28 February 2009


It is with great regret that I remove JD Pendry from the blogroll. His link no longer goes to his site, and I can only guess that he has given up blogging. At least, I hope that is it.

Fair winds CSM Pendry. You will be missed.

26 February 2009

The Numbers Game

I may be number 3 at Google, but on Yahoo I'm number ONE!!!

Which means that Samuel Johnson iz nao mah beyotch. On Yahoo.

Check out the guy at third. No, it's not me.

Some guy who is making a start at writing - books, that is, and on the internet no less - from what I glean from his site. Student and journalist, with a stint at teaching, moving off to Canada - probably not someone I would have much to agree with politically, but he is an aspiring SciFi writer so he can't be all bad.

Also, according to his tagline, he gave up a teaching career in order to write Internet books. For a living!

As the good Captain said, he "stuck a thorn in the Alliance's paw -- that tickles me a bit."

Besides, Jimmy Buffett and Stephen King aren't exactly in political lockstep with me either, and I love both of their works. And as Alice Cooper has said, if you are looking for political advice from an entertainer you are a loser.

Good luck with the writing Charles, and maybe I'll see you in the bookstores.

25 February 2009

Taking Chance

I just watched the HBO movie "Taking Chance" starring Kevin Bacon.

Awesome movie.

From the very beginning, which is a blank screen with radio traffic of an ambush of a Marine patrol, to the very last, where LCOL Strobl gets back home to his family, the movie's pace is slow but determined - in the way that the marching of a ceremonial guard is slow and determined - and pays tribute to our fallen in a way that is sadly lacking from so many movies made lately.

There was never any part of the movie that made me want to hit the fast-forward button, and there were more than a few times the room got rather dusty.

Kevin Bacon does a superb job as LCOL Strobl. This movie is well worth the watch.

LCOL Strobl's words say it best.

"I didn't know Chance before he died. Today I miss him."

Fair winds and following seas PFC Phelps. We all miss you.

USMC Photo from Blackfive: Taking Chance Home

24 February 2009

The Eagle's Eye

I have a new link.

Looks like a fairly new place, but so far it's looking pretty good!

Go take a look.

(I would have left a comment over there, but there seems to be something wrong with the word verification.)

20 February 2009

And Now YOU


Yes, I'm late to the game, I know. But, it's funny, and now there's an after action report of a sort, so it's worth checking up on again.

Other than that, no time for posting lately, so sorry about the deficit.

Today I saw something on CNN that made me too nauseous to post. Some Canadian halfwit was gushing about how wonderful it is that Teh One!!!1!! actually knew where Ottawa is (of course, that's after Jugears said Iowa. I wonder if he looked for Radar O'Reilly's house while he was there).


12 February 2009

Mesothelioma and Veterans

Anyone who is paying attention knows that I am a retired Sailor.

Also, anyone who has been paying attention knows that I served on USS Forrestal (CV-59), the first US carrier specifically built to handle jet aircraft.

Forrestal is undergoing decontamination work in preparation to become an artificial reef. One of the things that has to come out of the ship before that can happen is asbestos. Lots and lots of asbestos.

Asbestos was widely used on Naval ships for steam piping and boilers until the health risks were fully understood, and from then on there was a big push to remove the asbestos. The problem was that the removal process was often more hazardous than leaving the asbestos sealed in place.

As a result there were still many Navy ships that had asbestos, right up to the present day. As these ships are being decommissioned and scrapped, the asbestos has to be removed. This presents a hazard for the decommissioning units and for the shipyard workers involved in the scrapping and decontamination processes.

Asbestos causes a type of cancer called mesothelioma. Mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen. According to Allen Dutton, former bubblehead (submarine Sailor), retired LCDR (that's O-4 for my non navspeak readers), and current Veterans Benefit Counselor for the Mesothelioma Cancer Center, the VA does not always recognize asbestos related deseases.

That is why he has asked for the help of veteran bloggers. While my blog is not exclusively military, I will certainly do anything I can to help my former shipmates that may be suffering from these terrible deseases.

I have accordingly agreed to put the link on the sidebar, you can find it under the Mesothelioma and Veterans tag. If you are a veteran, or if you are a family member of a veteran, who is suffering from an asbestos related illness and needs help negotiating the VA process, visit the website.

UPDATE: BoBo and 454Monte are helping to get the word out.

11 February 2009

A Plan To Fail?

"The John Galt Plan...will reconcile all conflicts. It will protect the property of the rich and give a greater share to the poor. It will cut down the burden of your taxes and provide you with more government benefits. It will lower prices and raise wages. It will give more freedom to the individual and strengthen the bonds of collective obligations. It will combine the efficiency of free enterprise with the generosity of a planned economy...

Tomorrow is here today-and what a tomorrow! With three meals a day for everyone on earth, with a car in every garage , and with electric power given for free, produced by some sort of a motor the like of which we've never seen! And all you have to do is be patient a little while longer!"

It would almost be funny, if it wasn't happening to us.

10 February 2009

Another New Link

I had to link this guy just cause he's high-larious.

Content warning, not safe for work or small children.

You have been warned.

09 February 2009

A Slight Correction

It has been brought to my attention that I am now number three, not five.

Thanks to all of my readers, intentional or not.

(You would think with all of that attention there would be a few more comments, but looking at some other sites I don't know if that would be a good thing or not.)

07 February 2009

A Little Help????

I got this question from a reader:

Sometimes I get a little confused and need a little help, and I'm asking you for it. There's part of me that has a very tender heart and just weeps at things, and I need a voice of common sense, so help me here.

"Obama, speaking to about 200 House Democrats at their annual retreat at the Kingsmill Resort and Spa, dismissed Republican attacks against the massive spending in the stimulus.

"What do you think a stimulus is?" Obama asked incredulously. "It's spending — that's the whole point! Seriously."

Ok, now this is really dumb, but THAT (as silly as this is) makes me feel a little sorry - I mean, he seems so stupid, he obviously doesn't know what he's doing at all.

BUT - and this is where I'm running into trouble - I remember what you just posted about this guy making it so that all the charges were DROPPED on the bombers of the USS Cole. And THAT makes me say "Evil." Not just stupid and ignorant, but evil.

At the same time, even that might be ignorance, but - what do YOU think? I'm a cynic, I want to say evil, and I'm willing to accept that we don't quite know yet whether he's stupid or evil, but that Cole thing? That smacks of evil to me.

Maybe we just don't know for sure yet. But I don't want to give the benefit of the doubt where none is due either.

Let me know what you think. Thanks.

My reply:

I don't think he's evil. Stupid, naive, and misguided, but I truly don't think he's evil.

You know how they say that good intentions pave the way to Hell, well every misguided government program has a well meaning idiot behind it. As far as the Cole goes, the idiots truly believe that war is bad and killing is bad and it would be better to bare your own throat to the assassin's blade than to fight back. I don't understand that thinking, to me anyone who thinks that can't have more than two operating brain cells and those cells must not have spoken to each other in years.

Anyway, they think that the military tribunals are somehow unfair and the terrorist suspects will be railroaded; that the use of waterboarding is torture and any confession extracted under torture is inadmissible; and so any future trials need to be held under the aegis of the US courts system. These are the people who elected Obama, he made them a promise, and he is honoring it.

Obama made the call that any ongoing trials be halted for a review, and the top dog judge in charge of said trials made it happen. That doesn't mean that charges cannot be brought at a later date, and in fact I believe they will be, which is why I posted Justice, Interrupted rather than Justice, Denied. However, I also believe that the new charges will be made in civil court and any evidence gathered by use of torture (yes, I believe that waterboarding is a mild form of torture, but I also believe that if it works it should be used for a wide variety of reasons) will not be admitted. In other words, I believe the terroristic son of a bitch will walk, and I truly hope that someone from those dead 17 Sailor's family is standing by with a scoped rifle when he pops out of the courthouse.

But, getting back to the people out there who truly believe it is better to submit to the assassins blade than to fight back: I cannot believe these people to be evil, but the fact is they are protected by the very system they protest against. In their worldview there is no "violent but protective (US Marine) vs violent and predatory (common street punk)", there is only "violent" and since all violence is bad, all who engage in violence is also, by definition, bad. These are the people that Orwell was talking about when he said they slept peacefully because of dangerous men ready to do violence on their behalf.

(More of this here, where Kevin does a much better job explaining it.)

To me the mark of evil is the intent to do harm against those who have not done , nor intend to do, harm against you. Ergo, Arafat, evil; Bin Ladin, evil; any one who purposely uses a religion as an excuse to do violence, evil; but anyone (Obama) who assumes passivity will prevent violence is merely stupid, not evil, and should be put somewhere in a padded cell where the banging of their heads against the floor won't cause permanent injury. The intent for harm against innocents is the key.

The refusal to protect oneself is suicidal, but in my view not evil. I just do not choose to join them in their suicide, and so I will defend myself. If that means I save their lives in the process, and that they fear and hate me for it, then so be it. They must draw breath to express that fear and hatred. And since they will do no harm, their hatred is impotent.

I don't understand these people; in my mind they don't have the faintest shred of logic and they will be the playthings of whatever master will have them. I will not be a slave, not to any man or master. At the same time they do not understand me, but they can't do anything about it. I, and my brothers in arms, remind them that there is a black force of evil in this world, that it is not all fuzzy bunnies and warm sunny days. This scares them, and I believe that is why they hate me and those like me.

I am strong enough to bear their hate. I refuse to bear their burden.

I hope that helps.

UPDATE: A second reader asks, "At which point does ignorance become evil?"

I can only answer that ignorance becomes evil when the outcome is determined without a doubt to be harmful to the innocent, and yet the decision is not made to change course.

If, as I believe will happen, the closing of Gitmo and the induction of these terror suspects into the US Criminal Courts system results in the terror suspects being let free (even though the military has plenty of evidence to convict if the military tribunals had been allowed to continue), resulting in these same terror suspects end up killing more Americans in more terror attacks; and the decision is not made to revert back to military tribunals that would result in removing these terrorists from circulation permanently; then evil is present.

I say this because at that point it should be clear that the path that was chosen was incorrect, and the refusal to correct it will lead to more harm being done to more innocents. Refusing to correct the mistake is a conscious decision that will lead to the harming of innocents. Therefore, the intent to harm innocents (through inaction) has been achieved.

06 February 2009

Justice, Interrupted

I'm glad I'm not a family member of one of the seventeen Sailors who died on the USS Cole, because I would be going to jail soon.

Susan J. Crawford, the judge overseeing the Gitmo cases, has dropped all charges against Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, an Al-Qaida operative who is suspected of helping to plan the USS Cole bombing, without prejudice. This means that charges can be filed at a later date.

This was done to comply with President Obama's directive to halt military tribunals in terror cases. Army judge Col. James Pohl had scheduled an arraignment in the case in defiance of the directive.

In a show of either brazen stupidity or arrogant surety, President Obama plans to meet with the Cole families on Friday.

I wonder how much time you would get for kicking a President in the crotch?

UPDATE: The family of FCFN Gary G. Swenchonis Jr. refused to meet with the President. Their story is here. I tried to leave an encouraging comment there, but had problems seeing the verification word. So I will say here what I tried to say there:

I was on USS George Washington (CVN-73) the day the Cole got hit. They were in our battle group. The Cole Sailors fought valiently to save their ship, their efforts were heroic, their losses were staggering. I will never forget them. I never knew any of their names, I know one now.

God bless you, and your family. There will be Justice for the seventeen Cole Sailors who paid the price that day, either in this world or in the next. I pray that it will be in this one.

UPDATE 2: The names and faces are here, at the USS Cole memorial site.

04 February 2009

By The Numbers

According to Nine Percent Nan, we should all be unemployed now.

In a speech she said that every month we don't have a stimulus bill, 500 million Americans lose their jobs.

There are only 303 million American citizens, according to the latest census.

Funny how I didn't hear that on NBCBSABC, the Washington (com)Post or the New York Times. Nope, I had to go to the "other" media for that gaffe. I'm sure that if Condi Rice, Sarah Palin, or GWB had said such a thing we would hear it non-stop for the next forever as an example of how "box of hammers" stupid all Republicans are.

Right back at'cha. Hey dumbass, Doctor Frankenstein's monster called. He said he expects your botox'ed ass back at the castle by six to fix his dinner, ya stupid bitch.

A Note On Links

My links are here strictly for my own convenience. They are either blogs that I read every day or they are blogs or other sites I like to keep tabs on. Some of them are gateways to other blogs I read every day (like AD, for example, where I get to several daily reads after I get done perusing his scribblings) and some are one-stops.

If you are getting here by following your visitors logs, welcome. If you like what you see feel free to come back, if not it was good having you that one time. I'll be looking in from time to time, and now you know who it is that's crowding your bandwidth.

And speaking of links, check out The Endive. It's an Onion-esque take on the news with a Conservative slant.

Lookie! Linkie!

A few new links being put up on the sidebar.

First is The Smallest Minority, a blog that I visit regularly by way of a link on Ambulance Driver. It's about time I put a link here so that I don't have to go 'round and 'round the interwebtubies to get to it.

Next is The Rights Project, a newish blog that The Smallest Minority has just linked to. I found it interesting, and hopefully good things will come of it. Good luck to John Galt from TRP, and welcome to the interwebtubies!

Matt G is another Texas lawman that blogs on Better and Better.

And the fourth is an industrial electrician that goes by the handle of Mostly Cajun.

There are a couple of more from the AD blogroll that sooner or later I'll get around to adding, but for now that's good.


I found this on MSN.com today.

I found it interesting that the subject would be raised at all.

I found it interesting that some would call for the end of Black History Month.

I agree with Morgan Freeman.

I agree with Teddy Roosevelt, too.

I wonder where it will lead. My guess is nowhere, since certain people have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are.

But it is interesting nonetheless.

02 February 2009

Groundhog Day

I hate this movie.

The reason I hate this movie actually has nothing to do with the movie itself. It was because of the first cruise I did on USS George Washington, we got into Norfolk in late December - I believe it was the 20th, but I'm too lazy to look it up - and the winds were too strong to dock us.

At 25 knots of wind the carrier turns into a gigantic sail. The tugs are unable to control the ship when the winds are that high, so they can't push the ship against the dock without risking severe damage to ship and dock.

So, for two days we sat in the basin, probably 300 feet or so from the pier. For two days our wives, girlfriends and significant others waited on the pier for us. They looked at us, we looked at them, and we both waited.

For two days the skipper of the ship caught a helo off the ship every night to go home while we plotted nefarious plots against the helicopter and pilots.

And for two days some wiseass played this movie on the ship's movie channel.

And that's why I hate this movie.

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!

01 February 2009

Blood For Congressional Pay Raises

To the tune of 93K. Each. For "petty cash."

And we are supposed to be OK with this because "It's for the Constituents!"


HT to The Intellectual Redneck via Ace O' Spades.