29 November 2007

Thought for the morning

So last night, my wife is in a craptastic mood after dinking around her LJ Friend's list, and I was curious as to why. Digging through it, I found two examples of deliberate falsehoods. By weird coincidence, both were in relation to homosexuality.

First, we have the so-called Matthew Sheppard Act, which is a thought-crime legislation declaring heterosexuals less worthy of legal protection than homosexuals.

The funny thing about the so-called "Act" is that it is not actually a bill in Congress, it is an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill. The Defense Appropriations bill is hung up in committee, and the riders are in jeopardy. I personally believe that attaching amendments to unrelated legislation because they have not got the support to pass on their own is a travesty, but one which is sadly a feature of the American legislative process.

But what's funny is that this person, who cares enough to link to a petition, doesn't care enough to read the petition which identifies it as an amendment to the DoD appropriations bill. Deliberate deception, or intellectual laziness? Your call. . .

Next is the issue of Col. (Ret) Kerr, USAR. The story is spun (not likely be the source I link too, but there are no source links) as a "retired general" with 41 years of service who came out of the closet after retirement, being booed by the horrible audience to the Republican presidential debate.

Again, key facts are misrepresented.

First, COL Kerr is not a United States Army general with 43 years of service, he was a colonel with 26 years of reserve service and 7 of active, presuming no break in service--his bio is unclear. His general's rank is in the California State Military Reserve, a 'state guard' organization. Second, he was openly living with his homosexual partner, an Episcopal minister, for the last ten years he was in the Army Reserves. These facts are from his biography at the SLDN. Third, he is a member of Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign. Note that he is correctly identified by rank in the listing of committee members.

Funny. . .

27 November 2007

Linky Love

Powerpoint Ranger, written by a New York NG NCO is just getting started, but is amusing and has a great deal of potential. South-Park-like animation style, but I think he found an ACU pattern fill somewhere.

Anyway, I'm not sure all the jokes translate to civvie-speak, but I find them amusing.

Going in the blogroll.

22 November 2007


Let me say once and for all:

It does not make any sense to me why on earth I turn on the radio and hear some idiot pontificating against Barack Obama because he admitted being a 'goof off' in high school who drank and used drugs.

I think Obama would be a lousy president. But that is 100% due to the fact that I have overwhelming contempt for his foreign policy, not what he did years ago when a stupid, confused kid.

Some people's priorities are screwed up. There is too much of real importance happening in the world for this crap to be noticed.

I bet most folks missed this story. Undoubtedly it will eventually be spun as the United State's negative impact on the Iraqi Emergency Services sector, just like the gravedigger story.

Meanwhile, Congress can't pass an appropriations bill for us. 'Us' being the Defense Department, of course. This is going to Suck. No so much for me--they Have to pay me. But I really don't think yanking funding out from under the DoD is the brightest thing the Congresscritters have done lately. We'll see how it gets worked out. I'm betting on an eleventh-hour compromise done without any fanfare which quietly gives George Bush his way .


How about another non-story? There are people out there who vocally insist that the rest of the world views us as evil war-mongers and that electing George Bush was bad for our economy, primarily our tourism sector. Another myth debunked by the good folks out at the Democracy Project. I love the internet. It's the only way outright lies spread by those who sympathize with the enemy can be stopped.

One story which actually is a story revolves around Pasadena Texas, where a proper Texan used a shotgun to explain the concept of property rights to two scumbags who have a record of ignoring niceties like legal ownership. They did not survive the discussion. Hoo-friggin-ya, Mr. Horn. If I were your neighbor, I'd be covering as much of your legal fees as I could afford. This is what made America great, and the main reason I'm glad I don't live in some Blue State with gun laws which would prohibit Mr. Horn owning a shotgun or using it to defend life and property.

20 November 2007

And Some Perspective

So the Associated Press is telling you that desertion is reaching epidemic proportions in the US Army this year.

Here's what they aren't telling you.

1) Desertion rates are not up measurably. Desertion rates, like every other major criminal statistic in a fairly small population, fluctuate from year to year. The only way to spin the story the way the Associated Press does is to take a low year as the baseline and measure a high year compared to that low baseline.

2) If you take desertion rates back to 1994, the year with the highest rate is 2000, at 9.50 per 1,000. 1999 and 2001 are not much different.

3) In 2003, the desertion rate was approximately the same as it was this year, 7.6.

4) During World War II, which even the leftists hold up as the "good war" fought with "popular support" by the "greatest generation" (because even the lowest, most doctrinaire Communist cannot object to a war which fought actual fascists alongside the Soviet Union and did so by nationalizing the entire economy) the desertion rate averaged 63 per 1,000. That's about 9 times as high as the desertion rate this year.

5) I do not begin to address the confusion evident on the part of the incompetent correspondent as to the difference between fiscal and calendar years, or between AWOL status and Desertion.


I don't know any stronger curses.

I wish folks like this had to live in Iraq after we leave, should we do so prematurely. Might give them some damn perspective. I believe the Romans were fond of using proscription as a punishment for conspiracies against the Republic for this reason.

Citizen Soldiers, by 3 Doors Down

14 November 2007

And the Beat Goes On

According to Investor's Business Daily (WTF?) Iraq news coverage has dropped almost as fast as the casualty rate.

For the first time in months — in fact, since the U.S. troop surge was put in place in June — coverage of U.S. policy in Iraq does not rank among the top 10 news stories as tracked by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The percentage of news stories devoted to events in Iraq, moreover, has shrunk to 3%, the lowest since September and barely half the 2007 average. In only three other weeks this year has Iraq coverage been so scanty.

I hate the American media. You can't tell me this is driven by advertising revenue or what will sell papers.

Because politics are getting entirely too depressing,

13 November 2007

Presidential Candidates

I have been asked for an endorsement of a presidential candidate.

I refuse to endorse any candidate at this time. I will make an endorsement no more than 30 days prior to the Texas Presidential Primary, which is the 4th of March. As the primary season manages to disenfranchise me as far as selecting which particular loon my party gets to run against whichever loon the other party picks, it is more or less of little interest and I just can't get excited about any particular candidate. Especially 4 months out.

I will continue to pick on Guiliani because I'm sure I don't want him. Too much damn gun control.

I will not endorse any candidate who does not support 2nd amendment liberties, control of the borders of the United States, and victory in the War.

I wish I could vote for Nick Sarkozy, but he's unfortunately the President of France. He's still a better American than most Democrats, but that's neither here nor there.

12 November 2007

Veteran's Day

This Veteran's Day, my Beloved and I went to Dry Prong, LA, in order to visit her grandmother, quite possibly for the last time. We returned late yesterday, and I did not get a chance to put up more than a brief post, linking to my post of not-quite-a-year-ago, about three friends of mine, killed in action on the 11th of November 2006.

It is unsurprising given my blogroll that I have a lot of Veteran's Day posts which vary from the prosaic to the poetic. You can scroll through the links, and I encourage everyone to do so. After all, yesterday should have been the tributes, today is just a bone the Federal Government is throwing to the retail market.

Memorial Day is a day for the dead. Veteran's Day is for the living. To our Canadian and British brethren, it is "Remembrance Day", which is more like our Memorial Day.

Of course, a tribute to veterans means more (or it should) during an ongoing war. After all, there are new veterans being created daily, as young Soldiers are heading off to Iraq on a constant basis, and the veterans return to the US. It is one thing to recognize their sacrifices, and that is good. It might also be a good idea to recognize their successes, and to be honest about their results. Some folks can't stomach that idea, or even the idea of a Veteran's Day at all. I look at Iraq, and I don't recognize it much even from a year ago.

Of course, if you ask Hollywood, it just doesn't work that way, which is why they can't sell movies about Iraq worth a damn...

Pardon me, I'm cranky.

1 Year Memorial

06 November 2007

Short and To the Point

I added two links to the ol' blogroll. One is Ambulance Driver, whom everyone links to and has funny ER stories. The other is a fella who calls himself the Frontline Fobbit, and I have a thing for Iraq blogs. No surprise, eh?

There's an article I wish I had access to when I posted my last rant on Israel. Good luck, bub. As usual, Westerners (including Jews) are judged by a different standard. It's OK to make refugees out of Jews because Jews can actually incorporate refugees into a functioning civil society. Arabs are utterly incapable of doing so. Which is why so many of the refugees are fleeing again to places that do incorporate them. Like the US.

And Israel. Funny that.

I have three articles on what's been going on in Iraq lately. These trends aren't a surprise to some people. Note the date on the last link.

04 November 2007

Supporting the Troops, Liberal (and Libertarian) Style, and More.

There's an interesting photo essay up at zombietime. Yes, I know it is San Francisco. Yes, I know SF has far more burnt-out hippies than the average conglomeration of leftists can boast. But really?

Between the lunatics, the Ron Paul supporters, conspiracy theorists, and the communists, I didn't see any photos of the sort of person that allegedly makes up the mass of the anti-war movement. This mythical beast "supports the troops" (in some vague ill-defined way) and loves our country and doesn't support al-Qaeda (or Hamas) and dislikes Bush but doesn't have the temerity to compare him to Hitler. Yeah, whatever. I guess all those folks have jobs and don't have time to go to demonstrations.

My vote for Most Unclear on the Concept goes to the "Queers for Palestine". Nothing says 'clueless' like a bunch of gays agitating in support of folks who think queers should be stoned to death and otherwise persecuted. How about we cut out the middleman and just stone them to death in San Francisco? That would be terribly progressive.

Meanwhile in Real News, Karbala Province was transferred to Iraqi control. Bet you didn't know that? The only network that mentioned it at all was Fox News. Good think I get my news from bloggers who get it from the real source. For those keeping score at home, that's 8 out of 18. Not quite halfway there.

Tony Snow addressed the issues with the media and what it chooses to cover and how it is covered during an acceptance speech for an award. How much coverage did his speech get in the MSM, I wonder?

Well, granted, they had the junior Senator from New York to cover (and her mocking by Guiliani), and to their credit her utter inability to answer a question with a 'yes' or a 'no' was featured at least in some venues. I'd like to see some real questions lobbed at her soon, and I hope it will happen before she gets her party's nomination. Yanno, if this is the best the Democrats can do, and this country is stupid enough to elect her, I'm buying the reloading equipment and a huge stack of 5.56mm brass and primers.

Especially if Guiliani is her opponent.

03 November 2007

Israel Is.

Israel is.

This is not a shock to anyone who hasn't been in a coma for at least 60 years, but I find myself having to repeat it over and over again to Sterling Examples of the American Left.

Israel is.

It has a population of approximately 7,150,000. Of those, practically all able-bodied citizens are armed.

Approximately 168,000 of those are serving on active duty at any given time. They have 4,000 tanks and 1,600 artillery pieces. They have over 400 combat aircraft. They are believed to have between 200 and 400 nuclear weapons, which is enough to destroy every major population center in the Arab world and have a few left over.

They aren't going anywhere.

They aren't going to die off, mysteriously disappear, or conveniently decide en masse to move to New York City to vote Democratic.

They damn sure aren't going to roll over and let the Syrians slaughter them down to babes in arms like the Palestinians wet-dream about.

Get the fuck over it.

Every time I see someone agitating against Israel, I ask myself what they think they could theoretically accomplish.

The Israelis are a fact of life, and like all inconvenient facts the Muslim world and their supports in the American Left are going to have to get used to them.

Or not. It is entirely possible that someone will put themselves into a position to make Israel not be. If that happens, expect a Jewish finger on a button to turn Syria and Iran and lots of other crappy places inhabited by crappy people with crappy ambitions into radioactive wasteland. Being Jewish, they'll feel guilty later. They might write poetry about it. No Arab or Persian will be left to read it.

So when I see someone going on about the poor dispossessed Palestinians and the evil Jews and how terrible it is that they were "forced" off "their" land (actually the Jews bought the land, and the Palestinians didn't have to leave, they chose to leave) I am forced to one of two conclusions.

They are ignorant of basic facts about the Middle East. In which case they should not bother participating in adult conversation about the Middle East.

Or they are informed of these facts, but refuse to believe them. There is a word for people who cannot accept the reality of provable facts, but people whine every time I suggest that the American Left contains a large number of people whose worldviews are indistinguishable from mental disorders.

Israel is. It will not cease to be. You cannot change that it is without killing 7.1 million people. Those 7.1 million people would be very, very difficult to kill without nuclear weapons, and no one crazy enough to want to kill those 7.1 million people has a working nuclear bomb. If that changes, look back up four paragraphs for my opinion of the most likely course of action.

This post brought to you by AntiSemeticStupidsRUs.

01 November 2007

Gakked from an LJ. . .

Found it here.

12 Myths of 21st-Century War

By Ralph Peters

We're in trouble. We're in danger of losing more wars. Our troops haven't forgotten how to fight. We've never had better men and women in uniform. But our leaders and many of our fellow Americans no longer grasp what war means or what it takes to win.

Thanks to those who have served in uniform, we've lived in such safety and comfort for so long that for many Americans sacrifice means little more than skipping a second trip to the buffet table.

Two trends over the past four decades contributed to our national ignorance of the cost, and necessity, of victory. First, the most privileged Americans used the Vietnam War as an excuse to break their tradition of uniformed service. Ivy League universities once produced heroes. Now they resist Reserve Officer Training Corps representation on their campuses.
Yet, our leading universities still produce a disproportionate number of U.S. political leaders. The men and women destined to lead us in wartime dismiss military service as a waste of their time and talents. Delighted to pose for campaign photos with our troops, elected officials in private disdain the military. Only one serious presidential aspirant in either party is a veteran, while another presidential hopeful pays as much for a single haircut as I took home in a month as an Army private.

Second, we've stripped in-depth U.S. history classes out of our schools. Since the 1960s, one history course after another has been cut, while the content of those remaining focuses on social issues and our alleged misdeeds. Dumbed-down textbooks minimize the wars that kept us free. As a result, ignorance of the terrible price our troops had to pay for freedom in the past creates absurd expectations about our present conflicts. When the media offer flawed or biased analyses, the public lacks the knowledge to make informed judgments.

This combination of national leadership with no military expertise and a population that hasn't been taught the cost of freedom leaves us with a government that does whatever seems expedient and a citizenry that believes whatever's comfortable. Thus, myths about war thrive.

Myth No. 1: War doesn't change anything.
This campus slogan contradicts all of human history. Over thousands of years, war has been the last resort - and all too frequently the first resort - of tribes, religions, dynasties, empires, states and demagogues driven by grievance, greed or a heartless quest for glory. No one believes that war is a good thing, but it is sometimes necessary. We need not agree in our politics or on the manner in which a given war is prosecuted, but we can't pretend that if only we laid down our arms all others would do the same.

Wars, in fact, often change everything. Who would argue that the American Revolution, our Civil War or World War II changed nothing? Would the world be better today if we had been pacifists in the face of Nazi Germany and imperial Japan?

Certainly, not all of the changes warfare has wrought through the centuries have been positive. Even a just war may generate undesirable results, such as Soviet tyranny over half of Europe after 1945. But of one thing we may be certain: a U.S. defeat in any war is a defeat not only for freedom, but for civilization. Our enemies believe that war can change the world. And they won't be deterred by bumper stickers.

Myth No. 2: Victory is impossible today.
Victory is always possible, if our nation is willing to do what it takes to win. But victory is, indeed, impossible if U.S. troops are placed under impossible restrictions, if their leaders refuse to act boldly, if every target must be approved by lawyers, and if the American people are disheartened by a constant barrage of negativity from the media. We don't need generals who pop up behind microphones to apologize for every mistake our soldiers make. We need generals who win.

And you can't win if you won't fight. We're at the start of a violent struggle that will ebb and flow for decades, yet our current generation of leaders, in and out of uniform, worries about hurting the enemy's feelings.

One of the tragedies of our involvement in Iraq is that while we did a great thing by removing Saddam Hussein, we tried to do it on the cheap. It's an iron law of warfare that those unwilling to pay the butcher's bill up front will pay it with compound interest in the end. We not only didn't want to pay that bill, but our leaders imagined that we could make friends with our enemies even before they were fully defeated. Killing a few hundred violent actors like Moqtada al-Sadr in 2003 would have prevented thousands of subsequent American deaths and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths. We started something our national leadership lacked the guts to finish.

Despite our missteps, victory looked a great deal less likely in the early months of 1942 than it does against our enemies today. Should we have surrendered after the fall of the Philippines? Today's opinionmakers and elected officials have lost their grip on what it takes to win. In the timeless words of Nathan Bedford Forrest, "War means fighting, and fighting means killing."
And in the words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it."

Myth No. 3: Insurgencies can never be defeated.
Historically, fewer than one in 20 major insurgencies succeeded. Virtually no minor ones survived. In the mid-20th century, insurgencies scored more wins than previously had been the case, but that was because the European colonial powers against which they rebelled had already decided to rid themselves of their imperial possessions. Even so, more insurgencies were defeated than not, from the Philippines to Kenya to Greece. In the entire 18th century, our war of independence was the only insurgency that defeated a major foreign power and drove it out for good.

The insurgencies we face today are, in fact, more lethal than the insurrections of the past century. We now face an international terrorist insurgency as well as local rebellions, all motivated by religious passion or ethnicity or a fatal compound of both. The good news is that in over 3,000 years of recorded history, insurgencies motivated by faith and blood overwhelmingly failed. The bad news is that they had to be put down with remorseless bloodshed.

Myth No. 4: There's no military solution; only negotiations can solve our problems.
In most cases, the reverse is true. Negotiations solve nothing until a military decision has been reached and one side recognizes a peace agreement as its only hope of survival. It would be a welcome development if negotiations fixed the problems we face in Iraq, but we're the only side interested in a negotiated solution. Every other faction - the terrorists, Sunni insurgents, Shia militias, Iran and Syria - is convinced it can win.
The only negotiations that produce lasting results are those conducted from positions of indisputable strength.

Myth No. 5: When we fight back, we only provoke our enemies.
When dealing with bullies, either in the schoolyard or in a global war, the opposite is true: if you don't fight back, you encourage your enemy to behave more viciously.
Passive resistance only works when directed against rule-of-law states, such as the core English-speaking nations. It doesn't work where silent protest is answered with a bayonet in the belly or a one-way trip to a political prison. We've allowed far too many myths about the "innate goodness of humanity" to creep up on us. Certainly, many humans would rather be good than bad. But if we're unwilling to fight the fraction of humanity that's evil, armed and determined to subjugate the rest, we'll face even grimmer conflicts.

Myth No. 6: Killing terrorists only turns them into martyrs.
It's an anomaly of today's Western world that privileged individuals feel more sympathy for dictators, mass murderers and terrorists - consider the irrational protests against Guantanamo - than they do for their victims. We were told, over and over, that killing Osama bin Laden or Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, hanging Saddam Hussein or targeting the Taliban's Mullah Omar would only unite their followers. Well, we haven't yet gotten Osama or Omar, but Zarqawi's dead and forgotten by his own movement, whose members never invoke that butcher's memory. And no one is fighting to avenge Saddam. The harsh truth is that when faced with true fanatics, killing them is the only way to end their influence. Imprisoned, they galvanize protests, kidnappings, bombings and attacks that seek to free them. Want to make a terrorist a martyr? Just lock him up. Attempts to try such monsters in a court of law turn into mockeries that only provide public platforms for their hate speech, which the global media is delighted to broadcast. Dead, they're dead. And killing them is the ultimate proof that they lack divine protection. Dead terrorists don't kill.

Myth No. 7: If we fight as fiercely as our enemies, we're no better than them.
Did the bombing campaign against Germany turn us into Nazis? Did dropping atomic bombs on Japan to end the war and save hundreds of thousands of American lives, as well as millions of Japanese lives, turn us into the beasts who conducted the Bataan Death March?

The greatest immorality is for the United States to lose a war. While we seek to be as humane as the path to victory permits, we cannot shrink from doing what it takes to win. At present, the media and influential elements of our society are obsessed with the small immoralities that are inevitable in wartime. Soldiers are human, and no matter how rigorous their training, a miniscule fraction of our troops will do vicious things and must be punished as a consequence. Not everyone in uniform will turn out to be a saint, and not every chain of command will do its job with equal effectiveness. But obsessing on tragic incidents - of which there have been remarkably few in Iraq or Afghanistan - obscures the greater moral issue: the need to defeat enemies who revel in butchering the innocent, who celebrate atrocities, and who claim their god wants blood.

Myth No. 8: The United States is more hated today than ever before.
Those who served in Europe during the Cold War remember enormous, often-violent protests against U.S. policy that dwarfed today's let's-have-fun-on-a-Sunday-afternoon rallies. Older readers recall the huge ban-the-bomb, pro-communist demonstrations of the 1950s and the vast seas of demonstrators filling the streets of Paris, Rome and Berlin to protest our commitment to Vietnam. Imagine if we'd had 24/7 news coverage of those rallies. I well remember serving in Germany in the wake of our withdrawal from Saigon, when U.S. soldiers were despised by the locals - who nonetheless were willing to take our money - and terrorists tried to assassinate U.S. generals.

The fashionable anti-Americanism of the chattering classes hasn't stopped the world from seeking one big green card. As I've traveled around the globe since 9/11, I've found that below the government-spokesman/professional-radica
l level, the United States remains the great dream for university graduates from Berlin to Bangalore to Bogota.

On the domestic front, we hear ludicrous claims that our country has never been so divided. Well, that leaves out our Civil War. Our historical amnesia also erases the violent protests of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the mass confrontations, rioting and deaths. Is today's America really more fractured than it was in 1968?

Myth No. 9: Our invasion of Iraq created our terrorist problems.
This claim rearranges the order of events, as if the attacks of 9/11 happened after Baghdad fell. Our terrorist problems have been created by the catastrophic failure of Middle Eastern civilization to compete on any front and were exacerbated by the determination of successive U.S. administrations, Democrat and Republican, to pretend that Islamist terrorism was a brief aberration. Refusing to respond to attacks, from the bombings in Beirut to Khobar Towers, from the first attack on the Twin Towers to the near-sinking of the USS Cole, we allowed our enemies to believe that we were weak and cowardly. Their unchallenged successes served as a powerful recruiting tool.

Did our mistakes on the ground in Iraq radicalize some new recruits for terror? Yes. But imagine how many more recruits there might have been and the damage they might have inflicted on our homeland had we not responded militarily in Afghanistan and then carried the fight to Iraq. Now Iraq is al-Qaeda's Vietnam, not ours.

Myth No. 10: If we just leave, the Iraqis will patch up their differences on their own.
The point may come at which we have to accept that Iraqis are so determined to destroy their own future that there's nothing more we can do. But we're not there yet, and leaving immediately would guarantee not just one massacre but a series of slaughters and the delivery of a massive victory to the forces of terrorism. We must be open-minded about practical measures, from changes in strategy to troop reductions, if that's what the developing situation warrants. But it's grossly irresponsible to claim that our presence is the primary cause of the violence in Iraq - an allegation that ignores history.

Myth No. 11: It's all Israel's fault. Or the popular Washington corollary: "The Saudis are our friends."
Israel is the Muslim world's excuse for failure, not a reason for it. Even if we didn't support Israel, Islamist extremists would blame us for countless other imagined wrongs, since they fear our freedoms and our culture even more than they do our military. All men and women of conscience must recognize the core difference between Israel and its neighbors: Israel genuinely wants to live in peace, while its genocidal neighbors want Israel erased from the map.
As for the mad belief that the Saudis are our friends, it endures only because the Saudis have spent so much money on both sides of the aisle in Washington. Saudi money continues to subsidize anti-Western extremism, to divide fragile societies, and encourage hatred between Muslims and all others. Saudi extremism has done far more damage to the Middle East than Israel ever did. The Saudis are our enemies.

Myth No. 12: The Middle East's problems are all America's fault.
Muslim extremists would like everyone to believe this, but it just isn't true. The collapse of once great Middle Eastern civilizations has been under way for more than five centuries, and the region became a backwater before the United States became a country. For the first century and a half of our national existence, our relations with the people of the Middle East were largely beneficent and protective, notwithstanding our conflict with the Barbary Pirates in North Africa. But Islamic civilization was on a downward trajectory that could not be arrested. Its social and economic structures, its values, its neglect of education, its lack of scientific curiosity, the indolence of its ruling classes and its inability to produce a single modern state that served its people all guaranteed that, as the West's progress accelerated, the Middle East would fall ever farther behind. The Middle East has itself to blame for its problems.
None of us knows what our strategic future holds, but we have no excuse for not knowing our own past. We need to challenge inaccurate assertions about our policies, about our past and about war itself. And we need to work within our community and state education systems to return balanced, comprehensive history programs to our schools. The unprecedented wealth and power of the United States allows us to afford many things denied to human beings throughout history. But we, the people, cannot afford ignorance.