Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Amnesty Intl: the rot of moral relativism

I like to bounce around and read the Left side of things on a regular basis. I do. Provides balance, makes me rethink things - and I feel like a spy. Sometimes you a just a few degrees of separation away from seeing the core, or lack of it, of what counts as the Best of the Left.

Think of a few things: Amnesty Intl -
In pursuit of this vision, AI’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

AI is independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion. It does not support or oppose any government or political system, nor does it support or oppose the views of the victims whose rights it seeks to protect. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.
Now think of all the nightmare nations and those who supply the cheap arms that slaughter millions. The AK-47 from Russia, China, an assorted other locations with the Red Star. You would think there would be some mention of these nations with the latest push from them: the ControlArms movement to stop the flow of small arms. Well, that is what they say. If you look at the US site, or other sites, you might give them a pass from pointing a finger at the AK-47 factories. Well, search around long enough, and you find a picture like this. Yea, I know. The Dutch again.



"'n veilig gevoel"
reads, "A safe feeling." "schiet je photo tegen wapenmisbruik" reads, "Shoot your photo against weapon abuse."

Of course, silly me. Everything is the fault of the USA and our right to own what looks like a Ruger MKIII in a banana hammock.

Somalia. Congo. Columbia, etc. Of course. It really gets old after awhile.

Caption Contest Twofer

Background over at Michelle's place and GatewayPundit.


I'll start:
"Son, didn't your Daddy ever tell you to get a haircut!?! What in the he11 is this? Highlights!?!?"

...and I think this guy used to be a BMC.


"Boy, you do that again and I am going to shove that sign....."

Time to call the EU's bluff on this one

In the end, this will be "fixed," unless the EUocrats want play hard ball.
The European Union's highest court on Tuesday overturned an agreement
that provides Washington with personal data on air passengers flying to the United States from Europe.

The decision did not address privacy issues, but it forces the two sides back to negotiations at a time when privacy safeguards are increasingly being debated.

The European Court of Justice gave the European Commission four months to formulate a new agreement with the United States. Until then, current procedures remain in effect. ... The 2004 agreement, which took 18 months to negotiate...
Fine. No EU planes can fly to the US. You really think that in this environment we will lower our comfort level with all those A340 and 777 coming from Europe? How will Tony Snow explain an Air France aircraft flying into Giant Stadium during a game after we lowered our requirements? Duh.

Reason 438 I like my Marines

They are great Liberty buddies:
A former Marine used a pocket knife to fend off a group of would-be robbers, killing one and wounding another, police said.

Thomas Autry, who authorities said will not be charged, had been walking home from his job waiting tables Monday night when four people got out of a car and chased him, Atlanta police detective Danny Stephens said.

One of the attackers had a shotgun and another had a pistol, Stephens said.

The suspects caught up with Autry, who yelled for help and pulled a knife out of his backpack. He kicked the shotgun out of one of the attacker's hands and stabbed both a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him and a man who also attacked him.

The suspects fled in their car but police found them later at a hospital where the girl was pronounced dead. The man stabbed in the incident was in critical condition, Stephens said.
Yep, sometimes you can bring a knife to a gun fight. Welcome to varsity football. More over at MilBlogs.

Hat tip Bookie.

You poke it, you own it

"Man Laws vs. Navy Laws"

Yes, silly commercials from bad beer , here is the ref for the title. Ahhh Miller Lite (called "O4 beer" when I was a JO .... as an O5; I'll still call it O4 beer...because that is when all that Sea Duty starts to show on your body, and one has to take measures...).

I like the adds. I think the Navy has had its own version for a long time. Now, the real "Old Navy" had some "Navy Laws," but let's skip that one. Here is a start.


Navy #1 Man Law - "What Happens on Deployment, Stays on Deployment"

Anyone else have some others? Unabridged versions, pre-Tailhook entries encouraged, especially from Skippy-san. I think it may involve is "ex."

H/T to LBG.

I blame Lex

Let's see here. F-14 lost off Key West ~ 4-yrs ago. No mention at Lex's place. Guilt? Thinking no one would notice? Like the Tell Tale Heart, the "Fin of Eire" will prove your guilt!
A tail section from an F-14 Tomcat discovered on a beach in Ireland came from an Oceana-based plane that crashed 3½ years ago off Key West, Fla., the Navy confirmed Tuesday.

How it got at least 4,900 miles away, no one knows for certain.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

SHOCKER! NYT finds Sailors are civilized

In some ways you have to feel sorry for the NYT, they look at the military like they are from another world. Then again, if you hung out at NYT parties - you would see that perhaps that isn't too far off the mark.
After being cooped up for months in giant rolling tin cans in the Persian Gulf, the sailors dock on the West Side piers of Manhattan and stay for a few days. New Yorkers see them move about in groups or in pairs, their crisp summer whites against the gray of the asphalt.
...
Once it was strip clubs and bars and tattoo parlors and girls. And while there still may be some of that, sailors who sauntered around Midtown on Memorial Day gave some surprising answers when asked how they experience New York City in the two or three short days they are here.
They mentioned frozen cappuccinos, and Off Broadway, and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, and architecture — specifically, terra cotta facades.
Funny to read - but all in all, a nice write-up.

They could call it the "Black Stallion"

Oh those Dutch are cheeky.
The Air Force chief of staff will name the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by June 30, choosing from six monikers that range from the historic to the arcane, military and industry officials say.
...
The Black Mamba is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world and one of Africa's most feared. Col. Jaap Reijling, air attaché for the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, said his country proposed Black Mamba because the snake and the F-35 have much in common.

Among their shared features, according to a statement from the Dutch F-35 office: "Both can target a prey without being discovered. Both are very fast and lethal but not aggressive by nature."

"I think that is a definite Dutch feature: 'fast and lethal but not aggressive by nature,' " Col. Reijling said with a laugh.
...
The Air Force and Navy both proposed Lightning II, while the Marine Corps advocated Spitfire II, said a U.S. officer familiar with the deliberations.
The Air Force also submitted finalists Cyclone and Reaper, this officer said.
The finalists also include two more curious suggestions – Black Mamba and Piasa.
...
Britain proposed Fury, a favorite of many Lockheed and military officials but a name that risked a trademark conflict with the Plymouth Fury auto, this officer said.
Other rejects and the countries or services that offered them include Phantom, Australia; Scorpion, Canada and the Marine Corps; Mustang, Marine Corps; and Skyruler, Turkey.

However they managed to become finalists, Black Mamba and Piasa appear to have little chance of passing Gen. Moseley's muster.
Seeing things named before ... I think this has a good chance of coming out goofy. Fun to watch.

Horrific evidence of climate change in The Netherlands

Don't you read, watch, and believe Al Gore? A reader in the land of wooden shoes and funky smelling smokes comes the following information that should make all of us think.
It is not only the weather that is bad. The herring is not ready either. For the Dutch who have been waiting for the official opening of the herring season, normally starting today, the news is not good. The season will have to be postponed for two weeks. The herring is not fat enough. Apparently the herring has started to eat later than normal. This is linked with the cold weather in the spring. Small herrings cannot be sold but will count as part of the quota.
More on that global warming nightmare here.
This is the first time in history that the auction cannot proceed on the planned date.
The horror. The horror. How will Michael survive (ok, he is Flemish..but who can tell the difference)?

Post- Memorial Day must read

I would have posted this yesterday, but Memorial Day is one of the days I do one post.

This is at the 9 to 10 ring. Owen West in the NYT, read it all.
We are at the outset of a long war, and not just in Iraq. Yet it is being led politically by the short-sighted, from both sides of the aisle. The deterioration of American support for the mission in Iraq is indicative not so much of our military conduct there, where real gains are coming slowly but steadily, but of chaotic leadership.

Somehow Operation Iraqi Freedom, not a large war by America's historical standards, has blossomed into a crisis of expectations that threatens our ability to react to future threats with a fist instead of five fingers. Instead of rallying we are squabbling, even as the slow fuse burns.

One party is overly sanguine, unwilling to acknowledge its errors. The other is overly maudlin, unable to forgive the same. The Bush administration seeks to insulate the public from the reality of war, placing its burden on the few. The press has tried to fill that gap by exposing the raw brutality of the insurgency; but it has often done so without context, leaving a clear implication that we can never win.
Bingo with the context.
If we can put 2003's debates behind us, there is a swath of common ground on which to focus. Both Republicans and Democrats agree we cannot lose Iraq. The general insurgency in Iraq imperils our national interest and the hardcore insurgents are our mortal enemies. Talking of troop reductions is to lose sight of the goal.

Second, America's conscience is one of its greatest strengths. But self-flagellation, especially in the early stages of a war against an enemy whose worldview is uncompromising, is absolutely hazardous. Three years gone and Iraq's most famous soldiers are Jessica Lynch and Lynndie England, a victim and a criminal, respectively. Abu Ghraib remains the most famous battle of the war.
Lex and Greyhawk are on it as well.

Bill Cohen and the making of a Beltway whore

Yep, that is strong … but it bothers me to no end those who will crucify their underlings for having the wrong word or thought on the grounds of “appearance of impropriety” and always expect unimpeachable behavior and relationships – and then do the exact opposite thing.

Let me say this. I first met Bill Cohen when he was a Senator. A nice, quiet guy from a nice quiet state. I met him again when he was SECDEF. Still a very nice, quiet guy. Danced kind of funny on the Big E, and I wondered why he brought his new wife on official travel with him all the time - but a nice guy. He is not, perhaps, Duke Cunningham – but it may be defined as only a matter of degree. The point isn't that he is a bad person - I don't know - as a person I liked him. Though the priorities of the Administration he went to work for in'97 and did nothing to change were, well, a cancer. The issue is does he meet the standards he expected of those he led as SECDEF.

Let us hope that the info in this NYT bit is all wrong. Irony or ironies; he lectures on ethics in government.


This story from David S. Hilzenrath in the Washington Post may have its facts all wrong, and “whore” is a strong word – but there it is. I would call this a cautionary tale – a tale about a good, solid man who was lured by the sickingly sweet rot that comes from money, power, and connections. Read the whole thing, and you will hear a bit from Zbigniew Brzezinski who gets it. Take a deep breath, and let’s wade into the fever swamp.
When the motorcades and military escorts ended in January 2001, his final financial disclosure form listed tens of thousands of dollars of charge-account debts at interest rates as high as about 25 percent.

Within weeks of leaving office, he was living in a $3.5 million McLean mansion with a swimming pool, a cabana and a carriage house.

Cohen's career had entered a classic final phase: the monetizing of the public man.
Public servant?
"We Specialize in Access, Insight and Intelligence into the Defense Industry, DoD and Government programs," the Web site ( the Cohen Group , ) for a Cohen investment advisory service said until recently. The Web site said the Cohen Group's "Competitive Advantage" included "Senior level relationships throughout industry and government."
Nice spin.
In the world of gambling, the Cohen Group has teamed with a developer seeking to convert a former U.S. Navy facility overlooking San Francisco Bay into an Indian casino and resort. The project would need support from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Cohen knows the terrain. He headed a Senate panel on Indian affairs.
Sniff. BRAC? Sniff.
In December 2000, shortly before Cohen left office, the Pentagon awarded Iridium Satellite LLC a $72 million contract , without competitive bidding, that helped save the company's communications satellites from destruction. David R. Oliver Jr., who was a senior procurement official at the time, said that he and Cohen were the Pentagon's principal advocates for the Iridium deal.

Over the past two years, Iridium has paid the Cohen Group about $400,000 to lobby the House, Senate and Department of Defense, according to lobbying disclosure statements.

"Several months after Secretary Cohen left office, The Cohen Group was contacted by the Chairman of Iridium to assist with marketing to several government agencies including DoD, as well as foreign governments," Tyrer said in writing. "Obviously, we had no such discussions while in office."
Oh yes, that clean, nice BRAC. Sniff.
When he was defense secretary, Cohen fought for base closings to save money for weapons. Last year, the Cohen Group helped Arlington County save some of the military jobs slated for relocation in the latest round of base closings. It helped Jacksonville, Fla., emerge from the same round of base closings with a net gain in defense jobs.

"In part they helped us get behind the curtain," said Susie Wiles, a spokeswoman for Jacksonville's mayor. "In part they were able to access people who would not have been available to us."

Jacksonville paid Cohen's firm $490,000 over seven months. In its application for the Jacksonville contract, the firm cited Cohen's "personal and professional ties to the BRAC Commissioners," a reference to the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

In response to Jacksonville's request for examples of the firm's "professional accomplishments," the Cohen Group said it helped Lockheed win a $3.6 billion contract in Europe. The contract was for the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Poland, financed by the U.S. government.

"TCG's mission was to secure U.S. Government support for the deal, and U.S. approval of novel export financing to facilitate the procurement," the Cohen Group said in its proposal to Jacksonville. The Cohen Group's effort included "advocacy with key decision-makers in the White House, Office of the Vice President, National Security Council, Department of Defense and the State Department during an 18-month campaign," the proposal said.

Now, lets get in up to the top of our chest waders. This speaks for itself. First, in another window, I want you to open up this timeline. Look it over. Review when necessary. Here is a series of quotes.
...charge-account debts of $65,005 to $180,000. ... Despite the financial strain, Cohen said that during his final year in office he and his wife were working on blueprints to build a house in the Woodlea Mill section of McLean. ... Cohen said he called Frank G. Zarb, who then was chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market, after hearing that Zarb was preparing to sell a house in Woodlea Mill. Instead of putting the house on the market, Cohen said, Zarb sold it to Michael S. Ansari, chairman and chief executive of defense contractor M.I.C. Industries Inc.

Ansari and his wife paid $3.5 million for the house in October 2000, according to land records. The Cohens moved in during January or February of 2001, Cohen said. ... A real estate broker who worked with Zarb, Caroline Rocco, said that as far as she could tell, "it was the Cohens who wanted the house, and how they went about, you know, buying it is their business."

The Cohens did buy the house eventually, paying $3.6 million for it in April 2002, according to land records. ... Ansari, who canceled an interview scheduled for this report, sent a written statement saying the property "was of longstanding interest to me."

"When I learned that it might be put on the market, I acquired it as a sound investment and paid the seller's price of $3.5 million," Ansari said. (18 months and you only made 1.1% in one of the hotest markets in the country?) ... The arrangement with Ansari prevented the McLean house from slipping away, and it made it possible for Cohen to live in the house before he had the means to buy it. It also spared Cohen a potential bidding war for the property. ... Cohen went on to join the board and audit committee of the Nasdaq Stock Market, and, in a January 2001 news release, 11 days after Cohen left office, M.I.C. announced Cohen's appointment as chairman of its board of advisers.
Executive Summary: This is how the game is played.
- Cohen is SECDEF and ends his tour deep in high interest credit card debt.
- He wants a house that he cannot afford that belongs to the Chairman of NASDAQ (Zarb) – an exchange that has A LOT of Defense Contractors on it.
- Defense contractor (Ansari) buys house from Zarb for $3.5 million and holds it, unoccupied, for 3 months until Cohen leaves office. Cohen rents the house and goes to work for Ansari less than two weeks after he leaves office.
- Cohen also starts to work (in parallel) for the original owner of the house, Zarb.
- Cohen buys house ($3.6 million) 18 months later from Ansari for only ~2.9% ROI and a rate of return of 1.9% for Ansari. In McLean VA.
- Cohen sells house ($4.0 million) 14 months later for ~11.1% ROI and a rate of return of 9.8%. Use this calc if you want.
I ask the question: should this be considered a healthy thing to happen in a Representative Republic? Is it any wonder CNOs do what they do? Like I said before, all this info could be wrong...but it looks well researched. If so, I will publish a retraction - but for now the title of the post stands.

NB: David S. Hilzenrath will be online to discuss former secretary of defense William Cohen on Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. I think I will be there.......

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

I have always thought that Memorial Day would be best served here on the micro scale. Smash asked for some help with getting the word out about the men behind the headstones - and his concept is right on target. While you think about all the macro events, also think about the individuals involved. To add my part to Smash's project - I ask you to consider two men from two different eras, the links will provide a little background:

-
ITCS Daniel Richard Healy: A Navy SEAL killed along with his Team when his MH-47 Chinook went down 28 JUN 05 in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

- LCDR Robert Semple: Earned his Medal of Honor when serving aboard the USS Florida and leading his Sailors in Vera Cruz, Mexico in 1914.
Speaking of simple, focused, personal ways to remember Memorial Day; for those familiar with Norfolk, a previous entry on the Winona Memorial is here, and an update here - Gary Ruegsegger has a nice write-up on a lot of Tidewater memorials here. For a wider view of Memorial Day, Milblogs is a good start.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

EMCON Bravo

Looks like I may be offline for the rest of the week. I should be back by Sunday though. I'll will try, but odds are slim. Check back once a day anyway if you can; if I'm not here - make sure and stop by Milblogs for your fix.

Cheers,
Phibian

Anti-terror actions in Europe

Making a good effort to get the horse back in the barn.
In the UK:
Five hundred police officers are carrying out anti-terrorist operations across England.

The raids, which began in five police force areas at 0300 BST, are targeting people suspected of plotting terrorism attacks abroad.

Nine arrests have so far been made in raids - one person has since been released and eight remain in custody.
In The Netherlands:
The Dutch parliament approved new anti-terrorism measures Tuesday that make it easier to arrest suspects without strong evidence and hold them longer without charge.

Prosecutors will be able to approve surveillance, infiltration or wiretapping of suspects even when there is not "reasonable suspicion" that a suspect may have committed a criminal act.
At least some nations remember we are at war. Not ready to quite yet.

World's smartest bear

This just reads too well.
The first wild bear seen in Germany since 1835 is believed to have left the country after authorities ordered it shot or captured, an official said Tuesday.

The brown bear was first spotted in the southern state of Bavaria over the weekend. Officials decided Monday that it had to be stopped after it killed seven sheep and raided a chicken coop.
I wonder who tipped him off?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Guerrilla war on the Severn II: Electric Boogaloo

One thing you have to love is a reader with a crafty mind and good typing/OCS scanner. Go here for the background.

Letters.....oh yes, we have letters. I have very good reason to believe both letters below are ligit. I would easily put PalmPilot's next per diem check on it. I've x'd out most of the names, and this has been cleared by a lawyer for me to publish (ssshhh) and is part of the public record....if you can get it.

An important lesson: be careful who you pick a fight with.

May 11, 2006


Vice Admiral Rodney Rempt, USN
Superintendent
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, MD 21412

Re: Double Standards at the United States Naval Academy

Dear Admiral Rempt:

I am writing to protest what is clearly an official recognition of gender-based double standards at the United States Naval Academy. As you know, I am pending charges for “sexual harassment” due to comments I made off-duty while on liberty to Midshipman Sxxxx Fxxxx. As you are also aware, Midn. Fxxxx did not believe she had been sexually harassed and did not intend to make such a report. The incident was blown out of proportion by LCDR Whisenhunt in a self-serving effort to punish me because of our significant and obvious disagreements concerning the safe operations of YP-686 during summer training last year.

While I am pending charges, I have learned that similarly off-color, wholly inappropriate remarks were made at the May 9, 2006 NAAA Spring Sports Wrap Up Dinner and Team Presentations held at Smoke Hall and attended by the Deputy Commandant of Midshipmen, Academic Dean, Dean of Admissions, Athletic Director, Team Officer Representatives, coaches, and midshipmen athletes of both genders. I report the following, which may be verified by questioning the attendees, some of whom were offended and reported their concerns about the obvious double standards to me and others.

ITEM 1:

A female midshipmen from the track team was being introduced by her female coach. She is a hammer thrower and the coach explained that the hammer is a steel ball suspended by a chain connected to a handle for throwing. The coach said the female midshipmen hammer thrower is a tough competitor and is known by the motto “Only real women can handle steel balls.”

This is obviously a sexually-motivated double entendre intended to refer to the male reproductive organs and the female hammer thrower’s strength and power. Some persons in the audience were embarrassed by the comment because it was so clearly inappropriate for an “official” ceremony. Most of the persons present were well-aware of the hypocrisy of sending me to a court-martial while the senior Naval Academy staff sat by and permitted such inappropriate commentary to take place in an officially sanctioned event.

ITEM 2:

A female midshipmen of the swimming team was summing up the undefeated season and directed the following to the athletic director, “Mr. Gxxxxx, we are still waiting for the steak dinner you promised the team if they went undefeated.” He chuckled and motioned for her to come closer so he could say something to her. The Master of Ceremonies then went to the podium and said something to the effect of “He meant to say tube steak.”

The slang reference to male genitalia was offensive, yet no prompt corrective action was taken at the time or thereafter for what was utterly offensive and equally inappropriate as anything I might have said in a private setting in mixed company. Failure to take appropriate action at the time was an apparent official sanction of the inappropriate comments and behavior. I am writing this letter to inform you, as a member of your command with a responsibility to do so pursuant to U.S. Navy Regulations, that I believe misconduct occurred and that your subordinates are engaging in hypocrisy and double standards with regard to handling female midshipmen. I cannot any longer remain mute because other officers now feel, like I do, that they cannot trust the Naval Academy chain of command to deal fairly and equally where female misconduct is involved and that any transgressions by males are handled disproportionately to the magnitude of the offense due to the politics and scrutiny you have been subjected to by outside sources. In addition, I am providing this letter to the Navy Inspector General, to ensure that my official complaint is a matter of record within the Department of the Navy.

Very Respectfully,

BRYAN BLACK
LT, USN

__________________________________________________________________
May 16, 2006

Vice Admiral Rodney Rempt, USN
Superintendent
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, MD 21412

Re: Double Standards at the United States Naval Academy

Dear Admiral Rempt:

I am writing as a Naval Academy graduate with some considerable personal investment in the reputation of the United States Naval Academy. As a graduate and a former active duty military officer, I take seriously the Honor Concept and the importance of honor and integrity to the officer corps and the Naval service.

Imagine my surprise to learn that the Naval Academy has ignored flagrant violations of Naval Academy regulations and the Honor Concept in matters relating to the alleged rape of Midshipman *** by Midshipman Lamar Owens. Apparently, in testimony provided at the Article 32 hearing, a female midshipman varsity athlete who is “best friends” with Midshipman ***, Midshipman Betsy Burnett, admitted to repeated and serial violations of both State law and midshipman regulations by engaging in underage drinking alone and with Midshipman ***. Apparently, although Midshipman Burnett is not an alleged “victim” of any sexual assault or sexual harassment, her serial violations have gone unpunished.

What is much more serious from an Honor and integrity stand-point is Midshipman Burnett’s admission at the Owens Article 32 hearing that she lied to Midshipman *** by falsely telling her that Midshipman Owens had admitted to raping midshipman ***, a lie that Midshipman Burnett knew was false when she made it. Moreover, Midshipman Burnett apparently made a sworn statement to NCIS in which she repeated the lie, under oath to criminal investigators. At the Article 32 hearing, Midshipman Burnett admitted to these lies. I have checked with Academy sources and have determined that Midshipman Burnett has not been reported nor processed for an Honor violation despite these flagrant lies, including a lie under oath in a criminal investigation.

Whether the decision not to take disciplinary action against Ms. Burnett was made on account of her sex or her status as a star varsity athlete, the double standard is breathtakingly unacceptable and indicative of a complete absence of fair and unbiased leadership at the Naval Academy. I don’t know the name of the last male midshipman to be separated from the Naval Academy and forced to repay the cost of his $100,000 education by reason of an Honor violation, however, whoever that male midshipman is, I am certain that he did not engage in the serious and repeated lies, including those made to NCIS that affected their investigation, that Midshipman Burnett admitted to under oath at the Article 32 hearing in Midshipman Owens’ case. I fear that until there is a leadership change at my alma mater enlisting leaders who are committed to just and unbiased treatment of like offenders, the Naval Academy will continue to reap the negative headlines, inconsistent character in its graduates, and rampant criticism both by its alumni as well as the public.

I do not expect that you will take any action because of my letter. I long ago disabused myself of the notion that effective leaders were in charge at USNA, however, you need to know that there are a significant Alumni membership who are aware of the deficient leadership at the Naval Academy and find it unacceptable.

Charles W. Gittins

...at least they tried in English

I bet Skippy has some better ones.

Hat tip, a regular.

Europe should be so lucky

There is no question we need to get control of our unbalanced immigration problem; so we have immigration vice migration. That being said, despite all the hyperbole from nativists and reconquistas on both sides, unlike Europe, our immigrants will, if we fix it, mix in just fine.

Personally, I cannot stand the artificial construct “Hispanic.” It is so bugus. It isn’t racial, it isn’t cultural, it isn't even regional. Spain=Portugal=Chile=Argentina=Italy=Brazil=Honduras? Try to tell a Gonzalez from Spain he is the same as one from Mexico or Cuba or Columbia….or Chile. As a matter of fact, I invite you to stand up at a Cuban restaurant and say something like, “Cuban, Mexican…food or people, they are all the same.” I’ll tell your wife you loved her for you.

Anyway……our big problem in an unbalance of illegal immigrants from Mexico as a percentage. Big gobs of folks from any one place is never good. Folded in with the gaggle from Central and South America, on balance they are really just Catholics with a South American/Mediterranean angle to them. Not that different from the base culture of the U.S. Europe on the other hand is being swamped by non-Western Muslims. A whole different ball of wax. If you can swim through the Leftist Cant, here is a data point from Hispanics in the military. Yep, we’re fine. Just a little fine tuning, and we'll be fine. There is no greater assimilator than the U.S. military.
On the ground in San Jose, Army recruiter Sgt. Brian Ditzler recently fashioned a theory behind the numbers. Ditzler, who was raised by his mother in Corozal, Puerto Rico, and speaks fluent Spanish, staffed a booth during the city's Cinco de Mayo festival. He said of the 22 recruits he enlisted last year, 15 were Latino.
"The remarkable thing that is consistent with Latinos is the sense of pride," Ditzler said. "More than any other group, they have a deep sense of pride about serving for this country."

By comparison, Ditzler observed that his Asian American enlistees were more interested in job-training skills, while African Americans spoke of college tuition as the trade-off. Whites, the recruiter observed, were most intrigued by the "sense of adventure" the Army provided.

"So, knowing that Latinos were focused more on pride," Ditzler added, "that's the thing I'm going to show them: how they can make themselves and their families proud."
For more empirical evidence, researchers such as Asch are just now beginning to examine the results from field studies. Already consistent with Ditzler's observations, Asch said recent post-enlistment surveys indicate Latinos noted "patriotism" and "service to country" as the top two reasons for joining, as well as "duty" and "honor."
Oh, here is one for the retrograde Diversity Pimps - a Ditzler from Puerto Rico. Hispanic? How about a Martinez from Oslo? Snicker.

Monday, May 22, 2006

SECNAV says "BRAC has screwed us..."

OK, I'm paraphrasing here. I remember during the 90s as they were closing bases all along the California coast or turning over land (ditto on the East Coast like Cecil Field) after the BRAC that given what the 21st Century was going to bring us - it was stupid. You will never get the capacity back. You will have no room to expand if needed. I hate to say, "I told you so..." but....
And as a result of going through that process, several facilities have been closed in the Southern California area: El Toro and Tustin and other (bases). At the same time, we're in a process where we are seeing from a strategic perspective more and more need to support and provide capability in the Pacific region. And that was one of the conclusions out of the QDR, the Quadrennial Defense Review. I think basically we're kind of about as tight as we could ever imagine given both the current and projected needs.

What do you mean by tight?

In terms of capacity. We're down to a minimal capacity relative to both the operational and training needs that we have now.
......

The idea being looked at with Miramar is to have separate runways so that the aircraft you're talking about wouldn't be using the same runways as civilian aircraft. And separate air spaces?

Obviously not flying into the same air space. They'd both be in the same air space. I have seen no way presented that deconflicts the air space to an extent that anybody in the Navy aviation community is comfortable with.

One of the options being looked at is potentially moving the carrier landing practice away from Miramar to either a new runway that the airport authority would build at Camp Pendleton or to Yuma. Where at Camp Pendleton?

They've identified a site on the base where a single runway could be built that's not subject to flooding like the current runway is there. And so the idea is that in the middle of artillery ranges and live fire exercises at Camp Pendleton we'll be running additional aircraft.

No, that's not the idea. The idea is shared space. You've got tens of thousands of acres at Pendleton and at Miramar, and the idea is to share that space sensibly.

And I guess what I'm trying to make clear, and I'll just restate my position here. We had a lot more space. We have had a lot of that space taken away from us. We are in the middle of a war. We are using the hell out of Pendleton, out of Twentynine Palms. We've got Marines that are preparing – I was out at Pendleton, I was out at Twentynine Palms earlier this week – a group of Marines out there that are preparing in three weeks to go out into the theater (Iraq). You know something? Some of them are not going to come back.

Is that relevant to the airport debate?

I think it is.

Explain the connection.

I think the connection is that we are in a land war. We are trying to provide for the defense of the nation. And we are utilizing our facilities very extensively. And we recognize the need to be able to provide the maximum possible training experience for the people that we are putting in harm's way.

And do you think the airport authority is going to come forward with a proposal that will undermine the training and readiness of the troops?

All of the suggestions that you have made here this morning have all gone in the direction which would take significant facilities and significant flexibility away from the Navy and Marine Corps, too.

The SECNAV going around the tree a bit in the interview about the inability of the interviewer to understand the basics of military training. Then you could tell SECNAV just got tired of the whole interview. I'll give the SECNAV this; he is fiesty. Read the whole thing...but here are some of my favorite answers.
I don't know, do you?
...
We did not ask him to do that. Congressman Hunter is fully capable of taking his own lead in such matters.
...
They have outlined a number of concepts and we have evaluated those and found them to be wanting.
Yea, I like him.

Poseur wannabe of the day.

Time to name 'em and shame 'em. Jesse MacBeth - loser.

Funny how the Left just can't help themselves with these guys. EVERYONE should be looking out for these guys. Guys just like him smeared the good men who served in Vietnam. With the internet and Milblogs - there is no reason these guys should have a half life of 48 hrs until they are shown who they are. More often than not, you don't even need a DD214.

Another reminder, everyone needs to read Stolen Valor: How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of its Heroes and its History, by B.G. Burkett. This not new.

Poor Jesse, he had Allah, BLACKFIVE and the entire battlegroup over at Milblogs after his sorry a55. Just brutal.

Oh, too lazy to follow the links? Here is where he started to go wrong.
1. Special Forces Combat Patch (Wrong)
2. Two "Tabs" sewn above SF patch (Wrong- Only One)
3. No Ranger Tab
4. No Airborne Wings
5. No Unit Crest
6. No Sewn on Rank
7. No One in the Army rolls their sleeves like that.
Bonus: 8. Mustache is out of regulation by extending past the corner of the mouth.
See it all over at YouTube. Tee them up; we'll wack'em with a 1 iron.
UPDATE: This is OVER. Look at the DD214 splatter at SMASH's place. As expected. Next.

President Carter is 100% correct

....just this once. John Fund is right on target. Knowing all the hoops I have gone through over the years to vote when deployed, the least we can ask of civilians is to show and ID. I might like the inky finger thing too - based on what I saw during a few elections growing up......
The Carter-Baker commission issued 87 recommendations to improve the functioning of election systems. One called for a national requirement that electronic voting machines include a paper trail that would allow people to check their votes, while another would have states establish uniform procedures for counting provisional ballots.

But the biggest surprise was that 18 of 21 commissioners backed a requirement that voters show some form of photo identification. They argued that with Congress passing the Real ID Act to standardize security protections for drivers' licenses in all 50 states, the time had come to standardize voter ID requirements. Former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle joined two other commissioners in complaining that the ID requirements would be akin to a Jim Crow-era "poll tax" and would restrict voting among the poor or elderly who might lack such an ID.

Mr. Daschle's racially charged analogy is preposterous. Almost everyone needs photo ID in today's modern world. Andrew Young, the former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador, believes that in an era when people have to show ID to rent a video or cash a check, "requiring ID can help poor people" who otherwise might be even more marginalized by not having one.

5 years of incompetence and arrogance

What if FDR was a Republican? Victor Davis Hanson doesn’t say it, but he outlines it fairly well. Here is a sample. Read it all.
A number of issues arise. Why is Henry Stimson (“Gentlemen do not read each other's mail”) still Secretary of War? After the debacles at Pearl Harbor, the Philippines tragedy, the Kasserine Pass disaster, the unforeseen bocage in Normandy, the Falaise Gap escape, the Anzio mess, the fatal detour to Rome, the surprise at the Bulge, the bloodbath at Tarawa, and now the Iwo Jima and Okinawa nightmares, is not five years of his incompetence and arrogance enough? A number of our retired generals seems to agree, who have recently bravely come forward to remind us that Sec. Stimson long ago tried to dismantle key elements of our intelligence services, attempted to curtail the operational command of our Army Air Corps generals in conducting bombings of Europe, and has on more than one occasion intervened to remove targets from Gen. LeMay’s campaign over Japan.

As we see thousands of Americans dying and our enemies still in power after four years of war, it is also legitimate to question the stewardship of Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall. The Sherman tank tragedy, the daylight bombing fiasco, the absence of even minimally suitable anti-tank weapons and torpedoes—all these lapses came on his watch, and the man at the top must take full responsibility for mistakes that have now cost thousands of American lives. Indeed, it is not just that America has worse tanks and guns than our German enemies, but they are inferior even to the rockets and armor of our Soviet allies. The recent publication of “The Sherman Tank Scandal” follows other revelations published in “Asleep at the Philippines,” “The Flight of Gen. MacArthur,” “Gen. Patton and the Atrocities on Sicily,” “Do Americans Execute POWs?” “Torture on Guadalcanal,” “Incinerating Women and Children?” and “Civilian Massacres in Germany”—publications in their totality that suggest a military out of control as often as it is incompetent.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Now THIS is an instapundit

This makes me happy and content in so many ways. The BBC looks like boobs, a good man is put in a tough spot and does VERY well. Derb over at The Corner sets it up for us below. Watch it, and you will feel very well knowing that a working class immigrant in the Anglo-Saxon world can, if given the chance, come off as more of a professional (notice the news reader's series of "ummmm"s at the end) than the self described elite that on any given day prior, probably wouldn't share a coffee with him. I feel at peace.
OK, follow this closely. Over in Britain, a lawsuit has been going on, Apple Corps Ltd. (the music company started by the Beatles back in 1968) suing Apple Computer Inc., claiming that the U.S.-based computer company has broken a 1991 agreement in which each agreed not to enter into the other's field of business. Apple Corps argues that Apple Computer has infringed its territory by entering the music business. They want the courts to make Apple Computer to drop the apple logo from the iTunes Music Store and pay unspecified damages.

With me so far? Well, BBC TV wanted a talking head to come and give an opinion about the case, so they invited British blogger and journalist Guy Kewney, an expert on Internet music downloads. Guy duly showed up at the studio and sat in a reception area, waiting to be called to go on air. When the call came, though, there was a mix-up in the reception area. The minion sent to get Mr. Kewney got Mr. Kewney's taxi driver instead.

The taxi driver, who didn't know what was going on, was sat down in the studio, had a mike pinned to his jacket, and was then interviewed. He coped quite well.


The cab driver is now, of course, a media star. He may never have to work again.

One little update for Derb though; as in the military the original reports are often wrong - he wasn't the taxi driver. He was actually there for an interview as an IT assistant. From the read at The Guardian, it looks like the BBC is showing their a55 on this towards the poor man, Mr. Guy Goma.
"I was very shocked. I just thought, 'Keep going'," said Mr Goma, a university graduate from Congo. He said he was "still waiting for the result" of his interview to become an IT assistant.

Unfortunately, News 24 presenters Simon McCoy and Carrie Gracie appeared about as sure of themselves today as Bowerman had last week.

"Is there anyone else you would like to impersonate?" asked Gracie. Misunderstanding the question, Mr Goma replied: "Yes, I really want to work at the BBC."

And when Mr Goma mumbled a reply to McCoy's query whether "EU membership for Bulgaria and Romania is a good thing," Gracie asked: "Do you have an opinion on everything?" Mr Goma, understandably, was lost for words a second time.
You know, Simon and Carrie should take Mr. Goma out to dinner. He is the one showing poise and class in all this. The guy if from The Congo for the love of Pete. Cut him some slack. The BBC screwed up, not Mr. Goma. He should have a job now.

The first week of mass insanity

So, did you take a chance to reflect on what started 40 years ago? My guess, not. Hey, if not, feel free to feel bad. Even NPR and the BBC did a good covering it. Before you click the NPR link though, open this in a seperate window, as background music, and think about the Chinese Cultural Revolution and in general the blood that soaks that country - wonder how many legions of people died with that song as the last thing they heard. As you go to WalMart to buy all your Chinese goods - remember - the same government is still in power. Would you buy a BMW if Germany was still Nazi? I'm just asking. Hitler only killed 20 million. Pocket change compared to what Communist China and the old USSR did.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Guerrilla war on the Severn

Everyone here remember "SaltyGate?" Funny if not so insane. Well, if you will pardon the pun, looks like someone isn't taking things lying down.
A Naval Academy instructor set to stand trial on allegations of sexual harassment has filed an equal opportunity complaint with the Navy, citing "gender-based double standards" in how the school handles such claims.

Lt. Bryan Black, who is accused of using crude and sexually explicit language in front of a mixed group of midshipmen last summer, wrote a detailed account of "off color, wholly inappropriate remarks" made from the lectern at an athletic association dinner May 9.

The letter states that the dinner was attended by several high-ranking academy officials, including the deputy commandant of midshipmen.

The claim, filed two days later, says an unidentified female track coach introduced a female hammer thrower by explaining that the hammer is a steel ball connected by chain to a handle. She then said, according to the letter: "Only real women can handle steel balls."

Later at the event, a Navy swimmer asked Athletic Director Chet Gladchuck if he would buy the steak dinner he promised the team if it went undefeated during the season. The master of ceremonies at the event, whom the letter did not identify, then made a joke using a vulgar term for the male sex organ.

"The slang reference to male genitalia was offensive, yet no prompt corrective action was taken at the time or thereafter for what was utterly offensive and equally inappropriate as anything I might have said in a private setting in mixed company," Black wrote in the letter.
Now that is a fighting spirit. I am sure Annapolis has the crack Inspector Whisenhant on the case.
UPDATE:Just for the pure schadenfreude of it all; I really wish this was the USNA Woman's (anything) Team instead of Catholic Univ.'s lacross team. One can hope though. I will say this though, all these girls have GREAT Sailor wife potential. Annapolis is just down the road girls. Just down the road. Save those men from their classmates. Do it for your nation.

Baghdad ER vs Ground Zero forensics

It is all about context. WARNING. I am pissed off. I have lost my temper. I am going to cuss a very little bit (OK, I will self-edit and use substitutes so your Net-Nanny won’t filter out the post). I will pray on my anger later. If you don’t like potty mouth, or am going to send me to Courts Martial for it – then stop now.

OK. 5-4-3-2-1

I am going to Fisk the living sh1t out of Bob Herbert’s “Warfare as it Really Is" from the 01 MAY NYT. I just can't take it anymore. My work email is full of crap about the movie and .... I am just beyond medication right now. It is “Times Select,” but in case you don’t have it, I will quote below. It is all about the upcoming “Baghdad ER.”

The horse is out of the barn on the brilliance of letting HBO film the absolute roughest side of the consequences of going to war. So besides putting a small rug on the ground, dropping to my knees, making sure I am facing the right direction towards the Pentagon and yelling "A55HATS -- YOU STUPID FRACKING A55HATS," There isn't much I can do.

There is a difference if you are the one going to war, knowing what happens to friends and comrades as a by-product of defending your nation, and seeing this up close. Smelling it. Feeling it. When you are there, you understand the context. But smearing gore in the living rooms of protected, coddled, context denied citizens is just stupid. Yes I said “context denied.” With “United 93,” everyone was saying “Is it too soon?” For the last half decade, the CIA and the media have leaked anything related to national security for a headline - the deaths of Americans and their allies be damned if it makes Bush look bad - but they would rather behead their own grandmother than show you the pictures, video, or even the pocking soundtrack of what it sounds like when a body impacts the pavement from 100 stories in the air. He11 no, they won’t do a documentary on that. They are fundamentalists on protecting the “privacy” and “feelings” of the “victims' families” as far as that goes. No, we can’t remind anyone why we are at war or the nature of why we are doing it. No. No. No. Let’s just smear everyone with gore and talk about what powerful art we have created. Shock and awe my a55. Ever wonder why this wasn’t done in 1943? Pick the reason. Frack it, let’s Fisk.

First of all, know Bob’s biases. Just go here and read. Like it needs saying.
“This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance – warfare as it really is.”
No, you a55. It is the consequence of war as it really is. That is like saying placenta and afterbirth is “sex as it really is.” Oh, Bob knows that. Don’t be the simpleton he thinks you are. It is the same as if you had a “Sex in the City” series on HBO that was nothing but the up close and personal view of the vaginal, episiotomy, birth of a 10# child by a 115# woman – anyway, those who have been there know what I mean - and then say "This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance - sex as it really is." That is about the context.
The movie is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It is simply a searing record of the ferocious toll that combat takes on real human beings.”
Bullsh1t. Fine. Where is the high profile, full media hype HBO show on the “searing record” of the impact on the families of the Four Flights on 11 Sep 01? Where is the “ferocious toll that combat takes on real human beings” under attack in Indonesia, Thailand, Afghanistan, or what happened to the Kurds, Shiites, Kuwaitis, Jews, and others under Saddam? Where is the “what if” HBO Productions movie of what would happen if Islamic terrorists succeed in using WMD in the US? A “what if” looking at the results if Bush in response to 911 brought all our military forces out of the Middle East and broke off our “special relationship” with Israel? Want to ponder that? I didn’t think so. Anyway, let's get back on centerline.
..they watched, -- and taped --, the heroic struggle of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to salvage as many lives as possible from what amounted to a non-stop conveyor belt of bloodies, broken and burned G.I.’s.
Of course it is. When do we expect to see a documentary about our success in Kurdistan and the other successes in Iraq and Afghanistan? What about the Afghani who are returning home after years away? What about the Marsh Arabs who were slaughtered wholesale and the ecosystem in southern Iraq destroyed in parallel? Where? Where are the tales of heroism on the battlefield and the gains? Balance? Context? No can’t have that. Ohhhhh no. Just shock and awe with gore.
..you just knew that every single day that door was going to open up, that the helicopter was going to land, and they were just ging to bring in something that looked like hamburger instead of a human being.
Yep, you are right. That is all that war is about. That is all HBO needs to let the American people know. Poor Bob, like a dog to his vomit
Above all else, war is about the suffering of individuals. The suffering is endured mostly by the young, and these days the government and the media are careful to keep the worst of it out o f the sight of the average American. That was we can worry in peach about the cost of the gasoline we need to get us to the mall.
I don’t know what is more insulting in that paragraph, the tone or the complete ignorance of war by the author. We’ll call it a draw. Can I by Michael Yon a plane ticket to bash this guy with a cluebat on war?

Well, Bobby knows his readers. Check some of the letters he received on
here and here.

I will not, and do not, feel the need to see this. I have read enough here and elsewhere. I have seen enough in 3-D. If this is such a great idea, I know what we should do at every MEPS. Let a 60 minute loop go of what happens when you get sucked in an intake on a plane at military power on a catapult – show what a fatal steam burn looks like. Show what a separated line during UNREP can do to the human body. What a snapped 3 wire will do to your legs. What backing into an E-2 will do to the back of a head. Big screen. Color. Give me sound and smell if you can. Don’t tell they why we have a military. Don’t tell them what the folks on the other side would do if there was no one to oppose them. No. Never give them context. Never give them a reason. Just let them see that it is nothing but nightmares.

Nice job media affairs guys. You PIO guys really know your history and psychology of war. Pathetic. In the end, I don’t blame HBO; they can’t help themselves. This is all Pentagon. Film caskets? No. Let a camera crew show non-context gore? Sure. Pathetic.

The self-flagellating/self-hating/anti-war types are going to lap this up like Boy George at a Boy Scout retreat. This helps the War on Islamic Fundamentalism (that is what it is, call it a ham sandwich if you want, I don't care) like strippers and porn help marital fidelity. Pathetic.

Now that I have vented, let's go back to the title of the post. Where is HBO's work on the bodies falling? I want close ups. I want heads like broken eggs. I want pools of squirted gore on the sidewalks. I want the small bits of bone and flesh that are still being found on rooftops. Come on HBO. Be brave. Be direct. Be balanced. Be American --- if you can.

Put on your glasses. I am putting the whole thing below on tiny font to save space. Read it all. Remember; this passes for enlightened thought.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Warfare as It Really Is
By BOB HERBERT (NYT) 800 words
Published: May 1, 2006

In the first few moments of the documentary film ''Baghdad ER,'' we see a man dressed in hospital scrubs carrying a bloodied arm that has been amputated above the elbow. He deposits it in a large red plastic bag.
This HBO production is reality television with a vengeance -- warfare as it really is. And while it is frightening, harrowing and deeply painful to watch, it should be required viewing for all but the youngest Americans. It will premiere May 21.
For two months in 2005, the directors Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill were given unprecedented access by the Army to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in the Green Zone in Baghdad. Working 12-hour shifts, they watched -- and taped -- the heroic struggle of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to salvage as many lives as possible from what amounted to a nonstop conveyor belt of bloodied, broken and burned G.I.'s.
At one point in the film, a specialist who survived a roadside bomb attack murmurs from a stretcher, ''It was the worst thing I ever saw in my life, sir.''
''What was that?'' he is asked.
Recalling his last view of a buddy who was killed in the attack, he says, ''My friend didn't have a face.''
The movie is neither pro-war nor anti-war. It is simply a searing record of the ferocious toll that combat takes on real human beings.
In an interview, Mr. Alpert described ''the shock of seeing human beings twisted into these horrible shapes, with parts missing and parts being detached from them.'' In the first couple of hours after he and Mr. O'Neill had arrived at the hospital, he said, ''We had already seen two amputations and they were prepping someone else for another one.''
Before long, he said, the effort to document the daily activities became psychologically grueling because ''you just knew that every single day that door was going to open up, that the helicopter was going to land, and they were just going to bring in something that looked like hamburger instead of a human being.''
Above all else, war is about the suffering of individuals. The suffering is endured mostly by the young, and these days the government and the media are careful to keep the worst of it out of the sight of the average American. That way we can worry in peace about the cost of the gasoline we need to get us to the mall.
''Baghdad ER'' is going to tell us right in the comfort of our living rooms that there is really horrible stuff going on over there in Iraq, and whether we think this is a good war or a bad war, we need to be paying closer attention to the human consequences.
''We tried to put a human face on the war,'' said Sheila Nevins, the head of documentary programming at HBO. ''It's a part of the story that hasn't really been told.''
Capt. Glenna Greene, an operating room nurse, says in the film:
''It just kills me, because these kids are, you know -- I'm old enough to be their mom. And just to see them hurt, it's very difficult.''
She said she tries to comfort those who are seriously wounded and about to be evacuated to Germany. ''I always try to tell them before they go to sleep: 'You'll wake up in Germany. Have a beer for us.' '' And then she laughed. ''Some of them aren't even old enough to drink,'' she said.
The medical personnel do an extraordinary job. The film tells us right at the beginning that 90 percent of the troops wounded in Iraq survive, which is the highest survival rate in U.S. history. But many of the more than 17,000 who have survived their wounds will face a lifetime of physical and mental struggle.
A member of the operating room team, commenting on the amputation of a soldier's thumb and the partial amputation of his ring finger, says that the patient who immediately preceded him ''lost his left arm and his right leg above the knee. And, you know, there was a couple of marines in here the other day, one lost both his arms, the other lost both his legs. And this is a bad injury, but certainly could have been worse.''
The movie does not shrink from those instances in which the G.I.'s do not survive. We see doctors all but begging the patient to make it. We see buddies weeping. We see a chaplain speaking softly to a mortally wounded marine:
''We don't want you to go. We want you to fight. But if you can't, it's O.K. to go. It's O.K. to go. But we'll be right with you. If you get better, or if you go.''
HBO. Later this month.

Fullbore Friday

HMS Warspite. What a ship. In WWI at the Battle of Jutland 1916. Fired 259 15in rounds. Received 2 11 inch and 13 12 inch hits and sustained 14 killed and 32 injured. In WWII she went into a knife fight at Narvik ( more here and here), and at the landings at Salerno, she was hit by a German Glider bomb, she was towed to Gibraltar for temporary repairs and fully repaired at Rosyth in March 1944. In June 1944 she was deployed at Normandy with only three functioning main Turrets.

Here are three photos for you in her prime: pulling into Malta, bombarding a nice liberty port in Cantania, and hitting the beaches at Normandy.



Tough old bird, she even fought being scrapped. Great story. Even as the Labour party picked her apart -- they had to earn every bit of steel.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Caption Contest

Six to nine months.....

If you think you have heard that a lot from the MSM over the last few years, you are right. Head on over to The Corner to see the joys of NEXIS.

Drunk women and pampered athletes

Looks like the summer of '06 will be known as a Carnival of Courts Martial in Annapolis. Where to start pointing fingers as a source problem? Standby DUSTBIN. The NAAA. Also a common thread here, female Midshipmen who can't hold their alcohol and the male Midshipmen that drink with them.
Court-martial dates have been set for a pair of U.S. Naval Academy football players charged by the military with sexual assault.

A trial will begin July 10 for Lamar S. Owens Jr., a senior and last season's starting quarterback for the Navy football team, who is accused of raping a junior classmate in her dorm in January. The general court-martial is expected to last several days, academy officials said yesterday.

A second football player, senior linebacker Kenny Ray Morrison, will face a special court-martial July 24 on indecent assault and other charges, officials said. He is accused of taking advantage of a drunken female midshipman and exposing himself to other midshipmen and civilians during a Feb. 4 incident at the Embassy Suites hotel in the District.
Coast Guard football has its own problems too.

"The Big Risk" goes down

The USS Oriskany was sunk as a reef the other day. A great ship with a great history.
As hundreds of veterans looked on solemnly, the Navy blew holes in a retired aircraft carrier and sent the 888-foot USS Oriskany to the bottom of the sea Wednesday, creating the world's largest manmade reef.

The rusted hulk took 37 minutes to slip beneath the waves, about 4 1/2 hours faster than predicted, after more than 500 pounds of plastic explosives went off with bright flashes of light and clouds of brown and gray smoke.

Korean and Vietnam War veterans aboard a flotilla of 300 charter boats watched from beyond a one-mile safety perimeter as the "Mighty O" went down in 212 feet of water, about 24 miles off Pensacola Beach.
BTW, that was the ship Sen. McCain took off from the day he was shot down.

Hat tip Politburo Diktat.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Carlos comes off the top rope!

Yes, that is the America I know.



Hat tip Jawa.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - class act to the end

It is official, she has resigned. Read the whole thing. She ends in style. America will be a better place with her.
That transition from becoming a member of a clan to becoming a citizen in an open society is what public service has come to mean for me. Only clear thinking and strong action can lead to real change, and free many people within our society from the mental cage of submission. The idea that I can contribute to their freedom, whether in the Netherlands or in another country, gives me deep satisfaction.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as of today, I resign from Parliament. I regret that I will be leaving the Netherlands, the country which has given me so many opportunities and enriched my life, but I am glad that I will be able to continue my work. I will go on.
Europe? Closer to Dhimmitude.

Hat tip LGF.

Another reason to go organic

Yes, your humble squid is a Crunchy Con. Why? Well, I see things like this. And yes, the Salamander family is slowly going organic, kind of, where we can.....but I still LOVE Tyson Roasted Chicken...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pentagon 911 attack video

They were released today. You can find the impact at 1:26 here, and 0:27 here. Ponder.

I feel like I am cheating on my mistress

Last week I made a big, fancy statement over at Ninme’s place, making all sorts of promises of loyalty and fidelity; you know, standard issue male puffery.

There are three women in the Blogosphere that have been with me almost from the start, almost Plankowners, that I have the greatest respect and admiration for; in order of being on board – Anne from PalmTreePundit, Bookie from BookwormRoom (who did a nice job last DEC in The American Thinker BTW), and Ninme who only gets called by special name in private emails.

Well, as Sailors often do in their port-to-port imperfections and weakness, I have broken a vow to Ninme ----- I have joined a group blog, cryptically called “MilBlogs.” Via SMASH, I found my way over to the great creation of The Mudville Gazette once it was up and running a little bit ago. It is a blog in a format like “The Corner.” Don’t worry, I will still be here, but will drop one-liners and troll for goodies there. I recommend you stop by now and then. In honor of “The Corner,” my first post over at MilBlogs is about, of all things, Battlestar Galactica and what out there in TV land gets close to what it is like in the military.

Sorry my sweet, dear Ninme. I never meant to hurt you. Please forgive me. I am only a man. The heart is strong, but the keyboard is weak. In times like this, it is best to go to the classics – Berlin.
Metro:
I'm alone
sitting with my empty glass
my four walls
follow me through my past
I was on a Paris train
I emerged in London rain
and you were waiting there
swimming through apologies

I remember searching for the perfect words
I was hoping you might change your mind
I remember a soldier sleeping next to me (not in that way...)
riding on the Metro

You wore white
smiling as you took my hand
so removed
we spoke of wintertime in France
minutes passed with shallow words
years have passed and still the hurt
I can see you now
smiling as I pulled away

I remember the letter wrinkled in my hand
"I'll love you always" filled my eyes
I remember a night we walked along the Seine
riding on the Metro

I remember a feeling coming over me
the soldier turned, then looked away
I remember hating you for loving me
riding on the Metro

I'm alone
sitting with my BROKEN glass
my four walls
follow me through my past
I was on a Paris train
I emerged in London rain
and you were waiting there
swimming through apologies(sorry)

I remember searching for the perfect words
I was hoping you might change your mind
I remember a soldier sleeping next to me
(not in that way...)
riding on the Metro