Thursday, June 30, 2005

New Zealand SH-2G structural problems

It seems that every navy around the world has the same problems. US Navy or New Zealand Navy; not only are their problems the same - their Sailors are the same.

As you can easily see in
this photo, they have multiple crack problems all over their SH-2G Seasprite fleet. Great little helo, but a tough issue. Not to worry though, their Sailors are all over it.

I wonder is
Miss Kathryn is up to speed on this?

Tilting against Pat Schroeder’s windmill

In case you missed it, over the past 48 hours there was a perfect storm in the MilBlog arena about that irritating, wrong, spiteful, anti-military, Herpes like (the gift that keeps giving) gift from good ‘ole Pat; the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act.

Skippy-san popped a circuit breaker, Chappy had a bit of Schadenfreude, and Greyhawk at Mudville found something that demonstrates a perfect unintended consequence that I hope nails Pat right between the eyes.

Greyhawk points us to a “Townhall Meeting” by the SECDEF at the “Pentagon Channel

Look at the
video. It is there you will find the humor about this very unfair, anti-male, anti-military Act. About 90% of the way through the Q&A, a great question came from a female Lt Col who will be forced to relinquish much of her pension to her ex-husband (who earns more than she does) because of the Uniformed Services Former Spouses' Protection Act. She is the sole custodian of 2 young children. She was married for 9 years to someone that was military and then got out. She supported his education. He is now a civilian making more than she does. She is coming up on 20 yrs. Because of this act, at 20 yrs if she retires or not, that ball-less wonder of an ex-husband will receive a check every month from her. She makes a good point, this isn't a male-female issue - this is a military issue. Bravo Zulu to her for getting up to ask the hard question and pressing the issue through fully with the SECDEF. SECDEF seemed shocked and surprised and unaware. Not now.

BTW, the good Lt. Col. is single, smart, and as reasonably attractive as one can get in BDUs. Skippy....she isn't Asian....but you would have something to talk about at dinner.

OBTW, unlike some, I am a huge fan of Secretary Rumsfeld. Watch it and you will see why. Looks how he answers the questions. Respect begets respect (and he mentions bloggers).

UPDATE: If you can't get the video to load, here is the transcript.

Army recruiting - isn't that special

I wonder how much we will hear about this....
After months of declining enlistment, the Army has more than met its recruitment goals for the month of June.
I know that there are ups and downs and goals may have changed, but lets be honest, if it was the other way around there would be all sorts of gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes. Good news about the military and outside the Right edge of the blogosphere, and mostly I hear this.

Hat tip LGF.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

GTMO - Tastes like chicken

First things first: it is GTMO not GiTMO.......but that's ok.

Here is a reason to feel reassured about America's entrepreneurial spirit; and sense of humor.

The
Guantanamo Bay Cook Book.


Better than what they have on the
Big "E".

Gunner Palace out on DVD

Time to talk about Gunner Palace again. Head over to Mudville and place your order. The DVD is on sale, and this movie gives something back.


From USA Today:

Most DVDs begin with a harsh anti-piracy warning from the FBI. Gunner Palace, a documentary that depicts the lives of young American soldiers in and around Baghdad, starts differently.

Released on video and DVD Tuesday, the film from director Michael Tucker greets viewers with a note of appreciation: "Purchasing this video helps military families."

Tucker and the film's distributor, Palm Pictures, have teamed up to support the Fisher House Foundation, a group that offers affordable lodging to more than 8,500 families annually when soldiers are being treated at major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers.

Greyhawk interviewed filmaker Michael Tucker here on the opening weekend of Gunner Palace. He talks about Iraq, the blogosphere, and controversy surrounding his movie.
Like John at Argghhh!!!, I didn't see it because it didn't make it to my theater either. My order is in.

Wolfowitz's farewell

Catching up on some old message traffic and I ran across this rather unusual message. Before he headed off to The World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz sent out a solid message to the folks in uniform. I would like to beat the crap out of his military aide and his admin staff; terrible formatting and message structure. That being said, IMAO he is a class act. Though you would find it of interest.

O 131600Z MAY 05
FM SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//DEPSEC//
TO ALDODACT
ZEN/ALDODACT @ AL ALDODACT(UC)
BT
UNCLAS
SUBJ: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FAREWELL ADDRESS TO THE MEMBERS
OF THE ARMED SERVICES
ALDODACT 08/05
ADDRESSEES PASS TO ALL SUBORDINATE COMMANDS
(PARA) IT HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE AND AN HONOR TO SERVE AS YOUR DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS. I WILL NEVER FORGET THE COURAGE AND DEDICATION WITH WHICH THE SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, MARINES, AND COAST GUARD RESPONDED AFTER THE TERRIBLE ATTACKS ON AMERICAN SOIL ON SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2001. YOUR SELFLESS ACTIONS IN PURSUING OUR ENEMIES HAVE HELPED TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY AND YOUR VALOR HAS LIBERATED THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, LIGHTING THE FLAME OF LIBERTY FOR 50 MILLION PEOPLE WHO HAD LIVED UNDER TWO OF THE WORLDS MOST BRUTAL TERRORIST TYRANNIES. TODAY YOU CONTINUE TO WAGE WAR AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF FREEDOM AND JUSTICE, FIGHTING TO PRESERVE EVERYTHING THAT AMERICANS HOLD MOST DEAR.
(PARA) NOW, THE PRESIDENT HAS ASKED ME TO TAKE ON A NEW MISSION THAT OF FIGHTING ON BEHALF OF THE WORLD*S POOR. ALTHOUGH I LEAVE THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, I BELIEVE BOTH OUR MISSIONS SERVE THE GOAL OF MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. IF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY CAN REDUCE POVERTY AND DESPERATION, I BELIEVE WE MAY LESSEN YOUR BURDEN AND, LIKE YOU, HELP MAKE A WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN THAT
IS SAFER AND MORE SECURE.
(PARA) I APPRECIATE YOUR DEDICATION TO THIS GREAT COUNTRY OF OURS MORE THAN WORDS CAN ADEQUATELY EXPRESS, AND I WILL ALWAYS BE EXTRAORDINARILY PROUD AND DEEPLY GRATEFUL TO HAVE SERVED WITH YOU.
(PARA) MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS ALL OF YOU WHO SERVE US SO NOBLY AND SO WELL.
SINCERELY,
//PAUL WOLFOWITZ//
BT
#1929
NNNN

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Iraq Casualities Review: a powerful perspective

This is the best visual description of the cost of the Iraq war. It is all visual, takes little broadband moment to get going. Read into it what you will, but there is something here for both right and left brained folks.

If you want the raw numbers, go here. Also, next time some clueless Moonbat wants to talk about "minorities" being used as cannon fodder for the neocons, have them look here.

Hat tip The Commissar.

Iraq and parakeets: Michael Yon has the gouge

If you are not reading Michael Yon, first report on here, on a regular basis, you are missing some of the best, serious, ground level reporting on Iraq.

I'll let you discover the serious stuff on your own, but this observation he had of one of the Iraqi good-guys just cracked me up. It reminds me of the cold-droll deployment humor that I miss being on shore duty.

The Iraqi police arrive en force, and all eyes are drawn to a Rambo-looking character among them who has a light machine gun. He looks cool, but has the tactical sense of a parakeet. Perfect target for a sniper. I took a knee.






On a not-so-subtle point. If CNNMSNBCABCNBCCBSFOX wanted to show what was really going on in Iraq to the American people, they would dedicate just a bit of the bandwidth to Mr. Yon's reports as they do to the important goings on in Aruba and Neverland Ranch. Oh wait. I forgot. We really need more stories about Koran abuse and Abu Ghraib. Silly me.


.

Teachers are a threat to national security

David Gelernter just nailed it last week with his opinion piece in the LA Times (yes, I know - it a horrible paper - but give it credit here); We Are Our History -- Don't Forget It.
Not knowing history is worse than ignorance of math, literature or almost anything else. Ignorance of history is undermining Western society's ability to talk straight and think straight.
All of that is critical to a successful representative republic. Ignorant masses invite and accept despots.
A girl in (my son's high school) English class praised the Vietnam War-era draft dodgers: "If I'd lived at that time and been drafted," she said, "I would've gone to Canada too."

I thought she was merely endorsing the anti-war position. But my son set me straight. This student actually believed that if she had lived at the time, she might have been drafted. She didn't understand that conscription in the United States has always applied to males only.
....and she (will soon) votes and is interviewed by MTV News.....
Our schools teach history ideologically. They teach the message, not the truth. ... They are propaganda machines.
By design and encouragement. When you get a chance, read the major high school history books.
Ignorance of history destroys our judgment. Consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), who just compared the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Stalin's gulag and to the death camps of Hitler and Pol Pot — an astonishing, obscene piece of ignorance. Between 15 million and 30 million people died from 1918 through 1956 in the prisons and labor camps of the Soviet gulag.
I can't say that, but Mr. Gelernter can.
...college students who have heard of President Kennedy but not of anything he ever did except get assassinated. They have never heard JFK's inaugural promise: that America would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the survival and the success of liberty."
JFK is one of the Presidents treated the worst by the "education" establishment. The only way to really know the man is to read his speeches. Everything else is an American version of Social Realism.
To forget your own history is (literally) to forget your identity. By teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation's collective memory. As a result, some "expert" can go on TV and announce (20 minutes into the fighting) that Afghanistan, Iraq or wherever "is the new Vietnam" — and young people can't tell he is talking drivel.

There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation's history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway.
...
If you are proud of this country and don't want its identity to vanish, you must teach U.S. history to your children. They won't learn it in school. This nation's memory will go blank unless you act.
Powerful stuff. Simply powerful. On target-with secondaries.
On a sidebar: You see this all the time in the military. One of my favorite things to do on a qualification board on deployment (word gets out fast) is to ask the young officer to (let's suppose a WestPAC deployment), "Go to the ink board and draw for me a map starting at Pet'r in the north to Darwin in the south; Guam to the east to the Nicobar Islands in the west. Identify all major countries and major choke points. Additionally, give me a brief description of your "Top 5" potential flash points. Also include your "Top 5" diplomatic screw ups you could make if you were in command/OIC/SOPA/liberty." The shocking thing is I will consistently get USNA graduates that do not know what the Spratly Islands are, do not know how to escape to the Indian Ocean from the South China Sea, can't place Taiwan in the right spot, and have no idea where Korea is relative to Japan...and so on...

Who do I blame? I blame our Navy's officer accession programs, our parents, our national teachers' unions, and our teachers themselves. Oh sure, they can talk for hours about Japanese internment and Kent State; but they have no idea why Singapore is so critical or why you don't joke with a Spaniard about Gibraltar.

One last thing; if you think gov'munt schools are so great - ask Anne why she homeschools. That woman is a National Security Asset; IMAO.

Monday, June 27, 2005

MEAT - The man's book for the summer

You know you are going to like a book when a review describes is as,

MEAT: big, fat slabs of the stuff ...
or when a reviewer says,

fantastic recipes for all the parts, from sirloins to ribs, livers, hearts, tongues and pancreas.

...you have to take a look.

For those manly-men out there who, like your humble correspondant like to work the Weber, I give you my first cookbook recommendation
The River Cottage Meat Book.

Behold:

This arm-straining volume (weighing in at an impressive and well illustrated 543 pages) is quite the most ambitious volume yet by an author who absolutely refuses to be categorised. Is he a cookery writer? An expert on the sociology and history of food? An eccentric TV personality? Actually, of course, he's all three (and more); and all of his various skills find expression in this, his magnum opus.

The first intriguing question that The River Cottage Meat Book inspires is: what is the author's agenda? The book has so many aims it's difficult to know where to begin. First of all, this is a definitive guide to the preparation and cooking of meat, in all its various forms. Fearnley-Whittingstall deals (in assiduous detail) with such topics as roasting, grilling and preserving everything from turkey to trotters, in a variety of recipes that he obviously knows and loves. But there is far more to the book than this--fascinating sections on the many different types of meat (lamb, pork and so on) are crammed with information on the different cuts of meat and what they should be used for.

But as someone who raises and utilises his own livestock at the River Cottage, Fearnley-Whittingstall is clearly passionate about the welfare of animals bred for food, and provides some unpalatable information on widespread misdemeanours in these areas. If nothing else, this book will persuade you that it's a good idea to buy your meat from butchers who are equally passionate about these issues, or even direct from reputable farms. The concept makes sound ideological sense, but also ensures that your meat dishes will have an unrivalled depth of flavour.
One word of caution here. It is English. It involves meat. It has funny measurements. But with a cover like this how can you go wrong?



Army, Navy Team Up on Boxer

OK, besides Skippy, if anyone when seeing that title had a visual of this and this "involved with" that; don't feel bad. My fallen nature had the same reaction of that VERY unfortunate article title from military.com. The editor needs some liberty.

After washing out your eyes and praying that the thought would leave your mind, you are free to go back to what you were doing.

BTW: It is a
good article about 800 Australian troops operating off the USS Boxer (LHD 4) during Exercise Talisman Saber 2005.

Sometimes I feel like Professor Masaryk

The forces fighting for my cause are stuck in the middle of nowhere, fighting the wrong direction the long way home. Friends become enemies: enemies become friends. Allies are transitory. The truth is there for all to see, but no one wants to look.

If
Professor Masaryk knew that it would take the better part of 75 years for the final freedom to come; would he have kept fighting? Would the troops on the Trans-Siberian have kept fighting the way they did?

Yep, I think so. A good lesson why, even when things are in flux, you have to keep going in the direction you think is right. And yes, Kelo and the "Big 10" rulings have me in a funk.

Keeping and eye on the long game: Part XII

In case you missed it, Bill Gertz is keeping a eye on The Long Game as well, in the Washington Times special on 26 JUL, Chinese Dragon Awakens.


China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.

U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack.
And where will those forces come from on short notice if we have the balance of our combat ready forces committed elsewhere?
China's economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country's military with the needed funds for modernization.

The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state.

"We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production," a senior defense official said.
Well, it isn't a democracy and it isn't Communist anymore. What else do you call it? Hard to argue.
The release of an official Chinese government report in December called the situation on the Taiwan Strait "grim" and said the country's military could "crush" Taiwan.

Earlier this year, Beijing passed an anti-secession law, a unilateral measure that upset the fragile political status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The law gives Chinese leaders a legal basis they previously did not have to conduct a military attack on Taiwan, U.S. officials said.

The war fears come despite the fact that China is hosting the Olympic Games in 2008 and, therefore, some officials say, would be reluctant to invoke the international condemnation that a military attack on Taiwan would cause.
Agreed. I have been saying for awhile that we are safe through 08/08/08. 2009 through 2012 is a key danger time for us. If we have a combo of a large percentage of our combat ready troops otherwise employed, and we have a weak government here after the 2008 elections; it will be a perfect storm that the Chinese will have trouble not taking advantage of. I would look at it.
In the past, some defense specialists insisted a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be a "million-man swim" across the Taiwan Strait because of the country's lack of troop-carrying ships.
"We left the million-man swim behind in about 1998, 1999," the senior Pentagon official said. "And in fact, what people are saying now, whether or not that construct was ever useful, is that it's a moot point, because in just amphibious lift alone, the Chinese are doubling or even quadrupling their capability on an annual basis."
If you have not been reading my "Long Game" series: shame on you.
China is building capabilities such as aerial refueling and airborne warning and control aircraft that can be used for regional defense and long-range power projection, ... It also is developing a maneuverable re-entry vehicle, or MARV, for its nuclear warheads. The weapon is designed to counter U.S. strategic-missile defenses, ... Work being done on China's weapons and reconnaissance systems will give its military the capability to reach 1,000 miles into the sea, ... Beijing also has built a new tank for its large armed forces. It is known as the Type 99 and appears similar in design to Germany's Leopard 2 main battle tank. ... The country's air power is growing through the purchase of new fighters from Russia, such as Su-30 fighter-bombers, as well as the development of its own fighter jets, such as the J-10.

Gen. Hester (Air Force Gen. Paul V. Hester, head of the Pacific Air Forces) compared Chinese warplanes with those of the former Soviet Union, which were less capable than their U.S. counterparts, but still very deadly.

"They have great equipment. The fighters are very technologically advanced, and what we know about them gives us pause for concern against ours," he said.
The Chinese have learned one thing that we have neglected in our ground war against terrorists. Missiles.
"It is their surface-to-air missiles, their [advanced] SAMs and their surface-to-surface missiles, and the precision, more importantly, of those surface-to-surface missiles that provide, obviously, the ability to pinpoint targets that we might have out in the region, or our friends and allies might have," Gen. Hester said.

The advances give the Chinese military "the ability ... to reach out and touch parts of the United States -- Guam, Hawaii and the mainland of the United States," he said.
There is a lot more in the report, especially concerning the Chinese oil situation and "other" former Chinese territory issues. Read it.
"Let's all wake up. The post-Cold War peace is over," Mr. Fisher (vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center) said. "We are now in an arms race with a new superpower whose goal is to contain and overtake the United States."
Next time you go to WalMart and buy all those Chinese goods, or read about China buying American corporations; think about that.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Poland and Ukraine: how adult countries act


The right leader matters. Democracy matters. Letting go of the past so it doesn't destroy the future matters.

A
great story from the BBC about the re-opening of a Polish cemetary in what is now Ukraine.
Ukraine's Viktor Yushchenko and his Polish counterpart Aleksander Kwasniewski were attending ceremonies to remember those killed in 1918-1920.
...
The Lviv graveyard, built when the city was part of Poland, had always been a contentious issue, as it became a symbol of Polish victory in territory that was fought over for centuries.

The BBC's Helen Fawkes said ties improved significantly after many people in Poland backed the Ukrainian opposition protests of the Orange Revolution last year, which led to Mr Yushchenko becoming president.
...
"This cemetery holds the remains of former fellow students, schoolchildren, neighbours and relatives. Some of them [fought under] the Ukrainian trident, others under the Polish eagle. One people's defeat never was another people's victory.

"The fact that the two presidents visited the Lychakivske cemetery together shows that Ukraine and Poland are brave enough to look the past in the eye."

He said the main conclusion from history was that "there is no free Poland without a free Ukraine, and there is no free Ukraine without a free Poland".

Mr Kwasniewski said Ukraine and Poland should cherish the gift of freedom that both nations received amid the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Interesting to know that stupid populist politicians aren't unique to the U.S.
Ukraine's parliament called for the service to be cancelled until the inscriptions on the graves were changed from Polish to Ukrainian.

Mr Yushchenko's office condemned the move. On Thursday, the resolution was annulled, allowing the ceremony to go ahead.
Somewhere, The Gipper is smiling.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Rumsfeld's brief to the Senate

I'm sure most of you saw some of the testimony yesterday at the Senate. I liked Secretary Rumsfeld's exchange with Senator Kennedy the best.

Body language and tone is so important. I didn't catch all the words, but it came out kind of like
this.

Field Marshal Rommel is rolling in his grave

How far the mighty have fallen. From Frederick the Great's Prussians, to Kaiser Bill's outstanding Deutschen Reichsheeres, to the feared professionals of the Wehrmacht that served with Field Marshall Rommel; the last thing you could accuse the German Soldier of being is wanting to be on par with and/or look like a hausfrau. Well, welcome to the 21st Century. To quote a great man from a great movie.
God, how I hate the Twentieth Century.
-Patton
Now this has nothing to do with the recent entry of women into the Bundeswehr and their ability to kill bad guys - our female soldiers do a good job at that, but is a direct byproduct. Coming to an American Court near you:
GI Joe's buzz used to be troop standard, as officers meticulously monitored the length of soldiers' hair. Now even ponytails are allowed in the German army after a few shaggy men demanded equal treatment with the women.
...
Equal treatment for all – those were the arguments German women used to gain entry into the army. Now the men are ... learning to apply the same terms ... After all, why shouldn't men also enjoy the same pleasures of coming through their long locks?

That's what an 18-year-old recruit argued, when his commanding officer demanded he cut off his 25-centimeter long ponytail. When he refused to do so, he was imprisoned for subordination and fined 150 euros. ... he sought legal council and demanded the repeal of the so-called "hair and beard regulation," which enforces strict ... standards ... for men ... while allowing longer coiffures for women. ... was unfair, the soldier argued. It meant he didn't have the same freedom to develop his personality as the women.

A military court in Bavaria was convinced. It said ... the hair regulation was unconstitutional. (and) was an infringement of the basic right to freedom of expression.
Don't laugh. Some in our Supreme Court think we should look very closely at other country's law when drafting our own.

Here is a good question, does
this still bring FEAR into the hearts of Frenchmen? Don't be silly. Of course.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

USAF Academy: The ugly truth

For my previous comments, in reverse chronological order, go here, here, and here. You can find a fairly good idea where the fatwa is going here.

As this is the end of the beginning of the purge, it is helpful to review the genesis of this all.

This soon to be retired USAF Captain MeLinda Morton (13 yrs service....)

...hired this womyn from Yale Divinity School, a Ms. Kristin Leslie.

And that started the shit-storm that followed. It is very critical that you read the first three posts, then look at Ms. Leslie's CV. Below are some of the core items, but not all, from the CV PDF.
Areas of Teaching Interest

Feminist Pastoral Theology
Feminist/Womanist Pastoral Psychology/Psychotherapy

Courses Taught

Feminist Liberation and Feminist Pastoral Theologies
Feminist Pastoral Psychology

Reviews

Andrew Sullivans Same-Sex Marriage: Pro and Con: A Reader in The Witness 80, No. 6, 1997.

Publications

"When Violence is No Stranger: Pastoral Counseling with Survivors of Acquaintance Rape. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003.

"Writing for Our Lives: Twenty-Five Years of Women Writing in their own 'Languages.'" Reconstructing Pastoral Theology: Under the Influence of Feminist Methodologies and Beyond. (projected publication date July, 1998).

"Sophie's Wisdom: Acquaintance Rape, Relational Theology, and a Redemptive Doctrine of Sin." To be included in a volume of feminist/process theology being proposed and edited by Marjorie Suchocki.

Papers and Presentations

"Acquaintance Rape and a Redemptive Doctrine of Sin" Paper presented at the regional meeting of AAR, San Diego, CA. March 1996.

"Gleaning the Power of Inclusive Language" Paper presented at the annual meeting of National Association of College and University Chaplains, Atlanta, GA. 1990.
I don't think I need to say more. I said it before, no one should be shocked.

A little wordplay here. Trying to dig up the "Sophie" in her "Sophie's Wisdom" work above, and really couldn't get the meaning. Perhaps the Sophie from Casanova? I don't know. What I DO know is what a Sophist is. From Wikipedia:
In modern philosophical usage, sophistry is a derogatory term for rhetoric that is designed to appeal to the listener on grounds other than the strict logical validity of the statements being made.

The Sophists held a relativistic view on cognition and knowledge. Their philosophy contains criticism of Religion, law and ethics. Though many sophists were as religious as their contemporaries, some held atheistic or agnostic views.


'Nuff said.
UPDATE: Head on over to The Mudville Gazette for a solid review of the report by Greyhawk. He also has a link to the WHOLE REPORT in PDF from Fox News. Primary documentation is always key. You cannot rely on boiled down spin. It is 100 pages, but at least read the Executive Summary. If you love Cliffs Notes, I will give you the Phibian Executive Summary from the third paragraph of the Executive Summary.
The HQ USAF team found a religious climate that does not involve overt religious discrimination...

Retired but still serving

In honor of PalmPilot manservant of PalmTreePundit.

Something caught the corner of my eye today. Watching the fire season wars out west, I saw a couple of familiar figures flying across my screen.


The great submarine hunters from WWII through today are still serving in another unending war. Fighting fires. Just some cool eye candy for those plane nuts.

All Navy planes, of course.....

PBY from WWII fame .



PB4Y2 (just retired from tanking a couple of years ago)


S-2 Tracker


P-2V Neptune


P-3 Orion



There are a couple of good sites about these firefighting tankers. airtanker.com (make sure and look on the "Tankers" page for the goodies). oldprops.com has some great photos, most non-tanker related. As a reminder that fighting these fires has a cost, see this memorial. The last loss was a P-3 this April. USN P-3 should be with us through 2018 and some countries still fly the S-2 and P-2V, but I think all will be fighting fires for a few more decades.

Let ‘em burn it so we know who the Asshats are

I know I am going to loose some of you here, but freedom isn’t free.

The
flag burning amendment passed by the House yesterday is just stupid. IMAO we should always err on the side OF freedom, not AGAINST freedom. Just speaking for myself, my years of service are not insulted or wounded because some clueless, undereducated, patchouli oil covered, over-pierced folks whose daddy didn’t love them enough decide to burn a flag. What are there, a dozen or so here in the U.S.?

We are a bigger, better, and more secure country than to think this VERSION OF SPEECH needs to be made illegal via an amendment to the Constitution. That is just asinine. What form of speech in next? Political Cartoons? Presidential Jokes? MilBlogs?

Let them burn the Flag, it will let us know who ate lead paint chips as a child. They need help.

I have disagreed more often than I wish with
The Commissar after he took his “break” and shifted away from the black background and red font, but he is still one of the better, level headed bloggers out there – I would still unquestionably buy that guy a beer and invite him to a 4th of July picnic.

As is his nature, he is right on target WRT this.

The flag desecration amendment is an empty gesture. The overblown patriotic tone here was mocking the Left's attack on the "non-co-sponsors" of the anti-lynching bill. For the Left and Right to put forth resolutions, which then give them convenient hooks to attack those who don't "do the right thing" is annoying.
Make sure and read the whole post though. The Commissar goes “old school” with the mocking in the beginning.

Well done Comrade!



UPDATE----UPDATE
So, you love freedom? You love this country? Feel a need to adjust the Constitution? Expend your efforts towards a real threat to liberty. SHAME ON SOUTER, BREYER, GINSBURG, STEVENS, AND KENNEDY. Lets draft an amendment to overturn
this bucket of FOD coming out of SCOTUS. Thanks to these enlightened "Justices," gov'munt now has the power to take one citizens property to enrich another. That is not what happens in a free country. That is a real threat to what people have given their lives for. The Commissar is all over that as well.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: OK, maybe I'm not alone in the trench here. I see Scott over there sharpening his bayonet, my dear Bookie is on the other side of me nodding at the Vast Right Wing Mortar Squad, and it looks like The Commissar is standing on top of the trench lines, screaming like a madman at the enemy, giving them a good taunting. I feel better. Great company.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

MilBogger wounded in IED attack – Recovering in Landstuhl

…..the first thing he asked when he was pulled from the canal (the blast blew him into a canal) was: "Be honest with me, guys. Do I still have my face and my 'package'?"
Army Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss of From My Position... On the way! was wounded in Iraq on 21 JUN by an IED. His wife Carren has an update on his condition here.

The Executive Summary from Landstuhl:
He will have another surgery tomorrow. These are the "basics" of his injuries, although none of them are fun to talk about.

1. He has severe nerve damage in his left hand and has lost his left pinky (all of it). It will be a long recovery for his hand due to the nerve damage.
2. His right thumb is pretty messed up and the docs are not sure how much he will lose or keep... he may be okay and keep his thumb, we just don't know yet.
3. ALL of his internal organs are okay. One of his lungs is bruised, but not damaged.
4. His brain, spine, and neck are all okay... paralysis is not an issue.
5. He has no muscle damage in his legs or arms, but his right thigh has been damaged.
6. His face was "peppered" by shrapnel. He has a cut on his right cheek, which has been stitched up.
Carren sounds like a woman the best deserve. She says something to you-know-who out there lurking in the MilBlogger realm.
For those who may be thinking, "We just need to bring all the troops home and forget this war," let me tell a quick story.

As you know I told Creighton that his daddy was hurt and that he will be okay and coming home soon. One of the questions he asked was, "Why did Daddy have to go so far away to get the bad guys?" I said, "Daddy had to go far away to fight the bad guys so we are safe here in the US. We don't want the bad guys to be here in our country, so brave men and women like Daddy go far away to make sure that never happens." (A side note... a 5 year old is too young to understand that bad guys are here in the US and managed to do some serious damage on 9/11).
Godspeed Chuck.

Hat tip Blackfive.

Military overpaid – Can’t make it in the real world

OK, I know Michael Crook and forsakethetroops.net is old news, but I had to put this in; I had not seen the video until yesterday.

You have to see it. Both Hannity and Colmes nail that clueless bucket of FOD. It really is a hoot to see; but remember one thing. There are a lot of Moonbats that think just like he does – and they vote.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Russian Delta III SSBN launches SLBM

A launch was detected about 80nm north of Severmorsk. The Russian, American, and Czech tracking stations confirm the launch from the Delta III Borisoglebsk (K-496) at 1946 UTC.

I’m just pulling your leg….kind of. All the above is true, it just happened. The same boat that hit the USS Grayling in 1993 launched a SLBM. This time though, it was just 1. Not 16. No MIRVs. It kept going with its payload. Up. Up. …. and into the age of sail.

Solar sail.
A solar sail is a spacecraft without an engine - it is pushed along directly by light particles from the Sun, reflecting off giant mirror-like sails. Because it carries no fuel and keeps accelerating over almost unlimited distances, it is the only technology now in existence that can one day take us to the stars.

Cosmos 1 has 8 triangular sails, each 15 meters (50 feet) in length, configured around the spacecraft's body at the center. The sails will be deployed by inflatable tubes once the spacecraft is in orbit.

The spacecraft will be launched from a submerged Russian submarine in the Barents Sea. It will be carried into orbit on board a Volna rocket - a converted ICBM left over from the old Soviet arsenal.
Read all about it. Cool.

PS: Be honest: is some ways you miss the Cold War, don't you? RECCO Test #1: (see 'Viewgraph') Identify ship. "Knife in back; lip on stack; hotdog pack; it's a _____." First correct response gets a 72 hr liberty pass over any 3-day weekend.
UPDATE: In the finest traditions of the Soviet/Russian Naval service; things did not go off that well. Contact was lost shortly after lift-off. They think they found its signal in orbit but are not sure. Here is the "interesting" thing. The US Space Command states it can't find it. I hope that the thing never made orbit and the signal is a fluke, or that there is some OPSEC thing going on here; because if a clapped out Russian SSBN can launch a clapped out SLBM from a know location at a known time on a know trajectory and we cannot track it..... Well, you do the math.

Pope comes off the top rope: Eurocrats gasping for breath

Pope Benedict XVI makes a no-holds-barred challenge to Europe in his first book published since becoming pope, going after a fallen culture.

The hits are direct, firm, and air tight.

``Europe has developed a culture which, in a way never before known to humanity, excludes God from public conscience, either by being denied or by judging his existence to be uncertain and thus belonging to subjective choices, something irrelevant for public life,'' Benedict writes.

He dismisses arguments that inclusion of the reference would have offended Jews and Muslims, saying they are more offended by Europe's attempt to deny a historic fact.

``It's not the mention of God that offends the followers of other religious, but precisely the attempt to build a human community absolutely without God,'' he writes.

The Pope is right on target there. Even an Islamofascist will have some grudging respect for a devout Christian or Jew. Someone that denies God is the lowest of the low for them; they will have nothing for contempt for that person. An Indidel has some status; and Apostate none.

Written before he became Pope, the book provides some insight on why he chose Benedict.
He says Europe needs more people like St. Benedict of Norcia, the fifth and sixth century monk who is a patron saint of Europe. The Benedictine order that followed his teachings became the main guardian of learning and literature in Western Europe during the dark centuries that followed the fall of the Roman Empire.
I don't know or read Italian (the language of the book "The Europe of Benedict: In the crisis of cultures"), not am I a Catholic; but I want to read this book. I think we can get a peek at what the book will look like from some quotes from a speech then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger gave at a conference held on April 1, 2005, at the Monastery of St. Scholastica, Subiaco, Italy.


It's true that today there exists a new moralism whose key terms are justice, peace, and conservation of creation -- words that recall to us essential moral values of which we truly have a need. But this moralism remains vague and slippery, almost inevitably so, in the sphere of party-politics. Such a moralism is before all else a pretense for others, and too little a personal duty of our daily life. In fact, what does "justice" signify? Who defines it? Of what utility is peace? In recent decades we have seen amply enough in our streets and in our piazzas how pacifism can deviate toward a destructive anarchism and toward terrorism. The political moralism of the 70's, whose roots have not yet died, was a moralism which succeeded to fascinate even those youth filled with idealism. But it was a moralism with the wrong address, inasmuch as it was deprived of serene reasoning and because, in the last analysis, it put a utopian political order above the dignity of the individual man, showing itself capable of arriving, in the name of its grand objectives, to devalue man. Political moralism, as we have seen and as we still experience, does not only fail to open the path to regeneration, but blocks it. The same is true, consequently, of a christianity and of a theology which reduces the core of the message of Jesus, the "Kingdom of God", to "values of the Kingdom", identifying these values with the great terms of the order of political moralism, and proclaiming them, at the same time, as the synthesis of religions;

This brief look at the situation of the world brings us to reflect upon the present situation of Christendom, and hence also upon the foundations of Europe . . . If Christendom, on one hand, has found its own, most efficacious expression in Europe, one needs to say, on the other hand, that in Europe there has developed a culture which constitutes itself in the most radical manner not only as the contradiction of Christendom, but of the religious and moral traditions of humanity. From this, one understands that Europe is truly and actually undertaking a "driver's test" from which one understands the radicality of the tensions which our continent must confront. But here there emerges also and above all else the responsibility which we Europeans must assume in this historic moment: in the internal debate regarding the definition of Europe, within the new political form, one is not playing at some nostalgically regarded action of history, but rather a great responsibility for today's humanity. ...

The true contrariety which characterizes the world of today is not that among diverse religious cultures, but that between the radical emancipation of man from God, from the roots of life, on the one hand, and the great religious cultures on the other. If there arrives a conflict of cultures, it will not be through a conflict of the great religions -- forever one against the others, but, in the end, which have always known how to live one with the other -- but it will be through the conflict between this radical emancipation of man and the great historic cultures.

...the refusal of a reference to God is not an expression of tolerance which wants to protect non-theistic religious and the dignity of atheists and agnostics, but rather is an expression of a conscience which would want to see God definitively cancelled out of the public life of man and chained in the subjective ambit of the residues of past cultures.
Yep, the Pope is a hundred-pound-head type. Woe be to the Eurocrat that tries to intellectually spar with that man.

Senator Kerry’s Form 180

At long last, Senator Kerry signed out his Form 180 to release his military records. Powerline had them first, and go there to look at them. Fairly straight forward. Funny thing is where he sent them. There are three Form 180s out there, each having Senator Kerry's long lost/hidden records sent to different places.

  • 20MAY05 to Michael Krimish at The Boston Globe (hard to tell, the Senator’s penmanship is, well, not up to Yale standards)
  • 26MAY05 to Glen Johnson at The Associated Press
  • 06JUN05 to Steve Braun at The LA Times

    Mmmm. I didn’t see Fox News there anywhere.

    As a recidivist Staff Weenie and Admin Queen, just want you to know you are not going to see anything shocking here. A Form 180 just authorizes the release of records. No news will come out until the people that receive the records go through them. Looking forward to seeing what they find….
  • Liberated Hostage Apologizes to Bush

    Boy, this would be nice to see on the evening news....but that is why we have The Jawa Report.
    As reported in
    The Herald Sun,
    FREED Australian hostage Douglas Wood said today he fully supported the role of the US and Australian governments in Iraq, saying he was "proof positive" that coalition troops were improving the country.
    Ah, but here is the kicker,
    "Frankly I'd like to apologize to both President (George W.) Bush and Prime Minister (John) Howard for the things I said under duress," said Mr Wood "I actually believe that I am proof positive that the current policy of training the Iraqi army ... works because it was Iraqis that got me out," he added.
    Harumph. Senator Hagel, call your office.
    He said there were times he believed he would be killed by his captors, whom he emphatically described as "a...holes".

    His way of getting through it, he said, was to "keep laughing".

    Mr Wood avoided speaking in detail about his ordeal during a news conference which he entered humming "Waltzing Matilda" and finished with a salute to his favourite AFL team, Geelong.
    Now this guy sounds like someone worth cloning. Where can I buy him a beer?

    I love Australians; and I don't mean that in a creepy way.


    Hat tip
    The Jawa Report.

    Monday, June 20, 2005

    "Coalition of the Willing" overview

    Chrenkoff does everyone a great service by providing a pictorial essay of the Coalition of the Willing. From Albania to Ukraine, he covers it. A vastly undertold story; I am still waiting for the Task Force K-bar screen play.

    Hat tip
    Blackfive.

    Military as a "Family Business": Newsweek ALMOST gets it right

    You have to give credit where credit is due. T. Trent Gegax and, ahem, Evan Thomas have authored an article that we should have seen, oh, 3-3.5 YEARS AGO, but we should take what we can get; The Family Business (not yet available online) in the 20 JUN 05 Newsweek.

    The focus of the article is the tradition of multi-generational military families, with a narrow cast on Flag officers (Generals and Admirals) and their sons serving in Iraq – Lieutenant General Odierno and his son Captain Odierno are the on the cover and lead off the article with their story. There is also a lot of time spent on Lieutenant General Conway and his two sons, both Captains that served WITH their father while he was Commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Unit in the run to Baghdad. You really need to read the whole thing as other Generals' stories are covered, and a nice review of the history of the “Family Business” rounds out the article.

    Oh, and yes, I saw the following “McCain Worship” (not to be confused with “
    Gannon Worship”) story, and do not think it is an accident that this follows the first campaign commercial for McCain ’08, but I’m not going to rant about that. It is too obvious.

    There are some great data here known as common knowledge to those in uniform, but are most likely a surprise to many outside the military community. I’ll update when it is available online, but I will quote sections below. Before we go there, I have to point out that I am giving Newsweek only partial credit here; let's say an 85. The reason? Like they couldn’t help themselves, they had to throw in discredited liberal boilerplate here and there that just have no place in this article. It was almost like the editor said, “Hey, we need some negative stuff in here. Go find it and cut-n-paste it here and there…”

    I’ll outline it at the end of the post in an “ERRATA SHEET.” Let's cover the good stuff first.

    LT. GEN. Ray Odierno comes from a military family. His father was a WWII Army sergeant. His son Tony served as a platoon commander with the First Cavalry; Ray served as commander of the Fourth Infantry Division in Iraq. As a family, they shared joyful news from the front. Ray’s wife, Linda, was asleep in a hotel room in Lubbock, Texas on Dec. 13, 2003, when her husband woke her, calling from his base in Tikrit. “Turn on the TV,” … it was still a secret that his men had captured Saddam Hussein.

    not all calls from the war zone are so happy. About eight months later .. the phone rang. It was General Odierno’s old friend Maj. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, commander of the First Cav. .. “Tony was in an ambush, and he was injured pretty seriously.” The medics weren’t sure if they could save Tony’s left arm. … Ray Odierno recalls his reaction when General Chiarelli called him … ”The first thing I thought was, ‘I just wanna get home’.” On the drive back, Chiarelli called again. “Tony just finished surgery, and he lost his left arm.” Odierno could feel that Chiarelli was crushed by being the bearer of such bad tidings, and he tried to reassure him. ‘You’re doing a great job over there. I understand the risks and Tony understands the risks, and we’ll work through this together.” Odierno tried to stay focused: his son was alive.

    What is good about this, is that it personalizes the U.S. military and its leadership. In a time where there is a lot of “do as I say, not as I do” going around, it shows that unlike the Hollywierd stereotype, though not perfect men, U.S. Flag officers on average are not what many think; and most walk-the-walk.
    General Odierno is one of about 300 Army generals in the U.S. military. About a third of them have sons or daughters who have served or are serving in Iraq of Afghanistan.
    They also attack, wait for it, Michael Moore! Quick, get me my smelling salts!
    Contrary to the impression left by moviemaker Michael Moore in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Congressmen do sometimes send their children to war. Three senators and six members of the House have children in uniform, and four of them have served in Iraq of Afghanistan.
    Let look at the percentages, shall we?
    Senate = 3%
    House of Reps = 1.4%
    For percentage of "military families," at first blush that looks fair for the Senate, the House...well...notsomuch. What would be nice to see is of that 3 and 6 members, what is the Republican vs. Democrat breakdown. Because it isn't mentioned, something tells me that it is overwhelmingly Republican, but that is just because I have a bias against media-bias. Oh, don't forget that former Attny. General Ashcroft's son is a Navy Officer.
    Mid-post update: I don't know where the 3 and 6 came from, but I did find a reference from
    this MAR that has the overall number at 6 not 9. What is the split you ask? 5 Republicans and 1 Democrat. My theory holds. Honor roll: Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC); Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO); Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO); Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD) {his son is a SSG with the 101st Airborne}; Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA); and of course Rep. John Kline (R-MI) mentioned in the article. I wish Newsweek put a complete list....but I'm not editor there. That is worth another story....


    In the same sidebar, Rep. John Kline of Minnesota (a retired Marine Colonel) made a great comparison of Congress to the military.
    In the military, a persons word is his gold standard. “In Politics,” Kline says, “generally speaking, people say, ‘Yea, you can count on me.” Then somebody else presents something to them and they change their mind. It’s just a different culture.”
    Indeed.
    Of the hundred or so generals whose children are serving or have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, one is a mother. Brig. Den. Carla G. Hawley-Bowland is commander of the Europe Regional Medical Command … her son Scott went to Iraq as part of the Colorado National Guards’s 109th Medical Battalion. As a middle-schooler playing soccer, Scott had been teased about being a military brat. “Your mother wears combat boots,” a player yelled on the field. “Yeah,” Scott replied. “So?”
    Now there is a civilian-military divide for you. Snicker.
    ”I’ve always had a degree of resentment against Ivy League schools for preventing recruiters on campus,” says Sen. John McCain. “It is the height of elitist snobbery.” McCain’s argument for letting ROTC back on Ivy League campuses is “not because it gives us career officers, but because it gives future leaders of our country military experience.”
    Now there is the John McCain I like. More! More! More!!

    More myth busting (this article gets Kudos for this).
    In the Third ID, which bore the brunt of the early fighting in Iraq, re-enlistment rates are twice what was expected.

    ..Young married Marines re-enlist at a greater rate than unmarried troops. The only explanation is that for many, the Marine Corps is a world in which they with to raise their families, despite the dangers and frequent moves.
    There is no doubt that the military can encourage family values. There are undoubtedly a few fathers right out of Pat Conroy’s “The Great Santini,” … but there are many more who fit the model of the Conways, or Ray and Tony Odierno, father and son trading tips on body armor and inexpressible love as they passed an ancient torch, in a tent in Kuwait, on the way to war.
    I've had issues with Newsweek before, but they deserve credit for this cover; but thank goodness this wasn’t in Time, I couldn’t tell you to go buy it at the bookstand. THIS Newsweek on balance deserves a solid “B” and is worth your purchase, as I only quote a small portion of it. Either that or you can wait a week or two for it to show up online.

    Not that the good news is out of the way…

    ERRATA SHEET

    But is also underscores the isolation of the military from the rest of society. Increasingly, it seems, American is divided between the vast minority who do not serve and the tiny minority who do. The shared sacrifice of WWII is but a distand memory. During WWII, 6 percent of Americans were in uniform; today, the Pentagon says, the figure is four tenths of 1 percent.
    What is the point here? WWII was full mobilization for roughly half a decade. Is that what they want? The historical norm is a exceptionally small military. Heck, our many of our Founders didn’t even want a standing Army. The divide is where many of those who have gained the most from our freedoms, the self appointed bi-coastal elite, refuse to serve or let their children serve; a point I love to talk about.
    ”The whole country’s undergoing patriotism lite, “ says Charles Moskos, a Northwestern University professor generally recognized as the nations’s leading military sociologists. Moskos suggests on solution would be for leaders to set a better example with their own children. “If Jenna Bush of Chelsea Clinton joined the military,” he says, “the recruiting problems would be over.”
    Well, in all respect for Professor Moskos, his theory is bunk. Unless you had co-ed showers like Starship Troopers, I don’t think having Jenna join the military is going to help recruiting. Chelsea, she can have her own shower. I will say this though, the Placement for SERE School would have not problem filling billets if Chelsea joined. Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be great, but Professor Moskos overestimates the ability of a father to say “You adult child of mine: get ‘ye to a recruiter!” That is a decision Jenna and Chelsea have to make on their own. I think it would be the absolute right thing to do, though I would rather see George P. as a Marine. But that is just me. BTW, what is wrong with Barbara? Skippy-san would mentor her.
    Military sons tend to spout worthy bromides about duty when asked why they follow their fathers to war. But their more personal motivations aren’t too hard to divine. Combat has been a test (in some cultures the test) of manhood for millennia. There is no better way to win a fathers respect than to defy death just the way he did.
    More bunk. Maybe that is what your Freudian therapist told you, but tell that to any Wardroom and you will get nothing but laughs and scorn. Silly comment.
    … blacks and Hispanics make up a disproportionably large number of our servicemen and women, and a disproportionately small number of the top brass….
    What in the hell does that old saw have to do with the price of tea in China? Just thrown in there for no reason but to meet someone’s quota of “diversity issues.” This has been debunked before and for combat arms MOS, the opposite is true – if it matters. Look at the faces of those killed so far. I see Americans, but if you insist on pushing your Leftist, racist, Boomer eugenics fetish, go ahead. It’s your petard, hoist yourself on it….wait you already did. If you turn the page you come to a graphic of race and ethnicity of Army applicants. The breakout:

  • White (Ural to Pyrenees EUR-AMER?)=66%
  • AFR-AMER=15%
  • Hispanic (Iberian EUR-AMER?)=13%
  • Look “disproportionate?” Now, I will admit as you get to the fine print, especially in some of the non-combat arms MOS in the Army, that may be true, but in general it is not worth talking about. I guess because it is part of the Boomer Leftists cant, we have to. Sigh. BTW, you will not find more mixed race people in any other cohort than you will in the military and their children (look at the Commissary – we are the progressives in this area), where are they in the mix? Oh, that is right. The Leftists like the Klan one-drop-rule….
    Army officers for some years have passed around copies of “Once an Eagle,” a 1968 novel by Anton Myrer about a duty-bound Army officer who tries to rise above back-stabbing civilian hippies.
    Come on people. That book almost 40 years old. I know I am a Navy guy, but I’ve never heard of it. More Boomer self-focus. Get over yourselves…geeezzzeee.

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    In honor of Ben Stein - 75th Anniversary of Smoot-Hawley

    Any chance to honor a great American like Ben Stein should be taken early and often. If you have not gone by his website and bought one of his books, shame on you.

    I'll let you bask in Ben on your own time, but lets get back to the title. 75th Anniversary of Smoot-Hawley.

    Yep, I said it, Smoot-Hawley. To quote a great movie for my generation (and one of Ben's best lines), Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before?

    Harumph. Thought not.
    The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of June 1930 raised U.S. tariffs to historically high levels. The original intention behind the legislation was to increase the protection afforded domestic farmers against foreign agricultural imports. Massive expansion in the agricultural production sector outside of Europe during World War I led, with the postwar recovery of European producers, to massive agricultural overproduction during the 1920s. This in turn led to declining farm prices during the second half of the decade. During the 1928 election campaign, Republican Presidential candidate Herbert Hoover pledged to help the beleaguered farmer by, among other things, raising tariff levels on agricultural products. But once the tariff schedule revision process got started, it proved impossible to stop. Calls for increased protection flooded in from industrial sector special interest groups and soon a bill meant to provide relief for farmers became a means to raise tariffs in all sectors of the economy. When the dust had settled, Congress had agreed to tariff levels that exceeded the already high rates established by the 1922 Fordney-McCumber Act and represented among the most protectionist tariffs in U.S. history.

    The Smoot-Hawley Tariff was more a consequence of the onset of the Great Depression than an initial cause. But while the tariff might not have caused the Depression, it certainly did not make it any better.
    ...
    Such policies contributed to a drastic decline in international trade. For example, U.S. imports from Europe declined from a 1929 high of $1,334 million to just $390 million in 1932, while U.S. exports to Europe fell from $2,341 million in 1929 to $784 million in 1932. Overall, world trade declined by some 66% between 1929 and 1934.
    Mmmmm, and the international economic implosion of The Great Depression gave us what? Fascism and empowered Socialism. Joy. ECON 202 is complete for today.


    ps: Why am I posting about the Smoot-Hawley? 1)I like saying Smoot-Hawley. 2) I like Ben Stein. 3) Ferris. 4) Economics is at the center of almost everything. 5) Protectionism is the hobgoblin of small minds. 6) The mythology of The Great Depression does not give this enought time. 7) Like you need more proof that many politicians will do the most stupid things just to get short term feel-good positive press. 8) That was done at the last high-water mark of Republican power. 9) You really do not want me to post about what Senator Turbin said. Honestly, in words I can't. I'm not retired. And if you still do not get the Ben-Ferris-Smoot connection, go here.

    Thursday, June 16, 2005

    EMCON Bravo

    Light blogging, if any, until Sunday. More of that busy stuff!
    Cheers,
    Phibian

    Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    The "Peace Democrats" are back

    Does this sound familiar?
    A majority of Peace Democrats supported war ..., but a strong and active minority asserted that the Republicans had (started the war on purpose); that the Republicans were waging the war in order to establish their own domination, suppress civil ... rights, and impose (their radical philosophy); and that military means had failed and would never (succeed in its aims).

    As was true of the Democratic party as a whole, the influence of Peace Democrats varied with the fortunes of war. When things were going badly .... on the battlefield, larger numbers of people were willing to entertain the notion of making peace with the (enemy). When things were going well, Peace Democrats could more easily be dismissed as defeatists. But no matter how the war progressed, Peace Democrats constantly had to defend themselves against charges of disloyalty.
    ...
    At the Democratic convention ..., where the influence of Peace Democrats reached its high point, ... the party ... adopt(ed) a platform branding the war a failure, ....

    With the conclusion of the war ... the Peace Democrats were thoroughly discredited. Most ... believed, not without reason, that Peace Democrats had prolonged war by encouraging the (enemy) to continue fighting in the hope that (the USA) would abandon the struggle.
    The above concerns the Copperheads during the Civil War, do a Google search to learn more about them if you need to get up to speed. My friends on the Left need to be careful. History is not kind to those who aid the enemy of their own nation. Don't be blinded by your hate of Bush.

    What do we call these modern day Copperheads? Is there another snake that works for backstabbing and national self-hate? I don't know. Maybe we can call them something from a completely different part of the animal kingdom;
    Camel Spiders? I do know who I nominate as the "Camel Spider" of the week. Michael Duffy. As for this Camel Spider's work at Time, John said it best. I can't improve on his work.

    After my latest reading of some of the Greek Classics (unrelated to this post) I am more and more convinced that history, in its trends, and people, with their personalities, really never change. History repeats itself. I have already seen the connection between
    CAIR and the German American Bund. I think we have found the modern version of "Copperheads."