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June 17, 2006

H&I Fires* 17 Julyne 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...

Now this is fun, if yer a geek like me who is seriously considering *buying* the Oxford English Dictionary, Callimachus' Carnival of the Etymologies over at Done With Mirrors.

I find this funnier'n helk. I got an email forwarded to me from a man of strong faith. While obviously from the web somewhere, I can't find it. In short, it's a study out of England about near death episodes. While I find the results as presented subject to several un-presented alternative explanations, this passage just tickled me this morning:

"Indeed, some of the atheist respondents wrote some really cross letters saying that they had not wanted this experience and they found it quite difficult to incorporate into their lives," said Dr. Fenwick, who first reported the findings at a conference in 2004.

Meet Dr. Fenwick (perhaps you can find the referenced study).

Oh - Happy Birthday, Jim!

Look, those Canadians are working the crowd!

Men don't need pirates in the pews. Then again, the presence of such swashbucklers might not be the worst thing to happen to a Sunday morning.

Bring back the Militant Orders! Start Catholic/Baptist/Lutheran/Methodist/Mormon/Episcopal paintball leagues! Compete! I bet the Baptists and Mormons and maybe the various Pentecostals kick butt on those limpwristed feminized other sects.

What am I blithering about? This.

Moving on - over at The Right Place - a caption contest: All Your Fitzmas Are Belong To Us!

How about the some Facts of Life?

God made man before woman so as to give him time to think of an answer for her first question. My wife and I had words, but I didn't get to use mine.

The irony of life is that, by the time you're old enough to know your way around, you're not going anywhere.

I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

I think there's some trouble back home. My Dad sent me this. (His would be the house on the right...) -The Armorer

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The Toronto Star has a fascinating article about a major success in the war on terror from the Internet side of things. As Captain's Quarters writes:

The five-year war on Islamofascism has had more success than we know. It takes months to get news on intel operations, and during that time we keep rolling up more and more of the AQ network. Even the terrorists understand that they are losing. The only people who haven't realized it are in Congress.
- FbL

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CDR Salamander has gun pr0n! -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Project Valour-IT - Wrap up.

Well done!

The totals are in - $18,265

Not bad, not bad at all for spur-of-the-moment, low pressure effort!

More importantly, we scored some intriguing opportunities to pursue on the celebrity and near-celebrity front, so that's cool too.

We didn't beat National Review Online, ($19, 550 when I hit "post") but I don't know what their last night at midnight total was, either.

In other words - all y'all done good! We eliminated the backlog of 11 laptops, and have money (and in-kind laptop donations) to handle the new needs that will inevitably pop-up.

And it's all due to your efforts - as bloggers and as contributors!

For those who scored cluebats, we'll probably start production on those next week, and I'll be hitting you up for snail-mail addresses if I don't have them already.

Of course, we're taking donations 24/7 should you suddenly find a wad of cash you don't know what use to put it to! Just click the graphic below!

And you can still score Grim's Stetson!

Work with us - donate!

Feel free to join us! And those of you who already have - thank you ever so much!

(Feel free to swipe the roll-code)

(If you are a supporting blog and aren't listed - drop me a note!)

Caption this!

Okay - go for it.

Caption This!

heh.

You've probably seen this elsewhere. I just got it yesterday.

Got this from an old Army buddy.

A Naval Academy classmate of mine who is a retired Air Force general officer recently attended a conference at Fort Carson which was a briefing on the Iraq War. This is the report he sent out about the conference. I thought you would be interested in reading Dick's report Knowing the author of the report, I know it is factual.
Regards,
Joe
_____

Earlier this week I attended a retired general and flag officer conference at Fort Carson, hosted by MGen Bob Mixon, the 7th Infantry Division Commander which calls the Fort its home. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ft. Carson, it is a huge installation located to the south of Colorado Springs; it's in the process of becoming one of the larger Army installations in the country (26,000 soldiers); and it is the test location for the new "modular brigade" concept that will reflect the Army of tomorrow by 2008. It is also the home post of the largest number of troopers who have served multiple tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and, regrettably, the largest number of troopers who have died in combat there over the past three years. There are Ft. Carson units going to and returning from the combat area virtually on a monthly basis.

The conference was primarily organized to explain the modular brigade concept, and it featured a panel of officers who had either very recently returned from commands in the combat zone or were about to deploy there in the next two months. Three of the recent returnees were Colonel H.R. McMaster, Colonel Rick S., and Captain Walter Szpak.

McMaster is the commander of the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, the unit that, through very innovative and population-friendly tactics, rid the city of Tal Afar of insurgents. The mayor of Tal Afar came back to Carson two weeks ago to thank the troopers and their families personally for "freeing his people". (You say you didn't hear about that in the mainstream media?) McMaster is considered the foremost U.S. expert on modern insurgent warfare, has written a book on the subject which is widely circulated at the war colleges and staff colleges, and he was asked to testify before Congress when he returned from the 3rd ACR combat deployment. He is obviously one of the great combat leaders that has emerged from the war and is highly respected (some would say revered) by his troopers and his superiors alike.

Colonel S. is assigned to the 10th Special Forces Brigade and he headed up all of the 31 Special Forces A-teams that are integrated with the populace and the Iraqi Army and national police throughout the country. Many of these are the guys that you see occasionally on the news that have beards, dress in native regalia, usually speak Arabic and don't like to have their identities revealed for fear of retribution on their families (thus the Colonel S.) Captain Szpak was the head of all the Army explosive ordnance teams in Iraq. He and his troops had the job of disarming all the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and explosive formed projectiles (EFPs) that were discovered before they were detonated. They also traveled around the country training the combat forces in recognizing and avoiding these devices in time to prevent death and injury. IEDs and EFPs are responsible for the vast majority of casualties experienced by our forces.

Despite the objective of the conference (i.e., the modular brigade concept), it quickly devolved into a 3? hour question and answer period between the panel and the 54 retired generals and admirals who attended. I wish I had a video of the whole session to share with you because the insights were especially eye opening and encouraging. I'll try to summarize the high points as best I can.

* All returnees agreed that "we are clearly winning the fight against the insurgents but we are losing the public relations battle both in the war zone and in the States". (I'll go into more detail on each topic below.)

* All agreed that it will be necessary for us to have forces in Iraq for at least ten more years, though by no means in the numbers that are there now.

* They opined that 80% to 90% of the Iraqi people want to have us there and do not want us to leave before "the job is done".

* The morale and combat capability of the troops is the highest that the senior officers have ever seen in the 20-30 years that each has served.

* The Iraqi armed forces and police are probably better trained right now than they were under Saddam, but our standards are much higher and they lack officer leadership.

* They don't need more troops in the combat zone but they need considerably more Arab linguists and civil affairs experts.

* The IEDs and EFPs continue to be the principal problem that they face and they are becoming more sophisticated as time passes.

The rest is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

June 16, 2006

Project Valour-IT - LAST DAY!

This post will be up high all day - new stuff comes in below.

Hey! It's Payday! So shave off a little green to Project Valour-IT!

From yesterday:

Weekend 2214.11
Monday 2475
Tuesday 3801
Wednesday 5850.00
Thursday 2080

Total $16,420.

Interesting note: As of the time of that update, we were ahead of National Review Online and their week-long fundraiser. This morning, as I hit "post" on this, they're at $16,915.

So - for those of you who like a little competition - how about we set our goal to *Beat* NRO's fundraising totals? Just for the bragging rights? Something I can drop in Jonah's coffee tomorrow morning?

Please?

It's not like it's not for a Good Cause.

So, the fundraising for Project Valour-IT continues today - and ends tonight in terms of blogging it - until the Big Push this fall. This was just a raid to warm everybody up and refine the TTPs.

Please click on the graphic below - and give up a little beer/winecooler/pack of cigarettes/movie rental money (or more, like Blackhawk!) to help the wounded re-connect to their wired lives. At this point - I'm just wanting to stay ahead of NRO!

Work with us - donate!

Feel free to join us! And those of you who already have - thank you ever so much!

(Feel free to swipe the roll-code)

(If you are a supporting blog and aren't listed - drop me a note!)

H&I* Fires 16 JUN 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 a little busy - here's the keys. -The Armorer

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From The Corner:

Is there any profession more self-absorbed and less self-critical than journalists? Yes, the Hollywood entertainment industry qualifies but other than that I don’t think so.

What brings this to mind is the Richard Morin column...citing researchers at Cambridge and the University of Zurich who have determined that “newspaper coverage of terrorist incidents leads directly to more attacks.”

And the Belmont Club has a very interesting post that dates from before Pres. Bush's visit to Baghdad, but shows why it (and his accompanying message) was so strategically powerful:

The plausibility of the rumor Omar reports is constructed precisely on the impression that a sell-out is in the works. Anyone who watches the MSM can feel a desire so strong it can almost be tasted. An[d] a sell-out may not be a pretty phrase to describe what the Left proposes, but that is precisely what it is. And the nice thing about these kinds of sell-outs, as the older Vietnamese and Cambodians can readily attest, is that they can be accomplished with a perfectly clear conscience. The sound track on the way to the Year Zero was "We Shall Overcome". Indeed sell-outs can be consummated with every appearance of moral superiority.

As both these excerpts show, words matter in this war... probably more than ever before. - FbL

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Perhaps the Scarecrow was from Sub-Saharan Africa. What do you think?

Also.... If you haven't been to Blackfive yet, you have GOT to read Nolan's "I'm a Marine For Life" comment that was pulled up as it's own post. Makes you wanna shout "HELL YEAH!" ~AFSis

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Here's your good news read as you head into the weekend--from Strategy Page:

Al Qaeda in Iraq has been virtually wiped out by the loss of an address book. The death of al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi was not as important as the capture of his address book and other planning documents in the wake of the June 7th bombing. U.S. troops are trained to quickly search for names and addresses when they stage a raid, pass that data on to a special intelligence cell, which then quickly sorts out which of the addresses should be raided immediately, before the enemy there can be warned that their identity has been compromised....So far, the June 7th strike has led to over 500 more raids.
-Anonymous

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And the next time you get all pissy about having your shoes checked at the airport - remember this. -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 16, 2006 | General Commentary
» Stop The ACLU links with: O’Reilly Defends Gitmo and Blasts The ACLU
» My Side of the Puddle links with: The Debate on DNA and Race
» Tel-Chai Nation links with: Islamofascists tried to kidnap two Jewish girls

Catholic Humour.*

The issue of Catholic doctrine having come up at work, with words like "consubstantial" and "consubstantiation" being tossed about with reckless abandon, I turn to the machine and find that Castle Adjutant Barb has spammed me with this - that I must share:

There was an old priest who got sick of all the people in his parish who kept confessing to adultery.

One Sunday, in the pulpit, he said, "If I hear one more person confess to adultery, I'll quit!"

Well, everyone liked him, so they came up with a code word. Someone who had committed adultery would say they had "fallen".

This seemed to satisfy the old priest and things went well, until the priest died at a ripe old age.

About a week after the new priest arrived, he visited the mayor of the town and seemed very concerned.

The priest said, "You have to do something about the sidewalks in town. When people come into the confessional, they keep talking about having fallen."

The mayor started to laugh, realizing that no one had told the new priest about the code word.

Before the mayor could explain, the priest shook an accusing finger at the mayor and said, "I don't know what you're laughing about, your wife fell three times this week."

SWWBO - I assure you the Sidewalks of Argghhh! are just fine!

Update: And, of course, this post generates *this* response - which indicates *why* Brab's [sic] joke was desperately needed:

Apropos of nothing in the consubstantial debate, consubstantiation is the Lutheran and Episcopal explanation of consecration of the sacred species. Catholics reject this and believe in transubstantiation which is a word created to describe bread and wine looking, feeling and tasting like bread and wine except they no longer are bread and wine. The appearance is the accident which hides, from our senses, the Body and Blood of Christ.

From the fury of the doctrinaire, deliver us, O Lord!

*Spelt in SWWBO-fashion.

New Artillery Round, the Saber.

Don't get me wrong, I like all this stuff. But...

Ry sends us this, which he titled "Puff piece for the Artillerist's Soul:

"The relatively simple design of Saber allows it to accurately fly to target with fewer moving parts; making the round highly reliable, very effective and importantly, lower-cost than the competition," said Dave Wise, General Manager, Advanced Weapons, ATK Mission Systems Group.

The test was conducted at the Yuma Proving Grounds, Yuma, Ariz. After exiting the barrel, the tail fin assembly deployed and latched as designed. After the fins were locked in place, the round's rocket motor ignited and completed a full burn.

The thrust provided by the rocket motor allowed the round to reach its 48- Kilometer objective. In previous tests, ATK has demonstrated the effectiveness of its INS/GPS guidance solution.

The increased range of Saber's boosted, ballistic trajectory flight path reduces the time from gun-launch to impact and supports the expanded responsibilities of Brigade Combat Teams.

The full thing is here.

Heh.

Yep. And we'll need/use fewer of them, because they're so accurate. And that will reduce collateral damage. And they have a smaller explosive charge (that rocket and fins hadda take up some space, yes?) so they'll be near perfect New Agey weapons and hurt only what they hit... a little bit. And that's okay, because we're now so accurate with this GPS stuff that, as the old Bryllcreem add says, "A little dab'll do ya!"

That's what the Smart Guys® say.

It really is a matter of balance. And things which reduce the amount of collateral damage, focusing it instead on the right targets, especially in crowded environments, is a Good Thing. The WWII Strategic Bombing Campaign approach to artillery, in anything less than Total War is really counter-productive. Both in terms of the GOG®, the Global Opinion Golem, and the "Three-Block War Paradigm" where you have to take responsibility for the areas you just pounded.

Of course, sometimes, when presented with a large target array - which, of course, will never happen to us again, the Smart Guys® all say so - blanketing things with high explosive is useful. Especially if they are scurrying around a lot.

But, we're never going to fight that way again. I've been told by Smart Guys®.

We've got all that kewl GPS stuff - which means we know where We are, we know where They are, and we'll let the GPS guide the weapon to the target - which we really do need to hit physically, because, after all, One Round One Kill® is the new mantra, and we have a very small explosion (see: collateral damage) and - all the Smart Guys® say so! We'll never mass fires on a target again. The GOG® say's That's Bad. "Close enough for hand grenades and horseshoes" no longer applies. The blast radius doesn't give you any room for a CEP of any size.

Yo, Smart Guys® - Do you know how cheap and effective GPS jammers are these days?

Just askin'.

Funny thing about Smart Guys®. They almost never have to actually implement this stuff with their a$$ on the battlefield.

Just ask the SECDEF about how all the Smart Guys® he went with got it in regard to OIF, the Aftermath. They did have Part I down, certainly. There was this problem with overall context outside the immediate specification.

Sometimes, heck many times, the Smart Guys® are right. But when they're wrong? That's when people like SFC Paul Smith pick up the slack.

I study this stuff for a living. I write reports that help or hinder projects like this.

SFC Paul Smith, and those like him, are always hov'ring in the back of my mind as I potter about my work.

So pardon my bear-just-outta-hibernation attitude when I read breathless stuff like this.

Just sayin'.

That doesn't mean you should quit *sending* it Ry.

It's all bloggable.

by John on Jun 16, 2006 | Artillery

Amusing stuff for Friday...

[Embedded video links removed because they really hork it up for people who don't have the plug-ins]

The Armorer of Argghhh goes hunting...

And who-the-helk sent Break.com the Castle Party Videos? Werekitten? JTG? Bad Cat Robot? Hmmmm? Security people! Security!

Lastly - if you're old enough to have been playing first-person-shooters since the beginning - you'll appreciate this one!

Another Arsenal Artifact. The RPD.

Not everything in the Arsenal is a relic, or antique.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Meet the Castle RPD, this one a Bulgarian example. Note to the aghast: Legal Where I Live, may not be where you live. Which is *your* problem. Not mine. And I'm not your problem, either. So put the phone down.

Basic stats:
Caliber 7,62x39 mm
Weigth 16 pounds empty, on integral bipod
Length 41"
Length of barrel 20.47"
Feed: 100 round belt loose or in drum
Rate of fire 650 rounds per minute
Muzzle velocity 735 m/s

The RPD (Ruchnoy Pulemet Degtyarova - Degtyarev Light MG) was one of the first weapons designed to fire the then-new intermediate 7.62x39mm cartridge, the same one fired by the SKS and AK-47. Development started in 1944 and the RPD became the standard squad automatic weapon (a BAR equivalent with a lot more firepower, being belt-fed) of Warsaw Pact armies in the early 50's through the 60's when it was supplanted by the RPK. The RPK, being based on the AK action, is, in my humble opinion, not as effective in the role as the RPD was due to controllability and accuracy (I've fired both weapons) and magazine changes. You can still see them around - the Jihadis and Somalian Warlords like them, for example - and the Chinese have their own version, the Type 56.
The RPD is an extension of Degtyarev machine guns, tracing its ancestry to DP-1927 LMG. The RPD is a gas operated, full auto only weapon. It uses a long stroke piston and a gas regulator, located under the barrel, the regulator is the round thing under the barrel, and it can be "tuned" as the weapon fouls or wears, using a combo tool contained in the gunner's tool kit, which is stored in the butt, along with an oil bottle.

It uses a simple and robust bolt locking system common to other Degtyarev designs (much like this DP-28 bolt), which uses two locking flaps that are pushed out of the bolt body into recesses in the receiver walls to lock the bolt. The flaps are pushed out by the bolt carrier to lock and are withdrawn from recesses to unlock the bolt by specially shaped cams on the carrier. The RPD uses a belt feed, generally feeding from a detachable drum magazine that clips to the receiver. The drum can hold a 100-round non-disintegrating metal belt. In a sustained fire role, such as in the defense or from a support by fire position belt feed is used and the belt in the magazine is left there, available for use immediately when the situation requires picking up and moving. Each drum has its own carrying handle, but usually drums were carried in special canvas pouches. Unlike earlier Degtyarev guns, the return spring is located inside the butt, vice under the barrel, where in the DP series of guns they were adversely affected by heat. The heavy barrel cannot be replaced quickly, which reduces the sustained fire rate, but the RPD provides a significant firepower to the fight at ranges up to 800 meters. The rear sights are ajustable for range and drift, and a folding integral bipod is located under the barrel. All RPDs were issued with carrying slings and could be fired from the hip, using the sling to hang the gun on the shoulder.

Bill didn't like these.

Just because I knew you wanted to know.

by John on Jun 16, 2006 | Machine Guns
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Star Chores: Red Shoes

June 15, 2006

Project Valour-IT update.

New stuff comes in below this post.

You wanna hear about some impact for your Project Valour-IT donation?

I heard from the sister of a severely wounded Marine how much it helped her brother's rehabilitation to have one of our Valour-IT laptops. He lost use of both arms temporarily due to burns, so the laptop was an incredible blessing to not be isolated. Last word was that he was far ahead of the expected progress for his rehabilitation (I think he lost one or both feet too it was a very severe injury).

Read the rest here.

You guys are simply grand. Act vice bloviate indeed. Stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, WW!

From yesterday:

97 donations since Friday Weekend 2214.11 Monday 2475 Tuesday 3801 Total: 8490.11

Nice trend, too!

Last night, Fuzzybear Lioness provided this update:

58 Donors today: $5,850.00

Including $1000 from someone we believe is an orthopedic surgeon. I think that's particularly cool because he would recognize the need for and impact of this program. Pretty cool, huh?

[sound of shoes being removed and mumbled counting going on]

Lessee, that's $14,340.11 Which was more than NRO had raised as of last night in their fund-raiser.

Plus....

Today we also had someone who will be adopting a soldier and paying the entire cost of his/her laptop. We also have someone who will be donating a top-of-the-line new laptop.

Catch it all up at Fuzzy's place.

So, the fundraising for Project Valour-IT continues. Please click on the graphic below - and give up a little beer/winecooler/pack of cigarettes/movie rental money (or more, like Blackhawk!) to help the wounded re-connect to their wired lives. At this point - I'm just wanting to stay ahead of NRO!

Work with us - donate!

Feel free to join us!

(Feel free to swipe the roll-code)

(If you are a supporting blog and aren't listed - drop me a note!)

by John on Jun 15, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Blonde Sagacity links with: Got Money?

H&I* Fires 15 JUN 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...

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Because I tend to be scatterbrained and multidisciplined here's a couple of stories about arms sales and arms control. Naughty Europe. Naughty China.
Basically, and this is something I tried to get across to Owen, grand treaties like this don't work. Chemical Weapons have been outlawed since about the end of WWI. But they're still around. The Pope (genuflect) outlawed tourney and the crossbow. Didn't change anything. National interest overrides. There's just too many jerks in the world.

First women were cutting off toes to fit into expensive shoes. Now they're getting liposuction for 'back fat' and other minor imperfections. Ladies, you need to have a talk with your Sisters. I think they've lost their ever loving minds.

And finally, because I know The Chief wants to know if there's going to be a moat, there's been a debate amongst Mexican presidential candidates. Apparently the newspaper likes the Socialist female the best. I wonder why. -ry

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A musical interlude:

Ms. American Spy (Sung to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie)

A short, short time ago
I can still remember
How the "Plame Game" used to make me smile
And as I read those D-Kos rants
I got a big bulge in my pants
And thought maybe we'd get "Chimpy" for awhile

Read the rest here, at The Right Place.

President Bush asks - "How long must we sing this song?" -The Armorer

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Oh, for pity's sake. Fort Sam Houston, deadbeat? They need utility payment assistance? Ahhh, the joys of how the Federal Budget works, and Congress and the Executive fiddling while the lights go out.

A problem not specific to either party being in power. -The Armorer

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We don't flog sailors at the mast anymore, says top Navy official.

And, it probably killed them to make this headline, but I had to point this out - Attacks dip after Iraqi security operation. Can you feel the MSM's pain? Don't worry, someone will blow up a mosque and make them feel better. - Kat

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So, what *is* the nomenclature for a “226 kilogram laser-guided Dane?" -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 15, 2006 | General Commentary

Project Valour-IT

Is there a need?

You tell me.

That's $330,000 of assistance, folks.

More importantly - it's 500 severely wounded soldiers we've helped.

That's a battalion. 1/3rd of a Brigade.

Pat yourselves on the back.

Go ahead.

You deserve it.

Thank you.

Whatziss, Answered. Meet the Grenade, .303 rifle, No 22 Mk II.

That's whatziss is, as surmised, a rodded rifle grenade.

Newton Pippin Rifle Grenade

I guess, as a final hint, I should have said, "Think Hobbit." Go ahead, google "Rod Grenade Pippin."

A paucity of formally adopted and procured rifle grenades were a problem for all combatants in the early stages of WWI. The WWI procurement bureacracies hov'red over the battlefields, very much process-bound, much as they still do today, leaving the troops in the field to innovate.

{To save on loading times and bandwidth, I've moved the rest of this post to the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry so we'll only bug the ones who want to read it. You're welcome, Princess Crabby]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jun 15, 2006 | Grenades

Winning the battles, losing the infowar...

[Armorer's note: Denizen Ry originally had this in the H&I post, but since he was getting all wordy and intellectual and stuff, ruining the general low standards set for that item, I moved him out here all on his own.]

The view out there of Afghanistan, GWOT, and Iraq is changing. And, importantly, not just in our own media. Global opinion can matter you know.

John Robb would recognize the flavor of this story about a resurgent Taliban presence in Waziristan. Looks like systems disruption. That isn't good.

This story claims that the mission was flawed from the beginning because the US was too soft in how it prosecuted the war in Afghanistan. I can see it, sorta. When you have the chance to put someone out of the game you give them a chance to re-arm and be nasty. But, it also ignores that the US couldn't attack mosques without a major political risk. Global opinion can matter.

Here's one that's pushing the line that Haditha isn't all that isolated.

What they believe over there shapes what happens. If they believe it's going to hell in a handbasket we're screwballed. If the populace there doesn't believe in it then it probably isn't going to happen.

But, at the same time, a few offensives and a few news stories aren't the whole battle, the whole war, or the whole picture. Let's see what it's like in two weeks once the Canadians are truly set up and up to speed in Afghanistan. I feel bad for the Jihadis already. Let's see what happens on the 'massacre' front in a few months. This, like the bombing of a wedding by US forces, could turn out to be baloney and just fade away as an infowar ploy.

June 14, 2006

Project Valour-IT update.

New stuff comes in below.

I'll avoid a sense of tartness, given the *tens* of thousands of readers of the participating blogs (even allowing for a huge overlap) - but the 97 (as of yesterday evening) of you who've donated thus far - You Rock, Baby!

The goal was at least $7260 to clear the current backlog of laptop requests.

We're there!

Fuzzy reports:

97 donations since Friday Weekend 2144.11 Monday 2475 Tuesday 3801 Total: 8420.11

Nice trend, too.

But of course, we aren't done. Why? Because, well, there's a coupla thousand of you who haven't availed yourselves of this opportunity, of course.

And it's the Army's Birthday. And Flag Day.

It's also the anniversary of...

1936 Oranienburg Concentration Camp opens
1940 Nazis open a concentration camp at Auschwitz

Something the Army, along with all the other services and our Allies, helped to disestablish, at no small cost to all concerned. As we did Saddam. And Milosevic, Noriega, et.al. And no, it wasn't always easy, nor fair, and certainly not perfect.

But, while we've raised enough to meet the immediate need, this war is still a hot one, the casualties are still coming. This request (above and beyond the 11) arrived yesterday from Brooke Army Medical Center, at Fort Sam Houston:

Female army SSG with hand injury (we've only had two or three female requests). Two fingers amputated. As Chuck can testify, that means additional damage to the hand and months of limited use.

So, the fundraising for Project Valour-IT continues. Please click on the graphic below - and give up a little beer/winecooler/pack of cigarettes/movie rental money (or more, like Blackhawk!) to help the wounded re-connect to their wired lives.

Jump at the Chance, eh?

And join these fine people, who are all doing their bit, too.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

(Feel free to swipe the roll-code)

(If you are a supporting blog and aren't listed - drop me a note!)

by John on Jun 14, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Stop The ACLU links with: Happy Birthday United States Army
» Michelle Malkin links with: THE CAMP PENDLETON 8
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Valour IT Needs Help
» Welcome To Andi's World links with: Step Up to the Plate
» Villainous Company links with: Oops??? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "Oops"?

H&I* Fires 14 JUN 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...

Matt of Blackfive calls us to the colors.

SSG David Bellavia - someone you should know.

Happy Birthday to the Flag and to the Infantry, too. -The Armorer

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Reminding everyone to take their ulcer and heart medications by pointing toward Iran with stories of China(PRC) helping Iran with WMD programs and of what the world is trying to do to stop an Iranian bomb. I keep a bottle of chewable, fruit flavored, Tums near my home 'puter for a reason.

Now for something whacky. Being shot by a giant crossbow into high altitudes? I'll wait for Lex and John to decide who's tougher before trying this myself. -ry

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How do you break the spine out of an old Soviet Tin Can? LEX - 74 - SMASH Avert thine eyes... or gawk at it in a vicarious glee.

And for all of our Law Enforcement friends out there, there's an A.P.B. out for THIS miscreant. - BOQ

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One of my old gun platoon buds bought one of those shiny red chick magnets to assuage his mid-life crisis. The car ran fine, but he had a minor problem with that technology thang and brought it back to the dealer. I'll let him continue:

So, I found the salesman who sold me the car and admitted that I couldn't figure out how the radio worked. He told me that the radio was voice activated. "Watch this," he said. "Nelson!"

The radio replied, "Ricky or Willie?"

"Willie!" he answered, and "On The Road Again" came floating from the speakers.

I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say "Beethoven," "Haydn," or "Bach," I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said "Beatles" I'd get one of their awesome songs.

Well, yesterday , a couple ran a red light and nearly creamed my new car and I nearly wound up in a ditch trying to avoid them. I flipped them off and yelled "A$$HATS!"

The French National Anthem began to play, sung by Jane Fonda and Michael Moore, backed by John Kerry on guitar, Al Gore on drums, Bill Clinton on sax and Ted Kennedy on booze.

I love this car...

H/t to Copperhead 31 (hey, gimme a lift in it and that'll wipe the IOU for the one I gave *you* out of that rice paddy...) -- cw4(ret)billt

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I think I got out of teaching at the right time. Btw, can you hear it? - FbL

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Colonel William Bernhard - someone you should know. Meet him here, at the Heartless Libertarian. -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 14, 2006 | General Commentary
» Don Surber links with: The Roadkill War

Haditha and rumors of Hadithas

This is a thorny one.

First - read Michelle Malkin's post about the Camp Pendleton 8 . Follow the links.

However - for a slightly more reasoned, and perhaps *informed* view - check out what Army Lawyer has to say over at Milblogs.

Apropos of that, I got this in an email this weekend, from Kevin F. in Houston.

A Plea for Context in War Reporting

Context is vital in all news reporting, because without it one cannot make reasoned judgments about the importance of any event. Sadly, context is almost always lacking in coverage of both the Iraq conflict and the War against Islamo-Fascism. As the events surrounding Haditha or future such incidents unfold, the public will be subject to countless impassioned harangues from commentators and reporters. Far too many of these efforts will fail to provide a context to understand the events in question.

What makes incidents like No Gun Ri, My Lai and perhaps Haditha noteworthy is not the scale of death, but that such incidents are so very rare. The US military takes its obligations under both the Rules of War and its own Rules of Engagement very seriously. All personnel are accountable, unlike our current enemies, for upholding these standards. Those who do not, a remarkably tiny number of people, will face consequences ranging up to criminal punishment. This accountability is painful to watch and even provides succor to both our enemies and our critics. These groups however fail to grasp the fundamental truth: today the US holds itself to a high standard of conduct. Whenever violations occur the US is moving to ensure that the resolution is swift and transparent.

The same cannot be said of our enemies: the Islamo-Fascists and rejectionist Baathiststs. Contrast the US incidents, which were committed by isolated groups without policy sanction, with those committed by our enemies. These groups target as a matter of policy and procedure innocents and often random noncombatants. Consider the weapons that are the hallmark of our enemies: IEDs, blades, and passenger planes.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), hundreds and hundreds of IEDs, ranging from car bombs to homicide bombers to roadside bombs continue to be used in Iraq and around the world. Despite the method of delivery high explosives are indiscriminate killers. Indeed, many thousands of Iraqis: men, women, children, and elderly have been killed, maimed, and traumatized by the IEDs of our enemies. These IEDs have created a toll of carnage vastly exceeding the US troop losses, which is a fact only very rarely noted in media coverage of the conflict.

Blades are yet another weapon of choice for our enemies, but not for combat. They employ blades for the torture and murder of their prisoners. Our enemies butcher, there is no other word for it, they butcher their prisoners The Islamo-Fascists not only behead their prisoners as a matter of policy, but broadcast the grisly spectacle on the internet and film for a worldwide audience. Note the pride of our enemies in this activity and contrast that with the aftermath of the Abu Ghraib incident, where those responsible are facing judicial proceedings. A simple question: By which group would you rather be held captive the worst of the Americans at Abu Ghraib or the leaders of the Islamo-Fascists?

Any of you remember 9/11? The Islamo-Fascists hijacked 4 passenger planes, which contained scores of noncombatants, and used them for their kamikaze attacks. Reflect for a moment on the cold blooded planning and equally cold blooded execution which was required to carry out this plan. Years of preparation and sizable, for Al Qaeda, commitment of resources went into this terrorist plan. The result: nearly three thousand dead noncombatants and our enemies only regret, that many more thousands of noncombatants were not killed.

These and many other factors should form the basis on which to evaluate events occurring in our continuing struggle against Islamo-Fascism and the Baathist rejectionists.

Whatziss, Part the 3rd.

Need to catch up? Part One. Part II.

Keep thinking!

Okay. Now you have a little scale.

All are components of the same item. Though one of them in a counter-intuitive fashion.

Update: Enthusiasm for the answers aside, Geoff is wrong (though cleverly trying to double-think the double-thinker) and MajMike is correct, though incomplete.

You actually have all the data you need to figure out more thoroughly which one it is, now.

But I'm feeling magnanimous, so here's another clue.

Castle Argghhh! Medical Advice.

I need a beer, dear. Doctor's orders!

Not to mention a coupla pots of hot joe,

And on the days I'm too busy, I'll just have some Irish Coffee.

231 years old...

...and still kicking in doors and taking down punks. Toss in the occasional rescue and disaster relief for a change of pace.

Happy Birthday, US Army!

From the Colonial Militias from which we were built...


...to the Continental Line that sprang therefrom...

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...to the Regular, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers of today...


...when we were needed, we were there.

Hey, it's corny, but it's true.

U.S. Army Spc. Frank Mireles patrols Hit, Iraq, March 25, 2006. Mireles is from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Brian M. Henner) (Released)

"When we were needed, we were there,

We were there when we were needed,

We were there;

No, it wasn't always easy,

And it wasn't always fair,

But when freedom called we answered

We were there."

Capt. Kimberly Hampton, from 1st Battalion, 82nd Aviation Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C., was killed when her OH-58 Kiowa Warrior observation helicopter was attacked near the Iraqi town of Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

Proud to have been there, done that, and got several t-shirts to prove it.

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by John on Jun 14, 2006 | Observations on things Military
» The Thunder Run links with: Web Reconnaissance for 06/14/2006
» Villainous Company links with: Oops??? WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "Oops"?

June 13, 2006

Project Valour-IT

New stuff comes in below this post.

Consider your young soldier of today. Wired. Connected. So used to using keyboards they can thumb-type faster than I can type in a regular way - and I'm pretty good, actually.

Then take away a hand, or the use of it. Or both. Or her eyes.

Then you've got that sullen fellow sitting in that chair up there.

Or, you can give a little of yourself, just a tiny bit - a 6 pack worth of beer is fine. Or soda if you don't drink. If 130 of you who read this space regularly (vice those who've given already this time 'round, natch) give $5 each - that's a voice-activated laptop. The Cluebat Clique (8 people who gave $100 and counting) have already funded one.

How 'bout you make this possible for another wounded warrior of any service to get connected again? Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss was a deployed milblogger who nearly lost his hand in an IED attack. Project Valour-IT, brainchild of Chuck and Fuzzybear Lioness, let Chuck blog again.

Chuck's much better now, and can use a regular computer - but his voice-activated laptop helped him along the path to recovery.

Think I'm blowing smoke? While milbloggers don't cite the BBC approvingly all that often - that makes this story all the more interesting.

C'mon. $5. Tax-deductible.

Cluebats: For those with deeper pockets, there's only 10,9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0! bats left (by the way, you don't have to leave the receipt in a comment - email contact is fine for those who prefer to keep things to themselves) to qualify for a Castle Argghhh Cluebat Clique membership!

Donate here, or click the graphic up top.

And I'm gonna harass ya until I get those last two Cluebats spoken for.

All original ten have been spoken for. But... since the laptops cost $660 with shipping, and we've come up with $1000 for readers of Castle Argghhh!, I'll put up three more - so we can get *two* with some change left over. Thanks guys!

I've already used up two of those three. Heck with it - *everybody* who puts in $100 (with receipt) today will get one.

Just sayin'.


Update: AFSis sez "My post is up today... and yes, I've made my donation. It's not "cluebat" worthy, but it's all I could spare."

I say - If you gave all you could spare, you gave more than most!


Here's a list of those blogs supporting this drive (that we know about - if you aren't listed, lemme know!)

Mudville Gazette
The Armorer at Castle Argghhh!
Blackfive
Smash
Da Goddess
BloodSpite
Boston Maggie
Small Town Veteran
Righty in a Lefty State
Homefront Six
One Marine's View
A Rose By Any Other Name
Echo9er
AFSis at My Side of the Puddle.
The Countervailing Force.
Thoughts by Seawitch
The Cool Blue Blog
Dadmanly
High Desert Wanderer
Silent Running
My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Blue Star Chronicles

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Jun 13, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Worthy causes
» Dadmanly links with: Project Valour-IT
» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy links with: URGENT NEED: Project Valour-IT

H&I* Fires 13 Jun 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...

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With apologies to our Canadian brethren, that means you Al, but I couldn't help but experience a bit of schadenfreude over this NYT story.
Where have we seen this type of blame our captors for everything and a bag of chips before?

There's not a doubt in my mind that the Canadians are treating these suspects with the utmost respect and civility. But that doesn't matter to the suspects, who, if they are terrorists, are wagging a battle in the media for the fertile ground between the ears though. Just a little schadenfreude, and maybe a question of our Northern Cousins that maybe they ought to re-examine they're condemnations of the US over accusations of general prisoner mistreatment.

It's part of the play book. Find that which is an outrage morally and politically. Then push that weakness for all its worth to win your battle for shaping political will. I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't find this in Mao's Little Red Book.
ry

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Fitzmas fizzles for the Kossacks and Delta-Uniformers... The world is now safe for Rovian plots to continue to undermine all that is Great and Good. I blame Bush.

Rove’s fate has been the subject of intense discussion among critics of the Bush administration. Perhaps foremost among them is former ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was the CIA employee at the center of the affair. In August 2003, Wilson vowed to pursue Rove vigorously, saying, “At the end of the day it’s of keen interest to me to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.”

So sorry, Mr. Wilson. You'll just have to make do with all the celeb status you enjoyed while this farce went on. Note to self: If White House calls, say "No," unless it's of earth-shattering importance. Little else is worth the inevitable slime.

Fatah goes after Hamas/Hamas goes after Fatah and none dare call it Civil War. It's just "symbolic acts".

It was a symbolic attack on Haniyeh, who is unable to visit Ramallah due to Israeli travel bans and so holds court in Gaza.

Redefines "rough and tumble politics," eh?

Interesting essay in the LA Times which lays out some of the tensions facing US troops in Iraq - and lays bare the whole difficulty of having an Army trained for Total War engaged in a fight that is less than total. I admit it - I'd rather go take down machinegun nests than enter politics in any significant manner other than what I do now.

Michael Newdow suffers defeat. Yay! The man's a buffoon.

SWWBO is near Tampa this week. With memories of last hurricane season still sharp, the local news, to her, seems a bit "over the top"

The Citizens of San Francisco are temporarily stymied and will perhaps, if we're lucky, secede and become their own nation, that they may better regulate each other's lives! -The Armorer

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Lex takes on Daniel Schorr. I'm afraid I quit listening to him (and donating to NPR) years ago. Lex is tougher than I am. -The Armorer

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Any one out there for some serious Paint Ball Action? - BOQ

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APoohcalypse Now. You're welcome. -The Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 13, 2006 | General Commentary
» Don Surber links with: My timetable for leaving Iraq: When hell freezes o
» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy links with: Army SSG David Bellavia, Medal of Honor nominee

Project Valour-IT Update

Receipt: XXXX-7103-XXXX-6672: $500

If I can't get over there myself, I can at least support those who have, and have paid a high price.

Blackhawk is an active duty soldier. Can I get like a *HUGE* Hoo-AH! for Blackhawk?

Acting vice bloviating, indeed!

With this donation, plus all the others, readers of Argghhh! have given enough to score 3 laptops.

You guys rock.

Simply rock.

Ahhhh. I love it when a pundit speaks their mind...

...knowing it's going to annoy fans and non-fans.

John Podhoretz on NRO today: "So you can all go soak your heads."


Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss. Sometimes, a little civil incivility is called for.

Whatzis, Part II.

Okay, MajMike got close, but CAPT H nailed it on Whatzis, Part 1.

Driving band. Your inspiration was supposed to be Captain Minie, whose famous bullet used expansion of the base to engage the rifling. For those who are clever, you've already deduced *what* the thing might be in toto.

Now, in order to drag this out and have some cool posts on miltech, (at least *I* think so) we'll work our way through figuring out which one of whatever it is.

I provide this:

So, what is this?

So, what izzit?

June 12, 2006

Valour-IT Mayday

This post will be up top all day - new posts come in below.

Fall-IN!

Now listen up, troops.

In a comment thread over at Greyhawk's place, Milbloggers got hammered because we were perceived as not being authentic "milbloggers", because we weren't properly spouting off about every bad thing that was going on in and around the military. Leaving aside the fact most of us exist to *counter* all the bad news, which is more than adequately covered elsewhere, I made another point - that instead of just bloviating, we *act*.

The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, to *act*.

The Arsenal of Argghhh! will give a "Cluebat of Argghhh!" to the first 10 people who produce a receipt for a donation of $100 or more to Project Valour-IT.*

Now I'll let Fuzzybear Lioness run with the tale.

Valour-IT has run out of funds again. Right now we have a waiting list of eleven wounded warriors who need our help, and the list is still growing.

Marine Lt. Gen. Amos recently said:

When we send them off to do the nation's bidding in a place like Afghanistan or Iraq and they're wounded, we're not returning the same individual... When we send them back wounded there is a piece of me that says I haven't kept my bargain. What's left for me to do is to continue taking care of them. [source]

It's left to more than generals to continue taking care of them. It's left to all of us. And part of how we take care of the wounded is by helping them reconnect and rediscover their self-sufficiency in a way that supports their recovery. A voice-activated Valour-IT laptop is a huge part of that support.

When I shared the article about Lt. Gen. Amos with someone who has a great deal of expertise in leadership and management, her instant reply was, "What a leader!" Yes. And like any good leader, Amos is leading by example. Will you follow?

"It's a function of loyalty," the 59-year-old general said. "In Marine speak, it means fidelity. It's a wonderful word not used very often - except in the Marine Corps. It means faithful. It implies faithful almost to a fault...

"I owe it to them."

So do we. -- FbL

Donate here.

Fusileer 6

Update: There's only 10,9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 bats left (by the way, you don't have to leave the receipt in a comment - email contact is fine for those who prefer to keep things to themselves):

John,

Attached are receipts from PayPal and Soldiers' Angels
for my donation of $100 (wish it could be more).

No doubt, a worthy cause.

==============
Frank

Fusileer 6

Update: Blackfive signs up!

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 12, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Small Town Veteran links with: Valour-IT Still Needs Your Help
» Da Goddess links with: The Project Valour IT Support List
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Valour IT Needs Help
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Valour IT Needs Help

H&I Fires 12 Jun 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...

Fox News' Julie Bandera with some words for Phred Felps.

Carnival of the Recipes - Generic Version.

Hmmmm. It's hard to gin up a lot of sympathy for the head-sawing murderous bastard. Not that I'm prejudiced or anything. Oh hell, yes I am.

al-Qaeda-In-Iraq names a successor new target to replace Zarqawi.

Of historical note:

1665 English rename newly captured Nieuw Amsterdam, New York
1701 Act of Settlement: English crown to descend on the House of Hanover. If they'd known it was going to possibly rest on Charles, would they have chosen differently?
1897 Annoyed that pocket knives issued to Swiss soldiers were made in Germany - Carl Elsener patented the Swiss Army Knife and founded Victorinox to make them.
1937 The Purges: Stalin executes senior army commanders, probably extending the length and savagery of WWII in Europe.
1942 Anne Frank begins her diary, on her 13th birthday
1944 First V-1 cruise missile attack on London
1987 Berlin: Ronald Reagan says, "Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall."
1991 Leningrad becomes St. Petersburg again. Stalin would be *so* put out! All that killing of his own people, for naught!

Heh. I can't hear the regular phone... I guess I'd be a popular teacher in high school. Oh, wait - no I wouldn't. I'd expect test answers in an accepted form of english. -The Armorer

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Hey Chief(ret). - Better watch out for JACK's on the PROWWWL! - BOQ

Looking for interview advice... - FbL
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It's stuff like this over at the The Torch that just about breaks my heart. Apparently the politicos of Canada have forgotten 'No more Task Force Smiths!' I watched a generation of older men wag their fingers in the general direction of the Canadian Parliament over the reduction of funding for the Canadian forces(particularly the Navy) and say that this was going to happen. It sure does suck to see them proven right. The price is too high, damnit.

The Canadian servicemen and servicewomen deserve better than this. Sometimes peacekeeping really means peacemaking.

Save a spot in your prayers for the Canuckers tonight, and, Satan, save a place in hell for the politico that sold them out this way, wouldja?
--ry
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Owen Bait!
Arguments over wether to arm space continue apace.
Pro.
Con.

Of course, rumors abound that the PLAAF has developed ASAT weapons and that they're refining strategy on that front as well.
Come on, Owen. This is right in your power zone.
ry
+++++++++++++++++

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 12, 2006 | General Commentary
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Transcript: Gen. Casey on 'FNS'
» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy links with: Army SSG David Bellavia, Medal of Honor nominee

Your warriors at work and play...

...many times they are the same thing...

Coasties:

Coast Guardsmen at work...

Marines:

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Air Force:

That's some harsh flying for a bus!

Navy:

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Army:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

And my beloved Army Artillery:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

There are many reasons

...you don't want this to be the way you meet Marines:

Marines in training - but they look like this in war, too.

And why is that?

Because of this observation from an Air Force Colonel, about Marines, via CPT B.

June 11, 2006

H&I Fires June 11th 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...

Ahhh - Everything is so peaceful here in The Castle, this week-end. The coals are cold, at Cricket's Kitchen. FbL's and AFS' Chandeliers have been taken down for scheduled maintenance, and the Rita-Matic has long been dry, for lack of libations. I just hope that someone remembered to feed The Bedoodlewhoppies, and change The Scrup'ls water down in the Sub-Basement.

Anyhow - I'm just proud of The USAF. Their training will stick with you for a lifetime

Anyone who’s been to Vegas lately, certainly has seen Bellagio’s Bidet at work; snoozer! Well, for something a bit more interesting XXX Though somewhere in Germany, it must be sticky all over.

Oh - And how does a Plaster get Plastered??? - BOQ

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Sher at Two Blue Lines gives us an update on her husband's military medical situation after her calls for assistance earlier in the week. Please keep them in our prayers. Stop by and give them some moral support as they start out on the road to treatment and recovery. -Kat

Also, read the story of how wounded GIs are returning to the front. Mostly, they choose to stay for the man and woman beside them. Others believe in the mission. Some because they are soldiers for life. - Kat

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 11, 2006 | General Commentary

Okay - new whazzis?

This'll be a pain.

1. It's an object from the Arsenal.

2. It's about the width of a pencil.

Lessee - if I were to give you a hint, I would look principally to a Frenchman for inspiration, although the object itself is not French.

Update - obviously, some more hints are in order:

Oh, and BCR - flexible - in terms of being all wiggly or something, no.

In terms of multiple uses - not by intent, though soldiers are certainly an inventive group and I could think of alternate purposes to which it could be put... including, in fact, one that *I* put it to... some decades after it ceased to be an artifact in general use.

It was innovative for it's day, but was only transitional to better designs and approaches - like the Gatling or Gardner guns (ignoring the renaissance enjoyed by the Gatling due to the application of electricity!).

And no, it is not related to either of the above.

by John on Jun 11, 2006 | Militaria