Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cracking down on the media 
According to Editor and Publisher, the military has been cracking down on news media access to military personnel:

A report today that soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center are being told not to speak with the press is apparently just the latest move in a recent effort to tighten restrictions on journalists' access to many military facilities, according to the president of Military Reporters and Editors.

James Crawley, a military reporter with MediaGeneral and MRE president, said today's revelation by Army Times that Walter Reed patients had been barred from speaking with reporters is not the first case of tightened restrictions. In recent months, he says several MRE members have reported similar crackdowns. What's worse, many of the denials are apparently in reaction to the potential negativity of a planned story.

"It is starting to look like it is becoming a policy in some areas where they are not allowing reporters on the base unless it is an absolutely positively good news story," said Crawley. "The military is making it harder and harder to do stories on bases, as far as doing man on the street interviews."

A Pentagon spokesman contacted by E&P had no immediate comment.
This is dumb in more ways than one.

I'm not entirely trusting the information in this report that implies Walter Reed patients are being punished for speaking to the media. There are a lot of other things that could be at work, and far be it from me to second guess a commander's decision to order soldiers to prepare rooms for inspection or have formations.

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

“Some soldiers believe this is a form of punishment for the trouble soldiers caused by talking to the media,” one Medical Hold Unit soldier said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training.

No, not really. Not once the commander or sergeant major has determined that there is a hygiene, roach or rodent problem in the area. But a blanket prohibition on speaking to the media is both wrong and counterproductive. Further, just because some snuffy tells a reporter that a lot of soldiers believe they're being punished for talking to the media does not make it so. I'd be interested to know how long the griper's been in the service.

There's a second, even greater level of stupidity at work here. It is simply absurd for Editor and Publisher to call a military spokesman and not being able to get a statement. If someone is currently employed as a Pentagon spokesperson and he or she cannot clearly articulate policy regarding contact with the media, that person should be fired and replaced with someone who can.

I mean, what ELSE could a public affairs officer reliably provide background on? What's more, if your own PR flacks can't be bothered to mount a rhetorical defense of the institution in the media, then who the heck will?


Sorry - I've got a day job (as you may have noticed by the waning quantity and length of posts here.)

The military has always been very clear: Servicepeople are free to speak to the media about any subject that concerns them. They are not free to speculate on matters outside their direct experience, nor are they free to directly criticize the commander in chief or the chain of command while in uniform. They are of course not free to divulge sensitive technical, operational, or intelligence information to the media. But they ARE free to speak to the media, on a factual basis, about quality of life concerns which they have direct knowledge of.

I've never seen or heard of a commander who didn't feel this way.

Here was an opportunity for the Pentagon to get out in front of this story, by clearly communicating the longstanding policy to the public -- and by extension, to subordinate commands and local PAOs.

By letting Editor and Publisher publish without a statement from the military, the Pentagon let the opportunity slip by.

That does a disservice to the Army as an institution, as well as to the soldiers serving in it.

Splash, out


Monday, February 26, 2007

I've grown tired of asking this, so this will be the last time. 
Where is the rebel bass?

The latest laugh line from the New York Times 
Adam Cohen of the New York Times goes way out on a limb to ascribe the Bush Administration decision to replace political appointees to -- wait for it -- politics.

Believe it or not, the New York Times manages somehow to report on the subject without a single mention of the decision of Clinton's AG, Janet Reno, to fire every U.S. Attorney in the country - all 93 of them - including the one then investigating Dan Rostenkowski.

Indeed, when confronted with what seems to have been White House pressure to buy time for Rostenkowski, Miss Reno didn't head for home, she fired every U.S. attorney, including the one investigating the powerful House Ways and Means chairman.

Normally, when control of the Administration changes from one party to the other, the old U.S. attorneys are replaced gradually. Thus, when Tom Corbett, chairman of the U.S.-attorney advisory committee, asked Miss Reno about the transition timetable on Thursday, March 18, and got no answers, he assumed there would be the traditional, slow handover. He reeled when, on Monday morning, Associate Attorney General Hubbell told him the attorneys would have to resign immediately. Literally. "[They] should be able to clear out of their offices over the weekend," one White House politico told Corbett. (Miss Reno was nowhere in sight.) Corbett had to fight just to get the attorneys an extra week to clear out.

The next day Miss Reno called for resignations. Jay Stephens, the U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., resigned that afternoon, commenting that he had been within thirty days of a "critical decision" about Rostenkowski. (Once Stephens left, the transition lost its urgency; some Republican U.S. attorneys are still on board.) The Illinois congressman may yet be indicted for his alleged abuse of the House Bank, but Stephens's hasty dismissal surely slowed the investigation, leaving Rosty, who loses his chairmanship if indicted, in place to steer Clinton bills through the House.

Politics, Politics

Were all 93 attorneys performing inadequately?

And what did the Times have to say at the time?

Not much. A news story. No condemning editorial that I can find, although there's this glancing blow related to Rostenkowski.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith 
I defer to what Baldilocks says in her beautiful essay.

One of the nice things about living without television is that I had the blessing of missing Ms. Smith's public decline. I never saw her reality show. I never saw any of her embarrassing public appearances at awards shows. I never had the opportunity to laugh at her expense. I never had the occasion to feel superior to her. Intellect, I've long believed, is a fleeting thing.

For several years, I was a paid companion and caretaker to two men in their forties - brothers - who were profoundly mentally retarded. Both functioned at the toddler level or below, cognitively. And both had fully-formed personalities and were all formed in the image of their - our - creator.

They were disabled from birth. Others become disabled later in life. And others, for whatever reason, have to struggle with the gifts they're given, and make the best of what they had.

I remember Ms. Smith only from her Playboy debut and one appearance in a comedy movie. I only remember her loveliness, and I'm glad.

No Schadenfreud here. Our lost sheep are not to be ridiculed, but recovered and embraced.

Splash, out,


OMFG Jason is teh p()Nzer!!!!!111^11+1! 
I had been wondering where these magnificent words like "teh" and "pwn'd" were coming from.

So my search took me to 1337.com, n00b.com, and finally here. Got a kick out of it.

Understand, I don't game. I haven't even owned a television set in more than a decade. I don't watch it. I don't go to movies. (That's what happens when you blog.)

I am teh hip to you all now, kids! Dig? Grok? Er, whatever.

If they outlaw plastic pickup truck testicles... 
...only outlaws will have plastic pickup truck testicles.

Don't you hate Republicans who make Republicans look like idiots?

Splash, out


Friday, February 23, 2007

Definitive Video Proof 
...of foiled terrorist attacks against the United States.



Go Army!

I SAAAAAAIIIID, We got C-130 Freakin' HELICOPTERS!!!!! (Redux) 
This one's from the Virginia Pilot:

NCOs are enlisted service members in any one of nine U.S. Army ranks, from private to sergeant major.

How long have we been at war, now?

When are editors going to get a clue?


I never thought it would happen ... 
...but I found readers even dumber than the ones in the Press Think chorus.

More on that theme here:

Why are these pussy judges giving out sentences for outright desertion and missing movement that are shorter than a typical tour of duty? He's going to be out and drinking beer and screwing honorable soldiers' girlfriends while they're still overseas!

I would start at five years - and then only with some serious mitigating factors, with a garden variety asshole like this one serving closer to eight to ten years.

Splash, out


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

...So a teacher sticks up for a disabled child 
... and scold two other students for bullying.

You'd think that the party that gets disciplined by the schools would be the bullies, right?

You'd be wrong.

The reality-based community!

A Fredericksburg man is facing several assault charges after police say he hunted down a group of Republicans and confronted them in their home over their beliefs.

Police said Andrew Stone, 23, recently went to a home in Fredericksburg at around 5:30 p.m. after he saw a name and nearby address on a Republican Web site.

Stone confronted three residents about their political viewpoints, police said. When he found out the residents supported the Republican-led war effort in Iraq, police say Stone became enraged.

Stone then hit the homeowner and his roommates several times as they tried to force him out of the door, police said.

Stone faces three counts of assault and battery.

Hat tip: Ace

Waaaah waaaaah waaaaah... 
Nancy Pelosi - never a particularly deep thinker - is simply caught out of her depth here -- and goes running to the President.

Vice President Dick Cheney on Wednesday harshly criticized Democrats' attempts to thwart President Bush's troop buildup in Iraq, saying their approach would "validate the al-Qaida strategy."

A reasonable criticism, and one which I happen to agree with. I don't think anyone can reasonably argue that Al Qaeda, which has a stated policy of aiming to eject the United States from Iraq, has adopted a strategy that, well, aims to eject the United States from Iraq.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) fired back that Cheney was questioning critics' patriotism.

"Fired back?" No. What happened is that the charge is so accurate - and really, so inarguable - that Nancy Peloci and her minions have nothing left to fire back with. And "don't question my patriotism" is not a counterargument in any sense of the term.

The most patriotic person in the country can still be a scoundrel or a fool. Indeed, this postulate has been one of the lynchpins of liberalism since 1965 - and indeed, longer than that, for Samuel Johnson, who first said that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" way back in 1775, has been quoted by clucking skeptics for more than 230 years.

No one is arguing that Pelosi or Murtha do not harbor a genuine love for their country - or at least their districts and donors.

I am, however, arguing that both Pelosi and Murtha are fools - and the Vice President has put his finger on precisely why.

"I hope the president will repudiate and distance himself from the vice president's remarks," Pelosi said. She said she tried to complain about Cheney to President Bush but could not reach him.

Too bad. I'm sure the President's phone calls are recorded for posterity. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Bush simply chuckles and tells Pelosi to grow up.

"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," the speaker said.

This woman is dumber than a pet spork.

Her position - which she again iterates in this very article - is to begin an immediate or near-immediate capitulation withdrawal of American forces in Iraq. This is beyond debate. This would be the fruition of the Al Qaeda strategy to rid the Iraqi people of the forces able to protect them. This is also beyond debate. The Vice President did not mischaracterize her position one iota. Her advocated policy is counter to the national security interests of the United States. Cheney understands this.

Cheney is also locked in a battle of wits with an unarmed person. Welcome to the big leagues, Madman speaker. Here in the big leagues, you are expected to be able to defend your own position and take care of your own rhetoric. Your arguments should stand or fall on their own merits, and if you have to go running to the President because you get your ass handed to you in a debate, then you have already lost.

Go back and find a better argument, or rethink your entire position.

Splash, out


Two Clowns Killed in Columbia 
I said, "Wipe that smile off your face."

Gay Top Gun 
I Knew It!!!!!!!!

(A shameless lift from Blackfive, the Paratrooper of Love)

This is not my beautiful wife!!!! 
Via Lee Distad's wonderful blog comes the Best. Vista. Review. Ever.

So Beautiful, So Disturbing

I wake. For a moment, I stare at the ceiling trying to remember something. Something important. Something important happened last night, but the details escape me. Something fascinating yet sinister, like touring the CIA offices. Something exotic yet somehow familiar, like putting hot sauce on meatloaf. I wonder if I have a hangover. I wonder why I am thinking about the CIA and meatloaf. I roll onto my side.

There is a strange woman in bed with me.

A lot of things happen at once. First, I realize that this is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I am a lucky, lucky man. Second, I realize that this is not my wife, and I panic. Third, I realize that she's awake, has been watching me sleep. Fourth, before I can really react to thoughts 1 and 2, she smiles at me and speaks with a lovely accent I can't quite place: "So. You like new wife, yes? Yes. Up now, I make breakfast."

She gets out of bed and stretches, perfect curves sliding under silky lingerie and momentarily making me forget about breakfast, meatloaf, and whoever it was I was married to before last night. She seems to know this, and smiles at me again, but apparently she's serious about making breakfast. She turns and strides confidently from the room. As she does, I see for the first time the large Microsoft logo splayed across her back. My stomach lurches as I suddenly remember everything.

Windows Vista. I bought a new computer yesterday... and it came with Windows Vista.

Read the whole thing.

Then upgrade your operating system.

If you dare.

Splash, out


Giant Hornets Reach France 
In other news, France Surrenders to Germany

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Dog Bites Man 
If you're a statistically challenged noob at the Associate Press, this is news:

Across the nation, small towns are quietly bearing the war's burden. Nearly half of the more than 3,100 U.S. military fatalities in Iraq have come from towns like McKeesport, where fewer than 25,000 people live, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. One in five hailed from hometowns of fewer than 5,000.

The Census Bureau said 56 percent of the population in 2005 lived in towns under 25,000 and in unincorporated areas, but it could not provide the number of people living only in communities of fewer than 25,000.

In other words, small towns under 25,000 aren't doing their fair share of the dying.

The data completely undercut the basis of the article - if anything, residents of towns of less than 25,000 are statistically underrepresented among the dead. (The number of wounded would be a much more reliable indicator - a single incident impacting a reserve unit from a small town can throw the results a lot more when N is 3000 than when N is 15,000.)

The headline: "Small towns bearing burden of war in Iraq."

Splash, out


(Hat tip: BlackFive)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Appeal for courage 
Yes, I "signed" it (digitally, of course).

Let's see if it gets the same play in the media as the cheap-assed astroturfing stunts the left pulls gets.

Splash, out


They'll take my pornography 
...when they pry it from my moist, slippery hands!!!!!

The L.A. Times jumps the shark. 
Multiple layers of fact-checkers at work.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lessons from old soldiers 
Don't miss.

My wife and I recently watched as our three boys marched off to join Easy Company of the Army's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Their stoic faces belied their youth — ages 8, 6 and 4 — as they faced the horrors of dropping into Normandy 1944 as part of their best friend's birthday party. There was plenty of action, of course, but nothing like what the parents would experience a few days later.

It appears that, as casualties and opposition rise with the Iraq war, even Liam Bowman's 8th birthday party can become fodder in our national debate. Outraged parents complained that we were perverting the minds of children by glorifying war. Yet, there is something to learn from war — as we found out later with a visit to a small Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in rural Maryland.

Why British Women Give Up Sex 
You can get the long answer from the Independent Online.

The Countercolumn take -- Two words: British men.

The collorary: Why do French women have more sex than British women?

Answer: Because they have to or no one could stand them!

Splash, out


They'll take my naked lady mudflaps 
...when they pry them from my cold, dead hands!!!!!

Six Killed in Saint Petersburg McDonald's Blast 
I'm loving it.

From a reader... 
Elevated from commenter TransTracker:

I am not surprised at all by Hart's comments. As a prominent member of the "Military Reform Movement" in the 1980s, he opposed the development and deployment of virtually every piece of equipment in our arsenal today. While he and the other reformers (which included then Congressman Richard Cheney, Newt Gingrich, John Boyd of OODA loop fame, and many many more) had some notable successes, such as the adoption of maneuver warfare by the Army in FM100-5 1983, the anti-technology position advocated by hardcore reformers like Hart, his staffer for military affairs William S. Lind, Boyd, Pierre Sprey, Franklin Spinney, etc., was a failure. To this day, none of those guys has been willing to admit that it was possible to adopt maneuver warfare and the OODA loop alongside high-tech weaponry. So ya, "bitter and defeated" is more accurate than you know.

As for these ideas being Hart's ideas....don't count on that. I'm not sure how much contact he and Lind still have, but back in the day it was pretty clear that Lind was doing Hart's military thinking for him.

Lind has been a critic of Bush and the war, arguing not only that it is inevitable that we will lose, but that we deserve to lose. He seems to believe more in an apocalyptic "destroying the world to save it" sort of vision. His ideal vision is one in which "Brave New World" (his name for the U.S.) and the "Fourth Generation" (al-Qa'ida, Hizbullah, whoever) destroy one another. A long quote from Lind,

"Just as Brave New World is correct when it says that the forces of
the Fourth Generation represent a return to the Dark Ages, so the
Fourth Generation is correct when it calls Brave New World Satanic.
Yet as I said at the outset, the collision between these two vast
forces will define the grand strategic context in the 21st Century.

"How should the next conservatism deal with this situation?
"...we must do what seems impossible. We must rally the remnants of
the Christian West to fight the Fourth Generation and Brave New World
simultaneously. The next conservatism must strive to keep the old
faith, the old morals and old ways of living alive as, hopefully,
Brave New World and the Fourth Generation destroy each other. Will
that be possible? With God, all things are possible. But it certainly
is not going to be easy." (http://www.freecongress.org/commentaries/2006/060306.asp)

More of Lind's thinking can be found at "Defense in the National Interest," (http://www.d-n-i.net), as well as at the Center for Cultural Conservatism of the Free Congress Foundation (http://www.freecongress.org).

What's scary is that a guy who has written that he hopes the U.S. and al-Qaeda destroy one another, that defeat is inevitable and deserved, also regularly boasts that he is on a team of folks who are advising the Marine Corps on how to win in Iraq.

We must ask: which side are Hart and Lind supporting?

Sunday tune blogging 
Once in a blue moon, I'll hear a vocal performance that makes my spine tingle.

Yesterday, that performance was a Madeleine Peyroux recording, featuring k.d. lang, called River.

There is so much power in undersinging.

Urgent. Relentless. Heartbreaking. Breathtaking.


From the Investor's Business Daily:

Neville Chamberlain's naivete may have helped bring on World War II, but at least he supported his country when war began. Norway's Vidkun Quisling and France's Vichy government under Marshal Petain may have collaborated with the Nazi enemy, but after their countries' defeats, not before.

We'd have to go back to Benedict Arnold to find Americans as eager as Murtha & Co. to see an American defeat on the battlefield.

Oooh. That one's gonna leave a mark.

That is, it would, if Murtha, et. al., had any shame.

Splash, out


Strike Two 
Once again, the New York Times manages to write two pages on the increase in downed helicopters, copping to the increased use of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, including, in one instance, on videotape, without once mentioning the possibility of outside state support, including from Iran.

These reporters these days are remarkably uncurious.

Splash, out


I demand we lose the war I wasn't wrong to vote to start. 
Such is the position of our would-be surrender-monkette-in-chief.

The latest exercise in pretzel-logic from one of the luminaries of the dhimmicrat party.

And remember - this is a centrist!

"If we can have Spanish speaking recruiters convince my son to join the Army, 
...why can't we have Spanish-speaking translators when he's injured?"

Good question.

I'm not sure the answer is going to be one the woman posing it wants to hear: Maybe we shouldn't try to have a bilingual Army. I don't think it's too much to ask that our soldiers and Marines speak English. After all, they have to follow commands on the battlefield from non-Spanish-speaking leaders.

But a sizeable percentage of military dependents are not going to be English speakers - we know that going in, and that's a fact of life if you are going to be deploying units from South Florida and from the Puerto Rico National Guard.

All in all, I'm glad to see the Washington Post do this kind of enterprise journalism. Pam Hess of the UPI blew some Army medical system stupidity wide open in 2003, and soldiers' lives got better because of it.

Here we are five years into a war - a war with a consistent and predictable casualty rate. That we could not or did not anticipate the requirements of our wounded and plan and staff accordingly over the last few years is disgraceful.

You always have to take griping with a grain of salt - and the Washington Post makes far too much of the fact that our wounded are leading other wounded. Just because you're wounded does not mean you cease to be an officer or NCO. Our wounded leaders are leaders first.

If you strip our leaders of this responsibility because they are wounded, you will only worsen the condition of the Army and our troops. Give our wounded leaders the dignity of leadership. And give these leaders the administrative support they need to take care of our soldiers and marines.

Soldiers, wives, mothers, social workers and the heads of volunteer organizations have complained repeatedly to the military command about what one called "The Handbook No One Gets" that would explain life as an outpatient. Most soldiers polled in the March survey said they got their information from friends. Only 12 percent said any Army literature had been helpful.

Shameful. And to think that it happened right in the shadow of the Pentagon and Congress!!!


Still, the article notes that some improvements are already underway:

Acknowledging the problems with outpatient care, Weightman said Walter Reed has taken steps over the past year to improve conditions for the outpatient army, which at its peak in summer 2005 numbered nearly 900, not to mention the hundreds of family members who come to care for them. One platoon sergeant used to be in charge of 125 patients; now each one manages 30. Platoon sergeants with psychological problems are more carefully screened. And officials have increased the numbers of case managers and patient advocates to help with the complex disability benefit process, which Weightman called "one of the biggest sources of delay."

Gee, we couldn't see that coming?

Life beyond the hospital bed is a frustrating mountain of paperwork. The typical soldier is required to file 22 documents with eight different commands -- most of them off-post -- to enter and exit the medical processing world, according to government investigators. Sixteen different information systems are used to process the forms, but few of them can communicate with one another. The Army's three personnel databases cannot read each other's files and can't interact with the separate pay system or the medical recordkeeping databases.

Yeah, that's dumber than hitting a nail with a sack full of hammers.

Still, it sounds familiar.

And to be fair, that's a bigger problem than can be addressed by the Walter Reed commander. That's a problem for PERSCOM.

It's high time it was fixed.

Splash, out


More on Gary Hart 
The Signaleer eviscerates Hart's idiotic proposal to strip commanders of their reserve component troops in the heat of battle.

First, he calls Senator Hart on his assertion that deploying Guard and Reserve units during a time of war violates any agreement between the reserve component soldier and the military. That assertion, Signaleer demonstrates by directly citing the enlistment contract, is a lie.

I will further call Senator Hart's assertion that the Constitution relegates the National Guard to domestic mission and homeland security operations a lie.

The National Guard was deployed in force during the Spanish American war and WWI. The 29th Infantry Division, which stormed Normandy Beach in June of 1944, was a National Guard division. The most decorated unit of the war, the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, is a reserve unit out of Hawaii. The 40th Infantry Division, California Army National Guard, was deployed to fight in Korea by the Truman administration. Somehow I don't recall a constitutional crisis ensuing.

The 29th Infantry Brigade, Hawaii National Guard, was mobilized in 1968 - its members sent to Viet Nam as individual replacements. Somehow, our Constitutional form of government remained intact.

Bill Clinton dispatched a number of Guard units on peacekeeping missions in the 1990s - somehow Congressional Democrats were unperturbed at the constitutional implications of same.

There is no passage in the Constitution that prohibits the President from nationalizing and deploying National Guard units in the event of an emergency.

I doubt Senator Hart will be pounding the table attacking the Eisenhower administration for Federalizing Mississippi National Guardsmen who had been mobilized to prevent integration in the 1950s - stripping the governor of his power to enforce bigotry, and assigning the newly federalized troops the mission of enforcing the 14th amendment.

Gary Hart is not on record attacking the constitutionality of same.

Then there is the small matter, which Signalleer addresses, of Hart's suggesting that al Qaeda "can do more than one thing at a time." Hart argues that engaging Al Qaeda in Iraq did not prevent them from mounting attacks in Madrid and Spain. True. But NOT engaging them anywhere certainly did not prevent them from mounting far more devastating attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Senator Hart is arguing that Al Qaeda is capable of multitasking, while simultaneously mounting the absurd argument that we are not.

This is the argument of a defeated man.

This is the argument of a loser.

Splash, out


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Gary Hart 
I have a very high regard for former Senator Gary Hart and his grasp of the structure of our Army and its relationship to our Republic. His excellent book, The Minutemen, ought to be required reading for all ROTC and USMA cadets.

So I was disappointed in his essay in the Huffington Post today, in which Hart calls for Congressional legislation mandating the forced withdrawal of National Guard troops from Iraq.

Gary Hart is an excellent Army historian. He knows full well the practical difficulties faced, for example, by George Washington, as a result in the meddling in Army affairs by the Continental Congress, and the very real force management difficulties encountered by the General officers working for Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War - particularly in the Confederate Army, as even state legislatures got into the act of micromanaging how militia forces could be used in the services of the short-lived CSA.

With the benefit of hindsight, no one is looking back at this political meddling as a good idea. Indeed, in each case, the political micromanagement of Army affairs by Congressmen far removed from the day-to-day realities of command was nearly disastrous - especially in Washington's case.

How quickly do memories fade, however, when politicians smell a chance to backstab American commanders by yanking vital reserve-component forces from warriors even as they are engaging the enemy on the field of battle.

Gary Hart, of all people - himself a retired officer in the Naval Reserve - cannot plead ignorance. He is well acquainted with the Abrams Doctrine, in which the Pentagon deliberately structured the Army so that it could not sustain combat operations much beyond brigade-level without the commitment of reserve troops in significant numbers. He knows the One Army concept, which calls for active and reserve forces to be deployed together as part of a combined arms and CS/CSS team.

Hart KNOWS FULL WELL that the absence of Guardsmen and reservists would cripple the Army in the midst of battle - this is precisely why he is calling for it!

The battle is joined. Gary Hart is a commissioned officer. He should be looking for ways to win it, not throw it for political points.

If he thinks he can win it without Reserve forces, then let us see his troop rotation and augmentation plan.

Come on, Senator - it was your idea.

If you have no regard for victory, then let us know now - and in terms less callow than those you have adopted. Don't hide behind the mealy-mouthed platitudes of caring for the troops.

You cannot care for troops while simultaneously advocating defeat.

Splash, out


This is the way abortion ends ... 
...not with a bang but a whimper.

Wood is the CEO of Asheville Pregnancy Support Services in Asheville, North Carolina, one of the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers in the U.S. that are working to end abortion. Hers is the new face of an old movement: kind, calm, nonjudgmental, a special-forces soldier in the abortion wars who is fighting her battles one conscience at a time.

I'd like to ask the Time reporter, Ms. Gibbs, what is "new" about this "new face of an old movement.

The fact is, Ms. Gibbs, that these "special-forces soldiers" have been out there all along. Indeed, they have always made up the vast majority of the pro-lifers in America.

But how nice you were able to leave your Rockefeller Center office long enough to notice.

I suppose if Wood were a negro, she'd be "surprisingly articulate, too."

Oh, wait. That would be evidence of bigotry.

Splash, out


The recent flap involving William Arkin brings this prescient observation from Victor Davis Hanson to mind:

The Romans had this word, luxus, which I guess would translate as license. It was used to express the idea that the danger to a civilisation that is sophisticated and that has conquered the age-old challenges of feeding people, and of keeping them sheltered and protected, has always been over-abundance of wealth, and how you inculcate to an affluent suburban youth principles of an agrarian virtue, muscularism, patriotism, family values-

GB:-and civic duty-

VDH: Absolutely, civic duty. We have a large group of several million people in our media, government, and universities who have the privilege and the luxury to almost make fun of, indeed, trash or criticise, the very culture that gave them so much abundance.

Who ya gonna trust? Me? 
Or your lyin' photo editors???

What liberal bias? 
CNN.com leads with a story on Secretary Rice's trip to Baghdad.

This is the photo the editors chose to illustrate it with:


The Accidental Press 
More than 9 out of every 10 GOP congressmen voted with the President on the Iraq issue.

Support for the President's policies has increased sharply since January according to the Accidental Press's own reporting.

From the article: "Bush has gained ground among key groups of supporters like Republicans, whites, men and Southerners."

More from the article:

"You're going to have to see some progress on the ground, but it's not going to happen overnight," said GOP pollster Ed Goeas.

Goeas said polls are misleading and a lot depends on how the questions are asked.

He said that in his polling, a slight majority of Americans still say they either support Bush's buildup or at least keeping troops there until Iraq "is stable." Those favoring a date-certain withdrawal, or an immediate pullout, are in the minority.

The article's headline: "Bush Loses GOP Support on Iraq"


Liberal Avengergate 
I must say I am sorry to see that Liberal Avenger - someone I had long believed was an honorable member of the loyal opposition, has chosen to soil himself not only through sleazy, inappropriate, and unethical behavior, but through the outright embrace of same when called on it.

I sincerely hope that Liberal Avenger has merely come off his medication, and he'll return to sanity after refilling his lithium prescription at Walgreen's.

Since denial failed, and since libelling Patterico (by falsely accusing him of inventing the whole affair) failed, By way of (non)defense, Lib Av has been reduced to flinging Red Herrings about, arguing that Reason Magazine ought to be writing about Iraq rather than a liberal polemicist's abandonment of reason.

It's apparently lost on Lib Av that a lot of people would rather lose a leg to a bullet than lose their honor on a blog.

See, if a soldier dies on a battlefield, some daughter may lose her daddy.

But when someone behaves like Lib Av does on his own blog, then someone may never really have had a daddy to begin with.

Liberal Avenger should apologize to everyone involved, including Patterico and all of his readers, and renounce his behavior.

Carlito cannot show damages, since his own identity is not revealed. But Patrick Frey could consider preparing a defamation/libel suit against Liberal Avenger. Since LA is absolutely without remorse or conscience here, and since his behavior was so beyond the pale, the only reason not to seems to be the hassle factor.

Splash, out


Friday, February 16, 2007

Retired Colonel Ken Allard: "With this column I am severing my relationship with NBC News."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Herschel Smith is blogging ROE 
like a bulldog on a bone.

I don't blog on the ROE and won't start here - there are compelling reasons to write about the silliness that pervades the lawyer-dominated command climate that prevented CENTCOM from killing Mullah Omar when we had the chance - and CENTCOM continues to provide opportunities to do so.

There are also reasons to be very opaque about precisely what the ROE are and are not. The enemy can learn from what we do not write as well as from what we write.

I don't recall the ROE being that problematic for me in 2003 and 2004. It would not surprise me if the ROE got increasingly stupid as Congress got increasingly stupid since my return. Again, since I do not discuss the ROE with anyone, I wouldn't know.

If I felt coalition lives were threatened, and I opened fire on the threat, and I could articulate the reason, I'm confident my battalion would have backed me up.

Can't say the same for CENTCOM or congress, or for anybody else, for that matter.

A despicable snake.

Eeyore the Editor Strikes Again 
The latest laugh-line from the editwats at the New York Times:

If Mr. Sadr had indeed fled, his absence would create a vacuum that could allow even more radical elements of the Shiite group to take power.

Of course, so would a successful airstrike. So would a heart attack. So would a stroke. So would a well-placed banana-peel and a punji stick. So bloody what? There's no way to win with these people.

Memo to the New York Times: Life isn't another episode of Star Wars. If you strike a man down, he does not "become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

Now, I would caveat that by saying I do not regard al Sadr's move to Iran as entirely wonderful news. I was always a tad skeptical of the surge, but there are circumstances under which it can work: The insurgency in Baghdad can be substantially defeated if Coalition Forces are successful in forcing anti-Iraqi forces to commit to battle against their will and against their own better judgement.

From the moojie perspective, the way to counter the surge is to render it moot by taking a vacation to go play golf or take a sabbatical or stay home and abuse your women.

It seems that's what al Sadr is (wisely) doing.

If more radical elements critical of al Sadr wish to stay in Baghdad, then so be it. The more radical they are, the more likely they are to cast themselves upon the Roman pikes in a futile rage. Let them do it during the surge. For all we know, it may be Sadr's way of thinning his own herd.

Sounds like a win-win for both the Coalition and Al Sadr.

Splash, out


Car bomb in Tehran 
From the Accidental Press:

A car bomb killed 11 members of
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday in the deadliest attack in years near the Pakistani border, and Iran accused the United States of backing militants to destabilize the country.

Gee, wouldn't that be a shame if it were true?

Left-wing twit of the year 
Remember - Don't question her patriotism:

A room full of students listened as a US Marine told of the invasion of Baghdad and Falluja and how he killed innocent Iraqis at a check point. He called them “collateral damage” and said he had followed the “rules.”

A Muslim-American student in front of him said “I could slap you but then you would kill me.” A young female Muslim student gasped “I am a freshman; I never thought to hear of this in a class. I feel sick, like I will pass out.”

I knew in that moment that this was what the future of teaching about justice would include: teaching war criminals who sit glaring at me with hatred for daring to speak the truth of their atrocities and who, if paid to, would disappear, torture and kill me. I wondered that night how long I really have in this so called “free” country to teach my students and to be with my children and grandchildren.

This unwitting mockery of a 60's radical professor is what passes for an educator at Loyola University. Then again, any time I see the two words "social justice" used in combination I take it as a sign to get ready for a laugh.

As to this twit being "disappeared, tortured and killed," she doesn't deserve to share that fate with so many legitimate heroes of dissent the world over. It's better simply to mock her.

And now, here they sit in my course on social justice, terrorist war criminals, wanting high paying “criminal justice” jobs in a university Justice Studies program. They want approval, appreciation and honors for terrorism, torture, and murder. They want a university degree so they can get an even higher salary terrorizing more people around the world with security companies such as Blackwater or Halliburton. They want that appropriately named “sheepskin” so they can join the CIA, FBI, and other police and track down and terrorize US residents here.

Wow. I'm a "terrorist war criminal," huh?

The thing is, that's a public accusation of criminal behavior. It might be interesting to see how it would go down if one of her students filed a defamation suit?

Then again, it might be an injustice to hold someone so stupid accountable for her actions.

These military and mercenary terrorist-students are trained in terrorist training camps all under the USA, funded by American taxpayers. In fact, people under the USA are “sacrificing” their health care and their children’s educations while donating their tax dollars to these terrorist training camps. These terrorist camps train money hungry working class stiffs to murder, steal and plunder for the power hungry US corporate war lords.

You know, I had Marxist professors in college. Good ones. They were pretty tough. If I had handed in a paper so long on assertion and so short of proof, they would have been charitable to give me a do-over. More likely, it would have been an D or F. This lady's not just stupid - she's an incompetent expository writer.

There is a saying that “if you do the crime, you do the time”. My response is that “If you do the war crimes, you will do time in hell, whether the hell of war trauma and shock, of diseases such as those caused by depleted uranium, the old-fashioned traditional hell, fire and brimstone assigned to malefactors…or the hell of sitting in a social justice class and discovering what the hell you are in hell for, or are about to be.

Dang. Now that I'm old enough not to give a rat's ass what my grades are, I find myself wishing I could enroll in her class, just for the fireworks.

Splash, out


(Via Memeorandum)

More from the Jawa Report and Q and O.

Ooh, and don't miss this leftist tit's Web sty, here!

Just keep scrolling!

Especially this page on Warriors and Wusses

(Yes, opinion leaders on campus can call us war criminals, terrorists, and rapists. But somehow members of the party that boos at boy scouts on national TV while they present the colors at their own Democratic convention still argue that no one ever EVER could have possibly spit at a returning veteran.)

Update: You can write her at J-terpstra@neiu.edu

Sunday, February 11, 2007

More spitting on soldiers ... 
The holy grail for vetspit deniers:

A contemporaneous account, complete with an arrest.

But don't you dare question her patriotism.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Are you listening, MSNBC, WaPo, and Los Angeles Times? 
As the color guard entered the assembly, the wounded soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen who could do so rose. One of them was Staff Sgt. Jon Arnold-Garcia of the 101st Airborne Division. Arnold-Garcia lost the lower half of his right leg when insurgents attacked his convoy in Hawija, Iraq. He has not yet been fitted with a prosthesis.

Arnold-Garcia stood at attention without his crutches. As the national anthem played, he saluted the flag, standing on one leg. When he would momentarily lose his balance, Arnold-Garcia touched the elbow of his saluting arm to the soldier next to him, Staff Sgt. Steve Bosson of the 1st Cavalry Division. Bosson lost the lower half of his left leg in an insurgent attack west of Baghdad.

Fighting tools of American imperialism? Hiding behind the Constitution and the flag?

Arnold-Garcia, Bosson and thousands of others have shed their blood so ungrateful jerks have the right to write such garbage.

Definitely read the whole thing.

An open letter to Linda Quiquivix 
Dear Linda,

I just read your essay in the Daily Tarheel
in which you describe stripping to your underwear at the behest of El Al security. I also seem to recall something about breaking up with your Jewish boyfriend over your differing beliefs regarding the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

I can tell you that it IS very possible for people of different political convictions to date - and even marry. People do it all the time.

The difference is that both individuals must possess intellectual and emotional maturity - qualities your essay suggests you do not yet possess.

Intellectually, of course, you understand that few things are as simple as they seem to be at first perusal. The Palestinians have plenty of legitimate grievances against the Israelis without you having to invent ones that do not exist.* And the Israelis, who have brought up generations of their own, now, on the land, now have some legitimate claims of their own, regardless of what you believe about the geopolitical situation in Palestine circa 1917.

You're a smart young woman. I can tell that from your efficient use of language. But you are not smart enough to be condescending or arrogant towards others with differing points of view.

The fact that you felt it was your place to "enlighten" your progressive boyfriend on this issue belies an astounding intellectual and emotional immaturity. It is your place to understand - not to enlighten. Understanding, in time, brings its own enlightenment, and that's almost always a two-way street.

And you're a beautiful woman - you will have no shortage of suitors, I'm sure.

Your ex-boyfriend, however, is better off without you.


Jason Van Steenwyk
North Lauderdale, Florida

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why our media sucks 
Yet another reason.

Via Memeorandum.

"Obscene Amenities" 
Target!!! Fire For Effect!!!!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Spitting: Volokh's Jim Lindgren blows it wide open... 
...And here's a big, fat, slimy, green noogie in the faces of Jerry Lembcke, One Pissed Off Vet, and the rest of the deniers.

Lindgren finds too many specific instances in contemporary press accounts for me to reproduce here. Read the whole thing.

And demand a retraction from Slate, and an acknowledgement from One Pissed off Vet, who was more interested in slandering his fellow veterans than in pursuing the truth.

As for Professor Lembcke, maybe he should take some remedial research classes.

Splash, out


More from the Dolts at the New York Times 
This time a pool of genius reporters manage to write two pages on the recent sharp increase in the number of downed helicopters without once mentioning any possibility of an Iranian connection.

That takes some blindness.

This just in ... 
from the dolts on the New York Times editorial board:

The charge of attempted murder lodged against Capt. Lisa Nowak is not just a tragedy for the astronaut and her family. It strikes at the cherished image of astronauts as superior individuals who can cope with stresses that might crumple the rest of us. However the criminal charges are ultimately resolved, there is already a clear lesson of this bizarre case: astronauts are human, subject to the same marital strains and mental aberrations that afflict more ordinary mortals.

Ooh, there's a scoop!

Splash, out


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New York: America's Nanny State 
First, the frigging U.S. bagel with cream cheese and hot dog capital moves to prohibit adults from eating saturated fats in the city's restaurants. Ok, I can create a plausible public interest argument.

Next, another city council woman wants to ban models who are too skinny from New York City's runways. Ok, I can see legitimate reasons why some well-meaning idiot might want to do that.

Next, someone else wants to ban people from talking on cell phones while walking in the city.

Ok, I'll stipulate to the innate stupidity of NYC residents willing to put up with the first two lawmakers - and people who routinely reelect Charlie "It's worse than those six million Jews being killed" Rangel to the House of Representatives can't be all that bright.

But this takes the cake.

Buy a cup'o Joe for a soldier 
Click here.

Army reduces accident fatalities by 20% over last year 
I blame Halliburton.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some very sensible advice 
...about lending money.

And Justin McHenry has this to say about Prosper.com

Spitting on Vets: A Personal Account 
From a reader

I was severely wounded in June of 72, evaced to Clark then to Yokuta in Japan. By the time I was released from care I weighed 135# and still had mobility problems. I caught a JAL flight to SF and from there was to connect to a Delta hop taking me home in NOLA. I couldn't walk the 1/2 mile or so between terminals so one of the Sky Caps pushed me over in a wheel chair.

I was in full uniform (Class A) and got confronted by several people who called me names, mocked me and the Sky Cap, my wounds and the US democratic system it self. I'd had one drink on the plane, that and my meds had left me very mellow. I laughed at them, razzed the men that they hid behind skirts and had no balls. To the women I asked if soap and water was a sign of evil capitalist decadence and did they buy patchouli oil in gallon jars.

My verbally taunting them back seemed to enrage them further and also drew a crowd. One of the loudmouthed and very filthy men came at me w/fists raised, I jabbed him in the gut w/me crutch causing to puke on himself and curl up in a ball on the floor. Two of the hippie chicks then spit at/on me while spewing the most vile threats and curses.

As we, the Sky Cap and myself where semi surrounded we tried to back up and didi mau the hell away from there. Before we could 2 of the SF police came and the hippies tried to claim I had attacked them for no reason. It took a bit but the real story came out, several of the scum got arrested and I got a police escort to the Delta gate. I was lucky there was a dry cleaner close enough that I could get my uniform done. The Sky Cap was a Korea vet and refused my money "Sergeant, just seeing you fight back and not give up is payment enough.". I kept in touch w/him over the years till he passed. The SF paper crime log reported that the 2 arrested had their charges dropped.


(I've withheld the name, but if a journo wants to follow up I'll put you in touch. A San Francisco local might be able to pull an old issue on microfiche.)


Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere's Mark O'Connor!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Just how dumb are researchers? 
Here's the latest from CNN.

More children and teens are being exposed to online pornography, mostly by accidentally viewing sexually explicit Web sites while surfing the Internet, researchers say.


Houston ... 
... We have a problem.

Oliver Stone's "Spitoon" 
I started a real s***storm with the spitting on veterans post, with things spilling over onto Ace of Spades and Volokh Conspiracy, thanks to the InstaLanche (thank you, O Great One!

Thank you all for the firsthand accounts, and for the entertainingly obnoxious dissents.

Here's someone who was unconvinced - at least, as of last week:

Remember, there is ZERO evidence that these spitting incidents ever occurred. None. Not a single arrest, police report or newspaper/media account contemporary with the event.

If you can find one (and not some bogus after-the-fact reminiscence), send it to me and I will eat my words.

Well, here's yet another bilous, foul-mouthed and angry lefty who'd rather call his fellow veterans liars - including Joshua Sparling by name - than grant even the smallest rhetorical victory.

Unfortunately, not only do we have veterans and eyewitnesses coming forward to discredit Farnsworth's position in the comments to this blog and others - we also have someone now on record having confessed to being among those doing the spitting.

Oh, waiter! The snarling, angry fool in the corner would like one order of crow!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just how dumb are educrats? 
Please tell me this is a George Carlin joke:

After a public school teacher was recorded telling students they belonged in hell if they did not accept Jesus as their savior, the school board has banned taping in class without an instructor’s permission

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

...and has added training for teachers on the legal requirements for separating church and state.

Wow. The official position of the District is that teachers colleges are so useless that their graduates cannot even be assumed to understand the basic foundational documents of our Republic?

In that case, the solution isn't inservice training. It's a Stalinist purge - starting with the deans and faculty of teachers colleges.

Splash, out


The Second Coming 
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

--William Butler Yeats

Should William Arkin Be Beaten For the Repulsive Sack of Shit He Is? 
IowaHawk, ever the Devil's advocate, says no.

Spitting on Veterans 
Slate's Jack Schaefer is joining Media Matters in desperately trying to establish the meme that spitting incidents involving war veterans is myth, an urban legend. After all, that reprehensible behavior on the part of VietNam era leftists has hung like an albatross around liberals' necks for years, now.

The lefties tired of the sins of the fathers cramping the sins of the sons, and one look at Google establishes how desperately they are struggling to erase those incidents from our collective memory.

It's never happened to me that I can recall (though I don't advertise veteran status in public with people I don't know), and I don't attend rallies of any sort, and never have. So I don't make myself much of a target.

But Blackfive says it happened to him personally.
And a number of his commenters are saying it happened to them as well. It happened to my Dad.

And though Lemcke tries to argue that no contemporary media accounts from the Viet Nam era mention first-person accounts of being spat on, Lemcke can go suck on a rock as far as I'm concerned.

So what is happening? The activist lefties are not content to spit on returned war veterans - their enablers in the media are now calling us liars as well.

Splash, out


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Joshua Sparling lost his leg in Iraq 
...only to come home and get spat on by an anti-war protester.

What kind of person seeks out the amputee in a crowd to spit on? Well, the kind that would have his retina detached, if he tried it in front of me.

So what's the reaction from the KosKidz!

"F&^k Sparling! NIEDERMEYER -- DEAD!!"

There is no depth to which they will not sink.

Splash, out


Note: Media Matters for America has questions about Sparling's story.

They're dolts, though. For example, look at this paragraph...

Conservatives have been telling stories of anti-war protesters spitting on returning Vietnam veterans for decades, even though, as College of the Holy Cross associate professor of sociology and anthropology Jerry Lembcke wrote in an April 30, 2005, Boston Globe op-ed, "[t]here is an element of urban legend in the stories." Nevertheless, Lembcke wrote, the "image of spat-upon veterans is the icon through which many people remember the loss of the war, the centerpiece of a betrayal narrative that understands the war to have been lost because of treason on the home front."

My Dad got spat on, while in uniform, immediately upon returning to CONUS from Viet Nam. No, I wasn't an eyewitness, but he mentioned it many times, from when I was very small, and the details have always been consistent.

Media Matters is in way over its head trying to explain away or minimize the scumminess of the antiwar activist moonbat fringe of the left.

If there are people willing to sabotage abortion clinics, there are sure as f*ck people willing to spit on veterans.

Media Matters, you owe an apology to every returning veteran who saw it happen with his own eyes, or had it happen to him.

I'm not holding my breath.

Splash, out


A miscarriage of justice 
(no pun intented).

If this sorry assed cop doesn't have the God-given sense to prioritize a rape investigation over a four-year-old warrant for a juvenile offense, then I don't want his ass on the force.

The same goes for every sorry ass in the chain of command that must have known what was happening.

Yes, I realize that there's no ignoring it once you call in with a warrant check. But why did this dumbass cop call in the warrant check anyway? Was there probable cause?

Shall we just declare open season on young women with outstanding warrants?

That's just abominable.

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