Sunday, October 29, 2006

Will This Be Your Epitaph?

"I was not a warrior. I never learned to fight for my freedom. I was only good at enjoying it."

It will be theirs.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just When I Think I'm Back

I'm gone again.

"This affair must hang in suspense no longer. Sweep the field with the bayonet."
-- T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Are You Still Mad?

Yes? Good.

It's been almost 5 years since the cowardly attack upon our people and our nation -- to me, it seems only days ago.

This fight has really just started. It's not going to be over anytime soon. Maybe when the knuckleheads realize that when they fuck with the United States of America things end very badly for them, we will be able to see the beginning of the end of this particular struggle.

It is an epic battle between good and evil -- and in this world, good does not always win. But if we stay strong... if we maintain our warrior spirit, we will win this one for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We can't expect to look much beyond that.

The warrior spirit. I trust that it is still alive and well in this nation.

They need to be worried about what we might do...not the other way around.

And I can't help but add this thought: Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et al. What have they contributed lately to humanity save misery and suffering. Would we really miss them if they were wiped off the map tomorrow?

I might miss the pyramids.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Trouble in the Wind for Security Firms

... and potential trouble for securing this nation.

The trial lawyers are salivating:

Blackwater loses bid to move suit to federal court

Blackwater loses appeal in deaths of four in Iraqi city

Blackwater suit stays in N.C. court:

A wrongful-death lawsuit filed by families of Americans killed and strung up on a bridge in Iraq stays in a North Carolina state court, the federal appeals court in Richmond ruled yesterday.

Three judges of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided they had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal filed by Blackwater Security Consulting, the Moyock, N.C.-based company that employed the four dead men.

The families initially filed the lawsuit in state court. Blackwater wanted the case tried in U.S. District Court and tried to move it there.

But the federal judge found that his court lacked jurisdiction in the matter and sent it back to state court. Blackwater appealed.

The lawsuit makes wrongful-death and fraud claims.

This has been below the radar screen, but we need to start paying attention. This nation made a decision to maintain a small military -- we do that, in part, by contracting out more and more military-related work.

We cannot have our cake and eat it, too.

Either we radically increase the size of our military or change the laws pertaining to defense security consulting.

If we do nothing, the trial lawyers will tie our hands in defending this country.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Still Missing FREED: Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig

Centanni and Wiig released from captivity

Steve Centanni

I'd never heard of Olaf Wiig previous to his kidnapping, but almost all of us military types have heard of Steve Centanni. He's not just a good reporter -- he's a good man... and a tough one... very tough.

We want both men back. Please pray for them.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Alive and Well


My son is home.

Blogging will be nonexistent for the next 30 days or so.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pursue, Prosecute, Punish Leakers

The New York Times once again publishes classified national security information. Michelle Malkin has the latest here and here.

We can stomp our feet and holler at The New York Times -- and yeah I think they're culpable -- but classified information doesn't just fall from the sky into their laps.

Until the Bush administration gets serious about going after the people who are making unauthorized disclosures, our classified national security information will continue to be compromised and our enemies will continue to benefit.


Selling Out the Security of Our Nation
Unauthorized Disclosure
Able Danger: Tony Shaffer Talks...and talks and talks and talks
Slaughter Of The Innocents

Thursday, June 22, 2006

One Damn Good Reason take your camera to the beach.

They just crawl right out of the Gulf and into your viewfinder.

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Actually, I managed to get this exclusive shot just before she said, "That's like a totally small camera for someone who freelances for Travel Channel."

Nah. I'm lying. I wouldn't tell anybody that.


Army Raises Recruitment Age to 42

Some may choose to look at this as desperation on the part of the United States Army. They may be right.

I choose to look at it as an opportunity to point out some facts that should might make a lot of you uncomfortable.

About 93% of Americans, age 18-42, have never served a day in the military.

There are about 115 million Americans age 18-42.

@ 5.1 million of them are veterans
-- @ 365,000 (20-24)
-- @ 670,000 (25-29)
-- @ 1,008,000 (30-34)
-- @ 1,332,000 (35-39)
-- @ 1,732,000 (40-44)
@ 1.4 million of them are on Active Duty in the Army (@ 490,000), Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard
@ 1.2 million are in the Guard and Reserves

@ 107 million Americans, age 18-42, have never served.

In other words, even accounting for the mentally and physically disabled, there are a whole bunch of people that are eligible to wear...

...combat boots.

Opportunity knocks:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Meet Diana Irey

Diana Irey is running against Jack "Cut and Run" Murtha for Pennsylvania's 12th U.S. Congressional District House seat.

Lane Core, Jr., a freelance writer, interviewed Diana Irey last week. You can read about it here.

(Click on photo to enlarge... you'll be glad you did)

She is one of the most intriguing candidates to come along in quite awhile and she couldn't have come on the scene at a better time. This has become a critical national race in my humble opinion.

Lane's profile of Diana Irey.

Her website.

The Way Things Work in The Third World and Louisiana

Pardon the redundancy.

The U.S. Congress gives Louisiana $12 Billion dollars (OUR tax dollars - from all 50 states) for Hurricane Katrina recovery.

The Louisiana legislature creates a Disaster Recovery Unit to spend that $12 Billion dollars through community development block grants (a recipe for graft).

Bryant Hammett, Jr. (Democrat-Ferriday [Little Port-au-Prince], Louisiana), Chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, applies for a job in the new Disaster Recovery Unit which he helped create.

Grinnin' like a possum eatin' grapes

Bryant Hammett, Jr., who is tight with that national disgrace and thoroughly incompetent governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, alternately insists that:

a) he saw an advertisement for the job on a website.
b) a friend told him about the job.

Bryant Hammett, Jr., also the sole owner of Bryant Hammett & Associates LLC, a civil engineering and land surveying business that benefited from state contracts while he was Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, doesn't see a problem with applying for the job.

Neither does the Louisiana Board of Ethics (talk about oxymorons). The Louisiana Board of Ethics says it's OK for Hammett to take the job.

[Kinda reminds me of that old song: You ain't done nothin' wrong, but you ain't done nothin' right.]

Bryant Hammett, Jr. resigns his position (he was term limited to 2008) in the legislature which he has held for 15 years.

Bryant Hammett, Jr. gets the $140,000/year job as Infrastructure Manager/Senior Engineer for the Disaster Recovery Unit which will dole out the $12 Billion dollars.

Bryant Hammett & Associates LLC will be precluded from doing any work for the Disaster Recovery Unit, BUT the firm could be a subcontractor on jobs involving regular Community Development Block Grant funding and continue to do work for other state agencies AND local governments EVEN IF they (the local governments) receive Disaster Recovery Unit funding.

$12 Billion dollars taken involuntary from the pocketbooks of taxpayers across the nation and sent to Louisiana to be spent as Bryant Hammett, Jr. sees fit.

It's enough to make a rabbit spit in a pitbull's face.

Legislator takes job to help rebuild state
Rep. Hammett to resign, will direct rebuilding
Ferriday legislator considers recovery job
Hammett Considers New Job
Hammett considers new job

If you want to learn more about how Louisiana works -- and we all should since we've given the state $12 Billion dollars -- then don't miss this excellent blog: Louisiana Political News Service

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Intolerant, Judgmental GM Roper

... speaks for the intolerant, judgmental Merry Mad Monk and, no doubt, many others.

GM Roper offers clarity to an otherwise confused and politically correct society:

Tolerance, as foisted on the denizens of western civilization is an outgrowth of the '60s and '70s growth of "self esteemism" and psychobabble such as "I'm O.K., You're OK." Having participated in some of that dreck, I know whereof I speak, but it didn't take me long to figure out that "When everything is tolerated, then nothing is sacred and evil is unrestrained."

Tolerance: tol•er•ance pronunciation – tol-er-ens:

The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others."

Recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others - nothing is sacred and evil is unrestrained. Yes, these two concepts are greatly connected and should be, I repeat, should be a strong hint to the rational individual that tolerance is not the way to practice human relationships. Yet, there is room for tolerance, and that too should be obvious to the rational among us. For example, I am more than willing to tolerate the religious beliefs of others when those other's beliefs also tolerate the religious beliefs of others. As a Christian, I tolerate the beliefs of Hinduists, Confucionists, animists, Jewish folk etc. I'm intolerant to a large degree, though I accept their freedom to worship as they choose, of those who believe that their faith is the only "allowable" faith. I do not believe, for example, that as a Methodist, all Baptists are doomed to hellfire and brimstone. Nor do I accept that only the Roman Catholic faith is the only way to heaven. Nor do I accept that Mohammad is the ONLY prophet of Allah or even that Islam is the "one true faith."

I also don't accept any religion that says human sacrifice is acceptable, or that infanticide is "good" or that making burnt offerings to a statue is the same as any other faith. I do not believe that a faith has the obligation to convert everyone else on the pain of death or the imposition of dihimmitude. I do not accept any belief or custom that demands female circumcision so that the female cannot enjoy the act of sex.

I am not willing to tolerate the existence of a cult of murderers who kill in the name of Allah, or Baal, or any other belief system and this is because I am judgmental. Oh yes, I also believe that there is also nothing wrong with being judgmental. Read on

What Does North Korea Want?

North Korea wants the entire Korean peninsula.

All the rhetoric, missile testing, missile launching, weapons proliferation, weapons sales, border infiltrations, threats, warnings, and propaganda are meant to support that goal.

Other than that, the only thing predictable about the North Koreans is that they are unpredictable.

What we must do is continue to be resolute... because what the North Koreans are really testing is our resolve.

Kim Jong-il does not doubt our capability to stop him. He doubts our resolve.

We need to remind this pissant that not only can we burn them to a crisp, but that we have the will to burn them to a crisp.

Anyway, I reckon I'll be up the rest of the night watching for this latest threat from North Korea.


Korea: The Unfinished War

Iraq, Iran & North Korea

North Korea: Ten Years Of DCI Testimony

Merry Mad Monks of the DMZ


UPDATE 6:15pm CDT:

Rice Warns North Korea Against Missile Test

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned North Korea on Monday it will face consequences if it test-fires a missile thought to be powerful enough to reach the West Coast of the United States.

"It would be a very serious matter and, indeed, a provocative act should North Korea decide to launch that missile," Rice said amid indications that the North Koreans could launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at any moment.

The senior U.S. diplomat said the United States would talk to other nations about action should the North go ahead, and "I can assure everyone that it would be taken with utmost seriousness."

The United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea and other countries have urged North Korea to abandon any missile firing, but there was no sign of backing down. U.S. officials said Monday the missile was apparently fully assembled and fueled, giving the North a launch window of about a month.

Unlike other preparatory steps the United States has tracked, the fueling process is very difficult to reverse, and most likely means the test will go ahead, one senior administration official said.

The precise timing is unclear, the official said.

At U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said he was holding preliminary consultations with Security Council members on possible action if North Korea fires the missile, thought to be a three-stage Taepodong-2 with a non-nuclear payload.

"But we don't really know what the North Korean intentions are at this point, so I think we need to wait for the event," Bolton said.

What's it all mean? North Korea has an intercontinental ballistic missile assembled and fully fueled that can be launched anytime in the next 30 days. And that is not a good thing.

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Man on Page 602

After 31 years, the mystery is solved.

I suspected as much.

(For Miss C, Miss H, Miss M and Miss J)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Good Dogs Having A Good Time

"Did ya see how high Fluffy jumped when I nose-poked her?"
"Heh. Sleeping cats are soooo easy."

"Wow! She's still running in circles!"
"Yeah, we probably need to give her a little more space."

Should the Marine Corps Punish Corporal Belile?


Can the Marine Corps punish Corporal Belile?


Jim Hanson at Blackfive seems to think that marines and soldiers have the same rights as civilians.

They don't... and he should know better.

Hanson also seems to think that marines and soldiers have "off time", i.e. a time when they are not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice?

They don't... and, again, Hanson should know better.

To suggest otherwise is to misinform his readers and the readers of those blogs who have excerpted his letter to the Marine Corps spokesman.

Having said that, I think the Marine Corps brass need to CAIR less.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Birthday, Army!

231 Years

The day began at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery ... honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

As always, a special birthday greeting to the soldiers of...

...where the rubber meets the road, the leather meets the dirt and the metal meets the meat.

Do you know which units the above patches represent?

Today is a good day to find out.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

It Is A Good Day

An evil leader of evil men is dead.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi at room temperature.

Michelle Malkin has all the links.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Leave Her Alone

As if she gives a rat's ass what you think, anyway.

Miss Ann, if the GOP tent is not big enough, you can come stay in my pup tent.

Murtha Must Go!: A New Blog That's Lookin' Good

Check it out here.

Diana Irey is like a cool drink of water on a hot summer day.

If you haven't seen her D.C. press conference, you can watch it here.

Yet Another Moral Victory for the KOS Kids

Republican Wins Bellwether House Race:

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray had 56,130 votes or 49.5 percent. Busby trailed with 51,292 votes or 45 percent. "I think that we're going back to Washington," Bilbray told cheering supporters.

The race one of dozens of contests Tuesday in eight states was viewed by Democrats as an opportunity to capture a solidly Republican district and build momentum on their hopes to capture control of the House.

And how are the kids doing?

Its like watching a TBS movie for the 100th time...everytime an update comes through and our candidate gains its chump change votes....everytime the other candidate gains its in big fat chunks....

That one seems to suspect there something's hinky about living in the fever swamp. Most of the others remain blissfully delusional.

A Letter Home from Fallujah

Via Alabama Improper, via Hillbilly White Trash... and at HWT's request, I'm reposting this letter from a United States Marine to his hometown paper:

Jun 2, 2006
COMMENT: Letter from Iraq: They're not supporting the troops
By Anthony Ippoliti

I am fortunate enough to receive The Ridgefield Press every few weeks and enjoy keeping abreast of the local issues currently pressing in our small town. I am a U.S. Marine Infantryman currently serving in Fallujah, Iraq, and my mother usually includes The Press in the many care packages she sends me.

Since we have very limited access to telephones, The Ridgefield Press is the primary means by which I receive local news.

Almost every week, I open The Press and find an article or letter to the editors denouncing the coalition effort in Iraq. Invariably, the individuals behind these anti-war letters and rallies mask their political agendas by asserting that they "support the troops but not the war." People like Vince Giordano, Paul Sutherland and Anne Stubbs are pictured in the April 13 edition of The Press carrying a yellow-ribboned coffin and signs that say "Bring Them Home Now." They read off the names of the dead and claim to "show support for our troops" while urging lawmakers to "bring them home." They believe that the U.S.-led coalition should never have entered Iraq and that the current effort is a never-ending quagmire that has made no progress. They believe that things are progressively getting worse and think that our forces should just pick up and leave.

They do all this under the pretense that they are supporting the troops. However, what they are really doing is using our lives and the issue of our safety and well-being as a means to achieve a political end.

My primary concern is the assertion that these individuals support the troops in Iraq but not our mission. It boggles my mind that this logic is actually utilized on a large scale.

Supporting the troops but not the war is like saying that you support filmmakers but not making films. One cannot claim to support an individual in a given profession but not support what the said profession entails. This is essentially a slap in the face to those in the service.

How protesting the job we are doing in Iraq while demanding our withdrawal constitutes supporting us is beyond me.

Furthermore, I am particularly interested in how these people support us, specifically. I have never once received a letter from an individual who claims to "support the troops, not the war." Not a single Marine I know has received anything that could be considered remotely supportive from any of these people or the groups they represent. We have received phone cards, hygiene supplies, food, etc. from members of state and local government, radio stations, schools, private individuals and organizations, but never once from any group claiming to "support the troops, but not the war."

I ask again: How can these groups claim to support our troops while telling us that what we are participating in is wrong?

How can they support us if they are essentially saying that our blood and sacrifices have all been given in vain?

How can they support us if they say that our comrades and brothers who have been wounded or killed in action have done so for a hopeless and morally questionable cause?

I reply to the questions I pose with a simple answer: They can’t. As a matter of fact, I assert with a considerable degree of confidence that their efforts make our already difficult job even more difficult. I’ll go so far as to say that their rallies and protests cost more and more servicemen their lives and limbs every day.
I support my assertion with evidence gathered first hand. I see the Iraqi people every day. The protesters do not. I speak with the Iraqi people every day. The protesters do not. I don’t sit behind a desk and do paperwork or resupply efforts in the military. I am an Infantry Marine and I walk the sewage-filled streets of this city every single day.

In Fallujah, the people watch Al Jazeerah. However, they also watch CNN. A lot of them fear that the United States will soon cut and run. The people of Iraq see when our country is divided. When they see rallies to "Bring The Troops Home," they see that as a sign that we will end our efforts prematurely.

Furthermore, they know that the insurgents will not end their efforts early. That leads them to the conclusion that when we leave, the insurgents will still be there. Therefore, if they help us, their lives and the lives of their loved ones will be in great jeopardy the minute we leave — if we don’t finish the job. Much that they see on American television leads them to believe that we intend to abandon our efforts before the new Iraqi government is capable of defending itself and its citizens.

The actions of these aforementioned organizations and the heavy media coverage their rallies often generate serves as fuel for the insurgency. Insurgents believe they can drive us out through the idea of "death by a thousand cuts." The longer they persist in their efforts, the more the American public becomes disenchanted with the coalition effort.

The insurgency sees this as a result. These criminals will continue to kill Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and coalition forces so long as they see that their efforts are alienating the American public from its military.

And for those of you that aren’t up to speed with the situation in Iraq, the insurgents attack and kill established public services (such as Iraqi police and Iraqi army) more often than they attack coalition forces. As a matter of fact, an explosive-laden insurgent blew himself up last week outside the Iraqi police station that is attached to our compound.

The insurgents aren’t fighting simply to drive America out of Iraq. They are fighting to destroy any semblance of the Iraqi government so that they can impose their will on its people.

Publicly protesting our efforts in Iraq fuels the insurgency. Doing it under the pretext of "supporting our troops" is disgraceful.

Let me now emphasize that I respect an American citizen’s right to voice his or her opinion in a public forum. Such a right is granted in the U.S. Constitution.
However, voicing one’s opinion in such an irresponsible way is something I do not support. Additionally, using deployed service members as a mask to serve your purely political purpose is downright shameful. If your desire is to protest the war, then protest the war, but don’t use me or any reference to our troops as a tool to bolster your purpose.

I’ll summarize by saying this: Organizations such as The Ridgefield Coalition to Stop the War do not support our troops. No matter what they say or what is printed on the signs they carry, they effectively do the opposite of support us. They downright hurt us.

Such organizations damage the morale of the men and women in the armed forces and progressively cause them to believe less and less in the mission at hand. The conditions here are difficult as it is. Opening a month-old edition of The Ridgefield Press and reading an article about an anti-war demonstration that uses our troops in an effort to mask its true cause doesn’t help.

Please do not feign support while effectively telling us that we are fighting for an unworthy cause. I think I speak for an overwhelming majority of our troops when I ask organizations like The Ridgefield Coalition to Stop the War to discontinue using Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors as a means to serve a political end.

You are neither supporting us nor honoring us. You are doing the exact opposite.

Marines Humiliated by TSA Security Guards

Yet another reason why there should be a house-cleaning at the Transportation Security Administration:

The Marine Corps is livid over the mistreatment of three Marines at the hands of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in Philadelphia last month.

According to a Marine Corps memo we obtained, three Marines were "humiliated" by TSA security guards while escorting the body of Marine Sgt. Lea R. Mills, 21, who was killed April 28 along with two others in Al Anbar province, Iraq, by an improvised explosive device.

Sgt. Mills' body was being moved from Dover Air Force Base through Philadelphia International Airport en route to her final resting place in Gulfport, Miss., on May 3. The three Marines who were accompanying the casket, Sgt. John C. Stock, Cpl. Aaron J. Bigalk and Cpl. Jason A. Schadeburg, were forced to remove their dress blue uniforms, belts and shoes, which were then scanned. They were then "patted down" by TSA inspectors.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Is Your Will Broken? I Can Help

Have you been reading or hearing lately, that your will is broken -- your will to support the war on terrorism? Did it come as a surprise to you? It came as surprise to me, too.

Are you getting sick of people pronouncing how weak-willed you are? Me, too.

I don't know who these assclowns have been talking to, but they haven't been talking to anyone I know.

I'm sure there are some weak-willed people among us and a few whose will is broken -- always has been, always will be.

Pardon me, while I address them:

Yo! you broken/weak-willed weenies. What is it exactly that has broken/weakened your will?

Is your work place about 6,000 miles from home, give or take a thousand?

Do you rarely, if ever, get a break from work, except when you're sleeping? And even as you sleep, do the occasional mortar rounds or rockets impact in your backyard?

When your work day ends, do you go home to a tent rather than the comfort of your house or apartment?

Are the outside daytime temperatures in your neck of the woods about 120º? (add about 30º if you're in an armored vehicle-- are you in an armored vehicle?).

Do you get chilled at night, chilled enough to make your teeth chatter -- even though it might be 75º?

Do sand and dust get in everything -- your eyes, your nose, your shoes/boots, your clothes?

Do you sleep in a sleeping bag on a small cot? On the ground?

Do you have little to no time for yourself -- even when doing the 3 S's (shit, shower and shave)?

Are you eating MREs?

Anything stopping you from: jumping in your car and going for a drive? A leisurely walk in the park? Going to a ballgame? The lake? The beach? Or just being lazy and lying in bed all morning reading the Sunday papers?

Have you been away from your loved ones -- your children, your wife or husband, your parents, your brothers and sisters, your girlfriend or boyfriend -- for months? Have you been away from them for a year?

Does the media -- ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, etc, etc -- distort what your work is all about? Do they incessantly report the "bad", but rarely, if ever, report the good things?

Do you have half the country doubting your ability to do your job?

Are there people that want to kill you any way that they can? Do you live with that 24 hours a day?

Have you lost buddies at work? Have you seen them die? Held them as they died? Have you seen your buddies wounded? Have you been wounded yourself?

Is home days and days...weeks and weeks...months and months away?

If you answered NO to most or all of those questions, then WHAT IS YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM?

Why do I ask? Because most of our soldiers and marines can answer YES to almost every question that I just asked you and their will is STRONG!

In fact, if you suggested otherwise to them, they'd be inclined to kick your pathetic broken/weak-willed ass!

Got that?

So shape up! Be an American!

Give thanks for your many blessings. And get down on your knees at night and pray that you can live up to the ideals which our brave men and women are fighting and bleeding and dying for.

If you can't shape up, then shut the fuck up ... and stay out of the way. Ya fuckin' weenies!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Haditha: Wait, Out.

Not one person in Old Media or New Media knows the who, what, where, when, why, and how concerning the November 19th incident in Haditha, Iraq.


That doesn't stop the speculation, though.

Keep this in mind: How many people blogging and commenting on this story have spent a day in uniform ... much less a day in a combat zone under fire? How many were there in Haditha that day?

More importantly, there is an on-going investigation. Actually, there are 2 on-going investigations:

1. Find out what happened at Haditha.
2. Find out why senior officials were not aware of the misconduct allegations until February.

It will probably be a few weeks before those investigations are complete. Until then it doesn't do anyone any good to speculate. In fact, it won't do any good to speculate if the investigation yields charges. If individuals are charged, they will be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, in accordance with the Manual for Courts-Martial:

1. The accused must be presumed to be innocent until his guilt is established by legal and competent evidence beyond reasonable doubt;
2. If there is a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused, the doubt must be resolved in favor of the accused and he must be acquitted;
3. If there is a reasonable doubt as to the degree of guilt, the finding must be in a lower degree as to which there is no reasonable doubt; and
4. The burden of proof to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt is upon the United States.

Sound familiar? You bet your ass it does.

There's been a lot of hyperventilating recently in the blogosphere on this and any number of other issues -- and it's getting old. Every issue is NOT A FUCKING CRISIS. It's gotten to be about as bad as Old Media and the cable talk shows, specifically. What is up with that?



An Example of Hyperventilation at the Belmont Club

Specifically, this post. I picked the Belmont Club because I like reading what Wretchard has to say and it is one of the last places I'd expect to be affected, but many of his commenters are really coming off like a bunch of nervous nellies. They have all the answers, don't they? ... as they piss on our senior military leaders. I've served with a few of the men who the Belmont Club commenters are pissing on. They are some of the finest, most decent men you'll ever know and they are warriors.

I'll put our military leadership up against anybody in the world any day of the week, even the pontificating commenters at the Belmont Club. Just read the military biographies of these men and ask yourself if you think that any of the Belmont Club commenters come close to the education, training and experience of our military leadership:

SEC Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense
GEN John Abizaid, Commanding General, United States Central Command
CMSgt Curtis L. Brownhill, Command Chief Master Sergeant, United States Central Command
GEN George W. Casey, Jr, Commanding General, Multi-National Force - Iraq
CSM Jeffrey J. Mellinger, Command Sergeant Major, Multi-National Force - Iraq
GEN Peter Pace, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
CSM William Joseph Gainey, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
GEN Pete Schoomaker, Chief of Staff, United States Army
SMA Kenneth O. Preston, Sergeant Major of the Army
GEN Michael W. Hagee, Commandant, United States Marine Corps
SGM John L. Estrada, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps
LTG Walter L. "Skip" Sharp, Director, Joint Staff
LTG James T. Conway, Director, Operations (J3)
LTG Victor E. Renuart, Director, Strategic Plans & Policy

How many of the Belmont Club commenters can match any one of those men. Yet, they KNOW just what to do... cut and run? Quit and go home?

They need to spend some time talking with soldiers and marines who have walked the walk. They aren't whining about the war. They are re-enlisting, not quitting and running away. They have confidence in their chain of command -- especially their Commander-in-Chief.

So, the Belmont Clubbers can go ahead and bash President Bush and our senior military leaders if that makes them feel better, but they're at risk of contracting Bush Derangement Syndrome as they edge ever closer to the fever swamp of the moonbats.

Diana Irey Press Conference

Ol' Murtha could be in real trouble. This lady is good -- a must-see video. You can watch it here.

Diana Irey speaking at press conference

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Big & Rich: 8th of November

A tribute to soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Republic of Vietnam, 1965. Introduction by Kris Kristofferson, former Army Captain and Airborne/Ranger helicopter pilot.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006

And they who for their country die
Shall fill an honored grave,
For glory lights the soldier's tomb,
And beauty weeps the brave.

-- Joseph Rodman Drake

photos from Arlington National Cemetery

Ben Stein: They Did God's Work

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Engineering the Future: Iraq and Afghanistan

What other nation is capable of doing this?

US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Program in Iraq:

-- A total of 3,782 projects planned with a program value of $10.61B
-- A total of 861 projects ongoing at a program value of $2.46B
-- A total of 2,634 projects have been completed with a program value of $3.12B
-- A total of 64 Military Construction (MILCON) in support of US Forces with total values of $1.35B
-- 155,000 Iraqis are employed on reconstruction projects.
-- 181 local nationals work directly for Gulf Region Division - 25.7% of GRD workforce AND GROWING

USACE Program in Afghanistan:

-- Employ 8,200 Afghan nationals working construction projects totaling $1.1 Billion
-- The Afghan Army program is providing new facilities for up to 70,000 soldiers ($1.02 billon).
-- Border Guard and Police program is providing infrastructure and facilities near the Pakistan border ($120 million).
-- Counter Narcotics program in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan may expand to other central Asian countries in FY06 ($70 million).
-- The US/Coalition Forces program is located in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan (Bagram, Kandahar, Kabul)($350 million); Projects include airfields, buildings, and other infrastructure.
-- USACE is providing support/technical staff, hydropower/water resource studies, school/clinic refurbishment, roads, and women's hospital renovation. Potential for much more work in the near term ($16 M).

Source: HQ, US Army Corps of Engineers

Oh yeah... and the Corps has been busy doing other things, too:

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Environmentalism is Winning, Army Training is Losing

Here's more info on the state of affairs from Joan D.B. VanDervort of the Army Training Directorate, Headquarters, Department of the Army.

But first...

A reasonable person might think that our military training would be exempt from most, if not all, environmental regulations. The fact is this: The military is subject to more environmental restrictions than any other entity in the United States of America. This is having a devastating effect on military training -- most especially, Army training.

Most of the environmental restrictions on military reservations stop at the reservation boundary. In other words, the civilian communities and land are not under such environmental restrictions as the military. You and I know why, too. There'd be an uprising. But in the military, you salute and say yessir... for the most part.

Where in the hell are the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee on all of this? I'll tell you where -- they are on their asses and they have been sitting on their asses for years while the environmentalists wreak havoc on military training.

We are at war, but it matters not to the environmentalists and the politically correct. In fact, they are doing the work of our enemies -- weakening our national security.

"If something affects training, it affects readiness. If it affects readiness, it affects warfighting. If it affects warfighting, it affects national security."
Who said it?.... why ol' Monk did. It's just plain ol' common sense.

Now, on with the show:

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Speaker Notes

Deployments have increased 300% in the past 10 years
Work force reduced 40%

Ships deployed on any given day have increased 52% in the past 6 years
Work force reduced by 1/3

Air Force
Deployments have quadrupled since 1986
Work force reduced by 1/3

Guard & Reserve
Days served increased 13 fold over the past 10 years
Last year - 235,000 deployed overseas, average 19 days
325,000 deployed for counter drug ops & disasters, average 22 days

Speaker Notes

Our military forces must be able to move faster, shoot straighter and communicate better than our enemies – that is what wins wars. Our ability to develop and field winning weapon systems, and to train our people under realistic, challenging conditions, is what makes our Armed Forces what they are today.

We possess unique advantages – our nation has always dedicated the air, land, sea and frequency spectrum needed to keep our armed forces the best in the world, and we have the necessary political and cultural support to keep our forces strong.

The United States' military strength rests in large part on the foundation of our superior test and training capabilities. Failure to train properly has been shown in many ways to degrade military readiness. In conflict, inadequately trained soldiers die first, and improperly tested equipment fails when least expected.

The American people demand ready Armed Forces that win when called upon and come home to their families. Realistic training is essential to this mission.

Speaker Notes

All branches of the Armed Forces are faced with pressures from a variety of diverse interests. Tension exists between government agencies, special interest groups, environmentalists and native American tribes and ourselves, the military.

Our duty involves protecting current and projected need for the development and fielding of the next generation of weapons, tactics and training of our forces. This will involve more not less space specifically designated for these uses.

Since the inception of the training range system during and following WWII, the military has lost half of its space to conduct training. Encroachment, in its many forms has impacted Training and Readiness, and will continue to do so unless we are successful in protecting our assets.

We all know the problems we face in our individual areas. How these problems are dealt with are of great import to the rest of us. Agreements made in one area of the United States sets precedent for us all. This point is of paramount importance.

The need to identify what we require to complete our training mission and stop this downward trend in Readiness is critical. In order to protect these valuable assets, we all must acknowledge what is important. Then get our message heard, and prevail in shielding these assets from encroachment, shutdown or loss.

Speaker Notes

Threatened, Endangered & Sensitive Species (TES)

Land holdings in millions of acres is shown in green on this chart. The Burea of Land Management, US Forest Service, National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service land holdings far exceed that of DoD. Yet, DoD lands have more threatened and endangered species than any other federal land holder.

Ain't this slide grand? My take on it is that Army Training is going the way of the dinosaurs due to Environmental Correctness.

Speaker Notes

Encroachment tends to shrink the capability of installations to support both maneuver and live fire training at a time when doctrinal distances for maneuver units are expanding.

The doctrinal maneuver box for transformation brigades has been established as is shown here with Fort Hood placed to scale inside this maneuver box.

Although Fort Hood has not been identified as a site for a transformation brigade, as one of FORSCOM's larger installations, this points to the problem other smaller installations may experience in training the future force.


Loss of training or testing space

-- Conflicts with seemingly inflexible laws or rules (such as ESA Critical habitat; MMPA harassment; MBTA permits) curtail access

Increasingly unrealistic training options

-- Cumulative effects of workarounds to satisfy regulatory dictates are "death by a thousand paper cuts"

Disproportionate compliance burden

-- DoD lands increasingly carry conservation responsibilities for surrounding areas

Evolving legal interpretations raise future concerns

-- Military training activities are increasingly being scrutinized under environmental laws designed for other contexts


Balance National Defense with environmental mandates. [Ed. Which is exactly ASS BACKWARDS!]

Clarify existing environmental statutes, regulations and policies.

Promote DoD's ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and long-term range sustainment:

-- Seek expanded authorities for mutually beneficial partnerships that limit incompatible development and habitat destruction near our installations

-- Work with State governors, communities and NGOs to ensure more effective and compatible land use planning around military lands

Speaker Notes

These are just a few of the examples. By no means is this a comprehensive list of all the installations both in CONUS and OCONUS where our training is impacted by increasing environmental compliance restrictions heightened by growing populations pressures and special interests groups.

We have been particularly hard hit by compliance with the Endangered Species Act, Noise, and Clean Air requirements and we see an upward trend in the restrictions that are impacting training.

What looms on the horizon that could impact the Army's ability to carry out it's Title 10 mission is the application of certain environmental statutes to Unexploded Ordinance (UXO) and munitions on active ranges, specifically the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This issue is still new and not an environmental compliance issue that we have really had to face until recently.

Both CERCLA and RCRA application to UXO on ranges coupled with the recent application of the Safe Drinking Water Act to clean-up UXO present an imminent threat to training.

Impact on Training – Example 1



Clean Air Act -
Restrictions on Smoke Training

Impact on Training

Air Quality Restrictions

Ft. Carson:
-- Prohibition on training with graphite smoke.
-- Prohibition on use of smoke w/in 3km along boundary

Ft. Hood:
-- Artillery fire, smoke, & riot control grenades prohibited w/in 100 meters of "core areas" = 46,620 acres

Ft Leonard Wood
-- Certain METL tasks cannot be trained [Ed. METL = Mission Essential Tasks List]

Impact on Training - Example 2

Endangered Species:

Critical Habitat: Designation limits use of maneuver space

Makua Valley: Training Restrictions based on NEPA & Jeopardy Opinion

Ft. Hood: 33% of training land is protected bird habitat
-- no digging; no tree or brush cutting
-- March - Aug dismounted maneuver restricted
-- Site occupations limited to two hours

Ft. Lewis: 72% designated critical habitat for northern spotted owl; no owls on installation [Ed. Do you fucking believe this? Believe it!]

Fts Bragg, Stewart, & Benning: training restrictions due to RCW [Ed. Red Cockaded Woodpecker]

Speaker Notes

Fort Irwin, CA: Critical habitat designation limits use of available maneuver space and prevents Army from training as it will fight.

Since 1992, over 22,000 acres of Fort Irwin has been designated critical habitat for the Desert tortoise and is not available for maneuver training.

In 1985, Army identified a requirement for additional land area at Fort Irwin and began land withdrawal process. The process has been delayed for over 15 years, primarily due to the presence of Desert tortoise (threatened) and Lane Mountain milkvetch (endangered). Congress authorized a 110,000 acre withdrawal on Dec 01 but use of the land is contingent on ESA Section 7 Consultation and NEPA documentation.

Congress has authorized $75 million to acquire and manage additional land exclusively for preservation of Desert tortoise and to mitigate impacts to the tortoise on NTC. (Only after the Army implements this mitigation will we be allowed to use of the 22,000 acres of tortoise CH on Fort Irwin.)

In addition, the Lane Mountain Milkvetch exists on significant portions of NTC and the land expansion – much of it directly in the path of proposed maneuver training corridor. These areas also have the possibility of being designated CH. USFW is currently evaluating what actions need to be taken. Further training restrictions and mitigation requirements are unclear at this point.

Speaker Notes

Based largely on the excellent habitat management programs documented in the Fort Carson Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan (INRMP), USFWS chose not designate critical habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl on the installation.

However, a federal district court in Arizona recently decided USFWS' approval of integrated natural resource management plans to provide adequate habitat protection in lieu of "special management considerations" to avoid CH designation is unlawful.

In light of this ruling, USFWS is likely to revisit the decision to exclude owl habitat on Fort Carson.
CH designation could result in additional training restrictions and additional requirements to enter into consultation for actions impacting CH.

Speaker Notes
Endangered Species on Fort Bragg: This slide describes the management requirements associated with Red-cockaded Woodpecker at Fort Bragg, NC. The small inset map illustrates the extent that cavity tree clusters cover Fort Bragg, NC.

-- The Army manages the RCW on 7 major training installations in the southeast. When first managed (1991), the restrictions were very severe and there was no maneuver training allowed within 200 feet around each cavity tree. This amounted to certain areas being taken out of training use. The restrictions introduced unacceptable artificiality to the way units would select their maneuver routes when training for tactical movements, assaulting objectives, and conducting attacks.

-- Through extensive study of the RCW, the Army was able to demonstrate that military maneuver was consistent with species protection. We essentially "proved the negative." The Army accomplished research establishing that military impacts on RCW are not as significant as previously believed. The Army has invested $48 million in RCW management since 1990. The net result of all this effort is that RCW populations have increased on all Army installations, and the restrictions on training have been reduced. This was all accomplished without critical habitat designation.

-- In the future, we hope to eliminate all area restrictions and only protect the trees themselves. This would maximize training realism and continue protection of the species.

The story of Fort Bragg illustrates two basic points:

1. Without balanced and thoughtful application, the requirements of the Endangered Species Act can severely restrict training at Army ranges.

2. The Army can work with regulatory agencies to strike the proper balance and manage resources for military training and species protection without the designation of Critical Habitat.

Impact on Training - Example 3

Cultural Resource Issues

Restrictions on digging defensive positions without cultural resource surveys
- Associated funding issues

Open cultural sites in training areas can impact freedom of maneuver
-- Ft Irwin 3500 acres restricted
-- Areas can't always be seen with night vision devises or thermal sights

Ft. Bliss has over 3,000 cultural sites off-limits to training!!!

Impact on Training - Example 4

Noise Issues

Over Past 5 Years, $60M in Claims Filed, $25M Paid

Problem Centers Around Urban Encroachment

-- Ft. Carson = $3.3M Noise Lawsuit
-- Noise as Training Distracter on USR (Ft. Stewart)
-- Limitations to Blast Type Noise at Night
-- "Quiet Hours" Imposed due to Civilian Complaints
-- Aviation Flight Routes Altered (Ft. Campbell)

Impact on Training – Example 5

UXO and Munitions Constituents

Ft. Richardson:
Litigation sought to shut down live-fire.
-- Citizen suit under RCRA; CERCLA & CWA
-- Plaintiffs claim firing munitions in tng violates all 3 laws
-- Would impact 172nd Infantry BDE

MMR shut down of training under CERCLA
-- potential contamination of sole source aquifer

End of show


See also:
When Woodpeckers Rule The World
It's Not Just The Woodpeckers
Enviro-Assault On National Security: A Case Study

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The American Thinker: Jesus and Muhammad

Dr. James Arlandson provides an in-depth look at the differences between Jesus and Muhammad in a 2-part article for The American Thinker.

Jesus and Muhammad: Major Differences (1)

Jesus and Muhammad: Major Differences (2)

He offers 15 differences and discusses each. Below, I extracted the differences (minus the discussion). Click on the links above to read the articles in their entirety.

Some Muslims say that Jesus was a mere human messenger even within Islam—never mind that he lived six hundred years before Islam. He and Muhammad are virtually the same. Both preached peace, but called for the sword when necessary.

But in the final analysis Muhammad is the last and best prophet. He has the better revelation. If only we could see this! So goes the subtle strategy.

However, this list of fifteen differences between Jesus and Muhammad disagrees with this insidious message. The differences between the two are profound.

It is better to be clear than confused. The frequently preached message of Islam washes away clarity about Christianity and whitewashes its own message.

One: Personal sin

One suffered from sin. The other was sinless.


Two: Confronting Satan

One nervously seeks refuge from Satan. The other had complete confidence and authority.


Three: Small-scale violence

One killed mockers and enemies. The other rises above such violence.


Four: Religious freedom

One suppressed it. The other permits it.


Five: Large-scale Violence

One launched the first Crusade. The other ordains preaching alone.


Six: Martyrdom

One promises earthly and heavenly rewards for dying in a holy war. The other says his “martyrdom” promises his followers heaven.


Seven: Wealth

One took it by force. The other resisted this temptation.

Eight: Marriage

One allowed polygamy and had many wives. The other says one man and one woman is best.


Nine: Dealing with Sexual Sin

One ordered flogging and execution. The other offers forgiveness and restoration.


Ten: Miracles

One worked no miracles. The other works many of them, even today.


Eleven: Bible Prophecy

One is not mentioned or prophesied in the Bible. The other fulfills prophecy.


Twelve: The Spirit

One restricts and confuses the doctrine of the Spirit. The other freely offers the Spirit as a full Person.


Thirteen: Their Roles and Natures

One is only human. The other is both fully human and fully divine.


Fourteen: Their deaths

One died of sickness aggravated by poison. The other died on the cross for the sins of the world.


Fifteen: Occupied Tomb, Empty Tomb

One still lies in his. The other was resurrected.


Dr. Arlandson teaches introductory philosophy and world religions at a college in southern California. You can find more of his work at Answering Islam. Be sure to read his Why I write hard-hitting articles on Islam.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Diana Irey for Congress

She's running against Jack Murtha.

Oh hell yeah.

Her website.

Her press conference.

Buying It On Basil Time

Now young guns, pay attention to this advice that basil is giving away for free [I'd charge ya for it]:

Recently, mentioned that I got a PDA. And, no, the Wife wasn't happy with it. But, with a change in duties at work, I'm having to attend a lot more meetings, and a PDA comes in handy. What with the ability to synchronize with my calendar at work, and transferring documents that I can take with me as needed, and such. Still, the Wife wasn't happy with it. And I knew she wouldn't be happy with it. But I got it anyway.

Also, recently, I got a TiVo. And again, the Wife wasn't happy with it. But I knew she wouldn't be happy with it. Still, I got it anyway.

So, the question is, why would a guy go and buy something he knows he's gonna catch hell about?

Simple. I'm a guy. And that's what guys do.

The trick is knowing that you're going to catch hell about it … and timing things to minimize the effect.

Read on

Just make sure she doesn't read on.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ahmadinejad: Intelligent and Dangerous Foe

From Robert Ferrigno, the author of Prayers for the Assassin:

I had never heard of Ahmadinejad until he was elected president of Iran in late 2005. Then his speeches started getting international coverage, and it seemed like what he was saying came straight out of the pages of Prayers for the Assassin [ed. linked in the sidebar and here]. He blamed the Jews for everything, threatened to eradicate Israel, and, most interesting to me, he spoke of the imminent return of the Mahdi, the Twelfth Imam and the creation of a Caliphate (a major theme of Prayers) which would dominate the world. Ahmadinejad made it clear that he was willing to use nuclear weapons to achieve his spiritual and political goals. Most of the American press quickly pronounced Ahmadinejad a fool, a nut, a puppet of the Mullahs designed to frighten the gullible. I thought the press and the politicians were wrong then, and I think they’re even more wrong following the release of the 18-page letter Ahmadinejad wrote to president Bush a few weeks ago. Commentators on the left, right and every spot in between have found the letter risible, with Jon Stewart having perhaps the most fun with the flowery language used by Ahmadinejad to address Bush — “As your Excellency is aware…” Funny stuff, to be sure, particularly if you overlook the fact that Persian is a 2,000 year old language with a tradition of poetic imagery. Not to be a buzz-kill, or anything.

Rather than a source of entertainment, I consider Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be the most intelligent and dangerous foe the US faces. Not the Mullahs who currently hold power in Iran, and whose machinations put him in office. My reasons for concern about Ahmadinejad are based on the character and deportment of the man himself, his religious beliefs, and the “true” recipient of the letter ostensibly written to Bush. The common US media portrayal of Ahmadinejad as a grandiose bumpkin and the letter as mere rambling is a dangerous mistake. I would remind those making such assessments that Hitler appeared ridiculous for a long time, a skinny little man with a toothbrush moustache and a look of perpetual constipation. Idi Amin was also considered a buffoon, a late night comic’s easy joke. Ask the dead how funny these men are.

Read it all

Ferrigno's book is a must read. The companion website is awesome.

I Seriously Doubt This Drudge Headline


That it is going to be a New York Times Page One story tomorrow makes it even more suspect.


Here's the NYT story U.S. Said to Weigh a New Approach on North Korea

Here's my initial take:

1. It's a recommendation from the dithering diplomats at the State Department, not a change in policy.
2. We might talk peace treaty IF North Korea gives up its nukes.

North Korea will view any departure from our current policy as a sign of weakness. Condi needs to get her people by the shorthairs and threaten to fire the next one who discloses internal discussions to the press. This is not a trial balloon from Condi. She's too smart for that. This is from some underling whose self-esteem is so low that he/she needs validation from the NYT.

UPDATE (5/18/06, 5:15pm CDT):

While Matt Drudge realizes that the MSM often use him to pimp a story, he doesn't seem to mind. Sometimes he just throws it up there to see if it'll stick. If he adds the revolving red-blue light, it's a good indication that he thinks the story is huge. If the story turns out to have legs, he will carry it for a couple of days with other reports from Reuters, AP, Breitbart, etc.

But if the story is a dog that won't hunt, Drudge pretty quickly let's it die. Thus, you will now see no trace of late last night's headline on his active page.

I wish he would be more discerning about his headlines and the red-blue light thing, but then he's the one with gazillions of hits a day and I'm just a monk.


From Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough, Inside The Ring, Friday, May 19, 2006:

Kim Jong-Hill

Bush administration officials say Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, a leading advocate of conducting peace talks with North Korea, has gone overboard in taking a conciliatory line on the regime in Pyongyang, as part of an effort to coax the communist regime back to the now-stalled six-part talks on its nuclear program.

One senior administration official said Mr. Hill's pro-North Korea bent has bordered on appeasement. Insiders say they privately are calling the diplomat in charge of the State Department's Asia policy "Kim Jong-Hill," after North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

Mr. Hill has sought to block or slow President Bush's tougher posture toward North Korea that includes placing more restrictions on Pyongyang for its illegal activities, including currency counterfeiting, illegal drug trafficking and other sub rosa activities.

Christopher "Kim Jong" Hill

Friday, May 12, 2006

Monk To Marry Mary Katharine Ham

As soon as she says "Heck Yeah".

And why wouldn't she??


So what brought on this Merry Mad Moment®?

This ratchere:

I am all sincerity when I say that my love for limited government is born of compassion. I went to inner-city public schools. As a result, I had a lot of experience with the ins and outs of social programs from an early age. I saw what they did to weaken the family structure--particularly the black family-- which in turn hurt my fellow students' chances of succeeding in school. I saw how the class warfare rhetoric of those who supported such programs was a contributing factor to the sad state of race relations in my city.

I recognized that a public housing program that gave away plaques and held ceremonies for people who had lived in the projects the longest might not be the best way to encourage citizens to take charge of their lives. And, I eventually realized that it was not wrong to wish more for people than a government handout when our country has so much more to offer. Because, from what I saw, the programs that sought to help many of the people I grew up with were the very things that hurt them most of all.

I really, honestly, truly believe that every American citizen and the light of the American spirit has a better chance of surviving and thriving outside the giant, clumsy snuffer the federal government likes to call "assistance."

Yes, people need help sometimes. They need a safety net, but I just think the federal government is very good at saying its helping and not so good at actually helping.

So, why is it so bad at it? I think it's because the federal government is so daggone big! Seriously, no one knows what's going on up here. It's so big that no one even bothers checking to see whether programs are working or not.

Some are pushing an idea-- that Bush, to his credit, has backed in the past-- to form a sunset commission, which would evaluate federal programs, identify the failing and the redundant, and then ask Congress to vote up-or-down on whether those programs should continue to exist. Many folks outside the Beltway would think we probably already do this. It's common sense, right?

Nah! Not in D.C., y'all. As of last year, these were some of the redundancies in the federal government, according to The Heritage Foundation:

- 342 economic development programs
- 130 programs serving the disabled
- 130 programs serving at-risk youth
- 90 early childhood development programs
- 75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange
- 72 federal programs dedicated to assuring safe water
- 50 homeless assistance programs

You think maybe, just maybe, there's something we could cut in there? You think just one or two of those programs might disappear and we wouldn't notice the difference? And, wouldn't improving the efficiency of those programs be good, not only for current and future taxpayers, but for the people the programs serve?

Read it all.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Next Director of the CIA?

For the Record:

If it's Mary Margaret Graham... we can kiss reform of the CIA goodbye.

One word best describes Mary Margaret: BUREAUCRAT. Her picture should be next to that word in the dictionary.

I can think of worse choices (David Shedd comes to mind) for Director, Central Intelligence Agency... but not much worse.

We (this nation) need a tough-as-nails leader and an innovative thinker at the CIA if we want to fix what's wrong with that agency. What we do NOT need is a BUREAUCRAT.

I'm not sold on General Mike Hayden. He was a good DIRNSA (Director, National Security Agency), but the CIA is another animal altogether. Some senators on the Senate Select Committee for Intelligence have expressed concern that GEN Hayden would be the wrong pick because he's military. That's not the concern I have.

Military or civilian -- we need someone who will kick ass on BUREAUCRATS and LEAKERS and who will let the clandestine side of the house do what needs to be done to help defeat the Islamists.


UPDATE: Today, the President nominated General Hayden.

General Michael V. Hayden

RELATED 5/12/2006:

Jed Babbin talks with Richard Miniter about the CIA

Both of these men know what they're talking about.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Janet Hale, Department of Homeland Security

Now ain't this a daisy? From Drudge comes this pointer to a Washington Post story that is just ... just ... something:

Prostitution Alleged In Cunningham Case, Investigators Focus on Limo Company

So how does Janet Hale fit into this, Monk? I'm gettin' to that part.

Our tax dollars are paying for a convicted criminal to provide limo service to senior officials of the Department of Homeland Security -- the same limo service that is transporting whores to hook up with congressmen.

Christopher D. Baker, president of Shirlington Limousine and Transportation Inc., has a lengthy criminal record that includes drug possession, attempted petty larceny, attempted robbery and car theft. Christopher D. Baker has had huge financial problems - both personal and business.

The Department of Homeland Security rewarded Mr. Baker with two contracts worth about 25 million dollars.


Mr. Baker appears to have been the sole bidder for the contract under a government PRO-graaaaaaaaam that LIMITS COMPETITION to businesses in poor neighborhoods. How nice and politically correct!

Janet Hale is the Undersecretary for Management at DHS. She is responsible for budget, appropriations, expenditure of funds, accounting and finance; procurement; human resources and personnel; information technology systems; facilities, property, equipment, and other material resources; and identification and tracking of performance measurements relating to the responsibilities of the Department.

Janet Hale was the person who approved spending 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS of OUR MONEY on a convict who has an extensive criminal history.

How Proud She Must Be

So yeah, I'm pretty pissed off at Janet Hale about that.

But what is just damn near unbelievable is that this involves the Department of Homeland Security -- at a time when we are at war with savages who just a few years ago slaughtered thousands of our fellow citizens. Savages who are NOT done with killing us. Savages who demand that we either convert to their twisted religious ideology or die by the sword of Islam.

How much easier can we make it for the savages of al-Qaeda?! Afterall, they are NOT stupid savages. Hell, just start a limo service in a poor neighborhood and Janet Hale and the Department of Homeland Security will award you 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS to transport their senior officials.

Don't even get me started about why we're paying 25 FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS for limo service.

It's not hard to get our heads around that kind of money when we think of what "only one million dollars" will buy.

For instance, "only one million dollars" will buy about 25 of these:

Hell, Janet, just give me 25 of those bad boys and my retired buddies and I will transport your pathetic asses for free. We all have Special Background Investigations and we are all trained marksmen. What more could you ask for??

And Janet, if you're reading this and take me up on my offer, throw in one of these for the team leader (me):

500 horsepower, 8.3-liter, Viper-powered V-10, fire engine-red, Dodge Ram pickup truck

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Selling Out the Security of Our Nation

I spent 2 decades as an intelligence officer. I have never seen anything remotely close to this present trend of intelligence personnel deliberately leaking/blabbing secrets to the press.

To you sonofabitches who are leaking our national security information, KNOW THIS:

You aren't fit to be in the United States Intelligence Community and you aren't fit to enjoy the freedoms of this country. Your days of freedom are numbered. You are going to be brought to justice. The ongoing investigation of unauthorized disclosures at the CIA is just the tip of the iceberg. Each agency in the US Intelligence Community has been charged with rooting you out.

For those of you who are EVEN thinking about following in the footsteps of the despicable people who disgrace the US Intelligence Community and endanger this country, I want you to think again and think really hard.

The American people will have no sympathy for you. The media might give you your 15 minutes of fame, but beyond that the media ain't got a vote. Your butt-buddy reporter won't be able to help you.

The fine men and women of the USIC who bust their asses day in and day out, 24/7/365, doing their best to help protect us... well, they definitely won't have any sympathy for you for obvious reasons.

We The People are sick and tired of our national security being put at risk by our fellow Americans. We're demanding that our elected leaders take action. A few months ago, a fire was lit under some asses in the White House, the Senate and the House. They are feeling the heat and that's why you leakers (criminals) are starting to feel the heat.

Former and retired members of the USIC can help educate the public. We can get on our soapboxes -- big boxes and small boxes (like this one) -- to get the word out that there is never a good reason for unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information. We need to let the American people know in the plainest words possible that there are procedures in place for intelligence personnel to air their concerns without violating the law and without endangering national security. Going to The Washington Post or The New York Times is not among those procedures.

If an intelligence officer/agent/analyst believes it is necessary to raise an issue, he can go to his boss. If that doesn't work, he can go to his boss's boss and on up the chain. If that doesn't work, he can go to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and/or the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Both committees are made up of Republicans AND Democrats. In other words, he'll find someone to listen ... and he will not be breaking the law or compromising national security.

The United States Intelligence Community is made up of 15 agencies:

- Army Intelligence
- Navy Intelligence
- Marine Corps Intelligence
- Air Force Intelligence
- United States Coast Guard
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Defense Intelligence Agency
- Department of Homeland Security
- Energy Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
- National Reconnaissance Office
- National Security Agency
- State Department
- Treasury Department

The Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is the President's principal advisor for national security intelligence matters and he is the leader/manager of the United States Intelligence Community.

Who is the big boss of all this?

The President of the United States (through his National Security Council)

Who has oversight?

The United States Congress --- specifically:

the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence


the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The vast majority of people in the US Intelligence Community are great guys. They work hard to protect us. What they do is very serious business. The USIC is not the Social Security Administration or the Department of Agriculture. That's not a knock on those or other agencies. It's just to say that when mistakes are made in government agencies outside the USIC, the result is usually not disastrous for the nation. It is an unhappy fact that mistakes made by the USIC agencies are, inevitably, paid for in blood.

When USIC people "leak" (the legal and proper term is "disclose without authorization") classified information to the press, they are not making a mistake -- they are very deliberately selling us down the river. They are not only breaking the law; by giving away our nation's secrets, they are endangering our lives. Ultimately, we will pay for their treachery with our blood.

We are at war with ruthless enemies who want to bend us to their will. If our enemies think that slaughtering several million of us will help their cause, they will not hesitate to try. They are savages. Call 'em whatever else you want, but never forget the savagery they have demonstrated time and time again.

Our grandchildren will probably be fighting this war. It's not going away anytime soon. We will be hit again. It's going to happen as surely as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

We can't have people in our Intelligence Community making it easier for the savages to kill us.

Giving away our secrets has got to stop. The ones doing it must be caught, prosecuted, and punished -- severely. To the maximum extent of the law.


Unauthorized Disclosure
Able Danger: Tony Shaffer Talks...and talks and talks and talks
Slaughter Of The Innocents


Another way of looking at this:

Imagine that 5 years ago a terrible crime was committed against your family. It has haunted you ever since. If you stop too long to think about it, it tears you to pieces. You doubt you will ever get over it. You still grieve. You'll always grieve for her.

After you lost her, you were determined that nothing like that would happen to your family again. You did everything that you knew to do to protect your home and family. You did more than most people do.

When you had your home security system installed, you could barely afford it, but you felt strongly that you couldn't afford not to have it. A friend was there with you as the workers from the security company installed the various sensors and alarms. You confided in him that you weren't sure you could trust these men or anyone else; and he reassured you that you could and should trust these men and their company. He told you about the time when he worked with them...that he trusted them then -- he trusted them with his life -- and that he had no reason not to trust them now.

In addition to your home security system, you raised and trained two German Shepherds whose bloodlines were traced to the best security dogs in the world. You armed yourself with a shotgun, a rifle and several pistols. You made sure you knew how to use them. You and your spouse practiced firing your weapons at least once a week. You had the local police, fire and medical numbers on speed dial on your landline phones as well as your cellphones. You practiced "what if" scenarios. You had a safe room in your house....

Yet now, you wonder if any of that really mattered.

Two weeks ago, your house was burglarized. You and your children were away on vacation. You didn't learn about the burglary from the security company or the local police. You learned about it when you entered your house and reached to disarm the security system only to notice that it was already disarmed -- completely. Even the backup wireless system. Your electricity was off. Your landline phones had been disabled. Your two German Shepherds lay dead in the yard. Your house a wreck. Everything of any value gone.

Today, you learned from the police that they had charged two suspects with the burgalry of your home. That was the good news. The bad news was that police interrogation revealed that the suspects were aided by an employee of your security company -- a disgruntled employee who leaked the details of your security setup to a reporter for your local paper and the paper published the information ... on the internet. It was the same paper that, 5 years ago, covered the ghastly crime against your family -- the rape and murder of your daughter.

Can you imagine how you would feel? what you would want done? what you might want to do to those responsible?

It may not be the best of analogies, but I think it adds perspective.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Microsoft, Your Slip Is Showing (Passion)

Microsoft recently announced that it's follow-on to Windows XP will ship later than planned. The revamped OS, Vista, is not ready. It won't be ready until 2007.

Some Microsoft employees, specifically the Windows team, are letting the world know what they really think about that slippage.

It's a thing of beauty... their passion, that is. More on that in a moment.

I've been a huge fan of Microsoft for a lot of reasons -- a big one: the people at Microsoft have changed the world. They continue, today, to chart an historical, world-changing course. How many people (outside the United States Armed Forces) can say that? And the change has overwhelmingly been for the better, IMHO.

I've never owned a MacIntosh. I did train on an Apple IIe once upon a time back when I was computer illiterate. My experience with the Apple IIe contributed immeasurably to my "remain computer illiterate and preserve your sanity by staying away from anything with a once-bitten apple thingy on it" attitude.

That attitude stayed with me for another 10 years. I saw my first Mac at about the same time I saw my first Windows-based PC. Somebody was working up briefing charts on a Mac for the monthly training conference. I was sitting nearby doing my charts the old-fashioned way: butcher paper and viewgraphs.

The guy on the Mac was mumbling about how much better Mac's graphical something or other was compared to Windows. It was all Greek to me. His slides sure were pretty, though. That's what I remember mostly... and me thinking, "Damn, that thing's got one of those 'once-bitten apple thingy' logos on it" ... and ... "For an infantry officer, he sure is acting pretty gay about that computer."

And oh yeah, the Commanding General was impressed by the 1st Cavalry Division patch and motto on each and every slide. That Mac guy started a revolution within the headquarters of 1st Cav -- a cheese revolution and by default, a Windows revolution.

The Army had mostly Windows PCs and anyone who wanted their slides to be as pretty as the Mac guy's needed to learn Windows and something called Harvard Graphics (I stuck with my butcher paper and handwritten viewgraphs during this revolution and was promoted to Major anyway). Briefings got so pretty that the mice used to stand around with little signs that read, "Please feed me. 1st Cav stole all the cheese." OK, I didn't actually see the mice holding up signs....

This was also the birth of the Mac vs (Windows-based) PC "war" for me. It bored me to tears back then and still does. Look, they're both great. You fall into one camp or the other mostly because you started out working on one or the other, loved one or the other -- or hated one or the other and switched to one or the other. That's about it, isn't it? Well, that ain't war. That's freedom to choose.

Unless, of course, you work for either Microsoft or Apple... then it's fully macking, thermo-digital, trench warfare.

And this partly explains the passion of the comments you will read on this post at Mini-Microsoft.

Skewering the Microsoft leadership. Calling for heads to roll. Frustration. Disgust. Dark humor. Cynicism. Optimism. Pessimism. Rage. Love. Hate.

Another reason -- big reason -- why the Microsoft commenters are so passionate: They give a damn. Whatever else you may think about their comments, their Give-A-Damn meter is registering in the Green. Sure, it may seem like I've got it ass backwards and they're pegged out in the dreaded Red zone.

I'm sure a few are indeed red-zoning, but what I see mostly are folks who want to to be the best. They want their team to be the best. They are proud people. They are winners. They hate the thought of losing -- in any endeavor... to any person or thing.

The people who work for Microsoft are not only some of the best minds in the computer industry, they give a damn about what they do. That is a good thing.

Whatever leadership/management problems are festering at Microsoft and within the Windows division, specifically (and there do seem to be problems), surely no leader/manager wakes up in the morning saying, "Lemme see how I can fuck up things today". [to which, I imagine, there are some on Mini-Microsoft who would reply, "Yes, they do. And stop calling me Shirley."]

It's more likely that the leadership/management problems can be attributed to the Peter Principle:

"In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."

In this specific case, one might say that the road to Vista slippage was paved with the good intentions of some incompetent leaders/managers.

In other words, there's nothing broke that can't be fixed with competent leaders. If BillG is reading the comments on that blog, I hope he's not tone deaf. If so, he'll miss the good that I and (I'm sure) others see... and then he'll probably do something stupid like try to go after the blog owner and commenters.

Seems to me that it would be better for Microsoft if its workers felt free to vent on a blog on the company's intranet. Leadership needs this type of honest feedback. The organization would be better for it. And the Mac people would be munching on popcorn while watching "24" DVDs, rather than munching on popcorn while watching Microsoft folks munch on one another.