Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Return of the Quack!

11:00 minutes long......but if you're a Quacker're going to watch every second of it!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I am the Infantry

We are the boys who go to a particular place, at H-hour, occupy a designated terrain, stand on it, dig the enemy out of their holes, force them then and there to surrender or die. We're the bloody infantry, the doughboy, the duckfoot, the foot soldier who goes where the enemy is and takes him on in person. We've been doing it, with changes in weapons but very little change in our trade, at least since the time five thousand years ago when the foot sloggers of Sargon the Great forced the Sumerians to cry "Uncle!" Maybe they'll be able to do without us someday. Maybe some mad genius with myopia, a bulging forehead, and a cybernetic mind will devise a weapon that can go down a hole, pick out the opposition, and force it to surrender or die--without killing that gang of your own people they've got imprisoned down there. I wouldn't know; I'm not a genius, I'm an M.I. In the meantime, until they build a machine to replace us, my mates can handle that job--and I might be some help on it, too.

- Heinlein

Earthquakes, hurricanes.........whats next, a plague of locusts?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Still in the Fight

Friday, August 26, 2011


Thursday, August 25, 2011

He's man's best friend for some very good reasons....

A gripping photo of slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson’s faithful Labrador retriever lying next to the Iowa native’s flag-draped coffin last week in Iowa launched an Internet frenzy and international media coverage.
A gripping photo of slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson’s faithful Labrador retriever lying next to the Iowa native’s flag-draped coffin last week in Iowa launched an Internet frenzy and international media coverage.
 Now go hug your dog dammit......

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is gastronomical bliss, or my arteries clogging.....

Step aside Iowa and fried butter -- there is a new national fried treasure to feast upon.
The country's first deep-fried cheeseburger is making its debut among at least 30 other varieties of hamburgers served by 15 different vendors at the National Hamburger Festival in Akron, Ohio, this weekend.
"We cook the cheeseburger, put it on a bun and dip it in batter before dropping it in a deep fryer," said Drew Cerza, the festival's founder.
Cerza came up with the idea for a deep-fried burger alongside a chef at a local burger restaurant. He wanted to combine two of his favorite things -- hamburgers and chicken wings. Cerza said the special batter is a cross between funnel-cake batter and pancake batter, making the deep-fried cheeseburger both sweet and savory.
"We'll serve it with a side of Lipitor," Cerza said with a laugh.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"My Whole Squad is Gone"

After the explosion Thursday, the battalion chaplain couldn’t get here soon enough. A line of Soldiers needing him waited late into the night, and early the next morning. For many, the tears pushed out in waves. For others, solace came in the form of a quiet stoicism.
“I don’t know what to do right now. My whole squad is gone,” Pfc. Jeremy Urzua said. His squad leader, Frank, was among the Soldiers killed in the blast and had given him a rare day off Thursday.
“I didn’t see it at first, but he just saved my life,” said Urzua, who was back at COP when the attack occurred that morning. Since the attack, Soldiers have been remembering the best of those who were killed Thursday.
“They’re what the infantry is all about. They were just willing to do anything for you, for each other,” Urzua said.
The Soldiers of Company C have forged an alliance known only to the infantry Soldier. They share the misery of extreme suffering, the filth and the physical and emotional scars earned together.
Read the rest

h/t Bouhammer 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The bias of claiming media bias

The questions and commentary on media bias appear to be an enduring part of our political and social climate. But nearly every critique of such is based upon a flawed foundation, the bias of the listener/viewer/reader. This is why proponents of the theory that the American mainstream media is biased are forced to rely on terms such as saturation, intensity and diversion.........all nearly immeasurable standards except by one's inherent bias.

Almost nothing can prove a general conclusion on an issue such as perception of bias. That perception is inherently subjective. We have organizations on the left and the right claiming examples of bias, as well as studies from various academics and analysts. But the bottom line is when one is beholden to a particular political team; they will usually find any reporting not deferential to that team, as biased.

Most claims are that the Mainstream Media is biased towards liberals, using quotes and examples from evening opinion programming, that are also found on evening opinion programming that caters to the right.
There are several reasons that ideological websites and blogs are more popular than ever.....the primary reason being that they report on stories and the context of stories that the MSM decides not to cover. Remember, one cannot deride the MSM as being sensationalist, inept, ratings driven and shallow - and - believe that they maintain a cabal of intrigue and power benefiting one political party, yet oddly not adding any tangible value to that party's chance at gaining or maintaining power.

We have an unfortunate duopolistic political paradigm; one where the media and the two parties aid and abet each other in a dance of hypocritical red meat-wedge issues, while the true challenges facing our continued survival as a superpower remain unanswered. I'll state it plainly...if the MSM were biased towards the left, the sheer volume of sourced, fact laden stories they could report on - which would be detrimental to the staggering.

As there is no conclusive study [though there are admissions to the inception of the meme by the allegedly afflicted party], and no discernible impact on the electoral success or philosophical underpinnings of the afflicted party [liberal is a pejorative, conservative isn't], to buttress a claim on institutional bias. I know alternate points of view are difficult to ingest, but by no means am I infringing on anyone's ability to use whatever intellectual crutch they deem worthy to scapegoat ideological shortcomings of the party or candidates they support.

The American MSM is undeniably following the business model of enabling and abetting the political duopoly. There simply isn't the same financial incentive to cater to a particular party outside of segmented blocs, as we see in evening opinion programming. None of that is to say that I think our media is generally worth a damn, but with the subjectivity and personal bias inherent in each and every one of us...discernibly proving media bias is tougher than mere rhetoric. To use such a claim in political discourse, is most often a prop to atone for lack of substance to a position.

Some people actually wanted this oxygen thief to be a US Senator

Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell walked out of an interview with CNN last night after Piers Morgan asked the former Delaware Senate candidate her views about gay marriage.

O'Donnell, who is promoting her new book, called the CNN host "rude" and said she had agreed to come on the show to talk aboutTroublemaker: Let's Do What it Takes to Make America Great Again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Volckmann Program

Throughout the world, al-Qaeda, or AQ, and its affiliates are conducting a multiregion insurgency designed to establish the Caliphate. The United States does not have the capability, measured in either blood or dollars, to lead a fight throughout multiple regions of the world against AQ and its affiliates. If we attempt to conduct the large number of U.S. unilateral operations needed to defeat this AQ assault, we quickly play into AQ's hands, exhausting ourselves and, in the process, negatively affecting long-term, global perceptions of the U.S.

The question then crystallizes — how do we break the current operational paradigm and stop this multiregion insurgency without an overwhelming loss of life, expenditure of funds and loss of international favor because of large, unilateral U.S. actions or unfocused security-assistance efforts? If we attempt to use large-scale security-assistance efforts and funding to build entire host-country militaries and security forces around the world and let them address this AQ problem in their own countries, can we be assured that we are wisely spending U.S. taxpayer dollars funding the most critical host-country units in the fight properly? Are we unintentionally squandering our national treasure on units or organizations that are not key contributors in the fight against AQ? Are we using centralized drive-by assessments of the needs of key host-country units in the fight against AQ? Is there a way to remove what may currently be a myopic view of the requirements of these critical host-country units? Is there a way to synergize the capabilities inherent in Title X and Title XXII authorities?

Read the rest......

Thoughts on a day at work

From a USAF C-17 Pilot:

I had an unforgettable day yesterday and wanted to share it with you. I know we've all sat around and discussed in detail why we do what we do and if we will be willing to continue to do what we do day in and day out regardless of deployments, retirement decisions, job opportunities, missed birthdays, missed holidays, etc. This is something I wanted to share and you were the people that came to mind. It's another reason I continue to serve. I guess because many others do and sacrifice a lot more, some even their lives.  My crew was alerted yesterday to find that our mission had changed. We were now a backup to a high priority mission originating from Afghanistan. When I asked where we would be going the answer was "back to the states". Later I learned our destination was Dover. 

I was the aircraft commander for one of two C-17s that transferred the Chinook helicopter crash soldiers back home. The crew that started this mission in Afghanistan would end up running out of crew duty day and need another crew to continue the soldier's journey. We just happened to be available. After being alerted and going through our normal sequence, I found myself at the foot of the aircraft steps.  Before I took my first step upward I noticed a transfer case close to the door. I had only seen one in pictures. The American Flag was tucked smartly, folded and secured on top. I paused at the bottom of the stairs, took a deep breath and continued up with my mind and eyes focusing on making it to the next ladder leading to the cockpit. However, as I entered, I couldn't help but notice the remaining nineteen transfer cases in the cargo compartment.

The entire cargo compartment was filled with identical transfer cases with American Flags. I made my way up to the cockpit and received a briefing from the previous aircraft commander. After the briefing we exchanged a handshake and the other pilot was on his way. I felt a need to ensure the crew focused on their normal duties. I instructed the other two pilots to began the preflight. I went back down into the cargo compartment to see what needed to be done and find the paperwork I needed to sign. The cargo compartment was now filled with numerous people from the mortuary affairs squadron. They were busy adjusting, resetting and overall preparing the cases for their continued flight. Before they began I asked who was in charge because I knew there was paperwork I needed to sign. I finally found a Staff Sergeant who was working an issue with the paperwork. After it was complete, he brought it up to the cockpit for me to review and sign. 

There are moments in life I will never forget. For me, it's the days my son and daughter were born. Another occurred five months ago when I had to deliver the unthinkable news to a mother that her son was killed in Afghanistan and although I didn't anticipate another day like that this soon, yesterday was another. I looked at the paperwork I was signing and realized the magnitude of the day. I glanced over the paperwork and signed. In a way, I felt I had taken ownership of these fallen soldiers. It was now my duty to ensure they make it home. After confirming the preflight was complete and the aircraft was fueled, I went outside to start my walk-around. As I walked down the steps, a bus had parked in front of the aircraft and unloaded eleven passengers. The passengers were fellow SEAL team members who were escorting the fallen back to the states. I stood at the front of the aircraft and watched them board. Every one of them walked off the bus with focus in their eyes and determination in their steps; just as I imagine they do when they go on a mission. I made eye contact with the lead SEAL, nodded my head in respect and he nodded back. 

Finishing my walk-around, I stopped at the bottom of the stairs. I looked up into the cargo compartment; two American Flags and one SEAL Team Six flag hung from the top of the cargo compartment. Three of twenty transfer cases were visible; one with an American Flag and two with Afghan flags. I looked up at my aircraft and saw, "United States Air Force" painted on the side and I stood trying to take it all in. I wanted to make certain that I never forget these images. That I never forget the faces of the SEALS, the smell of the cargo compartment or the sun slowly rising over the landscape. It's important that I don't forget. We need to honor the dead, honor the sacrifice of the fallen. 

I understand my role in getting these fallen soldiers home is insignificant compared to the lives they lived and the things they did for our country. Most of it we will never know. All I know is every American should see what I've seen. Every American should see the bus loads of families as they exit the freeway headed for Dover AFB to reunite with their fallen or witness the amount of time, effort, people and equipment that go into ensuring our fallen have a honorable return. The very next day we took the same aircraft back overseas. We had leveled the aircraft at our cruise altitude and I walked down to the cargo compartment. No more American Flags hung from the ceiling. All the transfer cases were gone. 

Instead I watched a father lay with his son, cradled on his chest, on the same spot that only yesterday held a fallen soldier. I watched a young girl, clutching a teddy bear, sleeping quietly where the fallen had laid. I realized so many Americans have no idea where the fallen lay. 

I'm honored to be one that does.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

For the shooters out there

h/t Lightfighter

Bud Light Presents... Real Men of Genius.

(~*Reeeal Mennn of Geniuuussss*~)

Today we salute you, Mr. Unappreciated and Uncredited Spotter Guy.

(~*Mr. Unappreciated and Uncredited Spotter Guy!*~)

Any 12 year old can put the crosshairs on the target. But YOU put the math on the crosshairs, and tell your buddy how to make the clicky adjustments of doom.

(~*Which cargo pocket did I put my TI-89 in?*~)

You do trigonometry in your sleep, calculate windage and distance just by feeling the wind on your eyeball, and routinely make the Coriolis Effect your bitch!

(~*Wicked windy, super far, a buncha mils, send it!"*~)

And do you get mentioned in a single article about the extreme-distance shots, or how hard it is to do ballistics math on a battlefield? Of course not.

(~*They all think "there's an Aaaaapp for that"!*~)

So crack open an ice cold Bud Light, oh Sheldon Cooper of the infantry. Because why get all the girls, glory, and news attention, when you can carry the 1 for your buddy...

(~*Mr. Unappreciated and Uncredited Spottttter Guyyyyy!*~)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Interesting to note who's "palling around with terrorists" now

The ornate ballroom of the Willard Hotel buzzed with activity on a Saturday morning in July. Crowded together on the stage sat a cadre of the nation's most influential former government officials, the kind whose names often appear in boldface, who've risen above daily politics to the realm of elder statesmen. They were perched, as they so often are, below a banner with a benign conference title on it, about to offer words of pricey wisdom to an audience with an agenda.
That agenda: to secure the removal of the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) from the U.S. government's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. A Marxian Iranian exile group with cult-like qualities, Mujahideen-e Khalq was responsible for the killing of six Americans in Iran in the 1970s, along with staging a handful of bombings. But for a terrorist organization with deep pockets, it appears there's always hope.
Onstage next to former FBI director Louis Freeh sat Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania and current MSNBC talking head; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean; former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton; former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Togo West; former State Department Director of Policy Planning Mitchell Reiss; former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway; Anita McBride, the former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush; and Sarah Sewall, a Harvard professor who sits on a corporate board with Reiss.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Of Sheep and Sheepdogs

h/t Blackfive

Military Adaptibility

h/t This Ain't Hell

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tell me again the difference between the Democratic and Republican parties

The first ever GAO(Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months due to the Ron Paul, Alan Grayson Amendment to the Dodd-Frank bill, which passed last year. Jim DeMint, a Republican Senator, and Bernie Sanders, an independent Senator, led the charge for a Federal Reserve audit in the Senate, but watered down the original language of the house bill(HR1207), so that a complete audit would not be carried out. Ben Bernanke(pictured to the left), Alan Greenspan, and various other bankers vehemently opposed the audit and lied to Congress about the effects an audit would have on markets. Nevertheless, the results of the first audit in the Federal Reserve’s nearly 100 year history were posted on Senator Sander’s webpage earlier this morning:
What was revealed in the audit was startling: $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious — the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.
To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is “only” $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is “only” $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.
The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows.
Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
and many many more including banks in Belgium of all placesView the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve(July 21st, 2011):

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where's the feigned outrage this time??

Forgive me for asking the question. You see, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians using the 1967 borders as a framework.
Several months ago, President Barack Obama declared that the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should take place along the lines of the 1967 borders with “agreed upon land swaps.” Netanyahu responded with fury, calling the 1967 borders “indefensible,” even though by definition “land swaps” meant not returning to the exact 1967 borders. Republicans and Democrats piled on, accusing Obama of abandoning Israel.
The idea of using the 1967 lines with swaps as a framework for negotiations was nothing new, of course, but that didn’t stop opportunists from distorting the president’s position, and Republicans from launching another round of “the Jews are abandoning Obama” stories and accusing the president of being too sympathetic to the Palestinians. Some even claimed that it’s hard to distinguish the administration’s stance from that of the Palestinians. Well now it’s Netanyahu’s position too. Perhaps he’s also a dreaded Palestinian sympathizer?