With strings of recurring roles on shows like Arrow, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, The League and a gazillion other shows, sultry looking Janina Gavankar isn’t a household name, but she’s got an unforgettable look.
Category Archives: girls
Our friend at Op-For, the urbane and erudite sophisticate LTCOL P (supplying some cogent comments of his own), points us to a superb article in AFJ by Daniel L. Davis outlining the very real possibility that our immense advantages over our foes in the last two-plus decades has left many of our middle and senior leadership untested and overconfident in our warfighting capabilities.
Imagine one of today’s division commanders finding himself at the line of departure against a capable enemy with combined-arms formation. He spent his time as a lieutenant in Bosnia conducting “presence patrols” and other peacekeeping activities. He may have commanded a company in a peacetime, garrison environment. Then he commanded a battalion in the early years of Afghanistan when little of tactical movement took place. He commanded a brigade in the later stages of Iraq, sending units on patrols, night raids, and cordon-and-search operations; and training Iraq policemen or soldiers.
Not once in his career did an enemy formation threaten his flank. He never, even in training, hunkered in a dugout while enemy artillery destroyed one-quarter of his combat vehicles, and emerged to execute a hasty defense against the enemy assault force pouring over the hill.
Spot-on. Such sentiment applies to ALL SERVICES. Even in the midst of some pretty interesting days in Ramadi and Fallujah, I never bought into the idea that was being bandied about so casually that “there is no more complex decision-making paradigm for a combat leader than counterinsurgency operations”. It was utter nonsense. The decisions to be made, as the author points out, above the troops-in-contact level, were seldom risking success or failure either in their urgency or content. We had in Iraq and in AFG the ability to largely intervene with air or ground fires as we desired, to engage and disengage almost at will, against an enemy that could never have the capability of truly seizing tactical initiative. Defeat, from a standpoint of force survival, was never a possibility. To borrow Belloc’s observations of Omdurman, “Whatever happens, we have got, close air support, and they have not”.
Having a brigade of BMP-laden infantry rolling up behind the fires of a Divisional Artillery Group, supported by MI-24s and SU-25s, which stand a very real chance of defeating (and destroying) not just your unit but all the adjacent ones, is infinitely more challenging than even our rather intense fights (April and November 2004) for Fallujah. The speed and tactical acumen of the decision makers will be the difference between holding or breaking, winning and losing, living or dying. The author points out some significant shortcomings in our current training paradigm, and brings us back to some fundamentals of how we train (or used to, at any rate) decision-makers to operate in the fog and uncertainty of combat. Training and exercises, designed to stress and challenge:
At some of the Combat Maneuver Training Centers, Army forces do some good training. Some of the products and suggestions from Army Training and Doctrine Command are good on paper. For example, we often tout the “world class” opposing force that fights against U.S. formations, and features a thinking and free-fighting enemy. But I have seen many of these engagements, both in the field and in simulation, where the many good words are belied by the exercise. For example, in 2008 I took part in a simulation exercise in which the opposing forces were claimed to be representative of real world forces, yet the battalion-level forces were commanded by an inexperienced captain, and the computer constraints limited the enemy’s ability to engage.
Many may remember the famed “Millennium Challenge 2002” held just before Operation Iraqi Freedom. Retired Marine general Paul Van Riper, appointed to serve as opposing force commander, quit because the exercise was rigged. ”We were directed…to move air defenses so that the army and marine units could successfully land,” he said. ”We were simply directed to turn [air defense systems] off or move them… So it was scripted to be whatever the control group wanted it to be.” For the U.S. Army to be successful in battle against competent opponents, changes are necessary.
…Field training exercises can be designed to replicate capable conventional forces that have the ability to inflict defeats on U.S. elements. Such training should require leaders at all levels to face simulated life and death situations, where traditional solutions don’t work, in much more trying environments than is currently the case. They should periodically be stressed to levels well above what we have actually faced in the past several decades. Scenarios, for example, at company and battalion level where a superior enemy force inflicts a mortal blow on some elements, requiring leaders and soldiers to improvise with whatever is at hand, in the presence of hardship and emotional stress.Simulation training for commanders and staffs up to Corps level should combine computer and physical exercises that subject the leaders to situations where the enemy does the unexpected, where key leaders or capabilities are suddenly lost (owing to enemy fire or efforts), yet they still have to function; where they face the unexpected loss of key communications equipment, yet still be forced to continue the operation.
Such exercises should not all be done in nicely compartmentalized training segments with tidy start and end times, and “reset” to prepare for the next sequence. Instead, some exercises should be held where there is a beginning time “in the box” and no pre-set start or end times until the end of a rotation two weeks or more later. In short, the training rotation should replicate the physical and emotional stress of actual combat operations in which there is no “pause” to rest and think about what happened.
I couldn’t agree more. However, in a budget-crunch environment where significant funding is going toward advancing political and social agendas even within DoD, I am not at all sanguine about such training occurring. Worse, rather than having leaders champion the need for it and constantly fight for training dollars, I fear that such a requirement will be dismissed as less than necessary, since we already have “the most professional, the best educated, the most capable force this country has ever sent into battle.” While our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are indeed superb, and honed at the small unit level, our senior leadership is much less so. What’s worse is that leaders who have no experience in battlefield command against a near-peer force have begun to assert that technological innovation makes such training superfluous. That the nature of war has changed, and we are now in an era of “real-time strategy” and “global awareness”. To steal a line from The Departed, there is deception, and there is self-deception.
Anyway, the Armed Forces Journal article is a thought-provoking read.
Comedic great Sid Caesar passed away yesterday at the age of 91. If you have never seen his comedy, you missed out on a brilliance that was truly dazzling. A talented musician and gifted performer, Caesar mixed highly intellectual comedy with an incredible ability to pantomime, act, and draw laughter on virtually every subject he expounded upon. He worked with the all-time comedic giants, including close friends Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Nannette Fabray, Steve Allen, Howie Morris, and just about anyone you can name from the early and classic days of live comedy television. His Your Show of Shows was a 90 minute sketch comedy show that is as funny sixty years after its broadcast as it was when first aired. His award-winning comedy sketch, which is a close-up of his face (and in which he does not utter a single word) as his wife (the beautiful Nannette Fabray) comes home from a shopping trip and explains the great bargains she has gotten on her dresses and minks, ends with a tear running down his cheek. He was admired and emulated by virtually every comedic actor of note that followed him.
The Dick van Dyke Show, a situation comedy from the 1960s which starred Carl Reiner as the acerbic star of the fictitious Alan Brady Show, was based on Caesar’s talented group of comedy writers from Your Show of Shows, with Alan Brady loosely parodying Caesar’s own personality.
Caesar starred on Broadway and had dozens of movies to his credit, none more memorable than his starring role in Stanley Kramer’s 1963 comedy epic It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad. Mad World. He was a Coast Guard Veteran of World War II, and the son of Jewish (Polish and Russian) immigrants, who got his performing start as a saxophonist in the Catskills.
He and his brand of intellectual humor will be missed. So long, Melville Crump, DDS.
XBradTC asked me for input on Loaded HEAT this week. Bottom line up front here. I’m married, so there’s some ROE that I operate under. After the risk analysis was complete, the recommended course of action was to go classic… as in someone even my Chief of Staff would agree is a classic beauty.
So I give you Lauren Bacall. Born Betty Joan Perske, she had her big break in 1944′s “To Have and Have Not” opposite Humphrey Bogart. She shared the screen with some of the best leading men of her day… and held her own. That look. That face. That voice.
I flatter myself in thinking my recent absence here is notable, but perhaps not. In case it is, I have a litany of excuses all prepared. A good deal of work at client locations, and USMC duty, each necessitating more than a little windshield time. Deadlines on projects requiring crazy workloads. And, there is my inherent laziness. The news, also, chock full o’ one diplomatic and economic disaster after another on the part of this malignant Administation, is hardly inspiring of anything other than typing in ALL CAPS every expletive I can think of. All of the above. Or a combination thereof.
Anyway, my travels took me to Brattleboro for Tuesday and today. I stayed over last night to work into the evening and avoid 140-odd miles of driving, rather than drive home Tuesday and back in the early-early today. So, come 1800 yesterday, me belly be growlin’, and I was looking for a place to eat. Found it!
Ayep! The first name of the proprietor is actually Kipling, to boot. A really nice little English Pub-type place, with a great selection of beers and a great bar selection. Being in such a place, I hoisted a Guiness (for strength), and partook of the fish n’ chips. No ketchup for me, here. Vinegar on the “chips”. The lovely bartender was friendly and welcoming, and it was obvious this place was a neighborhood bar with a legion of loyal elbow-benders. I informed her I was quite a Kipling fan, but her reaction was sort of a “that’s nice”. (I refrained from reciting “Copybook Headings” or “Mandalay”.) The food was superb, by the way, and reasonable. And how can I not go back to Kipling’s next time I am in town? Because, well, a man can raise a thirst. If’n you find yourself in the little town of Brattleboro, Vermont and looking for a good drink and a good meal, I recommend Kipling’s Pub. Tell them Peachy Carnahan sent you.
I should get ahold of the owner and tell him that I have the perfect slogan for his Kipling bar. “You may talk o’ gin an’ beer…”
The BBC has the story. Female suicide bombers from Dagestan have become increasingly common. “Black Widows”, as the article alludes. Volgograd was once called Tsarytsin, and beginning in 1925, Stalingrad.
There was speculation elsewhere that the woman had carried a hand grenade aboard. The above photo is reportedly the detonation, and if so, certainly appears to show a device much larger than a hand grenade being detonated inside the bus.
Russia has its hands positively full of Islamist extremists. At least they have the good sense to call them what they are.
Update-XBradTC: Here’s video of the attack. Concur that it’s a good deal larger than a hand grenade.
It is the season premiere of The Walking Dead, the post-zombie apocalypse tale so artfully done on AMC. Boston Maggie and I have had some knock-down drag-outs about who should have done what, and how to best prepare for the zombie apocalypse. She is much better positioned in VA for it now, BTW, with a few hundred potential zombies and a lot more guns, than she would have been in Chaaaaaahhhhhhhlstown, with thousands of Irish zombies and Massachusetts gun laws.
If you missed the week-long Walking Dead Marathon, you will have to pick up tonight at 9, but you should be able to keep up.
By the way, Shane would have capped the Governor, first chance he got. Just sayin’…..
Most commercials are decidedly unfunny. Stupid and sophomoric. Some others are mildly amusing. But a few, like Hump Day, are absolutely brilliant. Well, here is another. I cannot help but laugh.
What are some others that are exceptionally funny to you?
So, after the horrific Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance at the Emmy’s caused controversy, I felt the least I could do was watch it. It was just that, horrific. So I wondered if the original videos were any better. Nope.
Miley’s video is just cringeworthy. Robin Thick’s video was meh… with one exception. The captivating Emily Ratajkowski was the star.
A classic Italian beauty with appearances in a wide range of movies. Among my favorite movies of hers are “What Dreams May Come” and “Mr. Wonderful.” Recently she may be best known for her role in HBO’s The Sopranos as Gloria Trillo.
My college English prof looked just like her so needless to say, I went to every class :)
Better than The Beatles’ Abbey Road, or the White Album (or Spinal Tap’s “none more black” Smell the Glove), or Zepplin. Or Meat Loaf. Better than all of them. By a wide margin.
My sister, who is ten years older than I am, has great taste in music. Has since she was a teen. Herbie Alpert was a staple. I still love his stuff, especially The Lonely Bull. And a bunch of others. I do, however, remember THIS one coming into the house. I was probably five or so when she bought it. Once, my mother caught me staring at it (I LIKED it, just as I liked Lee Meriwether as Catwoman, I just couldn’t know WHY). She yelled to my sister “Get that away from your brother!”
I mean, how many album covers do you recall so vividly from before you started school? Best album cover EVER. And a great album, too. The lovely lass, by the way, is Dolores Erickson. And it is shaving cream. Apparently they tried whipped cream, but it melted too fast under the photographer’s lights…..
I didn’t see a Load HEAT in the hopper for today, but XBrad’s been traveling. I’m going old school today and picking Jaclyn Smith. How many of you guys had crushes on the Charlie’s Angels? She’s been on Law & Order and CSI in recent years.
She’s been on Jericho and Attack of the Show!. A little skinnier than I would normally pick, but XBrad had nothing and Mav had a repeat. Please welcome Candace Bailey to the Load HEAT!
Some things we witness are so terrible that one has a difficult time forgetting them. Flashes and glimpses come back at strange times and places. These evoke visceral and emotional reactions, sometimes referred to as PTSD. Nightmares, flashbacks.
Yes, for forty or so seconds this evening, I saw Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
The only explanation for 40 seconds is that this grotesque spectacle seemed to have a hold of me, like watching the train plunge off the trestle, or the airliner hit the mountain. I couldn’t turn it off, yet I regret every second of it.
I was greeted by a very overweight young teenage girl screaming something, supposedly in English, for which subtitles were provided. Something about her birthday and eating the meatballs first.
I will admit, until I saw that clip, I wasn’t sure this Honey Boo Boo thing wasn’t a SNL spoof or some inside joke referred to over at Sal’s porch which had gone over my head. Apparently, it is “real”. And it is an abscess on the collective and shrinking intellect of the American people.
Why is this what pops into my head?
The second woe is past, and behold , the third woe cometh quickly.
Since XBrad doesn’t seem to have a Load HEAT post, I will step in with Kristin Chenoweth. West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Glee, and some Broadway work, and she looks nice on the red carpet.
(H/T to LDG)
Has there ever been a hotter babe holding a round bomb with a lit fuze? I don’t think so. From her insanely high heels to her thick (suspiciously Muscovite) Pottsylvanian accent, she is 100% real woman.
Hey, if you can be played by Sally Kellerman and Renee Russo on the silver screen, you gotta be doing something right. And when a gorgeous 21st Century Russian spy is invariably compared to you, you are an ICON.
No question about it. Even though she was always perpetrating evil for Fearless Leader and Mister Big, whether it is stealing Upsidaisium or fixing football games with Wossamotta U, she was one of the hottest things about the Cold War. Even if fiendish plan had fiendish plan.
It is real. Bloody, savage, waged without remorse.
Sandra Fluke would tell you that the “War on Women” consists of not receiving free birth control from a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning. Barbara Boxer would tell you that Pro-Life groups and not Kermit Gosnell are the problem.
Kirstie Gillinbrand believes the “War on Women” is being waged by male service members and misogynist commanders, and is willing to dispense with anything resembling objective justice to punish the accused. (With the backing of the Commander in Chief, it would seem.)
Hillary Clinton, who, on the day an Ambassador was murdered by Islamist extremists told us that free speech should not be used to disparage someone’s religion (Crucifix in a jar of urine notwithstanding), wanted to make “Women’s Rights” a cornerstone of US foreign policy.
But the War on Women rages on. Honor killings continue, even in this country. Schools blown up, acid thrown in the faces of the innocent, mutilations. Unspeakable violence and oppression against women, perpetrated by the very same Islamist ideology that has vowed to destroy America. Yet these above-mentioned women and those of their ilk remain strangely silent on the subject of the ghastly and terrible existence women endure in the lands controlled by these cowardly and ignorant brutes. The silence in the mainstream media, usually the trumpeter of all things feminist, is positively thunderous.
Soon, Nelson Mandela, at 94 and seriously ill, will be eulogized far and wide for being willing to fight not to have his people relegated to second class status. Those same people who will praise him the loudest cannot seem to utter a meaningful sound regarding the brutalizing and virtual enslavement of women and girls in the lands under the thumb of radical Islam. They cannot, in fact, even bring themselves to identify our enemies for what they are, Islamic extremists, for fear of offending.
That they do not is hypocrisy. That they dare not, is cowardice.
Our (erstwhile?) Israeli allies have to be thrilled with this. Drudge has a link to Power’s 2002 remarks (see above) regarding US “intervention” with Israel, presumably to halt what Power terms time and again in her remarks as “genocide”.
Then, as Drudge also links, there are the 2008 campaign remarks about former SecState Hillary Clinton.
“She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything,” Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark.
Ms Power said of the Clinton campaign: “Here, it looks like desperation. I hope it looks like desperation there, too.
“You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh’. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.”
Power, married to Administration official and Socialist laywer Cass Sunstein, is yet another ill-qualified, America-hating, far-left activist whose version of reality will be sure to cause problems. She was a journalist, covering the Balkans in the 1990s, and her point of view is largely shaped by the micro and not the macro issues of statesmanship and international affairs. While Power has campaigned for US-led military intervention to prevent genocide, apparently the killing of nearly a million Iraqis by Saddam Hussein’s Nazi-inspired regime does not qualify, as she opposed the Iraq war. Nor, can I recall hearing in her “religious freedom” exhortations, a public peep about the massacre of Christians across the Middle East and Africa since the 2008 election of Barack Obama.
However, the appointment of “humanitarian” interventionist Samantha Powers, coupled with the Obama Administration’s assertion that international permission rather than that of Congress is the ticket to use of military force, creates potential for yet another interesting showdown between Obama and Congress regarding that pesky old Constitution. It also proves decisively that the Obama Administration has learned nary a thing from its consistent and disastrous appointment of ill-suited, inexperienced ideologues charged with execution of any kind of coherent foreign policy for America.
Cue the calliope music.
Waaaay back in 2009, when Barack Obama was first elected President, he appointed my old Division Commander, General James Jones, USMC (Ret.) to the post of National Security Adviser. Within a group perceived largely as ideological rather than practical thinkers, a group sorely lacking in foreign policy experience, Jones was considered “adult supervision”.
Jones lasted fewer than 24 months, and his dislike of the Obama team, Axelrod, Emanuel, and his Deputy NSA Tom Donilon was well known. Donilon was perceived almost universally by uniformed leadership as an amateur incompetent, a political animal in way over his head in matters of national security. Jones’ opinion of Donilon was similarly low, and the Administration’s dismissiveness of Jones’ views and embracing of Donilon’s led Jones to the door well short of the two years promised when he was appointed.
Indeed, US foreign policy during Donilon’s tenure has been a catastrophe. US reaction to the “Arab Spring”, to a resurgent Russia, the precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, the Benghazi fiasco, and DPRK sabre-rattling, can only be described as befuddled and reactive. Our “Pacific Pivot” has thus far been purely symbolic, as Chinese influence and power continues to grow while America’s recedes. The National Security Council has been adrift, knocked loose of its “smart power” and “reset button” ideological pinnings by a head-on collision with power politics by expert practitioners of the craft. To make matters worse, Donilon is strongly suspected of leaking classified information, the very kind which endangers US servicemen and women and diplomatic personnel, for the Administration’s political gain.
So now, after thirty months, Donilon is out as National Security Adviser. His replacement is UN Ambassador Susan Rice. Rice’s resumė includes time on the periphery of national security affairs, but little by way of actual decision-making and meaningful policy formulation. And where she has, as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, her decisions have been highly questionable. Such was the case with the Sudan during the Clinton Administration, when the US had an opportunity to glean intelligence on Osama bin Laden, but Rice declined to do so.
Rice’s visible dislike of the late Richard Holbrooke, the veteran diplomat whose foreign service began before Rice was born, typifies the arrogance and hubris so often found in those in key posts of the Obama Administration. For Holbrooke’s part, his opinion of Susan Rice was that she was incompetent lightweight who refused counsel from an experienced hand. Rice was considered for the National Security Adviser position in 2009, but that went to Jones. Rice was made Ambassador to the United Nations. She was mentioned again recently to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but John Kerry was selected instead.
Now, Rice is to be NSA after all. Her less than impressive track record before 2012 has now been immeasurably darkened by her demonstrated lack of integrity. Quite simply, Susan Rice knowingly lied to the American people regarding the self-inflicted diplomatic calamity that was the Benghazi incident and the murder of a US Ambassador and three other Americans. Rice went before the television cameras many days after learning the truth about the nature and target of the terrorist attack against the US Benghazi Consulate, and perpetuated the falsehood that the attack was the result of a spontaneous demonstration against a youtube video turned violent. Susan Rice lacks both integrity and judgment. Not at all a combination to inspire confidence. The most that can be said for her replacing Donilon as National Security Adviser is that the move may be a step sideways for a scandal-ridden Administration whose foreign policy team has shown itself naive, inexperienced, and amateurish in the extreme.
The round of musical chairs being played by the Obama Administration offers little real promise to improve the effectiveness of US foreign affairs since 2009. Recycling the same tainted and ill-qualified ideologues who not only do not understand power politics, but seemingly refuse to recognize that such a concept even exists, will further erode America’s ability to defend its interests and influence both our enemies and our allies. This is not a student union protest. This Administration needs to grow up. It takes an adult to deal with the Putins of the world. Susan Rice, as National Security Adviser, hardly qualifies.
Which, I know the basic type, but could actually use some help on the sub-type.
I know I can’t take pictures, or video, without facing a lawsuit. I dearly wish I could, though it is likely that the idea of shaming some people would lead them even more to consider themselves “victims”, with the concomitant parade of State-salaried do-gooders egging them on and “advocating” for them.
Coming back from a quick lunch today, I see a very young mother, baby on her hip, toddler at her side. She is hitting the welfare office, across the hall from me. Her baby has a full diaper, evident as soon as I opened the hallway door. The guy in the hallway comments to her that the kid needs a change, to which she replies that she hasn’t got any money for diapers.
What DOES she have? Tattoos. A bunch of them. (No, that is not her, above. She was bigger than that.) Too many for me to count, not that I care to. What else? As I was heading TO lunch, she was out having a cigarette. Or two, or more.
Diapers can be found for about fifteen to twenty bucks a box, containing between 60 and 100.
Cigarettes in Vermont are almost eight bucks a pack. $72 a carton.
I don’t know what tattoos cost in Vermont these days, not having priced them.
Everything we need to know about the malignant decay of our burgeoning welfare state was standing in the hallway outside my office. Our money goes (we think) for diapers and formula. HER money goes for cigarettes, and Lord knows what else. But she NEEDS our money. She is entitled to it. And we are bound to give it to her. For the children.
How heartless are they who would take food out of her children’s mouths. And the cost of the health problems caused by the tobacco usage and weight issues must, and will, be borne by all of us, except her. Because health care is a basic human right.
Any guesses what my objection to such a paradigm has gotten me labeled as more than once? You betcha. Racist. Problem is that, without exception, the many, many people of similar appointment whom I see on a routine basis there and lighting up in front of the WIC offices, are the same race as me. Government handouts enabling a life without consequence are an addiction that robs people of pride, ambition, judgment, and morality. And yes, that is all about race. The Human Race.
I was looking back at Top 40 lists a while back to find some more music for my playlist, and came across one hit wonder Jennifer Paige. Her bluesy 1998 tune Crush was and still is quite pleasant. And who doesn’t like a cute blonde from Marietta, Georgia?
Like a lot of folks who only have one Top 40 song here, she’s had continued success in Europe, and appears to spend most of her time in Germany.