30 November 2006

Breaking News

Oh what a day today.

First, the Iraq Minister of the Interior started it's press conference by warning satellite news channels to stick to the facts, and make sure what they are reporting is, in fact, factual.

"The press release issued by the ministry of interior has three main points: First, a warning to the satellite TV. Channels continue broadcasting false news, and based on that we have formed a special observation room to monitor these TV stations; the purpose of this unit is to determine the fabricated and false news that hurts and gives the Iraqis a wrong picture that the security situation is very bad, when the facts are totally different.

After the monitoring process, we will contact those TV stations by presenting them with the mistakes and errors they committed by broadcasting such false news, hoping they will correct these false reports on their main news programs. But if they do not change those lying, false stories, then we will seek legal action against them."

They went on to deny the existence of AP's source, Jamil Hussein, and another that has been used as a source by the news media, LT Maythem.

"For example, we have some of the respected news outlets that deal with news fast and have a relation with many TV channels and the media in general, who distributed a story quoting a person called Jamil Hussein. Afterward, we searched our sources in our staff for anyone by this name-- maybe he wore an MOI uniform and gave a different name to the reporter for money. And the second name used is Lt. Maythem."

Complete details on Michelle Malkin's blog.

Looks like this guy will be waiting for a while on that apology.

Second, it seems that the conservative blogs were wrong. BDS sufferers aren't the crazy ones, the Bush supporters are.

This conclusion was made by Christopher Lohse, a social work master's student at Southern Connecticut State, based on the results of a study done as "
an advocacy project of sorts, designed to register mentally ill voters and encourage them to go to the polls". The Bush trend was revealed later on.

From the New Haven Advocate: "
The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush."

HT to Iowa Voice.

And finally, in an effort to back up their pledge to help stabilize neighboring Iraq, Iranian weapons are being delivered to Iraqi "insurgents" direct from the factory.

Just being neighborly, you know.

The new format (spacing between paragraphs) comes to you as the result of a suggestion by Dymphna. Catch her on the Gates of Vienna.

29 November 2006

Cry Me A River

From Michelle Malkin's blog comes the story about the New Yawk Times finally getting it's due. And oh aren't they happy about that.

You see, according to the NYT they should be able to aid and abet our enemies freely, hiding behind the First Amendment and the non-existant reporter's privilege. Non-existant? That's right, non-existant.

Although the government allows a lot of leeway where reporter's sources are concerned, the "right" of privilege doesn't exist. In 1972 the US Supreme Court declined in a 5-4 decision "to grant newsmen a testimonial privilege that other citizens do not enjoy", commenting further that "from the beginning of the country the press has operated without constitutional protection for press informants, and the press has flourished."

So what exactly was it that the NYT wanted to protect from prying government eyes? Phone records. And why would the NYT wish to protect phone records? Because twice NYT reporters called the subjects of future raids and informed them of the impending government actions. The government hopes to uncover the source of the Time's information through the examination of the phone records of the two reporters involved. The phone company provided the records and the NYT went screaming to the courts.

The Second Circuit Court ruled that the government had a compelling interest in finding the leaks, especially since any charges must be filed before December 3rd in the earliest case. The NYT then appealed to Justice Ginsberg, who has emergency supervisory authority over the Second Circuit. She declined to rule by herself and referred it to the SCOUTUS, who ruled unanimously that the Justice Department had every reason to examine the records.

The NYT obviously is not pleased with this ruling, predicting a chilling effect in an op-ed that appeared yesterday. "The public will be ill served if this case reduces the willingness of officials to reveal important but sensitive information" it says, meaning that it would be a bad thing news-wise if politicians and their aides learn to keep their damn mouths shut.

Whistle blowing is one thing. Treason is quite another. I sure would like to see somebody have the courage to say so.

28 November 2006

Trust Me

It's kind of funny all the kooky things you find on the Interwebtubiethingies. Since Al Gore invented the durn thing there's been sites dedicated to all sorts of stuff, some believable and some that you just have to shake your head at.

One thing for certain though, nothing stays hidden very long. There are people who delight in shredding certain large news sources stories and "reporters" for instance. That being said, you would think that these large news sources would be extra careful in their vetting of stories for publication.

You would think.

From fauxtography to Pallywood to unverifiable sources (aka stringers), the mainstream media has been exposed time and time again, and still they don't learn. They denigrate bloggers who uncover their duplicity, relying on their past and their good name to carry them through. Given all the scandals that have surfaced however, I don't know if that is a good strategy. Depending on your past means that your past had better be spotless, but if it's not the chances are pretty good that the same people trashing your present will get to the past eventually.

I have to chuckle whenever I hear about anonyminity and the Internet. The truth is there is no such thing. IP addresses can be and are tracked, and with search engines like Google and Yahoo it's a lead pipe cinch to cross check news stories. I guess no one has clued in the AP, Reuters or the New York Times.

Once more into the fray.

The funny thing to me is the confusion on the part of the MSM when they see their readership or viewership going down the toilet or when they see the results of polls that say people don't trust them to be accurate and unbiased.

One thing that is certain however, you can count on the blogosphere to keep them honest. Or rather, to expose them when they aren't.

The beauty of a free press.

That's why it's particularly disturbing to me that the US, with it's First Amendment protection of freedom of speach, is turning control of the internet over to the EU. I don't think that's such a good idea. Hopefully there will be saner people in the US that will take steps to limit the damage, time will tell. If not we will refer to the present time as the glory days of the internet.

But it's fun to see the squirming.

Many links to many sources, and I don't have enough hats to tip to all of them. Thanks to all of you for everything that you do.

In other news, according to Charlie Rangel the job of US Senator is a loser.

27 November 2006

Link Whorage

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.

Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

And without further ado, I would like to nominate my own post, Peace, for your consideration.

UPDATE 1 December 2006: WOOHOO! I came in seventh in the non-council links! Thanks to the lone person who voted for me, whoever you are.

26 November 2006

History Lesson

Let's review.

VietNam was lost, not by the troops on the ground, but by Walter Cronkite somberly reporting we had our asses handed to us with the Tet Offensive.

For those of you who were not aware, the Tet Offensive was the last major push that the VC ever made towards American and South Vietnam combined forces. After initial VC successes, the Americans and ARVN rallied and threw them back over the line to their own side. Subsequently the fighting ability of the VC was broken, and the war was all but won at that point. In other words, we won the Tet Offensive.

Overwhelmingly so.

Thanks to Walter and his buddies, the outrage at home led to an amazing turnaround and we were able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Overwhelmingly so.

Sometime later the last helicopter left Saigon, leaving all our "friends" to face the music themselves regardless of our promises to them. Sometime after that all funding was cut off to the South Vietnamese, who against all odds were holding their own, and resistance soon collapsed completely.

It's called defeat. Not defeat on the battleground, but defeat at the bargaining table. Utter, crushing, wholesale defeat. We didn't have our asses handed to us at Tet, we had our asses handed to us in Paris. And it wasn't soldiers that did the handing, it was diplomats. Our diplomats.

It is difficult to say what the ultimate outcome would have been had we not lost our guts in VietNam. Certainly the VC would have been defeated, and the post-war atrocities avoided. American power would not have taken the hit that it did, and our friends would have retained their utmost confidence in us that we would do what we say we would do and never abandon our friends. If this had been the case, how many more wars would have been prevented? How much anguish could we have saved our national psyche? Many questions, with as many answers as there are philosophers to dream them up.

There are some who will say that Iraq is VietNam redux, and partially they are right. It is a victory on the ground that is painted as a defeat in the press, and defeat will come to us not from enemy combatants (they don't have soldiers) but from our own diplomats. What's particularly sad is that in this case we have won the war, the war is over. This particular piece of nastiness is the occupation, the aftermath of the war. And while there have been setbacks, it's not going as badly as the press and some politicians would have us believe.

Slowly but surely we are turning large bits and pieces of Iraq over to the Iraqis, and if we just continue in the way that we are going we will be able to pick up our toys and go home. We will be able to go home with our heads high, knowing we didn't leave our friends in the lurch. This is known as victory.

In my opinion, the last place in Iraq that we should leave is the Kurdish north. We should linger there a bit where we are liked and appreciated, speaking of hypothetical situations where the adults in the north would be forced to either spank the kiddies down south or lock them out of the house at their discretion. Then we should make gifts of various things that go boom and the means to make them do so, along with the pledge to keep them on our Christmas card list.

This is victory with honor.

23 November 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

I am thankful for friends and family.

I am thankful for being an American.

I am thankful to all those in uniform that make this possible.

God bless you all.


A belated farewell to the oldest World War One veteran in the United States. Ernest Pusey, US Navy vet from WWI, died in his Bradenton FL home last Sunday, November 19th at the age of 111. For his 111th birthday he had dancers from Sarasota in to entertain his guests. He must have really been a corker when he was younger.
Mr Pusey will be laid to rest on Friday. The US Navy will be there to send him home.
Fair winds and following seas, shipmate. Well done.

20 November 2006


I remember hearing the phrase "Violence never solved anything" from my mother, immediately after a well deserved paddling. I remember thinking then (but never saying, the threat of further violence ensured that I knew better) that if violence never solved anything, why was I now so willing to heed her words with no further argument? The violence done on my tender backside was sufficient to achieve the intended result of immediate compliance to her wishes, and the violent means that were employed were far more effective, and long reaching, than any other persuasional tactics she could have used. So you see, regardless of the lesson she intended, violence rather quickly solved the issue.

Throughout history there have been peace-in-our-time diplomats that have used the "violence never solved anything" rationale to no good end, finally relying on rough men to do violence on their behalf to achieve the intended results. All through my childhood into my early adult years the perceived threat of nuclear violence was enough to prevent war between the two most likely combatants, the US and the USSR.

I remember the oblivion clock, the one that was used as an indication of our proximity to full-scale nuclear war. When Carter was President he was seen by his supporters in the US as "taking the lead" on nuclear non-proliferation, so the clock never approached midnight. The USSR saw him in a different light, ineffective and weak; this view was supported by the reaction (or lack thereof) to the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979, and insults to our national honor were quickly offered. When Reagan was President the clock was 2 to midnight, the eruption of nuclear tipped missiles from their silos was viewed as inevitable. He was seen by his political opponents (the same crowd that supported Carter) in the US as the insaniac on the button that would finally unleash the atomic holocaust; in the USSR he was regarded as the man most likely to react disproportionately to any provocation, and they were very careful not to offer one.

This is the thing that various leftists never understood, while Reagan had his finger firmly upon the button the threat of nuclear war was the furthest removed from us that it had ever been during the odd standoff that was the Cold War; the threat of violence was perceived by our enemies to be not only real, but immediate. It was the strain of this threat that finally led to the collapse of the Soviet state.

For the threat to be viable it must be maintained, it is maintained by occasionally demonstrating national will, or willingness to commit to a sustained conflict. We are losing this viability very rapidly and our enemies, both future and present, are observant. Once upon a time everyone knew that when America, the nation, spoke that they should listen. Once upon a time the threat of "Don't want to, but will" was credible. Now it is looking more and more like "Don't want to, wouldn't want you to hate us".

We refuse to protect our own borders. We are hesitant to use force to keep our enemies at bay. Our collective testicles shrivel whenever blood is spilled in the effort to impose our national will. Our more raucous citizenry screams about peace from the rooftops (and other places better left unmentioned), and the world hears their cries. We forget that the application of specific violence, narrowly focused and carefully directed, will prevent the kind of chaotic violence that is rightfully abhorred.

WW2 in the Pacific was quickly ended with that specific type of focused and directed violence visited on two Japanese cities, and millions of lives that would have otherwise been lost in further combat were saved. European Jewry did not have rough men ready to do violence on their behalf, and approximately six million of their voices were silenced as a result.

Violence, properly focused and directed, solves many problems. The threat of violence, properly focused and directed, prevents many others. To say otherwise is a fundamental untruth. To say otherwise is morally reprehensible. It is imperative that the threat of such focused and directed violence is perceived as real. If it is not perceived as real, we will be called upon to prove it's veracity; if the threat is not found to be real it will be ignored and all of us will suffer for it.

Proving the threat to be real will be painful as well, but not nearly as painful as proving it to be false. This is the situation we find ourselves in now. There are some that would rather avoid the immediate pain of proving the threat in the hopeless gamble that imminent pain will not follow; history does not place favorable odds on their wager. Hiding our heads in the sand will not make the tiger disappear, it will only make things a bit easier for the tiger.

Six million Jews would agree, if they only had a voice.

12 November 2006

CPL Jason Dunham, USMC

"...He which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
Henry V Act 4 Scene 3

Peace, my brother. SGT 1st Class Paul Smith, AO2 Marc Lee and MA2 Micheal Monsoor will meet you at the gate.

11 November 2006

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veterans Day.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 the armistice was signed, bringing the First World War to an end. The rest of the world acknowledges this day as Armistice Day, but since 1954 Americans have celebrated it as Veteran's Day.

Memorial Day is set apart to remember the war dead, but Veteran's Day is a salute to all veterans who have honorably served for any length of time in any branch of the United States Armed Services. Here in the USA only the government takes the day off (except the Armed Forces of course, they are on duty 24/7/365), to most everyone else it's just a day.

Which brings me to the next subject, the VA's Veteran's Pride Initiative.

The VA is calling on all vets to wear their medals on their civilian clothing on Veterans Day to commemorate their service. Other days that vets are encouraged to wear their medals are the 4th of July and Memorial Day. This initiative is the brainchild of R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veteran's Affairs. His message is copied below.

"Veterans Pride
A Message from Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson

America's veterans are the face of America. They come from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities. They served our Nation honorably and well and we honor that service, but how do we honor the veteran – the individual who put on the uniform and gave his or her all for our country?
Last spring I had the privilege of attending the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in Sydney, Australia. ANZAC Day is the most important national holiday in Australia, a combination of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
It was established to commemorate the more than 8,000 Australians killed in the battle of Gallipoli in World War I, and now honors all Australian and New Zealand veterans.
One of the things that stood out during the day-long ceremonies was how all of the veterans and surviving family members wore their medals and campaign ribbons. It focused public pride and attention on those veterans as individuals with personal histories of service and sacrifice for the common good.
That is why I am calling on America's veterans to wear their military medals this Veterans Day, November 11, 2006. Wearing their medals will demonstrate the deep pride our veterans have in their military service and bring Veterans Day home to all American citizens.
Veterans, wear your pride on your left side this Veterans Day! Let America know who you are and what you did for freedom."

I'll be wearing mine.

And continuing in the Valor IT thread, now that it looks like the Marines will make their goal (at the time of this writing they are less than $400 from it) it's time to help out our less fortunate bretheren at Team Army and Team Air Force. Shake a few pennies their way if you can.


10 November 2006

Happy Birthday US Marines!

Happy 231'st Birthday to the world's finest fighting force, the US Marine Corps!

Even an old Navy guy like me recognizes the Marines as the best warrior force on the planet, not counting the special forces like Army Rangers or Navy SEALs. The Marines training is up to par with most foreign army's special forces (in WW1 the German High Command rated them as storm troopers), and it's no accident that the world's best snipers have been Marines. In fact the Marines didn't even have special forces until just this year when the MARSOC was formed, and that was done only because the Marines were being left out of the fight in Afghanistan. And as everybody knows, the Marines don't like to be left out of the fight.

Formed on November 10th 1775 in Tun Tavern as the Continental Marines during the Revolutionary War, they like the Navy were all but disbanded following the war. However, they are an essential part of seaborne forces and were resurrected by the same Naval Armament Act that re-formed the Navy. First employed as shipboard snipers, their job was to shoot enemy gun crews to prevent accurate naval gunnery and enemy marines that were trying to do the same to our own gunners. They cut their amphibious teeth on the rocks of Tripoli during the war with the Barbary Pirates and earned the sobriquet "Teufel Hunden" (Devil Dogs) from the Germans at Belleau Wood in WW1. They were the last to fall at Bladensburg during the War of 1812, making the British pay in blood for every inch gained, and they held the middle with Andrew Jackson in New Orleans at the close of the same war.

Their heroes have names like Chesty Puller and Pappy Boyington. Every Marine is a rifleman, and every Marine is trained in martial arts. The word Marine is always capitalized when referring to a member of the USMC, and retired Marines are Marines still. There is no such thing as an ex-Marine, once a Marine always a Marine (although there may be now some exceptions, such as the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania who's name I refuse to mention while discussing honorable men and women). Of the 3461 Congressional Medals of Honor that have been awarded, Marines have earned 296.

They are nominally a part of the Navy (the Commandant of the Marine Corps reports directly to the Secretary of the Navy), but they are proudly independent. Although much of their capability duplicates that of the Army, their unique amphibian abilities define them and have earned them statutory protection from being absorbed by the Army (although it has been tried several times).

Happy 231'st Devil Dogs. OORAH and Semper Fi! I can't think of a better present than this:

Update 11/11/06, Team Marine has raised over $14,000 on their birthday thanks to the generous donations of the blogosphere and those who read us. Thank you so very much for your generosity.

Update 11/12/06 - Replace paragraph 4 sentence 5 of the above post with the following: "Of the 3462 Congressional Medals of Honor that have been awarded, Marines have earned 297."

07 November 2006

Miscellaneous Stuff

Election day, go do your part. No excuses, just do it.

This is why you don't get between a mother and her cubs. The amazing part of this story is that Mom, already beaten and raped, took on her shotgun toting attacker with a kitchen knife to protect her 6 year old daughter. Well done Mom.

Update 11/8/06: Democrats win control of House and Senate, world ends, blah blah blah. Maybe the Republicans will learn to dance with who brung 'em now.

06 November 2006


Looking at the comments section I had one, on my first post, from a spambot, and that's it. Not looking good, in fact it looks like I'm the only one who reads my little blog. Not unexpected of course, I'm not in the powerhouse league. Still, I am in the blogroll on Team Navy, so I'm going to do my bit. They're my kids, after all, and I have to do what I can to take care of them. The link is here and on the sidebar, please make your donations to this very worthy cause. Any amount, every little bit helps. Thank you.
Photo from Project Valor IT website

03 November 2006

Support Our Troops

How can you not love these people?

Here's how to show it.

Veteran's Day is the 11th, if you are a vet be sure to wear your medals.