Still my favorite.
Happy Birthday, Marines! Semper Fidelis!
Still my favorite.
Happy Birthday, Marines! Semper Fidelis!
Of all the events of the Twentieth Century, it is the First World War that has had the most dramatic and longest-lasting impact on the psyche of Western civilization, more so than all the events that followed. For anyone with an abiding interest in that war, the 1964 BBC documentary The Great War is an invaluable reference to understanding. Narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave, the 26-part documentary is a superbly-crafted work. The tenor of the broadcasts reflects the erosion of the naïve hopes of the warring parties in 1914 into the grim fatalism that the years of slaughter evoked, and the upheaval that would ultimately topple the crowned heads of Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, and Serbia. BBC producers make excellent use of voice to read the actual words of the key participants such as Edward Grey, Bethmann-Hollweg, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Joffre, Haig, Falkenhayn, and others. The series features remarkable and little-seen motion footage of the world of 1914-18, including the civilians, the politicians, the armies, and the great battles of that war. The battle footage heavily emphasizes the two great killers of that war (in inverse order), the machine gun, and modern breech-loading recoil-dampened artillery.
Of note also are the poignant, and sometimes extremely moving, interviews with the participants of events of the great tragedy. Some had been in the thick of the fighting, others young subalterns or staff officers at the sleeve of the decision-makers. Most remarkably, the BBC managed to produce a documentary about momentous events that changed the world and yet also managed to allow the viewer insight into the inestimable human tragedy that these events summoned. At the time of the release of The Great War, those events were closer in time to the audience than the beginning of the Vietnam War is to our contemporary world. The twenty-six episodes are around forty minutes each. Worth every second of the time spent.
Oh, and as the credits roll at the end of each episode, one can spot the name of a very young (19 years old) contributor named Max Hastings.
WAPO tells us that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is out looking for “race-based discrimination” in today’s mid-term voting. In a statement earlier regarding the monitoring, Holder said:
“I want the American people to know that the Justice Department will stand vigilant — working in a fair and nonpartisan manner to ensure that every voter can cast his or her ballot free of intimidation, discrimination or obstruction,”
No comment about whether or not that includes New Black Panther thugs standing menacingly outside polling places with cudgels. I think, based on precedent, you can be fairly certain it does not. The despicable and repugnant race-baiting charlatan masquerading as the Attorney General set aside the Fourteenth Amendment a long time ago. And has proceeded to violate the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments routinely. When we wonder where our Constitutional liberties went, look no farther than Obama and Holder and their cabal of totalitarian, statist race mongers to find out who took them.
The individual carrying the night stick in the above video at the Pennsylvania polling station, the incident which Eric Holder REFUSED to investigate because it reflected poorly on “his people”, is named Maruse Heath, aka King Samir Shabazz. And he was arrested in New York last year for wearing body armor and carrying a loaded and unlicensed handgun. One has to wonder where ol’ Samir Shabazz is now, and whether or not Holder intervened to get him out of jail. After all, I am sure he was only arrested because the cops be racissssss……
Seems perhaps Eric Holder could have used fewer racism-sniffing election monitors, and a few more people to help carry more than 64,000 documents regarding Fast and Furious over to the House Committee. I am sure the dump of tens of thousands of pages of possibly incriminating evidence after the point at which such revelations could have affected the voters’ perception of the Democrats in a mid-term election is simply an astounding coincidence. But Committee Chair Darryl Issa isn’t letting go until he gets everything Holder was ordered to hand over. Bad for Holder. Good for civil liberties. Funny how that works inversely, innit?
A great video from Zeno’s War Birds. Worth a sit-down with a cup of coffee.
Some shopworn Wildcats and Avengers. A great description of the incredibly complex ballet that was the operation of a WWII carrier flight deck. Hand and arm signals, whistles, muscle and discipline. With powerful reminders that there were a thousand and one ways to get killed then, as now.
(Honestly, this was written before XBRAD posted about tailhook design. I did not intentionally go all “Goose and Mav” on you….)
NBC News tells us that ISIS propaganda leaflets have been found near Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. Which also happens to be the location of the FBI Academy. The leaflets reportedly announce in Arabic that “We are here from Mexico and came by train”.
But I am sure there isn’t anything to worry about. In fact, I am positive that they are counterfeit. Why?
Because the folks at DHS have already told us that suggestions that ISIS terrorists have crossed the deliberately wide-open Southwestern US Border are “categorically false”. And that “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border”
That makes me feel better.
Because the chances of Ebola reaching US shores is “unlikely”. Al-Nusrah Islamic extremists are “moderate”. The Benghazi attacks were not terrorism. The IRS scandal was only low-level employees in Cincinnati. Fast and Furious was started under Bush. The Obamas didn’t know about Jeremiah Wright’s racist, anti-Semitic rants. The biggest terrorist threat to the US is from white male Veterans who believe in the Constitution. Global warming exists and is Man’s fault. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. The unemployment rate is dropping. We can trust Iran not to build nukes. This Administration isn’t anti-Israel. The CIA didn’t tell the President about ISIS. Voter ID laws are unpopular. No lobbyists hold policy jobs. This will be the most transparent Presidency ever.
So however could I doubt Jeh Johnson and his razor-sharp spokespeople at DHS when they tell me something such as terrorists crossing our open borders is “categorically false”? It’s not like Johnson’s skin color played any part in being hired as DHS Secretary, because race is never an issue with this White House.
These leaflets may be forgeries, and represent nothing more than someone’s idea of a prank. Then again, they may be the genuine article. Whatever, the one thing we can count on from the Obama Administration is full disclosure of the truth, regardless of any embarrassment that it might cause. It isn’t as if they would lie to the American people, would they?
Alte kamerad LTCOL P, Marine artilleryman extraordinaire, has a great piece about a great piece. He points out some pretty sobering stats from the continuing effort to make ground combat a co-ed sport.
In the 155 mm Artillery Lift and Carry, a test simulating ordnance stowing, volunteers had to pick up a 95 lb. artillery round and carry it 50 meters in under 2 minutes. Noted the report, “Less than 1% of men, compared to 28.2% of women, could not complete the 155 mm artillery round lift and carry in the allotted time.” If trainees had to “shoulder the round and/or carry multiple rounds, the 28.2% failure rate would increase.”
As LTCOL P points out, such a test is in no way, shape, or form anywhere near realistic. The HE M107 projectile is 95 pounds, a tad heavier with lifting eyebolt. I would posit that making the test the moving of ten or twenty of those projectiles over, say, 100 meters, BEGINS to get to what kind of heavy manual labor is involved in being a field artilleryman. I would doubt severely that any female tested could get anywhere close to passing that particular test. And that is simply a beginning test. Try it after several days of 3 hours’ sleep in the snow or in yesterday’s rainwater, or in the 115 degree heat, after displacing twice in four hours and digging in spades each time.
You can be guaranteed the feminists and their spineless apologists in uniform will continue to find ways to obfuscate and slant results such as these and continue to scream for she-warriors who are the physical equivalent of men, when they are not being helpless victims, of course. Our present and future enemies must be awfully impressed.
An excellent article in Politico Magazine. Serpico has lots to say about the unaccountable, self-protecting, unionized, arbitrarily violent, up-gunned, over-armored, arrogant, power-mad police problem in our country. Worth the read. Here are some highlights.
Today the combination of an excess of deadly force and near-total lack of accountability is more dangerous than ever: Most cops today can pull out their weapons and fire without fear that anything will happen to them, even if they shoot someone wrongfully. All a police officer has to say is that he believes his life was in danger, and he’s typically absolved. What do you think that does to their psychology as they patrol the streets—this sense of invulnerability? The famous old saying still applies: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (And we still don’t know how many of these incidents occur each year; even though Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act 20 years ago, requiring the Justice Department to produce an annual report on “the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers,” the reports were never issued.)
It wasn’t any surprise to me that, after Michael Brown was shot dead in Ferguson, officers instinctively lined up behind Darren Wilson, the cop who allegedly killed Brown. Officer Wilson may well have had cause to fire if Brown was attacking him, as some reports suggest, but it is also possible we will never know the full truth—whether, for example, it was really necessary for Wilson to shoot Brown at least six times, killing rather than just wounding him. As they always do, the police unions closed ranks also behind the officer in question. And the district attorney (who is often totally in bed with the police and needs their votes) and city power structure can almost always be counted on to stand behind the unions.
And an increasingly common malady, the appearance of an occupying army rather than that of protecting and serving:
Mind you, I don’t want to say that police shouldn’t protect themselves and have access to the best equipment. Police officers have the right to defend themselves with maximum force, in cases where, say, they are taking on a barricaded felon armed with an assault weapon. But when you are dealing every day with civilians walking the streets, and you bring in armored vehicles and automatic weapons, it’s all out of proportion. It makes you feel like you’re dealing with some kind of subversive enemy. The automatic weapons and bulletproof vest may protect the officer, but they also insulate him from the very society he’s sworn to protect. All that firepower and armor puts an even greater wall between the police and society, and solidifies that “us-versus-them” feeling.
Serpico also lays out some measures for getting at the root of the problem:
1. Strengthen the selection process and psychological screening process for police recruits. Police departments are simply a microcosm of the greater society. If your screening standards encourage corrupt and forceful tendencies, you will end up with a larger concentration of these types of individuals;
2. Provide ongoing, examples-based training and simulations. Not only telling but showing police officers how they are expected to behave and react is critical;
3. Require community involvement from police officers so they know the districts and the individuals they are policing. This will encourage empathy and understanding;
4. Enforce the laws against everyone, including police officers. When police officers do wrong, use those individuals as examples of what not to do – so that others know that this behavior will not be tolerated. And tell the police unions and detective endowment associations they need to keep their noses out of the justice system;
5. Support the good guys. Honest cops who tell the truth and behave in exemplary fashion should be honored, promoted and held up as strong positive examples of what it means to be a cop;
6. Last but not least, police cannot police themselves. Develop permanent, independent boards to review incidents of police corruption and brutality—and then fund them well and support them publicly. Only this can change a culture that has existed since the beginnings of the modern police department.
All in all, some fascinating insights. From a cop whose moral courage is legendary. What say we?