whom I glowingly posted below (and will again tomorrow) just sent me this:

A dribbling stream of Copenhagen on artillerymen. I'm an old paratrooper. Heavy artillery to me is a Ma Deuce and MK-19. Of course, when I had my mech company over here it was nice to have those 25mm Bushmasters. It would take an act of Congress to shoot indirect fire in Baghdad, now the 120mm on an Abrams is a different matter. Those guns will definitely rearrange someones badguy safehouse just the way I like it, brick by brick.

Punk.

And with the upcoming Congress, doubt we'll see any acts, either.-the Armorer

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November 15, 2006

H&I Fires, 15 Nov 2006

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Heh. 15 November already. Where *did* the month go?

The Castle being mercifully free from "Flame Warriors" (the Rulez, doncha know) they are still an entertaining breed. So much so, that a taxonomy has been developed. CAPT H points us to this little amusing endeavour over at Flame Warriors Home. I think I found Princess Maggie...

Chuck Simmins does things so you don't have to...


After the Lancet article and the on-going count at Iraq Body Count, I began to wonder if there was a place where our enemies were being numbered. Being the blood thirsty tool of Bushitler that I am, I set up a page called "Terrorist Death Watch", where I'll try to count their dead.

You can follow the count here.

I gotta run, prepping for briefing Powerpoint Rangering all week... -the Armorer

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Geez, every hack with a computer and a byline thinks they can blog. Jules Crittenden, not content with shamelessly shilling bloggers for links, has fallen into the La Malkin and Instapundit and Huffpo trap and, not being content with sucking away blogreaders with his columns, now wants to suck 'em away from us with his blog! Sheesh. Wotta attention-junkie!

Huh? Link to it? LINK TO IT? Why, so you disloyal weevils will go read it or something? Why would I do that? /snark -the Armorer

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Lex talks about his flights against MIGs and other things that were secret until yesterday. - FbL

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Yeah. What Matt said: A big bowl of dumba$$. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????!!!???! ~AFSis

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November 14, 2006

H&I Fires, 14 Nov 2006

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In all the hubbub of yesterday, I forgot to note this:

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THE SULLIVANS (DDG-68) is named to honor five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who served together on the USS JUNEAU during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George, 28; Francis, 27; Joseph, 24; Madison, 23; and Albert, 20; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members. Surviving the brothers were their parents, Thomas and Alleta, their sister Genevieve, and the youngest brothers wife, Katherine, and their son, James. The family today includes two grandchildren of Albert Sullivan: Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren and John Sullivan.

The the first link is to the webpage of the current USS The Sullivans - this link is to the Navy history site on the brothers. I gotta get to work! -the Armorer

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I am not exactly comfortable posting this story under the Sullivan's story.....but....

"Chinese Sub Came Close To U.S. Ships"

In the blogs and websites I read this has set off a firestorm of demands for more ASW training. I'm not saying it didn't happen. I would never impugn the honor of the Navy.........but could this have been leaked as an opportunity to enhance the Navy's budget. My understanding is that it had been difficult to justify more ASW training money since the end of the Cold War. Ordinarily I would find such subterfuge distasteful. However, a wise man once said to me "I hate corruption, unless I'm part of it.".....Swabbie Doxie

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Horror of horrors! Bullet Found in Doorway. - FbL

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Back in uniform - the "Sgt" in Sgt B is no longer just an honorific. - FbL

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November 13, 2006

H&I Fires, 13 Nov 2006

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Things may flex around at times today, as we continue our twisting and turning and folding, and spindling, and mutilating the blogware and templates. Though most of you don't see them, there *are* a few issues. Not the least of which is Bill can't login anymore!

We've linked to this guy before - but CAPT H just resent the link, and the guy has some new stuff... here's someone who takes his gun owning seriously (but remember folks, there are *laws* you should keep an eye on if you're going to look at this guy's stuff and go, like I do, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...."

Sean of Doc in the Box is a sailor who knows how to make Marines squeal like the girly-men they are...

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I am still the Evil Sean D. that you know and love, I still remember back in the day when Lynn and Diane beat the snot out of me in 6th grade for throwing beetles on them. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. Click on the link to see the video I made of Marines screaming like little girls when a camel spider was dropped in their lap.

Click right here... -the Armorer

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How The Simpsons celebrated Veterans Day. - FbL

Update: More here.

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November 12, 2006

H&I Fires, 12 Nov 2006

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First - we just upgraded to the latest version of Moveable Type. Denizens please check and make sure you can get in. Readers - please report any problems you are having. I know we have some template issues with IE7. I'm hoping that Firefox will now work better for you than it did with the previous installation - a quick test of that is do you now see buttons in the comment template where used to be you didn't... Leave a comment or drop me a note if you are having problems. I won't necessarily be able to fix 'em all, but it's good to know what they are!

Whew! The Valour-IT fundraiser is over. And we made our goal. Thanks again, guys!

The Veteran's Day parade was fun - see post below.

Jules Crittenden is not holding out much hope for how the Dems plan to proceed.

First, let me congratulate my Democratic friends. We’re Euro-stylin’ now! The . . . whatever it is in Iraq . . . is no longer a war, it’s a “problem,” House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi says. Abandonment enthusiast John Murtha, in the running for majority leader, is less ambiguous about it. George Bush “is not going to go on with this war in Iraq.” Murtha wants a Vietnam in Iraq. Chaos and mass murder in Iraq. A victory for terrorism in Iraq. An end of America’s relevance in the world, compliments of Iraq.

I personally think the Dems are going to shed a lot of blood internally on this, but, hey, I'm usually wrong about this stuff. Read the rest of Jule's thoughts here.

I gotta get outta here, I have real pay-the-bills work to do and SWWBO's got a honey-do list, too. -the Armorer

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We're still totaling the donations from non-team and offline donors, but the Valour-IT fundraising competition is over and it looks like it has exceeded expectations again. I'll have much more to say in coming days about the wonderful people involved, but in the meantime... - FbL

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Somebody tell me I'm imagining things, or that I'm just not capable of comprehending "the brilliance of our great leaders." Please. If I understand this, Bush is a bigger fool or more craven devil than any leftist has ever accused him of being. Forgive me for having ever voted for the man. - FbL

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If you need a translation of my temper tantrum above, read this and this.

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FbL...I hope your fears are unfounded and I see a trial balloon being floated.

Let's hope it gets the really, really, really bad press it deserves. I can see the Cox & Forkum cartoon now--Murtha, Pelosi, Scowcroft, and Gates pissing on a mound marked by an M-16 jammed bayonet down in the dirt, a helmet perched on top and a pair of boots at its base...and W off to the side looking the other way...

It's that bad.

Of course, there's a pretty effective MSM out there who will do their best to make the sow's ear look like a silk purse. "Peace in our time!" might work as a buzz phrase. Oh, wait...

Then again, the perfidy may come to pass. If it does, in the long run, Santorum may end up looking like Churchill and Bush like Chamberlain.

Gosh, these Persians are just a pain in the neck...messing with us for more than 25 centuries. Methinks the coming to blows...again...with the descendants of Xerxes and now the "Partisans of Ali" (that's where the word "Shia" comes from) is inevitable. Only this time, it won't be grieves, shields, swords and pikes, but nukes. I say find that friggin' well the 12th Imam is hiding in and make that DMPI #1. -Instapilot

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November 08, 2006

H&I* Fires 8 NOV 2006

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Cliff May got it best, I think, at The Corner:

In a Nutshell [Cliff May]

The Democrats said: “Had enough?”

The Republicans said: “It could be worse!”

The voters said: “Let’s find out.”

Then there's this:

Dem House [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Remember all those claims by Democrats about how awful it was that GOP passed things in Congress with narrow GOP majorities?


From Steny Hoyer this morning: "In fact, as Nancy and I have stated, our intention is to run a more civil institution that is open and transparent, and to seek bipartisan support for our agenda. However, if the other side chooses to obstruct rather than to cooperate, we must be prepared to secure the votes necessary to move our legislative priorities. And, I believe that I have established a strong track record in this regard over the last four years."

-the Armorer

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ABC sNooze just posted a flash -- evidently the SecDef decided the temperature was getting a tad too warm and has left the kitchen. No link yet -- 'twas a live announcement just prior to the POTUS bipartisan pep-talk. -- BillT

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Heh. If he'd done it a month ago, it might have mattered yesterday. -the Armorer

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by Denizens on Nov 08, 2006
» The Thunder Run links with: Rummey Steps Down!
» PC Free Zone links with: It is America That Has Lost

November 07, 2006

H&I* Fires 7 NOV 2006

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'Nuff said.

It's only the most important thing you have to do today. Unless you've done it. Or need to go to the emergency room or something. 'Nuff said. If you want a larger version... click here.

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And as two cats and a hamster anxously await the returns, we are reminded of our press in more simpler times. Wonder if Edward R. Murrow would have pulled it off. - BOQ

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As it looks like the Dems are going to get most of their wish tonight - I predict among the first things out of their mouths will be words to the effect: "The people have spoken, we expect our Republican colleagues will roll over and do what we want." No, those won't be the words, but that will be the expectation.

I expect the Republicans will actually, especially in the Senate, do in fact, mostly that. T'was ever thus, seemingly. Ah well, I didn't want to Republicans to win, I wanted the Dems to lose. The Republicans, frankly, don't deserve to win. And if they get truly spanked today (the jury is out as I type this) I hope the long knives come out and the leadership in both the House and Senate are relegated to junior committee positions. They have failed utterly to lead, and delivered us to committee chairmen straight from the 60's. Sheesh.

Alan, and Jack, and Owen are probably already jotting down their list of how much of my money I'm not deserving of, how much choice they will remove of my health care options, and who knows what they're plotting about the basement. Which is odd, since two of them live in Canada.

And Owen will be starting the redeployment from Iraq tomorrow - in which we destroy all our equipment in place, so we can't go adventuring any more, unless the UN says so, *and* gives us permission to buy some stuff with which to go adventuring. But only under UN command - none of that American's in charge stuff anymore.

Hopefully when I wake up in the morning, I'll be so wrong that I'm embarrassed and erase this.

But I don't think I will. -the Armorer

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» Mitch Lewis links with: That I will Support and Defend

November 06, 2006

H&I* Fires 6 NOV 2006

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I am well aware that most of us that crosses the portcullis (yes – they are shiny Ry) at Castle Argghhh, do not need any reminder; but to follow-up on S4UBO’s post this morning you may wanna vote Democrat if you do not mind THIS or THAT happy prospects.

Oh, and since Christmas is fast approaching, it’s nice to cuddle-up to some CHARLIE BROWN cheer. “The Moon Deity is Great” - BOQ

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SangerM on why you should vote tomorrow.

Orson Scott Card, author (Ender's Game) and Democrat - on why you shouldn't vote Democrat tomorrow... -the Armorer

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Senator Kerry - there's stupid, and then there's Army Stupid... H/t, Point Five (the originator) and Blue Star Chronicles (who sent me the link)!! -the Armorer

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One of the more satisfying moments of Saddam's trial (besides the verdict, of course).

The co-editor of American Prospect sets the stage for illegitimacy:

[U]nless there are levels of theft and fraud that would truly mean the end of American democracy, a Democratic House seems as close to a sure thing as we ever get in American politics three days before an election.
Of course, if it's not a sure thing after all, we'll all know what really happened. Hint: it wasn't that people actually voted for Republicans.

- FbL

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by Denizens on Nov 06, 2006
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Army Stupid
» Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated links with: Army Stupid
» The Steeljaw Scribe links with: Vote -- But Don't Forget Valour-IT

November 05, 2006

Posted without comment.

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by John on Nov 05, 2006
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

November 04, 2006

H&I* Fires 4 NOV 2006

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Is the void of silence darkening your spirit? Does your local fish wrapper, makes you want to throw your chesterfield out the window? We may also feel down, for our losses close to home; or just plain frustrated at the lack of compassion of our fellow brethren.

It is in times like these that, we have to remind ourselves to relearn to laugh like BABIES.

Charles Osgood reminds us that: Babies are pure potential. You pick up a little baby and… you feel that you’re holding the future of the earth and sky. All of it, everything is brand new again. Babies help us to put the changing world into perspective. For changing the world has to wait when it’s time to change a baby. - BOQ

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Gotta like this. Mother Sheehan goes to a ditch outside of Crawford, Texas, to express her opinions on the war. These Gold Star parents go to... Iraq.

Heh. The Junior Senator from Massachusetts... the Unaplogizer Strikes!

If you do the Caption Contest thing - try the Right Place's weekly event.

JTG sends us to Jerry Pournelle. I admit, Jerry lays out all my problems with invading Iraq. And therein lies the crux of the sparring between Ry and I, and his buddy Barnett. I'm still not convinced that GloboCop is a role we'll ever play well. GloboSWAT, yes. Cop, no. That said, I'm not a cut-and-runner in Iraq. I believe we must truly expend the effort to finish what we started. -the Armorer

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Hugh Hewitt looks at the elections through the lense of Kerry's remarks, but not quite as you'd expect. Very interesting analysis.

Christopher Hitchens also draws some wider conclusions about things brought to the surface by Kerry's remarks. - FbL

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So, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE and Saudi Arabia seek atom technology, reads the sub-lede. And they'll do it with engineers and scientists trained in Western or Eastern Universitys, using technology mostly purchased or copied from western and eastern equipment.

And, for most of them, do it with money that comes from a single-engine economy... oil.

How sad is this? Bad enough we put the effort into things like this that we do - but we at least have the surplus to do it. Heh. This is far more about regime preservation than anything else. Feh. If I were you guys, I'd spend the money building something a touch more productive than nukes. -the Armorer

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» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Kerry Flip Flops On Appology

November 03, 2006

H&I* Fires 3 NOV 2006

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It's good to vote Democratic! Terrorists say so! It makes them *proud* people want to vote for Democrats. Note Democrats - you should vote your conscience, and not really let these hosers [edited due to sensitive Canuckistanian objections that spanned the ideological divide] respected representatives of well-intentioned progressive splodey-dope organizations *drive* your vote - but you should certainly ask yourself what it is about these guys and your party that makes them say these things... and ask yourself if that's truly a good thing. -the Armorer

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Denizen Ry reminded us earlier this week to Wear Red in support of the Canadian Troops in Afghanistan. The Armorer chose not go full-bore (because I've only got one red shirt, and it's a Rotary shirt) so I'm wearing this - which, down here, will more likely get noticed, anyway.

Canadian Year of the Veteran pin
-the Armorer

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Ooorah, Mr. Griffin.
Thanks for putting Jon Carrey in his proper place... the bottom of the food chain. ~AFSis

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It's about time someone started taking this Blogwar seriously! Geez, buncha lamers who hardly defend themselves. I finally got Cassie's attention! -the Armorer

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SWWBO takes on Lewis Diuguid, local lefty columnist. Of course, it's probably not Lewis' fault that he thinks the way he does, and espouses lots and lots of state intervention in everything... his last name is pronounced "do-good" and he's just taken it to heart. -the Armorer

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November 02, 2006

H&I* Fires 2 NOV 2006

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Embracing your inner Klingon. Speaking of that, back in the day, a different organization embraced *their* inner Klingon..

The Catholic Church didn't always duck the issue of pedophile priests - at least not back in the day...

"A cleric or monk who seduces youths or young boys or is found kissing or in any other impure situations is to be publicly flogged and lose his tonsure. When his hair has been shorn, his face is to be foully besmeared with spit and he is to be bound in iron chains. For six months he will languish in prison-like confinement and on three days of each week shall fast on barley bread in the evening. After this he will spend another six months under the custodial care of a spiritual elder, remaining in a segregated cell, giving himself to manual work and prayer, subject to vigils and prayers. He may go for walks but always under the custodial care of two spiritual brethren, and he shall never again associate with youths in private conversation nor in counseling them."

--Rule for the Benedictine Monastery of Compludo (11th century)

Go visit Fumare and see how it could have been... worse. H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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New Toys for Redlegs! Whee! 2/11th FA fields the new M777. H/t, Bernd.

So, Kerry apologizes... sorta, but not really. I think his inner child was speaking when he, erm, mis-spoke.

From the Washington Times:  "No matter whose idea it was for Mr. Kerry to retreat [from the hustings], said one delighted Republican on Capitol Hill, "He's cutting and running from the campaign trail, after learning he was for his comments before he was against them." Oh, and the apology? The typical drivel I expect from the Junior Senator from Massachusetts - "I'm sorry you dolts were too stupid to get me." -the Armorer

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Ralph Peters on Iraq in USAT. Food for thought. I've got to admit, Maliki's knuckling to al-Sadr certainly makes things look like Ralph describes. Sigh.

Hope is dwindling

Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise. Even six months ago, there was hope. Now the chances for a democratic, unified Iraq are dwindling fast. The country's prime minister has thrown in his lot with al-Sadr, our mortal enemy. He has his eye on the future, and he's betting that we won't last. The police are less accountable than they were under Saddam. Our extensive investment in Iraqi law enforcement only produced death squads. Government ministers loot the country to strengthen their own factions. Even Iraq's elections — a worthy experiment — further divided Iraq along confessional and ethnic lines. Iraq still exists on the maps, but in reality it's gone. Only a military coup — which might come in the next few years — could hold the artificial country together.

-the Armorer

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You have no idea how hard it was to keep Jean Fraud out of the post below. But Sergeant Lindsey deserved better. -the Armorer

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Jay Leno on the elections: "Halloween is the scariest day of the year – unless you’re a Republican, then it’s next Tuesday." H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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OK. Political Correctness has just gone WAY too far when a police chief can be forced to resign after issuing a memo encouraging his officers to get in shape by asking them "Are You A Jelly Belly?", and ESPNU football announcer Brian Kinchen gets suspended for saying "that's kinda gay" after saying that receivers needed tender hands to caress the ball.

WTF? This world is just WAY to sensitive for me these days. Grow up and grow a set. JEEZ. ~AFSis

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Given my relative lack of interest in fish - this is one thing you can't blame on me! -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Nov 02, 2006
» Flopping Aces links with: Winning In Iraq

November 01, 2006

H&I* Fires 1 NOV 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...

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RightWingNews surveyed right wing bloggers on the upcoming elections. I participated, and judging from the results... I'm, um, not mainstream. We'll see who's a better prognosticator (if previous results are a guess, notme) on November 8th. I gotta scoot - meeting! -the Armorer

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It isn't a Fisking so much as a "this-guy-deserves-to-be-pounded-into-the-pavement" kinda post...so VDH does exactly that. While you feel you should avert your eyes, you can't resist...read the whole thing. -Instapilot

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The troops answer Kerry. - FbL

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Greetings Castle Clan - For all trackheads out there, I just came across this review of The T-90 vs. The M1A1. Now, if I only knew some ruskie...

Oh - And while you're at it: Why don't you come a wee bit closer and slip me some tongue. BOQ (The Silent One)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Nov 01, 2006

October 31, 2006

H&I* Fires 31 OCT 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...

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Dean over at Dean's World has an interesting post about George W Bush and his politics. (So what exactly is a centrist then, Dean?)

I may not be Canadian, but I'm going to Wear Red this Friday.
ry
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Bad day for a terrorist:

"If I saw somebody in front of me so I put one or two hands on my sexual organ; if there was nobody in front of me and I heard people speaking or laughing behind me I put my hands on my buttocks,” related the terror leader.

Read the whole thing at Tim Blair's place. H/t, CAPT H.

Over at Op-For, Noonan joins with Noah Schachtman of Defense Tech and Matt of Blackfive to... face NPR. With surprising results! -the Armorer

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Apparently John Kerry's old habits die hard. Still, unbelievable! - FbL

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For those of you getting updates on new opportunities in the military, don't get overly excited about the announcements of new openings in the Air Farce's "enlisted aviator career fields." Nope -- stick-wiggling is *not* involved, they're just looking for Loadmasters, Aerial Gunners (they resurrecting the YB-40, mebbe?) and -- *huge grin* -- Flight Attendants.

Sorry, but the site link is restricted to dot-mil access. I guess they're afraid of being deluged with Denizennes in micro-minis claiming to know how to operate both M2s and $500K coffee-makers... -- BillT

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There are almost as many reasons for supporting Valour-IT as there are people who do. Here are two great stories about why people are donating to help wounded soldiers receive voice-activated laptops: a philosopher and an outraged citizen of Massachusetts. - FbL

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With regards to Senator John "Neeeeeewop-Nim-Bim-Lim-Bim-Wim-Bim-Ftang-Ftang-Biscuit-Barrel" Kerry (Silly Party), can anybody tell me what on earth Teresa sees in that guy? I guess sometimes love is blind. And deaf. And dumb.

P.S. BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!
P.P.S. Thanks, John! -Instapilot

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Oct 31, 2006
» MitchLewis.net links with: A Military Funeral

October 30, 2006

H&I* Fires 30 OCT 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...

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A Canadian soldier wounded in a Sept. 4 friendly fire incident in Afghanistan was anxious to return to duty. He got his wish on Sunday as he landed at the Kandahar airfield.

Good on Major Sprague. Let's hope the CAS issues have been worked out. H/t, CAPT H.

If you're hoping for something other than Speaker Pelosi, let's hope Scott Elliot's crystal ball is accurate.

Just in time for Halloween - The Carnival of the Recipes, Halloween Edition!

This, from The Torch, is priceless:

With a few fights under your belt you can sometimes get cocky, and think you can do more then you really should. In Hyderabad I was rounding a corner at the front of our stack figuring we'd cleared lots of compounds this one is no different---where there shoulda been 1 room and a hall, there were about 8 rooms and fire everywhere coming in. BACK DA FOOK UP, have a kit kat moment and evaluate things. It is a very liberating experience not having safety staff behind you monitoring every move.

Snerk. A kit-kat moment. Read the rest here. -the Armorer

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Something to warm thethe hearts of all you Auld Pharts out there: Seventy-year-old soldier takes on four muggers. - FbL

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I should resist this - but I won't.

A three year old was examining his testicles while he was getting a bath.

"Mom," he asked, "are these my brains?"

Mother replied: "Not yet."

H/t, Rich B. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows »

by Denizens on Oct 30, 2006

October 29, 2006

H&I* Fires 29 OCT 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...

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Ry's post on immigration has a pretty good discussion going in the comments, if you aren't keeping up.

My post on the intel community also has some good stuff in the comments.

Over at the Boston Herald,