Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Air Force Combat Action Medal
Finally the Air Force is recognizing their Airmen for serving in direct combat operations. These guys are out there giving their all, yet there was no recognition for their sacrifice. The Army, Navy and Marines all have their own. It only took us 60 years to catch up.
Combat Action Medal to recognize airmen who fight on the ground
By Bryant Jordan - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jan 29, 2007 16:03:11 EST
"In April the Air Force will begin awarding a Combat Action Medal to the growing number of airmen whose jobs involve being shot at by the enemy.
The new medal will be to airmen what the Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge and Combat Medical Badge are for soldiers and the Combat Action Ribbon is to Marines and sailors: testament that they have come under fire in the performance of their mission.
Lt. Gen. Roger A. Brady, deputy chief of staff for personnel and manpower, said award of the medal would be retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001.
The Air Force unveiled the design of the new medal and ribbon Friday on its official Web site.
Though fighter and bomber pilots have long been the pointy-edge of the sword when the Air Force has gone to war - and so have collected the bulk of combat-related decorations - other airmen have engaged the enemy.
Enlisted airmen fired machine guns from World War II bombers, and security forces troops fought and pushed back enemy ground troops assaulting their bases as recently as Vietnam.
But the nature of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, especially new demands placed on the Air Force to assist the Army, has thrust a growing number of airmen into ground combat, whether driving and securing convoys or making the long walk to a street curb to "safe" an improvised explosive device.
"We have some things happening [in this war] that haven't happened to this degree at any time in our history, and that is we have a lot more people that are exposed to combat," Brady said. "These are not traditional [Air Force] missions."
About 5,000 airmen are doing "in-lieu-of" soldier missions on any given day, he said."
The best part about this medal is that it won't be handed out to just any Airman who stubbed his toe in the Green Zone.
"The persons awarded this new badge will have to have been in an actual combat role," he said in an e-mail to Air Force Times. "Someone from finance, who never leaves the interior of the base they are at, should not be awarded it because of a hangnail suffered at the snack machine."
According to Brady, that won't happen. The medal is not for airmen who are in the wrong place at the wrong time, he said, but for those who get into combat in the course of their duty. Brady said, for instance, airmen in the Pentagon on Sept. 11 would not qualify under the rules as drafted."
Good on the Air Force for finally realizing that the Airmen who are out there fighting along side the Army and Marines deserve more recognition than a hand shake and a coupon for a free oil change at the base auto shop once they return to the states.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Homeland Security Issues Norovirus Warning
Usually I joke about stuff like this, but there is a lot of traffic going up the official channels warning folks about the situation. Stay alert, and no kidding... wash your freak'n hands before I shake them. (H/T to BamBam, who's a safety guy on another base with one finger on the trigger and the other checking for wind direction. He doesn't mess around)
Here is the document attached to the email from the Department of Homeland Security.
A contagious viral infection, Norovirus, is now circulating through the Nation with a very high incidence in the Boston area. Another outbreak recently closed the Washington Dulles Hilton Hotel, and thus far has sickened over 100 students at Radford University in Virginia. The symptoms associated with this virus are acute-onset vomiting, watery non-bloody diarrhea with abdominal cramps, and nausea with a chance of vomiting. Vomiting, however, is more common in children. Low-grade fever also occasionally occurs. Dehydration is the most common complication, especially among the young and elderly, and may require medical attention. Symptoms usually last 24 to 60 hours. Recovery is usually complete and there is no evidence of any serious long-term consequences.
Noroviruses are transmitted primarily through the fecal-oral route, either by consumption of fecally contaminated food or water, or by direct person-to-person spread. Although aerosolization of vomitus may represent another mechanism of spread, there is no evidence that infection occurs through the respiratory system. Personnel are encouraged to incorporate standardized precautions into their daily routine. The Protective Medicine Branch suggests the following measures be adopted:
-Hand washing is the single best way to limit the spread of the virus.
1.Wet hands with very warm water and apply a copious quantity of soap.
2.Rub hands together for at least 15 seconds covering all surfaces including hands, fingers, and thumbs.
3.Rinse with very warm water.
4.Utilize paper towels to dry hands if possible. Damp cloth towels may harbor germs. Properly discard paper towels after use.
5.Alcohol-based hand disinfectant and antiseptic towelettes are not the optimal disinfectant agents in this case, but should be employed if soap and water are not available.
-If symptoms of viral infection develop, personnel should ensure proper hydration during the course of sickness.
-Consult with your medical provider if symptoms persist.
So, once again... Wash your freak'n hands. I know it sounds stupid, but how many people do you see at work not wash their hands after using the bathroom.
I think we should start replacing the handshake with a headbut.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Blackwater USA - We Share Their Losses
Last week 5 employees of Blackwater USA were killed when their helicopter was shot down in Baghdad. Four personnel died instantly, while the fifth fought off enemy forces to the last round. The battle, and the retrieval of the bodies, was reportedly similar in ferocity to that of the 'Black Hawk Down' Mogadishu battle... and was fought by an all civilian force.
I can't say enough about the men and women working for Blackwater. They're truly some of the most professional and dedicated people in the world, and it's a tragedy that the organization has lost so many great people. I hope and pray that this never happens again.
And on a side note, those who are against this war repeatedly claim that Blackwater is a mercenary force. This is as far from the truth as possible. These guys do a lot of things, including providing security to people who are working and living in a war zone, but they are not paid to conduct offensive military operations against an enemy. They simply protect those who need protecting. They play the defense.
If you get a chance, head out to the Blackwater USA site and look around. I never knew they sold tactical gear and other stuff I wish I had for my last deployment. I'll be ordering some of this stuff before my next go-around in the sandbox.
Donald Trump's Battle Over His Pole
From RWA's Thoughts from the Heart of Dixie(a great site):
"Trump built and owns a resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In early October, he had an 80-foot flag pole constructed, from which he flies a 15' x 25' American flag.
Well, it seems that the officials who run Palm Beach aren't impressed. They claim Trump has violated several ordinances and local laws, including a restriction preventing flag poles from being higher than 42 feet, not getting a building permit, and not getting permission from a local board. In late November, they told him to take it down. He didn't."
Go read the rest. Especially the part about Trump donating whatever money he gets from the lawsuit to help injured Iraq War Veterans.
Hey, when your 'little Trump' is as big as mine, then I'll give you the time of day. Until then, You're Fired baby! Touch my flag pole again and your head will be shoved up a part of Rosie you wouldn't want to touch with a ten foot pool.
After all... someone's got to snap you out of it.
Language warning... 'nough said.
And now for my favorite. I'm hanging this one next to my Chuck Norris motivational poster.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Caffeinated Doughnuts - A Cop's Dream Come True
DURHAM. N.C. (AP) "That cup of coffee just not getting it done anymore? How about a Buzz Donut or a Buzzed Bagel? That's what Doctor Robert Bohannon, a Durham, North Carolina, molecular scientist, has come up with. Bohannon says he's developed a way to add caffeine to baked goods, without the bitter taste of caffeine. Each piece of pastry is the equivalent of about two cups of coffee."
Come on now, I know it's just a stereotype about cops, but it's a fun stereotype. It's like someone saying the Air Force is full of gamers and geeks. We're not all geeks!
And yes... even this...
Friday, January 26, 2007
Yes, It's Australia Day... but it's also FRIDAY!!!!!
"I don't want to work, I just want to bang on d'drum all day...."
Funny thing, when I told my 7 year old that Neil Peart was the best drummer in the world, she looked at the screen and said, "Someone that old?"
And... to torture folks like me who would kill to have the best drum set in the world (and because using pencils on our coffee mugs at work just doesn't cut it), here it is, the Neil Peart R30 Drum Kit.
We're not worthy.
For those of you in the mood for something a little more mellow, I give you (no kidding) David Lee Roth... singing a bluegrass version of 'Jump.'
I think I have indeed surfed the entire internet and have found the end.
Australia Day 2007
Australia's first European colony was founded on January 26, 1788, just a few yards from the site of the Sydney Opera House. Roughly 1500 Brits, half of which were prisoners, landed, started building shelters, made lots of beer, partied like it was 1789, and the rest is history.
Every January 26 the Aussies celebrate this event with a nationwide party... kind of like our 4th of July here in the U.S. They spend an entire day reminding themselves about how much they like living in Australia.
Since my 7 year old daughter is half Aussie (and half driving me insane) we celebrate Australia day every year. If anything, it's a great excuse for a party.
Happy Australia Day Sweetie!
Both of my girls sitting on top of a crock at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo this past October.
The Kanagroos were almost always laid back, though there is always one out of the bunch that likes to throw punches.
All three daughters annoying/playing with the roos. Like most of the zoo, it's easy to hang out with the animals instead of just looking at them through a cage. Definitely worth it.
Horseback riding in Newcastle... 100K North of Sydney. Lots of old WWII bunkers in the area to repel a possible Japanese invasion. Newcastle harbour is the world's largest exporter of coal, which made it a prime target for Imperial Japan. I of course couldn't go along... horses and I don't get along too well. Last time I rode one I ended up stuck in a tree.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
'The Trojan' Suit, and the Future Protection of Troops
There has been a rush in the defense community to improve the current body armor system our troops are using in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although the current ceramic plating/kevlar armor we use today has saved countless lives, there is still a hell of a lot of room for improvement.
Fellow Air Force Dude 'Tumbleweed' sent me a link to this news article on the new full body armor suit a Canadian inventor and seriously kick-ass guy invented. It's called 'The Trojan', and from the looks of it, I'd be pissing my pants if I were an insurgent fighting against someone dressed like this.
Future upgrades may include a beer can holder, IPod jack, and some serious bling for the ladies. After all, what woman can resist a man in uniform?
Odds are it'll probably fail initial testing, but the guy is still a genius. If he can get the backing to perfect this sort of suit, our casualty numbers would plummet. Of course it needs to be comfortable, easily wearable in the desert sun, it can't reduce or limit your ability to see or hear Haji, and it needs to withstand an IED-type of blast. If it can really do all of this, then this guy, who's Canadian, deserves every stink'n medal we can give him as well as every dollar we can throw at him to mass produce it.
Even if it can't hold up initially, I think this guy is on to something. He needs to play with it a little more, but the concept of full-body protection is amazing, and achievable.
Hey Canadian dude, great job. If you can pull this off, every member of the Armed Forces owes you a beer.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Hiroshima Reenactment using CGI
Powerful... sad... yet it's the best example of why these things should never be used again. I understand that at that time the US was facing at least 100K in casualties had it proceeded with its conventional invasion against Japan. The Japanese made it clear that they would never surrender.
Yet they did surrender once word got back to the government about how terrible the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs had been.
Whoever made this show did a great job in illustrating the lesson we all learned after WWII.
Nuclear weapons were terrible, and hopefully they will never be used again.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Terrorist, Rogue States, and WMDs... Oh My!
Terrorist, Rogue States, and WMDs.... my kind of conference. I'll be attending this over the next few days out in D.C. Hopefully it'll be worth it.
It's been a while since I've delved into this much research and insight on intel and WMD issues. I miss it. I just wish the Air Force would let me do it full time, but hey... they need coffee brewers and power point slide makers with Masters Degrees in National Security Studies. What else are we good for?
"Would you like some sugar with that General?"
At least they're sending me to this conference. I'll write about anything I come across that sounds interesting. If it all turns out to be a big bore, I'm hitting some museums.
WMDs? Vewy Funny Ew Capitan.
ABC News on Finding Serious Stuff in Iraq
A few weeks ago ABC news found proof of weapons flowing from Iran to the insurgents in Iraq. Our national response.... zzzzzzzzzz.... nothing.
Now it looks like ABC news has uncovered insurgent plans for an attack againt the US here at home. I bet I can guess our national response... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.... nothing.
The NBC/CBS/CNN/FOXNews response.... a 10 second lead in, 5 seconds of laughing, back to the story about the hot Florida teacher accused of sleeping with her students.
The Democratic response.... It's GW's fault. He caused Global Warming/Terrorism/Polio/AIDS/War/Famine/Slavery. It's all his fault! Vote for us or we'll all die! Ahhhhhrrrrggghh!
The Republican response.... let's spend some more money on bridges in Alaska.
Bush's response.... no comment..... from Tony Snow.
The average citizens response.... Dude, American Idol comes on this week!
I'm starting to get a little impatient with the way we're handling this war.
A Post About Nothing
Why? I'm half asleep because some moronic brain cells in my head (I have many of them) decided to scare the crap out of me last night and not let me get back to sleep, and now I'm scrambling to finish a week's worth of work today so I can go out to D.C. for a conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction. No, it's not a lecture on how to find them, it's supposed to be a discussion on how to avoid having them show up here.
So yes, this is a post about nothing because I've about hit rock bottom today. I can't wait to sleep, but then again that's not even an option because I want to spend some time with the kids before I head out.
And who could forget the best 'male' license plate ever created. Another crap email that I seem to get at work. Don't get me wrong, I love getting stuff like this while working, but doesn't anyone ever respect the Gov. email rules anymore? You should see some of the stuff that gets through the .mil filters these days. Of course their usually sent by guys with only a few months left in the AF before they retire, so they don't give a damn.
Came across Hillary this morning. If I new how to make this a moving .Gif file, I'd have way too much fun with that pose. This would also make the best motivational poster for those needing proctology exams. Remember, two thumbs means she loves ya.
Oh, and Go Bears!
Around 2am this morning I awoke to a strange banner flashing across the lower half of my TV screen. It was supposedly a verse from the Qaran.
'And always those who seek gold....'
Don't remember the rest of the verse, but as I was reading it I remember hearing shouts and cries echoing throughout the neighborhood, followed by a deafening explosion.
Poof, I woke up... and stayed awake the rest of the night.
Guess I need to stop watching TV before I go to sleep. Especially shows about Iraq.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Movie Review - The Queen
I know what you're thinking, and yes... you're right. I was dragged kicking and screaming to this thing. The last thing I wanted to do was watch a movie about the Queen of England.
Yet, I was totally wrong about it. It was a pretty good movie.
If you have any interest in the Princess Diana/Royal Family debacle, this paints a very good portrait as to how things really where between both sides. It's a movie about changing beliefs and perceptions.
It focuses on Tony Blair's early days as Prime Minister, and how his previous negative perception of the Monarchy was the foundation for his interaction with the Queen. That negative perception was held by most British citizens as well, especially due to their treatment of Princess Diana. The Queen and her family were very hateful towards Diana, and in the days following her death that bad blood(and their ignorance of how important Diana was to the people) almost ruined the Monarchy.
Helen Mirren, the woman who played Queen Elizabeth, was insanely perfect. She nailed everything, and looked like her twin (although in real life she's much younger and more blonde). Her anger, fear, and internal struggle came through to the audience even when she wasn't speaking. In the beginning you see her as a royal douche bag, but by the end you're ready to bow before her.
You couldn't help but admire the Tony Blair character for changing his mind on many things, showing just how much the Blair government matured during the week after Diana's death. He transformed from a far-left idealist to a mature, intelligent leader, and helped to bring all sides together.
Prince Charles... still a weasel.
On my 'Movies are like Alcohol' rating scale, watching The Queen is like drinking a 100 year old malt Scotch Whisky. Crisp, dry, painful at first, but by the end it's as smooth as silk and the world is a better place when you're walking home.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
This is why I joined the military
H/T Ace of Spades:
"Four Royal Marines flew into a battle zone clinging to the outside of helicopter gunships in a bid to rescue a fallen comrade, the Ministry of Defence has revealed.
Unwilling to leave behind one of their number following a retreat, the commandos strapped themselves to the small stabiliser wings of two Apache helicopters and returned into the midst of a fierce gunfight with the Taliban in southern Afghanistan."
I joined the Air Force because I wanted to protect my country, see the world, get the girl, and most importantly.... to ride into combat strapped to the side of an Apache. I haven't done the Apache thing yet, but at least I know it's possible.
These guys have some serious brass. That's an amazing story.
Godspeed Tech. Sgt. Timothy R. Weiner, Senior Airman Daniel B. Miller Jr., Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki
1/10/2007 - HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah (AFNEWS) -- Hill AFB leaders reflected on the loss of three Airmen who were killed in Iraq by a car bomb. According to Air Force officials, the three Airmen were trying to defuse the explosive device when it detonated. One other Airman not assigned to Hill was also injured in the explosion.
Patriots, Heros, Friends, Airmen... you will not be forgotten.
Funds Set Up To Aid Families Of 3 Fallen Airman
"Utahns are lending a helping hand to the families of the three Hill Air Force airmen who were killed over the weekend in Iraq.Separate funds have been set up for the families of each of the three airmen. They are 35-year-old Tech Sergeant Timothy R. Weiner from Tamarac, Florida, 23-year-old Senior Airman Elizabeth A. Loncki from New Castle, Delaware and finally 24-year-old Senior Airman Daniel B. Miller, Jr. from Galesburg, Illinois.
Anyone interested in donating can drop by any Wells Fargo Bank location."
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
U.S. Must Redeploy out of Oklahoma and Texas
Snow, ice storm blamed for 55 deaths!
McALESTER, Okla. - "Thousands of people stuck it out in dark, unheated homes Wednesday and hundreds of others hunkered down in shelters waiting for restoration of electrical service knocked out by the snow and ice storm blamed for 55 deaths in nine states."
Ladies and gentlemen, the US just can't seem to stem the onslaught of ice and snow throughout the southwest through Oklahoma, so I'm calling for a strategic redeployment out of the region.
US Out of Texas and Oklahoma!
Our presence is only making things worse. Get out now before more people die.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Lingering questions from last night's 24 episode
Some questions about the bomb going off in Los Angeles last night.
- How was Jack Bauer able to talk on his cell phone afterwards? Wasn't there an EMP?
- A 1-kiloton bomb is pretty small, but how much damage would it cause in a real world scenario? Especially since it was at ground level, and not at the ideal height above ground.
- Would cities across the country located downwind from the fallout be evacuated?
- What about residual earthquakes? Should the entire fault area have erupted?
Casino Royale with Cheese
Still practicing with photoshop....
Monday, January 15, 2007
Fallout Boy - Misheard Lyrics
Fallout Boy has a really good song out on the radio called 'This Ain't a Scene'. After rocking out to it about 10 times I finally decided to look up the lyrics because, honestly, it's like listening to someone shouting over a blender grinding up nuts and bolts.
So, while looking for some lyrics I stumbled across this. Apparently I'm not the only fan of the song who's confused. A very funny tranlation of the lyrics.
I'm also into cats...
I just watched my first episode of 24.
I guess Disneyland is out of the question this year.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
An Update to the Air Force Academy Cadet F-15E Incentive Ride Request
Last month I shared with you an email sent from a Major to an Air Force Academy Cadet. The Cadet was cluelessly asking for an incentive ride from the Major's Fighter Squadron, and the Major sent, what most of us felt, was an appropriate response to such a bone-headed request.
According to Tumbleweed, the only guest blogger on this site and the friend who forwarded me the email, something happened to the Major involved.
"I heard from a fairly reliable source that Maj T***** from the 333rd FS did
indeed get in some hot water for an unprofessional response to Cadet
S***** IV. The Commandant of Cadets at USAFA got wind of this incident
and placed a call to the wing commander out at Seymour-Johnson. The ball
rolled downhill and the major got in trouble. The highlight of this fiasco
is that the cadet is getting his F-15E ride.
Amazing what some whining can do huh? Now here's another question. Just
what kind of ride is the cadet going to be getting? Are they gonna put him
through the wringer? Or will it be a straight and level sleep inducer?"
On a professional level I can understand how the Major's words could have been considered a little too harsh. After all the Cadet is still just a kid with his head still up his kiester, so he didn't know any better. What I disagree with is giving this kid a ride. I won't argue that the rides are a blast. I've been lucky and have had a few of my own backseat rides, but this guy doesn't deserve more than a coin and a sorry from the Major.
There are too many more deserving Air Force personnel at the Fighter Squadron that deserve that ride. Have the kid go and load bombs, tear out engines, and fix hydrolics if he wants to earn a ride.
I guess it pays to whine. Looks like we've got a nother winner coming from the Academy in a few years. Oh joy.
But I really wanted a ride. Whaaaaaaaaaa!
Air Force F-22s Head to Japan
January 10, 2007
F-22 Stealth Fighter Jets Give U.S. 'All Options' In Okinawa
By Audrey McAvoy, Associated Press
The Air Force plans to send its most advanced fighter jet, the F-22, abroad for the first time when it deploys 12 of the planes to Okinawa next month.
Gen. Paul V. Hester, Honolulu-based commander of Pacific Air Forces, said the planes will train with Japan's air force, U.S. F-15s, and the U.S. Navy while at Okinawa's Kadena Air Base.
The U.S. military presence in the region will get a boost with the deployment, helping its ability to respond to any security crises that might erupt.
The planes will give the top commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific "all the options to face the contingencies that he might face," Hester told The Associated Press in an interview.
Honestly, a while back the US was looking into selling the F-22 to some of its key allies, namely Japan and England. I wish this would happen. Since the US isn't buying nearly enough F-22s, it would greatly benefit us to have our close friends buy their own. The more superior fighters that are out there on our side, the better odds we have against any possible large-scale battle.
Plus, the Japanese took the F-15J and transformed it into an even better air-superiority fighter. I can't imagine what they'd do with the F-22J. All I know is that they would kick ass if ever called upon.
Look Out Godzilla, She's a Bad Mama-Jama!
Best Christmas Book of 2006 - Manga Claus
I was sitting with my daughters in the kid's section of Barnes and Noble last night when I came across this book. It was a very amusing read, and it put a great twist on the Santa Claus story.
In the book, Santa is an Samaurai who fights off an army of evil, deranged teddy bears that invade the North Pole. It's written in comic book form, and my 7 year old had a kick saying the words 'Pow', 'Crack', 'Thwack', and 'Kablam!' It's not a dark or violent book. It's actually funny and light-hearted.
So if you like Anime art and Christmas, you'll really like this book. Your kids may just like it too. Also, all Christmas books are 50% off this week. (Damn, I sound like a commercial)
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
The Royal Australian Air Force Received its First C-17
The first of four C-17 Globemasters ordered by the Aussies landed at Amberley, near Brisbane. For a mere $780 Million they're getting four of the best, most modern, most dependable airlifters in the world. I just wish they'd order a dozen more. It would help keep the C-17 production line going for us, and it would revolutionize the dilapidated Aussie airlift capabilities.
For a country with a landmass nearly equal to that of the US, they could use a good plane to get their forces around the country, and of course anywhere around the world.
I was lucky enough to have a friend give me a tour of the C-17 plant out in Long Beach last Summer. He showed me the Aussie bird under construction. Even without wings and engines, she was definitely a beauty mate.
Congrats to our RAAF brothers and sisters down south. It's nice to see them get a new toy to play with. Just be nice to her. And to the USAF Major who got the job as an exchange pilot to help train the Aussie pilots.... you suck.
The Commanding Officer of No.36 Squadron, Wing Commander Linda Corbould in front of her new baby... the C-17A Globemaster. Don't even think of asking her for a ride.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Don't Forget Harry is Coming to Town
An Afternoon with Harry Belafonte here in Dayton Ohio, tomorrow.
All Up In Djibouti
Just wanted to wish an old friend of mine, Capt Saladbar, aka 'The Filippino Legend', and my Brutha from Anotha Mutha, a safe deployment.
He will be all up in Djibouti (Ja-Booty) Africa with some peacekeepers. He promised some good pictures, so I'll be passing along some interesting stuff as they come in.
Take care my friend, and don't do anything I wouldn't do.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Courtesy of PETA - Saddam's Cat is up for Adoption
I hear it's cute, cuddly, and palace-broken. (H/T MissBirdlegs, who had me rolling with this one)
Booo-Ya! Al-Qaida getting smoked out of Africa
We're dropping 'em in the caves of Afghanistan.
We're taking 'em out throughout Iraq.
Now we're laz'n, taz'n, and flambaying 'em in Somalia.
WASHINGTON - "The U.S. military launched a strike against several suspected members of al-Qaida in Somalia, a government official said Monday night.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the operation's sensitivity, said at least one AC-130 gunship was used in the attack.
U.S. Navy vessels have been deployed off the coast of Somalia to make sure al-Qaida or allied jihadists don't escape the country, the State Department said last Wednesday."
Remember, Al Qaida has never won a military victory against the US. Sadly, after we take out a few hundred of them in Somalia they'll catch on and slither away into the civilian population, but at least Ethiopia, Somalia, and US forces are hot on their trail.
Of course, there's always the threat of the Democratic house accusing the President of being too aggressive against the misunderstood militants of the world and pulling funding.
An Afternoon with Harry Belafonte
No... seriously... he's really coming here to speak at Wright State University this Wednesday.
January 10, 2007
Apollo Multipurpose Room
WSU Student Union
Free & Open to the Public
No Tickets Required
Called "The Consummate Entertainer (Traitor)" for his achievements as a concert singer (one hit wonder), recording artist (one hit wonder), movie (Lassie had more films), Broadway (nothing big), and television star (30 years ago) and producer (of crap), Harry Belafonte's human rights activities (supporting every Dictator's right to commit human rights) are also respected (by the Marxist-Lenninist extremem left) around the world. His version of The Banana Boat Song (one hit wonder) on the album Calypso brought Jamaica's calypso beat to mainstream audiences (40 years ago) and was the first album to sell one million copies. One of the first African American producers in television, Belafonte won an Emmy Award for Tonight with Belafonte (which lasted 3 episodes?) and has been a frequent guest on television variety shows (Wow, The Gong Show... 30 years ago). His film career includes roles in Carmen Jones, Island in the Sun, Buck and the Preacher, and Kansas City (all crappy 'B' movies).
Well-known as an advocate for human (abuse) rights, Belafonte was cultural advisor to the Peace Corps and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador (which says a lot about those organizations). His awards include the Albert Einstein Award from Yeshiva University (second only to their P-Diddy Award. Yeshiva U? Where the F' is that? ), the Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Prize (????), the Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts (30 years ago with one song), and for his work with children (being beaten, imprisoned, and put into camps by friendly dictators, like his buddy Chavez), the Acorn Award from Bronx Community College (WOW, Bronx Community College???? That's almost a Nobel! This man is amazing!).
In other words, I don't think I could sit for 2 minutes listening to this has-been, anti-American hack who makes money lecturing to College kids and Fascists.
Of course, anyone in the area is more than welcome to attend. I bet they'll have some good snacks, fresh coffee, and plenty of leftist propaganda pamplets to go around.
On second thought, I may just go.
If you can't make it, here's the link to Wright State University's Office of the President. He's hosting the event. Be sure to kindly remind him who Belefante's other friends are, and how he believes in the destruction of the U.S.
For example: (via FrontPage.Com)
HARRY Belafonte's contemptuous and contemptible assaults on Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice surprised a lot of people - but shouldn't have. Most do not know that Belafonte always was, and apparently still is, an unreconstructed Stalinist - a man who firmly, profoundly believes that America is evil.
Belafonte told CNN's Larry King that Powell was the equivalent of a slave "who lived in the house" during the days of slavery and who "served the master."
Then he used his influence to get the African aid group, Africare, to disinvite Rice, the scheduled keynote speaker at their fund-raising dinner, at which Belafonte was to be honored for his humanitarian efforts.
On King's show, Belafonte said Rice is a "Jew . . . doing things that were anti-Semitic and against the best interests of her people." Evidently, helping lead the war against terrorism is something not of concern to African-Americans.
Most Americans remember Belafonte as a path-breaking opponent of segregation and racism, and the first black American artist to break the color bar in the 1950s entertainment world and become a major celebrity. Few are aware of the toxic political vision he espouses.
Let's look at a few of his tributes.
* In June 2000, Belafonte was a featured speaker at a rally in Castro's Cuba, honoring the American Soviet spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Tears, one observer reported, "streaked down" Belafonte's face, "as he recalled the pain and humiliation his friend [Paul] Robeson had been forced to endure" in 1950s America. Undoubtedly, he was pleased to hear Cuba presented "as an example of keeping the principles the Rosenbergs fought and died for alive."
* In 1997, Belafonte was featured speaker at the 60th Anniversary celebration of the "Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade," at which he honored these self-proclaimed "premature anti-fascists" who served in the mid-1930s as Stalin's private Comintern army, a battalion (not a brigade) that served as enforcers of Soviet policy during the Spanish Civil War. To Belafonte, nothing had changed since the 1930s. The VALB was still representatives of "a truth that engulfed the universe . . . that fascism anywhere is a threat to people everywhere."
He did not pause to remind the aging vets that their anti-fascism disappeared overnight after their return home - when the remaining soldiers got the news about the Nazi-Soviet Pact in 1939, and quickly declared that the only enemy was FDR's warmongering and Great Britain.
* Speaking in October 1983 at a "World Peace Concert" run by East Germany's official Communist youth organization, Belafonte gave his blessings to the Soviet-sponsored "peace" campaign pushing unilateral Western disarmament, at a time when the Soviets were putting SS-20 missiles in East Germany.
As The New York Times reported, Belafonte "attacked the American invasion of Grenada and also criticized the scheduled NATO weapons deployment" of Pershing 2 missiles in West Germany, which Jimmy Carter and then Ronald Reagan deployed to offset the Soviet missile offensive.
Belafonte, in other words, was supporting the Soviet bloc in its Cold War with the United States. And he was doing so in full embrace with the East German prison state. Here, where the notorious secret police, the Stasi, ruled by waging a perpetual witch-hunt against the entire population - Belafonte had only love and good wishes for their success.
No wonder that the late Leo Cherne, head of the International Rescue Committee, rejected Belafonte's being honored. "I happen to have some reservations about Belafonte," he wrote one of the IRC's board, "I have found him . . . beyond my tastes for the elements of left-wing predisposition. He played a significant relief role in Ethiopia at a time when Ethiopia was under the control of the left wing dictator Mengistu, at the very time that the Castro military forces were playing an active support role."
To Harry Belafonte, Castro is a freedom fighter and Colin Powell and Condi Rice merely "house slaves." Ever the diplomat, Colin Powell responded to Belafonte's blast by calling the singer his "friend," and noting that the slave analogy was from another time and place and was simply "unfortunate." Secretary Powell should take to heart the simple adage, with friends like that . . . .
Good Morning Sir... You're Fired!
This is always nice to see when you walk into work.
Air Force cutting 3,200 mid-level officers
WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- "As the U.S. Army and Marine Corps seek dramatic increases in manpower, the Air Force is planning to fire about 1,800 mid-level officers this year.
The reduction in force, part of a total cut of 60,000 between 2004 and 2009, is meant to free up funds to buy more advanced aircraft.
"Personnel costs have risen 51 percent over the past 10 years," said Air Force spokesman Maj. David Small. "Reducing our force and asking for that savings to be diverted to our acquisition programs is how we are saving the money to spend on a modernized and recapitalized fleet."
About 1,800 officers with between six and 12 years of service under their belts have already taken cash incentives to leave the service early. The Air Force needs to cut another 1,800 this year and will convene a board to decide who gets cut in June.
Additional reductions will be taken in 2008 and 2009."
So is it time for me to start sending out the resumes or what? I know why the AF is cutting folks, but that doesn't mean it's the best way to go about balancing the personnel budget.
The next Air Force commercial should consist of an unemployment line.
Update: Here's another article about even more Officer cuts. Sheesh! Next thing I'll see is an email with a pink slip.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Milblogging and Photoshop
Hats off to anyone actually good at this. I'll be happy just figuring out the basics, and avoiding lawsuits for copyright infringement.
Seriously, think of all the world leaders I could tick off. The famous Kim Jong Bunny pic isn't my doing, but great work like this makes learning photoshop worth the pain. Whoever did this, if they're not slaving away in some North Korean prison, deserves a medal.
"I'm so ronery..."
Any photoshop requests, send them my way.
Here it comes.... The nail in our coffin
(Drudge) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have sent a letter to President Bush saying 'surging forces' in Iraq is a failed strategy and calling for phased redeployment instead...
So instead of fighting the War on Terror abroad, the Democratic leadership has now decided that the United States is better off fighting here at home. Jack Murtha is behind the 'redeployment' lingo, and remember he considers Okinawa Japan as an adequate redeployment location.
My prediction: Bush will say no, the Dems will say no funding, Bush will cave and compromise. He'll call for a slow draw down over a stated period of time (1-2 years).
End result: Iraq will be left as a cesspool of instability, and the only way it will find stabilization is by electing/propping up another dictator. Most likely a religious leader.
The U.S. will once again look like the 'Paper Tiger' that Osama labeled us as after our pull out of Somalia in the 1990s, and more attacks on the US will surely follow.
Why do you think Al Qaeda, Hamas, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea all applauded the elections in November? They wouldn't be cheering for a new U.S. government had they been winning the war. Instead they knew from experience, and from history, that a Democratic led U.S. would walk away from victory.
Big picture, over the next 5 years be prepared for a resurgence of Fascism around the world. Whether backed by radical Islam, or lead by tyrants in South America, get ready for round two of the battle between Democracy and Fascism. Round one ended with 50+ million dead.
Round two will not be as kind.
We of course will sit out the next 5 years and watch while Europe, South America, and Africa fall... or simply hide. China will continue to grow, prosper, and stay out of it all. Russia will continue to gain immense power through its natural resources, further weakening Europe. Israel... it was nice knowing you. You'll be the first to glow, followed either by Paris or New York.
In conclusion, remember what 'Redeployment' has done to us throughout history. Was World War II won by 'redeploying troops'? No, we stood and fought... and won. Now turning and running, leaving millions to suffer, is considered honorable.
What an embarrassment to 'the Greatest Generation' that came before us. I never imagined ever being ashamed of government.
You might as well start learning how to say I Surrender in French and Arabic, because Al Qaeda just won a great victory. There is no doubt that Bin Laden is laughing his ass off right now.
Where Does Islamo-Fascism Get Most of Its Support?
January 5, 2007
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that he believes top officials in the Bush administration have privately concluded they have lost Iraq and are simply trying to postpone disaster so the next president will "be the guy landing helicopters inside the Green Zone, taking people off the roof," in a chaotic withdrawal reminiscent of Vietnam.
"I have reached the tentative conclusion that a significant portion of this administration, maybe even including the vice president, believes Iraq is lost," Biden said. "They have no answer to deal with how badly they have screwed it up. I am not being facetious now. Therefore, the best thing to do is keep it from totally collapsing on your watch and hand it off to the next guy -- literally, not figuratively."
Does this guy even have a clue as to what happens when you mix idiotic domestic politics with war against a lot of bad people who want to kill us? Thankfully, the Uniformed Code of Military Justice is holding back a more appropriate response the Senator deserves.
U.S. forces on hand for clash in Somalia
I can't think of a better example of how we're providing incentives and support to allow nations to protect their own territories against violent upheaval by Islamo-Fascists.
"MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalian government troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers battled about 600 Islamic militiamen yesterday on the southern tip of this Horn of Africa nation, and U.S. Navy forces prevented the gunmen from fleeing by sea, authorities said.
Dinari said that some fighters were trying to escape by sea but that U.S. Navy forces were deployed to stop them. Three al-Qaeda suspects wanted in the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa are believed to be leaders"
Once again, Afghanistan's fall to the Taliban is an example for all vulnerable nations around the world. If you do not fight back, and fight hard, your nation will fall.
Ethiopia and Somalia are choosing to fight back.
Good on our Navy for giving them a hand.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
F-35 Lightning II Takes First Flight
If you haven't heard, Lockheed Martin and the Air Force flew the first official F-35 Lightning II on 15 December. It'll be a few more years before you start seeing these babies flying combat missions, so to help diversify their production line Lockheed Martin has decided to make an F-35 for those who are physically challenged, or can't pass the stringent Air Force pilot physical.
Yes, it's still stealthy, still lethal, and it comes with automated chair lift and can park in the best parking spaces at the mall. There are even some rumors that thanks to this model, the Army is considering re-entering the fighter aircraft world.
Welcome MilBlogging.com Readers
In my effort to set sub-standard goals and continuously fail to achieve them this week, I didn't realize that I was being featured on Milblogging.com's site.
Welcome to the site if you haven't been here before. It started out as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends back in 2004 when I deployed to Kirkuk Iraq. It's now one of the most random sites on the web. One day you'll get astute commentary on nuclear proliferation or Air Force budget news, the next day you'll wonder whether or not a 4 year old stole the password to this site and is holding it ransom.
Feel free to add it to your list of links, and if you have any questions about me, the Air Force, milblogging, how to make a potato gun, bake sugar cookies, or build a bathroom from scratch, send me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Most importantly, be sure to thank J.P. Borda for creating the Milblogging.com site. Before him, we were just a bunch of unorganized heathens with keyboards. Now we're a very organized, slightly suave and sophisticated, bunch of heathans with keyboards.
At least the Air Force folks are. Everyone else seems to be doing pretty well out there.
Either way, welcome aboard... I'm your Captain.
While reading this site, don't forget to Dodge, Dive, Dip, Duck, and.... Dodge.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Playing Ketchup This Week
I hope your 2007 didn't start out like mine, with stacks of overdue stuff on the desk. It's going to be a quiet blogging week since I'll be playing catch up. I'll also be recovering from whatever it is that has infected my throat.
I feel like Lebowski right about now.
The name is 'Dude', dude.