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November 04, 2006

H&I* Fires 4 NOV 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...

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Is the void of silence darkening your spirit? Does your local fish wrapper, makes you want to throw your chesterfield out the window? We may also feel down, for our losses close to home; or just plain frustrated at the lack of compassion of our fellow brethren.

It is in times like these that, we have to remind ourselves to relearn to laugh like BABIES.

Charles Osgood reminds us that: Babies are pure potential. You pick up a little baby and… you feel that you’re holding the future of the earth and sky. All of it, everything is brand new again. Babies help us to put the changing world into perspective. For changing the world has to wait when it’s time to change a baby. - BOQ

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Gotta like this. Mother Sheehan goes to a ditch outside of Crawford, Texas, to express her opinions on the war. These Gold Star parents go to... Iraq.

Heh. The Junior Senator from Massachusetts... the Unaplogizer Strikes!

If you do the Caption Contest thing - try the Right Place's weekly event.

JTG sends us to Jerry Pournelle. I admit, Jerry lays out all my problems with invading Iraq. And therein lies the crux of the sparring between Ry and I, and his buddy Barnett. I'm still not convinced that GloboCop is a role we'll ever play well. GloboSWAT, yes. Cop, no. That said, I'm not a cut-and-runner in Iraq. I believe we must truly expend the effort to finish what we started. -the Armorer

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Hugh Hewitt looks at the elections through the lense of Kerry's remarks, but not quite as you'd expect. Very interesting analysis.

Christopher Hitchens also draws some wider conclusions about things brought to the surface by Kerry's remarks. - FbL

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So, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, UAE and Saudi Arabia seek atom technology, reads the sub-lede. And they'll do it with engineers and scientists trained in Western or Eastern Universitys, using technology mostly purchased or copied from western and eastern equipment.

And, for most of them, do it with money that comes from a single-engine economy... oil.

How sad is this? Bad enough we put the effort into things like this that we do - but we at least have the surplus to do it. Heh. This is far more about regime preservation than anything else. Feh. If I were you guys, I'd spend the money building something a touch more productive than nukes. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Nov 04, 2006 | TrackBack (1) | General Commentary
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Kerry Flip Flops On Appology

A new challenge!

Since this is a Saturday, only the hard-core will show up.

ID this tank.

So, ID this tank!  What, you thought I was going to put the answer here?

The Whatziss, answered.

Here's the original question.

Blacker Bombard manual

Why'd I say your first instinct is probably wrong? Because your first instinct was most likely to be rifle grenade or bazooka round. Bazooka round woulda been sorta close - and those who submitted PIAT were actually on the right track - of course if you'd said M16 Priest Mortar round, you would also have been on the right track.

The right track being... spigot. In this case, the Blacker Bombard, intended to stop invading Germans...

I told you prior to 1945 to save you searching a lot of rifle grenades or rockets.

The colors are... British, though there's lots of flexibility, even in brit markings.

The Red Herring clue was the UAV. Made by BOMBARDier of Canada (hence the Canadian reader names... which were also a clue to help you find that UAV...). The second clue - was of a Blacker Bombard emplacement.

There were two types of round, a smaller, 14 pound, longer-ranged (about 450-50 meters) anti-personnel round, and the larger, 20 pound, much shorter ranged (about 120 meters) anti-tank round. They used black powder as a propellant. It would have taken much courage to fight tanks with that sucker from fixed positions like that.

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by John on Nov 04, 2006 | Artillery

November 03, 2006

H&I* Fires 3 NOV 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...

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It's good to vote Democratic! Terrorists say so! It makes them *proud* people want to vote for Democrats. Note Democrats - you should vote your conscience, and not really let these hosers [edited due to sensitive Canuckistanian objections that spanned the ideological divide] respected representatives of well-intentioned progressive splodey-dope organizations *drive* your vote - but you should certainly ask yourself what it is about these guys and your party that makes them say these things... and ask yourself if that's truly a good thing. -the Armorer

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Denizen Ry reminded us earlier this week to Wear Red in support of the Canadian Troops in Afghanistan. The Armorer chose not go full-bore (because I've only got one red shirt, and it's a Rotary shirt) so I'm wearing this - which, down here, will more likely get noticed, anyway.

Canadian Year of the Veteran pin
-the Armorer

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Ooorah, Mr. Griffin.
Thanks for putting Jon Carrey in his proper place... the bottom of the food chain. ~AFSis

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It's about time someone started taking this Blogwar seriously! Geez, buncha lamers who hardly defend themselves. I finally got Cassie's attention! -the Armorer

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SWWBO takes on Lewis Diuguid, local lefty columnist. Of course, it's probably not Lewis' fault that he thinks the way he does, and espouses lots and lots of state intervention in everything... his last name is pronounced "do-good" and he's just taken it to heart. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Nov 03, 2006 | General Commentary

A scalp, sorta.

Abu Ghraib claims another officer scalp. Well, pulls on his hair really hard.

For the record - I predicted this would be how it went down for General Sanchez. He should have taken the hint, and retired some time ago. But GO egos can keep them from acknowledging the obvious.

Just like the rest of us.

Army general retires, blames Abu Ghraib Associated Press McALLEN, Texas - Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who served a tumultuous year as commander of all U.S. forces in Iraq, retired from the Army on Wednesday, calling his career a casualty of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

"That's the key reason, the sole reason, that I was forced to retire," Sanchez said for a story in Thursday's editions of The (McAllen) Monitor. "I was essentially not offered another position in either a three-star or four-star command." [Armorer's Note: And it's fully sufficient a reason, in and of itself, General.]

Sanchez had been a candidate to become the next commander of U.S. Southern Command but was passed over after the prisoner abuse scandal exploded into an international controversy. He was criticized by some for not doing more to avoid mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

Best of luck in your future endeavors, General. But with the size of your retirement check, don't expect too much sympathy from around here.

I still think Colonel Pappas got off too easily.

Just sayin'.

You can read the rest here.

Oops!

This just in - NYT exposes Bush White House Gaffe of Strategic Proportions!

The Bushies published details of Iraqi bomb-making plans on the Internet!

Check it out here: U.S. Web Archive Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer (login req'd).

But in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.

Last night, the government shut down the Web site after The New York Times asked about complaints from weapons experts and arms-control officials. A spokesman for the director of national intelligence said access to the site had been suspended “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing.”

Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.

Okay. Dumb decision, especially if the data indicates the Iraqis had sufficient expertise to build the bomb, and truly provides down-to-the-math level information. (Full disclosure, I know how to build two kinds of nuke just off the top of my head. Of course, I also know pretty much exactly how an internal combustion engine works, too. The devil is in the details, like those dimensions. But with the resources, and some more of those details, I could build either... hmmm)

Of course, there were no reports of weird popping sounds from within the reality-based community as heads implode. There is seemingly no cognitive dissonance regarding the fact that... this means Saddam had a nuclear weapons program. It might have been cold... but he'd held on to the hard-to-get part. The knowledge and expertise. So, when the sanctions were lifted, as they would have been, and sooner rather than later... what would he have likely done with the data?

Hmmm like this quote from the article:

Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990’s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein’s scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

Oh, I hear the response - "Well, whatever he did with it, he wouldn't have posted it on the Internet!" And that's all the matters right now. After all, there's an election next week, right?

Wait - excuse me - international (i.e., not a Rethuglican Administration employee, but the only authentic kind, i.e., international and/or safely liberal) experts said Saddam was a year away from building a bomb? The article text is ambiguous, it could mean 1991, or 2002...

So, we now have the Voice of the Liberal, Anti-war Establishment saying... Saddam coulda built a bomb in a year. Hmmmm but, there were no WMDs, no real threat - the NYT said so! Again, no popping sounds of imploding heads...

More here, if you'd like it, from Jim Geraghty at NRO.

by John on Nov 03, 2006 | Politics
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: U.S. yanks Web site with reported nuclear secrets
» Stop The ACLU links with: Saddam Closer To Bomb Than Anyone Thought
» A Blog For All links with: The Rabbit Hole
» The Right Nation links with: Mid-Term (Open) Must-Read List /2
» Wake up America links with: New York Times Validates Iraqi DID Have WMD's .
» Searchlight Crusade links with: Upon Publishing Iraqi Data Regarding Nuclear Weapons on the Web
» purpleavenger links with: NYT validates Saddam WMD threat

New Marine Gear.

Just checking to see if you're paying attention...


The Marine Corps is engaged in an acquisition program to develop a Tactical Unmanned Ground Vehicle in order to provide the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) with a tele-operated/semi-autonomous ground vehicle for remoting combat tasks in order to reduce risk to Marines and neutralize threats. The Gladiator is designed principally to support dismounted infantry during the performance of their mission, across the spectrum of conflict and range of military operations. The primary function of the Gladiator will be to provide the Ground Combat Element (GCE) with unmanned scouting and reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition (RSTA). Operating forward of GCE units, the Gladiator will perform scouting and reconnaissance tasks while permitting the operator to remain covered and concealed some distance away. Additional functions of the Gladiator system will be to utilize a modular configuration capable of employing the Anti-Personnel/Obstacle Breaching System (APOBS), M240G/M249 Machine Guns, and currently fielded chemical detection systems. With the development of future Mission Payload Modules (MPM), projected operational capabilities include: obscurant delivery; direct fire (lethal and non-lethal); communications relay; tactical deception (electronic and acoustic); combat resupply; casualty evacuation, or counter sniper employment. These modules will allow commanders to increase their operational capability by tailoring the capabilities of the Gladiator to best meet their mission requirements.

H/t, mostly Strategy Page with a little help from GW.

Project Valour-IT

You know you want to do it. You want to help. Soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen - in a war of IEDs, they're suffering a lot of traumatic amputations and blindness, compared to more bullet-oriented combat. Explosives and big, jagged chunks of metal do a lot of damage to exposed limbs.

And let's face it - the generation of warriors fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are a wired, keyboard-centric group of guys and gals.

And losing one hand, both hands, their eyes - cuts them off from what is to them the lifeblood of much of their contact with their friends.

In other words, they can't do what you are doing right this moment. Use a computer.

That's what Project Valour-IT - Voice Activated Laptops for OUR Injured Troops is all about. Getting them connected again.

Oh sure, you could contribute via the Marine Team. And if you do - Cassie will send a Marine Wife from her stable to personally deliver a kiss and a full body massage. Really! Don't believe me? Click here to see your masseuse!

Now how could you not want a part of Team Villainous? I love the smell of snark in the morning! It smells like... Victory!

Of course, you could just click the button below and donate via Team Army. That's what your mother wants you to do.

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):

Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

by John on Nov 03, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Villainous Company links with: This. Means. War.
» Something... and Half of Something links with: Project Valour IT: Do it for the Captain!
» Something... and Half of Something links with: Project Valour IT: Do it for the Captain!
» Something... and Half of Something links with: Project Valour IT: Do it for the Captain!
» CatHouse Chat links with: War happens (Project Valour-IT breaking news)
» CatHouse Chat links with: War happens (Project Valour-IT breaking news)
» CatHouse Chat links with: War happens (Project Valour-IT breaking news)
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: What This Fundraiser Needs....

November 02, 2006

H&I* Fires 2 NOV 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...

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Embracing your inner Klingon. Speaking of that, back in the day, a different organization embraced *their* inner Klingon..

The Catholic Church didn't always duck the issue of pedophile priests - at least not back in the day...

"A cleric or monk who seduces youths or young boys or is found kissing or in any other impure situations is to be publicly flogged and lose his tonsure. When his hair has been shorn, his face is to be foully besmeared with spit and he is to be bound in iron chains. For six months he will languish in prison-like confinement and on three days of each week shall fast on barley bread in the evening. After this he will spend another six months under the custodial care of a spiritual elder, remaining in a segregated cell, giving himself to manual work and prayer, subject to vigils and prayers. He may go for walks but always under the custodial care of two spiritual brethren, and he shall never again associate with youths in private conversation nor in counseling them."

--Rule for the Benedictine Monastery of Compludo (11th century)

Go visit Fumare and see how it could have been... worse. H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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New Toys for Redlegs! Whee! 2/11th FA fields the new M777. H/t, Bernd.

So, Kerry apologizes... sorta, but not really. I think his inner child was speaking when he, erm, mis-spoke.

From the Washington Times:  "No matter whose idea it was for Mr. Kerry to retreat [from the hustings], said one delighted Republican on Capitol Hill, "He's cutting and running from the campaign trail, after learning he was for his comments before he was against them." Oh, and the apology? The typical drivel I expect from the Junior Senator from Massachusetts - "I'm sorry you dolts were too stupid to get me." -the Armorer

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Ralph Peters on Iraq in USAT. Food for thought. I've got to admit, Maliki's knuckling to al-Sadr certainly makes things look like Ralph describes. Sigh.

Hope is dwindling

Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise. Even six months ago, there was hope. Now the chances for a democratic, unified Iraq are dwindling fast. The country's prime minister has thrown in his lot with al-Sadr, our mortal enemy. He has his eye on the future, and he's betting that we won't last. The police are less accountable than they were under Saddam. Our extensive investment in Iraqi law enforcement only produced death squads. Government ministers loot the country to strengthen their own factions. Even Iraq's elections — a worthy experiment — further divided Iraq along confessional and ethnic lines. Iraq still exists on the maps, but in reality it's gone. Only a military coup — which might come in the next few years — could hold the artificial country together.

-the Armorer

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You have no idea how hard it was to keep Jean Fraud out of the post below. But Sergeant Lindsey deserved better. -the Armorer

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Jay Leno on the elections: "Halloween is the scariest day of the year – unless you’re a Republican, then it’s next Tuesday." H/t, Jim C. -the Armorer

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OK. Political Correctness has just gone WAY too far when a police chief can be forced to resign after issuing a memo encouraging his officers to get in shape by asking them "Are You A Jelly Belly?", and ESPNU football announcer Brian Kinchen gets suspended for saying "that's kinda gay" after saying that receivers needed tender hands to caress the ball.

WTF? This world is just WAY to sensitive for me these days. Grow up and grow a set. JEEZ. ~AFSis

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Given my relative lack of interest in fish - this is one thing you can't blame on me! -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Nov 02, 2006 | General Commentary
» Flopping Aces links with: Winning In Iraq

Villainous Company.

Go.Read.Cassandra.

Someone you should know.

Oregon Army National Guard’s Sgt. Nathaniel “Brad” Lindsey

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CENTCOM SENDS:

Sgt. Lindsey and his convoy were attacked when Taliban fighters set up a false checkpoint in Afghanistan on Sept. 9, 2006. The enemies hit the convoy with either a roadside bomb or a rocket-propelled grenade, and then opened up small-arms fire on the vehicles. Lindsey, a gunner who had recently switched from a desk job at a secure base in Kandahar to a job training Afghan soldiers, died in the attack. He had volunteered for deployment to Afghanistan after having already served in Iraq and during Hurricane Katrina to protect an officer he had driven for since June 2004. Lindsey was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Meritorious Service Medals on Sept. 22, 2006

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

A new whatziss.

Apparently it's been too long, if we've got Dusty posting stuff trying to snark me...

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Hints:

1. Your first instinct is... probably wrong.
2. Developed prior to 1945.
3. The colors are indicators.

Update: As I noted in the comments... Hmmmm, I need to think up a clever, misleading, red herring of a clue...

So, here it is. This will probably be of greatest value to CAPT H, or Damian, or possibly even Alan.

Update 2: Stunned into silence, eh? Okay. Another clue.

I voted yesterday, and participated in some Americana...

I voted, and you should too.  And if you are in a country where you can't - what's up with that?

This might be a bit of a boring post. *I* was fascinated. And since what I discuss here, voting, is part and parcel of the purpose of the military, it's every bit as important as all those artifacts I toss up on these pages anyway, yes?

I did my bit to prevent the spectre of a Speaker Pelosi. Since I skipped the primaries, not being registered to a party, this was my first chance to use the new electronic voting machines the county purchased. It was also a chance to participate in an interesting little convention - the "Public Test."

Under Kansas law (and I wouldn't be surprised if every state doesn't have some form of this) the ballot, voting machines and tabulation devices, including the procedures for handling the exceptions, must be demonstrated and examined publicly, to any and all interested persons. Around here, being a smallish community in a smallish county, it's not a terribly lavish affair.

There were three of us participating as observers/testers, and two county employees, the County Clerk (an elected position, Alan!) and her chief elections assistant. The observers consisted of a representative of the county Democratic and Republican parties, and myself, interested citizen who'd never seen this before. It's a minor good thing I was there, in a humorous way.

There were Reform and Libertarian candidates on the ballot, they could have had observers as well, if there were enough of them in the state to be that organized... In fact, the only limit to observers is the size of the venue, but hey, like I said, we aren't that crowded here in Leavenworth (thankfully!).

The test consisted of looking at the ballot and confirming that the proper slate was present, with proper party affiliations marked on the ballots, and provision for write ins. That done, Linda talked us through the process of how, by whom, and when the electronic ballots are created and safeguarded once loaded onto the devices which load the machines.

She then ran us through the process for opening a voting machine, and explained the process for opening a string of machines for polling places which will have multiple machines. We saw how the machines are zeroed, what the accounting processes are for the machines, the built-in redundancies (they operate on socket power with battery backup so that power outages don't affect voting) as well as the procedures when operating on battery power to rotate the machines to ensure that there are always machines available to vote on. Essentially, for polling places with more than two machines, you can have at least one up and running at any given time for 24 hours. We were shown the security measures built into the systems, which I won't detail here. Suffice it to say that with the system as demonstrated, it doesn't appear to be any easier to manipulate the system than the old paper ballot - and the two-man rules for handling things put a brake on the human element. Nothing is perfect. The electronic machines are not networked in any fashion.

Anyway - we saw all that and then we took pre-voted paper ballots and voted them on the electronic machines. During that process we were shown how voters could change votes and how the machines made it possible for the blind to vote with the same level of privacy as everyone else. Essentially, if you choose that option, the screen blanks, you wear headphones, and use braille-marked keys on the console to make your choices, which are then read back to you via the headphones so you can confirm your choices. If you don't know braille, the keys have distinctive shapes.

We had to enter write-in candidates, there were some races where we didn't vote for anyone (to deliberately create 'undervotes' to demonstrate the accounting process to ensure that undervotes don't get assigned to a candidate, by accident or nefarious design). On the electronic machines, unlike a paper ballot, you can't over vote by having too many circles filled in. In that sense, there will be fewer votes going to the resolution board to be judged in this system - and fewer still that don't get counted because the board feels they can't discern the voter's intent. If you undervote (as I did for uncontested races) the machine asks you twice, in two different ways, to confirm you don't want to vote for a particular race. BTW, Alan, I'm not sure of the actual count, but we had about 15 judges up for retention (Alan, our Canadian Contrarian, is tickled about all the jobs we 'Muricans get to vote on).

We then took the paper ballots over to the mechanical tabulator. Why paper ballots? They are the ultimate backup for power/hardware issues, they are still how absentee ballots are handled, and people who simply don't trust the electronic systems can use a paper ballot.

This is where I was useful. Because of the need to be able to take the tabulated data and collate it with the voting machine data, the Elections office had to buy a new machine. And while everything had worked fine in the previous election, and in all the previous testing, of course it failed when there were outsiders present. It wouldn't feed the ballots properly. They must have spent 45 minutes trying to get it to work - to include troubleshooting by phone with the manufacturer. In the end, they decided a service call (which costs money) was going to be required.

Enter the Armorer. I've been watching them fiddle with it, kinda (we did move on and do other stuff) and I was lingering around looking the feeder system over when I noticed that the bin that caught the counted ballot was not aligned properly. I reset it, we loaded up some ballots, and off we went - and the service call was canceled. If you are a taxpayer of Leavenworth county, you're welcome.

Anyway, we ran the ballots through, there were ballots that had typical errors on them and we went through that resolution process. We then took our various data, compared them to the benchmark data, and I am pleased to assure you that up to this point, at least, Leavenworth County is ready for next Tuesday (advance voting actually began 20 days before the general election, which is why I took advantage of voting yesterday, to avoid the crowds.

And confusticate the exit pollers, none of whom read this blog.

And my name is on the document as an observer! Hey, I got folded, bent, and spindled (no mutilation, thank heavens) as a Defender of the System, now I got to be a tiny little cog in the System. Whee!

by John on Nov 02, 2006 | Politics

Project Valour-IT

So, Noonan over at Op-For scores Jan, Chris Muir's liberal chick on Day by Day.

Well done, Zoomies!

Buuuuuuuuuuuut...

John - we *all* know Sam is the kewlest, smartest, and toughest chick character in the strip... not to mention packs some serious heat.

And guess who has a tattoo?

Copyright Chris Muir/Day by Day, used with permission

Zed's cool with it. After all, he won the prize!

As for Op-For? Well, the Team Air Farce needs the help!

If yer a blogger - Join Team Army!

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):

Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

November 01, 2006

H&I* Fires 1 NOV 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...

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RightWingNews surveyed right wing bloggers on the upcoming elections. I participated, and judging from the results... I'm, um, not mainstream. We'll see who's a better prognosticator (if previous results are a guess, notme) on November 8th. I gotta scoot - meeting! -the Armorer

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It isn't a Fisking so much as a "this-guy-deserves-to-be-pounded-into-the-pavement" kinda post...so VDH does exactly that. While you feel you should avert your eyes, you can't resist...read the whole thing. -Instapilot

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The troops answer Kerry. - FbL

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Greetings Castle Clan - For all trackheads out there, I just came across this review of The T-90 vs. The M1A1. Now, if I only knew some ruskie...

Oh - And while you're at it: Why don't you come a wee bit closer and slip me some tongue. BOQ (The Silent One)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Nov 01, 2006 | General Commentary

Air Force Gun Pr0n

I've waited a long time to find something that aviators can relate to on what is, you have to admit, a pretty "green" web site. Of course, I don't want to take anything away from John's superb conceptualization, creation, management and continued improvement of what is a perennial favorite in the annual milblog competition. Far be it from me to complain. And yet...

Some of the trivia stuff, complete with pictures...well, I suppose I should appreciate it more. The "guess-what-THIS-is" trivia games like the close up photo of a thingie that turns out to be the Japanese variation of the fuse/arming mechanism of a 1917 Tarkington-Crapspray Experimental Foot Grenade (or whatever...most guess wrong anyway) sort of goes over my head, er, cranium.

So...

Something caught my eye on YouTube that aviators can relate to. I'm sure BillT and Lex will bear me out. Especially Lex. I think Bill's air-to-air gunnery was usually the .45-rounds-out-the-right-door-window variety...which is perfectly OK since we did it too from O-1s and O-2s in the 'Nam (you know, where John Kerry served, remember?). But Lex and I both have learned that shooting an object that's moving in three dimensions from a platform that's also moving in three dimensions takes some getting used to.

Back in the Old Days, before radars and computers and HUDs, the best air-to-air guys had at least two advantages--good eyes and an unusual ability in what was called, at that time, "deflection shooting." In short, their brains could figure out where the enemy was going to be at bullet flyout and put the bullets there while the bad guy, for lack of a better description, "ran into" the rounds.

So how did they practice this skill without burning precious avgas and putting unnecessary hours on the limited airframes? Trap and skeet. Many Ready Rooms/alert shacks had a makeshift range behind them and guys would go out and practice putting the shot where the clay pigeon was going to be. Hint: Don't shoot AT the target, shot in front of it. While we don't have skeet ranges behind squadron buildings anymore, we do have gun clubs, simulators...and the occasional dart shoot in a real airplane.

You want gun pr0n? Here's some that warms the heart of fighter jocks everywhere. Yes, it may have been done on the ground, but it is the essence of air-to-air gunnery, believe it or not. Enjoy. -Instapilot


Update. [Snerk - Dusty, um, does *this* look familiar? Geez, thinks he can snark me *that* easily... Dusty gives you videos... I give you... artifacts.]

Project Valour-IT

Gnome Homes!  http://gnome-home.edsberg.net/

So, you're one of those people who won't donate unless you get something tangible in return, eh? Or, you like to get kewl stuff that *also* has some Good Works attached.

Okay - I got something for you.

Murray, the Castle Worker-in-Metals, lives in New Zealand. He has a business. One of the items he hand-crafts is, Gnome Homes. Yep, Gnome Homes.

The Castle Tree is home to a Gnome Home.

What's cool about Gnome Homes (aside from they're just... kewl!) is that for every one sold, Murray donates $1 to Project Valour-IT. 24/7, btw, not just during a fundraiser.

Stay tuned to this space to see what Murray does for a fund-raiser...

In the meantime - the Army Team continues to maneuver towards the objective - thanks to those who've helped so far - and for the rest of you... it's Payday! What's yer excuse?

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):

Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

October 31, 2006

H&I* Fires 31 OCT 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...

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Dean over at Dean's World has an interesting post about George W Bush and his politics. (So what exactly is a centrist then, Dean?)

I may not be Canadian, but I'm going to Wear Red this Friday.
ry
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Bad day for a terrorist:

"If I saw somebody in front of me so I put one or two hands on my sexual organ; if there was nobody in front of me and I heard people speaking or laughing behind me I put my hands on my buttocks,” related the terror leader.

Read the whole thing at Tim Blair's place. H/t, CAPT H.

Over at Op-For, Noonan joins with Noah Schachtman of Defense Tech and Matt of Blackfive to... face NPR. With surprising results! -the Armorer

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Apparently John Kerry's old habits die hard. Still, unbelievable! - FbL

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For those of you getting updates on new opportunities in the military, don't get overly excited about the announcements of new openings in the Air Farce's "enlisted aviator career fields." Nope -- stick-wiggling is *not* involved, they're just looking for Loadmasters, Aerial Gunners (they resurrecting the YB-40, mebbe?) and -- *huge grin* -- Flight Attendants.

Sorry, but the site link is restricted to dot-mil access. I guess they're afraid of being deluged with Denizennes in micro-minis claiming to know how to operate both M2s and $500K coffee-makers... -- BillT

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There are almost as many reasons for supporting Valour-IT as there are people who do. Here are two great stories about why people are donating to help wounded soldiers receive voice-activated laptops: a philosopher and an outraged citizen of Massachusetts. - FbL

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With regards to Senator John "Neeeeeewop-Nim-Bim-Lim-Bim-Wim-Bim-Ftang-Ftang-Biscuit-Barrel" Kerry (Silly Party), can anybody tell me what on earth Teresa sees in that guy? I guess sometimes love is blind. And deaf. And dumb.

P.S. BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!
P.P.S. Thanks, John! -Instapilot

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 31, 2006 | General Commentary
» MitchLewis.net links with: A Military Funeral

Kerry Responds.

Apparently we struck a nerve...

If anyone thinks a veteran would criticize the more than 140,000 heroes serving in Iraq and not the president who got us stuck there, they're crazy. This is the classic G.O.P. playbook. I’m sick and tired of these despicable Republican attacks that always seem to come from those who never can be found to serve in war, but love to attack those who did.

I’m not going to be lectured by a stuffed suit White House mouthpiece standing behind a podium, or doughy Rush Limbaugh, who no doubt today will take a break from belittling Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease to start lying about me just as they have lied about Iraq. It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

The people who owe our troops an apology are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who misled America into war and have given us a Katrina foreign policy that has betrayed our ideals, killed and maimed our soldiers, and widened the terrorist threat instead of defeating it. These Republicans are afraid to debate veterans who live and breathe the concerns of our troops, not the empty slogans of an Administration that sent our brave troops to war without body armor.

Bottom line, these Republicans want to debate straw men because they’re afraid to debate real men. And this time it won’t work because we’re going to stay in their face with the truth and deny them even a sliver of light for their distortions. No Democrat will be bullied by an administration that has a cut and run policy in Afghanistan and a stand still and lose strategy in Iraq.

Can I lecture you, Senator? Does my 20+ years of wearing the green count?

Does my 70% disability count (though it does make me doughy like Rush...)? What, not fair? Hey, you wave your Purple Hearts (which you tossed over a fence, IIRC) at people, I can wave my disability payment at you...

Well, whether I can or not - I did. Many times. And I still think you betrayed your oath, multiple times, and were unfit to wear the uniform you still hold in contempt, except when you need to wrap yourself in it.

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

It disgusts me that these Republican hacks, who have never worn the uniform of our country lie and distort so blatantly and carelessly about those who have.

Speaking of lies and blatant distortions about those who have worn the uniform of our country, Senator, I have just two words for you:

Winter Soldier.

Make it three:

Dirtbag.

Wanna debate?

Bill Tuttle
Vulture 15
1969 - 1970

by John on Oct 31, 2006 | Politics
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Bush toughens rhetoric to draw out GOP voters
» A Blog For All links with: Supporting Our Troops Again
» Political Humor links with: New Study Finds Elephants Possess Higher Intellige
» Political Humor links with: New Study Finds Elephants Possess Higher Intellige

John Kerry, Not Presidential Material, reason #456,987,321

U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Benny Hubbard, the district Sgt. Maj. for Gulf Region South, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, shakes hands with an Iraqi child prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Salah Hadi Obid Elementary School in Afak, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2006. The construction of the school was funded, contracted and inspected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dawn M. Price) (Released)


U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Benny Hubbard, the district Sgt. Maj. for Gulf Region South, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, shakes hands with an Iraqi child prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Salah Hadi Obid Elementary School in Afak, Iraq, Oct. 11, 2006. The construction of the school was funded, contracted and inspected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Dawn M. Price) (Released)

Compare and contrast SGM Hubbard's efforts with students to... the junior Senator from Massachusetts...

Kerry then told the students that if they were able to navigate the education system, they could get comfortable jobs - "If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq," he said to a mixture of laughter and gasps

Oh, yeah, he said it. Don't wanna believe the journo? Listen to it here, courtesy Bill. I wonder what SGM Hubbard thinks about that comment?

Soooo, the 299,870,000 Americans not currently serving in Iraq all have advanced degrees, eh?

Well, let's be more accurate. Using the CIA factbook data on the US, 2005 data.

There are 134,813,023 men and women of military age (18-49).

There are, roughly, 130,000 troops in Iraq (a number that fluctuates, work with me here).


by David Dismukes October 27, 2006 Army recruits express their motivation during a platoon competition at an obstacle course at Fort Benning, Ga. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.


by David Dismukes October 27, 2006 Army recruits express their motivation during a platoon competition at an obstacle course at Fort Benning, Ga. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.

Which means there are 134,683,023 people of military age who have managed to avoid the trap at the moment. Oh, I know, I'm not accounting for the entire military, nor those who have been to Iraq and gotten out, etc - but we're talking ROM snapshot here.

Oops. That's everybody of the right age. That doesn't take into account *fit* for military service.

Pvt. Charlie Lonno from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry crawl through a mud filled pit with barbed wire overhead as part of an obsticle course on Fort Benning's Sand Hill Tuesday, Oct. 17.  The Micronesia native is on his fifth day of Basic Training.  Photo by David Dismukes


Pvt. Charlie Lonno from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry crawl through a mud filled pit with barbed wire overhead as part of an obsticle course on Fort Benning's Sand Hill Tuesday, Oct. 17. The Micronesia native is on his fifth day of Basic Training. Photo by David Dismukes

That changes things. Now we're down to 109,305,756 boys and girls for the recruiters to prey on. Of whom 109,175,756 aren't in Iraq, apparently having negotiated that hard-to-navigate educational system and found themselves free from being compelled by poverty to serve - there apparently being no other reason to serve, in Senator Kerry's world.

Drill Sgt. Primus Brown instructs Soldiers from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry as they learn to high-crawl through a sand pit as part of an obsticle course on Fort Benning's Sand Hill Tuesday, Oct. 17.  The Soldiers are in their fifth day of Basic Training.  Photo by David Dismukes


Drill Sgt. Primus Brown instructs Soldiers from B Company, 3rd Battalion, 30th Infantry as they learn to high-crawl through a sand pit as part of an obsticle course on Fort Benning's Sand Hill Tuesday, Oct. 17. The Soldiers are in their fifth day of Basic Training. Photo by David Dismukes

So... 0.0011893243755617041796042287105173% of the "fit to serve" population are apparently unable to hack it, eh, Senator, and find themselves with no choice but to take King George's Shilling and fight and die for Empire? Terrible great risk, ain't it?

This is Halloween - let's try to make it scarier for the kiddles, so they can feel even better about what a horror they are escaping.

Let's just restrict it to those coming of military age in a year... that gives us a 2005 estimated population of 4,180,074. Let's cheat, and say that all 130,000 troops in Iraq are 18 year olds. That gives us 4,050,074 of these kids whose scholastic abilities have enabled them to escape the clutches of the recruiters, since exactly 0% of them have come to the attention of their local draft boards... I bet that gives us a scary number for Halloween!

Ooooooh. 0.031099927896013324166031510446944

Just sayin'.

That's it. My scary Halloween post.

U.S. Military Academy Cadet Third Class Jason Schreuder spent 12 hours carving his contribution to the new <i>Army Strong</i> campaign. Photo by Leslie Gordonier


U.S. Military Academy Cadet Third Class Jason Schreuder spent 12 hours carving his contribution to the new Army Strong campaign. Photo by Leslie Gordonier

Apparently, I'm not the only one to notice...

Stop the ACLU
Captain's Quarters
Snerk - and Cassandra - and here I thought I was finally gonna have a post with more column inches than hers... nope.

And, as SWWBO notes - the services are, ahem, somewhat better edumacated than the population in general...

Education Level. The Military Services value and support the education of their members. The emphasis on education was evident in the data for FY 2002. Practically all active duty and Selected Reserve enlisted accessions had a high school diploma or equivalent, well above civilian youth proportions (79 percent of 18-24 year-olds). More important, excluding accessions enlisting in the Army or Army Reserve under the GED+ program (an experimental program of individuals with a GED or no credential who have met special screening criteria for enlisting), 92 percent of NPS active duty and 87 percent of NPS Selected Reserve enlisted recruits were high school diploma graduates.

Given that most officers are required to possess at least a baccalaureate college degree upon or soon after commissioning and that colleges and universities are among the Services’ main commissioning sources (i.e., Service academies and ROTC), the academic standing of officers is not surprising. The fact that 87 percent of active duty officer accessions and 95 percent of the officer corps (both excluding those with unknown education credentials) were degree holders (approximately 17 and 38 percent advanced degrees) is in keeping with policy and the professional status and expectations of officers. Likewise, 81 percent of Reserve Component officer accessions and 91 percent of the total Reserve Component officer corps held at least a bachelor’s degree, with 23 and 34 percent possessing advanced degrees, respectively.

There's a Heritage Foundation Study available here.

An extract:

A pillar of conventional wisdom about the U.S. military is that the quality of volunteers has been degraded after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Examples of the voices making this claim range from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York Daily News [1] to Michael Moore’s pseudo-documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. Some insist that minorities and the underprivileged are over­represented in the military. Others accuse the U.S. Army of accepting unqualified enlistees in a futile attempt to meet its recruiting goals in the midst of an unpopular war.[2]

A report published by The Heritage Foundation in November 2005 examined the issue and could not substantiate any degradation in troop quality by comparing military enlistees in 1999 to those in 2003. It is possible that troop quality did not degrade until after the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003, when patriotism was high. A common assumption is that the Army experienced difficulty getting qualified enlistees in 2005 and was subse­quently forced to lower its standards. This report revisits the issue by examining the full recruiting classes for all branches of the U.S. military for every year from 2003 to 2005.

The current findings show that the demo­graphic characteristics of volunteers have contin­ued to show signs of higher, not lower, quality. Quality is a difficult concept to apply to soldiers, or to human beings in any context, and it should be understood here in context. Regardless of the standards used to screen applicants, the average quality of the people accepted into any organiza­tion can be assessed only by using measurable cri­teria, which surely fail to account for intangible characteristics. In the military, it is especially questionable to claim that measurable characteris­tics accurately reflect what really matters: cour­age, honor, integrity, loyalty, and leadership.

Again, just sayin'.

Senator, despite the fact that you simply cannot grow past it - whatever Iraq is... IT ISN'T VIETNAM!

by John on Oct 31, 2006 | Observations on things Military | Politics
» She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: These words will come back to Haunt John Kerry!
» Media Lies links with: John Fraud Kerry is....
» BIG DOGS WEBLOG links with: Real Men Don’t Disrespect the Troops John
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Stupid is, Stuck in Iraq (Drill Sgt. Bleu U.S. Army ret.)

A moment of gunner zen.

Brit gun at Fort Bayard, Capetown

by John on Oct 31, 2006 | Artillery

Sink the Squids!

lordofthefusileers.jpg

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

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

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

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

Payday is tomorrow... but I bet you've got $5 sitting in that account right now....

Oh, sure, you *could* donate via the Navy Team... simply by clicking on that graphic.

TEAM NAVY.jpg

You could waste your money that way. Or, you could toss it down the Marine rat-hole. Or even *shudder* donate via the Zoomies.

But you don't want to do that. You want to click on that button down there - and be Army Strong! You know you do. And in your heart of hearts, you want to do it again... after payday!

It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).

The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):

Soldiers' Angels
1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
San Antonio, TX 78248

Participating bloggers - feel free to swipe these graphics. Permission is *not* granted to use them in a manner that is derogatory to Soldier's Angels, Project Valour-IT, or wounded warriors.

October 30, 2006

H&I* Fires 30 OCT 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...

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A Canadian soldier wounded in a Sept. 4 friendly fire incident in Afghanistan was anxious to return to duty. He got his wish on Sunday as he landed at the Kandahar airfield.

Good on Major Sprague. Let's hope the CAS issues have been worked out. H/t, CAPT H.

If you're hoping for something other than Speaker Pelosi, let's hope Scott Elliot's crystal ball is accurate.

Just in time for Halloween - The Carnival of the Recipes, Halloween Edition!

This, from The Torch, is priceless:

With a few fights under your belt you can sometimes get cocky, and think you can do more then you really should. In Hyderabad I was rounding a corner at the front of our stack figuring we'd cleared lots of compounds this one is no different---where there shoulda been 1 room and a hall, there were about 8 rooms and fire everywhere coming in. BACK DA FOOK UP, have a kit kat moment and evaluate things. It is a very liberating experience not having safety staff behind you monitoring every move.

Snerk. A kit-kat moment. Read the rest here. -the Armorer

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Something to warm thethe hearts of all you Auld Pharts out there: Seventy-year-old soldier takes on four muggers. - FbL

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I should resist this - but I won't.

A three year old was examining his testicles while he was getting a bath.

"Mom," he asked, "are these my brains?"

Mother replied: "Not yet."

H/t, Rich B. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 30, 2006 | General Commentary

Um, Kassie?

Dear? Sweetie?

Is that the best ya got?

Kassandras Kops.jpg

Foto above of Sekrit Strategery Seshun at Villainous Centeral.

Half-vast? They look pretty vast to me!

So, of course, you should donate to... Matty's Team! It will really peeve Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha if you do this... because they think that it should all be done with taxpayer dollars, rather than citizens pulling together to take care of the troops!

Project Valour-IT Blogwar!

So, it starts. The clouds have been gathering over the horizon.

The enemy is on the move.

Fusileers - to horse!

lordofthefusileers.jpg

I am raising the Regiment, to join Blackfive's Army Team, to smite the ascot-wearers, and the bell-bottomed disorganized hosers who walk that drooling bulldog. Except the bell-bottomed hosers don't even *have* a leader yet! Is there no one who sail the briny deep who can channel the spirit of John Paul Jones? Oh, sure, a couple of them plead things like... "But I'm doing war work!" "I'm deployed/ing!" Whiners. Ah-ha, they found a sailor target to take on the job...

No worries - while we're waiting for the sailors to get organized, we'll work on this punk:

Air Farce.jpg

BTW - feel free to swipe the graphic to snark Noonan. And the other graphics which will be coming along mostly daily.

Like the Most High Commander sez:

    "At that time I had no use of either hand. I know how humbling it is, how humiliating it feels. And I know how much better I felt, how amazingly more functional I felt, after Soldiers' Angels provided me with a laptop and a loyal reader provided me with the software. I can't wait to do the same, to give that feeling to another soldier at Walter Reed." - Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss at TC Override

Want to be part of something big?

Valour-IT's online fundraising competition begins today! Let's see who can raise the most money to help reconnect our
wounded warriors with the world!

WHAT: Friendly fundraising competition for Valour-IT.
WHEN: October 30th through Veterans Day, November 10th .
WHERE: Based in the blogosphere, spreading everywhere else.
WHY: Because giving wounded warriors with hand and arm injuries access to a computer supports their healing and puts them back in touch with the world.
HOW: Blogger teams will be divided along military branches, with civilians "up for grabs."

The lines are drawn by service rivalry:

The lines are drawn by service rivalry:

Non-military bloggers should choose a branch the Army to support.

Now, normally, I don't take part in the brutal gentle inter-service
rivalry, especially during war.  But this is for a very important
charity.  So, civilian bloggers, choose your branch.  Choose wisely...

Sign up for the Army team by enlisting at the Project Valour-IT site and click (under Army) "Join". We'll generate links, buzz, and get these heroes some Commo support!

  • Blog and email regularly about Valour-IT and the competition
  • Tell your friends, family and neighbors about Valour-IT
  • So all you bloggers sign up with your choice of service and get the word out.  Donate NOW!!!


    It's a tax-deductible donation and eligible for matching funds from companies who do that sort of thing (see: http://soldiersangels.org/valour/irsinfo.html for proof for the cautious).

    The snail mail address for those who'd rather donate that way (be sure to put ARMY in big letters on the check):

    Soldiers' Angels
    1150 N Loop 1604 W, Suite 108-493
    San Antonio, TX 78248

    Let's be a part of something big.



Dang Straight! And there will be Cluebats!

by John on Oct 30, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» The Steeljaw Scribe links with: We Support our Troops
» Stop The ACLU links with: Project Valour IT
» Random Thoughts Of Yet Another Military Member links with: A Worthy Cause
» PC Free Zone links with: Project Valour IT: The Few, The Proud, The Marines!
» The Bow Ramp links with: Giving
» Righty in a Lefty State links with: Fusileers Answer the Call

October 29, 2006

H&I* Fires 29 OCT 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...

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Ry's post on immigration has a pretty good discussion going in the comments, if you aren't keeping up.

My post on the intel community also has some good stuff in the comments.

Over at the Boston Herald, Jules Crittenden calls for Rumsfeld's *and* Cheney's heads. I dropped Jules a note:

Rumsfeld I can see, though Bush essentially won't allow it (he's loyal to the point of a serious character flaw). Cheney? Now you're thinking outside the box, but in la-la land. Aside from there being no precedent nor real pretext for it, I think the only net result would be to hand the Democrats a talking point that says, "See? Even the Republicans and this Administration know their policies are failures. Don't be fooled by the bait and switch - just make the break."

Jules response:

Loyal to a fault. His first loyalty is supposed to be to us. It isn't supposed to be about Rumsfled [sic]. It's about the United States and Iraq. Regarding Cheney, agreed ... but there's that dodgy ticker. Doctor's orders.

I dunno if "Rumsfled" was an accident, on purpose or Freudian - but it's funny!

BCR Labs has some competition. How 'bout it BCR? Whatcha got that can match the Evil Mad Scientist Lab's - Dalek Squash?

Dave the Heartless Libertarian, reports out on an MI officer who believes he's found where Sgt York took half the German army prisoner, and killed the other half (only a slight exaggeration) during WWI.

AFSis encourages you to vote (among other things in that post) - so do I... but, dangit - Like I said over at her place:

"I vote for the person most aligned with my beliefs- I really don't care if you're a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, or whatever... if your political beliefs closely match mine- you have my vote!"

Once, that was me. Now I have to struggle with the fact that a vote for a conservative democrat is also a defacto vote for Pelosi, Conyers, Dingell, Murtha, et.al., and that freshmen Reps, however well intentioned, don't have any power. A vote for a democrat this year is a vote to put the 60's back in the driver's seat.

Sigh. What a conundrum!

Princess Crabby is always worth a visit!

At The Torch, Mark discusses Canadian Close Air Support. Or, rather, the outsourcing thereof.

Fuzzybear Lioness needs a sailor! (Ya know Maggie is going to hit that link and see if Fuzzy is going to be competing for anyone in The Rotation...)

Adjutant Barb has her own take on voting.

1SG Keith, still in rehab having gone all metallic in the knees, has a suggestion for Veteran's Day. This year, the Armorer will be riding in the local parade, along with the Arsenal's Vickers Machinegun.

SWWBO on voting this year, holding your nose or no. SWWBO's blog has also attracted the [positive] attention of a KU journalism professor, who sends his students to read her stuff...

The Snarkatron on the Quagmire that is France.

Cassandra - ah, Cassie. How can one *not* want to read a post that starts out "The editorial staff at VC have decided that we are hopelessly impractical"?

Maple-swiller Alan on US politics and political blogging.

Jack has a house. Whee!

Sergeant B on the numbers. You know which numbers we mean. It ain't the lottery.

Castle Metalsmith Murray is a tough audience... click the links to make sure you understand the reason.

Okay, that's it for me - whattayougot? -the Armorer

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I have a cannon.

Granted its a little early for Prairie Grove (or late for Pea Ridge), but it's still a nice Cannon
Last link for side profile.

-BloodSpite
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If you need a little lightening up - check out Jay's Sunday Funnies at Stop the ACLU. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by Denizens on Oct 29, 2006 | General Commentary

A moment of Gunner Zen.

Fort Bayard, Cape Town (I think).

Hosting provided by FotoTime

by John on Oct 29, 2006

For Valour.

Canadian Star of Military Valour - Canada's second highest combat award (after the Victoria Cross).

Canadian Star of Military Valour

CAPT H and Damian Brooks both pointed out this to me - Canada awards her first *indigenous* awards for heroism in combat. As we have sometimes had a common language come between us, Damian explains:

FYI, John, these medals were created in 1993 (took us that long to figure out we should have our own distinct military honours system), and haven't been awarded until now - 13 years later.

In case the terminology south of the border is once again different: "bravery" can be equated to courage, and CF members have been awarded bravery medals before, but "valour" is considered courage in the presence of the enemy, and thus no decorations until now.

Fair enough. Go visit The Torch and see some soldiers you should meet:

Sergeant Patrick Tower, S.M.V., C.D.
Sergeant Michael Thomas Victor Denine, M.M.V., C.D.
Master Corporal Collin Ryan Fitzgerald, M.M.V.
Corporal Jason Lamont, M.M.V.

Well done, gentlemen!

Be sure to read the whole post - the stuff at the very end is informative, illustrative, and illuminating - if you follow the links.

Medal of Military Valour.

Canadian Medal of Military Valour