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August 20, 2005


...and I got Joanie's freely-offered cherry, and left her in knots...

Flight out here was uneventful, and we arrived waving at the terrified tourists and blase locals 6 feet under the aircraft as it crossed I-5 (which is damn near the threshold of the runway), but there was a nice view (looking up) of the chick just coming out of the shower in the apartment building 6 feet away from the wingtip. The guys-in-front let the bird mush a bit and hadda goose her on landing to not set down short of the white stripes, which gave a nice little float there and then she quit flying and flopped down on the runway while the GIF stood on the brakes. I know it's a tough approach into Lindbergh, but my last recollection of landing there was coming in steep and slamming down, not just gliding in over the houses...

Got the bags, got the car (new G6, 55 miles on it) and headed out.

Missed the turn onto the highway, out of the airport, which was good. Took us right by the harbor where they're having a tall ships event this week, so we got to see the ships as I sought a place to turn around.

Then discovered that the road on the map that clearly shows going through, doesn't. Ends in cul-de-sac. But it does look like they intend to put it through sometime. Just not anytime soon.

We hooked up with Joanie and went to a local eatery called Trophys. Essentially a sports bar with a good menu, it is chock full of sports memorabilia... like the 1974 Oakland A's World Series trophy and others of that ilk and caliber.

Then the ladies planned my day today, which, I believe, is Balboa Park and the museums (and shopping) there. I'm for it. The Aerospace Museum, Model Railroad Museum... yummy. Tomorrow, Blog-B-Que at Doc-in-the-Box!

I gotta go hit brekkies and such - here's what's briefly of interest around the Castle:

If you haven't already, check out AFSis's new digs! Hubba-hubba, girl!

Alan gives us an update of what Johnny Depp is up to... with Hunter Thompson.

Kat continues her attack on western mis-understanding of Sha'ria (or, perhaps more accurately, male western writer's misunderstanding of Sha'ria after talking to Muslim men about Sha'ria) as it pertains to women.

Punctilious discusses 'bed head' and Rammer, like me, is speechless at this piece of political theater. Let it be noted that this Right Wing Blog said, "Governor Taft, Resign."

SWWBO has the Carnival of the Recipes, Volume II, Number 1!

What? No Tech Wench? Cassandra rambles on...

This is probably illegal, me, linking to Barb, who is channeling SGT B... about the USS New York, the warship being built with some steel from the WTC. She then muses about Understanding the Culture. Which, since I'm linking to a post that links to here, may cause a wormhole and suck you into an alternate univers where Kos is president. If so, I'm sorry.

The Snarkatron is loose! Free as in Freedom. Not Free as in Beer.

Jack at Random Fate changes tack for a bit and discusses nanotubes! Get some, Jack!

SGT B discusses Grunts and the Press (always a dangerous combination!)

Fuzzybear Lioness discovers being a Mover and A Shaker, plus having a real job, eats into your blogging time...

MSG Keith reveals his mushy side...a>

August 19, 2005

Getting Ready to head to 'Dago...

Building on Bill's theme below here's some relief from Cindy Sheehan, Madonna, the BTK Killer, Global Warming, and high gas prices.

Good day for the Navy: USS Constitution versus HMS Guerrière.

19 August, 1942.Hard-ass Canadians.

Two hard-ass Americans:

CAPT Brian Chontosh. H/t, Bob S.

Cecil Matheny (this link will change, better read it today!) H/t, Jim C.

Best.Movie.Line.Ever! Again, H/t, Jim C.

And then there's this: Another published milblogger! Woo-woo!


Contact: LeeAnn Lessard

LBF Books, Public Relations

Pittsburgh , PA



New Book Detailing the Everyday Life of an American Soldier's Experience with The War on Terror from LBF Books

PITTSBURGH, PA , Aug. 18 - LBF Books to publish Soldier Life: A Day in the Life of an American Soldier (ISBN 1-885093-44-6 ). The book details the author's experiences while deployed and back home, weaving a gut-wrenching, heartfelt tapestry of experiences and emotions unique to soldiers' living and dying in this war. American Soldier's work comprised of elements drawn from his critically acclaimed and widely read weblog (, aims to bring the grim, yet human face of war to readers everywhere.

The author, writing under a pseudonym to protect his identity, delivers a first-person account of the constantly changing world of an American Soldier attempting to balance both family and responsibility while enduring the reality of war. Soldier Life: A Day in the Life of an American Soldier chronicles the events engulfing modern day patriots, and the hardships he willingly endured to ensure safety and security of family and country left behind.

Soldier Life: A Day in the Life of an American Soldier is required reading for those looking for an intimate insight into the minds of fathers, husbands, and warriors serving in this war.

LBF Books plans to release Soldier Life: A Day in the Life of an American Soldier in December, 2005.

American Soldier & LBF Books will be donating a large portion of the proceeds to Soldiers Angels ( and Operation Troop Appreciation ( Both organizations are federally recognized programs that assist Troops abroad with care packages and items needed while deployed.

It's time again... trot this out. I posted it on the Flight Ops wall in Boz on 17 September, 2001.

In times when the MSM pontificates that the only thing we're accomplishing with the GWOT is the bloody downsizing of our Armed Forces, and disheartened relatives of the slain moan that every extra day we're in battle dishonors the memories of their loved ones, remember this:

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. —John Stuart Mill (1868)

And unless we remain willing to fight this war and win it, there will, in time, *be* no personal safety...

by CW4BillT on Aug 19, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» The Politburo Diktat links with: Friday offenders!
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Understanding the culture

August 18, 2005

TF160 and the SEALS in Afghanistan.

From an email:

By the way, the Afghan family that hid the SEAL survivor is now out of Afghanistan and safe.

FYI: Bert has been stationed in Afghanistan for a year and is coming home this week. He just completed his last mountain mission before returning and should be on his way home. Read the account of the attached letter concerning the SEALs.

-----Original Message-----


Hello everyone, this is my final update. Let me start by telling you that I am in excellent health and in good spirits. I apologize for not keeping you informed these last few months but our operational tempo was too high and our operational security did not allow me to share with you what missions we were conducting. When I return home I hope to sit down and write about our spring offensive here. However I will share with you that my team in Farah captured Mullah Sultan who was a mid level Taliban leader and a target that we had been searching for several months. He is still being interrogated in Afghanistan but should be making the long journey to GITMO (providing it is still open) very soon.20

I will be home in a couple of weeks and plan to have a party around Labor Day weekend so please mark you calendars because I would love to see you there. This update will be extremely short but I do want to close it by telling you some insight about the SEAL Team and Night Stalker tragedy that occurred a few weeks ago. By now you have heard a lot about what happen but I really want share how significant that event was to the soldiers on the ground here and to explain in my opinion why I feel it is important that all Americans continue the fight for freedom.

Before I explain what happen to the SEALs, I want to thank you all for your prayers, emails, care packages, yard work and all the things that you did for me in my family while I have been deployed. The support from my friends and neighbors has been incredible and humbling. Your support has helped me to endure this incredibly long year and to concentrate on what I was doing here with minimum worrying about Pam and "A". Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

The Naval Special Forces (NAVSOF) team that was involved in the operation in Kunar Province had been traveling throughout Afghanistan conducting apprehend or kill missions against Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives. They had worked with us for two weeks, three weeks before the events on June 28. While working with our teams, they attempted to take out a high value Taliban target and missed him by hours. This operation was conducted in the Zerico Valley which has been one of our hot spots. We provided the outer ring security for the SEALs with Afghan National Army soldiers and ETTs while the SEALs conducted the compound assault. We missed the big target but did get some mid level guys so the mission was not a total bust. The NAVSOF guys are the best of the best, not cocky simply professionals in every way, we call them operators.

On June 28 a four man SEAL reconnaissance team was trying to locate Taliban in the dense mountainous and forested area of the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. They were trying to identify routes that the bad guys use to enter from Pakistan. The targeting information would be used to direct U.S. and Afghan forces who would interdict and destroy those enemy forces. The SEALs were spotted and engaged by a large force of Taliban some where between 25-50 insurgents. The Taliban who are still alive and fighting in Afghanistan are very good combatants. Unlike Iraq Arabs, they are not suicidal and they use good small unit tactics. The bad guys used Rocket Propel Grenades (RPGs), mortars and small arms to attack the SEALs. The team set up a 360 degree defense and called in [redacted] (troops in contact) back to their operational base. The command and control headquarters for U.S. Forces in Afghanistan moved a Predator unmanned drone over the battle location. The SEALs were located by the predator by their locator beacon and the infrared camera system of the drone. 20

The headquarters could see that the TEAM was encircled by bad guys and that the enemy was too close to the SEALs to use Air force close air support. A weather front was rapidly coming into the area and the SEAL Commander a Lieutenant Commander ask permission to launch his quick reaction force to go rescue his men. The commander of the Task Force 160th (the Night Stalkers) agreed to fly the mission. The Night Stalkers are the Army's Special Operations air wing. They specialize in high risk insertion and extraction at night. It was not night fall yet and the command hesitated because sending the special operation birds into the area in the light was very risky. The Generals look at the screen that was giving a live feed of the fire fight, they saw that the SEALs were surrounded, they did not see a way for them to escape, a weather front was coming, it was dusk but not dark yet and time for the trapped men was running out.

Leadership requires having the guts to make a decision, based on analysis and forethought. You must totally recognize the risk and be ready to accept the results. The general in charge made the right call, he had to try to rescue the operators, we as American soldiers can not leave our people on the battlefield, every Airman, Marine, Sailor, Coast Guardsmen and Soldier has to know that when you go down range and things go wrong keep fighting and help will come.

The decision was made, two CH 47 Chinook helicopters headed toward the SEALs. The CH 47 is a large aircraft but it is fast for a helicopter, able to fly at 170 knots. The aircraft entered the mountains flying at 50 feet above the ground with 16 men aboard. All four SEALs were still alive and fighting an unbelievable battle. As the lead bird approached the landing zone they started to slow down and the air speed dropped under 100 Knots, another group of Taliban, not engaged in the initial firefight but in the area saw the aircraft and open fire with small arms and RPG's. The lead aircraft was hit by a RPG but the aviator kept the bird in the air. They were in the mountains; therefore there was no clear place to land. He flew for about a mile and saw a ledge that he could try to put the bird down on. The CH 47 landed on the ledge hard, they almost made it. The hard landing and the palpitations of the rotors were too much for the small landing zone and weak ground. It was their time, the aircraft rolled off of the ledge on to its side and down the mountain into the valley below. 8 SEALs and 8 aviators from TF 160th were gone.

The other aircraft could not land in the hot landing zone and were called back. There was not enough time to try to secure the area because the weather front moved in and night fall fell. The SEALs kept fighting and used the cover of darkness to crawl out of the initial enemy lines. The SEALs were engaged again and had a running gun battle for over two hours. The SEAL that survived was knocked unconscious by a mortar round and found that he was alone when he woke up. Two of his team members were dead close by, and the last team member was missing. They had dropped all none essential gear during their escape therefore all contact with them was lost. Eventually the surviving SEAL ran into a villager who took him to his house. That shepherd, at great risk to himself, protected the SEAL until he could be moved six hours away to the nearest U.S. forces that the villager was aware of.

The loss of the operators really broke the hearts of all us deployed down range. Losing men of that quality and dedication is bad enough one at a time, but to lose so many, so fast was hard to comprehend. But after the shock had worn off and we got the true story of what happen we took solace. You see every one did what they supposed to on that day, the SEAL recon team kept fighting, the SEAL commander went to get his shipmates, the Night Stalkers volunteered to fly in to harms way to rescue their brothers in arms and the generals had the guts to make the right decision. That is all you can ask for out here, it is what it is and everything else is god's will.

I have had the pleasure of serving with some unbelievable men and woman in the last year. Folks from 18 to 59 (yes 59). It has been an honor. I really appreciated America before I came to Afghanistan but this experience has truly opened my eyes to how bless my life has been. Folks I know this is a cliche', but freedom is not free. Embrace it, respect it and don't ever stop fighting for it. These people over here are far from free, but we have given them a taste of it. We need to ensure that we don't give up the fight because to do so would be to dishonor all the men and woman who have died to ensure we remain free. Freedom is contagious, with it, out goes tyranny. The evil people that attack America on September 11th were not free because if they were, they would not have cared what another's persons beliefs are they would simply accept them for what they are and moved on. Please continue to pray for all the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, don't stop praying for me because I am still here, and your prayers have been working so keep it up, I don't to mess up a good thing. I will be home soon, God bless you all, God bless America and thanks again, goodbye

Cheers, Bert

Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light and dark side, and it binds the universe together.

H/t, Mike L.

Leave no man behind.

For a genuine Operator's perspective on this story, go visit Froggy Ruminations.

Update: a commenter, BSFlag, raises a concern about this email. I'm fine with that - but if you essentially want me to pull something, you're gonna hafta give me a real email address. If you don't want to comment publicly, fine - I can be reached by the email address links in the sidebar.

by John on Aug 18, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Stop The ACLU links with: Congrats, Thanks, and Linky Love
» The Word Unheard links with: The Right Stuff
» The Blue State Conservatives links with: The Right Stuff

Taking care of business.

Tomorrow, the Castle Traveling Roadshow takes off for San Diego. I've got a little corporate training to attend, and intend to hunt up ways to leverage what we do in our local office with what our firm does in San Diego for the Navy. SWWBO, travelin' gal that she is, is gonna use up one of her free plane tickets and some hotel points so we can have a cheap mini-vacation. Joanie of Da Goddess is our entertainment director, and newly-wed Sean of Doc In The Box is hosting a BBQ on Sunday, where we're going to meet a bunch of local bloggers (that list is being managed by Sean, who knows what he can support)! I know the San Diego Zoo and the museums at Balboa Park are on the list - mebbe a visit to the Midway, as she's in port (snerk), and who knows what else. Joanie has all the energy, we'll just follow interestedly in her wake... We'll be back on Wednesday, I'm sure some reportage will come out of it all. Moving on...

Update: Heh. If only our traffic matched our linkage, we'd have skewed the curve - with our Joint Service Blog. Rusty Shackelford does a rough comparison of the military service of 101st Keyboardist Bde, vice the Chicken Little Brigade.

Barb points out that this is what happens when you Jump The Shark and become a cartoon.

Kapitalismo is a bit conflicted, finding he lives near a terrorist-wannabe. Smack in the middle of the country.

Jay of Stop The ACLU offers up some history of the organization... perhaps some of the supporters of the ACLU who I know lurk here will offer up some defenses.

The Confederate Yankee asks you to choose a side.

Mrs. Greyhawk gives us the Dawn Patrol.

Speaking of Ms. Sheehan, what about these guys? The You Don't Speak For Me Tour? More here, and catch the video at the bottom. H/t, Joe W.

Ah, the Wonderful World of the Mind of Disney. H/t, Alphecca.

Speaking of Alphecca, Jeff gives us his Weekly Check on the Bias against guns. Note the bit from the Mayor of Toronto, Canada. I suspect the Mayor would wet his tighty-whities at the sight of the Basement of Argghhh!

No one has griped about the lack of pictures of late. As many of you know, I got creamed by thoughtless people who hotlinked a video, sucking thirty-two thousand views of a 2 meg vid. Yeah, 32K. Which simply creamed my Fototime bandwidth, 32.7 gigs of bandwidth, vice the 20 I pay for. Hence, pic posting has taken a serious hit, and the blog had to be rebuilt, too. But, I've got *some* juice left, and I think we needa picture! Of something artillery-like. Modern. Yeah, that's the ticket. How about the brand-spanking-new Stryker 120mm Mortar Carrier? Firing? Yeah, baby!

View image

Even though it may seem like we're in a pause-ex, we aren't. Project Valour-IT is still on-going. Over $7,000 has been raised so far, and the first set of laptops is getting prepped for delivery to Bethesda next week. We'll keep you informed!

Meanwhile - This is the Roll of Identified Supporting Blogs! If you aren't on it - drop me a note and we'll fix that!

by John on Aug 18, 2005 | Artillery | General Commentary | Gun Rights | Project Valour-IT
» NIF links with: The Division of Indefinite Timeframes
» Stop The ACLU links with: Congrats, Thanks, and Linky Love
» Thoughts by Seawitch links with: Project Valour IT - Beginnings
» The Pink Flamingo Bar Grill links with: For Battle-Scarred, Airborne Backup
» CDR Salamander links with: Just a low pass – tastes like Jawa
» Da Goddess links with: Pressing Job

On Constitutions, as in The Land, Law of, Basic, 1 ea.

Pardon me if I have trouble understanding the current angst over the difficulties the Iraqis are having in establishing a satisfactory Constitution to govern the basic operational principles of the nation.

Hmmmm. They've just been through a period of despotic tyranny, which ended by war.

They struggled through getting an interim government established, to handle basic needs, while they set to the task of designing a more permanent, and hopefully durable system of government that takes into account the needs of a disparate population, while emphasizing certain common cultural elements.

Hopefully this will result in a less abusive and corrupt, if in comparison inherently 'less stable' government than that extant prior to the war.

Where have we seen something similar? Not an exactly parallel, granted with major, major differences, not least in cultures and cultural approaches to problem solving, but still, similar.

Hmmmmmm. Why does the date 1781 keep floating up.

How about The Founding?

Even though it seems to not be covered in basic high school education anymore, given what I read from college student ramblings at places like DU and Kos, the United States has had two different bodies of law to lay out governance at the Federal level.

The first, interim set, was called The Articles of Confederation and went into effect March 1, 1781, when ratified by Maryland.

We then replaced the Articles with the Constitution on June 21, 1788, when New Hampshire ratified the document.

The two were generally drawn up by the same people, allowing for natural attrition and politics, yet they *are* fundamentally different documents, with the second reflecting the results of a long period of discussion leading to a generalized consensus, informed by the lessons learned from dealing with the weaknesses of the original, interim document.

Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers, anyone?

Even with the Marvels of Modern Communications®, is it really reasonable to expect that we are going to arrive at a perfect document so fast? And remember, going into the period of the Articles, we had had the period of the colonies working together from 1775-1781 as a prelude to the difficulties of working together. Anyone remember the travails of getting the Declaration of Independence written? And that, in order to succeed, left intact the near-fatal fruit of slavery, which was to bedevil us for almost a century, and a great Civil War, beyond the Declaration?

What? Nations spring fully-formed from the forehead of Zeus, like Athena? I think not. It is both the rank arrogance of the politicos, pundits, bureaucrats, combined with an appalling lack of historical perspective that leads anyone to expect that what we are trying to do with Iraq is going to be all cool and rosy once they get this document established.

It will be, at best, an interim document. And it is going to take them every bit as long to come to a more-smoothly functioning system of governance than they have now. We should just be happy if it keeps them so busy they don't have time to engage in mischief.

I add myself to the list of arrogant pundits. But I think I've at least got some historical perspective...

I ramble on in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry, if anyone cares.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Aug 18, 2005 | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Politics
» Mudville Gazette links with: Dawn Patrol
» The World According to Nick links with: The RINO Hunt Is On!
» Searchlight Crusade links with: Links and Minifeatures 08 22 Monday (Part I?)

Para Humour

*rustle-rustle* *toss-thrash-scatter*

Let's see what tumbles out of the Big Bag o' Boz Trons.

*snap-crackle-pop* *skzzzzzt!*

Hah! Almost forgot that I took notes when the Brits from Banja Luka stopped in for coffee...

Shakespeare walks into a pub.
"Get out!" says the barman, "You're Bard."

Prince Edward to Prince Charles: "How's your bottom, old chap?"
Charles: "Shut up."
Edward: "Really? Must be all this cold weather we're having."

Two parrots sitting on a perch.
One turns to the other and asks, "Do you smell fish?"

A man enters a competition in a local newspaper looking for a witty word-play to complete a picture caption. He tries to boost his chances of winning by entering the competition ten times. Unfortunately, no pun in ten did.

Did you hear about the insomniac, dyslexic, agnostic?
He stayed up all night, wondering whether or not there was a Dog.

Prince Charles is opening a new hospital in Cramlington.
He is dressed in a sober suit with a ridiculous hat with a real fox mounted on top of it.
After the plaque is unveiled, one nurse can contain her curiosity no longer and asks him, "Why are you wearing that silly hat with a stuffed animal on top, your highness?"
"Well," explains the prince, "this morning at Highgrove, I told my butler I was coming to Cramlington to open a hospital, and he said to me, 'Cramlington? Wear the fox hat?' "

What's brown and sticky?
A stick.

Bloke goes to the doctors with a steering wheel down his trousers.
Doctor says "what seems to be the trouble?"
Bloke replies "I dunno, but it's driving me nuts."

A bear walks into a bar and says to the barman: "Could I have a pint of . . . . . . . . lager, please?"
The barman says, "Why the big pause?"

Two goldfish in a tank.
One turns to the other and says, "Do you know how to drive this thing?"

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman, an elephant and an aardvark walk into a pub.
Barman says, "What is this, some kind of joke?"

Hmmm--if I'd sprung for capuccino, they might have told a few more...

by CW4BillT on Aug 18, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

August 17, 2005

JPod Running Around Screaming Like A Girl...

OK, maybe I'm being a little harsh, but one of John Podhoretz's Corner entries yesterday made me sort of throw up my hands in frustration...

"FALLOUT FROM WHAT IF... [John Podhoretz]
Make no mistake, Rich [Lowery]. The failure to agree to a constitution, if the Iraqis do fail to agree on a constitution, will be a grievous blow. It will be seen as an invalidation of the triumphant January elections, since their purpose was the creation of a body to write the constitution. It will depress the Iraqis, be seen as a major policy defeat for Bush and cause panic on Capitol Hill. The argument that you can't impose democracy on a nation that isn't ready for it will be in the ascendant, and the "people yearn to be free" camp will be on the defensive in a big way. The realists will smirk, the anti-war folks will cackle, the administration will be bereft. Speaking as someone who has always looked on the optimistic side, this one will hurt. Bad. Very, very bad."

My response to him:

Good God, man! Pull yourself together! (Sound of slapping) ;)

Wars are won by breaking the will of the leader, not the led. The latter can be shorn up by the strength, tenacity and demonstrated indomitability of the former. GW has that in spades. Thus, when his political supporters go wobbly he, well, marches on.

An invalidation of the January elections? Those election stood for something far more momentous than the selection of the Constitutional Convention (or whatever they call themselves). Those raised, purple-stained fingers symbolized a crack in the Middle Eastern totalitarian wall that signals, at the very least, the beginning of a sea change in the region, if not the world. It may take a century, but it started with a single step and what happens vis-a-vis the constitutional wrangle is a long as people like Bush can be elected to lead powerful and free nations.

Is " can't impose democracy on people who aren't ready for it..." an argument, or a prejudice, or perhaps the mewlings of a flaccid subset of Western intellectual thought? Could you name one kind of human not "ready" for freedom? Were blacks not ready for freedom? Arabs? Chinese? North Koreans? Belorussians? That is not a statement of fact, it is admission of an unwillingness to help foster those freedoms for fellow humans who cannot alone overcome the forces that keep them bound. I have a feeling I'm preaching to the choir here so my apologies in advance.

As far as a "major policy defeat" for Bush is concerned, I think that will be a significant problem for the Administration. With one exception. Bush. See paragraph 1, above.

As for causing panic on "Capitol Hill," with the possible exception of Zell Miller, what else is new? Too bad he's not there any more, eh? Ah, well. We'll manage. Commenting on how well we manage against our adversaries despite all the bizarre things that go on in our military, a crusty old Army Colonel once said to me, "3.5% efficient armies beat 3% efficient armies every time." The Republican Senatorial caucus is merely less inept than the Democrats by half a percentage point. Hell, they'll all panic. That's their job. Or so it often seems. See Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 for more on Congressional panic.

As for "depress[ing]" the Iraqis, I don't know about you, but it I were liberated from a tyrant whose sons could drive up to my house, pull my daughter into their limo for a night of sexual brutality, and the next afternoon leave me hanging by my wrists from a telephone pole with my tongue cut out for protesting such activity, well, I'd be a little harder to "depress." In other words, I think their perspective may be different from our own.

As for smirking "realists," cackling anti-war folks (now there's a misnomer--they're not anti-war; they're anti-freedom), and Administration officials rending their garments, wailing and gnashing their teeth, again, I submit to you...W. He's Reagan without the need for a Thatcher. The entire solar system could go wobbly and George would soldier on. He's missing the wobbly gene. Of this, I am sure, having had more than a quarter of a century to study a whole host of leadership styles.

And finally, "Speaking as someone who has always looked on the optimistic side, this one will hurt. Bad. Very, very bad."


For me, I think I'll go with what Sir Winston said in the Never Give up speech at Harrow School in October, 1941,
"The ten months that have passed have seen very terrible catastrophic events in the world--ups and downs, misfortunes--but can anyone sitting here this afternoon, this October afternoon, not feel deeply thankful for what has happened in the time that has passed and for the very great improvement in the position of our country and of our home?"

He was willing to fight and he maintained his sense of proportion in that mortal struggle. Willing. It is that word that makes all the difference. We have the right guy in the right place to weather this potential "storm."

I guess I'll leave you with this--don't worry about it. Just keep making those great posts!

Jonah's Airpower Guy

Then I see John Derbyshire snarking about Lt Gen McInerny who was offering some perspective on the bombings in Iraq. To the general, it's a sign of desperation. To Derb, it's a sign of defeat. So much for the Conservative backbone, eh?

Sometimes I wonder if the American public deserves the soldiers they have. Then I slap my ownself and remind meself that winning is 90% mental and go read Chrenkoff. Heh.

A Trifecta! All three of us in one day!

The Admiral of the Moat fleet points out this new weapon system for us Powerpoint Rangers engaged in inter-office squabbles. (.ru site, NETCOM may not let you in, check back from home... what? People surf here while at the office? Snerk!) H/t to the traveling 'phibian, Cdr Salamander.

Heh. Don Surber has the *Real Story* behind why the Washington Post pulled out of the 9/11 Parade.

If you weren't already part of his Instalanche, the Confederate Yankee has been keeping an eye on the media keeping an eye on the media keeping an eye on the protesters in Crawford. Yeah, I said that.

Heh. SWWBO was ahead of the curve on this one!

Speaking of SWWBO - she did what most of you will not - (I won't), she ventured onto Daily Kos to try to drum up some support for Project Valour-IT.
Go read her adventures in The Land of the Kossacks.

Oh, and Kossacks - Yes, this guy was dumb. And wrong. But, as SWWBO notes, when I see you guys condemning this, I'll be a little more attentive to your plaintive whines on "Where is the condemnation of The Right over this horrible act of wanton destruction!" Oh, that's right - I forgot - unless they've clawed their way by themselves out of the womb, they aren't people, so, there wasn't any real vandalism, anyway. Feh.

And now we know. Maybe. Spontaneous Human Combustion.

Random Links

Snarkatron expounds on moonbats expounding on Chickenhawks. The moonbats haven't seen the paper target, but if you were either here or here last week, *you* did.

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

Dbie the AFSister has returned--she's tanned, she's rested and she's bloggin'. And the Puddle has joined the blogs responding to the call to arms in support of Project Valour-IT...

...and she reminds us that there are *others*, those for whom we can give nothing except our remembrance. With honor...

by CW4BillT on Aug 17, 2005 | Denizen Link-Fest!

August 16, 2005

Say yes.

Word, Sergeant Major. Your lips, senior leaders and the American people's ears!

BAGHDAD, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 16, 2005) -- During this time in the history of our Army when recruiting is facing an unprecedented challenge, the need for great Americans to join or remain in the ranks of this team (the Army) is paramount.

However, the call to duty brings with it responsibility, commitment, dedication, and personal courage.

What does it take to be a Solder in today’s Army? I would tell you that it takes saying “Yes” regarding those things that are good, true, and team supporting.

We all said “Yes” when our journey began in uniform, regardless of how long ago that decision was made. That “Yes” was made with our limited perspective on what the future had in store for us.

“I solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic … so help me God.”

These are very interesting words, especially in the situation in which we find ourselves today.

We say “Yes” when faced with the prospect of promotion, understanding that much more would be required of us. We say “Oooh yes” when our raises hit the bank, thus increasing our buying power.

Yet, are we continuing to say “Yes” during these times of getting down to the business of supporting and representing ourselves well in light of the opening statement?

The call to duty comes in different shapes and sizes, yet, the endstate is common for all concerned.

I believe that duty comes easy when we understand the “Why” and the impact of an action on the big picture.

I believe it’s easy to say “Yes” to the call to duty when Soldiers realize that they are integral members of the team. Therefore, I believe that Soldiers will gravitate in and around duty in direct proportion to the command climate they exist in.

I believe we are doing well in that area here in the Marne Division and Task Force Baghdad

Are there key points of reference in your professional endeavors that require a “Yes” that would move you to the next level?

I don’t normally end in this manner, but consider these ideas to repeated comments from the old “Arsenio Hall Show” – this is something that makes you go “hmmmm.”

(Editor’s note: Command Sgt. Maj. William M. Grant is the Task Force Baghdad and 3rd Infantry Division command sergeant major.)

Tuesday's ruminations.

Okay, I've got some obligations to meet! Like, some content (though we appreciate Dusty taking a breather from Training Hard For His New Job (*not* a snark, but truth) and lobbing in a post!

For a little insight into bloggers that the Left would *still* mostly call neocons or worse, but refuse to read their orders from Karl Rove - see what the RINO-Bloggers are blathering about over at Balloon Juice.

Tim Blair has a hoot of a post titled "Onan the Historian." I admit, I sometimes think about buying a four-wheel drive vehicle... but only old ones that were (or are) armed. Apropos the post - I wonder if Chris Sheils understands the difference between hits and visits. This year the Castle has had over 8 million hits to date, but only 884,473 visits (not counting 'bots etc). Given 363K uniques, some of you have actually statistically visited *twice*! 8^D Anyway, if Chris is truly counting hits... his blog had a pathetic readership. But I'm guessing hits vice visits is turning into one of those things like clips vice magazines (which ain't the same thing, but the Vox Populi is changing that, and soon the dictionaries will agree, and *I'll* be the illiterate mumbling into my beard slumped in a nasty, dark, urine-smelling doorway clutching my Colt 45)

General Hillier, Chief of Defence Staff in Canada, is an interesting fellow. He took himself and his senior enlisted service member, Chief Warrant Officer Daniel Gilbert... and joined the Reserves. At Canada's second-most popular tourist attraction. As staff. Now, that should make you want to click here. Good on yaz, gentlemen. Good on yaz.

The Gunner in me can't resist this: Gun race team performs at Canadian War Museum Ah, there's nothing like a race to take apart a howitzer, get it past an obstacle, and reassemble it.

On a more serious Canadian note - two of their Peacekeepers were wounded.

And here we are again, playing a little catch-up, with Canadian and US veterans of the First Special Service Force, better known as The Devil's Brigade.

Does anyone think this discussion would have happened absent the blogosphere?

Ummmm, Transformation! Gimme summa dat!

Okay, you got this far. You *really* like this computer thing, doncha? All the kewl content, pretty pictures, funny stuff, news, etc. And you don't think twice about pulling down that old favorites list, typing in a url, adding comments, even doing a little on-line shopping, right?

Great! Why don't you join the more than 40 blogs of the Castle Argghhhh! Fighting Fusileers For Freedom and give our combat wounded whose injuries mean they don't the same options you have - the one you are exercising, right here, right now. Because they can't type, or, in some cases, read the screen.

Just click on the picture.


If you're a blogger, joining the Fusileers is easy - link to this post. Push Project Valour-IT on your blog. Tell your friends - and we'll add you to the blogroll.

Don't have a blog? No worries - we need media exposure, too. Grab this press release and send it to your local TV, radio, and newspaper outlets.

Want more info - click here.

by John on Aug 16, 2005 | Observations on things Military | Project Valour-IT
» My Side of the Puddle links with: HEY YAH!
» NIF links with: Paladin of Encyclopaedias

August 15, 2005

Not One of the Left's Finer Moments...

Methinks Cindy has already jumped the shark.

The stuff coming out of her mouth now is schizophrenic--disjointed, unfocused, paranoid and just plain weird. The shrillness, and downright unhinged nature of, this woman's latest rants inspires pity, not anger.

This is not meant as a political or personal slam. Really. Really. I honestly think this poor woman is literally mad with grief (understandable) and people around her of the Kos persuasion have fanned those flames of rage, pain and loss in her to satisfy their desperate need to attack the object of their own pain--a popular President who they detest with all the virulence true believers can muster.

A mother who has lost her son is as a good a surrogate as any, I guess. Cindy may very well have been against the war for cogent reasons, but the rhetoric has now become pure theater, of the Tom-Robbins-Susan-Sarandon-Michael-Moore-Off-Broadway stripe. Too bad.

There will come a moment, however, when God will put a hand on her shoulder in a quieter moment and whisper, "I love you and am always with you. And your son has always been with me."

Update: Inserting myself here because I can... right up the alley with Dusty's observations... let's put Cassandra's, at Villainous Company...

by Dusty on Aug 15, 2005 | General Commentary
» The Politburo Diktat links with: More Sheehanigans

The right to ventriloquize the dead...

Christopher Hitchens, writing in Slate, discusses Cindy Sheehan, and not in glowing terms. Money graf (but you should read the whole thing):

Finally, I think one must deny to anyone the right to ventriloquize the dead. Casey Sheehan joined up as a responsible adult volunteer. Are we so sure that he would have wanted to see his mother acquiring "a knack for P.R." and announcing that he was killed in a war for a Jewish cabal? This is just as objectionable, on logical as well as moral grounds, as the old pro-war argument that the dead "must not have died in vain." I distrust anyone who claims to speak for the fallen, and I distrust even more the hysterical noncombatants who exploit the grief of those who have to bury them.

I'm from a military family, I don't really think I'd have that problem... but I was prepared, nonetheless.

The few times I was ever sent to places where people might conceivably wish me harm... I left instructions for the family, left with my soldier father to be opened in the event of "The Visit".

In the event I have been captured or killed:

1. Please don't talk to the press.
2. If you must: Remember I was a soldier, and a volunteer. I went
willingly, eyes wide open.
3. I believed in the mission - even if you may not.
4. Do not put words in my mouth that I cannot refute: I forbid you that, above all else. Say what you will of your own opinion, but beyond 2 & 3, do not presume to speak for me. My actions say all that is needful.
5. Lastly, please don't be mad at me - I really *did* mean to zig, but apparently I should have zagged.

There was lots more sentimental stuff, depending on what my point in life was, but that was all that's applicable here.

Yeah, I really did think about picayune stuff like that, and tried to make people laugh from the grave. Hell, why not? It's not like I could have screwed up anything more than I already had by failing to zag, right?

Quiet sigh.

There's Cindy Sheehan. Feh. Caught in a claque-filled bubble, she spouts ever-greater nonsense in order to get the fawning attention she so obviously needs to cope with her grief.

Then there's John Prazynski.

CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina (AP) -- John Prazynski stood in the sea of welcome home signs and wondered why he was there.

Prazynski's son, Lance Cpl. Taylor Prazynski, wasn't going to be among the 900 Marines from the 3rd Battalion who arrived home Sunday. Taylor Prazynski, 20, was killed May 9 from an insurgent mortar shell.

But his father had promised his son he would attend the homecoming, so he rode his Harley Davidson more than 650 miles from Hamilton, Ohio, to Camp Lejeune.

"I don't have any sort of agenda. I guess I want to thank his brothers for being there for him, and thank his friends for being his friends," Prazynski said.

The 900 Marines had spent seven months in Anbar Province, the most dangerous territory for U.S. troops in Iraq. It was there that the unit lost nine Marines, killed in action, and about 150 were wounded. That's odds of one in six of being wounded, one in 100 of being killed.

As late as last week, Prazynski was thinking about staying home so as not to turn a happy occasion somber for the other Marines and their families. But Taylor Prazynski's company commander had called and told him that he should be there.

So about 8:15 p.m. Sunday, when a cheer went up from the crowd and it surged forward, Prazynski hung back.

"These Marines walking around, I've done a double-take three or four times," he said. "The build is the same ..."

A woman whose son is in Lima Company ran up to him.

"They're here," she said. "They're here."

He followed her into the middle of the crowd where a half-dozen Marines were hugging family members. He waited, and then someone told the Marines who he was. One after another, they stepped forward to embrace him.

"Your son lifted us," said Taylor Prazynski's squad leader, Sgt. Craig Corsi. "He was an awesome, awesome Marine."

Prazynski's soft voice faded with emotion.

"I appreciate you guys, and what you did."

Semper Fi, Mr. Prazynski. Semper Fi.

H/t K-Lo and the Corner.

by John on Aug 15, 2005 | Observations on things Military
» ROFASix links with: The story of John Prazynski
» My Side of the Puddle links with: Honor

On the periphery

This in from Jay at StoptheACLU: "According to ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, the real reason the Pentagon is trying to stop the release of the new video and photos is because it demonstrates 'the failure of American leaders who placed our young men and women in compromising situations and are now seeking to blame them for it'..."

Interesting. If Romero had said that during the Second World War, he'd have been popped into a Federal pen faster than you can say al-Jazeera.

Follow the al-Jazeera link in his post--lots of interesting moonbat comments. Just don't peruse them with a mouthful of coffee...

And American Churches have discovered that turning the other cheek when smitten by the ACLU only results in being smitten afresh, then grabbed by the nose and kicked in the butt. Some of them are getting fed up and looking to mobilize.

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

Speaking of mobilizing, Sarge B, the webmaster of the Valour-IT site, has sounded a call for volunteers. Any technogeeks looking to add "Saint" to your resumes, give him a holler!

August 14, 2005

Today is a work day...

Since I'm a beltway bandit, and live contract to contract... when the client puts out an RFP (Request For Proposal) for the next iteration of work you are doing... you drop what you are doing and work the proposal.

Well, the RFP dropped Friday - so I'm working today. And will be working (while still working for the client... just doing this on my own time and at our corporate spaces, or, like today - home...)

But I can work. And I can type on this keyboard.

Which is more than the many of our wounded can do.

YOU can help. With $5 or $5,000.

Just by clicking on the graphic below, read a little, give a little. Because, literally, you can - and they can't.


Soldier's Angels is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization - all donations are tax deductible, and you will get a receipt via PayPal. Don't trust e-commerce? You can send a check to the address on the Donate Page. Aren't sure about it? Click here. That takes you to the IRS search page for registered charities - type in soldiers angels (no apostrophe in soldiers), select "all of the words" to shorten your list and they'll pop up.

And if you'd like to help us help them, steal the graphics, steal the links, and post 'em, let us know, and we'll add you to this list:

If you're a lefty blogger who wouldn't be caught dead in that list, we understand. We suggest you start your own list, and own campaign, and stuff us warmongering capitalist neocons into the dustbin of charitable giving history. I'm all for it. This is about the wounded. No more, no less. In this case, I will allow the ends to guide my means!

Take a risk! SWWBO ventured on to Daily Kos! And has been punished with silly emails - and some thoughtful ones. Why did she do that? She took up the gauntlet I threw down in my initial post:

I challenge the Blog World. Right, Center, Left. Show that you *do* support the troops - because this isn't about the war, this doesn't support the Administration, and I don't care if you want to use this as a way to *flog* the administration. This is about nothing more than us caring for our combat wounded, regardless of what you think about the war. Punish the politicians at the ballot box - but support the troops in the hospitals.

How many of *you* guys have cojones that size? (Leave aside the gender issue)

Don't have a blog? No problem! Grab this press release by clicking here. Then send it to your local media - and ask them to spread the word. Radio, TV, print - it's all good. If you can get them to put links on their webpages... even better! The more eyes, the more clicks, the more laptops going to military treatment facilities for the use of troops whose wounds prevent them from being able to use a computer. What's not to like about that? Even if you hate the war - here's a chance to put your money where your mouth is about supporting the soldier.

by Fusileer 6 on Aug 14, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» EagleSpeak links with: Project Valour-IT
» Da Goddess links with: Why? Because It's the Right Thing To Do
» Da Goddess links with: Why? Because It's the Right Thing To Do
» Techography links with: Show some Valour!
» Iraq War Today links with: Serve Those Who Served - Project Valour-IT
» My Side of the Puddle links with: HEY YAH!
» My Army Life...and other things links with: Project Valour IT needs YOU!
» Assumption of Command links with: Project Valor IT
» Randomosity links with: Good Cause