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April 15, 2006

H&I* Fires 15 April

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...

[Armorer's Note: Ry posted this late last night on yesterday's H&I, I thought I'd move it to today's - you are *not* suffering a case of déjà vu.


Getting back to my annoying self again, and so I offer this from John Robb of Global Guerrillas fame(amongst other things).

Is it possible he's right? That terrs are leaving because they've succeeded in their mission? Or, as Jonah would say, has he stolen a few too many bases here?

Personally, I'd feel a lot more comfortable saying Robb is wrong if there had been more Jihadis receiving their 72 virgins than the statistics seem to show(as a percentage of the total) .

Something for the China Watchers. Just as we have significant vulnerabilities, so do they. Mahan hasn't been relegated to the dustheap of history.

And just to annoy Owen and get him to comment. Rudimentary Ballistic defense exists for the US. -Ry


Just for kicks, since I'm flying to St Louis tommorow (Happy Easter to me)
I have this over at my place as well. But just for giggles and since folks are always surpassing me in identifying things *grin*
Who among you can name this little jewel?

You don't win anything other than a pat on the back, a link from my humble hovel if ya got a site, and a round of applause. But that should be enough right? :)

Update! Blake Kirk got it!! Awnser in Extended Entry :)
Also if you have not read this article by Janet Stroble of and Web Weekly, then you need too. H/t: Noble Eagle



Here (thanks to Cassandra) is the essence of the concerns some of us have expressed about Hilton's business practices.

Op-For has Plane Pron for the Day.

And if you haven't seen the latest in insect fashions yet, visit Blonde Sagacity. - Fuzzybear Lioness


This deserves better than a trackback tag. -The Armorer

And from the True Northern Region, Springtime in Kandahar Province.


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 15, 2006 | General Commentary
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Final Salute
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Comedy Central Disses Muhammad

Fran O'Brien's, Part 4

[Sorry for the possibly-excessive use of your generous posting privileges, John. But you know me well enough not to be surprised that I'm not gonna let up on this unless you tell me to. And then I'll just take it back to my place and hang onto it like a pitbull, haha!]

Update: The Italian Connection.

Lots happening on the "Save Fran O'Brien's" front.

Hilton's response has left Lex unimpressed and encouraging us to contact our congressional representatives, and Greyhawk swearing (scroll down) and issuing a call to arms. In the comments on Greyhawk's "swearing" post, Buzz Patterson is reaffirming that restaurant co-owner Hal Koster says there were no negotiations, contradicting Hilton's claims.

The story has also made it to the front page of the "City" section in the Washington Post, and now Michelle Malkin is onboard.

[Updates as the story develops]


Damn damn DAMN! Farking lottery tickets.

Sharp eyes might correlate this datum.

Sigh. It's also kind of sad, to see a life's work like this broken up. There's some rare stuff - stuff we've *never* seen in the US, except as photos, like the two tanks on this page.

Geoff, yer a mean, mean man, to send me this.


We return this blog to it's upright, non-potty-mouth position.

Thank heaven I can't get Down Below for this. I'd be a homeless guy at a Raffles buffet.

April 14, 2006

H&I Fires * April 154, 2006

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 Master of the Castle has informed me that he is busy flushing the moat or whatever it is Masters of the Castle do, so I have endeavored to put up the HI Fires post as any good, loyal, subservient *cough*..ahem...denizenne should do.

From Michael Yon's newly revised site, I discovered a great document called The Fundamentals of Company Level Counterinsurgency. My take on the subject after careful review and re-reading Clausewitz, On War: The war will not be won at gun point. This war will be won over a cup of chai in a mud hut in a village with a name no one can pronounce.

Also, Lt Kendall-Smith of the RAF got 8 months for refusing to deploy. His argument that the war was illegal under "international law" (along with the usual USA=Nazis commentary) was rejected. Prosecution reminded the courts martial that Britain was operating under a UN Mandate and an invitation by the Iraq interim government.

US Trainers and some Iraq officers (not all) still complaining that the Iraq Army's policy of not prosecuting deserters and 10 days per month leave is harming preparation and availability of deployable Iraqi forces. - Kat


The Armorer *also* wishes that Kat would not cause a heart attack by moving Gotta Submit To The Fisc day up one... I would also note that if you tried to download the "Twenty-Eight Articles" pdf from Kat's stuff above and had trouble, it is no longer hot-linked to Yon's site and will (hopefully) download much faster, and not suck Michael's bandwidth. Grumpy look at Kat for stealing tomorrow's post on the subject, too. -The Armorer


This little Rican noted that since Cassie opened a Pandora's Box a little crack this week, I thought to balance the equation a bit.

Fleshy people do not have The Fridgerator Repairman Market Squeezed. Pthpthpth! ;>

Happy Easter everyone - BOQ
Getting back to my annoying self again, and so I offer this from John Robb of Global Guerrilas fame(amoungst other things).
Is it possible he's right? That terrs are leaving because they've succeeded in their mission? Or, as Jonah would say, has he stolen a few too many bases here?
Personally, I'd feel a lot more comfortable saying Robb is wrong if there had been more Jihadis recieving their 72 virgins than the statistics seem to show(as a percentage of the total) .

Something for the China Watchers. Just as we have significant vulnerabilities, so do they. Mahan hasn't been relegated to the dustheap of history.

And just to annoy Owen and get him to comment. Rudimentary Ballistic defense exists for the US.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 14, 2006 | General Commentary

Saving Fran O'Brien's, part III.

Update: More from Hilton here, at Andi's World.

SWWBO (a Hilton Diamond Member) received (as did many who emailed, I'm sure - including Mark Storer, from his comment in the original post) this response from the manager of the besieged Hilton, Brian Kelleher:

Thank you for your _expression of concern regarding the Fran O’Brien’s restaurant. I appreciate your interest and would like to take this opportunity to respond to you personally.

For strictly business reasons related solely to the inability to reach a new lease agreement, the Capital Hilton has elected to terminate the lease with the operator of Fran O’Brien’s restaurant at the hotel. This decision was not at all related to the Friday night dinners for disabled veterans but rather a result of lease negotiations that failed. The hotel has offered to host and sponsor the May 5, 2006 dinner and expressed interest in working closely with Walter Reed so that the Friday night tradition can continue. Furthermore, the hotel is in discussions with one of the sponsors of the Friday night dinners to continue their support of the dinners.

The Capital Hilton prides itself on its involvement and support of many community organizations and events and has provided complimentary or discounted rooms to families with veterans in the hospital, donated facilities to military organizations and most recently hosted a meeting for 300 people.

Brian Kelleher
General Manager, Capital Hilton

I won't quibble about the *you personally* aspect of a mass email - to expect other than this is to quibble that Hilton should eschew the convenience of the very same medium being used to smack 'em upside the head, and engage in a Navin R. Johnson-style orgy of check email writing. Let's hope he's saying this: "I'm gonna bounce back and when I do I'm gonna buy you a diamond so big it's gonna make you puke. " and not this quote from the same movie, albeit a different character... "Die, you random son of a bitch." No, I'm sure he's not. But I bet he does wish he could wish away all us cat jugglers.

Let's take it at face value. The owners of O'Brien's lost the space. I don't know how long it takes to make a move of this nature in that market - but you know both sides of this equation do.

I rather expect there were some hard feelings on both sides over intractability, too.

So, how hard is it (given the Friday night thing) to say, "Okay - you lose, we're not extending. You've got X months to move out" rather than just seemingly (to us) out-of-the-blue the eviction notice?

I suspect the truth lies somewhere in-between the two stories. I've not been keen on fully demonizing Hilton as much as I've been keen on keeping that little perk going as long as someone is willing and able to do it. I'm in this one for the troops. So, both sides, please, siddown and settle it, and I'd appreciate it if you'd take care of the troops as they've been taken care of so generously. I'll give ya my bucks if ya do...

FbL adds her take:

The thing that bugs me and makes me think things aren't on the up-and-up here is that the owners at Fran's seem to be saying that they never received an offer from the Hilton, so there couldn't have been any negotiations that "failed."

Greyhawk reported: "For over six months they have been asking the Hilton Management for the terms for renewal of their lease. For over 5 months they were told not to worry they would have the renewal lease in a few weeks."

How could there have been a negotiation (as Hilton claims) when there was never an offer? A lot of this just doesn't make sense. I don't chalk it up to anti-troop behavior, as they have a decent track record in general. But I've got some thoughts on the subject here.

by John on Apr 14, 2006
» Fuzzilicious Thinking links with: Hilton Replies
» Fuzzilicious Thinking links with: Hilton Replies
» Presto Agitato links with: Blaming the Victim
» Presto Agitato links with: Blaming the Victim
» Presto Agitato links with: Blaming the Victim
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Friday Night’s at Fran O’Brien’s
» links with: Making a Difference: Fran O’Brien Update
» Mike's Points links with: Hilton & the milbloggers
» Mike's Points links with: Hilton & the milbloggers
» Mike's Points links with: Hilton & the milbloggers
» Mike's Points links with: Hilton & the milbloggers

Want traffic?

Get Farked.

Where they came from: How Many dropped by: Percent of total visits: 14783 46% 6109 19% 1160 3.6 %

This is yesterday's data.

There were 25 visits from Hilton servers yesterday, too.

Gad, I loved soldiering. I miss it.

I really do.

1st BCT, 34th ID

Whether we're harkening back to old traditions, or establishing new ones, we help break old paradigms, or simply reaffirming old truisms - we like to do stuff you wouldn't expect to see us doing, boldly go where few have gone before, or work with allies trying to git 'er done, it was mostly fun to be a soldier.

Oh, sure - we tend to take it personally when you shoot at us,

27 March 2006:  Sergeant Edmund Susman with BCT 2 along with Iraqi Army Soldiers from the 3rd Bn, 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, prepare to engage AQIZ insurgents after taking small arms fire near a glass factory being used as a recruiting office for the Iraqi Army in the city of Ar Ramadi in the Al Anbar Providence, Iraq.  Soldiers with HAC 2nd Brigade are deployed with I MEF (FWD) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq (MNF-W) to develop the Iraqi Security Forces, facilitate the development of official rule of law through democratic government reforms, and continue the development of a market based economy centered on Iraqi Reconstruction.<br />
(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph by Sergeant Francisco Olmeda)<br />
Soldiers with HAC 2nd Brigade are deployed with I MEF (FWD) in support of Operation in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq (MNF-W) to develop  the Iraqi Security Forces, facilitate the development of official rule of law through democratic government reforms, and continue the development of a market based economy centered on Iraqi Reconstruction.<br />
(Official U.S. Marine Corps Photograph by Sergeant Francisco Olmeda)  (RELEASED)

and sometimes, well, we can make a mess with our litter...

US Army Sergeant 1st Class Len Tidey (left) from Bravo Co.7158 Aviation 244 Regiment watches as Sergeant 1st Class Tom Rees (right) from the 1st Information Operations (IO) 10th Mountain releases a box of leaflets at a drop at Helmand Province, Afghanistan, April 1, 2006. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Leslie Angulo) (Released)

But we generally get along with the kids.

Army SGT Erin Hyland, a 91WM6 Army Nurse with the 729th Forward Support Battalion Maryland Army National Guard entertains local kids waiting on line to be treated during a Medical readiness exercise (MEDRETE) in Anaimatejed School in Barahona, Dominican Republic on March 22, 2006. New Horizons 06 is a humanitarian assistance project held in Barahona, Dominican Republic that will benefit the rural towns and populace with the construction of 4 clinics and basic medical care. NH06 is sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and executed by U.S. Army South alongside the Government of the Dominican Republic. (US Army Photo by Miguel A. Negron, GS-9) (Released)

But I'd do it again. Hell, if we get into a war with Iran, they may knock on the door.

Here's an easy one for you Airplane Grognards.

The Commissar, he of, sent me this request: wrote:


I'm stumped on this identification problem. What do you think?



aka The Commissar
The Politburo Diktat

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2006 21:58:29 -0400
From: Guy
Reply-To: Guy
Subject: help to identify aircraft


My name is Guy A. I am a Vietnam War vet and currently doing a documentary for my WWII Veteran uncle who served and was wounded in Europe.

He is still alive and doing well. I have attached a picture of a downed German Aircraft and would like to know if any of your older veterans could identify it. Thank you for any assistance with this.

Guy A.

Hey, *I'm* flattered when a guy who runs a website about Ace Pilots comes to me for help identifying an airplane! It took me about two minutes to logic my way through it and then confirm it. I'll put my answer up tomorrow. In the meantime, you guys have at it. I'm guessing a few of you will get it very quickly, as I did - but play honest, do your figuring *without* reading the comments. Then open up the comments and load your answer - *then* read what other people have posited. Extra credit if you post a link to a confirmatory pic.

Here's the pic in question. You may begin.

ID this aircraft

Here's a larger version, for those who might need it.

by John on Apr 14, 2006 | Aircraft

Update on Fran O'Brien's

[Background here]

Update III: Hilton Replies.

Update II: Hilton has repeatedly said that the eviction of Fran's had nothing to do with the Friday Dinners for wounded veterans. If we accept that at face value, it would make sense that they have plans for using the location in a new way, or have another customer in mind. This now seems highly unlikely. World Net Daily has an article quoting a regional spokesperson for Hilton:

Cole would not say specifically why the lease was terminated or what the hotel will do with the space after April.

"We don't have anything that we're definitely going to do with the space," she said.

The more I read, the less impressed I am with Hilton. [h/t Blackfive]

Update: more contact info courtesy of Buzz Patterson's comments at Blackfive. Remember, keep it civil (Lex's advice on tactics is very good).

Kathy Shepard
Vice President - Corporate Communications
Hilton Hotels Corporation

Atish Shah - Vice President - Investor Relations

Linda Bain - Vice President of Group Communications

Madeleine Kleiner - Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary and General Counsel

Andi's World points us to information that clarifies the lease situation. As we already know from the emails Greyhawk posted, Fran's is not going willingly. Local media in DC have picked up the story:

A two-year tradition for wounded war vets is about to go by the wayside. A downtown DC steak house that’s catered to injured troops every Friday night is about to close.

Fran O’Brien’s landlord is forcing out the steakhouse of the same name.

“We're not feeling very good about leaving and especially the Friday night dinner,” O’Brien said.

The short article and video confirm that the restaurant is being forced out, and though there are attempts to arrange something similar to the now-traditional "Friday Night at Fran's," it's very much up in the air.

I hesitate to make assumptions, but it's appearing more and more that Hilton has made a very poor business decision based on surface-level analysis of profit/loss (as Lex has theorized). And it's also becoming clearer that they have treated Fran O'Brien's very shabbily, possibly to the point of not negotiating in good faith. One email sent to Hilton sums it up pretty well:

All I ask is that you deal with the owners openly and honestly, not dissemble, lead them on, and then hit them with a two week eviction notice.
Apparently that has been too much to ask in this case.

To be fair, Hilton has said they want to find some way to continue an activity for the troops on their site. However, they are promising nothing at this point:

A Hilton hotel spokesperson says they are -- on some level -- hoping to keep the Friday night alive without Fran O’Brien’s.

And if it's not the free Friday night steak dinner for injured veterans ... The same statement from the hotel concludes: "the Capital Hilton prides itself on its involvement and service to the community and will continue to support these organizations in the future."

I really think Hilton has missed a great opportunity here. Instead of forcing out Fran O'Brien's in an unprofessional manner that included assuring Fran's they were developing a new lease while they apparently had no intention of doing so and then giving them only three weeks to leave, they could have cooperated with Fran's and then publicized their "great civic-mindedness."

The story of what Fran O'Brien's has done and what it means to the wounded who participate is pure gold. The first time I saw a news report about it I cried. It was so wonderful to see the expressions and hear the laughter and words of the wounded who said that going to Fran's made them feel "normal" for the first time since their injuries. Cooperating with Fran's to ensure the restaurant's continued association with the hotel would have given Hilton the kind of PR that money can't buy...

The owners of Fran O'Brien's are expected to make an announcement of some type this morning.


[The Armorer interjects: Hilton has the right to do what they wish with the space they control, within the context of contract law. In other words, absent some tortious malfeasance on their part, what they did was perfectly legal.

Just as what Fuzzybear Lioness and others have done is perfectly legal - which is attack both the decision and (this is more my problem) the shabby way in which this was done. Hilton wants to change their property, they should be able to. And if they were going to do that - why not just say so with enough time for the owners of Fran O'Brien's to make other arrangements, as Hilton seems not to have done?

That's the lesson learned here. In time of war, *especially* in the era of the Blog, messing with recovering wounded soldiers, however indirectly, can land you in hot PR water - and it didn't have to be that way, if a little Golden Rule had been applied to the issue. Make no mistake - this story has the legs it does not so much because of the restaurant - as it is the patrons on that night.

This is a Story That Should Never Have Been.

That said, I suppose those of us attending the Milblogger Conference ought to go do dinner there, eh?]

[FbL adds: I'll second what the Armorer says. I think that had Hilton handled the lease issue more professionally, this would hardly be a story: Fran's would be moving to a new location in the DC area with plenty of time to make the transition, and while people would lament the disruption, Friday Nights at Fran's would be likely be continuing at their new location while a few people might shake their heads at Hilton's lost opportunity.

Instead, many of us now have a lower opinion of Hilton for how they "negotiated" with Fran's, and will long remember the Hilton name in association with this event.

(And yes to the to the dinner suggestion--with healthy tips to the waiters who donated their labor on Friday nights and will soon be out of work.)]

by Denizens on Apr 14, 2006 | Pugnacious Stupidity
» Welcome To Andi's World links with: Hilton Responds to the Fran O'Brien's Matter

April 13, 2006

H&I Fires*April 13, 2006

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...

Regardless of what she says at her place, SWWBO is a perfect 80.

While I got tired of the anti-war/anti-Bush/anti-anything-we-didn't-think-up crowds pointless blithering about how the Bush Twins didn't immediately enlist and become the point squad leaders of the lead squads of the lead platoon of the lead company of the lead battalion of the lead brigade of the Third Infantry Division during the March Upcountry - it also wouldn't have bothered me one bit if they *had* been. One thing you can say about the Royals, whatever their other problems, they put their share of flesh into the Line. Another Windsor steps up: Congratulations to Prince Harry on his passing-out from Sandhurst. Wonder if Prince William copped a pound for First Salute? Mine went to an SF Master Sergeant who made over $100 that day those many years ago. (Those who know, know)

Watch the trends - skip the headlines. -The Armorer


This is so Not Right. Have you no shame, woman? -The Armorer


You've been propagandized again, and again, and again. Most Americans don't even know it and won't because the media may be a watchdog against the government, but they certainly will not report about their own mistakes (or purposeful misleads). There was the 100k Iraqi Dead by Americans from Lancet, the fake wedding that was blown up, the fake missile attack. There are so many its nearly impossible to keep track. Most Americans turn on the TV for their hour news or catch the headlines on MSN or Yahoo or wherever their home page is. They are not doing the analysis. From all that, the only time they know they've been propagandized is when the media danes to tell them that their own government is doing it to them. Sure, Americans can judge that things from the Jihadists and noted as from the jihadists may have untruths and propaganda. But what about when the media presents the information as if it came from a legitimate, unaffiliated, "stringer" and keep printing his captions with it? Time the AP admitted they have a problem. Its always the first step to recovery.


This sucks. But better to check it out and deal with it upfront than take the approach we took with Pat Tillman. Said event probably informing this news release. We should always strive for zero friendly fire casualties (and it's not confirmed these are) but, if you are living in adult-world, I wouldn't *expect* it. -The Armorer


Yesterday, The Emperor put-up the following post. Thought that you'all might get a kick out of that.

Oh - And BTW. next time you pump yer car... BETTER WATCH YOUR SIX.

On a slightly more serious note... last Sunday, MSG Keith ran a post about taking an M42 Duster for a drink. Me thinks I found its present resting place.

The entire gallery can be found HERE. - BOQ

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 13, 2006 | General Commentary

Save Fran O'Brien's

UPDATE IV: Click here.

UPDATE III: Andi says at 6:00 EDT: "Looks like I may have some news to share with you soon, likely tomorrow. For now, be VERY respectful when you contact the Hilton Corporation. Let them know how much these dinners mean to our troops, and that we hope they will continue. Stay tuned...." This may be corroboration of the info in the original Update. Well see, I guess...

UPDATE II: Wizbang has the Hilton side of things (scroll down).

UPDATE: Good News!!! Commenter "mdwest" reports (over at Andi's) having spoken to the manager at Fran's this afternoon. They are in the middle of negotiations with Hilton! There is no reason to assume either way, but at least there is hope. And even if it is only a short extension on the lease, it can give Fran's time to find another location nearby and continue its tradition of supporting the troops. Don't stop contacting Hilton, yet!

Many people associated with the military, especially those who work with the wounded, are aware of what the restaurant Fran O'Brien's has been doing every Friday night since 2003 for the patients at Walter Reed and Bethesda. But their great work is in danger of ending in just two weeks. As Capitol Hill Blue reporter Lisa Hoffman describes it:

...for those whose future plans exploded the moment they were maimed, the steps and the landmark restaurant they lead to are a welcome-mat back to normal life...

In a restaurant where a T-bone goes for $30 a pop, each recuperating vet gets a full-course feast, plus whatever libations they choose, for is the atmosphere as much as the food that feeds the 50 or so troops and family members who partake each week...

There they find camaraderie, mutual support and, commonly, a lot of laughs. It's a night out like they enjoyed before they went to war. No one stares at them and no one will let them sink into self pity, said Staff Sgt. Joshua Olson, now 26, who lost his right leg up to the hip two years ago when an enemy rocket hit his truck in Tal Afar, Iraq. "You have to decide if you're going to lay in bed or get up and live,"

Fran O'Brien's has been denied an extension on their property lease by the Hilton (Hotels) company and will be closing their doors on April 31st 30. They requested a renewal on the lease 6 months ago and were repeatedly told it was being developed. Finally the company started ignoring their requests for information. Only very recently did they recieve notice that the lease will not be renewed.

The restaurant owners have been given no explanation for the non-renewal, but there seem to be liability concerns about the number of wounded and disabled people Fran O'Brien's accomodates on Friday evenings. However, Hilton refuses to do the construction necessary to alleviate those concerns, and no legal actions have developed from "inadequate" facilities.

The impact that Fran O'Brien's generous support of the wounded troops through their free meals has had on morale and recovery at Walter Reed and Bethesda cannot be overstated [see "Extended Entry" below]. Their's has been an extraordinary gift of love and support, at great financial cost to the restaurant owners. We can't let them lose their restaurant, or let this wonderful expression of support disappear.

I've seen for myself that the energy, ideas, and contacts of the milblog world are astonishing. Let's put them together and fix this problem. Greyhawk writes:

If you are so inclined I would like to ask you to call and/or email the following two officials at the Hilton and voice your support for Hal and Marty and express your concern for the reasoning behind this seemingly arbitrary decision. Please call them tomorrow or Friday and feel free to share this with anyone else who might be willing to call.

Here are the people to call:

*Dan Boyle (212) 838-1558

Brian Kellaher (202) 393-1000*

[For those of you whose blood pressure resembled mine after hearing this: we need to be sure to be polite and civil in our contacts with Hilton. The a**-chewing they deserve for their collossal lack of PR savvy would not be helpful in this case. And be sure to read the comments below for good ideas.]

For more information: Wizbang (coordinating a protest this Friday--4/14--at the Hilton attached to the restaurant), Andi's World, OPFOR (the newly-renamed and reopened Officer's Club).

Others blogging this: Neptunus Lex, TC Override (CPT Z), Proud Army Mom, Don Surber, Blue Crab Boulevard, The Real Ugly American.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 13, 2006 | Something for the Soul
» Most Certainly Not links with: Have a Moment to Send an E-mail?
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: Save Fran O'Brien's
» Flopping Aces links with: The Fight For Fran O’ Brien’s
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Spread the Word - Save Fran O'Brien's
» Redneck Peril links with: An open letter to the Capitol Hilton, Washington, D.C.
» Void Where Prohibited links with: Hilton doesn't care about disabled Vets??
» The Yankee Sailor links with: A Bitch Slap for the Chickenhawk Crowd
» The Yankee Sailor links with: Sailor Donates House for Blind Girl
» Jack Yoest links with: Corvettes in China
» HomefrontSix links with: I apologize
» Jack Yoest links with: Corvettes in China

Caption Contest

Spring break, 1970.

Hot sun, sand, palm trees, underage drinking -- and you thought *today's* teenagers were unruly!

No comment from me, no sirree. Not one. They know where I live...

Second Platoon of the 162d (the -- ahem -- *Junior* Varsity) observing some off-camera shenannigans, most likely involving Baby-San and the ingredients for homemade napalm.

Photo courtesy of V29, who says the photo's not blurry, the guys actually looked that way to him after a couple of warm PBRs. Indigenous hat courtesy of someone dumb enough to be carrying an AK in a Free Fire Zone.

Have at it, gang!

by CW4BillT on Apr 13, 2006 | Historical Stuff

Once upon a time...

...there were three marmosets residing in the Philadelphia Zoo who decided they wanted to live in luxury for the rest of their lives.

They just didn’t know how they were going to do it.

So, they all sat down at the conference table at the top of the big fiberglass tree and brainstormed the problem.

After three hours of rejecting every idea they put out for discussion, the littlest marmoset said, “Y’know, the oceans are ruled by the heirs of Neptune -- the Four Eternal Porpoises. But their immortality depends on them dining once every fifty years on a meal of roast seagull.”

“Yeah, and…?” asked the biggest marmoset.

The littlest marmoset replied, “This is the year. They have to eat roast seagull this year or they’ll resume aging. They’re the rulers of the sea, knowing all its secrets and the location of all its treasures, so I’ll bet they’d be grateful enough to pay a fortune to anyone who could deliver a bunch of seagulls to their underwater grotto in the Florida Keys.”

“Dummy!” shouted the middle-sized marmoset. “The Keys are lousy with seagulls -- the porpoises can get ‘em any time they want to lift a flipper!”

The littlest marmoset grinned. “Not so!” he said, “Since seagulls are a protected species, the Feds placed a geas on the porpoises forty-nine years ago -- they can’t approach the surface whenever seagulls are present. And to keep entrepreneurs like us from delivering roast seagull to the porpoises, they chained a pair of fierce lions just inside the entrance to the grotto. All we’ve gotta do is grab some seagulls, toss the lions a couple of dozen burgers laced with tranquilizers and we’re set for life.”

The other two marmosets agreed it was a splendid idea. They hopped the zoo fence at closing time, scampered down to Penn's Landing, nabbed four seagulls in a trap baited with week-old squid and set out for the Florida Keys.

At the Last Burger Joint Before the Grotto, the three marmosets ordered fifty burgers to go -- extra ketchup, hold the onions -- and set out for the grotto of the Four Eternal Porpoises.

The lions roared a warning as the three marmosets approached with trepidation (and seagulls and burgers), but after scenting the flame-broiled goodies, the lions quieted. The marmosets unwrapped the burgers (extra ketchup, hold the onions), added a hefty dose of a leading brand name mood-equalizing chemical compound to each, and proceeded to toss them to the lions.

Between the tryptophan and the tranquilizers, the lions were soon prone, relaxed and, ummmmm, sedate.

The three marmosets lifted the cage containing the trapped seagulls, entered the grotto, hopped gingerly over the semi-comatose lions and proceeded down into the depths.

Where they were promptly arrested by Federal agents.

Because, as everybody knows --

*ohhhh, this is gonna leave a bruise…*

it’s illegal to transport gulls across staid lions for immortal porpoises.

April 12, 2006

H&I Fires*April 12, 2006

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 take it John's self esteem battering session was very painful and requires a day to recover (or, at least the morning, youth having flown the coup, recovery requires more than two aspirins and a cup of coffee) - Kat

Apparently, piping sessions can be very volatile. Sgt B may need to don helmet and flak jacket to survive.

What constitutes an "unlawful order"? This RAF LT insists that an order to deploy to a war he believes is "illegal" constitutes an unlawful order under "international law" and the "Nuremburg principles".

Finally, 29 people have been charged with the Madrid bombing after two years of investigation. As in July 7 bombings, the Spanish do not find a trace of Al Qaida involvement. I am wondering at this interesting trend of denial. - Kat

Purely for fun, I did a little digging and found out what really happened in regards to Fbl's Computer Woe's!
As you can see, these two "brave" Social Scientist had a sound hypothesis. Unfortunately for them, their theorem was tragically proven wrong. I just love when both Darwin and The Scientific Method are proven once more. - BOQ

Another fascinating bit of "forgotten or overlooked" history, courtesy of the Canadian Milblog, The Torch. -The Armorer.

Oh – Someone please tell me that Jack Won’t Be Back This Summer. !!!

I mean, they even have a troupe of marines, gaily prancing around at port arms fer Christ’s Sakes. - BOQ


BTW - have any of you other bloggers suddenly found yourself on the White House Blogger mailing list?

You are currently subscribed to Communications Update - Bloggers as:

Or did one of you Yahoos sign me up? -The Armorer


Christopher Hitchens has the most coherent history of Iraq and Nigeria (and fake documents, etc.) that I've yet read.

Winnie the Pooh gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. - Fuzzybear Lioness


Okay - how many of us are going to the Milblogger Conference next week? Enough to put together a Castle Muster? Drop me a line in email and let's get something organized. Bill, any chance you can drop down that way on the weekend? My current list of known attendees is SWWBO, Me, FbL, Sergeant B, Brab, AFSis, 1SG Keith, and Cassandra is a regional dweller, though not attending (hmmmm, mebbe we should all drop in on her - unannounced! Oops. Too late. Never mind that last. Shhhhh! Anyone else in the area with an interest can feel free to pipe up as well. -The Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 12, 2006 | General Commentary

Wars, and Rumors of War.

Iranian Frogfoot

Well, I guess it's time to weigh in a little bit. (Irony joke for those who are following SWWBO's posts).

Bill posted CAPT H's link to a fascinating little sci-fi think piece in his post below - scooping Fuzzybear Lioness, too (hee!).

Over at Confederate Yankee, there's a piece up about war with Iran, called Killing Allah.

An excerpt:

When Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that the Administration is planning contingencies for possible military strikes against Iran’s nuclear sites, and that even our own nuclear options were being considered as a possible response in some scenarios, my initial response was one of "isn’t it their job to consider all options?" I did not however, actually think using nuclear weapons was a workable solution, anymore than did the generals in Hersh’s anonymously-sourced article who threatened to resign if the nuclear option wasn’t removed from the table.

Like the President, I do not desire military conflict—or in light of Iranian intrusion into Iraq, more military conflict—with Iran, and would much prefer a diplomatic settlement where no more lives need be lost. I agree with the apparent assessment of Steyn and others that the Iranian mullahcracy will not stop until they are stopped, and that stoppage, like so many things in the Islamic world, will only occur at the point of the sword.

All I had to add to the discussion was this:

Sy Hersh has done something else, probably unintentionally, but possibly not.

Because of his open stating of "The US is considering nukes." he's guaranteed we will.

Stay with me.

It doesn't matter in this context if we do or don't.

Because if we hit *any* underground facility that has radioactive material in it - it will be trotted out as proof that *we* used a nuke.

Never mind if it's the right isotopes or amount of radiation for a nuke - the geiger counters will click and the radiacmeters register... and those who are prone to believe we did it will believe we did it - and it will get reported that way.

You heard it here first. Hey, I was the first guy to predict that someone in San Francisco would quickly hatch a plan to make the USS Iowa a Gay Icon.

If this works out (I hope not, frankly) I'll have scored like a broken clock. Right twice.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 11, 2006 03:42 PM

I got quibbled with, in a minor way:

Posted by: Fish at April 11, 2006 11:05 PM John of Argghhh,

The usual suspects claim our use of specially de-enriched depleted uranium constituted the use of a nuclear weapon on our part, as well as claiming WP as a chemical weapon instead of an incidnary. In short, ..-. 'em. If they're going to have the same reaction no matter what we do, we shouldn't change our plans on account of their kvetching.

Posted by: Cybrludite at April 12, 2006 06:29 AM

Master Luddite - Just for the record - I didn't suggest we should take the option off the table. I just pointed out we would get blamed, regardless of what we did.

I suppose I could have added, "So we might as well" except that I, a former nuke weapons person myself, just hate the damn things six ways to Sunday.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at April 12, 2006 07:39 AM

Then comes this, from John Hindraker at Powerline:

Is Andrew Paranoid?

We wrote below about Iran's "Forces of Mohammad" military exercises, in which the Iranian military has unveiled a series of new weapons. Filmmaker Andrew Marcus emails:

As I follow the coverage of the Iranian military maneuvers, I can't help but reflect upon what Michael Ledeen wrote in NRO on February 17.
Despite this disquieting news, the overall tone of the conversation was upbeat, because the Iranians believe they see many positive developments, above all, the declaration that "it has been promised that by 8 April, we will be in a position to show the entire world that 'we are members of the club.'" This presumably refers to nuclear weapons. Against this cheery background, the assessment of the Iranian leaders continued....
Are we on the precipice of a horrifying new reality to be unveiled as early as this weekend? I can’t find a schedule for the "Forces of Mohammad" military exercise but if it ends on the 8th......

Paranoid in Chicago,
Andrew Marcus

I think it's reasonable to be paranoid where Iran is concerned. It's also worth noting that no one really knows how close the Mullahs are to detonating a nuclear bomb. But how can this be? It's impossible to be wrong about a totalitarian state's WMD capabilities without "lying," isn't it? Is it the liberals' position that we should act on the most optimistic assumptions about Iran's capabilities and intentions?

Silly question. They don't have a position, of course.

The last line is simply gorgeous.

Forgive me, John, for lifting the whole thing, because I *will* send them to this post on "How Dangerous is Iran?" as penance (and because it sets up the rest of this post, too...)

I have *lots* of opinions about going to war with Iran. Most of them informed by what I currently do for a living, so, in keeping with The Armorer's Rulez of Blogging, I'm keeping to myself. Instead, I'm going to offer up some stuff that's probably been all over somewhere else, but I've been so busy I haven't seen it there. I have an album of pictures of the Iranian exercise people have been talking about.

Iranian Soldier

This is a huge exercise, and staged for the benefit of the world press. Looking through the pics with a military eye I see several things. They pulled off a very complex event, which speaks well of their ability to do set-piece planning. Wars are won, of course, by the results of your seat-of-the-pants planning.

This is not the Iraqi Army of Saddam. At least the forces caught in the pictures have good, basic, soldierly discipline, evidenced in the dress, demeanor, and condition of their equipment.

I would *not* want to be their logisticians, given the polyglot of equipment they have - but the fact they are keeping their US-supplied stuff flying is testimony to their scrounging and reverse-engineering abilities - but suggests they'll have problems with their logistical endurance.

If we go to war with them, and they recall us relics like Bill, Dusty and I, we're going to be having some deja vu and *blink blink* moments.

Bill is going to feel like he's killing old friends.

I'm going to feel like it's Back To The Future III.

Dusty will feel right at home.

CDR Salamander will be testing himself against swarming Boghammers....

I do see the occasional sign of weakness however. But, this is intended for show, more than training, so the clumping and lack of camouflage on poorly built and sited positions probably shouldn't be relied on...

Iranian Exercise Album here.

I don't want to take these guys on solo. Not because we can't beat them - we can. But because it will hurt, and hurt a lot, to fight these guys Rumsfeld's Way. If we can't avoid the fight (for all the right reasons) then I'd prefer to steam-roller 'em, thank you, in a classic attrition fight, just to reduce the numbers of available fedayeen types we'd inevitably have to deal with in the aftermath. Especially when you own the air, mass has a quality all it's own...

Iranian Patrol Boat

The Once and Future War

Have you ever wished you could visit the Past, armed with knowledge (and maybe a .44 Magnum), determined to prevent *insert catastrophe of your choice* at all costs? To be the Ultimate Knight Errant?

Now suppose the Knight Errant decided to visit you...

“Which combination of those three traits -- phobos, kerdos, doxa -- will save or doom your world?” asked the Time Traveler. “Which might bring you back from this vacation from history -- from history’s responsibilities and history’s burdens -- that you have all so generously gifted yourselves with? You peaceloving Europeans. You civil-liberties loving Americans? You Athenian invertebrates with your love of your own exalted sensibilities and your willingness to enter into a global war for civilizational survival even while you are too timid, too fearful . . . too decent . . . to match the ruthlessness of your enemies.”

I closed my eyes but that did not stop his voice.

“At least understand that such decency goes away quickly when you are burying your children and your grandchildren,” rasped the Time Traveler. “Or watching them suffer in slavery. Ruthlessness deferred against totalitarian aggression only makes the later need for ruthlessness more terrible. Thousands of years of history and war should have taught you that. Did you fools learning nothing from living through the charnel house that was the 20th Century?”

Dan Simmons (Hyperion, Worlds Enough & Time, among others) makes the point that one needn't play host to a Time Traveller in order to see what just might be climbing over the fence in the the future.

It's worth the couple of minutes it takes to read. It will either broaden your perspective or send you cringing into the corner with your blankie...

The Century War.

H/t to Captain JMH.

April 11, 2006

H&I Fires* 11 April 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'm off to have my self-esteem wrecked - outbrief of my annual assessment. I'll leave it to you guys. -The Armorer


That went as well as could be expected. My excessive ego was only slightly scratched, not spindled or mutilated. -The Armorer.


Some days, the Bull Wins (not work safe in excessively prissy environments) Aaaaahhhhh. -The Armorer


Now hear this! All Sevice Personnel, whatever you do... Please Don't Spank the Monkey. BOQ

Now Carry On.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 11, 2006 | General Commentary


I'm sure it's not true, but I'm also sure it's funny. And since I picked on Big Media today, this is proffered as "balance"...

CNN Photographer

A photographer for CNN was assigned to cover southern California's wildfires last year. He wanted pictures of the heroic work the firefighters were doing as they battled the blazes. When the photographer arrived on the scene, he realized that the smoke was so thick it would seriously impede, or even make impossible, his getting good photographs from the ground level. He requested permission from his boss to rent a plane and take photos from the air. His request was approved and he used his cell phone to call the local county airport to charter a flight. He was told a single engine plane would be waiting for him at the airport. Arriving at the airfield, he spotted a plane warming up outside a hanger. He jumped in with his bag, slammed the door shut, and shouted, "Let's go!" The pilot taxied out, swung the plane into the wind and roared down the runway. Once in the air, the photographer requested the pilot to, "Fly over the valley and make two or three low passes so I can take some pictures of the fires on the hillsides." "Why?" asked the pilot. "Because I'm a photographer for CNN," he responded. "And, I need to get some close-up shots." The pilot was strangely silent for a moment, but finally he stammered, "So, you're telling me you're not the flight instructor?

H/t, Rich B.

Bad Captioning vice Bad Journalism.

In the post below I mentioned I wasn't going to take responsibility for inept captioning on the part of the Armed Services when doing my propagandizing bit by publishing their pictures. Lord knows I took some grief over that recently...

That's bad captioning. And was caught by people who knew the subjects. The incident reflects haste and tiredness on my part, as I knew better, too. I just didn't look closely because I was trying to feed the blogmonster - which is explanation, not excuse. Some of that is explanation for this, too - and some is more sinister. Neil Munro, writing in National Journal, points out the problem as it applies to Big Media.

On January 14, for example, shortly after unmanned U.S. aircraft fired missiles at several suspected leaders of Al Qaeda who were thought to be staying in the village of Damadola, Pakistan, Agence France-Presse distributed a picture said to be from the scene. AFP is based in Paris, and the picture was sent by one of its locally hired photographers, a stringer. The photo showed a piece of military equipment placed on a damaged stone wall, flanked by a solemn old man and a young boy. Another firm, Getty Images, also distributed the photo to picture editors at newspapers and magazines around the world. The New York Times published it in the paper's January 14 Web edition, and Time magazine ran the picture in its January 23 print edition, along with the caption "Detritus from the latest U.S. raid in Pakistan."

We painfully put that to rest in our post here, where we picked apart the picture. And got picked a bit ourselves...

Showing (eventually) how it was most likely a Pakistani-made (and fired) 155mm artillery projectile. As the MSM, mainly because of bloggers, eventually figured out, too.

But the caption was wrong, the pose was staged, and the picture was, in essence, untrue. The initial AFP caption said that the military object was a piece of a missile from the U.S. strike. Later, AFP issued a correction, labeling the object an unexploded artillery shell.

I frankly can relate to this next bit, given the uneven quality of the US MILITARY'S OWN PHOTO WEBSITE'S CAPTIONING [emphasis *all* mine, baby!]:

Asked for comment on the whole subject of suspect images, photo directors from several U.S. publications said they do indeed worry about the reliability of images distributed by photo agencies, even the most respected ones. But they also said they want and need to trust the agencies and distributors, which include AFP, the Associated Press, Reuters, and Getty Images. In normal practice, photo directors receive a stream of digital images from the photo agencies, select the best of them, and then present them to editors, who decide which photographs to publish...

{major snippage}

For photo editors, new pressures to get it right are coming from Internet bloggers who collect and post critical comments from ordinary citizens and also from niche experts who may have intimate knowledge of the local culture, the U.S. military, or the particular news event in question, Elbert said. "We in the mainstream media have always decided what [images] we want to push out, but now people are disagreeing and questioning accuracy," he said. "This is really confounding the mainstream media."

That's us. And as the comments on *this* post show - bloggers get pressure, too. Of course, there is a difference between inept captions and deception. And the consequences of deception are far greater than simple mistakes. Around here we try to avoid the deception, but we're gonna have the mistakes!

And I would point out the right side of blogosphere has no mercy on it's own...

The whole National Journal article is available here.

by John on Apr 11, 2006 | Media Morons
» CDR Salamander links with: Notch one up for MilBloggers - agai

Since one of us is trying to enter the Naval Service

I thought we should get some documentation in of the Navy before this individual is turned loose on same. No, I won't say who. Not my place, as it isn't a done deal, and is therefore not a matter of public record yet.

USS Porter, US Navy photo

Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (April 1, 2006) - The guided missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) arrives for a routine port visit. Porter is the 28th ship in the Arleigh Burke-class of AEGIS destroyers. Porter is homeported in Norfolk, Va., currently on a regularly scheduled six month deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Paul Farley

LCU 1651 and USS Harpers Ferry.  US Navy photo

Okinawa, Japan (April 7, 2006) - Landing Craft Utility (LCU) 1651 performs a stern gate marriage with the dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) during the offload of personnel and equipment of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in White Beach Naval Facility, Okinawa, Japan. Commander, Task Force Seven Six (CTF-76) ships, units and embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) elements are returning from operations supporting Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSIO) Foal Eagle (FE) 2006, designed to strengthen interoperability between the United States and the Republic of South Korea. U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 3rd Class Adam R. Cole

The above activity is part of what I was doing in Korea, though I had no direct part in this particular aspect of the exercise.

Note: The Armorer assumes no responsibility for crappy captioning by the Armed Services (which is really hypocritical, in light of the next post...)

April 10, 2006

H&I Fires* 10 April 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...

This is an interesting Carnival of the Recipes... there's a comic book theme. Whoa!?! Was that Ry and BCR that just went streaking by to The Ziggurat of Doom to check out the goodies?

CAPT H sent me this link to a bit on Samizdata about mini-ABMs for Peace!

New Department of the Army fund-raising Scheme to get around the Congress. Owen - here's your next big expose'! The Army Bake Sale!

Ooo! Ooo! Geeks with guns! Explosions! And a dying Apple product! What's not to like? Mind you, videos like this keep the anti-gun lobby alive... H/t, CAPT H.

I see we were doomed with La Schlussel, regardless. We don't think she's Da Bomb, we have 8 cats, and we're fat - along with White Guys and Smokers, the last group it's Okay To Riff On.... Snerk. Hey, Deb - this ought to make your fires burn the hotter - I get $1,193 tax-free dollars every month, due in no small measure to my being fat. There's a crusade for you to undertake - revoke the entitlement of hypothyroid veterans! Right up your alley anyway, bigot. Ah, gee, this grievance schtick feels kinda good... ;^) -the Armorer

You know, when Abu Ghraib details broke out, my first thoughts were "Where in the HELL did those Soldiers EVER get the idea that treating POW's that way was in any form or fashion acceptable? So what if they didn't receive 'proper guidance'- any normal human being would have realized that sort of treatment is unnecessary, disgusting, and immoral!" Well, now I know where they got it from. SERE training. And I am one PISSED OFF CIVILIAN over this.

It's been two years since Matt Maupin was captured. Never forget Matt. I know, I can't. ~AFSister
According to the Washington Post, you've been propagandized. - Kat

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 10, 2006 | General Commentary

Accessorizing your War Wagon, Part II

Yesterday, as a Public Service, Bill helped you install an Armament Control Panel to your Basic Mode of Transportation Device.

Today - we'll help you with Fire Control by adding a sight. From Arsenal Stocks we offer up the US Navy's Illuminated Sight, Mark 9 Mod 2.

US Navy Illuminated Sight, Mark 9 Mod 2

A real space saver, with the optional mounting kit, easily affixes to your dashboard, right in front of the steering wheel. If you routinely fly with a co-pilot and want greater flexibility, we offer a drop down, trainable mount which will slave to your weapons station. Comes complete with reticle dimmer to account for all lighting conditions.

Nice parallax-correcting sight picture, with dual circle-with-a-pip reticle for your target acquisition and engagement pleasure.

Take that, lane-crosser!

Today only - $99.95*

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Contractor Lexicon

As an Outside-The-Beltway Bandit who reads the occasional government Request for Proposal (RFP) and then tries to craft a credible fantasy document for the government that will, A. Give them what they want, what they really really want, vice what they asked for (you gotta read some of these to believe 'em*), and; B. squeeze enough blood from the turnip to get filthy stinking rich yet not attract the attention of people like Owen Dyer or Mike Wallace, yet still win the bid, I can relate to this bit.

Government Contracting Dictionary

CONTRACTOR -- A gambler who never gets to shuffle, cut or deal.

BID OPENING -- A poker game in which the losing hand wins.

BID -- A wild guess carried out to two decimal places.

LOW BIDDER -- A contractor who is wondering what he left out of his bid.

ENGINEER'S ESTIMATE -- The cost of construction in heaven.

PROJECT MANAGER -- The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union.

CRITICAL PATH METHOD - A management technique for losing your shirt under
perfect control.

OSHA -- A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, red tape, split hairs and baloney -- usually applied at random with a shotgun.

STRIKE -- An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken.

DELAYED PAYMENT -- A tourniquet applied at the pockets.

COMPLETION DATE -- The point at which liquidated damages begin.

LIQUIDATED DAMAGES -- A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible.

AUDITOR -- People who go in after the war is lost and bayonet the wounded.

LAWYER -- People who go in after the auditors and strip the bodies.

Oh, btw, ain't gotten anywhere close to the initial clause of B, yet *still* managed to attract Owen's attention. Sigh.

If you didn't understand that last sentence, you don't read all the comments to all the posts. Shame on you.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

April 09, 2006

H&I Fires* 9 April 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...

We took a day off yesterday. There was a horse show to work. And apparently no Denizen had much to say, either!

1917 Vimy Ridge France stormed by Canadian troops. Significant event in the history of WWI and of the Canadian Army.

1865 General Lee does the hard thing, and surrenders to General Grant.

1942 Bataan: c. 75,000 U.S. & Filipino troops surrender to the Japanese

1991 Georgia votes to secede from USSR. These guys are incorrigible. Geez, this 130 years after they seceded from the Union... Oh, wait. Different Georgia.

What goes around, comes around, chickie. -The Armorer


The blogger translation project yields some interesting documents, including one showing Hussein's intention to strike terroristically at the U.S. - FbL

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Apr 09, 2006 | General Commentary

Iraq Liberation Day

Saddam Toppled, literally and metaphorically

Just a reminder - today is Iraq Liberation Day. While the jury is out on what they're going to do with the historic chance offered them to change their destiny (and whether or not *we'll* like the outcome they choose, whether they do or not - still, their choice to make) this is the anniversary of that day in 2003 when that chance was afforded them.

And we've certainly seen that it's easy to win a war in the technical sense without securing the immediate basis of the peace.

And that precisely those things which made the war *less* brutal than the approach we took with Japan and Germany are part and parcel of why securing the peace is so much harder. We have to come to grips with the fact that what is perceived as a more humane method of war changes not only the combat paradigm, but makes the approach to the aftermath much different than we realized, too, and we have to invest as much effort in that as we have in the combat arena.

And certain agencies of the US Government, notably State and the CIA, need to get over their hissyfit about things not being done the way they would have done it, and be far more involved and supportive of getting things done under the new paradigm, than just pissing and moaning about the loss of the turf war over how things should have been done.

There is much to argue about and ponder - but we shouldn't let that distract from trying to get the job done that needs doing now. But it would seem that seeking adult behavior in the battles of turf, and in the arena of politics is almost too much to ask today.

Parochial self-interests seem to trump most other things. Feh.

Update: Related to this theme - where are the moderate Muslims?

Perhaps they are out there. Too afraid to speak? What message do we send if we cut and run? Certainly not one to embolden them to speak out.

Update II. Speaking of cutting and running. An Iraqi view.

by John on Apr 09, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» bRight & Early links with: First Cup 04.09.06
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Stand To
» Stop The ACLU links with: Iraqi Liberation Day
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: The Fall of Saddam
» The Middle Ground links with: Iraq Liberation Day and Civil War

Possible Misrepresentation of Services to troops and veterans.

Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 10:46 AM Subject: NCVA Pass Along

Please pass on to all your troops and veterans…..

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE

CSM's, the SMA asked that I forward this information on to each of you for dissemination to your Soldiers. We have been advised by the VA of an organization calling itself Veterans Affairs Services (VAS). This organization is gathering personal information on veterans under a vaservices website. This organization is not affiliated with the VA in any way and in reality is a private company based in California. It describes itself as a nonprofit veteran's service organization but they are actually affiliated with the Military Financial Planning association. They may be gaining access to military personnel through their close resemblance to the VA name and seal. VA's legal counsel has requested we inform our installations, particularly mobilization sites of this group and their lack of affiliation or endorsement by VA to provide any services. In addition, if you have any examples of VAS acts such as VAS employees assisting veterans in the preparation and presentation of claims for benefits, please pass these on to [Contact me, I"ll provide the data] Michael Daugherty, [snipped]. Mr. Daugherty is a Staff Attorney with the Department of Veterans Affairs here in Washington D.C. I am attaching an info paper describing the company and their websites. Please pass this along to your Commands.

SGM John Heinrichs
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

Caveats: NONE


MSG Ofisa and SGM Heinrichs are legit people. (CAPT H - you have a relative down here...)

From the Mission Statement on their website:

Veterans Affairs Services is a non-profit Veterans Service Organization dedicated to serving the United States Armed Forces.

They claim to be a non-profit, but aren't listed by the IRS. That doesn't' mean they aren't a non-profit [heh, the Castle Store is a non-profit, if the definition is ya don't make any money...], it just means that they don't have that status with the IRS.

They claim to be a Veteran's Service Organization. That is a very specific claim and the VA keeps a list of those organizations that are allowed to act in that capacity (The Armorer used the Military Order of the Purple Heart and VFW to assist in his dealings with the disability rating system, for example). VAS is *not* listed - hence the VA's interest in direct knowledge of this organization offering those services.

They may be legitimate, as far as they go. They are arguably deceptive, and I would avoid them for that reason alone. They may be more than that - on the dark side of selling unneeded services and collecting data they shouldn't have.

I'd avoid these guys. Your mileage may vary. If you have knowledge you'd like to send the VA, drop me a line (you don't have to tell me what it is) and I'll send you the contact info. They don't need any crank calls and emails, they're generally slow enough (sorry guys, it took you 18 months to process my paperwork...)

I'll post the referenced info paper once I score a copy.

Accessorize your War Wagon

Ever drive down the road and mentally blow the driver in front of you to kingdom come with a minigun? It may not have been a completely satisfactory experience if you didn't have the ancilliary switches 'n' stuff to complete your "willing suspension of disbelief."

With a couple of switches and some sheet metal you can pick up for a song at the neighborhood Property Disposal Office (although you may have to submit a sealed bid on a B-52 just to get the switches), you can accessorize your four-wheeled gunship with your very own OH-6A XM-27 armament panel.

XM-27 Armament Panel - Side View

Vwalla! Fiddly bits exposéd! Couple o' wires, a toggle and a rotary switch -- what could be simpler? And you can assemble the whole thing with a pair of needle-nosers.


But if you're less mechanically-inclined than Bad Cat Robot, you can just cut out the top view

XM-27 Armament Panel - Top View

and paste it on your console. Armed/Safe switch to Armed (wait for the light to come on), Master switch to Fire Norm (nothing personal, Norm. Really) and you're ready to squeeze the trigger and send hot, screaming, imaginary leaden death up Slowpoke's exhaust stack.

Ummmmm -- actually, you might want to *print* the pic in lieu of peeling it right off the monitor...

Drive a lot at night? Don't forget to flip the NVG filters over the lights

XM-27 Armament Panel - NVG Filters Down

before you goggle-up.

By the way, congratulations. You've just seen a couple of things that only Little Bird pilots and crewchiefs have seen. Oh, yeah -- *and* the Crash Investigation Teams...