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March 04, 2006

H&I Fires* 4 Mar 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

You've been warned.

The Armorer's Cartoon Debut! -The Armorer

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Another military robot. The company website also has a video. - Fuzzybear Lioness

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Lex's Friday Musings are worth a visit.

Caption Contest at The Right Place.

And Cassandra has a worth charity project. Really. Trust me on this.

Oy. Via Lost Budgie Blog we find this fine example of journalistic judgement. We're with the Budgie - how about some truth?

Sometimes, Bejus' Brother ain't too dumb fer a grunt.

Bejus is more funner to read though.

Alan notes some chaptes of WWII are still open.

As the Flea notes - Madonna must be prevented from taking this name in vain! -The Armorer

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Mar 04, 2006 | General Commentary
» Church and State links with: Senate Liberals Are "Acluistic"
» Garfield Ridge links with: Robot Pack Animal.
» Cadillac Tight links with: Argghhholanche
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Carnival of Blue Stars - #4
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Me Lave

I'm in a test taking mood today.

Whee! I'm not as dumb as I thought (hold that thought, eh?) I passed 8th Grade Math!

You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 9/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

Mind you... if it had been fill in the blank - I prolly woulda embarrassed myself. Heh. Well, you wouldn't have seen *this* anyway.

H/t, ALa, who didn't so quite as well.

by John on Mar 04, 2006 | I think it's funny!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies
» Liberty1st Blog links with: Edukashun
» Liberty1st Blog links with: Edukashun

How much of a gun nut are you?

Their code is hosed for my installation of Moveable Type (something farked with the table and I don't feel like troubleshooting it) - so here's the relevant data, with an edit or two:

You Are 96% Gun Nut!

You are a true gun nut. The number of guns in your house is probably over five well over 100. All of them are truly effective in your hands. [Well, the ones that are deacts are only effective as bludgeons, and some of them aren't very handy for that...]

Heh. I got one wrong, but I really really really like the wrong answer, because I've got no idea which one I got wrong.

Take the test yourself by clicking here.

H/t, Cowboy Blob.

by John on Mar 04, 2006 | Gun Rights
» Silicon Valley Redneck links with: Yet another test.

The Zogby Poll

Okay, here it is, since Owen is so interested in it. I finally got a copy of the poll questions and demographics. Of course, I’m posting this on Saturday morning, so it’s not going to get read much (which will hopefully keep the moonbat population down, anyway).

For discussions on the methodology, etc, check out Radio Blogger where Hewitt interviews Zogby (but keep going down for a discussion of the poll), and the Mystery Pollster blog.

Ya might wanna open up the poll questions with all the data in a separate window, so I've thoughtfully provided the pdf so you can do that. Download file by clicking here.


On the demographics – Zogby won’t go into revealable detail (so I won’t bother asking for it, frankly) but it appears that the pollsters intercepted troops at various points in Iraq, on the street, and asked them to answer the questions. There is no information given on how many (as I would do in this situation) simply refused the offer to take the poll. There is refused-to-answer data per question, but unless I missed it, there isn’t any for flat refusals to participate at all.

I would also be interested in a rank and time-in-service breakdown, none is provided.

I’m guessing that this methodology under-represents senior NCOs and officers, though that isn’t a given. But it’s why I’d like rank and time-in-service data, and while the sample wasn’t self-selected in the way an internet poll is, there is still no data on how many people opted out (and, of course, the demographics of that would be interesting, too).

This is just observation. I’m not contending, based on what little I’ve gleaned, that the sample is in fact bad, I’m saying there is insufficient data for me to have an informed opinion.

By the way - if you are reading this and *actually* took the poll - the youngsters over at The Officer's Club would love to hear from you (h/t, Maggie).

[The rest of this is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry]


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

#82

On Saturday afternoon, I was sitting in my lawn chair, drinking beer and watching my wife mow the lawn.

The neighbor lady from across the street was so outraged that she came over and shouted at me, "You should be hung."

I took a drink from my can of Budweiser, wiped the cold foam from my lips, lifted my darkened Ray-Ban sunglasses and stared directly at the neighbor.

And then calmly replied, "I am, that's why she cuts the grass."

March 03, 2006

H&I Fires* 3 Mar 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

I gotta run. Yer up! - The Armorer

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So... who's to blame when a mentally retarded man murders another mentally retarded man? I don't know. Let me know what you think. ~AFSister

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Elect the U.S. President by popular vote (as opposed to Electoral College) without changing the Constitution?! Cassandra explains how it could happen, and invites opinions. - Fuzzybear Lioness

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Just a quick reminder that this week's Carnival of the Recipes is all Danish. Send your recipes or your links to recipe-d0t-carnival-at-gmail-dot-c0m by noon CST on Saturday. --Punctilious

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This is interesting... the direction of the anger has changed.

While I welcome the scrutiny the Dubai Ports World deal has brought the issue of Port Security, and that it has given us tongs with which to hold the Dems feet to the fire on security issues - I think that Representative Hunter's solution to the problem, de facto if not de jure nationalization of critical infrastructure (his bill is pretty sweeping) is not a good approach either, and, is, well, wrong. At least he didn't suggest the government take over the infrastructure and run it, but I believe his belief that simply being "American-owned" is going to address the issue is just shameless political theater and a Bad Idea on the surface of it. Just making sure Ken Lay or Ivan Boesky owns something doesn't mean they won't put Robert Hannsen or John Walker in charge of security. That is simply not the issue... the issue is the government is already responsible for security, what are THEY doing to overwatch and improve it?

Oh, and what's the scope of the issue? Among other things, keeping track of terminology. Port versus terminal. And 80% of the terminals... are foreign-owned... -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Mar 03, 2006 | General Commentary
» My Side of the Puddle links with: Responsibility
» Church and State links with: Anti-Bush Teacher Outdone By Student
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: One Soldier answers the "Why" question

Belly of the Beast

For those who wish a closer view of the Styker or LAV III, you might peruse the photos at this site:

The Exposed LAV

JMH

by Denizens on Mar 03, 2006 | Tanks and AFVs

Since Owen's running around picking fights in the comments today...

...let's see if we can distract him with bright shiny objects.

Silly blog graphic and refrigerator magnet to the first person who gets this one.

What is it? Whose is it? When was it used? Bonus points for succinct dissertations!

So, what izzit?

Let's see if we can attract a lurker or two with this one.

Caption this!

C'mon, give it yer best shot!

March 02, 2006

H&I* Fires 2 Mar 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

I gotta run. Yer up! - The Armorer

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Ralph Peters in Baghdad writes about Iraq, the U.S. media and civil war.

According to the AP, "Suicide attackers" kill another U.S. diplomat.

NYC Women...and guns! - FbL

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Setting aside the policy implications - where do I get one of these loans? I'm afraid I can't just dump Citi though, that's where my corporate 401 sits...

Trying to make the convoy business safer (*and* proceeding from the assumption the next war will be like this one). Baby steps. Next, to get it to the point where the manned vehicle doesn't have to be in a predictable spot, and then to eliminate the need for a manned vehicle at all. Of course, I'm wondering if that, in the end, doesn't make taking down a convoy *easier*. The whole FCS/Robotics thing is... the birth of Bolos.

And, as we spend the money on that stuff, we're going to mortgage the present to fund the future. I dunno. I'm still thinking that FCS units are going to need a little Cavalry to come to the rescue. Of course, that will be the Air Force, right? -The Armorer

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Usually I hate getting the "404 - Page not found" message. But not this time.
Almost forgot ... H/T to Appalachian GunTrash!
-Barb

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Mar 02, 2006 | General Commentary
» Church and State links with: Barry Lynn Confused on Alito Letter

From One to Zero.

by Sgt. Rachel A. Brune</p>

<p>February 1, 2006</p>

<p>Iraqi troops of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division, pass in review during a transfer of authority ceremony Jan. 28 at Q-West Base Complex in northern Iraq.

Over at National Review's The Corner, John Derbyshire posted this:

FROM ONE TO ZERO [John Derbyshire]
"The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops backing them up, the Pentagon said Friday. The battalion, made up of 700 to 800 Iraqi Army soldiers, has repeatedly been offered by the U.S. as an example of the growing independence of the Iraqi military. ... The battalion, according to the Pentagon, was downgraded from 'level one' to 'level two' after a recent quarterly assessment of its capabilities. 'Level one' means the battalion is able to fight on its own; 'level two' means it requires support from U.S. troops..."
Full story here. Posted at 01:11 PM

In case it's not obvious to you, or you don't follow The Corner, Derbyshire is *not* a fan of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Well, that's not right. John belongs to the "Smash and Run" school of the War on Terror, where you go in, kill people, break things, and leave a note saying "Stop what you're doing or we'll come back" and then come home and pass around the medals and get back to training for the next Punitive Expedition. He's unapologetic about it, which is fine. Such forthright honesty on the issue is refreshing, and if you accept his premise, that the problem of the Middle East has no practical external solution, his view fits neatly inside a self-defense premise - which in fact he lays out in a Corner post here.

I read the post and the way he posted it, and the article he references, as a simple form of "See, I told you so."

Me being me, as often as not disagreeing with Derb as agreeing with him, I decided to read the article and poke in the corners. Being a retired soldier and all, and having some idea of how these things work, I was looking for the whys, 'cuz I had a working hypothesis as to the backstory.

To me, applying all my biases to Derb's post, he was saying more or less, "See, I told ya it's not worth the effort. These guys can't hack it in any useful sense, without taking a lot more time than I support investing." Hey, he left it all open to interpretation and that's what I walked away with. I doubt he reads this space, so I don't expect a discussion with him on the subject, regardless.

I was looking for the 'whys' of the matter. It's one thing if it happened because of egregious battlefield failure or malfeasance. It's something else again if it is, well, self-inflicted so to speak, due to the nature of building an Army from scratch.

I found what I was looking for.

Though officials would not cite a specific reason for downgrading the unit, its readiness level has dropped in the wake of a new commander and numerous changes in the combat and support units, officials said. [emphasis mine]

The battalion is still deployed, and its status as an independent fighting force could be restored any day, Pentagon officials said. It was not clear where the battalion is operating within Iraq.

Heh. Thought so. The same thing happens in our Army when we reorganize units. In addition, you may well downgrade a unit after a change of command, from Fully Trained to Partially Trained, as the new command team settles in.

We're actually starting to implement a system, called Army Force Generation, or ARFORGEN for short, where we will cycle units deliberately into a status where they are non-deployable, during which time they will field new equipment, trainup on new doctrine, and assimilate new personnel as original personnel move on to schools, promotions, new units and assignments. In other words, we will regularize and schedule what appears to have happened to this Iraqi battalion.

A huge difference of course, is the Iraqi Army is not only engaged in a shooting war, as are we, but their training base is *also* in the middle of the war zone, too. Unlike ours. So, they get some hand-holding because they don't have the same security situation.

In the long run, history may show that Derb is correct in his view on the war. But I felt like he was taking a lazy shot downrange, and a little perspective, and context, might be in order.

In case you missed the link above - the article is here.

March 01, 2006

H&I* Fires 1 Mar 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

The Canadians are settling in in the 'Stan.

Dark, dark days indeed for the MSM. They just can't get a war they want, and have to live with the one they hate.

Alphecca with the Weekly Check on the Bias against guns in the media (and elsewhere).

In my case, I suspect it would depend on what was on the training schedule... this is why I had a mean XO.

If yer into tiny bullets with rimfire ignition... Mr. Completely has the Rimfire Roundup for your perusal.

Whoa! The Lord of the Dungeon arouses from his slumber! Whew! Made my saving throw! -The Armorer

Dave at Red Georgia Clay takes a look at a few old Colts With Pictures! Bonus Picture? A Blakeslee Quickloader!
- BloodSpite

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Heh. News item:

*Non-Religious Turmoil Escalates *

15,000 atheists in London rioted after a blank sheet of paper was found
on a cartoonist's desk.

And, well, d-uh!

Starship Troopers
You belong in Starship Troopers. Your idea of a good time is bouncing across an alien battlefield blasting the foes of humanity into extinction.


Which Heinlein Book Should You Have Been A Character In?
brought to you by Quizilla

H/t, Gunner, who is also Starship Troopers.

Since his trackback is goofed - here is the link The Counter Revolutionary would like you to visit. -The Armorer

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Mar 01, 2006 | General Commentary
» The Countervailing Force links with: News From Iraq
» NIF links with: Here's why
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Manifesto Against Islam
» Church and State links with: Judge Gone Wild
» Brown Hound links with: Another Odd Quiz

Kandahar the Quiet

Some photos taken by Chris Wattie of the National Post.

Kanadahar

Cheers JMH

We need something extremely male and gunlike.

So, how about some Canadian gunners having a good afternoon, getting ready to put some 105mm WillyPete (white phosphorus, red markings on light green 'jo) down range, probably to mark a target in a firepower demonstration for that M109 155mm gun in the background?

Gunners having a good day!

I thought you'd see it my way.

by John on Mar 01, 2006 | Artillery

Ash Wednesday.

We offer up this as a service, because here at Castle Argghhh!, we care. Besides, if *everyone* goes to Heaven, it'll be crowded.

Because we care...

H/t to Jim C, who got it from here - though it's been around for a while.

In the same vein and from the same source, Jim C, we offer up these Lenten sacrifices. None of which we'll be making, as you all are going to Heaven, so we're going to the empty real estate.

Now as for Lenten practices this year I have decided to give up giving up things for Lent. Well actually I have thought of some really good modern practices to give up that could be quite penitential.

Switching from broadband to dial-up
Turning off your popup-blocker
Turning off your spam filter
Not fast-forwarding through commercials on programs you have recorded on a DVR.
Watching CNN
Though I am not spiritually advanced enough for these severe penances.

All y'all knock yourselves out.

The World's Shortest Fairy Tale.

Since it's like, well, de rigeur that we have to be "fair and balanced" and use fancy foreign words and all... I offer this up as an antidote to the post below this one.

Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!


Update: Worth a try, Bill!

Ladies, click here!


Heh. Sensing a conspiracy...

...someone, who didn't even submit an entry, whined about a female conspiracy regarding the caption contest. And in a deft bit of double-think sent this along as supporting evidence...

EVE'S SIDE OF THE STORY After three weeks in the Garden of Eden, God came to visit Eve. So, how is everything going?" inquired God. "It is all so beautiful, God," she replied. "The sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking, the smells, the sights, everything is wonderful, but I have just one problem. It's these breasts you have given me. The middle one pushes the other two out and I am constantly knocking them with my arms, catching them on branches and snagging them on bushes. They are a real pain," reported Eve.

Eve went on to tell God that since many other parts of her body came in pairs, such as her limbs, eyes, ears, etc..........she felt that having only two breasts might leave her body more "symmetrically balanced," as she put it.

That is a fair point," replied God, "But it was my first shot at this, you know. I gave the animals six breasts, so I figured that you needed only half of those, but I see that you are right. I will fix it up right away." And God reached down, removed the middle breast and tossed it into the bushes. [Armorer's note - which proves God, at least in *this* universe, isn't a man]

Three weeks passed and God once again visited Eve in the Garden of Eden.

"Well, Eve how is my favorite creation?"

"Just fantastic," she replied, "But for one oversight on your part. [Isn't it like a woman to argue with God? ed] You see, all the animals are paired off. The ewe has a ram and the cow has her bull. All the animals have a mate except me. I feel so alone."

God thought for a moment and said, "You know, Eve, you are right. How could I have overlooked this? You do need a mate and I will immediately create a man from a part of you. Now let's see.....where did I put the useless boob?" [Like a man wouldn't know the answer to *that* question. ed]

Now doesn't THAT make more sense than that crap about the rib?

Caption Contest Winners

And the WINNERS in this week's caption contest are... [drum roll] ... busting out all over:

Boquisucio takes home a bronzed mold of Dolly Parton's torso (or a smack on the hand, whichever comes first) for this entry, which made me laugh out loud:

Now... during the demonstration, let's call it "The Microphone".

You start by grabbing "The Microphone" by the base as such, and then...

wickedpinto snagged Second Place (aka the coveted Ruined Keyboard award) with this entry:

"Reverend Lowry was wrong, the Weapons of Mass Distraction are right here, right there, ooooooooh they are RIGHT FRIGGEN THERE!!!"

And leave it to a woman - Holly Aho - to Speak Truth to Slobber:

"Will you tell your boobs to quit staring at my eyes?"

One final item of business:

Penalty Box:

For flagrant and notorious trivet pandering, cw4(ret)billt is herewith ordered to stand the assembled villainry a round of 'ritas and sentenced to a thorough trouncing flouncing by however many of the Denizennes care to take on the onerous task :D

Congratulations to the winners! I was surprised at how many finalists there were - it was tough to pick just three winners. Thanks to John for letting me judge.


by Cassandra on Mar 01, 2006 | I think it's funny!

February 28, 2006

H&I Fires* 28 Feb 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Cher donates to the Fallen Hero fund. -The Armorer

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The following link is to a 'Globe and Mail' story on Kandahar.


For a more personal view on the ground. -JMH

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In reference to the comment discussion on self defense in the House Guns post comes this info from David Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy on the spreading legality of "Stand Your Ground". [Brit jurisprudence shudders in revulsion - Armorer]

Also at Volokh, why it's important to know the laws when you travel, because, frankly, most of the time, the locals don't, or as in the case of Denver, don't care. One hopes a lawsuit extracts a few dollars from these folks, though sadly it will just be taxpayer, not personal, dollars. -Ry

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They call her "Saint Piro" and when they need air cover, the boys in Tall Afar ask for her by name. - Kat

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Aakash (a longtime reader and blogger in his own right) seeks your assistance. Not for himself, but for others. -The Armorer

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Capt. Z mourns the loss of a fine soldier and friend who was one of the bright stars of the Iraqi Army. Rest in Peace, Major Kareem.
-Barb

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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Somebody’s going to war with Iran. 99.9% chance it’ll be us. Could be nuclear; could be conventional. Think the Administration is doing anything to prep the Info Warfare battlefield—probably more important than anything else in today’s battle against Islamofacism? I don’t either. Sure wish they’d enlist the blogosphere… -Dusty

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Sorry Duke. Tough Shite. Throw the book at him. And any other elected rascal they catch with his hand in the cookie jar. Enjoy your stay at Club Fed, may it be the maximum. To whom much is given, from whom much is expected. And when you betray the trust - off with your metaphoric head.

Ooo! Dusty stopped by!

Jeff Quinton covers a student-sponsored AK-47 raffle at Clemson. While Jeff coves the bias issues, I found this part actually refreshing:


The university isn't necessarily condoning the event but isn't stopping it, said Robin Denny, director of news services.

"As its been explained to us, the way they're conducting this activity is within the law and university regulations," she said.

The usual forms of ignorance etc, are visible here - but I'm so jaded this almost seemed *positive*...

Uh-oh, Bill. Watch yer six, you posted comment 26666... -The Armorer

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Neptunus Lex went shopping this weekend. It was a humbling experience... [Check out what he was doing the night before for a truly interesting juxtaposition. - FbL]

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Rusty of MyPetJawa highlights a little bit of, well, you can't call it hypocrisy, because that implies you know there is a double-standard. I guess we'll just call it... difference. Yeah, that's it. -The Armorer

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Feb 28, 2006 | General Commentary
» Don Surber links with: Bob Byrd, the Kosser

Confederate Yankee strikes gold.

Mind you, to the Armorer, this would be an unmitigated disaster. I don't need my heinie going that far up the flagpole.

Bob gets interviewed by the Washington Post.

But wait - there's more!

He's *guest blogging* too.

The Armorer fights off Al-Reuters and one other MSM entity that has extended an invitation. Simply put - I don't want the exposure at that level. This isn't going to replace what I do for a day job, but it could *cost* me the day job if I'm not really really careful.

So, I stay out of this level of stuff. And, refuse once or twice, they quit asking, and you sink back into safe obscurity.

But Bob would like very much for this to be a paying gig - so Get Some, Dude!

At least I'll be able to say "I knew him when."

Interesting how *this* spins.

Drudge teases: COAST GUARD RAISED CONCERNS ABOUT PORTS DEAL...

Indeed, the Coast Guard appears to have done just that.

Feb 27, 4:03 PM (ET)

By LIZ SIDOTI

WASHINGTON (AP) - Citing broad gaps in U.S. intelligence, the Coast Guard cautioned the Bush administration that it was unable to determine whether a United Arab Emirates-owned company might support terrorist operations, a Senate panel said Monday.

Indeed.

But - as the article points out - the gaps apply to both Dubai Ports World... *and* the incumbent, P&O Steamship Company.

"There are many intelligence gaps, concerning the potential for DPW or P&O assets to support terrorist operations, that precludes an overall threat assessment of the potential" merger," an undated Coast Guard intelligence assessment says.

Senator Collins notes this:

"This report suggests there were significant and troubling intelligence gaps," said Collins, R-Maine. "That language is very troubling to me."

Wonder which way *she* leans on the NSA Program...

Well, at least we're starting to get where *I'd* like the focus to go - not on the flipping DPW's ownership - but just how good is federal, state, and local oversight of the security issues - and if they are inadequate, will this President ask for the resources to make them sufficient, and will this Congress allow the intelligence agencies to "bridge those gaps?"

Read the whole thing here.

by John on Feb 28, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Coast Guard warns of intel gaps related to ports deal
» The Glittering Eye links with: Catching my eye: morning A through Z

Another loss among the Denizens.

Bad Cat Robot knows the loss of a friend and respected colleague. Octavia Butler.

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

If you don't have RealPLayer, click here for the MP3.

February 27, 2006

H&I Fires* 27 Feb 06

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

"Mr. Tracy, call your office..."

The Air Force Research Laboratory recently transitioned a wrist-worn video and graphics display system to industry. On-the-move warfighters needed information on demand and with no increase to the weight they carry. The laboratory developed a new, lightweight, on-the-move information capability for aircrew, soldiers, sailors, controllers, and commanders.

The Air Force Research Laboratory recently transitioned a wrist-worn video and graphics display system to industry. On-the-move warfighters needed information on demand and with no increase to the weight they carry. The laboratory developed a new, lightweight, on-the-move information capability for aircrew, soldiers, sailors, controllers, and commanders.

Wow. Today in 1991 the ground operations phase of Desert Storm ended. It just doesn't seem like 15 years ago. -The Armorer

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Support the Troops' Families! - Fuzzybear Lioness

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News from the squishy center - RINO Sightings!

But will the new bill cover the House, Senate, and Executive Office Buildings? (reg req'd, use www.bugmenot.com)

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Seventy-seven percent of U.S. adults watch local broadcast news, while 71 percent watch network news, compared to 18 percent who read a national newspaper.

SWWBO and I have been giving the local broadcasters a shot. That was a mistake. We've already given up on the national ones, except for breaking news. We'll stick with words on the screen.

Dear Hillary - don't run. From Tampa Bay Online:

They fear, Hillary, that you would doom Democrats to impotence for decades. Republicans might relish that prospect, but on reflection, they would acknowledge the importance of a strong two-party political system. Should the Democratic Party be crippled, the Republican Party is likely to become complacent, uninspired and unaccountable.

Too late. At least from the Republican side. Which is not an endorsement by this space of the Democrats or their platforms. Just sayin' -The Armorer

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Sometimes, the MSM gets it right, too. -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Feb 27, 2006 | General Commentary
» Church and State links with: Proof for the 1st Amendment
» Don Surber links with: Raese Takes The High Road
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Just Call Me A Soothsayer

Movie Review!

Saw Annapolis yesterday.

Mind you, I think Annapolis graduates mostly poofters*, Lucian Truscott IV and Dress Gay notwithstanding...

And I hate boxing, in general. Heh. It's one of the reasons I *didn't* go to West Point.

But I liked the movie. I have no idea if they caught the essence of the academy, I'll leave that to grads - but they caught the essence of why they exist, and, in this non-graduate's opinion, should continue to do so, corny as it was..

It also made me wish I could do some things over. Probably not what you think. But that's a post that will never get written.

Others are not so kind...

Update: Oh, and as a plus, there are M1 Garands in the movie!

*Update II: Hey, in their own words!

by John on Feb 27, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» CDR Salamander links with: Brokeback MIDN

Caption Contest!

[This was started on Saturday, but since there is a prize this time, and a fair number of you guys only visit during the week, I thought I'd move this up to make sure you guys noticed it and had a chance at it. ed.]

Via the Admiral of the Moat Fleet, Boquisucio, comes this picture of a Canadian Soldier being interviewed by a Press Fembot.

Tanker Scoping his target

Caption contest! Go for it. What the heck, this time there's a prize! (a cheap, tawdry trinket that is mostly shameless self-promotion of the Castle!)

This contest will be judged by Cassandra - so give it yer best shot. We'll cut it off at Noon 5PM Central Monday, and turn her loose.

Her word will be final, too. And, if you want to actually *get* the prize, such as it is, you'll need to leave legitimate contact data, like an email address. Read the comment page instructions for how to do that without having it appear in the comment for harvesting by the spambots.

And don't forget - The Right Place has a contest going on, too!

by John on Feb 27, 2006 | I think it's funny!
» Alphecca links with: Heh!

February 26, 2006

H&I Fires 26 Feb 06.

Open post for those with something to share, updated through the day. New, complete posts come in below this one. Note: If trackbacking, please acknowledge this post in your post. That's only polite. You're advertising here, we should get an ad at your place...

Denizen JMH enlists in a group blog about the Canadian Military called The Torch... and talks about... wait for it... enlisting. He has been resent the keys to the Castle so perhaps we will see more of his work, especially now that Canada has taken such a strong role in Afghanistan.

The Flea plans my vacations...

Kat on Saudi Arabia

Beth and Jay both ask your help for Charlotte.

Ooops! Failure to Follow the Received Wisdom Award!

The Carnival of Cordite is up!

Darn those fundraising woes...

Heh. Ambrose Bierce on surety: "To be positive: To be mistaken at the top of one's voice."

A little more info on just how small the presence of US firms in the shipping industry is (and why there weren't any US operators bidding). While I understand the concerns, and welcome the opportunity to whack the government over port security - who owns the operations just isn't as important as who secures them - which are *not* exactly the same people or thing.

Jim Dunnigan on the Navy's interest in refitting SLBM (Sub-Launched Ballistic Missiles) with conventional warheads. Partly to hold on to the boats by remissioning them, as well as a genuine nod to the changes in the security environment. Certainly a fast-response system compared to, say, a B2 flying out of Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. However - he leaves unsaid what I think is the *real* problem with the idea, and that isn't the technical aspect of slowing down the warheads enough to be useful. It's the fact we can't launch one of those things without coordinating with Russia, at least. And possibly China. Failure to do so might have some *real* problems? And if they don't like who we're shooting at - nothing is going to stop them from warning the target. Do we really want to enter the arena where ICBM launches can be conventional or nuke? Really muddies the water!

I haven't been paying attention. All this focus on futures stuff at work caused me to miss the fact that the Aussies are replacing their Leos with Creightons...-The Armorer

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

On a completely unrelated matter, I am glad that on my recent move, we did not choose Glen, MS. Talk about the heebee jibees. - BOQ

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Feb 26, 2006 | General Commentary
» Church and State links with: Dawin Began Hitler
» Don Surber links with: Baby Charlotte And The Man Who Survived A Pulled P

Defame of Debbie Schlussel.

Heh. Even though it will annoy Ry and Sanger, I just can't resist returning to Debbie Schlussel's website... with the same morbid fascination similar to driving by a horrible car accident complete with a decapitation, I am drawn to her complete inability to acknowledge any reality that doesn't fit with her editorial meme. Of course, Owen Dyer might possibly say the same thing about me and my views on Iraq, except there is *one* huge difference between La Schlussel and myself. I don't delete comments, such as Owen makes, that argue against my point.

And when someone manages to essentially refute me, I'll acknowledge it. Quietly perhaps, after the post has dropped off into the archives, never to be seen again... heheheheheheh.

La Schlussel, however, can't abide such things. And so she deletes them, leaving up the groupthink bubble she's built for herself. Case in point - this post, slamming Julie Myers for wearing a "Mexican Eagle" on her first day on the job, which La Schlussel decides is a Trilateral Commission-style message to the masses.

SWWBO caught on to that pretty fast. As did some others, as SWWBO lays out here. And none of their polite, reasoned commentary, pointing out the alternative interpretation (and actual provenance of the pin) has survived. Lest ye doubt me, Google is your friend. Here's a screen cap of Google's Cache of Carrie's comment...

Carrie's now-deleted comment

Which is interesting. Whether or not in response to Schlussel's post or not, the ICE website *did* crop the picture to remove the pin. Debbie certainly takes credit for it. Possibly she called her FBI contacts... Regardless, aside from the childish snark inherent in the post (if I was after that, I'd have to quit reading 90 percent of the blogs I read - and quit writing this one)- I just find her continued inability to allow any dissent fascinating.

Oh, BTW, Debbie - they didn't crop it, at least not in quite the sense you implied. Click the thumbnail for the full pic.

Today, Joanne Jacobs left a comment, which we have helpfully screen-captured for posterity and display here.

I think what I like best is the delicious unintentional irony of ScottyDog's comment:

Kudos to Debbie for her attention to detail.

Posted by: ScottyDog at February 21, 2006 08:26 PM

...contrasted to Joanne's comment:

Julie Myers is wearing the Liberty Eagle Pin designed by Ann Hand. There's a photo and blurb about it at http://www.acec.org/publications/lastword2005/lw022505.htm (the Library of Congress gift shop site, which DS mentioned in her comments, is not available at the moment). The ACEC blurb says:

"Hand's most popular piece—the gold and pearl "Liberty Eagle" pin—has been worn for decades by first ladies and other famous political women.

First Ladies Hillary Clinton, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush have all worn the Liberty Eagle pin, as did Secretary of State Madeleine Albright."

Perhaps you deleted earlier comments on the Liberty Eagle pin from DS because she included a link to the Library of Congress git shop; that site is temporarily unavailable. I think it's clear from this link that Myers is wearing an American eagle pin, making your entire post a "sorry never mind."

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at February 26, 2006 11:35 AM

C'mon, Debbie. At this point, how are you any better than the MSM you periodically rail against (and would love a gig with)?

Mind you, I also think the Myers appointment was poor. But I would base my attacks on the incumbent in facts and actions, not descend to childish and inaccurate smearing? Especially since the best you can come up with is some shrewish, catty comment on issues sartorial? Leave it to Blackstone, he at least knows what he's talking about. Or, (wait for it), do you always just blog out your a$$, Debbie?

Heh. Just in case you notice this post, Debbie - this post doesn't meet the first definition of the word defame.

de·fame ( P ) Pronunciation Key (d-fm) tr.v. de·famed, de·fam·ing, de·fames

1, To damage the reputation, character, or good name of by slander or libel. See Synonyms at malign.
2. Archaic. To disgrace.

However, *your* post and the way you delete polite, accurate comments that deflate your premise... well *that* meets the second definition. As an "own goal".

So, Schlussel Watch: How long will it take La Schlussel to delete the comment captured here for posterity? After all - as this quote from your post notes...

Her Freudian slip of brooch choice said it all, which is why we've posted it here, where ICE PR cannot crop it out.

BTW, Debbie. They didn't... see above. Good attention to detail there, too.

So, this pic's for you, Ms. Schlussel!

Comment watch - how long will it take Debbie to delete this comment by Joanne Jacobs?

Or will she rise above the now-very-low-standards of journalistic integrity I've set for her?

Oops. Misha noticed too. Can the lawsuit be far away?

by John on Feb 26, 2006 | Media Morons
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Just one more kvetch, maybe

Around the world this week.

Just a window into what the services are up to. Mostly the stuff that isn't getting all the coverage. Hover your cursor over the photo for caption and credits.

Army

by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon II</p>

<p>February 24, 2006</p>

<p>Soldiers in OH-58D Kiowa and AH-64 Apache helicopters from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment conduct a combat air patrol near Tal Afar, Iraq. 3rd ACR returns this week to Fort Carson, Colo., and is being relieved by the 1st Armored Division.

Marine Corps

060223-N-0318R-037 Atlantic Ocean (Feb. 23, 2006) – U.S. Marine Corps’ Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) assigned to the 2nd AA Battalion, Bravo Company prepares to enter the well deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) during well deck certification trials. Bataan is preparing for an upcoming deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 1st Class Ken J. Riley (RELEASED) <br />

Navy

060225-N-4772B-112 Philippine Sea (Feb. 25, 2006) - An SH-60S Seahawk from the Island Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) maneuvers over the flight deck of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202), while transferring supplies to the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49). Sailors and Marines from the Forward Deployed Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived off the coast of Leyte Feb. 19 to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to victims of the Feb. 17 landslide on the island of Leyte, Republic of the Philippines. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 2nd Class Brian P. Biller (RELEASED)

Air Force

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AFPN) – Members from the 734th Air Mobility Squadron load a 10K fork lift on a C-17 Globemaster III while the loadmaster over see the progress. The 535th Airlift Squadron and the 204th Airlift Squadron is conducting its first contingency response mission to support relief efforts in the Philippines. The composite C-17 squadron of active duty and Hawaii Air National Guard will carry meals ready to eat, water, cots, tents and personnel from the 15th Airlift Wing to help out with the mudslide. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

Coast Guard.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Feb 17, 2006)--A boat crew on a 47-foot motor life boat from Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral, Fla., conduct hoist basket training about mile off Cocoa Beach, Fla., with a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla. This training is essential to keep both boat crews and air crews proficient in the lifesaving skills that Coast Guardsmen use everyday. The helicopter pounds the boat crew with neaarly 100-MPH winds and sea spray. USCG photo by PA1 Donnie Brzuska

And our ABCA Allies...

Canada.

KA2006-R106-0174a<br />
21 February 2006<br />
Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan</p>

<p>Chief Warrant Officer Steve Bartlett, Task Force Afghanistan’s Regimental Sergeant Major takes time to reflect on the fallen. A consecration ceremony was held of the Memorial dedicated to those Canadians who gave their lives in the service of peace while serving in Afghanistan. This Memorial was originally consecrated in November 2003 at Camp Julien, Kabul. The closure of Camp Julien in November 2005 necessitated the move of the Memorial to its present location at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.<br />
Canada’s mission in Afghanistan is part of our contribution to the international campaign against terrorism. The overarching goal is to prevent Afghanistan from relapsing into a failed state that gives terrorists and terrorist organizations a safe haven. The next phase of Canadian operations in Afghanistan will continue to help improve the quality of life for the Afghan people, and to ensure that the progress made is sustainable.</p>

<p>The Canadian Forces (CF) contribution to Afghanistan will grow to about 2,000-strong by March 2006, and the deployment of additional troops has begun. Task Force Afghanistan will be based primarily at Kandahar Airfield and Camp Nathan Smith in Kandahar City, while approximately 85 other personnel are assigned to various military headquarters and civilian organizations in Kabul. Lastly, about 200 CF members are deployed at a support base elsewhere in South West Asia.<br />

Australia

No sleep: Heavily clothed against the cold, Pte Rob Dean and Pte Dwayne Bould watch over the suburbs of Baghdad at night.

United Kingdom

Troops provide cover for a patrol near Umm Qasr in southern Iraq.  Brit MoD photo by Allan House.