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November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day, 2006.

Today we celebrate the living. The survivors. We honor the dead in May. Except today we honor the dead, too. We can't help it. The bonds of combat soldiery are tightest because of those who went with us but didn't come back, they took the low road while we took the high. Most of us have an "absent companion" or four that we drink to, when the time is right. Today it will be right. I have 14 17 that I will drink to. 14 17 little shots of tequila. Actually, I won't do it tonight when I get home, either. I spread 'em out between Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. My father doesn't even try. If he toasted all his ghosts, his liver would rip itself out of his belly and run. I have friends who will be making a trip to a military funeral this weekend (for #16, LTC Paul Finken).

I honor my two favorite veterans: SWWBO, and my Father. I honor my two favorite people who sweated out what their veterans were off doing: Mom and my sister.

I honor the veterans of my family, stretching back in America's wars to one of Roger's Rangers, even the ones who fought on the wrong side of the Civil War.

I will be in the Leavenworth Veteran's Day Parade today. The theme is Supporting America. I'll be on the Rotary Club float - with the Castle Vickers, made up as it is of British, Australian, and Canadian parts - and I'll be wearing the Aussie slouch hat given me by an Australian soldier I served with - because our theme is Rotary Honors All the Veterans, foreign and domestic, who have, in one way or another, Supported America.

So, as it's Remembrance Day elsewhere in the world - there's this Canadian song: Remember.

At 11:00AM, the parade will stop where it stands, Taps will be played, and we will observe two minutes of silence.

Take two minutes... it's a pittance of time.

Hosting provided by FotoTime

We have bonds, we veterans. Bonds that sometimes our closest family don't understand. Why does Grampa Joe keep bailing that wino out of trouble? Because that wino lost two fingers tossing a grenade out of a two-man fighting position during the a vicious night fight on Guadalcanal, that's why. Because that stranger that Dad greets like a long lost brother once a year is, in fact, a long lost brother, who shared the exhilaration of the night combat drop on Point Salines. Because the quiet guy you've never seen before extracted your Dad's best friend's body from a helicopter crash in Mogadishu by cutting off his legs - so that no man would be left behind. Because that guy over there negotiated with Aideed to get the legs back.

Because that woman sitting at the table comforted many of your grandfather's friends as they lay dying, the last thing they ever saw, or heard. Because that janitor in your school spent a long night on LZ X-Ray, cut off from his unit, keeping his squadmates alive. Because that Bank President looking at ties over there drove an AMTRAC across the reef at Tarawa under a withering fire so your uncle wouldn't have to slog in on foot, fighting both the sea and the Japanese. That man in Lions with your great-uncle? Your uncle helped him walk out from the Frozen Chosin.

Because that man serving turkey at the shelter helped Uncle Bob deal with Esther's "Dear John" letter, that arrived right before "Big Push." And him, that guy playing with his grandkids, who always seems to have some candy for you... well, he's a Glow-worm, a fighter pilot who jumped from a burning aircraft after he lost that dogfight with the Bf-109, and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp - and survived the forced marches to the west, as the germans were falling back from the onslaught of the Red Army. His buddy? The wingman whose 'six' was being covered. We are also a maudlin, sentimental group. We honor ALL of our veterans. Especially the ones who didn't really volunteer, but would and did give their lives freely for their brothers in arms, too.

We have the bond of shared experiences, whether it's Basic, Jump School, the JRTC, Graf, Pahakuloa, Camp Red Cloud, Hof, Okinawa, Tay Ninh, Vung Tau, Suwon, Phenix City, El Paso, Biloxi, the convoys across the Atlantic, storming over a beach, busting bunkers, hunkering under artillery, rescuing families caught in the middle, finding that cask of cognac and... and the list goes on and on and on. And your newest veterans - they will have their traumas, too.

I am proud of my place among you, you men and women who simply did their duty. Who didn't run. Who came when asked. I am among giants. But my thoughts will be with the newest wave of veterans.

by Spc. Nathan Hoskins</p>

<p>November 8, 2006</p>

<p>Pvt. Michelle Young, Pvt. Zachary Smith and Spc. Courtney Brenton from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, beautify Dining Facility 1 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Paintings like this one are found throughout the camp. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.


by Spc. Nathan Hoskins November 8, 2006
Pvt. Michelle Young, Pvt. Zachary Smith and Spc. Courtney Brenton from 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, beautify Dining Facility 1 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. Paintings like this one are found throughout the camp. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.

The Republic is well served. Well served indeed. And as long as we find men and women willing to do the hard, dirty work - there will be a Republic.

We have not fought most of our wars this last hundred years alone. And other nations, other armies, with whom we have much in common also honor the living and remember their dead. I have a significant Canadian readership. So, I honor our Canadian and Commonwealth brothers, who shed blood with us in Afghanistan, and sadly, a good chunk of it was shed by us... so it's only fitting.

Usually around Christmas you see the poems about the American soldier and his sacrifices. The Canadians have one too.

Who Is He

He is profane and irreverent, living as he does in a world full of capriciousness, frustration and disillusionment. He is perhaps the best-educated of his kind in history, but will rarely accord respect on the basis of mere degrees or titles.

He speaks his own dialect, often incomprehensible to the layman. He can be cold, cruel, even brutal and is frequently insensitive. Killing is his profession and he strives very hard to become even more skilled at it.

His model is the grey, muddy, hard-eyed slayer who took the untakeable at Vimy Ridge, endured the unendurable in the Scheldt and held the unholdable at Kapyong.

He is a superlative practical diplomat; his efforts have brought peace to countless countries around the world. He is capable of astonishing acts of kindness, warmth and generosity. He will give you his last sip of water on a parched day and his last food to a hungry child; he will give his very life for the society he loves. Danger and horror are his familiars and his sense of humour is accordingly sardonic. What the unknowing take as callousness is his defence against the unimaginable; he whistles through a career filled with graveyards.

His ethos is one of self-sacrifice and duty. He is sinfully proud of himself, of his unit and of his countryand he is unique in that his commitment to his society is Total. No other trade or profession dreams of demanding such of its members
and none could successfully try.

He loves his family dearly, sees them all too rarely and as often as not loses them to the demands of his profession. Loneliness is the price he accepts for the privilege of serving. He accounts discomfort as routine and the search for personal gain as beneath him; he has neither understanding of nor patience
for those motivated by self-interest, politics or money.

His loyalty can be absolute, but it must be purchased. Paradoxically, the only coin accepted for that payment is also loyalty. He devours life with big bites, knowing that each bite might be his last and his manners suffer thereby. He would rather die regretting the things he did than the ones he dared not try. He earns a good wage by most standards and, given the demands on him, is woefully underpaid.

He can be arrogant, thoughtless and conceited, but will spend himself, sacrifice everything for total strangers in places he cannot even pronounce. He considers political correctness a podium for self-righteous fools, but will die fighting for the rights of anyone he respects or pities.

He is a philosopher and a drudge, an assassin and a philanthropist, a servant and a leader, a disputer and a mediator, a Nobel Laureate peacekeeper and the Queen's Hitman, a brawler and a healer, best friend and worst enemy. He is a rock, a goat, a fool, a sage, a drunk, a provider, a cynic and a romantic dreamer. Above it all, he is a hero for our time.

You, pale stranger, sleep well at night only because he exists for you, the citizen who has never met him, has perhaps never thought of him and may even despise him. He is both your child and your guardian. His devotion to you is unwavering.

He is a Canadian Soldier.

Hell, he's any soldier of a true democracy. And he too is one of my brothers-in-arms.

A worthy cartoon. H/t, Barb of Righty in a Lefty State.
H/t to CAPT H for the Canadian input. A nod to Sheldon P (1 PPCLI) and Jim Cope (USA, ret'd) for the link to Remember.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 11, 2006 | TrackBack (1) | Something for the Soul
» The AnarchAngel links with: A Pittance of Time

Valour-IT and Sheep-shearing???

Haven't given to Valour-IT yet? Here's some inspiration...

Flag Gazer tells us how sheap-shearing and Valour-IT are connected:

When she got here, we were talking about our troop support activities - something she always asks about. When we finished shearing, and I was getting ready to pay her, she said, "I have a proposition for you....
Read the rest here.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 11, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Project Valour-IT

Project Valour-IT Last Day

Ah, those were the days. Bloodspite offers incentive!

Castle Argghhh! Artillery Corps

That's just for me.

From She Who Will Not Be Swayed:

It's the last day of the Valour-IT Competition (Yay, we can rest tomorrow!).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Online team donations as of Friday night: over $155,000
Online non-team donations as of Friday morning: over $15,500
Online total: over $170,00.
Donations via check: Unknown at this time.

Therefore: Goal of $180,000 is most definitely within reach.

Looking at the team totals is very deceiving! We have received over $15,500 online in NON-TEAM donations as of Friday morning, so our online total is actually well over $170,000. And that doesn't include checks (I haven't got numbers on the checks yet).

SO.... $180,000 is eminently reachable. :D

Fuzzybear Lioness also notes this:

Valour-IT and Blood Brothers Valour-IT auction has something new and very special: Two copies of Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57. I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy and wrote:

This one's a must-read. Go get it. And it wouldn't hurt to thank Mr. Weisskopf for the service it's going to do to wounded warfighters and those of us who love them, either. John Donovan and I have been in personal contact with Mr. Weisskopf, and for all his journalistic "objectivity," his response upon hearing of Valour-IT tells us where his heart was in writing this book: "I wrote Blood Brothers for the very people your organization helps."

Now,we offer two signed-to-order copies of this book that explains better than anything else what faces the wounded warriors Valour-IT helps. Go and bid. They're worth every penny.

They are, and you can get them by clicking here, opening up the Army auctions... and bidding.You *do* now that if you have gnomes and have been treating them well, they deploy with you, right? Doing their little gnomish bit? C'mon, how many of you out there don't remember all those little things that usually went wrong, or missing, but sometimes went right or showed up? Gnomes.

Well, just as sometimes we warriors never get past our vocation and deployments, so to it is with your Gnomes. So, sure, before you deployed (or your neighbor did) their gnome may have lived in something that looked like this:

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

But you know your gnome would looooove one of these:

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

Custom-built pre-manufactured homes (with window, not shown) hand-crafted (literally, Murray pours the aluminum and hand-paints 'em all himself) in New Zealand by a Kiwi who donates one dollar from each normal sale to Soldier's Angels for Project Valour-IT and has offered up these custom Gnome Homes to Castle Argghhh!!! for this fundraiser. Comes complete with instructions!

First four receipts for $50 scores a Military Gnome Home!

C'mon, you know you want one. Or one of these...


But that's not the worst thing. Good golly no. I checked the Project Valour-IT totals to find the Marines *and* the Navy ahead - but worse, they met their goals, and, well, we Army guys are just punks. And not just by a nose, but by a few amphibious carrier lengths... to the tune of better than $10,000 ahead. Eeeep! We aren't likely to catch 'em, but geez, this is embarassing. Give people!

So, spend some of your hard-earned dollars helping wounded soldiers... and take some of that off the amount that the Social Engineers and Pork Barrellers are going to want from you next April!

Cluebat of Argghhh!

The Cluebats of Argghhh! are back on the table too. If you missed out last time - send me a receipt for a $100 (or more!) donation, dated between 8-11 November, and I've got 20 bats available! And since the work is all done, these will ship quicker than the last ones, I promise! BTW - there's two of you from last time who never sent an address... it's hard to mail 'em without one! And don't feel compelled to donate electronically if you aren't comfortable with that. Even if the 20 bats go to Paypal donees, if you send me a snail mail receipt, I'll send you a bat.

And don't forget the Gnome Homes!

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

Enlist for Soldier's Angels and Project Valour-IT

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 11, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Project Valour-IT

November 10, 2006

From the White House.

Another Medal of Honor. This time to a Marine. This post will stay on top all day, new stuff comes in below.

President Bush Dedicates The National Museum Of The Marine Corps And Announces He Will Award Corporal Jason Dunham The Medal Of Honor

Today, At The Dedication Of The National Museum Of The Marine Corps, President Bush Announced He Will Award The Medal Of Honor (Posthumous) To Corporal Jason Dunham.

On April 14, 2004, Corporal Dunham Heroically Saved The Lives Of Two Of His Fellow Marines By Jumping On A Grenade During An Ambush In The Town Of Karabilah . When a nearby Marine convoy was ambushed, Corporal Dunham led his squad to the site of the attack, where he and his men stopped a convoy of cars trying to make an escape. As he moved to search one of the vehicles, an insurgent jumped out and grabbed the corporal by the throat. The corporal engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. At one point, he shouted to his fellow Marines, "No. No. No. Watch his hand." Moments later, an enemy grenade rolled out and Corporal Dunham jumped on the grenade to protect his fellow Marines, using his helmet and body to absorb the blast. Corporal Dunham succumbed to his wounds on April 22, 2004.

Today Would Have Been Corporal Dunham's 25th Birthday. Corporal Dunham was a native of Scio , New York.

The Medal Of Honor Is America's Highest Decoration For Valor. The Medal of Honor, established by Joint Resolution of Congress, is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Armed Forces, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. Corporal Dunham's family will be presented the medal at an upcoming ceremony at the White House.

Since Taking Office, President Bush Has Awarded Six Medals Of Honor. Three were for Vietnam , one was for World War II, one was for Korea , and one was for Iraq .

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

A good way to honor Corporal Dunham would be donating to Project Valour-IT.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 10, 2006 | Something for the Soul
» Stop The ACLU links with: Friday Free For All
» America's North Shore Journal links with: Jason Dunham - Medal of Honor
» Random Thoughts Of Yet Another Military Member links with: In Honor Of Veterans Day Tomorrow

H&I Fires November 10, 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...

***********************************************
Well, thank GOD they didn't decide on 20 lashes with a wet noodle! * rolls eyes * ~AFSis
***********************************************
And let's not forget that it's the Marine's birthday! Via one of my Church Lady friends, I've been reminded why WE LOVE OUR MARINES!!

The United States Marine

MARINES come in all shapes, shades, weights, sizes, & states of sobriety, misery, & confusion. He is sly as a fox, has the nerve of a dope addict, the stories of an old sailor, the sincerity of a politician, & the subtly of Mt. Saint Helen. He's extremely irresistible, totally irrational & completely indestructible.

A Marine is a Marine all his life. He is a magical creature. You can kick him out of your house but not out of your heart. You can take him off your mailing list but not off your mind. Marines are found everywhere... in love...in battle... in lust... in trouble...in debt... in bars & behind them. No one can write so seldom and yet think so much of you. No one else can get so much enjoyment out of a letter or clean clothes or a 6 pack.

A Marine is a genius with a deck of cards. A millionaire without a cent and brave without a grain of sense. He is the PROTECTOR OF AMERICA, with the latest copy of Playboy in his back pocket. When he wants something it's usually 30 days leave, music that hurts the ears, a five dollar bill...or A WOMAN HE CAN COUNT ON.

Girls love them, mothers tolerate them, fathers brag about them, the government pays them, the police watch out for them & somehow they all work together. You can beat their bodies but not their minds.

You can tame their hearts but not their souls. He likes girls, females, women, ladies. He dislikes small checks, working weekends, answering letters, eating chow, waking up, maintaining a uniform, & the day before payday. You may as well give in. He is your long distance lover... He is your steel eyed, warm smiling, blank minded, hyperactive, over reacting, curious, passive, talented spontaneous, physically fit, good for nothing bundle of worry.....

And will always be there for you regardless of how long its been since you've last talked.

Yeah. WE LOVE OUR MARINES!
~AFSis
*************************

And while whoever posted that stuff up there gets their blue dress cleaned... how about a new, um, er, oh just watch this - all the way to the end. H/t, SWWBO, who has some new directions of her own. -the Armorer

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

And the world wonders... where's Noonan? El-tee? El-tee? -the Armorer

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

Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee interviews some Baghdad MPs. -the Armorer

************************
Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Fitting... on today, the Marine's 231st birthday, and the day before Veteran's Day. CNN does a nice job with his story... I'm just sorry to say that it's being awarded posthumously. Semper Fi, Cpl. Dunham. Thanks for guarding the Gates of Heaven for us these days... ~AFSis

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

Jules Crittenden - Live from Ramadi, Enemy of my Enemy! -the Armorer

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

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 10, 2006 | Denizen Link-Fest!
» Stop The ACLU links with: Friday Free For All

Project Valour-IT

Today marks the observance of Veteran's Day. Me, being the stick-in-the-mud traditionalist that I am, will observe it tomorrow, because 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month just has significance far greater than a sale at Sears.

It's the Marine's birthday today.

And we're still shilling for cash for Project Valour-IT.

Project Valour-IT, a program which has provided over 650 voice-activated laptops to wounded warriors so they can reconnect with family, friends, and the Internet, needs your help! The campaign in Iraq is a war of IEDs, which results in many traumatic amputations and blindness among the wounded. And the generation of warriors fighting this war are wired. Taking away hands and eyes takes them away from a whole swath of the world that is integral to them. You are reading this post. Without something like Project Valour-IT - they can't. Isn't that worth a few bucks?

So, with that in mind. Give, so that we can help blinded Marines like Corporal Michael Jernigan.

Give so that we can help people like Staff Sergeant Mike Graunke...

Staff Sergeant Mark Graunke

Skip lunch, and donate that money, so that guys with a sense of humor like this Marine:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

...can stay connected to the world, should his sign not work out. That's not asking too much, is it?

The Cluebats of Argghhh! are back on the table too. If you missed out last time - send me a receipt for a $100 (or more!) donation, dated between 8-11 November, and I've got 20 bats available! And since the work is all done, these will ship quicker than the last ones, I promise! BTW - there's two of you from last time who never sent an address... it's hard to mail 'em without one! And don't feel compelled to donate electronically if you aren't comfortable with that. Even if the 20 bats go to Paypal donees, if you send me a snail mail receipt, I'll send you a bat.

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


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 10, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» La Shawn Barber's Corner links with: U.S. Marine Corps Celebrates Birthday; Veterans Day

Maybe I should start dealing in arms...

CAPT H sends us a link to this article on CTV.ca.

Excalibur 155mm Unitary Round

Military to buy new shells costing $150,000 each Updated Thu. Nov. 9 2006 11:09 PM ET

The Canadian Forces are investing in a new high-tech shell to be used in Afghanistan. But at $150,000 per round, it could be the most expensive ammunition ever fired by the military.

"It's like shooting a Ferrari every time you use one of these things," Steve Staples of the Polaris Institute told CTV News on Thursday.

"These are incredibly expensive weapons. And really, it's overkill for the kind of mission we're doing."

What caught my eye was the price tag. Last I saw on Excalibur was $220K a pop, with a hope for full-rate production to drive it down to $33K (pretty optimistic based on past experience). I did some checking, and $150K is in the neighborhood. What really caught my eye was this:

But the Excalibur costs roughly $100,000 more than a regular shell, and critics like New Democratic MP Dawn Black argue the extra money would be better spent on reconstruction projects.

Heh. Just what is a "regular" projectile to these people? Last I saw a price, oh, 2003 or so, a standard 155mm HE went for $240 w/o fuze. I did some digging, and I found some pricing for some stuff in the works, usually a form of special fuze or add-on guidance package that can go as high as $20K for some long-range navy stuff in the works.

Well, gosh! I've got inventory in the basement I'll let go for, oh, shucks, $15K each, delivered! And I've got some friends with inventory, too.

The problem is that the article, written by someone who doesn't know much about the subject, I'm guessing, implies that that cost is a standard cost for artillery ammo, which it isn't - at least not currently. Shoot, a GMLRS round only costs $65K per light-off... hmmmmm.

Anyway, for a more Canadian view of this topic, I recommend Damian's post at The Torch.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 10, 2006 | Artillery
» Murdoc Online links with: Friday Linkzookery - 10 Nov 2006
» Murdoc Online links with: Friday Linkzookery - 10 Nov 2006

November 09, 2006

USAREUR Becomes well, a *lot* smaller...

Cold Warriors! Brats! Take a look here, as some Cold War Military Archaeology...

Oh, for normals: USAREUR - United States ARmy, EURope.

USAREUR Transformation

Take a look at those numbers...

Cold War - 858 installations in 38 communities and almost a half-million people (including families). I lived there for over 13 years all told (including when we still had troops in France).

Current: 234 installations (which can mean a radio tower on a hill, too) in 14 communities with around 125k people.

Future (2010 or so): 88 installations in 5 communities, and around 70K people.

Every place I was stationed, or lived, in fact, where I was born, have been or will be, returned to the Germans. The high school my sister graduated from no longer exists.

Easier to read version? Click here.

No OPSEC was harmed in the posting of this message.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 09, 2006 | Observations on things Military

Project Valour-IT

First off - thank all of you who have participated so far - we've raised almost enough for 200 laptops, by my rough calculation. If that seems like a lot - we've given out over 600 to date. The need continues, and will until the last IED explodes.

Team Air Farce seems to be having a bit of a marketing problem, but since they're a renegade element of the Army, I've decided to offer them some assistance.

So - if you're a Thunderbirds fan, and would like a shot at getting some Thunderbirds memorabilia - and at the same time contribute to Project Valour-IT, go visit Laurie at Soldier's Angels, New York and she'll hook you up! Or, if one more blog will just make your head explode - go direct to eBay, here.

Project Valour-IT auction item

C'mon, a signed team poster and other good swag!

Moving back to more important things, i.e., Army Team stuff - ya can't forget your Gnomes! You *do* now that if you have gnomes and have been treating them well, they deploy with you, right? Doing their little gnomish bit? C'mon, how many of you out there don't remember all those little things that usually went wrong, or missing, but sometimes went right or showed up? Gnomes.

Well, just as sometimes we warriors never get past our vocation and deployments, so to it is with your Gnomes. So, sure, before you deployed (or your neighbor did) their gnome may have lived in something that looked like this:

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

But you know your gnome would looooove one of these:

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

Custom-built pre-manufactured homes (with window, not shown) hand-crafted (literally, Murray pours the aluminum and hand-paints 'em all himself) in New Zealand by a Kiwi who donates one dollar from each normal sale to Soldier's Angels for Project Valour-IT and has offered up these custom Gnome Homes to Castle Argghhh!!! for this fundraiser. Comes complete with instructions!

First four receipts for $75 scores a Military Gnome Home!

C'mon, you know you want one. Or one of these...

The Cluebats of Argghhh! are back on the table too. If you missed out last time - send me a receipt for a $100 (or more!) donation, dated between 8-11 November, and I've got 20 bats available! And since the work is all done, these will ship quicker than the last ones, I promise! BTW - there's two of you from last time who never sent an address... it's hard to mail 'em without one! And don't feel compelled to donate electronically if you aren't comfortable with that. Even if the 20 bats go to Paypal donees, if you send me a snail mail receipt, I'll send you a bat.

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


Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 09, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Man in NYC jailed over actress' death
» Sgt Hook - This We'll Defend links with: Army Strong…Navy Song

Kansas National Guard News

The First Kansas Volunteers are coming home today!

Welcome home, Roger and the rest of ya!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Nov. 7, 2006
No. 06-118
2nd BATTALION, 137th INFANTRY COMING HOME NOV. 9
Approximately 450 soldiers of the Kansas National Guard?s 2nd Battalion, 137th Infantry (Mechanized) will be welcomed home to Kansas on Thursday, Nov. 9. The ceremony which is tentatively scheduled for 2 p.m. (See Note) will be held at the Kansas Expocentre, 1 Expocentre Dr., Topeka.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, the adjutant general, will greet the soldiers and welcome them home after their year-long deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The public is encouraged to attend and support the soldiers as they return from their deployment.

The soldiers will be released to join family and friends at the conclusion of the ceremony.

The battalion is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan., and has units in Wichita and Lawrence.

While in Iraq, the unit was responsible for operating the Joint Visitor?s Bureau (JVB) in Baghdad and for providing security for the many high level visitors that pass through Iraq. They were also responsible for area security for the JVB and areas near Baghdad.

Approximately 350 soldiers from the battalion were mobilized to Germany in 2002 for force protection duty under Operation Enduring Freedom.


NOTE: The 2 p.m. time is based upon current travel arrangements for the unit. Due to unforeseen circumstances this time could change.

Message from the Gov:

November 9, 2006

Our nation will pause once again on Saturday, November 11 to honor the veterans who have served our nation and the cause of freedom.

All across our state, communities will stop to reflect and remember our military veterans and what their service means to us and to our nation. This year it is especially relevant to do so since so many American men and women are in harm?s way overseas.

In Kansas we have a proud tradition of supporting our veterans, and I have been privileged as governor to hold a Veterans Day ceremony inside our Capitol each year to honor those who have served. I hope you will join me for this year?s ceremony.

The traditional time for Veterans Day ceremonies is 11:00 a.m., but we have consciously set a 9:00 a.m. start for the Capitol ceremony so attendees can also attend other commemorations later in the morning.

Since this year?s ceremony will occur on Saturday, it provides an opportunity to bring family and friends to help honor our nation?s veterans. I look forward to seeing you on this important day, but if you?re not able to attend a Veterans Day ceremony, I?d ask that you pause for a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. in honor of our veterans? service.

Kathleen Sebelius
Governor of the State of Kansas

Myself and the Castle Vickers will be riding in the Leavenworth parade.

November 08, 2006

H&I* Fires 8 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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Cliff May got it best, I think, at The Corner:

In a Nutshell [Cliff May]

The Democrats said: “Had enough?”

The Republicans said: “It could be worse!”

The voters said: “Let’s find out.”

Then there's this:

Dem House [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Remember all those claims by Democrats about how awful it was that GOP passed things in Congress with narrow GOP majorities?


From Steny Hoyer this morning: "In fact, as Nancy and I have stated, our intention is to run a more civil institution that is open and transparent, and to seek bipartisan support for our agenda. However, if the other side chooses to obstruct rather than to cooperate, we must be prepared to secure the votes necessary to move our legislative priorities. And, I believe that I have established a strong track record in this regard over the last four years."

-the Armorer

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ABC sNooze just posted a flash -- evidently the SecDef decided the temperature was getting a tad too warm and has left the kitchen. No link yet -- 'twas a live announcement just prior to the POTUS bipartisan pep-talk. -- BillT

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Heh. If he'd done it a month ago, it might have mattered yesterday. -the Armorer

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

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 08, 2006 | General Commentary
» The Thunder Run links with: Rummey Steps Down!
» PC Free Zone links with: It is America That Has Lost

Project Valour-IT

Heh. I wonder why I bothered to get up this morning...?

The national election sucked.

Regionally, I batted about 50%.

Castle Argghhh! Artillery Corps

But that's not the worst thing. Good golly no. I checked the Project Valour-IT totals to find The Navy ahead. And not just by a nose, but by a few aircraft carrier lengths... to the tune of better than $10,000 ahead. Eeeep! Matty and Jimbo better bring their A-game to this thing, this is looking to be a *really* carpy week around here!


No matter! We will prevail!

Did you know there were Project Valour-IT auctions? For those of you who wanna *get* something for your donation to the cause?

You can see them right here. All the services are represented. The Air Farce here. The (hock, ptui!) Squids here. And the Jarheads are too busy, so they left it for the distaff side...

Of course, you'll want to check out the *koff* Army offerings first! Two *Autographed* copies of "Blood Brothers" the iconic book for Project Valour-IT. You can read more about the book here.

So, spend some of your hard-earned dollars helping wounded soldiers... and take some of that off the amount that the Social Engineers and Pork Barrellers are going to want from you next April!

Cluebat of Argghhh!

The Cluebats of Argghhh! are back on the table too. If you missed out last time - send me a receipt for a $100 (or more!) donation, dated between 8-11 November, and I've got 20 bats available! And since the work is all done, these will ship quicker than the last ones, I promise! BTW - there's two of you from last time who never sent an address... it's hard to mail 'em without one! And don't feel compelled to donate electronically if you aren't comfortable with that. Even if the 20 bats go to Paypal donees, if you send me a snail mail receipt, I'll send you a bat.

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

Enlist for Soldier's Angels and Project Valour-IT

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 08, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» CDR Salamander links with: One way to pick yourself up after the election

Note for soon-to-be-formerly-Honorable Mr. Ryun.

I am *so* pissed at you.

You couldn't even carry Leavenworth County.

Here's my take.

1. You took us for granted, as our Congressman. Your constituent services were, as I ran into them, perfunctory at best.

2. You took us for granted, as a Candidate. You acted, and mostly campaigned, if that's what you want to call it, as if the job was yours for the taking, until the end, when you suddenly realized... it wasn't.

3. Boyda wanted the job more than you. So she got it. Thanks, now I have an anti-gunner representing the Arsenal of Argghhh!!! in Congress. I feel *so* secure my interests have a voice in the House. They don't. On most of the issues she's taken a stand on.

4. Enjoy your retirement. And don't come back. This election is the last election you'll get a vote from me. You don't get a second chance at this address in Leavenworth County.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 08, 2006 | Politics

Finally! We win! We win!

Yahoo!

The farking campaign commercials are over!

The Republicans punted. The Dems have the ball. Let's see what they do with it. We still own the referee, for what that's worth, and the guys in the Replay booth are... mixed. Heh. That analogy is bilge, ainnit?

Awright, Denizens, how would you analogize this outcome?

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 08, 2006 | Politics
» The Thunder Run links with: Cutting Our Nose Off to Spite Our Face

It's not time to cut and run...

...but it's probably time to re-examine our involvement in the sobering light of post-election morn.

Why are we still there?
· Every morning there are newspaper reports of increasing numbers of deaths; every evening there is film footage of death and destruction.

Why are we still there?
· We occupied this land by force and it has caused us nothing but trouble.

Why are we still there?
· Many of our finest young people go there and never come back.

Why are we still there?
· The government is unstable and the leadership vacillating.

Why are we still there?
· Many of the people are, from any rational perspective, uncivilized.

Why are we still there?
· The place is infested with mutually-hostile religious sects whose actions defy understanding.

Why are we still there?
· The inhabitants' folkways, foods and fads are unfathomable to ordinary Americans.

Why are we still there?
· We can't even secure the borders.

Why are we still there?
· The place is billions of dollars in debt and it will cost billions more to rebuild it, which we can't afford.

Why are we still there?
· It is becoming abundantly clear -- we must let California find it's *own* destiny…


Heh. Tip o' the tam to Obie.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by CW4BillT on Nov 08, 2006 | Politics

November 07, 2006

H&I* Fires 7 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...

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

'Nuff said.

It's only the most important thing you have to do today. Unless you've done it. Or need to go to the emergency room or something. 'Nuff said. If you want a larger version... click here.

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

And as two cats and a hamster anxously await the returns, we are reminded of our press in more simpler times. Wonder if Edward R. Murrow would have pulled it off. - BOQ

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

As it looks like the Dems are going to get most of their wish tonight - I predict among the first things out of their mouths will be words to the effect: "The people have spoken, we expect our Republican colleagues will roll over and do what we want." No, those won't be the words, but that will be the expectation.

I expect the Republicans will actually, especially in the Senate, do in fact, mostly that. T'was ever thus, seemingly. Ah well, I didn't want to Republicans to win, I wanted the Dems to lose. The Republicans, frankly, don't deserve to win. And if they get truly spanked today (the jury is out as I type this) I hope the long knives come out and the leadership in both the House and Senate are relegated to junior committee positions. They have failed utterly to lead, and delivered us to committee chairmen straight from the 60's. Sheesh.

Alan, and Jack, and Owen are probably already jotting down their list of how much of my money I'm not deserving of, how much choice they will remove of my health care options, and who knows what they're plotting about the basement. Which is odd, since two of them live in Canada.

And Owen will be starting the redeployment from Iraq tomorrow - in which we destroy all our equipment in place, so we can't go adventuring any more, unless the UN says so, *and* gives us permission to buy some stuff with which to go adventuring. But only under UN command - none of that American's in charge stuff anymore.

Hopefully when I wake up in the morning, I'll be so wrong that I'm embarrassed and erase this.

But I don't think I will. -the Armorer

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

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 07, 2006 | General Commentary
» Mitch Lewis links with: That I will Support and Defend

Contrary to what it looks like...

This is not a deck crewman with a fancy control-line helo model... nor is it a crewman of a japanese bomber flying over a WWII aircraft carrier (besides, that war was mostly in black and white...)

No, this is guys I'm jealous of - EOD *and* they get to do stuff like this - dangle from ropes totally at the mercy of Bill Tuttle-types.

Of course, there are few people I'd rather be at the mercy of, if I have to be at the mercy of anybody...

Red Sea (Nov. 3, 2006) Explosive Ordnance Disposal 1st Class Christopher Courtney assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six (EODMU-6), Det. 16 assist his team members during Special Purpose Insertion Extraction (SPIE) training from an SH-60 helicopter. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is deployed in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Miguel Angel Contreras


Red Sea (Nov. 3, 2006) Explosive Ordnance Disposal 1st Class Christopher Courtney assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six (EODMU-6), Det. 16 assist his team members during Special Purpose Insertion Extraction (SPIE) training from an SH-60 helicopter. The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) is deployed in support of Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and the global war on terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Miguel Angel Contreras

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 07, 2006 | Observations on things Military

November 06, 2006

H&I* Fires 6 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...

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

I am well aware that most of us that crosses the portcullis (yes – they are shiny Ry) at Castle Argghhh, do not need any reminder; but to follow-up on S4UBO’s post this morning you may wanna vote Democrat if you do not mind THIS or THAT happy prospects.

Oh, and since Christmas is fast approaching, it’s nice to cuddle-up to some CHARLIE BROWN cheer. “The Moon Deity is Great” - BOQ

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

SangerM on why you should vote tomorrow.

Orson Scott Card, author (Ender's Game) and Democrat - on why you shouldn't vote Democrat tomorrow... -the Armorer

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Senator Kerry - there's stupid, and then there's Army Stupid... H/t, Point Five (the originator) and Blue Star Chronicles (who sent me the link)!! -the Armorer

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One of the more satisfying moments of Saddam's trial (besides the verdict, of course).

The co-editor of American Prospect sets the stage for illegitimacy:

[U]nless there are levels of theft and fraud that would truly mean the end of American democracy, a Democratic House seems as close to a sure thing as we ever get in American politics three days before an election.
Of course, if it's not a sure thing after all, we'll all know what really happened. Hint: it wasn't that people actually voted for Republicans.

- FbL

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 06, 2006 | General Commentary
» Blue Star Chronicles links with: Army Stupid
» Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated links with: Army Stupid
» The Steeljaw Scribe links with: Vote -- But Don't Forget Valour-IT

The war comes home to Castle Argghhh! again.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1123-06 November 06, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Nov. 2 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an IED detonated near their vehicles.

Killed were:

Lt. Col. Paul J. Finken, 40, of Mason City, Iowa.

Lt. Col. Eric J. Kruger, 40, of Garland, Texas.

Staff Sgt. Joseph A. Gage, 28, of Modesto, Calif.

Finken and Gage were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. Kruger was assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

We knew about this last week, DoD doesn't release the official releases until the notifications are complete, and then gives the families a few days to adjust.

Subject: Sad news from Iraq

I received some tragic news from Iraq this evening and I wanted to share it with you all. LTC Paul Finken, who used to work for all of you, was killed today in Iraq. He was conducting a right-seat ride with the unit that was to relieve him when the HMMWV they were riding in was hit by an IED. From what I understand, all four passengers in the HMMWV were killed. Paul was scheduled to return home in two weeks from his second tour in Iraq with the 101st. During this last tour, Paul led a MITT team, supporting an Iraqi Army Brigade in Baghdad. MAJ B, another former employee assigned to the 101st Division who went to NPS with Paul and me, called me with the news this evening.

Paul's wife was notified this afternoon while their three daughters were at school. They are all now at their home surrounded by many close friends and loved ones. I'm sure they would appreciate all of our thoughts and prayers.

I will update you all with additional information as I receive it. Please keep the Finken family in your thoughts and prayers.

[edited for privacy]

What I didn't know at the time is the name of LTC Kruger, another officer I know from previous assignments.

Paul was featured in this MSNBC video clip from earlier this year. Wait for the report by Mike Boettcher.

Actually, it's been a busy email box today.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1122-06
November 06, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died of injuries suffered when an IED detonated near their vehicle Oct. 31 in Wygal Valley, Afghanistan. All soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Killed were:

Maj. Douglas E. Sloan, 40, of Evans Mills, N.Y.

Sgt. Charles J. McClain, 26, of Fort Riley, Kan. He later died in Asadabad, Afghanistan.

Pfc. Alex Oceguera, 19, of San Bernardino, Calif.

And again...

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1124-06
November 06, 2006

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DoD Identifies Army Casualty


The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. James L. Bridges, 22, of Buhl, Idaho, died Nov. 4 in Baghdad, Iraq, when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire during combat operations. Bridges was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Ala.

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

TOGs

Nope, not clothes. Nor the Terran Overlord Government, either.

In the early part of WWII, most British tanks sucked for one reason or another. A part was the armament, pretty punky in comparison to the people they were fighting, and their engines weren't the best (not for nothing is a brit mechanic called a "fitter", and they made their tracks out of softer steel, so they wore out quickly. In other words, they didn't design very good tanks. They had two major types of tanks - "cruiser" tanks, which were the breakthrough follow-up - cavalry on tracks, which were fast and lightly armed (heh, FCS, anyone?). The other was the "infantry" tanks, which were slow, better armored, and... poorly armed.

By the end of the war, they were doing better, with the Comet series and the new Centurion tank coming into being.

Mind you, the US wasn't doing much better. Anyone remember the M3 Lee? And the M4 "Ronson" Sherman wasn't a generation-jumping improvement...

So, the Brits were desperate for ideas. And while they were looking forward, the also decided to look backwards. The tank pics I put up over the weekend, is indeed the tank from Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. What I was expecting, but didn't get, was some grognard to hazard that it was a TOG1 or TOG 2, the products of the Special Vehicle Development Committee, better known as "The Old Gang."

Sir Albert Stern, head of the Tank Supply Depot in World War I, was tasked to form a design team in July 1939. Other members of the committee were Sir E. Tennyson d'Eyncourt, General Swinton, Mr. Ricardo, and Major Wilson. They were all about building a heavy tank that could carry infantry (Merkava, anyone?) and brushed off the old Mark VIII drawings and did some updating.

The prototype TOG1 was completed in October 1940 and had a hull-mounted howitzer and a Valentine II turret on it, very similar in concept to the Churchill.

TOG 1 tank

But that wasn't enough! Oh no! Then came the TOGII! Which dispensed with the hull-mounted howitzer but stuck a spanking huge turret mounting a 17-pounder. Both of these things steered like underpowered freighters with a full load.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the TOGII!!!

TOG II tank at Bovington

Much as I'd like to tell you that was an adult in front of the tank, it's a little girl. Still, the thing's *huge*.

The TOG 2 weighs 80 tons, is 33' 3" long, 10' 3" wide, and 10' high. Crewed by six men, it could rush across the battlefield at a breathtaking 8.5mph. Whew! Be still my NASCAR heart! Those doors are for the infantry to get in and out of the behemoth as it trundled over the trenches the Old Gang were sure were going to define this second bout of intra-Euro fratricide. Powered by twin diesel-electric generators this is the ultimate expression of World War One tank - it would have been quite at home at Cambrai - but wasn't ready for things like, oh, Gazala, El Alamein, much less facing german armor in Normandy and beyond.

The success of the Churchill put paid to these monsters. Not that the Churchill didn't share a lot in common with them...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 06, 2006 | Tanks and AFVs

Attack on the Fortress of Snarkitude!

Project Valour-IT, a program which has provided over 650 voice-activated laptops to wounded warriors so they can reconnect with family, friends, and the Internet, needs your help! The campaign in Iraq is a war of IEDs, which results in many traumatic amputations and blindness among the wounded. And the generation of warriors fighting this war are wired. Taking away hands and eyes takes them away from a whole swath of the world that is integral to them. You are reading this post. Without something like Project Valour-IT - they can't. Isn't that worth a few bucks?


Oh, sure, I could take the easy route. I could tug heart strings like I just did up there. But that's not me. This is *also* a blogwar, and since a lot of people think POWs should get Penthouses instead of pens, I'll just skip the prisoner-taking part.

I could snark the Navy for their dismal performance to date... but like the poster says...

Poor wittle Navycat, stuck in a tree...

Sure, I can whack on Noonan, Boss of Team Air Farce again... so, I will! Mebbe it'll cause him to get on the ball...

Noonan, getting a dancing partner the only way he can

But I'm saving the big guns for Team Villainous - the Jarheads. They jumped ahead with a *huge* donation this weekend. And now, well, see for yourself...

Company, Villainous Company, hath been the spoil of me.  Indeed!

Now we know where it came from. Sigh. Cassie, I know you'll do almost anything for the cause... but, dang, woman, that took large organs of reproduction!

SGT Hook is providing supporting fires, though the Captain of Team Army is taking the high road...

Now, to help remove the stain on Cassies honor, you should just click the button below and donate via Team Army. That's what your mother wants you to do. She told me. I've got the email.

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

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 06, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
» Blue Crab Boulevard links with: This Means War
» Blue Crab Boulevard links with: This Means War
» Blue Crab Boulevard links with: This Means War
» MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy links with: Talk your trash, we’ll take the cash
» Villainous Company links with: For All Your Interservice Snark Needs....
» Villainous Company links with: For All Your Interservice Snark Needs....
» Thoughts by Seawitch links with: Mules! Heh!
» Villainous Company links with: For All Your Interservice Snark Needs....

Of interest to Kansas Voters. The rest of you just keep scrolling...

You've all seen the TV ad run by the Morrison campaign about my husband Bryan Brown (Phill Kline's Consumer Protection Chief with the twelve arrests). The ad intentionally withholds explanation of those arrests, and it's come to our attention that one newspaper even printed that Bryan is a convicted felon, which is an absolute lie. I'm sending this e-mail out to friends and family for clarification. This is a letter to the editor that Bryan submitted to newspapers across the state, but we don't know if it will get printed, and even if it does it may be edited down. Please do not hesitate to ask us questions. We welcome any opportunity to get the truth out about this, so please feel free to pass this information on to anyone interested. Love and Peace in Christ, Anne Brown

The Kansas AG race is really pretty ugly, with neither side having anything to be proud of. I've offered Morrison's campaign a chance to respond to this and several other items (mostly relating to the sexual harrassment bit that SWWBO linked to) but have received no response. Anyway, here is the text of the letter.

I am Attorney General Phill Kline's Consumer Chief. I write in response to Paul Morrison's allegations.

Yes, I was arrested twelve times between 1988-1992. All were tangential to the peaceful efforts of the pro-life rescue movement. Most were for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and, along with hundreds of others, refusing to leave. Most of the charges were city ordinance violations, which are not even misdemeanors.

Yes, a lower federal court in Indiana did order me to pay $61,000 directly to an N.O.W. sponsored legal team fifteen years ago. The injunction-winning abortionist attempted collection at first, but after the legal basis for the judgment was overturned by the United States Supreme Court all efforts were abandoned. That overturned judgment has been uncollectable for many years.

Yes, I have led a team effort to reform the Consumer Protection Division. Over the past years the division engaged in many investigations that were not proper under the law. The actions were, in a word, unconstitutional. While Team Kline has set records on the filing of enforcement actions and on educational efforts, Team Kline has stopped investigating complaints that contain no allegation of consumer fraud. Those who believe that government agencies should be tightly managed to do only that which is authorized will find the reforms of Team Kline inspiring. Those who believe that the “nanny state” should address every consumer complaint (regardless of merit) will find Team Kline's reforms quite disturbing. I encourage all taxpayers to read about Team Kline's reforms at www.ksag.org .

Ironies abound in this election season. Here are four of my favorites:

#1. Paul Morrison has spent $200, 000 in a bid to paint me as a criminal for actions I took at the same time that he was (allegedly) sexually harassing Kelly Summerlin. Yet he claims his case is too stale to be relevant.

#2. Many of my arrests ended in not guilty verdicts as a result of my pre-law school constitutional arguments. A few were settled against no contest pleas. A few were dismissed. Only one resulted in a conviction. Yet District Attorney Paul Morrison cries foul when the merits of a sexual harassment case he lost at the summary judgment stage are discussed.

#3. I am widely criticized for not respecting city ordinances enough due to my arrests. But when I post a report demonstrating that former AG Stovall (whose tobacco litigation reveals the degree to which she valued cronyism over justice) was operating her Consumer Division in a manifestly unconstitutional manner, I am criticized for taking state law too seriously.

#4. My pro-life arrests were a byproduct of my Christian values. Those were formed as I followed the lead of a good many Catholics and Catholic clergy, including Bishops. For those loiterings and trespasses I am roundly criticized by Paul Morrison -- who claims to be a leader in the Catholic Church while striking a Faustian bargain with the abortion industry to become the next Attorney General of Kansas.

I hope these ironies are not lost on the good people of Kansas

Bryan J. Brown

H/t, Jim C.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 06, 2006 | Politics
» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator links with: Bill O'Reilly In Abortion Record Tangle

November 05, 2006

Valour-IT News You Can Use

UPDATE: Soldiers Angels/Valour-IT's official press release about the competition

[With John's permission, I'd like to make this post stay up top for the weekend.]

[Weeeel. Okay. It's not like weekends are high traffic, anyway. Or that I'm selling ads. Okay people - new stuff comes in below this post - FOR THE WHOLE WEEKEND! Yanno, if you'd just pony up the bucks, all this would Just.Go.Away. It's kinda like the elections, except we're doing more useful stuff. -the Armorer]

Supporters of Valour-IT, you've been doing amazing work. Not only have we raised a tremendous amount of money, but there's been a lot of great work going on behind the scenes that is starting to bear fruit.

But we're gearing up for the last week of competition, and we're not yet halfway to our goal. Let's get to work! Here are some news and tips that should help us make it to the top:

Auctions: We now have a one-stop auction page. To bid on available items or put something up for auction with proceeds going to Valour-IT, check it out. More info at the project blog.

Flyers: New and improved flyers are finished. You can get them by clicking here. You can find some tips for using flyers here.

Media: Keep pushing the local media angle (newspapers, local TV, news/talk/music radio); we don't have a chance of meeting this goal without reaching far beyond the blogosphere. Tips for contacting media here. We're finding that the technology angle is a great pitch: the laptops are high-tech, the project was conceived and implemented online by a wounded soldier and a music teacher who met each other through blogs, and the bloggers are what drive the fundraising--those three aspects are all great media fodder. If you're asking simply for a little attention, see if they'll just link Valour-IT on their webpage.

Reaching Out to Win: As I wrote above, we have to reach beyond the blogosphere if we want to succeed. With that in mind, here's what you can do:

1. Talk to your friends, neighbors, community and religious organizations of which you are a member. Tell them of the need and impact of Valour-IT.

2. Compose an email briefly explaining Valour-IT and send it to everyone on your email list (be sure to send them here to verify it's legit). Remember, Valour-IT is non-partisan and can practically sell itself when you tell people what it does.

3. Email the big-time, national talkshow hosts that you think might be interested in Valour-IT, especially if you have a membership in their "insider clubs." The more emails they get, the more likely they'll take it seriously or one will be noticed.

4. If you have a connection to a media bigwig, please let us know.

5. Keep up the great work! Mention Valour-IT on your blog at least once a day or put a up a post that stays at the top. We're heading into Veterans Day, and these wounded veterans deserve the very best effort we can give them.

Keep up the great work! I am constantly amazed at the creativity, energy and intelligence of all invovled in this effort. You are awesome!

-FbL

[Heh, that's all way too multi-partisan and kissy-face for my taste! Accordingly, I'm going to add:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

BTW - If you'd like to see some good slapdowns, go visit Cassandra at the Fortress of Snarkitude. Of course, don't you *dare* give money to her. You know those Marines, they're so cash-poor they'll run out and buy a tank or something with it.

And, of course, don't forget, in addition to all of that, you should 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

-the Armorer]

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by Denizens on Nov 05, 2006 | Project Valour-IT
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by John on Nov 05, 2006 | General Commentary
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That tank, some more.

You guys are having fun with that. Since no complete consensus has built, I'll offer up these pics.

There's those pesky sponsons!

Here's a profile view.

Hmmm, what's troublesome about those vision slits?

Wait! I found a picture of the tank in service!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir! »

by John on Nov 05, 2006 | Gun Pr0n - A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly bits

Army Times to call for Rumsfeld's Departure...

And, breathlessly reported by the New York Times, so will the Navy Times, Air Force Times, and Marine Corps Times.

Okay.

These papers do, after all, speak for the military right? Fingers on the pulse and all that?

Well, no.

They are four faces of the same paper. They run the same stories, with about 1/4 of their content any given issue being specific to the service named on the front page.

There is greater editorial diversity among the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Post and Los Angeles Times than there is at the ArmyNavyMarineCorpsAirForceTimes media show, because it's all the same paper, published by Gannett, which owns USA Today.

Despite what the NYT and Owen or even Shawn (Owen and Shawn in comments in yesterday's H&I Fires post) the ArmyNavyMarineCorpsAirForceTimes is not a voice of the military, it's a voice of Gannett.

Being the only paper to target the military market, it is certainly read by the military community. There's a post over at Milblogs that covers that nicely.

Not for nothing is the Navy version of the paper called the "Naval Enquirer." Certainly, they are *not* equivalent to the National Enquirer in absolute terms, but they are the aimed-at-the-military-market equivalent.

There's a reason that I ceased subscribing to them in 1983/4, when they shifted to the tabloid format they use now. They became less serious, went in for the attention getting, breathless headline - that was usually misleading. But they are a source of useful info, as well. I buy around one issue a year, usually the Pay Chart issue, not only to get the chart, but to see if anything has improved.

Let me put it this way - I subscribe to NYT Select and The New Republic - but not the Army Times.

They want to be the voice of the services, certainly. And as the only game in town, they get some attention. But to infer that because Gannett is calling for Rumsfeld's head means the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are calling for Rumsfeld's head is to infer that if USA Today, the Washington Times, or Kansas City Star call for it, well then, everybody must agree.

Just sayin'.

DoD responds here. It's now officially a tussle.

Tony Snow runs through the White House defense.

MR. SNOW: A number of things. I mean, observation number one is everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. And as a factual matter, the editorial -- which is a uniform editorial that I guess all the papers are being told to carried -- is just -- it's a shabby piece of work. I'll run through some of it for you.

The other important thing to note is this -- although these are Army Times and the Military Times, they're a Gannet publication. A lot of people are thinking, aha, what you have are a lot of military people in open revolt against the President, when, in fact, you've got a lot of Gannet editorial writers, which would be thoroughly consistent with USA Today and the rest of the Gannet chain, which I think, if memory serves, does not have a single strong conservative editorial page in the entire chain.

Hang on a second, I've got a printout of it, because I went through the thing. Give me a moment. The editorial, for one thing, makes the allegation that -- it says, "One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld." That's just flat not true. And what they do is they revert to cheesy old partisan talking points about "mission accomplished," which, as you recall, was referring to the mission of the USS Abraham Lincoln and the President, on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln, talked about a long, hard fight to come, and so on.

But maybe the worst is this, it says, "A new course of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning." It then goes on to site General John Abizaid completely out of context, when he said before Congress -- he said, "I believe the sectarian violence probably is as bad as I've seen it. It's possible that Iraq could move toward civil war."

The following month General Casey said -- let's see, a couple of things. First, he said that, "A, I think we can prevent a civil war. Secondly, things in a counter-insurgency environment, as you well know, take time to mature militarily and politically, and we're confident that with the measures we're taking now we can be successful."

General Casey also said recently, "The situation is hard, but Iraq is not a country that's awash in sectarian violence. I think it's important to remind people that 90 percent of the sectarian violence in Iraq takes place in about a 30-mile radius from the center of Baghdad, and, secondly, that 90 percent of all violence takes place in five provinces."

You can get the rest at the link above.

I'm not a fan of Rumsfeld, though I think he was something the services needed at the beginning of his tenure.

That said - the Army Times does *not* speak for me. Of course, I have my own space to speak here.

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by John on Nov 05, 2006 | Media Morons
» Stop The ACLU links with: The Skinny On Those Political “Military Magazines”
» Signaleer links with: My Letter to the Advertisers of Military Times Publishing.