Saturday, April 30, 2005

Vietnam – Know your flow of history

No big news that yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.

If you move the clock back another 30 years and a few days, it is also the
60th anniversary of American and Soviet forces meeting up at the Elbe River at Torgau.

Back to our 30 year wedge on the timeline, we are again at war. Different people, different equipment, different reasons.

Where will our children or grandchildren serve in 30 short years, 2035? One thing I know, the price is the same for each time.

We need to make sure we earn it.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Photoblogging - Iraqi Sandstorm

I can feel the pumice-like talc feeling on my teeth from here. One thing comes to mind; desiccated, particulated, fecal matter.

Photo by Cpl. Alicia M. Garcia, U.S. Marine Corps

I'll show you my planet if you show me yours

Skippy has found another fun "Where have you been" map. You kind of have to "define your terms." Here's my map; entering arguments are "boots on the ground." Not fly over, or float by. Boots on the ground, or anchor over 12 hours within 3 NM of the coast with at least one liberty/liason party ashore.

create your own visited country map

Ivory Billed Woodpecker – Better than an ASW capable S-3B

See, I could find a Navy tie in. Sorry, but I am a National Geographic geek from long back. Some kids had toys and clothes strewn all over their floor, I had National Geographic.

The Holy Grail of all things birdy is no longer extinct. Like Hillary’s guide to cattle futures and the reputation of many a young, female, gov’munt worker; they have been found in an Arkansas swamp.

I think this is huge. If you read the description of the bird, it is truly magnificent. This would be almost like finding a squadron of C-1 ASW capable S-3Bs on the ramp at JAX, or the discovery of 3 active Yankee boxes off the West Coast.

Euro: Legal tender of terror....and drugs

Chester mentioned something the other day that fed off a snark from a BBC talking head I saw on TV Tuesday.

Some of the Eurocrats have, strangly, taken pride that
Zarqawi (BTW, what is it with the Arab world that makes them think they can ignore the "u" after "q" rule all the time) was caught with Euros and not Dollars. The BBC-type implied that it was another sign that the world was turning to Europe as the new center of economic power, and the Euro as the new reserve currency.

Yes, the
Dollar is weak and we would need an Econ 102 blog to explain the reasons, but there is a simpler explaination.

The USD's largest note is the $100 bill. The Euro comes in a EU500. If you are running a cash operation (drugs, bribes, terror, etc) and need to travel light; what would you rather carry. +/- 15-20%, historically the Dollar and the Euro are comprable.

Do you know how much a
$100,000 weighs? If I am running away from a Predator, I know I would want to shift that decimal point.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

SGT Akbar = Death

As it should be.
A military jury sentenced a soldier to death Thursday for a deadly grenade and rifle attack on his own comrades during the opening days of the Iraq invasion, a barrage that prosecutors said was triggered by religious extremism.

Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who gave a brief, barely audible apology hours earlier, stood at attention between his lawyers as the verdict was delivered. He showed no emotion.
Jury; well done.

Recruiters on campus – Making you look bad ponytail boy?

The attack on recruiters is nothing new, but as the Boomer Left continues to strengthen its hold on gov’munt schools in many places, it is quickly reaching Solomon Amendment levels….in High School!

Over at
TCS, Douglas Kern just tears it up. Read the whole thing. I like his tounge-in-cheek writing style.
Damn those sexy Marines! A curse upon their macho swagger and fascinating scars and rugged boot-camp-sculpted physiques and manly ill-fitting uniforms! How dare these vulpine volcanoes of voluptuous virility vend their voluminous values to vexed valedictorians? Who will keep our young adults from succumbing to the siren call of patriotism and public service?
Ponytail boy the High School administrator, perhaps? Or is it crunchy Village Voice readers that, though they cannot stand anything testosteroney-like, they find…something…attractive…
"In promoting this type of recruiting effort," Bamburger writes, "our government apparently realizes what advertisers and marketers have known for years -- teens are fertile ground for influence because they still are at a point in life where impulse can overrule rational thought. So it's not a leap to worry that our children also might be unduly and dangerously swayed in these times by a call to patriotism. It's not a stretch to imagine that when they sign on the dotted line for boot camp, our children have focused more on the well-cut uniforms and group camaraderie and not on the long-term, and possibly deadly, consequences of even a short stint in the military."

If you're an adult at eighteen, then you should be a bona-fide adult, not a juvenile on stealth double-secret adult probation. At 18, the law says you're old enough to vote; old enough to have sex; old enough to have an abortion; old enough to enter a legally binding contract -- heck, you're even old enough to incur the death penalty, assuming recent case law from Suriname doesn't persuade the Supreme Court to the contrary. So you're old enough to vote on questions of when and how the military will be used around the world -- yet not old enough to make your own decision about joining the military. Say what?

Whether it's jacking up the drinking age, subsidizing Romper Room party colleges with taxpayer dollars, or ejecting those luscious Marine recruiters from our public schools, the theme is the same: we are creating an extended adolescence for American young people that reaches well beyond their eighteenth birthday. The years between eighteen and twenty-one are a limbo in which responsible behavior is little demanded and even less expected.

At what point do decisions entail grown-up consequences? At what point do the training wheels come off our citizenship? Precisely what favor do we think we're doing teens by prolonging their goofy years?
Boom. That’s in the 10 ring. Don’t underestimate today’s youth, though not all are perfect.
So don't hate those Marines because they're beautiful. Don't hate them for their smokin'-hot stubbly haircuts and their surprisingly generous college tuition deals and their slick sales pitch. Fight them on their own terms. Present the case to your kid for the advantages of a nice drunken college education on someone else's dime over patriotism and making your own way in the world. Sell them on the joys of sedentary pursuits over high adventure. Make your own wicked cool berets. If your precious little adult isn't buying it, don't blame those sexy Marines. Blame yourself.
Marketplace of ideas ponytail patchouli boy. Don’t be such a puss an perhaps your young men and women will want to join you at NYU New Paltz.

BTW, a subject for another day. He is righ on WRT the 18yr olds. Don’t get me started on the “you can kill hundreds of Jihadi for your country, be in charge of $millions of equipment and carry enough firepower to destroy a building,,,,,but don’t you dare have a beer at
The Irish Times. Harumph.

Hat tip
The Corner.

Stream of consciousness photo links

How do you get from the story of SGT Akbar to a baby about to punch the Junior Senator from New York?

The human mind, well at least this one, is a strange place.

Start with the bucket of FOD murdering traitor
SGT Akabar. Mmmmm, even this nightmare of a person has fans.

That reminds me that there is a density of madness at almost all San Francisco rallies. Communists and all.

Those eyes. Those eyes. Wish I could find the photo, but who do they remind me of?

I have seen pictures of her reminding me of someone else.

And I am reminded how beautiful Mrs. Salamander was in college (and still is - had to put that there, you know)

Thoughts soon lead to the spirit of the American Soldier.

And how, thank goodness, our children often show the warrior spirit early on in life.

I need to go PT.

Hat Tip
BLACKFIVE and Zombietime.

A failure in deck-plate leadership

Milblogs like mine now and then like to point out some of the “issues” we have with the press, politicians, leadership, and the occasional barking Moonbat, but as is always the case – when you point your finger at someone else, three more are pointing back at you.

So. Let’s go back to Leadership 101. Vince Lombardi leadership. The basics.

We spend a lot of time talking about leadership in the field, at sea, on deployment, on Staff, on deployment. What about shore duty? IDRC? FRP?

When was the last time you did a barracks inspection?

Here is the basic question: where is this Sailor’s LPO? His Chief? Heck, his roommates and fellow Shipmates.

BZ to this Master at Arms Senior Chief that put the below together. I blurred out his name to give him some general privacy in the blogosphere, but if you are in Groton, I bet you know this guy. Buy him a beer for me.

This PPT is making the CMDCM rounds, and it needs to be seen as much as possible. This guy went to our bootcamp, worked in our commands, was responsible for someone’s life; and we let him live like this under our own nose. In our house. On our base. I’m a big believer in being responsible for your own actions, but also taking care of your responsibilities. If this guy lived like this out of town (and we have all seen it), that is one thing. But this is a barracks room.

If you have a tender stomach or have not seen the outstanding barracks rooms we supply our Sailors (potential greatness-not the after effects), you may not want to see this. Below is the preview, but you need to see the whole thing.

Slide Cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and Summary. Sigh.

The tough thing is that odds are this is a sub Sailor. Most in Groton are. They don't take just anyone. Kind of reminds me of this guy.

If you want the PPT, email me from a .mil or .gov and I will send it your way.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Feeling moody. Need proper quotes.

For reasons know to me, but could be surmised by some - I needed to dig in the quote vault to validate things bumping around my non-medicated, under-caffeinated head this AM. Sometimes you see things and think, "What in the hell is going on?"

Yea, I'm Navy, but let's be honest; Army guys have the best quotes. Perhaps it is their wise emphasis on the Liberal (in the correct usage of the word) Arts in the education of their officers. Navy engineers make terrible use of the English language.

Anyway, here are two quotes from one of the best, IMAO, leaders the American people produced. Not a perfect man; none of us are. But hate or love him, you can't deny that General Patton was a man of unique foundation and insight.

Here are the two that fit the bill.

There is a great deal of talk about loyalty from the bottom to the top. Loyalty from the top down is even more necessary and is much less prevalent. One of the most frequently noted characteristics of great men who have remained great is loyalty to their subordinates.

Personally, I am of the opinion that older men of experience, who have smelled powder and have been wounded, are of more value than mere youthful exuberance, which has not yet been disciplined. However, I seem to be in the minority in this belief.

Who said our European “allies” that should have a say in our security?

We all remember from the NOV 04 election the call to work with our European “allies.” How we should rely on them more. Make sure they have a “buy in.” Share our toys; all that.

The apex of these enlightened countries is, of course, Belgium; a nation that is even younger than ours (so much for the ‘older-wiser’ country thingy) and has some house cleaning of their own to do.

Well, they no longer trust their version of the FBI with weapons. No, I’m not kidding.
Members of the Surete de l'Etat were ordered to disarm after news emerged that an agent only narrowly escaped injury when another opened fire.
Weapons will be issued only if specifically needed, the justice ministry told the BBC News website.
Separately, the work of the state security body may change if a ban on phone tapping is lifted.
You can’t make this stuff up. I added the phone tap thing just for added fun.

Why did our Belgian Elliot Ness get his gun taken away? Sounds like we had an accidental discharge problem (insert joke here).
…the Libre Belgique newspaper reported that an agent who was "without a doubt under the influence of antidepressants" had discharged his weapon.
Very nice. Needless to say, Barney isn’t happy that his round is being taken away.
agents prefer to be armed while out on missions as they often find themselves in hostile environments when investigating, for example, organised crime, and like to think they can defend themselves.
Ummmm, yea. Might need that. Criminals, terrorists and all.
A report in the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper notes that the Belgian security apparatus has been a source of frustration for other Western agencies.
Working national security issues with unarmed bi-polar agents. I wonder why.

Senator Kerry, call your office.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Prayer request – and a heads-up

Another departure, but if you read Laura Ingraham or Michelle Malkin on a regular basis, you already know that Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer, and going in the operating room today.

They have caught it early, so there is a great opportunity for success. Though she doesn’t know me from
Adam’s off ox, I have been a fan since her MSNBC days, and ask for your prayers for her quick recovery.

This news is especially a tough hit for her, as she is engaged and will
soon marry Washington businessman James V. Reyes.

Here is the heads-up. Laura is only 42 and this was found during a normal exam. Life is unpredictable and works on its own timetable. At any moment, reality can leave you

Megaton Fisking: Steve needs a doctor

I have been known to put out a Fisking on some of the FOD out there now and then on occasion; but Rusty is right. Sir George just absolutely destroys this buddy of Kos.

Just to give you a taste of the blood thrown in the water that brought Sir George up from the depths, here is a little drop of the fetid ooze posted by Steve.
Now, the warbloggers, who are fuzzy on the details of the actual war, like to believe that we're winning in Iraq. They're about the only ones who do.
I would love to see what the folks at Arrggghhh!!! would say to that guy. One on one. At 2am. At a bar in Souda Bay.

This Fisking will leave that Moonbat walking funny for days. Wayne puts is best.

The new Brownshirts of Europe: this time with beards and funny hats

From the “reap what you sow” chapter of No Shit Sherlock; Dhimmitude for one of the excretable uber-Leftists of the United Kingdom George Galloway, has earned him, well, a fatwa.

At a hustings meeting on Wednesday Mr Galloway and his Labour opponent Oona King stood together to plead for less negative campaigning.
Both candidates, contesting the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency, have required police protection.

Mr Galloway was allegedly "threatened with death" by Islamist extremists at a meeting on Tuesday evening.
Yikes, that’s about as negative as you can get.
The 40-strong mob apparently locked the door and denounced him as a "false prophet" and declared the sentence for this was "death".

Mr Galloway said: "It was a very frightening incident caused by a tiny, unrepresentative group of very extreme fundamentalists who believe that elections are a crime against Islam."
Nice to see that multiculturalism and assimilation of immigrants to the political and social norms of their new country is going swimmingly in the UK.
Miss King said: "I utterly condemn any attacks on George Galloway, or any other politician, and indeed just the general atmosphere of intimidation.
"I have to say it has not been helped by some of the language used by Respect. Extremism breeds extremism."

Mr Galloway and Miss King appeared together amid tight security at a meeting at the University of London on Wednesday evening.

Miss King told the audience that Mr Galloway had agreed to a meeting with election organisers and other candidates to try to "take some of the heat and vitriol out of this campaign".

Mr Galloway said: "Can I take this opportunity to express to Oona King how sorry I am for what has happened to her in this campaign and to welcome her call this evening for all the parties to talk with the police about how we can take some of the negative atmosphere out of this campaign and how we can see democracy prevail."

Respect is a coalition that grew out of socialist and trade union opposition to the Iraq war.
Of course. “It is our fault the Brownshirt Islamofascist hate us.” Spoken like a nice little Dhimmi Miss King. Now go get fitted for your Burkha.

Maybe this will give Mr. Galloway some pause to rethink his politics……awhhh, you know I was just pulling your leg. Proverbs 26:11 applies.

Here is a little background on what Mr. Galloway thinks his “great achievements are;
On his proudest achievement in parliament since 2001: "Having been a leader of the anti-war movement which built the biggest demonstrations in British history; having been right about Iraq; having made enemies like Tony Blair, Rupert Murdoch and Conrad Black; having defeated the Daily Telegraph in court; and having helped build Respect - the Unity Coalition."
Bookworm isn’t too happy with the mother country either. For good reason. Sad to see the mighty offer their neck so.

Hat tip USS Neverdock.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Royal Navy: Legacy of honor

A review of a book review is a departure, but when the reviewer is Victor Davis Hanson and the subject is the Royal Navy (I love the global assumption you are referring to the UK’s navy) – boy howdy, why not blog it up.

What do we owe to the British “ruling the waves” and how does it impact us today?

The legacy of the former was embodied by the global spread of the English languages; the dynamism of America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand; Indian democracy; and the notion of the rule of English-based law applied on a worldwide scale. The latter was superseded—but not defeated—by the U.S. Navy. And the naval power of the United States in many respects was a result of greater material resources applied on a massive scale to a similar system of naval organization adapted from the British.
From the way the U.S. Navy runs our ships (minus the booze – sniffle) to many of our goofy traditions; we owe our past to the Royal Navy. We also took from the British an attitude that led us to follow our Mother to master the sea.

Sailors came to believe through their training and equipment that their ships were better, their commanders smarter and their mates more skilled than was true of any enemy firing back at them.
That tradition is why the most heated discussions you can have is if we are trained/ing or equiped/ing our forces correctly. Sure, I'll argue liberty today in Thailand vs. early 1980's Philippines, but that's not fair......

To know the U.S. Navy, you need to understand its British roots. VDH reviewed two new books on the Royal Navy; The British Seaborne Empire by Jeremy Black, and To Rule the Waves: How the British Navy Shaped the Modern World by Arthur Herman.

It all starts with that unlikely group of cold, resource deprived islands off Europe that could be described charitably as a backwater to a dying Roman Empire.

At first glance, the British maritime empire made little sense. Unlike Spain or France, England had no Mediterranean ports and was without a venerable seafaring heritage of the old galley states. It was distant from the ancestral Roman locus of power, and its population was religiously divided, torn by ethnic strife, smaller than France's and without the natural resources of larger European continental states. Indeed, there was not much of any British naval history before the 15th century. Far earlier, Viking longboats had freely raided the English coast and gone on to discover the New World; Portuguese and Spanish, not British, galleons would first chart the sea routes to Asia and the Americas.

Yet by the late 16th century, England had launched the most technologically advanced, nautically skilled and professionally led fleet in the world. And by 1630 no combination of French or Spanish ships could stop its 100-ship mastery of the seas, which by the mid-18th century had resulted in a worldwide empire protected by 300 capital ships. How did it all come to pass, and what effect did the nearly 500-year reign of British naval mastery have on the world at large?
Just reading a review by VDH is worth the time. But to pass up a look at a couple of books he likes is just foolish. I have a shelf of unread books laughing at me right now, but these two are going on my "wish list" anyway.

Know thyself.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sunday Funnies

A early edition of the "Sunday Funnies." Going to be off with the wee-ones this weekend.
Cheers! Phibian

Friday, April 22, 2005

You can secure the Italian Military Jokes

President Bush nominate(d) Gen. Peter Pace of the Marines as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, .... The White House ... name(d) Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. of the Navy to replace General Pace as vice chairman,..
General Pace's father emigrated from Italy. Giambastiani, well, that ain't an Irish last name.

You can remove
this web site from your "favorites" for a while.

Heroism at sea: Bravo Zulu Seaman Garrett

We hear, not enough IMAO, about the great acts of heroism taking place on the battlefield during the GWOT. There are many times that bravery is required far from combat, in the face of something just as dangerous.

Day to day operations at sea are fraught with danger; though you live with constantly, and safety is focus of every action at sea, you don’t appreciate how fast things can go bad until something in the chain breaks. With surprising speed, you can go from the mundane at sea activities to a nightmare of fire and blood.

In those moments when everything changes, the training and character of our Sailors come out. Without time for reflection or thought, our people act. That lowly seaman stuck on midwatch or riding his duty in the scullery, can in one instant become a hero.

One such sailor is Seaman Garrett of the USS Preble (DDG 88).

While training a seaman on the guided-missile destroyer's flight deck, a mechanical failure caused a helicopter to crash onto the ship's flight deck during landing.

After pushing the seaman out of harm's way, into the hangar bay and securing the door to protect those inside, Garrett ran back onto the flight deck to provide first aid to an air crewman who was thrown from the helicopter. Only after the situation stabilized, and when ordered, did Garrett depart the scene to receive medical attention for his own injury.
Here is where you find that unique character in the best of today’s Sailors.

"The helicopter crash we experienced that day was a terrifying experience," said Preble's supervisor, Senior Chief Gas Turbine System Technician (Electrical) (SW) Kane Valek. "Seaman Garrett did not freeze, he did not act on his own self-preservation instinct. Instead, he immediately went to protect his shipmates. He went to the aid of others. That is not something you can teach or coach. That is heroism."
For his actions, Seaman Garrett was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Medal.

The Navy/Marine Corps Medal is awarded to Sailors and Marines who distinguish themselves by heroism not involving actual conflict with the enemy. For acts of life-saving, or attempted lifesaving, it is required that the action be performed at the risk of one's own life.
Reason 4,567,943 why I get my skivvies in a wad whenever someone ignorantly states, “The Sailors today aren’t the quality that they were when I was in the Navy…….bla…bla…bla.” Harumph.

Whodathunk II: Electric Boogaloo

Another dose of lov’n from the Army (keep your comment to yourself Skippy), this time from the Paratrooper of Love. It seems that another brother in green finds something of use with my little collection of screeds.

I consider Blackfive at least an Echelon II Milblogger, and I appreciate the vote of confidence from Her Uberblogger. If my readers have not paid him a visit, he’s on my blogroll, check him out. Thanks.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Reminds me of a USO show I once saw at Gerbil Ally

After some time at sea, any entertainment is entertainment; real bands, or this – it will do.

Reminds me so of the glorious sandbox days at Jebel Ali.

I think the guy in the white shirt used to be my YN.

Hat tip Gorilla Mask and TheDecadentWest via Allah.

Andrew Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory System

Yep, I've gave up on him long ago as well. In the last two years he has gone from a must read to a one-trick-pony.

Click here for further updates as blogspot doesn't like Java.
Here is a static shot though.

Hat tip
Wizbang via Allah.

"God save the (Danish) Queen!"

I am an unapologetic republican (with a small R), in the macro sense WRT the West. However, sometimes a royal comes out and uses their unique bully-pulpit in a way that makes me take pause.

This time the royal is Danish; and she speaks with big medicine.
Denmark's Queen Margrethe II warned against the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Denmark and the world in a new book out, saying people must on occasion "show their opposition to Islam".
"It is a challenge we have to take seriously. We have let this issue float about for too long because we are tolerant and very lazy,"

"We have to show our opposition to Islam and we have to, at times, run the risk of having unflattering labels placed on us because there are some things for which we should display no tolerance," she said.

"And when we are tolerant, we must know whether it is because of convenience or conviction,"
Where do I buy this woman a beer, and does she have any grandchildren I can introduce my daughters to.

What she gets, and people need to understand, is the multi-culturalism does not work with a culture that is antithetical to freedom and discourse as a minority-or as is often the case, even worse when they become the majority..
Queen Margrethe, who professes a knowledge of Islam due to her interest in archeology, said it was "natural that young Muslims would be attracted" to the faith's absolute values and seek refuge in religion "as they are cut off from our community because of their lack of (Danish) language skills."

"It's not just a matter of speaking and understanding" Danish, she said, but also "understanding the language's codes, and we have to help them."

The queen, who is hugely popular among Danes, is the head of the Lutheran-Evangelical Church, of which 85 percent of Denmark's 5.4 million inhabitants are members. Muslims make up about three percent of the population.
If people want to immigrate, they have to assimilate. Kind of like The Borg, but it is voluntary and you can always go home.

A strong Queen with a backbone. Being a direct descendent of Gorm the Old ahd Harald Bluetooth (both solid littoral, "From the Sea" type folks) gives her the right blood stock, at least.

Hat tip LGF.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Non-persons – The Damned of West

Throughout the West, and countries allied with the West, in addition to armed forces coming to help Iraq join the civilized world, civilians from all lines of work are coming to help from relief personnel to businessmen.

You hear now and then about some that are taken hostage, and unlike their reaction when one of their own is taken, you hear little of these civilian hostages from the MSM or their governments.

Rusty Shakleford at the irreplaceable
Jawa Report, has an exclusive interview with the family of American Roy Hallums who was abducted from his temporary Baghdad home on November 1st, 2004.

The MSM has ignored this story; Rusty hasn’t. This is unquestionably worth the visit to hear their story.

Guide to the Vast LEFT Wing Conspiracy (VLWC)

From the fertile AADD mind of the great American David Horowitz comes one of the best guides to the Left in America I have ever seen. Simple, straight forward and put in a visual format so even those educated in gov’munt schools can quickly grasp the connections and interactions between the disparate parts of the American Left.

DiscoverTheNetwork will give you an overview, through a visual interface, of the Left’s network that could take countless hours of research to discover yourself.
…DiscoverTheNetwork. This site is a "Guide to the Political Left." It identifies the individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it; it maps the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic; it defines the left's (often hidden) programmatic agendas and it provides an understanding of its history and ideas.
Get ye to the coffee mess. Get a fresh cup, and block off at least 10 minutes. Think of an organization of the Left that drives you nuts the most and follow the connections. Visit early, visit often.

Now, where is the one for the VRWC?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Keeping an eye on the long game: part XI

If you are on a boat, above or below the water, the worst thing you can hear if free-flowing water. It means that somewhere, somehow, there is flooding….you think.

I’m not sure what is going on
here WRT Japan vs. China; but somewhere onboard, somewhere in the ship, I think I hear flowing water: the feeling you get like someone is watching you; instinct; hair on the back of the neck.

Nothing happens at this scale in China without the Communist Party’s approval. One thing I do know, this isn’t about
schoolbooks; this isn’t about WWII; this has everything to do with internal Chinese politics and posturing – preparing the populace for something, or distracting them from something - or perhaps sending Japan a message about something.

How do you spell Senkakus in Kanji?

If I was Japanese, I would prepare as much as possible for a
future that may not be what they want. The dragon is stretching; what it is planning to do, I have no idea.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Time Magazine is clueless beyond parody

This is just too perfect. I slam Time Mag one week, and they walk around with their fly open the next!

BAAAWAAAHAHAH. Too perfect. As most know, uberRightist fantasy date, Ann Coulter, is on the cover of Time this week.

BTW, Ann - love the shoes. The little bows.....

Well, on line they have a photo slide show. Slide ocho, you have to look at it. My buddies at snagged another clueless Leftist, this time the whole magazine.

You know, if Time had just one person on the Right look over this story, they could have told the, "Ummmmm, your kidding, right? You're not going to put that picture in with that caption, are you?"

This is just too rich. In case they take it down later, slide "8" had the caption and photo,
Demon and Idol
Protesters blast Coulter at the G.O.P. Convention in New York City last year

My day is compete. That is my moment of Zen. is a parody group. Duh (though.....)! Did they really believe it was a ligit group? And if they did.......

Hat tip LGF.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

What is he asking you?

Before we get to the "Sunday Funnies," I wanted to send this out. Carol Iannone has a great piece on what has become my new favorite depiction of Jesus.
This Jesus is rather more challenging than comforting. This is a Christ with standards ... his eyes directly engage even as his hands remain crossed quietly on his breast. He is interested in us, yet reticent and pensive, it seems. Those steady, dark brown eyes fix the viewer, while his head tilts to the side, giving the impression that he is scrutinizing you, studying you.
... A Christ who sized you up, maybe the way he sized up the chatty Samaritan woman at Jacob's well or the rich young man who thought so well of himself. Where are you now, viewer, he might be saying, what's going on in you, are you ready for me? What are you holding onto, what worthless baggage are you carrying so that you can't come my narrow way? You couldn't think of anything petty while in the purview of that calm, knowing, intelligent, and potentially redemptive gaze.

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, April 16, 2005

UK Election: Who am I voting for?

Well, no one. No one in my family as voted in the UK since....well...they never have. Most left about 300 years ago before it was the UK and were indentured servants and criminals.... But that's not the point. Wonder where you would be if still a subject of the crown? Go here.
Here are my results. Real shocker.

Your actual outcome:

Labour -14

Conservative 66
Liberal Democrat -71

UK Independence Party 35
Green -17

You should vote: Conservative

The Conservative Party is strongly against joining the Euro and against greater use of taxation to fund public services. The party broadly supported the Iraq war and backs greater policing and ID cards. The Tories are against increasing the minimum wage above the rate of inflation, and have committed to abolishing university tuition fees. They support 'virtual vouchers' for private education.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Hat tip The England Project.

… a porn drenched country like Japan?

Yep, and I think porn is part of the problem.

As is my want; sometimes you have to go back to the classics:
No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women
No fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark
Everyone around me is a total stranger
Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger
-The Vapors, Turning Japanese, 1979.
There are a lot of reasons for the demographic problems we find in the West (slightly reviewed here, here, and here), and it seems that in Japan (the Asian sub-group of the West) part of the problem is a combination of a profound misunderstanding of a well rounded marriage, poor priorities, and a porn and prostitution drenched culture that is coming off its tracks.
In 2003 Japan's birthrate hit a record low of 1.29 - the average number of times a woman gives birth during her lifetime - one of the lowest rates in the world, according to the cabinet office. The population will peak next year at about 128 million, then decline to just over 100 million by 2050.
You cannot create the next generation if you are not doing the activity that makes it possible.
Like many Japanese women, Junko waited until her early 30s to get married. When she and her fiance, an employee of a well-known firm, decided to tie the knot, she set her sights on making a home, putting away some money and starting a family.

Fifteen years later, Junko and her husband are childless. It is not that they cannot have children; it is just that they have never had sex.
….and some people get mad when you leave the seat up….
The 200 women a year who seek help at a clinic in the Tokyo suburbs have not had sex with their husbands in up to 20 years, and some never, according to Kim Myong-gan, who runs the clinic.

"The women who come to see me love their husbands and aren't looking for a divorce," he told the Guardian. "The problem is that their husbands lose interest in sex or don't want sex from the start. Many men think of their wives as substitute mothers, not as women with emotional and sexual needs."

Mr Kim's short-term solution is unconventional. After an initial 20,000 yen (£100) counselling session, he produces photographs of 45 men, mostly professionals in their 40s, with whom the women are invited to go on dates and then, in almost all cases, arrange regular assignations in hotel rooms.

Mr Kim dismissed charges that his service was little more than a male prostitution ring. "The men volunteer and pay half the hotel and restaurant bills, so legally there is absolutely nothing wrong with it," he said.
Perhaps Japanese women need to be a bit more aggressive. I have had a couple of coworkers with Japanese wives, and they become quite “native” real fast. Great women all, and not pushovers and mommy substitutes. Perhaps with their personality they wanted an American man. I know one guy’s mother-in-law that apologizes that her daughter does not “treat him properly” (usually said while he is cleaning the dishes or has a wrinkled shirt); his wife gives sigh and an eye roll and life goes on.
The number of married couples is in rapid decline. In 2000 almost 70% of men and 54% of women between 25 and 29 were unmarried. That bodes ill for the birthrate, as conservative Japanese society frowns upon having children outside marriage.

A survey of 600 women found that 26% had not had sex with their husbands in the past year.
Wow. Just wow. I’m a big fan of marriage (13+ years with #1 thank you), but there is a major malfunction going on in Japan, if those stats are correct.
The divorce rate has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, with more women blaming their sexually inactive, as opposed to sexually errant, husbands for break-ups.

"The men love their companies; they live for work," Mr Kim said. "Men don't even think it is a problem if they don't have sex with their wives. They have pornography and the sex industry to take care of their needs, but their wives have nowhere to go. They just suffer in silence."
I could make lots of jokes like “Mama-san, I can get the 7th Fleet port call schedule for you..” but this is just too sad of a story to make fun of. You really have to feel sorry for these ladies, and to a lesser extent these men who have created this self-inflicted cancer on their life. You only get one shot at this, to expend your life with porn and prostitutes to the point the woman that married you has to go to a service to meet someone who will give them some attention, is just waste. Maybe Skippy can give us an onsta report. This story is just sad.

Hat tip Fjordman.

Friday, April 15, 2005

I think these guys wrote my last FITREP

Where, oh where, was the SCIgen - An Automatic CS Paper Generator when I was in grad school?

Academic writing is just all full of foolishness, and MIT guru Jeremy Stribling and two of his fellow grad students
just proved it.
The trio submitted two of the randomly assembled papers to the World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI), scheduled to be held July 10-13 in Orlando, Florida.

To their surprise, one of the papers -- "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy" -- was accepted for presentation.
BAAWAAAHAAAHHAAA!!! Go read "Rooter" here. One of their better lines goes,
"the model for our heuristic consists of four independent components: simulated annealing, active networks, flexible modalities, and the study of reinforcement learning" and "We implemented our scatter/gather I/O server in Simula-67, augmented with opportunistically pipelined extensions."
Better yet, go build your own here. I even "wrote" one of my own that I am very proud of,
We now compare our approach to previous wearable algorithms methods. Further, Niklaus Wirth et al. [7] and Garcia [8,9] introduced the first known instance of autonomous symmetries. Furthermore, the original approach to this grand challenge [3] was considered intuitive; on the other hand, it did not completely achieve this aim. Our method to B-trees differs from that of Erwin Schroedinger as well. However, the complexity of their method grows quadratically as symbiotic information grows.
This is just too rich.

Hat tip to

Columbia U.’s stew of hypocrisy and hate of the military

Another edition of the Ivory Tower vs. ROTC covered before here, here, and here.

Charles E.F. Missard at the New York Post provides another chapter in the sordid tale of “elite” schools' hate of all things military – the focus of their hate is of course the easiest target: their students enrolled in ROTC.
President Lee Bollinger (who's also under fire over alleged anti-Semitism in his Mideast Studies Department) has said he allows ROTC recruiters at the Law School only "with regret," and ROTC itself is banned on the Columbia campus.
Many use the “don’t ask - don’t tell” policy as an excuse, but this dates long before the Ivory Tower decided that their perspective on sexuality was more important than the defense of freedom.
ROTC opponents claim that they're not anti-military — that their opposition is solely related to the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. … Columbia banned ROTC in 1969, a few months after the height of the famous campus demonstrations against the Vietnam war and all things military.
There is a great quote here about the Left’s Orwellian intolerance to promote tolerance, all wraped up in an opaque logic that reality just can’t burn through,
Columbia anthropology Professor Rosalind Morris: "[W]e should not be inclusive or tolerant of an institution that structures violence as a war against homosexuality."
Someone thinks that brain belongs at an “elite” institution. Hey, I have a BMC that can run circles around Rosalind. You cannot create parody better than this.

One of the sad things here, not only does this policy impact the students the most,

..the students want ROTC back.

Two years ago, a student referendum to bring ROTC back to campus passed with 65 percent of the vote.

The faculty is another matter. It took a year after the referendum before the faculty-dominated University Senate would even form a task force to study the issue. After a year of town halls, email exchanges and committee meetings, the committee is deadlocked, 5 to 5, over whether to change the existing policy. The full Senate is set to decide on May 6.

Once again, it is the cloistered Baby Boomer Leftists engorging their own self-importance on the backs of a younger generation trying to clean up the mess of their elders.

If you have a connection to
Columbia University, 06 MAY is getting closer and closer. Write early, write often.

Hat tip
Stanley Kurtz at The Corner.

Civilian control of the military: cornerstone of a successful republic

If you are not a regular reader of Mackubin Thomas Owens, an associate dean of academics and a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., you need to be. IMAO, he is one of the best POL-MIL writers out there and has the best vision of the delicate relationship between civilian and military parts of our government, and what makes it work so well for our system of representative democracy.

His latest, The Problem With Pushing Back is a must read if you are interested in the reasons and importance of civilian control of the military. The article was sparked by a recent Washington Post column by David Ignatius. Ignatius seems to have a lack of understanding of what a proper military should be like in a republic.
When you ask military officers who should get the job, the first thing many say is that the military needs someone who can stand up to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
If that desire by Ignatius does not concern you, it should. I don't know what "military officers" he is talking to, but they are dangerous and should leave active duty immediately. They have been too close to power and need to be put back on their leash.

Owens outlines the only real path a uniformed officer should take if they oppose the policy of their civilian bosses,
... (they) should ... voice their opposition (to policies) ... they kn(ow) (will) fail, publicly if necessary, and then resign() rather than carry out the policy.
You do not, "Stand up" to your civilian bosses. Offer your advice, opinion, concern, yes. "Stand up," no. Pinochet, Napoleon, Caesar, and Videla "stood up." McClellan, MacArthur, Shinseki resigned.

I can't add more to what Owens wrote. Like I often say, "read it all." Ownes's article is required reading.

Ignatius is letting his dislike of Rumsfeld blind him to what should be a primary concern to any citizen; the maintenance of liberty. A "uppity" military is a shortcut to oppression. .....and don't think a uppity military will always hit you from the Right, I have worked for a couple of outstanding Admirals who were, politically, to the left of Howard Dean.

Too many officers and civilians are asking for something that throughout history has brought nothing but shame, death, and dishonor.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Admiral, ‘Chiefs to the Front’ is great, but did you just put yourself on report?

The new head of Naval Surface Forces just took over, VADM Etnyre. Nice overview in the 11APR Navy Enquirer by William H. McMichael, but you have to be a subscriber to read it, and it isn't available on line yet.

VADM Etnyre (that in what the article calls him, but everything else calls him RADM-but then again they didn’t capitalize Sailor either-editor call your office) wants to push hard on the Chief’s Mess and overall.
…stricter personal and professional standards and tighter overall discipline.
Ummm. That will be a, uhhhhh, unusual, emmmm, departure for the surface community. (Right now, Brownshoes the world over are kissing their gold wings saying, “Thank Neptune I am not a Shoe, thank Neptune I am not a shoe…”)
Chief Petty Officers serving at Naval Surface Forces commands have new orders to get tougher on Sailors. … Asked why he aimed his message at Chiefs and not Officers, Entyre told Navy Times in an email reply that Chiefs are the “backbone of the Surface Force and the ones closest to the crew. They are very important role models. If Chiefs are actively engaged in knowing how Sailors in their divisions are doing and what they’re doing – that’s successful intrusive leadership. It means asking the right question, getting the right answer, ensuring standards are being met, nurturing and mentoring their Sailors.
That is right on target, and I agree with everything he says. What comes out as an issue is, why does it take a 3-star to make this a priority? What are our Master Chiefs, Senior Chiefs, and Chiefs NOT doing in mentoring their 1st Classes and hard charging 2nd Classes that we need to have one of the top leaders in the Navy make this push. What are we NOT teaching at the Senior Enlisted Academy.

Where is the Force Master Chief on this? Why isn't HE the one that is out on front with this? If the Chief's Mess isn't taking charge and doing what they do best, why in the same issue of the Navy Times are they talking about sending Master Chiefs to the Navy War College? Vince Lombardi people. If you don’t have the fundamentals down, the rest won’t do you any good. If we have the significant problems as outlined that require a 3-star to beat the drums about, then take those top running Master Chiefs out of the classroom where we warfighting LCDR, CDR, and CAPT are supposed to be and put those Master Chiefs in the commands whose Sailors need "direct intervention."

Also, if we are going to push for the Chiefs to be tougher, I hope we give them the top-cover when the inevitable Congressional inquirery comes in because Seaman Pain’s Mommy didn’t like the fact that Chief Saltcake made her little boy cry because we was never on time and had trouble shaving.

What caught my eye in the article was that VADM Entyre took over this MAR. Back a short four months ago, when he was Commander, Atlantic Fleet Surface Force, he put out a message that stated,
…he “noted an apparent decline in the traditionally high standards of professional and personal excellence” and that his assessment encompassed “a broad range of issues including safety, operations, military smartness, and personal behavior. … We are/may be trending in the wrong direction.”
Later on he comments that things have improved (as of this MAR, after he left) I can’t comment on that. Just read it a couple of times. Just leav’n it right there. Not saying a word of commentary.

Let me put this thought out there though, but it isn't-and I repeat myself here-it isn't directed at VADM-RADM-oh....lets just call him Admiral Entyre. This is a general statement on how things often read different depending on your perspective and what level you earn your present Command Pin.

It as been noticed ad nauseum how many Commanding Officers have been fired over the last few years, many for good reasons, some for hard to pin down reasons. Admiral Entyre has been quoted in the past about this.

Fired or not, just for promotion or FITREP reasons; how would your standard issue CDR or CAPT be treated by higher Echelons if he was to acknowledge something to the effect:
Since I have taken command here at the USS Neverdock, we have had a compete breakdown in personal behavior and professional conduct. Everyone is getting drunk, and my Chiefs are a bunch of lazy scupper trouts that only play golf and fraternize with the help. I look forward to the time after the Change of Command when these disturbing trends will be corrected; just remember that I had nothing to do with the decay that took place while I was in command, but the improvements afterwards are a direct result of the attention I gave them prior to my departure. Now, when in the WWR potluck? I have to get to a Navy Relief golf tournament.
Hey, I'm just wondering.

My take. Sub-optimal Staff work. His Staff let him down and shouldn't have let things go out this way. One would hope COS or the Flag Sec would walk in and say, "Admiral, you may want to word this a little different...."

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Middle Class and freedom: foundations of Western Civilization

For those that look to the right, for arguments sake I list the book I am reading right now, and the tragically small number that I have read this CY. Right now I am reading Ripples of Battle by the irreplaceable Victor Davis Hanson.

Being a
Classics specialist that he is, he mentions in his discussion of the Battle of Delium in 424 B.C (not B.C.E. you Orwellian PC types), somethings from a work almost 2,400 years old that apply today as much as they did at the foundation of the World's most successful and free culture, Western Civilization.

The quotes are from
Euripide's play, The Supplicants,
”There are.” Theseus proclaims, “three classes of citizens. The rich are of no use and always lusting after more gain; the poor who lack a livelihood are dangerous folk, who invest too much in envy, trying to goad the rich, as they are hoodwinked by the tongues of wicked leaders. But of these three classes those in the middle save states, since they preserve the order which the city has established.”
“Freedom is simply this: Who has a good proposal and wishes to bring it before the citizenry? He who does so, enjoys repute, while he who does not merely keeps silent. What can be more just for a city than this?”
Our founders knew the classics like your kids know Spongebob. What are our universities teaching?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I’m still with John Bolton

One of my favorite dictums continues to hold true; day after day.

When you are in doubt if you should support someone, look at who their enemy is. That should push you one way or the other.

Looks like Code Pink doesn’t like John Bolton.

That settles it. Like I said before, I’m with John Bolton.

Hat tip PowerLine.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Check Six: Venezuela's rush to arms

Sharp interview with Secretary Rumsfeld by The Miami Herald. The focus is something that would be front page news, and Chavez knows this, if it were not for GWOT.

Venezuela's Castro wanabe
Hugo Chavez is a danger to the entire hemisphere and the great progress in democracy gained over the last two decades. He is making friends with all the wrong people, and does not have peace on his mind.

Why then, should we be surprised he is gathering weapons with his petrol dollars?
From Russia, Chavez is buying 50 advanced MiG-29 fighters, 40 helicopter gunships and 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles. He's also bought arms from Spain and Brazil.
Our 'friends' are feeding those that hate us again, and it isn't just conventional weapons.
During the first semester of 2004 Spain sold chemical warfare agents and radioactive materials to Venezuela worth €539.603 according to a report entitled "Spanish exports of defence materials and related products and technologies". The report, produced by Spain's Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, .....
What the frack (as they say on Battlestar Gallatica) is Spain doing giving dual use technology to one of the few dictatorships left in our hemisphere? Sell all you want to Brazil, Argentina, Chile, whatever. But to Hugo?

UPDATE: Bad news travels fast. CAPT Ed and Barcepundit are on the hunt. I was afraid this would slip under the blogstream, but with at least one uberblogger getting hold of it, word should spread.