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June 24, 2006

H&I Fires 24 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...

Huntress offers up some news that might, somehow, be related to the poster post below. That said - bloggers do well to understand - we NEED the MSM. They are the grist for our mill, good and bad.

The Right Place has their weekly Caption Contest up.

Here's another long-in-the-tooth bird in the AF inventory.

Brad assures me there are guns in these pics, but I can't find 'em. Must be a Bev Doolittle kind of thing.

Then there's this video of a Brit soldier or RAF-type learning the meaning of shockwave. H/t, Mike D.-The Armorer


I'm in a playfull mood today...

Hey BRAB - Can you help Joe with his cybercooties? There are bugs everywhere!

And knowing that it's Bull Running season out there in España, I know Massa John will get a kick out of this - OLE! - BOQ

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 24, 2006 | General Commentary

Here's a question for you.

Damian wanted to know what I thought about this. (Alan, you'll like the beer ad in Damian's post, I think)

I told him. I find a definition so broad that it includes me is meaningless. Another guitar smashed against the wall.

I can cherry-pick all of the arguments about any war ever undertaken. I feel his oh-so-strongly-felt angst. And where was he during Kosovo, and what were his opinions then? I find that instructive, usually. And I find any definition of chickenhawk that can stretch to include me to be ludicrously broad. I smash his guitar against the wall. But I'm tired and grumpy.

And that dam'ed nerve in my neck is killing me, so I can't get the gumption to work up a proper rant. So I'll default to my last rant on the subject, which did not meet universal approval, either...

What do you think?

by John on Jun 24, 2006 | Politics

Loose lips sink ships.

La Malkin has suggested Photoshopping WWII posters to reflect the Current Security Threat.

Inspired by the call to action, SWWBO's fellow Cotillionite Darleen offers up some of her own.

Which, of course, made me fire up Photoshop, too.

Gotta admit - some posters don't need to change.

Others, take very little effort at all. Like this one:

Islamofascist Cross

...while still managing to incorporate an image that should annoy the Islamofascist.

Some took more work, for a lot less return on the investment.

Then there's the one where I was too clever by half and it failed, miserably.

The most effective (and most likely to piss people on both sides off, for different reasons, was this one:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Cassandra goes after it in her own way.

by John on Jun 24, 2006 | Media Morons

June 23, 2006

H&I Fires 23 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...
Think you know what is being referred to here? Betcha don't...

The New York Times said administration officials had asked it not to publish the article, saying disclosure of the [secret] program could jeopardize its effectiveness.

After considering the government's request, Bill Keller, the newspaper's executive editor, said, "We remain convinced that the administration's extraordinary access to this vast repository of [private] data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest."

No, they're not talking about phone records. I don't have a direct link, but the NY Times has done it again... - FbL


Heh. Back when I ran the Army's Janus (T) program, I was a $10mil customer of HP. Based on my customer's reports (and my long-suffering father, as well) HP customer support was... well, let's say it just wasn't everything we might have expected for the investment. Their peripherals worked pretty well, their PC's, well, let's just say we paid for customer service. Of indifferent quality.

It appears there's still a problem. Wish *I'd* had an M240 to express myself with, but that was a TDA unit, dangit! H/t, Larry K. -The Armorer


{Gollum. Purgatory. Still. Apparently can't read (Okay, I missed the 'seems' part. I'd say 'So shoot me,' but The Armorer might take that literally and have some target practice.). Need more comic books.}

It’s nice to see that the NYT hasn’t totally ignored this story entirely. Iran aids the insurgency in Iraq. Where’ve we seen this kind of strategy before? Sounds very Cold War-esque to me. Instigating and supporting Wars of National Liberation and proxies to tie up your enemy? Given how much aid the USSR gave to Iran thru the KGB during my childhood I’m not surprised to see that particular bit of policy being recycled. It’s war at the strategic level on the cheap along the same lines as terrorism being tactical warfighting on the cheap.

It seems that the myths a people buy into shaping how they see those outside that mythos is actually happening and not just a crazy idea of Gollum’s.
I wonder how Boyd would account for this in Moral Warfare or an OODA loop (dang, lots of people, have already covered (hey, cyberspace has its own mythos---see the Toronto terrorists and their belief of security on the web.) this .)?

In case the Armorer ever finds his generous soul (it exists I’ve seen it) and lets me have a DVD player, a working television, two that work together, and the electricity to run them both at the same time, then this sounds like something I’d like to watch while I continue to live out my Penance in Castle Purgatory. Or I could get a copy of Yojimbo. Or, the movie that says it all about the divide between us Normals and them Professional Warriors: The Seven Samurai . But, more than likely, if he found his soul, The Armorer will make me watch Howard the Duck on endless loop. Ain’t payback for ankle biting such an itch?

[Yep - especially when I have to hunt through the post to figure out how you screwed up your bolding tags... and if *you've seen* my generous soul... why am I looking for it? What'd you do with it?]


I can't wait to take these factoids back to the next Family Debate Session (SWWBO *hates* these) with my liberal Dem-voting sister. (I understand DBDs Damon. Think about it).

And I've got more than SWWBO- I've got all of you guys in my network! And in some ways, I'm more likely to talk to you guys than others... you "get me" and yet *still* show up...

Kansas City Police Officers commended for going the extra mile. Er, inches. This story gives me the willies. Good on 'em, though. #82, come back here! - H/t, Greg Reeves. The Armorer.


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 23, 2006 | General Commentary

Meet Corporal Joshua Dale.

This war's Sgt. Curtis G. Culin.

Every war brings out innovations and innovators. Some good, many bad. And the regular procurement systems can't ever really keep up. And truth be told, if it can be made in the field from local materials, the troops will probably get a "good enough" solution in place a lot faster than the "system" will - just because the system is built to over-engineer just about everything. For good reasons and bad. The troop solutions may not be great long-term solutions, and will damage or degrade things over time that weren't really built to do what the troops adapt them to do... but that's a bean-counter problem if your life is on the line. Which means the bean counters have to devise a better solution quick - because the troops aren't going to wait. And good field leaders won't make them.

Meet an innovator. Who on his own came up with an idea that had been done before.

Cpl. Joshua W. Dale, a 23-year-old section leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment brought his ideas to life by inventing a breaching bumper for a humvee in his mobile assault platoon. The breaching bumper is mounted on the front of the humvee and resembles a large arrowhead made of thick steel. The bumper is used to do one thing - tear through anything that gets in the humvee's way. The bumper, which allows humvees greater flexibility when assaulting the enemy during raids and cordon-and-knock operations, is an alternative to using explosives to destroy barriers and walls. Dale is from Silver Street, S.C. (Photo by Cpl. Antonio Rosas)

Cpl. Joshua W. Dale, a 23-year-old section leader with Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment brought his ideas to life by inventing a breaching bumper for a humvee in his mobile assault platoon. The breaching bumper is mounted on the front of the humvee and resembles a large arrowhead made of thick steel. The bumper is used to do one thing - tear through anything that gets in the humvee's way. The bumper, which allows humvees greater flexibility when assaulting the enemy during raids and cordon-and-knock operations, is an alternative to using explosives to destroy barriers and walls. Dale is from Silver Street, S.C. (Photo by Cpl. Antonio Rosas)

A more thorough discussion (but still readable) of Culin's cutter is available from Steve Zaloga.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

The Whatziss from yesterday.

I was trying to catch that wily old tanker, MajMike, but uncharacteristically for a tanker, he wasn't willing to just rush into a trap.

He has potential.

I was hoping he'd run with an expectation he'd set the day before (the best deception plans work by manipulating your opponent's expectations) about what I might be trying to do.

Y'know, that he'd guess it was this, or this, or this


Then, I'd whisk away the picture mask and reveal it for what it really is.

WWI Brit Trench Maul

A WWI British trench raiding tool. A locally fabricated trench maul.

Scale? You guys are *always* whining about scale. The white paper the maul is sitting on is a standard paper towel. There. Scale.

MSM, Canadian Style.

CAPT H sent me this link.

From the Globe and Mail.

I don't know my Canadian papers, the Globe and Mail might be the Washington Times of Canada. Or the New York Times of Canada. Or something inbetween.

But wouldn't it be nice if a Big Media type in the US would produce something like this, not just the Yons, Roggios, and Norths. Of course, woudn't it be nice if Yon or Roggio could *be* big media types, as a matter of course, vice growing into what they've become by their own sweat, blood, and treasure.

Canada has a potential Ernie Pyle reporting on the war. Graeme Smith. As close as we're likely to see in this day and age, anyway.

The Story of Creation - Militant


….And In The Beginning there was Infantry, the Queen of Battle, and there was chaos in the universe, for the Infantry was alone. And there were huge monsters and creatures and other evil things, all of which could devour the Infantry.

And Fear was with the Infantry, and they wept unto the Lord, saying, “Lord, save us, for we are afraid!”

And the Lord harkened unto their pleas, and set certain of them upon beasts of burden, donkeys and jackasses and mules, and these the Lord called Cavalry.

The Infantry and the Cavalry looked about themselves at the very scary world the Lord had created and together they wept unto the Lord saying, “Lord, save us, for we are afraid.”

And the Lord pondered, and saw that Infantry and Cavalry are as babes, and the Lord made to allay their weeping and lamentation, for it was annoying.

The Lord spake unto them, saying, “Lo, and behold, for I bring unto you a noble race of men, keen of eye and wit, with great strength of head and heart and hand, and with courage and spirit undaunted,” and the Lord created Field Artillery and named it The King of Battle.

And the Lord said, “The King shall light the darkness of your goblin-filled night and you shall tremble before him, and when you need smoke, there shall be smoke, and when you need it to rain down death and destruction upon the enemy, then too you shall have it. Just remember to duck."

And the Lord gave unto the Artillery, to be their own, great guns and huge shells, wondrously wrought, and Rockets to Shoot Deep.

The Infantry and Cavalry beheld these things, and as sheep in the fold are wont, knelt before the Artillery and their Pieces, and the Lord was pleased. So were the Redlegs.

And the Infantry and Cavalry said "The Lord must truly love the Artillery to have given them such Kewl Stuff!"

And the Lord said from above, “Check.”

And now abideth in harmony, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery, but the greatest of these is the Artillery.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

H/t Gwedd, for reminding me about this and giving it to me in digits, saving me having to scan the copy from my OBC files.

June 22, 2006

H&I Fires* 22 June 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...

Here's the keys, guys - I'm outta here. -The Armorer


Some lighter fare to start your day... Top 10 Signs it's Summer in the Arizona Desert.

A reminder: the Valour-IT project blog has the latest news, along with resources and advice on how to spread the word in your community. - FbL


International Society of the Red Cross, Red Crescent and Red Star. -the Armorer

{Gollum. Still in Purgatory. Though we've found the comic books we hid while cleaning when John came back from Korea. Oh, and there seems to be another resident now. But, I refuse to clean the Cloaca. R. E. F. U. S. E. There's some jobs that are below even Gollum.}

I really wonder if these guys have thought everything thru? Wouldn't even so much as single Tomahawk hitting the launch pad lead to general war that ravages the Korean Peninsula? I can't see the Chia Dictator being cowed by this. More likely he'd order his artillery to level Seoul and kill the inhabitants with his stockpile of chemical shells. I wonder if these guys failed to learn from the mistakes of Dugout Doug (arrogant displays of force with small forces/gestures meant to intimidate a smaller power NOT WORKING. 'No more Task Force Smiths!')?

Of course, there's the rumors that we know where they've dug in all that artillery and where their armored divisions are placed to jump off. So, a major strike *might* reduce the carnage. But is this smart? Unless we're prepared to unify Korea and fight one seriously, short, brutal, and costly war I think these guys are barking at the moon. But, what do you expect from the Clinton staffers?

I don't buy their claim that there's no reason to attack S. Korea. Why? The same talks haven't caused a shift of DPRK forces away from dispositions that really only make sense to invade S. Korea. They haven't repositioned to face off against the US. They're still looking down the Peninsula and set up to attack. And of course Kim would play it as 'Just War' becuase he's acting to prevent attacks he 'knows are coming' (thanks for creating such a binary def'n of Just War loudmouths. Never thought about the Blackhats co-opting your arguments didja?)

The only bright spot, imho, is that finally, we have people admitting that diplomacy can and does fail. That's a big step toward having reason return to foriegn policy.

It starts when you see the jihadis wearing American Tennis Shoes. How to win the ideological war: send them Levis.

I agree with Peggy Noonan - Barking Moonbats - Kat

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 22, 2006 | General Commentary
» The Discomfort of Thought links with: In Praise
» Blue Crab Boulevard links with: Good Lord

Live from Iraq Trivia Question.

Castle Denizen Blake, a retired soldier who works as a DA Civilian log weenie "somewhere in the United States" is currently in Iraq, working a unit redeployment. Here's his spotrep:

I've been over here in Iraq for two weeks now. I'm no longer jet-lagged, and we're starting to get work done. That having been said, we're still in the middle of a war here, so I'm reluctant to talk specifics about where we are, who we're working with, and when things are happening. The bad guys use the Internet to communicate all the time. It would be stupid to assume that they don't read it, too.

I suppose I can say that we're at a large Coalition base some distance north of Baghdad, more or less in the area the news media call "the Sunni Triangle." The terrain around the base reminds me of nothing so much as the High Plains of Texas, out around Lubbock, Leveland, and Plainview. Flat, flat, flat, as far as the eye can see. This plain we're on is too high above the Tigris valley for irrigation prior to the invention of mechanically-driven pumps, so this area was likely mostly originally inhabited by nomadic goat and camel herders. Goats and camels are about all that could live on what passes for plant life here anyway: it's mostly scrubby grasses and knee-high shrubs. If you see a
tree it's because some human being put it there on purpose. And hot. And dusty. And hot. Afternoon temps are pushing up toward the 120 degrees F mark, and it's not even the end of June yet. That old saw about "But it's a dry heat..." tends to lose its meaning one it gets up past 120 or so. And when the humidity is down in the single digits one can dehydrate just sitting in the shade and doing nothing.

We're still in a shooting war here, of course, and the base occasionally catches some mortar fire. What little artillery we have here fires occasional H&I missions on the known open areas from which the insurgents occasionally lob the odd shell or six over the fences. This has evidently convinced many of the locals to discourage the insurgents from shooting at us from some of the local villages, the villagers not wanting to wind up on either the H&I rotation, or on the receiving end of a counterbattery mission.

Because we still catch the occasional shell, most everything of importance on the base has revetments around it. The preferred method seems to be sectional reinforced concrete walls rather like traffic barriers on steroids. Some older sites are protected by "Hescos," big wire mesh baskets lined with a felt-like synthetic fabric which are named after the company that makes them. Hescos come in a variety of sizes, and are easy to install. They arrive folded up on a pallet. A squad unfolds them and stands them up, and then a bucket-loader fills them with dirt. Instant revetment. The tent I'm living in right now is protected by a revetment made of 2-meter Hescos. That is, these Hescos are cubes 2 meters on a side. Having 2 meters of dirt between me and any possible shell fragments does tend to let me sleep more soundly at night. See the attached picture.

Hescos are yet another proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Marshal Vauban, the great 17th-Century military engineer, would have no problem recognizing Hescos as a variant of something that he used all the time. Here's a good trivia question for the grognards at the Castle: what term would Vauban have used for Hescos, and what would his version have been made of?

by John on Jun 22, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT) | Observations on things Military
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Star Chores: Infiltration
» The Cool Blue Blog links with: Star Chores: Infiltration

And now for something completely different.

Continuing the indirect fire theme with a twist, let's listen to a recent call for fire.

"Armorer, this is SWWBO, Adjust Fire, over."

"SWWBO, this is Armorer, Adjust Fire, out."

"Grid FJ 66216 51448, over."

"Grid FJ 66216 51448, over."

"Special Munition in effect, over."

"Special Munition in effect, out."

"Shot, over."

"Shot, out."

"Splash, over."

"Splash, out."

"Right One-Zero, Record as Target, Fire For Effect, over."

"Right One-Zero, Record as Target, Fire for Effect, out."

"Shot, over."

"Shot, out."

"Splash, over."

"Splash, out."

Schlussel-Free Zone

"SWWBO, this is Armorer, Target Number 1369, over."

"Armorer, this is SWWBO, Target Number 1369, out."

"Armorer, this is SWWBO, End of Mission, Target Annoyed, over."

"SWWBO, this is Armorer, End of Mission, Target Annoyed, out."

Well, since I'm obviously writing the Indirect Fire posts for myself...

...we'll just skip today's planned discussion:

M2 60mm Mortar in the holdings of the Arsenal of Argghhh!, sitting in the Inner Bailey of Castle Argghhh!

And move on to this.

All right, smarty-pants - you know who you are - what's this?

You won't get this one in a million years.

I think you guys need a hint. You can play, Master Pogue - as noted in the comments... who said this is an Indirect Fire artifact? Of course, who says it isn't..

by John on Jun 22, 2006 | Artillery

June 21, 2006

A letter from the spouse of a deploying soldier...

This will be up all day. I'd hate to have anyone miss it. New stuff comes in below.

1LT Watada,

I read your letter in the Honolulu Advertiser and, as a military spouse whose husband is set to deploy in the next few weeks to do the job you so conveniently have chosen not to do, I feel it is my duty to point out a few discrepancies in your arguments. I would not want you to go to trial with such a lacking defense. You might find yourself with a one way ticket to uptown Fort Leavenworth and that would be unfortunate.

Your assertion that your responsibility is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States is correct. However, you cannot pick and choose what articles or amendments you wish to protect and defend. You must protect and defend all of them. And that includes Article I, Section 8 which states that Congress has the power “To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;” At this point in time, United States forces are currently in Iraq according to the mandate set by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1637 which was passed unanimously and considered at the request of the Iraqi government. Our troops are in Iraq in full compliance with both international and domestic law.

As an officer in the United States military, you do not have the authority to decide what is legal and what is illegal. And your DUTY, with regard to unlawful or illegal actions or orders is to report up your chain of command or to JAG. Have you done either, sir? Last I checked the media is not in your chain of command. Last I checked the media is not the entity that will decide what is lawful and what is not. Your DUTY was to take your concerns to your chain of command or the JAG. To do otherwise is to shirk your responsibility as an officer of the United States military.

You argue that the war in Iraq is “unlawful and immoral” and that there was “never any just cause”. I beg to differ Lieutenant. If you will refer to the Coalition Provisional Authority’s webpage which discusses UNSC Resolution 1546 ( you will read “Following is the text of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546, adopted unanimously June 8, which endorses the new interim government of Iraq, allows the multinational force to provide security in partnership with the new government, sets out a leading role for the U.N. in helping the political process over the next year, and calls upon the international community to aid Iraq in its transition:

Recognizing the request conveyed in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the Prime Minister of the Interim Government of Iraq to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution, to retain the presence of the multinational force,

Recognizing also the importance of the consent of the sovereign Government of Iraq for the presence of the multinational force and of close coordination between the multinational force and that government,

Welcoming the willingness of the multinational force to continue efforts to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq in support of the political transition, especially for upcoming elections, and to provide security for the United Nations presence in Iraq, as described in the letter of 5 June 2004 from the United States Secretary of State to the President of the Council, which is annexed to this resolution,

In addition, our current presence in Iraq is legal in international terms based solely on Saddam Hussein’s failure to comply with the armistice agreements made following Desert Storm back in 1991 and his repeated and continued violation of FOURTEEN separate UN resolutions over a twelve year period. Never any “just cause”? I don’t think so.

Whatever your argument against our mission in Iraq and its legality, those statements should smooth your moral fiber and allow you to return to work immediately. Otherwise, what you are doing is illegal and my hope is that, while my husband does the duty he was sworn to uphold and that you are refusing to do, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.



H&I* Fires 21 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...

[Gollum here, tongue raw, still in Castle Purgatory. Bleech. Steel don't taste to good, even if it is stainless.]

The disconnect by the NYT editorial staff is astounding. Instead of actually contemplating the merit of claims that giving play to all the negative makes things worse what needs to be done is for more negative to be contemplated? Really. If taking castor oil is giving you the chits the cure is more castor oil, right?

The NYT seems to claim that a single telegram somehow is more important or encompassing in view than the collection of similar communiqués from boots on the ground or in the field reportage from the likes of Mike Yon or this from TCS to the contrary. There’s nothing like circular (jerk) logic where you already know the outcome and only pick facts that get you there, now is it? Looking at all the evidence doesn’t count as much as looking at the ‘right’ evidence, now does it? Forming a narrative based on the total view couldn’t possiblely be more responsible and objective than highlighting the ‘right’ evidence, now could it?

No, missives from people From On High matter, so long as it’s negative, while everything else is just ‘triumphalism’.

GOG continues to search for a master (I’m serious. GOG has no master, only herdsmen trying to influence its direction.) Which narrative (Because at this point that’s all they really seem to be, narratives.) will become the main one? It does matter in the end which one takes root. The outcome, any outcome, is still not inevitable in Iraq and GWOT. Fertile ground still exists between the ears.
Back to cleaning the Portcullis(bleech).


Interesting article in the WaPo about PTSD in veterans from other wars and the effect of images and politics associated with Iraq. - FbL


WTF, over.

Ah. This is WTF. -The Armorer


I hate using H&I Fire's to push my own agenda, but in this case I'll make an exception. I know everyone is still probably tapped out from the Valour drive, but if anyone has a couple of extra bucks, my Sister in Law could really use it

Seems yesterday morning, her house caught on fire. She left the hospital yesterday afternoon with snoke inhalation, however everything they own was destroyed and 2 of their pets killed in the fire.

So I'm blegging for donations via my site or anything I can get my hands on. Meanwhile my home has become communication central for the family.


How does a newly-minted 6'7" Merchant Marine celebrate his graduation after six years at the Merchant Marine Academy? Well, first he hugs the Academy commandant. Then... well, I don't think this was what the CinC had in mind, haha! More pictures from the graduation here (scroll down). - FbL


Here's some troops who may not be voting for Diana Irey. -The Armorer


Just in case anyone is wondering what an active sailor(no Maggs, you can't take him home) is thinking about the whole DPRK missile test flap, you might want to take a gander at what FNDF has to say.
Standard-3 may not be enough to knock an ICBM out of the sky, but we know the ABMD bit to AEGIS really does work (Unlike the ground based system out in Alaska).

Confederate Yankee - watching UNC-Chapel Hill so you don't have to.

Fuzzybear - looks like the Happy Grad made HuffPoster Chris Durang *more* depressed that anyone could want to hug the Prez. Take some more Prozac, Chris.

Woo-hoo! Read CDR Salamander's bit at Milblogs. -The Armorer


I am *sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo* jealous. I never get conspiracy-trolls! And howcum the a$$hats who will f*ck with my wife will simply *never* come over here so's I kin puncheminnaface? -The Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 21, 2006 | General Commentary

The Grave of the Hundred Head -

Interestingly, Kipling's poem came up in office conversation a couple of weeks ago. We have fascinating conversations at the office, waiting for the data to process...

They made a pile of their trophies
High as a tall man's chin,
Head upon head distorted,
Set in a sightless grin,
Anger and pain and terror
Stamped on the smoke-scorched skin.

Subadar Prag Tewarri
Put the head of the Boh
On the top of the mound of triumph,
The head of his son below-
With the sword and the peacock banner
That the world might behold and know.
Thus the samadh was perfect,
Thus was the lesson plain
Of the wrath of the First Shikaris-
The price of white man slain;
And the men of the First Shikaris
Went back into camp again.

...what may have worked then (there are plenty of counter-examples) will certainly not work now. And, I submit, we don't want it to work for us.

Nor is it a good idea to give vent to your anger over the deaths of Private First Class Kristian Menchaca and Private First Class Thomas L. Tucker screaming for the heads of the jihadis to be piled high in the streets - and doing so for the Joy of Google. I imagine the jihadis are having a good chuckle. (Hi, a$$hats! What's that whistling noise?)

It's a war. War sucks. Being blown into large chunks, but still concious and bleeding out isn't a much better fate. Burning to death in a vehicle isn't a better fate than befell our two soldiers.

And the calls, as I've seen them elsewhere, for "3 heads for every one!" isn't useful and only plays into our enemy's hands, however much it sounds like a satisfying revenge to our lizard brains.

The costs, to our soldiers and our nation, far outweigh any unlikely benefit. We're already fighting people who want to die fighting us. The manner of their death, fantasies of wrapping them in pigskin notwithstanding, simply isn't the deterrent some think (or wish) it will be. Blowing Indians from the guns certainly makes for pride-swelling reading if you're a Brit, doesn't it? Proud to tell your grandkids that story? Results matter. But how we achieve the results sets the stage for later. As the Germans found out when they went into Russia, and paid the price on the way out.

The Germans tried reprisals. What did it gain them? Allied Armies in Berlin, and the East in ruins. Same-same Japan. It didn't work out well for the French, either. And in those areas where it has worked, sorta, it has been between opponents who are very much not like us.

Don Sensing has covered this terrain before.

I personally don't think we can get that much tougher, without throwing restraint aside and becoming a terrible mirror of our foe. We're already killing them at a rate greater than three to one, and they revel in the dying, do the jihadis.

I don't mind killing them, truth to tell. But to repay savagery with savagery will put a burden on our soldiers and ourselves that will not be repaid with success on the battlefield. If we were to react as some wish - it would, I believe, kill the mission in Iraq, and guarantee the Global Opinion Golem would stomp it flat. And that when it was all said and done - just as many many people can recognize My Lai and almost no one but those who were there and geeks like me can relate NVA/VC atrocities in Hue - everybody would remember an American equivalent of "The Grave of the Hundred Dead" and no one, other than those who were there and geeks like me would remember Private First Class Kristian Menchaca and Private First Class Thomas L. Tucker.

It is *not* the American Way of War - which is precisely why it is memorable when we do it, and "Yeah, so?" when they do it.

It isn't always easy, it isn't always fair, as the song goes.

It's a hell of a leadership challenge that now faces our most junior leaders. Keeping their figurative heads, so that those about them don't lose their metaphysical heads.

And if what happened to those two soldiers harden's the public resolve to continue the fight - *that* would actually be good!

For those who keep hearing about it but haven't read the poem - it's in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Recharacterizing The War On Terror

Why has public support for the war on terror, once at 70%, eroded so severely?

"Experts" like John Murtha, whose moral authority to speak for the military is unimpeachable (and don't you dare question his patriotism either!) will quickly tell you: the war is "a flawed policy, wrapped in an illusion". Murtha continually repeats a few easily-digestable stock phrases and the media unquestioningly give him front page coverage, inexplicably ignoring the many times his statements have contradicted each other or been demonstrably false:

Back home, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a prominent defense hawk, called for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq over six months. In a speech Thursday, Murtha said, "Our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency."

Even the most cursory follower of the war should be able to spot the flaws in this one. Open a newspaper on any given day and you'll likely read of explosions, kidnappings, and headless corpses. Who are most of the victims? Not our troops. Most of us instinctively recognize terrorism. We don't have to have the word defined for us - it's well established in the popular lexicon. But lest we draw the wrong conclusions about "so-called terrorism", CNN, Reuters, and the BBC hasten to assure us that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". After all, if United Nations cannot seem to define terrorism, let alone confront it, who are we to differ?

This must be another instance where the media "can't find" information cleverly hidden in obscure spots like Merriam-Webster; places too dark and dangerous for an investigative reporter to go without a military escort:

terror: (3)violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands

The simple truth is that Iraq's insurgents are not fighting for their own freedom. They fear the courage of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who braved sniper fire and explosions to get to the polls. They are afraid the will of the people will one day be heard in Iraq, and they fight desperately to prevent democracy from taking hold, fight to impose the will of the minority on an entire nation by force. The defining characteristic of terrorists is that they intentionally pass up legitimate combatants, preferring to target innocent men, women, and even small children. We deliberately target the insurgents, and sometimes innocent civilians get killed. The insurgency, for the most part, deliberately targets innocent civilians. How, then, did our troops become "the primary target" of the insurgency? How did we become the bad guys?

The answer, of course, is that we aren't. So why do the media, who challenge the administration and the Pentagon at every opportunity, continually give Jack Murtha a pass? Why don't they question the obvious inconsistencies in his public statements? Why do they perform bizarre gyrations, working even months-old quotes into every single wartime report?

The answer, we are told, is context. The American public needs context to fully understand the complexities of war. We need the kind of context the media deliberately refuse to provide when they relentlessly hype every setback or accusation without balancing these reports with the acts of incredible heroism or compassion. This is completely understandable. Such accounts might serve to remind us that not all our troops are, as we are daily reminded, murderers who "... overreact because of the pressure on them, and ...kill innocent civilians in cold blood.”

In order to keep the war in perspective, Americans are constantly told that we squandered the support of our allies, who would have been on our side, had we been less arrogant:

...during the first ten days of the war, Iraq asked Russia, France, and China not to support cease-fire initiatives because Saddam believed such moves would legitimize the coalition's presence in Iraq.

Furthermore, UN sanctions were working, weren't they? We should never have invaded without the approval of France, Russia, and China:

Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz described the dictator as having been "very confident" that the United States would not dare to attack Iraq, and that if it did, it would be defeated. What was the source of Saddam's confidence?

Judging from his private statements, the single most important element in Saddam's strategic calculus was his faith that France and Russia would prevent an invasion by the United States. According to Aziz, Saddam's confidence was firmly rooted in his belief in the nexus between the economic interests of France and Russia and his own strategic goals: "France and Russia each secured millions of dollars worth of trade and service contracts in Iraq, with the implied understanding that their political posture with regard to sanctions on Iraq would be pro-Iraqi. In addition, the French wanted sanctions lifted to safeguard their trade and service contracts in Iraq. Moreover, they wanted to prove their importance in the world as members of the Security Council -- that they could use their veto to show they still had power."

Saddam wanted the sanctions lifted too-- according to the Iraq Survey Group, so he could begin manufacturing WMDs again. But lest this news lead us to the wrong conclusion, we are once again reminded that Iraq posed no threat to us:

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Continuing the theme.

US Collimator, M1, seen through the howitzer sight

Mr. Pogue can no longer play in this round. He's too good!

MajMike gave me a start, when he started out with "collimating valometer..."

If he'd just substituted sight or instrument for valometer, he'd have been the winnah!

But Pogue got it mostly correct. A collimator. He said an early one, but it's actually the current Russian one (though this particular one was made in the Soviet era.) With guys like Pogue playing, and Frank, you'll understand why I didn't put up this picture. Of a US collimator. That would have been waaaay too easy for US Redlegs to get.

If you haven't figured it out yet, the theme this week (and into the next if it takes that long) is "Indirect Fire, How *Do* They Do That!?!" We're introducing most of the major components to get us there from the perspective of the guns. We've already met the Aiming Circle, used to "establish a common direction" i.e., get everybody pointing in the same direction. There are three components to that at the gun level. The aiming circle, the panoramic telescope (the gun's sight) and the Distant Aiming Point.

Let's face it. Infantry sucks. They have rifles, machine guns, hand grenades, and sometimes they stick sharp pointy things on their rifles (we know my problem with *that*!), and alla time they are wanting to sulkily sit around on terrain you'd just as soon they not squat on. They're uncouth, foul-mouthed, and smelly. And generally pissed off. But, if you want to keep them off your terrain, or get back the terrain they already befoul, you've got to deal with them, like any other pest.

But there's no need to actually get *near* them to do this. That's what your own infantry is for. No, you don't want to get near that many troglodytes all crammed into a small space - but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some nice target shooting. From a distance. With a terrain feature between you and them. Unlike the other arms (whom we love like brothers, I assure you) we artillerymen can actually hit things we can't see, and generally on purpose, too. Oh, sometimes we miss, but that's usually because a Lieutenant, of almost any branch, is involved. And besides, if they're tankers, who cares? That's what 'open protective' is for, right?

So, lets discuss the bits and pieces of how we Kings of Battle keep the Queen in Drag.

And, if you're still here and not ready to kill yourself - go behind the curtain to the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry, where this edition of Gun Pr0n will continue.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

*Not* a Whatziss. For a change...

An attorney got home late one evening after a very taxing day trying to get a stay of execution for a client, James Wright, who was due to be hanged for murder at midnight. His last-minute plea to the governor for clemency had failed and he was feeling worn out and depressed.

As soon as he walked through his front door, his wife started in on him: "What time of night do you call this? Where have you been?" And on and on and on and on...

Too shattered to play his usual role in this familiar ritual, he went to the liquor cabinet, poured himself a stiff shot of scotch, and headed off for a long, hot soak in the bathtub.

He was pursued by the predictable sarcastic remarks.

While he was in the bath, the phone rang. His wife answered and was told that the governor had relented and granted her husband's client his stay of execution. She finally realized what a day he must have had and proceeded upstairs to give him the good news.

She opened the bathroom door and was greeted by the sight of her husband's rear end as he was bent over, naked, drying his legs and feet.

"They're not hanging Wright tonight," she announced.

He whirled around and screamed, "OH, FOR CRYIN' OUT LOUD, WOMAN, DON'T YOU EVER STOP?!?"

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

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, the mug, the plaque and the scars to prove it. Heh--a tip o' the dinged flight helmet to Two-Niner.

June 20, 2006

H&I* Fires 20 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...

Gollum, still in Castle Purgatory. Luckily, people tend to get pretty outta hand with the chocolate gun, so cleaning the Portcullis with tongue ain't that bad---luckily the Exterior Guard can be tricked into helping. (Remind me never to make Bigfoot or Big Tribble With Legs (not Leggs!) annoyed, wouldja?).

I don't typically like to toss spit balls at those 'on our side' of things(I heard that!), but I'm going to have to with this Mike Adams column. See, aren't businesses supposed to serve their customers? So, if more customers are wanting to buy Musica Latina than Country, aren't they being stupid? Isn't demanding that a business serve you in your preferred 'language' exactly the reason we dislike irredentists and identity politics with the attendant grievance mongers?

Personally I can't STAND country music. I don't find it fundamentally American. I find it, fundamentally BAD(usually, there's some stuff that's good, but most of it I can't stand.). Your mileage may vary, but that's me.

So wouldn't pandering, and that's what it is, to Mike Adams (and maybe JTG, with all his scorn for things Yankee. Yeah, I'll call you the next time the Rebel Bubbas from Kentucky start blasting that infernal trash and moaning like pornstars downstairs while I'm trying to sleep at 2am, okay? ;)) by giving in to his demands to increase the stock Country(ptui!) be exactly the same thing as giving in to these guys?

Of course, that may be Adams's point.
Back to cleaning the Portcullis.

CNN reports that the two missing soldiers have been found slain.


Inside joke: How appropriate is this?

Pennsylvania’s Fourth Point of Contact for Communications, if the Press Secretary is unavailable, is: Information Specialist Designate

I can't wait until they put names in there.

Murray is recruiting for his artillery detachment. Yo, Murray, do those Lorica's come in 'pear-shaped'?

Whoa! Bubblehead takes friendly fire! (read the comments) -The Armorer


LA Times reports that the investigation into whether the Marine Corps attempted to cover up events in Haditha is complete. The ubiquitous "Official Close to the Investigation" reports no finding of coverup, but rather a lack of follow-up on concerns raised at the time. Captain's Quarters has analysis and reminds us of Rep. Murtha's statements on the subject. [I find it hard to even type that Ex-Marine's name these days.]

Valour-IT: Who You're Helping.

Just a reminder: This Bud's for the Troops. - FbL

Sage posted on this: Flourescent Green Pigs. I wonder what the Muslim take on those little piglets will be? ~AFSister


Pigboatsailor just made my day, coincidentally affirming the utter utility of the Internet! Whee! I love watching intramurals! -The Armorer


Oh... THE IRONY! Nestle is going to buy Jenny Craig! *laughing... hysterically... oh boy* Maybe they'll start offering Jenny Craig coupons in the liners of candy bars. "Just call 1-800-blah blah blah to join Jenny Craig and lose that extra weight caused by eating our owner's chocolate bars!" ~AFSis


Izzit me, or is this the possibly most well camouflaged Aegis cruiser ever? Can you find the USS Lake Erie in this Reuters-reported photo? Tell me, Skimmers - ain't she awful close inshore? -The Armorer


And who sez that the II Amendment should be abrogued??? - BOQ

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 20, 2006 | General Commentary
» A Healthy Alternative to Work links with: Fun with firearms

Continuing from yesterday...

...who wants to step up to the plate and figure out what this is? Or at least make funny guesses?

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Lieutenant Watada speaks.

Via Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive, we hear from Lieutenant Watada, himself responding to an email (also posted there, you should read the post).

Dear Sir,

I'm sorry you feel the way you do. But the fact is, I do remember what I swore upon my oath of office: to protect and defend the Consitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. The oath of an officer says nothing of obeying the unlawful orders of the President. Even though your experience was rewarding, it gives no credence to the legality of the war and occupation. Please sir, before you respond read the numerous articles by international and Consitutional law experts regarding the Iraq war. It takes a simple Google search. Read the accounts of Iraqis, vets, andindependent journalists who may not have been in your same AO. The responsibility of an officer is to evaluate the legality and truthfulness behind every order. We cannot blindly accept every order, especially one to go to war, based on faith and what our "political" leaders tell us. Many Germans went along with the Nazi's idea of racial superiority or because they were afraid of prison or execution if they didn't. Real leadership means first realizing what's wrong, finding everything there is to know about it, and finally acting upon it.

Uncle Jimbo slides in for the snap shot, which prompted John Noonan over at Milblogs to opine thusly:

Yeah, and I suspect the Nazis weren't pumping sizable portions of their treasury into rebuilding the Polish ghettos either.

Let's run with John's point, shall we?

The problem for Lieutenant Watada is that no competent authority has ruled the war illegal under US law. And that is the governing law here, and that is what will get him less-than-honorably discharged and possibly sent to live with us here in beautiful uptown Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The opinions of Constitutional Scholars are just that. Opinions. Did I miss the Security Council resolution calling for the withdrawal of US troops? Oh, I've heard opinions from members about it, just as I have heard opinions of members of Congress on the issue. Yet still, the majority of Members of Congress, and sizeable ones at that, continually vote to reauthorize the expenditure of funds and the deployment of the soldiers. And none of them do it under the duress that may have been experienced by members of the Reichstag in Hitler's Germany. The opinions of individual members are just that, until expressed as law. Ramsay Clark has opinions, too. So do I. Both have equal validity in this issue. I.e., none.

Lieutenant Watada should take a look at *who* went in to the dock at Nuremberg. Nary a Lieutenant among 'em. Or a Captain. Or Colonels. Some Field Marshals, yes.

The only officers of his stripe that found themselves in the dock found themselves there - not for going to war on the orders of competent authority - but for engaging in or allowing specific acts and orders contravening the laws governing warfare. Only for those acts, specific and in context, were they put on trial.

Just as we have tried our own for the same thing in this war. And may yet try some more.

Therein lies the difference, Lieutenant Watada.

If what you provided is going to be your defense, and I'm on the panel, all the prosecution has to do is enter your words into evidence and sit down.

But I'll give you this - you're standing up for your beliefs, and you're going to get run over for them.

And you should.


Believe it or not, Lieutenant, were you to be upheld in your assertions, it would set exactly the wrong precedent. The one where the soldiers (worse - the Officers) decide what is right and good in their employment. Exactly one of the things the Founders feared, regarding a large standing Army.

At the end of that path, at it's extreme, lies military dictatorship. We can barely manage ourselves. Just *imagine* how badly we'd fark up the nation.

It's not hard - look at Central and South America for lots of examples.

Your actions are unwise and actually dangerous in their ability to set up Unintended Consequences.

Except I know we aren't going have any precedents like that set in this case. Not unless you've got a *lot* better a defense than that.

Therefore, once again, I am forced to smash your guitar against the wall.

Come visit, we can chat about it.


--looks like I've got to re-evaluate my definition of "a lead pipe cinch." Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce

Smoke gets in your eyes...

the control head for the M118 Smoke Dispenser

Now, you may have heard rollicking, primordial laughter emanating from somewhere south of the Delaware Water Gap every time you thought "rockets" about this critter.

That was me.

Four measley toggle switches, four cheap plastic rotary ID switches -- for *rockets*?


This is what a Rocket Management System looks like. Eat yer heart out, Lex.

Okay, back to Smokey Joe. Sometime during the late seventies, some brainiac realized that sending OH-58As out looking for the Soviet 357th Motorized Rifle Horde when the balloon went up was just going to crank up the US casualty list that much sooner. So, he decided that, since the Cobras were going there *anyway*, they might as well have the capability to mark their own targets before they engaged them.

Yeah, that was our reaction, too.

But, the result was the M118. Remember what I said about how a malfunction would ruin your whole day? Take a peek at the functional test. If the clamps failed to extend, the smoke popped while it was still hung up in the ejector. Try evading some clown in a MiG-23 while you're dragging a red smoke cloud through the woods...

Meantime, brags go to Trias for sorta-kinda pretty much nailing it, albeit squishily; to Nicholas and wolfwalker for figgering out the color aspect; and to Eric for twigging to the color knobs having an identification, rather than a selector, function. Oh, and to John, for spelling intervalometer correctly.

And, if you really, *really* have to see where this thing got squeezed into the cockpit, drop in at the AirCav site -- it's an interactive hotmap, so rather than use up gobs of John's bandwidth, just copy 'n' paste

to your browser window, then you can play with it all you want. Lotta neat stuff to get your eyeballs crossed (visualize John actually *sitting* in the seat). And working with all that arcane avionics aeronautica was a *lot* more fun than trying to get an aiming circle needle to hold still...

June 19, 2006

H&I* Fires 19 June 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...
Gollum, still doing penance for annoying Bigfoot and Giant Big (!) Tribble With Legg(!!!!)s (my toothbrush is destroyed, so what am I supposed to polish the Portcullis with now?) [Use your tongue, boyo, for not only getting it wrong on Big vs Giant - but putting me in pantyhose, too!]
Thankfully, Bill Whittle has posted something. Not just his 'I'll be back', but something of substance. Having read it I think I need a nap.

Murray of Silent Running is no longer Murray of Silent Running. He's now Murray of Hitting Metal With A Hammer - and you should visit before he gets put in gaol for sedition.

The Carnival of the Recipes is up.

The ACLU continues to jump the shark. Even if there *is* a logic to this - the PR disaster and tin ear is simply astounding. Okay, the tin ear part isn't.

Marathon Pundit has some news you'd probably like - but haven't seen.

Bright shiny objects that caught my eye this morning...

1864 CSS Alabama sunk by USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France

1865 Juneteenth: All slaves in Texas freed. I'm a little surprised I run into people who've never heard of Juneteenth.

1963 Valentina Tereshkova 1st woman in space returns to Earth. -The Armorer


Valour-IT says "Thank you." - FbL


Hee! I can empathize with the ending of *this* story. -The Armorer


That Pilar of Modern American Journalism, me thinks has taken a dive of a Grand Piano. WTF???!!!

Oh and JTG...

Let's Decline Cerveca:

Nominative - Cerveca, as in (a beer)
Genitive - Cervecae, as in (of the beer or beer's)
Dative - Cervecae, as in (for the beer)
Accusative - Cervecam, as in (to the beer)
Vocative - Cerveca, as in (you my dear beer)
Ablative – Cervecā, as in (done from the beer)
Locative – Cervecae, as in (at the beer)

In Cervecā Veritas.



If you are one of those people pulling for Diana Irey to unseat Representative Murtha, this bud's for you:

News flash from

Diana Irey will be on Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel Tuesday morning (June 20) during the 8:00 AM EDT time slot.

Tune in and pass the word along.

-The Armorer


Since JTG put me in a CERVECA kinda mood; there is much sadness all over. - BOQ


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 19, 2006 | General Commentary

Heh. My a$$, boyo.

Mother Sheehan goes to Canada to give aid and comfort to deserters.

Otay. Nothing remarkable about that.

Then I stumbled across this hero:

About 20 former U.S. soldiers, referred to as war resisters, have applied for refugee status in Canada. Organizers estimated there may be as many as 200 soldiers in the country who have not yet sought formal protection.

"They say we're traitors, we're deserters," said former Marine Chris Magaoay, 20, of the Hawaiian island of Maui. "No, I'm a Marine and I stand up for what I believe in, and I believe the Constitution of the United States of America is being pushed aside as a scrap piece of paper."

Hmmmm. Former Marine? No. "I'm a Marine." Um, well, yes, technically, until discharged by competent authority.

Deserter? Yep. That's the label. You're a deserter, Lance Corporal Magaoay.

That sums it up. Sign me up as one of "they," who call you deserter. It's not hard. It's what you are.

But wait - there's more.

This link may invite guests with an attitude, but here we find a *great* quote that displays the deep strategic and moral thought of Lance Corporal Magaoay.

Our hero is of the Lieutenant Ehren Watada School of Military Law:

“I am not against war as a whole,” he said. “I am against the war in Iraq. It was a war of aggression, which was not sanctioned by the United Nations, therefore making it illegal.”

Ah. So, even though there has been no such finding by any competent US authority which might give him cover, LCpl Magaoay has decided the United Nations (several UN resolutions and Congressional resolutions notwithstanding) trumps all relevant US law and statute and relieves him of his obligations.

In other words, he gets to choose which wars he will fight - as a uniformed member of the armed forces, *he* will determine which wars are legal and appropriate, and he seemingly doesn't appreciate that his opinion in this matter is not held in high esteem.

LCpl Magaoay, you're a fool.

Leave aside you joined to go off to war a year after the war started.

Once you swear the oath, you lose your veto in that regard. Those decisions, like it or not, rest in the hands of the elected representatives of the people.

If you feel strongly enough to defy that, then the only honorable course is not to flee to Canada, and whine like a weasel when people call you deserter all the time you assert you're a Marine. No, the only honorable course, if not necessarily one with a happy ending, is to take the path of Lieutenant Watada - who at least is taking his Quixotic quest on a path of greater honor than yours.

You are an oath-breaker. No more. No less. You are faithless. By your own words you condemn yourself - and reveal the shallowness of your thought.

I take your guitar, and I smash it against the wall.

Now, that done, Pinto, where's my beer?

Ha! Bill only *claims* to have an easy Whatziss...

This one really is - and sets the tone for my theme this week (assuming my client doesn't flog me like a Brit sailor stealing grog by trying to get 6 weeks out of me in two weeks (we're going to have a one month break as this contract ends before the new one picks up where we leave off...)

So, to give yourself a break from Bill's conundrum - Whatziss?


There is a group among you (two, actually) who have a really unfair advantage.

And, as far as I know - this is the first picture of this type on the 'net...

Update. Wrong. Now there's two pictures. Y'all need some help. Bill's gonna slap himself when he finally sees the light. Unlike me, if we ever figure out what Bill's gizmo is...

Anudder update:

So, revealed! A Circle, Aiming, M1, of WWII vintage.

So, the Mistress of Argghhh! spanks the boys - and especially the two former artillerymen, Bill and Frank, who have *no* excuse. Bill especially. I *know* that Bill has 'Taken the azimuth of Fire Out of the Orienting Line' (TFOOL) and 'Subtracted the Azimuth of fire from the Declination constant' (SAD), taken the resultant number, applied it to the Upper (recording) motion, turned the Lower (non-recording motion) to either sight on the stake that marks the Orienting Line, or, in this case, 'floated the needle' to align the site on magnetic North, to then, using the Upper (recording) motion to sight on the panoramic telescope of base piece, while giving the command "Battery Adjust, this instrument, Refer!"

Frank might not have gotten that far, so we'll give him only a minor downcheck.

That's what a floating needle looks like through that little window as you are alinging your aiming circle (director, in Commonwealth usage) to magnetic north. The fact that the needle isn't level, nor aligned on the reticle is a function of how sensitive the needle is to my honking great big watchband.

Whee! Yippee! (Sound of Fireworks)

For reasons which will become clear later, I'm as happy as this guy is - gonna get to do something kewl that is every bit as much fun as blowing stuff up! More later, as details become releasable. Let's just say, Blogging Can Be Worth It, sometimes.

Speaking of making people happy (sexist pig alert for Sensitive Workplaces):

Neffi - this one's for you...

Bill - this one's for you...

Lex - this one's for you!

Heh. That alert should improve the click-throughs... Yes Cassie - Oinkery!

Oh - and what's so kewl? I can tell you this much - it involves an all-expense (well, except for the tequila) paid trip to Mexico for a week in July. Doing a very Armorer-like thing. But not quite what most of you will expect.

Update: Okay. Maggie - this one's for you! And if that wasn't enough - here's a two-fer! (Both photos shamelessly swiped from here.)


Well, since John has been grumphing that my stuff is more enigmatic than a German cypher machine, I figure I'll make everybody's day by posting a lead-pipe cinch:

Calling Bletchley Park. Come In,  Bletchley Park...

Geez, wotta a bunch of whiners! Okay, okay--here's another view of it:

Okay--at least *part* of QWERTY made it...

Obviously, it's not a stand-alone item--it's gotta be connected to something else in order to function and to enable that something else to function, too. Ummmm--*several* something elses, that is.

When the entire system worked, it did exactly what it was designed to do, and when it didn't--wellllll, that was another one of those times when it really sucked to be me...


Update: Text from Trias, italics from yours truly--

A controller! I win I win Ok you can stop hitting me now.

It looks old and worn but that might be the norm in the military. The delicate fuscia peach and charcoal tones indicate military. The item looks worn on the edges which, with the plug n play bit, suggests that the item is often handled and removed.

At the same time it looks fairly robust. Like it might need to be resistant to the bumps etc of movement. So i think this is for a vehicle of some type.

Left hand and right hand arm. Kinda says aircraft missiles doesn't it? But i'll go outside that and say helicopter. And because i think it's kinda plug n play i could be a 'special' weapon (weapon used real loosely here)like flares smoke grenade or something like that.

It's the dials which have me scrathing my head RGBYWV. The closest match for me is red green blue yellow w?white? and violet? Colours? Hardly a rainbow. Maybe for parades? Far more likely a code. But what the hell does that mean? And being the foremost expert in military hoohar i am utterly lost in the woods.

So a controller for a helicopter special weapon??

I love guessing.

Okay, the lad from the Land of Warm Christmases has put enough shotgun pellets into the target (although he's slightly off the mark on a minor point) to define it, generically. So, what is it *specifically*--meaning system nomenclature and aircraft-of-application?

I toldja it was a lead-pipe cinch...

June 18, 2006

H&I* Fires 18 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...
Gollum, doing penance for annoying Bigfoot(hey, how much of the portcullis do I have to polish with my toothbrush anyways?).
Here's Smash on a rather ignored angle about the whole 'Hadji Girl' thing. Remember Clint Eastwood yelling for Aponte to come up with a cadence, and the cadence being, well, unrepeatable on a family friendly=ish website? 'Late model Ford and a tank full off gas...'? Right?
But the guy who taped it and put it on youtube needs a good talking to. Winning the battles but losing the infowar leads to the joke about the American general and the Vietnamese general. 'The Strategic Private/Corporal/Noncom' doesn't stop being that the minute he/she steps into the squad bay.
Hmm. DPRK mad that we're flying 'Cobra Ball' flights while they're attempting a test of what's reported as a Taepodong II missile. Oh, the unfairness.
ry----(hmm, actually inserting the link to the story in the post might be good. Yes, I had to edit it in. Back to polishing the portcullis).

From the bottom… of my heart: Happy Farter **er** Father’s Day everyone!

++Sigh++ They are picking on Pooh again

Mark my words: Sporks are next - BOQ

What One Soldier's Mom Says: Forget the Number - Remember Their Names. It is only when we forget their names that they are truly, completely, gone. -The Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Jun 18, 2006 | General Commentary
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Captured Soldiers and the Triangle of Death
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Carnival of Blue Stars #14

Happy Father's Day, Dad.


That's all. Move along.

Old pilots, bold pilots...

What's odd about this pic?

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If you want to see it a little clearer - click here.

Just in case you really aren't clear... click here.

Yep. That's a B-52 doing a low(!)-level flyby of an aircraft carrier.

It only looks like its about to dive into the ocean.

One of the odd things about the B-52 is that it flies in a nose down attitude in level flight.

Just like all three aircraft in this pic are in level flight.

I'll let the aviators chime in and explain all the fiddly details.

I'm just impressed with that bomber pilot's need to impress the Navy.

We may never be able to win another war because of flaccid political will/extreme dumb-a$$ decisions among the politicians or the failure of the political class to convince the People the benefits outweigh the costs - but we're not going to lose one on the battlefield as long we're willing to to compete internally like this.

Regardless of what you excessively purple people think.

by John on Jun 18, 2006 | Aircraft