Tuesday, November 27, 2007
A Review of Alicia Keys - 'As I Am'
Alicia Keys hit those buttons yesterday.
Yesterday I started coming down with something. Not sure what it is, but it's really doing a number on me. I'm assuming I caught it after spending all day Wednesday in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense building, talking nearly non-stop to some IqAF Colonels and the IqAF Chief of Staff about a million different issues that are about to sneak up on them and kick their arses. Lost my voice that day, but I found a virus that's now kicking my ass.
Anyways, feeling like crap yesterday I pulled up Alicia's new album, 'As I Am', and I can't say enough about it. It's her best. Almost every song was original, well played, well written, and uniquely Alicia. For the time spent listening to her sing I forgot all about feeling sick, or feeling down about being out here for the holidays. She is a one-of-a-kind singer and songwriter, and she just keeps getting better and better with age.
Of course I have to issue my Alicia Keys disclaimer when talking about the lady and her music. You see, Alicia and I once had 'a moment' together. Now, as a Gentleman I'll never go into details about what was shared, but it was life changing. Seriously, it was. No, I'm not kidding. Well, of course she wasn't there, but that doesn't mean anything. We still had a moment. Anways, her and I go way back so yes, there is some bias in my recommendation to go purchase her new album, but trust me, it's worth every penny.
So, go buy the CD, light some candles, turn down the lights, kick back with your Sugar Momma or Suggar Daddy, and enjoy the music.
Trust me, 'El Capitan' knows what he's talk'n about.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Medic! I NEED A MEDIC!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Send a 'Thank You' to John Howard
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thank You John Howard
I have always been a great fan of Australia's John Howard. Like Tony Blair, he had balls of steel and the character to back it up. A great man, a great leader, and a great friend to the US and its Armed Forces.
Thank you for showing the world how a real leader should act when faced with adversity. Howard guaranteed Australia's role as a key player on the world stage for the 21st Century. He transformed Australia's once stagnant economy into an Asian power house, no matter how much the Labor Party tried to weaken it and weaken Howard. He was a true champion of freedom for all.
Thank you John Howard.
From Jules Crittenden -
"All I have to say is that in his 11 years, Howard not only built the economy at home but advanced Australia, a small, remote nation, as a moral force in the South Pacific, Asia and the world. There are a lot of other small nations out there that could stand to learn from Australia’s example. "
"The nations leading the fight against terrorism have balls nearly the size of my own, and terrorists have despised us for decades over this and many other reasons."
Australian Prime Minister John Howard lecturing yet another reporter about why radical Islam declared war on the west long before the liberation of Iraq.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Uniform Ideas for the New Iraqi Military
If you ever get to spend much time with the Iraqi military you'll notice that their leadership has yet to decide on one single, standardized uniform. You'll see brown tiger stripes, green British style, solid blues, dark grey digital.... the list goes on and on.
Apparently the Minister of Defense wants to order a single standardized uniform. At least that's what we've been told. Hopefully they will arrive soon. The Iraqi Soldiers are getting a little too creative with uniform ideas.
...and yes, it was a slow Friday.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Iraqi Military Wishes Us a Happy Thanksgiving!
I kid you not, they really did wish us a happy Thanksgiving. A Major and I came across this sign out in front of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense building, aka the Iraqi Pentagon, on our way in to discuss Iraqi Air Force programs
We too are thankful for the 'Services and Sacrifees' of our Iraqi Brothers in Arms.
The sign is sitting next to a new flower garden just outside their Ministry of Defense. The garden, like many of the small projects springing up around Baghdad, is a symbol of the new hope here in Iraq.
Hey, misspellings and all, it's a great gesture to all of us deployed in Iraq and back home in the States. They constantly acknowledge our sacrifices we're making both here and in the US to help them secure their nation's future.
Of course, I've got a $20 spot that says Iraqi gestures like these will never show up in the MSM.
As for me, I'm thankful for my family, friends, faith, health, happiness, and for living in and serving the greatest country on earth.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Rescue Dawn - Go Buy It!!
First, I think this is an excellent way to promote a movie. If your target group consists of military members and military supporters, there's no better way to get their attention then by asking MilBloggers to help promote their movie.
Of course, I cannot accept a free product or promote a product through my MilBlog because I'm deployed. I sometimes use my work computer to post, so I've always been very careful about towing the line.
Instead, I'm going to recommend the movie before I see it, without receiving a free DVD, for two reasons. First, it's obviously a military friendly company promoting the movie. Since the current gaggle of anti-war, anti-military movies have failed miserably at the box office, I would personally like to see the DVD sales take off. Even if the movie itself contains an anti-war theme, the fact that it focuses on the courage and strength of a pilot during his escape in Vietnam draws me to want to see it. *According to the always beautiful and charming wife of my good friend Sinclair, the movie has zero anti-war slant. Perfect.
Second, any movie that depicts the true story of a soldier who suffered through so much pain to survive is almost certainly going to have a solid message and lesson about personal courage and sacrifice for all of us.
Here is the movie synopsis from Gibralter Films.
Synapsis: Christian Bale and Steve Zahn will star in Rescue Dawn, an action drama by Werner Herzog and based on the director's acclaimed 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly. The project, which has been coming together in fits and starts during the past year, begins shooting in Thailand in mid-August. The film recounts the true story of German-born Dieter Dengler, who dreamed of being a pilot and eventually made his way to the United States, where he joined the military during the Vietnam War era. He was shot down over Vietnam and captured. Eventually he organized an escape with a small band of captives. Bale will play Dengler, and Zahn will play an ill-looking and bent POW.
The critics on the Rotten Tomatoes give it 90 out of 100, which is outstanding.
Apollo Movie Guide review gives it 85 out of 100, very good.
"Herzog has done well, but it’s Christian Bale’s performance in Rescue Dawn that will take your breath away. Bale often seems not to be acting at all – a good sign that his acting skill has reached a high level."
The company promoting Rescue Dawn through the MilBlogs is still sending me the DVD, but I’ve asked them to send it as a morale gift to the troops to enjoy rather then for me to review.
Of course, I'll still be reviewing it. I always review movies. I'll just be doing it for free, using my laptop.
Please go rent/buy the DVD and tell me about it. It's release date is tomorrow, 20 November.
Also, I have a challenge for anyone reading this. After we watch the movie out here, I’ll send the one copy of the DVD to person who writes the best review on the movie. No cheaters! You actually need to see the movie to review it. I'll post your review here, so email it soon.
Any takers? Who's got the guts?
Spirits are High...
There is good and bad taking place out here, but thankfully it's a lot more good. We had another pathetic act of evil up in Baqouba. A suicide bomber killed 3 US Soldiers and 3 children while the Soldiers were handing out candy and gifts to the children.
Why would they kill kids?! Why would they kill men trying to help kids?
Even worse, why would these people support the evil a'holes killing soldiers and children. In my opinion, they're just as guilty as the suicide bombers killing innocent children. Sure, it's an extreme opinion, but if you're protesting the people trying to stop suicide bombers, you must support those suicide bombers who are targeting schools and mosques. If not, justify it. Justify how you can be against our troops stopping evil while not supporting that same evil.
You can't. You just can't.
Which is why my spirits are high. When you know what you're doing is morally just, and those who are against you are supporting evil, it makes you more proud because it confirms what you're doing is right.
You're never wrong when your fighting evil.
The Real United States Military
I opened this and it made my day. It just makes everything we're doing out here worth it to me because it represents who we really are.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Explains the silence.
Give me a few days and I'll be back up and writing. I think we've all just hit that mental wall this week.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Just a Friendly Reminder about Global Warming...
This has been a public service announcement brought to you by your friends at Dude Where's the Beach, who remind you to Fight the Power!
Now now Mr El Sidoti, or whatever you go by these days. Can't you see humans are causing Global Warming? Ignore all of that historical 'mumbo-jumbo' up there on that chart. It's obviously from some evil, rich, Big Oil company. Volcanoes don't cause rapid decreases in temperatures, and the solar cycle does not raise our temperatures here on earth. Nothing has a greater impact on our precious blue heaven then little-ol' you and me.
Repeat after me.... I believe in Global Warming. I believe in Global Warming. I BELIEVE in Global Warming. Now you're getting sleepy. Sleeeeeepy. Sleeeeeeeeeepy. When you wake up, you will donate half of your wealth to me, err, I mean, to help stop Global Warming. Do it quickly, or else the oceans will rise and take away your house and your puppies. I believe in Global Warming. Now isn't that special?
Sunday, November 11, 2007
King Carlos takes on Chavez
President Chavez - "Point of Order!!! Point of Order!!! Amigo, I have a Point of Order!!!
President Zapatero - "Just a minute Hugo, I'm not finished discussing how our economy is barely sustainable due to our high taxation and out of control social programs."
President Chavez - "But I wanted to make a point about your predecessor, President Jose Maria Aznar. He was a conservative fascist! Why not blame everything on him. He was a crazy, maniacal fascist pig who should be imprisoned, or worse. Why haven't you executed him yet? If you kill him now, it will send a message to the fascist Bush that a socialist government is better than his."
President Zapatero - "Hugo, Spain is not a completely socialist government, it's a democracy. And my good friend President Aznar was not a fascist. He did many great things for our government. We just come from different political backgrounds have different ideas. I would never kill such an honorable leader."
President Chavez - "Do you have a pair? I'm serious, do you have a pair? I don't think you have a pair. If you did, you'd castrate all of the fascist pigs in your country. I did that in my country, and it's a better place in to live thanks to me."
King Juan Carlos - "This guy is insane. He's a freak'n moron. Didn't his government just put him in power for life too? What idiots."
President Chavez - "...and after I castrated all fascists, confiscated all major businesses and media, imprisoned detractors, and stifled freedom of speech, I've received nothing but praise by the UN, Jimmy Carter, and my good buddy Fidel Castro. Even better, every major Hollywood actor, director, and famous model has flown all the way to my country because they approve of what I'm doing. You can have that same following if you'd just...."
King Juan Carlos - "Will you just shut the eff' up!"
President Chavez - "Why... you can't talk to me like that. I'm the President of Venezuela! I'm important. You're just a King. I don't see any models or famous actors lined up outside your door."
King Juan Carlos - "You poor, poor little man."
President Chavez - "...and I bet Michael Moore and Danny Glover aren't making movies about you. I'm a man of the people. My people love me! Those who don't... well, they learn to love me in our special re-education camps. You know, the kind that John Kerry talked about supporting in Post-War Vietnam because they helped so many people."
Zapatero and Carlos - "Will you please shut the eff' up! Someone cut of this idiot's microphone."
President Chavez - "I had Kevin Spacey stop by last month, and Naomi Campbell last week. Don't forget Cindy Sheehan. Man, the stories I could tell you about her. They all love me! Everybody loves me!"
King Juan Carlos - "Call up the Conquistadors, we're going back into Venezuela to give this numb-nuts a much needed lesson in history."
King Juan Carlos - "Hugo, I'll see you on the battlefield, you bumbling moron."
President Ortega- "Hugo, I love you Hugo! You're my favorite Dictator Hugo! Remember, I fought against Ronald Reagan in Nicaragua! I'm important too Hugo! Viva Fidel!"
Friday, November 09, 2007
T-Dub, Doc, and Sidoti Invade Baghdad's 'Little Venice'
Beautiful, quiet, peaceful place.
'Don't hate the players, hate the game'
Their T-Walls are much more pleasant to look at compared to ours.
Attack of the geese.
More photos here from my last post on 'Baghdad's Little Venice'. Hopefully this place will open up to the public one day.
Abolish the Air Force
November 1, 2007
The American Prospect
"What it does on its own -- strategic bombing -- isn't suited to modern warfare. What it does well -- its tactical support missions -- could be better managed by the Army and Navy.
It's time to break up the Air Force."
I struggled to finish reading this article. Not because it was poorly written, but because it made a few of coherent arguments for the dismantling of the US Air Force. You just have to sift through the author's clear lack of understanding of Air Force history and the application of air power. Sadly, today's Air Force is indeed becoming the type of force the Army had become during the 1980s and 90s; useless.
Of course I'm exaggerating a little, but so does the author of this article. I disagree with him on the premise that Abolishing the Air Force will make fighting the Global War on Terror easier, even though I agree on some of the finer points he made.
He starts building his case by discussing the recent civilian casualties caused by air strikes in Afghanistan, yet he completely ignores the fact that those civilian casualties were caused by the Taliban fighters hiding behind those civilians and using them as shields as opposed to an over-zealous bunch of pilots who love to use bombs to flatten buildings. The USAF spent billions of taxpayer dollars to minimize civilian casualties, but it can't stop enemy forces from hiding behind innocent Afghans like cowards.
Even more important is the understanding that even today the USAF does not call in its own air strikes. US or Coalition ground forces call in the steel. Thos ground forces identify the targets, verify the existence of collateral damage, and radio the coordinates to the pilots circling above. Yet, the Air Force is held accountable for any civilian loss of life, and the author bases part of his theory that the USAF is no longer needed on such collateral damage.
Sadly, the author uses the same construct as the US Army in ignoring the importance of air power in fighting fighting the Counter-Insurgency wars taking place around the world. General David Petraeus nearly ignored any mention of air power in the COIN manual he wrote three years ago, the very manual he's operating out of today. Whereas he spent 22 pages discussing how to develop an Army to fight a Counter-Insurgency war, he gave the USAF one page, and that page mentions very little about the use of air power in COIN operations.
There is a chasm between the Air Force and Army leadership. The Air Force leadership understands the importance of air power and its proper application in warfare even though they may not always make the right decisions in building and sustaining that air power. The Army leadership, or at least a majority of it, seemingly ignores the importance of air power in Iraq and Afghanistan. The USAF could change this ground-centric mindset if they based their Air Operations leadership out of Baghdad, rather then sitting comfortably down at Al Udeid or back in the States. The leadership is far removed from the battlefield, leaving the Army alone to make large scale decisions without high-level Air Force involvement.
Instead the Air Force ignores the Army and the Army ignores the Air Force, and articles such as these are written to try and fill this void.
Even more insulting then the existence of this real gap in communication and understanding of tactics between the Air Force and the Army is the argument the author makes as to why the Air Force originally became independent.
According to the author, the US Army Air Corps in WWII conducted strategic bombing not to win the war, but for winning independence from the Army by showing how air power could change the battlefield.
"The USAAF also conducted a number of other missions, but its chiefs believed that strategic bombing would win the war for the Allies -- and independence for the Air Force.
This desire for independence drove the behavior of the USAAF during the war. Because of the ineffectiveness of attacks on industry, and the flammability of Japanese cities, Gen. Curtis LeMay, mastermind of the strategic bombing campaign against Japan, decided that civilian areas would be the objective of his B-29s. Roughly 1 million Japanese civilians died from the fire-bombing of Japanese cities, though it was the incineration of so many square miles of Japanese city that the Army Air Force pointed to as it adduced clear, quantitative results in its fight for independence."
In other words, he's claiming that LeMay killed a million Japanese civilians just to justify an independent Air Force.
The lack of credibility of the author no longer justifies further review of this article, yet I will say that I did agree with his assessment that the USAF has lost its COIN experience it had gained through its success and sacrifice in Vietnam. I'll also agree that the Air Force has lost its voice and influence in the strategic planning and daily operations of today's Global War on Terror. We're taking part in the war, but we're not influencing tactics and planning.
The USAF should be fighting the COIN battle side by side with the US Army, in both the planning and execution. Instead we're allowing the US Army to choose the role and application of air power, and because of this we're failing in the COIN battle.
But this does not justify abolishing the Air Force. It's hard enough for Air Force Generals to run the Air Force. I can't imagine the Army trying to do it.
If you've ever served under an Army Command you would understand. They have a hard enough time running their own organizations.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Senate Overrides Veto on Water Resources Bill, Joins House
WASHINGTON — President Bush suffered the first veto override of his seven-year-old presidency Thursday as the Senate enacted a $23 billion water resources bill despite his protest that it was too expensive. It was the first time in a decade that Congress has passed a bill over a presidential veto.
Too little, too late boss. Why didn't you Veto overspending like this when the Republicans were in office? You set a precedent of spending too much, and now you want to cut back because it's a Democrat-led pork bill? You can't have it both ways.
Of course, the American people are left footing this pathetic, wasteful bill. A bill that contains no money for port security, for police, for fire departments, for border protection, for F-22s to replace the entire freak'n fleet of F-15 fighters that were just grounded worldwide, for more MRAPS to keep us safe out here, for cleaning up toxic waste dumps or investing in alternative fuels, for offsetting the cost of drilling for new sources of Oil in Alaska or the Gulf (where China and Cuba are drilling), for helping to rebuild Ground Zero that is still a big hole in the ground after 6 years of ineptitude, for investing in lunar mining to catch up to the Chinese who have vowed to make the moon their next Eutopia for Chairman Mao.....
You could have spent that money, or the trillions of dollars wasted since 2000, on improving our nation instead of rebuilding the waterfront located 1000 feet from the rental property owned by the 'Speaker of the House' and her husband.
Thank you Congressional Democrats and Republicans for reminding us all just who you're working for out there in Washington D.C. Yourselves.
Today we face a plummeting dollar, skyrocketing debt, war expenditures, Homeland Security infrastructure upgrades around the world, yet you still tax us with an archaic and repressive system while spending our hard-earned money faster then virgin in a Vegas brothel.
I pray that the elections of 2008 will be a clean sweep, and that everyone guilty of hurting our nation through frivolous overspending finds themselves in the unemployment line.
Everyone guilty of raping and pillaging the Treasury coffers.
Democrat and Republicans alike. Everyone.
It's time for.....
Symbolism in Iraq
I apologize to Michael Yon and Joe Rosenthal for using their photos this way, but I couldn't help but see the similarities between raising the US flag over Iwo Jima, and both Christian and Muslim Iraqis raising a cross over a church in Baghdad.
Failure and Success
Saturday, November 03, 2007
VALOUR - IT
This is one of the many people benefiting from Project VALOUR-IT.
MilBlogger JR Salzman.
Keep it going Team Air Force. Let's give back.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Happy Birthday Matt !!!!!!!!!!!
My Step-son Matthew is 18 today. Legally a man. Oh crap, that's a scary thought. I've known him since was 11 years old. He hass certainly come a long way, and I couldn't be any more proud.
Here's what I included in his Birthday card. You'll know what it means if you've seen the movie 'Superbad.'
I woke him up this morning and told him to go register for the Selective Service. You're not officially a man until you do that, or so I thought. His response was, 'What's Selective Service?' What has happened to our youth? I guess they don't have Selective Service commercials anymore. There's so much about life I never told him about because I assumed he would learn them from the same commercials I learned everything from. I told him you need to register if you want any student loans or grants, which he really really wants, so he's on his way to the Post Office.
Anyway, have fun tonight, but not too much fun!
Hey Matt, some dude out in the Red Zone wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday.
Or as my fatherhood mentor and childhood hero would say....
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Valour IT - Keep It Going Air Force!
Mrs. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette had a great idea with this photo. Go ahead, give it a click.