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May 21, 2005

Okay - today is get SWWBO to London day...

...so things will prolly be slow.

1. Bacevich's book. Thumbnail review (much more to follow): The New American Militarism is ALL YOUR FAULT, Jane and Joe Sixpack, for not being willing to live the life of a monk. It's a little more complicated than that - but, distilled, y'all are just too damn stupid to cut back on consumption, and you punish anyone who suggests that you do so - so, all the military adventurism of the last 40 years is laid squarely at your feet. More on that later. Despite what I just typed, I actually agree with much of what he writes. Amazing how two people can look at the same data, but draw different conclusions based on personal bias.

2. Neffi sent a picture. Since I posted pics of what Neffi considers a 'holder' (see bottom of post immediately below) he decided to send along pics of his collection of what I consider to be impedimenta... purty tho.

Mmmmm. Corsair!

MMMMMmmmm, Bofors! *Aerial* Bofors!

Best yet - Airborne Artillery!

Yes, ladles and germs, the last two are looking at the *inside* of an AC-130 Gunship.

And, in a vaguely naughty-looking pic, here's a Gatling on a gunship - from the outside.

Oh, what the heck. One more. For Commander Salamander, regarding his interest in channeling Admiral Yamamoto on BRAC...

Mmmm - Faux Long Lances hanging under faux-Kates.

And lastly, why do we do this? Because we can, of course. Simply because we can...

Gotta love an Air Show!

(N.B. Once you are at my photo-host, click on the picture in the center labeled "Krufflevapen" and then look on the left sidebar to navigate to the Air Show folder).

May 20, 2005

Potpourri

Cassandra is going to take a short blog break. I wondered if this wasn't on the horizon - given the quantity (high) and quality (higher) of her output of late. It's obvious that her brain has been in overdrive... and most of us blog as an avocation and a release, not a vocation and a job... meaning that it can consume you if you let it. Those of you who don't blog may not understand the effort it takes sometimes to put together a post. Think back to high school and college... and churning out a one page paper or term paper almost daily - but you also have a job and are still playing football, and there's that baby, and... you know what I mean. That's why sometimes here all you get are pictures on weekends. Looks like Cassie needs a break - no worries, woman, you write way to well to lose your readership! I once thought this place was going to be like Cassie's place... but then I discovered I don't write that well, have a really tin political ear, and people really would rather I post Gun Pr0n.

SWWBO's Carnival of the Recipes #40 is up over at Curmudgeonry!

Blackfive has a request for those of you who are GWOT veterans who are children of Vietnam Vets. Damn! I retired a year too early!


Joe Katzman of Winds of Change sent an email with a link showing that soldiers really *are* childish... if not in the way that Indymedia would have you believe.

Dave Kopel, posting on Volokh's site, offers an analysis of Florida's new Home Defense law - wording unimaginable in England... which is where, oddly enough, the legal concept of a man's home is his castle originated.

A snippet:

So Florida-style self-defense rights may be coming to your state soon. Opponents of the law have made dire predictions about turning Florida into “the Wild West.” Similar predictions were made about the Shall Issue law, and those predictions did not come true. If you read the actual text of the Florida law, it becomes clear that the new law simply codifies common-sense principles of self-defense, including the principle that violent criminals, not innocent victims, should be the ones at risk during a violent crime.

Let’s start with the Preamble:

WHEREAS, the Legislature finds that it is proper for law-abiding people to protect themselves, their families, and others from intruders and attackers without fear of prosecution or civil action for acting in defense of themselves and others, and
WHEREAS, the castle doctrine is a common-law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a person's home is his or her castle, and
WHEREAS, Section 8 of Article I of the State Constitution guarantees the right of the people to bear arms in defense of themselves, and
WHEREAS, the persons residing in or visiting this state have a right to expect to remain unmolested within their homes or vehicles, and
WHEREAS, no person or victim of crime should be required to surrender his or her personal safety to a criminal, nor should a person or victim be required to needlessly retreat in the face of intrusion or attack, NOW, THEREFORE,
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

Few people could disagree with the statements in the Preamble, which simply affirm existing rights, including the rights of innocent people not to be attacked.

Hat tip to Ry for pointing it out.

I think I'll send this to my local state representative. She's a Democrat, and I doubt I'll get anything more than a polite acknowledgment (she's not a gun grabbing Dem and was preferable to her opponent on a range of other issues) and I know without asking that Governor Sebelius would veto - but what the heck, I like this law. My state Senator might be a little more receptive.

Commander Salamander asks if this what a Castle Argghhh! estate sale would look like. Short answer - no. Too much civilian stuff in this collection - but I have plenty of years left (fingers crossed) to catch up in raw numbers...

Dave, at Heartless Libertarian, points out the Army is buying some new Gun Trucks for convoy escort and EOD duty. He also has a post where he mirrors my feelings about the Republicans in the Senate not having the gumption to stand and fight, but in fact, pander. He also has a post on a day I remember well, being a geology student and all.

AFSis weighs in on the rider on the 2006 Defense Authorization Bill to dramatically rescope the role of women soldiers in combat zones. Personally, I don't think the bill will survive as written - but talking about it will keep it in the news and put pressure on the politicos - for whichever view you take. I, personally, do not care for the provisions of the bill. As a retired combat arms soldier who commanded women (admittedly not in combat) I am perfectly comfortable with the status quo.

Would all you dishonest bassids busy spreading around the pirated copies of the flipping Sith movie take a break? The 'net is damn slow today because of you weasels.

Last, but not least - for JTG, a gratuitous gun pic - of a linen cartridge (here's another view) that is sitting in the breech of a French Chassepot needle gun.


BG(ret) Wass de Czege was rebutted...

Ry - in his comments to the original post (link below), anticipates this rebuttal.

This appeared in Army Magazine, the house organ of AUSA, the Association of the United States Army. I think it's well argued, and supportable - and leans toward some of my predjudices. This weekend, I'll finish up my thoughts on The New American Militarism by Andy Bacevich. If you haven't read Wass de Czege's piece - go here.

KOSOVO AND LANDPOWER We are responding to "The Continuing Necessity of Ground Combat in Modern War" by Brig. Gen. Huba Wass de Czege, U.S. Army retired, ("Front & Center," September) because it implies that the 1999 Kosovo crisis might have been solved with relative ease had land forces been committed. We see several problems with his arguments.

Gen. Wass de Czege is on the mark with his articulate defense of landpower's criticality. Air and land forces operating together have tremendous synergy. Land forces control terrain, force the enemy to respond to their maneuver and can fix the enemy while the weapons of land and air forces pummel him. Kosovo clearly showed what happens in the absence of AirLand synergy. With no credible threat of attack by land forces, Serb forces in Kosovo could disperse and hide from NATO's air forces. The outcome, as top U.S. Air Force commanders foresaw, was little damage done to Serb field forces inside Kosovo. In the future, we should not make an opponent's job this easy. If there is a choice, we should not use airpower alone and give the enemy the opportunity to optimize his response to a one-dimensional threat. Ideally, air and land forces should be used together to present the enemy with a Hobson's choice: disperse and hide from air forces but expose himself to attack by ground forces, or form a coherent defense against land forces but provide good targets for air and other fires.

These are valid points for the advocates of landpower to make and valid criticisms that can be made regarding the conduct of operations during Operation Allied Force in 1999. Wass de Czege, however, undercuts his own arguments in three important areas because he fails to take into account the reality of Serb forces in Kosovo, speculates about why Milosevic ended the conflict and ignores the political realities in NATO that provided the context for the conflict.

The rest is below the fold, in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

May 19, 2005

Yay!

Former Castle Afghan Correspondent MSG Keith is back on the ground in the US, at Fort Benning.

Welcome home, soldier!

Well done!


...Ciggy makes an *excellent* point! Party Thread!

Why We Need Soldiers and Marines.

I've finished The New American Militarism by Andrew Bacevich, and am working my way through how to review it in blog-form. The article I'm posting here hits upon one of Bacevich's points of contention in his book, so I'm going to toss it up for background for you guys.

This is an interesting article by BG(R) Huba Wass de Czege. This soldier is one of the Army's 'brain trust' of intellectuals who has been involved since the beginning of trying to shape the Army's Transformation - he's not a 'yes man' by any definition of term I'm aware of. This appeared in Army Magazine, the house organ of AUSA, the Association of the United States Army.

Important note - this article appeared in September, 2000. Read it in light of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom... While I think subsequent events have largely proved this correct... I think BG Wass de Czege was a little too dismissive of irregular forces... as subsequent events have shown. Tomorrow, I'll post a rebuttal (not by me, by other guys) that I think is pretty good, too. That way those of you who have thoughts on the subject can toss 'em out there.



The Continuing Necessity of Ground Combat in Modern War
By Brigadier General Huba Wass de Czege, US Army Retired

In most of what we hear and read, about future military capabilities and requirements, the talk is about information age automation assisted lethality -- precision engagement; lethal and precise air, artillery, missile and naval gun delivered firepower; automated sensor to shooter linkages; precision targeting; distributed warfare; net centric warfare and so on. There is little appreciation for "boots on the ground"-what soldiers and marines in infantry squads and fighting vehicle crews add to modern warfare. And as a consequence we attempt to make a virtue of a transitional necessity and there is little impetus to restore balance to our military capabilities.

Nothing is more terrifying than the prospect of close combat on the ground in any age. No wonder man has always wanted to avoid it. Some think that maybe in our age we can. Information age advances will multiply the ability of future forces to concentrate the effects of very precise and lethal firepower well beyond our imagination today. In a future crisis requiring military intervention it is conceivable that the combined precision fires of distant and widely dispersed air craft, ships, missiles and long range ground artillery could be orchestrated to arrive on all of the key targets of a large enemy formation or functional grouping at once or within a very few minutes. The damage to the enemy and the shock effect of such action could be devastating. If this will be possible, why would we need soldiers and marines to engage in close combat in the future?

The leaders of the Atlantic Alliance chose not to commit ground forces to the Kosovo campaign. They equated close combat with high casualties and unacceptable levels of collateral damage. The memories in many European families are still clear on the consequences of war. It is natural that they should try to avoid casualties. This article is not a critique of their decision. Nor is this a critique of the senior military leadership in that conflict. But, we should be careful to draw the right conclusions about recent events in Serbia and Kosovo.

While senior soldiers and marines would argue that ground operations are still important, there is also a growing belief amongst them that soldiers and marines can fight at arms length - remaining beyond the practical limits of the enemy's direct fire weapons to avoid unnecessary casualties. This article is a critique of their thinking. It is also a critique of the logic of those who believe that the "revolution in military affairs" has advanced to the point that warfare can be conducted without a ground component.

There are three basic questions that need answering. First, is actual ground combat still a necessary feature of modern warfare? And if so, why can't it be conducted at arms length. And third, will ground operations lead to more casualties and greater battle damage to civilian infrastructures than an air campaign? To answer the first two questions it is important to understand some very basic fundamentals of war itself and their continuing validity. To answer the last question one has to look closely at the modern character of war.

The rest is below the fold, in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

On Assignment to a higher staff.

Word! I don't know LTC Eden, but I know what he works on, as I help do some of the analysis. Truth is, however, this is ageless. Germanicus had to deal with same carp when he was trying to deal with Arminius after Varus' debacle in the Teutoburger Forest.

Some gems to whet your appetite - and which are now on my cubicle wall:

Competence, substance, even coherence fade in importance against the ability to brief smoothly -- not to mention that the language of higher headquarters reduces the strain of original thought and all but eliminates the need for critical analysis...

I'm guessing LTC Eden already has his retirement papers in and a job lined up.

"Okay, let's talk turkey. Your life from here on in revolves around briefing slides -- preparing them, staffing them, reworking them and, someday, if you're good enough, presenting them. How good you make them depends on verbiage, so let's cover a few of the basics...

What They Don't Teach You at Leavenworth By Lt. Col. Steven Eden

"Welcome, soldier, to the world of higher headquarters. Finding it a bit confusing, a little intimidating? Afraid that you can't pull your weight in the unfamiliar environment of conferences, working groups, process action teams and other various 'ad-hocracies' that make the Army run? Don't feel bad, newbie, I've been there. After years enjoying the simple, Spartan pleasures of troop units, we all end up here. It's tough, but the secret is learning the language. If you can learn the lingo well enough to employ it in your PowerPoint slides, you'll find that everything else becomes easy. Competence, substance, even coherence fade in importance against the ability to brief smoothly -- not to mention that the language of higher headquarters reduces the strain of original thought and all but eliminates the need for critical analysis.

"First, though, let me see that rucksack. Here, get rid of those counseling forms -- you're not a captain anymore, for crying out loud; what do you need regular, written counseling for? Nobody outside your immediate circle of friends is going to know what the hell you do anyway. And these staff manuals, you ask? Dump 'em, soldier. There are no operation orders above the division level and certainly none in TDA-land. You may have needed them to move that tank company of yours around, but mammoth major commands with hundreds of moving parts can get by on e-mails and PowerPoint. Hmmm, picture of your kids ... better keep that. Holy cow, what is this? A calendar? Typical rookie mistake. You think life was unpredictable in your old battalion? As Dr. Claus said, you have no idea.

"Okay, let's talk turkey. Your life from here on in revolves around briefing slides -- preparing them, staffing them, reworking them and, someday, if you're good enough, presenting them. How good you make them depends on verbiage, so let's cover a few of the basics.

The rest is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

May 18, 2005

Caption Contest! And other fun...

Item the First:

C'mon Denizens (and lurkers) this is a theme you can run with!

Get creative!

But I should note, the Master of Castle Argghhh! *has* hair, just in case you were thinking...

Item the 2nd: Just in case you hadn't seen this via Instapundit and elsewhere... NATO in Action! Hat tip to CAPT H and Rich B (I don't read the Insta-man, he stubbornly refuses to link, even to quality stuff! Sniff!)

Item the Third, a Joke!

A man and a woman, who had never met before, found themselves assigned to the same sleeping room on a transcontinental train.

Though initially embarrassed and uneasy over sharing a room, the two were tired and fell asleep quickly, he in the upper bunk and she in the lower.

At around 1:00 in the morning, he leaned over and gently woke the woman saying, "Ma'am, I'm sorry to bother you, but would you be willing to reach into the closet to get me a second blanket? I'm awfully cold."

"I have a better idea," she replied. Just for tonight, let's pretend that we're married."

"Wow! That's a great idea," he exclaimed..

"Good," she replied. "Get your own damned blanket!"

After a moment of silence, he farted.

That is all. Back on your heads.

by John on May 18, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Brain Shavings links with: Spoof of "Kokomo"

Cannoneer Zen

JTG - here's a picture of a Rodman without capsquares... in service! You can see that they just sat in the carriage. For you normals, a 'capsquare' is a a piece of metal that clamps over the trunnion of a cannon to keep it in place in the cradle. A trunnion is the projection on the side of the cannon that rests in cut-outs in the cradle, and the cradle, or carriage as appropriate, is the what the cannon mounts to... oh never mind!

Here's a picture of a cannon with a capsquare!

In this case, a Dahlgren in a naval mount.

by John on May 18, 2005 | Artillery

May 17, 2005

Whatizit?

Here's an interesting little spud. Anybody know what it is?

UPDATE: New commenter (may be a long time lurker) Sean has narrowed it down to what I'm accepting as a working hypothesis for the gun itself - an Oerlikon M23 20mm - in this particular case, a Finnish gun. Now to see if we can take that info and find something about the gun in the configuration in the picture - and what *looks* to be a Brit manning it.


UPDATE 2: Bingo! He shoots, he scores! Using the data than Sean ferreted out, I found this:

The Oerlikon 1 Pdr. anti-tank gun was mounted on leaf sprung tracks in British service in order to be towed behind Carden Loyd T.9 tracked carriers and Mk.I Universal carriers. The weapon was withdrawn from active duty in 1938 when the 2 Pdr. became available. It was again issued to some Home Guard units during 1940 in preperation for the German invasion that never came. It also served as a anti-tank gunnery range trainer throughout the war. The weapon had no shield fitted.

No pic provided... I'm still looking for that!

UPDATE 3: And Sanger (of course, his *pride* gets wrapped up in beating me to things like this... 8^D) has scored a picture.

Well, I was right about the airplane, that took about an hour. Obviously too many aviation geeks 'round here. That must be a record for the other... pretty much 24 hours. I finally found a challenge worthy of the crowd!

I figure the a/c grognards will figure this one out in moments...

TINS! A contest...

Okay, I've provided some radio (and intercom) calls directed at me (or about me, which is worse) during the course of some fairly lively flying. Here's the deal: pick a quote and the one garnering the most votes becomes the subject of the next TINS.

One quote, one vote, and no fair sneaking in under different loginids (good thing Dbie the AFSister is still in Mickey World -- I've totally lost track of how many different personae she is these days). And, there's still time to blow her thread right through into last week, gang -- she won't be back 'til Wednesday!

All right, then. There should be somethin' or other down there to appeal to just about everybody...

1. “Ooops!” [#1] -- from a gunship, two seconds after his rocket hit the (flooded) paddy I was just about to land in. Right underneath me. Instant concussive waterfall.

2. “Holy sh*t! They said Charlie didn’t have any flak down here! One-Five, are any of you guys still alive in there?”

3. “Ooops!” [#2] -- from a different gunship, one nanosecond before my crewchief screamed that a rocket had just passed between our right skid and the belly of the aircraft.

4. “Hey, One-Five, you look like Niagara Falls. I thought those fuel cells were supposed to be self-sealing.”

5. “Aaaaah! One-Five’s dead!” -- from my copilot, right after I took a direct hit in the chicken plate that slammed me flailing off the controls while we were at flat pitch in an LZ. I thought I was dead and his squeak didn’t do anything to lessen my depression.

6. “Sir? The world’s biggest tracer just came offa Nui Coto an’ -- geez, it’s following us!” -- my introduction to the game of helicopter vs. heat-seeking missile. I won. Barely.

7. “Chalk Four, you’ve still got a tailboom. Couldn’t say for how much longer, though.”

8. “The SEALs are ready for pickup, sir. Along with about a platoon of VC on the other side of the treeline they’re in.”

9. “Sector TOC wants you to check out a possible 37mm site west of Nui Hon Soc. The others they sent there never called in.”

10. “Hey, One-Five -- uhh, ya do know yer on fire, don’t ya?”

Heh. The polls are open...

by CW4BillT on May 17, 2005 | This is no Sh*t!

May 16, 2005

TRADOC Reorg

First - since this is a long boring text post talking about the re-organization of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command, here's something for Just This Guy - a 3 Inch Anti-tank Gun in the collection of the National Infantry Museum, Fort Benning (that's an M1 155mm Long Tom in the background).


I finally found the details that LongTabSigO was referring to in his posts on the reorg of TRADOC. While Sanger doesn't get his dream of TRADOC going 'poof' this *does* represent a huge shift in outlook if it holds up through the BRAC process. Looks like all we get here at Leavenworth are more prisoners and guards.

For those of you with a long enough memory - the FA/ADA merger is 'deja vu all over again'...

But essentially merging the Infantry and Armor schools represents an enormous paradigm shift, and will prove an interesting cultural move. These mergers, if done correctly, are also going to render a lot of senior people redundant - which will make Jim Dunnigan happy, though the impact on careers and career patterns has potential to be intriguing. (Dunnigan is just going to make many of us Warrants...) The next question will be... can they merge the branches... I can hear the grunts and tankers falling away in a faint already. The Field Artillery and Air Defense branches went through this once already, and heck, the air defenders started life as Coast Artillery, anyway - the cultures spring from a common core.

And all the musical chairs of relocation and dislocation is going to produce some real unhappiness among contractors and civil servants... but if you are a canny real estate guru, the opportunities are out there.

Since it's a longish bit, and only the real geeks are going to want to read it - I stuck it in the Flash Traffic/Extended Post. You're welcome!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

A Post just for JTG

Since he's whining in email to SWWBO about less politics, more guns! (hmm, there's a political statement in there, somewhere).

So, JTG:

This

Post

Is

for

You!

Wow. I used to have a *lot more time* for this stuff.

Report from afghanistan

MSG Keith should transition today from "light on the skids" to "wheels up" on his journey home from Afghanistan. (Yes, I know I mixed rotary/fixed wing metaphors... on purpose!). He sent this valedictory last week, which I've held until today (didn't want to jinx that last week!).

Well, my time is short here. I leave Kabul on 14 May, and will be wheels up headed for Ft. Benning on 17 May for out processing. When I got here the first week in October and made the first of many trips from Bagram to Kabul, and seeing the dust, and sand and rocks, all about the same dirty tan color, I remember thinking to myself, "What were the Russians thinking when they invaded this place?" I can remember sitting at my computer in the Public Affairs Office, and seeing the fine dust coming through cracks and crevices that were unapparent to the naked eye. But then, I started going out on missions and taking photos. I got here two days before the Afghan National elections and got to see history being made as they elected their first president in their 5000 year history. Three days later, I was standing at the base of the Bamian mountains, where 120-foot tall Buddha statues used to stand. I got to go to Takhar and Kunduz, up next to Tajikistan border; Jalalabad, Paktia and Kandahar down on the Pakistan border; Herat on the Iranian border; Mazar-e-Sharif, up on the Uzbekistan border; and the most beautiful place in the world, the Panjshir Valley. I got to go to the Blue Mosque, see the minarets in Herat. I stood at the door of Massoud's Tomb, the Lion of the Panjshir. I stood in the Castle in Mazar-e-Sharif at the monument to Mike Spann, the first U.S. fatality of the war in Afghanistan. I have eaten many meals with Afghans, drank lots of chai, eaten many almond knuckles. I met Afghans from all walks of life who want something better for their country than the past 25 years of war. I've heard stories from my interpreters of what they endured from the Russians and from the Taliban. Safa, one of my terps, graduated from the Univ. of Oregon in 1967. When the Russians came in, they considered anyone schooled in the U.S. to be CIA. They threw Safa in jail, "They beat me for 20 days, and did other stuff...before they figured out I was not CIA." He never did say what the 'other stuff' was... I've seen children laughing and playing, girls and boys, the future of Afghanistan. I heard a high school aged girl complaining in very good English that they needed more facilities for learning. Something that four years ago would have caused her to be shot in public for disrespect. This country has a long way to go before they can stand on its own two feet. There are still parts of Kabul that don't have running water, electric or even basic sewage service. But they would give you the shirt off their back or the last bit of rice in the house if you are a guest. I am sad to be leaving because this has been the highlight of my military career. Someday, I hope to come back again. Hopefully to include another trip to the Panjshir Valley.

For those who have donated books, videotapes, and/or envelopes to the Read To Your Kids program, Thank you. We have completed 319 videotapes for families at home. Here at Kabul, a group of volunteers is taking over the program. Phoenix is still doing theirs, Bagam is rolling along and now Kuwait is starting up. Below are the addresses of those folks. Please send them any children's books, vhs videotapes, and bubble mailer envelopes that you may want to donate.

[If you wish to know more about this program, which provides a way for deployed soldiers to literally read a book to their children via tape while the soldier is deployed, drop me a line and I'll give you details. ed.]

Thank you everyone for your emails, letters, cards, packages and support. You DO make a big difference.

Stay safe.

You too, MSG Keith.

You can watch his Afghanistan video here. (If you're coming in dial-up, I suggest right-click and save)
You can view his photo album here.

The other side of the TINS

But not yet. First, my contribution to the Festival of the Links. Yesterday, John mentioned Dave Chappelle's views on the remoras who attach themselves to the Hollywood glitterati. Here's the Huntress' considerably more animated expansion on the theme.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I've had one or two [*whap*] *ow! okay--"a lot of"* unplanned excursions into the realm of Aviation Emergencies. And, just to prove the major players in the MSM aren't the only ones spinning otherwise factual stories into "events that never were"--from the Big Bag o' Trons comes:

CW4 William S. Tuttle
AASF #1 (NJARNG)
Trenton-Mercer Airport
West Trenton, NJ 08628-1302

Mr. H.L. Schwartz III
The Trentonian
600 Perry Street
Trenton, NJ 08602

Dear sir;

Reference the above item [note: refers to a newspaper clipping pasted to the original letter. Didn't take here, cuz the paste won't stick to the monitor, for some reason...] which appeared on page 3 of May 13th’s Trentonian--there are four factual errors in a filler only four sentences long, which may cause you--as Editor-- some consternation.

First, the pilot never stated that he “might have to crash land;” he said he would have to make a “running landing,” which is the prescribed emergency procedure for a hydraulic failure in this particular helicopter.

Second, “10 tense minutes” did not elapse; the aircraft was on the runway three minutes after the pilot’s initial call to the control tower.

Third, the pilot never called the tower and said that “the problem suddenly corrected itself.” The second radio transmission between the pilot and the controller took place after the aircraft landed; the controller asked the pilot if he would be shutting down on the runway, and the pilot answered, “Yes--there’s a ground crew coming over to tow it off.”

Fourth, the problem never “corrected itself;” if it had, the running landing would have been unnecessary.

Still, it was an improvement over your coverage of a similar incident which occurred last year, in which the pilot was reported to have crashed the aircraft into the runway--resulting, astoundingly enough, in no damage to either pilot or helicopter.

If your staff writers ever evince curiosity about the difference between an
“emergency landing” and a “crash landing,” feel free to call me--I was the helicopter pilot in both incidents.

WILLIAM S. TUTTLE
Chief Warrant Officer Four
New Jersey Army National Guard
(phone number deleted as obsolete. billt)

Nope. They didn't call...heh.

by CW4BillT on May 16, 2005 | This is no Sh*t!

May 15, 2005

Peering around the 'sphere this morning...

Out of the blue, a German emailed this: Der Spiegel (trans: The Mirror) with an english-language article looking at an elephant in the living room: Muslim 'honor killings' in Germany. While you're there, click on the WWII retrospective in the sidebar - or, if you're too lazy to look for it - click here: Interesting viewpoints from the German side. Want a way to sample many Germans feel today? *Especially* the ones born after the war? How many of we whites feel personal responsibility for slavery - or even the Jim Crow aftermath, up to, say, 1964 or so? If you don't feel a personal sense of responsibility, but rather a more detached sense of "that was then, this is now" I think you can get a feel for how a 30-40 something German might feel about the war. I can even see where they get a (mistaken, but honestly felt) sense of victimhood. For them growing up, many cities still had rubble piles and bombed out blocks - I remember that from when I was kid living in Germany. And there were all those relatives that were only pictures on the wall, and the tales of property lost, etc. Yes, yes, I know - that was all over Europe, and especially Eastern Europe - not my point. I'm just offering it up as a way to understand why Germans of the general age of the readership of this blog might not feel quite the way we'd think regarding WWII.

Dave Chappelle - while I wasn't that enamored of his show, I've always liked his comedy... and I find this interview fascinating - how many people moving in the orbit he does, takes a good look at the sycophants that cluster about star power and money and find them wanting?

Novak is reporting that high-level Republicans in the House think that Hillary just might be unbeatable. Given the current slate of idiot spineless Republicans, they might be right. If so, serves the Republicans right, so to speak. I find the Republican Senate cohort to be lamentable, even if my own two Senators, Brownback and Roberts, aren't too bad the whole party is tainted by the inability of the leadership to Lead. And if the Dems regain the Senate and the White House, we know the Republicans in the Senate will just roll over and not fight tooth and nail for what they believe, like the Democrats do. Sigh. Three years away and I'm already depressed.

Sorry Presidente Fox - when Mexico affords Gringos the same rights in Mexico it demands for Mexicans in the US, I might start listening to what you have to say with something other than a sense of exasperation.

Hmmm. Poverty + Opportunity = Conservatism? Bogus Gold thinks so.

Over at Dean's World, Joe Gandelman starts dissecting a movie that will debut at Cannes which appears to be Celsius 911 (Michael Moore with a Brit accent).

The Queen of All Evil finds she lives a few blocks away from a Cops Episode.

SWWBO is doing maintenance. And she's a Brute. By contrast, I'm a Spiteful Loner.

Cassandra, as ever the eclectic - wonders what's wrong with women... and points out an odd Islamic practice...

Barb is seeing double.

Alan has the first Ribs of summer!

Punctilious asks a question. Come to think of it - so did Barb.

Castle Philosopher Kat on Guns.

Bad Cat Robot lays out reality if *She* was Evil Overlord!

AFSis is in Disneyworld celebrating Mr. Sister's 40th... but she left the keys to her blog under the doormat... Par-tay!

Jack ruminates on Star Wars. He also offers his take on the Bolton nomination. All in all Jack, I think you're going to like a Hillary Administration one heckuva lot more than the current one.

SGT B still has little patience for people who whine, yet do nothing about that which makes them whine. T'was ever thus: Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, criticize.

I'm going to brunch.

Mea culpa.

I have been remiss. More than a few of you have asked how things are going, so, just to keep everybody in the loop, here's an update.

Ummmm--but first, about Kate the LudditeWife. I've mentioned her and her aversion to the triple-dub world a couple of times (to expressions of utter disbelief), so here's KtLW in Context:

KtLW: "It's after midnight! What are you doing on that %$#@! computer?"
Me [glancing at watch]: "It's only 9:45. I'm re-working my resumé and getting ready to send--"
KtLW: "Turn off that computer and do something about getting a job! Call somebody!"
Me: "It's a quarter to ten at night. I don't think there are too many--"
KtLW: "Well, call somebody who's still awake and get a job!"

Even I couldn't make that up. Or this:

[*telephone rings*]

Me: "Hello?"
Kelly: "Hi, Bill, it's Kelly. Is Kate home?"
[note: Kelly is a thirtysomething single mom we've known for a couple of years. I know what you're thinking, and the answer is "No."]
Me: "Hi, Kelly. She's out boosting the local economy. She should be back in an hour or so."
Kelly: "Cool. Could'ja tell her to call me when she gets back?"
Me: "Sure."
Kelly: "Thanks. Toodles."
Me: " 'Bye."

One hour later.

KtLW [exiting garage]: "Get the packages out of the trunk. Did anybody call?"
Me: "Kelly. She'd like you to give her a call."
KtLW: "What were her exact words?"
Me: "Uhhh--'Is Kate home? Could'ja have her give me a call? Thanks.' "
KtLW: "And did you get a phone number?"
['nother note: KtLW and Kelly yak on the phone about five times a week]
Me: "Well, I kind of thought you already knew her number."
KtLW: "There you go again--stop thinking and do something intelligent for a change!" *flounces into house*

So, that's kinda how things are with me--same-old, same-old. Thanks for asking...

And how are things with you?

by CW4BillT on May 15, 2005 | I'm an idiot...