Saturday, September 30, 2006

They found the USS Macon

Ain't she a beautiful thing to behold? Remember the USS Macon?
On Feb. 12, 1935, during severe weather off Point Sur, Calif., a U.S. Navy flying machine called the USS Macon fell from the sky, plunged into the Pacific Ocean, and sank.
...
This month researchers documented the wreckage of the 785-foot dirigible.
Here is one bit I did not know.
Images show the airship's hangar bay, containing four Sparrowhawk biplanes, five of the eight 12-cylinder gasoline engines,
I knew she carried aircraft, but that many? Read it all at LiveScience.

Hat tip The Commissar.

Ready to be disappoined

I have so little faith in Hollywood's ability to put the military in a fair light, that Lloyd Cole does not come to mind. From Vietnam we saw Hollywood's take on those who come home, from The Deer Hunter to Rambo, as we are all to be pitied and watched with caution.

Greyhawk
is mildly optimistic on "Home of the Brave." Me? Nosumuch. Looking at the trailer, of the four main characters that come back, one becomes a nut job with a gun facing the police, one explodes in anger "you weren't there" at one in what looks like a series of dead-end jobs, one is having trouble being Mom again, and the leader (S.L. Jackson) looks to have a son who is being a spoiled anti-war pain in the a55 and is worried about all his soldiers failing to adjust home.

You know, there are some great movies they could make...but won't about this war. Making a movie about a guy who comes home, takes three weeks leave, goes fishing, catches up on the honey-do list, and then spends 3 hours of his first day back at work waiting in line at Pass & Tag because the wife let his car's on-base sitcker expire while he was gone. No, wait. That was my movie.

I know you need drama to make movies, but I really don't want to go through another decade of movies that paints everyone like the Vietnam vets were.

Oh, would it be bad of me if when I was watching the trailer, all I could think of was SLJ yelling "I've had it with these mo********ing Iraqis on this mo********ing road!"? Well I do feel kind of bad...kind of.

Free speech in France: die infidel

So, this is where the merger of multi-culti and Islam merge. If you won't convert, the other options will work : dhimmitude or death. 12th or 21st Century?
PARIS A public high school philosophy teacher and writer who attacked the Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a newspaper commentary has gone into hiding under police protection after receiving a series of death threats, including one diffused on a radical Islamist online forum.

Robert Redeker, 52, wrote in the newspaper Le Figaro 10 days ago that Muhammad was "a merciless warlord, a looter, a mass-murderer of Jews and a polygamist." He also called the Koran "a book of incredible violence."

"Jesus is a master of love; Muhammad is a master of hatred," Redeker wrote, adding: "Whereas Judaism and Christianity are religions whose rites forsake violence and remove its legitimacy, Islam is a religion that, in its very sacred text, as much as in some of its everyday rites, exalts violence and hatred. Hatred and violence dwell in the very book that educates any Muslim, the Koran."
And to disprove this false notion about Islam, they, well....you get the idea.
"I can't work, I can't come and go, and am obliged to hide," Redeker said in an interview Friday with Europe 1 radio from an undisclosed location. "So in some way, the Islamists have succeeded in punishing me on the territory of the republic as if I were guilty of a crime of opinion."

He said that his wife and their children had also been threatened with death. Asked to describe the sort of threats he had received, Redeker said: "You will never feel secure on this earth. One billion, 300,000 Muslims are ready to kill you." Among the threats was one by a contributor to Al Hesbah, an Internet forum that is said to be a conduit for messages from Al Qaeda and other jihad organizations.

"It is impossible that this day pass without the lions of France punishing him," the Hesbah contributor wrote. The contributor called on Muslims in France to follow the lead of Muhammad Bouyeri, who murdered the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh after he made a film denouncing the plight of abused Muslim women.

"May God send some lion to cut his head," the contributor said of Redeker,
This is France. This is part of the global struggle we are going to be part of, if we want to or not, for the rest of our lives. This is just the part of the struggle taking place behind the front lines.
In the newspaper commentary, Redeker also wrote, "Islam tries to dictate its rules to Europe: opening swimming pools at certain hours exclusively for women, forbidding the caricature of this religion, demanding a special diet for Muslim children in school cafeterias, fighting for wearing the veil in school, accusing free-thinkers of Islamophobia."

At first, Redeker did not speak out. In an e-mail message to The New York Times last Tuesday, he said it was not the right time to talk about his plight.

Then, in an interview with his local newspaper, La Dépêche du Midi published Thursday, Redeker described the death threats, adding, "What is happening to me corresponds fully to what I denounce in my writing: The West is under ideological surveillance by Islam."
Read the whole thing to see the lame defense he is getting from his own people. You have to defend your culture of free speech, or the enemy will continue to advance.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Fullbore Friday

Guess what is the only remaining pre-Dreadnaught Battleship? Hint, whe was designed and built in the U.K. and had nice German steel in her armor....and she has nothing to do with cheap cheap dining ware.

Yes, and she is a beauty: IJN Mikasa.



And what a record: she received around 20 hits during the
battle of the Yellow Sea and around 30 hits during the battle of Tsushima, with only limited damage and made Admiral Togo a shoe-in for inclusion in the Naval Pantheon along with Nelson; IMAO.



A good round up at
LawyersGunsandMoney.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Admiral Blair sings a Steve Miller song

We are back again to retired Admiral Blair. Reading the latest from the WaPo, one song came to mind. "Take the Money and Run."
The head of a Pentagon-funded research organization has resigned after the group's trustees concluded that his simultaneous service on the boards of two defense contractors was contrary to its conflict-of-interest policies.

Asked to resign from the corporate boards, retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair chose instead to leave his positions as president and trustee of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a nonprofit company that has long provided the Defense Department with independent technical advice on large weapons systems.

The resignation followed controversy in July over Blair's involvement in the drafting of a report by the institute last year on the F-22 Raptor, a fighter jet that has experienced a series of cost overruns and technical problems. Blair was then on the board of EDO Corp., an F-22 subcontractor, and his dual roles provoked criticism by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Blair's resignation was announced in a memo circulated to the institute's 800 employees Monday by John M. Palms, a former president of the University of South Carolina who is chairman of the IDA's board of trustees. Palms said, without naming the companies, that the trustees knew about Blair's membership on the boards of EDO and Tyco International Ltd. at the time he was hired in 2003.
Well, like 'ma Pappy always said - watch what a man does, not what he says, to see what he thinks is important.

With the six-figure retirement benefits - it is just too much to work at a non-profit to assist in the global war, no - the goodies from Tyco and EDO are just too tasty.

That is fine. Just know that we know.

Funniest title of the day

Posted without comment: Bill Clinton's 60th Birthday Benefit Blowout.

DTS: can you kill the undead II: Electric boogaloo

DTS, again. You just can't kill this thing....though we are getting closer.
"It's been a pig," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee on federal financial management, who is trying to kill the travel system contract.
One of the best statements coming out of the Senate this year.
After a decade and more than $500 million in costs, the Defense Department's new travel booking system doesn't work, it doesn't save money, and most staff members don't use it, a new study says.

A Government Accountability Office report released yesterday slams the Northrop Grumman-designed Defense Travel System and calls Pentagon estimates of usage and cost savings into serious question. So poor is the Pentagon's analysis of the system's merits, the report says, that defense officials offered a credit card company news release as sole proof for its claim that the system saves millions of dollars each year.
...
The Defense Department has spent more than $500 million on the program since 1998, an overrun of about $200 million, according to figures compiled by Congress from GAO and Defense Department reports.
...
The system was born of a 1995 Pentagon task force recommendation to replace the department's outmoded, chaotic travel procedures with one standardized system for booking official travel, from airlines to hotels. But technical problems have foiled efforts to coax employees to use it.
Think about your IT requirements in 1995. Do they matter if 11 years they still are not addressed.....and you are trying to make them work in a 2006 environment? 1995, what was that Windows 95?
Asked for proof that its system would save $31 million yearly in personnel costs, the Pentagon provided a copy of an American Express news release that discussed savings achieved through a completely different booking system, in a private company.

In a written response to the report, Undersecretary of Defense David S.C. Chu strongly objected to criticism of the Pentagon's estimates of personnel cost savings. "The Department is facing an enormous challenge and must successfully prosecute today's war while still making investments that safeguard the future," he wrote.
I'll let Skippy deal with Dr. Chu.
"It's time to close this program down," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), who chairs the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's investigations panel, which held a hearing last year on the bill.
More Senate sanity.

Hey, $500 million - you might be able to buy a Corvette, errrr, Little Crappy Ship, for that (1 mission module included - when developed). OK, it can't defend itself very well in the Littoral against ASM like the C-802, but that is why the "L" stands for Little.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Anzar off the top rope

I miss this guy. Former PM of Spain gets it.
"Why do we always have to say sorry and they never do?" Aznar told a conference in Washington on "global threats" on Friday. ...

Referring to the Moorish conquest of much of the Iberian Peninsula from the eighth to the 15th century, Aznar said: "It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the Pope to apologise for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries."

Aznar, who was the Prime Minister from 1996 to 2004, took Spain into the American-led war in Iraq, against massive public opposition.

Addressing Friday’s conference in Washington on "global threats", Aznar said: "We are living in a time of war ... It’s them or us. The West did not attack Islam, it was they who attacked us."

"We must face up to an Islam that is ambitious, that is radical and that influences the Muslim world, a fundamentalist Islam that we must confront because we don’t have any choice.

"We are constantly under attack and we must defend ourselves," he said.
..and he gets the quote of the day.
"I support Ferdinand and Isabella," he proclaimed, in reference to the medieval Catholic monarchs who drove the Moors out of Spain in 1492.
Yea baby!

Hat tip Whatsakyer.

The N.I.E. and me

This whole NIE process has been an amazing thing to watch for me. The same people who yelled that all intel was garbage (.i.e. WMD in Iraq) are now talking about the NYT cherry picking of a NIE as the inspired word of G-d.

Intel is what it is. It is an imperfect, dark science that is always fun to look at with 20/20 hindsight. From Pearl Harbor to WMD, both people who have never been in the arena or wish they had more power when they were fill themselves with self-important self-puffery as if they had some magic skill to pull the one diamond from the pebbles in the stream that everyone else missed. The volume of data out there will make your brain explode. Picking what to keep and throw away is a job no one does well. Hell, I was on the deck in Southwest Asia before, at, and after 911. We had intel that had everyone fully believing that at any moment you would find out that terrorists had attacked C5F compound in Bahrain, Camp Doha, or Ali Al-Salem. Everyone was queuing up for their CBR gear because intel told us that people had infiltrated from Iraq with WMD mortar shells or such to use against us. We almost had a "fall of Saigon" moment when the question of sending dependents out of Bahrain was in the air. No one was telling a lie, no one had a crystal ball, it was just the little pebbles in the stream that looked like a diamond in the rough.

Most people in the military know the drill when it comes to intel. You will never find someone from the "2" shop who will say "NSTR." Ask them a question and you will get three equally plausible and correct answers that are in conflict with each other. Give him a 5 minute slot to brief, and he will speak for 20 and not tell you anything you didn't already know.

Look at the NIE just released. What do you see?
The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks, as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.
The sky is blue, the grass is green. Intel weenies always hedge their bets and give you enough rope to hang yourself on, an enough wiggle room to cover their backsides if everything falls apart. Often times, especially at this level, the chop chain is so long that you are left with the heft of Wonder Bread when you need 12-grain.

Looking at this NIE, another thing comes to mind: someone committed a felony to leak this bucket of FOD to the NTY. Was it worth it? I won't ping on the NYT, it is just their nature.

One day soon, you'll want one.

When Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister and wears a kilt all day, President Gore retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan because all our jets and tanks are creating too much CO2, and the EU signs a treaty with Iran that lets them have the same number of nukes as the UK and France does - you will want this house.
The Underground Fortress is an 8th wonder of the world! It is an unbelievable feet of engineering. The Fortress goes a total of 45 feet under the house! That is below sea level! The fortress has over 1600 sq. ft. of living area, plus hundreds of more square feet of passages and secrets rooms. It was all hand dug over a 20 year period, and all the walls were constructed with a small electric hand cement mixer. There are 3 ft concrete walls, using 5-bag cement (20% denser than regular cement). Not only are the walls thick and dense, but the finishing work is amazing quality. These walls keep it a constant 60F degrees year round. It is so well insulated that even one small space heater can heat all 1600+ sqft of fortress space in a few hours. The fortress has amazingly fresh air in it with an incredible air ventilation system that pulls air outside and brings fresh air in, leaving no moldy or musty smell that you commonly smell in basements. Because of the walls and systems, there are very few bugs/spiders down in the fortress and we have never seen any signs of rodents. The fortress also has 4 sump pumps that keep the ground water from being an issue. The sump pumps are on float valves that make them come on automatically when they fill up with water. 3 of the pumps are for ground water and the other one is for sewage of the bathroom/kitchenette area. The fortress is also fully wired with electrical/phone/plumbing/drains. It also has many secret doors, and a 1-ton blast door at the entrance and a 3-ton motorized door to seal you in and close the fortress to the outside world. There are at least 5 ways to get in/out of the fortress back into the house!
Hat tip Derb at The Corner.

Adds you won't see in the US: Part III

Yea, it's the Dutch again.


Part I, and II .

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Kidd is back in action


The BAV Division of VSE Corporation (VSE/BAV) announced today that it had completed the reactivation of two ex-Kidd Class guided missile destroyers.

Harry Flammang, the Division Manager of VSE/BAV, said the final of four ex-USS Kidd Class guided missile destroyers [was] reactivated in Charleston, South Carolina for the Taiwan Navy. The departure of these ships for Taiwan draws to a close a successful, high-visibility program that has spanned three years.
I am sorry. To this day, this is my favorite non-Arleigh Burke class warship afloat - The Ayatollah Class. As a MIDN, I loved this ship. Glad she and her sisters are back out there - they belong at sea. Yea, they're top heavy....but that is because they are pound for pound a warship.

Worst Homeland security decision of the year

Wearing my Red Cell hat, this decision just makes no sense.
The U.S. Coast Guard officially assumed responsibility for air intercept operations ... Coast Guard HH-65C helicopters and crews will be responsible for intercepting unauthorized aircraft which fly into an air defense identification zone surrounding Washington.
In the Red corner, a 767-200ER: 351,000 lb, cruising speed 530 mph.

In the Blue Corner, HH-65: 9,200 lb, cruising speed 135 KTS max. Weapons ......... ummmm, errrrr, maybe a M240D or 50 cal sniper rifle.

Don't get me wrong, the HH-65 does ITS job very well. This is in the same book, no worse, as having something like a P-3 doing CAS. Please tell me there is something with a "F" in its name doing this as well. Please.

Why John doesn't live in the U.K.

Let's just say; his "hobby" wouldn't go over very well.
"This is the biggest firearms haul we have ever had," he said. "The premises raided were used to store hundreds and hundreds of weapons. I have never seen anything like it."

Mr Davis added: "Guns are mounted on every available wall space in the property and live ammunition was found lying on the floor.

"There are guns everywhere. It will take us at least three days to log it all and bag up the evidence."
It couldn't be him though. There is a big difference between this.



..and this. I'll let you guess which one is John's.



Hat tip Interested Participant.

War at Sea: Old School

I don't care if it is 1206 or 2006 - you need to be ready to close with the enemy and destroy them. Up close and personal if needed.
The Sri Lankan navy said Monday that it had sunk eight Tamil Tiger rebel ships loaded with troops and weapons during a five-hour sea battle of the country's east coast, killing about 70 separatists.

It was one of the largest clashes in Sri Lanka's conflict since weeks of fighting in August left hundreds dead and threatened to shatter a 2002 cease-fire agreement.

The latest fighting began late Sunday night when the navy spotted 25 rebel ships sailing south.

Commander D. K. P. Dassanayake of the Navy told The Associated Press "more than 70 cadres are dead" and two other ships, believed to have been transporting arms and ammunition, were burning at sea.

The remaining 14 rebel boats retreated after the hostilities just off the coast of the eastern town of Pulmoddai, about 225 kilometers from the capital of Colombo, he said.

One navy vessel was damaged, injuring five sailors, he said. But it had made it back to port.

A spokesman at the Defense Ministry's press office confirmed the attack, but had no additional details. The rebels were not immediately available for comment.

More than 100 rebels were killed in two separate sea battles earlier this month as they reportedly tried to reinforce positions in the east where they lost territory to government forces.
What are they fighting with? Pay the Sri Lankan Navy a visit.

It is all a Masonic conspiracy

Palestinian shows how a folded twenty dollar bill appears to show the World Trade Center buildings on fire.(AFP/Hazem Bader)
Those people.....

Monday, September 25, 2006

From Anbar with love

John has a great letter from a Marine in Iraq. You have to read it all. Here are some of my favorite parts. So true in so many ways.
Biggest Hassle - High-ranking visitors. More disruptive to work than a rocket attack. VIPs demand briefs and "battlefield" tours (we take them to quiet sections of Fallujah, which is plenty scary for them). Our briefs and commentary seem to have no affect on their preconceived notions of what's going on in Iraq. Their trips allow them to say that they've been to Fallujah, which gives them an unfortunate degree of credibility in perpetuating their fantasies about the insurgency here.

Biggest Outrage - Practically anything said by talking heads on TV about the war in Iraq, not that I get to watch much TV. Their thoughts are consistently both grossly simplistic and politically slanted. Biggest offender - Bill O'Reilly - what a buffoon.

Best Chuck Norris Moment - 13 May. Bad Guys arrived at the government center in the small town of Kubaysah to kidnap the town mayor, since they have a problem with any form of government that does not include regular beheadings and women wearing burqahs. There were seven of them. As they brought the mayor out to put him in a pick-up truck to take him off to be beheaded (on video, as usual), one of the bad Guys put down his machinegun so that he could tie the mayor's hands. The mayor took the opportunity to pick up the machinegun and drill five of the Bad Guys. The other two ran away. One of the dead Bad Guys was on our top twenty wanted list. Like they say, you can't fight City Hall.

Proudest Moment - It's a tie every day, watching my Marines produce phenomenal intelligence products that go pretty far in tearing apart Bad Guy operations in al-Anbar. Every night Marines and Soldiers are kicking in doors and grabbing Bad Guys based on intelligence developed by my guys. We rarely lose a Marine during these raids, they are so well-informed of the objective. A bunch of kids right out of high school shouldn't be able to work so well, but they do.
That is just a taste.

CBS - Clinton Broadcasting System

Like I said, I really am tired of everything Clinton...but I can't help myself. Now and then I forget how so many in the MSM feel it is their job to defend Clinton...even from their own network's own analysts.

Harry Smith almost looks in a panic that anyone might even try to hold WJC to account even a little bit.

Behold!



Hat tip NewsBusters.

Lex, here's a job for 'ya

Going from two engines to three can't be that difficult. If DC-10's get boring at that altitude, you can always try 747s.

Might be time to check on new career options

Ohhhhhh. Someone has was chewed a new one.
But in two sets of e-mail messages leaked later to British news organizations, mid-ranking officers voiced serious complaints. One of the officers, Major Jon Swift, said in a message from Afghanistan, "The scale of casualties has not been properly reported and shows no sign of reducing."

His comments were posted on a regimental Web site, but were quickly withdrawn, the Press Association news agency reported.

Later, several British broadcasters quoted from an e-mail message ritten by Major James Loden. "The RAF have been utterly, utterly useless," Loden was quoted as having said, referring to two instances involving Harrier warplanes during close ground combat.

"A female Harrier pilot 'couldn't identify the target,' fired two phosphorous rockets that just missed our own compound so that we thought they were incoming RPGs, and then strafed our perimeter, missing the enemy by 200 meters," he wrote, according to British news reports. An RPG is a rocket-propelled grenade.

In contrast to the Royal Air Force, Loden said, the U.S. Air Force had been "fantastic."
In another article there were discussions of the Brits having to borrow ammo from the Canadians. When you have to borrow ammo from the Canadians.....

I would love to be a fly on the wall during his next FITREP debrief.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A terrible flashback

The flinty, insecure defensiveness. The excessive protests. They bully-like verbal pushback. The exaggeration. The victimhood mongering. More than anything, the intelligent Momma's boy hidden inside a hyper Type-A personality.

I don't miss him. Not at all. Not one bit.
UPDATE: Below is a bit of the video. I don't miss that finger either. As a Southerner, he should know that is one of the most rude, condescending things you can do. Wait, he knows that. It just happens to be what he thinks of everyone. I have an Uncle just like him. Nuff said.

The Clinton and Wallace show was like watching a man fall apart...which is what you were doing. At times like this, I find this helps.

Goldwater-Nichols part of the problem?

Big shocker - I like argument. I like different views. I do not like group think. Group think leads to the lowest common denominator, destroys innovation, and removes the fact that only iron can sharpen iron. Goldwater-Nichols....that great Purple Monster...is it more of a problem or part of the solution? Admiral James A. Lyons, USN (ret.) in the Washington Times (can't find it on their site anymore, BZ to PoliticalOpinions for getting the txt prior to it rolling off the front page) makes some solid points.
The unhappy conclusion one must draw from an examination of the Joint Chiefs and the war in Iraq is that their historic function as the principal body providing military advice is defunct. The Joint Chiefs as a corporate body have become irrelevant. The chairman's role as it has now evolved seems more distant from the operating forces than ever. There is a real danger that the Joint Chiefs is careening toward the dreaded "general staff" syndrome, in which uniformity of view and ideological lock-step are more important than the no-holds-barred robust debate over tactical and strategic goals that lead to decisive victory.

It has been 20 years since Goldwater-Nichols was enacted. Now it's time to make a significant course correction. It is time for the Congress to step in and create an independent, free-thinking, committee that will bring the Joint Chiefs back into the mainstream. The 21st century demands a military that is nimble, proactive and aggressive and they are entitled to a Joint Chiefs of Staff whose individual members will stand up and be counted.
This needs to be looked at - hard. I know it has a clear ring to me. My follow-on question to Admiral Lyons is, "OK sir; when are you available to lead the initial review commission? Ideas to start?"

Friday, September 22, 2006

Momma hen and her chicks

I don't think we have heard of France's surrender yet,
but..
German Navy frigate 'Karlsruhe', on top, is followed by Denmark's Navy fast patrol boats 'Ravnen' and 'Gelten' and the German Navy's speed patrol boats 'Nerz', 'Dachs', 'Ozelot' and 'Hyaene' as they steam from the German naval base Wilhelmshaven.
Fair winds and following seas.

BTW, I'm not sure what formation that is, but the best I can get is they are doing a lame low angle "in sequence" version of something along the lines of Admiral Togo at Battle of Tsushima. Always liked his ballsy 180.

Fullbore Friday


Laid down in 1905, she fought in both World Wars and survived, at least as a target ship for the Soviets, until the 1960s. Yep the girl that started WWII - the pre-dreadnought, Deutschland-class battleships - SMS Schleswig-Holstein.



Thursday, September 21, 2006

Most important post of the schoolyear

Don't think school boards and teachers have kids well being as #1. No, their priorities are:

1-Their job.
2-Teacher's unions.
3-Their vacations.
4-Spending money on cute projects.
5-Maybe the kids.
Waking teens from their deep REM sleep before 7 a.m.--which during late fall and winter is well before the rooster crows--is much like approaching a lion gnawing on an antelope carcass. All the niceties that we've tried to instill in our children for the past 15 years about honoring thy mother and father go flying out the window in these wee hours of the morning. Breakfasts from now until June will be as somber as the death row inmate's last meal. We shovel frosted flakes down their throats so that the temporary sugar fix arouses them out of their comatose state long enough to get them out the front door.

When I queried my kids and their friends recently about how they survive on seven hours of sleep a day, they confess that the strategy is to catch up on a few z's during first and second periods at school. That would be fine if the first subjects were classes like social studies, which indoctrinate them with anti-American ideals anyway. But get this: The educrats who run the Fairfax County schools front-load the vital subjects like math and English at the start of the day because they actually believe "that's when the kids are most alert."

It's astonishing that a community like Fairfax, which prides itself on the quality of its public schools, retains a 7:20 a.m. start time despite the detriment to the health and scholastic achievement of our kids. Parents with teens are in open revolt to the idiocy of the policy and have even started a Web site, SleepInFairfax.org, to fix it.
...
Meanwhile, research overwhelmingly confirms that lack of sleep in adolescents has become a horrendous health problem in America. The National Sleep Foundation finds that teens now average between 6.5 and seven hours of uninterrupted sleep on a weeknight and only one in five gets the recommended nine hours. Of course computer games, chat rooms, sports schedules and the like have a lot to do with the late nights.

But so do their biological clocks. Studies show that spurting growth hormones in teens alter their circadian rhythm and naturally turn them into night owls, physiologically uninterested in 9:30 p.m. bedtimes and fiercely opposed to 6:15 a.m. wake-up calls. (This fact suggests that I myself am still in late puberty.)

So here is the inevitable ritual: Kids trudge through the week on insufficient sleep, barely limp to the finish line on Fridays, use the weekends to pay off the week's sleep debt by snoozing until noon and then try to readjust their body clocks on Monday morning. Prof. Jim Moss, a sleep expert at Cornell, says: "It's as if at the start of every week our kids have West Coast to East Coast jet lag." He finds that in the early morning classroom "the overwhelming drive to sleep can replace any chance of alertness, cognition, memory or understanding."
I remember driving past kids in Mayport, FL waiting for the bus WELL before 7am. Poor kids. Yep, mine are in private school. They get out of bed around 0730. Worth every penny.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Never blow off your J2

Never blow off your J2. Especially if your N2 wants to.
Two days into the war, Hezbollah hit the destroyer INS Hanit with a surface-to-sea missile that Iran provided the organization. Four members of the crew were killed and others were injured, while the navy's flagship suffered serious damage. The following day, the head of the navy appointed a committee of inquiry. More than six weeks have past and the war has ended but the public has still not heard the findings of this committee of inquiry.

In an inquiry that we held, it turns out that the intelligence branch at the General Staff had issued a warning to the navy, long before the incident, that it should assume the Hezbollah arsenal contained a Chinese-made C-802 missile. The navy concluded otherwise and rejected the warnings.
....and then get cocky.
A similar sort of warning was issued by intelligence to the air force over the SA-18, a Russian-made surface-to-air missile. The air force acted accordingly and even though the missile was not fired in Lebanon, the pilots were instructed to operate as if the missile was in the Hezbollah arsenal.

This is not what happened in the navy. They concluded that the Chinese missile that had been sold to Iran was not in Hezbollah's hands.
Never assume your problems away.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Clintonite McCarthyism

Not Andrew McCarthy - but (nosomuch)Tailgunner Joe. Check out what the Clinton Commissariate has done to CYRUS NOWRASTEH, the writer of the screenplay for Path to 911.
I am neither an activist, politician or partisan, nor an ideologue of any stripe. What I am is a writer who takes his job very seriously, as do most of my colleagues: Also, one who recently took on the most distressing and important story it will ever fall to me to tell. I considered it a privilege when asked to write the script for "The Path to 9/11." I felt duty-bound from the outset to focus on a single goal--to represent our recent pre-9/11 history as the evidence revealed it to be. The American people deserve to know that history: They have paid for it in blood. Like all Americans, I wish it were not so. I wish there were no terrorists. I wish there had been no 9/11. I wish we could squabble among ourselves in assured security. But wishes avail nothing.

My Iranian parents fled tyranny and oppression. I know and appreciate deeply the sanctuary America has offered. Only in this country could a person such as I have had the life, liberty and opportunity that I have had. No one needs to remind me of this--I know it every single day.
...
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my "friendship" with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on "10,000 Black Men Named George" (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration's antiterrorism policies--though critical of its successor as well--were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.

In July a reporter asked if I had ever been ethnically profiled. I happily replied, "No." I can no longer say that. The L.A. Times, for one, characterized me by race, religion, ethnicity, country-of-origin and political leanings--wrongly on four of five counts. To them I was an Iranian-American politically conservative Muslim. It is perhaps irrelevant in our brave new world of journalism that I was born in Boulder, Colo. I am not a Muslim or practitioner of any religion, nor am I a political conservative. What am I? I am, most devoutly, an American. I asked the reporter if this kind of labeling was a new policy for the paper. He had no response.
..."The Path to 9/11" was set in the time before the event, and in a world in which no party had the political will to act. The principals did not know then what we know now. It is also indisputable that Bill Clinton entered office a month before the first attack on the World Trade Center. Eight years then went by, replete with terrorist assaults on Americans and American interests overseas. George W. Bush was in office eight months before 9/11. Those who actually watched the entire miniseries know that he was given no special treatment.

It's good to have come to something approaching the end of this saga, whose lessons are worth remembering. It gave us, for one thing, a heartening glimpse (these things don't come along every day) of corporate backbone in the face of phenomenal pressure--and
an infinitely more chilling one testifying to the power and reach of politically driven hysteria. A ripe subject for a miniseries, if ever there was one.
Read the whole thing.

Not getting it: defined

Where does one start with this? The 180deg out of phase lyrics vs. people singing it? The "OK, the mid 60s weren't that cool" stage? The bad lip syncing?

Or, that fact that ever since we started to care about the O-zone, hairspray just hasn't been the same?

Almost as bad as picking the wrong band to sing onboard ship.

Hat tip The Corner.

Rummy has friends

Lots of them. And they all seem to write the same.
(click pic for larger version)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Funnies

Strange new respect for Al Gore

Watching the international Left act like they usually do when they don't get what they think they have a right to - i.e. power: there are some very dangerous things going on in Mexico right now.
A mass rally of supporters of defeated Mexican presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has "elected" him head of a parallel government.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Mexico City's main square, the Zocalo, for the show of hands.
Al Gore, if nothing else, showed some class that day he read the totals in the Senate for the Electoral College that gave Bush the Presidency. The goofy Left here in the US; notsomuch.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What the Pope should say

Cliff May over at The Corner has a list of things that would be just about perfect for the Pope to say.
“Some of our Muslims friends have taken offense at my remarks. We understand that and we are distressed by it.

“We would hope our Muslim friends also understand that there are Christians and Jews who also may believe they have cause for offense at a time when there are Muslims who routinely justify mass murder in the name of Islam.

“And the other day in Gaza, two journalists, both Christians, were forced to convert at gunpoint. If there was outrage over this in Muslim communities, word of it did not reach our ears.

“We would ask that violence and anger subside and that serious dialogue begin.

“We are therefore planning to invite several leading Muslim religious leaders to visit us here in the Vatican where we can have detailed and inter-faith discussions"

“After that, we would like Muslim religious leaders to invite us to continue the conversation in their holy places: Mecca, Medina, Qum and Najaf for example. Our Jewish brothers should be invited to attend, too. And why not add in people of faith from the Buddhist and Hindu communities?

“This would, we believe, be both productive and historic.”

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another reason I counsel NROTC and OCS: II Electric Boogaloo

Seriously people. Can we talk? Can I be blunt? Sure.....

As I have stated before, there is no way I would recommend Annapolis to anyone who wanted a Commission. Seriously. Not only do you miss out on so much of what college is about (being challenged by radical thought, dealing with more variety of persons, backgrounds, and outlooks of life, etc) you also get better people and social skills. Fact.

That, and you get to be a stupid 20 yr old and not have it haunt you for the rest of your life....unless you have bad luck or really screw up.

Hey, I know I am way off the reservation (shocker) on alcohol, and tend towards the European model. You know what, I am often a designated driver - yet know that if I don't have to get behind the wheel I can have a drink in my hand at 1600 and hit the rack at 0430 at the Admin in Souda Bay - wake up at 0900 to get back to the ship by 1200 and not look like I just got out of chemo. Why.....I grew up knowing how to drink and what my personal limits are. I can also EASILY drink a six-pack+ in less than an hour and stop...because I know my limits, understand alcohol, and know when to stop.

Did I learn this by growing up in a neo-prohibitionist Nanny's house? No. I have lived the life of an adult with free-will and was lucky enough to just make a 18 year drinking age.

It is a tough nut, but the problem isn't drinking (if it was RN and other Navys' ships would be sinking all over the place) but the fact that the forbidden fruit is so attractive and we don't teach how to have a drink like a professional. Sad. All this will do is drive it, and the Midshipmen, underground. I have spent time in countries where the drinking age is 16 (!). Ever walked around Amsterdam on a weekend night? It is better than Charleston, NYC, Atlanta or San Diego.

In Phibian's world, there would be a Midshipman bar, no about three Midshipman bars, on campus. One would open up after the Christmas break for 4th Class MIDN, another one for 3rd Class through 1st Class, and one for 1st Class and Officers only. Guests would be allowed by invitation only, one guest per MIDN and the MIDN must be with them. No drink limit. Professionals look after their Shipmates and treat each other like adults. Drink all you want, but if you make an a55 of yourself, you will pay the consequences. Heck, make it a 6-drink max per day.

Have you been underway on a British or Dutch warship (or the rest of the world)? Don't tell me alcohol is the problem.

Agree or disagree, that is ok. But read the following email from the COS at Annapolis to the USNA Alumni and tell me that is a plan from a mature institution, grounded on reality, and preparing men and women to lead real Sailors in a real world. Harumph. None of them would survive a port visit with the Russians or Germans - that is for sure.
The United States Naval Academy Alumni Association - 120 Years of Service to the Alma Mater and its Alumni

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Naval Academy has recently established clear standards for the responsible use of alcohol in order to best develop midshipmen into responsible officers and leaders for the Navy and Marine Corps. As you know, alcohol abuse is a severe detriment to combat readiness, performance and military discipline. We want our alumni to understand our ongoing efforts to ensure all midshipmen know that they cannot effectively lead if they abuse alcohol.

Today it's common to come across the all too often repeated story of young college-aged students who have engaged in "binge drinking" and subsequently hurt themselves or someone else, or were arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct, and as a result, embarrass themselves and their families. Midshipmen are not immune to the fate that befalls those that choose to drink alcohol in a destructive manner. We confront many of the same barriers to the responsible use of alcohol by midshipmen that most colleges and universities face today.

The first barrier is misplaced loyalty to their "drinking buddies" over their loyalty to the Naval Academy, their futures or their careers. (What does that mean? Screw your Shipmates and be a stool-pigeon or you are disloyal to us and we will destroy your future? That is the character of a Stasi agent, not a Navy officer) Second is a fear of confronting unacceptable behavior. Some midshipmen, like many other students their age, want to be perceived as being cool. Confronting their peers on their abuse of alcohol is - for some - inconsistent with this desired image. Sometimes this results in a lack of "positive" peer pressure which could get an off-course midshipman back on track. Third is the misconception that "all" college students drink excessively. Many midshipmen don't want to miss out on many of the experiences believed to be a right of passage for college-aged students. As a result, some midshipmen ignore Naval Academy rules and drink to excess in order to have that true "college" experience. Last is the "I am invulnerable" youth culture where the belief is that bad things only happen to other people.it won't happen to me.

Our policy seeks to discourage alcohol abuse, and encourages both personal accountability and responsibility for the welfare of their peers. Policy highlights follow:

Responsible Use: For those who choose to drink, responsible use means drinking in moderation to ensure one's Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) never exceeds .08. We've adopted the memory aid of "0-0-1-3" as a guideline. "0-0-1-3" stands for "0" alcoholic drinks for those under 21, "0" drinks, if driving, a maximum of "1" standard alcoholic drink per hour, and a maximum of "3" standard alcoholic drinks per occasion.

Underage Drinking: Consumption of alcoholic beverages by any midshipman under the age of 21 is a violation of federal and state laws. Offenders face conduct action.

Risky Consumption of Alcohol. Drinking that results in a BAC above .08 and extending to .15. Offenders will be flagged for intervention from their Chain of Command, counseling and education. Subsequent offenses face conduct action.

Abusive Consumption of Alcohol. Drinking that results in a BAC above .15 and extending to .20 is considered abusive consumption of alcohol. Offenders face conduct action.

Intolerable Alcohol Consumption. Excessive drinking resulting in a BAC over .20. Offenders face major conduct action and possible separation from the Naval Academy.

The difference in this policy is that midshipmen will be held accountable for the quantity they drink - not solely for bad conduct under the influence. Our intention is not to play cops and robbers here. We want our midshipmen to discipline their own alcohol use. However, we'll enforce this policy through personal and chain of command accountability, and extensive breathalyzer testing.

Our policy increases chain of command involvement with intervention and possible treatment options to ensure timely and effective treatment is given to those midshipmen that need it. The Naval Academy recently hired an additional SARP (Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program) counselor and instituted Level 1 alcohol abuse treatment on the Yard in an effort to provide needed treatment with as minimal impact as possible on midshipmen studies and training.

The Naval Academy is working hard to combat alcohol abuse. We understand the gravity and pervasiveness of the challenge at our nation's colleges and in our society as a whole. Preparing midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be combat leaders of character for our Navy and Marine Corps requires holding them to a high standard. As you might expect, the vast majority of our midshipmen meet or exceed our exacting standards on a daily basis, and we will continue to educate, discipline and remediate those who fall short.(I agree, in isolation, with this paragraph)

Eliminating "binge drinking" and alcohol abuse within the Brigade is challenging, and we have elicited the support of our entire faculty and staff in realizing this important goal. For our many alumni who have frequent contact with midshipmen, we ask that you continue to provide a positive example regarding responsible alcohol use during athletic events, tailgaters, and other social activities attended by midshipmen. Your example, positive support and encouragement will greatly assist our efforts to create a climate of professionalism and accountability through the responsible use of alcohol.

r/CAPT Dunn

CAPT Helen F. Dunn, USN
Deputy Superintendent/Chief of Staff
United States Naval Academy

BTW, why would a CAPT put a "r/" at the end of an email to Alumni? Hell, a "Vr/" at least, or something more business like. Geeezzzz..... me? Like those who email me on a regular basis know, I always like to sign off with a ...well...
Cheers,
Phibian

Hat tip readers RGT, B, and P.

Fullbore Friday

This is the ship that helped start it all. The Last-Gentleman-Of-War, and especially the one I read first as a young kid, Swan of the East, have been read many times. The ship's war record and the example of her Skipper, Karl Friedrich Max von Müller helped draw me into this line of work more than about anything.




Yea, I know, not a big gun ship. Doesn't have to be. It is all in the attitude. Tough and pretty. Just right.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

NATO culminates?

Culminate is a strong word in this line of work. Let's look at it up close.
cul·mi·nate Pronunciation (klm-nt)
v.intr. cul·mi·nat·ed, cul·mi·nat·ing, cul·mi·nates
1.
a. To reach the highest point or degree; climax: habitual antagonism that culminated in open hostility.
b. To come to completion; end: Years of waiting culminated in a tearful reunion.
In military terms, it can often be seen as a high-water mark. A point where a force has lost its ability to advance.

Now, read this.
Nato member states have refused to send any reinforcements for the mission in Afghanistan despite appeals from the organisation's leaders for 2,500 extra troops to fight Taliban insurgents.

The delay will be seen as a further sign that most countries are reluctant to commit troops to the south of Afghanistan, where pitched battles between militants and British and Canadian forces have resulted in the deaths of more than 30 British troops.
There is a lot more to this than in this article. What happened is that General Jones had a "come to Jesus" meeting with all of NATO; in effect to say, "We need help, now. Our people are dying." No one offered anything. Look at this map.



Notice what troops are where. Notice where the fighting is (RC South, and RC East). Have we reached the point that only English speakers will die for NATO? Is that a fair alliance? Is this what you get for keeping (most of) them safe from Communism? At least Poland will try to step in some, after the fact. Maybe. They have a history of helping.

Senator Kerry aside, there are huge problems when you are going to rely on nations that have more in common with the Elector of Bavaria at Blenheim that the Thin Red Line in the Crimea.

This is gut check time NATO, and from what I see, you have a yellow stain running down your pants.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Phibian, are you available for a board?

I hate those calls from Millington. I've done my duty there. Needless to say, my reaction was something like this.

"Burgers & Fries." I've got your "Burgers & Fries" right here Shipmate.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I want to waterboard Matt Lauer

Think about it. You have a one-on-one with the President of the United States the Friday prior to 911. What do you invest your time on? What are your top priorities as a reporter? What do you think the American people are most concerned about.



Someone tell Matt to go back to the Whitehouse. George still has his jock.
UPDATENinme asks a good question, what is it with the hair Matt?


Hat tip LGF.

New Navy recruiting add

I think it was an add kind of like this that got Skippy to join.

Hat tip Tim.

My Hail and Farewell Speech: the video

Close.



Don't worry though, I'm still going to be here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

911 - A Very American Witch Hunt

Yep, here it is. What I promised you last week. This is the BBC link, the host page here. Hosted by what sounds like Fat Bastard - the BBC thinks the way to talk about the 5th Anniversary is to talk about American bigotry. Classic cheery-picking, 20/20 hindsight smear. If that doesn't work, here is the YouTube version.

"Path to 9/11": Video the Clinton Admin wants removed

So, you want to know what has everyone's panties in a bunch?

RedState has them all. Now, if we could do one on mini-series on DESERT FOX, I know some parts they would want to clip out of that story as well - but they will have to get that info from someone else.

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Americana

One thing I like most about Powerline is that they can come out of left field with some good, "Yea." goodies. Sure, you can Fisk them now and then, but you have to love Scott's prose on Ottis Redding at Monerey in '67.
"I've Been Loving You Too Long" is a song Redding wrote with Jerry Butler on tour in a Buffalo hotel room. In the clip from "Monterey Pop" above, Redding sings "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (after a quick run-through of Sam Cooke's "Shake") in a performance that makes me laugh and cry at the same time. It is outrageously beautiful.
I'll keep it simple; makes you love the country that made it. High art.

Cluster bomb cluster

Hard to believe, but 30 United States Senators want to be a member of the Targeting Cell down in J3.
The Cluster Munitions Amendment would prevent funds from being spent to purchase, use, or transfer cluster bombs until the Department of Defense has adopted rules of engagement to ensure that cluster bomb are not used in or near any concentration of civilians. [....]

“For too long, innocent civilians, not enemy combatants, have suffered the majority of casualties from cluster munitions. The recent experience in Lebanon is only the latest example of the appalling human toll of injury and death. Strict rules of engagement are long overdue, and I hope the Pentagon will support this amendment to ensure that our cluster munitions are not used in civilian areas,” said Senator Leahy.
In most of the 2006 world, everything is a civilian area. How do you define "civilian area?" If the enemy is attacking you from a "civilian area" do they get a pass, or do we our people die until a PFC reads them their Miranda rights and hands them over to the ACLU?

Yes, just what we all need. Reminds me of the Army JAG that decided that our Snipers were war criminals, or the ignorant masses that would let Napalm (it is just jelled petrol, you putz) be burned. People who just don't know what they are talking about.

Then again, maybe it is just me. Post the AUG Israel-Hez conflict, when the question came from the usual suspects, 'Is there ever a proper use for a cluster bomb.." I immediately thought of 10-15 depending on the terrain and weather.....

Friday, September 08, 2006

No Jews please

I don't know what is more disgusting. The fact that there is a Congressional Caucus that bases its efforts only towards someone's race - or that they exclude anyone that doesn't pass their version of the color wheel.
"The CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) welcomes support from others in the House and Senate, especially those with liberal credentials, but it is critical that its membership remain exclusively African American," retired Rep. William Lacy Clay Sr. wrote earlier this year to the CBC.

Mr. Clay's letter -- distributed by his son, Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., Missouri Democrat -- prompted a CBC meeting before the August recess.

"The members have discussed it, and we supported the tradition that only African-Americans have been full members of the CBC, but as always we will work with anyone as our coalition partners and some have become honorary members," said Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Michigan Democrat, who has been all but confirmed as the caucus' chairman for the 110th Congress.

The Clay letter was written in response to concerns that two Jewish congressional candidates, Tennessee state Rep. Steve Cohen and New York City Councilman David Yassky, both Democrats, would apply for CBC membership if elected from majority-black districts.
Wonder what they think of Senator Obama. He is as Caucasian as he is Sub-Saharan African - from a genetics point of view at least. As a matter of fact, he has zero "African-American" blood in him. Just African (his father was from Kenya).

The ironically sad thing is that Jews played a critical part in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s that at last held America up to the mirror and made it clean itself up. Then again, that isn't the history the CBC wants to be reminded of.

How about we all just call ourselves Americans and get on with the business of the country. Wait, that is too hard. Let's argue like the 1920s KKK instead.......

Fullbore Friday

USS Des Moines (CA-134). The lead ship of our last class of Heavy Cruisers.
And you know what? She is still around....though not for long. Some people tried to save her, but no luck. Good links to visit here, here, and here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Why you always have a liberty buddy....

Back in the day, when we could first dive all the way into the former Warsaw Pact - at a minimum I went with on liberty with one other person, usually at least one from the EOD or SEAL det.

I'm a tall former Defensive End, and when the boss signed off on a 10 day liberty and I would stand in the train station at Livorno (Leghorn) or Trieste looking for the strangest place I could go that hundreds of other Sailors wouldn't be, no one had to tell me not to go alone. 2-4 is a good number. No more no less.

Consider; you are a female. Small female from the looks of it. Blonde hair, blue eyes. You may weigh a buck-5, buck-15 max. You are in a Muslim country. You are an American, and you are shopping with people who are supposed to be looking out for each other in Kyrgyzstan. You are under orders to not go out in town alone. You don't, but once there you - for whatever reason - wind up alone.

You are Maj. Jill Metzger, and you are now missing. OPFOR is correct; we should all pray for her. She if a female missing in one of the 'stans. She has to be tough to be a marathoner and she should have had the professional training to survive. I hope she received the training she needed and we see her again soon.

In that part of the world, they don't care if you are a marathon running USAF Major. You are just a woman. A little better than property. And they steal them.

Male, female, or otherwise - the world is mostly a cruel, mean, violent place. Keep this in mind. These things don't happen to other people - they happen to you.

Turkey turns

Kemal Ataturk's dream is being lost.

I know there are "issues" with Ataturk (disclaimer, I am a fan of KA), but they aren't important to his critical vision of a secular nation as the only way for the Turks to throw off the retrograde burden of official Islam and to join the modern world. In the IHT today there is an article that has lots of good info on the slipping support for NATO throughout the alliance (whoa there, you mean we might have to fight for something outside my borders? I don't get a pretty baby-blue beret? I thought that was what Americans are for....) except for in the USA.

What interests me though is it gives more evidence that Turkey is staying on its slide towards Islamisation - and if it keeps going this way - it is going to get real bloody internally and externally. Here are some of the pull quotes:
In Turkey, the survey found that on a 100-point "thermometer" scale, Turkish "warmth" toward the United States declined to 20 degrees from 28 degrees from 2004 to 2006, while Turkish warmth toward Iran increased to 43 degrees from 34 over the same period.

Warmth toward the EU was 45 degrees, down from 52 two years ago. Warm feelings were far lower toward certain European countries, with 31 degrees for Spain, 30 for Italy, and 25 for Britain and France, apparently because they are perceived as anti-Turkish. Germany, with many residents of Turkish descent, registered 44 degrees.

Further, while a majority in Turkey continue to see EU membership as a good thing, positive feelings have plummeted, from 73 percent in 2004 to 54 percent this year.

The poll found that support for NATO, the U.S.-led military alliance that has been the linchpin of the trans- Atlantic relationship for more than half a century, has fallen in the European countries surveyed from 69 percent in 2002 to 55 percent in 2006.
....
In Turkey, which joined NATO in 1952, support (for NATO) declined from 53 percent in 2004 to 44 percent in 2006.
Irony would be if in the near future (5 years) you had social disruptions in Turkey and Iran about the same time. Turkey turns Islamic - Iran turns secular.

Yes, interesting times.

Hey, Rich is back from Ranger School

Stop by Beef Always Wins and tell him his pants are too loose.

Hat tip Bookie.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

If you want an aggressive maritime blockade....

..then Germany is one of the countries you would want to do it.
The Shiite Hezbollah militia has expressed "reservations" about Germany's involvement in the multinational UN force deploying for Lebanon, owing to German demands that its troops be allowed to stop and search boats bound for the country.

"Our reservations are regarding the German demand to search boats as they enter Lebanon," Hezbollah member of parliament Hussein Haj Hassan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Tuesday. "Such a demand stands against the sovereignty of Lebanon."

Hezbollah "is not against the German government and has great respect for the German people," Haj Hassan stressed, "but they want the German government to review its stand towards Lebanon." Haj Hassan additionally accused Berlin of bias towards Israel's policies in the region.
Not only do Germans know how to follow orders, and demand that you follow rules (ever try to cross against the Red Dictator?) - they have a great maritime tradition of taking maritime blockades seriously.

And don't piss them off either.

Hat tip CAPT Ed.

Like watching ferrets in a sack......

Or something like that. Prime Minister Blair is having one h3ll of a hump-day. Read up on it, and remind yourself there are many reasons we have the government we have. The parlimentary system is, well, barking.

Kind of feel sorry for they guy. As an American, I am glad he as been such an friend - but if I were a Subject of the Queen I would be having a big dose of schadenfreude. His domestic policy from immigration to devolution have set the United Kindom on the path to bloodshed and dis-union.

My money is that by 2106 there will no longer be a U.K. Even money it won't make 2056. Blame Blair.