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November 05, 2005

Saturday - and oddly, we aren't working.

I mean that. Usually when we do something like this we work on weekends. But not this one! Whee! Today I am going up to Atlanta to hand with Donnie of Cadillac Tight. Been wanting to meet Donnie for a long time.

The Navy Eagle examines Army Artillery. Why not? I ramble on about things naval...

So, what have the Denizens been up to lately?

Sergeant B, explains the difference between soldiers and mobs... inspired by Thunder 6.

MSG Keith speaks of riding out Wilma.

Jack at Random Fate is looking inward. Bon Chance, Jack - to your father and you.

SWWBO is dealing with Jerks (I am *never* there, dammit! I coulda had sooo much fun!), contemplating life and death, finds the public face of the Democrat party to be baffling (and takes a swipe at Prince Charles, too), is a Synthetic Wireless Worldwide Battle Organism (here we're an Artificial Robotic Guardian Generated for Hazardous Harm and Hunting. I can live wit dat.). But most importantly - she's put the names to the faces at the Blogmeet (disregard the crazy guy at the bottom of her post, he just wandered in from Rocky Top to deliver the squeezin's and left).

Punctilious and Rammer are just all over the place... though mostly foody!

Alan makes one of his relatively rare but always interesting forays into the world of politics, vice policy. He's always about policy.

The Snarkatron (aka Bad Cat Robot) continues the Denizenne fecklessness and deserts to the Navy. All the gurls heading to the Navy explains their lead. I just want to find the website where all the boobie pics are... I *might* donate to the Navy for that...

AFSister gets into Irony and the New World Order.

Fuzzybear Lioness *is* Project Valour-IT. It's her idea. Her Baby. And she's all over it, go here for a all-service roundup. Think about it - how many of you have had an idea about how to help others, then organized a group of disparate people to get together and raise tens of thousands of dollars to make it happen? Not many, I'm thinking. Good on ya, Fuzz.

Barb is offering up some Gun Pr0n, and shilling for the Marines - *she's giving away T-shirts...*. Personally, she offers up a wet t-shirt pic, *I'll* donate*!

Hmmm... Fuzzy - that might be your money-maker right there.... it will get the troops donating!

Another Denizenne Deserter, Kat, takes up the subject of Free Speech.

Lastly, Castle Operative Jim C smuggled out (via Korea, no less) the storyboards for a new recruiting campaign. For the next few days, we'll be leaking out the new ads... Starting with the Army... moving through all the services, and ending with the new Army-internal ad campaign, designed by the same vendor.

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Once upon a time...

...there was a pilot who flew for one of the majors. He always flew by the regs, he always made his gate times, he always greased each landing on (and always on the centerline), he never busted minimums and he never, ever argued with ATC.

Hey, cut me some slack--it's a *joke*, okay? Geez...

Well, as all of us must, one morning he showed up at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter looked askance at him and said, "I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait until I get a policy reading on this--you're the first airline pilot we've seen up here."

So, the pilot cooled his heels and thumbed through a back issue of Harper's--eventually realizing it had nothing to do with ladies' fashions--while he awaited Saint Peter's return.

Saint Peter finally showed up and said, "I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, you qualify to enter heaven. The bad news is, you have to visit the *other* place, first. Once you've done that, you'll have to decide whether you spend eternity up here or down there." When the pilot opened his mouth to protest, Saint Peter merely said, "Sorry, that's the reg." The pilot shrugged and walked toward the elevator, idly noticing the worn condition of the "Down" button.

When the pilot stepped out of the elevator into a tastefully-decorated anteroom, he was greeted by a demon dressed in a navy short-sleeved shirt, white knickers and argyle socks.

[Okay, by now I've offended both of the airline pilots who drop in, so I'll stick the rest of this in Flash traffic so they can go read the good stuff with a clear conscience...]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by CW4BillT on Nov 05, 2005 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

November 04, 2005

Serve those who served.

Badness!* As of posting time, the Squids have pulled ahead - with what looks like a $1200 donation from a guy in the AP? Mebbe it was A&P... 'cuz the AP sure hasn't been friendly to the Iraqi endeavor thus far. The Jarheads are plugging along and the Zoomies? Well, the Air Farce must still be out on the links.

So, find some shekels and enable a wounded troop to do something you are doing right now - use a computer.


It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:

Let's do our part!

*It's goodness. It all goes into the same pot, for the same purpose. But I do *not* feel like losing to the damn Navy! I can suffer the Marines, but not those "Blue" services! Ick!

by John on Nov 04, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» Shared Daily links with: Go Army Project Valour IT and Soldiers Angels
» Shared Daily links with: Go Army Project Valour IT and Soldiers Angels
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Project Valour-IT Updates

More views from my cubicle.

What's that noise? A UAV? No, doesn't sound right. What the flock (of birds) is that?

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That is an airship. Acting as a comms relay, one of the concepts the Army is examining as a way to reduce the load on the satellites, and facilitate comms on the current battlefield. This is obviously only practical when you *own* the air. But these gasbags are remarkably survivable in this environment. Flying at 5000 feet they are safe from most small arms fire, only the .50 cal sized weapons have the reach - and not a whole lot of accuracy at that point. Shoulder-fired missiles don't have much of a heat signature to lock on to, and while this particular airship is manned, in the future they won't have to be.

This one is normally used to carry the cameras over sports venues and the like. Here, it's got a radio rack in it, some antennas on it, and it's providing line-of-sight communications relay services. And, compared to the helos we were using last year, it's cheap, and can stay on-station for over 10 hours. And given it's size, you can mix and match antennae easier, with less chance for interference issues.

They've been used over in Iraq already. If you think about it - put an EO/IR sensor package on it, it's a very quiet UAV with a long loiter time, too. As long as you own the air, anyway. After that, it's biggest enemy is wind. Like helicopters, it can operate in very austere environments - unlike helicopters, it doesn't have a large logistical/maintenance tail (just this stuff and two trailers), nor is pilot fatigue as big a factor. Limits are; air supremacy, weather/altitude considerations (max ceiling for this particular bird is 5000 feet above mean sea level - in other words, can't fly this one in Denver... which is at 5,280 feet. Payload is an issue, too - I was going to get a ride in it, but they figured out that hauling this vast bulk aloft would cost them too much altitude... dammit.

Launch and recovery is fairly simple too - again assuming you don't have a lot of wind. It doesn't take a whole lot of people unless there is wind. Anyway, just one idea among many... but who knows, perhaps Airship Pilot will be back in the Army Aviation community MOS structure...

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Anyway - I'm getting paid to do this... neener-neener-neener!

Interesting tidbits.

Rear Admiral Desmond Piers, RCN. Someone you should know. I especially like this part:

"If our ship gets hit near the shore, we will run the ship right up on the beach and keep firing our guns until the last shell is gone."

Too right!

Noah Schactman of Defense Tech dropped me a note and suggested you guys might be interested in some of his recent stuff - since he just came back from Iraq, and spent time with the Baghdad Bomb Squad, and has some insight into soldier morale.

Melvin Laird, architect of Vietnamization, mentor to Secretary Rumsfeld, on Iraq and Vietnam.

Send Risawn Down Under!

The guys at Silent Running have pretty much adopted Risawn of Incoherant Ramblings - who blogged her tour as a medic in one of the Forgotten Deployments, Kosovo.

Greetings from the bottom of the world multiple undisclosed recipients. As you are all participating in the Free Piglet Campaign - indeed some of you have even used the Crusader Piglet graphic I created (approved) - I'd like to let you know about the Free Piglet products that we're now offering.

Rather than cash in on what we see as an attack on one of the most loved characters in our culture, all proceeds are going towards helping sponsor a trip to New Zealand and Australia for Risawn (AKA Kami Erickson). We felt she could use a holiday after her tour as medic in Kosovo. Our way of showing some direct support for the US Military with a side benefit of ensuring that the liberals here don't get the funny idea they're in control of anything.

For those of you who don't know Risawn she came to fame as the "Not Sorry" girl being pictured in uniform with an M203. She also writes the blog Incoherant Ramblings After her fine showing as the Not Sorry chick with a gun she was elected patron Goddess of Silent Running and has gathered a solid following of minions around the world. As Piglet himself is of course already well and truly copywriten Kami produced an original artwork for the merchandise in the form of the Crusader Pig based on my original image and we'll be auctioning off her original artwork in due course. The Crusader Pig has the added bonus of being able of free himself and cheerfully displays the Cross that some are now trying to ban from things like the British flag and the flags of half the Commonwealth and possible Christian Churchs. Who knows these days.

Anyway, hopefully we'll be able to give her the holiday of a life time before she goes back to school next year. A number of people in both New Zealand and Australia are offering accommodation and assistance with travel and activities. I'm hoping that this will become something we can offer other servicemen who want to visit as well.

Naturally any attention you could direct this way would be greatly appreciated in spirit if not in actual linkage. Still working on that blogroll thingee.

The post announcing the opening of the shop and a donation button are here.


Murray SR

Lastly - I recently posted an email I got showing why it's fun to be the Armorer. Then there are these emails, which I really suspect are more trolling by ATF agents than serious offers (especially considering the IP address trail in the header - Herndon, VA as the origin). You should have seen the one I got from the guy in the south wanting to sell serviceable Hotchkiss machine guns putatively recovered from a river in the south, lost there during a WWII training exercise... I advised him to turn them over to law enforcement or a military museum, and quickly, as the longer he sat on them, the harder it was going to be to convince a federal prosecutor he wasn't up to no good. Nothing personal there, guys - but I like my collection, don't want to give it to you for free *and/or* go to jail... So, here's the email and my response. If it *is* ATF guys, they at least know their Spanish (the question marks). This could also be perfectly legit. Let's see if Ricardo responds. As I note in my response, if it can be done legally, I know the people who can do it. If it can't - not interested, thankyouverymuch.

I have two cannons for sale , one Krupp 1909 75 mm and another 75 mm from 1940 Argentinian made . Both in excelent condition . ¿ doyou buy this kind of cannons ? Thank you Regards Ricardo

My response:

I'm always interested in things like this, Ricardo. And if I can't afford them, I know people who can.


1. Where are they? According to your email address, you are in Argentina. Is that where the guns are? If so, import into the US is problematic, requiring import permits and the guns will have to pass through a licensed importer. That can be done, I know importers who do that, and they might well be willing to buy them themselves, anyway.

2. If the guns are in the US and are serviceable and on the National Firearms Registry (i.e., they are transferable under the law), I can't buy them because of restrictions imposed by my state of residence. If they are deactivated, I can, however. That said - I do know people who can legally acquire them and would be interested, so if you have any pictures, please send them along and I will forward to my friends and see if they are interested.

Regardless, thank you for your interest!



November 03, 2005

Today, this was my cubicle... Red Staplers here!

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Click the highlighted words below while I gloat...

Neener - Neener - Neener!

McKenna Mout (Military Operations in Urban Terrain) Site. A faux ville, complete with sewer system (or 'snake pit' as the troops prefer to call it) for the troops to fight in. If it's been raining recently, it's a wet sewer, too - though just a storm system, not a sanitary sewer...

I - got - to - play - today!

I was the "clueless journo who thinks his press pass makes him invulnerable". At least that's what I told the curious. In reality, I was just wandering around in the fight because they said I could. Since I didn't have a MILES harness on, all the players knew I was technically invisible (and I cleared it with the OIC). I've been taking pictures of the tech we're here experimenting with. But there's some cool stuff in McKenna. But I got to listen to machine guns, rifles, grenades, shouting soldiers taking down buildings, shouting jihadis trying to save their buildings and not sell their lives cheap. And shouting instructors... instructing. Good times, good times. And this time, no ringing in the ears afterwards, either!

In an earlier exercise unrelated to this one - I almost got whacked by a troop with an M4 Paintball gun. Close range paintballs sound remarkably like 9mm rounds at range...

I can't believe I get *paid* to do this!

C'mon, Jump on it!

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I'm at Benning - that's fresh fodder up there, Airborne Aspirants in Ground Week, taken yesterday.

They'll give. I bet if I went over to the sheds, I could walk away with a thousand bucks. Instead, I'll just leave flyers with the Battalion Adjutant, because I don't want the Blackhats to make me do pushups...

Oh, sure, you could give to the Squids. Or the Jarheads. Or the Air Farce. You could do that.

But this is the Castle. ARMY! (Even if *some* denizens are proving to be remarkably summer patriots...)

Not that we ain't spankin' them other guys anyway...

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:

Let's do our part!

Visit the Boss and Enlist Now!

The group of Army bloggers supporting Valour-IT are:

American Soldier
Wild Tangents
Random Thoughts
Keep My Soldier Safe
Most Certainly Not
My Life As A Military Spouse
One By One The Vultures Pick Away At My Sanity
Sgt. Hook
Some Soldier's Mom
Not Exactly Rocket Science
Just My Opinion
By The Way...
The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill
Winds of Change
Iraq War News

Update: Go snark the sailors, who are apparently afraid to get in range...

by John on Nov 03, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» Neptunus Lex links with: Go Navy!
» Wild Tangents links with: Looks like the Valour IT Army Team is doing well
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Project Valour-IT Updates

Good news from Iraq

From a local Kansas City soldier.

Dear KCnet Team,

I received the wonderful postcard of the gorgeous Kansas City night skyline from you today so I would like to extend my great thanks for that. Additionally, on behalf of the soldiers that I lead here in Tall Afar, Iraq, I would like to offer our most sincere gratitude for your expression of support.

I want to share with you my observations and thoughts concerning my experiences in Iraq to date. I hope that it offers you some first hand perspective that you may not be receiving at home while watching the news and reading the print.

The citizens of Iraq are fighting every day for their freedom. Unlike in Operation Iraqi Freedom & OIF II, Iraqi citizens are now in great numbers actively participating in the birth of their new Nation. During OIF and OIF II, Coalition Forces almost exclusively patrolled the streets and countryside's of Iraq. Few citizens were willing to work with Coalition Forces (CF) to help secure and rebuild the communities. This was in large measure due to fear, uncertainty and disorganization.

During OIF in 2003-2004, I spent my time in the Western region of Iraq known as the Al Anbar Province. In places like Fallujah, Ramadi, Rutbah and the Iraqi-Syrian border, I led a cavalry platoon in combat operations and performed a great deal of civil affairs work like coordinating the reconstruction of villages, schools, hospitals and government facilities. This being said, we barely had any Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and received little assistance from local citizens. While we killed or captured thousands of terrorists and insurgents, we only saw the tip of the iceberg.

All of that changed in January of this year when roughly 50% of the population turned out to vote for an interim government. Many Americans and people throughout the world did not believe the election would prove to be as successful as it was. Today, Iraqi Ministries grow more robust and organized every day. The reopening of schools, universities and various government agencies has given most Iraqi's a greater sense of daily normalcy. Electricity output has risen to the highest levels in over two decades, greatly improving the quality of life for most Iraqi men and women.

Iraqi citizens are actively assisting in the security of their new country. Every day, hundreds and thousands of "tips" are received by ISF and Coalition Forces. The majority of the Iraqi people are tired of terrorists and former regime elements (FRE) killing their families and stymieing the reconstruction efforts. Tens of thousands of volunteers have turned out to become Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police and Border Police. Knowing full well the dangers associated with such work, they turn out seeking jobs and security for their communities.

The collateral damage caused by the methods and tactics of the insurgents have angered the average Iraqi man and woman. The death toll of innocent Iraqi citizens killed by Vehicle-born Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIEDs), IEDs, and other atrocious acts of violence is galvanizing the will of the Iraqi people to defeat the insurgency and prevail in the effort to create a new free and prosperous nation.

The ranks of the newly formed Iraqi Army units and Iraqi Police units have also been hit hard with casualties. The insurgents have targeted them, attempting to cause a disintegration of these ISF thereby prolonging the time needed to secure localities, provinces and the nation. Despite considerable losses, these new ISF have not only survived but are growing into more cohesive fighting units due to the losses of their compatriots. ISF units comprised of Sunni, Shia and Kurdish soldiers are growing closer together through bonds created while combating the insurgency.

The insurgent's goal to create a schism between CF, the ISF and the general population is backfiring. Coalition Forces are training and fighting alongside of ISF who are working closely with the Iraqi people. Despite losses that CF, ISF and Iraqi citizens are sustaining, the insurgency is failing miserably. The Iraqi people are fighting back. They are participating in the democratic process. They are turning in valuable information regarding the locations of terrorists and insurgents. They are swelling the ranks of the ISF causing a greater presence of security everywhere. Despite tribal, ethnic and religious differences, they are cooperating together magnificently in ISF units across Iraq.

All of this I have observed over several months spent in perhaps the most dangerous areas of Iraq; the areas known as "The Triangle of Death" located in South Baghdad in the cities of Mahmudiya, Yusifiyah and Lutafiyah and presently, the area of Western Ninewa, specifically, Tall Afar. As a special advisor to the ISF, I have trained and patrolled the region with them, have held the children of the wonderful citizens and drank thousands of glasses of Chi tea with village elders. Nearly all of them express the same thing - that they are weary of the insurgency and are eager for peace in their communities.

Most recently in September, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted "Operation Restoring Rights." This operation was conducted to dismantle the insurgent stronghold that the city had become due to an influx of foreign fighters from Syria and elsewhere. The operation was a huge success and set the conditions for the successful Constitutional Referendum held on October 15. Presently, the citizens of Tall Afar enjoy a renewed sense of hope and vision - the streets are being cleaned, reconstruction of infrastructure is underway and people walk the streets with a renewed sense of security.

The people of Iraq are indeed fighting for their future. Every day I witness the infant steps of freedom and democracy. The Iraqi people, while still scared, are now fighting back. They are doing so through their actions. They are watching out for each other, participating in and assisting their government, and working eagerly with Coalition Forces. It is truly a tremendous thing to see. My great hope is that the American people and the world see it too...

Thank you, again, for supporting the "Brave Rifles" of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry Regiment. It is with great pride that we stand on the front lines of freedom executing our duties every day in America's defense.

Very respectfully yours,

RHHT, 3d U.S. Cavalry
Tall Afar, Iraq

Brave Rifles!

November 02, 2005


Two things, separate yet related. For those so inclined, drop over to Marine Corps Moms and give Deb some help with Operation Santa. Cassandra asks you to. You don't want Cassie coming here all pissy now, do ya?

Secondly, because the Castle Argghhh! Fighting Fusileers are in "Red" cycle (i.e., I'm stuck where I can't do this right now) all Fusileers are hereby seconded to their respective services (civilian Fusileers my choose their branch the Army. What am I talking about?

Blackfive has assumed command, and we're gonna kick some Navy, Marine, and Air Force booty to show we can do more, better, faster in helping support Fuzzybear Lioness' own dream - Project Valour-IT.

Some of you who read this space have talked about how the President isn't asking us to sacrifice to prosecute the war. Okay. Sacrifice. Sacrifice the Green, so that Wounded Warriors can do what you do everyday - use a computer to communicate. It's hard to do without fingers, hands, arms. Or when you're blind. The light is green, so shuffle to the door and jump right out and count to four...

If you aren't a blogger - you can *still* help in a big way. Reach people who don't read blogs. Go here and grab the flyers. Print 'em out and post 'em where people can see them. Contact your local newspapers and get them to run stories. We can point them to real live wounded warrriors who are using the laptops procured to date. Ping your favorite talk radio hosts... You don't have to be a blogger.

Update: Fuzzybear sends:


When Blackfive made the post, we hadn't yet set up the tracking system. So, he didn't have access to the code for a donate button that will track donations inspired by the Army Team. Expect to see the button up at his site early today (donations made through the regular Valour-IT donation page will not be credited to the competition).

Don't screw this up guys and gals (that last was from me, not Fuzzy)

Second Update: Here's the Army Team Way To Donate!

So all you bloggers sign up with your choice of service and get the word out.  Donate NOW!!!

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: for proof for the cautious)

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (scroll down at:

Let's do our part!

by John on Nov 02, 2005 | Project Valour-IT
» BLACKFIVE links with: Help Our Heroes!!!
» Not Exactly Rocket Science links with: Imagine
» BLACKFIVE links with: Help Our Heroes!!!
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Two Bucks

Rattling around the mailbox this morning.

Good news from Afghanistan, via Partamian. As James put it - Essayons!

Watershed in history today - the AEF's first combat casualties in WWI: Corporal James B. Gresham, Private Thomas F. Enright, and Private Merle D. Hay. A sad, but significant, way to enter the history books. Worthy of mention, I think.

Other events of note:

19811: Birth of a slogan: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!
1947: The Spruce Goose Flew for the first - and last - time.
1982: Fire in Salang tunnel, Afghanistan. In the Salang tunnel north of Kabul, a Soviet army convoy truck collided with a fuel tanker. The explosion triggered an inferno. Various sources claim 700 to 2,000 people suffocated and were burned. Think about that when you tot up the cost for us having taken down *two* rogue regimes. The tunnel was destroyed in the Afghan Civil War in 1998 - It's been rebuilt in a multi-national effort - though you'd have to read Pravda to find out which nations... Apparently, it's *still* a tough place to go...

Got an email reaction from a long-time reader to Dusty's post:

My words......makes me so mad I could spit!

Not sure I ever sent you this, someone else's words.

We do not fight for land. We are loyal to an ideal-an ideal of liberty wherever man lives. We do not guard territory, bleed for a piece of dirt. We don't fight because we love violence. We fight for our freedom as individuals to live our own lives, to peruse our own survival, our own happiness.

Your unconditional rejection of violence makes you smugly think of yourselves as noble, as enlightened, but in reality it is nothing less than abject moral capitulation to evil. unconditional rejection of self defense, because you think it's a supposed surrender to violence, leaves you no resort but begging for mercy or offering appeasement.

Evil grants no mercy, and to attempt to appease it is nothing more than a piecemeal surrender to it. Surrender to evil is slavery at best, death at worst. thus your unconditional rejection of violence is really nothing more than embracing death as preferable to life.

You will achieve what you embrace.

The right, the absolute necessity, of vengeance against anyone who initiates force against you is fundamental to survival. The morality of a people's self-defense is in it's defense of each individual's right to life. It's an intolerance to violence made real by an unwavering willingness to crush any who would launch violence against you. The unconditional determination to destroy any who would initiate force against you is an exaltation of the value of life. Refusing to surrender your life to any thug or tyrant who lays claim to it is in fact embracing life itself.

If you are unwilling to defend your right to your own lives, then you are merely like mice trying to argue with owls. You think their ways are wrong. They think you are dinner.

If, hoping to appease it, you willingly compromise with unrepentant evil, you only allow such evil to sink it's fangs into you; from that day on its venom will course through your veins until it finally kills you.

Compromising with murderers grants them moral equivalence where none can rightly exist. moral equivalence says that you are no better than they; therefore their belief-that they should be able to torture, rape, or murder you-is just as morally valid as your view-that you have the right to live free of their violence. Moral compromise rejects the concept of right and wrong. It says that everyone is equal, all desires are equally valid, all action is equally valid, so everyone should compromise to get along.

Where could you compromise with those who torture, rape and murder people? In the number of days a week you will be tortured? In the number of men to be allowed to rape your loved ones? In how many of your family are to be murdered?

No moral equivalence exists in that situation, nor can it exist, so there can be no compromise, only suicide.

To even suggest compromise can exist with such men is to sanction murder.
Many teach that saying someone is evil is prejudiced thinking. it's a way of belittling someone already in pain for some reason. Such people must be embraced and taught to shed their fears of their fellow man and then they will not strike out in violent ways.

They are dangerous to everyone because they embrace evil with their teachings. In so doing, in trying to be kind, to be unselfish, in trying to be nonjudgmental, you allow evil to become far more powerful than it otherwise would. you refuse to see evil, and so you welcome it among you. You allow it to exist. you give it power over you. You are a people who have welcomed death and refused to denounce it.

You are an empire naked to the shadow of evil.

These people think of themselves as enlightened, as above violence. They are not enlightened; they are merely slaves awaiting a master, victims awaiting killers.

Anyone know the source of the words, without Googling?

Update: Visitors from Don Surber's place might find this post to be an even better fit to his post.

by John on Nov 02, 2005 | Historical Stuff
» Don Surber links with: The Right To Remain Silent

November 01, 2005

"Far across the Chattahoochee, along the Upatoi, stands our loyal alma mater, Benning School for Boys."

Though there are a lot of girls here now, too.

Random thoughts as I get settled in here for the next two weeks.

When you've been a collector long enough, you get emails like this:

John, Spent the day with a collector from Louisiana, he's up here getting parts for his 155mm Long Tom. Says he also has a Pack 75, 57mm anti tank gun and a early war 37mm. And some WWI stuff. But where can you shoot them? He was full of stories...... thought I'd pass that on. Scott

That's why I'm the Armorer... people tell me stuff. And ask questions. You just *wish* you got emails like this. And now I know another guy I can swap tales, and parts, with.

Delta Airlines. I got upgraded to First Class yesterday (corporate travel perk, ticket was coach fare). Throughout the whole process of check-in, boarding, and flight, I was treated worse, in terms of human interaction, than any of the discount-fare airlines. Nothing overt, nothing nasty, and I doubt they saw it - all I know is, from the pilot who took out on the screener his frustration at having to take his shoes off, to the distant way I was treated by the remaining staff - I would rather fly Southwest, Continental, Frontier, than fly Delta again. It struck me as I was schlepping myself through the interminable terminal that is Hartsfield - the last airline that I had this same feeling and vibe from the employees? TWA. And this is a trend - not the TWA thing, but the grumpy Delta employees. And that's cutting them slack for obviously they are under stress due to the bankruptcy filing. But, for the record - I had that feeling about Delta (and American) long before they ever filed for bankruptcy. Which is why we have a lot of free tickets on Southwest these days, and a Companion Pass.

Just sayin'.

Columbus, Georgia is doing a lot of work revitalizing their downtown riverfront area. There are still pockets of misery in this town, but every time I've visited, things have (to outside eyes at least) seemed better every time. I especially like the way they are saving their classic industrial architecture (the mills on the river) and turning them into retail and office spaces. There is a great antique store in one of them, should I ever get SWWBO down this way. Now if only Alabama could get some of that action going for the city across the bridges - Phenix City. Mebbe if they changed the spelling of the name, it would rise from the forlorn ruins that are their side of the river.

Fort Benning. This place is looking better, too. And the troops seem to be in fine fettle. Sat around being as inconspicuous non-officerlike as it's possible for me to be (kinda like Orson Welles at an Anorexics Anonymous meeting, I'm sure) and just nursed the laptop, soda, or later beer, and listened. These kids are sharp, and they are paying attention. And while no one who has been over into a sandbox is anxious to go back - they *are* anxious that the job get done, and done right. And they think they are doing a pretty good job. They have respect for jihadis who will stand and deliver, but little more than bemused contempt for the suicide bombers who go after civilians. They don't like the ones that attack them, mind you - but they *don't* like the ones who go after the civilians. The ones who have an opinion have a mixed opinion on the Iraqi government, especially the police. But the general consensus was that they were improving. They were past Mayberry, but not up to NYPD Blue. Mind you, this was a very limited sample of troops.

But they *do* admire the civilians who take the risks and do so every day to try to make a better world for their children - even as the jihadis try to kill them.

I'm looking forward to walking among the young soldiers again, and listening to their stories. Both the ones who still dream of glory, and those who know that all fame is fleeting, and glory is hogwash - but covering your buddies ass in a firefight is, well, sublime.

Lastly there is this - Ry, it will get you fired. A full moon over Russia.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Pugnacious Stupidity...A Demonstration

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Dusty checks in:

What follows below is an all-too-frequent and all-too-common example of how the Left sounds when it lets it guard down and speaks its heart and mind.

I just saw this on Jason von Steenwyck's site, Countercolumn.

Jason's response was, as ever, pithy and to the point, but allow me to offer mine as well. Before I go on, I think it needs to be made clear that my comments are really not for the military reader...I hope our civilian visitors get to see this because they need to hear it, again and again from all of us. Alas, for the more well-known milbloggers like Jason, there just isn't enough time in the day to Fisk every fool that comes up with the drivel below. Frankly, I doubt if many of us even get mad any more when they read this crap. That said, I think it's important to occasionally spell out the counterpoints that, while obvious to us, may not immediately spring to mind to those not in our business but who are nevertheless interested in the discussion.

[from the the above-mentioned post]

The funny part is when the psyops geeks tried to taunt the Taliban, as it's always funny to hear the world's biggest cowards try to accuse someone else of cowardice, a typical example of what a psycologist [sic] would call 'projecting'.

"'s biggest cowards..."


Many of the boots on the ground enlisted after 9/11 (a certain football player comes to mind). So, they volunteered to go into harm's way with eyes open and as quickly as possible. Some gave up lucrative careers, some didn't, but all decided that personal sacrifice and exposure to potentially mortal danger was preferable to doing nothing. This does not strike me as "cowardice." True, you may enlist, fully expecting to go to The Sandbox and end up in Okinawa, but that's not the point. You made your little pink (or brown, or olive, or [insert appropriate shade here]) body available for a personal peek at the elephant. Did this writer? And if not, why not? Was it a political decision or personal, based on self-preservation? Hmmm... (Note: The chickenhawk argument won't work on me, or John or can check with the VA for details.)

I ask you, has anyone ever seen a more pusiillanimous, cowardly bunch of wretches than the sissyfags of the U.S. "military" who call in air support every time a car backfires or when someone slams a door loudly? They encounter three or four Rebels and instead of fighting like REAL infantry and using fire & maneuver tactics, they instead scream for air support while they're hiding in a shellhole, then after the Air Force flies in and does the killing they "bravely" raise their head up out of said shellhole and proceed to beat their chests about how "brave" they think they are. Disgusting.

OK...let's first review the adjectives and verbs:

-"pusiilanimous" [sic] (and minus 5 for spelling)
-"cowardly" (he's redundant, too)
-"sissyfags" ("sissyfags"? Obviously a homophobe.)
-"military" in scare quotes, meaning they aren't martial enough, I guess. Must take more than uniforms, weapons, a vertical organizational hierarchy and intentionally risking life and limb in combat to qualify.
-"bravely" in scare quotes, meaning "cowardly"...again, I think he's developing a theme here...
-The one-word last sentence, "Disgusting."


Let's talk CAS for a minute here. I figure I can, having effing done it for 20+ years.

First, there is no such thing as a "fair fight" in war. Using fire and maneuver has no qualifying phrase other than that associated with the Laws of Armed Conflict. Fires is fires. Killing with air is probably fine by most Infantry commanders I know, assuming it'll get the job done without exposing their subordinates to unnecessary risk while, at the same time, achieving the tactical objective within the bounds of the Rules of Engagement and is appropriate for particular environment in which they find themselves. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Second, last time I checked, REAL infantry used close air support rather extensively in: WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I and Gulf War II (and most other times, with varying degrees of success). I mean, if Patton relied on it--granted, he was Armor, but tankers need their infantry, and Third Army sure liked 19th Air Force--then I don't quite see how using airborne firepower delegitimizes one's infantry-ness. Army guys: can you tell me if calling in air disqualifies you for the CIB? Just askin'.

Oh yeah, Army dudes, isn't "hiding" another way of saying, "Taking cover"? That's another one of those military thingies that I don't think you get professionally dinged for in battle, yes?

Now then, in general, the last time I checked, the Army and Marines have been doing "most of the killing" for over a year. Moreover, the last Michael Yon photo of Erik Kurilla I looked at showed a US Army Lieutenant-effing-Colonel going down after taking three AK-47 rounds (I'm assuming it was a Kalashnikov) at near-point-blank range. Firing back as bullets torn into his skin, muscle and bone, he urged his men on and continued to direct the fight until they dragged his swiss-cheesed ass out of danger and pumped him full of morphine. Yep, real pussy there.

"Disgusting?" That would be you, sir, not Kurilla, his men, his Service, or the US defense forces of whom he is a part.

Try fighting like a REAL army instead of a bunch of glorified forward air controllers before you start calling an opponent "cowardly", because the whole world is laughing at the U.S. "military" and its aversion to real fighting. Just be glad you're not up against a REAL army, like North Korea's or China's or Iran's because the U.S. "Army" would be a grease spot.

[Armorer inserts: Okay. How about here? This one, Raven 42? Anyone remember the killer gurl Sergeant with the Silver Star?]

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Marine 1SGT Kasal after using the assets of a Marine Air Wing (or is that a Beretta M-92, I'm not sure...) to save a wounded Marine and incidentally, kill a few bad guys with some well placed 9mm Parabellum rounds from a passing F/A-18... Not.

"...because the whole world is laughing at the U.S. "military" and its aversion to real fighting..." Don't confuse us with the Belgians.

Oh, please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please give us a shot at the nKA and the Republican Guard!!!

Just to review, the nKA sort of bit the big one in the early 50s, and that was when they had food. What we forget is that Pusan was about to see a major breakout and Inchon, while brilliantly conceived and executed, as much accelerated the result as precipitated it.

The Republican Guard? Well, methinks the terrors of Teheran may have second thoughts about resistance when the objective isn't the public hanging of 16-year-old girls or flogging of homosexuals and instead going toe to toe with the best equipped, trained and recently combat tested western land and air the Iranians' own backyard.

China? Nah. Why pick a fight with one of our premier trading partners?

And this is the part that just boggles my mind...a number of, well, breathtakingly dumbass memes seem to run through the Leftoid thought process when it comes to the military:
1) You guys don't fight like "real men"--you cheat with technology, all-media fires, aggressive tactics and refuse to trade body for body in achieving tactical, operational and strategic goals
2) You guys have never really been tested...and if you were, you'd get your asses kicked...and we'd enjoy that (this seems to be a Daily Kos, et al., specialty)
3) We really care about our troops and don't want to see them never employ them (unless a Democrat is in the White House)...but if you must employ them, see "1)"

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Soldier shown controlling stacked A-10s armed with Snake and Nape while clearing a house in Ramallah...

Jason concludes:

"I guess it's a good thing that this ignoramous has gotten a chance to lead such a sheltered life thanks to the sacrifices of others.

It's also a good thing that he doesn't have the courage to provide his own name.

For the record: My own battalion, the 1-124th Infantry Regiment, took more than fifty wounded in and around Ramadi. And we didn't call in a single airstrike.

It's better, anonymous, to keep your mouth shut than to put your ignorance on a stage.


Here's my one comment on Jason's rejoinder: I would hope the reason he didn't use air was because he couldn't use air. Either because it wasn't there or he couldn't bring to bear the massive firepower fixed and rotary-wing assets possess due to the terrain, the timing, the weather, or whatever. I'm assuming, but I figure it's a good assumption. That said, I'm also assuming that, had he asked, and the jets were there, they would have engaged, with relish.

Instapilot sends.
P.S. Having had the honor of commanding a theater full of enlisted Tactical Air Controllers and their ALO officers, I respectfully submit the phrase "...glorified forward air controllers..." is a redundancy...kinda like "brave infantryman" or "courageous Marine."

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Note these 1st Infantry Division Artillerymen obviously using their big guns to clear houses from a safe distance...

by Dusty on Nov 01, 2005 | Pugnacious Stupidity
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October 31, 2005


To get to the blogmeet this weekend we flew into Nashville, rented a car, and drove on 40 to just shy of Knoxville on 75. We went south towards Athens and our eventual destination of vicinity Etowah, in the foothills of the Smokies.

Damn that's some fine terrain, full of names any student of the Civil War will remember. And you can also see why the Cherokee, the Choctaw, and others were very sad when they surrendered to the inevitable and got frog-marched to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. The US Government, being unable to control the whites, did a right dirty deed with the population they felt they could control.

That is right beautiful country.

Departing the region, we decided to head south on 75 for Chattanooga. Beth offered to go to Chickamauga (just as the darling woman also offered to let me stop at Murfreesboro) but while I would like to see Chickamauga again, better understanding where my Great-Grandfather fought, that can wait for while I'm at Benning the next couple of weeks.

No, this time we headed for Lookout Mountain. But not the battlefield - instead, we hit what I assumed was going to be an iconic 50's-era Highway 66 kinda kitsch tourist trap - one you've read about for decades if you live in in Dixie and adjacent areas and have driven the highways.

You know. This place!Hosting provided by FotoTime I couldn't have been more wrong. In my mind Rock City was like those 'mineral shops' in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, or a place like out in the west end of Kansas, that brays about "The largest prairie dog in the world!" which is really a poorly-done cement statue hidden from the highway by a ratty-looking plywood screen.

Not Rock City. When you initially pull up, it has the look of a 30's era WPA or similar tourist attraction... which it essentially is, having been created out of a natural rock formation by Garnet Carter, the inventor of Tom Thumb Miniature Golf, from the original idea of his wife, Frieda, who built a huge walk-through garden, gathering together over 450 species of local plant life, and building a meandering path through the rocks and boulders from which the place got it's name - as two missionaries in the 1820's described it as a place with roads and paths and bridges - much like a city.
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In short - the place much exceeded my expectations. By a lot, given how low they were (don't get me wrong, I like hitting kitschy peculiarly 'Murican tourist traps).

From the view north, to Chattanooga and beyond, to the view south, past Lover's Leap, and the flowers in between, it was worth the diversion and $25 cost for the two of us.

After a couple of hours there we moved on up 24, zipping past Stone's River and hitting Nashville in time to catch the dejected fans leaving the Titans game. Fortunately we were moving against the grain, and they just want to get home and drink, and didn't head down to Broadway to drink. Which is good, because that's what we did, having a fine meal at Demo's Steak and Spaghetti House. SWWBO had the seafood stuffed potato and I had the pepper steak. Good eats at a fair price. Then off to the Nashville airport which was full of gloating Raiders fans.

More alcohol consumed at the airport bar, then board the bird and head home, arriving back at the Castle just before midnight.

Which made today an early day.

October 30, 2005


Whew!~ These are some trash-talking, guitar-picking, hard-drinking, no-slack-giving, party animals here in the hills of Tennessee. And that's before we got to Eric's place. It went downhill from there.

While I didn't find a still there *was* some very fine, smooth, corn-squeezin's available. And since it was the Straight White Guy's house, and since Blackfive was present... well, let's just say there were plenty of fine highly distilled brown liquors around, too. And with Harvey there, there were fine cigars.

Oddest thing about a blogmeet is the fact that everyone had a black oval over their face. And will until I'm sure who minds and who doesn't mind becoming Google Images fodder...

There was good music, with a sing-along.

There were boy bloggers. Apparently, Eric's house has a problem, but the Redneck Rambler was all over lending a hand to hold it up.

There were gurl bloggers. All of 'em beyooteous. Except that one on the extreme left. That's Blackfive, and frankly, out of over 100 pictures, any picture that had more than two gurl-bloggers in it, for some reason also had Matt. Just sayin'

Some bloggers had their ovals slip - but quickly ducked behind some camouflage.

There were pretty strange creatures in the woods behind Eric's house. Pretty, but... strange.

And strange rituals were performed. Seen here for the first time in the civilized world... the Burning of the Souls, okay, soles.

But perhaps most disturbing was the frenzied dancing around the fire...

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Thankfully, my batteries died before the clothes came off...

I haven't had that much fun in a long time. Even if we did arrive too late for shooting! Apparently Boudicca *likes* the AR-15... Great people, about whom more later. And I'm thinking SWWBO and I will find far fewer excuses for not making the trip to these things in the future.

And it does tickle the thought... wonder if I have half the cojones that Eric does, to let such a ragamuffin herd into his house... do SWWBO and I have the stones to host the Castle Argghhh Blog Meet and Paper Target Slaughter...

by John on Oct 30, 2005 | I think it's funny!
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