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November 18, 2006

H&I Fires, 18 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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I admit it - I *don't* get this behavior. Whether it's for a PS3 or, well, anything, outside of survival items before a huge natural disaster. And even then it bemuses me.

BillT sent along this recruiting poster - So Simple, Even A Caveman Can Do It.

Good Riddance to the Gingrichites is an interesting read. But I still get struck by this cognitive dissonance when stuff like this slips in from the left:

Politicians in this country get a bad rap. For the most part, they are like any high-achieving group in America, with roughly the same distribution of pathologies and virtues. But the leaders of the GOP House didn't fit the personality profile of American politicians, and they didn't deviate in a good way. It was the Chess Club on steroids.

The iconic figures of this era were Newt Gingrich, Richard Armey and Tom Delay. They were zealous advocates of free markets, low taxes and the pursuit of wealth; they were hawks and often bellicose; they were brutal critics of big government.

Yet none of these guys had success in capitalism. None made any real money before coming to Congress. None of them spent a day in uniform. And they all spent the bulk of their adult careers getting paychecks from the big government they claimed to despise. Two resigned in disgrace.

The Dems are very big on this - when a Rep "resigns in disgrace" it's a Big Deal and Only Right. Yet, when their side gets caught up in the same sorts of problems... well, there is no disgrace, and certainly no shame. Bring me the head of Representative Jefferson, and don't put an impeached-and-convicted bribe-taking judge as Chairman of the Intelligence Committee and we'll talk. Not electing Murtha was a good step, but I still see Gerry Studds is idolized for boinking subordinates, as was the most recent Democrat President, while Dems demanded the resignations from positions of power for Republicans for the same offenses. And the big difference between the two - the Republicans actually do resign, or get forced out, at least when it gets egregious enough. -the Armorer

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BTW - Damian has a fun little bit on Canuckistanian Artillery going on over at his militant Canadian blog, The Torch. Part 1. Part 2. Someone you guys know ghosts in and out. Admittedly, it *is* a touch geeky. -the Armorer

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Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows...

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 18, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

The whatzis, revealed.

Couldn't fool you guys, nope. Not that I really expected to, frankly. I didn't want to spend the time airbrushing out the antennae and other obvious clues, just to have you whine about my chicanery.

It's a trike. An entrant in the Leavenworth Veteran's Day Parade.

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Another view here.

*I* think it's pretty kewl!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 18, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | I think it's funny!

November 17, 2006

The War Comes Home to Fort Leavenworth.

This post will be up top all day. New stuff comes in below.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1171-06 November 17, 2006

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DoD Identifies Army Casualties


The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died Nov. 14 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle during combat operations.

Killed were:

Col. Thomas H. Felts Sr., 45, of Sandston, Va. He was assigned to the Command and General Staff College, School of Advanced Military Studies, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Spc. Justin R. Garcia, 26, of Elmhurst, N.Y. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.


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FROM THE CAC COMMAND:

Flags on Fort Leavenworth will be flown at half-staff on Friday, 17 November in honor of Colonel Thomas H. Felts, who was killed in Iraq on 14 November. COL Felts was assigned to Fort Leavenworth in the School of Advanced Military Studies. He had been in Iraq since January 2006 and was attached to 1-6 MITT, 2nd BCT, 1st Infantry Division. There will be a Memorial Service Friday, 17 November from 1100 to 1200 hours in the Main Post Chapel. COL Felts' family welcomes the Fort Leavenworth community, a reception will follow.

COLFeltsSMALL.jpg

FROM THE FAMILY OF COL FELTS:

The family of Thomas H. Felts, Colonel, United States Army, would like to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the many friends and loved ones who have shown so much support to them in their time of loss.

Colonel Felts dedicated his life to the service of God, family and country. He made a huge difference in the lives of all those he touched. He demonstrated that conviction by volunteering for the post in Iraq. He knew the dangers of being in harm's way. Yet, he remained committed to securing the future of our own children by defeating forces of hatred and violence and showing people what is possible if they embrace tolerance and peace. He laid down his life as he lived it, in the name of Love.

Colonel Felts' funeral and burial will be in Virginia. Please refrain from contacting the Fort Leavenworth residence and in lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Army Emergency Relief in order to help Soldiers and their family members.

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

Update: Raven 04's comment deserves to be up here.

I'd like to personally thank the family of COL Felts for their strength and you, Sir, for your guidance and mentoring on this difficult battlefield. Your sacrifice is great, and difficult for all of those whose lives you touched to bear. We shall never forget you, your dedication to this mission, your excellent sense of humor and friendly laughter. I was the driver of the vehicle behind COL Felts' vehicle that night and am the team's Logistics Advisor. We just held a memorial for him here, in Iraq, and miss him dearly. COL Felts mentored us professionally and personally, treating us like his own family since day one, when we started training at Fort Hood back in January. We miss you, Sir, but know that to truly honor you we must redouble our efforts to complete this mission in your vision, 'Git-R-Done', and ensure the safe return home of the rest of the team you so diligently built and sustained.


Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Something for the Soul

H&I Fires, 17 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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Hundreds of Northwest Arkansas residents gathered at the First Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas, recently to welcome their soldiers home after more than a year of deployment in Iraq. Approximately 150 soldiers with the Arkansas National Guard’s Battery B of the First Battalion, 142nd Fires Brigade marched proudly in formation to the site of the rally amidst a mass of cheering supporters and waving flags. The Northwest Arkansas soldiers initially mobilized on August 3, 2005, and returned to the U.S. via Fort Sill, Oklahoma, on October 31, 2006, where they spent a week going through briefings and processing.

During their mobilization, the battery worked at and eventually closed the Abu Ghraib prison. Their mission responsibility then switched to conducting patrols and providing convoy security in and around Baghdad.

U.S. Representative John Boozman was on hand to greet the troops at the rally, along with Springdale Mayor Jerre Van Hoose and the commander of the 142nd Fires Brigade, Col. Jeff Montgomery.

The Springdale soldiers are the first of Col. Montgomery’s troops to return home from the brigade’s recent flood of mobilizations. His brigade’s Bentonville, Arkansas, unit, which has spent the past year deployed to Kosovo, is anticipated to return before the end of the year, and his Rogers, Arkansas, battery is slated to return from Iraq in early 2007.

In October, approximately 325 142nd soldiers from the Fort Smith, Van Buren, and Siloam Springs, Arkansas, units began their deployment to Kuwait, where they will conduct security operations for the next year. The brigade’s Ozark unit will head to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, soon to prepare for their year in Iraq. With this unit’s move forward, Col. Montgomery will have approximately 800 of his Northwest Arkansas troops mobilized.

In total, the Arkansas National Guard continues to have more than 1,700 soldiers and airmen either mobilized or preparing to mobilize for overseas service. With more than 10,000 soldiers and airmen, the Arkansas Guard has supported the mobilization of more than 8,000 troops since September 11, 2001. Many of these soldiers have served on two or more mobilizations in support of the global war on terror. -Bloodspite

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Amir Taheri on Iran, Iraq and the Democrats. - FbL

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Holly updated her BloggerCars post - and she found some sweeeeeeet cages for SWWBO and I! -the Armorer

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Around here - this comes as no surprise. I'm in the charity business, not just with Project Valour-IT, and this gentleman's conclusions match my experience. Conservatives give more than Liberals to charity. -the Armorer

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You're going to hell, Cassie. Where'd you find that picture of me in high school with my other wrestling buddies? I thought I'd destroyed the negatives! At least you cropped me out... -the Armorer

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Is it wrong that when I read this headline "Kansas man shoots self in groin"... I immediately thought, "Gee. I hope John's alright..
you know, for SWWBO's sake." ~AFSis

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Hey! I only bayonet myself! Geez. Give a guy some credit. Heh. Castle Argghhh!: Still Number One in Google for "I bayoneted myself today" -the Armorer

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

News you can use. Next OIF and OEF Rotational Units.

Operation Iraqi Freedom:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1169-06 November 17, 2006

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DoD Announces Units for Next Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation


The Department of Defense announced today the first of the major units scheduled to deploy as part of the next Operation Iraqi Freedom rotation. This announcement involves one Army division headquarters and five Army combat brigades consisting of approximately 20,000 service members. The scheduled rotation for the forces identified in this announcement will begin in early 2007.

Force levels in Iraq continue to be conditions-based, and are determined based on the recommendations of military commanders in Iraq and in consultation with the Iraqi government. U.S. force rotations will be tailored based upon changes in the security situation. Iraqi security forces continue to develop capability and assume responsibility for security in Iraq.

This rotation continues the U.S. commitment to the stability and security of Iraq, yet is flexible and adaptable in order to meet the evolving requirements for the mission.

For Operation Iraqi Freedom, the major units announced today are:

3rd Infantry Division Headquarters, Fort Stewart, Ga.

4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Ks.

4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wa.

3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga.

1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C

173rd Airborne Brigade, Vicenza, Italy

The department also alerted approximately 27,000 active duty and 10,000 reserve component troops in combat support and combat service support units smaller than brigade-size elements for deployment beginning in 2007.

DoD will continue to announce major unit deployments as they are identified and those units are alerted. The individual services will announce the smaller, supporting units for this rotation. For information on the units announced today or other units involved in this rotation, please contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan):

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1170-06 November 17, 2006

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DoD Announces Unit for Next Afghanistan Rotation


The Department of Defense announced today that the 218th Brigade Combat Team, South Carolina Army National Guard, will deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to train the Afghan National Security Forces. The scheduled rotation will begin in early 2007, and will include approximately 1,500 service members as presently envisioned.

The department also alerted approximately 6,200 active duty and 600 Reservists in combat support and combat service support units smaller than brigade-size elements for deployment beginning in 2007.

This deployment reflects the continued U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. Force levels in Afghanistan continue to be conditions-based, and are determined based on the recommendations of military commanders in Afghanistan and in consultation with the Afghan government. U.S. force rotations will be tailored based upon changes in the security situation. Afghan security forces continue to develop capability and assume responsibility for security in Afghanistan.

DoD will continue to release major unit announcements as they are identified and alerted. The individual services will announce the smaller, supporting units for this rotation. For information on the units announced today or other units involved in this rotation, please contact Army Public Affairs at (703) 692-2000.

Mobilized National Guard and Reserve Units:

IMMEDIATE RELEASE No. 1159-06 November 15, 2006

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National Guard (in Federal Status) and Reserve Mobilized as of November 15, 2006


This week, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard announced a increase in the number of reservists on active duty in support of the partial mobilization, while the Army, Navy and Air Force had a decrease. The net collective result is 561 fewer reservists mobilized than last week.

At any given time, services may mobilize some units and individuals while demobilizing others, making it possible for these figures to either increase or decrease. Total number currently on active duty in support of the partial mobilization for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 78,964; Navy Reserve, 5,288; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, 6,008; Marine Corps Reserve, 7,344; and the Coast Guard Reserve, 363. This brings the total National Guard and Reserve personnel, who have been mobilized, to 97,967, including both units and individual augmentees.

A cumulative roster of all National Guard and Reserve personnel, who are currently mobilized, can be found at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Nov2006/d20061115ngr.pdf .


Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

Time for a change-of-pace Whatzis.

You airplane geeks will get this one quick, I'm sure.

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | I think it's funny!

Ralph Peters and Captain (P) Dave Baer.

In my email I got the following two bits, on the same day.

Arabian Nightmares, by Ralph Peters.

With Iraqi society decomposing - or, at best, reverting to a medieval state with cell phones - the debate in Washington over whether to try to save the day by deploying more troops or withdrawing some is of secondary relevance.

What really matters is what our forces are ordered - and permitted - to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them.

If you're not willing to lay down a rule that any Iraqi or foreign terrorist masquerading as a security official or military member will be shot, you can't win. And that's just one example of the type of sternness this sort of fight requires.

In a timely, but perhaps more important way, I got this, from an officer now in Iraq, training the Iraqi Army - an officer who's boss, LTC Paul Finken, was killed two weeks ago - but there's no lessening of the fight in Dave.

Mr. Donovan,

By all means send my note on to his family. Before I got this job on the MiTT, I was a mechanized infantry company commander in southeast Baghdad and I lost two soldiers so I know what it's like to write letters of condolence and what kind of loss his family must be feeling. You always hear certain people in Congress talk about leaving Iraq because of the horrible casualties we are taking and whatnot. However, they never seem to be the ones with family over here doing the grunt work. And as for casualties, each loss is a blow, but overall we have been extremely lucky to have as few deaths as we have had since 2003. No one in D.C. ever seems to ask guys like me what we think because they know that we would tell them that we have to stay until the job is done. If you want to win in Iraq, you have to take the gloves off like we did in OIF I and OIF II. We were aggressive and violently kinetic. It worked and the bad guys were deathly afraid of us and the people of Iraq respected us. Now we use kid gloves and the bad guys walk all over us and the people of Iraq don't think they should support us because we may pack up and leave and then they would be the object of reprisals. It's the hard right (lots of offensive action and firepower and not afraid to use it in a city) or the easy wrong (the kinder, gentler approach to dealing with terrorists to try and avoid casualties). I know which one works and which one doesn't. I know which one will solve this "problem". It will break a few eggs, but in the end we will have an omelet that will be passably good and tasty.

I told him he was channeling Ralph Peters' Arabian Nightmares piece (which wasn't released when Dave sent the note above).

Channeling Ralph Peters? I don't think anyone has ever paid me that nice of a compliment before. Now if you throw in Matt Ridgway and Jumpin' Jim Gavin I would really feel like a great guy. Anyway, sure you can publish anything that I put in my emails. I never send anything that I wouldn't want my boss to see. I think that the basic message that I would like to get out (and one that my soldiers heartily agree with) is that we can and will win this war if we take the gloves off and stomp the guts out of anyone that so much as says "boo" to us. The American soldier is trained and disciplined to the point that we should have no reservations as to their ability to discriminate between innocent people and legitimate targets. Massive firepower brought down on any transgressor is the answer. Sometimes you need to use a sledgehammer to crack a walnut if you want people to pay attention and learn the correct lessons in life. If an IED blows up outside someones house and the homeowners tell you that they don't know anything about, bulldoze the house and salt the ground. After you do that two or three times, Iraqis will shoot the terrorists themselves to protect their homes. I realize that this may not be totally in keeping with some people's concept of "the American way of war", but if we are in it to win it, we need to take all the steps required to totally destroy the terrorists ability to make war on us and turn the population against them. Right now, because of our kid glove approach, there is no threat to the average Iraqi that helps the terrorists or turns a blind eye. We have to make it painful to the point that the Iraqi people say, "These Americans are serious about winning and they won't stop until they have won." No Iraqi is worth the life of one American soldier. I want Iraq to have a solid stable country with an elected government. I want this more than most Iraqis do, but we can't get to that point unless we kill enough of the e bad guys that the survivors surrender, leave the country, or give up and start selling Zam-Zam on the side of the road. War is an ugly business, but it is even uglier if you don't play to win.

David J. Baer
CPT(P), IN
3/2/6 IA MiTT Team Chief

Here's one soldier whose morale is not being ground down by the enemy he faces. If it's being eroded, it's by the people who putatively support him.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 17, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

November 16, 2006

H&I Fires, 16 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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Penalty for early rising I guess. I get to open the Castle Windows for some brisk winter morning air. Shame to waste good coffee on news that doesn't get the blood flowing, so lets start with something almost "gare-own-teed" to get the blood flowin and the brain working.

How about local news for flavor?

Illegals account for 44% of the Worst Drug Related crimes in Northwest Arkansas, screams the headline. The reaction?

Ever the soldier (He's a US Army Reserve Colonel), Rogers Mayor, Steve "The Colonel" Womack is pushing for a Hazleton style ordinance, as well as ICE Certification and Training for the entire Police Department.

But its a Federal Problem...right Mike? /sarcasm
-BloodSpite

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I *was* going to blog the action San Francisco city government took in banning JROTC. But someone got there "firstest with the mostest" so I'll just carry water for Ken at It Comes In Pints and let him do the snarking. H/t, Cassandra.

Jules Crittenden weighs in on Pelosi-Murtha-Hoyer. H/t, shameless shilling by Jules. -the Armorer

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For once, Murtha is the good news for the day.

And here's your humor: Bloggers and their cars. - FbL

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While I appreciate Holly's work - I submit that vehicle is more suited to Noonan. Everybody knows my tastes run to this or this. Though I'm also partial to this and this. -the Armorer

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Heh. Young pups today got no respect for their elders. Captain Baer, whom I glowingly posted below (and will again tomorrow) just sent me this:

A dribbling stream of Copenhagen on artillerymen. I'm an old paratrooper. Heavy artillery to me is a Ma Deuce and MK-19. Of course, when I had my mech company over here it was nice to have those 25mm Bushmasters. It would take an act of Congress to shoot indirect fire in Baghdad, now the 120mm on an Abrams is a different matter. Those guns will definitely rearrange someones badguy safehouse just the way I like it, brick by brick.

Punk.

And with the upcoming Congress, doubt we'll see any acts, either.-the Armorer

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 16, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

Oh good golly gee, save me from the Crusaders.

And no, I don't smoke.

Belmont to be first U.S. city to ban all smoking By Dana Yates, Daily Journal Staff Belmont is set to make history by becoming the first city in the nation to ban smoking on its streets and almost everywhere else.

The Belmont City Council voted unanimously last night to pursue a strict law that will prohibit smoking anywhere in the city except for single-family detached residences. Smoking on the street, in a park and even in one’s car will become illegal and police would have the option of handing out tickets if they catch someone.

Yep. I didn't make that up. It gets better, though.

It's the attitude.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image [sic] how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

I'm betting he said "Imagine" and the paper just spell-checked themselves into that corner.

Okay - let's do some imagining. First, let's change the quote a teensy bit.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [fill in the blank] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

Alrighty then. Would not then, all these statements be true? Where *do* we draw the line.

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [drinking] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [drug use] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [gun ownership] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [vehicle ownership] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [bathtubs] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [fill in the blank] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [being overweight] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [unprotected sex] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

“We have a tremendous opportunity here. We need to pass as stringent a law against [fast food] as we can, I would like to make it illegal,” said Councilman Dave Warden. “What if every city did this, image how many lives would be saved? If we can do one little thing here at this level it will matter.”

Go ahead, come up with your own. I've made this a Denizen post so Denizens can add to the post directly, not just via the comments.


Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 16, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Pugnacious Stupidity

News from the Front.

Literally. I noted in a previous post that I knew LTCs Paul Finken and Eric Krueger, who were killed by an IED just before he was to return to the United States from Iraq. I received an email from one of Paul's officers.

I was reading your website and noticed that you mentioned LTC Finken and his passing. He was the 2/6 IA MiTT Team Chief and I am the 3/2/6 IA MiTT Team Chief. He was an enjoyable person to work for and certainly had a great understanding of the difficulties inherent in training and leading Iraqi soldiers. It's not always the case in the Army that your immediate superior is someone who is willing to actually listen to what you have to say and take heed of it, but LTC Finken was one of those officers. All of us will miss him and the Army is a lesser place without
him. It's just a damn shame that he died within a couple days of him leaving Iraq. On a lighter note, I have always enjoyed perusing your blog (when I have the time) and certainly appreciate the humor and insights. Keep up the good work.

David J. Baer
CPT(P), IN
3/2/6 IA MiTT Team Chief

I have had some more emails with the good Captain Baer, which you will see more of when I am able to compose a suitably well-crafted post for them. Oh, like tomorrow.

This is up today so that anyone googling for Paul Finken will hopefully come upon this. A leader couldn't ask for much better an epitaph than...

It's not always the case in the Army that your immediate superior is someone who is willing to actually listen to what you have to say and take heed of it, but LTC Finken was one of those officers.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 16, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Global War on Terror (GWOT)

Heh.

Given how some things seem to be sorting out... on both sides of the aisle, this seems to be appropriate for the times.

While walking down the street one day, a senator is tragically hit by a truck and killed. His soul arrives in Heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

"Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in," says the senator.

"Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity."

"There's no need! I want to be in Heaven," says the senator.

"I'm sorry, but we have our rules." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator, the doors open, and he rides the elevator down, down, down. When the doors open again, the senator finds himself in the middle of a beautiful green golf course. In the distance is a club, and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in formal dress. They run to greet him, and they reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. Also present is the Devil, who is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that, before the senator realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, up, up, and the door reopens in Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

So 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by, and St. Peter
returns.
"Well, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now, you must choose where you want to spend eternity."

He reflects for a minute and then answers, "Well, I would never would have thought it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better satisfied in Hell."

So Saint Peter escorts him to the elevator, and down, down, down he goes into Hell. Now, the doors of the elevator open, and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. And it's hot, hot, hot, and the odor is just horrible. Sweltering hot. Hot and miserable. The Devil comes over to him and smoothly lays his arm around his shoulder.

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "The day before I was here, and there was a golf course and club, and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland full of garbage, and my friends look miserable."

The Devil looks at the senator, smiles, and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us."

H/t, Larry M.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 16, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Politicians Hit Bottom, Dig...

November 15, 2006

H&I Fires, 15 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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Heh. 15 November already. Where *did* the month go?

The Castle being mercifully free from "Flame Warriors" (the Rulez, doncha know) they are still an entertaining breed. So much so, that a taxonomy has been developed. CAPT H points us to this little amusing endeavour over at Flame Warriors Home. I think I found Princess Maggie...

Chuck Simmins does things so you don't have to...


After the Lancet article and the on-going count at Iraq Body Count, I began to wonder if there was a place where our enemies were being numbered. Being the blood thirsty tool of Bushitler that I am, I set up a page called "Terrorist Death Watch", where I'll try to count their dead.

You can follow the count here.

I gotta run, prepping for briefing Powerpoint Rangering all week... -the Armorer

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Geez, every hack with a computer and a byline thinks they can blog. Jules Crittenden, not content with shamelessly shilling bloggers for links, has fallen into the La Malkin and Instapundit and Huffpo trap and, not being content with sucking away blogreaders with his columns, now wants to suck 'em away from us with his blog! Sheesh. Wotta attention-junkie!

Huh? Link to it? LINK TO IT? Why, so you disloyal weevils will go read it or something? Why would I do that? /snark -the Armorer

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Lex talks about his flights against MIGs and other things that were secret until yesterday. - FbL

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Yeah. What Matt said: A big bowl of dumba$$. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING????!!!???! ~AFSis

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

Random thought from yesterday.

Fuzzybear Lioness linked to this breathlessly reported threat to public safety yesterday: Bullet Found In Doorway!

Bullet found in doorway By David Williams LETHAL: The .22 calibre bullet found in Walthamstow High Street on a market day morning (D6W1001) LIVE ammunition has been found lying in the doorway of a busy high street shop.

The .22 calibre short round bullet was found at the entrance of the 99p Stores in Walthamstow High Street on Wednesday morning, November 1.

Haroon Khan, who has a firearms licence and is a member of a local gun club, was alarmed to discover live ammunition in a Walthamstow doorway.

The bullet, of Swiss origin, was still in its brass casing, complete with enough gunpowder for it to fire itself.

Heh. Thrice-damned Swiss! Leaving their ammunition laying around like that.

What struck me as funny was the breathless nature of the reportage. Parking your old junker on a hillside and forgetting to set the parking brake is quite possibly more dangerous - but wouldn't get reported that way. Of course, in England, with their gun laws, something like that is cause for alarm to their budding police state, but that's a different post. I was just struck by (Have I mentioned this?) how, well, breathless the reportage was, to my ear at least.

To put that in context, yesterday morning I got out of bed at 5AM to put the dogs out, feed the cats, make coffee and then come here to feed you guys. I stepped on a bullet. A nice, shiny, 1944 dated .303 round. One of four I found on the floor. I picked 'em up, and took 'em to the living room, where they belong, with the others (okay, I just said that for effect - the Castle Vickers, which went junketing this past weekend needs to be staged back into the Arsenal, and is in it's assembly (actually disassembly) area. No, we don't entertain much.

Anyway, the day before yesterday, the nice man delivered a package to the house, containing a 1944-dated Vickers belt (where the ammo on the floor came from), and a 1950's era disintegrating-link Vickers belt (visible in the post below), and some other artifact ammunition. And night before last was spent watching television with SWWBO while I re-belted the WWII ammo (those dang belts were dang hard to load, but once loaded, they get all loose and this one dropped a boat-load of rounds, and it takes a while to hand-load a 250 round belt of ammo. Besides, I needed to inspect 'em all to make sure they were in decent shape, right? You mean it isn't like this in every home?

Regardless, I just found it amusing to be reading that story in the morning after stepping on loose rounds in the bedroom the morning after having spent the evening before belting machinegun ammo for the Vickers...

I also had a bunch of loose rounds, which found their way into the Turkish aluminum Vickers belt - though, s'truth, they should be 8mm rounds, that being the caliber the Turks used in their guns. But Doesn't the mix of steel, brass, copper, and aluminum make for a pretty picture?

Turkish aluminum ammo belt fed into the Castle Vickers.

I'll hafta keep an eye on 'em for signs of dissimilar metal corrosion. The aluminum links are actually pretty fragile - one reason you don't see a lot of them around any more.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Machine Guns

The Whatziss, revealed!

The question is here, if you need to catch up.

Al and MajMike were correct, it's a linker-delinker for disintegrating link machine gun belts. The markings are frankly not conclusive as to origin. They are not Brit nor US.

The three-pronged side links:

Machinegun belt-linking tool

The two-pronged side de-links. It really doesn't make linking any faster, but it sure reduces the stress on arthritic hands... Werekitten noted that it was a spreader - it actually does both - part of what I like about the cleverness of the gizmo. It squeezes to link, but flip it over, and it spreads to de-link. I shudder to think where you all might go with this.

Regardless - Bragging rights to Al and MajMike (though MajMike has some scale issues, not unusual with guys who have spent time running about in panzers).

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Ammunition | Gun Pr0n - A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly bits

Michael Moore's Contract with on Conservatives...

My comments in [] brackets. Feel free to add yours!


A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives [puts hand on wallet]

November 14th, 2006

To My Conservative Brothers and Sisters,

I know you are dismayed and disheartened at the results of last week's election. You're worried that the country is heading toward a very bad place you don't want it to go. Your 12-year Republican Revolution has ended with so much yet to do, so many promises left unfulfilled. You are in a funk, and I understand. [Yay! We got through to him! Snerk]

Well, cheer up, my friends! Do not despair. I have good news for you. I, and the millions of others who are now in charge with our Democratic Congress, have a pledge we would like to make to you, a list of promises that we offer you because we value you as our fellow Americans. You deserve to know what we plan to do with our newfound power — and, to be specific, what we will do to you and for you. [MMoore - *I* am the Government, and I'm here to help! Scary words!]

Thus, here is our Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives:

Dear Conservatives and Republicans,

I, and my fellow signatories, hereby make these promises to you:

1. We will always respect you for your conservative beliefs. We will never, ever, call you "unpatriotic" simply because you disagree with us. In fact, we encourage you to dissent and disagree with us. [Yeah, Mike, I get it, dude, you are *so* subtle-funny! As long as I'm not un-PC in my dissent (MCRI anyone?) or criticize your shibboleths, and stick safely to marginal topics or make no substantive criticism, I'm free to say anything I want.]

2. We will let you marry whomever you want, even when some of us consider your behavior to be "different" or "immoral." Who you marry is none of our business. Love and be in love — it's a wonderful gift. [Of course, you *do* realize that in several states, less than half the voting population agrees with that sentiment, regardless of the merits, right? Heh. I thought *my* side were the Republicans and *yours* were the Democrats?]

3. We will not spend your grandchildren's money on our personal whims or to enrich our friends. It's your checkbook, too, and we will balance it for you. [There isn't a whole lot of historical support for that statement, dude. Pardon me while I keep my hand on my wallet.]

4. When we soon bring our sons and daughters home from Iraq, we will bring your sons and daughters home, too. They deserve to live. We promise never to send your kids off to war based on either a mistake or a lie. [Again, it's a Brave New World, right? We're supposed to ignore history? But at least you imply that war *is* an option. How serious a one we'll see when you guys get the chance to fund the military. I suspect we'll have the *healthiest* most personally protected nerf-armed military in the world... well, again, if I actually expect you to match deeds to rhetoric]

5. When we make America the last Western democracy to have universal health coverage, and all Americans are able to get help when they fall ill, we promise that you, too, will be able to see a doctor, regardless of your ability to pay. And when stem cell research delivers treatments and cures for diseases that affect you and your loved ones, we'll make sure those advances are available to you and your family, too. [Hey! I thought you were going to balance the budget! Oh, wait - that's right, Nerf-armed Department of Peace = Universal Health Care. Sigh. It sure sounds good, but I just have to drink the maple syrup and assume that Alan's experience will be the Universal experience, all other data to the contrary. Heh. I already have government controlled, managed, and provided health care, dude. All I want to know is - will you and all your rich friends agree to restrict yourselves to using *only* that service? Or are you going to just buy all the healthcare you want, however and wherever you want - while making sure we unwashed masses pay the bills for each other? Just askin' Gimme the pledge, man - that when Universal Coverage is passed, all rich liberals and powerful Democrat politicians will use that service exclusively - and never, ever, get to bump the lines. Period. Sign that pledge, and maybe I'll take you seriously. We'll skip the whole "Give Me More Dead Babies To Feed The Beast So That Those Fortunate Enough To Escape The Birth Canal Can Live Forever!!! and other slippery slope arguments. It's just a bit too Peter Singer for Cro-Magnon me..]

6. Even though you have opposed environmental regulation, when we clean up our air and water, we, the Democratic majority, will let you, too, breathe the cleaner air and drink the purer water. [Not to mention the rolling blackouts we'll provide so you can *really* understand how Third World people live.]

7. Should a mass murderer ever kill 3,000 people on our soil, we will devote every single resource to tracking him down and bringing him to justice. Immediately. We will protect you. [Applying all the same tactics and procedural safeguards employed up to 9/11 to do so. You really didn't think this one through Mike. What you said was, you'll avenge me in a judicial and judicious fashion, but not enhance your ability to detect and prevent them from doing it - because, well, that might hurt someone's cultural feelings and all. I think it's revealing, Mike that you assure me you'll go catch the bad guy (I got it - you'll use restraint and the police approach vice reckless abandon and war) after he does it. Oh, and you'll protect me. Again - you're more focused on making sure we don't hinder anyone who knows how to play the grievance game than you really are about protecting anyone. It really is 9/10 in your world, isn't it Mike?]

8. We will never stick our nose in your bedroom or your womb. What you do there as consenting adults is your business. We will continue to count your age from the moment you were born, not the moment you were conceived. [Yeah, lucky me, I was born. But yer sure gonna stick your nose into my garage, kitchen, refrigerator, and gun room, arncha?]

9. We will not take away your hunting guns. If you need an automatic weapon or a handgun to kill a bird or a deer, then you really aren't much of a hunter and you should, perhaps, pick up another sport. We will make our streets and schools as free as we can from these weapons and we will protect your children just as we would protect ours. [Oy. Mike, you'd definitely rather be shot with an SKS or AK-clone than a Mauser X firing hunting ammo. No one hunts with automatic weapons, Mike - and if they do, they're doing it with heavily controlled, lawfully registered, and damned expensive weapons. And you really don't understand hunting, either. If you can take a deer with a handgun, you're a damfine hunter. You've got to get *close* to do that. It's easy to take a zeroed, scoped rifle with a range of over a mile, and shooting from a rest in a blind, kill an animal 800 yards away that will damn near be bled out before the sound of your shot reaches its now-dead ears. That's sniping, and takes patience. Hunting with a handgun - that's tracking and stalking, and takes some serious skillz, dude. But, all you're going to do is take away weapons from the law-abiding and pat yourselves on the back for having accomplished something. Because let's face it - most of the gun violence in this country is committed by people who get to play the grievance cards, which means you can't do too much about it, because that would be messing with their culture... ]
10. When we raise the minimum wage, we will pay you — and your employees — that new wage, too. When women are finally paid what men make, we will pay conservative women that wage, too. [So, In addition to the raised taxes, I gotta take a paycut, too? Oh, sorry - I forgot - what I earn isn't really mine, it belongs to The People In Power, who will determine how much I am allowed to have on a month-to-month basis. That is one of the fundamental philosophical differences between your side and mine, Mike. The premise of who owns what. Oh, and do all these rules and stuff that apply to you, Mike? Will you make sure that all the employees *you* have get that minimum wage and all the bennies? IIRC, you sometimes make exceptions.]

11. We will respect your religious beliefs, even when you don't put those beliefs into practice. In fact, we will actively seek to promote your most radical religious beliefs ("Blessed are the poor," "Blessed are the peacemakers," "Love your enemies," "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God," and "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."). We will let people in other countries know that God doesn't just bless America, he blesses everyone. We will discourage religious intolerance and fanaticism — starting with the fanaticism here at home, thus setting a good example for the rest of the world. [Um, Mike, shouldn't that be "Christian Religious Intolerance?" I don't see any sign of your side going after the Imams...]

12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition. [Okay, I call you on it. Gimme the head of Representative Jefferson.]

I promise all of the above to you because this is your country, too. You are every bit as American as we are. We are all in this together. We sink or swim as one. Thank you for your years of service to this country and for giving us the opportunity to see if we can make things a bit better for our 300 million fellow Americans — and for the rest of the world. [Go for it, Dude. I got no argument with the sentiment - the devil, as always, is in the details and definitions, ain't it? Remember, you *did* ask me to dissent]
Signed,

Michael Moore
mmflint@aol.com
(Click here to sign the pledge)
www.michaelmoore.com

P.S. Please feel free to pass this on.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 15, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Media Morons | Politics

November 14, 2006

H&I Fires, 14 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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In all the hubbub of yesterday, I forgot to note this:

Hosting provided by FotoTime

THE SULLIVANS (DDG-68) is named to honor five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa who served together on the USS JUNEAU during World War II. The Sullivan brothers: George, 28; Francis, 27; Joseph, 24; Madison, 23; and Albert, 20; lost their lives during the Battle of Guadalcanal on November 13, 1942. They were adamant about serving together in spite of the Navy wartime policy to separate family members. Surviving the brothers were their parents, Thomas and Alleta, their sister Genevieve, and the youngest brothers wife, Katherine, and their son, James. The family today includes two grandchildren of Albert Sullivan: Kelly Ann Sullivan Loughren and John Sullivan.

The the first link is to the webpage of the current USS The Sullivans - this link is to the Navy history site on the brothers. I gotta get to work! -the Armorer

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I am not exactly comfortable posting this story under the Sullivan's story.....but....

"Chinese Sub Came Close To U.S. Ships"

In the blogs and websites I read this has set off a firestorm of demands for more ASW training. I'm not saying it didn't happen. I would never impugn the honor of the Navy.........but could this have been leaked as an opportunity to enhance the Navy's budget. My understanding is that it had been difficult to justify more ASW training money since the end of the Cold War. Ordinarily I would find such subterfuge distasteful. However, a wise man once said to me "I hate corruption, unless I'm part of it.".....Swabbie Doxie

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Horror of horrors! Bullet Found in Doorway. - FbL

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Back in uniform - the "Sgt" in Sgt B is no longer just an honorific. - FbL

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 14, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

Valour-IT and Soldiers' Angels News

UPDATE: If you live in Texas and the video at the bottom of this post inspired you, you can get involved with this year's Holiday for Heroes.

Great news in the preliminary totals from the Valour-IT fundraiser at the project blog (checks still being counted). Hint: it's not $184,000.

And Valour-IT is getting some more media attention.

If you're a blogger, Soldiers' Angel Holly Aho has a contest for you.

And last--but certainly not least--what the rest of the Angels are doing these days.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 14, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Project Valour-IT

Sometimes, you can believe a sailor... or aviator.

Sometimes. Like when Lex and Bill talk about landing on "pitching decks in the twilight gloaming on a wine-dark sea" or other verbal diarrhea...

Pacific Ocean (Nov. 10, 2006) - Pilots hover in an SH-60B Seahawk assigned to the

Pacific Ocean (Nov. 10, 2006) - Pilots hover in an SH-60B Seahawk assigned to the "Wolfpack" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light Four Five (HSL-45) while waiting for the perfect time to land aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) during rough seas. Preble is currently participating in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ron Reeves

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 14, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Observations on things Military

A new whatziss!

I've got to go in early and stay late today, so here's a quickie for you...

What is this tool used for?


So, whatziss?

If that wasn't terribly helpful, try this.

If you think markings will help - here ya go! (large file if you're dialing in)

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 14, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Gun Pr0n - A Naughty Expose' of the fiddly bits

November 13, 2006

H&I Fires, 13 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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Things may flex around at times today, as we continue our twisting and turning and folding, and spindling, and mutilating the blogware and templates. Though most of you don't see them, there *are* a few issues. Not the least of which is Bill can't login anymore!

We've linked to this guy before - but CAPT H just resent the link, and the guy has some new stuff... here's someone who takes his gun owning seriously (but remember folks, there are *laws* you should keep an eye on if you're going to look at this guy's stuff and go, like I do, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...."

Sean of Doc in the Box is a sailor who knows how to make Marines squeal like the girly-men they are...

Hi Everyone!

Yes, I am still the Evil Sean D. that you know and love, I still remember back in the day when Lynn and Diane beat the snot out of me in 6th grade for throwing beetles on them. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. Click on the link to see the video I made of Marines screaming like little girls when a camel spider was dropped in their lap.

Click right here... -the Armorer

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How The Simpsons celebrated Veterans Day. - FbL

Update: More here.

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 13, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

An M1 for the Band of Brothers.

M1poster.gif

A Garand for "Shifty Powers." Good on ya, Mr. Radel, Mr. Michaels, and the boys and girls at Boyd's!

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 13, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Rifles

November 12, 2006

H&I Fires, 12 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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First - we just upgraded to the latest version of Moveable Type. Denizens please check and make sure you can get in. Readers - please report any problems you are having. I know we have some template issues with IE7. I'm hoping that Firefox will now work better for you than it did with the previous installation - a quick test of that is do you now see buttons in the comment template where used to be you didn't... Leave a comment or drop me a note if you are having problems. I won't necessarily be able to fix 'em all, but it's good to know what they are!

Whew! The Valour-IT fundraiser is over. And we made our goal. Thanks again, guys!

The Veteran's Day parade was fun - see post below.

Jules Crittenden is not holding out much hope for how the Dems plan to proceed.

First, let me congratulate my Democratic friends. We’re Euro-stylin’ now! The . . . whatever it is in Iraq . . . is no longer a war, it’s a “problem,” House Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi says. Abandonment enthusiast John Murtha, in the running for majority leader, is less ambiguous about it. George Bush “is not going to go on with this war in Iraq.” Murtha wants a Vietnam in Iraq. Chaos and mass murder in Iraq. A victory for terrorism in Iraq. An end of America’s relevance in the world, compliments of Iraq.

I personally think the Dems are going to shed a lot of blood internally on this, but, hey, I'm usually wrong about this stuff. Read the rest of Jule's thoughts here.

I gotta get outta here, I have real pay-the-bills work to do and SWWBO's got a honey-do list, too. -the Armorer

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We're still totaling the donations from non-team and offline donors, but the Valour-IT fundraising competition is over and it looks like it has exceeded expectations again. I'll have much more to say in coming days about the wonderful people involved, but in the meantime... - FbL

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Somebody tell me I'm imagining things, or that I'm just not capable of comprehending "the brilliance of our great leaders." Please. If I understand this, Bush is a bigger fool or more craven devil than any leftist has ever accused him of being. Forgive me for having ever voted for the man. - FbL

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If you need a translation of my temper tantrum above, read this and this.

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FbL...I hope your fears are unfounded and I see a trial balloon being floated.

Let's hope it gets the really, really, really bad press it deserves. I can see the Cox & Forkum cartoon now--Murtha, Pelosi, Scowcroft, and Gates pissing on a mound marked by an M-16 jammed bayonet down in the dirt, a helmet perched on top and a pair of boots at its base...and W off to the side looking the other way...

It's that bad.

Of course, there's a pretty effective MSM out there who will do their best to make the sow's ear look like a silk purse. "Peace in our time!" might work as a buzz phrase. Oh, wait...

Then again, the perfidy may come to pass. If it does, in the long run, Santorum may end up looking like Churchill and Bush like Chamberlain.

Gosh, these Persians are just a pain in the neck...messing with us for more than 25 centuries. Methinks the coming to blows...again...with the descendants of Xerxes and now the "Partisans of Ali" (that's where the word "Shia" comes from) is inevitable. Only this time, it won't be grieves, shields, swords and pikes, but nukes. I say find that friggin' well the 12th Imam is hiding in and make that DMPI #1. -Instapilot

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Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by Denizens on Nov 12, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | General Commentary

Hey! I'm "that guy!"

I remember as a kid going to parades, displays, shows, etc, and seeing some guy or group of guys with Really Cool Stuff - whether it was a classic car, military vehicle, airplane, cannon...

Yesterday, I realized I am now "that guy" to some kids. And a few envious adult males, too... heheheheheheheh.

As the Rotary Technical made its way to our slot in the Leavenworth Veteran's Day parade, we passed a float full of kids, and one of 'em sang out with "Swwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet!" while looking at the Vickers (shown here all kitted out for the several ad-hoc classes conducted while waiting for our turn to start down the route).

Gotta love Leavenworth - driving from the Castle to the Riverfront Community Center and thence to the line-up spot, we passed cops in cars, cops on foot. And they all waved, no one reached for his pistol or grabbed his radio... I should add that the Leavenworth Rotary Club sponsored a pancake breakfast that morning as a fund-raiser - but disabled veterans (on their word, no other proof required, though for at least 3, wheelchairs spoke loudly) got breakfast for free. Not surprisingly, probably about a quarter of the club membership would qualify on those grounds... this *is* Leavenworth, after all.

Fans of Veterans

The Veteran's Day parade here is huge for a town our size (I think). 35K in population (and since males outnumber females, I'm guessing the prison population is in that count). We had over 170 entries in the parade. And an entry might be one vehicle or 15. It takes 2.5 hours to run the whole thing through.

The weather was excellent, the turn-out was great. We started with a fly-over by two F-16s from the Iowa Air Guard, one being piloted by a Leavenworth High School graduate, and then the parade started. We had mounted units, bands, youth drill teams, lots of classic cars carrying vets.

The local Patriot Riders showed up, with an interesting take on POW/MIAs.

The 35th Infantry Division showed up, with some recent OIF returnees.

We had artillery! And firetrucks!

Halfway through the parade, at 11AM, everything came to a stop, and they played Taps.

After that, my crew did their "dash 10" PMCS checks (especially on the trailer), and we loaded up the ammo into the Vickers.

Vickers Ammo

Then off we went. The Order of Rotary, Militant, went over well with this crowd. Many were the murmurs and exclamations of awe, interest, and envy. Only one disapproving pinch-faced Blue Stater (in spirit, anyway). Much was the disinformation given by men to their women and children. I learned that I owned a Gatling Gun, a water-cooled .50 cal machine gun, a Maxim (which is true, I do own one, but this isn't it... though it *is* a derivative), to a Browning M1919, and perhaps the best was the one who confidently told all around that it was a Mark 19 belt-fed grenade launcher...

A couple of people stayed with me for a city block, taking pictures. They didn't *look* like ATFE agents...

Oh, and there was one kid who said - "So that's what Santa does on his time off!"

I have no idea what prompted that.

No, Virginia, that is *not* Santa Claus!

A good time was had by all, and I've been told I'll do it again next year. Mebbe instead of the Vickers, I'll mount the M18 57mm Recoilless Rifle... and I apologize to my Aussie visitors - I know the block on the slouch hat is execrable.

Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 12, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Observations on things Military

Project Valour-IT - thank you!

United Blogs Achieve Victory!!!!

Mission Accomplished. Jointly.

We did it! And man, the Sea Services outdid themselves this round!

Well done all, especially Cassandra and her Marines, and Curt's generosity in turning the firehose to the laggards once he'd established who was really the Big Dog this time. The Army and Air Force played the supporting role in the campaign!

For you book buyers - we have to get the books to Mr. Weisskopf for signature, then we'll get them to you. For you Cluebat winners, half of 'em will get sent out on Monday, the others will have to be made, so will probably go out the end of the week.

For the Gnome Home buyers - those are making their way up here from New Zealand, and will get sent to you when they arrive!

Well done, everybody! That's 280 or so laptops for wounded warriors.

By the way - if you'd still like to give - use the button below and help our Air Force bretheren reach their goal. Might as well pay it forward!




Reporting As Ordered, Sir!

by John on Nov 12, 2006 | TrackBack (0) | Project Valour-IT