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February 19, 2005

I'm outta here for the day!

SWWBO only having gotten home last night, and departing again tomorrow (trading Bangor, Maine last week for Orlando, Florida next week - can you spell system shock? - I knew you could) we're off to goof off and do a little shopping today.

If the kum-by-yah-fest in Dusty's posts is over, I'll leave you with this picture to play with for captioning purposes...

And, as a warning to those of you *who take advantage* of the Armorer and Mistress' absence to run amok... the ROE for the CAFQRF* (pronounced Caff-kwirf) is: Use of Deadly Force is authorized, in fact, encouraged. Of course, them being cats, that's how they operate anyway. No point in giving orders you know won't be obeyed. This way perhaps, they won't play with you as much before dispatching you to whatever hell your worldview provides for.

Don't believe me? Here's a video of a recent training session, taken by SangerM. Locking the doors will not help - and the Dimension Door is keyed to the Armorer's and Mistress' brainwaves. No, you can't just upload your own...

Right-click and save as. Disregard the date... they've never mastered changing that on the camera.

You were warned. Like that's going to help...

But they're waiting. Got some new kit they want to test...

Hey, they just got done reading Thucydides and are really into Corinthian at the moment.

Oh, and I just had to add this. Oh For Pity's Sake - just HOW FRICKING DENSE CAN YOU BE to turn this into something political. Geebus. No wonder they're angry in the Great White North.

*Castle Argghhh Feline Quick Reaction Force.

by John on Feb 19, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Conservative Life - General Politics links with: Conservative Life Caption Contest #15

You youngsters take heed.

A wealthy old lady decides to go on a photo safari in Africa, taking her faithful aged poodle named Cuddles, along for the company.

One day the poodle starts chasing butterflies and before long, Cuddles discovers that she's lost. Wandering about, she notices a leopard heading rapidly in her direction with the intention of having lunch.

The old poodle thinks, "Oh, oh! I'm in deep doo-doo now!" Noticing some bones on the ground close by, she immediately settles down to chew on the bones with her back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the old poodle exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard! I wonder if there are any more around here?"

Hearing this, the young leopard halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. "Whew!", says the leopard, "That was close! That old poodle nearly had me!"

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So off he goes, but the old poodle sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up. The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard.

The young leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here, monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!"

Now, the old poodle sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks, "What am I going to do now?", but instead of running, the dog sits down with her back to her attackers, pretending she hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old poodle says: "Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

Moral of this story...
Don't mess with old farts...age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill! Bullshit and brilliance only come with age and experience!

by John on Feb 19, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Docs.Rage.Net links with: Docs.Rage.NET: /faq/sri-lanka-faq

A little news from Iraq

From an email:

This is an extract from a communication (today) from Lt Col Smith, the commander of my son’s unit. It’s a little longer than my other occasional snippets, but you’ll see that it is worth it. The zone he refers to is 30 miles south of Bagdad and includes what is called the Triangle of Death. Mahmudiyah is one of the towns in their area of operation.

...And, by the way, on this operation we assigned our Iraqi Army counterparts, for the first time, their own search sector. Marines from the Civil Action Platoon from Co E acted from overwatch only. And, if I might, the Iraqi Army performed magnificently! They found several caches of insurgent/terrorist weaponry, and they moved and acted like professional soldiers from start to finish. Yes, they are inching ever closer to the day that THEY WILL operate without US Forces, and will crush those who oppose law and order.

There is no doubt the tables have turned against the insurgents in our zone!
The atmospherics we get from the people are SIGNIFICANTLY different than
when we first arrived. They talk of fighting back against the insurgents. They talk openly of their respect for us and their gratitude at our assistance. They are far less afraid to be seen talking and cooperating with us. They are growing… … …

… … … While on this patrol, they were approached by a local who told them of a shooting a couple of blocks away. The local explained that armed men pulled up in a couple of cars, sprayed another car with machine gun fire, kidnapped the male driver, left the female driver for dead, and then placed a bomb in the trunk. Now, immediately, the Marines of Co E knew this was a standard tactic of our enemy who knows no limit to his cowardice. They approached the scene cautiously and established a safe cordon around the vehicle. From the cordon, the squad's US Navy Corpsman, through long range observation, saw what he believed to be bubbles forming in the blood underneath the nose of the supposed dead female. "Doc" made the decision that she was still alive. With that information, the Doc and the Squad Leader moved forward, extricated the female, and were approximately 30 meters away when the car detonated in a huge fireball of death and destruction. This entire episode was captured by one of the Marines on video and is as dramatic as any Hollywood scene you have ever viewed. Now, we can debate the smartness of their actions all we want, but what I ultimately know is this: this Marine and Sailor COMPLETELY AND
UTTERLY DISREGARDED THEIR OWN SAFETY TO SAVE THE LIFE OF AN INNOCENT IRAQI WHO HAD BEEN GUNNED DOWN IN COLD BLOOD, IN BROAD DAYLIGHT ON A BUSY STREET! Now unfortunately, the women later died at the Mahmudiyah Hospital. But know this, the Iraqi crowd that had gathered to witness this whole event, well, they cheered. No, check that, they celebrated in the Arab way of near hysteria for the heroic actions of the Doc and the Marine. They saw once again what AMERICANS are all about. And, I have no doubt, once again, they have learned. They have learned for future actions. They have learned evil and terror can be fought. They have learned that there is a heavy price, BUT GOOD ALWAYS TRIUMPHS OVER EVIL!!!!! (Now this video should be released soon, and if it does not make the major media outlets, well, then something is wrong! But if it does not, we will show it to you all upon our return.) It is heroism in action, and just another day at the office for the Mad
Ghosts of 2/24.

February 18, 2005

Trick Question...

Tonight I was doing my wife a favor: renewing her Virginia nursing license via their website. They asked for lots of stuff (it's a new system that needs its databse populated) degree was awarded, special certifications, etc., etc.

One dropdown menu was for "Sex." Fair the hospitals I've been in lately, it's seems almost a 50/50 split. The choices kinda threw me, though.




"yes" or "no" or even "occasionally" I can see.

But. Other?


Don't try this at home...

This is a little something I sent to Blogfather earlier today, reacting to his comments on the Summers Show Trial--you know, the one where the Harvard president has his entrails removed and displayed as a trophy, Hannibal Lecter-like, by the PC crowd.

Anyway, here's the post. presented in its entirety. This may be a suicidal act, I dunno; depends on how SWWBO, AFSister, and other fellow travelers react...


I thought your female scientist's post, well, sad.

She's right...with diversity, no matter how hard they try, the legacy population can't help but think, "OK, why was he/she hired, for competence or correctness?" When an incident similar to the Summers kerfuffle occurs, the innocents are usually well within the frag pattern of the PC bomb that detonates in the public consciousness.

That said, the hazards can be quite a bit more significant outside academe. There have been female pilots whose grade books were pencil whipped just to get them out of training and into the field. They are now dead, killed in training accidents that damn near everyone saw coming. People will deny that vehemently, but it's true. And before you wave the BS flag over what you may view as an overgeneralization, I will be the first to admit that most female flyers are equal to their male peers...but had some of the dead ones been males, we would have never let them get as far as they did. Social engineering has a price that's never paid by the engineers. So far, society is willing to pay it.


Just sayin'

This is your collection. (The Arsenal at Castle Argghhh!)

This is your collection on a budget. (The basement at Outpost Neffi)

This is your collection on steroids. (Springfield Arsenal)

Click on the first and third pictures to take virtual tours of the Arsenal at Castle Argghhh! and the Springfield Armory museum.

by John on Feb 18, 2005 | Gun Pics

Let's get started...

First off, for those who care (SGT B?) - She Who Will Be Obeyed!'s Carnival of the Recipes is up at Inside Allan's Mind! Check her sidebar for links to all the previous Carnivals.

Just to give a flavor - some of my faves from this Carnival:

Spam Pie!

Grandpa's Scalloped Potatos!


Homemade Boudin!

Go check out alla that good stuff - and say thank-you to Allan for putting it together this week!

Moving On...

While there is much to discuss (although from positions of ignorance, on both sides of the question) regarding the fate of the Captain of the USS San Francisco (see posts below) it does appear that Cricket, at least, is not fond of how we military types go about our business. She's a member of the military family, she's certainly entitled to her opinion. But, in an attempt to help her (and you, gentle reader) to understand whereat the Warrior Class stands, Bill the Rotorhead thoughtfully provided the following video - shown to all officers at their Basic Course, and all NCOs at their Basic Course... on proper military counseling.

"Footlocker Counseling - it's important! TRADOC Joint Training Film 13-69" We should note, this is a *joint* effort.

We recommend you right-click and "Save As" - it's quicker!

Frequent commenter and Castle Chick Zoomie-Sib provided this for today... and while she notes *her* name isn't Melissa, I'm suspicious that the two males named herein probably started out with two *different* names...

Two couples were playing poker one evening. John accidentally dropped some cards on the floor. When he bent down under the table to pick them up, he noticed Bill's wife Melissa wasn't wearing any underwear under her dress! Shocked by this, John upon trying to sit back up again, hit his head on the table and emerged red-faced. Later, John went to the kitchen to get some refreshments.

Bill's wife followed and asked, "Did you see anything that you liked under there?" Surprised by her boldness, John courageously admitted that, well indeed he did. She said, " Well, you can have it but it will cost you $500." After taking a minute or two to assess the financial and moral costs of this offer, John confirms that he is interested. She tells him that since her husband Bill works Friday afternoons and John doesn't, John should be at her house around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

When Friday rolled around, John showed up at Bill's house at 2 p.m. sharp and after paying Melissa the agreed sum of $500 they went to the bedroom and closed their transaction, as agreed. John quickly dressed and left.

As usual, Bill came home from work at 6 p.m. and upon entering the house, asked his wife abruptly. "Did John come by the house this afternoon?"

With a lump in her throat Melissa answered "Why yes, he did stop by for a few minutes this afternoon." Her heart nearly skipped a beat when her husband curtly asked, "And did he give you $500?" In terror she assumed that somehow he had found out and after mustering her best poker face, replied, "Well, yes, in fact he did give me $500." Bill, with a satisfied look on his face, surprised his wife by saying, "Good, I was hoping he did. John came by the office this morning and borrowed $500 from me. He promised me he'd stop by our house this afternoon on his way home and pay me back."

Now THAT, my friends, is a poker player!

February 17, 2005


Once upon a time there was a female brain cell which by mistake happened to end up in a man's head. She looked around nervously but it was all empty and quiet. "Hello?" she cried, but no answer.

"Is there anyone here?" she cried a little louder, but still no answer.

Now the female brain cell started to feel alone and scared and yelled at the top of her voice, "HELLO, IS THERE ANYONE HERE?" Then she heard a very faint voice from far, far away.......................

"We're down here!"

Hat tip Rich B!

Oh heck, Rich sent us two good ones.

Sheriff's Car

The Kern County, California, Sheriff's Department orders plain white patrol units and has the graphics applied locally. In this case, what they ordered was not quite what they got.

This car was driven for 1 week before an officer noticed what the graphics company employee did on the passenger side of the car. The employee did this on his last day working for the graphics company before he retired.

I used to be a cop, I have a Masters in the subject, and I like cops - but I *love* this! I dunno if it's real, or Photoshop... but I like it.

News you can use. The Anti-Baldwin

Denzel Washington on occasion will make political pronouncements that make me wince, but not often. And even if he was the Moonbat Baldwin or Streisand are, I'd forgive much for this.

Danzel Washington was visiting BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio) the other day. This is where soldiers that have been evac'd from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States. They have buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a hotel that soldier's families can stay at, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base, but as you can imagine, they are almost filled to the brim most of the time. While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He got his check book out and wrote a check out for the full amount right there on the spot. The soldiers overseas were amazed to hear this story and want to get the word out to the American public, because it warmed their hearts to hear it.

As is my habit with things like this, I checked Snopes, where they have more on the story. Mebbe I'll go watch Glory again...

Fun with photoshop

Mike D sends along this one:

Then there's this one...

"I knew I shoulda taken that left at the 21st Century!"


"Use the Force, Luke!" he said. "Use the Force..." I'll f*cking use the Force next time I see that little green dangling-from-Cthulu's-nostril booger-looking b*st*rd!"

That last pic is really a masterful job. I only wish...

by John on Feb 17, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» The Jawa Report links with: X-Wing Fighter Lands On Jimmy Carter
» Milblog links with: Pic 1 is funny.

February 16, 2005

Something Positive

A husband and wife are getting ready for bed. The wife is standing in front of a full-length mirror taking a hard look at herself. "You know, dear," she says, "I look in the mirror, and I see an old woman. My face is all wrinkled, my hair is grey, my shoulders are hunched over, I've got fat legs, and my arms are all flabby." She turns to her husband and says, "Tell me something positive to make me feel better about myself."

He studies hard for a moment thinking about it and then says in a soft, thoughtful voice, "Well, there's nothing wrong with your eyesight."

Services for the husband will be held Saturday morning at 10:30 at Fort Leavenworth's Memorial Chapel.

A fight with a cannon - The USS San Francisco grounding.

I asked the submariners I know visit the Castle to come comment on the my post regarding the USS Jimmy Carter. The responses thus far have been interesting, but I am most interested in the post over at Unconsidered Trifles. Not because he discusses the USS Jimmy Carter, which he does, and not favorably from a naming perspective, but rather for his Update to the post, in which he discusses the apparent fate of CDR Mooney, Captain of the USS San Francisco when she ran aground. Apparently things are not going well for the Commander.

At Unconsidered Trifles, the Submariner notes (emphasis in original)

But, look it, before this investigation we all agreed that it would be precipitous and arrogant to assume wrongdoing on the part of the Captain or crew without having all the facts. So why can't we extend the same open-mindedness to the head of the investigation, Vice Adm. Greenert, Commander of the 7th Fleet? That's all I'm asking.

I am not competent to judge. What I've had to say on the subject was covered in this post on the subject. I said in my close:

Update II: Rumblings among the submariners is that CDR Mooney's future may not be all that bright... and there is some discontent in the ranks over what is seen is a hazard of navigation being treated as a failure in command. I'm not fit to judge, so I won't, and we'll see what we see and hear what we hear. We certainly don't have the whole story yet.

All of this brings to mind a story, illustrative of Command and Duty, and Responsibility. I've posted it in it's entirety in the Flash Traffic/Extended Post. Before you make up your mind - I invite you to read one of my favorite war stories - A Fight With A Cannon, by Victor Hugo. Remember, in some ways, the rules are different for the people who go down to the sea in ships. Read this before you judge. Then feel free to offer your thoughts. It's long for a blogpost - but worth the effort if you want to look into the mind military.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Department of Cluelessness

As a Hollywood Journalist conflates the controversy over Eason Jordan's remarks about the US military targeting journalists with the controversy over Chris Rock's remarks regarding the upcoming Oscar fest (which, like the Grammy, I ain't watching).

Really, Mr Richmond - you don't really see a difference?

t isn't easy being the token liberal voice of reason, particularly now that the United States appears to be turning into a second-grade classroom. If you use a naughty word or subscribe to any line of thinking that isn't in the nation's accepted curriculum, you get sent to the principal's office for a good, long lecture.

I actually agree with the second-grade classroom analogy... I just think the piece falls apart from there due to an "unfortunate miscalculation of scale."

CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan discovered this the hard way when he was reprimanded -- and ultimately privately pressured to resign -- for comments made Jan. 27 in Switzerland regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq and his purported implication that American troops had purposely targeted them. The 23-year CNN veteran was roasted on conservative blogs and finally abruptly stepped down Friday.

Chris Rock knows how Jordan feels. He has been having fun taking shots at the Academy Awards and its status as an untouchable pillar of entertainment culture. But he should know that this is no time to speak freely. Those days are history. Sticks and stones no longer are required to inflict pain everywhere you turn.

No Rock doesn't. He's a comedian, and he's playing it for all he can get. He's not going to lose work over it. Mr Jordan already has.

And you're right, Mr Richmond - firing Rock from the gig probably is a bad idea - if the Academy didn't know what they were buying when they hired him... the hirer should be fired.

And as for "particularly in an age when speaking one's mind can be hazardous to one's career health" - sorry dude, Eason Jordan was speaking professionally, in an official capacity, and in a fashion that properly called into question his fitness for the job. He earned his firing.

[shakes Etch-a-Sketch]

In a completely unrelated, post-saving fashion...


A prediction.

The Corner at National Review Online is buzzing with jokes about the commissioning of the USS Jimmy Carter today on the 19th. (Just scroll up and down from the link)

In my duty as Jonah's Military Guy, I sent this observation:

If I was selected for command of a submarine, I wouldn’t care if it was named the USS Clinton, and tied up to the sub-tender USS Lewinsky for servicing. Commands like that go to very, very few people. If I’ve got to suffer rabbit jokes, so be it.

Prediction – absent mechanical problems – the USS Jimmy Carter will be *The Best* submarine in the Navy, precisely because of the jokes.


The Donovan, yer Military Guy.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Perhaps the Bubblehead sailors at The Stupid Shall Be Punished and Unconsidered Trifleswill weigh in, so to speak.

Ahhhh, scored the Corner! Good. Like to keep my cred up!

Update: Go check out Speed Of Thought's linkfest on the subject. That's where Eaglespeak will find his "vile calumny" that he tries to smear *us* with!

by John on Feb 16, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» EagleSpeak links with: Oh, the horror!
» Speed of Thought... links with: A Peanut Powered Sub?

Aircraft Carrier Contest Poll

The Select Nominating Committee Neffi, drafted for snarking, narrowed the field to the following four choices. To refresh yourself on the picture and the choices (so that you can heap abuse on Neffi if you don't like his choices), go here.

The polls are closed. We have a Weener!

New item. It's recently been The Amazing New Social Life of the Master and Mistress of Castle Argghhh! Two weeks ago, we met Tammi in Orlando for dinner. Last week, we met a frequent commenter of Beth's for dinner on Friday, then Rammer and Punctilious of Blog o'Ram, and Jay Manifold, a local KC blogger from A Voyage to Arcturus on Saturday. Now that Venomous Kate literally lives just down the road, we'll meet the Venomous Family at the High Noon Saloon sometime soon.

Anyway, while destroying our hearts eating fatty fried foods at Stroud's (north of the river) last week, Jay asked us all a buncha blog questions - what was our favorite thing we'd done, best post, all the usual stuff. Jay relayed a post he'd done that I found fascinating, so instead of another caption contest, I'm gonna have ya put on your thinking caps.

Imagine, if you will (cue Twilight Zone Music) that you have a time machine. You can go back in time and bring back an artifact, or group of artifacts. You can't bring back people, you can't interact with people. You can only go back and forth once. What do you bring back? I'm interested in seeing how this group differs from Jay's readership - believe me, we have different audiences!

So let loose.

Update: So, like what part of "Let loose" was confusing? I mean, like, you guys are all over commenting about me stabbing myself, but we can't spare some brain cells for this? Whassupwitdat? Bill and I are kinda lonely here. I mean, I like him and all - but not *that* much!

Baby Pictures!

I had an email exchange with Neffi yesterday, inspired by the Mulligan Day post.

Just co-inky-dink, I guess, but today I received in the mail a pair of checkered walnut grips for the Sig (replacing the too-slick plastic originals). So MD is off to a good start... better get some pork chops on the way home!

He then sent me a picture of his new baby. Which gave me an idea. Baby Pictures! Mebbe a monthly thing, where you guys send me pictures of your babies and we here at the Castle post 'em? Along with any good stories if you have 'em. If you have ugly babies, they can be anonymous - ugly in the sense that you don't want your friends and neighbors to know you have, well, y'know, guns. Of course, people like that likely don't visit here much. We can also elide s/n's from the picture for those of you who have concerns about that. And perhaps Neffi will provide pics of his MP40 other than that teaser he sent a while ago...

Anyway - to initiate the process - here's a picture of Neffi's baby, a SIG P232.

A slightly higher-res picture is available here.

Given the Armorer's tastes, this is about the only way newer civilian weapons are going to find their way onto these pages...! So - let's see if there's any interest... and remember, you don't *have* to have a digital camera - Wal Mart and other places will take your film and give you digital photos back.

For a review of the SIG by shooters, see Les Jones' post on the pistol.

Update: While my intent was to do a large post, once a month or so, the Airborne Combat Engineers jumps on the bandwagon early - but he makes a good point - if you blog, post it yourself and send me the link if you'd like.

Really like the Carnival of the Recipes... in this case, the Carnival of the Toys. Not that it's *ever* going to be as big as SWWBO's COTR!

by John on Feb 16, 2005 | Gun Pics
» Airborne Combat Engineer links with: Cute little baby handgun
» Airborne Combat Engineer links with: ACE's "baby"

Bad Days.

Yesterday, SWWBO and I both had Bad Days. Bad Days in ways that are completely typical for the respective individuals.

You can read about SWWBO's here. Hey, she posted it! It's not like I'm talking out of school or something.

Anyway - she calls last night to chastise me for not answering my email. (That's related to her Bad Day) We get off the phone, and I go back to what I was doing, which was maintenance.

To shorten a short story further, I bayoneted myself yesterday. Yep. At least Dad got to shoot the guy who bayoneted him. That just would have made things more annoying in my case.

Dang. That hurts.

Bled like a stuck pig, too. Now I know, on several levels, what that means.

Anyway, there I was getting ready to clean up a Czech Vz24 Mauser. The thing's long enough without the attached bayonet, so off comes the John-sticker. Part of maintenance is bayonet maintenance, so I try to pull off the scabbard to check the blade. This is a nice, Predzuce 44 bayonet with a VERY SHARP TIP. And it's always had a sticky scabbard - which I may now look into more closely.

Anyway, sitting there, rifle all properly cleared and resting on the table, I'm trying to get the scabbard off (yes, bayonet-geeks, the blade was inserted properly - this is a spring problem) - while at the same time not wanting to suddenly have the blade clear, with my hands suddenly flying left and right - to knock down the rifles stacked there waiting their turn for the Armorer's attention.

Which means I'm putting a good effort into pulling apart - while at the same time holding together... which sets me up for my magical moment.

The scabbard gremlin - sensing victory - lets go, hoping for a game of 'pick-up-sticks-with-rifles' when I foil his evil plan. The counter-tension I've got going works, and nary a rifle is disturbed. The bayonet however...

It goes.

Not far. Only about, oh, an 8th of an inch too far, plunging the point into the knuckle of my right index finger. Who'da thunk that particular body part was so well supplied with blood? *I* certainly didn't!

This morning, it's a little, tiny dink. Hurts like hell though, since apparently it wasn't my Herculean effort at stopping the bayonet that worked... it was the bone inside the damn knuckle.


Still - I'd rather bayonet myself than have to admit that I sent some sappy love note to someone else's spouse... especially after having busted MY spouse for not responding to it... hee hee hee.

And, a Bad Day bayoneting yourself while cleaning your collection is better than being a liberal twisty-pants all wrought up over the fact that someone, somewhere, *didn't* have an abortion yesterday...

February 15, 2005


Hugh Hewitt on the CNN scandal...

"Three of the folks who put together Easongate --Bill Roggio of The Fourth Rail, Chester of the Adventures of Chester, and Blackfive-- are veterans, and they were ticked off. It is one thing for civilian supporters of the military to take exception to Jordan's double slander, but I doubt these men would have flagged in their efforts to get the tape released and reviewed, or have halted their research into Jordan's past statements like the slander in Portugal. Chester was himself a member of the forces that swept into Iraq and brought an end to the dictatorship and is still there fighting the insurgency. In a very real way he was fighting for the reputation of his friends and his own reputation. Either Jordan or CNN must have figured out this one wasn't going to blow over."

My take...

The irony here is that if Jordan as a "journalist" himself had been caught in the middle of a firefight in Baghdad, I would bet a month's pay Bill, Chester and Matt would have been equally willing to mount a rescue, without even thinking about it.

I would, because it's the right thing to do. This is a novel concept among today's post-Modernist Left, I think.

Granted, Jordan may have been a boon to his captors had he been snatched by the al Zarqawi crowd, as a willing chronicler of their, um, "position on the issues," but you can't assume that.

So, you hang your ass out to cover a non-combatant and, frankly, don't think about his're worried most about his longevity.

Would I expect him to change his views, or express sincere thanks. Change of view--doubtful; a "thank-you"--50/50 and probably qualified ("What took you so long?") but, again, irrelevant.

It's this dismissive contempt and wholly baseless charge that probably steams these guys more than anything--the conduct and motivation of Americans committed to a cause at the risk of their lives...the risk that their wives and children may very well become widows and never seen in its true light. Instead, the Jordans of this world attribute to them the very behavior and worldview these men are desperately (and often thanklessly) fighting to erase.


Mulligan Day!

Spread the Word!

I want to wish everyone a happy and fruitful Mulligan Day. As I am sure you all know, today is the fourth anniversary of Mulligan Day, the world's newest holiday (founded February 15, 2001) as a day to revel in our manhood, be cleansed of past transgressions and return the holiday balance to its natural order.

For the uninitiated, Mulligan Day is the natural antithesis to Valentines Day. Whereas Valentines day is a fabricated holiday catering to women, Mulligan Day was established strictly for men. Here is an excerpt from our original charter:

Mulligan Day will henceforth and for eternity fall on the day after Valentines Day. It is the day in which men are forgiven at least one major sin against womankind and are allowed, as in golf, a do-over i.e. a mulligan. This could range from forgiveness for forgetting a birthday or anniversary to getting drunk and making out with her best friend, or as far as the woman would be willing to forgive.

As on Valentines Day, on Mulligan Day men will receive gifts worthy of the male ethos. While women receive flowers and candy on their day, e.g. Valentines Day, men on the high holy day of Mulligan shall receive beer or liquor and some sort of meat product such as steak or pork chops. Other gifts may include sporting goods, firearms, auto accessories, armored vehicles/warplanes/naval vessels, tools or any other like offerings that appeal to the male nature. In addition, and of utmost sanctity, on Mulligan Day men will be excused from any badgering from women and will have all needs catered to him.

In that spirit then, let me be the first to convey my hopes that you will enjoy your alcohol and meat products and have a happy and fruitful Mulligan Day!

Please help spread the word on Mulligan Day and pass this on to anyone who needs it.

I can just hear the whining from the estrogen-soaked Greek Chorus... "OH PUH-LEEZE, Men act like Every Day is Mulligan Day!"

by John on Feb 15, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Bunker Mulligan links with: In My Honor...

Random Targets

Having just sent off the renewal form and fee for my FFL, I was reminded of one of several reasons I started blogging. To show 'normals' (those of you who don't have basements like mine) that you could be an amasser of guns and not be a raving lunatic or moody loner about to explode.

The first things I put on Fototime was jpg's of the slides I used for presentations on collecting to Rotary and other organizations like that.

Wherein I asked the question: Who lives next to you? This guy, or this guy? And tried to offer some clues as to how to tell the difference. I've been collecting pictures for a while now, and people have started sending me stuff - and I got this one recently. A different form of nut who may live next door to you - a perfectly normal neighbor during the week, but one of them "Re-enactors" on the weekend.

That's right - your next door neighbor could be any one of these guys!

These people arguably take their hobbies even more seriously than I do - especially the guys who try to accurately portray late war Southern soldiery... or the really bizarre ones who practice bloating so they can play good corpses... or even frequent commenter Monteith, and his vehicle collection, which finds itself being used in re-enacting.

A hi-res is here.

Paradigm shifts.

Jeff Quinton at Backcountry Conservative has a post up about the possiblity (it's really a marketing ploy by the locals and their Congressman) of bringing the 1st Foot or the 1st Tank to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, when the divisions are returned to the US from Germany. As an alum of both divisions I have a passing interest. Fort Jackson being one of the few major Army installations I've never been to, I gotta wonder - does it have the maneuver space, range infrastructure and environmental resilience to support high-density mech unit training? Perhaps the Heartless Libertarian, currently commanding a company at Fort Jackson, and who had a good gun day will follow his trackback and enlighten us...? While you are there, you should scroll down a post and read his latest on little guys fighting to keep their property from being taken from them by government and given to developers - a personal sore point of mine, given the behavior of the Wyandotte County executive here in the KC area for the NASCAR racetrack.

Getting back on point - Fort Jackson certainly seems to be close to the other requisite infrastructure - especially rail and seaport for the heavy vehicles of the divisions, and with sufficient total ramp space and turn time (i.e., ability to handle transport aircraft in enough numbers to move the troops quickly in reasonable numbers) to make it a better choice than the large installations in the interior of the nation, like Fort Riley or Fort Carson. Closer to sea ports is a Good Thing for the heavy divisions.

Continuing the theme of paradigm shifts, now seems a good time to post a link to an article about a briefing on 4th Generation Warfare that CAPT H passed along a while ago.

Then - the briefing itself. The Instapilot should approve, being a Boyd fan. I've had discussions with the authors and posted an earlier version of the brief here. This is the kinda stuff I get to fiddle with and test for a living, at the moment, though not this particular bit in any direct sense.

Take a look - tell us what you think. I mean come on, 1400 or so of you a day, 15 regular commenters. Surely some of the rest of you have *something* to share?

Perhaps the Instapilot has thoughts about this: Fighter Pilots - be afraid, be very afraid. And who is driving the demise of manned fighters? Tanks? Artillery? Those bleeping Crunchies! Hat tip to Strategy Page for the last.

February 14, 2005

Say a Prayer for Tony

Shocking news...(thanks to K-J at The Corner).

I give Markos Zuniga 24 hours to come up with a "Screw Him" line of some sort (the Left likes to see their detractors disappear, permanently)...The Daily Kos never fails to disappoint.


We needa pic!

And I've been collecting pictures of re-enactors working their avocation. Sadly, I don't know who took the pictures - if you do, please lemme know.

Nice shot of a gun crew working their Napoleon 12-pounder at an Antietam re-enactment.

Hi-res version available here.

I really like being able to get pictures with high resolution - because good photo editing software (and it doesn't have to be Photoshop-expensive, either - Paint Shop Pro works just fine) lets you zoom in and dig around. So you can produce things like this study of the crew.

Of course - there is one thing I always note about re-enactments... no one has *quite* the tension and twitchyness I recall from combat... except perhaps infantry about to charge artillery and the infantry aren't too confident that the rules are understood and the actions have been rehearsed by the appropriate people... the gunners!

by John on Feb 14, 2005 | Artillery

Abu Ghraib.

The wheels of justice grind slowly on.

I've still not seen enough on the damage taken by more senior people, and, because it will most likely be handled as 'personnel matters,' protected from FOIA requests, we'll only be able to infer it from the *lack* of subsequent careers.

Of course, scantily-clad female interrogators are a far more interesting story - I'm guessing now-Private Davis will miss being rubbed up against by scantily clad women for the next six months, and now-Private Krol for ten.

I'm still looking for officer hides. The following info is from he article linked above, which is on the Army's public website - just thought you should know that. Added emphasis is mine.

Compared with former Spc. Charles Graner Jr.'s defense during his court-martial at Fort Hood in January (that military intelligence was in charge and responsible), Davis' contention was the environment and atmosphere at the prison contributed to his actions.

Former Army Sgt. Kenneth Davis described Abu Ghraib to Bergrin and the panel, saying, "It was hell on earth."

One defense witness, Maj. David DiNenna, operations officer, 11th MP Brigade, who was stationed at Abu Ghraib from July 2003 to February 2004 said, "The conditions there (Abu Ghraib) were deplorable. It was always challenging."

Bergrin also had two expert witnesses, one an expert on the various forces and influences leading to violence, testify about what transpired at Abu Ghraib after reviewing official reports.

"Iraqis showed ingratitude while American Soldiers were sacrificing their lives, this devalued the lives of the Iraqi prisoners," Dr. Ervin Staub, professor of Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said.

Both experts cited a famous Stanford study from the 1970s and drew parallels between that study and how the lawlessness and horrendous conditions at Abu Ghraib set up the potential for prisoner abuse by Soldiers as the atmosphere deteriorated sociologically and psychologically.

"The environment was a kind of anything goes attitude,"

Staub said. "Supervision is crucial in this environment. Rules don't mean very much if you don't enforce them.

"There was tremendous social disorganization at Abu Ghraib," Dr. Stjepan Mestrovic, functional sociologist, professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University. "According to the reports, MI was not sure what MPs could do and vice versa."

Davis made an un-sworn statement before the panel. He described Abu Ghraib as something akin to the "Mad Max" movie come to life.

"There were more detainees than MPs," Davis said. "We were trying to help people and they're trying to kill us.

All the above still leaves me asking the question - when is the *leadership* of the 11th MP Brigade (and higher, if need be) going to be called to public account - not just as witnesses... but sitting in the dock, to defend their actions (more importantly, their lack thereof?)

Of course, we have to recognize that what seems obvious in reportage is not the same thing as sufficient to prosecute. And that a prosecution that ended in acquittal would possibly be more damaging in the battle of opinion than seemingly doing nothing.

But it's frustrating to not see any rank above Sergeant going through this process.

'Bout time.

Someone finally listened to Chris and I. Yes, I'm sure it was us. Yep. Well, us and about a gazillion others. But hey... I guess it has yet to be designed by the Institute of Heraldry - and it's a badge, not a medal - but that level of accuracy is a lot to expect of the New York Times headline writer. The author got it right.

New York Times February 13, 2005

Army Creates Medal For Troops Who Come Under Fire

By Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 - Army troops assigned to combat units that come under fire will be eligible for a new badge that recognizes their efforts separately from ribbons for all who serve in Iraq or Afghanistan or who support the Pentagon's antiterrorism missions based in the United States, a senior Army official said Saturday.

The new award, called the Close Combat Badge, was unveiled to a private conference of four-star generals convened in Washington this weekend by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, the senior official said.

Army and Pentagon officials discussed the badge on the condition that they not be identified by name.

The badge was requested by field commanders and reflects their desire to distinguish the efforts of soldiers whose units are "organized to routinely conduct close combat operations and engage in direct combat," the Army official said.

Previous decisions that created ribbons to honor military efforts in the Bush administration's global campaign against terrorism have been harshly criticized by members of Congress, veterans and even some current service members.

The Army officer said on Saturday that the new badge was, at least in part, meant to answer some of those concerns.

The first military honor created after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was called the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and frustrated some in uniform who wanted ribbons that were awarded for specific deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Some leading members of Congress, in fact, accused the Bush administration of creating one generic medal to ensure that the effort to topple Saddam Hussein of Iraq would be viewed as part of the larger antiterror campaign. That effort began with the war to unseat the Taliban government in Afghanistan and rout leaders of Al Qaeda there.

Last May, legislation creating separate campaign honors for Iraq and for Afghanistan was approved by Congress, but even the new ribbons did not differentiate between front-line combat troops and those assigned to support missions.

"The previous ribbons are awarded for service - for just being physically in the theater of operations," said a Pentagon official. "There is a ribbon now for being in Afghanistan or Iraq, and also a ribbon awarded for those based in the United States who support the mission."

In contrast, the Close Combat Badge "will be presented only to eligible soldiers who are personally present and under fire while engaged in active ground combat," the Army official said.

It will not be given to members of support units attacked while performing their missions, even though supply convoys have been a regular target of the insurgency in Iraq.

In particular, the badge will be for soldiers who serve with armored, cavalry, combat engineering and field artillery units at the brigade size or smaller that come under attack and "close with and destroy the enemy with direct fires," the Army official said.

While the Army has the authority to approve and issue the badge on its own, senior Army officers were notifying members of Congress on Saturday of the decision to issue the award to combat troops.

Strategy Page has a little more light to shed on the subject.

February 13, 2005

Sigh. It's Early, I'm crabby...

...and I run across *this* in my email. It's a comment to a post I made on SWWBO's blog.

Although your story is both unbelievable and hillarious, threatening to kick your cats "ass" was revolting. Animal Abuse in neither a humorous or light-hearted issue, it is a serious problem facing our society. You should be ashamed of yourself even if your threat was empty. I have nothing but true sorrow for your cat because he must be miserable living in constant fear of being abused.

posted by Jared on February 13, 2005 01:10 AM


1. The story is completely true. 2. I'm staff, you too-tightly-wound, humorless busybody.

I told him in a generally testy but mostly polite email response that if he thought that post was a horror, he should come visit here.

I wonder what he'll make of this? (Pic taken for an upcoming post - while I was being supervised by... Hal.

I gotta get SWWBO to the airport.

Okay. I got her there. On her way to Bangor, Maine. Now I can stock up for the party while she's gone...

Oh, I guess I should identify the thing in the picture that isn't a cat - that's a canadian farming tool adopted by Canadian Vickers gunners (and officially adopted) for clearing brush for fields of fire, position enhancement, etc.

Two more things. I was sent this picture and asked to help identify the vessel

Problem is, I don't see any ship in the picture.

Lastly, Dean (not Esmay) sent me this picture, with the note that I probably don't have one. Dean's correct. I don't. Once the artillery gets to that size, I prefer it to have a prime mover and mount that isn't me.

I can only imagine what this thing weighs, how much kick there is to handle, and how hard it is on the guys to the left and the right with that pepperpot muzzle porting.

Upon a good look at the photo, I see that it apparently comes from Airborne Combat Engineer - so I wandered over there and took a look - and while the ACE needs to get more easily searchable (dude!), I googled his post on the pistol. The Armorer will pass on this cannon. Besides, it's too new.

Okay, just to save on posts, I'm gonna keep using this one today.

I'm a little late with this one, but the retired Submariner at Unconsidered Trifles is keeping an eye on Academic Moonbats. You may have already visited via Michelle Malkin - if not, go take a gander.

Frequent commenter and Kitty Korrupter Dbie sends along this note:

It was a tanker's dream; an engineer's paradise. It was: FALLUJAH! Check out this video by Red Six & crew. I think you'll enjoy it! Dbie

She's right. Though I'm not sure it was a Tanker's Dream... it was an Engineer's Paradise ! Great job by Red Six and crew!

UPDATE: And the link is fixed! (Don't leave out those http://'s campers. Confuses the html-gnomes!)

Watt K. pointed out this little video that will make the Instapilot all twitchy with envy, as this guy slips the surly bonds of earth to dance the sky on laughter-silvered wings...

Available via the RENSSELAER AERONAUTICAL FEDERATION download webpage.

*However* - this Hog Video will cause the Instapilot to suffer a 'wardrobe malfunction.'

Lastly (for the moment, 'til the mood seizes me again) - we aren't quite ready for automatically controlled, pilot-free passenger aircraft.

Ooo! Ooo! As pointed out by CAPT H, Kate at Small Dead Animals directs us to a website where the UN is trying to enhance their image...

by John on Feb 13, 2005 | Pugnacious Stupidity
» Cowboy Blob links with: Who Are These Guys?

Regarding Jeremiah...

See "Heh," below - about "pussified" soldiers, and another post last week, I don't even remember that one - but it's the one where I confessed I collected dolls?

Yep. I do. Of men in skirts, too.

And for those of you are are trying to read what's in that very tiny sliver of the Library At The Arsenal - here, try this one, it's easier to read.

I like G-Scale trains, too - especially the narrow gauge working trains in 1:20.3.

Nope, good luck trying to figure out most of the titles on that wall of the Library. This doesn't even touch on the heart of the Library - the History and Sci-Fi/Fantasy section, which is contained in the Annex off from the Arsenal, in the Donjon.