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August 26, 2006

H&I* Fires 26 Aug 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...


If you live for chances to dis Cindy Sheehan, The Right Place Caption Contest is your venue for today...

Heh. The UN Peacekeeping Force for Lebanon starts to take shape. The headline on Yahoo for this article is what caught my attention: "Europe Provides the Backbone for UN Peacekeeping Force". Heh. The "backbone" is a robust mission, robust ROE to support the mission, and the will to carry it out. Otherwise, it's just another feckless exercise in window-dressing.

Howard McFarland Fish - just what were you thinking, boyo? A stick of dynamite? On an airplane? Dolt. I don't even try to bring home inerted ordnance I get on my travels, I just ship it. -the Armorer


A University of Chicago law professor attempts to defend Ann Diggs Taylor's recent NSA ruling. It's almost beyond parody, but deeply disturbing because the writer is actually serious and displays an attitude that prefers outcome over law. Frightening. - FbL

And in more good news, "negotiating" with Iran has obviously been very productive. Not. - FbL


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 26, 2006 | General Commentary
» A Rose By Any Other Name links with: Chuckle

Go Read This...

Thanks to Instapundit, I ended up here trying to unwind after several trips around the country when most of you are asleep.

I'm not posting much anymore 'cause I don't have too many profound thoughts and feel it's fairly rude to impose on people--I'm smart enough to know my limitations and to just keep quiet and watch...usually.

But this struck a chord--one that resonates and one that pretty much nails the hearts of darkness that beat in this country today. The link is a monster fisking, or more accurately, the fisking of a monster.

The victim wants people to die so his political party will be brought into power.

As I read it, images of my daughter flashed through my head; images of my country, so vast and beautiful from 35,000 feet on a summer afternoon or quiet early morning, full of the people I have served and am still serving in another capacity today who only want to be left alone, raise their kids, love their spouses, honor their country and worship their God. And this man wants them hurt (his attempts to deny ring hollow in the extreme)--enough at least so that the survivors will put people in power with whom he agrees.

Any volunteers? How about your wife? Your child?

God help the Democrat Party. God help us. God help him.

P.S. It wasn't a mistake that I filed this under "Citizenship."

by Dusty on Aug 26, 2006 | Citizenship
» Strategic Outlook Institute - Weblog links with: Flawed Logic From The Huffington Post
» Blue Crab Boulevard links with: An Immoral Calculus
» All Things Beautiful links with: 'Progressively' More Crazy
» All Things Beautiful links with: 'Progressively' More Crazy

Bad, bad terrorists! Sit! Stay!

During their recent deployment to Iraq, the soldiers of the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division of the National Guard ran into a particularly heinous form of booby trap - one that preys on the victims of General Order #1, which prohibits alcohol to deployed soldiers....

New jihadi boobytrap.  Bastards.

As long as the soldiers are doing this... morale is okay. You can click here for a larger version.

[And if you're the soldiers who put this together - I'd love to hear the story - whether or not ya wanna share it publicly, which is your call. In fact - I'd love to collect more stuff like this - an aspect of the war that is under-reported!]

I'm fine! I'm fine! Really!

A farmer named Cooter had a bad, car accident. In court, the trucking company's fancy lawyer was questioning Cooter.

Didn't you say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine,' asked the lawyer?

Cooter responded, "Well, I'll tell you what happened. I had just loaded my favorite mule, Bessie, into the.........."

"I didn't ask for any details," the lawyer interrupted. "Just answer the question? Did you Not say, at the scene of the accident, 'I'm fine!"?

Cooter said, "Well, I had just got Bessie into the trailer and I was driving down the road...."

The lawyer interrupted again and said, "Judge, I am trying to establish the fact that, at the scene of the accident, this man told the Highway Patrolman on the scene that he was just fine. Now several weeks after the accident he is trying to sue my client. I believe he is a fraud. Please tell him to simply answer the question, yes or no."

By this time, the Judge was fairly interested in Cooter`s answer and said to the lawyer, "I'd like to hear what he has to say about his favorite mule, Bessie." Cooter thanked the Judge and proceeded,

"Well as I was saying, I had just loaded Bessie, my favorite mule, into the trailer and was driving her down the highway when this huge semi-truck and trailer ran the stop sign and smacked my truck right in the side. I was thrown into one ditch and Bessie was thrown Into the other."

"I was hurting, real bad and didn't want to move. However, I could hear ole Bessie Moaning and groaning. I knew she was in terrible shape just by her moans."

"Shortly after the accident, a Highway Patrolman came on the scene. He could hear Bessie moaning and groaning so he went over to her. After he looked at her, he took out his gun and shot her between the eyes. Then the Patrolman came across the road, gun in hand, looked at me, and said, "How are you feeling?"

"Now, what the hell would you say?"

H/t, Rich B.

August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Chief!

[This was the First Post of the Day - but I'm moving it up here so everybody popping in will see it. New stuff comes in below - the Armorer]

I want to be the first to wish our favorite Rotorhead a very Happy Birthday!

kisses.......Maggie of the SugarButtons Brigade

S'crupl Delivery Service

by Denizens on Aug 25, 2006 | Birthday

H&I* Fires 25 Aug 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...


Have we mentioned it's Bill's Birthday today? Oh, yes, we have... Just makin' sure.

I want one of these. A lot.


Apparently they're available... whatchoo PNW'ers doing this weekend? H/t, Echo9er. -the Armorer

DNA confirms that a young woman found wandering the streets in Austria is Natascha, a 10 year old girl who was kidnapped EIGHT years ago. WOW. Talk about a family reunion... ~AFSis


No one was hurt, and lord knows there are greater tragedies happening on a daily basis... but as someone who just likes cathedral architecture, this is a heartbreaker. -the Armorer

I hope you don't mind, John... but this could turn into a "bleg" post. SSG Bryan Fluharty, an "anysoldier" contact, was deployed in Iraq when he heard that his children may be being abused. When he contacts authorities, he's told he has no authority, because he's deployed and his wife is the custodial parent. It goes on... and doesn't get much better. Please.... if you know of anyone who can help SSG Fluharty (or can contribute to his legal fund)... please direct them to the Fluharty's. Thank you. (and thanks to SK for bringing this story to my attention. Bryan was one of her 'anysoldier' guys, and needless to say, she's pretty upset about this!) ~AFSis


LTC Keith recommends that Lieutenant Watada stand trial. Based on what I know just from press reports, that sounded like a slam-dunk. But I admit that Watada's lawyer just pisses me off.

"We always believed that when they went so far as to convene an Article 32 hearing that they had already made a decision to proceed," he said.

Well, yeah, funny how that works - but I assure you, Barrister, that when I convened an Art. 32, my recommendations weren't a given. The fact that you didn't have much of a rebuttal to the public statements of your client is not really grounds for backhanding LTC Keith, who gave you plenty of opportunities to show why there was no cause.

Bubba, unless the purpose of this trial from your perspective is to provide a martyr for the cause, your comments here show you don't understand the Courts Martial. And that must be driving Watada's Trial Defense Lawyer batty.

Read the whole thing here. -the Armorer


This is actually a rather even-handed report of a fight which ended up with US forces firing on a mosque. Especially considering the source. -the Armorer


Heh. Damian checks in:

Heh. A burnt cathedral gets your sympathy, and a destroyed mosque doesn't? The fact that you juxstaposed the two stories in one post with regrets for one and none for the other would have the multi-cultural equivalency PC police going nuts, if they read your blog.

I get the reasons why, I just find it amusing that you put both stories in the same post. It positively invites comparison.

Well, if people were firing on US forces from the cathedral, I'd still mourn the cathedral. If we were leveling a mosque of significant architectural significance, I'd mourn that. If one of the Butler-building plastic-steepled local churches were to burn to the ground, other than the loss to the congregation, I wouldn't blink an eye, and in fact, given my aversion to the plastic steeples, would heave a secret sigh of relief.

Context matters. Sigh. And, fortunately I suspect, people like Miss Thang don't read my blog. It makes their heads explode. -the Armorer

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 25, 2006 | General Commentary

The whatziss, answered.

This was a toughie. But y'all had fun with it, for sure.

It didn't help that the references that existed for it (sparse that they were)... are no longer available, a photo archive having been removed.

Aasen spigot mortar round - based on the Type C grenade?

It's a very obscure WWI spigot mortar round. Possibly French, possibly Belgian... possibly even Italian. No one seems to know for sure - or whoever does, isn't sharing that info on the web, and it's buried in the dusty stacks of a library somewhere.

The Castle actually possesses a spigot mortar, in the form of the German Granatenwerfer 16. We actually have two representatives of the genre, though the second is more properly termed a spigot launcher I suppose, being mostly intended for direct fire - the PIAT. You could have logically gone down that path, given what the PIAT rounds look like in comparison to the Whatziss. Doug did conjure up the Blacker Bombard.

The whatziss is generally considered to be an Aasen Type C grenade, modified to be launched from a spigot mortar, instead of thrown by hand.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Designed by Nils Aasen - who is generally considered one of the fathers of the modern hand grenade.

An alternative view of the recent mess in Lebanon.

...who am I kidding - current mess.

Amir Taheri, in the WSJ:

By controlling the flow of information from Lebanon throughout the conflict, and help from all those who disagree with U.S. policies for different reasons, Hezbollah may have won the information war in the West. In Lebanon, the Middle East and the broader Muslim space, however, the picture is rather different.

Politically, however, Hezbollah had to declare victory for a simple reason: It had to pretend that the death and desolation it had provoked had been worth it. A claim of victory was Hezbollah's shield against criticism of a strategy that had led Lebanon into war without the knowledge of its government and people. Mr. Nasrallah alluded to this in television appearances, calling on those who criticized him for having triggered the war to shut up because "a great strategic victory" had been won.

The tactic worked for a day or two. However, it did not silence the critics, who have become louder in recent days. The leaders of the March 14 movement, which has a majority in the Lebanese parliament and government, have demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the war, a roundabout way of accusing Hezbollah of having provoked the tragedy. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has made it clear that he would not allow Hezbollah to continue as a state within the state. Even Michel Aoun, a maverick Christian leader and tactical ally of Hezbollah, has called for the Shiite militia to disband.

Having lost more than 500 of its fighters, and with almost all of its medium-range missiles destroyed, Hezbollah may find it hard to sustain its claim of victory. "Hezbollah won the propaganda war because many in the West wanted it to win as a means of settling score with the United States," says Egyptian columnist Ali al-Ibrahim. "But the Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory."

I wish I shared Mr. al-Ibrahim's certitude. Time will tell. If you're a subscriber, you can get the whole thing here.

Milblogging, Canadian-style...

Meet Matt in Afghanistan.

What a stir.

Over the past couple days, this blog has been temporarily offline at the request of my higher-ups in the forces. Agreeing with this request, I took the posts offline for the time being and talked with my mom.

"Mom," I said over MSN Messenger, "I've been asked to take my postings offline for a little while as (my higher-ups) deal with blogging in camp."

My mom didn't have to say anything, but knowing her my whole life, I knew she would be hurt that I wouldn't be allowed to post anything for the time being.

"I can have a blog though, mom," I said to her, "I just need to list it with the Army."

Heh. Like *we* haven't been here before. Mebbe the Canadian Army Higher-ups should call their Southron cousins.

Not that Damian Brooks hasn't been trying to get 'em energized.

To our syrup-swilling, plaid cap wearing, northron brothers blogging from the 'Stan or elsewhere, I offer up this advice.

The Milblogger ROE, courtesy Yankee Sailor.

It's good to see clueless leadership not attuned to the young soldier is *not* an exclusive to the middle of the continent...

Once upon a time...

...a long time ago, there was dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.

Hosting provided by FotoTime
(click the picture for hi-res)

But there was no mud.

Then, along came a mighty figure.

One to stand athwart time.

One who figured out the recipe for mud.


Soldiers have been miserable ever since. Like he cared... aviator.

And his name was Bill.

Hosting provided by FotoTime
(click the picture for hi-res)

Happy Birthday, Bill. Your shadow does not darken our door enough these days.

Denizens - leave your presents for Bill in the comments!

by John on Aug 25, 2006 | Birthday

August 24, 2006

H&I* Fires 24 Aug 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...


My whole universe shifted... Pluto's not a planet? Dangit, there goes some of the books on the shelf. And the Pope fires his astronomer? Coincidence? I don't think so. Who knew the Vatican *needed* an astronomer... or that they have such an interest in disk galaxies... maybe because they resemble the Host? We ask, you ponder.

Hmmm. Russia is now the leading oil producer? Wonder where *that* will lead?

Your tax dollars at work in law enforcement... mind you, I blame the people involved, not the cops.

Not the way you want to make the news...

This is visually work safe - but wear headphones. That, and it's Eviiiiil. As I said in the comment on Stacy's site - if we lose the war today, it's her fault. -the Armorer


…And, since we are into making sounds today, what about a MUSICAL INTERLUDE ? Brought to you by the people who joined The Army. Come Join Me! – BOQ


Ladies - Trias is your friend - and for you married ones, he's a safe guy to be seen giggling with over chocolate in the corner...

Get yer update of a name-dropping Fuzzybear - and, more importantly, the Soldier Ride.

AFSis discovers the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg. Heh.

Princess Crabby wants some attention er, assistance. -the Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 24, 2006 | General Commentary

Whatziss, con't.

For those of you who suggested periscope head - I can understand that thought process, as this photo of the Argentine-marked german rabbit ears in the holdings of the Arsenal shows.

But, wrong. Frankly, your creative answers in the first post are more fun than reality will be... sadly.

So, let's add this.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

You're first instinct (if it was like mine when I saw this for the first time) is probably wrong.

Things that make ya go, hmmmm.

An emailer to NRO's The Corner:

I don't think you'll be able to engage NOW in the war against Islamofacism unless you point out that the establishment of the global caliphate will impede their ability to kill their their own children until AFTER the children are born. Even then, I don't think you can convince them that mullahs and imams are worse than W.

As one among us would note: "We have little to nothing to truly fear from the rulers and inhabitants of benighted nations languishing in past glories, unable and unwilling to drag themselves into the 20th Century, much less the 21st. George Bush on the other hand, lives down the street."


Certainly encapsulates a good chunk of the argumentation put forward.

Come to think of it, so does this...

August 23, 2006

H&I* Fires 23 Aug 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...


It's a very busy morning this morning, so content is... slight. You guys can take up the slack, eh?

Max Boot - asserts Israel should pretty much just go ahead and take out Syria, while it can, regaining the initiative. Being a pundit means never having to take responsibility for your advice, either... at least not often.

'WE ARE walking with open eyes into our next war."

The pessimism of a senior Israeli official who made that comment on Aug. 13 was striking because he had just finished telling a group of security analysts brought to Israel by the American Jewish Committee that the United Nations-brokered cease-fire had achieved many of Israel's goals. But he had no illusions that this would represent anything more than a temporary halt in the fight between Israel and the Quartet of Evil seeking to dominate the Middle East — Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Of course, doesn't mean he's wrong, but it is easy to recommend, hard to decide.

Especially when a noisy chunk of the people who you'd be sending out to do that are calling for your head, instead - as Olmert and Co. are finding.

Some of the harshest criticism has come from military reservists, whose voices carry great weight in Israeli society. The veterans protesting in Jerusalem on Tuesday evening demanded that Olmert, his defense minister and the army's chief of staff step down.

The demonstrators accused the three of rushing into full-scale armed conflict without having adequately laid the military groundwork, and then of dithering over the war's objectives and how to realize them. That resulted in confusing and sometimes needlessly perilous orders on the ground, they said.

"The big heads should be the ones to go," said Yossi Avigor, 29, a reserve infantryman who spent two weeks fighting in western Lebanon. "They tried, they failed, they should go home."

Families of fallen soldiers, as well as civic groups upset by the state's treatment of northern Israelis who spent weeks under attack from Hezbollah rockets, also have castigated the nation's leaders. The opposition from so many quarters has presented Olmert's young government with its severest crisis in less than four months in power.

With many Israelis concluding that the war achieved few of the government's stated aims — including the rescue of two reservists whose July 12 capture by Hezbollah guerrillas sparked the offensive — Olmert is under intense pressure to find a way to prevent the backlash from knocking him and his fledgling Kadima party out of office.

Officials are acutely aware that discontent among reserve soldiers, and the mass movement it sparked, helped bring down the government of former Prime Minister Golda Meir after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a confrontation in which Israel was caught unprepared.

I'm ambivalent about military personnel getting this directly involved in politics - governments should run armies, not vice-versa, but theirs is a voice that should be heeded, as well. Of course, national character/culture matters when it comes to determining how dangerous it is for the soldiery to express themselves, and Israel's strikes me as pretty robust in that regard. Read the rest here. -the Armorer


Take a look at this. I asked Newt what he thought about the somewhat lacking checks and balances our judicial system seems to sport. Haven't got an answer yet. Odd. (Heh) If he deigns to respond I shall pass it on...H/T to Glenn - Instapilot


Dude.... Your p&nis pump is DA BOMB! ~Giggling AFSis


As always, The USMC is First to Fight. - BOQ


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 23, 2006 | General Commentary

A new whatziss.

I'm gonna be pretty busy today - see if you can figure out what this is.

I'll give you a starting place. WWI. Allied.


The answer is out there.

August 22, 2006

H&I* Fires 22 Aug 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...


In re my Armageddon post below, Thomas Sowell's Wheaties aren't sitting too well with him this morning.

The Australian destroyer *not* sunk by Hezbollah...

Seza Geoff, one of our Aussie regulars, points out that the Australian destroyer sunk by an Australian submarine some years ago is back in the news... wearing new colors, and being sunk by... Hezbollah. Really. While I'm sure that most visitors to the website in question will just cheer and be happy - the more thoughtful ones will note that it's a pretty deserted and unarmed ship they wasted the missile on... oh who am I kidding. I left a comment (well, rather, President Bush did) but I somehow don't think it's going to stay up long...

Lastly, this is either the Phalanx CIWS on the USS Saipan being test-fired, or it's R2D2's Great-Great-Grandaddy suffering from premature, er, ahm, firing. I dunno. I post, you decide. -the Armorer


Wow.... I am in awe of Specialist Crystal Davis. You have GOT to read this story. ~AFSis


Heh. The Wheels of Navy Justice grind slowly, if this is, in fact, a just outcome (I admit I'm not qualified to judge).

WASHINGTON - Nearly six years after the deadly terrorist attack on the USS Cole, the Navy has decided that the officer who was skipper of the ship is not qualified for a promotion that had been in limbo since 2002.

H/t, Eagle1, over at Milblogs. -the Armorer


SWWBO points us to this thought/discussion-provoking essay: "A hypothesis on why men's lives are more difficult nowadays." My own thoughts here. - FbL

And the Brown Shirts win a round.
Grrrr. Make threats of violence against a man and his family to make him adopt your policy isn't terrorism? Placing Molotov cocktails on people's doorsteps is somehow attacking a valid military target?

This pisses me off.

This is why each and every individual needs to be able to catch and subdue, maybe even kill with extreme prejudice, these anarchist sheetheads. This is why we need the castle doctrine and other legal protections for whacking scumbags who attack you at home.

There's little in this world I'm personally willing to kill over, but this is one of them. Come after me and mine ALF/ELF and you'll reap the whirlwhind, scumbags. Seeing you dead makes the thought of prison tolerable.

I'm a whole other person when pissed off. Don't knock on the doors of Hell becuase I may just answer and decide I want to Party too.

Don't fart with me. Don't even think about messing with my family. Don't fart with scientists I know. Don't mess with colleges or companies I'm even remotely connected to. You don't want me angry at you and coming after you, you stupid sheets.
I can't believe you all let John slide on the date today. Such generous souls around here not to snark the proprietor. Fixed it. Can I have a day off from polishing the Portculis, please? I need to do some home defense shopping (grins demonically).

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 22, 2006 | General Commentary
» The Indepundit links with: Hezbollah Sinks Australian Warship?
» The Indepundit links with: Hezbollah Sinks Australian Warship?


A press release detailing the Army's effort to continually refine (and keep tactically relevant) the artillery inventory. A subject of some discussion around here of late.

Successful Testing of GPS-Guided Artillery Projectile Puts Raytheon-BAE Systems Bofors Excalibur Closer to Fielding (Source: Raytheon Co.; issued Aug. 18; 2006)

TUCSON, Ariz. --- The Raytheon Missile Systems and BAE Systems Bofors' Excalibur team successfully test-fired two global positioning system (GPS)-guided 155 mm artillery projectiles that functioned as intended against simulated tactical targets Aug. 10. The program is a cooperative effort between the United States and Sweden.

These firings represent completion of the "Guided Gunfire B" (GGB) test series that validates system performance of tactical rounds under a variety of conditions.

"Having completed this phase of testing, we are on track for fielding Excalibur to meet the urgent need of our deployed ground forces for a cannon-delivered precision munition," said Army Col. John Tanzi, Training and Doctrine Command System, manager-cannon.

Heh. I knew John Tanzi, back in the day. The rest is in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Fractured Fairy Tales, British Version.


The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building and improving his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed. The shivering grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.



The squirrel works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the squirrel is warm and well fed.

A social worker finds the shivering grasshopper, calls a press conference and demands to know why the squirrel should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate, like the grasshopper, are cold and starving.

The BBC shows up to provide live coverage of the shivering grasshopper; with cuts to a video of the squirrel in his comfortable warm home with a table laden with food.

The British press inform people that they should be ashamed that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so while others have plenty. The Labour Party, Greenpeace, Animal Rights and The Grasshopper Council of GB demonstrate in front of the squirrel's house.

The BBC, interrupting a cultural festival special from Notting Hill with breaking news, broadcasts a multi cultural choir singing "We Shall Overcome". Ken Livingstone rants in an interview with Trevor McDonald that the squirrel has gotten rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the squirrel to make him pay his "fair share" and increases the charge for squirrels to enter inner London.

In response to pressure from the media, the Government drafts the Economic Equity and Grasshopper Anti Discrimination Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The squirrel's taxes are reassessed. He is taken to court and fined for failing to hire grasshoppers as builders for the work he was doing on his home and an additional fine for contempt when he told the court the grasshopper did not want to work.

The grasshopper is provided with a council house, financial aid to furnish it and an account with a local taxi firm to ensure he can be socially mobile. The squirrels food is seized and re-distributed to the more needy members of society, in this case the grasshopper.

Without enough money to buy more food, to pay the fine and his newly imposed retroactive taxes, the squirrel has to downsize and start building a new home. The local authority takes over his old home and utilises it as a temporary home for asylum seeking cats who had hijacked a plane to get to Britain as they had to share their country of origin with mice. On arrival they tried to blow up the airport because of Britain's apparent love of dogs.

The cats had been arrested for the international offence of hijacking and attempt bombing but were immediately released because the police fed them pilchards instead of salmon whilst in custody. Initial moves to then return them to their own country were abandoned because it was feared they would face death by the mice. The cats devise and start a scam to obtain money from peoples credit cards.

A Panorama special shows the grasshopper finishing up the last of the squirrel's food, though Spring is still months away, while the council house he is in, crumbles around him because he hasn't bothered to maintain the house. He is shown to be taking drugs. Inadequate government funding is blamed for the grasshoppers drug 'illness'.

The cats seek recompense in the British courts for their treatment since arrival in UK. The grasshopper gets arrested for stabbing an old dog during a burglary to get money for his drugs habit. He is imprisoned but released immediately because he has been in custody for a few weeks. He is placed in the care of the probation service to monitor and supervise him. Within a few weeks he has killed a guinea pig in a botched robbery.

A commission of enquiry, that will eventually cost £10,000,000 and state the obvious, is set up. Additional money is put into funding a drug rehabilitation scheme for grasshoppers and legal aid for lawyers representing asylum seekers is increased. The asylum seeking cats are praised by the government for enriching Britain's multicultural diversity and dogs are criticised by the government for failing to befriend the cats.

The grasshopper dies of a drug overdose. The usual sections of the press blame it on the obvious failure of government to address the root causes of despair arising from social inequity and his traumatic experience of prison. They call for the resignation of a minister.

The cats are paid a million pounds each because their rights were infringed when the government failed to inform them there were mice in the United Kingdom.

The squirrel, the dogs and the victims of the hijacking, the bombing, the burglaries and robberies have to pay an additional percentage on their credit cards to cover losses, their taxes are increased to pay for law and order and they are told that they will have to work beyond 65 because of a shortfall in government funds.

THE END - You know it makes sense!

The moral of the story is provided by Mike L:

Bottom line is no matter how hard you work in a socialist environment, come winter you will always lose your nuts!! ML
by John on Aug 22, 2006 | Politics


Okay, lemme see if I've got this straight, ladies and gentlemen. I'll add my voice to that of Cassandra and Grim. Fuzzlicious Thinking and Blackfive pile on, too.

From, quoting USA Today:

According to USA Today, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury center, which is devoted to the treatment and understanding of war-related brain injuries, is set to lose half its funding, from $14 million down to $7 million, next year. The House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain only half of the funding the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center received last year. "Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper. "They didn't have any flexibility in such a tight fiscal year." Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is becoming one of the most common injuries among soldiers fighting in Iraq. Research by the center has concluded that ten percent of troops in Iraq suffer concussions during combat.


"Honestly, they would have loved to have funded it, but there were just so many priorities," a spokeswoman for the Senate Appropriations Committee told the paper.


That would be the same bleeping Senate Appropriations Committee that didn't have any trouble finding $160 Million for the VA so that the VA could pay for a service - credit monitoring - that victims of identity theft can, with a touch of a telephone keypad, get for free?

Lessee, $160 mil, minus $7 mil, equals (takes off shoes) um, $153 mil.

Y'know, it just TORQUES ME RIGHT OFF that the Honorables of this Committee could rummage about and find $160 mil for an unneeded service to cover an embarrassing faux pas by an agency of this government, but, well, there just isn't $7 mil to continue funding research into what is the Signature Injury Of This War.

Gee, Honorables, our soldiery and the medical personnel who serve them are sorry that we are surviving injuries that used to kill us - so that these injuries weren't as, um, noticeable as they are now. We beg your indulgence.

One wonders how someone can say something that bloody insensitive and bleeping ignorant with a straight face and not have their head implode? I had to stick my head in the Armorer's Helmet to keep it from exploding...

Oh, I forgot. They really do think we're simpletons with short memory spans.

Thank heavens for Google!

Note to the Kansas Congressional Delegation... I'm a medium fish in a small pond - but Kansas is a small pond too. I'll be watching this one, and I will be *very* interested in your staff's responses to my inquiries on the subject. Especially Senator Brownback, as you sit on the Senate appropriations committee in question. But I'll be interested in Senator Robert's views, as you sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Ryun, as you sit on the House Armed Services Committee.

C'mon Senator Brownback, Congressman Ryun - you both have "Support Our Troops" banners on your websites, there isn't 7 million where once there was 160 million?

I do my bit of taking care of the wounded - via Project Valour-IT. Let's hear what you gentlemen have to say.

Updates to the story:

The Washington Times gets the run-around - maybe not deliberately, but it's *still* a run-around. I'd love to hear what DoD has to say on the issue.

A letter to the Editor from a founder of the centers, Dr. George Zitnay (you'll have to scroll a bit).

And last, but not least... so, it's all wrapped up in Senatorial Snits? Really? Sigh.

And golly, I provoked a decent exchange in The Corner today! Whee!

by John on Aug 22, 2006 | Politicians Hit Bottom, Dig...
» BLACKFIVE links with: The Brain Dead Politicians
» BLACKFIVE links with: The Brain Dead Politicians
» Searchlight Crusade links with: Links and Minifeatures 08 22 Tuesday
» The Steeljaw Scribe links with: Braindead Politicians
» HomefrontSix links with: Disgusting.

Armageddon, Meggido, Apocalypse Now... whatever.

Don't forget today is the 27th of Rajab! I bought a surplus elementary school desk like the ones I was taught to "duck and cover" under... just in case. Train as you'll fight - fight as you train, is my motto! Some people's mileage differed, apparently...

Air raid drills were part of everyday life, especially for us Milbrats in the 50's and 60's. We were taught to

Air raid drills were part of everyday life, especially for us Milbrats in the 50's and 60's. We were taught to "duck and cover" under our desks and were herded into school basements and hallway for periodic air raid drills. Of course, this kept right on going into the 70's - except they were tornado drills at that point.

Deliberate Assault

Cassandra moves out...

Hosting provided by FotoTime

She may be wounded, but she's still dangerous.

August 21, 2006

H&I* Fires 21 Aug 2006

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


I really should be better at pulling my weight around here and why not with this important good bit of news to share about Canadians in battle over the weekend in Afghanistan: Alan at GX40.


Yay. First day of instruction is here. That means I have to be around campus and the offices when Miss Thang is again. Yay. Anyone want to run a book on how long it takes me to offend her this term for what should be totally innocuous behavior?

And for those of us who like to defend our homes here's a look at what British law has wrought.(h/t memorandum) Maybe there is something to that old adage that an armed society is a polite society? -ry


Woo-hoo! I won Murray's Whatzis! And there's a new custom/hand-built object that's mebbe going to be available for your Christmas needs... -the Armorer


The League of Disgruntled Majors.

I have been contacted by the Grand Poobah of the LODM. He has graciously provided a suitable for framing .pdf of the official Manifesto of the League of Disgruntled Majors. Click the graphic to obtain your copy.

©2006 LODM
-the Armorer

************************ This is wonderful. How thoughtfully, delightfully, completely self-absorbed this young lady is. Stunning! Breathtaking! (No, not her, rather, the Four Names of Jaqueline-centric Universe. Wow! But I'll give her this - if this is the kind of exposure she wants - shes having a better month this month than I ever had... Of course, the key is *sustaining* it... She can't be all bad - she cat blogs and likes guns. But I can't resist this, she wins, I have to add my link! SWWBO often comments how glad she is we didn't have a daughter. I'm finally starting to understand. H/t, MVRWC. -the Armorer

Joe Rosenthal, the photographer who gave us the Iwo Jima Flag Rasiing picture, passes. I'm sure there's a seat at Fiddler's Green for him. It's a Marine Thing, I'll let a Marine tell you.


On the subject of Marines... A young brother of those who fought so valiantly at Iwo Jima is in his own private battle. Not all the stories of combat wounded are a miraculous and inspiring straight line from injury to recovery: Cpl. Benson and his family need us. - FbL

This story will have you peeing your pants too! ~AFSis


Shakes head slowly...

Apropos of Alan's link above..

“This was clearly a disproportionate use of force,” he said during a visit that included an inspection of mud huts destroyed by a NATO air strike. Thousands of civilians have fled the conflict.

"Canadians must take responsibility for not limiting the losses inflicted on the Taliban to numbers more in line with their own paltry losses in this conflict."

So... if they won't surrender, the Canadians have to like, pick, oh, 15-20 of their own guys and send them out naked to be shot or something? Egad. When I read this I first thought it was Scrappleface...

Oh, wait... it's KATE! You EVIL WOMAN you! Snerksnerksnerk... H/t, CAPT H.

For a more nuanced view of the fight, 72-0, read Damian at The Torch. Money Graf:

"They acted the way that we expected they would act and became decisively engaged and had insurmountable difficulties breaking contact with us."

Lessee, Allah's Quartermaster had to put in an Emergency Requisition for 5, 472 virgins, right? Dang. Where d'you get that many on short notice?

-the Armorer


...and now, a pithy rejoinder from the always-coherent James Q. Wilson on the latest example of one of our robed masters' ability to remain stuck on "stupid." - Instapilot


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 21, 2006 | General Commentary
» America's North Shore Journal links with: China Economic Update

More News from the Front

BAGHDAD — Efforts this week to quell violence in the capital city are showing signs of progress, but Coalition leaders say the battle is far from over.

“Abating the extremists in the capital will neither be easy nor rapid,” Multi-National Force - Iraq spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said this week of progress in the capital city. “Challenges will ensue, but efforts will march forward block by block.”

U.S. Army soldiers with 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, Iraqi National Police Transition Team and Iraqi National Police officers repair a sandbag barrier at a checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 7, 2006. Department of Defense photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan F. Doti.

U.S. Army soldiers with 7th Brigade, 2nd Division, Iraqi National Police Transition Team and Iraqi National Police officers repair a sandbag barrier at a checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraq, Aug. 7, 2006. Department of Defense photo by Air Force Master Sgt. Jonathan F. Doti.

U.S. and Iraqi forces have been conducting combined missions in Baghdad as part of Operation Together Forward, an Iraqi-led campaign to reduce violence in the capital, while at the same time promoting economic incentives, civic action projects and the control of illegal weapons.

This past week, Iraqi and Coalition forces concentrated on four major Baghdad hot spots – mostly in the western part of the city – in an effort to reduce the number of murders, kidnappings, assassinations and car bombs in those areas. Operations in the al-Doura neighborhood of southern Baghdad continued to build on the improved security established over the past two weeks.

The combined operations on simultaneous objectives in western Baghdad are led by the Soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division and policemen from the 2nd Iraqi National Police Division, supported by Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team and 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

Approximately 6,000 additional Iraqi Security Forces were sent to the MND-B area of operations in support of Phase II of Operation Together Forward, as well as approximately 3,500 Soldiers of 172nd SBCT, and 2,000 Soldiers from the 2nd BCT.

According to the Coalition commander responsible for operations in Baghdad, the concept essentially calls on Coalition and Iraqi forces to cordon off an area and search each street, house by house.

Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of Multi-National Division - Baghdad, this week said he is optimistic about what he has seen since operations to quell sectarian violence started.

“Security in Baghdad is the top priority for everyone working in Operation Together Forward,” added Col. Robert Scurlock, commander of the U.S. 1st Armored Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. “Iraqi security forces and Coalition forces are working side by side every day to increase security in Baghdad and help the Iraqi people return to a more normal domestic life.”

Operations in the capital city have not only been successful in the security arena, but also in terms of developing relationships between the Iraqi people and Iraqi security forces, added Col. Michael Beech, commander of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.

Caldwell added that the most significant developments are less easily measured.

“What really matters is the number of businesses that reopened and will remain open, the refurbished stalls … in the marketplace there,” said the general. “The drainage has improved. The rubbish is removed. And of course, like we’d all like to see, the number of children that you can see during their summer break out riding their bikes and playing in the streets.”

Caldwell said operations look beyond short-term security concerns. The mantra is “clear, hold, rebuild.” Iraqi and Coalition forces clear neighborhoods and hold them so terrorists cannot come back, and they invest in rebuilding essential services and stimulating economic growth.

“The military forces, the Iraqi security forces, the Coalition support can help set the stage for peace to occur, but they cannot achieve peace,” he said. “It’s going to take all the other factors. It’s going to take the economics; it’s going to take the governance; and, most importantly, it’s going to take the will of the Iraqi people to make this both work and sustain itself. But they’ve absolutely got the commitment.”

In Ameriya -- a key neighborhood in western Baghdad -- more than 50 percent of the shops in the market were re-opened after Iraqi and Coalition forces joined this week to squelch the violence in that neighborhood, Iraqi Army Brig. Gen. Abdul Jaleel said during a press conference Aug. 16.

Jaleel is the commander of 1st Brigade, 6th Iraq Army Division, the unit that took the lead during a recent sweep of the town with support from the U.S. 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

Iraqi and Coalition forces searched about 6,000 houses and buildings in the Ameriya neighborhood, including the market area.

During the joint press conference, Jaleel and Scurlock said they see reclaiming the market as a way to repair a neighborhood that was torn apart by violence.

“We want to get the stores open and get people back to a normal life,” said Scurlock. “With unity and security, there will be prosperity.”

Although combined Coalition and Iraqi operations here have done much to reduce violence and bring stability to the area, the ultimate solution depends on the Iraqi people’s willingness to reject violence and cooperate with Iraqi security forces, according to Beech.

“The security situation confronting the capital is a complex one, and the solution must be long-term,” he said. “The Iraqi government, Coalition forces and Iraqi security forces are dedicated to establishing peace in Baghdad.”

Along with providing essential services, he said the current security plan makes provisions for long-term stability within this area.

“To ensure the population (that) is living in these neighborhoods knows who's responsible for securing them, we have worked to establish habitual relationships between particular Iraqi security forces, U.S. forces with a particular neighborhood.”

Neighborhoods within Baghdad are being paired with a particular Iraqi Police company and a U.S. military company.

“This is in an effort to establish true community-based policing and security and build trust and confidence in the national police and the people that they protect,” added the colonel.

One indicator that the Iraqi people trust their security forces more is the increase in communication between the people and the Iraqi Police, explained Beech. He said the Iraqi brigade commander in his area has been receiving more and more phone calls from concerned citizens with tips, and imams of the local mosques are talking to him more readily.

As the security plan for Baghdad moves forward, and Iraqi citizens gain trust in their security forces, operations are beginning to see tangible results.

In addition to large munitions cache discoveries, this week Iraqi and Coalition forces thwarted a number of kidnapping attempts, captured several key insurgent leaders and numerous terrorist suspects, and sponsored several civic and humanitarian-assistance projects to help provide for the needs of Baghdad residents.

News from the front.

We'll let the the others do the bad news. We'll report the other stuff.


BAGHDAD – Iraqi army soldiers conducted a raid and rescued a kidnap victim after receiving a tip from a concerned Iraqi citizen that led them to a location in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah neighborhood Friday night. The Iraqi citizen lead soldiers from 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, to a house where the victims and a weapons cache were located. Inside the building they seized two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, 20 RPG rounds, nine RPG propellant charges, an AK-47, two sniper rifles and 12 hand grenades.

Two suspected terrorists were detained in connection with the kidnapping.

In a separate event, Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers rescued three kidnap victims after receiving a tip from an Iraqi citizen southeast of Baghdad Friday afternoon.
Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, were approached by a young man who informed an interpreter there were kidnap victims inside a nearby house.

MND-B Soldiers moved to the house, where they found three victims tied up, blindfolded and lying on the floor with a kidnapper watching over them.

Soldiers entered the house and rescued the victims and detained the kidnapper.

by John on Aug 21, 2006 | Global War on Terror (GWOT)
» Locomotive Breath 1901 links with: What? I can't hear you! pt. 9

The Whatzis, revealed...

Bgy57 comes in from nowhere (he's new to me, anyway) and nails it.

An incomplete Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2kg, better known as the Butterfly Bomb. Stop laughing like teenagers you immature weenies.

I was prepared to offer up this hint, and then this one, and finally this one, if needed. But it wasn't. We have a reader who knows his obscure WWII German bombs.

Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2kg

We were so impressed with it - we copied it ourselves.

...the perils of the sea.

This isn't "new" news, since it happened last week, but I'm betting most of today's readers haven't heard it, unless they are local to the homeport (Seattle) or have an interest in those who go down to the sea in ships. I saved it for today, because today is generally the day of our highest visitor count of the week.

BM2 Duque swears the oath on Healy’s forecastle as LT Hill administers his reenlistment.  Photo from the <i><b>USCGC Healy</b></i> website

BM2 Duque swears the oath on Healy’s forecastle as LT Hill administers his reenlistment. Photo from the USCGC Healy website

Two Coast Guard divers die in Arctic Ocean


SEATTLE -- Two divers aboard the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy died during a routine dive operation in the Arctic Ocean about 500 miles north of Barrow, Alaska, the agency said Friday.

The cause of deaths was being investigated, the Coast Guard said.

Lt. Jessica Hill, 30, of St. Augustine, Fla., and Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, 26, of Miami, had entered the water Thursday afternoon to examine the ship's rudder, which is done often as it operates in Arctic ice.

Complete story here.

The picture was taken in the last week of July. Fair winds and a following sea, sailors.

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

Eternal Father, Lord of Hosts,
Watch o’er the men and women
who guard our coasts.
Protect them from the raging seas;
And give them light and life and peace.
Grant them from thy great throne above;
The shield and shelter of thy love.

[Update: I have been asked to note that Steven Buque was 22 years old, not 26 as stated in the article.]

More thoughts by ry/gollum

I was not nearly as verbose and wandering with this, but I won’t torture everyone by putting it on the front page. You masochists can find out what I have to say below the fold. -ry

[Go ahead, read it. It won't hurt you... just click on that Flash Traffic/Extended Entry thingy -ed]

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

August 20, 2006

H&I* Fires 20 Aug 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...

Holy Crap! A bunch of Britons refuse to allow an airplane to take off with South Asian men aboard and stage a mutiny to see that the two men are taken off? Never see that in America. Wow. And I thought we 'Muricans were supposed to be knee jerk racists. I am stunned to less than a hundred words.

If THIS is any indication, Army will beat Navy at its own game, come this Fall. - BOQ


Compare this "integration of reserves into combat" with our months-long process... -the Armorer


Carnival of the Recipes is up, for those who follow that! -the Armorer


Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Aug 20, 2006 | General Commentary


Hmmm. La Schlussel is at it again.

I don't know these guys from anyone, I don't have a dog in this fight.

But having gotten a Schlussel-Standard "Cease and Desist I Own Everything I Ever Saw Or Put On The Web" from the lady, such as for this Rebus...

Guesss Who is a Horse's Ass?

One wonders how it differs in any significant fashion from her use of the Northeast Intelligence Network logo in this post of hers?

She even did it for exactly the same reason - Parody - that I did. But for me to do it, it's a violation of her copyright, for her to do it - well, she's a lawyer as she'll tell you at the drop of a hat - so, somehow it's apparently different.

Perhaps so, in some arcane fashion. I'm sure I'll hear about which hairs you split to reach that conclusion.

But this one is pure me. Created completely by me, but "in the fashion of" Ms. Schlussel... so to speak.

This is my Warholian Can of Campbell's Soup.



by John on Aug 20, 2006 | Moonbat Watch
» Stop The ACLU links with: Sunday Funnies

Maybe this will help for the Whatzis.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

Then again, maybe not. Component of the same item.

Confused? Start here.

Hmmm, judging from the response... not.

Not artillery. More Dusty-like, but precedes Dusty by several decades.

The spammers flex and adapt quickly, don't they?

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Note: The Armorer does *not* endorse this ad, nor does he recommend you act on it - I have absolutely no idea about the accuracy (nor do I care, for the purposes of this post) of the information - though I have my doubts, eh?. I just find it... bemusing.