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July 23, 2005

Talk about coincidence...

While I was working on the "On Nuking Mecca" post below - before I published it - this came in an email. Of course! How could we not realize that if the US gets nuked - Bush and Rove will be behind it! Silly me!

TINS - I cleaned out most of the extraneous html - the sender apparently copied source code. The sender also didn't make a personal statement, so I don't know if this was sent for my edification of Rampant Moonbattery, or is a statement supported by the emailer. Hence, I won't name them. If they are a reader, they can elaborate in the comments. The name at the bottom is *not* the name on the email, however. I did do some googling, but didn't find this anywhere on the web... but I didn't look too hard, and have to go run food and coffee out to SWWBO who is working a horse show today.









by John on Jul 23, 2005 | Pugnacious Stupidity
» Dirty Kafir links with: Why Stop there Kerry?

On Nuking Mecca.

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Ed Minchau of Robot Guy, posed the question below in a comment to this post:

John, I am curious. What would be your suggested response to the hypothetical posed to Tancredo: the nuclear attack on 6 or 7 American cities. What would you consider appropriate?

Ed's answer, rather, Ed's response to Hugh Hewitt's, Glenn Reynold's, Ed Morrisey's, Betsy Newmark's, (and I would add Don Sensing's) responses to Tancredo, is contained in his post here.

Ed, along with other co-worker's of mine whose informed opinions I respect, are of a like mind. Kill Mecca = Kill Islam. If you'd like a list of bloggers who agree/disagree with that premise, go check Ed's trackbacks.

Put me in the I don't agree camp. Any more than Kill Jerusalem = Kill Judaism, or Kill the Vatican = Kill the Catholic Church. Yes, I *do* understand the importance of the Hajj, as much as any non-Muslim-who-does-not-care-to-be-Muslim can. Part of the logic of that position being: "Allah would not allow such a thing!' So, if it happened, it must mean either Mohammed got it wrong, or Allah has turned his back on the Faithful, fill-in-the-blank, etc.

[Full disclosure, and a question - based on The Chickenhawk Meme, since I've handled Nukes, am a certified Nuke Targeteer, etc, but am no longer serving, nor likely to be called to serve... does that make my opinion valid, or invalid? I can't keep that straight...]

Would it demoralize a good chunk of Islam? Possibly. But the tougher elements among them would simply flex and adapt, just as the Catholic Church flexed and adapted to the Reformation, for example. The Holocaust didn't cause Judaism to disappear - it resulted instead in Israel. I haven't seen Fidel Castro or the government of the PRC collapse because the Soviet Union imploded... they've simply flexed and adapted. So too would the bulk of Muslims. Some would flex and adapt as we might like - become less annoying to us. Others... I think others would become much more annoying. But I find it interesting in reading around the blogs that people who consider themselves unshakable in their personal faith seem to think that destruction of the Kaaba would simply cause Islam to crumble into dust.

I think the "Nuke Mecca" analysis doesn't account for the great savior of irresponsible and incompetent leaders in Muslim nations - the responsibility-relieving aspect of Inshallah, "It was God's Will that this happen - to punish us for a lack of faith."

Most often used in my personal experience by Arab military officers to excuse failure, and essentially transfer responsibility for the failure to God - I suspect a perversion of the original intent of the concept - but used in the listed instance to essentially say, "Bummer, I've been insufficiently pious, I will pray more often/better, think pure thoughts, etc, and take the test again next week. But you can't fire me/fail me because, well, God has already punished me and who are you to trump God?"

And, of course, in response to nuking Mecca, killing infidels wherever you find them would be a Good Thing. I'm pretty sure it would be Very Bad to be a non-Muslim of any nationality in a Muslim nation when word went out that The Crusaders Nuked Mecca. I'm willing to entertain the notion that tens of thousands might die in the ensuing riots. I just don't believe that the Muslim world would just sit there in stunned, reflective silence, unless they were hung-over from celebrating the Nuking of the Infidels...

And, I suspect, the Imams would be all over that. Heck, we might even find more than a few Imams in *front*. I stand by my original response that I don't think nuking Mecca would kill the beast, any more than I think nuking Washington will kill the Infidel Crusader Myrmidon Nation of the Great Satan, or whatever we're being called in the mosques today.

Now, the question was, what response would I think was appropriate? Of course, the problem is I always want more information... 8^D

Let's make some assumptions.

7-8 nukes, pretty much, given the current estimates of what's out there, we're talking suitcase nukes or dirty bombs. Point is - small. And probably their whole bolt, at least for a while.

1. *Most* of what we have deliverable by the Air Force or Navy... isn't small. You might run into some proportionality of response issues under Just War doctrine and International Law. Those aren't trumps, but they *are* legitimate considerations. We do have some smaller warheads, but, if you are going to do it, I would recommend conventional munitions, very specifically targeted, vice nukes. (I still don't think it's a good idea, but if asked for a professional opinion at a meeting of the Targeting Board, that's what I'd recommend).

2. Obviously, having the big nukes is intended as a deterrent to nation-states with as much at physical stake as we have. That doesn't apply to this group of bombers - so you are expanding the scope of the war, just to keep that in mind, without really getting at the Center of Gravity of your enemy in my mind. You really aren't attacking who attacked you. If you think the Saudis are behind it, the proper target is Riyadh. If you *do* nuke Mecca, I'm guessing that the Islamists will shortly control Saudi Arabia anyway, as the House of Saud would have singularly failed in it's principle justification for being in power. Which, I suppose, is an argument *for*... at least it gives us a nation-state target.

3. You can't contain the down-wind and down-stream effects of the blasts... so nuking Mecca is going to have an effect outside Saudi Arabia, at a minimum in the region, and depending on winds aloft... the world. That gets a little hard to justify.

4. You cross a very significant threshold when the US uses nukes. It will cause significant changes in world power alignments, I think - and not necessarily good ones. And it will lower the threshold for use that currently keeps governments in check.

5. I think restraint in initial response will be both tremendously difficult and long-term useful. We will have the moral high ground for not responding in kind, and I think we will be able to build a significant world-wide governmental consensus for dealing with the Islamofascist problem. One that will allow for significant targeted military responses. Because I think governments will be so farking scared we *will* start tossing nukes around, or that someone might use little nukes in *their* nations, that the whole dynamic will change, and in our general favor. The law of unintended consequences hovers mightily over all of this.

So no, I don't think nuking Mecca will work in the way the proponents suggest. And I think that *not* nuking Mecca will give us the moral high ground, and bargaining power to muscle a significant number of bystander nations into the "Let's deal with this, and deal with it now" camp. And that dealing with it will *still* take years. But I think that the amount of intelligence effort across the spectrum would yield surprising results, and we'll have the cooperation to send the right kinds of killers into the right kinds of places to do some serious thinning of the Islamofascist herd.

Of course, I could be completely wrong. But I think that nuking Mecca has more potential to backfire than it does to succeed. And I think the Most Powerful Nation on Earth having a nuclear hissy-fit, striking back in pure blind fury, would actually *not* be helpful to our long-term interests.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it - unless all y'all change my mind. Good luck with that.

UPDATE: Ed isn't happy with my response (see comments). I think we're mostly talking past each other.

Here's an elaboration.

Sorry to be such a wuss, I guess.

I don't think you really understand what I'm after.

I didn't say I wouldn't do anything.

Afghanistan, which took 30 days or so to put toghther, was a "targeted military response".

So too, was Iraq.

I'm prefecttly wiling to put that together, and do it again. And I'll use the positioning from having been bombed to get some other people on the team.

But I'm not just going to lash out. That's irresponsible. Aside from the pin-prick against Tokyo, and naval combat as part of 'preparing the battlespace' we didn't get a big time response to Japan going until mid-42. Germany... 43, via Africa.

But if you think the proper, or needful response is "toss bombs willy-nilly at people and places we don't like" I won't sign up for that. That ends up being empty camps and pharmaceutical factories and other silly stuff - except you are arguing for doing that to cities.

If the Saudis were to take credit, or are obviously behind it - they would pay. But nuking 'em just doesn't get you there usefully.

But if this is your characterization of my response:

"Halt! or we shall say Halt again!"

You have *no* f+cking idea of who you are dealing with, and "What we have here, is a failure to communicate." Obviously my fault.

I deal in the realm of the doable, and usefully doable. I've made an adult life wandering around in this forest, examining the trees and mapping it's expanse.

And, I've made my bones, dude. Literally.

by John on Jul 23, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» The Glittering Eye links with: Responses to nuclear terrorism
» Blonde Sagacity links with: Things You Shouldn't Miss (Really!)...
» Searchlight Crusade links with: Iraq and the War on Terror Roundup
» truegrit links with: Chest Thumpers Need Not Apply

July 22, 2005

Bit by bit... by day, the voices fall silent.

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Last WWII Comanche Code Talker Dies Thursday, July 21, 2005

OKLAHOMA CITY — Charles Chibitty (search), the last survivor of the Comanche code talkers who used their native language to transmit messages for the Allies in Europe during World War II, has died. He was 83.

Most of you have heard of the Navajo Code Talkers, who worked with the Marines in the Pacific. Fewer, far fewer, have heard of the Comanche Code Talkers, who worked with the Army in Europe.

"It's strange, but growing up as a child I was forbidden to speak my native language at school," Chibitty said in 2002. "Later my country asked me to. My language helped win the war and that makes me very proud. Very proud."

I met Mr. Chibitty. He was born about 4 miles away from where I lived when I was stationed at Fort Sill and grew up in the Lawton area and visited now and again. It was on one of his visits that I met him. He told great stories. No doubt his family and the Comanche Nation will miss him. We all should note the passing of simple people who do extraordinary things, then go back to being simple people again.

They are the real heroes.

Celebrities are just curios. They loom over the landscape... yet they mostly are but pale shadows of men and women like Charles Chibitty. Of all the good and bad to come out of the Current Unpleasantness... America has been reminded she can still produce people like Charles Chibitty. A whole new generation.

Hoka Hey! Mr. Chibitty. There is always more... as you are now discovering.

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

Morning Sun, at Dawn's Early Light - has all the extra detail about Chief Chibitty you've been asking for!

H/t, Nicholas, the Ghost of a Flea.

Greetings to visitors from The Corner! You might also like the post below this one (heck, you'll like most of the stuff around here) that talks about How To Tell You Are In An Army Town. Poke around, have a good time!

by John on Jul 22, 2005 | Something for the Soul
» Ghost of a flea links with: Charles Chibitty
» The Glittering Eye links with: Catching my eye: morning A through Z
» links with: Last of the Comanche Code Talkers
» Dean's World links with: Last Code Talker Dies
» Dean's World links with: Last Code Talker Dies

How do you know you live in an Army town?

Or any military town, really? And of late - this includes "Guard and Reserve Towns." In comparison to non-military towns...

1. More people per capita keep an eye on news of the world than in other places.

2. Kids know a lot of those countries their peers have never heard of or couldn't find on a map... because they've either lived there, visited, or Mom and/or Dad has.

3. They are more aware of national politics.

4. They are more aware of international politics.

5. But you make a mistake if you make assumptions about *their* politics.

6. While they look like any other kids in dress and sound like them in speech... if you bother to *listen* to them... they knowledgeably talk about things many adults are clueless about.

7. Yeah, there's the pawn shops, the surplus stores, and all that other stuff. But it's always the people that strike me. Not better, not worse... but if you *listen*... they are different.

Junction City, Kansas, is an Army town. Right outside the gates of Fort Riley, and Junction has been an Army town for a long time. There is a house on post called "Custer House." Because it was his. There is a long standing joke (undeserved, but when has *that* stopped us?) when dealing with the Installation Staff as a commander... "Yeah, the last thing Custer said before he rode out for Little Big Horn was, "Don't change anything until I get back!" And boy do they follow orders!" The first Territorial Capitol building of the Kansas Territory is on Fort Riley. While it has been home to many storied Regiments and Divisions, it is most closely identified with the 1st Infantry Divsion, which, unless the BRAC panel changes things, will be reassembling all it's component units at Fort Riley again. Well, except for those deployed to the Rock Pile, Sandbox, or wherever...

So, what are some of the visual cues?

When you have a parade, and there is a Junior ROTC unit in it.

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In your park, you have the Civil War Memorial... but you also have the other war memorials... including more recent ones.

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With an emphasis on Regular divisions, not Guard and Reserve Divisions (no disrespect, they bleed as red, but their towns, especially now that the geographic areas they draw from are so large, aren't the same).

But perhaps the biggest sign you are in an Army town right now is that they have Memorial Parks like these...

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With lots of stuff like this...

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And full of markers like this - with the names of people who weren't orginally *from here*...

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And yet, your local artists community is far more likely to produce something like this:

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Than they are something like this...

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More about that, can be found here.

Hat tip to Larry K, reader of the Castle, provider of Kewl Pics®, proud resident of Junction City, Kansas, Happy Husband® of Brenda, and the prouder father of a Coast Guardsman.

by John on Jul 22, 2005 | Spirit of America
» Alphecca links with: Military Towns
» Villainous Company links with: Scoring Political Points On The Dead

Oh, My...'m I ever gonna keep PG-17c from going ballistic over this one? Hmmmm...

After I got out of the Army the *first* time, I had a bartending gig at the local Large Chain Motel and Cocktail Lounge, which was Large Chain enough to have *two* bars. Mine was the "party" bar, so-called because it was part of the conference suite usually booked for large, festive weekend shindigs, such as umptieth birthday parties, wedding receptions or the local pols receiving a particularly grandiose campaign contribution.

But on weeknights, it was a nice, quietly contemplative joint, not unlike Callahan's (especially if you peered into the shadows after a few of my Perfect Rob Roys). Mostly regulars, with just the right sprinkling of passers-through to keep things light. One Friday night, I was pretty much alone except for a small gaggle of secretarials enjoying some liquid decompression, when in strolls Bobby, the local heart-breaker. Imagine (a young) John Travolta crossed with Ben Affleck, then add a dash of Leonardo diCaprio.

And just as shallow.

One of the secretarials couldn't take her eyes off him. Bobby made eye contact, zeroed in and walked slowly over. Before the secretarial could say a word, Bobby took her hand and purred his patented, "I'll do anything -- absolutely anything -- that you want me to do. No matter how kinky. For a hundred dollars. On one condition."

To her credit, the secretarial kept what was left of her cool and asked what the condition was.

Bobby replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words."

The secretarial didn't even hesitate. She grabbed her purse and slowly counted out five $20 bills (I mentally kissed off the chance of a decent tip for the night). Then she wrote her address on the back of a barnap and pressed the bills and the barnap into Bobby's hand.

She looked deeply into his eyes and slowly, meaningfully said,

Punchline in Extended Entry. And no drooling on the keyboards, Ladies...

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Scratching at the door...

...of the Nuclear Club.

Jeffrey Lewis has an interesting commentary on North Korea's reported one-ton nuke. That's gross weight, *not* throw weight, so the the PDRK needs to use some stronger rubber bands for its current delivery system if it wants to menace anything further east than Pearl Harbor (now, why's that name grate on my memory?)...

Jeff also has an excellent in-depth analysis of the whole situation here and a Congressional-testimony "oops" here.

Oh, I'm sorry. Were you trying to eat breakfast?

by CW4BillT on Jul 22, 2005 | General Commentary
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Homeland (in)security

July 21, 2005

More bangs in London.

Fortunately, it looks like this was the 'B' Team.

Or a rehearsal.

Wonder if any more Liberals will see the light as a result?

Casey at the Gantry Launchpad has more.

The Command Post newsblog is weighing in as well.

Ah, Brit pluck!

IN THE THICK OF IT [Iain Murray] A good friend who notes that he's beginning to take this personally because "the centre of a circle drawn between Tavistock Sq, Russell Sq and Warren St is my back garden" emails:
It does sound like they didn't quite pull it off this time, though, doesn't it. That figure of 10,000 going through those training camps could translate into quite an irritating summer.

Oh well, we beat one lot of fascist scum through sheer bloody-mindedness and vast quantities of strong tea. I guess we'll just have to do it again.

Meanwhile, John Howard, who by chance (well, that and the fact that the Ashes cricket series between England and Australia starts today) happens to be with Tony Blair today, uses the word "evil" repeatedly in his remarks about terrorism. Good on yer, mate.

From The Corner. Link to Strategy Page for "fascist scum" in the quote is mine, not in the original.

July 21, 1969

Yes, I believe this happened.

What am I talking about?

This. Click Here. (Sound file, Work Safe®)

And geeze, people, give Neil a break. He was under some pressure there. Remember, his transportation and clothing were all low-bidder items! So he flubbed a line!

No I don't think it was done on a sound stage in Nevada somewhere. Though I do like these guys' version!

Need visuals? Try these Work Safe® ones:

Low bandwidth

High bandwidth.

by John on Jul 21, 2005 | Historical Stuff
» The Gantry Launchpad links with: It's a coverup, and we have PROOF!

The "Mark"

Damn all paedophiles and child abusers to a special level of hell. But more about that later.

I was late to work yesterday. More on that later, too.

The Castle, as long time readers will know, is overrun with critters. The Interior Guard, the kitties. The Exterior Guard, the puppies. Chipmunks, squirrels, birds of all types. Frogs of several varieties. Toads. Visiting rabbits. A resident opossum.

All of the Herd found us. We didn't seek them out. We're happy to have them. Even the Skunk Who Lived Under The Porch for two years (thankfully since moved on elsewhere... mebbe because I *sealed* the cave...).

Clearly, there is a mark on the Castle that says, "Safe Haven." Somewhere, somehow. They just *know*.

I've long maintained this, the presence of "The Mark."

Apparently, it works with humans, too. At least children.

Did I mention I was late for work? There I was, gathering up the last bits of stuff that I brought home last night from the Big Project - and the doorbell rings.

That's odd, this time of morning. Cursing to myself, thinking "Damn it's early for the Jehovah's Witnesses/Mormon Missionaries/School Fundraisers to be out!" I head for the door, and open it.

It's a young man. 10, mebbe 11. Slighty flushed and sweaty.

Okay, school fundraiser. Starting early. Warm, muggy day here in Kansas.

I wish.

I ask, "What can I do for you, sir?" (Yes, I do call children "sir" and "ma'am")

"I need to use your phone, may I?"

"What for?" I queried.

"I need to call someone to pick me up," he responds.

Okay, I can deal with that. Off to the living room to pick up a wireless handset. Hand it out to Young Boy on Porch.

He takes the phone, finger poised over the number, but not punching any of them.

"Forget your number?" I enquired, "We can look it up."

Young Boy on Porch looks up at me and says, "I'm running away from home." Heh. That explains flushed and sweaty. He's literally running away from home.

Urk. I do not know Young Boy on Porch. He is *not* a neighborhood kid. Stalling for time, and to 'develop the situation' as we military guys like to say, I conducted some reconnaissance. "And why are you running away?"

"My parents are abusing me."

Urk again. Big Urk. The "Magic Word" that causes credentialed professionals to Have To Call Law Enforcement/Social Services. I'm not a credentialed professional in that regard, but I also don't want to be the Guy Interviewed on TV who says, "But I didn't know!"

Did I mention I really, really, really detest paedophiles and abusers? I do so even more, now. Why? Because of what happened next.

Middle-aged Man Living Alone (for the moment because SWWBO is traveling) said, "Hmmm, I see, why don't you come inside?"

Then, Middle-Aged Man with Masters Degree in Criminal Justice who is Living Alone kicked Middle-Aged Man Living Alone in the metaphysical family jewels and said, "No, you idiot - you can't do that. You don't know enough about this boy and what the situation is. You've got to keep him in the open, in plain sight of everyone, on the porch, where there is no question of *anything*. Or at least lesser chance of being a question. Especially since he used the "A" word and you pretty much have to call the Police or you are putting your ass in a crack, dolt. Yes, it's first and foremost about the kid - but let's not give *anyone* an opportunity to make it about you. Good thing the weather doesn't suck, huh?"

So, I had to tell Young Boy on Porch, "On second thought, let's sit out here, and talk about this." So, we did. As we go through a brief chat, it begins to sound a lot like this is more about Young Boy thinks his parents ask too much of him around the house, and some Youthful Rebellion and perhaps Very Stern Father... but not abuse.

But, Young Boy on Porch used the "A" word. And was at my house. I briefly considered calling the Parents... but, dammit, I didn't know enough about the true situation. So, reluctantly, I called the Police, and relayed the story. Officer Roach (his real name, not a snark) arrived shortly thereafter. Officer Roach is a father of two children about the same age. This is a Good Thing. After Officer Roach shows he's going to be Officer Friendly and Young Boy on Porch is comfortable - I head inside to grab Orange Juice All 'Round.

Officer Roach does an *excellent* job of leading Young Boy on Porch to tell his story over orange juice - without putting words or concepts into Young Boy on Porch's answers or mind. It's clear from shared looks Office Roach and I have that he has reached a similar conclusion to what I have - that this is Not Exactly What It Seems. Which is a good thing. And Officer Roach explains to Young Boy on Porch that he and Young Boy had best get home - because if Young Boy's parents call him in as missing or a runaway - Officer Roach, being advised of that status, is required by law to take Young Boy on Porch to Juvenile Detention, and that would be Bad For All Concerned. Young Boy agrees, and off they go to his home.

I put away the glasses (but I forgot to put away the OJ, dammit!) and headed for work. Where, it turns out, co-workers live in the same neighborhood as Young Boy and pretty much confirm that it's a case of Stern Parent and Young Boy, not abuse. Which I find comforting, as I feel that all around we dodged a bullet today.

But I hate Hate HATE that the paedophiles and abusers, and society's response to them, put me through the little mental dance I did. I didn't mind protecting the kid - I swore an oath to do things like that, and am still bound by it - most especially emotionally, my sense of duty, and honor. But I hate that I had to add the caveat, to protect myself. It eats at me that I had to treat Young Boy on Porch that way, even though I don't think he really noticed. He was too busy realizing that he'd run two or so miles from home... but that going home was going to, well, be a longer journey if too short in time in Officer Roach's car.

I hate you bastards for doing that to me - and that you made me think of me, vice Young Boy - except the whole thing this morning had your pathetic shadows all over it, and hov'ring nearby.

Today, it's hard to just hate the sin, and not also hate the sinner.

One of my friends and co-workers saw the Hand of Providence in it. That Young Boy on Porch had chosen a home where he wouldn't be sucked into some horror - whether abduction or worse, or someone who would over-react and make the problem more complex than it needed to be. And that the Dispatcher sent Officer Roach, a father of two young children and not some Caped Crusader who might have immediately gone the Must Deliver to Juvie route.

I dunno. I'm not sure that Providence works to quite that level of detail - there are an awful lot of children like Shasta Groene, and I had no idea if I was getting into Something Horrendous. Thankfully, for all concerned, I wasn't.

But, I guess I'm glad The Mark is on the house. Or my forehead. Or SWWBO's, or where-ever. And that Young Boy on Porch did choose the Castle.

But dammit, I *still* feel soiled, ever so slightly, because of the perfectly rational ass-covering I did. *DAMN THEM* for the damage they do to the fabric of society.

Dean Esmay touches on this topic, tangentially.

July 20, 2005

"Craziest Pilot in the Canadian Forces"

James Doohan, 1920-2005
Captain, Royal Canadian Artillery
Chief Engineer, Starfleet.

All Stations This Net, All Stations This Net - Station Doohan, Close Station, March Order. Return to Assembly Area Fiddler's Green, route Hell. Await further orders. Report to Lieutenant Eddie Albert for TINS exchange.

Lots of email over lunchtime, like this:

This is I suppose, only tangentially of interest to the various denizens of the Castle, but Canadian-born actor James Doohan, best known for having portrayed Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott in the original Star Trek television series and several subsequent films, died this morning at the age of 85.

To which I respond - thank you for letting me know - but, yes, interest at the Castle, at least on the part of the Gunner who is the Armorer, was a touch more than tangential. I honored Gunner Captain Doohan here, in this post, a little over a year ago.

As this Star Trek website notes:

Lt. Doohan successfully led his Canadian troop onto the beach and pushed nland to establish the best possible gun position (along the way Doohan shot two German snipers, never knowing whether he killed them). A field was secured and command posts were established, but not all Germans between the beach and their position had been captured. That night about 11:30, Doohan and another officer were walking between command posts when machine gun fire broke out. Doohan was hit; he fell into a shell hole, looked at his hand and saw blood. Three bullets struck the one finger. Never losing consciousness, he actually walked to the regimental aid post, unaware he also took four bullets in the leg.

There was an eighth bullet, and it was nothing less than a miracle that he's still with us today. It hit his chest, four inches from his heart. But it ricocheted off the sterling silver cigarette case in his pocket, the one his brother had given him for being best man at his wedding. It's like a trite plot twist, he acknowledges - his brother saved his life from thousands of miles away. Jimmy pushed the dent out of the cigarette case and continued using it until he quit
smoking years later. He stayed in the military, learned to fly and came to be known as the "craziest pilot in the Canadian Air Forces."

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

For the Scots among us... The Flowers of the Forest.

In Memoriam of an actor with more steel than Alec Baldwin or Tim Robbins ever dreamed of.

by John on Jul 20, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Scotty has Beamed up
» The Files of the Phantom Observer links with: James Doohan, R.I.P.
» Ghost of a flea links with: The final frontier
» Mistakes Were Made links with: RIP James Doohan

I have been chastised.

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A wee Irish-descended hater-of-Sassenachs and Defender of the Faith® bent over and mintily whispered in my ear today... "Today is the Anniversary of the Plot to Kill Hitler! Why don't I see it on Argghhh!?" Okay, he's not-so-wee, but, still, the rest applies.

My response? "I've mentioned it before." Of course, inspecting the archives, I"ve also deleted it for housekeeping purposes. Sigh.

Okay. Today is the 61st Anniversary of the Bomb That Failed. Stauffenberg's major tactical failure? He wanted to survive. He didn't. He didn't survive the day. He should have taken a page from the Mujahideen playbook. He'd have been a real hero then.

Oh, wait. It wasn't written yet. Never mind.

Heck, given what happened to several of the conspirators, he's lucky he just got shot.

by John on Jul 20, 2005 | Historical Stuff
» CDR Salamander links with: Give a nod to the "Good Germans"

Morning Glamour Shots...

Lessee, what's up this morning?

Denizen AFSis had a tough Monday. Go say nice things.

Poor John Roberts. As Confederate Yankee points out - it didn't take the Kossacks long... Right Thoughts caught it too, and linked directly. I prefer to *not* have my IP address showing up in Kos' server logs...

Anybody know what movie this gun was made for?

SWWBO (waxing eloquent here about schools) would go for this room! We can't afford it, but she'd go for it! H/t Larry K!

Jeff over at Alphecca has his Weekly Check on the Bias (regarding guns in the news, etc) up.

Xrlq offers this analysis of what Judge Roberts *might* mean to the Supreme Court. For us 2nd Amendment types, looks like we'll need to get at least one more Justice besides Roberts.

Michelle Malkin offers more.

Matty at Blackfive has been having some fun. Stuff like this is one reason I'm just as glad I'm not as big as Matt. The tediousness of dealing with wilful ignorance is just numbing.

Dean Esmay takes on Hugo Chavez... Always a romp when Dean gets rolling!

In closing... wouldn't this look *wonderful* on the Castle Coffee Table?

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(and I didn't mean the Grant there. It would take *many* Grants to put that hunka-hunka-burning brass on the Castle Coffee Table!)

Quagmires, Quagmires...

Sometimes, despite optimum conditions, military higher-ups find it’s difficult to adhere to the simplest troop-withdrawal timetable. F’r instance, SFOR-10 was supposed to depart Bosnia in mid-March of 2002, in order to comply with the orders which activated us for a deployment which was “not to exceed 179 days.” After repeated alerts and stand-downs, most of the folks departed during the third and fourth weeks of March, including the Infantry, which left the Virginia and New Jersey remnants of TF Pegasus, the Aviation contingent, with the somewhat dubious chore of guarding -- ourselves.

And on 1 April, the Virginians left, leaving the defense of sprawling Camp Comanche to seventeen stalwart Joisey lads ‘n’ lasses (Note the only one in the photo who’s *armed*). My post was the fuel farm -- cuz I was the only one who had more than three rounds of 9mil. Didn't bother me until the kids started calling me, “Old Expendable”…

And sometime during the third and fourth week, we got our amended orders, which nailed us in-place for a period of time “not to exceed 279 days.” I promptly sent out the following e-mail…

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


There will be a written examination as the culmination of the SFOR-10 rotation experience. Since there will be no time available to conduct a review of the subject material, you will find a representative sample of the examination below. A passing grade will entitle the you to receive your choice of either two college credits from the University of Maryland (Eagle Campus) or one boarding pass on a military aircraft departing Tuzla on the day that you *thought* you were supposed to be leaving…

Sample SFOR-10 Qualifying Examination

Read each question thoroughly. Answer all questions. Time limit: four hours.

· General Knowledge: Describe everything you know in detail. Be objective, specific and concise.

· World History: Describe the evolution of all major religions from their earliest known origins to the present day. You may substitute Zoroastrianism for any other contemporary fire-worshipping Indo-European religion. Prove which is the one true religion in a manner that will convince everyone else.

· Combat LifeSaving: You will be given a double-edged razor blade, a piece of gauze and a bottle of muscatel. Remove your own appendix. Do not suture until your work has been examined by a proctor. You will have 15 minutes to complete the operation.

· Public Speaking: 2,500 fire-worshipping, gauze-clad muscatel drinkers armed with double-edged razor blades will storm into your classroom as soon as you have finished reading this. Calm them using any ancient language except Demotic Egyptian or Mycenaean Greek. Do not use passive voice.

· Biology: Create life. Estimate the subsequent differences in the rise of human culture if this life-form had developed 500 million years ago, giving special emphasis to the effects on the next Presidential election in Peru. Prove who will win and why.

· Music: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate it and accompany yourself with flugelhorn and drum. You will find a piano in the middle drawer of your desk.

· Psychology: Evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment and repressed frustrations of each of the following individuals: Alexander the Great, Amenhotep II, Gregory of Nicosia, Joan of Arc and Hammurabi. Support your evaluation with at least three quotations from each person's work, cross-referencing as appropriate. It is not necessary to translate.

· Sociology: Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct a 1/32nd-scale experiment to test your theory.

· Political Science: You will be given a two-Euro coin. Proceed to the nearest pay phone and start World War III. Report on its socio-economic consequences, if any.

· Management Science: Define both management and science and their intrinsic relationship with the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and H.P. Lovecraft. Create a generalized algorithm that can be used to optimize all managerial decisions. Design the systems interface and prepare all software necessary to program this algorithm onto an Apple MacIntosh. Use only those applications found in DOS 3.0.

· Engineering: You will find the disassembled parts of a Civil War-era Sharps rifle in various drawers of your desk. You will also find an instruction manual for making gunpowder, printed in Sanskrit. In 10 minutes, a hungry Kodiak bear will be admitted into your room. Take whatever action you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision to PETA.

· Economics: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the National Debt. Trace the possible effects on plate tectonics, the wave theory of light and the overcrowding of CB radio channels.

· Epistemology: Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.

· Physics: Explain the nature of matter. Your answer must include an evaluation of the impact of the development of quantum mechanics and Boolian algebra, plus the possible effects of beta radiation on the Hubble telescope’s infrared imaging systems.

· Philosophy: Sketch the development of human thought and estimate its significance. Compare this with the development of the other kinds of thought.

· Military History: Explain why the United States never lost a war in which the Army used mules.

· Extra Credit: Define the universe. Give three examples.

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

Geez -- even *I* didn't get higher than a B+...

July 19, 2005

Caption Contest!

This one is for Were-Kitten, who's having a rough week this week. But we finally found a tank in a color I think she'll like. I will say no more - have at it Denizens and Visitors!

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After playing here - go visit Cassandra and join in her greeting card contest!


...and our ranks diminish by yet one more.

Pax tibi, Westy.

H/T Bloodspite.

Jeff Quinton has more.

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

by CW4BillT on Jul 19, 2005 | General Militaria

July 18, 2005

Busy day today...

...SWWBO to the airport early, major project due at work, so, mebbe Bill or Dusty will chime in, or I'll catch a break at lunch.

In the meantime, let's haul some stuff up from the archives...

Today, in 1863, in a fight overshadowed by Gettysburg and the fact that it was unsuccessful - the 54th Massachusetts Infantry did answer one question - though it would be asked again and again in later wars until we finally settled it for good in Korea.

Just to point out the Subject Archives, on the left sidebar for newer visitors, or those who are regulars but just haven't had the time: My "Ammunition" archives.

Among the Gunbloggers today...

Triggerfinger takes on journalists about their spotty support of Federalism.

Sometimes, blogging can have consequences. The Anarchangel is the subject of a fatwa. Enough so that the FBI contacted him... Someone doesn't like Team Infidel, it would seem. If you are interested, you can follow this by checking his site, here.

Heh, eh? H/t Triggerfinger.

In other news...

Outside the Beltway Caption Contest!

Hey! They finally got around to charging Saddam!

Ahhh. gotta go! Cya later!

We'll close with "boys and their toys!"

Okay - we lied, while wifi'ing waiting on coffee...

I can tell you from personal experience - this makes training meaningless. I know the war is expensive, fellas. Still...

Soldiers are facing the undignified prospect of being forced to shout "bang, bang" on military training exercises after an admission by the Army that it is running out of blank ammunition.

The shortage is also likely to result in a large number of important training exercises being cancelled or severely restricted.

Of course, this is music to the ears of the anti-war crowd, who would have every Army be this way... until they want to use it, of course.

And mebbe, just mebbe, we have to give the French some credit.

While London hosts terrorists, Paris hosts a top-secret counterterrorism centre, code-named Alliance Base, whose existence was just revealed by The Washington Post. At the centre, six major Western governments since 2002 share intelligence and run counterterrorism operations (the latter makes it unique).

Ah, yes, what goes around, comes around. H/t Andrew Stuttaford and The Corner.

“I am not greatly taken in by Britain's "democracy", particularly as it is gradually vanishing under the pressure of the war. Certainly I would never fight and kill for such a phantasm. I do not greatly admire the part "my country" has played in world events. I consider that spiritually Britain has lost all meaning... I feel identified with my country in a deep sense, and want her to regain her meaning, her soul, if that is possible: but the unloading of a billion tons of bombs on Germany won't help this forward an inch... Whereas the rest of the nation is content with calling down obloquy on Hitler's head, we [pacifists] regard this as superficial. Hitler requires, not condemnation, but understanding. This does not mean that we like, or defend him. Personally I do not care for Hitler. He is, however, "realler" than Chamberlain, Churchill, Cripps, etc, in that he is the vehicle of raw historical forces, whereas they are stuffed dummies, waxwork figures, living in unreality. We do not desire a German "victory"; we would not lift a finger to help either Britain or Germany to "win"; but there would be a profound justice, I feel, however terrible, in a German victory…”

Last, but not least - the Canadians Militant, the voice of the Brigaded Blogs, Red Ensign Standard XXVI is up!

Aaaaah. 20 ounces of Latte'!

We'll close with this week's RINO Sightings!

by John on Jul 18, 2005
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Pri`viet!

July 17, 2005


It's been 11 posts since I put up a picture of something gun-related or military. I've been too easy on the dial-up visitors!

To make up for that, here's a pic of a Russian ekranoplan, or (literally) flying boat (as opposed to this type of flying boat).

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In fact, here's a whole album of Ekranoplans.

Update: Ooo! Ooo! JTG! Even *kewler* stuff on the Ekranoplans - this time from a sailor (even if he did sell out for a JD) who puts it all in perspective!

by John on Jul 17, 2005 | Aircraft
» Don Surber links with: Carnival of Paybacks

Let's see what the Denizens have been saying...

Castle Philospher Kat has been *very busy*. Noting what the MSM missed, and then this post and this post about the "Enemy Within."

Castle Adjutant Barb is *so* not a Hippie! I'm 16%, myself. Those tie-dyed shirts as a yout' doncha know. Then there's her Friday Picture®.

The Mistress of Argghhh! proves that an inability to handle sharp objects is just a fact of life at the Castle. She's also replaced the Marital Bower and has a new toy. Now if she could just find her keys, life would be sooo much simpler!

Punctilious notes it's treason to suggest taxes are high in Michigan... Hmmm. Sounds like the Governor should have included some Econ courses with those Poli Sci classes.

In addition to all the other reasons we've sent you to Villainous Company this week - how about Cassandra punches Richard Cohen in the nose?

The Castle's Token Lefty®, Alan of GenX@40, should not be confused with being a "Peace at All Costs" type of Lefty. For further proof, check his spoor in the comments of this post here at the Castle. The man drinks a fair bit of Maple Syrup himself... though he'd probably prefer it fermented... as shown on his other great blog.

Bad Cat Robot, aka the Snarkatron... is an employee of one of those Huge All-Encompassing Software Giants. Turns out they can't help themselves much either, so you shouldn't be surprised at the quality of support you get...

AFSis runs into something most of us bloggers run into. My family is (afaik) unaware of my blogging, though my immediate bosses, corporate and government, are.

Castle Contrarian Jack of Random Fate brings an email discussion we had out into the open... keeping his position as Chief Contrarian secure. The catalyst for the emails was this post.

Chief of the Castle Security Detail Sergeant B contemplates his navel (no worries, he's cleaned it recently).

MSG Keith demonstrates why he's not a Civil Affairs guy, and links to a hilarious story of flying in an F14.

Th-th-th-that's all, folks!