Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"DOH!" Moment of the Day - CIA Knows More

Stunned, STUNNED I AM! CNN is reporting that the CIA knows more about Osama bin Laden than they are saying... I think a Louisville Slugger sized clue bat needs to be applied here... When did Homer go to work for AP??

Congressman Sam Johnson Responds to Jack Murtha

I could be jaded and maybe biased, but this speech was made by Congressman Sam Johnson from the 3rd Congressional District in Texas on the 17th of November. Why didn't the press manage to blast this one out on every outlet they had? As I contended a few days ago, Congressman Jack Murtha may be a veteran, but I suggested those with more background on the subject would have been more appropriate speakers to the strategic and geopolitical issues at hand. I think Sam Johnson is well qualified to disccus the matters of morale as a result of the contreversy that has followed the Democratic demand to pull out of Iraq. Thank you, Congressman Johnson, for your commitment to serve in the very bad times, as well as the good, and to continue to serve this nation.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The XBox 360 is Here! Did the DoD Play a Role?

A while back I blogged on some history of training development I worked on in the Navy with the Battle Force Tactical Trainer (BFTT) project, begun by Capt. Herb Kahler in the early 90s.... Does the new XBox 360 owe a tip of the hat to a bunch of war fighters and federal tax doallars for it's development? hmmm...consider how your tax dollars kepp giving and giving....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Broadening the Viewpoint - Information Warfare

I checked Chapomatic's blog this morning and enjoyed his article and the links to the issue of pulling out of Iraq. I began what I thought would be a short comment, but it grew. Here are my thoughts (first read his post, "I just Don't Get It" to get the flow of my discussion: I just had a scary thought.... Common thread: The strategic tool that gets us to the tipping point for those events listed is the Media.. I have long thought, since my college days after Vietnam, that war was going to be waged in very different spheres, the press being one. Subsequently, we saw our peace partner, Japan, wage an economic war agaisnt pretty much the rest of the world. We, to some extent, did a similar thing to the USSR under Reagan, but, I have never felt the NCA, and alkl of us who have or are working for same, really "get it." It's not just on the physical field of battle where we must excel. As I wrote that line, we have become the Redcoats, in our rectangular formations, while the farmers and indians send small, "untrained" (meaning tactailally thinking unconstrained) bands to pick at our flanks, until we can no longer see how to win. Yes, there is Information Warfare, but we seem to continue to confine it to a mostly military discipline. This IW is much, much bigger than that, and, as I said in one of my posts, they may not have tractors from John Deere to harvest rice and rubber, but they still understood a part of the spectrum far better than we did then and possibly even now. I heard rumors some of the very first visitors to the new Sandanista government were NVA types, particularly to get them geared up in the IW arena against us. Congress also took a serious swipe at our national security there, as they were defeated in the press, the same as they had been during Vietnam. And, here we go again! Now to the scary thought: Make PAO staff types part of the unrestricted line, based on the rising importance (or at least so we can catch up) in IW. Doesn't that send a shiver up your spine? I don't think we can afford to "outsource" this to the press corps any longer.... Anyhow, to add one more pice of a puzzle, as we don't see the Republicans, or the President using in your face verbal assualts on the opposition, neither do we see him going after the global enemy in the World press, as they are dong to us. Time to take the gloves off, in my opinion, in the War of Words, and put the Islamic agenda out for what it is, adn has been since AD 622, when Mohammed and about 200 followers went to Medina, expansion and control of the world, pure and simple. The particulars of which specific tools we have to wage war have changed, but the underlying premise of why hasn't. See this trackback to Mudville Gazette for Greyhawk's added commentary on the post from Chapomatic...

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Different Take on "Cut and Run"

Just a little over-analysis but, you're here now... "Cut and Run" - Democratic Strategic Plan. Brilliant in it's use of few words, so the kids of the country that aren't getting a quality education can hope to follow along (thank you, NEA). Also, Marlene Caroselli would approve, I'm sure. I like to divide their words and expose what it really means: "Cut" the head off of Nick Berg and Christian school girls. If you can, cut off President Bush's head before a world audience, if you can get so lucky as to have the Democrats take over the nation. This, dear people, is what the Democrats are afraid to discuss, but, they have nailed the enemy's strategy. "Run" away like the frightened knights in Monty Python's "Holy Grail." This is what the the non-courageous do when faced with a tough job. That would be the strategy of the Democrats. Here is what it sounds like in practical application. And now, I can hardly wait to here this as a result of my commentary....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Echos of the Vietnam War Today

In the fall of 1987, we had a lecture in the big auditorium at the Naval War College. I sure wish I had more than mental notes about it, but here's what I recall: There was a three day conference on the media and one of the resentations was by someone who had researched on the theory that there had been little support for the Vietnam war. He had pulled together the opinion polls from a substantial period of the conflict and showed some interesting things: 1) Most people did support the war. The numbers for those supporting the war remained above 50% until the Tet Offensive (early 1968), then declined slightly after that for the general population. 2) The "belief" that older people and college educated people didn't support the war was debunked, showing that both of these categories supported the war, for the most part, at higher percentages than the rest of the population, but it was the college educated group that had consistently shown the highest support for the war. 3) The one group that had the lowest support for the war, and it dramatically fell after the Tet Offensive, was Congress. So, here we are and this has become a "quagmire." Not in the rice paddies of the Mekong River delta, or in the triple canopy jungle of the highlands, it was at the end of the Mall in Washington, DC, fueled by special interest groups. Once more, we are faced with our politicians, led by John Murtha and John Kerry, who are about to hand a victory to the enemy, the ones who do not want us out, they just want us subjugated (at the least), or dead, at the best. I found this interesting commentary at Veterans Today, about that war from almost 40 years gone by, which shows we had victory almost within our reach, and the anti war crowd (led by Congress) allowed it to be unreachable. Nothing like quotes from the enemy to let you know how close you were, or how right you were..
"However, he read U.S. newspaper reports and editorials which claimed TET was a communist victory rather than an American one. General Giap read in these same U.S. newspapers about our campus protests and anti-war activities. He came to realize that the American military did not have the support of the citizens. He changed his strategy from aggression to attrition. He believed he did not have to defeat America to win. He saw that America would defeat itself. He simply needed to hang on. Consequently, General Giap did not surrender. He simply hung on. In 1971 and 1972, the United States military launched a relentless bombing campaign against North Viet Nam. Most major factories were destroyed. The morale of the people and the NVA was broken. As he stated in this same interview, General Giap was about to surrender a second time. Again he read the news accounts of public protests, university campuses in shambles and marches in the streets in opposition to the war. The unrest in America gave him the resolve to stick to his strategy....just hold on. America will defeat herself. Again, he did not surrender, but simply hung on. Although he made several profound statements, General Giap shared how important the American media was to his cause. He called our newspapers and university campuses his "Fifth Column" and said they accomplished more than his own army. In fact, as early as 1966 the (North) Viet Namese News Agency wrote "We praise the American peace champions. The movement of the American people to protest against the war of aggression has really become the second front against U.S. imperialists."
The bottom line: Congress lost their nerve and lots of people in SW Asia died as a result. And don't forget, that was a war begun with Eisenhower at a low level with money and material for the French, but it took Kennedy and Johnson to really dig us in deep. Nixon got us out, and then was blamed for most of the things that went wrong. If the Democrats hadn't engaged us so deeply, Nixon wouldn't have had to pull us out. So, that said, who really is to blame? More importantly, how will we do it this time? Another issue: By the nature of the "employment," service members on active duty don't really have a voice, nor will they go very far when commenting on such issues as we are now faced with. I wonder why the voices of combat soldiers and Marines, who are presently in theater, or have recentlt served are not being considered. They aren't, because it might disprove the lies (a partial truth is a lie, which "partial truths" are those things meant to mislead). One post in particular that would say we are winning is this one, titled Id al-Fitr. That link is to but one of many that are reports from the front line of what goes on daily in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are winning with muddy boot diplomacy, backed by thousands and thousands of people world-wide, who provide things for the troops to use to build good will and equip a reforming nation. I'll also throw this story in, as a memory from November, 1963: I was living on Okinawa, in base housing at Kishaba Terrace on Ft Buckner. My neighbors were Green Berets, and next door to me was then Major David Watts (he made it to MG, I found out about 8 years ago). I played with his two sons, and he built us a tree house, and gave me a Green Beret from the 5th Special Forces Group. I know when President Kenedy was assasinated, those soldiers from the Special Forces were devastated, having lost not only their benefactor, but a combat veteran worthy of putting their lives on the line for to pay any price and bear any burden. I ask, in light of this display of affection and respect for John F. Kennedy: Where are the Democrats who are worthy of having their stories written into a book titled something like "Profiles in Courage?" We need them right now. Thanks to The Political Teen and Mudville Gazette for the Open Post!

College Professor Calls for Assassination of the President

I quote from the Constition of the United States: Article 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;..." John Daly of Warren Community College sent an email to a student who was planning to have an Army Lt Colonel Scott Rutter speak on the campus about what was happening in Iraq. One line in it, this english professor said: "Real freedom will come when soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors." Am I misreading the Constition, or is this English professor advocating a military coup, through the vehicle of murder, which would include "superiors," the most superior of which is the President of the United Sates. I wonder if he felt that dogs barking at terror suspects being held in Abu Gharib prison was too extreme and considered torture? Seems like a case of situational ethics, all for his personal agenda. If I'm not wrong, it's time for a vist to John Daly from the Secret Service, for he has communicated a death threat towards the President. In the rest of the text, he commented on how US sanctions on Iraq (meaning UN sanctions in fact) killed thousands of Iraqi children.
"...you can begin with the more than a million children who have died in Iraq from U.S.-imposed sanctions and war."
Note to clueless John Daly: Good move, bucko. Lets suggest murder for murder. The only problem is that rudderless, increasingly irrelevant institution of the UN was in concert with the embargos, and also the leadership of the UN raked in the cash by the billions, while those children starved, watching the new palaces go in along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Stick to English, or brush up on your history. Would you consider condemin the rightful inflictors of the human pain, or are you just mad at George Bush for not wanting to fund NPR? My suggestion to you: How about you pack your bags and find Osama bin Laden. I'm sure he's down with that Hammurabi law code deal from ancient times. You'll feel right at home living about several thousand years in the past with the Islamic world domination group. Oh, and study up on how to pay your tribute to your new masters, just in case they give you that option when you convert to worship Allah. Just know, holding onto an atheistic position will get you called infidel, just like the rest of use. Update: It seems the President of Warren Community College believes that John Daly is exercising his First Amendment rights with this harassment, and that Rebecca Beach's expose of this to the media is giving the school a bad name. At least he's right on the second part, but it's her right to use the Constitution as well. The link to the article above have the details of this response from the school's president. Thanks to The Political Teen for the Open Post!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Comments on Comments of Congressman Murtha

This is what I'd call a "target rich environment." I'm sure there are plenty of other bloggers out there who wil l have opinions on Congressman John Murtha's demand to pull the US out of the Iraq War and to do it right now. Greyhawk of Mudville Gazettev has a rather cogent post up already, which speaks to the numbers of wounded quoted by Congressman Murtha, and how it implies over 15,000 of our troops have been horribly injured. It's presented that way, more than likely intentionally, in order to bias public opinion. I'm not one for wearing like a sailor, like I used to, but I think I will just refer to these types of people, who are obviously in the "game" only to further themselves, as: "Power Whores." Quite simply, they will do anything to be in power. I'd think there is some pressure on Rep. Murtha in his district to really step up and show how much he hates the war, or risk losing his seat in the House. His speech today certainly showed us what he's made of. He wants the seat. Here's another take on Rep. Murtha's comments: Michael Savage said we must listen to Rep. Murtha, because he was a decorated combat veteran. I disagree that that is the going in position to accept him as a credible voice. I honor his service, which included time in Vietnam, but I'd like to see that he has some other experience from his 37 years in the Marines that would validate his understanding of grand strategy issues. I scanned his webpage for information on his educational background, specifically looking for his attendance at any of the service war colleges. The closest connection I could find is he has an HONORARY degree (read: a piece of paper that implies no substantive understanding whatsoever) from the Army War College. Pardon my lack of bowing and scraping, but, big deal! He served 37 years in the Marines, and began at the bottom of the enlisted ranks, and retired from the reserves as a colonel. Impressive. Most of his time was spent in the reserves (not that there's anything wrong with that), but that hardly provided you with opportunities to be reguarly involved with situations that expand you understanding of strategic warfare. His own college degree was in economics, and he studied political science at Pitt. My contention is he does not have any real standing to be able to be talking strategic moves. I would listen to him on tactics at the Company level, for he lived that in a combat zone. About 40 years ago, the returning service men were spit on in many places. I'd like to think now, in only a fancify way, that the troops would love the chace to spit on you. Read this letter from a Sgt in the storied 101st Airborne Division, Army, telling it like he and his platoon feel about all of this. I'm ceratin that young man would like to be there to spit. The difference is that military membet is that they have too much class to spit on congressmen. The "indoctrination" intro the service teaches you how to be a respectful of someone's position, by virtue of their rank. Due to that, I suspect you will never see a service member doing anything less than showing these people respect. Congressman Murtha, your comments are of value in that you have access to voicing your opinion, the same as I do, but I do not believe you have other than anecdotal understanding of the larger strategic picture that is being played out now in the war on terror.

Monday, November 14, 2005

In Case You Were Curious - Valour-IT Project Results

To begin with, don't forget the Valour-IT Project is an ongoing thing. The fund raiser from 11/2-11/11/05 was but a moment to leverage off the Veteran's Day Holiday for donations. I was away from the net from Friday afternoon until last night. I had a hard time finind the consolidted After Action Report (AAR) on the big blogs (Mudville Gazette, Black Five, etc. I did find this wrap up on the project webiste (go figure!) and it's incredible. Note how a bunch of competetion by nature people got over enthused and instead of taking the $21,000 mark as the goal, each service branch team took that amount on as their goal. I was amazed myself to find out I hadn't read the directions in my promotion, but I'll take this type of failure any day.... Here's the AAR from FbL, the project coordinator of Soldier's Angels for this project, who took on this important project for our troops:
Fundraising Competition Totals What can be said in the face of such amazing generosity, creativity and hard work? Mere words do not do justice to the impact you all will have on the wounded warriors who benefit from this. And superlatives cannot begin to describe the efforts and activities of those who have made it happen. You have gone far above and beyond the call of duty! As for me, saying "thank you," feels strange because I am not the one benefitting from this. But I sit here in awe and in tears as I try to comprehend the scope of what you have accomplished in these last ten days, and what it will do for beneficiaries of Valour-IT. It has exceeded expectations by such a scale that I can't wrap my brain around it. Our first fundraiser (in August) netted about $15,000 in three long weeks. I thought I was stepping out in faith by setting the bar for this one at $21,000 total in ten short days. Instead, you have more than quadrupled that! And there is still more to come as checks are counted and corporate matching funds come in. Current* totals (including auctions and online contributions not made through a team) are: Donations Funds Average Marines 209 $19,607.00 $93.81 Air Force 123 $11,114.11 $90.36 Army 258 $23,652.57 $91.68 Navy 223 $23,831.76 $106.87 Unaffiliated 154 $10,128.00 $65.77 Totals 967 $88,333.44 $91.35 *The information in the table above is not official. It is gleaned from automated totals for teams as of midnight PST on November 11, the information from team auctions, and the PayPal email notifications of donations made. It does not include checks mailed in (believed to be a minimum of $5,000), or matching funds (unknown). When those totals become available (hopefully by Tuesday), this information will be updated and a final winning team can be declared. Watch for another post soon, detailing significant contributions of time, PR, and hard work of various people. posted by FbL @ 9:28 AM
I'm not sure if it's factored in above (but I imagine it is) a total of $2638 was raised by things put up for auction by various people. Not bad for a bunch of people sitting around in their pj's at a computer, I'd say! As noted, "we" in the teams, really screwed up and assumed we were all supposed to get $21K each. I hate it when mistakes like this happen, but the up side is it seems someone with "means" (read money and a heart) has taken note of the success of the 10 days of fund raising and is discussing significant support for the Valour-IT Project. Check out what FbL says here, and, as she orders, pray and cross your fingers for success in the negotiaions... The winners are the current comabt vets who have stepped up to the plate and taken what came their way. Thanks to all for your support. Again, a reminder that this isn't a one time project fund raiser, and not only this project, but others, need your support on an onging basis. BZ!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day 2005

First order of business: It's the last day of the Valour-IT Project campaign to collect funds in the "friendly competition" between service barnches. It is by no means the end of the doantions that are needed for this worthwhile project. The collection campaign was a great vehicle to get the competitive jiuces flowing for all involved. Please consider regularly donation to the cause. Thanks for the donantions, and if you're inclined to give (or give more), please go to Mudville Gazette and donate for Team Air Force! Today's Topic: An easy way to send a note of thanks to the troops is here. Please consider taking advantage of the opportunity to say it. This day is a day to honor those who have served and are serving. Many others can speak to the subject far more eloqunetly than I, but I took a moment this morning to consider what is different about this day, this year. It is part of a continuing trend to show respect and offer thanks to former and persent military members. This trend began about 15 years ago with Desert Shield/Desert Storm. That's a good think, which occurred close to 20 years after we extracted ourselves militarily from the Vietnam War. I graduated from high school and had no draft hanging over my head. I came of age the first year this occured, yet I enetered the profession, and stayed a total of 24 years. Veteran's Days were not the same back then. It was still a time when many in society only occasionally acknowledged your service. It's different now. I was too young to serve in Vietnam, and spent my years training against the Soviet Bloc threat, for the "big one," where the realistic threat of global thermonuclear warfare wasn't out of the question. I came how after we "won" by making the enemy spend themselves out of the picture. I enjoy finding and talking to veterans. The ones from WWII as pretty much at peace with how they were treated then, and now. I can't really say much about the Korean War veterans, for I have not had the chance to sit down and talk with any of them. Certainly those who were still wearing butter bars when I retired, and are now coming into their own as the leaders of large units, have been shown honor and respect worthy of their sacrifice. Vietnam veterans still seem to be that group held off to the side in this entire equation. When I was out a few weeks ago doing a pick up, I ran into a man with a tree trimming service. We got talking and he had spent a tour in Vietnam with Special Forces. We talked some of the details with that, but then he told me about his return to the "The World." Not a pretty sight. While he stated it matter of factly, you could feel the undercurrent of emotional distress, and see the pain in his eyes. A wound not healed, yet he acknowledged how much better it has become in these following years. As he finished his cigarette, I watched him unconsciously field strip the butt. I commented "old habits die hard." At that point, he realized what he had done, then smiled and said "we did that so the enemy wouldn't find us." I knew that, but for a man with one enlistment, it was confirmation to me that he had been one of the men who stood up to face off against the surrogate enemy of the NVA and VC in those tenuous years. If you know a Vietnam Vet, I'd ask you make a special effort to thank them today, in what ever way you can. While what's done is done, a well delivered "Thank You" today will help offset the ones not received. I think I'll dig out Wayne's card and give him a call today.

I'm Baffled Over the Use of "Suspect"

It seems a 22 year old man broke into a house where a 66 year old woman and her family were staying last Wednesday. She shot him as he lunged at her. Ok, B&E, so what's the big deal? On the Sean Hannity Radio Talk Show this afternoon, they played a part of the 911 call tape from this incident and I was alarmed and baffled at what was said by the emergency operator after a gunshot was heard: "Was the SUSPECT (bold type is mine for effect - ed) shot?" Excuse me? Someone calls 911, explains that someone has broken into their house and is threatening them (will all appropriate emotionally charged voices and sound effects) for a reasonable period before the shot rang out, and the the question is worded like there isn't conclusive evidence enough to "label" the person committing the crime in real time an "intruder" by any chance? Nope...I bet the SOPs for the 911 operators train them to call perpetrators "suspects" so as to not possible give them something they can charge in court as being considered guilty before their trial. Give me a break. We no longer can name what things are, for fear some lawyer will let the guilty ones off on such a stupid technicality (and the judges will aquiese to such lunacy). PC run wild...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday to the USMC

Last year, I wrote this. I still mean every word of it. A young man in my Church is considering enlisting. He's leaning between the Corps and the Navy. Despite my personal journey, I'm trying to point him at the Marines. He's a great kid, but, like most of us at that age, could use a little direction. I'm betting the Corps will be good for him. We'll see. Here's a post, and and one commenter on it said, it's not "mascara safe." If you're somewhere where you might get emotional, save it for after work, but Captain B from One Marine's View tells a story of Veteran's Day you won't forget. Thank you Captain, for the view of that day. To the USMC: Happy Birthday, may you (and all of us) see many more. Thanks to Marines one and all; past, present and future, for your willingness to do what others cannot. For the rest of you, here's what the top Marine has to say about this special day.

It's All About Taking Advantage of Every Resource - Especially Time

First things first: Happy Birthday (230th), USMC! I don't have a lot of time to round this out, but the Valour-IT Project has gone over the goal for Team Army and Navy. The Marines still have quite a hike to make it, which, surprises me, and the Air Force is stll pulling in the $$$, but they are "covering our six." Thanks, Team AF, for guarding our tails as we take this challenge on. It's still looking like a seesaw battle for number 1, Army and Navy fighting it out even now... In 1980, as a young LT, I was put in charge of the Physical Readiness Test (PRT) for a 278 person department at a major training command. The CNO at the time, I think was ADM Heyward, put a renewed emphasis on the program. My ideas on why will have to wit for another day, but here's what I learned, and how it applies to this project to collect funds. The test was sit ups, push or pull ups, and either a 1.5 mi run or 500 yd swim. Grading was broken down not only by time/count, but also subdivided by decades of age groups. At the time, if you "exceeded 40," you didn't have to take it. Many of the "Old Men" opted out. Here's what has always stuck out about the thing I learned. I'd have 24-27 YO guys come up and ask: "How many sit ups do I have to do?" I'd ask their age, then consult the CNO Instruction on my clipboard and say something like "31." This would be the number to achieve the minimum grade of "Satisfactory." (Categories were Unsat, Sat, Excellent, Outstanding) When it came time to get a partner and see how many push ups they could do in the 2 minutes alloted, I'd see this guy (and many like him in excellent physcial shape), knock put the 31 "required" push ups in about 22 seconds, then the'd stand up and walk off to take a break. A few would come and ask "what's the maximum I have to do?" I'd see these people at 1:55 staining to do "one more!" as their partner holding their feet would say to encougare the perrson with the screwed up face, eyes clamped closed, trying to press their elbows to their knees (that's how we did it in the "Old Navy," no "crunches" for us), while rivers of sweat in the Viginia summer ran down their faces. If they had passed the number for max points, it didn't matter, it was about using every second alloted to do as much as they were able. The same thing happened with the push ups, and the run times. Fine, strapping young men, most doing the minimum ("if the minimum wasn't good enough, they wouldn't make it the minimum" they would say), and a few doing everything they could do. Over the subsequent years, as the PRT was done every 6 months, I saw this behavior over and over. In the work place, I saw the same thing. Guess what? It turned out that the people wanting to know the lowest performance they could turn in to get by, were more than likely to take that into their professional performance off the PT field. The ones who suffered the sore muscles from the straining for excellence for all that was in them that day, were more than likely the sailors and officers you could count on, no matter what it was going to take to get the job/mission/project done. I did note exceptions, but it was close to a 1:1 correletion in performance in the work place and for physical readiness. It's an overall life philosophy, easiest noticed, in my observation, during the semi-annual PRT. To bring this home today, Teams Navy and Army have met the self acknowledged "minimums" for the Valour-IT Project. Do we have it in us to use the time between now and 23:59 11/11/2005 to go for something that says what our life philosophy is? I have emailed local and national radio talk show hosts and everyone on my personal mailing list, with a request to pass the email along. I have told others of the project as an "oh, by the way" comment when I could slip it in. And today, as I work, I'll be thinking of who else to contact and email when work is done, encouraging them to consider this project. Have you done it all for the wounded? Will you sweat and strain to the finish line? I think I still haven't done enough....get creative, tell the story, help those who helped us. I'll see you in the virtual victory circle! Make it happen, people! Thanks to Mudville Gazette and The Political Teen for the Open Posts!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I just know Greyhawk wants one....

Here Greyhawk expresses his discouragement at really neat stuff Neptunus Lex is giving out to those who donate to the Valour-IT Project in the name of Team Navy (who is now within less than $1000 of meeting their goal! Go Navy!). If you're reading this, Greyhawk Team, I suggest after you place your cash in Team Navy's pot, and Lex gets your USS RONALD REAGAN ball cap (with scrambled eggs, of course) to you, you might consider leading off your blog with this picture: MUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! JUST DO IT, GH! (or Mrs GH can secretly donate and get it for a Christmas present for GH!) And now to add insult to injury, thanks for the Open Post at Mudville Gazette! (Note: Haloscan is really busy, so this isn't there yet to taunt my favorite USAF related bloggers, but trust me, I'll keep trying to get it there). Update 11/10/2005 0800 EST: Team Navy surges ahead by a few hundred $$$, AND HAS EXCEEDED THE GOAL OF $21,000!!!! Yes, we "slid in" behind Team Army (Great sprint at the end Army - BZ!) at the planned finish line, scoring a second home run for the wounded service members. Lets see if Team Army was in a short sprint yesteday, when they finally passed Team Navy, or if they have the "legs" (yes, pun intended, you dogfaces!) to saty in the race as long as it leasts. If you haven't donated to Valour-IT Project, please consider sending your funds via Team Air Force, or at least Team Marines, even if you love the Navy (or Army).

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

As Paris Burns Once Again....

Day 12, and the rampant arson and violence continues AP reporter Christine Olliver tells us. Oh, but there is "good news" in this, provided from the people under attack:
"The intensity of this violence is on the way down," National Police Chief Michel Gaudin said, citing fewer attacks on public buildings and fewer direct clashes between youths and police. He said rioting was reported in 226 towns across France, compared with nearly 300 the night before.
Clue to Michel Gaudin, who must have some kind of degree in criminal justice (at least I'd hope, but this is a report about France): Sometimes the "enemy" (but you are afraid to call them that as they beat and burn your citizens who are "white") takes a tactical breather to regroup. I'd suggest the downward trend might be caused by them re-thinking the advantage they see. When you break thru the enemy lines in combat, you don't sit down, have a smoke and celebrate. You crank up the logistics and planning "engine" of your force and shove a lot of forces thru the gap to play havoc with the enemy. Maybe they are taking a night off to be able to plan how to gather more momnetum, based on the fact that they are rolling over the law enforcement and emergency services of Paris and nearby towns. After all the appeasement I have seen from the French Government, I'd think President Chirac would roll up his sleeves and voice his extreme displeasure with these rioters, who are actually no different from the masses we have seen on the news in the Palestinean rioting in the not too distant past, in support of terrorist organizations like Hamas. Somehow, even Chirac can't get up the guts to put them in thier place, instead he talks about how they haven't been accepted into the French society. Good going, Prez....let them know you're on their side and maybe they won't chop your head off when they break down the gates to your compound. Now, isn't that interesting? It seems something like this happened a few centuries back, but the purpose of that revolution was to advance liberty and get rid of the tyranny of the crown. How ironic. This revolution, played out, will destroy a democracy and replace it with a violent theocracy. On the other hand, Mohammed took his first handfull of followers out to pillage dessert caravans to obtain power and wealth and then his followers took their hunger for world domination all the way to Tours in about 100 hundred years. Now, the very same mechanism, of conversion and subjugation through violence is at work. A really nasty thing is to see just how large the "sleeper cells," not only in France, but across Europe and Scandanavian countries are, and I'm sure there was no OPPLAN laid out. As these youth, now pumped full of racial and religious hatred, and a world view that tells them to take over all, wake up to the call, I'm sure this is not missed as to the "unintended consequences" resulting from the open immigration policies that have been a part of the "multi-cultural" bandwagon for a few decades now in Europe. What might ehy look like in the States? After this, will law enforcement be able to "profile" for the purposes of public safety, or will we get in line with the ACLU and demand no one be suspected or searched because of their affiliation to a local mosque, where the imam preaches the overturning of the local and federal governments? In this New York Sun article, a hard truth is coming out from where I see things...IT's not about poverty, it is about mulsims, vs non-muslims. Wake up call to all you who didn't like it when President Bush said it was a "Holy War." When you enemy is defined not by the banner of some soveriegn nation, but pledges alliegence to Allah of the Islamic religion, what would you call it? OBL and his followers demand the deaths of the infidels not because we came and took their territory, but because we don't believe in Allah as the one and only God. Are they making themselves clear? Or: Are you who disagree unable to see that your life is also precious and shouldn't be snuffed out just because you won't follow someone else's belief structure? After all, that's the standard you have been demanding (and, by the way, receveiving) from Christians for some time now. I have yet to hear about Christian terrorists chopping off non -believer's heads, of physically harming them in other ways either. I fear the conquest of Europe, which has been on hold since 732, has recommenced, using armies of a stucture not seen before in history, and not covered well in international law. The issues of how to wage a war against your own citizens, who actually support a higher power than that of their own declared government, will, indeed, be a thorny one. It's time for a seriously radical paradigm shift, before the blood runs freely in the gutters. And while we are debating those issues, across the "Western" world, "they" won't be playing by our rules, put in place by our penchant to bow to the over-abundance of lawyers, but will be sizing up how to bring the Caliphate into a worldwide status. Just a few days ago, I thought there was room for optimism in the GWOT, but with this series of daily, increasingly violent, obviously theologically based riots in the center of Europe, I'm not feeling so good about my analysis. It is about religion: Us accepting theirs without compromise. Don't forget that and be ready to draw the line, for the enemy knows no bounds, nor are they will to accept any put on them.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Maintenance Monkey

Received from a friend...he is a retired CPO,,,,
A man walked into a pet store and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, a First Class Petty Officer from the local Navy base walked in and said to the shopkeeper, "I'll take a maintenance monkey, please." The man nodded, went to a cage at the side of the store and took out a monkey. He put a collar and leash on the animal and handed it the PO1, saying, "That'll be $5,000." The PO1 paid and left with the monkey. Surprised, the man went to the shopkeeper and said, "That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them are only a few hundred dollars. Why did that one cost so much?" The shopkeeper answered, "Ah, that's a maintenance monkey. He can run diagnostics on all radars/weapons systems, score 95 on the ASVAB test, operate all forms of test equipment, perform the duties of any Maintenance Man qualified person with no back talk or complaints. It's well worth the money. The man spotted a monkey in another cage. "That one's even more expensive, $10,000! What does it do?" "Oh, that one is a Workcenter Supervisor monkey! It can instruct at all levels of maintenance, supervise maintenance on the unit, intermediate, and depot level, knows all OPNAV instructions, utilizes ORM, and even conducts Divisional Training. A very useful monkey indeed," replied the shopkeeper. The man looked around a little longer and found a third monkey in a cage. The price tag read, "$50,000." The shocked tourist exclaimed, "That one costs more than all the others put together! What in the world does it do?" "Well, I've never actually seen him do anything but drink beer and play with his pecker, but his papers say he's a Chief!"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

As Paris Burns and French Moral Cowardice

On Little Green Footballs, once more the Muslims riot in the vicintiy of Paris. The Interior Minister is cluless, as is the French President. I found a link to the situation I recall hearing about about a year ago, where French Foreign Legionaries gunned down civilians in Cote d'Ivoire. Anyhow, they can find someone to gun down in Africa, but somehow they can't figure out how to use the same rationale to do it in Paris. I guess they are afraid of the consequences when faced with an enemy with resolve. 'Nuf said...

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Have Faith in the "Process" - Vietnam and the GWOT

This "thread" of consciousness began as I chased a link on Chapomatic. He referenced an editorial Iraq: Learning the Lessons of Vietnam, posted in Foreign Affairsfrom Melvin Laird, who was Richard Nixon's SECDEF. Having been closely related to that war from 3rd grade, and having just missed it when I was graduating from high school, I have read quite a lot, trying to merge in my mind the conglomeration of first person stories, the Stars and Stripes view and that of the "Main Stream Media." To this day, it seems all three repoprted a different, but the same war. In Melvin Laird's editorial, he discusses how our Vietnamization plan (turning over the ground warfighting effort to the ARVN) was coupled with negotiaions with the Soviets, which would limit our and their direct and financial interplay in the Vietnam War. Melivin also points out that the ARVN soldiered on for about two full years, despite our withdrawal, and relatively light funding (which was in compliance with the negotiated settlement of the Superpowers. The contrast is more remarkable whne you find oout the Soviets, from before the ink was dry, never conformed to the spending limits and kept pumping resources and money to the NVA. Our allies still held the line for a few years, despite this egregious violation. That gives me new respect for the ARVN. Here is an excerpt of his analysis that supports my comments above:
"The truth about Vietnam that revisionist historians conveniently forget is that the United States had not lost when we withdrew in 1973. In fact, we grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory two years later when Congress cut off the funding for South Vietnam that had allowed it to continue to fight on its own. Over the four years of Nixon's first term, I had cautiously engineered the withdrawal of the majority of our forces while building up South Vietnam's ability to defend itself. My colleague and friend Henry Kissinger, meanwhile, had negotiated a viable agreement between North and South Vietnam, which was signed in January 1973. It allowed for the United States to withdraw completely its few remaining troops and for the United States and the Soviet Union to continue funding their respective allies in the war at a specified level. Each superpower was permitted to pay for replacement arms and equipment. Documents released from North Vietnamese historical files in recent years have proved that the Soviets violated the treaty from the moment the ink was dry, continuing to send more than $1 billion a year to Hanoi. The United States barely stuck to the allowed amount of military aid for two years, and that was a mere fraction of the Soviet contribution. "
One particular sentence jumped out at me:
"Documents released from North Vietnamese historical files in recent years have proved that the Soviets violated the treaty from the moment the ink was dry, continuing to send more than $1 billion a year to Hanoi."
For the last few days, I've thought about that one comment and here some of my thoughts as a result: 1) Vietnam is referred to as a war. I think in a greater context, it was an over a decade long battle in the greater conflict between the Superpowers. I believe most people follow and subscribe to that, but it makes me think of today and the naysayers. Vietnam was one of the hot points in the Cold War, something that came to center stage and captured our attention. 2) As Melvin points out in the beginning of his editorial, one must be careful in drawing parallels, yet I have one. It speaks to me that we have faced a fearsome enemy before. It was the Soviet Bloc/Communism. In that conflict, ranging from the fall of Berlin in 1945, up to the falling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demise of the Soviet Union, we confronted an enemy that followed no rules, and readily violated treaties when possible. We most certainly had moments when our moral compass needle was bent, too, yet I'll submit that that was the exception, rather than the norm. Between oversight from Congress and pressure from our citizens, we played fair. Along the way to winning the Global War, our media labeled us as losers and imperialists. In the grand scheme, we won the Cold War and never resorted to nuking any one. Considering the thermonuclear firepower "potential energy" in both ours and the Soviet's arsenals, I'd say the casualties, each one being a lost life, were far, far less by many orders of magnitude that it could have been. We, as humainty, should rightly pat ourselves on our collective back for this accomplishment. Here's my connection between now and then: We are once more faced with an enemy who follows no rules. They do what ever they can, from hiding behind children, to dressing as women, to driving cement mixers full of explosives towards a hotel full of reporters, as well as chopping off civilians heads with dull knifes. We keep playing by the rules. I suggest, that despite what the press says, and even knowing there is some heartfelt opposition to the war that does not involve the simplistic and obsessive hatred of President Bush, should take heart in seeing how the high road taken has proven the best once before in our not too distant history. If Congress pulls funding, and we have to come home, and we have to endure a president or two who force us into an virtual, or practical isolationist/non-interventionist mode, we still have a fighting cnahce of winning the bigger battle. I certainly don't want to think about "going there," but if we do, we soldier on. Thanks, Melvin for pointing out that the light at the end of the GWOT is maybe brighter than we perceive right now.

Valour-IT Project Gains Momentum - The Navy Leads the Way

I'm sure this cartoon will boost visibility....Thanks you, Cox & Forkum! Let me take a moment to gloat, before the tables are turned.... First: Here's the link to my post on Valour-IT. Next: Well, the Navy got off to slow start being leaderless in this blitz to pull in some cash for the cause, but, the USN and supporters have been leaving the competition in the dust since day 2...How do you other services like that? I'm thinking the USAF can't step up to the plate because of a bunch of wanna be SEALS (and I think they have a leg up on getting to BUDS after painting the F-4 at the USFA grounds with Blue Angel's colors) embarrassed them on the home field! My advice to the flyboys: Get on with life and get over it...:) As to the Amry and Marine Corps: To paraphrase a quote from the game Battlefield 2: "Fight harder, or I'll have to get someone who will!!!" Stats worth that provide bragging rights: As of 2046 EST: Navy: $10691.00 Army: $9049.99 USMC: $7030.00 USAF: $2990.00 Total (as in nothing to sneeze at): $30030.99! And, to make a point, there are 6 more days of this, so no excuses as to not being able to ante up some $$$, the Navy team has the chance to put up the goal of $21K by it's lonesome. How about the rest of you? I think going for $21K/service team would help out a lot more of the wounded troopers...what say we go for $84K? Geez, why stop there if we can bring in 6 figures? Dream big and ask all your friends....

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yep, It's Official - USMC in Special Operations...

Just idle web surfing produced this jewel on the Security Watchtower blog, as a follow up to the NRO article of a few days back. With Uncle Sam's Mguided Children joining up with the snake eaters, I only predict bad, seriously bad news for the bad guys...

Dilbert - The Daily Blog!

Scott Adams has begun a blog! You Know, the author of the "Dilbert" cartoon strip. You'll find it here. See if you can find the comments on the Porpoise Driven Life..... Hat tip: The Pillage Idiot via Eagle Speak.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Valour-IT Project Challenge: Enter the Navy

Well, it looks like us squids have been caught out at sea in receive EMCON "A." No one had volunteered to lead the Navy effort to raise money for the Valour-IT project, which provides computers and software to our injured warriors (of all branches), so they can function by using voice activated technology. It's a quality of life issue, let alone serious morale issue. We have used technology to hunt down and destroy our enemies on the land, sea (on and under), and air. It's time we use that same advancement of science and technology to give the wounded a fighting chance to be normal, despite the physical disabilities. The donations go thru Soldier's Angels, which is a 503(c) organization. That group has done many more things than this for our service members. Scan Holly's site and see how you can help with other things she is workin on, too. The Army, Air Force and Marines are already moving out and we're looking pretty lame. Does it remind you of that feeling when you missed the last Liberty Boat back to the ship? Yep, lame.... Someone may have beat me too the duty to handle this, but if not, I'm on it.... Update: Get over to The Indepundit (LCDR Smash's blog), where his wife is leading the charge for the Navy team. Pass the word.

What It Means to Be White - A Short Thesis

No, I didn't write this one, and before you feel the blood pressure rising, breathe deeply in thru your nose, then exhale deeply thru your mouth.... Think biology. Now, go to Peakah's Provocations and enjoy a thoughtful bit of commentary. Hat tip: Mudville Gazette Open Post!