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July 30, 2005

Saturday morning reading...

First up - great birthday! Castle Argghhh! set a record for monthly visits yesterday, and there's still 1.5 days left!

Greyhawk's Dawn Patrol (and not because we're linked in it, either!).

Carnival of the Recipes!

The Canadians Militant Newsletter, the Red Ensign Standard is up.

Speaking of Militant Canadians, and the surprise *that* causes... H/t, Capt H! And check out that website's tagline... now, why is it *important* that Canada have some "honking big ships* (Chief of Defense Staff General Hillier's technical term)... go see the Flea! You should, anyway. Just because. And if that isn't enough - this should be: Ma Deuce vs Katana!

We hosted a leeeetle tiny effort here, Art of the Liberated, the in support of the effort by Move America Forward to counter the California Attorney General's Art Fest. I don't think much of the art in the Attorney General's fest, but I think the best response is one of countering it, as we did here. I find it pathetic that the response of the counter-protestors was to characterize an expression of displeasure with *their* art as fascism. Media coverage is available here and here.

Custom made items of the Art of the Liberated *are* available here...

Now, running down the Denizen blogroll...

Over at Villainous Company there's John Roberts (with an amorous caterpillar!), and then there is this: We've Met the Enema, and He Is Us!

Over at SWWBO's, she's killing time at the Airport, and then there is the whole roll for Carnival of the Recipes!

Barb reveals her inner geek (and more!). Barb is also involved in a Blog Crawl!

Alan supports supporting! (Though I thought this item jumped the shark when pro-sports teams jumped onto the cart).

Kat does Cliff's Note's for The Origins of Terrorism.

I spent my birthday cleaning up around the house so SWWBO wouldn't feel compelled to spend the weekend doing so... Rammer just paid to have it done for Punctilious, and got pretty much the same credit. Hmmmmm.

Bad Cat Robot, when not checking in on a regenerating JTG, takes some time out for Meme Squashing!

AFSis reports out on the arrests made WRT to flag-and-car burning incident, and has a little linky-love of her own going on.

Jack, as is his wont, delves deeply into his navel. Always interesting stuff in there!

Awwww, Sergeant B! Ya shouldn't have. Well, yeah, okay, ya should!

MSG Keith, formerly of this space, doesn't write often, but when he does... it's always good! Congrats, Grand-dad!

Last, but not least - new to the medium Fuzzybear Lioness seeks your help and assistance in a worthy project she's got under consideration...

In non-Denizen news...

Commander Salamander warms up his Riverine Warfare theme, and has some kewl video to go with it... as well as lecturing the Admirals. I see the 'Phibian is taking the Armorer's approach to promotion. Welcome to the gonna retire as a field grade ranks, Commander!

The Confederate Yankee wants to cause your eyes to explode from your head. Ewwwwww!

by John on Jul 30, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!
» Ghost of a flea links with: Hans Island update

July 29, 2005

Over there... again.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Interesting groupings in the reactions to the show. There are generally three, broad reactions (I *wish* I coulda got half the comments Matt at Blackfive did - if you haven't, you should go look over there). I think your view of the show is strongly influenced by the baggage you bring with you when you watch it.

The ones with the least baggage are the most likely to enjoy it - as entertainment, at least thus far. The responses fall into three broad groupings.

1. The group that liked it. A definite minority. [ed. note - but growing as a result of the Instalanche and I hear from outside the Milblogosphere. And some of them think we're a pretty uptight group... 8^D] As near as I can tell they are mostly friends of the military, [Instalanchers are upping the numbers of the neutral group], but most of them never served. Their comments run along this line, from Ruth:

The music is good, there's action, the actors are atractive, parents of higschool age kids won't want them to watch it(making it attractive), it has Americans doing brace [sic] (I think she means brave) things that one never sees in current movies (maybe video games). Good for recruitment.

Or this, from Freakchylde (someone I happen to know) and know she is very much a Friend of the Warrior:

I liked it, but then again, I don't analyze from an anti or pro war position, much less a military one. I'm willing to see where they take it.

I should note that it *wasn't* an exclusively female viewpoint, my cherrypicking of quotes or sites notwithstanding. And there were some vets and active duty responses along those lines, as well.

2. Then there is the group that generally haven't served (but includes a *lot* of family members) and didn't like it. A lot of those reax were more politically/culturally focused in their criticism, and were concerned, as I am, that because the drama of the show is going to come from tension, and tension usually comes from Bad Things, the show will become the "Accepted Wisdom" on OIF in a cultural sense - as Platoon did for many people in regards to Vietnam. Another example of "Everything that ever went wrong in a war happens to 12 guys in 2.5 hours." Even though Hamburger Hill and We Were Soldiers are at a minimum just as accurate in details as Platoon - Platoon is the one that gets the discussion - at least in my observation, which is hardly scientific. But given group number one, mebbe most people won't buy that theme. If so, the Milbloggers can work to counter it, with the simple truth, no flag waving required.

3. Then there's the military guys. Who generally, but not exclusively, don't like it. A lot of us have our standard problems with all the usual Hollywood combat idiocies... Though, in defense of the Huey and the brit APC - DoD obviously didn't cooperate with this production (and may not have been asked, given what some of the upcoming shows look like they might be about - because if DoD helps, DoD expects some script input...) and there aren't that many Blackhawks out there that don't belong to DoD. If you are thinking Blackhawk Down, that was filmed in Morocco with US Army aircraft rented from USAREUR. DoD *did* cooperate with that one.

And most of us didn't recognize any units we'd been in... except for how Hollywood *perceives* our units. And even though I'll grant a lot of leeway for artistic license in trying to portray a complex war in a simple format... these transportation grunts sure look a lot more like they are fighting the combat arms war... Bochco was trapped into that. The grunts, tankers, and artillerymen who pretty much fought the war portrayed in the first episode don't have the women that *had* to be there in the core cast. But we had to have the women, and the IED, etc, so they were forced to have this group as service support soldiers... but what we saw there isn't the average transportation platoon's fight in Iraq. Better they had chosen an MP unit like Raven 42, that would have been much better in terms of realism, let them really examine some stuff that has to be unrealistically overlain on this group of people (Raven 42... you get the Guard, kickass female Leaders(!), heroes... and a thankless, hard job with plenty of room for kvetching). Of course, a lot of people know about Raven 42, so you couldn't have made them out to be the tired, recycled 70's cliche's we have here. Moving on to the guys who are "Over there..."

The guys in the box, though they didn't see it, read the reviews and synopses and trashed it for a complete hash of the How Things Work, Over There.

I want to see this show if only for laughs, but as I am currently "over there" that's not really an option. But I've been reading about it with interest. If this is really about a tranportation platoon, than they would spend about half the show driving up and down the highways between the major FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) and the other half playing X-box in their CHU (container housing unit - sort of like a small trailer that houses about a squad). Maybe once in a month or two their convoy would hit an IED and even more seldom than that IED would injure or kill someone. Even though logistic convoys are easier targets to hit (though not necessaryily), IED bombers usually target combat patrols because it looks better on Al Jeezra. It wouldn't be a very exciting show unless it had some great characters or dialog like MASH did, which apparently it doesn't. Oh, and they certainly wouldn't be going any where near a mosque. I sure hope they had 3-star approval to assault that mosque; if not, they're in deep do-do with UCMJ.

Okay. For the most part, it looks like it lived down to the low expectations we set for it.

Has anyone trolled Kos and the like to see what *they* have to say?

If they hate it, that's a Good Sign.

If they like it...

But I'm not willing to look for myself. The doc says to keep an eye on my bloodpressure.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

by John on Jul 29, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Over Where?

Art of the Liberators!

Remember this pic? Meet 439 Squadron, Canadian Forces, who operated the best-looking Starfighters I've ever seen.

Just click "Next" for additional pix. Then click it again. And again. And again. A gazillion photos and the site's even dial-up friendly...

Toque tip to Captain JMH.

by CW4BillT on Jul 29, 2005 | Plane P0rn
» Iraq War Today links with: Now, That's Art I Can Appreciate....


Castle Correspondent Emeritus (Afghan Chair) MSG Keith is a brand new grandpa. Mama Katie and baby Eleanor are doing fine...

Consider the ramifications of the statement, "I Support the Troops, But I Don't Support the Mission"--Fuzzybear Lioness Agonistes...

And from Dbie the AFSister, the story of a desecration and the dénouement...

by CW4BillT on Jul 29, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!

Friday Fripperies

Dadratted short-term memory--somethin' about today...
*shrug* It'll come to me. Probably next week, though. In the meantime, I guess I've gotta earn this week's no-pay-due:

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

1. Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausage and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you...

*light bulb* Aha! All that talk about chow and booze--now I remember!

Jake! KC! Muffy! Scout! Getcher scruple butts in here!

And-a-one, and-a-two, and-a-three, and-a-hit it!

happiness on natal anniversary to youuuu,
happiness on natal anniversary to youuuu,
happiness on natal anniversary, big-tribble-with-leeeeggggssss,
happiness on natal anniversary to youuuuuuuuu!

>>hzz. give cookie now, plizz.

[*whap*] YIPE!

Heh. All Denizennes, Denizens, Visitors and Lurkers are invited to stop in for the party. Just don't stand too close to the cake when we fire up the candles--the halon extinguishers all went off last year, and Justthisguy's been fiddlin' with the deluge sprinkler sensors...

[Armorer walks in, rubbing eyes]

Huh? What's this about the Zulu and why are we celebrating?

[staggers off to make coffee]

by CW4BillT on Jul 29, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Happy Birthday to The Armorer
» Villainous Company links with: Happy Birthday, Armorer!
» Techography links with: They Say its your Birthday
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: What's Happening?
» The Gun Line links with: Happy Birthday, Blogpapa!
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol
» University Blog links with: Happy Birthdays

July 28, 2005

Entertainment and Education post...

I do like complex mechanical thingys.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Pacific Ocean (July 25, 2005) – The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) performs a high speed run during operations in the Pacific Ocean. Reagan and embarked Carrier Air Wing Fourteen (CVW-14) are currently underway conducting Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA). U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class James Thierry

Man, she's moving, ain't she? Now that takes some power!

Hi-res, click here.

Wonder what it's like to land on a carrier? At night? Of course you do! (dial-up visitors, 1.8 meg video file)

H/t, Boudicca, the once-upon-a-time 'non-commenting commenter' as Castle Argghhh!

Interesting day in history:

1914 Austria-Hungary attacks Serbia, igniting WW I. The dumbest war of the last century starts - which leads to one heckuva lot of the wars that follow... the mis-handling of the peace pretty much guarantees WWII.

1931 Congress makes "The Star-Spangled Banner" the national anthem

1932 MacArthur evicts the bonus marchers from their encampment in Washington. One of many times the government has promised soldiers something, then reneged. Not Mac's (or his aide, Eisenhower's) finest moment.

1943 FDR announces an end of coffee rationing in US. Thank heaven!

1945 Kamikazes sink their last ship, DD Callaghan, off Okinawa.

1945 US Army B-25 crashes into 79th floor of Empire State Bldg, 14 die.

Let's close with more video... there's a reason the manual specifies a 'rate of descent at touchdown' limit. I don't know if the pilot in this video should be rebating his flight pay because he broke the airplane, or should get a bonus because he managed to keep the damage down! Regardless of whether the pilot knew it was going to be or not...

...this was a good landing, not a great one. (dial-up visitors, 4.5 meg video file. Compressed file available here, though I don't know how much that helps!

Anudder H/t to Boudicca!

"Over There" Report, by Ry.

[Update - unexpected Instalanche for my birthday, whee! Welcome visitors, do feel free to poke around. If you would rather get the abbreviated version (synopsis) of all the opinion here, consider this post, where I wrap it up into a tidier package. And please, feel free to add your own comments. If you are concerned about email privacy, just put in a bogus email, or a bogus website (which will trump the email). Passion is fine. Disagreement is not discouraged. Just be polite, is all I ask! ]

I *was* gonna do this, but what the heck, I'm running short on time, and Ry already sent this in.

Any dissenting opinions?

Okay, 'Over There' report: It's pretty bad. Has just about all the old war movie cliches and ALL the lefty anti-war chliches(everyone's there because they're screw ups or poor, or the one guy who is dumb and actually wants to be there).

War Movie Cliches:
*It has the hard bitten sergeant who yells, but really cares.
*The philospher.
*The brotha' who just wants to get along, and sings gospel.
*The O-G brotha' who's rather racist.
*The officers are stupid and do things to get the men killed because they're stupid.
*THe officers face no danger and live rather high on the hog.(A captain drives up in a humvee with gangsta rap playing real loud, and his utilities aren't even dusty).

Anti-war cliches:
*War reveals Man to be the Beast that he is. (Oooooh. Deep.).
*Everyone who is there, except for the one gung-ho fool from Texas (Texas! Get it?), doesn't want to be there and joined because of misfortune.
*The openly religious character is rather cruel (she crushes the hand of dead Iraqi).
*Almost all the soldiers come from poor families.
*Ah, and the song. 'Where someone has to die.' Deep.

Then there's all the errors in the stupid thing.
*They have a transport squad holding the perimeter on a mosque for three
days, where the transport just happened to be shot up.
*An Abrams tank is on hand, but isn't used in the assault on the mosque AT ALL.
*During a night movement all the soldiers move line abreast standing
more or less straight up, and don't even attempt to utilize any cover at
all as they move.
*While digging foxholes a female soldier(who happens to be the religious one) starts to whine, get in a shouting match with one of her squad mates, and of course draws all hell down on the squad.
*A squad member goes wandering off on their own to go #2, and of course
gets ambushed and nearly killed. Having to be rescued by the rest of the squad.

They tried to play this off as neutral in the press. It's anything but. It's hackneyed. It's poorly written(if I can point out technical flaws you know it's got a lot of problems). It's the typical backdrop for doing other issues(like race, like gender, the role of mankind, etc).Don't waste your time. Hopefully this will go down in flames like Cop Rock.

I'll observe that the hackneyed part *was* noted by Ms. Stanley in her review. Got to give her credit there - but I'll leave my opinion out of this for a bit. She still liked it because it gave, she feels, an authentic view of the war. And, if you accept the anti's spin to the war, she's correct.

As for going down in flames... if the combat scenes and characters can suck you in, I suspect people will watch it. It plays to the low expectations people set for stuff like that. The more interesting part will be... does this set the Zeitgeist for the war... as M*A*S*H kind of did for Korea (and Vietnam, too)? The characters of M*A*S*H were generally likeable, and we military types all knew Burn's and Houlihan's... but did the show represent Korea? Not really. Does it in the communal mind... arguably.

Interesting question - and I suspect this audience isn't going to be diverse enough in outlook and opinion (no slam guys, but on things military and the war, we're pretty much a cluster, it's on things social where we have our spread) to answer this question well... but how many people's perceptions of Vietnam are shaped by Platoon... or by We Were Soldiers?

Sounds like we'll need to get the milbloggers working on it - how about you guys that have time to do it go visit the milblog world, see who commented on the show (preferably by watching it) and send me the links? We can put together a consolidated milblogger 'review' center. Let's see if we can find stuff from guys who have been in the box (or are, if it's available over there) as opposed to old farts like me (though those are good too, but let's face it, as commentary on the show, guys who are the models for the show are gonna have the cred!

Update: The milblog reviews are rolling in:

Charmaine Yoest of Reasoned Audacity Live-blogged it.
Air Force Pundit.
Commander Salamander.

I could have gone on for 3,000 words, but the show wasn't worth it to me, so
I kept it uncharacteristically short and not-so-sweet.

ES: Lost opportunity. Good concept smothered by bad writing and a bad-hollywood-vietnam-movie template they just could totally get rid of.

Honestly John, who in the military of 2005 can get away with smoking a joint in the open on base in front of the "motor pool" with other soldiers watching/down wind.....and no one does anything? They started out with this, and from a crediblity standpoint lost me from there.

Oh, one more things....they had more callsigns than a looped CD of "Top Gun." Lost chance.

I am still waiting for the movie of the 2001 mounted attack in AF promised
in 2002...


The Word Unheard.
A Healthy Alternative To Work.

Interesting the positive views, like Freakychylde or Brandon's Mom:

I watched Steven Boccho's Over There. Being a Mom of an Iraqi Vet I at first was very apprehensive. I found in watching the show it was entertaining and believable. Not having been to Iraq or in any war I do not know if this hold true for the ones that were actually there.
I do feel it will help bring awareness to what our boots on the ground face and that is a good thing.

I think thus far, the concern amongst the milbloggers (a surprising number of whom couldn't/didn't/wouldn't watch the show) disagree that it truly shows what the 'Boots on the Ground' face, much less behave.

Castle Philosophtrix Kat spent *mucho* effort on this.
Final Review.

by John on Jul 28, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» The Word Unheard links with: Forgive Me for Lack of Interest in 'Over There'
» Swanky Conservative links with: Milbloggers weighing in on Over There
» Reasoned Audacity: Politics in Real Life links with: Live-Blogging "Over There"
» A Healthy Alternative to Work links with: "Over There" met with some hostility
» CDR Salamander links with: Over where?
» Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave links with: Over There
» Ed links with: Over There: Over And Out
» The Indepundit links with: "Over There"
» Signaleer links with: "Over There" TV series on FX....
» The Indepundit links with: "Over There"
» Just Some Poor Schmuck links with: "Over There" Overhyped
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol
» Joe's Dartblog links with: TV Reviews From Those Who Have Been "Over There"
» Random Thoughts From Marybeth links with: Over There
» Literal Barrage links with: Saved By A Review
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Over Where?
» Dean's World links with: Bochco's Over There Bombs With Current Military Personnel
» Dean's World links with: Bochco's Over There Bombs With Current Military Personnel
» trying to grok links with: OVER THERE

Continuing the Art Thang

So much neat stuff has been appearing under the aegis of the Art of the Liberated that I think it's safe to branch out a bit.

How 'bout Art of the Liberators.

And, for those of you into the Retro Look...


The Armorer offers up this.

And this!

And of course, for Dusty!

Lastly, for our Canadian Friends...

Fanfare and Flourishes

Castle Argghhh! is pleased to announce both the birth of the blogosphere's newest Chylde and the reason Denizenne Fuzzybear Lioness has only been appearing on rare occasions.

Ummm--come to think of it, both items are congruent. Drop in and give FbL her first instalanche!

And regardless of the sorta muzzy blogparentage and blogsiblingage, John *still* gets to score another entry on the blogroll.

On a sour note, her birthday (*sigh* yesterday) passed unheralded by the Adjutant. Barb must be having issues with her new Mac...

*heading post-haste for the bunker, donning kevlar and k-pot enroute*

by CW4BillT on Jul 28, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!

Tagged, Eh?

Oh-kay. What's on my nightstand? That's dirt-simple.

Nothing. I don't have a nightstand.

However, I have to pass this along, so lessee who's been feeling lonesome and neglected lately...

Walking point, Sarge B. Just the casual nomenclature—you don’t have to include the NSNs.

Lady Blue on the left flank. And no fair sloughing it off on G-Man.

Lady Huntress on the right flank. Oh, man—I can just see the list blowing the bottom right out of her site…

Main body consisting of the Flutterby. Maybe answering this’ll get her sis off her case…

And Former Castle Correspondent (Afghan Office) MSG Keith walking drag (no, guys, that's milspeak for "rear guard"). Should be interesting to see if his nightstand at AP Hill is the one with PT Beauregard’s initials carved into the top…

Geez, *that* was easy enough. Dunno why John's always kvetching about these things...

July 27, 2005

Hark! A Snark!

Just because I wanted to make *sure* you guys went and checked it out... Commander Salamander noted my note on the change of GWOT to GSAVE. Now - go check out the 'Phibian's take on that - GETEM!

And if ya think it's funny too, don't link to here unless you *also* link to the Salamander - he deserves the credit! I'll be happy to stand back and watch.

BTW - the Castle Store has been updated with Art of the Liberated! items...

Oh, yeah - and Rammer thought he was gonna sneak through where I work at Fort Leavenworth and not get caught? Puh-leeze! Busted in yer seekrit meeting! (No, Rammer/Punctilious, I *don't* want to know how many times he's already done it! [hands over ears] La-la-la-la-la-la-la!) You are, however, welcome for the break my interruption provided.

While looking for things on Blog O'Ram to link to, Punctilious pointed me to this, at Sondra K's... Why I Am Here? Perhaps Alessandra Stanley, of the NYTs, would care to read that post, if she's so hard put to find news of the warrior.

by John on Jul 27, 2005 | Pugnacious Stupidity
» Techography links with: Wow!
» Blog o'RAM links with: Oh the Horror!

Okay, let's lighten up.

H/t, Jim C.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

This could have been our now-departed Golden Retriever Mickey McBear, except she didn't have this kind of patience. Her prayer of thanks would have been a chocolate-on-the-muzzle after-the-fact kinda thing.

by John on Jul 27, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Techography links with: Pet Blogging

Hmmm. Changing programs, checking guns, and surplus sales..

...when you rename a program, it's usually because it has garnered enough bad publicity that you are trying to drop the baggage. Which means, of course, as an analyst, you dig deeper to see what's being hidden.

Sounds like they do that elsewhwere, too.

I see that Gunner noticed, as well.

While we're doing this - let's link to Alphecca's Weekly Check on the Bias, too! (Worth it for the pics alone!)

Then there's this - calling all old farts! Remember those old Desk, Double Pedestal, Steel, that inhabited the Dayroom, CQ station, First Sergeant's and CO's offices?

Guess what! For Three Thousand Dollars - you can have a restored one! Yessireebob! Courtesy, Restoration Hardware! As observed in the email revealing this Decorator's Dream:

Remember the gray/cream colored steel "Desk, Double Pedestal" that furnished every Army Orderly Room? Restoration Hardware now refurbishes and sells them for $2000! And, you can get a recovered Army swivel chair for $1195!

$3300 for your den to look like a 1985 CQ dayroom. There's something ironically funny going on here. The DRMO staff are all driving Porsches.

Hee! I know better - my ratty unrefinished desk cost me $30 when I bought it at Fort Sill 10 years ago...

Yessir! I already got me a Tanker Desk! And better yet, it still has the markings on it from the old Pershing Missile PM office!

If you want one of your very own, just click here!

Raptors aloft!

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An F/A-22 Raptor, flown by Maj. John Teichert, releases a guided bomb unit-32 1,000-pound joint direct attack munitions at supersonic speed for the first time near California's Panamint Mountain range. Major Teichert is a test pilot assigned to the 411th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darin Russell)

Hi-res, click here.

For the Aviation Geeks among us! From an email:

Subject: F-22 Raptor Pilot Report

Subject: Pilot Report F-22 Raptor

Aircraft: 4002 Date: 10 June 2005
Flight: 2-664 Takeoff: 1042L
Pilot: Randy Neville Land: 1141L
Test Conductor: N/A Flt Time: 1.0 Hr
Chase : JB Brown ECS: File 54
OFP: 54


This was the final flight for 4002 before it returns to storage. It was also my final Raptor flight before moving to Seattle. The flight went smoothly, although I encountered some highly localized showers upon exiting the aircraft.

As I leave the program with a bit over 600 hours in this amazing machine, I realize just how fortunate I have been to have the opportunity to be involved in the development of the incredible blend of technologies that the Raptor represents.

I can remember the early days of working with the engineering IPT's and helping with the training of the First Flight control room team. When Paul Metz got airborne in 4001 for the first time, I was the "Voice of Raptor", narrating events to flight line guests over a PA system and to various program sites via a live video feed. I was fortunate to fly the first flight on 4005, which was also the first time we flew with the Block 3.0 software and actually demonstrated sensor fusion. The 2-year surge to complete envelope expansion was quite a ride, including the Mach 2.0 split-s's and even the -11g fini-flight on 4003. Some may express concern at the pace of developing new technology, but frankly, looking back as EMD slows down and operational units ramp up, it is hard to believe how far the program has come. From the days of 1998 when we had an annual goal of 183 flight hours, to the massive ramp up to support the envelope expansion surge along with Initial OT&E when we flew over 2800 hours in FY2004, we have had a constant string of challenges. Hidden to many, but obvious to those of us on the program, every single one of those flight hours has a story behind it, punctuated by the dedication, ingenuity, frustration, exhilaration, brains, and sweat of a huge team of motivated professionals. It has been an honor to be associated with this program and with all the professionals everywhere on the team. Thanks for the ride.


Ya wanna read those - hit the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jul 27, 2005 | Aircraft
» Cowboy Blob links with: Raptor Rapture

July 26, 2005


Proof of p*$$y-whipped men from a looooong time ago. As if there was any doubt...

Proof I say, that gurls have been driving us to impotence for millenia!

And forced them to take matters into their own hands...

Ht/t, Drudge.

On Nuking Mecca, part II.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Something I noticed today. I'm never going to score that OP-Ed gig, and will continue to have to self-publish in order to satisfy the my jonesing on the subject.

Tod Lindberg articulated my general position far better than I did in my overly-wordy screed. You should read the whole thing - but here are the money grafs for me:

But that does not exhaust the interest of Mr. Tancredo's statements, for two reasons. First, a not-inconsequential number of Americans probably agree with him, and who knows what polls would show following the nuclear destruction of an American city or two? Second, Mr. Tancredo, in his Op-Ed if not in his initial comments, couches his threat to Mecca in the name of deterrence: He wants to promise something so terrible to a would-be terrorist that the terrorist gives up his plans. This raises a slightly different question: Is it wrong to threaten to do something horrible in order to obtain a benefit from the threat? On the first point, many if not most Americans nowadays probably do harbor a post-tribal moral sensibility, according to which the deaths of non-Americans register as a loss that matters. This is classical liberalism overlain upon nationalist or tribalist sentiment, which it attenuates. For purposes of contrast, think of the proposition that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" or the moral calculation that justified the firebombing of Dresden. American soldiers are dying in Iraq because of our liberality, our commitment to a decent government for Iraqis: Otherwise we could have flattened the place, turned the keys over to the toughest local goon, warned him to stay away from WMD, and left.

But the hold of this liberality over more primordial sentiments has not been tested by anything nearly as extreme as the death of scores of thousands of Americans in a nuclear terror attack. I hope it never is. But if it is, the authorities had better figure out a response that does justice to Americans' righteous anger. Otherwise they will likely be voted out in favor of someone promising more decisive action.

I would note the last two lines of that quote capture a primary objection many people had to what I said, and those were valid criticisms of my bloviation on the subject. You should read Lindberg's whole piece here.

Representative Tom Tancredo defends himself in an OP-Ed in the Denver Post this last Sunday.

Without question, my comments have prompted strong reactions from many quarters, but they have also served to start a national dialogue about what options we have to deter al-Qaeda and other would-be Islamic terrorists.

Indeed - we had that discussion here, a multi-national one, at that!

Here, he makes a point many of you, including Emperor Misha I, Grand Master of the Anti-Idiotarian Universe, made:

But should we take any option or target off the table, regardless of the circumstances? Absolutely not, particularly if the mere discussion of an option or target may dissuade a fundamentalist Muslim extremist from strapping on a bomb-filled backpack, or if it might encourage "moderate" Muslims to do a better job cracking down on extremism in their ranks.

Many of you are from the John Derbyshire school of Foreign Affairs. I'm not the greatest of Derbyshire fans, but he does do William of Ockham's toiletries well in his bit (you need to read the whole thing) from which I have lifted this:

Outside the pale of civilization -- a phrase that, I believe, fairly describes the Muslim Middle East -- things are much more difficult. Sending in 130,000 troops to occupy country X is not a bad idea, I suppose; but then, what do you do about country Y and country Z? See the difficulty?

I believe, and hope, that there are ways to kill satisfactory numbers of jihadis without either (a) having a dependable local government to do it for us, or (b) placing 130,000 Americans in the offending nation.

Your idea -- the administration's idea -- is that we convert Iraq (and then, I suppose, country Y and country Z) into Anglosphere-type nations, whom we can depend on to take care of matters themselves, using their own police and army. I believe -- and I am sorry to be blunt about it -- that this is a preposterous fantasy. I should be sufficiently astounded if we could turn Iraq into a Greece, or a Mexico. We might, with luck, turn it into a Saudi Arabia, but... Surely you see the problem?

So... let's recap. I concede I didn't express myself well, especially in the initial bit, which was thinking-while-typing. Some of that derives from trying to not get work involved, which can be a challenge.

Tancredo, Lindberg, and I agree, let's not nuke Muslim Holy Sites reflexively. But let's leave 'em on the target lists.

I'm with Derbyshire, too, as I've said before - nation-building is fine, but to create what we think of as anglo-style democracy (and you can include India in this) is really a decades-long process, and you have to have some basic societal and economic pre-requisites met... many of which are arguably not present in many ME countries. The Brits tried it, but the world changed before they could make it work... and I'm not sure that we can, or should, try to do that in a slightly different mold.

But we *do* have to find some way to take the war to the terrs. And given the sanctuarys provided some of them, there are going to be some sensitivies offended in the doing.

Okay, start whacking at me again. It feels good when you stop.

by John on Jul 26, 2005
» Techography links with: Definition of a Soldier
» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill links with: Hugh Hewitt takes the Norquist definition of Islam

Head up, drinking coffee...

Update: I predicted the Usual Suspects in Canada would get annoyed with General Hillier for suggesting that the purpose of an Army was, in the final analysis, to fight and kill. (scroll down to 'straight talking') I was right. As Canadian blogger Angry in the Great White North points out - the Usual Suspects *also* have no sense of history. Of course not - that's how they can reinvent themselves with a straight face all the time. Heh. The Brits used the Canadian Corps and ANZACs as hammers in WWI, and WWII, and they've been active a few times since, too. Sheesh!

From an email:

A doctor's reputation is made by the number of eminent men who die under his care.

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.

He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
- All from George Bernard Shaw, 1856 – 1950

I bolded the bolds. They indicate he foresaw modern democrats.

I'm afraid with the second bold, he also foresaw most Republicans, as well. H/t, Jim C.

Filed under the "Get a Clue" label...

Coast Guard, under stress to keep it's ships afloat and aircraft aloft - seeks another mission...

From Brock Meeks, via MSNBC via Larry K:

WASHINGTON — The Coast Guard is close to becoming the chief protector of the airspace over the nation’s capital has learned.

The Coast Guard would take over from the civilian Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, which currently has primary responsibility for the nation's airspace.

“Our understanding is that discussions are still continuing between Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security,” Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Carter, a Coast Guard spokesman, said on Friday. “No decisions have been made yet. There are proposals but those are at the departmental level.”

Having demonstrated ineptness at briefing Congress, the Coast Guard's top sailor is back at work:

Last year the Coast Guard's Collins told Congress that his No. 1 priority was to modernize the agency's aging and technologically obsolete aircraft, boats and cutters. "Our legacy systems are wearing out at a much faster rate then their current rate of replacement," he said at the time. "From my perspective, this is the greatest threat to continued mission performance."

Perhaps he's learning. Remember to ask for the money that goes with the mission, Admiral. And then manage it better than you have your programs thus far, sir.

Egyptian bloggers against terrorism. Credit where it's due. Castle Philosophotrix Kat was on the ball, too. H/t, ALa.

Upwardly mobile Neptunus Lex brings us Bomber Psychology and support for Greyhawk's assault on the International Freedom Center.

RINO Roundup!

Via AFSis, *what* is wrong with these people?

Barb points you to a murder mystery... and who should find themselves in the middle of it but Castle Commenter and Bill-groupie, Huntress! Barb also weighs in a bit on the *Art show*.

Cassandra is on a rant roll over at Villainous Company. Wet screen alert.

Okay, coffee's done, back on my head.

by John on Jul 26, 2005 | General Commentary
» ThePolitic - Canadian Political Weblog links with: Bloggers swimming against the tide

Art of the Liberated, Pt II.

For Part I, see post below! In all cases, click on the picture for the full-size version.

New submissions. First, a joint effort from Castle Philosophotrix Kat and the Armorer:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

And two more submissions from Bloodspite of Techography:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Keep the cards and letters coming in, folks!

July 25, 2005

Art of the Liberated

Yesterday, I suggested those that had an interest, should send their Art that supports the War on Terror and those who fight it to the Sacramento show that is being on to counter the California Attorney General's Legal Art Show, discussed here and here.

Then I said, if you wanted to create your own digital (or digitized) art, I'd host it here. I have a cheesy name.


And we have three submissions thus far. Hey - it's a Meme we can run with!

This pic from the Lockyer show inspired these two:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Bloodspite sent this:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

If you *don't* want official credit, please let me know! Items that are copyright free may find their way to the Castle Store with the Artists permission. All proceeds from the Castle Store (currently $1 per item) go to charity.

Part II is in the post above this one.

by John on Jul 25, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Techography links with: Art of the Liberated
» Iraq War Today links with: Blogwatch

July 24, 2005

Plane Pr0n.

Since I picked on Dusty's beloved Air Force earlier I'll balance it with Plane Pr0n. Official pics of the F22's trip to Langley AFB. I've posted one of these pics before - because it has Fort Monroe in it, and would have been an even better picture without the big grey thing blocking the view...

Anyway - click the picture to go to the Castle F22 album.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Hey - izzit just me, or does this thing mostly look like a chunky F15 on steroids?

by John on Jul 24, 2005 | Aircraft

How do you tell you *don't* live in an Army town?

I covered how to tell you *do* in this post.

Here's how to tell if you probably don't. People have to send out press releases (even to medium traffic milbloggers) like this:

>>> "I LOVE AMERICA" ART EXHIBIT To counter anti-American art Featured at Attorney General's Office

>>> Pro-American Art Exhibit & Rally
Downtown Sacramento, 13th & I Streets - Thursday, July 28 3:30 - 10:00

(SACRAMENTO) - The controversy surrounding the display of an anti-American, anti-military, anti-Christian "art" exhibit at the publicly-funded California Department of Justice building in downtown Sacramento will take a turn in a different direction this week.

The offensive anti-American art can be seen here.

Move America Forward, a non-profit organization based in Sacramento, California that supports our troops and their heroic fight against terrorism (website: will be organizing a pro-American counter art exhibit, titled, "I LOVE AMERICA" on the sidewalks outside of the anti-American exhibit.

"The offensive material displayed at the Department of Justice building sends the message to the terrorists around the world that American morale is low. Having just returned from Iraq I can tell you that our soldiers and Marines reported that every anti-American news story is used as a rallying cry by the terrorist insurgents as evidence that they are winning the war for hearts and minds," said Melanie Morgan, Chairman of Move America Forward.

"We are not saying people do not have a right to produce and display such offensive art, but it should not be sponsored by a taxpayer funded official and displayed in a taxpayer funded building. Does the Attorney General not have any shame by promoting a display that undermines American forces when we are in an armed conflict in the war on terrorism?" asked Morgan.

While the Attorney General has tried to distance his involvement in the affair, Move America Forward has obtained the press release showing Lockyer's sponsorship of the exhibit. Lockyer said he was "honored" to sponsor the exhibit, praising the display's "style" and "beauty"

See Press Release Here.

"Instead of simply protesting that the display is in a taxpayer funded facility, and sponsored by the taxpayer funded Attorney General and California Arts Council, we wanted to do something pro-active and positive. And that's when we came up with the idea for the 'I LOVE AMERICA' art exhibit," Morgan said.

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The "I LOVE AMERICA" art exhibit will be featured in front of the California Department of Justice building (located at 1300 I Street in Downtown Sacramento) from 3:30 PM to 10:00 PM this Thursday, July 28, 2005. The pro-American art exhibit will be directly in front of the offensive exhibit on display on the first floor of the California Department of Justice building.

Members of the public are invited to contribute their own artwork to the exhibit. Move America Forward asks that entries be approximately 8.5" x 11" and be accompanied with a note of support for our troops serving in Iraq & fghanistan, either on the back or on a separate piece of paper.

After the display is taken down Thursday night, Move America Forward will pack each individual display, along with note of support to our troops, and will ship them to the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as a morale booster.

Each piece of artwork will be accompanied by a shipment of premium ground coffee and cookies as part of Move America Forward's "Cookies & Coffee for Our Troops" program. Local Sacramento coffee roaster, Cornerstone Coffee, is the official coffee supplier for this program.

Move America Forward and Sacramento radio host, Mark Williams of KFBK 1530 Sacramento, will be the hosts of this event, however we are working with talk radio hosts from around the country to promote the exhibit.

Already, artwork has been arriving from around the nation. The very first piece arrived via overnight mail from Key West, Florida with a poignant message in support of our troops.

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Additionally hundreds of people are expected for a pro-America rally that will take place simultaneous to the art exhibit.

The rally will take place in front of the California Department of Justice building at 1300 I Street in Downtown Sacramento (corner of 13th and I streets).

Participants are invited to bring American flags, and signs showcasing their support for our troops and America's heritage of democracy and liberty.

"We want to send a message heard round the world that Americans stand united with our troops and the fight against terrorism. And we want to make it very clear that those who constantly howl about how bad they think our nation is are but a very small minority," Melanie Morgan said.

The event will also be carried live on KFBK 1530 AM in Sacramento from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM on Thursday, July 28.

For more information on these two events visit

Also, details of the "I LOVE AMERICA" art exhibit and pro-American rally will be discussed from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM each day on the "Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Show" on KSFO 560 AM in northern California and during the evenings from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Mark William's "Night Talk Live" on KFBK 1530 AM.

CONTACT: Mark Washburn or (916) 441-6197

Edited to create hyperlinks.

Members of the public are invited to contribute their own artwork to the exhibit. Move America Forward asks that entries be approximately 8.5" x 11" and be accompanied with a note of support for our troops serving in Iraq & fghanistan, either on the back or on a separate piece of paper.

If any of the Castle Readership would like to create some art I encourage you to do so - and if you can put it into digits, I'll post them here, too. If you can only do it in time to get to them - send it to them! If you make some thing that can't get there in time - send it along. If we get anything, we'll put it up!


Let's see if we can't get Dusty up out of "Having a life defilade..." He's using temporary lodging dial-up as an excuse.

But I *can* report he's having a good time otherwise.

Military Terms and Translations

Army Navy/USMC Air Force
Latrine Head Powder Room
Cot Rack A Single with ruffle and duvet
Mess Hall Chow Hall Cafe'
BDU's Utilities Casual Wear
Private Seaman Bobby or Jimmy
Sergeant Chief Bob or Jim
Colonel Captain / Skipper Robert or James
Article 15 Captain's Mast/Office Hrs Time Out
Barracks Billets Dormitory
Underwear Skivvies Lingerie
Put in confinement facility Thrown in the Brig Grounded

Anybody got some they want to add?

by John on Jul 24, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Mudville Gazette links with: Do not Click
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Sunday grins & games
» NIF links with: High Sheikh of Pork